1. What the Guilty
Verdict of Radovan Karadzic Tells Us
About War Crimes After 9/11
Glenn Greenwald: Cruz, Trump, Clinton "Playing into the
Hands" of ISIL After Brussels
"We Bomb Them, They Bomb Us"
4. How the World's Biggest Polluters are Two Trade Deals
Away from Steamrolling Climate
5. The Best Reporting on Europe’s Terrorism Threat
6. Bernie Sanders | The
Young Turks Interview (FULL)
This is a Nederlog of Friday, March 25,
crisis blog. There are 6 items with 6 dotted links: Item
1 is about the outcome of Karadzic's trial; item 2
is a good interview with Glenn Greenwald about the events in Brussels; item 3 is a good interview with Chris Hedges about the
same; item 4 is about (in my interpretation) the
fact that we are two trade- deals away of fascism in the USA and Europe
(and I explain myself, again); item 5 is about "the
best reporting on Europe's terrorism" and indeed is a good article; and
item 6 is a long interview on TYT with
Bernie Sanders that was both good and sympathetic.
1. What the Guilty Verdict of
Radovan Karadzic Tells Us About War Crimes After 9/11
first item is by Peter
Maass on The Intercept:
This starts as follows
WHEN I FIRST MET RADOVAN
KARADZIC, he seemed more of a well-dressed buffoon than a major war
criminal. Tall and blustery, with wavy hair and double-breasted suits,
he made outlandish statements that few people took at face value. His
prior achievements, such as they were, did not suggest a history-making
future — he had been a writer of bad poetry, a psychiatrist to losing
soccer teams, a small-time embezzler of public funds.
I suppose some readers may say: Who is Radovan Karadzic?
The last Wikipedia link provides an answer: He was the leader of the
Bosnian Serbs in the 1990s.
(There is a lot more in the last link.)
The reason he is mentioned here and now is the following:
Karadzic became the leader of
in the 1990s and made history in dark ways, but the latest twist, which
occurred today, is unexpectedly bright — he has been convicted, after a
long and open trial in the Hague, of genocide, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. This
outcome is bright for reasons beyond the satisfaction of justice in the
Balkans. At the moment, it might seem far-fetched to imagine that U.S.
political and military officials will be held to account for torture
and other war crimes they approved, condoned, or bore command
responsibility for in the post-9/11 era. But it was even more
unlikely in the 1990s to think that the hand of justice — the
justice of a fair trial, not a mob’s noose or a precision-guided
missile — would get close to Karadzic and his prime collaborators.
mostly correct. The reason I wrote "mostly" is the comparison between
the post-9/11 era and Bosnia in the 1990s:
Peter Maass thinks the present conviction may be an indication that in
ten or twenty years time some of the Americans who are
responsible for Iraq - that is, for tortures and war crimes - may be
judged in a decent and objective judicial trial as well.
He also says that this "might seem farfetched" to imagine
today. I agree with him on the "farfetched" and indeed also on the
desirabilility of such a judicial trial, but I guess he may
underestimate the power of the USA.
be nice if it happens, but I think it is not likely.
Glenn Greenwald: Cruz, Trump, Clinton "Playing into the Hands" of ISIL
After Brussels Bombings
is by Amy Goodman
and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy
This starts as follows:
Belgium has entered its second
day of mourning following Tuesday’s bombing attack targeting the
Brussels Airport and a crowded subway station near the headquarters of
the European Union that killed at least 31 people and injured over 230.
(...) For more on the election, the attacks in Brussels and more, we
speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.
And that was a good idea. Here is Glenn
GREENWALD: What we’ve
seen in Brussels is
the same exact pattern as we’ve seen, essentially, for the last 15
years each time there is one of these attacks. There is never any sense
at all that there’s some balance needed between security, on the one
hand, and civil liberties and privacy and a constrained budget for our
military and intelligence, on the other. Every single time there’s a
terrorist attack — every single time — politicians like Hillary Clinton
Ted Cruz come forward and say we need more of everything we’ve been
doing. We need more money for intelligence, more surveillance
authorities, more military presence, more security. You know, imagine
if every single time there were a fatal car accident, every single
time, in response, someone said not, "Well, we accept the fact that in
exchange for having roads, we know there’s going to be some
fatalities," but instead, every time, said, "We need more safety
regulations for cars. We need to lower the speed limit even further."
I think the comparison is correct (and add
that, at least for me, Clinton and Cruz are not honest).
In any case, "more security" means "more police state" and also
will not deliver what it is presented as serving, for
security for ordinary people almost always tends to happen after
they have been killed or injured, and not before (for the
simple - and valid - reason that there are too many ordinary people to
secure: A more or less secured life is possible only for
politicians and the very rich, that is, except for the checks at
airports and such that everybody
is subjected to).
Here is some more Greenwald:
(...) I think, more than saying
more intelligence and more surveillance and wage war on encryption and
more bombing campaigns, we need to be asking whether there are things
that we can be doing that reduce the incentive for people to want to
kill us—and in the process, kill themselves—and especially the support
infrastructure that they get because of the anti-American and
anti-European sentiment that gets generated when we engage in all of
this violence in the world.
I mostly agree. That is: More intelligence,
more surveillance, less encryption, ad more bombing will not
help (although these all give the secret services and the governments
even more powers than they already have, which is quite un-
And I also think I know how to "reduce
the incentive for people to want to
kill us": Stop killing them, stop
droning them, stop making wars in their region. But -
somehow... - I do not think the American government will listen
There is also this by Greenwald on Trump and Cruz:
GREENWALD: (...) I do
get a little bit
disturbed by this widespread notion on the part of a lot of
well-intentioned people that Donald Trump is somehow so far outside of
what we regard as what had been previously acceptable within American
political discourse. I mean, if you look at what Ted Cruz has actually
been saying and what he’s been doing, you could certainly make the
case—and I would be someone who agrees with this—that Ted Cruz is, in
many respects, maybe most respects, more dangerous than Trump. I mean,
Ted Cruz is this true evangelical believer who seems to be really eager
to promote this extremist religious agenda.
Yes, I tend to agree. Then again: Both
men are totally unfit to become the most powerful man on earth
- and how to stop them is not yet clear, especially not if
Clinton is going to be the Democrat's presidential candidate, for her
chances against Trump or Cruz are considerably worse than
Bernie Sanders' chances against the same.
There is more in the article, which is recommended.
3. Hedges: "We Bomb Them, They Bomb Us"
The third item is by
Jessica Desvarieux on The Real News Network:
This starts as follows:
DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Jessica
Desvarieux in Baltimore. (...) Here to discuss with us the recent
attacks in Brussels is our guest, Chris Hedges. He's a Pulitzer
Prize-winning journalist, and a regular columnist at Truthdig. He's
also the former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times.
This also was a good idea.
So, Chris, this news certainly is dominating headlines right now. And
many people are asking themselves, why Brussels?
Yes, I agree (and as a European). And
there is also this, also by Hedges:
HEDGES: Well, I think
for many of the same reasons we saw the attacks in Paris. You have a
large immigrant community that comes out of North Africa, in
particular. They tend to be segregated within the society. There's a
heavy degree of racism. High unemployment. There is a struggle for
identity, because, for instance, they may have been born in Tunisia or
wherever, come to Belgium or France at a young age, but because of the
endemic European racism don't fit in, are not treated as equals. And
yet when they go back, you know, they're looked upon as being French or
second thing is we have to acknowledge that for the last 13 years in
Iraq, 15 years in Afghanistan, we have been bombing these people night
and day. We have created millions of refugees, over a million dead in
Iraq. And they don't have an air force. So if you're bombing Raqqa, as
we are continuously, which of course, you know, these 500,000-pound
fragmentation bombs are hardly surgical weapons. They can take out, you
know, several houses on a city block. So the collateral damage, as we
call it, is quite high. So the only way that ISIS can strike back is,
essentially, through these kinds of attacks.
Yes, indeed. Then there is this:
Well, they're dealing with the symptom, not the cause. The cause is the
U.S. military occupation of the Middle East, and the brutality, and I
would even call it state terror, let's include the terror of drones,
has inflicted on huge swathes of the population. And this is a very
potent recruiting tool in the hands of groups like ISIS. And the reason
that they have expanded to the extent that they have. So violence, our
violence, is what created these groups.
Again I agree. Here is Hedges on a relevant
difference between Al-Qaeda and Isis:
difference between al-Qaeda, and it's a big difference, and ISIS, is
that al-Qaeda had very few foreign fighters, I mean, from outside the
True. Finally there is (that I quote, and I
add it is "Stasi" and "habeas corpus"):
Well, you know, we--even when I lived in France it was a police state.
Yes, it becomes an excuse to strip us of, you know, what little kind of
liberty we have left. We're all, whether we're Belgian or French or
American or British, all under state surveillance that dwarfs anything
ever dreamt of by the Stazi state in East Germany. And these kinds of
terrorist attacks, you know, empower the state to take--you know,
there's not much more left that they can take. But to take what's left,
denial of habeus corpus, denial of due process.
I don't think I quite agree with Chris Hedges
on this, but he may be correct: It is difficult to say
what has been left of your rights, if those who take your rights are
especially the secret services (and the parliamentary
further seclusions of rights they bring about).
But for the moment (and until the TTIP is approved by European
politicians) I think the situation in the USA as far as human rights
and punishments are concerned is worse than in Europe.
This is a fine interview, and it is recommended.
4. How the World's Biggest Polluters are Two Trade Deals
Away from Steamrolling Climate Protections
The fourth item today is by Andrea
Germanos on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
When TransCanada announced
at the start of the year that it that it was demanding compensation
under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules for the Obama
administration's decision to reject
the Keystone XL pipeline, many observers saw it as a sign of things to
Indeed, critics of two pending trade
deals—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic
Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—have already warned
that other corporations could take similarly take advantage of the same
mechanism to exert their power before private tribunals, demanding
compensation for lost profits while supplanting democracy and trampling
on workers' rights and environmental protections.
Yes, indeed - and I am one critic who says
not only that the TTIP and the TTP (and the TiSA and the CETA) are extra-ordinarily
bad for everyone who is not
a very rich (co-)owner of multi-national corporations, but is in fact
an out and out attempt to refound fascism in the classical
sense, which I find best defined by the American Heritage Dictionary (<- Wikipedia) -
and I quote their latest definition:
Fascism a. A system of
government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator,
stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through
terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent
nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement
based on or advocating such a system of government. 2.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.
Also, I think "we" already have
most of that in the USA: centralized authority (though not yet a
dictator: wait for Cruz or Trump); stringent socioeconomic
controls (by the Federal Express and the International Monetary Fund);
suppresion of the opposition to censorship (e.g. of Bernie Sanders on
media); and belligerent nationalism (plus exceptionalism) are
there, though indeed it may grow a lot worse (and will,
with president Trump or president Cruz).
The reason that the TTIP (etc.) is
fascistic is that is is a project of the lawyers for the multinational
corporations, that is explicitly designed to take all powers
of national states, national governments, national
parliaments and national judiciaries, and give these to the
TTIPs "courts", where the lawyers of the multi-
national corporations will decide whether this or that or any other
did not get the profits they expected, and if not, will
convict all the inhabi- tants of the nations whose powers they
have completely destroyed, to pay the multi-national corporations
hundreds of milions or several billions from their taxes to restore
the full projected profitabilities of the multi-national corporations.
The "trials" will be mostly in secret;
the TTIP is still mostly unknown (but what I say about it is
correct and is known); no one else but multi-national corpora-
tions may appear in these "courts" (no states, no
politicians, no private persons, no trade unions); and
there are no appeals possible to the decisions of these
You may not be inclined to call
this "fascism", but if so, I consider it likely that
you know little about politics.
Then again, there is also this in the article:
Now, a new report from the Sierra Club
reveals just how many fossil fuel corporations the two deals would
embolden to use these tribunals, thereby undermining U.S. commitments
made under Paris
climate agreement and efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Roadblocks: Looming Trade Deals Threaten Efforts to Keep Fossil Fuels
in the Ground," the new report explains that the TTIP and TPP
"would more than double the number of fossil fuel corporations with the
power to challenge U.S policies in unaccountable ISDS tribunals,"
bestowing them to "100 foreign fossil fuel corporations that own more
than 1,000 U.S. subsidiaries—more than the total number of fossil fuel
firms that have such rights under all 56 existing U.S trade and
investment pacts combined," the report states.
And all of them eager to screw all
the profits they can screw out of any population who does not
do precisely what they want. You doubt this? You may, but here are
In short, the TTIP allows any
multi-national corporation to attack any national attempt to
stop "fracking, offshore drilling, federal
fossil fuel leasing, and dirty pipelines".
Described by Public Citizen as "Among the most
dangerous but least known parts of today's 'trade' agreements," ISDS
gives foreign corporations the right to "sue" the U.S. before a
tribunal of three private lawyers for profits they say they would have
earned had the climate protections not been in place.
The policies that the fossil fuel
giants—who include "45 of the 50 private corporations historically
responsible for the most climate-disrupting emissions"—could challenge
through ISDS if the TPP and TTIP pass Congress include "restrictions on
fracking, offshore drilling, federal fossil fuel leasing, and dirty
Also, the above only concerns the multi-national oil
corporations. The rules are just the same for any
multi-national corporation: Anything that threatens to lessen their
projected profits, of any kind, for any thing, may be attacked by
a "court" of the ISDS, to which only multi-nationals are
Here is one consequence:
"These trade deals would
empower some of the world's largest polluters—including those fracking
on our public lands and drilling off our shores—to use unaccountable
tribunals to defend a model of fossil fuel dependency that spells
climate crisis," said Ben Beachy, author of the report and senior
policy advisor for the Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program
And the same for any business, any
trade, any profits done or made by any multi-national
corporation: With the TTIP in place, thanks to corrupted European
politicians, only the rights of multi-national corporations
will be served, and everything else that threatens to lessen profits
will be destroyed.
5. The Best Reporting on Europe’s
The fifth today
is by Adam Harris on ProPublica:
This starts as follows:
This week, terrorists bombed
multiple locations in Brussels, claiming
at least 31 lives and making Belgium the latest flashpoint in a
wave of attacks across Europe. We've compiled some of the best
reporting on the recent attacks in Brussels, why Belgium has become a
prime location for terrorists, and how the threat in Europe has grown
over the years.
And that is also all you will get, but then
this is a recommended article that
lists a lot of articles in the press about the events in Brussels, and
the good sense to provide summaries.
6. Bernie Sanders | The Young Turks Interview (FULL)
The sixth and last item today is by The
Young Turks. It is a video interview of over 33 minutes with Bernie
This is a good and also a sympathetic
interview that is very well worth watching.
P.S. Mar 26, 2015: I did not correct the first line, which produced a false date.
This has been corrected.