who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
| "All governments lie and
say should be believed."
tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
Research: The Dangers to the Human
2. How Kissinger Made Bombing the Iron Fist
3. No Matter How Well Russian Media Expose
4. More on The Guardian
This is a Nederlog
of Monday, November 9, 2015.
This is a crisis blog (I said I would continue!) but it is - perhaps
coincidentally - concerned with background matters: Item
1 is about medical research, that cannot be trusted longer, not
only according to me, but according to very prominent and smart
American medical doctors; item 2 is about how
Kissinger laid the found- ations of many of the policies of Bush and
Obama; item 3 is about the many lies that are now
current in the (main) Western media; and item
4 adds two points about The Guardian that I forgot yesterday.
1. Medical Research: The Dangers to the Human Subjects
The first article today is by Marcia Angell
(<- Wikipedia) and is on the New York Review of Books:
This is the first of two
articles. I review it for two reasons.
First, because I am ill for 37
years, in which I was diagnosed correctly by a few good medics who knew
me well or were simply intelligent, but I never succeeded in
diagnosis that satisfied the Amsterdam dole bureaucrats (who are, in my
very schooled opinion, mostly a bunch of sick sadists:
I am a psychologist), which caused me 15 years of great
troubles (that indeed also caused this site and the - mostly Dutch - "ME
Second, I have meanwhile
learned that very much is wrong in modern medicine, most of
which is due to three causes. One is that most medics are fairly easy
to corrupt by money or gifts. Another is that most medics know and
understand considerably less of scientific methodology and statistics
than they should. 
The third is that the big pharmaceutical corporations have moved in
from ca. 1980 onwards, and intentionally have falsified much of
medical science by appro- priating patients data, (re-)writing medical
arguments by their propaganda-staffs, and repressing most data
that could be used by responsible scientists to rationally
assess the evidence on expensive drugs and patients.
The reason for the last
development was simply profit: Quite a few "medical
experiments" these days are not so much medical experiments,
but carefully written propaganda, duly signed by medical KOLs
who make millions a
year, though rarely written by them, that are based on careful
from the total evidence - that is declared unfit to be
seen by medica; doctors and others, on the ground that the
pharmaceutical company owes the data (which is also false, it
seems - but
they are extremely powerful and rich).
The above is true, to the best
of my knowledge, and is in my case based on reading about medicine
since 2010 (briefly after getting fast internet). It is certainly
true for the pseudo
science of psychiatry (see e.g. 1
boring old man and David Healy,
both of whom are
I do not know to what
it is true for medicine-in-general, but here is dr Marcia Angell,
quoted from the Wikipedia article about her:
It is simply no longer
possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or
to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure
in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two
decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine .
And she is a very
prominent American medical doctor of long standing.
Also the above was published in 2009.
So this is why I am
interested in her. She starts her present article as follows:
millions of Americans (no one knows exactly how many) volunteer to be
human subjects in medical research that compares a new treatment with
an old one—or when there is no existing treatment, with a placebo. By
something like a coin toss, some volunteers are assigned to get the new
treatment (the experimental group), while others get the old one (the
control group). This type of research is termed a clinical trial, and
at any given time there are thousands underway in the US. Most are
sponsored by makers of prescription drugs or medical devices, but many
are sponsored by the government, mainly the National Institutes of
Health (NIH). A growing number are conducted offshore,
particularly in countries with autocratic governments, where they are
easier and cheaper to do.
The last statement also
implies that the experiments are "easier and cheaper to do" simply
because the payments and the health of the patients and
others who participate in them are respectively a lot less, and taken a
seriously, in actual practice.
It continues as follows, with a bit of knowledge about The Science Of
Medicine that should be known better:
The first modern
clinical trial was published only sixty-seven years ago, in 1948.
Sponsored by the British Medical Research Council, the trial compared
streptomycin, a new antibiotic, with bedrest alone in patients with
tuberculosis. (Streptomycin proved better, and became part of the usual
treatment for this disease.) Before that, human experimentation was
fairly haphazard; subjects were treated in one way or another to see
how they fared, but there was usually no comparison group. Even when
there was, the comparison lacked the rigorous methods of modern
clinical trials, which include randomization to make sure the two
groups are similar in every way except the treatment under study. After
the streptomycin study, carefully designed clinical trials soon became
the scientific standard for studying nearly any new medical
intervention in human subjects.
If a real science is
based on real scientific experiments, medicine started to be a real
science ... two years before I was born. Besides
methodology and statistics are two of the fields I specialized
like to point out that there was proper statistics (at the latest,
also) from ca. 1900 or 1910 onwards (I still have "An Introduction to
the Theory of Statistics" by G. Udney Yule, that was first published in
Another reason why I like Marcia Angell are her sources. One of
she lists in the present article is "The Nuremberg
Code" (on medicine)
that comes from the "Trials of
War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals", which I know more about than most people
because my father survived over 3 years and 9 months of imprisonment
(as a communist) in 4 Nazi concentration camps, about which he also
compiled an exhibition, with other formerly imprisoned
people, for which he was knighted. 
Here is some of the evidence she quotes on how "medical experiments"
were conducted in German concentration camps:
The most horrifying and
grotesque of these were the medical experiments carried out by Nazi
Germany during World War II on inmates in concentration camps. Although
it is difficult to believe now, the people who designed these
experiments—among them some of the most prominent physicians in Germany
at the time—did have a purpose. They wanted to gain information that
could save the lives of German troops in battle. In one experiment in
Dachau, for example, their aim was to find the maximum altitude at
which it would be safe for pilots to parachute from stricken planes. To
that end, they put inmates in vacuum chambers that could duplicate
progressively lower air pressure, up to the equivalent of an altitude
of about 68,000 feet. About 40 percent of the victims died from lack of
oxygen during these hideous experiments.
In another experiment, the
researchers wanted to study how long pilots who had parachuted into the
frigid North Sea could survive. They immersed victims in tanks of ice
water for up to three hours, and many froze to death.
There is a lot more in the
article, all very well worth reading (I thought), and there will be
more on this if part 2 is published.
Kissinger Made Bombing the Iron Fist of US “Diplomacy”
The next article is by Greg Grandin on Naked Capitalism, and originally
on Tom Dispatch:
In fact, Greg Grandin wrote a
book on Kissinger: "Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's
Most Controversial Statesman". Here is a small part of his argument.
First, there is this on his general responsibility:
During his time in
office, Kissinger had been involved in three of the genocides Power
mentions in her book: Pol Pot’s “killing fields” in Cambodia, which
would never have occurred had he not infamously ordered an illegal
four-and-a-half-year bombing campaign in that country; Indonesia’s
massacre in East Timor; and Pakistan’s in Bangladesh, both of which he
Then there is this on how
Kissinger conducted the bombing of Cambodia - and "Menu" was the name
of the American plan to bomb Cambodia:
Henry Kissinger is, of
course, not singularly responsible for the evolution of the U.S.
national security state into a monstrosity. That state has had many
administrators. But his example — especially his steadfast support for
bombing as an instrument of “diplomacy” and his militarization of
the Persian Gulf — has coursed through the decades, shedding a spectral
light on the road that has brought us to a state of eternal war.
Given that Nixon
elected on a promise to end the war in Vietnam, Kissinger believed that
it wasn’t enough to place Menu in the category of “top secret.”
Absolute and total secrecy, especially from Congress, was a necessity.
He had no doubt that Congress, crucial to the appropriation of funds
needed to conduct specific military missions, would never approve a
bombing campaign against a neutral country with which the United States
wasn’t at war.
This means that he acted
as a war-criminal. What happened was this:
In fact, he
every aspect of the bombing. As journalist Seymour Hersh later wrote, “When the military men
presented a proposed bombing list, Kissinger would redesign the
missions, shifting a dozen planes, perhaps, from one area to another,
and altering the timing of the bombing runs… [He] seemed to enjoy
playing the bombardier.” (That joy wouldn’t be limited to Cambodia. According to Washington Post
reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, when the bombing of North
Vietnam finally started up again, Kissinger “expressed enthusiasm at
the size of the bomb craters.”) A Pentagon report released in 1973 stated that
“Henry A. Kissinger approved each of the 3,875 Cambodia bombing raids
in 1969 and 1970” — the most secretive phase of the bombing — “as well
as the methods for keeping them out of the newspapers.”
And this is one of the
lessons Greg Grandin draws:
Here, then, is a
expression of American militarism’s unbroken circle. Kissinger invokes
today’s endless, open-ended wars to justify his diplomacy by air power
in Cambodia and elsewhere nearly half a century ago. But what he did
then created the conditions for today’s endless wars, both those
started by Bush’s neocons and those waged by Obama’s war-fighting
liberals like Samantha Power. So it goes in Washington.
There is a lot more in
the original, and it seems to me that the lesson I just quoted is quite
justified. Indeed, part of "the conditions for today's endless wars" is
precisely the classification and secrecy of nearly
everything the American government does in its present wars.
Also, while I do not know whether this is intentional, "so it goes"
seems a quotation of Kurt Vonnegut
(that at present can't be found anymore in the Wikipedia on
Vonnegut, though it was there before: I suppose this is a sign
of the "continuing improvement" of Wikipedia).
3. No Matter How Well Russian Media Expose
Western Lies …
The last article for today is
by Eric Zuesse on Washington's Blog:
Like the previous two
articles, this is concerned with "background to current events" rather
than with reporting new facts. The subject of this article is (and this
is the opening statement of the article):
‘news’ media simply refuse to report the lying that’s done by Western
‘news’ media and their governments.
that is correct - but indeed it is very difficult to get from
the Western news media, especially not if they do lie
about many things, which I think they do, and indeed to a
considerably larger extent than before, if only because there are far
fewer papers, with far fewer owners, and these owners are
generally rightist billionaires, who also control much of TV.
one example of a lie:
And (...) the media are still not
reporting that Barack Obama lies saying that the August 2013
sarin gas attack in Syria was from Assad’s forces and not from the
rebel side — which it actually was. (Obama repeats this lie every time
he ‘justifies’ his invasion of Syria. He’s actually supporting the
people who did that
sarin attack — and he knows it.)
think that is very likely true - and my "very likely" is mostly based
on (i) my prior conviction - that amounts to decent knowledge in the
case of Obama - that Obama often lies, while (ii) I am not a specialist
on the war in Syria, and (iii) I know about that war mostly from media
and press sources that are -
let's say - not very accurate, usually.
there is this:
When will Western ‘news’ media start behaving as if they’re
actual news-media in an authentic democracy, instead of mere
propaganda-outlets for their government against the various nations
that the local aristocracy (the Western aristocrats who also own the
‘news’ media) want to take over or else destroy — first, Libya, then Ukraine, now Syria — all allies of Russia (as had been Saddam Hussein’s Iraq), which Russia
is the American aristocracy’s actual ultimate target here.
It’s like George Orwell’s 1984, in “the West.”
It’s no real democracy here. It’s fake. It’s built on lies. (Just as all U.S. Presidents since the end of the Soviet
Union have been lying about Russia.)
mostly with the second paragraph (yes, there is no more democracy here,
except very minimally, and yes, much that I hear about it is fake), but
the first paragraph seems naive to me: The "Western news media"
are no longer functioning in "an authentic democracy", and they will not become
more honest unless they are forced to, which they rarely are.
similar holds for the following:
Actually, I do not
know why Bush did as he did, although I do know that both Cheney and
Rumsfeld had strong ties to the oil companies. The same holds for
Obama: I am quite sure he lies about many things, but his real reasons
are not known to me (apart from the fact that he probably
will get quite rich as soon as he ceases to be president, as did Bill
Clinton, who personally
owes $111 million, or so it seems).
We know why the Bushes did this. Why is Obama doing it? Who
are his friends?
And, above all: When will the Western ‘news’ media start
reporting about their own fakeness? Isn’t that the pre-condition for
any intelligent consumer
of news to start to take them seriously? (Perhaps Western ‘news’
executives don’t think so; perhaps they think that, instead, hiding
their fakery is the only way to keep their ‘dumb’
Western ‘news’ media"
will not even "start
reporting about their own fakeness", and especially not if lying is much of their
current trade, as I agree it is.
Then again, the article contains quite a few links, and I agree with
the thesis that much of the Western media's reporting, and especially
about politics, is based on lies or on misrepresentations.
But I do not see this end, unfortunately.
More on The Guardian
I reported yesterday on the
fact that The Guardian cannot be copied anymore since the day before
yesterday, but I did not say anything about its causes nor about
whether I am the only one thus treated (or abused, for I don't
As to the causes: it is very
that The Guardian packages these days with its articles (all
without revealing this to naive readers). I didn't check this out (and
there is an enormous amount of dense code), but this is by far
the most likely
(though I also think it fairly tricky that this effects Ctrl-C on my
And as to whether I am the
only one: No, that is extremely unlikely, in my opinion.
Indeed, I would be fairly amazed if anyone on The Guardian knows who I
am or even that my site exists.
So no, it is far more
likely that The Guardian instituted the policy because they can,
and because they want to protect their own
income. (I think it is stupid, for a widely read English paper, but I
do not earn an income from
14, 2015: Reformatted.
You may disagree, but in fact scientific methodology and statistics are
two of the fields on which I specialized, and indeed I expected to work
in methodology. And since I have spoken to quite a few more medical
doctors than most who are not doctors (simply because I am ill
years), none of whom could explain his or her position in a
way to me (about a subject I know at least considerably more than they
do) I think I am rather certain of this.
 Both 1 boring old man and David Healy
are psychiatrists (the last also a professor), and I do not know
whether they would agree with me (a philosopher and a psychologist)
that psychiatry is a pseudo science. Maybe they will not - in fact I
have no idea - but the links I gave in the text give access to
lot of well-based rational criticism of the claims of
psychiatrists. Then again, they are in - an intelligent - minority
There also was rather a lot of statistics in the 19th Century, and
indeed also a whole lot more after 1910 and after 1948. The point of
drawing attention to Yule's book is that I liked it, and - while there
is no precise model for a design with randomly assigned persons in it -
there was more than
enough to give a much
better statistical practice than was actually used in medicine,
 This was in fact very rare:
the only political party that went into the resistance in
the Communist Party (that also made up most of the real (armed)
though there also were some Christians who resisted), which led to the
loss of thousands of communist lives, there were only two
communists knighted after the war for their heroics. (The - utterly
false - theory was that communists were traitors to Holland,
simpy because they were
communists. Also, the communists were treated much worse than very
many Dutch Nazi-collaborators, nearly all of whom never even faced a
possibly in part because many Dutch judges also were
continued to be judges after the war.)