Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10 lessons we can learn from the rise of The Nasis

We have to learn from history........ always.
vdebate reporter

10 Lessons We Can Learn From The Rise Of The Nazis
by John Hawkins

Hitler did not rise out of a vacuum: Many people assume that another Hitler can rise up in any nation, but that's not necessarily so. Hitler's rise in Germany was not a forgone conclusion in Germany, but there were a number of conditions that made that country especially susceptible to it.
The Germans were a warlike people who were used to capitulating to authority and they had a long, rich philosophical bent towards hatred of the Jews and racial superiority. They also had minimal experience with democracy, a terrible economic crisis, the Versailles Treaty, which was an almost universally despised boot placed upon the nation's neck, and an independent military that played a powerful role in political affairs. Some nations, the United States included, have a character that simply precludes their being run by a "Hitler," no matter what the intentions of a leader may be.

All it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing: Many people are aware that Britain, France, Russia, and the other powers of Europe had the opportunity to stop Hitler, but the truth is that the German people had countless chances to do so as well.
When Hitler became Chancellor, the Nazi Party had never captured more than 37% of the vote and much of the rest of Germany considered them to be frightening gutter trash. In other words, 63% of the country didn't support Hitler and strongly suspected he was a dangerous man; yet they made no serious effort to stop him. On numerous occasions, Germany's political and military establishment were given excuses and openings that could have been used to bring Hitler down before he came to power and brought the nation fully under his control. Time and time again, people who knew better simply stayed quiet or decided to step aside rather than take a stand. The price Germany and the rest of the world paid for their failure to act is incalculable.
Take even non-reasonable claims seriously: Margaret Thatcher once said,
"It is one of the great weaknesses of reasonable men and women that they imagine that projects which fly in the face of commonsense are not serious or being seriously undertaken."
Hitler was not shy about telling people what he intended to do when he reached power. The first volume of Hitler's book Mein Kampf, which included a very rough blueprint of his plans, came out in 1925. Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and he swallowed Austria in 1938. Had Europe's leaders simply taken Hitler at his word about what he wanted to do and acted appropriately, he would have been squashed like a bug and humankind would have been spared another world war.
Watch what people do more than what they say: This one may seem to be a bit of a contradiction with the last one, so let me explain.
Surprisingly often, people with bad intentions will tell their followers exactly what they intend to do and then, when confronted by a power that could potentially stop them, whether it be another nation or just the voters who can put them out of office, they will simply lie.
So, if you're not sure what a nation or a leader truly intends, pay more intention to what they do than what they say. It takes a true fool to believe words over actions, but such fools were not in short supply during Hitler's day, nor are they uncommon today.
Diplomacy for its own sake is useless: There was no shortage of diplomacy between Hitler, his victims, and the great powers of the day. The problem was then, as it often is now, that so many people seemed to believe that diplomacy was an end unto itself. Hitler happily met with the representatives from other nations and either bullied them or told them what they wanted to hear. Then, he promptly did whatever he intended to do in the first place. That's why talk alone is meaningless and can even be detrimental if people mistake merely conversing for progress. If you have no carrots and sticks to bring to the table in order to produce the outcome you want, you are wasting your time.
Appeasement is a mistake: When you reward a behavior, it usually occurs more often. So, when a belligerent nation or group benefits from its belligerence, it should surprise no one when it continues to be belligerent. That principle applied to Hitler and it most certainly still applies today.
The mediocrity of political "leaders:" We have a tendency to believe that our political leaders are much better, smarter, and more capable than the average person. In some cases, that's true -- but today, as in Hitler's day, men like Churchill were rare as hens’ teeth while shortsighted, gullible, and foolish "leaders" were the rule. Those who are deeply skeptical of the competence and claims of their political leaders will find that history is almost always on their side.
Be very wary of people building power outside the rule of law: In 1923, Hitler tried to take over Germany with the poorly executed Beer Hall Putsch. Despite the fact that Hitler was convicted of High Treason, a sympathetic judge sentenced him to a mere five years, of which he only served nine months. Additionally, Hitler's own private army, the Brownshirts & the SS, assaulted his enemies, disrupted their political gatherings, and generally paved the way for his rise to power. This is an example of why allowing certain political groups and parties to be "above the law" can be a great threat to democracy.
There are things worse than war: More than 400 years before the rise of Hitler, Machiavelli wrote:
"One should never allow chaos to develop in order to avoid going to war, because one does not avoid a war but instead puts it off to his disadvantage."Had Britain and France acted when Hitler sent his troops into the Rhineland, threatened Austria, or even Czechoslovakia -- they could have stopped Hitler at little cost. While it's wise to fear war, it's better to go to war to eliminate a small danger than to allow it to metastasize into a dire threat to your way of life and simply hope against hope that you won't have to deal with it one day.
Everybody's not "another Hitler:" Know who's not another Hitler? Pretty much everybody who ever lived except for Adolph Hitler. Maybe you could get away with referring to Stalin or even Pol Pot as "another Hitler," but some off-hand comment in a speech or a policy people disagree with doesn't make a politician "another Hitler." Likewise, a 70 year old guy who gets testy with his congressman at a town hall meeting isn't a "Brownshirt" either. American politics could do with quite a bit less "You're a Nazi" rhetoric being tossed around by both sides.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

US to go after billions in laundered Venezuelan money

Financial Crime Consultant, for World-Check
US to go after billions in laundered Venezuelan money
Kenneth Rijock‏
February 26, 2008

Reliable Washington sources report that the Treasury Department of the United States, and other government agencies, whilst searching for assets held in financial institutions in connection with the ongoing Global War on Terrorism, have identified billions of dollars of laundered funds worldwide, all secreted by key senior Venezuelan government officials, a few military officers, and a large number of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), for their own corrupt use and benefit, and for that of designated global terrorist organisations, on the express orders of President Hugo Chavez.

The US now reportedly intends to officially name Venezuela as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and seize all the hidden overseas accounts it has located. Miami banks alone hold several billion dollars of illicit money, and accounts have also been identified in places like China, Andorra, and Panama, and most of the major offshore financial centres. The funds rightfully belong to the people of Venezuela, as they were looted from government accounts, taken as bribes and kickbacks, and earned from narcotics trafficking activities aided and abetted through illegal governmental involvement. The other individuals targeted in this investigation are members of the Bolivarian Elite, a group of businessmen close to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias, and his family, and whose aim is to keep his corrupt regime in power.

These Bolivarians have earned obscene amounts of money through corrupt government contracts, outright theft of government assets, and favoured transactions that have resulted in their acquisition of major assets that rightfully belonged to the Republic of Venezuela. The individuals involved will most likely face money laundering charges in the United States , which carry a 20-year sentence of imprisonment, terrorist financing charges,even potential Racketeering (RICO) counts, though this entire scenario, which has effectively destroyed the Venezuelan economy, was ordered, planned and engineered by President Chavez, as a part of his misguided Socialist economic agenda. Will he be indicted, as other heads of state of countries that border the Caribbean have. Only time will tell.

The United States has found active financial and political links between the Venezuelan government and the following designated global terrorist organisations, all of which operate within Venezuelan territory, with the explicit permission and support of the Chavez government:

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps

Moreover, the illegal fund-raising activities these groups engage in, whether they be narcotics trafficking, arms smuggling, extortion, human smuggling, or other types of crime, are allowed to flourish, even though some of the acts take place in, or through, Venezuelan territory. Frankly, we welcome any action by the United States against these terrorist groups, which have been operating freely in Venezuela for years. the FARC, for example, has well-established base-camps on the Colombian border, so that its leadership can evade the Colombian Ejercito, that country's powerful army. Do you not remember this writer's recent piece on the placement, by Venezuela, of missiles on the Colombian border? Those weapons are in direct support of the FARC.

Several of the senior Venezuelan money launderers must have been made aware recently that there is a major pending investigation, because they are rapidly retaining senior criminal defence attorneys for all criminal prosecutions and civil proceedings which are soon to come. May we tactfully suggest that they refrain from wasting their money in this way, because:

These experienced attorneys are well known for defending drug defendants, a fact that will not escape a prosecutor, judge or jury. It does not help their case one bit to be associated with known drug lawyers, and it could hurt you in a variety of ways.

They may get better deals by negotiating directly, early on, and not making an adversarial matter out of it, which causes the parties to become polarised, and may preclude any subsequent settlement. Remember that many great lawyers who have strict rules against clients cooperating with the US Attorney's office. Those lawyers do not have to do your time when a sentence of incarceration is handed down.

International bankers would do well to upgrade country risk for Venezuela to high-risk, to review all high net-worth Venezuelan accounts to rule out PEP status, and to close those that are identified as PEPs forthwith. All identification documents should be reviewed, to ensure that compliance policy has been scrupulously observed, for you will be getting a visit from law enforcement and/or regulators, or be served with a subpoena if you have a Venezuelan client base. We have been advised that many high volume Venezuelan accounts have been closed within the last 15 days. Latest accounts from inside Venezuela indicate that the country's gold reserves have disappeared. Do you need any additional red flags to raise the risk level to maximum?

We congratulate President Chavez, for destroying the economy of his once-flourishing country. Only Fidel Castro has done a better job of national ruination. Perhaps when Venezuela implodes from the shock of being placed in the same terrorist category as Iran and North Korea, its citizens blocked from visiting or trading with the US, and all Venezuelans globally stigmatized on account of one man, their elected president-for-life.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Venezuelan Money Launderer slated to plead guilty in Argentina

Venezuelan Money Launderer slated to plead guilty in Argentina
9 September 2007

Fugitive Venezuelan-American "bagman" Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, wanted by Argentina in connection with the US$800,000 he attempted to smuggle into Buenos Aires, will reportedly plead guilty, and serve a six-month jail sentence in Argentina for his crime. If you are looking for a reason why he would leave his comfortable Key Biscayne, Florida residence, to serve time, sources inside Venezuela advise that he will reportedly receive a large sum from the Chavez government in exchange for falling upon his sword, and refraining from disclosing any information to Argentinean and Venezuelan authorities. If this happens, will the truth never be known?

Impeccable sources from Venezuela have now supplied heretofore unknown details about the bulk-cash smuggling operation which has created a major scandal in both Argentina and Venezuelan politics:

Although US$800,000 was indeed seized from Antononi's suitcase, $2m was previously brought into Argentina by the President of PdVSA. A figure of $3m was stated to be the total amount of illegal campaign funds, meaning that there is a discrepancy. Did Antonini divert for his own purposes the missing $200,000? He only had $800,000 in his suitcase. Where exactly is that cash?

The Venezuelan and Argentinean passengers reportedly consumed five expensive bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label (for a total cost of US$500-750) on the flight. Eyewitnesses report they were obviously under the influence of strong drink upon arrival at Buenos Aires' Jorge Newberry Airport.

Antonini was reportedly quite rude to the customs staff, and is said to have told the inspector that just one of the "books" he was carrying was worth more than the official's annual salary. Remember, when asked what he was carrying, he replied libros, meaning books. Did the alcohol cause him to become careless?

Confirmation has been received from several sources that all the $3m being bulk-cash smuggled into Argentina were destined for the presidential campaign of Sra. Kirschner.

Antonini was regularly moving illicit cash into Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia, and took a total of 15 trips, all for the alleged purpose of paying off and corruptly influencing government officials in those countries.

Antononi is reported to have placed an urgent telephone call, whilst at Argentinean customs, to the President of PDVSA, precisely when the $800,000 was found and seized. He was allegedly told to solve the problem at all costs.

The source of these illicit funds is rumoured to be a combination of narcotics profits and money illegally diverted from PdVSA.

Antonini has been reportedly debriefed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Has he been offered immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in the US, and what were they?

In an obvious attempt by Antonini's business partners, Franklin Duran and Carlos Kaufmann to disassociate themselves from him, he has been recently removed as an officer from Foxdelta Investments Inc., a Florida corporation. The entity had already filed its Annual Report in June, naming Antonini, but in an unusual step, the company filed another Report in August, removing him from office.

Another Florida company Antonini was associated with, Venuz Supplies Inc., an active entity that is engaged in business with the Venezuelan petroleum industry, has been mysteriously dissolved. We do not know whether his title of Vice President at the Venezuelan petrochemical company, Venoco, has been terminated.

There are is more incriminating information surfacing in this case, and in our next article, we expose additional links and relationships which may put the matter into a proper global perspective.

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