Monday, December 13, 2010

Nazi, British, and Arab Anti-Semitism: The Missing Links

The latest release from The National Archives, Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War. As The New York Times writes:
...In chilling detail, the report also elaborates on the close working relationship between Nazi leaders and the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who later claimed that he sought refuge in wartime Germany only to avoid arrest by the British.

In fact, the report says, the Muslim leader was paid “an absolute fortune” of 50,000 marks a month (when a German field marshal was making 25,000 marks a year). It also said he energetically recruited Muslims for the SS, the Nazi Party’s elite military command, and was promised that he would be installed as the leader of Palestine after German troops drove out the British and exterminated more than 350,000 Jews there.

On Nov. 28, 1941, the authors say, Hitler told Mr. Husseini that the Afrika Corps and German troops deployed from the Caucasus region would liberate Arabs in the Middle East and that “Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.”

The report details how Mr. Husseini himself was allowed to flee after the war to Syria — he was in the custody of the French, who did not want to alienate Middle East regimes — and how high-ranking Nazis escaped from Germany to become advisers to anti-Israeli Arab leaders and “were able to carry on and transmit to others Nazi racial-ideological anti-Semitism.”

“You have an actual contract between officials of the Nazi Foreign Ministry with Arab leaders, including Husseini, extending after the war because they saw a cause they believed in,” Dr. Breitman said. “And after the war, you have real Nazi war criminals — Wilhelm Beisner, Franz Rademacher and Alois Brunner — who were quite influential in Arab countries.”

In October 1945, the report says, the British head of Palestine’s Criminal Investigation Division told the assistant American military attach√© in Cairo that the mufti might be the only force able to unite the Palestine Arabs and “cool off the Zionists. Of course, we can’t do it, but it might not be such a damn bad idea at that.”

Saturday, December 04, 2010

U.S. Flood Relief Ops in Pakistan Completed

Pakistan soldiers stand in formation during a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)

U.S. Soldiers with Delta Company, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade pose for a photo before a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata speaks during a ceremony at Ghazi Aviation Base, Pakistan, Dec. 2, 2010. The ceremony marked the end of U.S. military humanitarian airlift flights in Pakistan. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Joshua Kruger/Released)

Ceremony Marks End of Pakistan Flood Relief Operations

Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

Story by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON - U.S. troops supporting the humanitarian relief effort to flood-stricken Pakistan ended their mission, Dec. 2.

Pakistani officials hosted a ceremony marking the occasion in Islamabad, the country's capital.
At the end of operations, 18 U.S. military helicopters and about 350 U.S. service members were conducting airlift missions.

"This was not the beginning, and it was not the end. This is a continuation of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship," said Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, commander of the Pakistan army's 11th Corps.

At the effort's peak, the United States deployed 26 helicopters, multiple C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft and several hundred service members working in close partnership with Pakistani military forces. The floods affected more than 20 million people in Pakistan beginning in July.

"We have been honored to partner with the military forces of Pakistan to bring aid and comfort for those in need," said Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, deputy commander of Office of the Defense Representative to Pakistan and the deployed Task Force commander. "The support, camaraderie and spirit of cooperation and shared effort have been extraordinary."

U.S. officials stressed that while the military humanitarian effort is ending, the United States will continue financial relief. The U.S. government is providing more than $571 million to assist Pakistan with relief and recovery efforts for flood victims.

The Islamabad ceremony was a chance to thank the combined and joint task force of U.S. and Pakistani military and civilian aid agencies, who provided food, shelter and aerial evacuation for tens of thousands of Pakistanis affected by the floods.

American helicopters delivered humanitarian aid to villages cut off by the flooding of the Indus River. Choppers also rescued more than 40,000 Pakistanis during the past five months of operations. Air Force C-130s and C-17 cargo aircraft delivered bulk goods to distribution sites around the country.
U.S. aircraft delivered more than 25 million pounds of relief supplies during the operation.

When the floods struck, Army helicopters from neighboring Afghanistan were among the first international aircraft on the scene. Marine helicopters from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Peleliu replaced the Army helicopters by the end of September. Helicopters from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined the effort in September.

The U.S. military humanitarian effort worked closely with Pakistani military and civilian authorities to ensure the aid got where it was needed, when it was needed, Defense Department officials said. Service members also worked closely with international aid organizations to transport goods and people.

Unusually heavy monsoon rains triggered the floods through the Swat River Valley -- an area that was a key battleground against the Pakistani Taliban last year. Flooding proceeded downstream, spilling out of the country's tribal areas to its more populous provinces.

The effort now shifts to recovery and reconstruction, and U.S. embassy officials promised to help in the tasks that lie ahead.