who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. The scaremongering has
begun. Isis is no threat to
2. The Ghoulish Face of
3. Ending Empire Is as
Crucial as Confronting Wall Street
4. Iraqis Are Not
5. U.S. Funds “Terror Studies”
to Dissect and Neutralize
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.
The scaremongering has
begun. Isis is no threat to Britain
item is an article by Simon Jenkins on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed: Of course
it is total bullshit. Then again "the former defence secretary Liam Fox" says it.
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.
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
The idea that the Isis
action in Iraq poses a threat to the British state is ludicrous.
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
He also is very
honest financially, according to Wikipedia:
and allowed him to join
official trips overseas.
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:
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
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):
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.
The full list of Fox's
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.
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!
Ghoulish Face of Empire
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:
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
so as to nearly completely serve their interests, that is, the
interests of the spokesmen for the military-industrial
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:
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 : 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
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).
Empire Is as Crucial as Confronting Wall Street
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:
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).
Iraqis Are Not ‘Abstractions’
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
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
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
Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements
and last item is an article by Glen Ford on Common Dreams, but
originally on Black Agenda Reports:
This starts as
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... 
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.
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
(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  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.
 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
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
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
from is quite pertinent.)
My marxist father and marxist grandfather were convicted as "political
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
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
intelligent ordinary Dutchmen.
(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: