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Nederlog


  June
23, 2014
Crisis: Scaremongers, Ghouls, Empire, Iraqis, "Terror Studies"
   "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
"
   -- I.F. Stone.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton
















Prev- crisis -Next
Sections
Introduction

1. The scaremongering has begun. Isis is no threat to
     Britain

2. The Ghoulish Face of Empire
3. Ending Empire Is as Crucial as Confronting Wall Street
4. Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’
5. U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize
     Social Movements


About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is the Nederlog of June 23. It is an ordinary crisis log.

I do not think this is very interesting, but it is all I could find, and I did comment, even - perhaps - a little satirically.


1.  The scaremongering has begun. Isis is no threat to Britain

The first item is an article by Simon Jenkins on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:

The security service trade union is now in full cry. It wants more money, more power, less oversight and will go to any lengths of scaremongering to get it.

Yesterday its cheerleader, the former defence secretary Liam Fox, was unequivocal. There were people going about saying the state had too much power in Britain, he said, while "pretty much the rest of us say the state must protect itself". We had "better start to reconsider" whether liberty was more important than security. This is dangerous talk.

In the past week David Cameron, MI6 and the London police have all issued warnings of the "danger to Britain" from this month's Isis invasion of northern Iraq, and from a possible 400-500 "returning jihadists". This is the backdrop to a campaign for renewed military intervention in Iraq and, at home, for extending GCHQ's freedom to conduct what it now admits is the warrant-less surveillance of all electronic communications by British citizens.

The idea that the Isis action in Iraq poses a threat to the British state is ludicrous.
Yes, indeed: Of course it is total bullshit. Then again "the former defence secretary Liam Fox" says it.

So I decided to look into Mr Liam Fox (<- Wikipedia) about whom I did not know anything.

According to Wikipedia he made a million pounds, it seems essentially by speaking for the military and serving the British Conservatives. And clearly, Mr Fox is very much to be trusted, even though he made a very brief career, for he had to resign within 1 1/2 years as defense secretary, because of his "close friend", a seventeen year younger "lobbyist" (also present at his marriage, and at most of his meetings, and living rent free in one of his expensive houses for years, it seems), all according to Wikipedia:
In 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Defence, a position from which he resigned on 14 October 2011 over allegations that he had given a close friend, lobbyist Adam Werritty, access to the Ministry of Defence
and allowed him to join official trips overseas.
He also is very honest financially, according to Wikipedia:
In March 2010, Fox admitted breaking parliamentary rules on two occasions by visiting Sri Lanka on a trip paid for by the Sri Lankan government without declaring the trip in the Register of Members' Financial Interests in the required time of 30 days and failing to declare an interest in Sri Lanka when asking ministers how much UK aid had been given to Sri Lanka.
And he has the best of - male, 17 years younger, unmarried - friends:
During October 2011 Fox's relationship with a close friend Adam Werritty attracted extensive media attention and eventually led to Fox's resignation. Werrity, some 17 years younger than Fox, had been best man at his wedding, had lived rent-free in Fox's flat, and been involved with him in business and in the conservative Atlanticist think-tank The Atlantic Bridge. While Fox was Defence Minister, Werrity had visited Fox at the Ministry of Defence on many occasions, had accompanied Fox on numerous official trips, attended some of his meetings with foreign dignitaries, and had used official-looking business cards which said he was an "advisor" [sic] to Fox, all despite having no government post. The media raised questions about Fox's judgment in allowing this to happen, the nature of the men's relationship, and the source of Werrity's income.
Mr Fox also is very loyal to his "lobbying" friend(s):

The full list of Fox's meetings for his time in office to date, 20 May 2010 to 8 October 2011, was published by the MoD after 7 pm on 10 October 2011 and revealed that Werrity was present at 40 of Fox's 70 engagements in that period (57%).

In 2005–6, Fox used public money, from his expense claims as an MP, to pay Adam Werritty.
So clearly if such a man, of such incredible integrity, honesty, financial reliability, and close friendship speaks up, all of his mates cheer and admire.
And one should really not think of Mr Fox as a penny pinching warmonger, or as a halfly gay sadistic degenerate liar! No, no, no! That is quite impossible at his level of (former) English ministers or secretaries!


2. The Ghoulish Face of Empire 

The next item is an article by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:

This starts as follows, in fact under a photography of anti-war protestors wearing blood stained masks of Blair, Bush and Brown:
The black-clad fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, sweeping a collapsing army and terrified Iraqis before them as they advance toward Baghdad, reflect back to us the ghoulish face of American empire. They are the specters of the hundreds of thousands of people we murdered in our deluded quest to remake the Middle East.
I never murdered anyone, but this is freedom of speech, and I entirely agree that the war in Iraq was a major mistake - at least: if we believe the stories we get, for it also may have been a major fraud - that ended in a disaster, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered.

Here is some more in the same vein:
And where are the voices of sanity? Why are the cheerleaders of slaughter, who have been wrong about Iraq since before the invasion, still urging us toward ruin? Why are those who destabilized Iraq and the region in the worst strategic blunder in American history still given a hearing? Why do we listen to simpletons and morons?
As to the first three questions: Basically, the media have sold out to those in power, and those in power want war, if it is at all possible, simply because they are not fighting and running real risks themselves, but they are making millions sending young men, either directly, or for their friends in what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. Also, the standard news is currently presented in the standard media so as to nearly completely serve their interests, that is, the interests of the spokesmen for the military-industrial complex.

As to the fourth question: I do not think Cheney, Rumsfeld, Obama or Hillary Clinton are "
simpletons" or "morons". (Bush Jr. probably is, but he was being led by Cheney and Rumsfeld.) I think they are completely mistaken about the wars they led or lead, and they behave as war criminals, and they also each and all are - willing and able - spokespersons for the military-industrial complex - but not because of stupidity: it seems mostly a combination of monetary self-interest and ideological blindness - and once again: they are playing with the lives of others, and not their own lives or those of their children, which makes it much easier.

Part of the article is given to a report of an interview with Andrew Bacevich, who is a military historian who served in Vietnam and had a son killed as U.S. Army officer in a 2007 suicide bombing in Iraq:

Bacevich blames the concentration of power into the hands of the executive branch for the debacle. He said that since the Kennedy administration “the incoming president and his team, it does not matter which party, see the permanent government as a problem. If we [the new officials] are going to get done what we want to get done we have to find ways to marginalize the permanent government. This has led to the centralization of authority in the White House and means decisions are made by a very small number of people. The consultation becomes increasingly informal, to the point it is not even documented.” “I do not think we even know when the decision to go to war with Iraq was actually made,” Bacevich said.

I think that is a good point - and see note [1]: Indeed the elected executives wanted more powers to do as they think themselves fit, and they also have acquired these powers, now to the extent that the president can kill hundreds or thousands of people personally, or at least by drones under his command, regardless of court orders or any other legal consideration, and he can start wars without the approval of Congress, even though that is illegal.

There is considerably more under the last dotted link (and I don't agree with all if it, and I decline any responsibility for the messes made by Cheney and Rumsfeld or by Obama and Hillary).

3. Ending Empire Is as Crucial as Confronting Wall Street

The next item is an article by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers on Truthdig, but original to PopularResistance:
In a way, this continues the previous article. I will quote only two bits that do indeed continue the point I made last in the previous item:
This week, President Obama told congressional leaders that he did not need any authorization for the use of military force from Congress, but that he would keep congressional leadership informed of his actions.
For He is King, and a King has no responsibilities, and can do what He wants, and kill whom He pleases. He will have  - He says - the kind good grace to "inform" Congress of what He thinks they are fit to know, carefully edited, of course, but that is it. Trust ObamaTM, and go to sleep: His NSA will keep you safe from terrorism, by stealing all your data, but you have nothing to worry about (if you are well-behaved).

That is indeed also how it appears to me, except perhaps for satire. Zeese and Flowers continue and say:

It is a mistake for President Obama to decide that he can take military action in Iraq without congressional or UN approval. He likely made this decision because he knows that if Congress were allowed to consider the issue, there would be a tidal wave of opposition from constituents in an election year. If Congress really functioned as a check and balance, it would be warning President Obama that a military attack without congressional approval is an impeachable offense; that the Constitution is clear – only Congress has the power to declare war and a military attack is an act of war. The silence of Congress will mean complicity in another illegal military action and will again reveal the bi-partisan nature of the war machine.

Yes, indeed: Legally Obama is quite mistaken, but then practically he does what every US president since Truman, or perhaps since Kennedy, did - he decides, and he can count on the quietude of the majority of Congress.

So I do not know whether Obama is mistaken, except legally, which hardly counts these days, and doesn't seem to bother him at all.

There is considerably more under the last dotted link (and I don't agree with all).

4.  Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’

The next item is an article by Ray McGovern on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

When I saw the Washington Post’s banner headline, “U.S. sees risk in Iraq airstrikes,” I thought, “doesn’t that say it all.” The Post apparently didn’t deem it newsworthy to publish a story headlined: “Iraqis see risk in U.S. airstrikes.” Then, in an accompanying article, authors Gregg Jaffe and Kevin Maurer observed nonchalantly that “Iraq and the Iraqi people remain something of an abstraction,” a point that drove me to distraction.

I agree with McGovern, but I also admit that this is how most Americans see things: From the perspective of their own interests, and without - by and large: there are of course exceptions - almost any interest in the culture or experiences of those their soldiers are send to destroy, which indeed also is not their culture, and about which they do know very little.

There is considerably more there, but I will only quote a part of the ending:

(..) let us be challenged by the words of Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who spoke out so strongly against the war in Vietnam:

“Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself. … Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Yes indeed, but it is true that of all who are responsible only a minority feel as if they are, and it is also true that this kind of felt responsibility - for murders the conmen in your government order others to commit in some strange and faraway country, for no good reasons at all, even though it will all be very well-paid, though not to the young men who do the murdering and the risking of their lives, but to the chiefs of and investors in the military-industrial complex - is a bit strange.

But it is there, in as much as the corrupt war criminals who engineered the fighting and who profit royally from the fighting, do so with your money, and that of other taxpayers, and with your supposed consent if you are a member of the same country, at least according to them (and else you must be "a terrorist" - see the next item).

5. U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

The next and last item is an article by Glen Ford on Common Dreams, but originally on Black Agenda Reports:

This starts as follows:

The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about...people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don’t themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, “supporters of political violence.” And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can’t lord it over the rest of us. (I’m sure you recognize yourself somewhere in that list.)

The Pentagon calls this new field of research “terrorism studies,” which is designed to augment and inform their so-called War on Terror. Through their Minerva Research Initiative, the military has commissioned U.S. universities to help it figure out how to deal with dissatisfied and, therefore, dangerous populations all around the world, including the United States.

Yes, although this "field of research" is far from "new": It goes back to 1968, at least, as you can find out under the link (on my site), and indeed may be traced back even earlier, to Edgar Hoover. The name “terrorism studies” is new, and is a simple but brilliant piece of propaganda/"public relations": who isn't for us must be a terrorist. This gives such wide possibilities to criminalize anyone who opposes you... [2]

Here is the aim of
this "field of research", according to Glen Ford:

So, now you know why U.S. intelligence agencies are tapping the telephones and Internet communications of virtually the entire population of the planet. They are mapping every conceivable human network, sifting through the myriad patterns of human association to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease. American military and intelligence enlisted academics to study the dynamics of "the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey" – all with the aim of preventing similar “contagions” from spreading.

The United States military sees itself as engaged in a total war against the entirety of planet Earth: all of its people, its social movements and dynamics, are enemy territory, including the people of the United States.

Yes and no: Yes to the first paragraph, although I do not think they will succeed in any major way, because the social sciences are mostly flimsy or non-existent, and human beings are complicated. No to the second paragraph, simply because the United States military sees it differently, and this is not about what they do in fact, but is about their ideology (and that may, and does, paint them in heroic colors of good will).

---------------------------------
P.S. Jun 24, 2014: I added two correct "marxist" in footnote [2] and added some about the pseudo-"marxists" I met in the UvA: All were basically careerist frauds who were pseudo-"marxists" because it was fashionable, made "studying" a lot easier, and made careers for them.
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.)

[2] My marxist father and marxist grandfather were convicted as "political terrorists" and sent to German concentration camps in 1941, by Dutch judges who collaborated with the Nazis, which my grandfather did not survive; I was removed, ill and briefly before taking my M.A., from the faculty of philosophy as a "fascist terrorist", because I asked questions and was not a marxist (though I had been one, till 20, and knew it far better than anyone I've met in the UvA).

Both are excellent examples of the truly humane and very democratic feelings that - really - move most very courageous and highly intelligent ordinary Dutchmen.


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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