1. Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes Are Central to the Divide
Between Hillary Clinton and
2. Sanders Slams Clinton's Admiration for "Destructive"
Former U.S. Secretary of State
3. The ‘Clinton Bubble’:
How Clinton Democrats Fostered
the 2008 Economic Crisis
4. Reality Check for Democrats: Would Martin
Be Supporting Bernie?
America’s ‘Deep State’
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, February 13,
1. Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes Are Central to the Divide
Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 6 dotted links, and I think at
least three articles are quite interesting (and should be read in
full): Item 1
is about Henry Kissinger war crimes: He merely had 3 million of men,
women and chlidren murdered, but Hillary Clinton likes and admires him;
item 2 is about a difference of opinion
between Sanders and Clinton about Kissibger, where Sanders clearly
gives evidence, while Clinton totally avoids the question; item 3 is about Bill Clinton, who in fact is the BIG deregulator of the American economy, which is outlined in two excellent articles by Robert Scheer; item 4
is about Martin Luther King Jr, including some quotes, and strongly
supports the thesis that he would have supported Bernie Sanders, had he
lived; and item 5 is another excellent article by Chuck Spinney about a recent book by Mike Lofgren, The
Deep State", that I will try to buy.
Also, I should add that I am sorry that the present Nederlog is a bit
worse than the one I planned and had partially written, but I again ran
into the - quite awful - tricks and shortcomings of KompoZer, and had
to do it twice. 
first item is by Dan Froomkin on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The sparring during Thursday’s
Democratic presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders over whether Henry Kissinger is an elder statesman or a pariah
has laid bare a major foreign policy divide within the Democratic Party.
Clinton and Sanders stand on opposite
sides of that divide. One represents the hawkish Washington foreign
policy establishment, which reveres and in some cases actually works
for Kissinger. The other represents the marginalized
non-interventionists, who can’t possibly forgive someone with the blood
of millions of brown people on his hands.
In fact, this article, which is quite good
and recommended, is mostly about Kissinger. I skip a fair amount of
reported discussion between Sanders and Clinton (see the article in
case you are interested) and turn to him:
And now, some background about Kissinger.
Greg Grandin, a history professor at New
York University, just published a timely book called Kissinger’s
Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman.
In an article in The Nation last week, “Henry
Kissinger, Hillary Clinton’s Tutor in War and Peace,” he offered
this pithy summary:
This does look interesting, simply
because Grandin knows a lot. Here is one summary of Grandin, here
restricted to Kissinger's Nixon-years:
Let’s consider some of Kissinger’s
achievements during his tenure as Richard Nixon’s top foreign
policy–maker. He (1) prolonged the Vietnam War for five pointless
years; (2) illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos; (3) goaded Nixon to
wiretap staffers and journalists; (4) bore responsibility for three
genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; (5) urged Nixon to
go after Daniel Ellsberg for having released the Pentagon Papers, which
set off a chain of events that brought down the Nixon White House; (6)
pumped up Pakistan’s ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to
destabilize Afghanistan; (7) began the U.S.’s arms-for-petrodollars
dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran; (8)
accelerated needless civil wars in southern Africa that, in the name of
supporting white supremacy, left millions dead; (9) supported coups and
death squads throughout Latin America; and (10) ingratiated himself
with the first-generation neocons, such as Dick Cheney and Paul
Wolfowitz, who would take American militarism to its next calamitous
level. Read all about it in Kissinger’s
Next there is this on the number of
people who got killed because of Kissinger's many
I say. I never liked him, but being
responsible for - say - 3 million deaths makes one half an
Eichmann, except that Kissinger killed different kinds of
A full tally hasn’t been done, but a
back-of-the-envelope count would attribute 3, maybe 4 million deaths to
Kissinger’s actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims
in southern Africa. Pull but one string from the current tangle of
today’s multiple foreign policy crises, and odds are it will lead back
to something Kissinger did between 1968 and 1977. Over-reliance on
Saudi oil? That’s Kissinger. Blowback from the instrumental use of
radical Islam to destabilize Soviet allies? Again, Kissinger. An
unstable arms race in the Middle East? Check, Kissinger. Sunni-Shia
rivalry? Yup, Kissinger. The impasse in Israel-Palestine? Kissinger.
Radicalization of Iran? “An act of folly” was how veteran
diplomat George Ball described Kissinger’s relationship to the Shah.
Militarization of the Persian Gulf? Kissinger, Kissinger,
persons (mostly colored) than Eichmann did (mostly white Jews). But 3
millions killed is half of the number Eichmann had killed (both
strators: the actual murders were done by others, but on their
Also, it is not only about Kissinger: It is also about Hillary Clinton:
I say. Incidentally, "his
singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his knack for
connecting headlines to trend lines" is merely
verbal bullshit, but I take it that Hillary is quite correct in saying
that Kissinger's "analysis" is - also - at the basis of "the Obama administration's" many efforts.
The continuing role Kissinger plays in
modern foreign policy is perfectly illustrated by Hillary Clinton, his
longtime fan and friend. Just recently, in November, she reviewed
Kissinger’s latest book, World Order, for the Washington
Post. There’s a summary of that here.
Clinton called it “vintage Kissinger,
with his singular combination of breadth and acuity along with his
knack for connecting headlines to trend lines.” She wrote that
“his analysis, despite some differences over specific policies, largely
fits with the broad strategy behind the Obama administration’s effort
over the past six years to build a global architecture of security and
cooperation for the 21st century.”
There is considerably more in the article, which is recommended, and
which also shows something is rather odd in Washington, when a
Democratic presidential candidate takes big pride in being friends with the Republican murderer
(by commands) of - at least - three million men, women and children.
2. Sanders Slams Clinton's
Admiration for "Destructive" Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry
is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! and also is about Kissinger,
Clinton and Sanders:
This starts as follows:
During Thursday’s Democratic
debate, Bernie Sanders picked up on a point that Hillary Clinton made
during last week’s face-off in New Hampshire about her admiration for
former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. "She talked about getting
the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger,"
Sanders said. "Now, I find it rather amazing, because I happen to
believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive
secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. … I am
proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take
advice from Henry Kissinger."
See the first item for considerably more on
Kissinger. But in fact Bernie Sanders said more (see immediately below) and then
was "answered" as follows:
And, in fact, Kissinger’s actions in
Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, overthrew Prince
Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to
come in, who then butchered some 3 million innocent people—one of the
worst genocides in the history of the world. So, count me in as
somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.
GWEN IFILL: Secretary Clinton?
That is, if you are Hillary Clinton your
reply to the statement that you are a friend, an admirer and a
supporter of someone who is responsible for the state of affairs in which three million men, women and children got killed is ...
CLINTON: Well, I know
journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy, and we
have yet to know who that is.
'tell me who you rely on in foreign policy'.
This is not an answer but it is an evasion, but then
indeed she also did not deny she admires one of the greatest - administrative -
mass murderers of the 20th Century.
3. The ‘Clinton Bubble’: How Clinton Democrats Fostered the
2008 Economic Crisis
third item is by Robert Scheer (<- Wikipedia) on Truthdig:
stated, these are in fact two articles, both taken from or based on
Scheer's "The Great American Stickup", that was published in 2010 (when
I missed it).
The first article - from which I take most quotes - is from 2010, the
Both articles are recommended. The first
starts as follows:
They did it.
Here is another summary:
Yes, there is a “they”: the captains of finance, their lobbyists, and
allies among leading politicians of both parties, who together
destroyed an American regulatory system that had been functioning
splendidly for most of the six decades since it was enacted in the
“They” will emerge largely unscathed—indeed, likely wealthier—from
exploiting the newfound bargains in foreclosed properties and bankrupt
businesses that this turmoil provides to those with access to ready
cash. And even as they make taxpayers foot the bill for their grievous
greed and errors, they are eager to cover their tracks and unwilling to
accept responsibility for the damage done.
This was a giant hustle that served the
richest of the rich and left the rest of us holding the bag, a
life-altering game of musical chairs in which the American public was
the one forced out. Worst of all, legislators from both political
parties we elect and pay to protect our interests from the pirates who
assaulted us instead changed our laws to enable them.
I think - judging six years later, with a
lot more knowledge than I had in 2010 - this is quite correct: The
American public was frauded in a very major way, that impoverished many millions.
Here is part of the explanation for what really happened:
The most pathetic of excuses is the one
provided by Robert Rubin, who fathered “Rubinomics,” the economy policy
of President Clinton’s two-term administration: The economy ran into a
“perfect storm,” a combination of unforeseen but disastrously
interrelated events. This rationalization is all too readily accepted
by the mass media, which is not surprising, given that it neatly
absolves the majority of business reporters and editors who had missed
the story for years until it was too late.
The facts are otherwise. It is not conspiratorial but rather accurate
to suggest that blame can be assigned to those who consciously
developed and implemented a policy of radical financial deregulation
that led to a global recession. As President Clinton’s Treasury
secretary, Rubin, the former cochair of Goldman Sachs, led the fight to
free the financial markets from regulation and then went on to a
$15-million-a-year job with Citigroup, the company that had most
energetically lobbied for that deregulation. He should remember the
line from the old cartoon strip Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is
Precisely: It was all a matter of design
rather "a perfect storm" and most of the design consisted in systematic
deregulations that were advertised as
'free market' but that served to enrich the very rich much more, and
took the money to do so from everybody else (and yes: Rubin knew exactly
what he did and whom he did it for: the very rich, and only the very rich).
But Rubin did not do it alone: Other major deregulators were Alan
and Lawrence Summers:
For it was this Wall Street and
Democratic Party darling, along with his clique of economist
super-friends—Alan Greenspan, Lawrence Summers, and a few others—who
inflated a giant real estate bubble by purposely not regulating the
derivatives market, resulting in oceans of money that was poured into
bad loans sold as safe investments. In the process, they not only
caused an avalanche of pain and misery when the bubble inevitably burst
but also shredded the good reputation of the American banking system
nurtured since the Great Depression.
In fact, the American banking system was
transformed by deregulation:
This freed the biggest speculators and
frauds to do what they wanted, served by
propaganda, lies, deceptions and total judicial freedom to do anything
wanted, because "they were too big to fail" (according to their partner
in major crimes Eric Holder).
Was Bush Jr. to blame? Yes, but not by as much as the factual
Reagan and Bill Clinton:
Yet while Bush did nothing to remedy the
problem, and his response was to simply reward the culprits, the roots
of this disaster go back much further, to the free-market propaganda of
the Reagan years and, most damagingly, to the bipartisan deregulation
of the banking industry undertaken with the full support of “liberal”
President Clinton. Yes, Clinton. And if this debacle needs a name, it
should most properly be called “the Clinton bubble,” as difficult as it
may be to accept for those of us who voted for him.
Incidentally: This is also why you should
vote for Hillary Clinton, if you want
to see the very rich grow a whole lot richer yet again (and the 99% grow a lot
Here is an outline of how deregulation worked (and note this was also
combined with frauds and deceptions - which all were, of course, 'too
big to fail', or to punish, or to prosecute, all according to Eric Holder):
Traditional banks freed by the
dissolution of New Deal regulations became much more aggressive in
investing deposits, snapping up financial services companies in a binge
of acquisitions. These giant conglomerates then bet long on a broad and
limitless expansion of the economy, making credit easy and driving up
the stock and real estate markets to unseen heights. Increasingly
complicated yet wildly profitable securities —especially so-called
over-the-counter derivatives (OTC), which, as their name suggests, are
financial instruments derived from other assets or products—proved
irresistible to global investors, even though few really understood
what they were buying. Those transactions in suspect derivatives were
negotiated in markets that had been freed from the obligations of
government regulation and would grow in the year 2009 to more than $600
Beginning in the early ‘90s, this
innovative system for buying and selling debt grew from a boutique,
almost experimental, Wall Street business model to something so large
that, when it collapsed a little more than a decade later, it would
cause a global recession. Along the way, only a few people possessed
enough knowledge and integrity to point out that the growth and profits
it was generating were, in fact, too good to be true.
This started as "a boutique" in the early
nineties, but it was soon fanned into an enormous financial fire by
successive deregulations, that again were covered by Alan Greenspan's -
quite false, but widely believed - assurances that he controlled the
economy and that everything was very, very fine indeed.
To end this brief but adequate review of
deregulations, here is THE deregulator of all, Bill Clinton:
Yes, indeed - and he did it all very
willingly and also, with his IQ of over 150, was quite conscious about
what he did, why he did it, and who he did it for: Himself - to be paid
after 2000 - and his very rich "peers" from the major banks, who would pay him a very easy major fortune for his services, and who did.
Clinton’s role was decisive in turning
Ronald Reagan’s obsession with an unfettered free market into law.
Reagan, that fading actor recast so effectively as great propagandist
for the unregulated market—“get government off our backs” was his
patented rallying cry—was far more successful at deregulating
smokestack industries than the financial markets. It would take a new
breed of “triangulating” technocrat Democrats to really dismantle the
carefully built net designed, after the last Great Depression, to
restrain Wall Street from its pattern of periodic self-immolations. ...
Clinton betrayed the wisdom of Franklin
Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms that capitalism needed to be saved
from its own excess in order to survive, that the free market would
remain free only if it was properly regulated in the public interest.
In any case, these are two very fine articles that I strongly recommend
you read all of (especially the first article):
They are very clear about what I discovered mostly by myself,
namely the utter centrality of deregulation
in the run-up to the crisis of 2008, which still continues,
this time because the very rich refuse to stop deregulation, refuse
any restrictions on the banks, and also refuse the making of large
economical investments: Austerity keeps the millions of poor
that the very rich made poor, and that is how they want it -
extreme amounts of money for the very few; little or no money for the - quite
inferior - rest.
4. Reality Check for Democrats: Would Martin Luther King
Be Supporting Bernie?
The fourth item is by Jeff Cohen on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Corporate mainstream media have sanitized and distorted the life and
teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., putting him in the category of a
“civil rights leader” who focused narrowly on racial discrimination;
end of story.
Missing from the story is that Dr. King
was also a tough-minded critic of our capitalist economic structure, much
like Bernie Sanders is today.
The reality is that King himself supported democratic socialism – and that
civil rights activists and socialists have walked arm-in-arm for more
than a century.
Yes, indeed - as in fact I knew from the
middle 60ies onwards. Here are two quotes (from quite a few more in the
article) that make Martin Luther King Jr.'s
position quite clear.
In 1966 he said:
“You can’t talk about solving the
economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of
dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying
profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting
on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are
messing with captains of industry. . . . It really means that we are
saying something is wrong with capitalism. There must be a better
distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic
Incidentally, he also said "maybe" and "a
democratic socialism" (bolding added) both of which are sound by mylights,
if only because "democratic socialism" is not very clear (especially
not - for this well-informed European - in the USA).
In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. said:
“We must recognize that we can’t
solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of
economic and political power. ... this means a revolution of
values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism,
economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together . . . you
can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others - the
whole structure of American life must be changed.”
In case you disagree (as you may): It
certainly is a fact that not radically redistributing "economic
and political power" did not help the black. And no, I am not
saying that redistributing these powers would have helped the black
(still a minority, for one thing) - all I am saying it is that not
doing it did not help.
Here is the end of the article:
With income inequality even greater now
than during Martin Luther King’s final years, is there much doubt that
King would be supporting the progressive domestic agenda of Bernie
Before Bernie was making these kinds of
big economic reform proposals, King was making them – but mainstream
media didn’t want to hear them at the time . . . or now.
Yes, though indeed I had no doubt that
Martin Luther King would have supported Bernie Sanders. But it is good
to have some quotes.
Deconstructing America’s ‘Deep
And this is a recommended article.
The fifth and last item for today is by Chuck Spinney on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows, and is a quite
interesting article you should read in full:
Just about everyone knows something is
dangerously wrong with our nation’s political system. There is a
growing awareness that the United States is drifting blindly into a
state of greater inequality, stagnation, oligarchy and perpetual war,
with a ruling establishment that neither responds to the will of the
people nor to the problems our nation faces.
For evidence of this pervasive sense of
unease, look no further than the 2016 presidential election, where a
bombastic celebrity billionaire and a crusty grandfatherly democratic
socialist are claiming the political system is rigged and are driving
the scions of the status quo into the rubber room — at least for now.
This was just the introduction. Here is
some about the author of "The
Mike Lofgren has written a timely
exegesis of that status quo and its staying power. He makes it easier
for any concerned citizen to understand the realities of the political
and constitutional crises now facing the United States — and perhaps
even improve the reader’s sense for the madness and anger that now
characterizes 2016 presidential election.
Chuck Spinney also warns his readers that
he Lofgren is "a long-time colleague and a close friend" and gives this
It grew out of a stunning essay – “Anatomy
of the Deep State” (February 2014) — that Lofgren produced at
the request of journalist Bill Moyers. Lofgren has written a tour de
force that takes the reader on a wild ride through a swamp of
confusion and disorder that reeks of corruption. His writing is at once
witty and particular, but also general and prescriptive.
Before I go on, something about the deep state
(<- Wikipedia). This is from the last linked lemma: The concept
originated in Turkey, and has since been broadened, and amounts to the
following (according to Wikipedia):
The notion of deep state is
similar to that of a "state within the
state". For those who believe in its existence, the political
agenda of the deep state involves an allegiance to nationalism,
corporatism, and state interests. Violence and
other means of pressure have historically been employed in a largely
covert manner to manipulate political and economic elites and ensure
specific interests are met within the seemingly democratic framework of
the political landscape.
I am one of "those
who believe in its existence", were it only
(i) extremely much about the doings of any national
state I know anything about (including the USA, Great Britain, Holland
and Norway) are kept secret; (ii) there are quite a few
decisions taken in these and other nations that cannot
be accounted for by known politics and known economics;
(iii) one would assume anyway (and I know this is a fact) that
very strong interest groups would try to get into government (and
especially the big bankers, the "military-industrial complex", and "big
oil" have gotten into
the American governments, indeed by "revolving doors", as if this were
a matter of course).
Then again, simply because this is - in
part, at least - a government behind the
elected government, which itself has not been
elected, and which is mostly not talked about, it is not clear
what "the deep state" is or may be for any specific country.
But here is a considerable amount of
analysis centers on how the looting operations of three mutually
reinforcing “pillars” (my word) of the contemporary American Deep State
evolved over time. These “pillars” are themselves self-organizing
groupings of coincident interests that work to insensibly co-opt and
exploit the fissures in the mechanistic distribution of power designed
into the Constitution by James Madison.
These emergent groupings form what some
essayists have called an “iron triangle” of capitalists in the private
sector and professional bureaucrats as well as elected officials in the
legislative and executive branches of government, as well as in the
menageries inhabited by hangers on, wannabees, journalists, and
parasites feeding off the triangular host.
These triangles are energized by money
flows and influence peddling, and their operations are lubricated by a
maze of revolving doors that enable the individual players to climb the
greasy pole to power and riches by moving freely back and forth from
one corner to another — all the while pumping the money and propaganda
needed by the triangle to survive and grow — on its own terms!
This helps some, while the following
figure adds a lot:
Figure 1 is my simplified schematic
outlining the basic features of an iron triangle.
clicking the image goes
to the source
There is this in additional explanation:
Lofgren’s analysis takes us around three
triangles by examining the maze of living relationships making up (1)
the triangular money pumping operations of the Military-Industrial-
Congressional Complex, as well as
the more subtle looting and power grabbing operations of (2) the
de-regulating scams of Big Finance and (3) the big-brother spying
operations of the pseudo-libertarian hyper-capitalists of Silicon
To be sure, there are many other iron
triangles that Lofgren does not discuss in great detail (e.g., Big
Pharma, Big AG and the food supply, etc.), but his story is clear
enough and sufficiently broad enough to make the larger argument.
Yes, indeed: What you see is just one
iron triangle out of many more, though the above one is central.
Here is a precisification by Chuck Spinney:
While Lofgren does not say so, I would
argue there are growing signs that the emerging American political
economy combines many elements of classical fascism and corporatism
with neoliberal laissez-faire economics into something that is new and
peculiarly American — a political economy that exhibits fascist
tendencies, but unlike classical fascism, subordinates the state
to neoliberal corporatist interests, while it exploits many of
fascism’s authoritarian organizing principles to stabilize the emerging
I quite agree. There is considerably more
in the article, including another very
clear graphic, but I leave that to your interests, after saying again
that this is a quite interesting article that you ought to read in full.
also is nothing but KompoZer as a WYSIWYG html-editor on Ubuntu, where
it now seems to be removed as well. Well... this is a major shortcoming
of Ubuntu, for the least I should be able to do is to write my own html for my own large site.
I do it with KompoZer because I have no choice, but this is pretty awful at times, also because there is nothing predictable about its mistakes, oddities, and awful
missers, which include not (even) storing the place in the text where
one is, when one goes to another page: Going back finds one at the
start of the file, nearly always. (Just this bug cost me many hours over the last 5 years.)