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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Operation Condor, Exporting Fascism to South America

The Chilling Homage of South American Fascism to Mussolini and Hitler

I never connected Spanish Fascism (Falangism) with what went on in Latin America, directly, until recently. Now I see that the linkage was intentional. Mussolini and Hitler helped General Franco cross the Mediterranean from "Spanish Morocco" in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and shortly after José Antonio Primo De Rivera was executed for Treason, execution, gun running and assorted other Crimes. Years later Augusto Pinochet organized a condominium of terrorist intelligence agencies to fight a war against liberal democracy in the "Southern Cone," Cono-sur of South America. Both Operations were refered to as "Operation Condor."

See My post:
The Death of Primo De Rivera, for more. (Contains links)

Hitler's Operation Condor and the Condor Legion

Franco took over leadership of Primo De Rivera's Falange but faced a major problem. All his loyal Troops, Spanish and Native, were in North Africa and the Republicans controlled Spain. So he asked for help from Hitler and Mussolini. And he got it. Hitler named the air Assistance the "Condor Legion", Sparticus reports:

“On 27th July, 1936, Adolf Hitler sent the the Nationalists 26 German fighter aircraft. He also sent 30 Junkers 52s from Berlin and Stuttgart to Morocco. Over the next couple of weeks the aircraft transported over 15,000 troops to Spain. The fighter aircraft soon went into action and the Germans suffered their first losses when airmen Helmut Schulze and Herbert Zeck were killed on 15th August.” [Spartacus]

This Airlift was referred to as Operation Condor.

“In September 1936, Lieutenant Colonel Walther Warlimont of the German General Staff arrived as the German commander and military adviser to General Francisco Franco. The following month Warlimont suggested that a German Condor Legion should be formed to fight in the Spanish Civil War.” [Spartacus]

The Germans would provide air Support for the Francoist Troops and pummel the entire country. Famously they practiced terror bombing tactics as well.

“The initial force consisted a Bomber Group of three squadrons of Ju-52 bombers; a Fighter Group with three squadrons of He-51 fighters; a Reconnaissance Group with two squadrons of He-99 and He-70 reconnaissance bombers; and a Seaplane Squadron of He-59 and He-60 floatplanes.” [Spartacus]

Joint Operations of Hitler and Mussolini

Mussolini sent his entire Air force and 45,000 Troops. Franco's Spain was to be Catholic Fascism. There was no need for amity between Lutherans and Catholics, as Hitler sought. Mussolini's secular model was part of the reason that Mussolini eventually fell from grace. When he lost the support of Catholics, Hitler had to invade Italy to try to keep him in power. Franco stayed in power til 1975 when he died of old age.

Operation Condor and the "Southern Cone" - Cono Sur

Operation Condor from Wikipedia

Operation Condor was an intelligence condominium that allowed dictatorships across the South of South America to hunt down dissidents who had fled their countries and were living in neighbors. Tens of thousands of people were killed. It was organized by Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet was the only Latin American dictator to attend Francisco Franco's funeral in 1975. The New Yorker says about Pinochet:

“Like Franco, Pinochet is an ultra-conservative Catholic nationalist, a military officer with an unremarkable personality who suddenly rose to prominence.”

And both versions of Fascism were a war of Authoritarian Fanatic Catholics against “atheists” and “socialists,” with Atheist meaning anyone who didn't accept the “One True Faith” version of Christianity and Catholicism and “socialist” including democrats, liberals, progressives and anyone who didn't accept the assertion that charity is only the job of the Corporate Church and its organs.

Like Franco's invasion of Spain, Operation Condor was a “Mop Up Operation” as victims and enemies of Right Wing Catholic regimes were taking refuge in Argentina and other countries from the totalitarianism of right wing dictators across the Spanish Speaking lands. It was planned over at least a 2 year period beginning with a Conference of American Armies held in Caracas on 3 September 1973, where Brazilian General Breno Borges Fortes, head of the Brazilian army, proposed to

“extend the exchange of information” between various services in order to “struggle against subversion.” [Condor Explained]

A year later, In March 1974, representatives of the police forces of Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia met with Alberto Villar, deputy chief of the Argentine Federal Police and co-founder of the Triple A death squad, to implement cooperation guidelines. Their goal was to destroy the "subversive" threat represented by the presence of thousands of political exiles in Argentina. These exiles had fled the other country to Peronist Argentina.

Apparently the first step involved overthrowing Juan Perón (a second time) or his successor. Perón wouldn't die until July 1974, but he was ill and he'd been taking in refugees. When he died his wife but Isabel Perón took over, and became the new target.

Operation Condor was formally initiated in November 1975 during a meeting at in Santiago Chile.

“Founded by the Pinochet regime in November 1975, Operation Condor was the codename for a formal Southern Cone collaboration that included transnational secret intelligence activities, kidnapping, torture, disappearance and assassination, according to the National Security Archive's documentary evidence from U.S., Paraguayan, Argentine, and Chilean files.” [NSArchive2]

His wife tried to take over, but Isabel Perón's term ended abruptly on 24 March 1976, during a military coup d'état. A military junta, headed by General Jorge Videla, took control of the country, establishing the self-styled National Reorganization Process and implementing Operation Condor in Argentina.

I learned about Operation Condor a long time ago. But I married someone who was from Argentina and had barely survived it. And I learned hair singing details starting in the late 1990s from her and her friends. The targets were Jews, Arabs, unorthodox Catholics, Leftists, Socialists, Liberals and Democrats. And it was a very radical right Dominionist operation.

But the name is no accident. The people who code named Operation Condor, knew about Hitler's Condor Legion and approved of Franco. Indeed it is no accident that Operation Condor was formally initiated the same month (November 1975) that Francisco Franco died.

It is that fact that sent shivers up and down my spine, and led me to write this post.

As usual I have a lot more to say. But others are saying some of it better. Also my keyboard is going haywire, so I'll close with some links:

Further Reading
Chrissy Stroop on Franklin Graham's Fascism:
What Franklin Really means

I'm going to have to start writing about religion again.

This is the most recent in a series of posts

When I reviewed Jonah Goldberg's book "Liberal Fascism" I noted:

“the Fascism of the Mediterranean was that of Salazar in Portugal, Franco in Spain and Mussolini in Italy, and all three were heavily influenced by Rerum Novarum.”

I was noting that Jonah Grudgingly acknowledged this:

“It’s revealing that corporatism has many of its roots in Catholic doctrine. The 1891 papal encyclical Rerum novarum proposed corporatism or syndicalism in response to the dislocations of the Industrial Revolution. ... The Church’s interest in corporatism stemmed from its belief that this was the best way to revive medieval social arrangements that gave man a greater sense of meaning in his life.” [Liberal Fascism page 297]

Jonah Goldberg's book in 2009 alarmed me because he was doing rewrites of history as propaganda, and claiming that Mussolini and Hitler were both leftists. This was alarming because the only possible ulterior motive for making such claims was to distract and deflect from Right Wing Fascism. The Prospect review goes into detail about how much cutting, pasting and deleting he had to do to make his case. As I noted in my review:

“Jonah and other modern conservatives are rewriting the record to separate the Fascism of Salazar and Pinochet, Mussolini and Franco, of Catholic Action from it's equal partners in the Falange and the Fascist movement. Yes the two movements were parallel. One was focused on Social Issues and power. The other on Power. Together they were indomitable. If they had some divergent goals, most of their goals were convergent.”

And now we are seeing the forces of Exploitive, Manipulative, Amoral and Dishonest people and Religious Zealotry again. Fascism is alive and well. Dominionism and Racist Reconstructionist Evangelicalism, fascism, are raising their ugly heads once more. And we are in real trouble.

Sources and References

Background to Spain and Fascism

Like I said before, I started reading Garcia Lorca to divert from current events. My bad.

The Life of Garcia Lorca and Fascist Spain
Garcia Lorca and Charlie Chaplin
Falangist Fascism and Terror Versus Garcia Lorca
The Death of Garcia Lorca
Posts in this series on Fascism
Parallels between Falangists and the American Right wing
Right Wing Imperialism, & Myth Making
Right Wing Explicit Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism
Right Wing National Syndicalism and Corporatism
Right Wing Land Reform and Privatization
Right Wing Chauvinism and Indoctrination
Right Wing Violent Revolution And Dictatorship
Parallels between Falange fascists and US Fascists on Abortion
Posts Related to Franco and Fascism
Subsidiarity Versus Fascism [Oddly I wrote this before the Rise of Trumpism]
Prospect review of Liberal Fascim
Sparticus Reference: Condor Legion page
Underhanded ways Franco Aided Hitler, Franco would rebrand as an Anti-Communist by wars end.
Dominionism and Religious Right Wing Movements
Who Stole My Religion?: Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Texas, Cowboys and New Orleans Pirates

Texas, Cowboys and New Orleans Pirates

Pirates and Privateers, Texas and New Orleans

When we think of pirates we picture them with eye patches, bandanas and at sea. We often see them as having no connection to anything in our own times or outside the world's oceans. But there is a direct connection between:

Offshoots of Piracy

  • Pirates and colonialism,
  • Piracy and Organized Crime,
  • Piracy and the Slave Trade,
  • Piracy and Slavery,
  • Piracy and Modern Navies,
  • Piracy and Lawyers, Courts,
  • Piracy and Corporate Business

And on a more humorous note:

  • Between Piracy and Cowboys

This Post Talks about Pirates and Cowboys

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Pirates and Democracy

It is easy to get confused about the founders. They worked together to create the constitution, but North and South never really understood each other well. Philadelphia, Boston, and New York formed one axis. But the other axis stretched from Georgia to Virginia. They joined to fight the British. Without Unity, there would have been no United States and the States of the North would have gone from Colonies to neo-colonies and never escaped oppression. That unity was formed around economic, cultural and familial ties. But it also was formed around a willingness to embrace the concepts of Federalism, Democratic Republicanism, commonwealth and Democracy.

Multiple Influences

Some of those principles came from history and philosophers. But some of the sources were more intimate. Formal influences came from experience with the Dutch, the Swiss, Italian City States & Ancient Greece. They also came from enlightenment writers. But additional experience was informed by our own maritime history with piracy and privateering, conscription and militias. And our experience with neighbors like our own Indigineous.

Federation and the Indigineous

The Indigenous practiced forms of Democracy and Federation, that may have influenced the formation of our country. Politifact quotes Jon W. Parmenter's The Edge of The Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701:

“It is highly probable that Anglo-Americans during the revolutionary era looked to Haudenosaunee governance as a model of a successful collective polity, and borrowed elements of Haudenosaunee practice in developing revolutionary American constitutional governments,”

Politifact also cites a speech given in 1744, by Canassatego, an Onondaga chief, to representatives from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia at a treaty conference in Lancaster, Pa.:

“We heartily recommend Union and a good Agreement between you our Brethren,...Never disagree, but preserve a strict Friendship for one another, and thereby you, as well as we, will become the stronger. Our wise Forefathers established Union and Amity between the Five Nations; this has made us formidable; this has given us great Weight and Authority with our neighbouring Nations. We are a powerful Confederacy; and, by your observing the same Methods our wise Forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh Strength and Power; therefore whatever befalls you, never fall out one with another.”

However, it wasn't Democracy that made the Iroquois so powerful it was the concepts of Federation. The viral meme about the Iroquois conflates Democratic, Republican and Federation principles. The “E Pluribus Unum” concept is what the Iroquois were talking about and what Benjamin Franklin and others was referencing with his famous and somewhat brutal quote that if the Iroquois:

“capable of forming a Scheme for such a Union," then the new nation of European origin should be able to as well.”

So the idea of Democracy was not central to the indigineous influence on our founders. They were worried about what happens when States start out in disunity; they go to war. Federation is about avoiding and mitigating conflict.

“The concept [of Federation is] based on peace and consensus rather than fighting."

Pirates and Democracy

I've found compelling evidence that Robert and Governeuer Morris were pirates. And Hamilton was not perfect either. But I've also found evidence they were nationalists, just as patriotic as the Southerners, abolitionists and wanted a unified nation not a confederacy. His work with Madison and Jefferson gave us a Strong nation that still survives.

Had we been a loose confederacy, the Civil war would have started sooner and never ended. Fractured states are subject to external predation, colonialism and neo-colonialism.
Hamilton wanted direct election of the President. He was able to stop the Congress from making the selection of the President by the State Governors or Congress, but the Electoral College was a compromise with Southern Politicians who did not want popular sovereignty.
He also gave us a strong independent judiciary, which has saved us, even when it has been somewhat corrupt at times. As we can see right now, a Judiciary subject to executive and legislature, in the hands of a corrupt factional legislation and executive, would be the death knell of our Republic.
The General Welfare clause has allowed our country to serve its people instead of its oligarchs.
And Morris was the loudest, and pretty much the solo, voice against slavery at the Convention. Had he been listened to we might have avoided the Civil War.

So these fellows, who in some ways were pirates, learned some of their appreciation for liberty from that. Robert Morris ran a pirate fleet during the Revolution. Like I said, pirates tended to be more democratic. Privateers, not so much. As I've noted before Thom Paine also learned something about democracy from crewing on Privateers. The ones that treated people fairly also operated more democratically -- and more like free pirate ships.

Just some thoughts from an article I've been reading.

Links and sources

Lawyers and Pirates

Lawyers and Pirates

Pirates, loot and Lawyers

When we think of pirates we don't usually think of lawyers. We think of hard men with eye patches and peg legs. The basis of all piracy is high seas theft and private warfare. The two have always overlapped. We romanticize piracy because the foundation of many wealthy family fortunes is in piratical behavior. All pirates seek loot, wealth, power, and to fight enemies on the Seas. Privateers confine their piracy to enemies of their country. Pirates don't. But it's not that simple. The legalization of private warfare that enables piracy, makes an incentive to corrupt law, corrupt piratical behavior, and legalized theft.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Atlas Was Robbed

Today is the last day of the year (I wrote this at the end of 2018). I started to watch "Atlas Shrugged" on a lark.  Folks often mistake young libertarians for liberals. Looking at NETFLICKS promotions this morning I realized, someone there is very so! They offer the Cheesy, updated, modern version of 'Atlas Shrugged.' I've tried to read it over and over again but it is a cheesy story with a cheesy plot & a misleading message. It is poorly written, unresearched. Worse the story is offensive to any understanding of reality, causality and not in a good way. This was like watching a Superman versus Bizarroman flick.

The Trouble with Atlas Shrugged.

The story starts with people demanding work. The headlines ask, "who cares about the inventories", while noting gasoline shortages. It shows images of black people striking for a Job. It has people saying "there is plenty of oil in the ground." It sounds like a Donald Trump campaign commercial. Trouble is, these are management decisions. She blames common folks for the responsibilities of her heros in management.

False Causality

The logical error that Ayn Rand committed was that of ascribing false causality to the dysfunction of reality. In the world of Atlas shrugged nobody works & that is the fault of,... drum roll ... workers. Management is somehow not responsible for their own decisions. She sees the pirates as heros while calling those workers looters.

Actual History

And the plot lines act like we still have competitive rail lines. In real life Passenger rail were looted & abandoned to airlines, bus lines & freight rail years ago, by the entrepeneurs. Those remaining  were given to the State via bankruptcy courts. Mexico is promoting jobs not nationalizing rail. She describes a world of Monopolists & pirates, & then makes them heros.

Trump thinks he's John Galt

None of this was new. But what I found fascinating was the Pirate Motiffe.  As depicted the line "who is John Galt" was a recruitment call to managers & elites to desert their posts & work for John Galt & join his war.

The Book talks about allies of John Galt making war on US Shipping. It became obvious to me that she was advocating privateering. Anything goes capitalism is pirate capitalism, given a thin veneer of respectability by relabeling private warfare, private government of public assets and theft as legal privateering.

It also occured to me that the owners strike was really a lock out. Especially after rereading the end. Scientists don't lie about the safety of "rearden metal", but con artists do. Years ago I wanted to write a parallel story where the safety testers were the heros & rearden metal full of plutonium & radioactive metals. In bizaaroland exec's & managers sabotaging their own business, are heros.

Trump thinks he is John Galt. He doesn't need "gubbornment" so he can just "shut it down" to get his way. To his thinking it should be run for, by & of oligarchs. He loves the Russian model!

Galts Gulch is Panama or Cyprus banks.  Treason is just business. After all it is our own fault we don't live in a libertarian paradise like Somalia.

Ayn Rand was advocating thieves rules.

This was written 1/1/2019, for some reason when I updated it, it changed the date.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Trains Not Tolls 1

The Trouble with Tolls

Maryland, following Virginia's lead, auguring similar failures and inequities, is moving to put in toll lanes as it seeks to expand 270 to accommodate exurban commuters from Frederick County and further. At the same time, it is depreciating it's already depreciated commuter train service. Lexus lanes sound attractive until you study their full implications.

Lexus lanes are premised on notions that private monarchal government is somehow better than public government, “privateering” of public infrastructure. This false argument was setup in the 1880s and has been in operation since then. It is very lucrative for the Privateers, not so much for actual capitalists and workers. The results of privatization often look good in the immediate aftermath. But they rarely are sustained. This is because the capital and labor necessary to sustain private systems is often secondary in importance to profiteering.

Worse, the financial benefits of privatization are illusory for other reasons.

  1. The investment money is usually acquired by people, or their artificial person fictions, avoiding taxes on unearned income and often represents an opportunity cost of previous privatization.
  2. Investment money is often also from surpluses intended for other purposes, (derivative) and that will lead to short term spending rather than sane development. [Bubbles and Booms]
  3. Rental income is built into the investment. They will not invest unless they can guarantee rent from their investment. This means the profits are artificial and much higher than if the investment represented public investment.
  4. Ownership equals rule, and rule means that which a person owns, they can loot, junk or destroy. And so whether or not the new system is maintained solely relates to whether the new owners can extract maximum profits if they maintain it.
  5. Acquiring public services, where the customer has minimal or zero ability to find alternatives or refuse the products involved, usually leads to profiteering. Such as people using patent monopolies to jack up the price of insulin.
  6. Profiteering is built in. If a person owns the market, the tracks, the shop buildings, other infrastructure, they can live on rent from them.
  7. They will invest in markets and infrastructure that is lucrative, and neglect markets, i.e. neighborhoods that are short on credit.
  8. And since their income is derivative of our already privatized banking system, that means they will likely collapse when the economy turns.
  9. Privateering used to kill with broadsides, now it kills stochastically.
  10. Bridges collapse because they were cheaply built.
    Things manage to be costly and cheaply built at the same time.
    Bills don't get paid while the privateers walk off with the loot.
    Both inequality and inequity rise.

Those are the theoretical reason why Lexus lanes and similar privatization schemes fail. What is happening in Virginia illustrates how that plays out. Nothing like paying 60$ to use lexus lanes during rush hour times. They will claim they aren't price gouging. But does anyone believe them?


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Post Truth and Authoritarianism

The irony of the times is that what is happening to us in America, is not new. Like the spooky refrain in the Battleship Galactica reboot,

“It has happened before”

The only real difference is that some of us understand what is happening to us.

Hypatia and the Barbarians within

In the movie Agora, Hypatia, then, like now:

“is a 2009 Spanish English-language historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar and written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil. The biopic stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a mathematician, philosopher and astronomer in late 4th-century Roman Egypt, who investigates the flaws of the geocentric Ptolemaic system and the heliocentric model that challenges it.”

The movie Agora is fictional. We don't know for sure how advanced science was in 415 AD, but we do know that much was lost to history during that time. Thus the movie is probably is more accurate than its critics like to admit.

”Surrounded by religious turmoil and social unrest, Hypatia struggles to save the knowledge of classical antiquity from destruction. Max Minghella co-stars as Davus, Hypatia's father's slave, and Oscar Isaac as Hypatia's student, and later prefect of Alexandria, Orestes.”

Powerful Secrets

The secrets of the PaRDeS, religious interpretation, lay behind most of the religious traditions of the Common Era, and those secrets include deep psychological insights into the value and uses of myth, narrative, emotion and belief.

Deep Secrets

A thin elite understood the world, almost as well as educated people understand the world now. Deep understandings buried in myth and fable enabled a thin elite to live lives of value and learning. Mystery religions taught people to understand deep psychological truths within themselves through meditation, study, and parsing out the allegorical meaning within religious text. The myths themselves were of value as entertainment and the fantasies gave comfort to the sick, dying, enslaved and suffering.

The Gnostic bible texts used the power of interpretation to preach equality, make people see nuances of reality and open them up to enlightenment. Such texts are only secret because those reading them don't read past the fictional vehicle to their inner truth.

Manipulating Masses

These Bishops also understood the tools that we know today as propaganda and marketing, and how to use religion to manipulate people. Homilies meant to comfort and sick and dying, could turn people into fanatics, or make them angry at rivals or enemies. Any tool can be used for good or evil purposes and the early church used its power to manipulate people. The early church was, for the well educated bishops and priests who converted to Christianity, in part, to ride its opportunities for wealth and power, such a tool.

Solving a Problem

The Romans had a problem. Religion had been chaotic, paganism was losing its power to motivate people, and the Romans needed to control their empire. Christianity appealed to people who were oppressed, enslaved, and to whom the old Gods were no longer speaking. Ironically this was a mostly urban phenomena, so the Bishops accommodated rural beliefs even as they sought to craft a religion that enhanced their power. In the process they created a bigger problem.

Believing your own Myth

Unfortunately the tools of myth and interpretation were used to turn people into fanatics, demonize rivals and stir up mobs to attack enemies of Christiandom. Those early Christians taught people to be fanatic, and the fanatics burned the books that had made Roman Culture tolerable to the educated. Whether they were sincere, true believers, or simply manipulative sociopaths, but the result was not peace.

The Barbarians inside the Gates

Instead people fought over religious issues. They converted and then fought with "heretics." They attacked fellow citizens as Pagans, Jews, or members of heretical religions. The internal wars were what made Rome weak. Dropping standards of hygeine. Baths shut down as "pagan" followed by plagues caused by parasite vectors and spread due to poor hygeine. The Vandals may have looted and burned Rome, but they were fighting fights motivated as much by their Arianism's conflict with Catholicism as by tribal identity. Religion enhanced tribalism. Tribalism used religion.

A New Civilization?

The replacement of Graeco-Roman culture with Christian culture was led by people who understood secrets and misused them. As a result, the secrets were burned or buried with the books and educated people, like Hypatia, who understood them. The movie depicts the Barbarians at the Gate, as being ordinary Roman Citizens in the Gate. That is all too accurate about now, every bit as much as then. The author Joshua J. Mark in the Ancient History Encyclopedia writes:

“The anti-intellectual stance of the early church is attested to by early Christian writers themselves and so, if the Christians in the film are depicted as ignorant it is because they were so by choice. St. Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 CE) was openly hostile to classical learning and claimed that all the important values and thoughts expressed by writers like Plato were stolen from the Christian Bible’s Old Testament.” [ancient-eu]

Rejecting Civilization

The early Christian apologist Tertullian (c. 160-230 CE) also rejected classical learning and famously stated:

“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? What between heretics and Christians? Our instruction comes from "the porch of Solomon," who had himself taught that "the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart." Away with all attempts to produce a mottled Christianity of Stoic, Platonic, and dialectic composition! We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after enjoying the gospel! With our faith, we desire no further belief.” Tertullian

The Barbarians were inside the gate.