1. The Lie of Patriotism
The Panama Papers: 'Biggest Leak in History' Exposes
Global Web of Corruption
3. Fighting Israeli
Occupying Forces Is “Terrorism.”
Boycotting Is “Anti-Semitism.”
4. Countdown to Chaos: EU-Turkey Deal Will Send
Refugees 'From Hell to Hell'
5. There's a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Afoot, Fueled by
This is a Nederlog of Monday, April 4,
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about an article by Chris Hedges on patriotism, with
extensions by me about my personal history; item 2
is about the Panama Papers, about which I expect to read and write
more; item 3
is about Israeli propaganda: if you fight against Israel, then you are
a terrorist; if you argue against Israel, then you are an anti-semite,
and Glenn Greenwald does not agree; item 4 is about
the fate of the Syrian and other refugees for war: they are excluded
from Europe and locked up in Turkey, it seems; and item
5 is about a review of what seems to be an important book.
Lie of Patriotism
first item is by Chris
Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
When Rory Fanning, a burly
veteran who served in the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and was deployed in
Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, appeared at the Donald Trump rally
in Chicago last month he was wearing the top half of his combat
fatigues. As he moved through the crowd, dozens of Trump supporters
shouted greetings such as “Welcome home, brother” and “Thank you for
your service.” Then came the protest that shut down the rally. Fanning,
one of the demonstrators, pulled out a flag that read “Vets Against
Racism, War and Empire.”
I say - or perhaps I do not.
“Immediately someone threw a drink on me,” he said when I interviewed
him on my teleSUR show, “Days of Revolt.” “I got hit from behind in the
head three or four times. It was quite the switch, quite the pivot on
me. Questioning the narrative, questioning Donald Trump’s narrative,
and I was suddenly out of their good graces.”
And in fact I don't - but the reason is that I know these
values and these reactions quite well, also from my own
extended experiences, because I was called "a fascist" or a
"dirty fascist" between 1977 and 1989 (not all years for I was
also ill most of the time and could not study) because I had said that
I liked Peirce
better than Marx
, and that I believed in science
and in truth,
whereas the vast majorities of both students and staff
at the University of Amsterdam in these years pretended that
they were "communists" or "sympathizers with Marx" (both lies), and did not
believe in science ("a capitalist illusion") nor in truth ("everyone
knows there is no truth"). 
For someone of leftist leanings, with two communist parents (both
communists for more than 40 years also), with a communist grandfather
who was murdered by the Nazis, and with a communist father who survived more than 3 years and 9
months of four German concentration camps, and who was also one of
the two knighted communists in Holland, knighted for
anti-fascism... it is strange and quite revealing
having "studied" (and
brilliantly finished, in spite of continuous illness and continuous
discrimination) at the University of Amsterdam in the years that
university was quite insane - and I am sorry, but a university
in which the large majority of both students and staff insists
(hypocritically, for the most part ) that
"science is an illusion" and "everybody knows that truth does not
exist", and does so from 1971 till 1995 is insane, although
there also are good explanations for the insanity, notably that it made
both teaching and getting a degree incredibly much
easier, which is what both the staff and the students wanted a lot: Do
almost nothing but nevertheless get well paid or get a
degree by which you will be well paid .
And this ideal state - for the lazy, the dishonest, the greedy,
and the stupid - existed in the University of Amsterdam from 1971 till
1995, and was, year after year after year, democratically
assured and confirmed by yearly elections, which from 1971 till
1995 were held in the university and in all faculties, where
each student, each secretary, each toilet cleaner, each lecturer and
each professor all got 1 vote (for "everybody has just the same
value as everybody else") - which assured the absolute and totalitarian
dominance of the students' party the ASVA from 1971-1995. 
Yes, I know I am talking about my own history here, but it is
relevant. Also it is - for those who read Dutch - extremely well
documented: See ME in
Amsterdam ("ME" refers to my disease) and my Spiegeloog columns (also
translated to English).
Here is one more quotation from the article:
Nationalists do not venerate
veterans. They venerate veterans who read from the approved patriotic
script. America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth.
Those we fight are depraved barbarians. Our enemies deserve death. God
is on our side. Victory is assured. Our soldiers and Marines are heroes.
Deviate from this cant, no matter how many military tours you may have
served, and you become despicable. The vaunted patriotism of the right
wing is about self-worship. It is a raw lust for violence. It is blind
subservience to the state. And it works to censor the reality of war.
Yes, indeed: This is how it goes, indeed also
"no matter how many military tours you may have
There is considerably more in the article, which is recommended. Here
is one more comment on the article: I thought of quoting Orwell here,
who distinguished - rather sensibly - between "nationalism" (which he
was against) and "patriotism" (which he was for), but I
decided not to, mostly because Orwell's remarks are over 70
years old , and probably do not really refer to
the present article, not even with a wide stretching of the
imagination. (But they are important, and you should have read
them if you are genuinely intelligent.)
The Panama Papers: 'Biggest Leak in History' Exposes Global Web of
is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
An anonymous source, an enormous cache
of leaked documents, and a year-long investigative effort
by around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations
in over 80 countries have yielded the Panama Papers, an unprecedented
look at how the world's rich and powerful, from political leaders to
celebrities to criminals, use tax havens to hide their wealth.
The investigation went live on
I say - this may get really
interesting. As the quotation shows, the story was launched yesterday,
but it is supported by hundreds of journalists, more than a hundred
media organizations, and an incredible amount of data, so this
certainly is not the last you will be hearing about this.
Here are some background details quoted
from the Süddeutsche Zeitung:
I say, again - and I noted the "global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset
management companies", who take the lead in this
dirty and greedy game.
Over a year ago, an anonymous source
contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted
encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law
firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. These
shell firms enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no
matter how shady.
In the months that followed, the number
of documents continued to grow far beyond the original leak.
Ultimately, SZ acquired about 2.6 terabytes of data, making the leak
the biggest that journalists had ever worked with. The source wanted
neither financial compensation nor anything else in return, apart from
a few security measures.
The data provides rare insights into a
world that can only exist in the shadows. It proves how a global
industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management
companies secretly manages the estates of the world’s rich and famous:
from politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, to
celebrities and professional athletes.
Here is some more:
And I again point to the "tax havens, corporate secrecy and shell companies" that help widespread
crime, corruption, and violence" - for indeed these are
strongly responsible (and Google and Apple, for example, keep most of
the taxes they ought to pay to the American government to
themselves, by way of tax havens, e.g. in Holland).
statement on Sunday, international anti-corruption organization
Global Witness said the exposé had "once again shown the insidious role
that tax havens, corporate secrecy and shell companies play in aiding
widespread crime, corruption, and violence. These threaten the safety,
security and well-being of people around the world."
The group pointed out that "despite
stereotypes portraying the problem of tax havens and shell companies as
an 'offshore' problem, this is a big and homegrown issue in the U.S. as
well." To that end, Global Witness will join faith leaders, small
business owners, voices from law enforcement, and other community
activists from over 25 states in Washington, D.C. from April 11-13 to
call on Congress to pass legislation that would end anonymous companies.
Anyway - more is sure to follow, and this is a recommended article.
3. Fighting Israeli
Occupying Forces Is “Terrorism.” Boycotting Is “Anti-Semitism.” What’s
The third item is by
Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Actually, yes and no, and indeed mostly no. I
explain, and first my no:
THAT “TERRORISM” IS a malleable
term of propaganda, with no fixed meaning
or consistent application, is now quite
well-established. Still, its recent application to a spate of
violence targeting Israel’s occupying soldiers in the West Bank is so
manipulative and extreme that it’s well worth highlighting.
I do believe "terrorism" has been defined fairly clearly, e.g. thus: "terrorism" =df
get one's way in
politics or religion by violence and murder, directed especially at
civilians", and especially if it is also pointed out that there are (at
least) two kinds of terrorism:
That engaged in by states (and usually by their secret
services, police or military) that is best called state terrorism;
and that engaged in by non- states, that is usually called terrorism,
even though state terrorists have made very many
more victims (for example: states' concentration camps have taken
the lives of tens of millions of victims, and yes, they were
all victims of state terrorism).
Next, my yes, for Glenn Greenwald also is correct, especially if he
would have added that he is speaking about "terrorism" as the term
is used in the main media these days, for there indeed it is a propaganda
term that is widely (and on purpose) abused.
Then there is this:
There have been Palestinian
attacks on Israeli civilians of course (while far more
Palestinian civilians have died at the hands of the Israeli army),
but in these specific cases, these Palestinians are
attacking purely military targets, not civilians. Those military
targets are soldiers deployed to their soil as part of an illegal
occupying army. In what conceivable sense can that be “terrorism”? If
fighting an occupying army is now “terrorism” simply
because the army belongs to Israel and the attackers are Palestinian,
is it not incredibly obvious how this term is exploited?
In fact, Greenwald's asking "In what conceivable sense can that be “terrorism”?" is a bit inconsistent or disingenuous given his opening
statement (which was: "THAT “TERRORISM” IS a malleable
term of propaganda, with no fixed meaning
or consistent application, is now quite
The U.S. has frequently done the same:
invade and occupy countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and then
label anyone who fights their occupying armies as “terrorists,”
some in Guantánamo for that. Similarly, attacks
against military bases of the U.S., U.K., and other Western
countries are routinely
I take it as an implicit admission that "terrorism" does
have some independent meaning apart from those given by propagandists,
but the rest of the quoted part is quite correct, and may be translated
into my terms as saying that after
state terrorists have occupied a foreign land, those
who resist these occupations (often in any way, also if they are only
peaceful) are often called "terrorists" by the state terrorists, and
indeed often based on no more than that they oppose the occupation of their
own country. (As indeed were my father
and grandfather: Both were called "political terrorists" by
Dutch judges who collaborated with the Nazis, and who were never
punished in any way, and who judged on after the war, this time
again as "true patriotic Dutchmen".)
This is from the last paragraph, and about
this specific case:
That is, "You are damned if you do, and you
are damned if you don't". It is true
If fighting Israeli occupying
forces is barred as “terrorism,” and nonviolent boycotts against Israel
are barred as “anti-Semitism,” then what is considered a legitimate
means for Palestinians and their allies to resist and end the
decadeslong, illegal Israeli occupation? The answer is: nothing.
that there are very many more examples of this, but it is also
true that the Israel/Palistinian example is especially sharp.
4. Countdown to Chaos: EU-Turkey Deal Will Send Refugees
'From Hell to Hell'
The fourth item is by
Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Less than 24 hours before Greece deports
the first wave of refugees and migrants to Turkey under the maligned
deal that sees humans turned into bargaining
chips, officials are predicting chaos and violence as the agreement
to Agence France-Presse, the Turkish interior
the country is expecting take in up to 500 migrants from Greece on
Monday. The Greek state news agency ANA said
some 750 refugees and migrants are set to be sent back between Monday
I say. Or perhaps I don't, because I expected
The Europeans have twisted things in such
a way that refugees from wars (made by the Americans) are not
refugees anymore, but are illegitimate profiteers who want to
grow rich on European dole money and free study possibilities.
And the refugees from wars are now
learning what they are worth, and where they stand in order of
They are worth nothing; they are the
least important; and therefore now they are shipped like cattle
from one country that doesn't want them to another that doesn't want
them (but that gets a lot of cash to somehow stow them away at the
border of Europe, where no European can see them or be bothered by
Here is some from the human side, so to speak:
On Friday, according
to Reuters, "hundreds of migrants and refugees on the
Greek island of Chios tore down part of the razor wire fence
surrounding their holding centre...and began walking to the port in
protest, police officials said."
"If they make me go back
to Turkey I'll throw myself and my family into the sea,"
Mustafa, a Syrian waiting with his wife and children at the port of
Agence France-Presse. "We went from hell to hell."
And here is some from the legal side:
Meanwhile, the United Nations, Amnesty
International, and European officials continue
to raise serious human rights concerns about the deal's
On Saturday, the UN secretary
general’s special representative for international migration and
development, Peter Sutherland, said
the pact could even be illegal. In an interview with the BBC,
he explained: "Collective deportations without having regard to
the individual rights of those who claim to be refugees are illegal.
Now, we don’t know what is going to happen next week, but if there is
any question of collective deportations without individuals being given
the right to claim asylum, that is illegal."
This week, Amnesty said the agreement was one that "can only be
implemented with the hardest of hearts and a blithe disregard for
I'd say they clearly are collective
deportations, and therefore illegal. But
I am cynical enough to assume that the Europeans will change the law
before they change the practice.
5. There's a Vast Right-Wing
Conspiracy Afoot, Fueled by Dark Money
The fifth and last item today is by
Eleanor J. Bader on Truthout
This starts as follows:'
Dark Money: The Hidden
History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right,
by Jane Mayer, Doubleday, 2016
Conspiracy theorists can breathe a sigh
of relief. Turns out, there is a vast plot afoot, but it's
not being orchestrated by "godless communists" or feminists eager to
smash the patriarchy. Instead, it's coming from right-wing libertarians
and ultra-conservative nationalists who have billions of dollars to
spend and are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Their agenda includes a desire to reduce
government's function to a single item: Protection and promotion of
business interests by eliminating things they consider roadblocks, such
as taxes, unions, minimum wage laws, overtime protections and
environmental regulations that limit toxic dumping and air and water
pollution. To say that they're harkening back to the Gilded Age is an
oversimplification, but it's close to the ideal put forward by a small
cohort of unimaginably rich white men, and a handful of unimaginably
rich white women, who are plotting to turn the US into a land of serfs
and lords, with themselves in complete control of everything.
There is considerably more under the last
dotted link. Also, in case you were
inclined to doubt it, the above continues as follows:
Jane Mayer's exhaustively researched
look at this network makes for an essential though terrifying read.
This is a recommended article, for what
seems to be a quite important book.
I will explain myself briefly (and you can skip the
first section if you don't want to know).
Here is a first explanation, that has to be seen against the background
that I had a far better communist background and a far
better anti-fascist background than anyone
who made these - typically political, and completely unfounded -
accusations of me. (They were typically from rich conservative
My parents were poor proletarians, and intelligent and honest
communists for more than 40 years.)
The following happened at least three times, in 1977, in 1980
and in 1982, and each time my opponents were leading members of the ASVA and members of the Dutch Communist Party (to which my parents belonged, from the
1930ies or 1940ies onwards):
Step 1: I am asked, semi-politely, what I think of Marx.
Step 2: I answer, politely, that I have read him but consider Peirce a
Step 3a: I am asked who is Peirce and answer: An American philosopher.
Step 3b: I am accused of being "a fascist" or "like a fascist" because
following argument (that I have heard at least three times):
"Peirce was an
American. Americans are fascists. Therefore you are a/like a fascist."
I am spelling this out because this sort of sick discrimination
happened twelve years against me, and because nobody I
knew (apart from my direct family) saw anything much wrong in this in
the whole University of Amsterdam.
 The most
important fact here is that I know, because of the yearly
elections for the parliaments that ruled both the university and the
faculties, in which the srudent party I had created took part and made some
5% of the votes with a very rational plan that was
explicitly pro science and pro truth, whereas the opposition gained 95%
with plain marxism
(and later postmodernism),
that indeed 95% of both students and staff of the University of
Amsterdam between 1977 and 1995 were against science and against
truth all that time.
I also note that if you were a student of philosophy at that time you
could get an M.A. (as I learned in 2002) almost only by taking part in
demonstrations, in squatting, and in feminism workshops: Many M.A.'s in
philosophy were given on the basis of this "education" (and after that,
they were made staff members teaching philosophy at various places in
various Dutch universities!).
 This is a quite
important point for someone who does want to understand the
corruption of the Dutch universities between 1971 and 1995 (5 student
It was nearly completely based on hypocrisy,
much rather than genuine conviction, as indeed - with my out-and-out
communist background - I was aware of from 1977 onwards:
The staffs wanted to be paid well and do as little as possible for it, and
got it; the students wanted diplomas without almost any studying
and without almost any talents, and got that.
Most of the - quite fanatic, quite crazy - politics they engaged in was
part of the hypocrisy,
and if not belonged to the folklore of radical pretense that many
20-year olds have to go through, but that they know, also at that time,
to be not really sincere or honest but make-believe.
As to communism: I liked my parents and knew they were genuine and true
communists. I have seen a great amount of hypocritical pretensious
quasi- communists, who also were members of the communist party (as
they only admitted in 1992), but I did not meet any genuine
communist in the UvA (like my parents) although I met many tens
 And that is the secret of the
University of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995, and the explanation of
the enormous popularity of the theses that "science is an illusion" and "everybody knows that truth
does not exist":
It meant that no one did have to do anything to become a real
scientist; it meant that no one did have to do anything to find
deep truths; it meant that no one could ever be refuted in any
way ("there is no truth" and hence no valid refutations); it meant that
everyone could claim to be right in the most amazing falsehoods (for
"there is no truth" and therefore no falsehood); it meant that M.A.
degrees could be handed out for taking part in demonstrations or in
squatting; it meant that everybody could do, and say, and
think as they pleased without any criticism having any
validity ("there is no truth", "science is an illusion") - and that
sketches most of the activities in the University of Amsterdam between 1971
and 1995 quite well.
There were a few who protested, but not more than 5%. And of
those who protested, most were bought later by a soft, cushy and
well-paid university job, after which they ceased criticizing...
 And this paragraph sketched the reasons
why this sick state of affairs could continue for 24 years:
Everything was ruled by parliaments (both the university and all
faculties); in these yearly elections the students always had
the absolute majority; and a charicature of "marxism" was
combined with a choice of postmodernism
("there is no truth", "science is an illusion") and with political
correctness ("you shall only speak in my approved terms, and if not
you are a fascist") to make it appear as if it were reasonable.
 I am referring to Orwell's "Notes on
Nationalism" that appeared in Volume 3 of "The Collected Essays,
Journalism and Letters of George Orwell"
(on p. 410-431 of my Penguin edition, that I bought and read in 1978).
I do think these Notes are still quite relevant, but not for