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WARNING: THIS ESSAY MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF SARCASM


The first settlers who arrived in North America came from Asia, although I suppose they’re not the kind of people you have in mind when you hear of the first American settlers.
They have lived on this continent for about 15-20,000 years (or even longer), but as they didn’t have the opportunity to write history in the past 500 years, they play - as long as they appear at all - a more passive role.
Their first contact that we know of was with inhabitants of Easter Island more than 3,500 years ago, though it is not clear whether it was the Indians or the Polynesians who travelled.
The next discoverers were Vikings who explored parts of the American mainland around 1000. However, there are no indications of a permanent settlement.
When Columbus re-discovered America in 1492, he thought he’d reached India and consequently called the residents Indians. Within a short time the Spanish, the Portuguese, the British, the French and others started exploring, exploiting and colonising the Americas.

The men and women who were shipped in from Europe since then have been nostalgised and heroised as refugees who were looking for a country that offered them political, religious and economic freedom (at that time, freedom of speech was not considered more important than food, and no one had to be ashamed of being an economic refugee). And while this is true about a good deal of the immigrants, the other part isn’t mentioned at all - lawless adventurers, criminals on the run, convicted felons (many mass murderers and serial killers were given the choice between the old gallows and the New World, and not all of them picked the rope) and religious fanatics (foremost the Puritans and the Pilgrims who did happen to be persecuted, but who insisted on burning witches and finishing off all those of other beliefs and races themselves).

The extent of religious fanaticism became obvious in 1692 in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. Three years previously, Rev Cotton Mather of Boston had published a pamphlet about witchcraft in which he detailed the persecution and execution of an alleged witch in his parish which caused a widespread hysteria. Quarrelling neighbours in Salem started accusing each other of sending their spectres to afflict and torment them; hundreds were accused, and with the advice of Rev Mather on the use of ‘spectral evidence’, thirty persons were convicted; nineteen of them were hanged while one was crushed to death. Five more died in prison, including two infants.
(Salem was also the arena for the – so far – last court case of witchcraft in the US in 1878. The cult with the oxymoronic name Christian Science had just emerged, and one follower accused another of mesmerising her. The court dismissed the case, pointing out that imprisoning him wouldn’t prevent the accused from exerting mental control over her.)


You can imagine that not a lot of the European settlers knew how to farm, and many of them didn’t survive the first winter.
Some of them were luckier, though; they were found by Indians who fed them and showed them the skills they needed. Once the settlers got the hang of it, they killed the Indians and extended their farms.
Massacres of Indians were common, starting with the Napituca Massacre (committed by the Spanish in 1539 in present-day Florida) and the first known British massacre, the Paspahegh Massacre in 1610 in Virginia, to the Kelley Creek Massacre in 1911. Many tribes also resisted the settlers, leading to a number of American Indian Wars.

There was land for every European at the Frontier - the most Western line beyond which no land had been claimed yet. All one had to do was go there, stake the claim and get rid of the Indians.
Of course, as in any other colony, it was also tried to enslave them. But Indians don’t last long in captivity, so African slaves were imported and the Indians exterminated.

The growing population of the East coast kept pushing northwards, and the British colonies clashed with the French territories in the North which resulted in the French and Indian War, 1754-1763 (the American side of the Seven Years’ War). For their battles, both parties repeatedly allied themselves with Indian tribes whom they killed after the conflicts.

Most history books render the impression that the random killing of unarmed civilians and the dismembering and mutilating of dead and living children, men and women was the exception. It wasn’t.
The genocide of the Indians lasted for over 300 years. Over this period, they have been pushed westwards until no West was left, into ‘reservations’ that were guaranteed to remain theirs (yep, we know what to think of American guarantees).
After President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, he declared the Mississippi to be the Permanent Indian Frontier which would forever separate the Europeans in the East from the Indians in the West. Of course the only permanent aspect about it was that the Frontier was permanently moved westwards until it disappeared in the Pacific in 1903 with the removal of a Cupeno tribe from their homeland in San Diego County.
There are many supposedly amusing stories about Indians selling land for glass beads and the like. According to British (and later American) law these people were considered aliens (!!!) - they had no citizenship and therefore couldn’t own property in the first place. Apart from that, if someone put a gun to your head and asked you to sell your Rolex for a dime, what would you do?
Many governments paid a reward for every killed Indian (usually the reward for adult males was higher than for children and women). Of course they demanded proof, and some governors got so fed up with the Indian corpses in their offices that they declared their scalps to be sufficient proof. (A handful of Indians copied this habit and created the myth of the savage scalp-hunting Indian.)
Apart from the old shotgun, the Americans used other methods as well, such as providing them with alcohol, knowing it would kill them. One of the most gruesome was to appear charitable and provide them with blankets they had infected with smallpox.
(Some sources contend that the infections were unintentional. This is not the case. William Trent, commander of the local militia at Fort Pitt, wrote in his journal during the 1763 siege, 'We gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.' – It did.
In the account book of Fort Pitt he entered, ‘To Sundries got to Replace in kind those which were taken from people in the Hospital to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians Viz:
2 Blankets @ 20/ £299 099 0
1 Silk Handkerchef 10/
& 1 linnen do: 3/6 099 1399 6’.

A few weeks later, unaware that someone else had put the same strategy into place and that the smallpox was raging amongst the Indians already, Colonel Henry Bouquet suggested to Lord Jeffrey Amherst, 'I will try to inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to oppose good men against them, I wish we could make use of the Spaniard's Method, and hunt them with English Dogs. Supported by Rangers, and some Light Horse, who would I think effectively extirpate or remove that Vermine.' - Amherst replied, 'You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blanketts, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race.')


Treaties with Indians became a common way of trying to appease them for a while, but none of them was ever worth the paper it was written on. All treaties have been violated by America, from the dishonest guarantee to recognise the Delawares as a sovereign nation in the Treaty of Fort Pitt in 1778 to the invasion of the Standing Rock Reservation in 2016.


In the mid 18th century (when Europeans started using the term ‘Americans’ for the white population, which before had applied - more appropriately - to the Indians) there were 13 British colonies at the East coast of America (Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia). But the presence of the British authority was hardly felt. People got on with their lives with little or no public order: arguments were settled with the gun, and the taxes due to the Crown were rarely paid.
Eventually Britain raised the taxes and duties and made clear that these would be enforced. The Americans were raging, their most convincing point being that they wouldn’t pay for a government they couldn’t vote for. Anything British was attacked and destroyed - the American Revolution had begun.
Anyone who called for negotiations with Britain was converted the American way: by terror. Those who weren’t murdered were feathered and tarred, their houses burnt down, their families massacred and so on (basically, they were treated like Indians).
There might still have been room for a compromise; but George III insisted that ‘the colonies must either submit or triumph’, and so they did.
In 1770 British soldiers were attacked by an angry mob in Boston; they shot back, and 5 people got killed. This stirred up tensions even further, and with the right propaganda by a few demagogues, the ‘Boston Massacre’ became the focus of the colonies.
After years of civil resistance, the boycotting of their products, the burning of their warehouses etc, the British realised their weak position and withdrew all taxes except that for tea. But this peace offering came too late, and in 1773 the Americans - who had evolved into coffee drinkers by that time - dumped a shipload of tea into Boston Harbor. (They had disguised themselves as Indians, just to be on the safe side.)
In 1775 the War of Independence began, and in 1776 a handful of men worked out a ‘Declaration of Independence’ and collected signatures (the last one, Thomas McKean, signed in 1781 when it was safe); July 4, 1776, the day the declaration went into print, became the national holiday.
The Americans were joined by the French and the Spanish (for motives more anti-British than pro-American). The war ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Versailles in which the leading European powers, including Great Britain, recognised the independence of the United States.
In 1789, George Washington was elected as the first president.


While the majority supported the extermination of American Indians, there were also some, including George Washington, who considered the voluntary or forced assimilation of natives into the Anglo-American culture as a ‘civilisation process’.


From 1791 until 1959, 37 more states joined the Union. Some of them were created by Americans in areas that didn’t have a white population before, some were former territories, some were purchased from other nations (with or without their citizens’ consent), some applied to be annexed to the US, and some were taken by force.
The first new member state admitted was Vermont in 1791, after having been a sovereign state for 14 years. It was followed by Kentucky in 1792, Tennessee in 1796 and Ohio in 1803.


Their first military engagement after the war occurred at the African coast. The Barbary States (Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli) charged tributes from all ships crossing their waters, and as they weren’t governed by white rulers, they are generally referred to as pirates. Those who didn’t pay had their ships seized or their crew held to ransom.
As colonies, America had been covered by the British payments, but not after the revolution.
We all remember how Americans feel about paying taxes and charges, and the First Barbary War ended with the second Treaty with Tripoli in 1805.


In Europe, the French Revolution had turned the continent upside down. Napoleon Bonaparte waged war on all other countries, including Britain. Both Britain and France had territories in America - the British were still present in the Canadas, and the French had taken additional territories from Spain.
Being surrounded by the French made the Americans feel a little uneasy (and hindered their expansion plans), and in 1803 President Jefferson sent James Monroe to Paris to negotiate the purchase of some of their territories.
Bonaparte needed money for his wars, and he needed his soldiers in Europe and Africa. He couldn’t protect his American properties and was ready to give them up, but he didn’t want the British to expand. This led him to make an offer that left Monroe, who had expected tough negotiations, breathless.
For 68 million francs ($15,000,000), he could get Louisiana which covered the area from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains and from the border to Upper Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This was as good a deal back then as it would be today, and with one signature the United States doubled their territory. (In 1818, following negotiations with Great Britain, Oregon Country, the disputed area between the United States and Upper Canada, was put under joint control for ten years with the Treaty_of_1818.)


The Americans were caught between the lines of the French-British war. Their trade routes to Europe were blocked, and British deserters were taken on American ships. The British captured those vessels and took their men back - but not all of those taken were actually British.
Yet this was not the only reason for the United States to declare war on Great Britain in 1812. The British now supported Indians and even planned to create an Indian buffer state between the Canadas and the United States (without involving the Indians in the plan). And last but not least, as the British were busy in the war against France, the Americans saw their chance to take over their territories in the Canadas.
But shortly afterwards Bonaparte was defeated in Russia, and the British could throw all their forces into the war against the United States. This could have taken a nasty turn for the Americans but, following negotiations, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on Christmas Day, 1814. However, fighting in New Orleans continued for two more weeks (they didn’t know the war was over).

Louisiana became a state in 1812, Indiana in 1816, Mississippi in 1817 and Illinois in 1818.


Florida, which was Spanish territory at that time, was largely uncontrolled, and many Anglo-Americans moved into the area through the backwoods to settle there, as well as Indians who often conducted attacks on Georgian settlements to retrieve their homes. They also welcomed runaway slaves in their midst. Many times the US Army led incursions into Florida to kill Indians, such as in the First Seminole War, or to recapture fled slaves. This caused tensions with Spain who found it difficult to police Florida and finally ceded it to the United States in 1819. It became a state in 1845.


The United States were joined by Alabama in 1819, Maine in 1820, Missouri in 1821, Arkansas in 1836 and Michigan in 1837.


In 1830, President Andrew Jackson had signed the Indian Removal Act which offered the land West of the Mississippi to the Indians in exchange for their homelands, stating that the United States would ‘forever secure and guarantee’ this land to them and their heirs and successors.
The removals, known as the Trail of Tears, were meant to be voluntary ones, only they weren’t. They affected Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole and Cherokee, took place between 1830 and 1850 and were enforced by US troops and local militia, often along the routes of current cholera epidemics. The Seminole resisted, resulting in the Second Seminole War, but were defeated and removed. The bloodiest forced removal was that of 16,000 Cherokee in the winter of 1838 (flouting a Supreme Court ruling), most of them barefoot, a quarter of whom died of disease and starvation on their march.


In the 1840s, the term Manifest Destiny emerged, expressing the belief that God had delegated to the United States his power to take control of the entire continent. To my knowledge, there are no documents supporting this claim.
(Today the term Manifest Destiny is replaced by Globalization and applies to the entire planet. Another, unintentionally ambiguous, term is New World Order, indicating a new order for the world as well as an order dictated by the New World.)


In 1821, Mexico had gained independence from Spain. For the following years Americans were encouraged to settle in the less populated areas North of the Rio Grande. In 1830, when Americans by far outnumbered the Mexicans, further immigration was restricted.
In 1823 Mexico banned the sale and the purchase of slaves. Americans were allowed to keep their slaves, but not to import or obtain new ones.
In 1829 slavery was banned altogether, but Texas was given a one-year exemption.
As if this wasn’t enough, Mexico was ruled by a centralist government which suspended the constitution, limited the powers of its member states and started disarming them, including the state of Texas. Now we all know that you can’t take a weapon away from a Texan, and when in 1835 they were told to return a cannon they’d got from the previous government, they refused and started a revolution. One year later the Mexicans were defeated, and Texas declared its independence and applied for annexation to the United States.
But their request was denied: in the US, many people were afraid of a war with Mexico (which didn’t recognise Texas’ independence), and the colonizationists (racists opposed to slavery, often confused with abolitionists; we’ll get to that later) feared that slavery would be spreading southwards.
Others, though, favoured the expansion of the United States, and the prospect of a war with Mexico would give them - on top of the annexation of Texas - the opportunity to seize even more territories.
Over the following nine years, Texas remained an independent republic, until in 1845 James Knox Polk, a supporter of its annexation, was elected president of the US. The election had certainly been influenced by the increasing power Great Britain was gaining in Texas.
On British advice, the Mexican government offered to recognise Texas under the condition not to join the Union. Polk entered negotiations with Herrera, the President of Mexico, concerning the annexation of Texas and the purchase of other territories, but during these Herrera’s government was overthrown, and his successor Mariano Paredes refused to compromise.
Now war was the only way to get the desired territories, and Polk suggested to Anson Jones, the Texan president, to provoke hostilities with Mexico during the annexation negotiations, but Jones refused to go along with his plan.
Texas joined the United States, including the strip of land between the Nueces and the Rio Grande which Tamaulipas, the adjacent Mexican state, claimed as well.
Nothing happened.
Polk stationed troops in the disputed area.
Nothing happened.
Polk stationed troops at the Rio Grande. His soldiers were attacked, and Polk finally had his war.
The Mexican-American War lasted from 1846 until 1848 and ended with the defeat of Mexico. Texas was recognised with its claimed border, and present-day California, Nevada, Utah and parts of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming were ceded to the United States for the payment of $15,000,000 in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
For another $10,000,000 an additional area was sold to the States in the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Whig Congressman Abraham Lincoln kept bothering the president with a number of spot resolutions in which he damanded information about the exact location ('the spot') where American blood had been spilled on American soil, the claim that had served as the pretext for the war.

Around the same time the United States claimed the area Northwest of the Louisiana purchase up to 54°40' from Great Britain who claimed it for Canada. After the war against Great Britain, the United States themselves had suggested the 49th parallel as the border, but now that was not good enough any more.
And since Polk had expanded the US territory so far into the South, the Northerners expected him to put the same effort into Northern expansion. Their slogan was ‘54°40 or fight!’ (short, aggressive, catchy and unimaginative - you can almost see the cheerleaders).
However, years of negotiations and joint government in Oregon Country didn’t bear any fruit, and in 1846 the Oregon Treaty was signed, setting the border at 49°, with the exception of Vacouver Island which remained British.


In 1846 Iowa became a state, followed by Wisconsin in 1848.


In 1848 another great wave of immigrants arrived in the United States. The discovery of gold in California had led to the Gold Rush (followed by the Colorado Gold Rush in 1858), and a lot of people escaped the various revolutions on the European continent and the Great Famine in Ireland.
One problem was that Indians who lived in the area got in the way and usually were massacred. In 1850 California passed the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians which, contrary to its name, provided for the capture and enslavement of Indians, the ‘adoption’ of Indian children to have them work in the mines, and for the dismissal of any testimony of Indians against settlers. The act was repealed in 1937.


California joined the Union in 1850, Minnesota in 1858 and Oregon in 1859. Kansas’ admission was preceded by violent clashes between those who wanted to join as a slave state and those who wanted to join as a free state, known as Bleeding Kansas. Kansas eventually joined as a free state in 1861.

By then slavery had become a major issue. Freed slaves started moving into the few free states that would allow them in, but had no rights and couldn’t find work. The Northern Americans were annoyed that they had to put up with them and feared that over time their cities would be flooded with Afro-Americans. The Southerners, on the other hand, were worried that some day slavery might be abolished due to these fears - after all, their wealth depended entirely on slave labour on their cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations.
Most Northern states didn’t allow slavery, and the government itself put restrictions on it - since 1808 the import of new slaves from Africa was illegal, and no new state North of Arkansas (36°30', with the exception of Missouri) or in the yet unorganised territories in the West was allowed to become a slave state (with exceptions, naturally). At the same time the slave states were reassured that slavery would not be abolished in the South, and since 1850 a stricter Fugitive Slave Act forced free states to return escaped slaves to their owners.
For reasons of propaganda or ignorance, all opponents of slavery are referred to as abolitionists today, but there were two distinct groups which opposed slavery for entirely different reasons: one were the abolitionists, a handful of idealists who considered Afro-Americans human beings and demanded equal rights for them. Nobody took those few weirdoes seriously until John Brown tried to organise a slave rebellion in 1859 (and was hanged for it) - this, of course, raised fears that some day a slave rebellion might actually take place.
The second group were the colonizationists. The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, known as the American Colonization Society (ACS), was founded in 1816: they considered all other races inferior (seriously, who the hell could be inferior to a racist?) and were opposed to slavery as it prevented white labourers from getting work; their aim was to rid the United States of all those who weren’t white Protestants. For this purpose they occupied an area in Africa in 1822 and started deporting Afro-Americans to Sierra Leone and what they called Liberia (which, of course, was populated by Africans already, creating tensions that last until the present day).
Some slave owners joined the society as well – of course they didn’t want to abolish slavery, but they wanted to make sure that no free Afro-American would live in the US.
The organisation became very influential; in 1854 they formed the Republican Party, and Abraham Lincoln was their first member to become president.
His opponents tried to discredit him and his party, claiming that he intended to grant Afro-Americans citizenship and equal rights, but Lincoln vehemently denied those allegations, stressing that he was ‘not in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office.’
Despite his repeated promise not to abolish slavery, he also stated that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently one half slave and one half free.’ He was sitting on the fence, trying to reassure both sides (and make them vote for him, of course).
Another aspect of the conflict shouldn’t be forgotten: the South was rich and the North comparatively poor, and it was only a matter of time before the government would try to adjust the situation by means of increased taxes on cotton, tobacco, rice and sugar.
Lincoln was elected in November 1860, and throughout his presidency he organised the deportation of freed slaves to Liberia and Haiti.
South Carolina declared its secession from the Union a month after his election; Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas followed, and in 1861 they founded the Confederate States of America and elected Jefferson Davis as their president.
Many Northerners saw an upside to this as the United States would not have to deal with the freed slaves of these states any more, but Lincoln didn’t intend to become famous for the separation of the United States. He left no doubt that he wouldn’t tolerate the Secession; a few years ago he had strongly defended the right of every state to decide its own form of government - but of course this right didn’t apply to a member of the US! According to the Declaration of Independence, the United States were a Perpetual Union, he argued, and after being admitted to it nothing could alter a state’s membership.

In his First Inaugural Address in March 1861, he repeated his guarantee of having ‘no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery’.
In the same speech, he also endorsed the Corwin Amendment (‘No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State’) which Congress had passed under outgoing President Buchanan as a last-ditch effort to keep the Union together, and which would have guaranteed the states’ right to remain (or become) slave states. Lincoln said, ‘Holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.’
(Technically, the Corwin Amendment is still awaiting ratification.)

All Union forces were sent away from the Confederate States, but the soldiers in Fort Sumter refused to leave.
Virginia (apart from West Virginia which seceded from Virginia to remain in the Union and subsequently abolished slavery), North Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee joined the Confederation.
What followed is usually called the ‘American Civil War’, a term as incorrect as the word ‘Indians’ for the real Americans. A civil war is a war between two (or more) rivalling parties striving for power in one nation or province; this was a war between two nations, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America which they intended to annex. For this purpose Lincoln introduced male slavery (‘conscription’) for the working classes in the US (the better-off could buy themselves out with $200), an institution that would last, on and off, for more than 100 years.
The Confederation called for assistance from Europe, but to no avail. The Americans hadn’t made many friends there (Americans, unto this day, make slaves and not friends), and the idea of them tearing each other apart seemed very appealing (especially to Great Britain).
In order to have a united front against the Confederation, Lincoln admitted members of all factions to his cabinet, including the Radical Republicans. These were the handful of abolitionists in the Congress who successfully took the opportunity to promote their cause and were determined to use the war to put an end to slavery. The most influential ones were Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, who was also the most radical of them all: not only did he demand freedom and equality for all Afro-Americans, he even went as far as including Asians, Jews, Hispanics, Irish, women and - most extremely - Indians.
In 1862, U.S. Congress (at this stage only consisting of Northerners) refused to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. And later that year, when preparing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln wrote, ‘My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. [SPOILER: He chose the third option.] What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.’
And his General U.S. Grant stated, ‘If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.’
Things looked bad for the Union, and Lincoln decided to stir up the South by making the slaves turn against their masters: in 1863 he proclaimed the end of slavery in the Confederation (and no, he did not free a single slave within his jurisdiction in his lifetime). Besides trying to incite a slave revolt in the Confederation (which could easily have backfired if the slaves of the Union had joined them), he also hoped to get support from Europe by giving the impression this war was about slavery. Neither happened.
But his luck changed with the appointment of General William Tecumseh(!) Sherman (who was infamous for abusing his slaves). Lincoln gave him the order to ‘Kill and Destroy’, and that’s exactly what he did! He left the Confederate troops where they were and marched through the countryside with an army of plundering and marauding soldiers, burning absolutely everything and everyone in his path, leaving behind a trail of blood and complete destruction. His scorched earth policy and his deliberate targetting of civilians earned him a place in history books as the first modern general. - That’s how the South was won.

Soon the freed slaves flooded into the North from the destroyed plantations in the South. Needless to say they weren’t welcome. (At the same time, a flood of carpetbaggers was moving in the opposite direction.)
Five days after the Confederation’s surrender, on Good Friday 1865, Lincoln was shot. He died the following morning.

During the war, Nevada had joined the United States in 1864 as a free state.

Union General Benjamin Butler had asked the President what was going to become of the millions of slaves that were freed in the Confederation, to which Lincoln replied, ‘I think we should deport them all.’
This sounded good in theory. But in the 50 years of its existence, the American Colonization Society had removed some 20,000 freed slaves from US territory - now they faced the deportation of more than four million freedmen, a task that was completely unfeasible, technically as well as financially. It was considered to give them an isolated area within the United States or in South America, but no state was willing to give up part of its territory.
The freed slaves still had no rights. They were heavily fined for not finding work, those who couldn’t pay the fine (guess how many of them could) were imprisoned, and those imprisoned could be hired out for work - which, in my humble opinion, is nothing short of slavery.
Eight months after Lincoln’s death, on the 18th of December, 1865, the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the whole of the United States, came into force after it had been ratified by the required number of states. From that day, the slaves of Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and Missouri (the slave states that hadn’t joined the Confederation) were free as well.
In 1866 the Ku Klux Klan was founded in the South, aiming - just like the colonizationists in the North - at a purely white Protestant American society. Abolitionists and Afro-Americans (amongst other minorities) were permanently terrorised and murdered.
Riots and street battles caused by racists attacking freedmen remained a common sight for decades.
Seeing they had no possibility of getting rid of the Afro-Americans, the Republicans - who feared a defeat in the upcoming elections - decided to use them as ballot fodder, convinced they’d vote for their unwitting liberators. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed (overruling President Andrew Johnson’s veto) which granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalised in the United States, except Indians.
In order to get the necessary majority of states to ratify the amendment, the former member states of the Confederation who refused to do so (which were all of them except Tennessee) remained under military rule and were only readmitted on ratification of the amendment between 1868 and 1870 (An act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States, known as Reconstruction Acts).
For a number of years, equal rights for Afro-Americans, including their suffrage, were enforced. In 1870 and 1871, Congress passed a number of Force Acts, making the use of terror, the intimidation of voters, the attempt to prevent anyone from exercising their civil rights etc a federal offence. Hundreds of KKK members and supporters were tried an convicted, and soon the others went into hiding. The Ku Klux Klan was dead - for the time being.

After the Reconstruction Period ended in the early 1870s, the South fell back to the racists who passed Jim Crow laws to disfranchise the freedmen and who applied a ‘separate but equal’ segregation policy, denying Afro-Americans the use of the same services and facilities as white Americans.
This policy was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1896 (Plessy v Ferguson).
In 1883, the Supreme Court also ruled that the 14th Amendment only forbids discrimination by the state, not by individuals; official segregation went on for another century (until a Supreme Court ruling in 1957), and their voting rights were restricted until the passing of the Voting Rights Act exactly 100 years after the war (when federal police finally stopped local police from hindering them to vote).


In 1867, the US territory was extended once more by the purchase of Alaska (which became a state in 1959) from Russia for $7,200,200 and the occupation of the Midway Islands.

New member states were Nebraska in 1867, Colorado in 1876, North and South Dakota, Montana and Washington in 1889, Idaho and Wyoming in 1890 and Utah in 1896.


Buffalo were the staple diet of Plains Indians, and in the mid-1800s there were an estimated 30 to 100 millions roaming the plains. In order to speed up the extermination of the natives, government and army encouraged and facilitated the relentless hunting of buffalo for sport. As Colonel Richard Dodge stated in 1867, ‘Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone.’

By 1893, less than 400 wild buffalo were left.


The Indian Appropriation Act of March 3, 1871, ended the recognition of any Indian sovereignty and made null and void any treaties with native tribes.


Red Cloud’s War, one of the many American-Indian wars over their homelands, concluded with the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 and saw the Great Sioux Nation reduced to a Great Sioux Reservation which included the Black Hills and was ‘set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians’.
This changed in 1874 when General George Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills to choose a location for a new army fort and to explore its natural resources. When his men discovered gold, the fate of the Sioux was sealed. Within a year, 15,000 prospectors moved to the Black Hills to try their luck.
The army moved in and, in order to get hostilities started, gave the Indians a deadline to return to their reservation.
After the deadline, cavalry attacked a Northern Chayenne village and burnt it down before retreating under heavy enemy fire on March 17th, 1876. This was followed by more campaigns during the summer, and on June 25th, Gen Custer and his troops attacked a large village, seriously underestimating the number of enemies. They were no match for the Lakota Sioux, Dakota, Chayenne and Arapaho under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse who quickly defeated them, killing almost half of the troops including Custer himself. The Battle of the Little Bighorn is therefore also known as Custer’s Last Stand.
After this battle, US troops were increased drastically, and the Sioux were told to ‘sell [the Black Hills] or starve’. (At this stage, there were hardly any buffalo left to hunt, and they would be refused any rations unless they sell.) They chose to starve.
In 1980, in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the Supreme decided in favour of the Sioux and ruled that they were entitled to compensation for the Black Hills. The compensation, with interest, at present would amount to more than $1bn. However, to this day the Sioux have refused the money and insist on having their land returned to them instead.


The last Indian massacre committed by the US Army so far was the Wounded Knee Massacre which took place in the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on December 29, 1890. The Ghost Dance, a spiritual movement combining native and Christian mythology, promised the Indians the return of their country if they danced until they fainted. An Indian agent wrote to Washington, 'We need protection and we need it now. Indians are dancing in the snow.'
On December 28th, 350 Lakota had followed the order to report to the Agency and were met by 500 US troopers. The following morning they disarmed the Indians, and when they wrestled a rifle from a deaf Lakota, a shot discharged. Moments later around 200 Indians lay dead in the snow, half of them children and women.


Since the early 1800s, Americans had moved to Hawaii, most of them missionaries or sugar planters. In the 1890s, Queen Liliuokalani (the composer of Aloha Oe) took measures to strengthen the position of the Hawaiians.
In January 1893, sugar planters and US forces seized power in a coup and applied to be annexed to the United States.
US President Grover Cleveland investigated the events and came to the conclusion that the provisional government was illegitimate. He refused the application and demanded the restoration of power to the Queen (which, of course, didn’t happen).
In 1894 the sugar planters proclaimed the republic and nominated Sanford B. Dole as their president.
A year later, the Hawaiians started a counter-revolution to reinstate their Queen. Martial law was proclaimed by the regime, and Queen Liliuokalani and her followers were captured and sentenced to death. The Queen herself was later pardoned but forced to abdicate.
In 1896 the Republican expansionist William McKinley was elected president of the United States. He had less qualms about the legitimacy of the government and approved the annexation of Hawaii.
However, nobody wanted Hawaii to become a state – many plantation owners and other employers were in the habit of hiring cheap foreign labour and providing working conditions that would have been illegal under US law. Therefore Hawaii only got annexed as a colony – or, as the Americans prefer to call it, a ‘territory’.
Only in 1959, more than 60 years after its annexation, Hawaii was finally admitted as the 50th state.


McKinley and his vice president and successor Theodore Roosevelt would be the ones to expand the American empire way past the borders of the American continent at the turn of the century. Starting with the Midway Islands in 1867, a number of Pacific islands were occupied and annexed, and in 1899 the Samoan Islands were divided amongst Germany and the United States in the Tripartite Convention.

America always had an eye on Cuba, and it watched with interest how it got more and more difficult for the Spanish to suppress the Cubans. By 1898, the civil war was in full swing, and as the Spanish empire was falling apart all over the world, they felt their time had come.
The United States offered to negotiate between them, but their ‘help’ was declined.
They decided to send a battleship anyway, claiming to fear for the safety of American residents, and on February 15th, 1898, the Maine anchored in Havana.
The same evening, the Maine was blown up, and 266 soldiers were killed; the cause has never been established.
Several theories are still spread - the accidental explosion of the fuel tank for example, or an attack by Cuban rebels trying to blame it on the Spanish and get the US involved on their side (which doesn’t really make sense as they had declined US intervention before).
But the main theories claim it was an attack by the Spanish (though they wouldn’t have had a reason to conceal their identity), or that the ship was blown up by US forces themselves in order to justify a war, which is the only one that sounds plausible to me.
However, the United States blamed the Spanish and declared war. In their view, Spain had started the hostilities by the supposed attack; the Americans have always made a big deal about the ‘first shot’, and they have worked out a lot of ways to let others fire it. In my opinion, a war starts either with a declaration of war or with armed forces entering foreign territory (or refusing to leave it, as was the case in Fort Sumter). This war, as I see it, started with an American battleship entering Cuban waters, regardless of the cause of the explosion.
The war against Spain spread over several colonies and ended a few months later with the American annexation of the Philippines (for which they paid $20,000,000 to Spain), Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Resistance of the populations against American occupation remained as fierce as it was against the Spanish, and the atrocities committed by the US forces were nothing short of what their predecessors had done to them. (The Philippines had declared their independence on June 12th, but nobody took notice.)

While Cuba formally gained independence in 1902, the US officially retained the right to interfere in Cuban affairs, which they repeatedly did.

With the new century approaching, the US decided to become a world power rather than just meddling in the businesses of Northern and Southern American countries, and in 1900 they assisted European powers in the bloody suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China in which the Chinese tried to regain control of their country.
On this occasion the United States coined the term Open Door Policy, meaning that the US and the European countries may exploit China equally. (Around this time Mark Twain suggested to replace the American flag with a skull-spangled banner.)

After McKinley’s successful assassination in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became president. His first project was the completion of the Panama Canal which would connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, so no one had to sail around the tip of South America any more. It had been started by the French, but after the company went bankrupt in 1889, nobody had seriously worked on it.
In 1903, he negotiated with Colombia in whose territory the canal was planned, but even though the treaty was signed, it was rejected by the Columbian Senate.
No problem for Roosevelt: he promised to support the rebels in the Colombian province of Panama where the canal was planned and sent the US Navy to assist them. Panama declared its independence on November 3, 1903, while the USS Nashville impeded Columbian forces, and shortly afterwards the works (which were completed in 1913) commenced. (Leigh Mercer summarised the story in his brilliant palindrome A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!)
In 1906, Roosevelt has been awarded the Nobel Peace Price; not for this, of course, but for his negotiations in the Russo-Japanese War.
He still lives in every children’s room: the Teddy Bear was named after him, following an anecdote according to which he refused to shoot a bear that had been tied to a tree for him - in his opinion big game, other than Indians, deserved a ‘sporting chance’.


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Indian children were forced into Native American boarding schools run by religious societies where they were stripped of their identities by being denied contact with their families, being given a different name, being indoctrinated into the respective religions and being forbidden to use their own language. The schools were infamous for the rampant sexual, physical and mental abuse of their students.


By the end of the 19th century, the idea of eugenics had become increasingly popular, especially with prominent proponents like J.H. Kellogg and Margaret Sanger. From around 1890, forced sterilisations were carried out in many hospitals, asylums and prisons, mostly without the consent and often without the knowledge of the person in question. These were aimed at the mentally disabled, deformed and criminals, as well as non-white populations in general, especially American Indians and blacks.
In 1907, Indiana became the first of several states to enact sterilisation legislation.

Euthanasia was also practiced. Although the most commonly suggested way were local gas chambers, most techniques used were subtler, such as feeding patients tuberculosis-infected milk, or simply by lethal neglect.

After the fall of Nazi Germany (whose eugenics policies had been inspired by the example of the United States), eugenics increasingly fell out of fashion, although forced sterilisations continued until 1981, with a focus on American Indian women.


Oklahoma became a member state in 1907, followed by New Mexico and Arizona in 1912.


By the turn of the century, society in the United States had changed considerably. Due to the industrialisation, more people populated the cities. Production was not based on demand any more, but demand was created for the products. This applied to the arms industry as much as to any other.
A few business men were that successful that they almost had a monopoly on public opinion, and politics were made by the three major institutions: banks, newspapers and - last but certainly not least - the weapons industry.
In 1913, Woodrow Wilson was elected president and continued the conquests for the American Empire.
All over South America people struggled for independence and decent living conditions, and Wilson took advantage of the unrests and civil wars in Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras and the Dominican Republic by invading and occupying them himself (the Banana Wars) to protect the interests of US companies, especially the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita).
In Europe, territorial claims, boundary disputes and fights over colonies had led to a tense atmosphere amongst the big empires that was calling for a cathartic war. Already in 1912, the Tsar had cheerfully hinted at an invasion of Germany.
On June 28th, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife were killed by Serbian nationalists, and Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding to cease all anti-Austrian activities and to allow Austrian officials to participate in the investigations.
Serbia’s reaction was to mobilise, as did Russia, their ally.
The European countries now anxiously waited for the moron who would start the Great War.
The moron was forty-three years of age and as determined as he was immature: Germany. Urged by Austria to honour their alliance, Germany issued two ultimata: one to Russia, asking them to suspend mobilisation, and one to France, ordering them to remain neutral, threatening that the non-compliance with either ultimatum would lead to war on August 1st, 1914.
On August 3rd, 1914, the Germans marched through neutral Belgium without permission in order to attack France. The war (which everyone expected to be over after a few weeks) had started. The following day, Great Britain declared war on Germany.
In the course of the war, Great Britain blocked all sea routes to Germany by means of ships and submarines to starve them out.
Despite their differences with Great Britain, the Americans happened to support the Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia) - the British were still closer to them than the Germans.
Although Wilson declared the US to be neutral, the British and French were provided with arms by US manufacturers who transported them on British passenger ships. These vessels were often - usually after sufficient warning for evacuation - attacked by German submarines. The German government also issued full page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers, warning passengers not to board British ships that might carry arms and head for the war zone.
The arms manufacturers’ lobby demanded that the United States enter the war on the side of the Entente and even spread the rumour that German soldiers cut off the hands of Belgian babies (don’t forget, we’re in America), but Wilson was hesitant; fighting industrialised European countries certainly involved more risks than invading some underdeveloped South American states.
The groups supporting America’s intervention had to think of something more convincing. Apart from the interest in supplying the US Army with arms, they were also concerned about the payments for the weapons they had sold to the Entente - in case of a victory of the Alliance (Austria, Germany and Italy), it was doubtful they would get their money.
In 1915, the Lusitania, a British passenger ship, was stocked up with arms before sailing from New York to Great Britain, and someone in the US tipped off the German authorities.
On May 7th, 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the Lusitania, which usually would only have sunk the vessel, not necessarily with the loss of lives - but the ammunition aboard exploded, and about 1,200 passengers, around 130 of them American citizens, were killed.
(Winston Churchill, who had tried to involve the US and was informed of the operation, commented that neutral traffic had to be brought to the war zone; the more neutral, the better, and ‘if some of it gets into trouble, better still!’)
To the disappointment of the arms’ industry, this still wasn’t enough for Wilson to declare war on Germany; not only was the Lusitania a British vessel sailing under British flag (though she didn’t fly any flag in the war zone), he also expressed his disgust at passengers being used as a human shield for arms deliveries, comparing it to women being put in front of an army. - Nonetheless, he issued a firm warning in the direction of Germany.
He was re-elected in 1916 with the slogan ‘He kept us out of the war’; but not for much longer. In January 1917, the decoding of the Zimmermann Telegram from the German Foreign Secretary to the German ambassador in Mexico turned the scales. It expressed the firm belief that the US would remain neutral; however, in case they joined the Entente, it was suggested to form an alliance with Mexico (which had frequent border skirmishes with the US), in return helping them to retrieve the territories they had lost to the United States.
Wilson was still hesitant, but after a number of US vessels had been sunk in the war zone, he gave into pressure from his party and the public and declared war on Germany.
1917 and 1918 brought other changes as well: the October Revolution, led by Lenin, put an end to the Tsar’s tyranny in Russia and discontinued its involvement in the war, the November Revolution in Germany led to the fall of the government, the exiling of the Kaiser and the proclamation of a Socialist Republic, and in the US women won their right to vote and, together with Puritans and other extremists, enforced the Prohibition (which lasted for fourteen years) - the ban on alcohol which resulted in organized crime turning from a few gangs dealing in weapons, drugs, extortion, prostitution and gambling into the power that factually came to rule the country until the present day.
Shortly after the US entered the war, it was over, and all parties agreed to put the entire responsibility for it on Germany. The Germans were excluded from the peace talks in Versailles in 1919, forced to disarm almost completely, give up their colonies as well as other territories in the East and West, and pay all war damages (and more) - a sum of $320,000,000,000 (you don’t have to count the zeros, it’s billions). This amount was reduced later, but still not to a realistic level.
I’m not sure if Wilson really believed to have won the ‘war to end all wars’. His policy of exploiting and starving other countries had worked in South American states that weren’t industrialised; but Germany was a country that knew how to produce weapons, and how to use them. Still, I doubt that he (or anyone else) had any idea of the price the world would have to pay for Versailles.
The new government in Russia was not taken too seriously. A country that confiscated all private property and put the focus on feeding, housing and educating its people rather than invading its neighbours couldn’t last very long, could it? However, after the end of the war Wilson sent a few thousand troops to support the White Forces which were withdrawn in 1920.
- Oh yes, Wilson also initiated the League of Nations which was supposed to deal with international conflicts. Just like the UN today, it had no power, and all it did was settle a few minor boundary disputes. The United States didn’t join, anyway.


In the meantime, film director D.W. Griffith gave re-birth to a monster at the home front. In 1915, his film The Birth of A Nation (initially called The Clansman) was released, a three-hour epic promoting white supremacy in what is considered the world’s first blockbuster.
The film tells the story of two families before and during the War of Secession and the Reconstruction era. Afro-Americans are portrayed as degenerate and greedy (apart from the ‘good’ ones that remain loyal to their previous owners), and the fact that they are played by white actors in blackface gives them a bizarre appearance. In the film, white people are being intimidated and terrorised by their former slaves until some of them form the Ku Klux Klan and, by means of intimidation and terror, liberate the white community and put the freedmen back in their place.
President Woodrow Wilson willingly agreed to the use of some racist quotes from his History of the American People, in which he had glorified the Klan as ‘a veritable empire of the South to protect the Southern country’.
Shortly after the film’s release, grown men dressed in white robes and hoods, crosses burnt and people died. The Ku Klux Klan was back to stay.


Claims for women’s suffrage had been made since the time of Plato but always fell on deaf ears. A movement for equal rights for women, including the right to vote, was initiated by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848, but had no impact. The feminist movement gained momentum again in the 1910s; Congress eventually passed the 19th Amendment, and women were allowed to vote from 1920.


1923 saw the first proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment, supposed to outlaw any discrimination based on gender. Since then, until to date, it has been proposed to almost every Congress; in 1972 it eventually passed both houses but has not been ratified by the necessary number of states. Critics of the legislation claim they fear the loss of women’s privileges, such as gender-specific labour laws in heavy industry, the exclusion from governmental slavery (the ‘draft’) and the earlier retirement age. However, this is a very weak argument: most European countries have put equality laws into place decades ago and successfully prevented them from rendering equal obligations for females or equal rights for males.


Interlude: With the Kelley Creek Massacre in which Nevada State Police, assisted by a posse, had killed eight members of a group of Shoshone in 1911 (two of the adults were murderers resisting arrest, but their children were also shot), the extinction of the Indians was as good as completed. Of the fifty millions who had lived on the continent just three centuries previously, only a few hundred thousand had survived the holocaust. (Genocide on this scale is unequalled in history, and only the Spanish in South America ever got close.) Those survivors were existing (‘living’ would be an exaggeration) in the few reservations that were left for them; and the only reason these were left was that most of them were barren wastelands that often didn’t even provide water.
In 1924, after a number of petitions, President Coolidge decided it was safe to give them human status by granting them citizenship: the civilised world would get a better impression of the States, and the handful of genocide survivors wouldn’t make a difference.
Citizenship, of course, didn’t mean equality – for example, they still weren’t permitted to trade outside their reservations, and many states refused them suffrage. (In 1957 Utah became the last state to give them the vote.)
Need I mention that for the vast majority not a lot has changed since then?


Adding insult to injury, the Lakota's sacred Black Hills were further defiled in 1927 when construction of four presidents' monuments began on the Six Grandfathers (called Mount Rushmore by the whites).


The Great War had put the US on the map, not only as one of the leading world powers, but as the leading one: the Spanish and Portuguese empires had diminished already, Britain and France (after not being able to defeat Germany on their own) had been put in their place, and Germany (which only had emerged recently) was eliminated - or so the others thought.
After a short boom, caused by the US claiming the war debts from its allies and incoming orders for European reconstruction, things started looking dim in the United States: the depression, which had already reared its head before the war, kicked in (leading up to the Wall Street Crash in 1929) - American workers couldn’t afford the products they manufactured, and the European market had suffered from the war.
As with any depression in any country, the blame was put on minorities, mainly Jews, Afro-Americans and Puerto Ricans, and pogroms against them became a common feature.
But, especially with Stalin taking over the USSR as General Secretary in 1924, a new enemy was found: Communism. And the good thing about it was that anybody could be accused of it.
In the opinion of Americans, Communism had taken away the main foundations of human existence: freedom of accumulation of wealth and freedom of speech, and anyone who sympathised with them was silenced; in fact, anyone who in the slightest ventured to criticise US politics was shut up, branded a Communist and put on a blacklist; even those who spoke out against fascism made it on that list. (An institution for this form of censorship, the House Un-American Activities Committee, was created in 1938.)
Finally, in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected, the doctor who knew just the cure for depression: war!

Germany, in the meantime a theoretically perfect democracy, had faded from the mind of the Americans. It was nothing more than an unreliable income source for the reparations it owed (economically destroyed and with a starving population, it was hardly able to pay the interests of its debts), and no one really cared about what happened to it.
But democracy doesn’t go well with starvation: fourteen years after the United States had laid their egg in Versailles, the monster hatched. Hitler, an Austrian hobo whose shrill voice and low intellect had made him the undisputed leader of the NSDAP, appeared on the scene. In 1933, his party got 43.9%, and with the votes of the conservatives (including that of the first post-WWII president Theodor Heuss) the Enabling Act was passed which gave his government unlimited powers to ‘save the country from its enemies’.
The Americans didn’t care. Okay, okay, he refused to pay the reparations, but a strong Nazi Germany would keep the Soviets out of Europe. Hitler hated Communists, and he hated Jews - so what was the problem?
But there were warning voices as well, foremost that of Roosevelt who was aware that Hitler would not only reclaim the lost territories but also aim at dominating the European continent. Another power to be taken into account was the USSR. Roosevelt was disappointed that the United States who had proven to be the leading power had retired from world politics rather than looking for new conquests.
When the chance came to get involved, like in the Civil War in Spain, Congress reacted by passing Neutrality Acts that prevented the United States from even delivering weapons to belligerent countries (of course, Roosevelt and the arms industry found ways around that, which finally were legalised by the Lend-Lease Act in 1941).
When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the French, British and Dutch had to focus their military activities in Europe which weakened their position in the Asian colonies. Many of these started to fight for independence, but two other powers saw their opportunity to take them over: Japan and the United States.
Japan reacted promptly by invading Indo-China. In return, Roosevelt placed an oil embargo on Japan which heavily relied on oil, and in September 1940 Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy requiring them to assist each other.
Roosevelt’s best bet was to get Japan to attack the United States - in that case, Germany would have to get involved, and he could send American troops to both Indo-China and Europe.
The embargo had paved the way, but still Japan didn’t react the way it was supposed to. On November 26th, 1941, Roosevelt set them an ultimatum to withdraw all their troops from the occupied territories.
There have been claims that US intelligence had decoded, in detail, Japan’s plans of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and informed President Roosevelt. Warnings about the imminent attack were also issued by other secret services and agents, such as Serbian triple agent Dušan Popov who informed the FBI.
On the morning of December 7th, Japan’s navy attacked the completely unprepared US Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, killing an estimated 2,400 men.
Japan declared war a few hours later; the declaration was meant to be delivered before the attack, but decoding it had taken the Japanese embassy longer than anticipated.
Roosevelt had reached his aim: the United States were at war, and the outraged American public was calling for revenge!

In February 1942 Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which authorised the internment of persons of Japanese origin or ancestry on the Pacific Coast, most of whom were US citizens, leading to the incarceration of more than 110,000 of them. There was no indication of their disloyalty, and nowadays it is generally accepted that the motives were entirely racist.
Later that year, after negotiations with Lima, this treatment was extended to persons of Japanese descent who lived in Peru. They were arrested and deported to the US where they were kept in internment camps as well.


In the meantime, Hitler’s breach of the Non-Aggression Treaty with Stalin by invading the USSR led to its unlikely alliance with Great Britain before being joined by the United States. Now any megalomaniac in his right mind would be concerned about facing the United States on top of twenty other enemies that include the USSR and Great Britain, but not Hitler. It is reported that he literally jumped for joy when he got the news, and he declared war on the United States on December 11th.

The Germans and British had already commenced what would become the warfare of the future, and the Americans were only too happy to embrace the new strategy: instead of soldiers killing soldiers, air raids were carried out on large cities, killing thousands of civilians without putting one’s own people in danger; at the same time it destroyed the enemy’s already damaged economy.

The war spread over three continents - Europe, Africa and Asia, with some Japanese attacks in Oceania as well (Pearl Harbour and Australia) - and left half of the world in ruins. An estimated 60 million people got killed, the vast majority being civilians.
Besides the war dead, another 11 millions were killed in Hitler's concentration camps: 6 million of them for being Jews, the others for being Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled persons or regime critics.
Roosevelt was insistent to talk to Stalin in person, and the Soviet leader finally agreed to a meeting in Tehran in November 1943 and another one in Yalta in February 1945.
Descriptions of Roosevelt’s attitude towards Stalin range from conciliatory to servile, yet before the war he had portrayed him as a dangerous dictator. Most historians put this down to senility, but I am convinced that Roosevelt had worked out a detailed post-war plan for the world already, and he pussyfooted around Stalin in an effort not to endanger it.
After the defeat of Germany and Japan (Italy had surrendered already), the United States once more would emerge as the world’s leading power, followed closely by the USSR. I am certain that at this stage Roosevelt had the vision of an American empire covering all countries between the poles; but he knew that the time wasn’t ripe.
There were two possible scenarios for the post-war world: one was that a couple of empires would continue gaining and losing territories, creating alliances and fighting wars, and this was too much of a risk for American supremacy; the second was to divide the planet amongst the two strongest powers and then work on each other’s downfall, and that’s what he aimed at. A mastiff has a better chance against another mastiff than against a pack of hyenas.
For this purpose he intended to set up the United Nations; he was aware that they’d be as powerless as the League of Nations was, because the strongest countries would have to be given a veto, but they would succeed in preventing the emergence of other superpowers beside the US and the USSR.
(Oh yes, Churchill was at these meetings as well. But his presence was merely symbolic; in both World Wars he had schemed to get the United States involved at the earliest stage, demonstrating Great Britain’s dependence on them. Apart from that, Britain was actually the big loser of the war - within a few years, they lost most of their colonies, including India. To my knowledge, Great Britain was the first country ever to be dominated by one of its former colonies.)

However, Roosevelt couldn’t openly discuss his vision of American world rule, and many of his subjects who didn’t grasp his subtle master plan thought he sympathised with Communism. He died of a heart attack on April 12th, 1945, just after having been re-elected for a fourth term, and just before the defeat of Germany; maybe the excitement of finally reaching his aim was too much, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of his oblivious fellowmen had been involved, thinking he was doing damage control before the post-war conferences.
Roosevelt’s vice-president Truman succeeded him and met with Stalin in Potsdam to ask for his support against Japan, discuss the world’s future and distribute the loot.

After their unconditional surrender on May 8th, 1945, Austria and Germany were divided into four zones (the American, British and French zones in the West and the Soviet one in the East), and so was the German capital Berlin itself, which lay in the centre of the Soviet sector.
After the disastrous result of the last German defeat, and fearing the spread of Communism, the Americans decided to introduce a new system of domination: rather than plundering the defeated European countries and leaving them on their own, they let them work for the United States while allowing them to elect governments that acted within their parameters. This was called the European Recovery Program, known as Marshall Plan, which was offered to the European countries affected by the war but declined by the USSR and the states of their zone because it would have given the US too much influence.
The West Germans were leniently punished - at the Nuremberg Trials the figureheads of the Third Reich (who hadn’t committed suicide like Hitler or Goebbels) were executed, and a few others were sentenced to long prison terms some of which were suspended after just a few years.
The others got away; the Americans, with their knowledge of the German mentality, rightly believed that they had just been carrying out Hitler’s orders, and that they would serve the US just as enthusiastically. Thus it was still possible for members of the Nazi party to become president or chancellor of West Germany.
A number of Nazi criminals were also employed by the US (such as Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, who was recruited by the CIC in 1947 at the time he was sentenced to death in France). Operation Paperclip, a US programme to recruit leading German scientists, engineers and technicians (many of whom had worked for the Nazi regime, such as Wernher von Braun), was put in place right after the war.
The Americans generously invested in the destroyed countries, set up American businesses, helped them manage their debts and taught them of the dangers of Communism (and for those who didn’t listen they got out the cane). The American economy (which had been booming since entering the war) kept on booming, the West Germans had their Wirtschaftswunder, the British colonies got their independence: the war had done everyone a world of good!
Well, maybe not the other countries... After 1945, no nation was able to remain completely neutral (apart from Switzerland, where the Communists and the Capitalists had their offshore bank accounts). Any country claiming independence was either sacked by one of the superpowers, or accused of having been sacked by the other one - this would lead to sanctions and embargoes that automatically forced them to establish ties with the other one, making them more or less dependent on it.
Also, many satrapies declaring their independence were immediately invaded (‘liberated’ or ‘protected’) by their original owners to re-establish their rule, especially those providing crucial materials and those located on their doorstep. South American countries, for example, had been exploited by US companies and citizens for ages, and every emerging democracy was at once removed by the United States, like in Guatemala in 1954, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Chile in 1973 or Honduras in 2009. They also supported terrorists against democratically elected governments like in Chile and Nicaragua.

The one nation that hadn’t surrendered by May 1945 was Japan. But once the war was over in the West, the US were able to focus on Asia, and after some major victories negotiations for Japan’s surrender were under way.
This put Truman under a lot of pressure: the United States had just finished building the atomic bomb, and this could be the last opportunity in a long time to test its effects under authentic conditions.
On August 6th, 1945, the first atomic bomb (uranium) was dropped on Hiroshima, killing a quarter of a million people instantly or after weeks of agony, and crippling, disfiguring or causing cancer to millions of others. On August 8th, the USSR thought it safe to declare war on Japan, and on August 9th another A-bomb (plutonium) was dropped on Nagasaki - it slightly dropped off target, thus only killing an eighth of a million people instantly or after weeks of agony, and crippling, disfiguring or causing cancer to millions of others. The most macabre experiment in history was concluded, and on August 15th, Emperor Hirohito surrendered unconditionally.


What followed was called the Cold War because the US and the USSR, although hostile to each other, didn’t attack one another in their combat for world rule; but the wars over their satrapies were pretty hot, and not many of their victims wore uniforms.
The Cold War was a wishing well for the weapons industry. The threat of the Third World War, this time between the two superpowers, was always in the air, and the propaganda machines on both sides did their best to keep public hysteria at a maximum.
Yet the heydays of the weapon industry started in 1949 when the USSR developed the A-bomb as well and the threat of a worldwide nuclear holocaust became a serious concern (keep in mind that the position of a president or general secretary, other than that of a shoe salesman, does not require any qualifications).
Also in 1949, the Americans launched the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a pact that obliged its members to react as a whole if any one of them were attacked (with or without being provoked), especially by the USSR or one of its satrapies. In 1955, the USSR founded the Warsaw Pact with similar obligations in case of NATO aggression.
And although the US and the USSR were never at war with each other, their proxy wars spread terror over the whole world for half a century.


Nobody would think of partitioning Great Britain and declaring the larger part a homeland for the Romans (tempting thought, though...). Yet, in an attempt to get rid of their Jewish population, many countries considered relocating them to Palestine. The Christian belief that the state of Israel had to re-emerge before the Second Coming may also have contributed to their plan.
For many Americans, the concept of Israel also represented a miniature United States: a superior white race (not as superior as white Americans, of course), chosen by God, replacing a savage native population that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
Anti-Semitism is as old as the Jews are and was practised all over the world, including the United States and Great Britain. After the world had seen the horrors of what the Germans did to them, deportation was not an option, but a lot of them would be delighted at the prospect of having their own country and escaping discrimination.
A number of Zionists had moved there already, Jews that considered Palestine their ‘homeland’ because a few thousand years ago their ancestors had occupied it for a while after they’d slaughtered the natives (according to their own mythology) and, most importantly, God had supposedly promised it to them. Although the British had limited Jewish immigration to Palestine (which had been a British mandate since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI), many were smuggled in, mostly to reinforce anti-Palestinian terror organisations like the Hagganah.
The setting up of a Jewish state in Palestine was much discussed, though not with the Palestinians. Many Americans had reservations, though, as they thought that it would support the spread of Communism. (The main reason for the persecution of Jews was - and is - the myth that they’re all money-grubbers, which doesn’t go well with the accusation of them being Communists; but I suppose with the intellect of a racist one really can’t see that contradiction.)
A majority of UN members signalled they would support a solution in which 55% of Palestine was assigned to a Jewish state. On May 14th, 1948, the day the British mandate ran out, the state of Israel was proclaimed and immediately recognised by the United States, as well as immediately attacked by their Arab neighbours whom the Palestinians had asked for assistance.
Like in Liberia and Haiti, into which the US had forced a completely different people, war in Palestine hasn’t ceased since, and probably never will. Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupies most of what had remained of Palestine where it keeps killing at random, imprisoning and torturing children, administering collective punishment, withholding essentials such as water, food and electricity and demolishing villages to establish no-go areas and Israeli settlements to which the natives have no access. On many maps the existence of Palestine is ignored, all UN resolutions trying to establish human rights for Palestinians are being vetoed by the US, and anyone speaking up for them is branded an anti-Semite (which is quite ironic since Palestinians are Semites as well).
Israel is a very religious nation, and according to Jewish mythology God created all other races merely to serve his own people, the Jews. Therefore, all other races are entirely disposable in their worldview, which explains the subhuman status of Palestinians in both Israel and occupied Palestine.
Most Arab countries had been part of the Ottoman Empire until they were occupied by the British after WWI, receiving more or less national independence during or after WWII. These countries became increasingly rich (well, at least their elite) because of their oil production, so there was no danger of them turning towards Communism. This would have made them the perfect prey for the United States; yet, as the US were crucial supporters of the elimination of Palestine (one of the Arab nations) and the genocide of Palestinians as well as Israel’s annexation of territories from their other neighbours, relations between the Arab countries and the United States have always been very tense.


In 1949, another totalitarian Communist country emerged after a long civil war: the People’s Republic of China. But it stayed very much to itself; it only sacked Tibet and a few minor neighbouring areas, had a few border engagements (including one against the USSR) and provided military support to some Communist Asian countries, so nobody paid too much attention.


One of the countries that were partitioned after WWII was Korea. In 1950, when the popularity of Syngman Rhee (the US-appointed dictator of the South) was at an all-time low, Kim Il-Sung (the Soviet-appointed dictator of the North) saw his opportunity to reunite the country - under his rule, of course. The USSR, which reluctantly supported Il-Sung, had made the mistake of boycotting the UN meeting and thus couldn’t exercise their veto when it was decided to send troops into Korea.
The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice re-establishing the status quo. The only difference were the dead: 180,000 military casualties on the side of South Korea and the UN, and 500,000 on the side of North Korea and their allies (China and the USSR). - Oh yes, a few million civilians were killed as well.
No peace treaty has been signed, however, and technically North and South Korea are still at war.


In 1953, Iran’s democratically elected President Mohammad Mosaddegh planned to nationalise the country’s oil industry which was approved by parliament but opposed by British and American oil companies and their mate Shah Reza Pahlavi. Therefore the United Kingdom and the United States organised a coup d'état in which Mosaddegh was overthrown and left the country to the tyrannical dictatorship of the Shah.


In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that racial segregation in education was unconstitutional. However, it did not address segregation in other areas such as transport. When Rosa Parks, a black activist in Montgomery, refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger and subsequently was arrested, the black community called for a successful bus boycott. This was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement which was largely inspired by Gandhi’s concept of civil disobedience and non-violence. Large protests, boycotts and sit-ins followed, and Martin Luther King became the most prominent speaker for the movement. They succeeded in gradual improvements for the black population until in 1968 the Civil Rights Act was passed which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion and national origin in all areas.


In the 1950s, Cuba’s head of state was the dictator Batista, but the country was run (‘governed’ would be an exaggeration) by his mates from the New York Mafia, loosely supervised by the US administration.
There were several attempts of Cubans to regain control of their island. In 1959, a revolution led by Che Guevera and the brothers Castro succeeded, and US businesses, especially refineries, in Cuba were nationalised.
The United States ordered their satrapies to join them in embargoes and boycotts against Cuba, forcing Fidel Castro to establish close connections with the USSR.
After the CIA had contacted the Cosa Nostra to assassinate Castro and consistent terrorist attacks on Cuba had been carried out, a conspiracy of the New York Mafia, Cuban exiles and the CIA under President Eisenhower planned to invade the island from the Bay of Pigs and re-colonise Cuba in 1961. When John F. Kennedy replaced him as president, he decided to go ahead with the plan. Although the necessity of aircraft supporting the attack was pointed out to him, he refused (apart from the bombers that, painted to look like Cuban air force and flown by Cuban exiles, were to destroy the Cuban airfields in advance); he wanted the world to think it was a Cuban counter-revolution and intended on covering up any involvement of the US. Furthermore, he seriously believed that the Cuban people would join them in their fight against Castro.
The Cubans, against his expectations, did not assist them against their government, and the paramilitaries were quickly defeated.
After this fiasco, sanctions against Cuba were tightened even more, and terrorist attacks on Cuba continued.
This was where the Cold War got really hot. For the Cubans another US invasion was only a matter of time, and they agreed with the USSR to position nuclear missiles in Cuba as a deterrent.
The missiles were detected by US intelligence in October 1962, followed by President Kennedy ordering a naval blockade on Cuba to prevent them from being delivered, as well as giving Cuba an ultimatum to dismantle the existing ones.
The Americans were petrified at the discovery of nuclear weapons on their doorstep; they had always believed their geographical isolation would guarantee their safety. For a few days, the world stopped its breath.
Kennedy negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Khrushchev who offered to remove the missiles if the US removed theirs from Turkey and Italy (which were just as close to the USSR as the Cubans’ to the US) and made a formal declaration not to invade Cuba again. Kennedy agreed under the condition that the missile removal from Turkey and Italy be kept secret to save face.


After having been humiliated in the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy had to prove himself: ‘Now we have a problem in making our power credible,’ he said, 'and Vietnam looks like the place’.
Vietnam, which had been part of French Indo-China, was invaded by Japan after France surrendered to Germany in 1940, and the Vietminh, led by Ho Chi Minh, had started an independence war, strongly supported by the USSR.
In 1945, they had finally kicked out the French and Japanese and proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. What they didn’t know was that in Potsdam they’d been partitioned and given away to China (North) and Great Britain (South).
A year later, both countries handed Vietnam back to France which was defeated by the Vietminh in 1954 and capitulated.
At the Geneva Conference in the same year the United States, the USSR, Great Britain, France and China (Vietnam wasn’t represented, of course) decided to provisionally divide Vietnam again, give the North to the Vietminh and put the former emperor Bao Dai (who lived in Paris) in charge of the South; Bao Dai appointed Ngo Dhin Diem (whom the French themselves described as ‘not only incapable but mad’) as his prime minister. It was also decided that free elections for a reunited Vietnam be held before July 1956.
The Vietminh reluctantly agreed to the proposal. But when Diem (who in the meantime had ousted Bao Dai) refused to hold elections, claiming the Vietminh would cheat anyway, and the advisors of US President Eisenhower informed him that free elections would give Ho Chi Minh anything from 80% upwards, the elections were cancelled.
At this point the guerrilla activities in South Vietnam recommenced, and in 1960 the National Liberation Front (NLF), also known as the Vietcong, was established.
As the United States, just like the USSR, didn’t tolerate independence, they claimed North Vietnam was a satellite state of the USSR, and between 1961 and 1963 President Kennedy (who called the Cold War ‘a holy war’) sent at least 16,000 military advisors and troops to South Vietnam (including special forces such as the Green Berets) who should help them conquer the North. He also authorised the use of Agent Orange, a defoliant which conveniently kills and cripples as well.
Shortly after Kennedy’s assassination, his successor Lyndon B. Johnson (‘Hey hey hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?’) made up the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to launch a full-scale war on North Vietnam, involving – besides South Vietnam - Cambodia and Laos as well. As the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and the NLF were armed and dangerous, most actions were directed against civilians in form of area bombardments, using cluster bombs, napalm and Agent Orange. During the Vietnam War, the United States dropped more than three times as many bombs as in the Second World War.
The amount of US casualties went far beyond their imagination, due to advanced guerrilla tactics and the population’s support of Ho Chi Minh and the NLF. Many of the aircraft that brought the troops in transported heroin and opium to the States on their way back, mostly concealed in the coffins (and even the bodies) of killed soldiers (that way the war did pay off, though not for everybody).
It was the first war ever to be televised in the US, so Americans could order a pizza, grab a beer, sit back and watch crying children running through their destroyed villages while burning to death. But it had an unwanted effect on a lot of people: they realised that war wasn’t something abstract, and that all these atrocities happened to actual people. Opposition to the war increased rapidly, especially with almost 60,000 US soldiers having lost their lives (as opposed to three million Vietnamese, a third of whom were armed) in a war that was started merely to boost Kennedy’s damaged ego.
In 1973, the United States had lost the war (which, in their absence, continued for another two years and led to the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).
As a consequence, war journalism was being restricted from showing victims and, due to public pressure, male slavery (‘conscription’ or the ‘draft’) was abolished for a few years; draft registration was re-introduced by President Carter in 1980.


In June 1972, five men broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. It soon became clear, especially through the efforts of two Washington Post journalists who were anonymously assisted by the associate director of the FBI, that this break-in was part of a large operation of Republicans to secure the re-election of President Richard Nixon by spying on his Democratic opponents. The investigation, even though repeatedly obstructed, led to top officials of the Nixon administration while Nixon himself kept denying any knowledge or involvement.
When it became known that Nixon had taped all of his conversations in the White House, he was urged to release the tapes but declined until in July 1974 he was ordered to do so by the Supreme Court. The tapes revealed that he was personally involved in the conspiracy, and in order to avoid impeachment, he resigned on August 9th. His successor Gerald Ford pardoned him a month later.


In a perverted twist of justice, the United States Supreme Court in 1973 (Roe v Wade) placed the right to privacy above the right to life and ruled that any mother may abort her child for whichever reason. With an estimated 60 million (that’s 60,000,000, a number equivalent to the entire populations of California and Florida put together) since 1973 in the US, the Supreme Court decision has killed as many as the Second World War.
Since 1995, Congress has passed several bills to at least ban intact dilation and extraction ‘abortions’, better known as partial birth abortions, which are technically not abortions since the child is delivered first and killed afterwards, by a procedure which is particularly painful (for the child, that is). However, these bills were vetoed by President Bill Clinton, and the ban was only signed into law by President Bush jr in 2003.
Ironically, Norma McCorvey (the plaintiff in Roe v Wade) never had an abortion and subsequently changed her views. As she said in her book Won by Love, ‘I was sitting in O.R.'s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster. The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. “Norma,” I said to myself, “They're right.”'
She remained a pro-life activist until her death in 2017 and has unsuccessfully petitioned to have the 1973 decision overturned.


After a coup in 1978, Afghanistan had become a Communist, yet officially non-aligned, country under President Taraki.
In 1979, the General Secretary of the USSR, Leonid Brezhnev, advised him to dispose of his Foreign Minister Hafizullah Amin because of his pro-Western attitude. However, Amin got wind of the plot and managed to take over the government; Taraki was killed in the process. As a consequence, Afghanistan was invaded by the USSR in December 1979. Amin was killed three days later.
There was an international outcry - the US and their satrapies reacted with sanctions and embargoes, and most Western countries boycotted the Olympic Games 1980 in Moscow.
The Soviets, who expected to defeat Afghanistan within a few weeks, had to face fiercer resistance than anticipated - their war lasted for over 9 years and ended with the withdrawal of their troops. It was often referred to as the USSR’s Vietnam.

In Iran, which had been terrorised by its leader Shah Reza Pahlavi for almost four decades, opposition to the monarchy increased rapidly, despite police shooting into the crowds of protesters. He had allowed the country to be shamelessly exploited by the United States while torturing and killing all critics and opponents of his regime.
He had to flee the country in January 1979 and was welcomed in the United States which provided him with free medical treatment.
There were emerging democratic voices in Iran, but the overwhelming majority hailed the return of Ayatollah Khomeini from exile, a radical fundamentalist who, following a referendum, created an isolationist Islamic state.
Riots all over Iran continued for over a year, and massacres on Khomeini’s opponents became a regular feature.
In November 1979, an angry mob stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took the remaining staff hostage, demanding Pahlavi’s extradition to try him for his crimes.
The negotiations led nowhere as President Carter refused the exchange; after the Iranian despot died of cancer in July 1980, negotiations continued with a new set of demands. In the end an agreement was reached (the Algiers Accords), the main points being that the United States return Iranian assets that had been frozen under Carter and refrain from interfering in internal affairs.
On January 20th, 1981, while Ronald Reagan (who had left Hollywood to become President) was sworn into office, the remaining 52 hostages were released. According to Abolhassan Banisadr, who was president of Iran at the time, the release had been delayed until after the US presidential election at the behest of the Reagan campaign to prevent Jimmy Carter's re-election.

Also in 1979, US protégé Saddam Hussein took over the reigning Ba’ath Party in Iraq.
In 1980, taking advantage of the unstable situation in Iran, Hussein used the continuous border disputes to wage war on his neighbour, and Reagan and several Western European countries gladly supplied him with weapons.
In order to keep Iran safe from being sucked into the Soviet sphere, Reagan would have liked to provide them with arms, too, but an arms embargo against them prevented that. Also, he would have liked to help the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua to overthrow their democratically elected government, but the Boland Amendment stood in the way. The solution was simple: Israel supplied Iran with weapons and got resupplied from the United States. The proceeds were used to arm and train the Contras. Besides, the deal also helped to release the Hezbollah hostages in Lebanon. The Iran-Contra Affair was exposed in 1986.
Besides the United States, the USSR and Yugoslavia also provided weapons to both sides of the conflict.
The war ended in 1988, with neither side having achieved anything.

During his presidency, Reagan launched an arms program unequalled in history, including his massive futuristic SDI (‘Star Wars’) Program, just in case.
The logic of those days was that if the US had the capacity of destroying the planet twenty times over while the USSR could only manage to destroy it a dozen times, they had some serious catching up to do. The arms race had reached its peak.
In 1982, General Secretary Brezhnev died. Two successors followed his example within three years, and in 1985 the Politburo elected one of its few members not suffering from old age. Enter the most tragic character of the century: Mikhail Gorbachev.
The USSR, just like their satrapies, were in dire straits. Economical mismanagement had forced them to buy more and more grain from other countries, mostly the US, and the arms race as well as the strenuous war against Afghanistan had exhausted their international financial credibility. Communism was bankrupt.
On top of this, the population had become restless. The Communists had eliminated starvation and homelessness, but at a price not everyone was willing to pay. Personal freedom was almost non-existent; everybody’s life was organised and controlled in every detail, and since the 60s the right to travel to countries outside of the Warsaw Pact had been severely restricted, due to the amount of people heading for the ‘Golden West’. A lot of products were not available, for others there were long waiting lists, and sometimes even food was rationed. (Much of this was due to the fact that the colonies of the USSR, which covered about a third of the globe, were less resourceful than the US’ colonies.)
While trying to hold on to the achievements of Communism, Gorbachev aimed at a society that provided personal freedom, democracy and transparency. But things got out of hand: the people didn’t want to wait any longer and went on the streets, strikes and demonstrations paralysed the system, and every little province declared its independence.
In East Germany, the leading Stalinist party SED was banned; the other Stalinist parties were bought over by West German parties and in 1990 voted to be unconditionally annexed to West Germany.
To interfere the old-fashioned way by sending in troops and tanks would have defeated the purpose, and therefore Gorbachev didn’t even consider it. And as there was no other way of dealing with the situation, he just had to watch as things happened.
In August 1991, a coup of Communist Party hardliners attempting to re-establish the old order failed, but their defeat elevated the Russian President Boris Yeltsin to the position of a hero. (And I wouldn’t be surprised if he had incited the coup himself for exactly this purpose.)
In December 1991, the USSR formally disbanded, despite a referendum in March of that year in which 77% voted in favour of preserving the union (the only referendum ever held in the USSR), and Gorbachev delegated all his powers (including the use of nuclear weapons) to Yeltsin. I still believe that the world was never as close to a nuclear disaster as when this megalomaniac drunkard was in control (and this takes into account the Cuban Missile Crisis) before Trump’s presidency.
He introduced unfettered capitalism to Russia almost overnight, causing drastic inflation, falling incomes and widespread poverty, unemployment and homelessness.
In 1993, after they repeatedly refused to vote as he had instructed and objected his strive for dictatorial powers, Yeltsin declared the Russian parliament dissolved and repudiated the constitution, without the authority to do either. Because of this breach of the constitution, the parliament (whose deputies had refused to leave the building) impeached him and declared Vice-President Rutskoy president. Thousands of protesters gathered as the army surrounded the building, and when parliament supporters tried to take over a nearby TV station, they opened fire and killed between 187 (according to police) and 2,000 (according to witnesses) of them. The incident was not reported by Russian state media. - But Yeltsin was not a Communist, and that’s what made him a democrat in the eyes of the US.
During the Cold War, the basic ideas of Socialism - providing free access to education, health care, housing etc for everybody, regardless of their financial situation or social standing, as well as legislation concerning workers' rights, equality and so forth - had led to a kind of moral competition during which the US satrapies, to a greater or lesser extent, did the same. Now, since there is no more competition around, the world returned to the strict class system of the late 19th century.


This was the time for the Bush dynasty. George Bush the Elder (whose father Prescott Bush had established the family fortune from the spoils of the concentration camps by financing the Nazi government in Germany, defying the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1942) became President in 1989 and was faced with the biggest dilemma the US ever had to face: they’d run out of enemies and were in control of the world.
A world without conflict would prove disastrous, both for the United States whose economy is entirely dependent on the manufacturing of weapons, and for George Bush himself as a member of the board of directors of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest arms contractors.
Over the previous decades, the idealistic conflict with the USSR had provided the pretext to produce and hoard weapons like there was no tomorrow; now it wasn’t there any more. There was only one solution: a new archenemy!

To choose a single nation would have been silly, because after its defeat a new enemy would have to be found; this only left a race, an ideology or a religion to pick from.
As I mentioned earlier, the US support of the genocide in Palestine had always put a great strain on their relations with the Arab world, so Bush picked War on Islam.
The ideal point to start with was Iraq. Hussein (the Americans still call their old buddy by his first name) had fought the tiring war against Iran, he had used up the chemical and biological weapons the US had provided to get rid of the Kurds, and his country was worn out. He needed money - and his best bet was to get oil.
- Hussein wanted to expand Iraq, he needed money to pay off his debts from the war against Iran, and there had always been border disputes with Kuwait (which, as he argued, was historically a part of Iraq, anyway); what better way of starting the war than encouraging him to invade his neighbour?
In a meeting in 1990, US ambassador Glaspie assured Hussein, ‘We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary [of State] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instructions first given in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America!’
The Iraqi leader took the bait and invaded and annexed Kuwait in August 1990. Bush and the world were appalled, the UN condemned the invasion, and the US led a coalition to liberate Kuwait in the First Gulf War. (Hussein offered to withdraw from Kuwait in return for the cessation of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, but of course this wasn’t considered acceptable.) One month later Iraq was defeated, and the Carlyle Group was saved. Bush even pretended that the United States were suddenly concerned about the Kurds.
After the war Hussein remained in office, but he was not allowed to possess biological or chemical weapons any more.


For decades the government of South Africa had practiced apartheid, a system of racial segragation that ensured that the white minority remained in power while blacks and others were left with almost no rights. Any organisations promoting rights for blacks were banned, such as the African National Congress (ANC), and many of its members, such as Nelson Mandela who had sabotaged government property, imprisoned. Protests against these policies were brutally suppressed and demonstrators massacred on a regular basis.
South Africa was an important trading partner of the United States and many Western European countries, and therefore sanctions against them were not an option. In defending their economic relations with the apartheid state, it was regularly argued that it was necessary to have a strong anti-communist ally on the subcontinent, regardless - apparently - of their human rights violations.
But what the world’s governments refused to do was achieved by the people. Over the years, a growing number of individuals boycotted all products from South Africa and from companies who operated in South Africa, and numerous university campuses, states, cities and corporations joined the divestment campaign against South Africa and companies doing business with them. Conservative politicians in the States and Europe tried to stop the movement by claiming it would ‘hurt the ones you purport to help’, but to no avail.
Economically brought to its knees, South Africa had to give in. In 1990, President de Klerk removed the ban on organisations such as the ANC and freed Nelson Mandela (whom Western leaders still denounced as a communist terrorist). The process of ending apartheid culminated in the general election in 1994 in which Mandela was elected president.


Presidential elections in the US are indirect, and the weight of one's vote depends on location; voters in each state vote for a block of electors who make up the Electoral College and elect the president. While in most cases the majority of electors represents the majority of voters, this is not necessarily the case, and prior to 2000 there have been three presidential candidates who lost the elections despite a majority of voters (condescendingly called the popular vote), the last one in 1888.
The next one was Al Gore. In 2000, George Bush jr, despite losing the popular vote, won one of the closest presidential races ever (marred by countless electoral irregularities) by a majority of one single vote; that of a judge of the Supreme Court which put an end to the recount of votes in Florida.
(Bush supposedly won Florida by a majority of 537 votes, which is less than 1% of 1% of the just under 6 million votes. There are several claims that in areas with significant Afro-American populations voters were delayed by car searches, turned away for not having two forms of ID, told their name was not on the list, polling stations closed early, entire ballot boxes were misplaced and never counted, namesakes of convicted felons were taken off the electoral roll, and even that Afro-Americans were kept from the polls by means of dogs and hoses, just like in the old days.)

On September 11th, 2001, while the Carlyle Group were holding their annual conference at the Ritz (attended by its members George Bush sr and Shafiq Bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden), four passenger planes were hijacked and used as missiles against several targets in the United States; almost 3,000 died.
Initially Bush intended to pin the attacks on Saddam Hussein as a pretext for another war against Iraq, but his advisors convinced him that it would be impossible to create an even remotely credible link between Iraq and 9/11. So after Bush had organised the safe departure of the bin Laden family from the States (while all other aircraft were still grounded), he blamed Osama bin Laden, one of Daddy’s mates from the Carlyle Group and leader of Al-Qaeda, and accused Afghanistan of harbouring him. The Taliban agreed to hand him over, pending evidence of his guilt, to which Bush replied, ‘We know he’s guilty.’
(Speaking of the Carlyle Group: George Bush jr had been secured a position on the Board of Directors of its Caterair International, Inc. investment by his father in 1990, which subsequently was sold off for being unprofitable; obviously the running of a business, other than the running of the United States, requires organisational skills.)
There are three points that seem quite dodgy to me:
1. The first plane crashed into the Northern tower of the World Trade Center with such a precision that it hit the exact spot at which it would cause the entire tower to collapse. The second plane crashed into the Southern tower of the World Trade Center with such a precision that it hit the exact spot at which it would cause the entire tower to collapse. The third plane scratched the Pentagon, destroying some new offices that were not occupied and didn’t contain any equipment or information. (The forth plane, meant to hit the United States Capitol, didn’t reach its target; some heroic passengers and crew members who had heard of the other planes took control of it and crashed it in a field.)
2. Nobody claimed ‘responsibility’ (I never understood how anyone massacring civilians dare use this term) for the attacks.
3. At the time of the attacks, Bush was visiting a school. After having been informed of the second attack on the Twin Towers, he didn’t show any reaction at all and absent-mindedly kept listening to the kids reading The Pet Goat to him. He didn’t worry about his security; he obviously was aware that he himself was not in any danger. - On several occasions he claimed to have seen the first attack on TV while waiting outside the classroom, thinking, ‘There’s one terrible pilot’, despite the fact that footage of it hadn’t surfaced until the next day.
Now I would expect anyone who is able to plan attacks on civilian targets with such precision to plan his attacks on military targets with equal precision - unless he doesn’t intend to do any damage.
Terror is supposed to spread fear, and it is spread so the terrorists would be feared. (Apart from this, attacks are usually followed up with certain demands.) Terrorist attacks without anyone claiming what they call responsibility don’t make sense.
This led me to believe that the Bush administration was involved in the planning of 9/11 to be provided with a free pass for a never-ending ‘War on Terror’ and severe restrictions of civil liberties.
While the idea of US involvement in the attacks is generally ridiculed as a ‘conspiracy theory’, it has to be taken into account how much both the Bush and the bin Laden families were to gain from it. Apart from that, it wouldn't be the first far-fetched conspiracy theory in American history to turn out being correct. (For example, those who were laughed at for believing the Johnson administration had made up an alleged attack in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify the escalation of the Vietnam War were proven right 41 years later.)
Also, many experts claim that the airplanes crashing into the WTC did not explain the collapse of the buildings, and that the collapse must have been a result of controlled demolition by having the buildings wired with explosives. If this was the case, it certainly helped that George Bush’s brother Marvin Bush was on the board of directors of Securacom, the company in charge of the WTC’s security.
US and UK troops invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to ‘smoke them out of their holes’ and were soon joined by others for a war that lasted for thirteen years and cost the lives of more than 2,300 US troops, more than 20,000 Taliban and more than 26,000 civilians.
Despite all the efforts the US supposedly put into the manhunt, bin Laden was not captured during George Bush’s presidency. His killing by US Navy in Pakistan was reported in 2011, but the Obama administration refused any requests to release evidence to the public.

A delightful side effect of 9/11 was that Bush had no problem in eliminating civil rights by having the USA PATRIOT ACT (The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) passed just a month after the attacks.

In 2002, the Bush administration established the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on their naval base near Cuba. It serves as a military prison, mostly for those captured (or purchased from bounty hunters) during their invasions of Muslim countries. Inmates are detained indefinitely without trial and severely tortured.


Bush soon decided that Iraq would come next in his ‘War on Terror’ series and launched a massive propaganda campaign claiming that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction again, including biological, chemical and ‘nucilar’ weapons (if I couldn’t pronounce the word nuclear, I’d simply say atomic).
Here the United Nations butted in and got on Bush’s nerves. Created in order to prevent the emergence of other monster empires, the UN had become obsolete with the fall of the USSR, but unfortunately Bush couldn’t just dissolve them. So he offered them co-operation, provided they did as he told them.
Weapons inspectors were allowed back into Iraq and couldn’t find anything, but before they had finished their job, Bush and Tony Blair, his British Prime Minister, got impatient and decided to invade Iraq anyway. They gave Hussein and his sons a 48 hour ultimatum to leave Iraq.
In March 2003 they and others attacked Iraq without a war declaration.
The invasion was completed and war declared over by Bush on May 1st (‘Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,’ he stated in front of a Mission Accomplished banner), and Hussein was captured in December (and executed three years later), but fierce resistance against US and British occupation continued until their withdrawal in 2011 after more than 100,000 civilians had been killed. (In 2006, the Islamic State was founded on Iraqi territory but largely ignored by the international community.)
Rather than celebrating the US victory, a lot of critics kept asking about those weapons of mass destruction which were never found, though they had served as the pretext for this war. - Didn’t these people have a job to go to?
The arrogance of the United States and its satrapies went that far that even at this point they didn’t bother planting chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, something that would have been the first thing to do in the old days.
Yet those insiders who knew that no proof had ever existed and documents had been forged were libelled and, as in the case of the British weapons inspector David Kelly, conveniently ‘committed suicide’ before going into detail.

Only days before the next presidential elections in 2004, taking place under similarly dubious circumstances as the previous one, Bush’s campaign was given a final boost by 58,000 absentee ballots that were ‘lost’ on their way to the post, as well as by a guest appearance of bin Laden on American TV. He threatened the United States and thus supported Bush’s policy of fear – once again this proves to me that the Bush and the bin Laden families work together to promote their joint weapons business.
Bush won the election which cost the lives of thousands of Muslim families. He has always stuck to the motto of his administration which he outlined when he signed the Defense Bill in August 2004, ‘Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we!’


In 2006, the website WikiLeaks was founded by Julian Assange. Its purpose is to provide the public with information that is not generally available (i.e. classified) while protecting whistleblowers at the same time. Over the years WikiLeaks has exposed multiple cases of human rights violations, war crimes, conspiracies and corruption.
Assange is wanted by US authorities and was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012, since when he has lived in their London embassy.


For 220 years, the office of the President of the United States has been the monopoly of male Anglo-Americans, the most spectacular result having been the election of a Catholic. In 2008, the first candidate of Afro-American heritage was elected. Back then it wouldn’t have been possible to say, ‘I don’t want a nigger in the White House,’ so his opponents resorted to questioning his birthplace instead, claiming that he was born in Kenya and thus not qualifying for office (the US Constitution requires that the president has to be a natural born citizen of the US). And even after his birth certificate was released, proving that he was born in Hawaii after it became a state, some conspiracy theorists, such as Donald Trump, continued their campaign.

His greatest achievement was the introduction of a public healthcare system similar to the ones most European nations had implemented after WWII (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, generally knows as Obamacare).

In 2011, several Arab nations experienced increasing unrest in what was called the Arab Spring. Protests against their oppressive regimes, many of whom were close trading partners of the United States, swept through the Arab world and were often met with violent responses from authorities. Civil war broke out in some of these countries, and the Islamic State, denounced as a terror group by most Islamic nations, used the opportunity move into these countries, trying to absorb them into their caliphate.
In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi who – trying to avoid a fate similar to Hussein – had announced the destruction of his nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal in 2003 and invited weapons inspectors, was not able to save himself from the wrath of his people, and during the Lybian Civil War in 2011 he was killed by rebel forces, assisted by NATO forces (including the US).
The worst affected arena is Syria where a civil war is raging since 2011, with four different belligerents: the Syrian government and their allies (including Russia), the Free Syrian Army with their allies (including the United States), the Syrian Democratic Forces and their allies (including Russia and the United States) and the Islamic State. Estimates of civilian deaths in the conflict are close to half a million. 8 million have been displaced, which led to the worst refugee crisis in decades.


Drone strikes, which were already used in the Vietnam War, had been organised by the Bush administration in their ‘War on Terror’ to target Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, mainly in Pakistan. Obama increased these attacks substantially, even though only 13% of drones kill the intended targets while 87% kill someone else.


While the civilised countries have abolished capital punishment long ago, the US are still practicing it. The victims of the death penalty can usually be found amongst the lower classes who don't have sufficient funds for an attorney, and whose court-appointed attorneys often put very little effort into their clients' defence (if they put up a defence at all).
Apart from that, when prosecution has no evidence to present to the jury, they often offer the accused a 'plea bargain'; if they plead guilty, they'll be spared the lethal injection. Many have availed of that offer, partly because they preferred to stay alive, partly in the vain hope to get released once they could prove their innocence.
In 2012, William Heirens died after serving a record 65 years in prison. He was convicted of having been the Lipstick Killer who had killed three women in 1945 and 1946. He was 17 at the time, and his conviction was based on shaky evidence and, eventually, a confession which he later recanted.
Not only have many people like Heirens been executed whose guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but also those whose innocence has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt (such as Carlos De Luna and Johnny Garrett, a mentally handicapped minor whose conviction was based on the dream of a clairvoyant).


Global surveillance has always been ridiculed as a conspiracy theory of paranoid nutcases. In 2013, former CIA employee Edward Snowden disclosed material that not only proves the US’ global surveillance programme but also revealed that its extent exceeds the wildest imagination of the theorists. Snowden is currently thought to hide in Russia.


In 2014, Israel went on a bombing spree in Gaza, killing over 1,200 Palestinian civilians (including more than 250 children). The day after the United Nations’ Human Rights Council decided to establish an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws (the United States cast the only vote against it while most of their satrapies abstained), Israel retaliated by bombing a UN shelter that was located in a school building in Gaza, killing at least 16. (The UN had unwittingly given the Israeli militia the coordinates, assuming that UN targets would be spared, even though Israel regularly targets them.)
With 56 casualties (3 of them civilians) on the Israeli side, it was difficult for the Western media to provide footage inciting sympathy for Israel. Therefore images of distraught Palestinians in front of the rubble that was their home were used, and their viewers were told these were Israelis.
Another technique was the use of provocative translations; for example, when a crying Palestinian mother grieving for her children said, ‘Every day three or four children die,’ this was translated as, ‘I want to strap a bomb to myself and get them!’


Since the Civil Rights Movement, same-sex marriage gradually gained popular support and was legal in most states. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges in favour of marriage equality and held that the prohibition of same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.


In the spring of 2016, the US government once again violated the Treaty of Fort Laramie by allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline, an underground oil pipeline, to go through the Sioux’ sacred ground on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. A route around the reservation was rejected because of concerns for the water supply of non-natives in case of a spillage.
The Sioux were not only opposed because the project violated the treaty and their sacred ground, but also because any spillage would destroy the water supply of the tribe.
As a protest, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard set up Sacred Stone Camp which was soon joined by natives from tribes nationwide, making it the largest tribal gathering in more than a century, as well as non-native supporters of their cause.
Largely ignored by the media in the beginning, the protest gained support on social media, and when unarmed protesters attempted to stop bulldozers that dug through the ancestral burial ground in September, they were attacked by guards with pepper spray and dogs as police watched. In October, state troopers, the National Guard and police in riot gear moved in and frequently assaulted peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and water hoses in freezing temperatures, arresting and injuring hundreds of them.
On December 4th, the Army Corps of Engineers halted the project and announced the exploration of alternate routes. However, this decision was overturned by President Trump who is a stockholder of the construction company.


In the run-up to the Democratic primary for the next presidential election, the people’s candidate Bernie Sanders with his liberal agenda did surprisingly well against corporate candidate Hillary Clinton (wife of former President Bill Clinton). Even though mainstream media tended to ignore (and later smear) him, and though his campaign was not financed by any corporations, he found a massive platform on social media. However, the Democratic National Committee, supposed to be neutral, strongly campaigned for Clinton who eventually secured the nomination.
She was, however, not very popular with the electorate. WikiLeaks had just revealed that the former secretary of state had used her private email account for state business, as a Republican in 1964 she campaigned for Barry Goldwater (who had voted against the Civil Rights Act that July), a video clip surfaced in which she jokingly boasted about the time when she, as a lawyer, got a child rapist off the hook of whose guilt she was convinced, she stated that the US shouldn’t have allowed, or at least rigged, the 2006 election in Palestine, she kept changing her mind on several issues and was generally perceived as untrustworthy. The only aspect in her favour was that she faced an unelectable Republican candidate.
While for decades the US voters had been given the choice between a moderate corparate warmonger and an extreme corporate warmonger, the Republican party this time went a step further and presented a fascist megalomaniac psychopath. Donald Trump, a billionaire who went bankrupt six times and let the taxpayer foot the bill and who never paid a cent in taxes, ran on an openly racist platform. He was the first candidate endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan since Woodrow Wilson, as well as by the newly formed alt-right (‘Alternative Right’), a movement of fascist individuals and organisations. During his aggressive and largely incoherent campaign he degraded women, insulted black people, mocked the disabled, opposed LGBT rights and vowed to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, promised to end Obamacare, endorsed torture, referred to Paris as a German city and made suggestive remarks about his own daughter. He also promised to ban all Muslims from entering the country and to build a wall between the US and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants (on whose exploitation his empire was founded).
I have lived through the election campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George Bush jr, thinking, ‘Nobody in their right mind could possibly elect someone that ignorant’ and was proven wrong. But while neither of them was blessed with a three digit IQ, they look like Oxford professors compared to Trump.
In a clip from 1992, he is seen talking to a little girl, remarking, ‘I’m going to be dating her in ten years.’ He also faced a lawsuit in which he had been accused of violently raping a 13 year old girl in front of witnesses at one of his convicted paedophile friend’s parties and threatening to kill her if she told on him, insinuating that he had done this before. She dropped the charges in November, claiming that she had been threatened, but a federal judge ordered a status conference nonetheless.
In October, a month before the elections, it finally looked like curtains for Trump when another clip surfaced in which he gives Billy Bush advice on how to rape a friend’s wife: ‘Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. Whatever you want. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.’
But this endeared the twice-divorced draft-dodger, self-declared rapist and science denier even more to fundamental Christians. And while Hilary Clinton stood for the status quo, people were desperate for change, and Donald Trump stood for change; not for the better, but change nonetheless. While the popular vote went to Clinton, Trump won the presidential election, and unfortunately the Electoral College, who were the world's last chance to prevent a mentally unfit president from running the country, refused to do so.


Since the creation of Israel, the UN has been powerless regarding the country’s human rights violations because the United States used to veto every single resolution passed in this matter. After all, Israel is like a miniature United States, especially in view of their military obsession and the treatment of their natives.
One more of these resolutions, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to end its illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories, passed on Dec 23rd, 2016, with 14 votes against none, and one abstention (the US).
Here the outgoing Obama administration dropped a bombshell by discontinuing their support of the Palestinian genocide and refraining from exercising their veto. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu threw a tantrum, recalled ambassadors from involved countries and expressed optimism regarding Obama’s successor. (Even though Trump is a racist, he hates Arabs more than Jews and has repeatedly voiced his support for Israel’s human rights violations.)
Another surprise was President Obama‘s cummutation of the 35 year sentence of Chelsea Manning (born Robert Manning, having undergone a gender change in prison) to 7 years, a US soldier who had provided Wikileaks with evidence of war crimes committed by the US Army.


The naïve voices of those who claimed that Donald Trump’s turd wouldn’t be as bad as his bark soon fell silent. While being a pathologic liar regarding small (and obvious) matters, he stuck to his big election promises.
For his administration, he surrounded himself with a large number of equally incompetent fascist billionaires. The ruling class finally cut out the middle man and took over the government.
Critical media ('Lügenpresse') were excluded from briefings, and blatant lies are presented as what he calls 'alternative facts'.
In his first weeks in office he ruled by issuing a number of executive orders, putting severe restrictions on public health care, civil rights and environment protection, ordering the building of a wall at the Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants (it is most likely that the contract will be awarded to the Trump Organization whose subcontractors will employ illegal immigrants) and banning Muslims from seven nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, countries from which no citizen ever launched a terrorist attack on American soil) from entering the United States which affected not only refugees but also visa and green card holders, some of whom were denied re-entry after returning from abroad, and which met with widespread protests. Not included in the ban were Islamic-majority countries in which Trump is doing business, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt (the countries the 9/11 hijackers originated from) and Turkey. Families were torn apart, children handcuffed and mobile phones checked for people's attitude towards Trump. Of course the courts blocked large parts of the ban as unconstitutional, but the main exercise was to find out whether law enforcement agencies would defy the courts in carrying out Trump's orders. They did.
However, when the states of Washington and Minnesota filed legal challenges against the order and Judge Robart of the District Court blocked most parts of the ban, the DHS stated it would comply this time. Trump threw a tantrum, accused him of endangering the nation and called him a ‘so-called judge’ on Twitter whose ‘opinion [...] will be overturned.’ But when he tried to have the decision reversed, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld Robart’s ruling. Trump was furious. ‘See you in court,’ he tweeted at the judges.
A few days later, his senior advisor informed the press that the consitutionally mandated separation of powers will not be tolerated by the Trump administration.

Between 9/11 and Trump’s inauguration, 94 people had been killed in the United States by Islamic extremists, all of whom were legal residents of the country. He keeps insisting on an imminent threat of an attack from Muslim immigrants, and his administration - lacking real life events - keep making up terror attacks that never happened. His attempts at creating an anti-Muslim hysteria could indicate a plan for an event similar to 9/11 to consolidate his power, curtail the rule of the courts and govern by executive orders alone, effectively ending the separation of powers in the US.

Besides these orders, he also used his presidency to promote not only his own business but those of his daughter and current wife, authorised the Dakota Pipeline, discussed matters of national security in public restaurants, managed to become the first president to deliver a Holocaust Remembrance Day message without mentioning the Jews and repeated his intention to introduce a registry for all Muslims in the United States. (In comparison, Hitler didn’t require Jews to register until his 6th year in power.)


Today the United States spend more than half of their budget on bombing and invading other countries while 15% of their population live in poverty, many of them despite full-time employment.


Every religion promises a paradise and peace on earth in the (until the 1990s hypothetical) case of all people and nations submitting to it; Americanism did the same, but even though almost all countries of the world, with few exceptions such as China, Russia, Cuba and Vietnam, have been Americanized by now, peace and paradise couldn’t be any further from us. This proves that no religion launched with a cannon glides softly when coming down to earth.

Life, as Darwin and Hitler said, is survival of the fittest, and we have to deal with the fact that the United States have eliminated all competitors for world rule. But the civilised countries should not allow them to lecture us about freedom, morals or human rights; we should measure our cultural standards against a more challenging benchmark.

© 6245-6258 RT (2004-2017 CE) by Frank L. Ludwig