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."
Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party
to Every Israeli Attack
2. Why Israel Lies
3. UK Accused of 'Censoring'
Torture Report to Hide Own
Role in Secret Renditions
4. Germany U-Turns, Torpedoes Corporate Sovereignty
Charter in Trade Agreements
With US and Canada (..)
Engelhardt, Who Rules Washington?
6. Israel spied on John Kerry
during peace effort – report
Jewish Voices Fiercely Debate Gaza Siege | Max
Blumenthal vs. ZOA’s Morton
This is the Nederlog of
Monday, August 4. It is a crisis log.
This is an
with seven items, though four are about Israel & Gaza (and one is
about John Kerry's being spied on by the Israeli secret service).
The article on the Fourth Branch of government,
which are the security
services, of which there are 17 in the U.S., seems the most important,
at least in terms of long term developments.
Also, this file is uploaded sooner than is usual: I've got to do some
other things as well.
Note: It seems several hundreds are busy finding On Good and Bad - 1, and use a link
to the Notebook I had in 2012, when my eyes were very bad and painful.
I'm sorry: I deleted the Notebook as my eyes got a bit better and
moved everything to Nederlog. The last link works and it is a good file.
1. Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a
Key Party to Every Israeli Attack
item is an article by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
There is a lot more that
supports these initial statements, but I leave them to you.
The U.S. government has
long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and
surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on
its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower
Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its
partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one
Over the last decade, the
NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides
to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU;
also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target
Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with
the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.
The relationship has, on
at least one occasion, entailed the covert payment of a large amount of
cash to Israeli operatives. Beyond their own surveillance programs, the
American and British surveillance agencies rely on U.S.-supported Arab
regimes, including the Jordanian monarchy and even the Palestinian
Authority Security Forces, to provide vital spying services regarding
The new documents
underscore the indispensable, direct involvement of the U.S. government
and its key allies in Israeli aggression against its neighbors. That
covert support is squarely at odds with the posture of helpless
detachment typically adopted by Obama officials and their supporters.
2. Why Israel Lies
item is an article by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as
lie, as I.F.
Stone pointed out, including Israel and Hamas. But Israel engages
in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic and
totalitarian regimes. It does not deform the truth; it inverts it. It
routinely paints a picture for the outside world that is diametrically
opposed to reality. And all of us reporters who have covered the
occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland
narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories—required under
the rules of American journalism—although we know they are untrue.
This has no evidence - that
wil come in the next quotation - but in case you want to hear some of "Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives" you could listen to Morton Klein in item 7.
And yes: I agree he is not a good pro-Israeli spokesman, but he is
strongly pro-Israeli, and he also seems to believe what he says.
Now for the evidence, that starts in the next paragraph:
I saw small
boys baited and killed by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza refugee camp of
Khan Younis. The soldiers swore at the boys in Arabic over the
loudspeakers of their armored jeep. The boys, about 10 years old, then
threw stones at an Israeli vehicle and the soldiers opened fire,
killing some, wounding others. I was present more than once as Israeli
troops drew out and shot Palestinian children in this way. Such
incidents, in the Israeli lexicon, become children caught in
crossfire. I was in Gaza when F-16 attack jets dropped 1,000-pound
iron fragmentation bombs on overcrowded hovels in Gaza City. I saw the
corpses of the victims, including children. This became a surgical
strike on a bomb-making factory. I have watched Israel demolish
homes and entire apartment blocks to create wide buffer zones between
the Palestinians and the Israeli troops that ring Gaza. I have
interviewed the destitute and homeless families, some camped out in
crude shelters erected in the rubble. The destruction becomes the
demolition of the homes of terrorists. (...)
Whereas Morton Klein
"knows" Hamas does this all the time. (I trust Hedges here, who has
worked in Gaza as a journalist.)
I, along with every other reporter I know who has worked in Gaza, have
never seen any evidence that Hamas uses civilians as “human shields.”
Hedges goes on relating Israel's policies to Hitler's Big Lie and to
racism in several paragraphs. I do not think these are happy allusions.
While I agree the Israelis lie, I see no need to involve Hitler, and
while I agree the Israelis may sound like racists when talking about
Palestinians, this in fact derives from their religion, which
them God's Chosen People.
At the end of his first page, Hedges says:
explains why the reaction of Israeli supporters to those who have the
courage to speak the truth—Uri Avnery, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky,
Jonathan Cook, Norman Finkelstein, Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Ilan Pappé,
Henry Siegman and Philip Weiss—is so rabid. That so many of these
voices are Jewish, and therefore have more credibility than non-Jews
who are among Israel’s cheerleaders, only ratchets up the level of hate.
Again I can point to item 7, where Morton Klein, who is
debating Max Blumenthal, shows this.
Then again, I would like to make a distinction: "Jews" applies to those
who have the Jewish religion (which again can take various forms, that
may be internally quite opposed), whereas those who don't have the
religion are of "Jewish background". This seems to me elementary and
helpful but it is not common. 
There is more on page 2, although this again is phrased in terms of
"the Big Lie", which I think is unfortunate. I do believe the Israelis
lie, and are the much stronger party, and have destroyed many lives,
many mosques, many hospitals and many houses, but one can say so
without somehow seeming to equate them with Hitler.
3. UK Accused of 'Censoring' Torture Report to
Hide Own Role in Secret Renditions
item is by Sarah Lazare on Common Dreams:
This starts as
The British government is
being accused of pushing to "censor" the U.S. Senate report on CIA
torture to hide its own role in unlawful secret renditions.
Due to be partially
declassified in the coming days, the report is said to be the most
comprehensive account of the U.S. government's post 9/11 torture and
unlawful detention of people in secret prisons across the globe.
Former British Foreign
Secretary William Hague admitted to the legal charity Reprieve
that the U.K. government has been engaged in discussions with the U.S.
about the information that will be revealed in the report, in what
Reprieve charges is a bid to conceal information about British
“We have made
representations to seek assurance that ordinary procedures for
clearance of UK material will be followed in the event that UK material
provide [sic] to the Senate Committee were to be disclosed,” Hague
wrote in a letter to Reprieve, according to a statement released by the
charity on Sunday.
“This shows that the UK
Government is attempting to censor the US Senate’s torture
report," said Reprieve Director Cori Crider. "In plain
English, it is a request to the US to keep Britain’s role in rendition
out of the public domain."
I say. Well... I am
not amazed: The CIA also tries to censor the report - and it is totally
unclear to me what percentage will be "partially declassified in the coming days".
U-Turns, Torpedoes Corporate Sovereignty Charter in Trade Agreements
With US and Canada, Resistance Grows
item is an article by Don Quijones on Wolf Street:
I merely quote
a summary from the beginning:
There is a lot more in
the article, but indeed all that is certain at the moment is that the
Germans could throw a spanner in the works of the secret TTIP and
Published on July 28th
by the German daily Süddeutsche
Zeitung, the article’s basic premise is that the German government
will not accept CETA, the Canadian-European trade agreement, if it
contains a corporate sovereignty chapter in its present form:
German EU diplomats confirmed in Brussels on Friday that the
[German] federal government could not sign the agreement with Canada
“as it is now negotiated.” Germany is, in principle, ready to initial
the agreement in September, but the chapter on the legal protection of
investors is “problematic” and currently not acceptable.
The reason this could
be of paramount importance – not only for Germans but for all
Europeans, Canadians and Americans – is that the investor state dispute
settlements (ISDS) that Germany now seems reluctant to accept are
precisely what give trade agreements like CETA, the Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) their long canine teeth: they allow private companies to sue
entire nations whenever they feel that a new law lost them money on
I hope they do, for these secret "agreements" secretly make an
democracy (in so far as this survives) and replaces it by
corporatocracy, but nothing is certain yet, and all is done in deep
Engelhardt, Who Rules Washington?
item is an article by Tom Engelhardt on tomdispatch:
This starts as follows:
Yes, quite so, and
indeed it is a Fourth Branch of government, as the title of the article
As every schoolchild
knows, there are three check-and-balance branches of the U.S.
government: the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. That’s bedrock
Americanism and the most basic high school civics material. Only one
problem: it’s just not so.
During the Cold War years
and far more strikingly in the twenty-first century, the U.S.
government has evolved. It sprouted a fourth branch: the national
security state, whose main characteristic may be an unquenchable urge
to expand its power and reach. Admittedly, it still lacks certain
formal prerogatives of governmental power. Nonetheless, at a time
when Congress and the presidency are in a check-and-balance ballet of
inactivity that would have been unimaginable to Americans of earlier
eras, the Fourth Branch is an ever more unchecked and unbalanced power
center in Washington. Curtained off from accountability by a
penumbra of secrecy,
its leaders increasingly are making nitty-gritty policy decisions and
largely doing what they want, a situation illuminated by a recent
controversy over the possible release of a Senate report on CIA
rendition and torture practices.
This is a good article, that I recommend you read all of. I only quote
To answer the last
question: A combination of elected officials and non-elected secret
services (of 17 kinds), where the secret services have the advantages
that they work in secret, and may blackmail everyone, indeed also both
and falsely, the last through framing. (And "truly" on the basis of stolen
The fact is that, for the
Fourth Branch, this
remains the age
of impunity. Hidden in a veil of secrecy, bolstered by secret
law and secret courts, surrounded by its chosen corporations and
politicians, its power to define policy and act as it sees fit in the
name of American safety is visibly on the rise. No matter what
setbacks it experiences along the way, its urge to expand and control
seems, at the moment, beyond staunching. In the context of the
Senate’s torture report, the question at hand remains: Who rules
Israel spied on
John Kerry during peace effort – report
item is an article by Rory Carroll on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Israel spied on
the US secretary of state, John Kerry, during peace
talks with Palestinians and Arab states last year, the
magazine Der Spiegel has reported.
There is a considerable
amount more, that you can check out for yourself. I merely quote the
last paragraph to keep you updated - and "Sunday" is yesterday:
The German weekly said on
Sunday that Israeli intelligence and at least one other secret service
intercepted Kerry’s phone calls during a doomed, nine-month effort to
broker a peace deal.
If confirmed, the report
will further sour the diplomat’s relationship with Binyamin Netanyahu’s
government and raise fresh questions about the vulnerability of phone
communications to eavesdropping.
There was no immediate
reaction from Jerusalem or Washington. The State Department did not
respond to a request for comment.
attack on the school in Gaza was the third time in 10 days that a UN
school had been hit. Regional efforts to broker a diplomatic end to the
fighting between Israel and Hamas have so far proved elusive; the
conflict is now in its 27th day and more than 1,700 people have been
Voices Fiercely Debate Gaza
Siege | Max
Blumenthal vs. ZOA’s Morton Klein
Finally, not an article but a video: Abby Martin's
interview with Max
Blumenthal and Morton
Klein debating the events in Gaza:
I should warn you that
this takes 27 m 59 s, consists of talking heads, and indeed is
"fierce". I have watched it all, but switched it off several times,
mostly because I don't much like talking heads, and because the debate
is fierce without being reasonable.
But it is somewhat interesting, especially because of Morton Klein, who
is an Israeli faithful, who really seems to believe the propaganda he
utters, and who has an annoying habit, at the end, to interject his
opponent constantly with "you lie, you lie, you lie, you lie, you lie",
and who also seems most shocked to find that A Jew does not stand 100%
And while Mr Klein is not credible - for me, at least - he seems to
believe what he says, and what he says is the story of the Israeli
government that also is accepted by most of the American media, while
he does get a fair treatment of Abby Martin (although she does
not believe him).
 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.)
 Several of my father's best friends were supposed
to be "Jews" and some had spend times in concentration camps as "Jews",
while others had spend times in concentration camps as non-Jewish
communists or socialists, since they had denied they were Jews,
because they were communists or socialists, and never had had a
This is in part what motivates the distinction: many of the "Jews" I
have personally known, of my parents' generation and my own, were
atheist communists or socialists, and never had the Jewish
faith, nor had their parents sometimes.
But I suppose this is easier for me because most of the supposed Jews I
have known - quite a lot - did not have the Jewish faith, and
also did not strike me as special in any particular way, though I
tended to like them, and also because I am not an American, who all
seem to have been educated on nationalistic myths, that take the form,
at least in crude and simple cases, that human individuals are
all mostly explained by their national identity: you are not
so much an individual person as that you are a Pole, a Kraut, a
Wop, a Dago or a Jew, and that fixes your interests and values.
It's a myth, well illustrated by e.g. All in
the Family, but it is a prominent and widely believed myth in the
(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: