from August 7, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Tuesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from August 7, 2018:
1. Meet Ahed Tamimi, 17-Year-Old West Bank Activist
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Where Trump Sees Foreign Danger
3. In Bid for 'Dystopian' Surveillance Power, Facebook Asking
for Customer Data
4. The Legacy of Infinite War
5. Historian on comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler: “My
is being overcome”
Ahed Tamimi, 17-Year-Old West Bank Activist
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It starts with the
Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi has been freed from Israeli prison
after eight months behind bars. Known to some as the Rosa Parks of
Palestine, Tamimi became a hero to Palestinians and people around the
world last year after a viral video showed her slapping a heavily armed
Israeli soldier near her family’s home in the occupied West Bank. The
incident came just after Tamimi learned her cousin had been gravely
wounded by an Israeli soldier who shot him in the head using a
rubber-coated steel bullet. Video of Tamimi confronting the soldier
went viral, elevating her into a symbol of Palestinian resistance. Ahed
was soon arrested in the middle of the night and charged with assault
in an Israeli military court. She was sentenced to eight months in an
Israeli prison and celebrated her 17th birthday behind bars. Her mother
was also arrested and charged for incitement, in part for streaming
video online showing the interaction between Tamimi and the Israeli
soldier. Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, were released in late July. We
speak with Ahed Tamimi from her home in the West Bank village of Nabi
I have not seen
the above, but I do think Israel (or Israel´s present
completely on the wrong way, and one reason I think so is that they are
at present - like Donald Trump - prosecuting children (though
this started some nine years ago, in Israel).
Here is more:
GOODMAN: Ahed, welcome to Democracy
Now! How does it feel to be free from jail?
TAMIMI: [translated] It’s
an extremely wonderful feeling. I hope all prisoners, men and women,
live to experience this joy. Of course, my joy is incomplete, because
my brothers and sisters remain in prison. And I hope that they are
liberated and feel the happiness that I feel today.
Here is more:
SHAIKH: Can you explain,
Ahed, what actually led to your arrest?
is one of the crazy things the present Israeli government is
Prosecuting children for resisting heavily armed soldiers
them, often to death.
TAMIMI: [translated] They
accused me of hitting a soldier. I had 12 charges brought up against
me, but the main one was the charge of hitting a soldier in front of
the door of my house. My goal wasn’t to hit him. I didn’t intend to hit
him. He had shot my cousin in the head, and my cousin was going to die
because of the injury. The soldier at the front of my house was
shooting at children and young men in the street. I’m not the one that
went to him. He’s the one that was at the front of my door.
Here is some more:
[translated] The prison was very, very difficult. There were 29 other
female prisoners with me. The numbers would go up and down depending on
the situation. The conditions for female prisoners, and male prisoners,
is difficult. The rooms are very, very small. There are no air vents.
There was medical neglect and prevention of education. They attempted
to prevent us from getting educated.
And here is some more:
SHAIKH: Now, Ahed,
following criticism, widespread criticism, Israel instituted a separate
military court for minors, for children, in 2009. What, if anything,
has changed since then?
Well... I am completely against
children´s courts, indeed also if the children these courts convict
threw stones to Israeli soldiers etc. And this is a recommended article.
Nothing’s changed. There are children who are in Israeli detention for
over 10 years, children sentenced to 13 years, children sentenced to 14
years. The court just changed its name to a children’s court. The judge
is still a Zionist judge. The court is still a Zionist court. It’s
still a racist court. So nothing has really changed.
Trump Sees Foreign Danger
article is by Robert Reich on his site. It starts as follows:
What’s the most worrisome
into the United States – unauthorized immigrants, Chinese imports, or
interference in our democracy?
For Trump, it’s immigrants
imports. He doesn’t care much about the third.
“Border security is
Trump said last week, as he threatened a government shutdown if
come up with money to build a wall along the Mexican border (at an
cost at least $25 billion).
Meanwhile, Trump has
ordered his administration to consider raising tariff rates on
$200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting China
to threaten higher tariffs on $60 billion more of American goods.
I agree, and here is
Trump has it backwards.
Illegal immigration isn’t
he makes it out to be. Illegal border crossings have been declining
And if the Chinese want to
to send us cheap imports that we pay for with U.S. dollars and our own
that’s as much of a potential problem for them as it is for us.
But Russian attacks on our
a clear and present threat aimed at the heart of America.
Facebook recently announced
it uncovered a major disinformation campaign with the hallmarks of the
same Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency responsible for election
Well... I disagree
with the last two quoted paragraphs:
undoubtedly did some things they should not have done,
but so did the
Americans to Russia, and besides what ¨the Russians¨ really did
still - mostly hidden in fact, which means that most of what
read about it must be propaganda.
Second, I distrust
(and despise) Facebook and Zuckerberg, and I will not
believe anything they say without independent evidence.
Here is more propaganda (I
FBI Director Christopher
that “Russia … continues to engage in malign influence operations to
day.” Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, says “Russians are
for every opportunity … to continue their pervasive efforts to
Here is Reich´s ending
of his article:
[T]he essence of America –
attribute we must hold most secure because it defines who we are and
strive for – is a system of government “of the people,
by the people, for the people,” as Lincoln
If Putin or a
Ukrainian strongman or even a giant Chinese company undermines this,
us of our most precious legacy.
Trump cares more about
immigrants and Chinese imports than about the sanctity of our
is a tragic mistake.
Well... I think it has
been shown sufficiently well (and several times, by several
researchers) that the USA does no longer have ¨a system of government “of the people,
by the people, for the people,” as Lincoln
What it has is a system of government of the rich,
by the rich, for the rich, and that is no longer a real
any sense, even if it is also -
not, yet - a system of explicit fascism or neofascism.
Bid for 'Dystopian' Surveillance Power, Facebook Asking Big Banks for
article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:
satisfied with access
to its users' call history, text messaging data, and online
conversations, Facebook has reportedly
asked major Wall Street firms like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo
to hand over their customers' sensitive financial data as part of the
social media giant's ongoing attempt to become "a platform where people
buy and sell goods and services."
Neofascist Facebook is
based on the sickest system of personal spying that I have ever heard
of, and you should multiply that by over 2 billion of its
And according to the Wall
Street Journal—which first reported on Facebook's plans on
Monday—the social media behemoth isn't the only tech company that wants
access to Americans' financial data. Google and Amazon have also "asked
banks to share data if they join with them, in order to provide basic
banking services on applications such as Google Assistant and Alexa,"
the Journal pointed
out, citing anonymous sources familiar with the companies' ambitions.
And I am not amazed that neofascist
Facebook is joined by neofascist
Google and neofascist Amazon.
Here is more on the neofascists from Facebook:
Over the past year,
Facebook has reached out to some of America's largest banks to request
"detailed financial information about their customers, including card
transactions and checking account balances, as part of an effort to
offer new services to users," the Journal notes. "Facebook
has told banks that the additional customer information could be used
to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on
In response to the Journal's
reporting, critics of corporate power used the word "dystopian" to
describe the push by Facebook, Google, and Amazon for ever-greater
access to users' personal information in a bid to boost profits.
Well... I don´t think
Facebook is "dystopian" (with or
without quotation marks): I think it is explicitly and consciously
neofascist (and if you disagree you should read
Here is more by the Honest
Facebook headed by the Honest Zuckerberg:
While Facebook insisted in
response to the Journal's story
that it doesn't
want to use any of this data for advertising purposes or share it
with third parties, many pointed out that there is no reason to trust
Facebook's expressed commitment to user privacy, particularly in the
wake of the
Cambridge Analytica scandal and other abuses.
If you believe
or Zuckerberg, you´ll be abused by them. And here is the last bit
Highlighting the fact that
"Facebook has been a cesspool of privacy issues for quite a while,"
technology writer Curtis Silver argued
in a piece for Forbes on Monday that it's time to "quit
Facebook before it inevitably accesses your banking data."
"There has been no evidence
up to this point that Facebook is anything other than what it is. What
is it? A data content farm for paying customers," Silver writes. "How
much more of your personal existence are you willing to give up to
continue to be a sieve of your data for a multi-billion dollar
Precisely, and this is
a strongly recommended article.
Legacy of Infinite War
article is by Nick Turse on TomDispatch. It starts as follows:
Yes indeed, and the main
impact is that what started in 2001 as the War on Terror seems
grown 17 years later, all of which were years of war, into something
that may be called infinite war, although I disagree
with the term
¨World War IV¨. Then again, especially with an insane president like
Trump, it may soon turn to World War III - which probably
mankind, if it is nuclear.
Raids by U.S. commandos in
Afghanistan. (I could be talking about 2001
A U.S. drone strike in
Yemen. (I could be talking about 2002
Missions by Green Berets in
Iraq. (I could be talking about 2003
While so much about the War
on Terror turned Global War on
Terrorism turned World
War IV turned the Long War
struggle” turned “infinite
war” seems repetitious, the troops most associated with this
conflict -- the U.S. Special Operations forces -- have seen changes
Here is more - and Afghanistan now has been in more or less
war since 1979:
contest for or control about 44%
of Afghanistan. That country also hosts many more terror groups -- 20
in all -- than it did 12 years ago. “Vicious Iraqi dictator” Saddam
Hussein is, of course, still dead and gone, but in 2014, about a third
of “the new, democratic Iraq” was overrun by Islamic State militants.
The country was only re-liberated in late 2017
and the Islamic State is already making a comeback
there this year. Meanwhile, Iraq is beset
by anti-government protests
and totters along as one of the most fragile
states on the planet, while the Iraqi and Afghan war zones bled
together -- with U.S. special operators now fighting
an Islamic State terrorist franchise in Afghanistan, too.
Here is more and SOCOM
refers to United States Special
In spite, or perhaps
because, of these circumstances, SOCOM continues to thrive. Its budget,
its personnel numbers, and just about any other measure you might
choose (from missions to global reach) continue to rise. In 2006, for
instance, 85% of Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed overseas --
Army Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs, and others -- were
concentrated in the Greater Middle East, with far smaller numbers
spread thinly across the Pacific (7%), Europe (3%), and Latin America
(3%). Only 1% of them were then conducting missions in Africa.
Today, the lion’s share --
56% -- of those commandos still operate in the Greater Middle East,
according to figures provided to TomDispatch by SOCOM, but
all other foreign deployments have grown at that region’s expense.
Africa Command has leapt from last to second place and now hosts 16.5%
of America’s overseas commandos, European Command 13.9% of them, the newly
renamed Indo-Pacific Command 8.6%, and Southern Command 4.5%.
And here you should
also know that the USA has some military presence in at least 135
countries in the world.
Here is more on
Yes indeed, and I add that
one reason for this fighting for 17 years that some U.S.
engaged in is that the draft was ended by Nixon in 1972.
As deployments have shifted
geographically, the number of special operators overseas has risen
dramatically. In any given week in 2001, an average of 2,900 commandos
were deployed abroad. By 2014, that number had hit 7,200. Today,
according to SOCOM spokesman Ken McGraw, it’s 8,300.
A generation of commandos have
spent their careers fighting on the proliferating fronts of
Washington’s forever wars, hopping from one conflict zone to another or
sometimes returning to the same campaign again and again. Some have
spent much of their adult lives at war and a number have lost their
lives after multiple warzone tours, still without a victory in sight.
“At this stage in the ongoing counter-violent extremist type of fight,
it is not a rare exception for airmen to be on their 12th, 13th, or
14th deployment,” Lieutenant General Marshall Webb, the chief of Air
Force Special Operations Command, told
the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities earlier
There is considerably more in the article, which is recommended.
on comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler: “My resistance … is being
article is by Chauncey DeVega on Salon. It starts as follows:
President Donald Trump is a
symptom of a much larger problem. New research suggests that Trump's supporters are so motivated by racism and
bigotry that they may be willing to overturn American democracy so
that white right-wing Christians like themselves can
maintain continued power over our society.
Ultimately, history teaches
many lessons. The question then becomes whether we are willing to learn
them. How is Donald Trump similar to, or different from, authoritarians
and fascists such as Adolf Hitler? In what ways are "regular people"
and Trump's "average" supporters implicated and responsible for his
assault on democracy and campaign of cruelty? To what extend does the
cruelty of Trump and his enablers toward immigrant children and other
groups channel the evils of the Nazi regime? Do individuals working
together have a chance to slow down Donald Trump and the Republican
Party's assault on American democracy?
I more or less agree,
although I also should warn you that in 22
years of reading on the
internet I have failed
to find a single definition
of ¨fascism¨ outside of the Wikipedia, which lists 21 different
definitions of fascism,
and I completely failed to find any
definition of neofascism.
In fact, I reviewed
the 21 definitions of fascism (about which I think it is fair I
know a lot, in part because both of my
parents were in the resistance in WW II, and both my father and his
father were arrested, convicted as ¨political terrorists¨ in 1941, and
sent to German concentration camps, which my grandfather did not survive)
here: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions
This is strongly
recommended, though by now, having reviewed very
many articles that mention ¨fascism¨ but that
never did define it, not even unreasonably, I think that to
demand at least a tolerably clear definition of ¨fascism¨ is simply
asking too much from most ordinary journalists.
Back to the article:
Well... I more or less agree,
but what do Frankel and DeVega think fascism is?
Neither tells. And here is more by historian Frankel:
Looking at Trump
and his supporters' authoritarian views and apparent disdain for
normal politics and democracy, it does not seem that this situation
will end well.
I do think there's
certainly a very strong possibility that it's not going to end well --
and that's from the perspective of a German historian. And as a
historian, my natural tendency is to always try to stop people from
invoking Hitler. In most cases it was not appropriate to make such a
comparison. But now, with Trump, my resistance and that of other
historians to making that comparison is being overcome.
But there is an important
qualifier: History doesn't have to repeat. It doesn't have to look
exactly like what happened before. It won't. But if we wait for Trump
and this moment to fully become like Hitler and the Nazis, and that is
the point at which you start to act, then it is already too late.
Where I see things
going right now with Donald Trump is that if he is not stopped the
result will be some form of authoritarian, racially exclusionary
democracy. My focus is much less on a particular system, whether he's a
fascist or not. It's much more the question of exclusion. Trump and his
allies are trying to create a kind of white, Christian, male-dominated
national community for their followers. He's drawing the boundaries
around that community and excluding all those groups that don't fit in,
whether it's the handicapped, immigrants, Muslims, Jews or other
groups. Those Americans and others who are not part of Trump's imagined
community will be second-class citizens and will have their rights
Again yes and no: I more
or less agree with Frankel, but why does he not define what he means by fascism, while insisting he does not
want to talk about it, in spite of the fact that he
is a historian who
specialized on Hitler´s Germany? I think that is fairly odd.
Here is some more:
I am sorry: This just is too
vague, for a historian who specialized on the period, and
especially that ¨a
significant majority of Germans voted for some kind of dictatorship¨.
Of course Hitler was not
elected chancellor before he came to take full control and power. The
most he had was 37 percent of the vote in a multiparty system, which
means about two-thirds of the country didn't want a Nazi dictatorship.
At the same time, if you take all of the people who voted for the
Nazis, the Communists and the German nationalists, a significant
majority of Germans voted for some kind of dictatorship.
They were certainly not voting
for democracy anymore. That was finished. And so the notion that the
end of democracy under Hitler came as some kind of surprise to Germany
is partly false because most of them didn't want democracy anymore.
They were looking for something else.
Here is the last bit that I quote from this interview:
As a historian of
Germany, what were your thoughts when you first heard about Trump's
concentration camps for immigrants, refugees and migrants? Especially
the children who are put in very Nazi-sounding "tender care" baby
Trump and other Republicans
and Trump-supporting conservatives en masse only care about people who
are in their group. Therefore, if you make fun of Ivanka Trump you are
going to be demonized. But for them, if you make a horrible remark
about a disabled child who has been removed from the arms of her
mother: "So what?" That person’s mother should never have crossed the
border. They are not thinking about that person as a human being.
I more or less agree,
but it´s vague again, at least for a historian who specialized on
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).