1. U.S. Admits Israel Is
Building Permanent Apartheid
Regime — Weeks After Giving It
‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to
3. "America Divided": New TV Series Explores Inequality
from Water to Housing to Mass
4. Andrew Bacevich:
Election Pits Hawkish Clinton vs.
Stands Nuremberg on Its Head
This is a Nederlog of Friday, October 7, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about an article by Glenn Greenwald on the current Israel and the
current USA; item 2 is about a review in the NYTRB
of what is nominally a book about Hitler, but that seems a lot about
Trump (and I agree); item 3 is about inequality as
the main political and economical theme in the present USA (and I
agree); item 4 is about Bacevich who discusses the
current relation between politics and the military in the USA; and item 5
is about Obama who - very consciously, no doubt - completely inverted
the principles established at Nuremberg: According to Obama people may
torture other people and be not at all prosecuted or discriminated,
provided the torturers are Americans doing
what their superiors told them to. (All of this was refuted at the
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click/reload twice or more
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working.
I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!)
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that
for many months now.
1. U.S. Admits Israel Is Building Permanent Apartheid Regime
— Weeks After Giving It $38 Billion
This first item is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
Yes indeed, though I should perhaps add that
Israel seemed rather different in 1971 from what it seems to be
now, under Nethanyahu.
In 2010, Israel’s then-defense minister,
Ehud Barak, explicitly
warned that Israel would become a permanent “apartheid” state
if it failed to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians that creates
their own sovereign nation and vests them with full political rights.
“As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only
one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either
non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions
of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
Honest observers on both sides of the
conflict have long acknowledged that the prospects for a two-state
solution are virtually non-existent: another way of saying that
Israel’s status as a permanent apartheid regime is inevitable. Indeed,
U.S. intelligence agencies as
early as 45 years ago explicitly warned that
Israeli occupation would become permanent if it did not end quickly.
Here is more on Israel:
All relevant evidence makes clear
this is what has happened. There has been no progress toward a
two-state solution for many years. The composition
of Israel’s Jewish population — which has become far
more belligerent and right-wing than previous generations — has
increasingly moved the country further away from that goal. There are key
ministers in Israel’s government, including its genuinely extremist
justice minister, who are openly
and expressly opposed to a two-state solution. Israel’s Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has himself repeatedly made clear he
opposes such an agreement, both in
words and in deeds. In
sum, Israel intends to continue to rule over and occupy
Palestinians and deny them self-governance, political
liberties, and voting rights indefinitely.
I agree. And there is this on the USA:
Worst of all is that U.S.
political orthodoxy has not only funded, fueled, and protected this
apartheid state, but has attempted to render
illegitimate all forms of resistance to it. Just as it did with the
African National Congress and Nelson Mandela, the U.S. denounces as
“terrorism” all groups and individuals that use force against
Israel’s occupying armies. It has formally maligned non-violent
programs against the occupation — such as the boycott, divestment,
and sanctions movement — as bigotry and anti-Semitism (a position Clinton
has advocated with particular vehemence), and that boycott movement
has been increasingly targeted throughout the West with
censorship and even criminalization. Under U.S. political
orthodoxy, the only acceptable course for Palestinians and supporters
of their right to be free of occupation is complete submission.
I agree again. There is more under the last
dotted link above, and this is a recommended article.
2. In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent
From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue
The second item is by Michiko Kakutani on The New York Review of Books:
This starts as follows and is nominally
review of yet another biography of Hitler, but actually seems to be at
least as much about Donald Trump as it is about Adolf Hitler. And
Michiko Kakutani seems to be the chief reviewer of the NYRB.
She starts as follows:
Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a
“half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big
mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? What
persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine
of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office”
achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a
course of monstrous horror?
In fact there is a rather plausible
theory by John
Maynard Keynes, in "The
Economic Consequences of the Peace" (<- Wikipedia). The book was
published in 1919, and Wikipedia's review of it starts as follows:
attended the Paris Peace Conference, 1919
as a delegate of the British Treasury and argued for a much more
generous peace. It was a best-seller throughout the world and was
critical in establishing a general opinion that the Versailles Treaty
was a "Carthaginian peace". It helped to
consolidate American public opinion against the treaty and involvement
in the League of Nations. The perception by
much of the British public that Germany had been treated unfairly in
turn was a crucial factor in public support for appeasement.
The success of the book established Keynes' reputation as a leading
economist especially on the left. When Keynes was a key player in
establishing the Bretton Woods system in 1944, he
remembered the lessons from Versailles as well as the Great Depression. The Marshall Plan, after the Second World War, was
a similar system to that proposed by Keynes in The Economic
Consequences of the Peace.
I think Keynes was right,
although there are more
causes: Germany had been treated quite unfairly, and had been mostly
very poor for 15 years, until Hitler seized power in 1933, and this probably
would not have happened with some more fairness, in 1918/19.
Back to the review:
Ullrich, like other biographers, provides vivid insight into some
factors that helped turn a “Munich rabble-rouser” — regarded by many as
a self-obsessed “clown” with a strangely “scattershot, impulsive style”
— into “the lord and master of the German Reich.”
Michiko Kakutani gives the rest
of her review in terms of 9 dotted points, of which I will quote parts
was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a
narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich
calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches
and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his
capacity for self-control, even his sanity.
• Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that
would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the
latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his
message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly
untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between
lies and truth”
• Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic
adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and
by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression.
Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich
writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity,
while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating
“evening’s entertainment.” Politicians, for their part, suffered from
the delusion that the dominance of traditional conservatives in the
cabinet would neutralize the threat of Nazi abuse of power and “fence
In other words (it seems to me and
quite a few others): Trump is much like Hitler - for Trump is a narcissist, he is an
extreme liar and a fantasist, and very few took him
There are more
parallels, which you can check out for yourself by clicking on the last
of the above dotted links of this recommended article.
And yes, I agree.
3. "America Divided": New TV Series Explores Inequality from
Water to Housing to Mass Incarceration
The third item is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh
starts with the following introduction:
the presidential election less than five weeks away, the explosive new
documentary "America Divided" explores inequality in America. The show
follows high-profile correspondents as they explore aspects of
inequality in education, housing, healthcare, labor, criminal justice
and the political system. (..) For more on this groundbreaking series,
we speak with the three creators of "America Divided": Rick Rowley,
Solly Granatstein and Lucian Read.
indeed: I agree inequality is the basic theme in the
United States: Far too few get far too much; far too many get far
too little - and this has all been quite consciously arranged
by the few rich, for themselves: Since 1980 the few
rich have enormously expanded their riches, while the many poor
have advanced nothing or lost money.
So this is quite welcome. Here is part of the introduction of the film
(with other voices deleted: Clink on the last dotted link if you wish
to read them):
DAWSON: Our democracy
Our society, frayed. Our economy, split. (..)
We inherited a promise of justice, democracy, equality under the law.
But we live in an America divided. (..)
When was the moment that you started to see an effect or that there
might be something wrong? (..)
It’s time to cut through the noise. It’s time to uncover the roots of
the problem and how it affects us all.
I agree with this sum-up, although it is
simple - and incidentally I have been seeing this since the early
1980ies , though indeed quite a lot was
added in the 2000s by 15 years of continuous war and by
the NSA and the other secret services plundering and destroying the
privacy of everyone connected to the internet (for that is
what I think has happened, quite consciously, quite
illegally, the last 15 years). 
Here is one of the makers of the
SOLLY GRANATSTEIN: Well, we felt like the
country is really at a crisis point when it comes to inequality. The
fruits of the economic recovery were going, as we all know, to the 1
percent, and not to most of the people. And we wanted to examine
different aspects of inequality in people’s daily lives. And so, we
went to different parts of the country. Each one explored a different
aspect of inequality. And each of these stories was presented and
explored by a high-profile correspondent, who each have their own
entrée into the different stories.
Yes, indeed and this is a fine idea. I
haven't seen the documentary yet, but it appears it can be seen, for
AMY GOODMAN: So, you’ve done this series for
Epix network. Where can people see it?
SOLLY GRANATSTEIN: Well, the easiest way to see
the whole series is to go to Epix.com,
E-P-I-X.com-slash-freetrial. It’s a premium cable channel like HBO and Showtime; you have to subscribe. But,
actually, you can stream the whole thing online, and actually, right
now, you can do it for free.
AMY GOODMAN: This is incredible and
explosive, and to be here in the midst of the election season raising
all of these issues. We’re going to continue the conversation, and
we’ll post it online at democracynow.org.
a lot more in the article, that is recommended.
The fourth item today is by Amy Goodman and
Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!:
Andrew Bacevich: Election Pits Hawkish Clinton vs. Ill-Prepared,
"Strategically Illiterate" Trump
This starts with the following
Vice-presidential candidates Virginia
Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence squared off Tuesday
night in the only vice-presidential debate. Ahead of the debate,
Democracy Now! hosted a roundtable with a number of guests, including
Columbia University law professor Katherine Franke, who chairs the
board of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and historian Andrew
Bacevich, a retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran. His latest book is
"America’s War for the Greater Middle East."
I admit that I have not seen the
debate between the vice-presidential candidates. Also, I will
concentrate in this review on only one of the two that were interviewed
on Democracy Now!
Here is Andrew Bacevich
(<- Wikipedia), about the first debate between the presidential
BACEVICH: Well, it was
a—it was a great missed opportunity, because the moderated interviews,
first with Hillary Clinton and then with Donald Trump, basically were a
waste of time. The candidates were never asked the sorts of questions
that Americans need to hear about with regard to national security. So,
for example, there was no discussion of President Obama’s planned
trillion-dollar modernization of our nuclear arsenal, whether or not
that’s a good idea, bad idea, necessary, inflammatory. There was no
discussion about what we might learn from our post-9/11 wars in the
greater Middle East, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan, but not limited
to those two. Those wars have obviously been unsuccessful. What should
we learn from them? And how would those lessons apply to either a Trump
administration or a Clinton administration going forward? So, again, I
think it was a—really, a terrible missed opportunity.
I agree (and while I haven't seen the
first debate between the presidential candidates either, the sum-up of
some - of the many - questions that were not asked althought
they should have been is sufficient for me).
Then there is this about the relation
between politics and the military in these days in the USA, where
it may make sense to keep in mind that Von Clausewitz
(<- Wikipedia) has said that "War is the continuation of politics
by other means":
BACEVICH: Well, you’re
making a very good point. And, of course, our politicians do ritually
talk about the military being a last resort, but any examination of
U.S. policy, not simply since the end of the Cold War—or, since the end
of—since 9/11, but, I think, more broadly, since the end of the Cold
War, would suggest otherwise, that the military has become the
preferred option as far as American statecraft is concerned. Why?
Because of expectations in Washington, shared by both parties, shared
by both of these two presidential candidates, that, somehow or other,
military power offers the most effective way to achieve our purposes.
In other words (and with some
interpretation): From 1991 onwards, when the Soviet Union and its
empire effectively collapsed and the USA thereby more or less
automatically became THE ruling nation on the earth, it seems as if both
the leading American politicians and the leading American
military have - in fact, though not publicly - inverted Clausewitz's
saying to the far more dangerous and far more
aggressive "Politics is the continua- tion of war by other means".
And it seems the main reason for this is
the fact that the USA indeed was made the absolute military Number One
Then there is this on Donald Trump and
also on Hillary Clinton:
BACEVICH: Well, I think,
frankly, it’s impossible for us to gauge what a Trump foreign policy
would look like. He is, by and large, uninformed. He’s strategically
illiterate. He knows as much about national security policy as I know
about running a business. And what I know about running a business is
next to nothing.
And the problem, I think—one of the
problems with our—with the media coverage of the campaign, the way the
mainstream media has covered it, is that the appalling prospect of a
Trump presidency has caused the campaign to be about Trump, the
imperative of revealing simply how ill-prepared he is for the office,
of revealing how uncouth he is, his sketchy relationship with truth,
and therefore the discussion of the campaign hasn’t really admitted any
debate, serious debate, over what—over the national security issues
that we really do confront.
As for Secretary Clinton, it
seems to me she is very much a mainstream, hawkish, liberal
Yes, I agree: Trump is unpredictable (but will
deliver a disaster if he becomes president), while Clinton very
probably will continue Obama's policies, except that she is more
The last bit that I will quote from this fine interview about the legal
authorization of the wars that the USA is fighting:
BACEVICH: Well, I
think—I think one question is—has to do with the—what is the
authorization, what is the authority, under which the president
continues to conduct our wars in the greater Middle East, specifically
the new war in Iraq against ISIS and U.S.
involvement in the civil war in Syria? Nominally, the authorization is
the document that was passed by the Congress in the immediate wake of
9/11. That document said that the president was authorized to go after
parties that perpetrated 9/11. Obviously, the Assad regime didn’t
perpetrate 9/11. ISIS didn’t perpetrate
9/11. It didn’t exist at the time. So I think we really ought to have a
serious discussion over who says that we should be at war and why
doesn’t the Congress exercise any serious voice in that regard, as the
Constitution of the United States calls for.
I agree again, though I should add that
with the present Congress I do not see this happening,
although I agree that they in fact allowed the president to
mostly do what he wanted, on the basis of an anyway bad authorization
that is 15 years old and pertains to parties that have
disappeared, while not at all acknowledging the parties that
This is a fine interview with a lot more
text, and it is recommended.
5. Obama Stands Nuremberg on Its Head
The fifth and last item today is by Mike Farrell on Truthdig:
This was first printed in 2009 and
is a reprinted now by Truthdig. It starts as follows:
President Obama’s decision to spare CIA
torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their
head. “Good Germans who were only following orders” are not exempt from
the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Justice Robert Jackson, chief United
States prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, declared in his opening
statement to the tribunal that the men charged “represent sinister
influence that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have
returned to dust. They are living symbols of racial hatreds, of
terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power.”
The arrogance and cruelty of CIA
officers who torture and brutalize helpless prisoners are not expunged
just because, as Obama said, they “carried out their duties relying in
good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice.” Attorney
General Eric Holder says it’s “unfair to prosecute dedicated men and
women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in
advance by the Justice Department,” but he fails to note these very CIA
agents requested said authority in order to engage in what all but the
most insidious parsing of legal thought recognizes as torture.
Yes, indeed: Quite so (bolding added): "President Obama’s decision to spare CIA torturers from
prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head."
In case you do not know know much
or anything about the Nuremberg Trials,
the last link is to Wikipedia.
And Obama did stand "the Nuremberg
principles on their head" when he ruled that the torturers of the
CIA are excused by the fact that they "carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal
advice from the Department of Justice":
They are not thus excused on the
principles established at Nuremberg, which gives everyone a
personal responsibility to see to it that people are not
tortured, nor abused, and that such international laws that have
been agreed to are indeed maintained.
Here is more, all completely
justified in my eyes:
How we cheapen ourselves today.
“Enhanced interrogation,” “coercive techniques” and “harsh treatment”
pretend torture is not torture. By what moral or ethical standard does
a rational person determine that smashing a shackled human being’s head
into a wall is legal, let alone acceptable? It has been clear from
before Nuremberg that the duty of the individual is to refuse to commit
an illegal act, even if so ordered by one’s commanding authority.
Yet, “nothing will be gained by spending
our time and energy laying blame for the past,” says our president,
missing the point entirely. As a constitutional scholar, he above all
should understand that impunity for torturers gnaws at the wound of
injustice and denies healing.
The president engaged in his favorite
Whenever he does not want to
discuss something (or see it discussed) he claims - always
completely falsely - that "the past" is past and needs no
discussion whatsoever - precisely as if he is a prosecutor who
insists that the Mafia cannot be prosecuted because they
committed their crimes in "the past".
And since he was a professor of law, he knows
this is a verbal trick with which any crimes by anyone
can be apparently disappeared and declared irrelevant (as does the
incredible fraud Eric Holder). But he insists on using the trick.
Here is a final bit by Mike Farrell, who wrote this originally in 2009:
The pressures on a new president are
intense, of course, but for the Obama administration to demean justice
based on what can only be understood as political calculus is deeply
disheartening. At a minimum, one would hope that the price exacted from
the “intelligence professionals” involved in this dehumanizing exercise
would be immediate dismissal.
And as for their superiors, we might look
again to Jackson, who made clear at Nuremberg that he was not indicting
a nation. Instead, he condemned a group that “was not put in power by a
majority” and that “came to power by an evil alliance between the most
extreme of the … revolutionists, the most unrestrained of the …
reactionaries, and the most aggressive of the … militarists.”
Yes, indeed. And this is a recommended
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
(really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
The main two reasons why I was so early are that I am the oldest son of
two lifelong communists (and while I disagreed with Marx since I am 20,
I did not and do not disagree with my parents' radicalism, and I also
agree with them that capitalism is not a good idea), while I
rather heavily involved with student politics in the late 1970ies and
the first half of the 1980ies. (The second was a mistake of mine, but
 The last bit is the most important to
me. I think this is a very major danger; I think it is totally
illegal (the Fourth
Amendment (!!) (<- Wikipedia) and I think that it will start
neofascism if it is not thoroughly destroyed: To give the
secret services the right to compile secret dossiers on anyone is
fascism, and it is also extremely sick.
 In fact, ever since I was 14 (in 1964)
(!!) and visited the German Democratic Republic (aka Socialist East
Germany) I knew that the "socialism" of the Soviet Union was not
socialism in the sense I admitted. I don't think it was capitalism
either: The best overall analysis I know of the Soviet Uinon is
Voslenski (<- Wikipedia).