vrijdag 4 januari 2019

Ian Buruma's Gebrek aan Logica 8

All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. 
Mike Lofgren. 

De vorige aflevering eindigde ik aldus:

Wat de corruptie van de commerciële massamedia aantoont is vooral dat zij -- net als het Amerikaanse Congres -- de ‘deep state’ beschermen, de macht achter de staat. Dit proces is uitgebreid en gedocumenteerd van binnenuit beschreven door de Amerikaanse intellectueel Mike Lofgren, die de ‘deep state’ omschrijft als 

a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.

Mike Lofgren:

is a former Republican U.S. Congressional aide. He retired in May 2011 after 28 years as a Congressional staff member… Lofgren has a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Akron. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study European history at the University of Bern and the University of Basel in Switzerland. He also completed the strategy and policy curriculum at the Naval War College… Lofgren began his legislative career as a military legislative assistant to then Republican House representative John Kasich in 1983. In 1994, he was a professional staff member of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee… From 1995 to 2004, he was budget analyst for national security on the majority staff of the House Budget Committee. From 2005 until his retirement in 2011, Lofgren was the chief analyst for military spending on the Senate Budget Committee.

Kortom, we hebben hier te maken met een goed geïnformeerde voormalige hoge functionaris die, in tegenstelling tot bijvoorbeeld Ian Buruma, uit ervaring weet wat hij schrijft. In februari 2014 publiceerde Lofgren een uiteenzetting over de ‘deep state.’ Eraan vooraf ging de volgende toelichting:

Everyone knows about the military-industrial complex, which, in his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned had the potential to ‘endanger our liberties or democratic process’ but have you heard of the ‘Deep State?’

Mike Lofgren, a former GOP congressional staff member with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees, joins Bill Moyers to talk about what he calls the Deep State, a hybrid of corporate America and the national security state, which is ‘out of control’ and ‘unconstrained.’ In it, Lofgren says, elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. ‘It is… the red thread that runs through the history of the last three decades. It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war,’ Lofgren tells Bill.

Lofgren says the Deep State’s heart lies in Washington, DC, but its tentacles reach out to Wall Street, which Lofgren describes as ‘the ultimate backstop to the whole operation,’ Silicon Valley and over 400,000 contractors, private citizens who have top-secret security clearances. Like any other bureaucracy, it’s groupthink that drives the Deep State. Mike Lofgren has written the following essay:

The Anatomy of the Deep State

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.
The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 (een bekende podcast-cursus over hoe de Amerikaanse democratie zou moeten werken. svh) or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN (Amerikaans kabel- en satelliet-televisie-netwerk dat zich bezighoudt met actuele zaken in de Amerikaanse politiek. svh) sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. 

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets: Because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office. Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.

Even terzijde: op dit moment proberen op hun beurt de Democraten het beleid van president Trump zoveel mogelijk te saboteren. Er is in de VS, net als in Europa, een scherpe tweedeling opstaan tussen enerzijds de elite en haar woordvoerders in de mainstream-media en anderzijds de 'deplorables' de gewone mensen die de dupe zijn geworden van het neoliberalisme. 

Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called ‘Insider Threat Program’). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.

De Democraten steunen president Trump zodra hij bombardementen laat uitvoeren, en reageren bijkans hysterisch op zijn voornemen om Amerikaanse troepen uit Afghanistan en Syrië terug te trekken, twee landen waar de Amerikaanse strijdkrachten niet de beoogde militaire en politieke doelen hebben weten te bereiken. 

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion (triljoen, een miljoen keer een miljoen keer een miljoen. svh) pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an ‘establishment.’ All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient (alwetend. svh) nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. 

How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition. But, like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, ‘the deciders.’

Ver van het centrum van de ‘Deep State’ leven de zogeheten opinie-makers van de commerciële pers. Zij weten als het ware instinctief welke informatie zij wel en welke zij absoluut niet mogen verspreiden. De commentatoren zijn ervan doordrongen dat als zij een fout maken ze daarvoor, vroeger of later, worden gemarginaliseerd. En aangezien de opiniemakers door talloze filters zijn gegaan voordat ze op de plaats terechtkwamen waar ze willen zitten, blijken zij vanzelfsprekend niet bereid om vervolgens het risico te lopen te worden verbannen. De Amerikaanse geleerde Noam Chomsky legde dit sociaal-psychologisch mechanisme nog eens helder uit aan de verbijsterde politiek commentator van de BBC, Andrew Marr. Chomsky merkte desgevraagd op: 

There's a filtering system that starts in kindergarten and goes all the way through and — it doesn't work a hundred per cent, but it's pretty effective — it selects for obedience and subordination.

Marr: 'So, stroppy people (dwarsliggers. svh) won't make it to positions of influence.'

Chomsky: There'll be ‘behavior problems’ or... if you read applications to a graduate school, you see that people will tell you ‘he doesn't get along too well with his colleagues’ — you know how to interpret those things.

Marr: 'How can you know that I'm self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are...'

Chomsky: I don't say you're self-censoring — I'm sure you believe everything you're saying; but what I'm saying is, if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting.

Hillary Clinton (July, 2010): we had helped to create the problem we are now fighting. Because when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan we had this brilliant idea we were going to come to Pakistan and create a force of mujahedin and equip them with stinger missiles and everything else to go after the Soviets inside Afghanistan.

And we were successful. The Soviets left Afghanistan, and then we said great, good-bye, leaving these trained people, who were fanatical, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, leaving them well-armed, creating a mess, frankly, that at the time we didn't really recognize, we were just so happy to see the Soviet Union fall and we thought fine we are OK now everything is going to be so much better. Now you look back. The people we are fighting today, we were supporting in the fight against the Soviets.

Door de financiële afhankelijkheid van de 'vrije pers' wordt iedere, werkelijk kritische journalist uiteindelijk geboycot. Zich conformeren aan de bestaande machtsverhoudingen is een daarom een absolute noodzaak in de huidige mainstream-journalistiek. En wat betreft de ‘zelfcensuur,’ die is zo diep geïnternaliseerd dat de opportunist zich er niet meer van bewust is. Ook ik heb dit overal kunnen waarnemen tijdens mijn halve eeuw in de journalistiek. De talloze kritische journalisten die ik vooral in de jaren zestig, zeventig en begin jaren tachtig ben tegengekomen, werden altijd getolereerd, nooit werkelijk geaccepteerd. Zo moet de wereldberoemde Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Seymour Hersh al geruime tijd zijn artikelen in Europa publiceren, omdat de Amerikaanse ‘corporate press’ weigert zijn onthullingen nog langer te verspreiden. Hersh’s informatie wordt door de macht en dus door haar pleitbezorgers in de commerciële media gezien als onwelgevallig. Onder de kop ‘Seymour Hersh’s News Report Banned in U.S., is Finally Confirmed in Turkey,’ schreef de historicus Eric Zuesse op de ‘online journal’ Strategic Culture van 30 oktober 2015:

The question being investigated here was who caused the sarin gas attack in Ghouta, Syria, on 21 August 2013, that killed over a thousand victims, and that U.S. President Barack Obama has used as his basis for going to war to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?

Hersh’s article, in the London Review of Books, on 17 April 2014, was titled ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels.’ Hersh found that (quoting here the key parts, and providing [in brackets], from me, the necessary clarifications so that the reader can more easily understand what Hersh was saying):

‘A US intelligence consultant told me that a few weeks before 21 August he saw a highly classified briefing prepared for [Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin] Dempsey and the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, which described “the acute anxiety” of the [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan administration about the [U.S.-Turkey-Saudi-Qatari-backed] rebels’ dwindling prospects. The analysis warned that the Turkish leadership had expressed “the need to do something that would precipitate a US military response.”’ [In other words: Turkey’s leader, Erdoğan, ‘expressed’ to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that they needed to do something that would ‘precipitate (halsoverkop aanzetten tot. svh) a US military response’ against the man Erdoğan wanted to bring down, Assad. He was advising what’s called by the intelligence-services a ‘false-flag attack.’ Erdoğan wanted a false-flag attack, so as to enable U.S.

President Barack Obama to have a publicly believable excuse for invading Syria and doing what Erdoğan wanted done… ‘In the aftermath of the 21 August attack Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’  [that is: The Joint Chiefs had underestimated the President’s determination to bring down Assad… ‘Obama’s change of mind [weakening his ardor against Assad] had its origins at Porton Down, the defense laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff.’

‘The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack… Obama’s premise [“premise” here might instead have been just the tactful way for Hersh to say “excuse,” which would have been even more unpublishable to apply to the President inside the U.S.; Hersh here avoids saying that the President was simply lying] — that only the Syrian army was capable of deploying sarin — was unravelling. Within a few days of the 21 August attack, the former intelligence official told me, Russian military intelligence operatives had recovered samples of the chemical agent from Ghouta. They analyzed it and passed it on to British military intelligence; this was the material sent to Porton Down [the testing lab for Britain’s CIA-equivalent, MI6].’

‘The Porton Down report caused the joint chiefs to go to the president with a... serious worry: that the attack sought by the White House would be an unjustified act of aggression. [In other words: if he were to invade on that basis, the fakery of his excuse might become publicly known.] It was the joint chiefs who led Obama to change course. The official White House explanation for the turnabout — the story the press corps told [and Hersh is here pouring contempt upon America’s ‘press corps,’ as being nothing but stenographers for the White House] — was that the president, during a walk in the Rose Garden with Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, suddenly decided to seek approval for the strike from a bitterly divided Congress with which he’d been in conflict for years.’

Maar dit is niet alles. Zuesse voegde hieraan toe: 

Even prior to Hersh’s report, a detailed (and better-written) presentation of the case against Obama, which likewise reported that this was a ‘false flag’ operation and that the anti-Russian forces (headed by Obama) were behind it, had been presented by the great investigative journalist Christof Lehmann. He had headlined on 7 October 2013 at his nsnbc news site, ‘Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria,’ and he opened: ‘Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry.’ (The U.S. has been allied with the Saudi royal family against Russia since 1945.) Lehmann went on to note that: ‘The CIA maintains a station, US Special Forces (JSOC) train insurgents, and several other US institutions are present in al-Mafraq. The point is of particular importance with regards to the visit of the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Jordan, which will be detailed below. Al-Mafraq has been the major transit point for Saudi and U.S. arms shipments since 2012, and the delivery of advanced Saudi and U.S. weapons to the insurgents since early August 2013.’ So: The U.S. President had been up to his eyeballs in the scheming to ‘precipitate a US military response,’ as Hersh phrased the matter five months later. Obama desperately wanted to have a publicly-citable reason to invade Syria in 2013, just as Bush had desperately wanted to have a publicly-citable reason to invade Iraq in 2003. (And, in both instances, the U.S. ‘news’ media cooperated with the President’s scam. A detailed 14 January 2014 MIT analysis of the evidence, which proved that ‘the government’s interpretation of the technical intelligence it gathered prior to and after the August 21 attack cannot possibly be correct’ was simply ignored by the U.S. ‘news’ media.)

En dus zweeg ook opiniemaker Ian Buruma over deze vitale informatie. Wel schreef hij in april 2017 over ‘years of horrendous bombings and torture by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces,’ daarmee suggererend dat de Syrische strijdkrachten in oorlog waren met de hele Syrische bevolking, het argument van de ‘liberals’ om na Afghanistan, Irak, Libië, ook Syrië in bloedige chaos te storten middels een gewelddadige regime-change. Terwijl toch anderhalf jaar eerder al de historicus Zuesse terecht had geconstateerd dat:

All of the evidence indicates that U.S. President Obama and Turkey’s President Erdoğan were working together to create a case for America to bomb Syria until Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad would be gone, so that Assad’s government could then be replaced by a Sunni Islamist regime (like Erdoğan wants), which would be hostile to Russia and which would thus enable in Syria the construction of pipelines so that gas from U.S.-allied Sunni Qatar and oil from U.S.-allied Sunni Saudi Arabia might take the place of Russia’s oil and gas in the world’s biggest energy-market: Europe. It’s a joint operation both of the U.S. aristocracy, and of the Sunni Arabic royal families, basically a U.S.-Wahhabist operation.

Obama, Erdogan, Saudi King Abdullah, and Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, worked together in their joint effort to grab Europe’s oil-and-gas markets from Russia. For the Sunni Islamists it would be directly an economic benefit to the Sunni aristocrats who would be raking in extra billions, some of which would then fund yet more Sunni jihadists and clerics, to spread the Wahhabist Sunni faith yet further and thus satisfy the Sunni clerics and not only the national Sunni aristocracy; but, to Obama, this would mainly be just another way to cripple the Russian economy, to bring it down, which America’s aristocrats want to do. Syria’s overthrow would be a fitting sequel to Obama’s February 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych, who, like Bashar al-Assad, refused to cooperate with U.S. plans to force Russia’s President Vladimir Putin out of office.

On 11 May 2015, Gabriel Sherman in the throw-away New York magazine, headlined, ‘Why Seymour Hersh’s “Alternative” bin Laden History Did Not Appear in The New Yorker,’ and he interviewed Hersh about (the anti-Russia propagandist and Obama-supporter) David Remnick, who is the editor of the New Yorker  and who rejected Hersh’s article when it was presented to him. This time, Remnick had rejected an article by Hersh exposing Obama’s lies about the killing of bin Laden: Remnick’s earlier rejections of Hersh’s articles about Obama’s lies regarding Libya, and then regarding Syria (our topic here), had been totally ignored in U.S. ‘news’ media; but this Sherman article might as well have been about those, too. As a throw-away journalist, Mr. Sherman quotes nothing in response from Mr. Remnick. He only quotes more of Hersh, quoting Remnick’s response to Hersh’s findings: ‘David said, “Do a blog,” Hersh recalled.’ (Imagine: ‘Do a blog,’ to tell the public a news story bigger and more important than almost any that the magazine publishes. What an insult that was to Hersh.)

Truths like Hersh’s recent articles report don’t seem to fit in a ‘news’ medium such as the New Yorker. Even if some readers of the New Yorker  might want to know truths such as this, the owners of the magazine (who hire its editors) don’t want them to know such truths (which is why they hire such editors). Hersh apparently pretends not to understand that. He was quoted by Sherman as saying, 'It’s about money,' meaning that Remnick just didn’t want to spend the money for such an article. Hersh isn’t that stupid. He knows that in America, journalists aren’t paid to expose political rot at the top of the nation’s aristocracy.

Instead, the Russia-bashing must go on, truth-be-damned. If Putin doesn’t want to play ball with America’s aristocracy, this is the price he’ll have to pay, for holding out. The positions of Russia and its allies won’t be published in America. And being turned down by America’s press-lords is the price that independent journalists in America must pay, if they want to report the truth about international matters. Journalists know that, too. And a very few of them are willing to pay this price, in order to report the truth, regardless. Unlike what libertarians say, merit doesn’t get rewarded by the market, unless that ‘merit’ is in service to the aristocracy, rather than challenging its lies. So much for America’s ‘free press.’

Deze bredere context bewijst dat Chomsky gelijk had te stellen er zeker van te zijn dat vooraanstaande opiniemakers ‘believe everything’ dat zij beweren, want als zij iets anders zouden geloven zij ‘wouldn't be sitting where’ ze nu zitten. Zo werkt nu eenmaal propaganda. Bovendien gaat ook de verspreider ervan op den duur in zijn onzin geloven. Over het groepsdenken schreef de Amerikaanse historicus, kolonel b.d., Andrew Bacevich, gespecialiseerd in ‘international relations, security studies, American foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history’:

Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called ‘groupthink,’ the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.'

Onder de kop ‘Washington’s Tacit Consensus’ gebruikte Bacevich, tevens emeritus hoogleraar Internationale Betrekkingen, deze inleiding als aanloop tot het volgende:

The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State’s emissaries.

I saw this submissiveness on many occasions. One memorable incident was passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. This legislation retroactively legalized the Bush administration’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance first revealed by The New York Times in 2005 and indemnified (vrijwaren. svh) the telecommunications companies for their cooperation in these acts. The bill passed easily: All that was required was the invocation of the word ‘terrorism’ and most members of Congress responded like iron filings obeying a magnet. One who responded in that fashion was Senator Barack Obama, soon to be coronated as the presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He had already won the most delegates by campaigning to the left of his main opponent, Hillary Clinton, on the excesses of the global war on terror and the erosion of constitutional liberties.

As the indemnification vote showed, the Deep State does not consist only of government agencies. What is euphemistically called ‘private enterprise’ is an integral part of its operations. In a special series in The Washington Post called 'Top Secret America,' Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks. There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings.

Typerend is dat deze informatie van insiders door outsiders als Buruma angstvallig wordt verzwegen omdat het niet past in hun ideologische voorstelling van zaken, waarbij, volgens mijn oude vriend, in het kader van ‘our European civilizing mission,’ we 'cannot match the US, but we can share more of its burden. If we want the Americans to sign up to the ICC, we too must do the dirty work, and take the risk of being held accountable,’ voor de onvermijdelijke massale schendingen van het internationaal recht, die onlosmakelijk verbonden zijn aan het ‘smerige werk.’ Buruma gaf dit advies in 2002, in de Britse krant The Guardian, tijdens de aanloop naar de illegale Shock and Awe-inval in Irak, die het Midden-Oosten in een brandhaard veranderde.  Uitgaande van het door Europese elites gesteunde ‘betrekkelijk goedaardige imperialisme uit Washington’ moeten 'we' aannemen dat Buruma's oproep aan Europa om een deel van het 'dirty work’ uit handen van de Amerikanen te nemen, tevens een oproep is voor oorlogsmisdaden, misdaden tegen de menselijkheid en zelfs genocide, die nu eenmaal onderdeel zijn van de moderne oorlogsvoering. 'We' moeten ‘ons’ vervolgens juridisch ‘aansprakelijk’ stellen, zodra die misdaden bekend worden, en dapper 'onze' straf dragen. Het klinkt heel wat, als men onvoldoende weet. Maar na enige onderzoek kan een ieder weten dat tot nu toe geen één witte regeringsleider is aangeklaagd voor het International Criminal Court in Den Haag, en dat de VS niet accepteert dat de rechters van het ICC 

bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind — war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide,’ when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.

Sterker nog -- een ander feit dat Buruma verzwijgt -- in 2002 heeft het Amerikaans Congres de ‘American Service-Members' Protection Act (ASPA)’ aangenomen, 

which contained a number of provisions, including authorization of the President to ‘use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court,’ and also prohibitions on the United States providing military aid to countries which had ratified the treaty establishing the court… In addition, ASPA contained provisions prohibiting U.S. co-operation with the Court, and permitting the President to authorize military force to free any U.S. military personnel held by the court, leading opponents to dub it ‘The Hague Invasion Act.’ The act was later modified to permit U.S. cooperation with the ICC when dealing with U.S. enemies.

Vanuit dit perspectief is de volgende badinerende toon van Ian Buruma weerzinwekkend:

Multilateralism and peaceful internationalism has become a kind of European white man's burden, a mission civilisatrice. The ICC is as much part of EU idealism as of the UN. It cuts little ice (weinig impact hebben. svh) with the Russians or the Chinese, but Europeans believe in it. It is a fine ideal, and if the whole world were like western Europe it would work very well. Alas, our peaceful EU is not well equipped to deal with gangsters — before they come to court. Against a Milosevic it proved to be useless. Only American power saved millions of Bosnian lives.

Laten we deze beweringen eens analyseren, te beginnen met de ware betekenis van het begrip ‘mission civilisatrice.’  Welnu, een 

mission civilisatrice (in English ‘civilising mission’) was a rationale for intervention or colonization, purporting to contribute to the spread of civilization, and used mostly in relation to the Westernization of indigenous peoples in the 15th — 20th centuries...

Evolutionist views survived colonialism. Modernization theorists declared that traditional customs had to be destroyed, traditional societies had to adapt or to disappear. (Cultural Genocide. svh)

Development criticism sees development therefore as continuation of the colonial civilizing mission. To become civilized has always meant to become 'like us,' therefore 'Civilizing' now meant that in the long run all societies had to become consumer societies and renounce their native traditions and habits. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilizing_mission 

Bekend is dat dit uiterst gewelddadige 'beschavingsoffensief' van de witte man — dat Buruma verkoopt als ‘mission civilisatrice’ — door de eeuwen heen ontelbare miljoenen doden heeft veroorzaakt als gevolg van de voortdurende bloedbaden, epidemieën, grootschalige verwoestingen, genocides, onderdrukking, uitbuiting, slavernij. In zijn 358 pagina's tellende, bij Oxford University Press verschenen, studie American Holocaust. The Conquest of the New World (1992) geeft de Amerikaanse hoogleraar David E. Stannard een typering van de judeo-christelijke cultuur wanneer hij het verschil beschrijft tussen de Indiaanse en Europese wijze van oorlog voeren. De Indianen kenden het begrip ‘totale oorlog’ niet en verloren daardoor. Indianen in Noord-Amerika waren geschokt over bijvoorbeeld het feit dat de witte mannen massamoorden pleegden. Indianen spaarden doorgaans de zwakken, vrouwen, kinderen, ouderen, en hun oorlogsvoering was in de praktijk veelal geritualiseerd theater.

'Warfare among the native peoples had no 'dissipline' about it complained Captain Henry Spelman, so that when Indians fought there was no great 'slawter of nether side', instead once 'having shott away most of their arrows,' both sides commonly 'weare glad to retier.'

De reden van dit verschil schrijft Stannard juist toe aan de invloed van de judeo-christelijke ideologie. Hij bewijst dit met ondermeer een citaat van majoor John Mason die bevel voerde tijdens een bloedbad waarbij een heel Indianendorp werd uitgemoord:

‘the Lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their Land for an Inheritance.' Because of his readers' assumed knowledge of the Old Testament, it was unnecessary for Mason to remind them that this last phrase is derived from Deuteronomy, nor did he need to quote the words that immediately follow in that biblical passage: 'Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth... But thou shalt utterly destroy them.'

De gedachte een uitverkoren volk te zijn of dat nu Joden dan wel witte Europeanen zijn, maakt niets uit. Elk volk dat meent superieur te zijn aan de rest van de mensheid ontleent aan deze mythe het recht te roven en te moorden. Die misdaden worden immers door de hoogste autoriteit gesanctioneerd. De judeo-christelijke cultuur kent geen genade, kent letterlijk en figuurlijk geen grenzen, vandaar het genocidale aspect van de westerse politiek. Laten we niet vergeten dat Auschwitz en Hiroshima voortkwamen uit diezelfde expansionistische, judeo-christelijke ideologie. De Zweedse journalist/auteur Sven Lindqvist benadrukt dit feit nog eens aan het eind van zijn boek Exterminate all the Brutes (1992), wanneer hij tot de slotsom komt dat:

Auschwitz de moderne industriële toepassing [was] van een uitroeiingspolitiek waarop de Europese overheersing van de wereld […] lang heeft gesteund.

Lindqvist toont aan dat de

Europese vernietiging van de 'inferieure rassen' van vier continenten de grond voorbereidde voor Hitlers vernietiging van zes miljoen joden in Europa… Het Europese expansionisme, vergezeld als het was door een schaamteloze verdediging van het uitroeien, schiep manieren van denken en politieke precedenten die de weg baanden voor nieuwe wandaden, die uiteindelijk culmineerden in’ de ‘Holocaust.’ 


toen hetgeen was gebeurd in het hart der duisternis werd herhaald in het hart van Europa, herkende niemand het. Niemand wilde toegeven wat iedereen wist. Overal in de wereld waar kennis wordt onderdrukt, kennis die als ze bekend zou worden gemaakt ons beeld van de wereld aan gruzelementen zou slaan en ons zou dwingen onszelf ter discussie te stellen — daar wordt overal het Hart der Duisternis opgevoerd. U weet dat al. Net als ik. Het is geen kennis die ons ontbreekt. Wat gemist wordt is de moed om te begrijpen wat we weten en daaruit conclusies te trekken.

De favoriete historicus van de neoconservatieven, de Amerikaan Victor Davis Hanson, zet in zijn boek Why The West Has Won. Nine Landmark Battles in the Brutal History of Western Victory  (2002) uiteen dat ‘wij,’ witte westerlingen, vijf eeuwen lang gewonnen hebben louter en alleen omdat de Europese en naderhand de Amerikaanse cultuur veel gewelddadiger was dan alle andere beschavingen, meedogenlozer in zijn streven naar hegemonie dan welk ander gekleurd volk dan ook. Wij bezaten:

the most lethal practice of arms conceivable. Let us hope that we at last understand this legacy. It is a weighty and sometimes ominous heritage that we must neither deny nor feel ashamed about — but insist that our deadly manner of war serves, rather thans buries, our civilization.

Qua moordzucht en genocide scoren ‘wij’ veruit het hoogst. Professor  Stannard berekende aan de hand van de meest recente schattingen dat:

there were the unique horrors of the African slave trade, during the course of which at least 30.000.000 — and possibly as many as 40.000.000 to 60.000.000 —- Africans were killed, most of them in the prime of their lives,

en dat:

the total extermination of many American Indian peoples and the near-extermination of others, in numbers that eventually totaled close to 100.000.000. […] For almost half a millennium Christians had been launching hideously destructive holy wars and massive enslavement campaigns against external enemies they viewed as carnal demons and described as infidels... During those same long centuries they had further expressed their ruthless intolerance of all persons and things that were non-Christian by conducting pogroms against the Jews who lived among them and whom they regarded as the embodiment of Antichrist — imposing torture, exile, and mass destruction on those who refused to succumb to evangelical persuasion.

In Unwarranted Influence. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex (2011) schreef de Amerikaanse auteur en ‘editor in charge of Reuters.com,’ James Ledbetter, dat:

In a remarkably prescient book published in 1914, the left-wing journalist Henry Noel Brailsford, who served on the UDC's (Britse anti-oorlogsorganisatie. svh) governing board, wrote: ‘The events of the past two years have shown that modern warfare will henceforth be waged with increased implacability, not against the armies and navies of the contending Powers alone, but against the civilian population, which by its monetary contributions, by its manufacture of the fuel of slaughter, by its agricultural and industrial labors, and by its sanction, maintain those armies and navies. It will be impossible for belligerent States, and more and more futile for international lawyers, to draw any distinction between combatants and non-combatants. It is flying in the face of logic to maintain that the man (or woman) who fashions the projectiles or the explosives which another man discharges, with deadly effect, is a non-combatant.

Op zijn beurt zette Sven Lindqvist in A History of Bombing (2001) uiteen dat na de Eerste Wereldoorlog in Groot-Brittannië

a demand was made that the German pilots who had bombed London be brought to trial as war criminals. The British Air Ministry protested. Trials of that sort 'would be placing a noose round the necks of our airman in future wars.' Since the aim of the British air attacks against German cities had been 'to weaken the morale of civilian inhabitants (and thereby their 'will to win') by persistent bomb attacks which would both destroy life (civilian and otherwise) and if possible originate a conflagration which should reduce to ashes the whole town,' the application of the Hague Convention in these cases would defeat the very purpose of bombardment. 

This was top secret. Publicly the air force continued to say something quite different, just as the navy had done throughout the 19th century. This was the best tack to take, wrote the air staff in 1921: 'It may be thought better, in view of the allegations of the "barbarity" of air attacks, to preserve appearances by formulating milder rules and by still nominally confining bombardment to targets which are strictly military in character… to avoid emphasizing the truth that air warfare has made such restrictions obsolete and impossible.’

In zijn befaamde boek The Clash of Civilizations the Remaking of World Order (1996) vatte de neoconservatieve Amerikaanse politicoloog Samuel Huntington het nog eens kort samen:

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.

Met andere woorden: al bijna een eeuw geleden wist de militaire en politieke top dat oorlog onvermijdelijk leidt tot grootschalige schendingen van het internationaal recht, tot oorlogsmisdaden, misdaden tegen de menselijkheid, en mogelijk zelfs tot genocide. Desondanks stelt Erasmusprijs-winnaar 2008, mijn oude vriend Ian Buruma, dat ‘we must share America's dirty work,’ in het volle besef dat daarmee het internationaal recht ernstig zal worden geschonden, en dat allereerst en vooral ongewapende burgers hiervan het slachtoffer zullen zijn. De Lof der Zotheid, beloond met de Lof der Zotten. Bovendien weet ook opiniemaker Buruma dat als één van de nucleaire grootmachten een conventionele oorlog dreigt te verliezen de elite in Washington of in Moskou, zal overgaan tot de inzet van nucleaire wapens. Aangezien de Europese NAVO-landen verplicht zijn de Amerikaanse strijdkrachten militair te steunen, zal dit leiden tot een nucleaire holocaust, en de huidige gevestigde orde is bereid dit risico te nemen. 

Meer over deze absurde feiten de volgende keer. 

All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. Mike Lofgren.

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