Reparations, Then and Now


The news media industry in the United States is always in danger of running out of what passes for editorial material. They need an endless supply of “bait” to fill the spaces between the advertisements in their endless stream of printed pages, broadcast airtime, and Internet feeds, lest the audience notice that they have “500 channels, but nothing to watch.” That is why so much-perhaps too much-is made of each day, week, or month set aside to honor or commemorate anybody or anything that has an active constituency of “politically correct” supporters.

A conspicuous example of this phenomenon takes place each February, which, in the United States, is officially designated as “African-American History Month.” Yes, we are well aware that we can expect our mouths to be washed out with soap for voicing any criticism of this observance. Anyone who criticizes such a sacred cow of the U.S. “news” media can expect to be accused of racism, because that is the fastest way to silence all debate.

This, of course, completely obscures the point that we are making, as it is intended to do. We have absolutely no quarrel with the perfectly legitimate concerns on the part of African-Americans, and of African peoples living anywhere in the world, for their own physical, mental, emotional, cultural, and spiritual survival and well being. After all, do we not have the same concerns for our own beleaguered people, the Slavs? What we ARE objecting to is the way in which the “news” media in the U.S., whose members are overwhelmingly leftist Democrats who supported Clinton and Gore, have made the observance of “African-American History Month” into nothing more than a vehicle for divisiveness, polarization, and political demagoguery. In short, under their tutelage, February has become “Exacerbate Racism Month.”

If you tune in to the U.S. media during February, hoping to find an honest, informative, and responsible exploration of the history of the U.S. and of other regions of the world as it pertains to African-Americans, you will be disappointed. Instead, the media are using the February observance solely to reinforce ideological conformity and “political correctness” among minority group members, and passive acquiescence among everyone else.

If you think we are mistaken, how else do you explain the obdurate refusal of the U.S. media to give any coverage to African-Americans who do not happen to be liberals, such as former presidential candidate Alan Keyes? Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are considered outcast African-Americans. How else do you explain why the media devotes so much airtime to complaining about the lack of good role models for young African-Americans, while ignoring or discounting the genuine accomplishments of many conservative African-Americans? Now that he is on the U.S. Supreme Court, few seem to notice that one of the most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, is an African-American. How else do you explain the furious vilification that greets any African-American who dares to question whether four decades of big-government patronage and mindless allegiance to the Democrats, and to “leaders” such as Jesse Jackson, have actually improved the lives of most African-Americans?

The Current Controversy

A particularly divisive issue that once again is surfacing in the U.S. is that of reparations for slavery. A recent book by Randall Robinson, with the inflammatory title “The Debt: What America Owes Blacks,” contends that the present-day United States owes a massive financial penalty to present-day African-Americans. The facts and the logical arguments that can be marshaled against this proposal are truly overwhelming, and we could not possibly reiterate them all here. A few such arguments are presented in the articles, “Reparations for slavery,” by Walter Williams,  and “Reparations for slavery?” by Thomas Sowell, The economic analysis presented by Fogel and Engerman in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Time on the Cross”-the most exhaustive and, perhaps, the most authoritative recent work on the “peculiar institution”-is conveniently ignored during the clamor for reparations.

Those who argue in favor of reparations for slavery often cite, as a historical precedent, the reparations that present-day Germany is still paying to the Jewish people for Nazi-era genocide. Let’s take a closer look at this situation.

A Debt of Gratitude

We can all be thankful that the Third Reich is no more. But whose efforts defeated the Nazis? While we do not intend to discount the very real contributions of other Allied nations, we must point out that the Russians and the Serbs, as well as the Poles, the Czechs, and other Slavic peoples, bore the brunt of the casualties. As great as the U.S. and British contributions and sacrifices may have been, only the Russian people were ready, willing and able to provide the manpower to combat the massive Nazi troops. Had the U.S. experienced anywhere near the level of troop losses that their Russian allies did, the home politics would have required a negotiated peace.

The desperate heroism of the Serbs in particular kept the Wehrmacht bogged down in the Balkans, delaying the invasion of Russia until winter began to approach. This enabled the Red Army to deal a series of decisive blows, at enormous cost, that finally turned the tide of the war against the Nazis. Thanks to these Allied sacrifices, the Nazis were defeated before they had a chance to slaughter or enslave Africans and African-Americans. Because Slavs fought heroically, and suffered and died by the millions, to stop the Nazis, Africans and African-Americans were spared the horrific experience of being treated as “racial inferiors” by the Nazis. Although the Serbs and Russians are not making any claims for monetary compensation, the rest of the world does owe them a debt of gratitude for this sacrifice that they made.

A Devil’s Bargain, 1933-1945 and Today

Let us turn the clock back a bit further, to examine a major root of the Nazi evil. Support for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis grew and flourished during the catastrophic economic collapse in Germany after the end of World War I. One man quoted in a television documentary said that poverty and unemployment had made him so desperate that he “would have sold his soul to the devil” in return for a job. And so he did. This devil’s bargain was for the promise of material prosperity, power, and status, in return for unquestioning acceptance of Hitler’s ideology, Hitler’s foreign policy, and Hitler’s attacks upon persons of other nationalities and races. The result-Hitler’s “legacy,” if you will-was the destruction of six million Jews along with countless millions of Serbs, Roma, Poles, Russians and other Allied soldiers and civilians-and eventually, the defeat and destruction of Germany itself, along with Germany’s ongoing reparations debt.

Now let us return our focus to the clamor for slavery reparations in the present-day United States. The spokesmen making those demands all seem to be liberal Democrats who vociferously supported Clinton and Gore in recent U.S. elections. Politicians and other “opinion leaders” make such demands to garner publicity and to reinforce the loyalty of their power base. In the past three U.S. presidential elections-and particularly in the Y2k election-election statistics reported overwhelming and lopsided support for Clinton and Gore on the part of minorities. Being from Chicago, we can only guess how much of this support was real and how much was the result of ballot-box stuffing or its punch-card equivalent on the part of urban Democrat political machines.

Of course, minorities weren’t the only supporters of the Clinton/Gore administration. Some are members of America’s elite: Hollywood, academia, the media, foundations, “think tanks,” teacher’s unions, the crime syndicate, and so forth. But we are disgusted that anybody at all could have spoken on behalf of, contributed to, or voted for, these war criminals. For anyone, of any race, to continue supporting the Clinton/Gore administration, he or she must be willing to tolerate, not only those nauseating domestic scandals, but everything the U.S. government does overseas, including large-scale aggressive war-making and genocide. He or she must be willing to accept whatever excuses for such wrongdoing that the politicians and media deign to offer.

What’s the payoff for this devil’s bargain? Here again, the supporters of Clinton and Gore were, and still are, convinced that their present or future opportunities for power, social status and material prosperity all depend upon the liberal Democrats holding political office. Here again, it isn’t just minorities, it’s any Americans who want what they claim is “their piece of the pie” and who don’t care how many Serbs, Iraqis, or other racial undesirables have to die to keep their political patrons in power. (See Llewellyn Rockwell, “Cashing In on Government,” regarding the Democrats under Clinton/Gore). Sound familiar?

War Criminals and Their Loyal Followers

Waging an aggressive war was one of the war crimes for which Nazis were convicted at Nuremberg. The use of toxic weapons was, and is, considered a war crime. So is war propaganda. So is genocide, attempted genocide, and any direct and public incitement to genocide. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and their minions at CNN and elsewhere, lied to us about Bosnia and lied to get us into the Kosovo war. They and their supporters continue lying to cover it up.

The cover-ups are finally unraveling, especially since news about NATO’s use of depleted uranium ordnance in the Balkans has come to light. Depleted uranium is both a chemical and a radioactive toxin. And it isn’t just depleted uranium; some of the nuclear waste used in these toxic weapons has been found to contain plutonium. (See “DU Used – in Somalia and Germany,” Der Spiegel, 1-23-2001,  and “ANALYSIS-Bid to bury plutonium factor dismays NATO,” Reuters, 1-20-01). Everyone in the vicinity is at risk, but, of course, nobody began to pay attention until NATO’s own occupation troops began to fall ill and to die horrible deaths. (See “It Turns Out Depleted Uranium Is Bad For NATO Troops In Kosovo [What About Everyone Else?”) by Felicity Arbuthnot, “Low Intensity Nuclear War,” by Michael Chossudovsky, MAPW Newsletter Summer 1998/99, and “Chemical/Nuclear Warfare in Bosnia: Eyewitness to Hell” by Tika Jankovich, Jared Israel, and Peter Makara.

Oh, and by the way, we do not deny that there some differences between modern-day Americans and the loyal Germans of the Third Reich. Case in point: The Nazis-who did have radioactive substances at their disposal-never actually used bombs or ordnance containing radioactive toxins in warfare, even though the U.S. government feared that they might do so. Scientists who had fled the Third Reich and taken refuge in the U.S. had revealed that Nazis certainly had the ability to make and use such a weapon. Clearly, Clinton and his NATO allies were willing to commit an atrocity that even Hitler and his Nazis were not willing to do. This particular evil is ours alone.

Demonizing the Victims

One might wonder how these perpetrators of genocide, past and present, could possibly live with themselves. The answer is that they enjoy the services of expert liars, fabricators, and “spin doctors” who reassure them of their superiority and virtue. Nazi propagandists convinced their followers that they were doing the right thing by slandering the Jews with many accusations that should have been applied to the Nazis themselves, including that of plotting to conquer the world. Moreover, the Nazis explained that they “had to” occupy Czechoslovakia to protect ethnic Germans from ethnic Czechs. In exactly the same way, their present-day U.S. counterparts gain points in the opinion polls by portraying the Serbs as so inherently evil and monstrous and dangerous that there is no alternative to eliminating them as rapidly as possible and by any means available. And without a trace of irony, they argue that Serbs, including civilians of all ages, deserve this fate simply because they did not overthrow the Yugoslav government.

When the depleted uranium began to hit the front pages, not just in Europe, but in Chicago-the very heart of the New Evil Empire-the “powers that be” decided that something had to be done. It was necessary, once again, to make the Serbs look so bad that nobody would continue to feel normal sympathy toward the Serbian people exposed to depleted uranium. And it was necessary to make the Serbs appear so dangerous to human civilization that nobody would dare to criticize the U.S. government or NATO, either for the war itself or for using depleted uranium, cluster bombs, or any other prohibited methods of warfare.

Justin Raimondo describes what the media concocted to serve those ends: “A recent docudrama staged by the US government-owned-and-operated National Public Radio alleges that the Serbs, in order to cover up their alleged war crimes during the Kosovo civil war, had burned thousands of bodies in the Trepca mines. The OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] immediately denied that this was even a possibility….” (See “Lying About Kosovo,” 01/29/01). Even the Associated Press-itself no friend of the Serbian people-saw fit to debunk this fabrication. (See “Kosovo Mass Burnings Unfounded,” by Fisnik Abrashi, AP, 1/26/01)

Transparent Lies-and Those Who Pretend to Believe

Mr. Raimondo also mentioned that, as soon as this shameful NPR docudrama came out, a U.S. government spokesman by the name of Richard Boucher immediately issued a statement endorsing it as fact. This brings up another problem: during the Clinton/Gore administration, the U.S. State Department has earned a reputation of abysmal corruption and manipulative evil. Any employee who had any conscience at all would have resigned! Those who did not resign will spend the remainder of their careers “lying and denying” to try to put a better face on the amoral machinations in which they have been involved.

The victorious Allied governments, at the end of the Second World War, implemented a denazification program in the former Third Reich. This “housecleaning” program was intended to prevent former Nazis and Nazi sympathizers from doing any further harm by removing them from positions of power and influence. Unfortunately, exceptions were made that allowed some ex-Nazis and Nazi sympathizers, particularly scientists, engineers, and former intelligence officers, to take refuge in the U.S. and other Western nations, and sometimes to work for the U.S. government. Even though the individuals in question are all retired or dead by now, and another generation has taken their places, it is still not considered “politically correct” in the U.S. to speculate about any negative effects that this mistaken policy may have had.

At the State Department, President Bush has inherited a legacy of bad foreign policy implemented by individuals of bad character. This is NO time for Mr. Bush to follow his natural impulses to be affable and conciliatory. President Bush needs to get together with his Secretary of State and his National Security Adviser to do a thorough housecleaning at Foggy Bottom, without delay. He needs to hire enough good and capable people to replace every Clinton-era employee of the State Department, both at home and abroad.

It takes a certain degree of moral character for a wrongdoer to admit that he or she was wrong. For most people, it’s easier to “lie and deny.” After the Second World War, many Germans who had been living in the Third Reich claimed not to have known about the Nazi atrocities. But they must have known, because evidence was all over the place, obvious to anyone with the most rudimentary powers of observation and reasoning. With the sheer number of troops, police, and guards involved, there was no way to hide what was going on in the camps and on the Eastern Front. In spite of that, many Germans enthusiastically supported the Nazi regime as long as they were prospering and they weren’t the ones dying.

What About You?

This leaves us with only one conclusion. The entire Clinton/Gore administration, and EVERYONE who supported them, whether in the hope of personal advantage or for any other reason, owe massive reparations to the Serbs and other victims of U.S. war crimes.

If you are among the guilty-and you know who you are-you can start by putting on your respirators and your “moon suits” and going to the contaminated areas YOURSELF, IN PERSON, to begin the work of cleaning it up.

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