1. Fifteen Years After
9/11, Neverending War
Truthdigger of the Week: Former British Ambassador
and Whistleblower Craig Murray
3. How Everything Became War
Israel Bars Journalist Abby Martin From Gaza on
Baseless 'Enemy State' Charges
5. On restoring the
looks of my site
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, September 11, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about the
endless war the USA engages in since 2001 (with some of my own opinions
added); item 2 is about former British ambassador Craig Murray, who now
is not admitted into the USA because of his opinions; item 3 is about a
book I haven't read by a reviewer I don't know, but the review doesn't
seem well done (I explain); item 4 is about Abby Martin, who is not
admitted to Gaza by Israel, because of her opinions; and item 5 is
about restoring the looks on my site: I conclude that by the end of
today most has been done, which means that the site now looks again as
it is meant to do (which may not have been the case for quite a long
while now), at least on monitors not larger tha 27 * 34 cm.
like to draw your attention to a
previous Nederlog, called Rewriting my site,
that is indeed about that, or more precisely: About a resized graphical
background that is necessary since I have now a normal sized squarish
monitor.  This will take quite a lot of
work, which I will continue after having finished the present crisis
item. (It will probably be done before the end of September. I do not
yet know when, but I will say so in Nederlog if it is finished.) And
here is the link to Rewriting
my site, that shows how much I have corrected up till today
In fact, I finished the philosophy section. There still are some things
to be done, that I keep till later, but the site does look a
lot better now than it did before (on my monitors).
In case you wonder why I did not do much with it since 2012: My
eyes were quite painful. They are not healed yet, but they are
a lot better now, and that is the main explanation.
Also, see today's fifth item.
1. Fifteen Years After 9/11,
The first item today is by Alex Emmons on The Intercept:
This starts as
Yes, it does. And 16 years of war (which will
be reached in a few months' time), which is more than twice as long as
the two world wars in the 20th Century, suggest a number of things for
me. Here are some:
In the days after the September 11,
2001, terrorist attacks, when Congress voted to authorize military
force against the people who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided”
the hijackings, few Americans could have imagined the resulting manhunt
would span from West
Africa all the way to the Philippines,
and would outlast two two-term presidents.
Today, U.S. military engagement in the
Middle East looks increasingly permanent. Despite the White House
having formally ended the wars Iraq
thousands of U.S. troops and contractors remain in both countries. The
U.S. is dropping bombs on Iraq and Syria faster
than it can make them, and according to the Pentagon,
its bombing campaign in Libya has “no
end point at this particular moment.” The U.S. is also helping
Saudi Arabia wage war in
Yemen, in addition to conducting occasional airstrikes in Yemen and
Fifteen years after the September 11
attacks, it looks like the War on Terror is still in its opening
(1) The "War on Terror" was a fraud: It was a war that would show the
supremacy everywhere, while "terrorism" was
a fraud to allow the secret
services to gather dossiers on absolutely everyone (which in my
the end of democracy, the end of freedom, and the
foundation of governmental autocracy).
(2) The USA has very much changed the conditions for engagement:
Whatever attacks capitalism or its spread, may
be warred upon
(3) The USA has very much
changed the conditions for military engagements:
These are now up to the tastes of the
president and not to Congress.
(4) The wars the USA fights are very much changing the USA, and
give all power to the military, the government
and the rich - and this is one of the basic reasons for war:
More power to the military, to
the government and to the few rich; no powers for the many
I am only mentioning some of the things that strike me. Indeed, one of
the problems with "the war on terror" is to see through propaganda, lies and deceptions from
the government and the military.
In case you disagree (you may, and I don't know everthing) here are
some of the major changes 15 years of continuous wars
Despite the lack of progress, the last
15 years of war have come at a horrific cost.
The U.S. lost nearly 2,300 service
members in Afghanistan, and nearly 4,500 in Iraq. Hundreds
of thousands were forever damaged. Those figures do not
include at least 6,900
U.S. contractors and at least 43,000
Afghan and Iraqi troops who lost their lives.
The death toll in the countries the
U.S. attacked remains untallied, but conservative estimates range
from the hundreds of thousands to well over
a million. Add to that the hundreds of people tortured in U.S.
custody, and thousands killed by U.S. drones in Yemen, Pakistan, and
Incidentally, it is noteworthy that more
"US contractors" lost their lives than American military service men
and women. And I think that the number of those killed in the Middle
East by U.S. attacks is very probably above one million
lives, most of which were civilian lives.
There is this about the enormous
financial costs of 15 years of war:
The financial cost of the War on Terror
is incalculable. The Iraq and Afghan wars, including the medical costs
for veterans, are estimated to end up costing the U.S. at least $4
trillion dollars. Intelligence budgets have doubled,
on top of more than $800
billion spent on “homeland security.”
Note that this covers only the "Iraq and Afghan wars". Incidentally,
because I am trying to look through the propaganda, and noted this
already in 2005 (in Dutch):
I would not be amazed if the
wars are being fought to allow the secret services the - unconstitutional,
extremely anti-democratic - powers to collect all
intelligence they can get on anyone living anywhere,
which in turn is seen by me (at least) as a preparation for the total
domination of the few rich, and the complete disappearances of
democracy and freedom. (I call this "neofascism", but I do not
insist on the name. It may also be called rightist totalitarianism,
for that is part of what drives it.)
And this is about the consequences
for U.S. laws:
For me, these are all signs of the
ever and ever growing anti-democratic rulings and the growth of
totalitarianism in the USA.
At home, the War on Terror has become a
Constitutional nightmare. The U.S. has adopted a practice of
indefinitely detaining terror suspects. Police departments across the
country secretly import military
grade spy equipment. Courts have ruled
that families cannot sue to get their children off government kill
lists. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. has
become the largest surveillance state in history.
As I said, you may look differently upon this. I look
upon 15 years of continuous US wars as attempts to build a new,
anti-democratic, rightist totalitarian kind of surveillance society in
the USA, but I agree that the rightists, the Pentagon and the few
rich have not - as yet - totally triumphed.
Truthdigger of the Week: Former British Ambassador and Whistleblower
item is by Emma Niles on Truthdig:
This is from the beginning:
This week, Murray was denied
entry into the United States via the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The program
is intended to enable “most citizens or nationals of participating
countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for
stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.” Murray is set
to chair the presentation of this year’s Sam Adams Award for integrity in
intelligence, which takes place Sept. 25, to CIA-torture
whistleblower John Kiriakou.
I have repeatedly written about Craig Murray
before. See here and here,
for example - and I consider Murray's denial of entry in the USA as
good evidence for the growth of totalitarianism in the USA.
Despite visiting the U.S. under this visa
waiver program many times in the past, Murray was told his travel was
“not authorized” when he applied for entry this time around.
Here is Murray himself:
It is worth noting that despite the
highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil
liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been
refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused
me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?
I have no criminal record, no connection
to drugs or terrorism, have a return ticket, hotel booking and
sufficient funds. I have a passport from a visa waiver country and have
visited the USA frequently before during 38 years and never overstayed.
The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry clearance are
things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on civil
liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy. People at the conference
in Washington will now not be able to hear me speak.
Plainly ideas can be dangerous. So much
for the land of the free!
Yes, indeed: I completely agree: "The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry
clearance are things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on
civil liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy." And these are now forbidden by the U.S. government, for
the simple reason that these opinions
clash with the opinions of the U.S. government.
(In case you missed it: That
is typically governmental totalitarianism.)
Finally, here is a bit on what got Craig
Murray dismissed as a British ambassador, and - it seems - now refused
admission by the USA government:
Clearly, Craig Murray must be a very
bad man in the eyes of the British and the American governments.
“People come to me very often after
being tortured,” he told The
Guardian’s Nick Paton Walsh in 2004, shortly before his dismissal.
“Normally this includes homosexual and heterosexual rape of close
relatives in front of the victim; rape with objects such as broken
bottles; asphyxiation; pulling out of fingernails; smashing of limbs
with blunt objects; and use of boiling liquids including complete
immersion of the body. This is not uncommon. Thousands of people a year
suffer from this torture at the hands of the authorities.”
3. How Everything Became
item is by Celeste Ward Venter on Truthdig:
This is from near the beginning:
Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor, former
adviser at the Defense Department and influential voice in U.S. policy
circles, is one of the many critics of America’s “direct action”
program using these drones. In her new book, “How Everything Became War
and the Military Became Everything,” she argues that drone strikes rely
on problematic legal justifications and that their effectiveness and
legitimacy cannot be independently evaluated because of the program’s
secrecy. These strikes, along with government opacity about them, she
believes, will ultimately undermine the international rule of law,
further weaken America’s moral standing and set the stage for others to
follow our law-bending lead.
In fact, the whole article is a review of Brooks' new book,
which is called
“How Everything Became War and the Military
Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon”.
I know who Rosa Brooks
(<- Wikipedia) is, at least in the sense that she is on Wikipedia
and is the daughter of Barbara and
John Ehrenreich (known to me as
leftist progressives), and that she was appointed by Obama in 2009 as a
I like what I've quoted above: I think Brooks is right. Then
again, I have no idea whatsoever who Venter is. She has several
criticisms of Rosa Brooks' book, and I will take them up below.
Venter's first criticism is that Brooks is not quite
precise in what she understands by "war". I skipped it, because I don't
think it was Brooks' duty to faultlessly define what "war" is
(which I admit is a somewhat hazy concept for a very
long time, indeed in part because the governments' interests are often
not the same as the people's, and because "all governments lie", as
I.F. Stone put it.).
Here is the second criticism:
Second, if that is the “How Everything Became War” part of
the book, there is a main line of argument that concerns the structure
of U.S. government organizations and their inability to deal with the
threats and challenges we face. Brooks believes that civilian agencies
have been chronically underfunded and are incapable of conducting much
of what we might consider nonmilitary functions on a large scale —
digging wells, improving governance, even developing the rule of law in
struggling nations. Since Sept. 11, and arguably well before, the
military has stepped into the gap. This is “How the Military Became
According to Venter, Brooks' arguments are "a bit
threadbare". I think that argument is bullshit: The
military have been taking over many functions from the
government, and are doing it more. This is also why they get
of the budget, and the non-military part of government doesn't.
Here is Venter's third criticism:
Third, Brooks offers a number of ambitious and controversial
prescriptions, such as surrendering many functions to the military
services and totally restructuring them, and introducing a mandatory
universal service requirement for all young people (with a choice of
civilian or military service). What is missing is an in-depth
discussion of how all this might be done, the costs and benefits, and
the potential unintended consequences.
I don't think this is valid criticism. Venter may believe
that Brooks's book is not thick enough, and should not only
have been about war, and her ideas to change the conduct of war in the
USA, but should also have been about how
the changes she proposes (and I agree with a universal service
requirement, for I am against professional armies) are to be
implemented. I think this is
Here is Venter's fourth criticism:
Finally, one wonders whether Brooks
thinks that our current state of perpetual war is an unfortunate
development in the world, a product of technological, socioeconomic and
cultural trends, or whether it might be a problem of America’s own
making, as analysts like Andrew Bacevich have argued. Is what used to
be called the “Long War” simply a product of global events, or the
outcome of choices the United States has made and could change?
Really now?! Well, here is my answer: Clearly
"the "Long War"" is "the outcome of choices the United States has
made". To claim otherwise is to
deny all responsibility and accountability of the governmental and
military leaders of the USA.
So all in all I don't think this was a good review
(but I admit I haven't read Brooks' book).
Israel Bars Journalist Abby Martin From Gaza on Baseless 'Enemy State'
item is by Sarah Lazare on AlterNet:
This starts as
follows (and I like Abby
Martin (<- Wikipedia), whom this article is about, simply
because she is intelligent and courageous):
The Israeli Government Press Office has
denied the host of TeleSUR's popular "Empire Files" program Abby Martin
credentials to enter Gaza, citing baseless charges that she is
associated with the “enemy country” of Iran.
“We are currently examining information
that TeleSUR is associated with the government of Iran, an enemy
country under the Israeli law,” Ron Paz, the director of the Foreign
Press Department, wrote to Martin in an email dated September 4. “The
GPO [Government Press Office] rules prevent us from issuing
accreditation to those working on behalf of enemy countries.”
What utter baloney! Paz doesn't want
to admit Abby Martin because he knows she is a good and intelligent
journalist who doesn't agree with the
Israeli government, and that therefore the Israelis don't want
to admit her.
It's as simple as that (and the rest it
totalitarianism, from which Israel suffers more and more the longer
Nethanyahu has the power there).
Here is Abby Martin herself:
Martin is host of the program “The
Empire Files,” which describes
its mission as “recording a world shaped by war and inequality.” Her
reporting has consistently reported on Israel’s human rights abuses
against Palestinians and raised questions
about why major media outlets are failing to cover these abuses.
“So far on our travels in Palestine, we
have witnessed a massive and desperate human rights catastrophe—so it
is not surprising that the perpetrator of these crimes is attempting to
limit how much we can see and report on,” said Martin. “I believe this
is part of a larger effort by the Israeli state to hide the grim
reality of their illegal occupation and expansion.”
5. On restoring the looks of my site
and last item today is by me. Here is my reference:
This was last updated yesterday,
and will be updated again later today, with the news that the site
has been mostly restored in all directories, which in turn means
that nearly everything on the site (with some exceptions, more of which
below) now can be seen on ordinary squarish monitors of height *
breadth = 27 * 34 cm with a full blue graphical background, that
extends all over the screen.
First, it is quite possible that the previous site - with a
graphical background that is too small for monitors of the size 27 * 34
- dates back quite a long time, for I had smaller monitors for
a long time.
If so, I am truly sorry: I want my site to look well, but my health has
really horrible since 1996 (at the latest) and until 2012, when the
M.E. grew a bit less, but my eyes collapsed.
It is now 2016, and in fact I have only now the required combination of
somewhat improved health, and - since February 2016 - also of improved
eyes. (Neither has healed, but both are a bit or considerably better.)
So - at long last, I admit - there now is a new site, or at
least a site with a background that ought to fit standard squarish monitors of
Second, I said there were some exceptions. These are especially in the
philosophy directories for Multatuli, Wittgenstein and Maartensz, of
which the first two are quite old, and need rather a lot of
work, especially the Multatuli
I think I may quickly succeed in doing what still needs to be
done in the Wittgenstein and Maartensz sections, but this is not
so with the Multatuli- directories, which have very many small
files, all of which need new html for
So Multatuli will need rather a lot more work, and that will very
probably extend beyond September 2016. Also, I may rewrite some, if
my full review of the seven books of Ideas is the first in some
150 years to
appear (and may very well be the last forever).
I did work some eight days on rewriting the site. The main
reason for the time and the work needed is that I - long ago: around
2002 - decided that I didn't want the blue graphical background to be
only in the /images/ directory (i) because this might invite some
bugged copy, and (ii) because I found it quite unhandy. (I may have
been mistaken in both respects, but this is what I did, and it is very
difficult to undo.)
Therefore I have the same graphical background in many directories, and
is what made making the changes a lot more difficult than they would
In any case:
I have now restored the looks of my site to what they
to be (on the monitor I now use, which is larger than the previous
one). There still is some work to do, that probably will be done
quickly, apart from the Multatuli- section, that will probably take
more time and more work. (Nearly all of the
texts there are properly readable, but they mostly lack the right
And this was rather a lot of - boring - work to do, which I wasn't
properly capable of from 1996 till 2016, either because of my health
(that was considerably worse till 2012 than it is now) or because of my
painful eyes (that were a lot worse from 2012-2015).
Finally, there also is a restriction:
Html is a universal font that ought to be displayed the same
across many operating systems, browsers and monitors. I hope it is,
but I gave up on checking it does (also because repairing it for an
operating system I don't owe is quite difficult).
Otherwise, I do check it is correct for the monitor I
use (which has a standard size, that is incidentally larger than all
laptops I have seen), and for the browsers and OS that
I much prefer.
But that is all I will continue to do (and it is more than enough for
me). I hope the restored looks of my site are available to people who
read my site, and trust they are for many. 
P.S. Sep 12, 2016: I updated the first full statement in this article, which gives the date. I forgot to do so yesterday.
 Incidentally: I do
want to keep my sites to look reasonable on the monitors (and computers
and OSs) that I use, and I am trying to do so for
the new monitor I have, but I gave up (by 2012) trying to
I do take care it works well on Firefox, on Ubuntu, on a normal
sized squarish monitor, but I will not check anymore how my
site is displayed on other monitors, other OSs and other
much work for my health. (I guess it works on most systems,
since it is html that ought to work the same everywhere, but
I lack the health to check and repair.)
 In case it doesn't: You may check settings. Incidentally, in case your
monitor (or the screen of your laptop) isn't larger than 23
* 30.5 cm the changes I made are probably invisible.