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Nederlog


  September
4, 2013
Crisis: War Drums, Chomsky, Slippery Slope, Kerry, allegory
  "Those who sacrifice liberty for
   security deserve neither."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
    "All governments lie and nothing
    they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.








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Sections
Introduction
1. War Drums: Obama Hints at a Much Larger Attack in Syria to Order to Win Over Republicans
2.
Noam Chomsky: Bombing Syria Would Be a 'War Crime'
3.
Obama’s Political Capital and the Slippery Slope of Syria
4. Kerry: We Have to Send Terrorists Into Syria ...
5. an allegory...

About ME/CFS

Introduction

This is mostly on the war against Syria (?), with an addition on the status of medicine.

1. War Drums: Obama Hints at a Much Larger Attack in Syria to Order to Win Over Republicans

The first item today is a paper by Dan Roberts and Spencer Ackerman that originally appeared in the Guardian but that I found on Alternet:
It starts thus: 

Barack Obama portrayed his plans for US military action in Syria as part of a broader strategy to topple Bashar al-Assad, as tougher White House rhetoric began to win over sceptical Republicans in Congress on Tuesday.

While stressing that Washington's primary goal remained "limited and proportional" attacks, to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and deter their future use, the president hinted at a broader long-term mission that may ultimately bring about a change of regime.

There is considerably more, including quotations of president Obama, but it is mostly speculative.

2. Noam Chomsky: Bombing Syria Would Be a 'War Crime'

Next, there is Noam Chomsky, also on Alternet:

This starts as follows:

A U.S. strike on Syria without a United Nations mandate would be a war crime, Noam Chomsky told the Huffington Post. The nation’s leading left-wing thinker made the comments after President Barack Obama announced that he would go to Congress to ask for authorization for an attack on Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack.

As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world,” said Chomsky. “[T]hat aggression without UN authorization would be a war crime, a very serious one, is quite clear, despite tortured efforts to invoke other crimes as precedents.”

I think he is right that it would be a war crime, but I do not think this will deter Obama and Kerry. Then again, probably neither does Chomsky.

3. Obama’s Political Capital and the Slippery Slope of Syria

Next, an article by Robert Reich, on his site: 

This starts as follows:

Even if the President musters enough votes to strike Syria, at what political cost? Any president has a limited amount of political capital to mobilize support for his agenda, in Congress and, more fundamentally, with the American people. This is especially true of a president in his second term of office. Which makes President Obama’s campaign to strike Syria all the more mystifying.
It's at least a bit less mystifying if you consider it as a plan that makes him stronger, simply because war does that. There is more that also includes the following general consideration:

Dictatorial regimes are doing horrendous things to their people in many places around the world. It would be folly for us to believe we could stop it all.

Indeed, but not if you believe Kerry:

4. Kerry: We Have to Send Terrorists Into Syria to Make Sure that Chemical Weapons Don’t Fall Into the Hands of Terrorists

This is from Washington's Blog: 

It does have the merit of pointing out that there is very little the Americans can rationally hope to achieve: Either they help Assad or they help "Al Qaeda".

5. an allegory...

Finally, after all this war (?) talk, a bit on the many corruptions of modern medicine, by a - mostly pensioned - psychiatrist:
Actually, the allegory is Ingmar Bergman's classic film The Seventh Seal, and it is applied to
"the current chess game between the pharmaceutical industry and those clamoring for data transparency"
And the problem is this, where I added the bolding, but the underlining is there already:
But unless I’m completely missing something, the only reason to keep clinical trial data private is so it can be misrepresented. And the only reason to continue to keep older clinical trials private is to hide the fact that they have already been misrepresented or unpublished. For that matter, the only reason to publish a study in an academic journal is to accurately represent the results to practicing physicians. And the only reason to continue to keep older clinical trials private is to hide the fact that they have already been misrepresented or unpublished. For that matter, the justification for using the tools of data analysis is to extract the meaningful parameters that allow clinicians to evaluate and compare alternatives. And yet, at every level of the clinical trial process, the pharmaceutical industry has found a way to manipulate the conduct of these trials in their favor without committing outright fraud – from authorship, to design, to analysis, to presentation, abetted by physicians and scientists at the highest levels. The academy has been breached.
That is, medicine is no longer truly scientific  - and  "without committing outright fraud" is debatable and/or cautious.
---------------------------------
Note
[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)



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