• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 13 juni 2015

Geen Jorwert zonder Piraeus

De Koude Oorlog Hysterie is weer helemaal terug. Net nu de Nederlandse welingelichte kringen zichzelf en hun aanhang hadden wijsgemaakt dat de PVDA-minister Dijsselbloem van de Bilderberg Conferentie zijn partijtje blufpoker met de Grieken had gewonnen, blijkt hij het te gaan verliezen! Niet alleen komen de Russen, maar nu ook de Chinezen, HET GELE GEVAAR! Hilversum, bel onmiddellijk Geert Mak en vraag hem hoe het nu verder moet met Europa? Nog meer geld naar de NAVO? Ik stel voor dit keer de hersenen te gebruiken, en niet meteen te gaan schreeuwen. Let op de terminologie van de Atlantici. Wie heeft die paniekzaaiende CDA-propagandist De Hoop Scheffer van stal gehaald? Wat vindt zijn geestelijke leidsman uit Nazareth hier allemaal van? 


'Grexit bedreigt Europa'

Update: Varoufakis: Eerder komeetinslag dan Grexit ... Oud-Navo topman De Hoop Scheffer vreest dat Griekenland in handen valt van Rusland of China

Als Griekenland wordt verstoten door de EU-landen dan is het land een gewilde prooi voor Rusland en China vanwege de strategische positie van het land. Dat stelt Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, oud-minister van Buitenlandse Zaken en voormalig secretaris-generaal van de Navo. Europa kan zich dat niet veroorloven, meent hij.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Giles MerrittIn een interview met het FD stelt De Hoop Scheffer dat Griekenland een veel sterkere onderhandelingspositie heeft dan veel mensen denken. Het is een van de redenen dat president Obama kritisch is over de Europese halsstarrige houding ten opzichte van de Grieken. China  is erg geïnteresseerd in de Griekse haven van Piraeus, Rusland vindt Griekenland interessant vanwege de pijpleidingen die straks naar het westen moeten lopen om te voorzien in de Europese energiehonger. Hij vreest dat Griekenland politiek gaat zweven als er geen oplossing komt voor de crisis:
"Griekenland is een buitengrens van Europa. Kijk naar de recente migrantenstromen uit het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika. Op eilanden als Kos en Lesbos zie je de 'World of order' en de 'World of disorder' elkaar ontmoeten."

De oud-politicus meent ook dat het een illusie is dat Griekenland zijn schulden ooit zal afbetalen.
Update 19:14De Griekse minster van Financiën gelooft er niets van dat Griekenland tot een Grexit gedwongen gaat worden, zegt hij in De Morgen:
"Als een voormalig statistieker geloof ik nooit dat iets helemaal onmogelijk is. Morgen kan er ook een komeet de aarde raken", zei Varoufakis vandaag. "Maar ik geloof ni
et dat eender welke redelijke Europese politicus het pad van een Griekse exit zou bewandelen."
De tijd dringt omdat er eind juni een cruciale betalingstermijn verloopt. Er wordt tot zeker nog donderdag koortsachtig overlegd om tot een vergelijk te komen tussen de Griekse regering, die een vermindering van de schuldenlast eist, en de schuldeisers die willen dat Griekenland tal van ingrijpende economische maatregelen doorvoert.
cc-foto: Security & Defence Agenda

Bilderberg and Neoliberal Democracy 2

OpEdNews Op Eds 

American dreaming, from G1 to Bilderberg

By  (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)



What's the connection between the G7 summit in Germany, President Putin's visit to Italy, the Bilderberg club meeting in Austria, and the TTIP -- the US-EU free trade deal -- negotiations in Washington?
We start at the G7 in the Bavarian Alps -- rather G1 with an added bunch of "junior partners" -- as US President Barack Obama gloated about his neo-con induced feat; regiment the EU to soon extend sanctions on Russia even as the austerity-ravaged EU is arguably hurting even more than Russia.

Predictably, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande caved in -- even after being forced by realpolitik to talk to Russia and jointly carve the Minsk-2 agreement.
The hypocrisy-meter in the Bavarian Alps had already exploded with a bang right at the pre-dinner speech by EU Council President Donald Tusk, former Prime Minister of Poland and certified Russophobe/warmonger: "All of us would have preferred to have Russia round the G7 table. But our group is not only a group (that shares) political or economic interests, but first of all this is a community of values. And that is why Russia is not among us."
So this was all about civilized "values" against "Russian aggression."

The "civilized" G1 + junior partners could not possibly argue whether they would collectively risk a nuclear war on European soil over a Kiev-installed "Banderastan," sorry, "Russian aggression."
Instead, the real fun was happening behind the scenes. Washington factions were blaming Germany for making the West lose Russia to China, while adult minds in the EU -- away from the Bavarian Alps -- blamed Washington.
Even juicier is a contrarian view circulating among powerful Masters of the Universe in the US corporate world, not politics. They fear that in the next two to three years France will eventually re-ally with Russia (plenty of historical precedents). And they -- once again -- identify Germany as the key problem, as in Berlin forcing Washington to get involved in a Prussian "Mitteleuropa" Americans fought two wars to prevent.



As for the Russians -- from President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov downwards -- a consensus has emerged; it's pointless to discuss anything substantial considering the pitiful intellectual pedigree -- or downright neo-con stupidity -- of the self-described "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" Obama administration policy makers and advisers. As for the "junior partners" -- mostly EU minions -- they are irrelevant, mere Washington vassals.

It would be wishful thinking to expect the civilized "values" gang to propose alternatives for the overwhelming majority of citizens of G7 nations getting anything other than Mac-jobs, or barely surviving as hostages of finance-junkie turbo-capitalism which only benefits the one percent. Rather easier to designate the proverbial scapegoat -- Russia -- and proceed with NATO-infused fear/warmongering rhetoric.
Iron Lady Merkel also found time to pontificate on climate change -- instilling all and sundry to invest in a "low-carbon global economy." Few noticed that the alleged deadline for full "decarbonization" was set for the end of the 21st century, when this planet will be in deep, deep trouble.



Achtung! Bilderberg!Obama's neocon-induced newspeak continues to rule that Russia dreams of recreating the Soviet empire. Now compare it to what President Putin is telling Europe.
Last week, Putin found time to give an interview to the Milan-based Corriere della Sera at 2 am; the interview was published as the Bavarian Alps show went on, and ahead of Putin's June 10 visit to Italy. Russia's geopolitical interests and US- Russia relations are depicted in excruciating detail.
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NATO SECRETS

NATO Makes Disclosures; Too Modest, Says Academic Critic

This article was published by International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI) Watch on 11 June 2015 on the freedominfo.org website: here.  It is reproduced with the kind permission of IFTI Watch
 
The North American Treaty Organization on June 3 for the first time made public documents about its financial regulations, corporate governance and accounting principles.
The move was dubbed positive but insufficient by an expert on NATO transparent, Tsvetelina Yordanova, a former journalist who just received her doctorate from Sofia University in Bulgaria and recently presented a paper on NATO transparency at a recent international conference.
The latest disclosures are “too modest and peripheral,” Yordanova told Freedominfo.org. She said, “In a situation of global financial crisis when the public is strongly concerned about every euro spent by governments, the organization is still unable to answer the question how much money it spends on its activities and what are the benefits of these expenditures for the public.”
“Practically NATO publishes hardly any documents concerning its present activities,” Yordanova concluded in her paper, given at the 4th Global Conference on Transparency Research, held June 4-6 in Lugano, Switzerland.
Three Documents Released
NATO said its disclosures fulfill “an agreement Allied heads of state and government made at the Wales Summit last year to enhance NATO financial transparency and accountability,” according to the press release.
The documents just released are:
  • The NATO Financial Regulations, a 2015 document which govern financial administration and which are designed to ensure consistency of approach in efficient and effective resource management.
  • The Guidelines on Corporate Governance, a 2005 document which establishes “the principles to be followed to strengthen transparency and accountability.”
  • The NATO Accounting Framework, dated 2013, which provides the minimum requirements for financial reporting in NATO.
The NATO press release also points to the publication of audit reports by the International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN) and the associated financial statements. “Together, they underline the commitment of the Alliance towards greater transparency and accountability and recognition of the importance of improving insight into how NATO manages, spends and reports on the use of taxpayer funds,” according to the announcement, which links to the NATO Transparency and Accountability webpage.
The Guidelines on Corporate Governance list “openness, integrity and accountability” as the “three major principles underpinning governance.” The document sets out guidelines for annual reports to the North Atlantic Council by NATO agencies: NATO Communications and Information Agency, NATO Support and Procurement Agency, NATO Science and Technology Organization and NATO Standardization Office.
It does not establish procedures and policies for making information requests to NATO, the lack of which has been a complaint of NATO observers.
Disclosure Policy for Older Documents
NATO in 2008 established a policy called “Public Disclosure of NATO Information” which is elaborated in a 2014 “Directive on Public Disclosure of NATO Information.
The policies permit declassification and release of documents older than 30 years by the NATO archivist, subject to the concurrence of member countries, according to the policies and a NATO description of the process,
In 2014, some 5,000 military and civilian documents, up to and including 1982, were proposed for public disclosure, according to NATO.
An “ad-hoc disclosure process” exists for members, organizations or the NATO Archives to propose the release of documents, including ones less than 30 years old, according to material on NATO’s website, which says further: “Ad-hoc requests usually come from researchers or journalists, who can make a `Freedom of Information’ request to their national governments.  The national government then makes the request to the NATO Archivist.”
In 2014, there were 15 such requests, for almost 1,000 documents.
There is no provision for requests from those besides “a competent authority of NATO, or by a nation or international organisation having formal relations with NATO.”
Overall, NATO says that over 42,000 of the 325,000 publicly disclosed documents (covering the period 1949-1982) are available through the NATO Archives Online portal. The others are available in the NATO Archives Reading Room.
The NATO Archivist is “responsible for drafting, publishing and amending NATO-wide policies and directives for the management of NATO’s collective institutional memory,” according to NATO’s webpage on The Archives Committee, an advisory body.
Yordanova Overall Assessment
Assessing NATO disclosure policy, Yordanova concluded:
Practically NATO publishes hardly any documents concerning its present activities. Neither of the meetings and sessions of its main bodies is public. The decisions made, the minutes and the other records from the meetings are likewise not disclosed. There is no information about the consultation and the voting within the main political body of the organization – the North Atlantic Council, although the decisions are taken unanimously.
NATO does not publish analyses, reports or other forms of information that is used for making informed decisions. The organization does not disclose even its common budget or documents needed for accountability (with the exception of the Annual Report of the Secretary General). The website of the organization does not even have a special section for documents which is indicative for the approach of NATO towards transparency. The information is rather dispersed among differentcategories. The website consists of basic information for the main activities of the organization. The statistical information about the annual defense budget of the member states is also presented with the aim to show the great imbalances in its financial backing. NATO has attempted to imitate openness with the launch of its online tv channel (NATOChannel.tv). Unlike the television of the United Nations however, which has live broadcast of the sessions of some of the main bodies of the organization, the online channel of NATO presents only documentaries concerning different NATO activities and has live broadcasting only of the press conferences of the Secretary General.
Although NATO has invested a lot of efforts in explaining its disclosure rules, it is still one of the most rigid organizations in the area of transparency. In this respect it can be even compared to international organizations of non-democratic countries. It allows classifying of almost all of the current activities of the general criteria and the discretion of administrators which makes the system prone to arbitrary classifications. The public information from the organization is too poor to allow the general public to construct informed perceptions about its current activities.
The insufficient transparency of NATO activities has urged different organizations to raise the issue to the public agenda. For example the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) has taken the initiative to present an overview of the publicly available information on NATO’s finances and its results. “The NCA audits the expenses that the Netherlands annually spends on NATO activities. We do not have a specific mandate to audit NATO, but we are involved in advising the International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN). Together with IBAN and other Supreme Audit Institutions of member countries we have been concluding for several years that NATO’s financial management is not in order.” notes the organization. The NGO sector has also made endeavors to alarm for the problem with the insufficient transparency of NATO and one of the most focused organizations in that sense is ‘NATO Watch’.

Obama No Kennedy



Barack Obama: No Jack Kennedy



Exclusive: A half century ago – at the peak of the Cold War – President Kennedy appealed to humankind’s better nature in a daring overture to Soviet leaders, a gamble that brought bans on nuclear testing and a safer world, a bravery that President Obama can’t seem to muster, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s “you’re no Jack Kennedy” put-down of Republican Sen. Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate springs to mind on a day on which I cannot help but compare the character of President Barack Obama to that of John Kennedy, the first President under whom I served in the Army and CIA.
On this day 52 years ago, President John Kennedy gave a landmark speech at American University, appealing for cooperation instead of confrontation with the Soviet Union. Kennedy knew all too well that he was breaking the omerta-like code that dictated demonization of the Soviet leaders. But the stakes could not have been higher – a choice of an endless arms race (with the attendant risk of nuclear conflagration) or bilateral cooperation to curb the most dangerous weapons that jeopardized the future of humankind.
President John F. Kennedy  at the American University commencement on June 10, 1963.
President John F. Kennedy at the American University commencement on June 10, 1963.
Forgoing the anti-Soviet rhetoric that was de rigueur at the time, Kennedy made an urgent appeal to slow down the arms race, and then backed up the rhetoric with a surprise announcement that the U.S. was halting nuclear testing. This daring step terrified those sitting atop the military-industrial complex and, in my opinion, was among the main reasons behind Kennedy’s assassination some five months later.
At American University, John Kennedy broke new ground in telling the world in no uncertain terms that he would strive to work out a genuine, lasting peace with the Soviet Union. And to underscore his seriousness, Kennedy announced a unilateral cessation of nuclear testing, but also the beginning of high-level discussions in Moscow aimed at concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty.
In tightly held conversations with speechwriter Ted Sorensen and a handful of other clued-in advisers, Kennedy labeled his address “the peace speech.” He managed to hide it from the military advisers who just eight months before had pressed hard for an attack on the Soviet nuclear missiles sent to Cuba in 1962.
It was then that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, his Soviet counterpart, stood on the brink of ordering the incineration of possibly hundreds of millions of people, before the two worked out a face-saving compromise and thus thwarted the generals of both sides who were pressing for Armageddon.
Kennedy’s resistance to relentless pressure – from military and civilian advisers alike – for a military strike, combined with Khrushchev’s understanding of the stakes involved, saved perhaps the very life of the planet. And here’s the kicker: What neither Kennedy nor his advisers knew at the time was that on Oct. 26, 1962, just one day before the U.S.-Soviet compromise was reached, the nuclear warheads on the missiles in Cuba had been readied for launch.
This alarming fact was learned only 30 years later, prompting Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s defense secretary to write: “Clearly there was a high risk that, in the face of a U.S. attack – which, as I have said, many were prepared to recommend to President Kennedy – the Soviet forces in Cuba would have decided to use their nuclear weapons rather than lose them. …
“We need not speculate about what would have happened in that event. We can predict the results with certainty. … And where would it have ended? In utter disaster.”
It was that searing experience and the confidential exchange of letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev that convinced them both that they needed to commit to working out ways to lessen the chance of another such near-catastrophe in the future.
American University Speech
Kennedy’s “peace speech” was a definitive break with the past. Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins wrote simply: “At American University on June 10, 1963, President Kennedy proposed an end to the Cold War.”
Kennedy told those assembled that he had chosen “this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived … world peace.”
“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. … I am talking about genuine peace – the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living – the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. …
“Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles – which can only destroy and never create – is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. …
“So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable – and war need not be inevitable. … No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. … We can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements – in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.
“Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union suffered in the course of the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and farms were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory … was turned into a wasteland – a loss equivalent to the devastation of this country east of Chicago.
“Today, should total war ever break out again … all we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the Cold War … our two countries … are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons, which could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty, and disease.
“So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. … For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal. …
“Above all, while defending our vital interest, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy – or of a collective death wish for the world. …
“Finally, let us examine our attitude toward peace and freedom here at home. … In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. … We shall do our part to build a world of peace, where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on … toward a strategy of peace.”
As mentioned above, Kennedy backed up his words by announcing the unilateral halt to nuclear testing and the start of negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty. In a sharp break from precedent, the Soviets published the full text of Kennedy’s speech and let it be broadcast throughout the U.S.S.R. without the usual jamming.
Khrushchev told test-ban negotiator Averell Harriman that Kennedy had given “the greatest speech by any American president since Roosevelt.” The Soviet leader responded by proposing to Kennedy that they consider a limited test ban encompassing the atmosphere, outer space and water, as a way to get around the thorny issue of inspections.
In contrast, Kennedy’s AU speech was greeted with condescension and skepticism by the New York Times, which reported: “Generally there was not much optimism in official Washington that the President’s conciliation address at American University would produce agreement on a test ban treaty or anything else.”
A ‘Complex’
In giving pride of place to his rejection of “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war,” Kennedy threw down the gauntlet to the “military-industrial complex” against which President Dwight Eisenhower had pointedly warned in his Farewell Address:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, but the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Ike got that right. Then, as now, the military-industrial complex was totally dependent on a “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.” It was policed by the Pentagon and was/is a hugely profitable enterprise.
Opposition coalesced around the negotiations toward a test ban treaty, with strong opponents in Congress, the media, and (surprise, surprise!) the military-industrial complex. Kennedy courageously kept his warmongering senior military out of the loop, and rushed Harriman through the talks in Moscow.
On July 25, 1963, Harriman initialed the final text of a Limited Test Ban Treaty outlawing nuclear tests “in the atmosphere, beyond its limits, including outer space, or under water, including territorial waters or high seas.”
The next evening, Kennedy went on TV, using his bully pulpit to appeal for support for ratification of the treaty. In a swipe at the various players in the formidable anti-treaty lobby, the President stressed that the vulnerability of children was a strong impetus to his determination to fight against all odds: “This is for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington.”
But the Establishment was not moved; and seldom have its anxieties been more transparent. It is axiomatic that peace is not good for business, but seldom do you see that in a headline. But the plaintive title of a U.S. News and World Report on Aug. 12, 1963, was “If Peace Does Come – What Happens to Business?” The article asked, “Will the bottom drop out if defense spending is cut?”
Kennedy circumvented the military-industrial complex by enlisting the Citizens Committee led by Norman Cousins, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and prominent religious leaders – among others – to appeal for ratification. In early August, Kennedy told his advisers he believed it would take a near-miracle to get the two-thirds Senate vote needed. On Sept. 24, the Senate ratified the treaty by a vote of 80 to 19.
I am indebted to James Douglass and his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable; Why He Died & Why It Matters, for much of the play-by-play in that whirlwind rush to ratification. Douglass argues persuasively, in my view, that Kennedy’s bold move toward carving out a more peaceful strategic relationship with the Soviet Union, first announced on June 10 at American University, was one of the main factors that sealed his fate.
An Obama Complex
While it’s true that comparisons can be invidious, they can also be instructive. Will President Obama ever be able to summon the courage to face down the military-industrial complex and other powerful Establishment forces? Or is it simply (and sadly) the case that he simply does not have it in him?
Referring to Obama’s anemic flip-flopping on Ukraine, journalist Robert Parry wrote that Obama’s policy on Ukraine suggests that he (1) believes his own propaganda, (2) is a conscious liar, or (3) has completely lost his bearings, and simply adopts the position of the last person he talks to.
I see as the primary factor a toxic, enervating mix of fear and cowardice. Former Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who quit his job as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo when ordered to accept testimony based on waterboarding under the Bush administration, may have come close with his unusual burst of military-style candor.
Davis told an interviewer: “There’s a pair of testicles somewhere between the Capitol Building and the White House that fell off the President after Election Day [2008].”
Shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama reportedly was braced at a small dinner party by wealthy donors who wanted to know whatever happened to the “progressive Obama.” The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?”
It is, of course, a fair question as to whether Obama should have run for President if he knew such fears might impinge on his freedom of decision. But let’s ask the other question: What did happen to Martin Luther King Jr.? Would you believe that the vast majority of Americans know only that he was killed and have no idea as to who killed him and why?
In late 1999, a trial took place in Memphis not far from where King was murdered. In a wrongful death lawsuit initiated by the King family, 70 witnesses testified over a six-week period. They described a sophisticated government plot that involved the FBI, the CIA, the Memphis Police, Mafia intermediaries, and an Army Special Forces sniper team. The 12 jurors, six black and six white, returned after 2 ½ hours of deliberation with a verdict that Dr. King has been assassinated by a conspiracy that included agencies of his own government.
My hunch is that Obama walks around afraid, and that this helps explain why he feels he has to kowtow to the worst kind of thugs and liars lingering in his own administration – the torturers, the perjurers, and the legerdemain lawyers who can even make waterboarding, which Obama publicly condemned as torture, magically legal. So far at least, Obama has been no profile in courage – and he’s nearly 6 ½ years into his presidency.
I have two suggestions for him today. Let him take a few minutes to read and reflect on President Kennedy’s American University speech of 52 years ago. And let him also reflect on the words of Fannie Lou Hamer – the diminutive but gutsy civil rights organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and of Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964:
“Sometimes it seems like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom.”
Obama has a nine-inch height advantage over Fannie Lou Hamer; he needs somehow to assimilate a bit of her courage.
[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?”]


Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 30 years from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush.


vrijdag 12 juni 2015

Henk Hofland en de Massa 79



De bron van Henk Hofland, Abdul Basit Haroun (former comander of 'February 17th brigade') says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border….  A Reuters reporter was taken to an undisclosed location in Benghazi to see a container of weapons being prepared for delivery to Syria. It was stacked with boxes of ammunition, rocket launchers and various types of light and medium weapons.


In De Groene Amsterdammer van 4 juni 2015 slaagt Henk Hofland er opnieuw in de individuen van de 'onderklasse,' zoals hij 'laaggeletterden' betitelt, te stigmatiseren en te criminaliseren door te beweren dat 'hun bereidheid tot geweldpleging [groeit] en anderzijds ze ook vatbaar [zouden] kunnen worden voor een eigen vorm van populisme, de eenvoudigste en meestal onhaalbare oplossing,' die '[i]n beide gevallen tot een onbeschrijflijke vergroting van de chaos [zou] leiden.' Eerder al stigmatiseerde en criminaliseerde de columnist van het establishment voor alle 'bootvluchtelingen,' nadat 

[v]olgens een functionaris van de Libische veiligheidsdienst zich onder de bootvluchtelingen die naar Europa willen leden van Islamitische Staat [bevinden]. Dat heeft hij vorige week in een interview met de BBC gezegd. We weten niet hoe betrouwbaar deze veiligheidsman is, maar in dit geval kunnen we hem op zijn woord geloven.

Leest u de laatste zin van Hofland nog eens om die op zijn juiste waarde te kunnen schatten.  De 'beste journalist van de twintigste eeuw' in Nederland weet 'niet hoe betrouwbaar' zijn bron is, 'maar in dit geval kunnen we hem op zijn woord geloven.' De 'politiek-literaire elite' in de polder accepteert klakkeloos Hoflands gebrek aan logica, maar godzijdank niet de lezers van mijn weblog. Zo schreef één van hen (Sonja):

Toen ik het bericht las ben ik meteen gaan onderzoeken wie die 'functionaris van de Libische veiligheidsdienst' dan wel 'Libische veiligheidsadviseur' is. In de Engelstalige pers wordt hij bij naam genoemd: Abdul Basit Haroun. Dus wie is Abdul Basit Haroun precies? Enkele aanwijzingen in oudere mediaberichten:

Abdul Basit Haroun says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border.

After fleeing Libya in his 20s, Haroun established himself as a property developer in Manchester. After about two decades in the British city, he returned to Libya in 2011 to fight in the revolution, where he became a prominent rebel commander.

CIA Gun-running, Qatar-Libya-Syria.

Abdul Basit Haroun (former commander of 'February 17th brigade') says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border...

De February 17th brigade speelde een, of eigenlijk geen, rol in de aanval op het Amerikaanse consulaat in Benghazi in 2012: 'In Benghazi, CIA Trusted Local Militia That Melted Away.' En dan kunnen we deze figuur op zijn woord geloven? In dit geval?

Hoflands bron, die 'we' volledig 'op zijn woord' moeten 'geloven,' omdat de nestor van de polderpers dit zegt, lijkt mij, als kritische journalist, nauwelijks betrouwbaar. Bovendien hanteren serieuze journalisten de regel dat dit soort ernstige beschuldigingen tenminste door twee bronnen moeten worden bevestigd. Daar doet Hofland niet aan omdat, zoals een bewonderaar van hem uiteenzet, 

Hofland liever [vertrouwt] op zijn geheugen dan dat hij in de archieven afdaalt, ook al omdat hij ervan uitgaat dat de gemiddelde lezer nog slechter gedocumenteerd is.    

Zonder enige overdrijving mogen 'we' constateren dat de grijze eminentie evenals zijn bronnen maar al te vaak onbetrouwbaar zijn, zoals meerdere malen is aangetoond. Ook zijn werkwijze getuigt van weinig oprechtheid. Een voorbeeld daarvan is zijn stellige bewering dat onder 'laaggeletterden... hun bereidheid tot geweldpleging [groeit].' Hofland kan dit niet bewijzen, maar dat is voor hem en De Groene een te verwaarlozen detail. Het gaat hem om te criminaliseren en stigmatiseren, op die manier kunnen zijn burgerlijke ressentimenten op de 'onderklasse' worden geprojecteerd. Voor hem geldt het adagium van Joseph Goebbels: 'Wij spreken niet om wat te zeggen, maar om een bepaald effect te bereiken.' Hofland weet namelijk dat hij geen oplossing heeft voor het failliet van de neoliberale werkelijkheid. Zijn angst voor de gemarginaliseerden, hier als elders, is overgegaan in minachting en zelfs haat. Niet zichzelf en zijn systeem beschouwt hij 'gewelddadig,' maar degenen die zijn uitgestoten. In het besef dat hij de slachtoffers een trap na geeft, kan hij dit feit niet toelaten, want dan moet Hofland toegeven dat zijn hele werkzame leven in het teken van een leugen heeft gestaan. Probeer dat maar eens, 87 jaar oud en nog enkele jaren te gaan. Hoe ouder we zijn des te zwaarder het verleden op ons drukt, terwijl ondertussen de deur naar de toekomst bijna gesloten is; een ontsnapping is niet meer mogelijk. Nieuwe generaties dienen zich aan, met een potentie die de oude man in een ver verleden bezat.  De jongeren zijn even luidruchtig en zelfverzekerd als hij ooit eens was. En wat is er van hem geworden? Een oude cynicus, 'all dressed up and nowhere to go,' eventjes intens gelukkig toen hij op zijn 83ste door het Hollandse establishment beloond werd met de P.C. Hooftprijs, en speciaal voor de fotografen het 'bronzen beeldje' van de renaissancedichter triomfantelijk omhoog mocht steken, overigens nadat, o eeuwige ironie, eerst nog de volgende regels van Bertolt Brecht ten gehore waren gebracht: 

Und so kommt zum guten Ende
Alles unter einen Hut.
Ist das nötige Geld vorhanden
Ist das Ende meistens gut.
Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die andern sind im Licht.
Und man siehet die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht.

Ecce Homo. Es ist erreicht. Tetelestai. Het is volbracht. Zijn rol van dominee/koopman grandioos spelend, noemde Hofland de woorden van Brecht de 'waarheid' en voegde daar in één adem aan toe: '[a]lsof je in de krant over de werkloosheidscijfers en de bonussen van de bankiers leest.' Doek dicht en applaus! Prezzatura, fare bella figura. De postmoderne mens leeft in twee werelden, zodra het hem teveel wordt ontsnapt hij de keiharde realiteit door de virtuele droom in te vluchten. Die ontsnappingsmogelijkheid verklaart waarom Hofland en Mak zelfs nu nog niet in staat zijn afscheid te nemen van 'the American Dream,'  de neoliberale mythe van 'vrijheid' en 'democratie,' waarbij 'man siehet die im Lichte, Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht.' 

Geen journalist in de polder die zo handig van de liberale mythe heeft geprofiteerd als H.J.A. Hofland. De ondergang van de Sovjet-Unie leek hem gelijk te geven, maar in werkelijkheid luidde de ineenstorting het begin van het einde in van Hoflands eigen zekerheden. Brecht had gelijk: 'Ist das nötige Geld vorhanden, Ist das Ende meistens gut,' maar dus niet altijd. Soms sleurt de ondergang van de een ook diens vijanden mee de afgrond in, en uitgaande van de teloorgang van de 'Amerikaanse' macht, is dit laatste momenteel het geval. Hoewel Hollandse hooggeletterden deze ontwikkeling niet door hebben, voelt wereldwijd de 'analfabeet' haar aan den lijve. De glans is eraf, de buit wordt niet eerlijk verdeeld. The thrill is gone. Donald Duck Go Home! In zijn boek Projecting The End of the American Dream. Hollywood's Visions of U.S. Decline (2013) omschrijft de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Gordon B. Arnold het als volgt:

The attacks of September 11 crystallized decades of fear and anxiety. At that moment, the apocalyptic event that Americans had dreaded since the early days of the Cold War seemed to have abruptly become a reality. New York City was not destroyed by an atomic bomb or wiped out by a natural disaster. But when the commandeered jetliners flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, a potent symbol of everything that the American Dream embodied, the  shock and horror was almost too much for Americans to bear. 

De daarop volgende 'shock and awe'-campagne van het Amerikaanse militair-industrieel complex, leverde niet het gewenste resultaat op. Integendeel zelfs, de massale Amerikaanse oorlogsmisdaden boezemde, net als in Vietnam, geen ontzag in, maar riep nog meer verzet op tegen de grove hegemonie van Washington en Wall Street, een feit dat nu zelfs de Nederlandse 'politiek-literaire elite' niet langer kan ontkennen, maar dat desondanks niet tot resultaat heeft dat haar Atlantische oriëntatie wordt herzien. Het veroorzaakt onder de polder-intelligentsia een nauwelijks bedwongen razernij tegen 'de Arabieren' in het bijzonder en elke dwarsligger in het algemeen, of dit nu 'meneer Poetin' is of, dichter bij huis, de eigen bloggers. De opiniemaker Hofland heeft door internet zijn monopolie op de waarheidsvinding verloren, waardoor, in zijn visie, 'internet het machtsgevoel van de ontevredenen [heeft] vergroot. Nu kunnen ze de wereld in hun wrok laten delen. Deze bloggers zijn de permanent wrokkenden in digitale gedaante,' met als gevolg dat 'de gedigitaliseerde stem des volks' door Hoflands neoliberale 'democratie' niet veel langer meer genegeerd kan worden. Dat bevalt de opiniemaker van de gevestigde wanorde niet, want niet alleen heeft 'internet' Hoflands geloofwaardigheid ernstig aangetast, maar kan, volgens hem, de 'oorzaak zijn van een laaiende volkswoede' over, ik noem maar wat, de politieke en economische corruptie, het voorbereiden van nieuwe oorlogen om de rijken nog rijker te maken, de weigering om werkelijk politiek adequate maatregelen te treffen om de grote gevaren van de op gang gebrachte klimaatverandering te verkleinen. Toen Hofland en zijn polder-intelligentsia, of in elk geval degenen die daarvoor doorgaan, het rijk nog alleen hadden was er nog geen enkele sprake van dat, in de woorden van de hoogbejaarde opiniemaker, '[b]estuurders zich in het nauw gedreven,' voelden 

doordat het onvermijdelijke internet ook een middel tot voorbarige openbaarheid kan zijn, aan de andere kant doordat ze daarmee worden uitgeleverd aan het onmiddellijke oordeel van de dan plotseling goedgelovige massa.

Vanzelfsprekend geldt voor de Makkianen en de Hoflanden dat zolang de 'goedgelovige massa' blijft overgeleverd aan de absoluut niet 'voorbarige openbaarheid' van Hoflands 'politiek-literaire elite' de 'dan' allesbehalve 'goedgelovige massa' hun 'bestuurders zich' volstrekt niet 'in het nauw gedreven voelen.' Het is deze mentaliteit van westerse opiniemakers als Hofland, waarnaar onderzoeksjournalist John Pilger verwees toen hij beschreef hoe vandaag de dag 'fascism old and new the cult of superiority' vormen. John Pilger:

'I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,' said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, 'The sovereign is he who decides the exception.' This sums up Americanism, the world's dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognized as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognized brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.

Interessant in dit verband is de wijze waarop Hofland de werkelijkheid vertekent in een poging zijn reactionair ideologisch mens- en wereldbeeld te verkopen. Zo blijft bij hem het woord terrorisme een uiterst beperkt begrip, gereserveerd voor de terreur van degenen die niet aan de NAVO zijn gelieerd, waardoor hij de door hem bepleite grootscheepse terreur niet ziet als 'terrorisme,' maar als 'vredestichtend.' De wrange ironie is dat ook ISIS-strijders dezelfde mening erop nahouden door te verklaren dat zij naar 'vrede' te streven. Professor Arnold:

'Terrorism' is a word with shades of nuance that give it variations of meaning. In an analysis of the term that was published before the 9/11 attacks, Martha Crenshaw (hoogleraar Politieke Wetenschappen aan de prestigieuze Stanford Universiteit. svh) pointed out that 'the concept of terrorism is deeply contested.' In attempting to clarify its meaning, she has provided a useful examination of the concept:

'The use of the term is often polemical and rhetorical... In principle, terrorism is a deliberate and systematic violence performed by small numbers of people, whereas communal violence is spontaneous, sporadic, and requires mass participation. The purpose of terrorism is to intimidate a watching popular audience by harming only a few... Terrorism is meant to hurt, not destroy. Terrorism is preeminently political and symbolic.'

Terrorism thus functions on a deeply psychological level. Indeed, it is intended to inflict mental anguish and doubt as much as to maim and kill human targets. It is usually an instrumental action -- a means to the end of achieving some goal apart from the resulting deaths. 


Vanuit dit perspectief is de Amerikaanse buitenlandse politiek regelmatig terroristisch te noemen, zeker in Irak, dat in strijd met het internationaal recht de bombardements-strategie van 'shock and awe,' op de Iraakse bevolking losliet. Het 'schokken en ontzag inboezemen' van de burgerbevolking is een duidelijk voorbeeld van 'terrorisme,' ondanks het feit dat bestseller-auteur Geert Mak de VS ziet als 'ordebewaker en politieagent' van de wereld en Henk Hofland op zijn beurt beweert dat de NAVO-bombardementen beschouwd moeten worden als 'vredestichtend.' Beide woordvoerders van het establishment functioneren als pleitbezorgers van westers 'terrorisme.' Dat is niet alleen mijn overtuiging, maar die van miljoenen andere burgers die nog vóórdat er een cruise missile was afgevuurd overal ter wereld demonstreerden tegen de Amerikaanse en Britse inval in Irak. Alleen sociopaten en psychopaten vinden het normaal dat een hele bevolking wordt afgestraft voor de daden van enkelen. Dit ordebewaking en het stichten van vrede noemen is een illustratie van hoe ziek de massamedia en hun opiniemakers zijn geworden en hoe in de praktijk het hedendaags fascisme functioneert.

De autoriteiten mogen dan wel het werk van Mak en Hofland met prijzen overladen, maar ook dat kenmerkt de corrupte houding van het tweetal. De geschiedenis van de mensheid is de geschiedenis van het verzet tegen de macht, de geschiedenis van het telkens opnieuw trachten de macht aan banden te leggen. En altijd weer weet de doortrapte macht nieuwe listen te verzinnen om de alleenheerschappij te verwerven. Voor de Hoflanden en de Makkianen geldt dat de overheid 'vadertje staat' is. De overheid, de regering, het parlement en de ware macht die daarachter schuil gaat, worden niet gezien als permanente bedreigingen van het individu. Dat de macht een 'onderklasse' hebben gecreëerd opdat de geletterde 'elite' niet zelf het vuile, eentonige en zware werk hoeft te doen, is een belangrijk motief achter het door Mak en Hofland beleden corporatisme. De 'onderklasse' functioneert tevens als bliksemafleider, als zondebok om de aandacht van de ware problemen af te leiden. Op 12 oktober 2009 concludeerde de Amerikaanse hoogleraar aan de Columbia Universiteit, James Hansen, in het nawoord van zijn boek Storms of My Grandchildren. The Truth About The Coming Climate Catastrophe And Our Last Chance To Save Humanity:

The picture has become clear. Our planet, with its remarkable array of life, is in imminent danger of crashing. Yet our politicians are not dashing forward. They hesitate; they hang back. 

Therefore it is up to you. You will need to be a protector of your children and grandchildren on this matter. I am sorry to say that your job will be difficult -- special interests have been able to subvert our democratic system. But we should not give up on the democratic system -- quite the contrary. We must fight for the principle of equal justice... Civil resistance may be our best hope.

It is crucial for all of us, especially young people, to get involved... this will be the most urgent fight of our elves. It is our last chance,


aldus 'The world's pre-eminent climate scientist,' zoals de Guardian hem noemt. In de strijd tegen de onverantwoordelijke macht zijn propagandisten als Henk Hofland en Geert Mak makkelijk te slechten obstakels. Immers, 'you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.' 





Washington Post Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

Global Research, June 11, 2015
800px-Washington_Post_building-300x225
Image: The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil)

There once was a time when the U.S. news media investigated U.S. imperial adventures overseas, such as Washington-sponsored coups. Journalists also asked tough questions to officials implicated in corruption even if those queries were inconvenient to the desired propaganda themes. But those days are long gone, as the Washington Post demonstrated again this week.
On Wednesday, the Post’s editorial board had a chance to press Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the U.S. government’s role in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that elevated him to his current post – after he was handpicked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who declared “Yats is the guy” in a pre-coup intercepted phone call.
Wouldn’t it have been interesting to ask Yatsenyuk about his pre-coup contacts with Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and what their role was in fomenting the “regime change” that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and hurtled Ukraine into a civil war? Sure, Yatsenyuk might have ducked the questions, but isn’t that the role that journalists are supposed to play, at least ask? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]
Or why not question Yatsenyuk about the presence of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists who spearheaded the violent coup and then were deployed as the shock troops in Ukraine’s “anti-terrorism operation” that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine? Wouldn’t that question have spiced up the interview? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine.”]
And, since Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko was at the editorial board meeting as well, wouldn’t it have made sense to ask her about the propriety of her enriching herself while managing a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund for Ukraine over the past decade? What kind of message does her prior work send to the people of Ukraine as they’re asked to tighten their belts even more, with cuts to pensions, reduction of worker protections, and elimination of heating subsidies?
How would Jaresko justify her various schemes to increase her compensation beyond the $150,000 limit set by the U.S. Agency for International Development and her decision to take court action to gag her ex-husband when he tried to blow the whistle on some improprieties? Wouldn’t such an exchange enlighten the Post’s readers about the complexities of the crisis? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values.’”]
Yet, based on what the Post decided to report to its readers, the editorial board simply performed the stenographic task of taking down whatever Yatsenyuk and Jaresko wanted to say. There was no indication of any probing question or even the slightest skepticism toward their assertions.
On Thursday, the Post combined a news article on the visit with an editorial that repeated pretty much as flat fact what Yatsenyuk and Jaresko had said. So, after Yatsenyuk alleged that Russia had 10,000 troops on the ground inside Ukraine, the Post’s editorial writers simply asserted the same number as a fact in its lead editorial, which stated: “Russia ... has deployed an estimated 10,000 troops to eastern Ukraine and, with its local proxies, attacks Ukrainian forces on a near-daily basis.”
Though both assertions are in dispute – with many of the cease-fire violations resulting from Ukrainian government assaults around the rebel-controlled Donetsk Airport – the Post had no interest in showing any skepticism, arguably one of the consequences from the failure to impose any accountability for the Post’s similarly biased writing prior to the Iraq War.
In 2002-03, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt repeatedly declared as flat fact that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMDs, thus supposedly justifying the U.S.-led invasion. After the invasion failed to locate these WMD stockpiles, Hiatt was asked about his editorials and responded:
“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]
Yes, journalists generally aren’t supposed to say something is a fact when it isn’t – and when a news executive oversees such a catastrophic error, which contributed to the deaths of nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, you might expect him to be fired.
Yet, Hiatt remains the Post’s editorial-page editor today, continuing to push neoconservative propaganda themes, now including equally one-sided accounts of dangerous crises in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Why WPost’s Hiatt Should Be Fired.”]
On Ukraine – although the risks of neocon “tough-guy-ism” against nuclear-armed Russia could mean extermination of life on the planet – the Post refuses to present any kind of balanced reporting. Nor apparently will the Post even direct newsworthy questions to Ukrainian officials.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazonandbarnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includesAmerica’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
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