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.
3. Should U.S. schools teach how many people the United States killed in wars on Native Americans, in the Philippines, in Vietnam, or in Iraq?
I would hope that everyone would answer yes to this one, too.
4. How many was it?
The biggest cause of death among Native Americans in the colonies that would become the United States was the spread of diseases brought by European people and their animals. At least 10 million Native Americans were reduced in numbers dramatically in the earliest years of colonization. From those earliest years up to the twentieth century, the intentional eradication of the remaining Native Americans was openly pursued by many European Americans, including through the intentional spreading of disease, starvation, ethnic cleansing, and violent murder on a small and large scale. Certainly tens of thousands, and probably hundreds of thousands of Native Americans were killed in wars waged by the United States.
The Philippines, under attack by the United States, saw 20,000 combatants killed, plus 200,000 to 1,500,000 civilians dead from violence and diseases, including cholera. Over 15 years, by some estimates, the United States’ occupying forces, together with disease, killed over 1.5 million civilians in the Philippines, out of a population of 6 to 7 million. A population of 7 million losing 1.5 million lives is losing a staggering 21% of its population — making this war, by that standard, if the high-end estimate of deaths is correct, the worst war the United States has engaged in. A 2008 study by Harvard Medical School and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimated 3.8 million violent war deaths, combat and civilian, north and south, during the years of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that between March 18, 2003, and June 2006, there were 654,965 excess deaths in Iraq, of which 601,027 were due to violence. The British based Opinion Research Business found that between March 2003 and August 2007, there were 1,033,000 violent deaths of Iraqis in Iraq. A 2013 PLOS Medicine journal survey, led by public health expert Amy Hagopian of the University of Washington in Seattle, found a half-million Iraqis had been killed by the war.
5. How many Africans were put on ships to the United States in chains?
Some 10 million may have died after capture but before making it onto a ship. Another 10 to 12 million may have been shipped to the Americas in chains. Of these, by one estimate, 472,000 were shipped to the area that is now the United States.
6. How many made it there alive?
7. How many people lived enslaved in the United States before slavery was officially ended?
The total number of people who lived all or part of their lives enslaved between 1776 and 1865 can only be guessed at, but the 1860 census tells us that there were 3.75 million people enslaved in the United States in 1860, or roughly 10 percent of the nation’s population.
8. How many after that?
As documented in Douglas Blackmon’s book, Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, the institution of slavery in the U.S. South largely ended for as long as 20 years in some places upon completion of the U.S. civil war. And then it was back again, in a slightly different form, widespread, controlling, publicly known and accepted — right up to World War II. In fact, in other forms, it remains today. During widely publicized trials of slave owners for the crime of slavery in 1903 — trials that did virtually nothing to end the pervasive practice — the Montgomery Advertiser editorialized: “Forgiveness is a Christian virtue and forgetfulness is often a relief, but some of us will never forgive nor forget the damnable and brutal excesses that were committed all over the South by negroes and their white allies, many of whom were federal officials, against whose acts our people were practically powerless.” This was a publicly acceptable position in Alabama in 1903: slavery should be tolerated because of the evils committed by the North during the war and during the occupation that followed. Prison labor continues in the United States. Mass incarceration continues as a tool of racial oppression. Enslaved farm labor continues as well. So does the use of fines and debt to create convicts.
9. Who was Olaudah Equiano?
Olaudah Equiano had been enslaved in Africa and brought to the United States, probably Virginia, but it was in London that he found his voice, told his story in a best-selling book, filled debating halls, and became a leader in the movement to free all others. He was one of, if not the first, black to speak publicly in Britain. He did as much to end the slave trade as anyone, and it might have gone on considerably longer without him.
10. What percentage of deaths in wars of the past half-century have been civilian?
There is a great deal of controversy, poor information, and misinformation in reports on war casualties, but it is almost universally understood that in many wars up through World War I the majority of the deaths, not counting deaths from war-related disease epidemics, were the deaths of soldiers. Similarly, there is little dispute that during World War II and most, if not all, major wars since, the majority of the deaths have been the deaths of civilians. In some wars, including wars fought by rich against poor nations, the civilian death toll has been extremely high, and the one-sidedness of the death toll (including civilians and combatants) equally high. The only real controversy is over exactly how large a majority of war deaths are civilian, and part of that stems from choices over whom to include — such as whether to include the delayed deaths of the wounded, etc. In the American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 104, No. 6, June 2014: e34-e47, we read: “Since the end of World War II, there have been 248 armed conflicts in 153 locations around the world. The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq. During the 20th century, 190 million deaths could be directly and indirectly related to war — more than in the previous 4 centuries…. The proportion of civilian deaths and the methods for classifying deaths as civilian are debated, but civilian war deaths constitute 85% to 90% of casualties caused by war, with about 10 civilians dying for every combatant killed in battle. The death toll (mostly civilian) resulting from the recent war in Iraq is contested, with estimates of 124,000 to 655,000 to more than a million, and finally most recently settling on roughly a half million. Civilians have been targeted for death and for sexual violence in some contemporary conflicts. Seventy percent to 90% of the victims of the 110 million landmines planted since 1960 in 70 countries were civilians.”
11. How many people has the United States killed in wars, large and small, since 1950?
Adding up the millions killed in U.S. wars in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other places, plus proxy wars in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Sudan, plus the drone wars and secret operations, the total is probably 20 to 30 million. Needless to say, blame for many of these deaths goes also to many other nations and participants.
12. How many democratic governments has the U.S. government overthrown?
Here is a list of 57 U.S. attempts to overthrow foreign governments just since 1949, thirty-six of them successful. Most of those governments had been put in place by election and were arguably as “democratic” as the United States if not more so. Without a doubt, in most cases, the governments overthrown were replaced by less democratic regimes. The author of that list, William Blum, notes in his book, America’s Deadliest Export, that just since World War II, the United States has also interfered in at least 30 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. On August 5, 2015, President Barack Obama bragged that he had himself ordered the bombing of seven countries.
13. If you persistently asked for money for a trip, finally got some, went on the trip to a foreign country, and then murdered anyone you met there who failed to give you lots of gold, would a good teacher praise your persistence in asking for the money for the trip?
Of course not.
14. Would they praise Christopher Columbus’ persistence?
Most U.S. text books and teachers do, yes.
15. Can you name some Virginians who chose to free everyone they had enslaved while Thomas Jefferson was enslaving more people?
In the 1770s a group of Quakers in Virginia including Warner Mifflin illegally freed their slaves, with none of the disastrous consequences predicted by other slave owners. In 1782 the Quakers successfully lobbied the Virginia legislature to create a law allowing people to free anyone they held in slavery. Some chose to do just that. In 1819, Edward Coles bought land in Illinois and gave it to those he had held enslaved in Virginia. He also became governor of Illinois, and a painting of his act of liberation hangs in the Illinois capitol rotunda. Jefferson had urged Coles not to do it. And although Thaddeus Kosciuszko had left Jefferson nearly $20,000 with which to free slaves, Jefferson declined to send anyone to freedom in Illinois with Coles and declined to accept the money. Coles was also President James Madison’s private secretary and envoy to Czar Alexander of Russia. Meanwhile, Jefferson’s own private secretary William Short urged Jefferson to experiment with allowing those he kept in slavery to work toward the purchase of their own freedom, with plans to then employ them as tenant farmers. Jefferson refused.
16. What is the appropriate justification for Jefferson enslaving people?
It changes too rapidly, as each new justification is laughed out the door; you shouldn’t expect to keep up.
17. What percentage of people in the world are in the United States?
About 4.4 percent.
18. What percentage of prisoners in the world are in the United States?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013, along with 54,148 kids in “juvenile detention.” Another 4,751,400 adults were on probation or parole. The 2,274,448 incarcerated is about 25% of the world’s prisoners, more prisoners than in any other nation, and a higher incarceration rate than in any other nation — about 0.7% of the U.S. population. Those imprisoned or on probation or parole add up to 2.2% of the U.S. population.
19. What percentage of military spending in the world is by the U.S. government?
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute counts world military spending in 2014 as $1,776 billion and U.S. military spending as $610 billion or 34%. However, SIPRI leaves out all kinds of military expenditures, which the U.S. government funnels through numerous departments in addition to “Defense,” including Homeland Security, State, Energy, etc., as well as debt for past military spending. A total count puts U.S. military spending at approximately $1 trillion per year, and probably does not raise most other nations’ figures to the same extent.
20. What percentage is by the U.S. government and its close allies?
Figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute put that at approximately 75% to 80% of world military spending, depending on which nations are included. Spending by China and Russia adds up to almost 17%.
21. What percentage of foreign military troops stationed in nations around the world are U.S. troops?
Almost all of them. The United States has troops at its own bases and at bases identified as belonging to the host country, all over the globe — several hundred to over 1,000 bases depending on how you count them. Britain and France together have 13 foreign bases, Russia 9, and 1 each for Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, India, Australia, Chile, Turkey, and Israel. U.S. troops and employees and family members at foreign bases add up to well over 500,000 U.S. citizens abroad. The rest of the world’s 30 bases don’t compare.
22. What percentage of the world’s nations have U.S. troops in them?
At least 90% of the world’s nations have at least some small number of U.S. troops stationed in them, and at least 68% have so-called “special forces” of the U.S. military active in them. U.S. television sports announcers routinely thank U.S. troops for watching from 175 countries.
23. In what nations of the world do people have the longest life expectancy? Name 3 of the top 10.
Here are the top 25, in order from the top down, according to the World Health Organization: Japan, Spain, Andorra, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore, San Marino, Canada, Cyprus, France, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Korea, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, United Kingdom.
24. What nations of the world poll highest for happiness? Name 3 of the top 10.
Here are the top 10 according to the World Happiness Report 2015, in order from top down: Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia. Here are the top 10 from top down ranked as experiencing well being by the Happy Planet Index: Denmark, Canada, Norway, Venezuela, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Israel, Finland, Australia.
25. What nations of the world have the highest inequality of wealth? Name 3 of the top 10.
According to one calculation, these are the top 10 in order from most unequal: Russian Federation, Ukraine, Lebanon, United States, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, South Africa, Indonesia. According to another, these are: Namibia, Zimbabwe, Denmark, Switzerland, United States, Brazil, Gabon, Central African Republic, Swaziland, Guatemala.
26. What nations of the world have the greatest economic opportunity and mobility? Name 3 of the top 10.
There are many ways to measure this, and they all rank the United States below most other wealthy countries. Here are the top 10, in order from the top down, for opportunity and mobility by one study: Denmark, Norway, Finland, Canada, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Spain.
27. What nations’ students score highest in academic tests? Name 3 of the top 10.
There are lots of rankings. According to one set, here are the top 20 in order from the top down in math: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, Japan, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Vietnam, Austria, Australia, Ireland, Slovenia. And in reading: Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Finland, Ireland, Taiwan, Canada, Poland, Estonia, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Macao, Vietnam, Germany, France. And in science: Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Estonia, Korea, Vietnam, Poland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Germany, Taiwan, Netherlands, Ireland, Australia, Macao, New Zealand, Switzerland, Slovenia, United Kingdom.
28. How many of the world’s 50 wealthiest nations provide free and universal health coverage?
The answer is, of course, 49.The entire wealthy or “developed” world does so, with the exceptions of the United States, Belarus, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Those last three are not in the wealthiest 50.
29. Which countries provide the best retirement security? Name 3 of the top 10.
Here is a ranking of the top 10 from the top down: Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, New Zealand.
30. How much does it cost to attend college in Brazil, Germany, Finland, France, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden?
31. In which nations do people average the shortest working hours? Name 3 of the top 10.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2012, the top 10 in order from the top down are: Netherlands, Germany, Norway, France, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Sweden.
32. How many wealthy nations guarantee no paid parental leave?
One, the United States.
33. Which nations have the highest labor union representation? Name 3 of the top 10.
Here are the top 10, at least among those in this study, in order from the top down: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom. Here they are, at least among those in this study: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Australia.
34. In which nations of the world does one face the lowest risk of violent crime? Name 3 of the top 10.
Here are the top 25 in order from the top down for lowest murder rates: Monaco, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Iceland, Japan, French Polynesia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Switzerland, Indonesia, Slovenia, San Marino, Sweden, Algeria, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic.
35. Approximately how much money does the U.S. government spend every year?
Approximately $3.5 trillion.
37. How much of that money is in dedicated permanent funds separate from the rest of the budget or otherwise mandatory, and how much is subject to the discretion of the Congress?
About two-thirds is mandatory spending including debt interest, Social Security, and healthcare. The other third is discretionary.
38. What percentage of discretionary spending is for war preparations?
Roughly 50%, leaving the other 50% for everything else.
39. What percentage is for foreign aid, education, or environmental protection?
Here’s a pie chart. Compared to the military’s 50% which of course goes through numerous departments of the government, foreign aid receives 2%, education 6%, and energy and the environment 3.5%.
40. What is the correlation between Congress members’ actions and their sources of funding?
It depends on the issue, but on many important issues it is extremely high, as one can see by examining particular votes. There is debate over whether Congress members are bribed to act or rewarded for having acted, but both sides acknowledge the correlation. The correlation is even more strongly documented between funding and gaining access to Congress members, and the impact of that access is almost certainly greater than zero. The correlation between funding sources and actions contributes to the general trend noted in #46 below.
41. What is the correlation between greatest campaign funding and electoral victory?
It’s almost perfect. In 2008, in 93 percent of House of Representatives races, 94 percent of Senate races, and 100% of presidential races (there was, as you can imagine, only 1 of those), the candidate who spent the most money won.
42. What is the success rate in Congressional reelection campaigns by incumbents?
45. How many private insurance companies insure nuclear power plants?
None. They’re not crazy. Paying for future disasters is left to tax payers.
46. Is the United States a democracy, republic, communist collective, dictatorship, or oligarchy?
The United States is an oligarchy.
47. Which nations are the world’s top weapons exporters?
According to the Congressional Research Service, as of 2011 (since which time CRS has stopped reporting) the U.S. accounted for 79% of the value of transfer agreements to ship weapons to governments in the Middle East, 79% also to poor nations around the world, and 77% of the value of total agreements to ship weapons to other countries. According to SIPRI, the U.S. shipped 31 percent of the weapons exported worldwide between 2010 and 2014. Russia shipped 27 percent, China 5 percent, Germany 5 percent, and France 5 percent.
48. Name at least three recent wars in which weapons from the same nation were used on both sides.
U.S. weapons went up against U.S. weapons in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan, among numerous other places.
49. Explain, by comparison to Canada, how the United States benefitted from its revolution against England.
The United States is not one giant prison full of miserable captives, like Canada is, of course! Also, recognition of satire is way higher in the United States than in the humorless north.
50. How did the U.S. revolution benefit Native Americans, farmers, enslaved people, and women?
It generally didn’t, and for Native Americans it was very bad news indeed, as the British had restricted Western expansion. For those held in slavery, it doomed any chance of earlier liberation — except for those who took the opportunity to escape to the British side.
51. Were there more or fewer popular rebellions in the United States after the revolution?
About the same.
52. What nation did Congress members predict would welcome invaders as liberators in 1812?
53. Did it?
54. What nation did the United States steal the northern half of in the 1840s through a bloody war despite that nation’s willingness to negotiate a nonviolent sale of the land?
55. What was the one condition the United States insisted on in acquiring that land?
It must all become territory that would allow slavery.
56. What President lied to start that war?
57. What Congressman denounced his lies?
58. What hero of that war and future president denounced the war as an immoral outrage?
59. What percentage of nations that abolished slavery fought civil wars before doing so?
Zero. Oh wait, there was one.
60. Why did Mississippi say it was seceding from the United States?
To maintain slavery.
61. How was slavery ended in Washington DC?
As in other countries, through compensated emancipation.
62. How many years since 1776 has the United States gone without any wars?
63. What evidence was there that Spain blew up the Maine?
64. What did Spain propose instead of the Spanish-American war?
Binding neutral investigation and arbitration.
65. Name three reasons President McKinley gave for occupying the Philippines.
He said it would be “cowardly and dishonorable” to give the islands back to Spain, “bad business” to give them to commercial rivals Germany and France, and impossible to leave them to “anarchy and misrule” under, you know, the people who lived there.
66. Name three good reasons for World War I.
This question was, of course, a trick as there aren’t any.
67. What was the general theme of the most common lies of the Four-Minute Men?
Fabricated and exaggerated tales of German atrocities in Belgium. The lies were so outrageous that many recalled them when told tales of Nazi atrocities that were actually true.
68. What was the Lusitania carrying on its fateful voyage, and what advertisement had Germany placed in U.S. newspapers prior to its sailing?
It was carrying U.S. weapons to Britain. Germany had warned that it would attack the ship and that people would be sailing at their own risk.
69. What U.S. Secretary of State resigned over President Woodrow Wilson’s position regarding the Lusitania?
William Jennings Bryan.
70. What were the Greer and the Kerney and which U.S. President lied about them?
On September 4, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a “fireside chat“ radio address in which he claimed that a German submarine, completely unprovoked, had attacked the United States destroyer Greer, which — despite being called a destroyer — had been harmlessly delivering mail. The Senate Naval Affairs Committee questioned Admiral Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, who said the Greer had been tracking the German submarine and relaying its location to a British airplane, which had dropped depth charges on the submarine‘s location without success. The Greer had continued tracking the submarine for hours before the submarine turned and fired torpedoes. A month and a half later, Roosevelt told a similar tall tale about the USS Kearny which engaged in warfare against German submarines and was not innocently minding its own business as Roosevelt implied.
71. Is the Monroe Doctrine popular in Latin America?
It’s generally hated as an assertion of imperial dominance.
72. What U.S. President encouraged Japanese imperialism, promising them a Monroe Doctrine for Asia?
73. Name one or more observers who predicted at the time of the Treaty of Versailles that it would lead to World War II. Why did they say that?
Jane Addams, E.D. Morel, John Maynard Keynes, and others predicted that the harsh vindictiveness of the treaty would lead to a new war. They seem to have been right. Combined with other factors, including Western preference for Nazism over Communism, and a growing arms race, bitter resentment in Germany did lead to a new war. Ferdinand Foch claimed the treaty was too lenient on Germany and would therefore create a new war, which is of course also true if one considers the possibility of having completely destroyed Germany or something close to that. Woodrow Wilson predicted that failure of the United States to join the League of Nations would lead to a new war, but it is far from clear that joining the League would have prevented the war.
74. Would a stalemate in World War I, rather than a lopsided victory, have led to the same future?
Clearly not. There’s no way to say where it would have led, but there is at least a plausible case to be made that had the United States stayed out of World War I, and had that war concluded without a clear victor and loser, that the next war would not have come in the same way or at the same time. It’s difficult to imagine that this change alone would have prevented any major new wars from coming, absent a cultural rejection of war more powerful than what actually came in many countries in the 1920s.
75. How many right-wing coups were seriously planned against President Franklin Roosevelt?
At least one, possibly more. One in 1934 resulted in Congressional hearings and a report that stated: “In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country. No evidence was presented and this committee had none to show a connection between this effort and any fascist activity of any European country. There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient. This committee received evidence from Maj. Gen Smedley D. Butler (retired), twice decorated by the Congress of the United States. He testified before the committee as to conversations with one Gerald C. MacGuire in which the latter is alleged to have suggested the formation of a fascist army under the leadership of General Butler. MacGuire denied these allegations under oath, but your committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization. This, however, was corroborated in the correspondence of MacGuire with his principal, Robert Sterling Clark, of New York City, while MacGuire was abroad studying the various forms of veterans organizations of Fascist character.” A second coup plot in 1940 is alleged by Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., who claims to have tipped off Eleanor Roosevelt. Perhaps that one was no more than chatter. Perhaps, on the contrary, it merited serious concern. Perhaps there were others.
76. Who was Smedley Butler and what did he conclude about the institution of war?
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. He concluded: “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”
77. Why was Butler locked up in Quantico?
In 1931, Butler publicly repeated the story that a passenger in Benito Mussolini’s speeding automobile had witnessed Mussolini run over a small child and not stop. Italy protested, and President Hoover forced the Secretary of the Navy to court-martial Butler. He was locked up in Quantico Marine Base, which he himself had commanded. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr. came forward and said he had been the passenger in Mussolini’s car.
78. What U.S. whistleblower was later locked up in Quantico and kept naked in a tiny cell?
Chelsea (at that time Bradley) Manning.
79. What had she exposed?
Manning exposed horrible U.S. war crimes and duplicitous diplomacy by the U.S. government.
80. During the 1930s and early 1940s U.S. peace activists held demonstrations against growing U.S. hostility and war preparations against what nation?
81. Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, what did Winston Churchill tell his cabinet that President Franklin Roosevelt had promised to do in order to bring the United States into the war in Europe?
On April 28, 1941, Churchill wrote a secret directive to his war cabinet: “It may be taken as almost certain that the entry of Japan into the war would be followed by the immediate entry of the United States on our side.” On August 18, 1941, Churchill met with his cabinet at 10 Downing Street. The meeting had some similarity to the July 23, 2002, meeting at the same address, the minutes of which became known as the Downing Street Minutes. Both meetings revealed secret U.S. intentions to go to war. In the 1941 meeting, Churchill told his cabinet, according to the minutes: “The President had said he would wage war but not declare it.” In addition, “Everything was to be done to force an incident.”
82. What did FDR use a forged Nazi map to lie to the U.S. public about, and who forged the map?
Roosevelt claimed to have in his possession a secret map produced by Hitler’s government that showed plans for a Nazi conquest of South America. The Nazi government denounced this as a lie, blaming of course a Jewish conspiracy. The map, which Roosevelt refused to show the public, in fact actually showed routes in South America flown by American airplanes, with notations in German describing the distribution of aviation fuel. It was a British forgery, and apparently of about the same quality as the forgeries President George W. Bush would later use to show that Iraq had been trying to purchase uranium. Roosevelt also claimed falsely to have come into possession of a secret plan produced by the Nazis for the replacement of all religions with Nazism.
83. What was the Ludlow Amendment?
The Ludlow Amendment was a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a vote by the American people before the United States could go to war. In 1938, this amendment appeared likely to pass in Congress. Then President Franklin Roosevelt sent a letter to the Speaker of the House claiming that a president would be unable to conduct an effective foreign policy if it passed, after which the amendment failed 209-188.
84. Prior to Pearl Harbor, in the diary of the U.S. Secretary of War, when did he say FDR expected a Japanese attack?
On November 25, 1941, Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote in his diary that he’d met in the Oval Office with Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, President Franklin Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Harold Stark, and Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Roosevelt had told them the Japanese were likely to attack soon, possibly next Monday. That would have been December 1st, six days before the attack actually came. (Roosevelt did not specify Pearl Harbor as the expected location.) “The question,” Stimson wrote, “was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves. It was a difficult proposition.”
85. Did the United States begin supporting China in its war against Japanese aggression before or after Pearl Harbor?
As early as 1932 the United States had been talking with China about providing airplanes, pilots, and training for its war with Japan. In November 1940, Roosevelt loaned China one hundred million dollars for war with Japan, and after consulting with the British, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau made plans to send the Chinese bombers with U.S. crews to use in bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities. On December 21, 1940, two weeks shy of a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, China’s Minister of Finance T.V. Soong and Colonel Claire Chennault, a retired U.S. Army flier who was working for the Chinese and had been urging them to use American pilots to bomb Tokyo since at least 1937, met in Henry Morgenthau’s dining room to plan the firebombing of Japan. Morgenthau said he could get men released from duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps if the Chinese could pay them $1,000 per month. Soong agreed. On May 24, 1941, the New York Times reported on U.S. training of the Chinese air force, and the provision of “numerous fighting and bombing planes” to China by the United States. “Bombing of Japanese Cities is Expected” read the subheadline. By July, the Joint Army-Navy Board had approved a plan called JB 355 to firebomb Japan. A front corporation would buy American planes to be flown by American volunteers trained by Chennault and paid by another front group. Roosevelt approved, and his China expert Lauchlin Currie, in the words of Nicholson Baker, “wired Madame Chaing Kai-Shek and Claire Chennault a letter that fairly begged for interception by Japanese spies.” Whether or not that was the entire point, this was the letter: “I am very happy to be able to report today the President directed that sixty-six bombers be made available to China this year with twenty-four to be delivered immediately. He also approved a Chinese pilot training program here. Details through normal channels. Warm regards.” The U.S. ambassador had said “in case of a break with the United States” the Japanese would bomb Pearl Harbor. The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force, also known as the Flying Tigers, moved ahead with recruitment and training immediately and first saw combat on December 20, 1941, twelve days (local time) after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
86. What was President Roosevelt’s approach to Jewish refugees?
When a resolution was introduced in the U.S. Senate in 1934 expressing “surprise and pain” at Germany’s actions, and asking that Germany restore rights to Jews, the State Department “caused it to be buried in committee.” By 1937 Poland had developed a plan to send Jews to Madagascar, and the Dominican Republic had a plan to accept them as well. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain came up with a plan to send Germany’s Jews to Tanganyika in East Africa. Representatives of the United States, Britain, and South American nations met at Lake Geneva in July 1938 and all agreed that none of them would accept the Jews. On November 15, 1938, reporters asked President Franklin Roosevelt what could be done. He replied that he would refuse to consider allowing more immigrants than the standard quota system allowed. Bills were introduced in Congress to allow 20,000 Jews under the age of 14 to enter the United States. Senator Robert Wagner (D., N.Y.) said, “Thousands of American families have already expressed their willingness to take refugee children into their homes.” First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt set aside her anti-Semitism to support the legislation, but her husband successfully blocked it for years. In July 1940, Adolf Eichman, “architect of the holocaust,” intended to send all Jews to Madagascar, which now belonged to Germany, France having been occupied. The ships would need to wait only until the British, which now meant Winston Churchill, ended their blockade. That day never came. On November 25, 1940, the French ambassador asked the U.S. Secretary of State to consider accepting German Jewish refugees then in France. On December 21st, the Secretary of State declined. By July 1941, the Nazis had determined that a final solution for the Jews could consist of genocide rather than expulsion.
87. What percentage of World War II propaganda posters in the United States included mention of the need to rescue Jews?
88. Why did the New York Times downplay the story of the holocaust?
It buried its reporting on the holocaust and on the treatment of Jews in Germany on back pages of the paper. The paper later admitted to this awful failure. A column in the New York Times explained:
“This reticence has been a subject of extensive scholarly inquiry and also much speculation and condemnation. Critics have blamed ‘self-hating Jews’ and ‘anti-Zionists’ among the paper’s owners and staff. Defenders have cited the sketchiness of much information about the death camps in Eastern Europe and also the inability of prewar generations to fully comprehend the industrial gassing of millions of innocents — a machinery of death not yet exposed by those chilling mounds of Jews’ bones, hair, shoes, rings. No single explanation seems to suffice for what was surely the century’s bitterest journalistic failure. The Times, like most media of that era, fervently embraced the wartime policies of the American and British governments, both of which strongly resisted proposals to rescue Jews or to offer them haven. After a decade of economic depression, both governments had political reasons to discourage immigration and diplomatic reasons to refuse Jewish settlements in regions like Palestine.
Then, too, papers owned by Jewish families, like The Times, were plainly afraid to have a society that was still widely anti-Semitic misread their passionate opposition to Hitler as a merely parochial cause. Even some leading Jewish groups hedged their appeals for rescue lest they be accused of wanting to divert wartime energies. At The Times, the reluctance to highlight the systematic slaughter of Jews was also undoubtedly influenced by the views of the publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. He believed strongly and publicly that Judaism was a religion, not a race or nationality — that Jews should be separate only in the way they worshiped. He thought they needed no state or political and social institutions of their own. He went to great lengths to avoid having The Times branded a ‘Jewish newspaper.’ He resented other publications for emphasizing the Jewishness of people in the news.”
89. Why did Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin say she voted against U.S. entry into World War II?
The day after the attack, Congress voted for war with Japan. FDR’s first draft of a declaration was for war on Germany as well, but he held off. Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin (R., Mont.), the first woman ever elected to Congress, and who had voted against World War I, stood alone in opposing World War II (just as Congresswoman Barbara Lee would stand alone against attacking Afghanistan 60 years later). One year after the vote, on December 8, 1942, Rankin put extended remarks into the Congressional Record explaining her opposition. She cited the work of a British propagandist who had argued in 1938 for using Japan to bring the United States into the war. She cited Henry Luce’s reference in Life magazine on July 20, 1942, to “the Chinese for whom the U.S. had delivered the ultimatum that brought on Pearl Harbor.” She introduced evidence that at the Atlantic Conference on August 12, 1941, Roosevelt had assured Churchill that the United States would bring economic pressure to bear on Japan. “I cited,” Rankin later wrote, “the State Department Bulletin of December 20, 1941, which revealed that on September 3 a communication had been sent to Japan demanding that it accept the principle of ‘nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific,’ which amounted to demanding guarantees of the inviolateness of the white empires in the Orient.” Rankin found that the Economic Defense Board had gotten economic sanctions under way less than a week after the Atlantic Conference. On December 2, 1941, the New York Times had reported, in fact, that Japan had been “cut off from about 75 percent of her normal trade by the Allied blockade.” Rankin also cited the statement of Lieutenant Clarence E. Dickinson, U.S.N., in the Saturday Evening Post of October 10, 1942, that on November 28, 1941, nine days before the attack, Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., (he of the slogan “kill Japs, kill Japs!”) had given instructions to him and others to “shoot down anything we saw in the sky and to bomb anything we saw on the sea.”
90. During the rise of Nazism, did Wall Street investment in Germany decrease, stay the same, or increase?
Prescott Sheldon Bush’s early business efforts, like those of his grandson George W. Bush, tended to fail. He married the daughter of a very rich man named George Herbert Walker who installed Prescott Bush as an executive in Thyssen and Flick. From then on, Prescott’s business dealings went better, and he entered politics. The Thyssen in the firm’s name was a German named Fritz Thyssen, a major financial backer of Hitler referred to in the New York Herald-Tribune as “Hitler’s Angel.” Many Wall Street executives viewed the Nazis as enemies of communism. American investment in Germany increased 48.5 percent between 1929 and 1940 even as it declined sharply everywhere else in continental Europe. Major investors included Ford, General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, Texaco, International Harvester, ITT, and IBM. Bonds were sold in New York in the 1930s that financed the Aryanization of German companies and real estate stolen from Jews. Many companies continued doing business with Germany through the war, even if it meant benefitting from concentration-camp labor. IBM even provided the Hollerith Machines used to keep track of Jews and others to be murdered, while ITT created the Nazis’ communications system as well as bomb parts and then collected $27 million from the U.S. government for war damage to its German factories. U.S. pilots were instructed not to bomb factories in Germany that were owned by U.S. companies. When Cologne was leveled, its Ford plant, which provided military equipment for the Nazis, was spared and even used as an air raid shelter. Henry Ford had been funding the Nazis’ anti-Semitic propaganda since the 1920s. His German plants fired all employees with Jewish ancestry in 1935, before the Nazis required it. In 1938, Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, an honor only three people had previously received, one of them being Benito Mussolini. Hitler’s loyal colleague and leader of the Nazi Party in Vienna, Baldur von Schirach, had an American mother and said her son had discovered anti-Semitism by reading Henry Ford’s The Eternal Jew. The companies Prescott Bush profited from included one engaged in mining operations in Poland using slave labor from Auschwitz. Two former slave laborers later sued the U.S. government and Bush’s heirs for $40 billion, but the suit was dismissed by a U.S. court on the grounds of state sovereignty. Until the United States entered World War II it was legal for Americans to do business with Germany, but in late 1942 Prescott Bush’s business interests were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Among those businesses involved was the Hamburg America Lines, for which Prescott Bush served as a manager. A Congressional committee found that Hamburg America Lines had offered free passage to Germany for journalists willing to write favorably about the Nazis, and had brought Nazi sympathizers to the United States.
91. How many people died in World War II?
See number 2 above.
92. What percentage of them died in German concentration camps?
About 16 percent. See number 2 above.
93. Who said “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word”?
Harry S. Truman.
94. What future director of the CIA rescued numerous top Nazis from prosecution and employed some of them for the United States?
95. How many former Nazis were employed by the U.S. military in Operation Paperclip?
After World War II, the U.S. military hired sixteen hundred former Nazi scientists and doctors, including some of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, including men responsible for murder, slavery, and human experimentation, including men convicted of war crimes, men acquitted of war crimes, and men who never stood trial. Some of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg had already been working for the U.S. in either Germany or the U.S. prior to the trials. Some were protected from their past by the U.S. government for years, as they lived and worked in Boston Harbor, Long Island, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere, or were flown by the U.S. government to Argentina to protect them from prosecution. Some trial transcripts were classified in their entirety to avoid exposing the pasts of important U.S. scientists. Some of the Nazis brought over were frauds who had passed themselves off as scientists, some of whom subsequently learned their fields while working for the U.S. military.
96. What U.S. space agency’s first director was a former Nazi who had employed slave labor?
97. Who remarked in 1937, “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place”?
98. Within hours of Germany’s surrender in World War II, Winston Churchill proposed a new war using what troops against what nation?
German troops against the Soviet Union.
99. When did Japan first express willingness to surrender on the terms that actually ended World War II, before or after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Weeks before the first bomb was dropped, on July 13, 1945, Japan sent a telegram to the Soviet Union expressing its desire to surrender and end the war. The United States had broken Japan’s codes and read the telegram. President Truman referred in his diary to “the telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.” Truman had been informed through Swiss and Portuguese channels of Japanese peace overtures as early as three months before Hiroshima. Japan objected only to surrendering unconditionally and giving up its emperor, but the United States insisted on those terms until after the bombs fell, at which point it allowed Japan to keep its emperor.
100. When President Truman announced the bombing of Hiroshima what did he lie that Hiroshima was?
He called it a “military base.” It was a city that contained a military base, but 85% of the people in the city were not connected to the base.
101. What nations of the world have nuclear weapons, and how many do they have?
Nine countries have 15,800 nuclear war heads. Russia has 7500, USA 7200, France 300, China 260, UK 215, Pakistan 130, India 120, Israel 80, North Korea 10. These countries “host” U.S. nuclear weapons: Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey.
102. What nations have official policies of potentially using nuclear weapons first?
Russia, the United States, France, UK, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea.
103. What does the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty require nations with nuclear weapons to do?
“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
104. How has Iran violated that treaty?
It has not.
105. What do the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and a virgin birth have in common?
They never happened.
106. What was Operation Northwoods?
This was a plan drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 that called for the CIA or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against U.S. civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The plan was not acted on, and was successfully kept secret for 40 years.
107. Who was Mohammad Mossadegh?
The democratically elected president of Iran overthrown by the CIA which installed a brutal dictatorship later overthrown by an Islamic revolution.
108. What nation proposed to abandon its nuclear energy program in 2003 until the U.S. dismissed the proposal?
109. What nation proposed peace negotiations before the Korean War?
The Soviet Union.
110. What nation tried to spread bubonic plague in North Korea?
The United States.
111. What U.S. presidential candidate secretly sabotaged peace talks for Vietnam?
112. Did the United States begin arming Islamic radicals in Afghanistan, who would develop into al Qaeda, before or after the Soviet invasion?
Before, and with the purpose of drawing the Soviet Union into a long war.
113. During the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan that began in 2001, what were the primary sources of funding for the other, or Taliban, side of the war?
Drug sales and payments from the U.S. for safe passage on roads.
114. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, whom did the Taliban offer to turn over to a neutral country to have put on trial?
Osama bin Laden.
115. How large has the al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan been during the war that began in 2001?
116. How large was the al Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion?
117. Has international terrorism decreased, stayed the same, or increased during the Global War on Terrorism?
118. The U.S. government originally announced that a mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden had succeeded despite his armed resistance. What did numerous people involved in that mission later change about that story?
He was unarmed, and capturing him alive was never a serious option.
119. When Germany reunited and the Cold War ended, what promise did the United States make to Russia regarding NATO expansion?
It promised not to expand an inch toward Russia.
120. Was the promise kept?
121. What nation’s army in 1990 took babies out of incubators and left them on the floor to die?
Nobody’s. It was a lie about Iraq orchestrated by a Washington, D.C., public relations firm.
122. Prior to the Persian Gulf War, what nation offered to peacefully withdraw from Kuwait?
123. Prior to September 11, 2001, what did a CIA memo warn President George W. Bush might happen?
“Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US” was the President’s Daily Brief prepared by the CIA and given to President George W. Bush on August 6, 2001. The brief warned of terrorism threats from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda including hijackings.
124. What nation was behind anthrax attacks in 2001 in the United States?
The U.S. government quickly claimed that al Qaeda and/or Iraq was to blame, and the U.S. media repeated this many times. There was no evidence for it. The FBI blames a U.S. government employee. Congress members and others doubt that conclusion. The anthrax has been identified as coming from the United States. The U.S. government has settled lawsuits from victims without admitting guilt.
125. Who in January 2003 proposed that a means of starting a war on Iraq would be to paint an airplane with United Nations colors and fly it low over Iraq until it was shot at?
President George W. Bush.
126. What portion of the nation of Iraq did the Iraqi government offer to let U.S. troops search prior to the 2003 U.S. attack?
All of it.
127. In 2003, how quickly did Iraq promise to hold internationally monitored elections if it were not attacked?
Within 2 years.
128. Who offered to leave Iraq in 2003 if he could keep $1 billion and if Iraq would not be attacked?
129. Whose 2003 testimony at the United Nations in favor of attacking Iraq included fabricated dialogue from supposedly wiretapped conversations and numerous claims that his own staff had warned him would not even seem plausible?
130. What war’s aftermath gave birth to a new al Qaeda spin-off called ISIS or ISIL or Islamic State or Daesh?
The 2003- U.S.-led war on Iraq.
131. Where did ISIS get most of its weapons?
It seized them from Iraq, many of those weapons provided by the United States.
132. What have been top sources of ISIS funding?
Oil sales through Turkey, funding from Saudi Arabian and other Gulf supporters, looting.
133. What did ISIS ask the U.S. to do in order to boost its recruiting?
134. Did the U.S. do it?
135. Did it boost ISIS recruiting?
136. Did the U.S. drone war on Yemen replace a worse form of war or help create one?
It helped create one.
137. Who supplied Saudi Arabia with its weapons for its 2015 war on Yemen?
The United States.
138. Does the U.S. know the names of most of the people it targets with missiles from drones?
139. Does the U.S. target with drones only people it cannot arrest and put on trial?
140. Name three former top U.S. officials who have warned that drone wars produce more enemies than they kill.
Michael T. Flynn is a retired United States Army lieutenant general who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and chair of the Military Intelligence Board from July 24, 2012, to August 2, 2014. Prior to this he served as assistant director of national intelligence. He says: “We’ve tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that ‘we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts’ and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.” He also says: “When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict.”
Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer says the more the U.S. fights terrorism the more it creates terrorism.
Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence wrote in the New York Times that while “drone attacks did help reduce the Qaeda leadership in Pakistan, they also increased hatred of America” and damaged “our ability to work with Pakistan [in] eliminating Taliban sanctuaries, encouraging Indian-Pakistani dialogue, and making Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal more secure.”
The Guardian reported on January 7, 2013: “Michael Boyle, who was on Obama’s counter-terrorism group in the run-up to his election in 2008, said the US administration’s growing reliance on drone technology was having ‘adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists … The vast increase in the number of deaths of low-ranking operatives has deepened political resistance to the US programme in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries.'”
The New York Times reported on March 22, 2013: “Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a favored adviser during Mr. Obama’s first term, expressed concern in a speech here on Thursday that America’s aggressive campaign of drone strikes could be undermining long-term efforts to battle extremism. ‘We’re seeing that blowback. If you’re trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you’re going to upset people even if they’re not targeted.'”
“The CIA station chief in Islamabad thought the drone strikes in 2005 and 2006 — which, while infrequent at that time, were often based on bad intelligence and had resulted in many civilian casualties — had done little except fuel hatred for the United States inside Pakistan and put Pakistani officials in the uncomfortable position of having to lie about the strikes.” — The Way of the Knife, Mark Mazzetti, Kindle loc. 2275.
A leaked internal CIA document admits the U.S. drone program is counterproductive.
You wouldn’t know this from New York Times reports, but a New York Times blurts it out as obvious: “Of course, we already know that torture and drone strikes pose a profound threat to America’s national security and the safety of its citizens abroad. After all, the murderers of the Islamic State did not dress their victims in orange jumpsuits for no reason; they did it to evoke the horrors of the Guantánamo prison camp.”
Many more here.
141. Name three current or former top U.S. officials who maintain that every nation must have equal and identical rights in the use of drones.
Hard to do, huh? There aren’t any.
142. Which nations did former NATO commander Wesley Clark say the Pentagon wanted to overthrow in 2003, and which nations did former Prime Minister of the U.K. Tony Blair say that U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to overthrow at the same time? What has happened to those nations?
Clark: Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000 Wesley Clark claims that in 2001, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld put out a memo proposing to take over seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
Blair: The basic outline of this plan was confirmed by none other than former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who in 2010 pinned it on former Vice President Dick Cheney: “Cheney wanted forcible ‘regime change’ in all Middle Eastern countries that he considered hostile to U.S. interests, according to Blair. ‘He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it — Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.,’ Blair wrote. ‘In other words, he [Cheney] thought the world had to be made anew, and that after 11 September, it had to be done by force and with urgency. So he was for hard, hard power. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.'”
A number of countries may owe their safety to the difficulties the United States had for years in Iraq. But Libya and Syria and Sudan can’t say that anymore, and Iran is constantly threatened.
143. In which nations of the world do the highest percentages of people say they would go to war for their nation?
In a 2014 Gallup poll, 68 percent of Italians said they would NOT fight for their country, while 20 percent said they would. In Germany 62 percent said they would not, while 18 percent said they would. In the Czech Republic, 64 percent would not fight for their country, while 23 percent would. In the Netherlands, 64 percent would not fight for their country, while 15 percent would. In Belgium, 56 percent would not, while 19 percent would. Even in the UK, 51 percent would not participate in a UK war, while 27 percent would. In France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland, more people would refuse to be part of a war than would agree. The same goes for Australia and Canada. In Japan only 10 percent would fight for their country. The United States manages 44 percent claiming a willingness to fight and 31 percent refusing. By no means is that the world record. Israel is at 66 percent ready to fight and 13 percent not. Afghanistan is at 76 to 20. Russia, Sweden, Finland, and Greece are all ready to fight with strong majorities. Argentina and Denmark have ties between those who would fight and those who would not. Luckily almost everyone who says they would fight fails to show up at a recruiting station, but their responses still reflect a cultural climate.
144. In which nations of the world are the highest percentages of the people religious?
Here are the top 25 in order from the top down: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malawi, Indonesia, Yemen, Niger, Burundi, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somaliland, Afghanistan, Morocco, Egypt, Comoros, Thailand, Cameroon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Cambodia, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia, Qatar, Algeria.
145. What percentage of human beings who have ever lived, and of human societies that have ever existed, have experienced or participated in war?
For at least 90 percent of humans’ existence our ancestors were hunter gatherers who did not know war. Some complex sedentary societies over the past 10,000 years, and mainly over the past 5,000 years, have known war, while others have not. Societies have abandoned war for centuries and then brought it back again, or not brought it back again. Even in some societies that wage far more war than most, the vast majority of the population has no involvement in it. Only for the past couple of centuries has war even remotely resembled what it often is today. And war is changing so rapidly that one might even reduce that to the past half-century.
146. In which nations of the world are children regularly told to pledge allegiance to a flag?
The United States and the Philippines.
147. If you read that peace activists many years before your birth helped to end a war or halt the production of a weapon, would a good teacher expect you to write about that activism in the first person, using the word “we”?
It is highly unlikely.
148. If you read about the United States invading a Central American nation before your birth, would a good teacher allow you to write about it in the first person, using the word “we”?
Sadly, most U.S. teachers wouldn’t think to question that.
149. Which nations of the world have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Why haven’t they?
The United States. That’s the only one. Various reasons have been offered but it’s worth noting that the United States routinely violates the terms of this treaty, sentencing kids to life in prison, recruiting kids into the military, failing to protect children’s rights.
150. Which major military nations have not joined the International Criminal Court, or the treaties banning land mines, cluster bombs, racial discrimination, discrimination against women, or weapons in space, or those establishing rights of migrant workers, regulating the arms trade, providing protection from disappearances, defending the rights of people with disabilities, or the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?
The one that covers all of those bases is the United States.
151. Which nation has used the power of its veto at the United Nations most frequently and for what purpose?
The Soviet Union / Russia still holds the record, but over the past 40 years the United States holds the record and has most commonly used the veto to block other nations from holding Israel accountable for its actions.
152. How many people were killed or driven out of their homes during the 1948 creation of Israel?
Over 700,000, mostly driven into exile from which they and their descendants have not been permitted to return.
153. Who was the last president to propose abolishing the CIA?
John F. Kennedy.
154. What president created the CIA and came to regret it?
Harry S. Truman, who published an op-ed lamenting what he’d done in the Washington Post exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.
155. What was the Safari Club?
During the 1970s, when Congress was attempting to exercise oversight over the CIA, foreign governments allied with the United States secretly pooled their resources in order to keep doing, together with the CIA, exactly what they wanted to do, without having to ask Congress for funding. They called this operation the Safari Club. During the 1980s Congress denied President Reagan funding to arm rightwing militias in Nicaragua, so he secretly raised funds selling weapons to Iran. That operation became the Iran Contra Scandal. The Safari Club never became a scandal.
156. Which article of the U.S. Constitution sanctions secret agencies?
157. How does war preparation and weapons testing benefit human and environmental health?
It doesn’t. As one example among thousands, at least 33,480 U.S. nuclear weapons workers who have received compensation for health damage are now dead. That’s not counting those who lived downwind of tests.
158. Have more U.S. citizens been killed by working on nuclear weapons, fighting in wars, being victimized by foreign terrorists, or by domestic gun violence, or smoking cigarettes? What are the numbers?
For working on nukes see #157 above. Fighting in wars, officially 4488 in the latest wars in Iraq, 2229 in Afghanistan, not counting “contractors” or those who die later of their wounds or those who commit suicide. Foreign terrorism since 2001, including 9/11: 3380. Gun violence during that same time period: 406,496. Cigarettes: over 480,000 dead in a single year.
159. How many U.S. wars has the U.S. Institute for Peace opposed since its creation?
None, although it did support the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015 even while pushing for more war in Syria and Afghanistan.
160. What do the people of Diego Garcia, Koho’alawe, the Aleutian Islands, Bikini Atoll, Kwajalein Atoll, Culebra, Vieques, Okinawa, Thule, the Aetas, the Cherokee, and most native peoples of the United States have in common?
Removal of entire populations by the military.
161. What percentage of U.S. wars are marketed as promoting freedom?
162. During what percentage of U.S. wars are civil liberties in the United States curtailed?
163. How many average Europeans, Asians, Africans, or Latin Americans would it take to damage the natural environment as much as the average person in the United States?
There are a lot of ways to measure that. On carbon emissions, Luxembourg is worse than the United States, but it would take almost two Norwegians or almost three Chinese or almost four average persons from the whole world.
164. What single institution creates the most environmental destruction?
No other institution in the United States consumes nearly as much oil as the military.
165. How did women in the United States and around the world vote themselves the right to vote?
They didn’t. They organized, educated, protested, lobbied, went to jail, fasted, and won the right to vote through a variety of nonviolent tactics, just as most serious social change has been won, with elections playing a very minor role.
166. What did it take to win children’s rights in the United States?
See numbers 165 and 149 above.
167. What is the Vietnam Syndrome?
War proponents gave that label as of a sickness to popular resistance to wars in the United States following the Vietnam fiasco.
168. What were the most successful tactics of the Civil Rights movement?
Nonviolent sit-ins, bus rides, voter registration drives, and marches.
169. How many corporations control most major U.S. media outlets?
Not many. TV and radio: 10. Print: 6.
170. How was Apartheid officially ended in South Africa?
Through global solidarity with a nonviolent resistance movement.
171. What happened on Rosenstrasse?
Spontaneous unplanned nonviolent resistance to Nazism won its demands and then failed to continue.
172. Which have succeeded more often and with longer lasting successes in struggles against tyranny during the past 100 years, violent or nonviolent revolutions?
173. Who were the Wobblies?
Members of the Industrial Workers of the World, a visionary labor union formed in 1905.
174. What was the Prague Spring?
A period in the history of Czechoslovakia that included nonviolent resistance to Soviet military occupation.
175. Who was A.J. Muste?
A leader of the U.S. labor movement, the U.S. peace movement, and of the development of nonviolent activist tactics.
176. What percentage of prisoners ever kept in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo had been convicted of terrorism?
177. What three interlocking evils did Martin Luther King Jr. say needed to be ended?
Racism, Militarism, and Extreme Materialism.
178. When did the people of Hawaii vote to join the United States?
179. Why did the United States bomb West Virginia?
In 1921, a labor struggle in Logan County turned violent, becoming the Battle of Blair Mountain, during which the United States bombed its own citizens from the air.
180. Why did the United States drop nuclear bombs on North Carolina?
It was an accident, one of hundreds that have occurred with nukes.
181. Why did the British end the occupation of India?
The people of India nonviolently showed the British the door.
182. Who was Abdul Ghaffar Khan?
The “Frontier Gandhi” was a Muslim Pashtun friend of Mohandas Gandhi who formed the first nonviolent army and worked for peace.
183. When was the damage from Agent Orange finally cleaned up in Vietnam?
It hasn’t been.
184. How did Norwegian teachers have to teach under Nazi occupation?
However they liked, as they collectively refused to obey Nazi orders.
185. Which nations resisted Nazi orders to kill Jews most successfully?
Bulgaria and Denmark probably lead the list.
186. Why did duelling end?
Because it was not only legally banned but culturally scorned, mocked, and ridiculed.
187. Why did Marcos’ rule of the Philippines end?
Because the people of the Philippines used nonviolent action.
188. Who kidnapped the President of Haiti in 2004?
The United States.
189. Who was Claudette Colvin?
The first activist arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks. The movement was not yet ready.
190. What was the income tax created to pay for?
World War II. And, following an established pattern, it remained in place after the war. Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist No. 30, as he and his allies argued elsewhere, for the federal power to tax precisely because the federal government might need to fight wars. Between 1789 and 1815, tariffs produced 90 percent of government revenue. But taxes were needed for wars, including wars against protests of the taxes — such as President Washington’s quashing of the Whiskey Rebellion. A property tax was put in place in 1789 in order to build up a Navy. More taxes were needed in 1798 because of the troublesome French. But taxation really got going with the War of 1812. Congress passed a tax program in 1812 that included a direct tax on land, and excise taxes on retailers, stills, auction sales, sugar, bank notes, and carriages. And in 1815, Congress created lots of new taxes to pay for the disastrous war. The idea of an income tax was raised but rejected. The income tax was created for the Civil War, by both sides. But with the end of war came the end of support for taxes, and the income tax and the inheritance tax lapsed temporarily in 1872, only to be restored by World War I. New taxes were created in 1914, 1916, 1917, and 1918. The income tax was now back in a big way, along with the estate tax, a munitions tax, an excess profits tax, and other heavy taxes on corporations. The munitions and profits taxes were results of an ongoing debate through most of U.S. history over how to tax war profiteering. Until the current century, profiting financially from war was widely considered unacceptable. Following World War I, various taxes were no longer needed. In 1921 and 1924 Congress repealed the excess profits tax but left the income tax in place, rather than adopting a sales tax favored by business groups. The top rate of taxation on income was reduced from 77% to 25%, but that was still more than double where it had been before the war. Meanwhile, the estate tax remained in place, and corporate taxes were actually increased during the 1920s. Taxation and progressive taxation survived the outbreak of peace. But nothing resembling modern taxation levels was seen until World War II, when income taxes began to be paid by a much larger number of people. Corporate taxes were increased as well, with a top statutory rate of 95%, and generating almost a third of wartime revenue. An excess profits tax came within a month of the draft, both of which came before Pearl Harbor. In 1943 Congress overrode a presidential veto to shift the tax burden more heavily onto working people. Corporations would never again to this day shoulder the share of public funding that they had in the early years of World War II. But personal income tax levels have remained roughly where they were during the war.
191. How did the United States prevent the Three Mile Island accident from killing anyone?
192. Did more U.S. troops die in Vietnam or from suicide after returning home?
Suicide after returning home.
193. What is the leading cause of death for U.S. troops sent to U.S. wars in recent years?
194. Why did Congresswoman Barbara Lee say she was voting against the Global War on Terrorism in 2001?
Listen to her say it.
195. Who did the U.S. attack with chemical weapons in 1932?
World War I veterans camped out in Washington DC.
196. How did a ban on war get into the Japanese Constitution and who has been trying to remove it ever since?
The U.S. occupying army’s Douglas MacArthur and a longtime peace activist Japanese prime minister put it there, using roughly the language of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The United States then tried to compel Japan to remove it during the Korean War, the War on Vietnam, and ever since.
197. Who assassinated the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994?
The leading suspect is Paul Kagame who had U.S. support. A mass killing followed.
198. Who killed Paul Robeson, Ernest Hemingway, and John Wayne?
The U.S. government.
199. How do U.S. gun laws reduce gun violence better than Australia’s?
200. Who overthrew the government of Honduras in 2009?
Rightwing opponents trained by the United States who immediately gained the support of the United States.
201. How many people were killed in the recent Russian military invasion of Ukraine?
202. Why do the people of Okinawa so strongly support the presence of U.S. military bases on their island?
203. What was the anti-imperialist league?
An organization established in 1898 to oppose the expansion of U.S. empire. Member included Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Jane Addams, Felix Adler, Edward Atkinson, Ambrose Bierce, George S. Boutwell, Gamaliel Bradford, John G. Carlisle, Andrew Carnegie, Grover Cleveland, Donelson Caffery, Theodore L. Cuyler, John Dewey, Finley Peter Dunne, George F. Edmunds, Edwin Lawrence Godkin, Samuel Gompers, William Dean Howells, Henry James, William James, Henry U. Johnson, Reverdy Johnson, David Starr Jordan, William Larrabee, Josephine Shaw Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, William Vaughn Moody, Hazen S. Pingree, Carl Schurz, John Sherman, Moorfield Storey, Mark Twain, Morrison I. Swift, William Graham Sumner, Oswald Garrison Villard.
204. What was the outlawry movement?
A movement of the 1920s that sought to make war illegal and did so through the creation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
205. What law was General Custer enforcing when he died?
None. He was violating a treaty.
206. Who urged all scientists to refuse any military work in 1931?
207. Who was Garry Davis?
The creator of the World Passport and promoter of the idea of world citizenship.
208. Who was Jane Addams?
She received the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize as one of that minority of Nobel Peace Prize winners over the years who actually met the qualifications laid out in Alfred Nobel’s will. Addams worked in many fields toward the creation of a society capable of living without war. In 1898 Addams joined the Anti-Imperialist League to oppose the U.S. war on the Philippines. When World War I began, she led international efforts to try to resolve and end it. She presided over the International Congress of Women in The Hague in 1915. And when the United States entered the war she spoke out publicly against the war in the face of vicious accusations of treason. She was the first leader of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919 and of its predecessor organization in 1915. Jane Addams was part of the movement in the 1920s that made war illegal through the Kellogg-Briand Pact. She helped found the ACLU and the NAACP, helped win women’s suffrage, helped reduce child labor, and created the profession of social worker, which she viewed as a means of learning from immigrants and building democracy, not as participation in charity. She created Hull House in Chicago, started a kindergarten, educated adults, supported labor organizing, and opened the first playground in Chicago. Jane Addams authored a dozen books and hundreds of articles. She opposed the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I and predicted that it would lead to a German war of revenge.
209. What was the New England Non-Resistance Society?
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1838, its work would influence Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Gandhi. It was formed in part by radicals upset with the timidity of the American Peace Society which refused to oppose all violence. The new group’s Constitution and Declaration of Sentiments, drafted primarily by William Lloyd Garrison, stated, in part: “We cannot acknowledge allegiance to any human government… Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind… We register our testimony, not only against all war — whether offensive or defensive, but all preparations for war, against every naval ship, every arsenal, every fortification; against the militia system and a standing army; against all military chieftains and soldiers; against all monuments commemorative of victory over a foreign foe, all trophies won in battle, all celebrations in honor of military or naval exploits; against all appropriations for the defense of a nation by force and arms on the part of any legislative body; against every edict of government requiring of its subjects military service. Hence, we deem it unlawful to bear arms or to hold a military office… ” The New England Non-Resistance Society actively campaigned for change, including feminism and the abolition of slavery. Members disturbed church meetings to protest inaction on slavery. Members as well as their leaders often faced the violence of angry mobs, but always they refused to return the injury. The Society attributed to this nonresistance the fact that none of its members were ever killed.
210. What ended friendly relations between Eisenhower and Khrushchev?
The United States flew a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union, which shot it down, and Eisenhower lied about it. Conflicts including the Cuban Missile Crisis would follow.
211. When did Armistice Day become Veterans Day and why?
Armistice Day was transformed into Veterans Day after the Korean War in order to turn what had been a day of opposition to war into a day of support for war.
212. What was the Iran-Contra scandal?
Senior Ronald Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of weapons to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. They hoped thereby to secure the release of several U.S. hostages, and to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the U.S. government had been prohibited by Congress.
213. What is the Kellogg-Briand Pact?
A treaty to which most big nations of the world are party, including the United States, which bans all war.
214. Which recent wars have complied with the Kellogg-Briand Pact?
215. Which recent wars have complied with the United Nations Charter?
216. Which recent wars have complied with the separation of powers stipulated in the U.S. Constitution?
In no case has Congress declared war. The Constitutionality of an open-ended “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” is dubious, but a great deal of U.S. warmaking has not been covered even by one of those. For example, the 2011 war on Libya.
217. If the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed the state of Florida to count all its votes in 2000, who would have become president of the United States in 2001?
218. What thwarted efforts by the African Union to negotiate peace in Libya in 2011?
In March 2011 the African Union had a plan for peace in Libya but was prevented by NATO, through the creation of a “no fly zone” and the initiation of bombing, to travel to Libya to discuss it. In April, the African Union was able to discuss its plan with Ghadafi, and he expressed his agreement. NATO, which had obtained UN authorization to protect Libyans alleged to be in danger but no authorization to continue bombing the country or to overthrow the government, continued bombing the country and overthrowing the government.
219. Who proposed a peace process for Syria in 2012 that would have included a change of government?
220. Who dismissed it out of hand?
The United States.
221. What did the U.S. military / White House plan for Syria in 2013 before being blocked by public, international, and Congressional pressure?
Seymour Hersh reports: “Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’ The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers were shifted to airbases close to Syria, and navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles were deployed. ‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘The Pentagon planners said we can’t use only Tomahawks to strike at Syria’s missile sites because their warheads are buried too far below ground, so the two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’ The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities Assad had’, the former intelligence official said. The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.”
222. When the CIA produced a report in 2013 on past successes of arming local proxy armies, what was missing from the report?
Missing were any successes. The report found a long string of failures. The one success it claimed was the arming of fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, a “success” that helped create al Qaeda.
223. Which nations still use the death penalty?
Most nations have banned it, but 37 still allow it, and 22 used it in 2014. Six killed more than 25 people that year. Here they are in order from the country that killed the most people down to the least: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, North Korea, the United States.
224. In how many nations in history have the majority of rape victims been male?
As far as we know, outside of prison, none, but it is estimated that in the current United States, because of its enormous and brutal prison system, such a nation for the first time exists.
225. How many unarmed people do U.S. police kill each year?
Hundreds, but the U.S. government does not count them.
226. Which stages of the criminal justice process in the United States are racially biased?
All of them, from neighborhoods patrolled, people stopped and questioned, people arrested, people charged with greater offenses, people sentenced to heavier sentences.
227. How much wealth do the average white, black, and Latino households have in the U.S.?
The median white household now has 13 times the wealth of the median black household and 10 times that of the median Latino household. With 10% of whites in the U.S. officially in poverty, for blacks it’s 27% and for Latinos 24%.
228. What percentage of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth?
229. What percentage could provide the world with clean drinking water?
230. What percentage could double U.S. investment in clean energy?
231. Is clean coal clean?
232. Is natural gas natural?
No, its removal from the ground and its use are destroying nature.
233. Is safe nuclear power safe?
234. Which nations are getting the highest percentage of their energy from sustainable sources?
In order from the top down: Costa Rica, Lesotho, Bhutan, Paraguay, Albania, Iceland, Mozambique, Zambia, DRC, Nepal, Ethiopia, Burundi, Norway, Belize, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Namibia, Malawi, Central African Republic, Togo, Brazil, Uganda, Colombia, Afghanistan, Austria, Mali, Kenya, Georgia, Cameroon, Burma, New Zealand, Sudan, Angola, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guatemala, Latvia, Fiji, Venezuela, Madagascar, Canada, Panama, Uruguay, Republic of the Congo, Switzerland, El Salvador, Sweden, and dozens more before the United States makes it into the list.
235. Which nation did people in the most countries around the world view as the greatest threat to peace on earth in a 2013 Gallup poll?
The United States.
236. Is terrorism among the top 100 causes of death in the United States?
237. What are 10 of them?
The top 10 are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, nephritis, suicide.
238. Does domestic terrorism in the United States kill more or fewer people than foreign terrorism?
239. What percentage of foreign terrorists in the United States provide a clear explanation of their motives?
Most if not all.
240. What do they say?
They object to U.S. support for Israeli attacks on Palestinians, and U.S. bases, bombings, and occupations in the Middle East.