Stuff I Wish I Learned in School: The English Civil Wars

The English Civil Wars

Directed by Graham Holloway (1992)

Film Review

This documentary describes the three English civil wars that occurred during the 17th century. The first, between 1639-40, was the Bishops’ Wars; the second, between 1642-45, when Parliament’s forces seized London and King Charles I ruled from Oxford; and the third, between 1645-46, when Parliament held the King prisoner in London.

The film is very sketchy on the background of the Civil Wars, which Holloway blames on religious differences and the refusal of Charles I to recognize the power of Parliament. Under Charles I, the Church of England resumed many features of Catholic ritual that they had abandoned when Henry VIII split from Rome. This was especially unpopular in London where 50% of the population were Puritans.

When the King attempt to impose a new book of common prayer on Scotland, the Scottish army drove all the Church of England bishops out of Scotland, chasing the English army all the way to Newcastle.

Charles I was forced to recall Parliament (which he dissolved in 1628) to raise taxes to pay the debt he incurred for the Bishops’ Wars. Angered by his refusal to honor their sovereignty, Parliament refused. When the people of London rioted in support of Parliament, the King fled north to Hull to raise an army.

Most of the film focuses on the primitive weapons technology used in 17th century wars and the battlefield tactics employed as the King tried to recapture the south of England and Parliament’s army tried to wall the King’s troops up in the north. The musket, which was only recently introduced, took a minimum of 30 seconds to reload, with gunpowder and a musket ball, before being lighted with a match.

Oliver Cromwell, who would become Britain’s Lord Protector after the King was executed, first came to prominence in 1645 at the Battle of Glaston Moor. It was here his skilled leadership of Parliament’s cavalry won them their first decisive victories.

In the 1645-46 Civil Wars, Welsh and Irish troops supported the King and the Scottish military supported Parliament. During the two years he was a prisoner, Charles I secretly schemed with Scottish forces to invade England on his behalf. Following their defeat by Cromwell, this would lead to the King’s trial and execution for treason.

Although the film can’t be embedded for copyright reasons, it can be viewed free at the Christie Books site:

The English Civil Wars

*The Puritans were English Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to “purify” the Church of England from its “Catholic” practices, maintaining that the Church of England was only partially reformed.

How the Protestant Reformation Laid the Groundwork for the UK Socialist Labour Party

The Protestant Revolution – Part 1 The Politics of Belief

BBC (2007)

Film Review

More stuff I should have learned in school. Either I was absent that day or I wasn’t paying attention. .

In this documentary historian Richard Jones-Nerzic explores the major political upheaval brought about by the 1517 Protestant Reformation, led by German monk Martin Luther. The film asserts Luther’s willingness to challenge the authority and corruption of the Catholic church unleashed a flood of revolutionary ideas, as well as political upheaval that lasted centuries.

At the time of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church had immense political power, with authority to levy taxes, raise armies and wage war. Moreover there was already growing dissent in the Church about the sale of indulgences. For a price, anyone could purchase a guarantee of salvation for themselves, family members and even dead people.

In 1521, Luther was hauled before Holy Roman Emperor Charles, V, declared a heretic and banned from the Holy Roman Empire. Sheltered by a sympathetic prince, he grew a beard, Luther disguised himself as Squire George and spent his time translating the New Testament into German. At the time, the Church only allowed the Bible to be printed in Latin, Green or Hebrew. They maintained ordinary parishioners could only understand scripture if a priest interpreted it for them. Luther also made use of the newly invented printing press to churn out pamphlets promulgating his views.

Buoyed by these ideas, as well as heavy taxes and bad harvests, in 1524 German peasants staged a revolt, the largest in Europe prior to the French Revolution.

Jones-Nerzic goes on to trace Henry VIII’s split from Rome in 1538, followed by the Scottish Puritans, under John Knox, breaking  from the Church of England in 1630. In 1642, the split would culminate in the English civil war led by Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell.

The film then explores the close links between the radical idealism (emphasizing equality and justice) of the nonconformist Protestant movement and Britain’s Socialist Labour Party, formed in 1900. It makes the point that the founders of Britain’s Labour Party came to socialism via “the Methodist chapels of Yorkshire and Wales,” rather than Marxism.

 

The Intelligence Career of Lee Harvey Oswald

Agent Oswald

Dark Journalist (2013)

Film Review

This documentary, filmed for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, starts with a brief summary of the physical evidence indicating that Lee Harvey Oswald played no role whatsoever in Kennedy’s murder.

It then reviews the major evidence that Oswald was a long time CIA operative at the time of his arrest. This includes archival interviews of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (who investigated and prosecuted one of the actual co-conspirators), Oswald’s New Orleans paramour Judyth Vary Baker, the late L. Fletcher Prouty (who served with Oswald in Japan at a top secret U2 spy base), late CIA asset George DeMohrenschildt (Oswald’s CIA babysitter in Dallas), and Cuban exile Antonio Veciano (a CIA operative in the Alpha 66 paramilitary group) and the recorded deathbed confessions of David Atlee Phillips (who ran all CIA western hemisphere operations in 1963) and E Howard Hunt (who was chief of CIA covert operations in 1963).

The US Government Assault on World War I Veterans and Their Families

The March of the Bonus Army

PBS (2013)

Film Review

This documentary concerns the brutal 1932 massacre of World War I veterans and their families by Generals MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton.

Owing to insufficient volunteers (the army paid $1.25 a day), the US government was forced to initiate a draft when they first entered World War I in April 1917. When the war ended, veterans agitated for lost wages, leading Congress to authorize payment of a $1.25 bonus, to be paid in 1938.

With the 1929 Depression, unemployment rates for veterans were especially high, and an ex-GI from Portland organized a veterans march on Washington to demand immediate payment of their bonus.

After dozens of veterans occupied every Congressman’s office, the House passed the Bonus Bill.

As the Senate took up the bill, the veterans and their families set up an enormous tent and shack city in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington DC. They passed the time preparing communal meals, boxing, making music, preparing and visiting a library set up by the Salvation Army. One of the most remarkable features of the Anacostia tent city was the natural integration of black and white veterans in all aspects of daily life. During the war, black troops weren’t allowed to fight alongside white Americans, leading 100,000 African Americans to fight under the French flag.

The the Senate overwhelming defeated the Bonus Bill, Congress adjourned and Hoover ordered the evacuation of the 45,000 Bonus Army veterans from downtown Washington DC. After a battle broke out between city police and veterans, Hoover ordered and attack by 400 infantry, accompanied by tanks and armored vehicles to attack. General MacArthur ignored his order not to cross the Anacostia River, and he and his men burned the shacks and tents filled with the wives and children of Bonus Army members.

Congress ultimately passed the Bonus Bill in 1933. I was very surprised to learn that Roosevelt vetoed it and that the House and Senate overrode his veto.

 

The World War I Conspiracy

The World War I Conspiracy

James Corbett (2018)

Film Review

This remarkable documentary tells hidden history of a secret British round table started in 1891 by diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes that instigated both the 1898-1902 Boer War (instigated to safeguard the Rhodes-Rothschild conglomerates monopoly over South African gold and diamonds) and World War I. The Society of the Elect, as it was called, had the stated goals of imposing the Anglo-Saxon agenda on the entire world and restoring the US colonies to British control.

The main focus of this three-part documentary is an exploration of how this secret society deliberately instigated war with Germany in 1914, with the specific goal of crushing the Germans politically, militarily and economically.

Part 1 explores Germany’s rapid economic and military expansion rise after the 1871 unification of its member under Kaiser Wilhelm I. Fearful that this expansion would threaten Britain’s colonial ambitions (and their personal fortunes), the Society of the Elect quietly plotted a war against Germany from the time of Rhodes’s death in 1902.

Lord Alfred Milner, who replaced Rhodes as leader of the secret group, established control of the British press, military, foreign office and diplomatic corps by placing cronies in key positions of power.

Whereas Germany was a long time ally of the British Crown (Kaiser Wilhelm II and King George V were first cousins), Milner and his cronies maneuvered his cronies in the Foreign Office into a secret alliance with France and Russia – without knowledge of either Parliament or Cabinet.


Part 2 concerns the secret plot to embroil the US in World War I (in 1917) by engineering a German submarine attack (in 1915) on an auxiliary warship disguised as an ocean liner known as the Lusitania; * by engaging in a conspiracy with US banker JP Morgan to deny anti-war President William Howard Taft a second term in 1912; ** and by instigating a massive propaganda campaign in the US press portraying the Kaiser and the German army as inhuman monsters.


Part 3 discusses the fabulous wealth JP Morgan, the Society of the Elect and their cronies acquired as a direct result of World War I. Between them, the US and Britain created 21,000 millionaires and billionaires out of war profitsI. Retired general Smedley Butler was the first to expose the unprecedented war profiteering that occurred between 1914-1918 in in famous pamphlet War is a Racket.

 


*The Lusitania, officially classified as an auxiliary warship, had twelve 6-inch guns and was heavily loaded with ammunition and gunpowder (information that only became available when the records were unsealed in 2014). In view of the aggressive German U-boat campaign, Britain clearly had no business using a British warship to transport 1,128 passengers. The German submarine campaign was largely directed against the illegal British naval blockade blocking all food shipments to Germany – a violation of the 1909 Declaration of London and a crime against humanity. As a result of the blockade, which continued into 1919, German civilians were restricted to 1,000 calories a day and more than 753,000 died of starvation.The death of 128 US passengers on the Lusitania was ultimately used to justify the US entry into the war in 2017.

**Taft was far more popular (and politically savvy) than Woodrow Wilson, an obscure professor with limited political experience. JP Morgan and his fellow bankers propelled Wilson (a Democrat) into the presidency by backing third party candidate (and former president) Teddy Roosevelt and splitting the Republican vote. Owing, in large part to Wilson’s political inexperience, he was under the direct control of Texas politician Colonel Edward M House, who was conspiring with Milner and his colleagues in the British foreign office.

Hidden History: The Interlocking Relationships Between Wall Street, the CIA and the So-Called Free Press

Mosaic of Facts: Inside the Information Web

RT (2014)

Film Review

In this 2014 documentary, free lance journalist Miguel Francis Santiago examines what he refers to as the “information war” between the US and Russia over recent events in Ukraine.

He begins by looking at evidence uncovered by late investigative journalist Robert Parry that the 2014 coup in western Ukraine was actually a US-sponsored “color revolution” to remove a democratically elected president (Viktor Yanukovych) and replace him with pro-EU/pro-NATO Petro Poroshenko.

Parry’s evidence pointed to open collaboration between former Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the fascist and neo-Nazi Svoboda Party that (based on a 2012 BBC investigation) has a history of violently targeting Jews and ethnic Russians.

Santiago goes on to review a slew of widely promoted YouTube videos of both the Maidan uprising and the subsequent referendum in which 93% of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and request membership in the Russian Federation. In examining the origin of various pro-Kiev/anti-Russian videos, he discovers all were produced by people with links to the NED, USAID and/or the US State Department.

The film also includes interviews with retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, aid to former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Naomi Wolfe, former political advisor to Bill Clinton and Al Gore; geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser; and Peter Joseph, producer of the radical Zeitgeist film series.

Santiago uses these various sources to paint an extremely sophisticated picture of closely interlocking relationships between the US corporate plutocracy, US intelligence agencies and America’s so-called free press.


*”Color revolutions” is the term used  to describe a series of failed “revolutions” in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa funded by the CIA, State Department and George Soros. The intent was to use popular uprisings to install more US-friendly regimes.

**National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a so-called non-governmental organization funded mainly by the CIA and State Department, used extensively to promote regime change via popular unrest.

***USAID is an agency of the State Department used extensively to promote regime change via popular unrest.

Who Murdered Jamal Khashoggi: the Findings of Turkish Intelligence

Jamal Khashoggi: The Silencing of a Jounalist

Al Jazeera (2019)

Film Review

This documentary is a collation of Turkish intelligence findings in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Istanbul’s Saudi Consulate in October 2018. The evidence consists mainly of an audio recording of the murder (presumably Turkish intelligence had the Saudi Consulate bugged), forensic analysis of the Consulate interior, CCTV footage and interviews with a cab driver and a builder who constructed a massive incinerator outside the Saudi Consul’s home in April 2018. The documentary also features an exclusive interview with Hatice Congiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, who was waiting for him outside the Consulate.

Based on the audio recording, where Khashoggi is heard to say, “Don’t cover my mouth – I have asthma and I can’t breathe,” Turkish Intelligence concludes the Saudi hit team put a plastic bag over his head and choked him. He is heard to struggle for seven minutes before he succumbs.

It would take fifteen days and massive international pressure before Saudi intelligence allowed Turkish police inside the Consulate to conduct a forensic analysis. They discovered the walls had been recently repainted. After removing the new paint, they discovered traces of Khashoggi’s blood and fingerprints belonging to the hit team.

At present, Turkish intelligence believes his body was dismembered inside the Consulate and packed into suitcases. Within hours of the murder, there is CCTV footage of hit team members arriving at the Saudi Consul’s home with the suitcases.

The most gruesome evidence comes from a builder commissioned to build an enormous incinerator in the Saudi Consul’s back garden in April 2018. This coincides with the date Khashoggi began visiting Istanbul to court Hatice Congiz, leading eventually to their engagement.

Khashoggi was visiting the Saudi Consul to obtain copies of his divorce decree. Under Turkish law, all foreigners must provide proof they are single to marry Turkish nationals.