from May 9, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Wednesday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:
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
These are five crisis files
that are all well worth reading:
A. Selections from May 9, 2018
1. Will the Media Ever Stand Up to Trump?
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. Trump Violates the Iran Nuclear Deal — Ignoring U.S. and
Generals Who Support It
3. Trump Decries Iran Nuclear Deal
for Gina Haspel: Does Torture Rig the Case for War?
5. 1968: Year of Counter-Revolution
the Media Ever Stand Up to Trump?
article is by Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Michelle Wolf ridiculed the brazen dishonesty of the president and his
equally deceitful staff, journalists at the White House Correspondents
Dinner threw her under the bus. The U.S. media treat politicians with
kid gloves; they fawn over them, befriend them, apologize for them.
Such behavior was bad enough under previous administrations, but it’s
reached a breaking point under Donald Trump — a president who,
according to James Comey’s memos, jokes in private about having
reporters locked up and raped behind bars as a way of getting them to
give up their confidential sources. On episode seven of Deconstructed,
comedian and Hollywood director and producer Judd Apatow joins Mehdi
Hasan to discuss the U.S. media’s cozy relationship with politicians.
Yes indeed. And I
think Mehdi Hasan is quite right: ¨The
U.S. media treat politicians with kid gloves; they fawn over them,
befriend them, apologize for them.¨
In fact, I think it may be more serious than Hasan thinks, for
the present betrayals - of their real jobs - by very many
of the present journalists and the present editors
seems to have been created since Reagan got the presidency, and seems
to have strengthened after 9/11.
Also, it seems to me that there is a great increase in totalitarianism
in the United States, except that I am not allowed to
say so by the solidly insane redefinition of ¨totalitarianism¨
on the sick and anonymous Wikipedia, that now totally follows
Brzezinski (!!!) much rather than Orwell or
any other - real - leftist writer: Orwell seems not to
have lived at all.
Here is more by Mehdi Hasan:
MH: I’m Mehdi
Hasan, welcome to Deconstructed. Fake, fraudulent, dishonest,
disgusting, corrupt, sleazy scum, slime, liars, losers, phoneys, bad
people, sick people, enemies of the people: the president of the United
States attacks the members of the press on a near daily basis publicly,
viciously, relentlessly. So when a comedian turns up at the annual
White House Correspondents’ Dinner and ridicules the brazen dishonesty
of the president and of his equally deceitful press secretary, you
might think journalists at that dinner would stick up for her, get
behind her, defend her — but no! They threw Michelle Wolf under
the bus and stuck up for the people in the White House who abuse them
every day instead.
As I have been
saying since the beginning of 2016 (more than two years ago): Donald
Trump has an ideology
and that ideology is neofascism.
If you check out the last link you´ll find my definition of neofascism,
and you can compare his assertions with my definition point
by point. He has all the 9 marks that define neofascism
(for me, but I know a lot about fascism and its
And - being a psychologist - I also have been saying since the
beginning of 2016 that Donald
Trump is not sane, and that he satisfies all 9 observational criterions for being a megalomaniac
(aka: a narcissist) that have been compiled by the psychiatrists
who compiled the DSM.
Besides, I think Trump may have been projecting
his own personal characteristics on the journalists he decries
as ¨Fake, fraudulent,
dishonest, disgusting, corrupt, sleazy scum, slime, liars, losers,
phoneys, bad people, sick people, enemies of the people¨: Each and every term of abuse
fits Trump naturally and perfectly.
Here is more by Mehdi Hasan:
MH: (..) As a
journalist from the U.K. now living and working here in Washington
D.C., the U.S. press corps, especially the White House press corps,
never ceases to amaze me. It’s so brazenly servile, so shamefully
obsequious, so openly deferential to people in power.
For example, members of the
White House press corps stand up with the president comes into the East
Room of the building to address them, which I’ve always found to be
truly bizarre. Why would you stand up for a politician?
Interviewers on U.S. cable
news a just as bad. They act chummy, pal-y, friendly with the
politicians who they’re supposed to be grilling on air.
Yes, I agree with
Hasan. And to answer his question ¨Why would you¨ - or any journalist - ¨stand up for a
I think there are
basically two reasons why journalists would want to stand up
for a man like Donald Trump: Either they are utterly shameless hypocrites
who are willing to lie about absolutely everything because this
is profitable for them, or else they - more or less - sincerely
believe that Trump is who lying Trump seems to claim Trump is: A
In other words, such
¨journalists¨ are either totally dishonest or else utterly stupid, and
in neither case are they - real - journalists anymore:
They are eager propagandists
for the strong, the rich, and the holders of power.
And I think that is
both very serious and a real betrayal - choosing for money;
choosing for easy living; choosing to betray the people who depend on
them for true information - of their functions as journalists
I will not deal
with this here and now, and instead quote the last bit of Hasan´s
article (and DJT = Donald Trump):
DJT: As you know, I
have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest
human beings on earth. [Audience laughs.]
MH: Too many
American political journalists seem to think that if they play nice
with this administration, if they remain respectful, if they don’t call
out the lies, they don’t call out the racism, if they stay neutral and
detached and impartial and sober, if they keep doing the whole both
sides are as bad as each other BS of yesteryear, then conservatives
will play nice with them. Conservatives will stop attacking them.
Then the problem is that
this assumes that conservative criticism of the media is in good faith,
when it so clearly isn’t. The idea that conservatives are offended by a
comedian’s jokes when they elected the most offensive presidential
candidate in American history is just absurd.
Yes and no, but mostly no:
I think most of the
American (political) ¨journalists¨ are dishonest and think only
of their own financial well-being, and and are much more moved
by thinking of their own incomes than of doing the real job
of real journalists, which indeed they have ceased to do, for the
reasons that (I think) an editor of CBS gave for giving Trump billions
of free air time: ¨It is profitable for CBS¨ (and for dishonest
And this is a recommended
Violates the Iran Nuclear Deal — Ignoring U.S. and Israeli Generals Who
happens that this article is also by Mehdi Hasan on The Intercept. It
starts as follows:
So he’s finally done it.
Having spent the past three years denouncing the Iran nuclear deal as “horrible,”
Donald Trump arrived in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on
Tuesday afternoon to formally announce that “the United States will
withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal” and would “begin reinstituting
U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime.”
“This will make America
much safer,” the president declaimed, jabbing his fingers at the
Guess who’s celebrating the
president’s decision to violate a nuclear nonproliferation
agreement signed by the United States less than three years ago?
His new national security adviser, John Bolton, a former
paid speaker for an Iranian
ex-terror group who has long been obsessed with “regime
change” in Tehran; the crown prince — and de facto ruler — of Saudi
Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who claims
Iran’s supreme leader “makes Hitler look good”; and the prime minister
of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who constantly
the Islamic Republic to the so-called Islamic State.
Yes, I think all of
this is correct. And here is more:
Because guess who won’t be
celebrating? The entire U.S. military establishment: Defense Secretary
James Mattis, who says
he has read the text of the nuclear agreement three times and considers
it to be “pretty robust”; Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen.
Joseph Dunford, who says,
“Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations” and a U.S. decision to quit
the deal “would have an impact on others’ willingness to sign
agreements”; the head of U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. John Hyten, who says,
“Iran is in compliance with JCPOA” and argues
“it’s our job to live up to the terms of that agreement”; and the head
of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, who says
the nuclear deal is “in our interest” because it “addresses one of the
principle threats that we deal with from Iran.”
think this is also correct, although I may be less impressed
than Hasan may be, because military men often follow the
standard politics, and the standard politics was that the nuclear nonproliferation agreement was - at
least - a tenable agreement. And if the leading politician changes,
they may soon change as well.
Here is Hasan´s sum-up:
Yes I agree: Trump
and Bolton want war. And they also may get it. And it will take at
least twice as much in money, in military power, and in human lives
to implement Trump´s and Bolton´s plans as it took to destroy Iraq,
simply because Iran is twice as big as Iraq was.
So let’s be clear: On the
one side, we have a dizzying array of serving and retired generals and
spy chiefs from both the United States and Israel, none of whom are
friends or fans of Iran, yet all of whom agree that the Islamic
Republic is complying with the stringent terms of the JCPOA, and that
the United States should stay in the deal because it bolsters U.S.,
regional, and global security.
And on the other side? A
developer and reality
TV star; a chicken
hawk who wants to bomb
everyone; a 32-year-old
Gulf prince who can’t
win a war against rebels from the poorest
Arab country; and an allegedly
corrupt politician who has been claiming Iran is “three
to five years” away from a nuclear weapons capability since … 1992.
This isn’t about security
or protecting American — or Israeli — cities from Iranian missiles.
Trump & Co. aren’t trying to avoid war with Iran. They want war
And this is a recommended article.
Decries Iran Nuclear Deal
article is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! It starts as follows:
threatened to attack Iran on Tuesday if it restarts its nuclear weapons
program, while at the same time hinting he plans to scrap the
international deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms. Trump
made his comments at the White House during a meeting with French
President Emmanuel Macron, who had come to Washington in an attempt to
preserve the Iran deal. Trump must decide by May 12 whether the U.S.
should stay in the deal. Macron said he opposes throwing out the
existing nuclear deal but is open to a new agreement with Iran to
address Iran’s role in Syria and other issues. But advocates say Trump
is likely to leave the deal and that the U.S. is trying to force Iran
to be the party that ends up leaving the accord—and that Trump’s
National Security Adviser John Bolton and State Department Secretary
nominee Mike Pompeo aren’t “seriously interested” in further
negotiations. “I think the United States has never abandoned the idea
of regime change in Iran,” says Jamal Abdi, the vice president for
policy at the National Iranian American Council.
In fact, as the previous
article makes clear, Trump has meanwhile decided - I think - that he
wants war with Iran (see the previous article).
Here is more:
President Trump threatened to attack Iran on Tuesday if it restarts its
nuclear weapons program, while at the same time hinting he plans to
scrap the international deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear
arms. Trump described the deal as “insane” and “ridiculous.”
Incidentally, since the
deal with Iran was international, Trump is - in fact - describing
most of the other politicians who made the deal with Iran ¨as “insane” and “ridiculous”¨.
Here is more:
All the indications right now are that Trump is planning to leave the
deal on May 12th. May 12th is when the next deadline occurs for the
United States to continue waiving sanctions, to remain within the
constraints of the deal. Macron is coming to town sort of as the last
hope. Congress has failed to intervene. Congress actually just approved
Trump’s secretary of state nominee, who also supports leaving the deal.
Yes indeed. And Trump
decided on May 8 that he rejects the existing deal with Iran. Here is
the Iranian foreign minister:
AMY GOODMAN: I
want to play you two clips of the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Well... I think he was
clear enough: Iran will restart its program to have nuclear
arms, which will make the region (including Israel) a lot less
We have put a number of options for ourselves, and those options are
ready, including options that would involve resuming, at a much greater
speed, our nuclear activities. And those are all envisaged within the
deal. And those options are ready to be implemented, and we will make
the necessary decision when we see fit.
BRENNAN: You’re ready to
restart your nuclear program, if President Trump puts sanctions back on
Iran, even if the rest of the world says, “Don’t do this”?
Obviously, the rest of the world cannot ask us to unilaterally and
one-sidedly implement a deal that has already been broken.
And in fact in the USA the goal seems to be as follows:
Note how extra-ordinarily
aggressive Bolton sounds (and the bolding is added) ¨The behavior and the objectives of the regime
are not going to change, and therefore the only solution is to
change the regime itself.¨
That is: Either you overthere do what we
want, or we will destroy
you (and millions of your civilians).
And this is a recommended article.
GOODMAN: Jamal, I want to
turn to John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser,
speaking last year in Paris to members of the Iranian exile group MEK.
BOLTON: The declared
policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the
mullah’s regime in Tehran. The behavior and the objectives of the
regime are not going to change, and therefore the only solution is to
change the regime itself. And that’s—and that’s why, before 2019, we
here will celebrate in Tehran. Thank you very much.
for Gina Haspel: Does Torture Rig the Case for War?
article is by Sam Husseini on Truthdig. It starts as follows:
Well... I more or less
agree, but I think myself it is probably a case of both:
With the nomination of Gina
Haspel to be director of the CIA, there’s rightfully some interest in
Of course, there
are questions of legality
and ethics with respect to torture, and it’s possible, as some have
argued, that the motivation of Haspel and others in overseeing torture
and covering it up may be simple
But—especially given how
little we know about Haspel’s record—it’s possible that
there’s an even more insidious motive in the U.S. government practicing
torture: to produce the rigged case for more war. Examining this
possibility is made all the more urgent as Donald Trump has put in
place what clearly appears to be a war cabinet. My recent
questioning at the State Department failed to produce a
condemnation of waterboarding by spokesperson Heather Nauert.
Gina Haspel’s hearing on
Wednesday gives increased urgency to highlighting her record on torture
and how torture has been “exploited.” That is, how torture was used to
create “intelligence” for select policies, including the initiation of
On the one hand, there were personal sadists like Gina
Haspel (I am a psychologist, and in my opinion 99.99% of
everybody who tortures prisoners is a sadist), who simply
enjoyed torturing people, and on the other hand there were
formally considerably higher persons in the American government who
thought that torture might produce information that the American
government could use.
And here is more on that latter group, and also something
about torture which I think is quite correct (although it seems to
be not popular with ¨people on the left¨, at least in the USA):
former chief of staff to Colin Powell, has stated that neither he nor
Powell were aware that the claims that Powell made before the United
Nations just before the invasion of Iraq where partly based on torture.
According to Wilkerson, Dick Cheney and the CIA prevailed on Powell to
make false statements about a connection between al-Qaida and Iraq
without telling him the “evidence” they were feeding him was based on
tortured evidence. See my piece and questioning of Powell: “Colin
Powell Showed that Torture DOES Work.”
Yes indeed: I agree
with Sam Huseini, and my own reasons are that very few are
capable of resisting after their nails are torn out or after they got
electrodes on their genitals. And my own position on torture is
that while it may work, it should be (as it is now,
outside the USA) forbidden as inhumanly cruel.
Finally, here is a bit about how torture was practise in Guantánamo:
The Senate Armed
Services Committee in 2008 indicates the attempt to use torture to
concoct “evidence” was even
more widespread. It quoted Maj. Paul Burney, who worked as a
psychiatrist at Guantanamo Bay prison: “A large part of the time
we were focused on trying to establish a link between al-Qaeda and
Iraq and we were not successful. The more frustrated people got in not
being able to establish that link … there was more and more pressure to
resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”
I think that is quite
credible, and this is a recommended article.
Year of Counter-Revolution
article is by Todd
Gitlin on The New York Review of Books. It starts as follows:
are the greeting cards that a sensation-soaked culture sends out to
acknowledge that we, the living, were not born yesterday. So it is with
this year’s media reassembly of 1968. What is hard to convey is the
texture of shock and panic that seized the world a half-century ago.
What is even harder to grasp is that the chief political victor of 1968
was the counter-revolution.
Gitlin is seven
years older than I am, and I also am Dutch and not American. I like
Gitlin (for what I have seen of him), and the differences I mentioned
are probably the basis of my somewhat different interpretation:
While I agree that ¨the chief political victor of 1968 was the
counter-revolution¨ (headed by Nixon), I did not experience ¨the texture of shock and
panic that seized the world a half-century ago¨. Also I lived in Europe,
and while I was 18 in 1968, I also was a ¨soixtante-huitard¨ (which I
discovered only recently, and doesn´t interest me), and I was politically
quite conscious then, also as the son of two Marxist parents.
And I think Gitlin may be speaking truly about the USA of 1968, but
less so about Europe of 1968. Then again, it doesn´t matter very much,
and here is more:
As I´ve just
said, in my - rather extensive - experiences (for I demonstrated a lot
that year, and went to France in May and June of 1968), it was a
bit different in Europe in 1968, and here is more again:
for less bloody demonstrations, there were so many, so routinely, that The
New York Times regularly grouped civil rights and
antiwar stories on designated pages. Neither does this rundown of
calamities take into account images that did not see the light of day
until much later, like the color shots of the My Lai massacre (March 16), not
published until late 1969—by which time they were almost expected. Or
the images that never materialized at all, like the slaughter of hundreds of
demonstrating students by troops in Mexico City (October 2).
what was it really like to experience 1968? Public life seemed to
become a sequence of ruptures, shocks, and detonations. Activists felt
dazed, then exuberant, then dazed again; authorities felt rattled,
panicky, even desperate. The world was in shards. What were for some
intimations of a revolution at hand were, for exponents of law and
order, eruptions of the intolerable.
As the radical left dreamed of smashing the state, the
radical right attacked the establishment for coddling young radicals
and enabling their disorder. One person’s nightmare was another’s
familiar collages of 1968’s collisions do evoke the churning surfaces
of events, reproducing the uncanny, off-balance feeling of 1968. But
they fail to illuminate the meaning of events. If the texture of 1968
was chaos, underneath was a structure that today can be—and needs to
be—seen more clearly.
I agree. And this is what 1968 produced, in Gitlin´s memory:
the realm of political power, though, for all the many subsequent
social reforms, 1968 was more an end than a beginning. After les
évènements in France in May came June’s parliamentary elections,
sweeping General De Gaulle’s rightist party to power in a landslide
victory. After the Prague Spring and the promise of “socialism with a
human face,” the tanks of the Soviet-run Warsaw Pact overran
Czechoslovakia. In Latin America, the Guevarist guerrilla trend was
everywhere repulsed, to the benefit of the right. In the US, the “silent majority” roared.
think this is mostly - simply factually -
correct. And besides, while Gitlin seems to be mostly speaking for the
political leftist of 1968, there also was the considerably wider
group of the far less political hippies, that
might be sketched by saying that movement (and the music!) flared up
from 1963 till 1968, and afterward more or less died down during the
course of the 1970ies.
is the last bit I quote from this article:
like their revolutionary bêtes noires, suffer reversals and take time to cohere.
The post-1968 counter-revolution held the fort against a trinity of
bogeymen: unruly dark-skinned people, uppity women, and an arrogant
knowledge class. In 1968, it was not yet apparent how impressively the
recoil could be parlayed into national power. “This
country is going so far to the right you won’t recognize it,” Nixon’s
attorney general, John Mitchell,
said in 1969. He spoke prematurely.
indeed. But Mitchell did speak prematurely, and I think
¨the right¨ really started triumphing from 9/11 onwards (or perhaps
from Clinton´s second presidency, for he then sold out many
things he was elected to keep).
while I believe that Gitlin may be correct about the USA, in my
European perspective - where things do tend to follow major
American events, but more slowly and less violently - there was a
rather definite leftist feel in Europe until ca. 1980 (which
included a leftist government in Holland in the 1970ies, and quite a
in the media in the early 1970ies).
This is a recommended article.
have now been
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 (!!).