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Quiz Answers

1.    Should German schools teach how many people Germany killed in World War II?
Yes, of course, they should. This is the one question that pretty much everyone should get right.

2.    How many was it?
World War II, including war-related diseases and famines, killed some 80 million people. Excluding some 30 million killed in Asia brings the total down to 50 million. Excluding some 6 million Germans and Austrians and a half million Italians as having been killed by the Allies (though of course also by their own governments) brings the total down to 43-and-a-half million. Of those, some 30 million were killed as civilians or soldiers in the course of the war, including from war-related diseases and famines -- the majority of them from the Soviet Union. The other 13 million were killed in German camps, including 6 million Jews, 3 million Soviet prisoners of war, 2 million Soviet civilians, 1 million Polish civilians, 1 million Yugoslav civilians, 200,000 gypsies, and thousands of political prisoners, homosexuals, and people with mental or physical disabilities.

Talk Nation Radio: Jon Schwarz on Secret Unaccountable Government

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-jon-schwarz-on-secret-unaccountable-government 

Jon Schwarz's new job is with The Intercept. He previously worked for Michael Moore's Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. He's contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.” In 2003 he collected on a $1,000 bet that Iraq would have no weapons of mass destruction. See:
https://theintercept.com/staff/jonschwarz

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Ending War: An Online Course

I'm very excited to announce that I will be teaching an online course beginning January 1, 2016, and that you can sign up for it now at the World Institute for Social Change.

The course is called "A World Beyond War" and will examine the possibility, desirability, and feasibility of abolishing the institution of war, examining arguments for the desirability and necessity of war, considering possible costs and benefits of war, and weighing alternative strategies for advancing the cause of reduction and abolition. 

Under review will be historic, recent, and current examples of war and war propaganda from various parts of the world. I will provide text and video each week, engage in discussion with students, answer any questions, and provide feedback on writing by students each week. Students are encouraged to bring any and all examples and arguments to the discussion.

I plan to devote a great deal of time and effort to working with each of you who participates in this course, and I think the WISC website will work well for this. I'm looking forward to your input.

The trickiest part of taking this online course may be signing up for it. Here's how. 

1. Go to: https://zcomm.org/zschool/moodle/login

2. Make up and type in (and remember) a username (it can be your email address) and a password.

3. On the next screen, type in your name and email address.

4. The website may send you a confirmation email. It may say that you've "changed" your email address. Just click the link in the email it sends you.

5. You will then be logged in and able to sign up for the course here:
https://zcomm.org/zschool/moodle/enrol/index.php?id=32

There are lots of other great courses that may interest you as well.

Each course costs $50 or $25 for those with low income. Part of the funding from my course goes to World Beyond War.

If you have any technical difficulties, please contact sysop@zmag.org

If you have any questions about the course, please see the outline on the website and contact me by replying to this email.

Thanks!

--David

I'm Dreaming of a Christmas Below 70

The sun is shining, the grass is green

It feels like a summer day

It's not supposed to be this way

In Charlottesville VA

 

'Cause it's December the 24th

At latitude 38 North...

 

I'm dreaming of a Christmas below 70

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten and children listen

To wisdom instead of Morning Joe

 

I'm dreaming of a year with seasons

Instead of growing heat and blight

If climate deniers see the light

And our society is set right

UVA Hires Dick Cheney / Pentagon Staffer Whose Failures Include Iraq and Mitt Romney

Eric Edelman is a former undersecretary at the Pentagon. He promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia's border.

He pushed for war on Iraq and accused anyone opposed of "aiding enemies," including denouncing any sort of end date as "aiding enemies" not long before Bush and Maliki set an end date.

He pushed Obama for esclation in Afghanistan.

He's on the board of the pro-war "U.S. Institute of Peace."

He advised Mitt Romney how to become president, and Congress how to tear up the nuclear agreement with Iran. He pushed all sorts of lies about Iran in the process.

Despite his advocacy for more wars all the time, Edelman seems to explain his string of disastrous decisions by explaining that people do dumb things during "war time." (video)

Here's a good summary of his work. some excerpts:

Eric S. Edelman, a former U.S. diplomat and adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, has supported a number of militarist policy initiatives. He is a founding board member of the Foreign Policy Initiative, an advocacy group founded in 2009 by neoconservative figures William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor widely regarded as a successor group to the Project for the New American Century. He also served as a key foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2012 and helped launch a new pressure group dedicated to pressing a hawkish GOP line in the 2016 presidential campaign.

In 2014, Edelman joined the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) as a co-chair of its Iran Task Force, which has pushed a hard line on Iran's nuclear enrichment program. ...

Edelman has been a vociferous critic of Obama administration's foreign policy, claiming that President Obama has an "ideological aversion to American power" ...

In a Boston Globe op-ed coauthored with fellow Romney advisers Meghan O'Sullivan and Eliot Cohen shortly before the election, Edelman argued: "Because of the last four years, we face a world in which our enemies do not fear us ...

In early 2013, Edelman and other Romney campaign alums joined to form the "John Hay Initiative."[7] The aim of the group is to influence potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates. Its more than 150 members include prominent militarists such as Eliot Cohen, Michael Chertoff, and former Sen. Norm Coleman. Mitt Romney himself is on the group's advisory council.[8]

In August 2015, Bloomberg View reported that members of the John Hay Initiative were playing a key role shaping the foreign policy agendas of most of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates. ...

The article added: "For the party itself, the group's omnipresence behind the scenes is shaping a hawkish, right-of-Hillary-Clinton foreign policy agenda that is quickly becoming the established position of the party hopefuls going into 2016."[10]

In September 2014, Edelman argued in a Washington Post op-ed written with Michele Flournoy, a former Obama administration undersecretary of defense for policy and noted "liberal hawk," that military spending should be increased ... that "the U.S. military must be able to deter or stop aggression in multiple theaters, not just one, even when engaged in a large-scale war."[11] ...

In a Weekly Standardcommentary, Edelman called for the United States "to dispatch a military needs assessment team to identify crucial shortfalls in the Ukrainian military and to lay the basis for urgent and longer-term military assistance programs on a bilateral U.S.-Ukraine basis."[16]

Edelman has also pushed for greater involvement of NATO in Ukraine, ...

Edelman has also taken a hawkish line on Iran. In January 2011, Edelman co-wrote, with two CSBA colleagues, an article for Foreign Affairs titled "The Dangers of a Nuclear Iran: The Limits of Containment." The article argued that the United States should pursue an approach "that brings diplomacy and sanctions, clandestine action, and the threat of military force into alignment." ...

Edelman also supported U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war over the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons in 2013. Edelman linked the issue to the U.S. standoff with Iran, arguing if the United States does not "enforce the WMD norm in Syria," Iran would "not put too much stock in the threat of the use of force if they don't negotiate an end to their nuclear weapons program."[31] ...

The Turkish columnist Ibrahim Karagul described Edelman as "probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history." ...

Edelman served under then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney during the administration of George H.W. Bush. At that time, he became part of a "shop" within the Pentagon that was set up by Cheney "to think about American foreign policy after the Cold War, at the grand strategic level," wrote Nicholas Lehman in the New Yorker.[40]

The work of this shop, which was headed by Paul Wolfowitz, eventually led to the crafting of the 1992 Draft Defense Planning Guidance, a document that was meant to serve as a post-Cold War framework for U.S. military strategy. 

Here's the news from the 19th most militarized university in the 1st most militarized nation:
 

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman Appointed James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center

A, Dec. 9, 2015 – Eric S. Edelman, a veteran diplomat and policy adviser during both the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations, has been appointed as the next James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center for public policy at the University of Virginia.

 
Ambassador Edelman, currently Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, retired as a Career Minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009.  He is also Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and was a senior associate of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University from 2009-2013. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace.  
 
Edelman has served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House, where he led organizations providing analysis, strategy, policy development, security services, trade advocacy, public outreach, citizen services, and congressional relations. As the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (August, 2005-January 2009), he oversaw strategy development as DoD’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.  
 
“It’s a special honor and pleasure for me to welcome Ambassador Edelman to the Miller Center," said William Antholis, Director and CEO. “He is widely respected in both parties as one of the leading career diplomats of his generation, and I had the great fortune to work with Eric and learn from him. I’m delighted that my colleagues and UVA students will also have that opportunity. Secretary Schlesinger would have been proud."  
 
Edelman served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. In other assignments he has been Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Robert Kimmitt and special assistant to Secretary of State George Shultz.  
 
He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January, 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government.
 
Edelman holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and earned his Ph.D. in U.S. diplomatic history at Yale University.
 
As the Schlesinger Professor over the next 12 months, Edelman will participate in Miller Center conferences; engage with faculty and students across the University of Virginia at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the Law School, and the History and Politics Departments; contribute to the First Year project and other Miller Center publications; and appear on the Center’s signature public affairs television interview program, American Forum.
 
The University of Virginia established the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship at the Miller Center in 2007 to bring public servants of great distinction to the University. Mr. Schlesinger served as Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy, in addition to holding leadership roles with the Central Intelligence Agency, Atomic Energy Agency, and numerous other government bodies during a distinguished career in public service.
 
Building on Schlesinger’s interest in strategic matters, the Schlesinger Professorship provides a unique opportunity for public servants who have experience with foreign policy and national security to participate as visiting faculty in programs at the Miller Center and engage with students at the University, as well as possibly draft memoirs or reflections with the Miller Center’s research support.

Trump Didn't Vote to Kill 1 Million Muslims in Iraq, Hillary Did

Thanks to Glenn Greenwald for pointing out that the U.S. media is acting as though Donald Trump just invented bigotry this week (one of those ugly details I'm happy to miss by never watching television). But not only is explicit bigotry toward Muslims not new, implicit bigotry toward Muslims has been the foundation of the largest public project in the United States for the past quarter century.

The driving forces behind war planning in Washington are power, domination, profit, politics, and the inertia of war planning as a path toward career success. These sociopaths are happy to bomb Germans or Yugoslavians. The value they place on sailors in Pearl Harbor or contemplated victims of Operation Northwoods, or U.S. troops stop-lossed into insanity is negligible. They don't think twice about overthrowing a democracy in Iran and laying the groundwork for Islamic power. They have no qualms about arming Muslim radicals in Afghanistan or Iraq, and toppling secular governments in Iraq or Libya or Syria. That most ISIS weaponry is U.S. weaponry seized from Iraq can only please the profiteers who will sell the weapons to combat ISIS. Their best friends are the killer Muslims running Saudi Arabia and nearby kingdoms. Their Christian hatred for Islam is as real as Karl Rove's integrity or Donald Trump's hair.

But you can't keep dumping $1 trillion a year into U.S. militarism without an enemy as frightening as -- actually it has to be more frightening than -- the Soviet Union and nuclear holocaust. In the irrational world of fear, a throat slitting is as frightening as a nuclear bomb, in fact more so. Many, many people in the United States, when they stop to think about it, recognize that the wars of recent decades have been counterproductive, creating enemies rather than eliminating them, endangering rather than protecting, costing a mountain of lives and of dollars, savagely destroying the natural environment, eroding civil liberties in the name of wars for "freedom," and brutalizing morality, justifying murder, torture, kidnapping, etc. But with fear and hatred of Muslims thrown into the mix, all of that clear understanding is erased by the need to kill Muslims. Suddenly a rich stew of World War II myths and Hollywood entertainment reminds everyone that only war works and nothing else is acceptable.

Donald Trump didn't vote for the war on Iraq that killed a million Muslims. He didn't vote to fund it and escalate it over and over again. Hillary Clinton did that. Which is not to say that Trump wouldn't have done so too, or worse, if he thought it would get him on TV more. The point is that the hatred is not new. Without it, basic U.S. policy would be understood as irrational.

There are now news stories from around the United States and the world about people shunning Trump businesses and expressing fear about living in Trump-branded buildings. They're concerned that there may be an attack. No doubt among those expressing this worry are some of that majority of Americans who tell pollsters they want more war. So, they recognize blowback. It's not a difficult concept. Hostility toward others produces hostility back toward you or someone taken to represent you. Pretty basic. But in advocating more war, millions of people are willing and able to hide their understanding of blowback in some fascist vault in a back corner of their brains. Sure, more war will produce more blowback, they may think, but hopefully it will hit somebody else -- especially if I unload my Trump condo and live somewhere else, perhaps a liberal gated community with an African-American guard whose name I even know.

I walked by a wall recently and took a photo of it. Someone had written "Anything war can do, peace can do better." Wisest thing I've ever seen on that wall. But someone else had scrawled underneath a poetic piece of pure ignorance from deep within the terrified soul of U.S. paranoia: "(Except stopping Hitler!)" I don't think the rest of the world finds it easy to get inside this type of U.S. thinking, in which the outside world is full of a menacing evil constantly analogized to Hitler, the "new Hitler," the "modern Hitler," -- and Hitler is understood as having arisen with no help from the Treaty of Versailles, no help from Wall Street, no assistance from the militarism of Western culture, and no possibility of being halted short of global domination except by massive violence.

Kids, dear world, in the United States, you should know are compelled to pledge allegiance to a U.S. flag every morning, and then to pray in what they call a "moment of silence." They are then taught a mythologized U.S. history year after year with hardly any mention of the other 96% of humanity. Then they're told that Muslims want to slit their throats. Why? What did they do? Nothing. They'd just been shopping and watching football and minding their own business. They had a flag out front and plenty of support-the-troops shit stuck to the SUV. Why? Must just be the barbarity of the Muslims. Why not kill them off? It worked with the Native Americans. Kill them off, but don't talk about it like that out loud.

Only, if there's a war on al Qaeda support it, and if there's a war with al Qaeda against Syria oppose it, and if it's repackaged as a war on al Qaeda under a new and even scarier name, support it with a passion. And if killing them is OK, what in the hell is all the fuss about over torturing them? And if torturing them is OK, what in the world could be wrong with denying them entry into the United States? This is the logic of war propaganda. Trump agrees with the Washington establishment, he just has some sort of media-driven Tourette syndrome that leads him to blurt things out. If he's made president, the second most dangerous place in this country will be a mosque. The first will remain anywhere between Trump and a television camera.

In Fantasyland Your Neighbors Live in, More War Is a Smart Idea

People in the United States want tighter gun laws within the United States. They probably can't be, and certainly aren't being, polled on the U.S. role as top weapons supplier to the world. You can't poll people on something they've never heard of.

People in the United States want more done to protect the environment. They have no clue that their government is politely destroying all hope for future human life at a nice conference in Paris. They've never heard that the U.S. military is the single biggest destroyer of the environment. These are topics you can't poll on.

People in the United States believe that ISIS is present within the United States trying to kill them. You can't poll them on what to do in the actual universe, because they're living in that one. In their la-la land they say the United States should wage more war on ISIS.

Even in an alternative universe in which ISIS members from Honduras have snuck Ebola into Planned Parenthood clinics, waging war on ISIS makes no sense. The war and the accompanying bigotry and hatred are the greatest gift ISIS could ask for. And it did ask for them. And the United States has obliged, helping ISIS's recruitment soar. Blowback isn't reduced by escalating. You can't use terrorism to eliminate terrorism.

But here's where the important delusions come in. More than a matter of immediate facts, good Americans suffer from a twisted worldview in which blowback is spontaneously generated by irrational subhuman urges in lesser races and religious groups, wars waged abroad by the United States don't hurt anyone -- other than evil beasts, the war on Iraq benefited Iraq, and wars can be made even better than normal by making them multicultural feminist environmentalist Geneva-Conventionized local efforts with dark-skinned inhabitants doing the dying but the United States doing the deciding.

Let's try a little context.

It is no more "defensive" now than it was in 2003 or any other year to bomb people's homes thousands of miles from your shores.

It is not an act of generosity -- except to the weapons makers -- to kill huge numbers of people for no good reason.

War is not a last resort, and imagining it is while cheering and pushing for it, is self-delusional in a very basic way, no matter how poorly informed you are.

As your World War II myths can probably be removed only with invasive surgery, just look at the past 70 years and find a war that worked on its own terms, that didn't produce more harm than it halted.

The politicians who lie to you about everything other than war, and the media that tries to bias you in disastrous directions on everything other than war, both do the exact same thing when it comes to war.

Two years ago you didn't want to join a war on Syria on the side of al Qaeda, but you didn't want to be bothered to really stop it, end the provision of arms and trainers, pull the CIA out, permit the world to negotiate peace. Now you want to join a war on Syria on the side of al Qaeda while simultaneously joining it on the side against al Qaeda under the new name ISIS.

Why? Because ISIS is evil, so evil you can't talk to them.

ISIS is a large and growing number of people. Do you intend to murder them all? Do you have any idea of the global storm of hatred and vengeance that doing so would unleash on the United States including from people within the United States who can't be kept out by some idiotic walls? Because if you don't intend to murder them all, but only some of them (generating more of them than you kill), then you're going to have to talk with those who survive.

I'm not even asking you to talk to them. I'm asking you to stop making matters worse. Stop bombing. Stop shooting. Stop flooding the region with weapons. Stop supporting governments that fund ISIS. Protect people at risk with actual defensive protection if needed, but don't use them as excuses for escalated war. Send in aid and peaceworkers. Let professionals at conflict resolution speak to ISIS. Go back to television and shopping. Just stop telling pollsters you want more war.

Talk Nation Radio: Eric Bonds on War and the Environment

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-eric-bonds-on-war-and-the-environment 

Eric Bonds is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He studies and writes about the often times overlapping fields of human rights, war/militarism, and the environment. His work has appeared in Z Magazine, Foreign Policy in Focus, and numerous academic venues. See:
http://fpif.org/pentagon-comes-short-climate

and

https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/the-wastes-of-war-in-afghanistan

and

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09644016.2015.1090369#abstract

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Pearl Harbor Day and the Fantasy of US Victimhood

By David Swanson, for teleSUR
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Pearl-Harbor-Day-and-the-Fantasy-of-US-Victimhood-20151206-0041.html#comsup

David Swanson unmasks the propaganda logic behind Amazon.com's "Man in the High Castle" and U.S. celebrations of failure

The USS Nevada is aground and burning off Waipio Point, after the end of the Japanese air raid in Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

The United States is indisputably the world's most frequent and extensive wager of aggressive war, largest occupier of foreign lands, and biggest weapons dealer to the world. But when the United States peeps out from under the blankets where it lies shivering with fear, it sees itself as an innocent victim. It has no holiday to keep any victorious battle in everyone's mind. It has a holiday to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor -- and now also one, perhaps holier still, to recall, not the "shock and awe" destruction of Baghdad, but the crimes of September 11, 2001, the "new Pearl Harbor."

Similar to Israel, but with a variation, the United States is deeply obsessed with World War II, overlaid of course on a Southern obsession with the U.S. Civil War. The Southern U.S. love for the Civil War is love for a war lost, but also for victimhood and the righteousness of the vengeance wreaked on the world year after year by the U.S. military.

The U.S. love for World War II is also, fundamentally, love for a war lost. That may seem odd to say, because it is simultaneously very much love for a war won. World War II remains the U.S. model for potentially some day winning a war again, as it's been losing them all over the world for the 70 years since World War II. But the U.S. view of WWII is also strangely similar to the Russian view. Russia was brutally attacked by the Nazis, but persevered and won the war. The United States believes itself to have been "imminently" attacked by the Nazis. That, after all, was the propaganda that took the United States to war. There was not one word about rescuing Jews or anything half that noble. Rather, President Franklin Roosevelt claimed to have a map of the Nazis' plans for carving up the Americas, a map that was an amateurish forgery provided by British "intelligence."

Hollywood has made very few movies and television shows about all other wars combined, in comparison with dramas about World War II, which may in fact be its most popular topic ever. We're really not drowning in movies glorifying the theft or northern Mexico or the occupation of the Philippines. The Korean War gets little play. Even the Vietnam War and all the more recent wars fail to inspire U.S. storytellers like World War II, and some 90% of those stories relate to the war in Europe, not Asia.

The European story is much preferred because of the particular evils of the German enemy. That the U.S. prevented a peace without victor in World War I by crushing Germany, and then punished it viciously, and then aided the Nazis -- all of that is far more easily forgotten than the nuclear bombs that the United States dropped on Japan. But it is the Japanese attack of December 7, 1941, together with the fantasized Nazi invasion, that persuades the U.S. public that waging war in Europe was defensive. So the history of the United States training Japan in imperialism and then antagonizing and provoking Japan must be forgotten as well.

Amazon.com, a corporation with a huge CIA contract, and whose owner also owns the Washington Post, has launched a television series called the Man in the High Castle. The story is set in the 1960s with the Nazis occupying three-quarters of the United States and the Japanese the rest. In this alternative universe, the ultimate redemption is found in Germany being the nation to have dropped nuclear bombs. The Axis victors, and their aging leaders, have created and maintained an old-fashioned empire -- not like U.S. bases in proxy states, but a full-blown occupation, like the United States in Iraq. It doesn't really matter how implausible this sounds. It is the most plausible scenario that can embody the U.S. fantasy of someone else doing to it what it does to others. Thus U.S. crimes here in the real 2015 become "defensive," as it is doing unto others before they can do unto it.

Nonviolent resistance does not exist in Season One Episode One of this soothing victim adventure, and apparently hasn't for years at that point in the tale. But how could it? A force stoppable through nonviolence -- even an imaginary one -- cannot serve to justify the violence of the actual U.S. military. The German and Japanese occupiers have to be confrontable only through violence, even anachronistically in an age in which nonviolent techniques were known, in which the civil rights movement was resisting U.S. fascism to great effect.

"Before the war ... every man was free," says one of the attractive young white people who constitute all the heroes and some of the villains in this drama. Instead of race riots, McCarthyism, Vietnam, and the sterilizing and experimenting on the powerless that actually happened, this alternative United States includes the burning of Jews, the disabled, and the terminally ill. The contrast to the imagined pre-Nazi past in which "every man [but not woman?] was free" is stark.

Amazon also shows us Nazis behaving much like the actual United States behaves: torturing and murdering enemies. Rikers Island is a brutal prison in this TV show and in reality. In this fantasy, the symbols of U.S. and Nazi patriotism have been merged seamlessly. In reality, the U.S. military incorporated much Nazi thinking along with the many Nazis it recruited through Operation Paperclip -- another way in which the U.S. actually lost WWII if we imagine victory as democracy defeating the sort of society in which someone like Donald Trump could thrive.

The United States today manages to view refugees from the wars it wages in distant lands as dangerous enemies, as new Nazis, just as leading U.S. politicians refer to foreign leaders as new Hitlers. With U.S. citizens shooting up public places on an almost daily basis, when one such killing is alleged to have been done by a Muslim, especially a Muslim with any sympathy for foreign fighters, well, then that's not just a shooting. That means that the United States has been invaded. And that means that anything it does is "defensive."

Does Venezuela elect leaders the U.S. disapproves of? That's a threat to "national security" -- a somewhat magical threat to invade and occupy the United States and compel it to torture and kill wearing a different flag. This paranoia doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from programs like The Man from the High Castle, which -- the world should be warned -- is only at Season 1, Episode 1 so far.