zaterdag 14 oktober 2006

The Empire 29

Het is bekend dat in de praktijk van alledag vrijheid in een parlementaire democratie het recht betekent van enkele grote concerns om het leven te beheersen van miljarden mensen. De macht ligt niet in handen van volksvertegenwoordigers, maar in de handen van degenen die nationaal en internationaal het kapitaal bezitten om een beleid te bepalen, waarbij de meerderheid de belangen van een schatrijke minderheid dienen. Dit systeem leidt, zo bewijst de geschiedenis, altijd tot oorlog.

The Guardian bericht:

'Iraq for Sale: As Not Seen on TV.

Not coming soon to a TV near you, especially if you live in the US ... Iraq for Sale.
Iraq for Sale, the latest documentary from Robert Greenwald, tells a depressingly familiar tale of corporate corruption and war-profiteering in Iraq. Focusing on companies like Halliburton, CACI International and Blackwater Security Consulting, it recites a litany of rapacity and exploitation that ought to have American citizens swarming Congress, demanding heads on pikes.
It's all here: Halliburton charging $45 for a six-pack of sodas; undertrained and poorly safeguarded mercenaries earning megabuck salaries that dwarf the pittances awarded to regular troops; gigantic corporate profit margins netted by shafting the recipient at both ends of the process (lousy and dangerous services for mindbendingly exorbitant fees); and an unsupervised, no-bid, payment-guaranteed contracting system that utterly contradicts any defensible notion of free-market capitalism.
Like the bibliophobic Ronald Reagan, these days we apparently can't understand anything until we see it on TV. Greenwald has answered that need for us, and Iraq for Sale proves two things: first, that the gung-ho, warmongering capitalism of Joseph Heller's Milo Minderbinder is alive and well in the war zone; and second, that it is easier for the chairmen of Blackwell and Exxon/Mobil to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a serious and necessary dissident documentary to be seen by the broad American public.
Greenwald has earned praise for establishing an alternative distribution system for his movies, which have so far covered the entire spectrum of what is wrong with 21st-century America, including Fox News, Wal-Mart, the 2000 election, Enron, and the Tom DeLay-corrupted House of Representatives. Although most of his films achieve a nominal basic release, Greenwald also pioneered "watch-and-discuss" parties that allow citizens to download the film for free and discuss it in large groups in their homes. This is an excellent way to raise consciousness and build networks of dissent, but it also falls prey to the accusation that it is preaching to the converted. I think Greenwald is a hero, but his work should be seen by the widest possible audience. It's not as if his films deal with minor social and political nuances; they address the central realities of our age.
Well, fat chance of seeing his work on US television. The world of canned news is a total shut-out for anything to the left of John McCain. The best that most left-liberal documentaries can hope for (if not made by Michael Moore) is a limited release and a showing on cable. Take James Longley's remarkable documentary about life in Iraq since April 2003, Iraq in Fragments. It won awards at Sundance but has no US distributor. Michael Winterbottom's The Road to Guantánamo had its poster censored by the MPAA and ran for about a week. Winterbottom himself was treated like a pariah on US cable news shows, with mendacious Pentagon spokesmen trotted out to defame his movie - and not face-to-face. Corporate lobbyists and spokes-hacks even show up at film festivals to denounce movies such as Fast Food America and An Inconvenient Truth. And good luck seeing The Power of Nightmares in the United States, the one country that most needs to see it.'
Lees en zie verder:,,1888238,00.html En:


Van deze site geplukt:

The Empire 28

Leverett Saltonstall, van 1945-1967 Republikeins senator zei na 21 jaar in het Congress te hebben gezeten: 'It is not a question of reluctance on the part of CIA officials to speak to us. Instead it is a question of our reluctance, if you will, to seek information and knowledge on subjects which I personally, as a Member of Cingress and as a citizen, would rather not have.'
Welke informatie hij liever niet had als senator en burger van de VS weten de slachtoffers van de Amerikaanse buitenlandse terreur maar al te goed. Dat is ook de reden dat Saltonstall er niet naar vroeg. Daarom de vraag: Is de VS een democratie als de volksvertegenwoordigers van het imperium bepaalde vitale informatie niet willen hebben?

The Empire 27

'Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world-security studies at Hampshire College, a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist, and the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum (Metropolitan Books, 2004).

Beware Empires in Decline
Michael T. Klare October 13, 2006

The common wisdom circulating in Washington these days is that the United States is too bogged down in Iraq to consider risky military action against Iran or—God forbid—North Korea. Policy analysts describe the U.S. military as “over-burdened” or “stretched to the limit.” The presumption is that the Pentagon is telling President Bush that it can't really undertake another major military contingency.
Added to these pessimistic assessments of U.S. military capacity is the widespread claim that a “new realism” has taken over in the administration's upper reaches, that cautious “realists” like Condoleezza Rice have gained the upper hand over fire-breathing neoconservatives. Ergo: No military strike against Iran or North Korea.
But I'm not buying any of this.
Just as an empire on the rise, like the United States on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, is often inclined to take rash and ill-considered actions, so an empire on the decline, like the British and French empires after World War II, will engage in senseless, self-destructive acts. And I fear the same can happen to the United States today, as we, too, slip into decline.
The decline of an empire can be a hard and painful thing for the affected imperial elites. Those who are used to commanding subservience and respect from their subjects and from lesser powers are often ill-prepared to deal with their indifference and contempt. Even harder is overcoming the long-inbred assumption that one's vassals are inferior—mentally, morally, and otherwise. The first malady makes the declining elites extraordinarily sensitive to perceived slights or insults from their former subjects; the second often leads elites to overestimate their own capabilities and to underestimate those of their former subjects—an often fatal error. The two misjudgments often combine to produce an extreme readiness to strike back when a perceived insult coincides with a (possibly deceptive) military superiority.'

Lees verder:

Jack Straw

In Nederland waar maar al te vaak op een botte en hysterische toon over andere culturen wordt ge sproken is de volgende reactie van de Britse oud-minister van Buitenlandse Zaken nauwelijks denkbaar:

'I felt uneasy talking to someone I couldn't see.'
This is Jack Straw's column in the Blackburn-based Lancashire Telegraph, which prompted the debate.

"It's really nice to meet you face-to-face, Mr Straw," said this pleasant lady, in a broad Lancashire accent. She had come to my constituency advice bureau with a problem. I smiled back. "The chance would be a fine thing," I thought to myself but did not say out loud. The lady was wearing the full veil. Her eyes were uncovered but the rest of her face was in cloth.
Her husband, a professional man whom I vaguely knew, was with her. She did most of the talking. I got down the detail of the problem, told the lady and her husband that I thought I could sort it out, and we parted amicably.
All this was about a year ago. It was not the first time I had conducted an interview with someone in a full veil, but this particular encounter, though very polite and respectful on both sides, got me thinking. In part, this was because of the apparent incongruity between the signals which indicate common bonds - the entirely English accent, the couple's education (wholly in the UK) - and the fact of the veil. Above all, it was because I felt uncomfortable about talking to someone "face-to-face" who I could not see.
So I decided that I wouldn't just sit there the next time a lady turned up to see me in a full veil, and I haven't.
Now, I always ensure that a female member of my staff is with me. I explain that this is a country built on freedoms. I defend absolutely the right of any woman to wear a headscarf. As for the full veil, wearing it breaks no laws.
I go on to say that I think, however, that the conversation would be of greater value if the lady took the covering from her face. Indeed, the value of a meeting, as opposed to a letter or phone call, is so that you can - almost literally - see what the other person means, and not just hear what they say. So many of the judgments we all make about other people come from seeing their faces.
I thought it may be hard going when I made my request for face-to-face interviews in these circumstances. However, I can't recall a single occasion when the lady concerned refused to lift her veil; and most I ask seem relieved I have done so. Last Friday was a case in point. The veil came off almost as soon as I opened my mouth. I dealt with the problems the lady had brought to me. We then had a really interesting debate about veil wearing. This itself contained some surprises. It became absolutely clear to me that the husband had played no part in her decision. She explained she had read some books and thought about the issue. She felt more comfortable wearing the veil when out. People bothered her less.
OK, I said, but did she think that veil wearing was required by the Qur'an? I was no expert, but many Muslim scholars said the full veil was not obligatory at all. And women as well as men went head uncovered the whole time when in their hajj - pilgrimage - in Mecca. The husband chipped in to say that this matter was "more cultural than religious". I said I would reflect on what the lady had said to me. Would she, however, think hard about what I said - in particular about my concern that wearing the full veil was bound to make better, positive relations between the two communities more difficult. It was such a visible statement of separation and of difference.
I thought a lot before raising this matter a year ago, and still more before writing this. But if not me, who? My concerns could be misplaced. But I think there is an issue here.'

Deze reactie is van een volstrekt andere orde dan de grofheid van een Hirsi /Ali Magan of van een Pim Fortuyn of van een van zijn geestelijke erfgenamen.

De Israelische Terreur 91

Hier is een samenvatting van de Israelische terreur van de afgelopen maanden:

'Statement by Prof. John Dugard, Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Second Session of the Human Rights Council.

1. Political militants have rights, under both human rights law and international humanitarian law. Today this obvious truth is rejected by Israel and some Western States that should know better. Such States, and their leaders, take the view that all acts, however brutal, are permissible in the so-called war against terror. Consequently they have little sympathy for appeals for respect for the rights of political militants. These convictions are so entrenched that little purpose is served by trying to persuade such persons that they fail to understand both human rights law and international humanitarian law. This explains why today I am not going to speak about Israeli actions against Palestinian militants and politicians. Instead I shall speak only about Israeli actions against ordinary, non-militant, non-activist Palestinians who simply want to lead a good life with their families and friends, who wish to educate their children for a better life, and who wish to enjoy the basic amenities of life. I hope that my portrayal of the hardships experienced by such people will trouble the consciences of those accustomed to turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of the Palestinian people.
2. I have been Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) since 2001. From a human rights perspective, the situation has deteriorated each year until the present time, which is intolerable, appalling, tragic ? call it what you will ? for the ordinary Palestinian. To illustrate this, let me describe some of the Israeli actions, practices and laws which the ordinary Palestinian faces.
3. In Gaza, since the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit on 25 June, the people have been subjected to continuous bombardment and military incursions in which over 100 civilians have been killed and many hundred wounded. What Israel chooses to describe as ?collateral damage? to the civilian population is in fact indiscriminate killing prohibited by international law. Then there are regular sonic bombs, which terrorize the population at night.
4. In June Israel bombed and destroyed the only domestic power plant in Gaza. Consequently more than half the electricity supply has been cut off and Gazans will remain without adequate power for at least another year. This impacts not only on heating and cooking in the home but also on the supply of water as water pumps are without power.
5. Hospitals are forced to use generators to power life-saving equipment because of power cuts. Many essential drugs are unavailable. Hospital staff cannot come to work as their salaries are unpaid and they cannot afford transport to their workplace. Patients cannot travel abroad for better treatment because of the closure of the Rafah crossing.
6. Houses have been destroyed by tanks and bulldozers. Schools have likewise been damaged. Citrus trees and olive trees have been uprooted; agricultural land flattened by bulldozers.
7. Three quarters of the population is unable to feed itself and is dependent on food aid. Food prices have inflated; fish is no longer available because of Israel?s naval blockade which forbids fishing; perishable food is lost because of the lack of electricity.'

Dit is maar een gedeelte van de lijst. Lees verder:

De Nederlandse regering steunt deze terreur door politieke, eonomische en militaire steun aan Israel.

Toof Brader

Afgelopen donderdagavond zat ik in een Ikon-radiouitzending van Mieke Spaans op radio 747 ( waar wekelijks de perlementaire journalist Toof Brader te horen is. Zie ook: Dit keer meldde Toof Brader dat er deze week niets in politiek Den Haag was gebeurd. Desondanks was hij helemaal vanuit Den Haag naar Amsterdam gereisd om dit te komen vertellen. Na het einde van de uitzending vroeg ik hem waarom hij en zijn collega's rond dat pleintje in de Hofstad zich laten leiden door dat wat de politici op de agenda zetten. Waarom niet zelf als onafhankelijke journalist een agenda opstellen. Immers, die week was niet alleen de film van Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth in roulatie gebracht, maar ook zijn in Nederlands vertaalde gelijknamige boek. Daarin wordt gedocumenteerd aangetoond dat onder andere Nederland gigantisch te leiden zal hebben onder de zich voltrekkende klimaatverandering. Niet de eerste beste Hansworst beweert dit, maar de voormalige vice-president van 's wereld's machtigste natie toont dit met feiten aan. Genoeg reden om onze politici een reactie hierop te vragen. Een ander punt die Toof en zijn collega's op de agenda hadden kunnen zetten, was het net verschenen rapport, samengesteld door wetenschappers van de Johns Hopkins University, waarin gesteld wordt dat er 'more than 650,000 Iraqis have lost their lives as a consequence of the invasion by the United States and Britain, with an estimated 200,000 violent deaths directly attributable to Allied forces.' Zie Zoveel dode burgers als gevolg van een door Nederlandse politici gesteund gewelddadig beleid van onze bondgenoot de VS. Nederlandse politici zijn daardoor mede verantwoordelijk voor de gepleegde oorlogsmisdaden. Maar daarvan hebben de Nederlandse parlementaire journalisten geen enkel punt gemaakt, want niet zij, maar de politici bepalen waarover gesproken kan worden. De getergde reactie van Toof Brader op mijn vraag was of ik het parlement dan wilde afschaffen, een onderwerp dat niet aan de orde was. Zo omzeilde Brader het geven van een antwoord waaruit ik concludeer dat hij als een lakei aan de leiband van de politici loopt.

Toen even later de VVD-Kamervoorzitter Weisglas binnenstapte, volgde een hartelijke en amicale begroeting, twee vrienden die elkaar even buiten Den Haag ontmoetten. Ik herinner me dat ik vele jaren geleden de toen nog CDA fractievoorzitter Ruud Lubbers interviewde over het onderwerp arbeidsethos. Terwijl ik met Lubbers door de gangen van het parlementsgebouw liep, verscheen ineens de destijds van tv bekende journalist Henk van Hoorn in beeld. 'He, hallo Ruud,' zei Henk van Hoorn. "Hallo Henk,' zei Lubbers. Ze sloegen elkaar vriendschappelijk op de schouder. En ook toen al schrok ik van het gebrek aan distantie, de amicale omgang. De parlementaire journalistiek en de politici vormen een kongsi in Nederland. De goede nagelaten, is de meerderheid van hen alles behalve onafhankelijk en volkomen gefixeerd op Haagse politiek. Vandaar ook dat de dames en heren journalisten de opkomst van Fortuyn niet voorzagen, want de politieke omwenteling voltrok zich onder de bevolking in het land en niet op dat Haagse pleintje. En toen Fortuyn furore maakte met zijn fratsen wisten ze niet wat ze ermee aanmoesten en nadat hij dood was, keerde alles weer naar het oude terug. De parlementaire journalisten bleven net zo vastgelijmd aan hun bureaustoel plakken als de politici aan hun zetel.

vrijdag 13 oktober 2006

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 33

We kunnen later niet zeggen 'wir haben es nicht gewusst.' We zijn er getuige van, we worden gewaarschuwd door de militairen die erbij zijn. En toch steunt Nederland de Amerikaanse politiek van oorlogsmisdaden. We zullen hier ooit een hoge prijs voor betalen.

De New York Times bericht:

'A Soldier Hoped to Do Good, But Was Changed by War
Fort Bragg, N.C., - Sgt. Ricky Clousing went to war in Iraq because, he said, he believed he would simultaneously be serving his nation and serving God.
Sgt. Ricky Clousing after his court-martial Thursday at Fort Bragg, N.C. Sergeant Clousing, 24, was sentenced to 11 months in confinement for going AWOL after becoming disilllusioned with the war in Iraq.
But after more than four months on the streets of Baghdad and Mosul interrogating Iraqis rounded up by American troops, Sergeant Clousing said, he began to believe that he was serving neither.
He said he saw American soldiers shoot and kill an unarmed Iraqi teenager, and rode in an Army Humvee that sideswiped Iraqi cars and shot an old man's sheep for fun - both incidents Sergeant Clousing reported to superiors. He said his work as an interrogator led him to conclude that the occupation was creating a cycle of anti-American resentment and violence. After months of soul-searching on his return to Fort Bragg, Sergeant Clousing, 24, failed to report for duty one day.
In a court-martial here on Thursday, an Army judge sentenced Sergeant Clousing to 11 months in confinement for going AWOL, absent without leave. He will serve three months because of a pretrial agreement in which he pleaded guilty.
"My experiences in Iraq forced me to re-evaluate my beliefs and my ethics," Sergeant Clousing said, sitting stiff-backed in the witness chair. "I ultimately felt I could not serve."
The case against Sergeant Clousing, a born-again Christian from Washington State, is a small one in a war that has produced sensational courts-martial. The same stark courtroom where Sergeant Clousing testified on Thursday was the site of the courts-martial of Pfc. Lynndie England, who mistreated and posed with naked Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, who rolled grenades into tents of American troops.
Yet the military prosecutors made it clear on Thursday that the stakes were high. Although they did not challenge his motives, they said if one young soldier disillusioned by the reality of war could give up the uniform without punishment, what of others?'
Lees verder: Of:

De logica is: als we toelaten dat er 1 weigert oorlosmisdaden te plegen dan zullen vele anderen dat straks ook weigeren.

De Nuance van de NRC 5

De NRC van vanavond vraagt zich op de voorpagina af: 'De Nobelprijs voor Orhan Pamuk: terecht of niet? Boeken: pagina 29.' En op pagina 29 lezen we:
'Literatuur of politiek? Wat vindt u van de Nobelprijs voor literatuur voor Orhan Pamuk? De terechte bekroning voor een insdukwekkend literair oeuvre? Of toch eerder ingegeven door de "correcte" politieke standpunten van de schrijver - zoals zijn kritiek op het Turkse taboe op het erkennen van de genocide op de Armeniers? Discussieer mee op de nieuwe website van de bijlage Boeken:

Et voila: de kwaliteit van een schrijver moet democratisch worden vastgesteld door de lezers van de NRC, die al dan niet zijn boeken hebben gelezen. Inzicht en kennis en eruditie zijn niet meer nodig. Vergelijkbaar is het streven de politiek te laten bepalen of de bewezen genocide op de Armenen ook daadwerkelijk is gebeurd. Om de kwaliteitslezers al vast een handje op weg te helpen staat op al pagina 9 de kop: 'Keuze voor Orhan Pamuk is politiek' De vraag wordt vervolgens gesteld aan Nederlandse Kamerleden en niet aan schrijvers en andere intellectuelen.

Ik schreef gisteren al dat alles steeds meer besmet wordt door de dode hand van de politieke ideologie: na de waarheid in de geschiedenis nu dus ook de waarheid in de literatuur. God zij dank schrijft in dezelfde NRC Marjoleine de Vos (zie foto) in een tv recensie over NOVA van gisteravond: 'Verder was er een flard gesprek uit een eerder interview van (verslaggever) Eikelboom met Pamuk zelf, die verklaarde liever over literatuur dan politiek te willen spreken maar die desondanks uitsluitend over politiek ondervraagd werd, terwijl in de ondertiteling met kenmerkende desinteresse de titels van zijn boeken verkeerd vertaald waren. Eikelboom had bovendien die boeken niet gelezen, hij merkte tenminste doodleuk op dat Pamuk hem "in interviews" verteld had dat Sneeuw "zijn enige politieke boek" was. Het is natuurlijk nergens voor nodig om boeken te gaan lezen als je een schrijver interviewt, en dus ook nergens voor nodig dat je begrijpt dat Sneeuw geen politieke roman is maar een boek waarin politieke kwesties op uiterst verwarrende wijze verwerkt zijn.'

Marjoleine de Vos slaat de spijker op de kop. Aan hetzelfde simplificeren doet de NRC literair medewerker Michel Krielaars. Zie:

In dienst van een commerciele krant dient men het publiek te behagen en dat is precies wat steeds meer NRC redacteuren doen. Die ontwikkeling is misschien wel onvermijdelijk. Milan Kundera zei al jaren geleden dat 'op grond van de dwingende noodzaak te behagen en zo de aandacht van het grootst mogelijke publiek te trekken, de esthetiek van de massamedia onvermijdelijk die van de kitsch is en naarmate de massamedia ons gehele leven meer omsluiten en infiltrtreren, wordt de kitsch onze dagelijkse esthetiek en moraal.'

Wat mijzelf betreft: het boek Sneeuw van Orhan Pamuk is ondanks de complexiteit het helderste en beklemmendste proza dat ik de laatste vijf jaar heb gelezen.

Alex Burghoorn van de Volkskrant

Vanochtend berichtte de Volkskrant onder de kop 'Ik was een monster' het volgende: 'In Israel praat niemand over de dagelijkse legerpraktijken op de bezette Palestijnse Westoever en in de Gazastrook. Een aantal voormalige militairen verbrak het stilzwijgen. Nodeloze vernederingen van Palestijnen zijn eerder regel dan uitzondering.'

In deze paar zinnen staat een leugen. Uit eigen ervaring weet ik dat in Israel wel degelijk door reservisten over de Israelische terreur in de Palestijnse gebieden wordt gesproken. Sterker nog, tenminste vijf jaar geleden lieten Israelische militairen van de organisatie 'Courage to Refuse' publiekelijk weten dat ze weigerden mee te doen aan de bezetting van de Palestijnse Gebieden. Zie: Niet de Israelis zwegen daarover, maar de Nederlandse commerciele media, die nauwelijks of nooit spraken over de Israelische terreur en zeker niet in deze bewoordingen. Zo zweeg de Volkskrant over de soldaten die weigerden de terreur uit te voeren. En ook de Israelische militairen, verenigd in de groep 'Breaking the Silence', spreken zich al jarenlang gedocumenteerd uit tegen de Israelische terreur. Zie: Over hen werd gezwegen totaan vandaag. Vandaag bericht Israel-correspondent van de Volkskrant over een tentoonstelling in Galerie Levante in Amsterdam, georganiseerd door Een Ander Joods Geluid en de soldaten van Breaking the Silence. Wat opvalt is de lafheid van deze krant. Niet langer meer kan de Volkskrant deze stemmen smoren, want in Amsterdam zelf zijn voorbeelden van de dagelijkse terreur via het werk van de soldaten van Breaking the Silence te zien.

Het ware probleem is in feite niet de terreur, maar het zwijgen daarover door journalisten die betaald worden om te zwijgen, die uit lafheid niet tegen de officiele consensus durven in te gaan, door mensen die door hun zwijgen in feite bloed aan hun handen hebben.

Al jaren geleden deed ik voor de VPRO Radio verslag van het doodschieten door een Israelische scherpschutter van een onbewapend Palestijns kind, een van de velen die door Israelische militairen zijn vermoord. Nooit wordt door de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia hierover serieus bericht zoals Nederlandse journalisten ook nagenoeg nooit een woordvoerder van Children Internationaal aan het woord laten over de Israelische terreur.

Nee, Alex Burghoorn: In Israel wordt allang niet meer gezwegen over de Israelische terreur, daar zijn genoeg dappere mensen die hun mond open doen. Jij bent de man die al die tijd blijft zwijgen tot je nu gedwongen werd door de Amsterdamse redactie van je krant om je mond open te doen. Je zou je moeten schamen voor de partijdigheid waarmee je de afgelopen tijd over het Israelisch-Palestijns conflict hebt bericht. Maar ik denk dat schaamte niet iets is wat snel bij een collaborateur opkomt. Succes met je carriere.

En voor de mensen die geinteresseerd zijn in de tentoonstelling lees deze email:

Geachte Stan van Houcke,

Een Ander Joods Geluid en De Levante hebben de eer u uit te nodigen voor de opening van de fototentoonstelling Breaking the Silence.

Breaking the Silence is een groep van ex-soldaten in Israël die zich verzetten tegen de wijze waarop hun land de Palestijnen in de bezette gebieden behandelt. In hun beginselverklaring schrijven zij: ‘Nadat wij uit dienst kwamen besloten wij dat we niet mogen vergeten wat we zelf hebben gedaan en wat we met onze eigen ogen hebben zien gebeuren. We besloten de stilte te verbreken. Want het is tijd om te vertellen wat dag in dag uit gebeurt in de bezette gebieden.’

Deze indrukwekkende en unieke tentoonstelling bestaat uit foto’s die door soldaten zelf zijn gemaakt. De tentoonstelling is op vele plaatsen in Israël getoond, onder andere in het Israëlische parlement, de Knesset en heeft in Israël veel losgemaakt. Nu vindt Breaking the Silence dat het tijd is om de internationale gemeenschap hun beelden te tonen. De tentoonstelling is een primeur voor Nederland.

De tentoonstelling is open voor het publiek van 16 tot en met 24 oktober en zal nadien ook nog aansluitend een week in de stad Groningen te zien zijn. Op de tentoonstelling is permanent een vertegenwoordiger van Breaking the Silence aanwezig voor een persoonlijke toelichting. Daarnaast zullen gedurende de tentoonstelling leden van Breaking the Silence door het gehele land spreekbeurten houden.

De tentoonstelling wordt geopend door Justus van Oel, schrijver en columnist. De opening zal plaats vinden op zondag 15 oktober, om 17.00 uur in de galerie van De Levante, Hobbemastraat 28, 1071 ZC, Amsterdam (naast het Zuiderbad en achter het Rijksmuseum).
Uw komst kunt u bevestigen per email of per telefoon 020-6795850.

De tentoonstelling wordt mogelijk gemaakt door NCDO. Verder zijn er bijdragen van ICCO en van de stichting De Levante.

Wij hopen op uw komst,
met vriendelijke groet,

Max Wieselmann Dalila Nemla-Zahaf
Een Ander Joods Geluid De Levante

PS Mocht u prijs stellen op een “echte” papieren uitnodiging, geeft u dan alstublieft uw adresgegevens aan ons kantoor door.

Stichting Een Ander Joods Geluid
Postbus 59506
1040 LA Amsterdam

tel: 020 6795850
fax: 020 6758925

donderdag 12 oktober 2006

De Armeense Genocide

De hele discussie rond de Armeense genocide door de Turkse staat krijgt steeds wonderlijkere trekjes. Stel dat een Nederlandse politicus in een uitzending van NOVA impliceert dat de joodse holocaust niet gebeurd is zolang niet bewezen is dat de Duitse staat hiervoor verantwoordelijk was, dan zou hij onmiddellijk door de presentator worden geinterrumpeerd en zou er onmiddellijk een golf van weerzin door ons land gaan. En terecht. Maar als daarentegen drs. Joost Lagendijk, europarlementarier van Groen Links, in NOVA stelt dat iedereen, zowel in Turkije als in Frankrijk de Armeense holocaust publiekelijk moet kunnen ontkennen, dan vindt de NOVA-presentator dit doodnormaal, zelfs redelijk. Dat de Armeense holocaust een discussiepunt is (een als het ware arbitraire kwestie van enerzijds/anderzijds) is in strijd met de gedocumenteerde werkelijkheid. Al enige jaren heb ik me verdiept in deze genocide en ben onder andere twee keer in Armenie geweest, en in het Oosten van Turkije, wat millennialang Armeens gebied was. Ook in Aleppo in Noord Syrie sprak ik met overlevenden van de genocide. Dus vandaar dat ik de onwetendheid van een groot deel van de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia zo stuitend vind.

De Armeense genocide lijkt nu een politieke kwestie te worden. Politici die gaan uitmaken of er al dan niet gesproken kan worden van genocide, alsof er niet al langer gedocumenteerd en wetenschappelijk hierover is geschreven. Illustrerend is ook dit: 'April 2001, before an official visit to Turkey, Shimon Peres was quoted in a Turkish newspaper as saying: "We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. What the Armenians went through is a tragedy, but not genocide." Israel mag militaire oefeningen in Turkije houden en voor wat hoort wat. Dus is tenminste een miljoen Armeense doden volgens de Israelische staat geen genocide. Het wrange daarbij is dat Hitler al voor de tweede wereldoorlog ooit eens zijn genocidale plannen tegenover zijn directe medewerkers vergoeilijkte met de opmerking: 'Per slot van rekening: wie herinnert zich nog de Armenen?' Maar dat alles weet de waan van de dag niet. Hoe moeten onze journalisten dat weten? Ze moeten onmiddellijk overal een mening over spuien. Wie heeft er dan nog tijd zich ergens in te verdiepen? Ondertussen zagen we in een NOVA-reportage Turkse demonstranten in Istanboel. Door de straten schalde de leuze: 'Genocide is een Leugen. Het is een spel van Amerika.' Amerika? In elk geval zorgen de massamedia er voor dat de verwarring nu totaal is. En Joost van Groen Links? Net als Shimon Peres heeft ook hij een politiek motief. Als voorzitter van de delegatie in de Gemengde Parlementaire Commissie EU-Turkije moet hij Turkije de EU binnenloodsen. In het kader daarvan moet de Armeense genocide van de agenda worden afgevoerd. Deze politiek sluit ethische normen en de waarheid uit. Niet stemmen op die partij.

De Nuance van de NRC 4

Een paar jaar geleden liep ik met een Syrische student archeologie door zijn schitterende stad Aleppo. Onderweg liet hij me in de oude binnenstad de Bimaristan Argun zien, een veertiende eeuwse psychiatrische inrichting waar in de middeleeuwen patienten zo humaan mogelijk werden opgevangen en behandeld. Ze werden ondergebracht in schone kamers, waar altijd lucht en licht binnenkwam. Onder andere met muziektherapie en vallend water werden ze op hun gemak gesteld. Zie foto. In diezelfde tijd was de grootste medicus op aarde de Pers Avicenna, wiens door humanisme doortrokken boeken later de Westerse geneeskunde hebben beinvloed. Dit allemaal in een tijd dat in Europa geestelijk gestoorden barbaars behandeld werden omdat de Europeanen niet beter wisten.

Ik vertel dit allemaal omdat ik getroffen werd door een artikel over Orhan Pamuk in de NRC van vandaag, geschreven door Michel Krielaars. De kop is opmerkelijk: 'Een westerse Sheherazade uit Turkije.' Sheherazade? Een week geleden stond boven een NRC-kritiek op Hirsi Ali's boek: 'Van Pipi tot Sheherezade.' Wat heeft de NRC toch met deze oosterse dame? Is dat de enige oosterse literatuur die de redactie kent?

Nadat we tot twee keer hebben vernomen dat het hier een Turk betreft, een 'Turk' uit 'Turkije', staat er: 'Met de toekenning van de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur aan Orhan Pamuk heeft het Nobelcomite een oosterse schrijver uitverkoren die in de westerse humanistische traditie thuishoort.'

Michel Krielaars houdt van tegenstellingen. Hij schrijft over Pamuk: 'In zijn laatste twee romans, Ik heet Karmozijn (1998) en Sneeuw (2003), richt Pamuk zich op het conflict tussen het moderne Turkije en en de radicale islam, tussen het accepteren van invloeden van buiten (het Westen) of het behouden van de dingen zoals die al honderden jaren zijn.'

Deze mening is maar half juist. Het gaat in Pamuks werk over veel diepere lagen van het menselijk bestaan. Pamuks werk is geen pamflet vol zwart-wit tegenstellingen. Een roman is veel complexer dan een pamflet. In een goede roman laat de schrijver de complexiteit van het bestaan zien, een complexiteit die veel verder gaat dan een zwart-wit tegenstelling.

Een veel groter gevaar dan de 'radicale islam' is voor de Westerling het gevaar van - wat Milan Kundera noemt - 'de gedachteloosheid van pasklare ideeen.' Een goede schrijver veroordeelt niet, maar beschrijft, zoals Pamuk doet. En dat is het moeilijkste, want zoals dezelfde Kundera schrijft: 'De mens wenst zich een wereld waarin het goed en het kwaad duidelijk van elkaar te onderscheiden zijn, want in hem huist het ingeschapen en ontembare verlangen te oordelen alvorens te begrijpen.'

Oost/West, Islamitisch Fundamentalisme/Westers Humanisme, Traditie/Moderniteit, Achterlijkheid/Vooruitgang.

Michel Krielaars beseft niet dat 'de dwaasheid niet vervaagt ten overstaan van de wetenschap, de techniek, de vooruitgang of het moderne, integendeel, met de vooruitgang gaat ook zij vooruit!' (opnieuw Kundera) Als Krielaars het heeft over 'de westerse humanistische traditie' dan laat hij Auschwitz en Hiroshima buiten beschouwing. Hij vergeet ook Abu Ghraib en Guantanamo Bay, of de Israelische terreur in de bezette gebieden en in Libanon.

Waarom vergeet hij dat? Misschien omdat hij het complexe niet verdraagt. Michel Krielaars is zelf ook auteur. Op internet las ik in een recensie van zijn laatste boek onder andere dit:

'Ongelukkige levens aan de lopende band.
Michel Krielaars - vanillevla met frambozen

Veel over niets

Om het boek te lezen heb je geen uitgebreide woordenschat nodig en ook niet veel verbeeldingskracht. Eenvoud staat centraal in vanillevla met frambozen en helaas is het boek voornamelijk kort en nauwelijks krachtig. De personages zijn veelal simpel en persoonlijke kenmerken worden alleen uiteengezet als ze direct van belang zijn in het verhaal. De lezer wordt geconfronteerd met de zwartere kant van het leven, maar dan wel constant begeleid door Krielaars. De deprimerende thema’s in vanillevla met frambozen hebben zeer zeker potentie, maar op Krielaars’ uitwerking ervan valt nog wel het één en ander aan te merken.' Zie:

Michel Krielaars houdt zo te zien van eenvoud, duidelijkheid, zwart-wit. Maar dat leent zich niet voor literatuur, wel voor de journalistiek. De journalistiek, weet ik uit ervaring, is besmet met de dode hand van de politieke ideologie. En zoals Frans Kellendonk ooit schreef: 'de ideologie is de wereld van het uitgeschakelde denken en de volautomatische moraal.' Het verschil tussen een schrijver en een journalist is deze: 'Uit het debat met jezelf ontstaat poezie. Uit het debat met anderen, retoriek.'

En dan tenslotte 'radicale islam?' Waarom wordt die term in de westerse commerciele massamedia nooit gebruikt voor het 'radicale christendom,' van Bush bijvoorbeeld? Heeft zijn radicale politiek met het christendom te maken of met andere belangen?

De Israelische Terreur 90

Over Israelische oorlogsmisdaden kan door Westerse politici niet gesproken worden. Hoe machtig de pro Israel lobby is blijkt onder andere uit het volgende:

'Voicing criticism of Israeli government policy is generally regarded as a career-ending move for anyone aspiring to high political office here in the US. Which is why it doesn't often happen. But maybe things are different in Canada.

Canadian Press
Weds, October 11, 2006
Campaign organizer abandons Ignatieff over war crimes comment
Joan Bryden, Canadian Press

OTTAWA, Oct 11 (CP) -- Another controversial comment by Liberal leadership front-runner Michael Ignatieff has cost him the support of his Toronto campaign co-chair.
Thornhill MP Susan Kadis withdrew her support for Ignatieff on Wednesday, after he accused Israel of committing a "war crime" during its bombardment of Lebanon last summer.
"Michael is an intelligent person and I would think that he would have a better handle on the Middle East given his years of experience on human rights and international law," Kadis said in a written statement.
Kadis was reacting to Ignatieff's appearance on a French-language television program Sunday, in which he said that Israel's bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana was a war crime. Dozens of civilians died in the attack.
Ironically, the controversy erupted as Ignatieff was attempting to explain a previous gaffe about Qana.
Last summer, Ignatieff told one newspaper that he was "not losing sleep" over the civilian deaths in Qana - an insensitive remark which he later admitted was a mistake.
In an apparent bid to over-compensate for that initial gaffe, Ignatieff said Sunday that he should have shown more compassion for the Qana victims.
"I was a professor of human rights and I am also a professor of the laws of war and what happened in Qana was a war crime and I should have said that. That's clear," he said on a popular Quebecois talk show.
Kadis condemned Ignatieff's remarks, echoing concerns by Jewish groups.
She said she found Ignatieff's "unprovoked comments very troubling," given that Israel's attack on Qana was a response to the "brazen kidnapping" of Israeli soldiers and missile attacks by Lebanese-based Hezbollah guerrillas.
"This was an attack intended to root out a recognized terrorist group who were raining down thousands of missiles on Israel," she said.
Ignatieff issued his own statement, in which he said he "deeply regrets" Kadis' decision to abandon his leadership bid.
"I think I understand, and respect Susan's decision," Ignatieff said Wednesday during a news conference at his Toronto campaign office.
"Susan is a personal friend and a valued caucus colleague, and her decision causes me pain, but I understand and respect it."
He yet again clarified his position on the conflict, calling himself a "lifelong friend of Israel" and stressing his support for Israel's right to defend itself.
Ignatieff repeated his assertion that war crimes were committed, although without naming either side in the conflict.
"I believe that war crimes were committed in the war in Lebanon, I don't think there's any question about it, and war crimes were visited on Israeli civilians and they were visited on Lebanese civilians," he said.
"We've got to be determined as Canadians to do whatever we can to make sure that military solutions are not sought in this conflict because the consequences are just more civilian death."
The Middle East has brought political grief for a number of the Liberal leadership contenders.
Joe Volpe's campaign manager, Toronto MP Jim Karygiannis, quit over Volpe's unwavering defence of Israel.
Gerard Kennedy was forced to distance himself from one of his supporters, Toronto MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, who accused Israel of engaging in "state terrorism" and called for Hezbollah to be removed from Canada's list of terrorist organizations.'
Wrzesnewskyj resigned as the party's associate foreign affairs critic over those remarks.'

De Israelische Terreur 89

Dit is het resultaat van Israelische oorlogsmisdaden in Libanon.

National Post(Canada) October 11, 2006

Israel's attack on Qana a 'war crime': Ignatieff: Remarks made
on Quebec television
By: Graeme Hamilton, National Post

MONTREAL - Michael Ignatieff, the front-runner in the race for the federal Liberal leadership, has accused Israel of committing "a war crime" during its conflict with Hezbollah last summer.
In an interview on a widely watched Quebec talk show, Mr. Ignatieff apologized for comments in August when he told a newspaper he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli bombing that killed dozens of civilians in the Lebanese village of Qana.
"It was a mistake. I showed a lack of compassion. It was a mistake and when you make a mistake like that, you have to admit it," he told the French-language Radio-Canada program Tout le monde en parle. "I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."
His comments, broadcast on Sunday, sparked an angry reaction among Jewish leaders who learned of them yesterday.
"That's appalling. To call it a war crime is totally, totally unacceptable," said Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada.
"I have to wonder if he is pandering to certain delegates who will be voting in the Liberal election for leadership."
Shimon Fogel, chief executive officer of the Canada-Israel Committee, said it was frustrating to hear Mr. Ignatieff's accusation.
"For somebody as well-informed and experienced as Mr. Ignatieff, he should know that is not a reasonable charge to level against Israel," he said. "What he ought to be preoccupied with is the kind of intolerance that gave rise to the conflict to begin with and the extent to which there are efforts to have it leach into Canadian society."
He said his group had been concerned by previous comments
about the war made by Mr. Ignatieff's chief Quebec
organizers, Denis Coderre and Pablo Rodriguez. Mr. Coderre
took part in a pro-Lebanon march in Montreal in August at
which some participants carried the flag of Hezbollah, which Canada has classified as a terrorist organization.
Since joining the leadership race, Mr. Ignatieff has had to back down from controversial comments several times. Contacted for clarification yesterday, an aide to Mr. Ignatieff said he would not retract the use of the term "war crime," but said he had been misunderstood.
Leslie Church, director of communications for the Ignatieff campaign, said that even though he prefaced his comment by referring to his expertise in the law of war, he did not intend to apportion legal responsibility.
"This isn't a deliberation that Michael would make on his
feet. There is no way that he would make a pronouncement on international law in this format, and that's not what he's driving at here," Ms. Church said. "He meant that this was a tragedy of war, that this was a deplorable act in war, that this was a terrible consequence of war."
The July 30 Israeli air strike on Qana killed 28 civilians, according to Human Rights Watch. Israel said it was targeting Hezbollah rocket positions and was unaware of the presence of civilians, but at the time Human Rights Watch labelled the attack a war crime.
Mr. Ignatieff, the MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, is not the
first politician to get tripped up by the conflict. Maria Mourani, a Bloc Quebecois MP, told Le Devoir in August that her visit to Lebanon persuaded her war crimes were committed by Israel. The next day she issued a statement saying it was up
to international bodies to determine what constitutes a war crime.
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, a Liberal MP from Ontario, was forced to resign his post as foreign affairs critic after accusing Israel of "state terrorism" and suggesting Canada should open talks with Hezbollah.
Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said he was heartened by Mr. Ignatieff's use of the term "war crime" to describe Israel's actions. Last month Mr. Elmasry wrote an essay urging Liberals to choose anyone but Mr. Ignatieff as their leader. "He's taking the time to find out the facts, and, based on that, he's correcting his position. We appreciate that stand coming from him," he said yesterday.
Mr. Dimant predicted that Mr. Ignatieff's comment would "jolt some of the Jewish support that was on his side, that thought that he had taken some correct positions in terms of the Middle East before."'

Telkens wanneer de oorlogsmisdaden van Israel ter sprake komen probeert de pro-Israel lobby dit zo snel mogelijk te criminaliseren. Terwijl toch een Israelische vredesgroepering als Gush Shalom wel over Israelische oorlogsmisdaden spreekt. En die wonen er, in tegenstelling tot de pro-Israel lobby. In gezelschap van Israelische vredesactivisten ben ik zelf getuige geweest van Israelische oorlogsmisdaden in de bezette gebieden. En ook in Zuid Libanon heb ik al jaren geleden slachtoffers van de Israelische oorlogsmisdaden uitgebreid gesproken. Ondanks al het bewijsmateriaal zal men in de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia niet snel het begrip Israelische Oorlogsmisdaden aantreffen. Die heten meestal 'militaire acties.' Deze foto is het resultaat van zo'n 'militaire actie.'

Irak 103

Een van de talloze slachtoffers van de door de Nederlandse regering gesteunde Amerikaanse oorlogsmisdaden in Irak.

'Zahraa-Ali, age 4, after family hit by US aerial bomb while driving home with parents, brother and sister, age 9. She died. David Leeson Dallas Morning News

655,000: The toll of war in Iraq
Survey suggests violent death rate in Iraq is now running at one every three minutes
The human cost of the war in Iraq could be far higher than previously thought. A new survey says more than 650,000 Iraqis have lost their lives as a consequence of the invasion by the United States and Britain, with an estimated 200,000 violent deaths directly attributable to Allied forces.
The new figure is much larger than all previous estimates - more than 20 times higher than President George Bush claimed 11 months ago - and will add considerable weight to the calls of those seeking a withdrawal of troops.
The 654,965 deaths estimated to have resulted from the invasion represent about 2.5 per cent of the Iraqi population. It means people have been dying at a rate of about 560 a day, equivalent to one death every three minutes, or less
Two years ago, a study by Dr Les Roberts and a team from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, estimated that at least 100,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the war. This new survey, conducted by the same team and based on similar methodology but using a larger sample, suggests the situation is getting worse rather than better - a conclusion at odds with claims made by President Bush.
Dr Roberts said: "Yes [this finding was a surprise]. I didn't realise that things there were twice as bad as when we carried out our first survey in 2004. I did not know it was that much." Dr Roberts said he expected there would be many who would seek to undermine the report, as happened two years ago. But he said: "Let's have these people tell us what we have done wrong and what the true numbers are. Our study is pretty easy to verify. If they go to a graveyard in a small village and ask how many people are being put in the ground..."'

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woensdag 11 oktober 2006

Bob Woodward

'Truthdig tips its hat this week to Bob Woodward, whose book “State of Denial” plowed over much-trod territory and still managed to surface plenty of fresh headlines.

Woodward’s book, the third in a trilogy about President Bush’s response to the 9/11 attacks, takes a much more critical stance and probing look into Bush administration lies and malfeasance than did the first two books of the cycle, “Plan of Attack” and “Bush at War.”
Indeed, if Woodward’s last two books earned him justifiable criticism as being the Bush administration’s chief stenographer, “State of Denial” has gone a long way toward restoring the reputation of the man who, along with Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate stories that ultimately brought down the Nixon administration.
This time ’round, of course, Woodward is far from the only reporter on the beat of chronicling Bush administration lies in the run-up and prosecution of the Iraq war. Indeed, his return to grace (if that’s what has indeed happened) comes on the heels of several years’ worth of books by other investigative reporters and former Bush administration insiders who have already confirmed the basic narrative that Woodward describes in “State of Denial.”
All that notwithstanding, “State of Denial” is filled with many news nuggets and compelling, colorful details that have until now gone unreported.
Among them:
· Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ignored an urgent July 2001 warning by then-CIA Director George Tenet that an Al Qaeda attack was imminent.
· Bush & Co. routinely solicit the advice of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
(In his “60 Minutes” interview, Woodward said Kissinger “is almost like a member of the [Bush] family,” and that in his frequent meetings with Bush and Cheney, Kissinger’s dogmatic “stay the course” advice on Iraq amounts to “fighting the Vietnam War again.")

· Watch it
Other revelations:
· Bush has been covering up the extent of the violence in Iraq.
· Bush had to order Rumsfeld to take Rice’s phone calls; and a top U.S. general told visitors that Rumsfeld had no credibility left on Iraq.
· Bush’s former chief of staff, Andy Card, urged the president to fire Rumsfeld.


dinsdag 10 oktober 2006

De Gokkers

Terwijl de Nederlandse politici en massamedia de andere opkijken schrijft Le Monde Diplomatique:

'An economy of buccaneers and fantasists Weapons of mass financial destruction.

Financial deregulation has produced a monster, and resolving the many
problems that have emerged is scarcely possible for those who deplore controls on making money. The Bank for International Settlement’s (BIS) annual report, released in June, discusses these problems and the triumph of predatory economic behaviour and trends “difficult to rationalise”. The sharks have outflanked more conservative bankers. “Given the complexity of the situation and the limits of our knowledge, it is extremely difficult to predict how all this might unfold” (22). The BIS does not want its fears to cause panic, and circumstances compel it to remain on the side of those who are not alarmist. But it now concedes that a big crash in the markets is a possibility, and sees “several market-specific reasons for a concern about a degree of disorder”.

An economy of buccaneers and fantasists
Weapons of mass financial destruction

Last month a major US hedge fund, Amaranth Advisors, lost more than half its assets in a week, speculating on natural gas prices. The company proved correct the chief worry of such major financial institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund: that financial reality is now out of control.

By Gabriel Kolko

GLOBAL financial structure is far less transparent now than it has ever been. A few decades ago daily payments for foreign exchange transactions were roughly equivalent to the capital stock of a major United States bank; today they exceed the combined capital of the top 100 US banks. Financial adventurers constantly create new products that defy nation states and international banks. This May the International Monetary Fund’s
(IMF) managing director, Rodrigo de Rato, deplored these new risks, which the weakness of the US dollar and the US’s mounting trade deficits have greatly magnified.

His fears reflect the fact that the IMF has been in both structural and intellectual crisis. Structurally, its outstanding credit and loans have declined sharply since 2003, from over $70bn to a little over $20bn, leaving it with far less leverage over the economic policies of developing nations, and a smaller income than its expensive operations require. The IMF admits it has been “quantitatively marginalised” (1). Many of its problems are due to the doubling since 2003 of world prices for all the commodities (oil, copper, silver, zinc, nickel, etc) which are traditionally exported by developing nations. So developing nations have been able to bring forward repayment of their debts, further reducing IMF resources.

Higher prices for raw materials are likely to continue because rapid economic growth in China, India and elsewhere has created burgeoning demand that did not exist before, when the balance of trade systematic- ally favoured rich nations. The US has seen its net foreign asset position fall, whereas Japan, emerging Asia and oil-exporting nations have become far more powerful over the past decade and have become creditors to the US. As US deficits mount, with imports far greater than exports, the value of the dollar has declined, falling by 28% against the euro between 2001 and 2005.'

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De Nucleaire Machten

Tussen alle opgewonden berichten en commentaren in onze commerciele massamedia zult u deze beschouwing niet vinden:

'All Nine Nuclear Powers Are Violating Non-Proliferation Treaty.

As North Korea becomes the eighth confirmed nuclear power (Israel is not confirmed but considered the ninth) some of the blame has to go to the original five nuclear powers. When the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty went into effect in 1970, the five countries who had nuclear bombs - the US, France, China, Great Britain, and the USSR - agreed to work to reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
Now, 36 years later, no disarmament talks are taking place between those countries. North Korea has been a "threshold" country since the late 80s. The fall of the Soviet Union eliminated shared security arrangements and prompted North Korea to aggressively pursue a nuclear weapon.
The Clinton administration, recognizing the threat, entered into an agreement with North Korea to provide reactors for peaceful use in exchange for an end to the weapons program. In 2003, North Korea announced they were leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty and reconstituting its weapons program, citing US failure to deliver the reactors.
North Korea's joining the list of nations with nuclear weapons is a sad day for our world. As was the day that the United States became the first nuclear power, and the Soviet Union the second, etc.… As long as one country possesses the ability to annihilate another it is only natural for those without that power to seek it.
In the early 90s, during the lead-up to the extension of the treaty, the US and other nuclear powers agreed to stop testing nuclear weapons. It was widely believed that without that step many other "threshold" nations would not have remained in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has been a long time since the original five nuclear powers have made any progress in negotiating a reduction in their arsenals; in fact the Bush administration is building new lower-yield nukes with conventional uses that could spur a new arms race.
If all of the nuclear powers that are condemning North Korea are serious about stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, perhaps they should read and come into compliance with the following section of the treaty they first signed in 1970 and extended in 1995:
Article VI Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
It should also be noted that it is possible for countries to leave the nuclear club. North Korea would have been the 10th country if South Africa hadn't abolished their nuclear weapons.'

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Robert Fisk 14

'Robert Fisk: The Age of Terror - a landmark report

With chaos stretching from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, we have never lived in a more dangerous time. Over the next 15 pages and 7,000 words, our man in the Middle East looks back over a lifetime of covering war and death, and lays out a bleak future for all of us - one that even those living in the comfort of the Home Counties cannot escape.

A few days after Lebanon's latest war came to an end, I went through many of the reporter's notebooks I have used in my last 30 years in the Middle East. Some contained the names of dead colleagues, others the individual stories of the suffering of Arabs and Kurds and Christians and Jews. One, dated 1991, is even splashed with a dark and viscous substance, the oil that came raining down on us from the skies over the Kuwaiti desert after Saddam blew up the wells of the Emirate. It was only after a few minutes that I realised what I was looking for: some hint, back in the days of dangerous innocence, of what was going to happen on 11 September 2001.
And sure enough, in one notebook, part of a transcript of an interview I gave in Toronto in the late 1990s, I see myself trying to discourage the Middle East optimism of my host. "There is an explosion coming in the Middle East," I tell him. What was this explosion I was talking about? I find myself writing almost the same thing a couple of years later in The Independent - I refer to "the explosion to come" without locating it in the Middle East at all. What was I talking about? And then, most disturbingly, I re-run parts of a film series I made with the late Michael Dutfield for Channel 4 and Discovery in 1993. Called From Beirut to Bosnia, it was billed as an attempt to record "Muslims growing anger towards the West."
In one sequence, I walk into a destroyed mosque in a Bosnian village called Cela. And I hear my voice on the soundtrack, saying: "When I see things like this, I think of the place I work, the Middle East... I wonder what the Muslim world has in store for us... Maybe I should end each of my reports with the words: 'Watch out!' " And when I checked back to my post-production notes, I find the dates of all our film sequences listed. I had walked into that Bosnian mosque, watched by Serb policemen, on 11 September 1993. My warning was exactly eight years too early.
I don't like journalists who, in middle age, start to pontificate morbidly about the wickedness of a world that should be full of love, or who rummage through old notebooks in search of pessimism. So I own up at once. Surely we don't have to be weighed down by the baggage of history, always looking backwards and holding up billboards with the "The End of the World is Nigh" written in black for readers too bored to look at the fine print. Yet when I sit on my seafront balcony today, I am waiting for the next explosion to come.'

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Nederland en Afghanistan 96

Asia Times bericht:

'Taliban Put Pakistan on Notice
Karachi - With trouble on the battlefield, US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has recommended, for the first time since September 11, 2001, the need to bring the Taliban into the Afghan government. At the same time, Pakistan is secretly playing its own game of carrot and stick in Afghanistan to influence events to its liking.
However, two quick warning signals to Islamabad this week convey the unmistakable message that regardless of what Washington or Islamabad might desire, the Taliban are the ones who will decide which carrots and which sticks to play.
Last month could prove to be pivotal in determining the ultimate fate of the Taliban and Afghanistan, and even the United States' "war on terror".
The Taliban, after the success of this year's spring offensive, have drawn up a blueprint for an Islamic intifada in Afghanistan next year in the form of a national uprising and an internationalization of their resistance.
This followed a "peace" deal between the Pakistani Taliban in the Waziristan tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan in which Islamabad agreed to release some al-Qaeda suspects in return for the Taliban stopping cross-border activities.
President General Pervez Musharraf then went to Washington, where he announced that foreign forces in Afghanistan would be given the right of hot pursuit into the tribal areas. He also said the authorities would take action against former army officials associated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for supporting the Taliban.
That all is not well with this agreement is illustrated by two events this week. First, a missile landed in Ayub Park, the highest-security zone in Rawalpindi, just a few hundred meters from Musharraf's official residence at Army House. The next day, several rockets apparently linked to a mobile phone for firing were found near parliament in Islamabad.'

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Joachim Fest 17

Joachim Fest in Tegenlicht. Een Italiaanse reis: 'De waarneming is altijd minder dan de werkelijkheid.'

11 September 2001 (13)

Iemand emailde mij dit:

Kijkt u zelf. En ook deze:

The Empire 26

Vrijdag 4 augusutus 2006. Black Mesa. Arizona

Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers lived from 1887-1962.

'Shine, Perishing Republic

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity,
heavily thickening to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops
and sighs out, and the mass hardens,

I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make
fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances,
ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life
is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than
mountains: shine, perishing republic.

But for my children, I would have them keep their dis-
tance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie
at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man,
a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught
– they say – God, when he walked on earth.'

Iran 63

'Editor’s Note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” reports on Bush’s plan for Iran, and how a callous war, conceived by zealots, will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions.

Chris Hedges: Bush’s Nuclear Apocalypse. By Chris Hedges 10/09/06 "TruthDig" -- --

'The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. The ships will be in place to strike Iran by the end of the month. It may be a bluff. It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power. But I doubt it. War with Iran—a war that would unleash an apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East—is probable by the end of the Bush administration. It could begin in as little as three weeks. This administration, claiming to be anointed by a Christian God to reshape the world, and especially the Middle East, defined three states at the start of its reign as “the Axis of Evil.” They were Iraq, now occupied; North Korea, which, because it has nuclear weapons, is untouchable; and Iran. Those who do not take this apocalyptic rhetoric seriously have ignored the twisted pathology of men like Elliott Abrams, who helped orchestrate the disastrous and illegal contra war in Nicaragua, and who now handles the Middle East for the National Security Council. He knew nothing about Central America. He knows nothing about the Middle East. He sees the world through the childish, binary lens of good and evil, us and them, the forces of darkness and the forces of light. And it is this strange, twilight mentality that now grips most of the civilian planners who are barreling us towards a crisis of epic proportions. These men advocate a doctrine of permanent war, a doctrine which, as William R. Polk points out, is a slight corruption of Leon Trotsky’s doctrine of permanent revolution. These two revolutionary doctrines serve the same function, to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to silence domestic critics who challenge leaders in a time of national crisis. It works. The citizens of the United States, slowly being stripped of their civil liberties, are being herded sheep-like, once again, over a cliff. But this war will be different. It will be catastrophic. It will usher in the apocalyptic nightmares spun out in the dark, fantastic visions of the Christian right. And there are those around the president who see this vision as preordained by God; indeed, the president himself may hold such a vision.'

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En ondertussen is men rond dat pleintje in Den Haag in een diepe slaap gesukkeld, evenals onze gezagsgetrouwe commerciele massamedia houdt de politiek zich in deze provincie met navelstaren bezig.

maandag 9 oktober 2006

The Empire 25

Truthdig: 'Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America.
A Dig led by Stan Goff

Author Stan Goff, a retired 26-year veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces, sounds a warning call that many of the historical precursors of fascism—white supremacy, militarization of culture, vigilantism, masculine fear of female power, xenophobia and economic destabilization—are ascendant in America today.

When I was 18, before student tracking in the public schools had been formalized, an informal tracking system was nevertheless in place: the university track, the craft track, the poultry worker track, and the prison track. I was somewhere between the last two. Both my parents were working in a defense contractor factory, and I was left adrift in the factory-worker ’burbs to be trained by television and alcohol. Raised on a curriculum of McCarthyism, I did the most logical thing I could think of to avoid both the factory and eventual incarceration with the ne’er-do-wells with whom I was keeping company. I joined the Army, and volunteered to fight communists in Vietnam.

I tried to get out of the Army once, and it lasted for four years, whereupon I ended up doing piecework in a sweatshop outside Wilmar, Ark. Back on that public school track, I suppose, but given that the U.S. was no longer invading anyone’s country, and that I was responsible for an infant now, I went back into the Army. One thing led to another, and as it turned out I was good at something called special operations, and I ended up making a career of it. By the time I signed out on terminal leave in December 1995, I had worked in eight places designated “armed conflict areas,” where people who were brown and poor seemed to be the principle targets of these “special” operations. At some point toward the end, I had decided that plenty of people could look back and say they wished they’d lived differently; and I was just one of them; and that I might salvage something worthwhile from the whole experience by telling the people who had paid me—people who pay taxes—what their money was really being spent to do.
Among other activities, I started writing books.

The Bad Apple
There was nothing more inflammatory in my first book, about the 1994 invasion and occupation of Haiti, than my assertion that Special Operations was a hotbed of racism and reaction. “Hideous Dream - A Soldier’s Memoir of the US Invasion of Haiti” (Soft Skull Press, 2000) was my personal account of that operation, and I was explicit not only about the significant number of white supremacists in Special Operations but how the attitudes of these extremists connected with the less explicit white male supremacy of white patriarchal American society and defined, in some respects, the attitude taken by U.S. occupation forces in Haiti toward the Haitian population.

The resistance to this allegation was particularly fierce, and not merely from those inside the Special Operations “community,” whose outrage was more public-relations stagecraft than anything else. There was outrage from people who hadn’t a moment of actual experience in the military at all. This is an affront to something sacred in the public imaginary of a thoroughly militarized United States: that we are an international beacon of civilized virtue, and that our military is the masculine epitome of that virtue standing between our suburban security and the dark chaos of the Outside. Questioning the mystique of the armed forces is tantamount to lunacy at best and treason at worst.

This is the reason bad-apple-ism has been the predominant meme of the media and the Pentagon when they are compelled to discuss the stories of torture, rape and murder in Iraq and Afghanistan. “A few bad apples” committed torture. “A few bad apples” raped prisoners, fellow female soldiers, and civilians in their homes. The massacre was not descriptive of the Marine Corps, but the work of “a few bad apples.” Anyone who wants to be the skunk at this prevarication party need only ask, “How do these bad apples all seem to aggregate into the same units?”

One bad apple was dispensed with on June 11, 2001. That’s when Timothy McVeigh was given a lethal injection at 7 a.m. in the death chamber of the U.S. federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind.

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Klimaatverandering 46

Als u tijd heeft lees dan het bij Meulenhoff uitgegeven boek van Al Gore 'Een Ongemakkelijke Waarheid' of bekijk zijn gelijknamige filmdocumentaire.

'Lange tijd was Al Gore een roepende in de woestijn. Hij was een van de weinige prominente politici die het broeikaseffect consequent aan de orde stelden. Nu delen bijna alle wetenschappers zijn zorg. Maar dat is dan ook na recordhittegolven, smeltende ijskappen in Groenland en Antarctica, steeds kleiner wordende gletsjers, droogten, overstromingen, bosbranden en verwoestende tornado’s. De afgelopen jaren heeft Gore over de hele wereld lezingen gehouden over de klimaatverandering, die hij illustreerde met een uitgebreide diashow. Deze diashow vormt de basis voor zijn film-documentaire en boek Een ongemakkelijke waarheid. Gores onconventionele boek bevat de laatste wetenschappelijke inzichten, onthutsende foto’s, satellietbeelden, kaarten en grafieken, dit alles om te laten zien dat het broeikaseffect bestáát.

Foto’s van gletsjers van een paar jaar geleden en nu laten pijnlijk duidelijk zien wat de gevolgen van het opwarmen van de aarde zijn. Net als de foto’s van de beroemde berg de Kilimanjaro, die in zo’n dertig jaar tijd veel van haar sneeuw verloren heeft. Door middel van persoonlijke anekdotes en observaties over hoe het broeikaseffect een centraal thema in zijn leven is geworden, laat Al Gore in Een ongemakkelijke waarheid zien dat het broeikaseffect niet iets is wat alleen wetenschappers of politici aangaat: het is een morele kwestie en we hebben de verantwoordelijkheid er iets aan te doen.

In zijn boek, dat alles in zich heeft om een klassieker te worden, beschrijft hij met alarmerende helderheid en overtuigingskracht dat het broeikaseffect rampzalige gevolgen heeft als we het tij niet keren. Maar Gore is geen onheilsprofeet. De planeet verkeert weliswaar in een noodsituatie, maar tegelijk vormt deze crisis een spirituele, ethische en morele uitdaging om het gevaar af te wenden.Klik hier voor meer informatie.'

Het boek kost 25 euro.

Klimaatverandering 45

De klimaatverandering is voor de Nederlandse politici niet het allerbelangrijkste probleem dat de mensheid bedreigt, zeker niet nu de economie schijnt aan te trekken en de 'allochtonen' als een grotere bedreiging voor de mensheid kunnen worden gebruikt. Dus besteden de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia er maar mondjesmaat aandacht aan. Daarentegen is de klimaatverandering voor de angelsaksische pers een hot issue. Ik kreeg van mijn levenspartner het volgende email:

'-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----Van: The Economist [] Verzonden: maandag 9 oktober 2006 16:00. Onderwerp: A survey on climate change compliments of Dow

Dear Economist reader,
The Economist has just published a 16-page special report entitled "The heat is on: a survey on climate change" that is being made available to you with the compliments of The Dow Chemical Company. Written by the Deputy Editor, Emma Duncan, the report argues that although the science remains uncertain, the chances of serious consequences are high enough to make it worth spending the (not exorbitant) sums needed to try to mitigate climate change.
You will be happy to know that this survey, which generated about 118 tonnes of carbon dioxide from flights, car journeys, paper production, printing and distribution, has been carbon-neutralised through the Carbon Neutral Company. The cost was £590; the money was spent on capturing methane from an American mine.Click here to download the PDF
Kind regards,Des McSweeneyPublisher,
Customer service
This e-mail has been sent to you at:, because you requested news and offers from To stop receiving these updates please click here.
Questions? Comments? Use this form to contact staff. Replies to this e-mail will not reach us.
GO TO ECONOMIST.COM© Copyright The Economist Newspaper Limited 2006. All rights reserved.Registered address: 25 St James's Street London SW1A 1HG.Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions'

De Israelische Terreur 88

De Israelische journaliste Amira Hass bericht: 'IDF aims to keep out 'escorts' of Palestinian farmers during harvest.

The Israel Defense Forces is demanding that Palestinian farmers not allow Israeli and foreign sympathizers to escort them during the olive harvest to places wheremilitary protection is needed against abusive settlers, Palestinian sources in the Nablus region told Haaretz.

An Israeli security source confirmed the report, saying
that IDF officers have been influenced by statements of settlers, who say they are enraged during the harvest by the presence of Israeli leftists who act as provocateurs. A 2005 memo to soldiers from the Civil Administration regarding the olive-picking season states: "Involvement of various entities, Israeli and foreign, is expected, as an 'aid' to the Palestinians in the harvest and as a motive for creating provocations."

On the other hand, the 2006 Olive Harvest Order issued by
the Samaria Regional Brigade stated, under "Key lessons
from the previous year": "Working axis vis-a-vis leftist
organizations: During the harvest season the left appeared largely as a coordinating force and for the most part offered no provocations. The best and most effective axis for maintaining communication is between the implementers [i.e., the olive-pickers - A.H.] and the organizations."

The contradictory policy was evident as the harvest season began last week in the Nablus region. In the village of Burin, for example, Israeli escorts were prohibited, but they were permitted later in the week. In the village of Klil the army allowed women from an international solidarity group to be present during the picking. Last Tuesday, however, soldiers barred farmers from entering their property, necessitating the intercession by phone of activists from Rabbis for Human Rights.

Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman of RHR has for years organized
groups of Israeli peace activists to escort farmers in
some 30 West Bank villages, as protection against settler attacks.'

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Israelisch Racisme

Het racisme en de Apartheid in Israel voltrekt zich op elk niveau. Ook in de sport.

Skynews bericht: 'Racial Discrimination In Israeli Football.
The former Spurs player and manager Ossie Ardiles is now in charge of an Israeli team. But he is powerless to change a club tradition. They are the only Israeli team which practices racial discrimination, by refusing to pick Arab players.'


Iran 62

Arlen Parsa in Truthout:

'Undeclared Intentions, Military Interventions: A Family Story.

It has been reported that the recent 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah militants was not what it appeared to be. The official reason for the war, which killed more than 800 civilians, was that two Israeli soldiers had been kidnapped by Hezbollah militants, after the soldiers illegally passed into Lebanese territory. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, of The New Yorker (best known for revealing the My Lai Massacre and Abu Ghraib torture scandal), has written that the war was planned months in advance, and that the kidnapping was merely used as a last-minute pretext. Hersh says that it was used as a tactical trial-run for a possible US war with Iran: used to test the technique of destroying targets embedded deeply within civilian populations and large cities. In this case those targets were the supposed Hezbollah strongholds in Beirut and other locations in Lebanon.
Hersh suggests that the same tactics could be used by American forces in a targeted aerial assault on Iran's major cities, deep within which are said to be nuclear development sites. A possible regime change could then follow.
Though the White House denies involvement with Israel's war against Hezbollah, the United States supplied much of the weaponry used, including American-made cluster bombs which were used against civilian populations - an express violation of international law. The idea that the United States could use such tactics against Iranian cities to wipe out suspected nuclear facilities in an analogous (but much larger and more extensive) bombing campaign is both a wretched and frightening thought to me personally.
In 1945, my father was born in Gonbad-e Kavus, Iran. After the second World War drew to a close, Iran's democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown in 1953 by the CIA. The CIA then installed a monarchist regime because the previously secular Iranian government was nationalizing the oil industry (thus cutting off a key profit opportunity for Western oil corporations). After the American-supported Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his new prime minister, Fazlollah Zahedi (who had previously been exiled due to his Nazi sympathies), took power with the support of the White House, they scrapped nationalization plans and began to again do business with American and European oil corporations. In order to distract the Iranian public from what they were doing economically and politically, the supposedly secular Shah worked to heighten religious consciousness among ordinary people and turn public sentiment against a small peace-oriented religious minority called Baha'i's.
My father, being Baha'i, suffered firsthand the results of the propagandistic clerical broadcasts on state radio, which encouraged discrimination and even violence against Baha'i's. The US-supported regime imprisoned and executed dozens of Iranian Baha'i's during this period, while mobs killed others independently. For his part, my father was only beaten by his classmates and teacher, but state-encouraged activities such as this were occurring all over the country. At one point, my father's family and other local Baha'i's gathered sticks and baseball bats and began patrolling the neighborhood to guard against the mobs - and the Iranian police themselves.
As a result of a repressive US-installed regime, which lasted more than twenty-five years, Iranians eventually rebelled and overthrew the monarchist government. Unfortunately the revolution, which originally began as a secular movement, was hijacked by religious extremists, and a radical Islamic government came to power. In the span of fifty years, Iran had gone from a British-supported monarchy to democracy, to a repressive US-supported monarchy, to a radical Islamic quasi-democracy, which was more repressive still.'

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Arlen Parsa is a student studying documentary film at Columbia College Chicago. In the summer of 2006, he produced a documentary about his father's struggle to escape Iran after the 1953 coup and become an American citizen. In between classes, Parsa blogs about American politics and current events at

zondag 8 oktober 2006

Joachim Fest 16

Joachim Fest in Tegenlicht. Een Italiaanse reis: 'Elk landschap is tegelijkertijd ook het spiegelbeeld van de vooroordelen, de kennis en de denkbeelden die degene die het ziet erin legt.'

The Empire 24

'Gulags For American Citizens In Final Planning Stages. Halliburton sex slave trade criminals prepare camps for political dissidents.

Bush administration and US army preparations to target American citizens and intern them in forced labor camps has vastly accelerated in the past month and commentators from all over the political spectrum are sounding the alarm bells that the round-ups may begin soon.
Once the bane of the media's stereotypical 'tin foil hat wearing' caricatures, concentration camps in America are now serious news and no one is laughing.
Following the news first given wide attention by this website, that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency, the Alternet website put together an alarming report that collated all the latest information on plans to initiate internment of political subversives and Muslims after the next major terror attack in the US.
The article highlighted the disturbing comments of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who encouraged torture supporting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to target, "Fifth Columnists" Americans who show disloyalty and sympathize with "the enemy," whoever that enemy may be.
It is important to stress that the historical precedent mirrors exactly what the Halliburton camp deal outlines. Oliver North's Reagan era Rex 84 plan proposed rounding up 400,000 refugees, under FEMA, in the event of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States.'

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