zaterdag 12 april 2008

Robert Kennedy

'Remarks of Senator Robert F. Kennedy to the Cleveland City Club, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 1968
Robert F. KennedyCleveland City ClubApril 5, 1968
This Web version of this speech was made for the convenience of readers and researchers. It was produced from a press release for the speech, which can be found in Robert F. Kennedy's Senate Speech Files.
This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.
It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one – no matter where he lives or what he does – can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on.
Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by his assassin’s bullet.
No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.
Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
"Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”
Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.
Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.
Some looks for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we known what must be done. “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies – to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our bothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other – only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.
Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is now what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of human purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.'

woensdag 9 april 2008

De Israelische Terreur 352

Ik kreeg vanmiddag dit bericht:

'Salam! Gisteren was ik in Hebron waar het Israelische leger 14 scholen en weeshuizen wil sluiten. Als zij hun dreigementen waarmaken, komen 7000 kinderen zonder school en 4500 kinderen zonder dak boven hun hoofd. We kregen een rondleiding in een van de scholen en in het meisjesweeshuis. We spraken met Mohamad Abu Snineh, een 12 jarige scholier die tot zijn achtste in Amerika heeft gewoond en nu misschien wel zonder school komt te zitten. Lees mijn verslag op : en zie daar ook de link naar mijn foto album online. Als je actie wilt ondernemen, ga dan naar de website en schrijf/mail/bel naar verantwoordelijke politici om deze onbegrijpelijke actie van het Israelische leger te voorkomen!'


De ontwikkelingen in Egypte zijn interessant omdat er een kwart van alle Arabieren in dat land woont op een oppervlakte zo groot als Nederland, de rest is woestijn, en met een geweldige werkloosheid en armoede. Elke 8 maanden komt er een miljoen babys bij. Als het corrupte Egyptische regime valt, dan zal dat verstrekkende gevolgen hebben voor de regio.

'High prices, bread shortages trigger protests in Egypt
The Associated Press

Protesters tear down a poster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during anti-government protests Monday in Mahalla el-Kobra, Egypt. Complaints that the government is not doing enough to help the poor have turned simmering dissatisfaction with repression and lack of economic opportunity into rare open unrest.

Hisham Allam
· Bread shortage marks violation of pact between ruler and ruled
Contributor from Egypt
Hisham Allam, a journalism fellow working at The Seattle Times, contributed to this report. His fellowship is through The Freedom House, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. In Egypt, he works at Al Masry-alyoum, an independent Cairo newspaper, writes a blog and produces a daily television talk show on current events.

MAHALLA EL-KOBRA, Egypt — Egyptian police attacked protesters who tore down a billboard of President Hosni Mubarak in a northern city Monday in the second day of violence fueled by anger over low wages and rising prices.
In another sign of dissatisfaction with the U.S.-backed government, the country's most powerful opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said it was reversing a decision to participate in local elections today because of mass arrests of its members in recent months.
Prices of cooking oil, rice and other staples have nearly doubled since the beginning of the year and there are widespread shortages of government-subsidized bread throughout the country of 76 million people. Nearly 40 percent of Egyptians live under the internationally defined poverty line of $2 a day. Complaints that the government is not doing enough to help the poor have turned simmering dissatisfaction with repression and lack of economic opportunity into rare open unrest.
Thousands of demonstrators torched buildings, looted shops and hurled bricks at police in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla el-Kobra on Sunday. Nearly 100 others were arrested elsewhere in protests over economic problems. Thousands skipped work and school and hundreds protested.
Protesters stormed City Hall in Mahalla, burned tires in the streets, smashed chairs through shop windows and ran off with computers. At least two schools were set ablaze and facades of banks were vandalized. The police responded with tear gas and detained more than 500 protesters, according to a report by Al Masry-alyoum, an independent Cairo newspaper.
Protesters, including families of 300 residents and textile workers detained since Sunday, tried to meet with visiting Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud. When they failed, they stoned his motorcade, an Interior Ministry spokesman, who asked not to be identified, said. Mahalla is the center of Egypt's textile industry.

Lees verder:

The Empire 371

The Three Trillion Dollar War

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes

When the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, Americans were told Iraqi oil would cover the costs of the war and rebuilding. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld scoffed at estimates of $100 billion.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Harvard University professor Linda Bilmes raised a stir in 2006 by estimating the real cost of the war to be $1 trillion. That estimate has been tripled and the title of their new book is "The Three Trillion Dollar War."
Write Stiglitz and Bilmes a question now. They will answer questions for McClatchy readers between April 1 and April 15.
Most Recently Answered QuestionsQuestions 1 - 15 of 50 (Page 1 of 3)
Q: So why was the true cost of the war so vastly underestimated? How expensive will this war get in terms of dollars if the conflict stretches out another five years?
Submitted by Jim from Rockville, MD A: It appears that it was underestimated initially because the Administration ignored the voices of those who raised the cost issue. You recall that Larry Lindsey, the National Economic Advisor at the time, said that the war might cost $200 bn (instead of the $50 billion that Runmsfeld and Wolforwitz promised), and Lindsey was fired for his opinion. In academia, Yale Professor William Nordhaus published a very detailed study in 2003 showing that the war costs could reach $2 trillion if the war went badly -- again, the Administration seemed to expect a short, quick war and paid no attention. In addition, there were pockets of incredibly poor planning - the Dept of Veterans Affairs in 2005 and 2006 was still estimating costs based on its projections from 2001 -- before the war even started. And the Pentagon -which has flunked its financial audits for the past 10 years straight and has no system of tracking expenditures -- was incapable of producing a coherent long-term estimate of depreciation of equipment, munitions, etc. (Outside experts had to do this). In our book we estimate the costs through 2017 under 2 scenarios; first a fairly rapid drawdown of troops and cutting back on the mission of those remaining; and second a more slow drawdown with a continued military mission. You can read the details in the book but essentially it costs around $1 trillion more for the second scenario.
Answered 04/09/08 14:01:08 by Linda Bilmes
Q: Why don't you show in more detail what each 12 billion dollars each month would buy? Billions. trillions of dollars, these are abstractions for the public. Talk in terms of schools built, highways fixed, healthcare provided ect. Than it will sink in and make a difference.
Submitted by K.B. from Newark, New Jersey A: go to national priorities project .org and they provide that information
Answered 04/09/08 13:54:29 by Linda Bilmes
Q: I wonder how much of the three trillion dollar amount is from the lack of accounting oversite. The Bush administration has blocked many oversite initiatives. We need a new Truman commission to hold military contractors and suppliers accountable and liable for sanctions. Professor Stiglit's book is horrific to any rational American..
Submitted by Michael Niebauer from Coalport PA A: You are right. In the private sector, the Congress almost unanimously passed the Sarbanes-Oxley law which requires detail accountability for financial reports. This followed the Enron and other acccounting scandals. But there is no comparable requirement in government. The war has been funded through a series of "emergency" supplementals, which circumvent all the normal checks and balances on spending, and avoid all the normal oversight mechanisms in government. The lack of oversight has led to profiteering, overpayments to contracts, the fact that KBR has been able to evade hundreds of millions in taxes by employing people through shell companies in the Cayman Islands -- etc.
Answered 04/09/08 13:53:14 by Linda Bilmes
Q: Does $3 trillion include only the Iraq War, or the cost of the larger War on Terror, including the cost of future wars, should we ever decide to confront those actually responsible for the attacks on 9/11 and the rise of Al Qaeda? Thanks.
Submitted by Bill B. from Chicago, IL A: The $3 trillion refers to the cash cost of the war to date, + the long-term costs of providing medical care and disability compensation to veterans, + the cost of military reset (equipment and personnel) + interest costs if you count budgetary costs or economic and social costs if you account for war costs on an economic basis.'

Answered 04/09/08 13:49:50 by Linda Bilmes'

Oil 30

'Soaring gasoline prices forecast for summer
Kevin G. Hall McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Drivers beware: Today's high gasoline prices soon may look like a bargain, because they're expected to peak at $3.60 a gallon nationwide in coming months, according to a government report released Tuesday.

In the latest bit of bad news for cash-strapped consumers, the Energy Information Administration predicted that average gasoline prices will shoot up to $3.60 a gallon in June and average $3.54 per gallon over the summer driving period, an increase of 60 cents a gallon over last summer.

It's entirely possible, EIA Administrator Guy Caruso said, that gasoline prices could top $4 a gallon during parts of the summer driving period, defined as April 1 to Sept. 30.

High-price states such as California, where gasoline cost 32 cents per gallon above the national average in March, are pulling up the national average, the EIA said.

Breaking down the average projected prices, the EIA chief said the West Coast was likely to see an average price of $3.78 per gallon of unleaded gasoline over the summer driving period. That's followed by the Rocky Mountain states at $3.53 a gallon, the Midwest and East Coast at $3.50 a gallon and the Gulf Coast states, closer to the production of much domestic oil, with the lowest average price, $3.41 per gallon.

The expected high prices, Caruso said, will lead to a slight reduction of 0.04 percent in U.S. gasoline consumption during the peak summer-driving season, the first time that's happened since 1991.

That year, the downturn in consumption accompanied a brief recession. Caruso said during his agency's annual energy conference that the U.S. economy should grow at a rate of 1.2 percent this year but would contract during the first half of 2008.

"So technically we are projecting ... a small recession in the first half of this year, and that's our assumption," he said.

The EIA — the statistical and analytical arm of the Energy Department — said that the monthly average diesel price was expected to peak at just over $3.90 per gallon this month and average $3.73 per gallon over the summer driving period, an increase of 87 cents over last summer's average. That's bad news for truckers, who deliver much of what we eat, wear and buy.

If gasoline prices remain high, the EIA report says, Americans might drive less and consume less gasoline.'

Lees verder:

dinsdag 8 april 2008

De Nieuwe Reporter

Dit zegt een mij verder onbekende meneer Andrew Keen op de website van de nieuwe reporter:

'Mensen moeten begrijpen dat er uiteindelijk iemand moet betalen voor Maureen Dowd en Thomas Friedman.'


Ik weet verder niets van de man, maar ik weet als journalist wel dat wat hij hier zegt volstrekte nonsens is. Waarom zou men moeten betalen voor de mening van iemand? Dus niet voor feiten, maar voor een mening? Ik weet uit ervaring dat de mening van Thomas Friedman maar al te vaak absurd is. Waarom zou men daar voor moeten betalen? Is er iemand die mij dit kan uitleggen?

Ruim twee jaar geleden schreef ik dit over Friedman:

'Het Amerikaanse Leger Hand Boek definieert terrorisme als volgt: 'het bewust geplande gebruik van geweld of dreiging van geweld om doelen te bereiken die politiek, religieus, of ideologisch van aard zijn.' Uitgaande van deze officiele Amerikaanse definitie is de New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman niets anders dan een ideoloog van het terrorisme. Lees wat hij schrijft: 'the US has to make clear to Iraq and US allies that... America will use force, without negotiation, hesitation, or UN approval.' En: 'Blow up a different power station in Iraq every week, so no one knows when the lights will go off or who's in charge.' En in zijn memo aan Bush junior: 'I ran Iraq with an iron fist. You're trying to run it on the cheap with an iron finger. No way. This ain't Norway here, pal. Your powerlessness will scare people here much more than your power.' En: 'I have no problem with a war for oil.' En: 'De verborgen hand van de markt zal nooit werken zonder een verborgen vuist. McDonalds kan niet floreren zonder McDonnell Douglas, de ontwerper van de F-15. De verborgen vuist die de wereld veilig houdt voor de technologie van Silicon Valley heet het Amerikaanse Leger, Luchtmacht, Marine en het Mariniers Korps.' En in zijn advies aan de Amerikaanse politici: 'bombing Iraq, over and over again.' En na de Golfoorlog van 1991 schreef hij dat een nieuwe 'iron-fisted Iraqi junta' zonder Saddam 'the best of all worlds' zou betekenen. De enige conclusie die overblijft is dat Friedman iemand is die terrorisme verheerlijkt.'

En zonder ook maar enige verduidelijking laat de nieuwe reporter Andrew Keen nu zegggen: "Mensen moeten begrijpen dat er uiteindelijk iemand moet betalen voor Maureen Dowd en Thomas Friedman." Sinds wanneer moet er voor propaganda betaald worden? Het doet me denken aan branding, u weet wel, het aansmeren van die merknamen op uw tassen, schoenen, kleren, waarmee u gratis reclame maakt. U wordt voor die reclame niet betaald, geenszins, u moet er extra voor betalen. En nu moet u ook nog "begrijpen dat er uiteindelijk iemand moet betalen voor ... Thomas Friedman"? Zoiets klakkeloos opschrijven doet niet alleen een nieuwe reporter, maar dat deden de oude reporters al lang.

The Empire 370

'Truckers Protest, the Resistance Begins
By Barbara Ehrenreich

Until the beginning of this month, Americans seemed to have nothing to say about their ongoing economic ruin except, "Hit me! Please, hit me again!" You can take my house, but let me mow the lawn for you one more time before you repossess. Take my job and I'll just slink off somewhere out of sight. Oh, and take my health insurance too; I can always fall back on Advil.
Then, on April 1, in a wave of defiance, truck drivers began taking the strongest form of action they can take - inaction. Faced with $4/gallon diesel fuel, they slowed down, shut down and started honking. On the New Jersey Turnpike, a convoy of trucks stretching "as far as the eye can see," according to a turnpike spokesman, drove at a glacial 20 mph. Outside of Chicago, they slowed and drove three abreast, blocking traffic and taking arrests. They jammed into Harrisburg PA; they slowed down the Port of Tampa where 50 rigs sat idle in protest. Near Buffalo, one driver told the press he was taking the week off "to pray for the economy."
The truckers who organized the protests - by CB radio and internet - have a specific goal: reducing the price of diesel fuel. They are owner-operators, meaning they are also businesspeople, and they can't break even with current fuel costs. They want the government to release its fuel reserves. They want an investigation into oil company profits and government subsidies of the oil companies. Of the drivers I talked to, all were acutely aware that the government had found, in the course of a weekend, $30 billion to bail out Bear Stearns, while their own businesses are in a tailspin.
But the truckers' protests have ramifications far beyond the owner-operators' plight -first, because trucking is hardly a marginal business. You may imagine, here in the blogosphere, that everything important travels at the speed of pixels bouncing off of satellites, but 70 percent of the nation's goods - from Cheerios to Chapstick -travel by truck. We were able to survive a writers' strike, but a trucking strike would affect a lot more than your viewing options. As Donald Hayden, a Maine trucker put it to me: "If all the truckers decide to shut this country down, there's going to be nothing they can do about it."
More importantly, the activist truckers understand their protest to be part of a larger effort to "take back America," as one put it to me. "We continue to maintain this is not just about us," "JB" - which is his CB handle and stands for the "Jake Brake" on large rigs - told me from a rest stop in Virginia on his way to Florida. "It's about everybody - the homeowners, the construction workers, the elderly people who can't afford their heating bills ... This is not the action of the truck drivers, but of the people." Hayden mentions his parents, ages and 81 and 76, who've fought the Maine winter on a fixed income. Missouri-based driver Dan Little sees stores shutting down in his little town of Carrollton. "We're Americans," he tells me, "We built this country, and I'll be damned if I'm going to lie down and take this."'

Lees verder: Of:

Let u nu op hoe snel/langzaam de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia iets doorkrijgen.

Irak 246

'Remember: They Are Liars

By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t Columnist
Tuesday 08 April 2008

No one is such a liar as the indignant man.- Friedrich Nietzsche

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, along with a slew of administration underlings and a revolving-door cavalcade of brass hats from the Pentagon, have been making claims regarding Iraq for many years now.

They claimed Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, "enough to kill several million people," according to a page on the White House web site titled Disarm Saddam Hussein.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of 500 tons, which equals 1,000,000 pounds, of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of nearly 30,000 munitions capable of delivering these agents.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq was in possession of several mobile biological weapons labs.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq was operating an "advanced" nuclear weapons program.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq had been seeking "significant quantities" of uranium from Africa for use in this "advanced" nuclear weapons program.
They lied.
They claimed Iraq attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes "suitable for nuclear weapons."
They lied.
They claimed America needed to invade, overthrow and occupy Iraq in order to remove this menace from our world. "It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country," went the White House line, "to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known."
They lied.
"Simply stated," said Dick Cheney in August of 2002, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
"Right now," said George W. Bush in September of 2002, "Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of nuclear weapons."
"We know for a fact," said White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in January of 2003, "that there are weapons there."
"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction," said Colin Powell in February of 2003, "is determined to make more."
"We know where they are," said Donald Rumsfeld in March of 2003. "They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, south, west and north somewhat."
"The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about," said Paul Wolfowitz in March of 2003. "Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."
"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were," said Condoleezza Rice in June of 2003, "where they were stored."
"I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country," said Gen. Tommy Franks in April of 2003. "Whether we will turn out, at the end of the day, to find them in one of the 2,000 or 3,000 sites we already know about or whether contact with one of these officials who we may come in contact with will tell us, 'Oh, well, there's actually another site,' and we'll find it there, I'm not sure."
"Before the war," said Gen. Michael Hagee in May of 2003, "there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found."
"Given time," said Gen. Richard Myers in May of 2003, "given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction."
"Do I think we're going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do," said Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton in May of 2003, "because I think there's a lot of information out there."
Gen. David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, is about to give testimony before the Senate regarding the current state of affairs in that battle-savaged country. He is a political general, one of many America has seen and heard over the last five years, one who would leap nude from the Capitol dome before telling the real truth about matters in Iraq ... or who would speak using words fed to him by liars, and thus be wrong.
Remember: they lie. They all lie, from the top man down to the bottom. If their lips are moving, a lie is unfolding. If they say water is wet, get into the shower to make sure.
They lie.
End of file.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know" and "The Greatest Sedition Is Silence." His newest book, "House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation," is now available from PoliPointPress.

11 september 2001 (41)

Merijn emailde vanochtend deze reactie op het stukje over 11 september 2001:

''Het valt me op dat mensen lastig met elkaar elkaar 'discussiëren' op internet. Waarom zou je geen kritische vragen mogen stellen? Waarom gaat iemand als 'Jack' zo te keer tegen dit soort relevante vragen?''

Ik denk dat ook dit een relevante vraag is. Ik doe een poging een antwoord hierop te geven. Laat ik voor de eerlijkheid mijzelf als voorbeeld geven. Moet ik mijn kinderen vertellen dat we door gruwelijkste gangsters worden geleid? Wat voor mens- en wereldbeeld geef ik ze daarmee? Ik bedoel dit: de Mexicaanse dichter Octavio Paz schrijft in De Boog en de Lier: "De wereld van de mens is de wereld van de betekenis. Deze gedoogt de dubbelzinnigheid, de tegenstrijdigheid, de waanzin of de verwarring, maar niet een gebrek aan betekenis. Zelfs de stilte is bevolkt met tekens.''

Met andere woorden: stel dat ik gelijk heb dat we geleid worden door de ergste schurken denkbaar, stel bijvoorbeeld dat de aanslagen van 11 september 2001 werkelijk een 'inside job' zijn geweest, dan betekent dit dat wij in een betekenisloze wereld leven, in een wereld die 180 graden anders is dan wij geleerd zijn, dat goed dus kwaad is en kwaad goed. Zouden mijn kinderen in zo'n wereld kunnen leven? Nee natuurlijk. Maar wat dan? Moeten we de Jack's in deze wereld aanvallen op grond van het feit dat hij krampachtig vasthoudt aan de officiele complottheorie over 11 september en woedend reageert zodra ik de grond onder zijn voeten wegmaai met mijn publiek geuite twijfel over zijn versie van de werkelijkheid? Is het niet normaal dat hij zich vastklampt aan zijn versie? Het dilemma is ooit eens knap beschreven door Bertolt Brecht. Lees maar:

''In Bertolt Brechts Leven van Galilei legt een ‘kleine’ monnik aan de grote astronoom uit waarom hij zijn ouders niet bewust wil maken van de willekeur van de religieuze scenario’s en daarmee van de zinloosheid van hun lijden: ‘Ik ben opgegroeid in de Campagna als zoon van boeren. Het gaat ze niet best, maar zelfs in hun ongeluk ligt een zekere wetmatigheid besloten. Hun leven is één grote kringloop, vanaf het vegen van de vloer via de jaargetijden op het olijvenveld tot en met het betalen van belasting. Met de regelmaat van een klok dalen de rampen over hen neer. De rug van mijn vader begeeft het niet zo maar eens, plotseling, maar elk voorjaar op het olijvenveld opnieuw en èrger. En zo is het ook met de bevallingen van mijn moeder, die haar al maar geslachtlozer hebben gemaakt en die elkaar met steeds dezelfde tussenpozen opvolgden. Ze putten de kracht om hun bezwete lijven langs het bergpad omhoog te slepen, om kinderen te baren, ja, om te eten uit een gevoel van bestendigheid en noodzaak. Hun is verzekerd, dat het oog van God op hen rust; dat het hele wereldtoneel rond hèn is opgebouwd, opdat zij, de optredenden, in hun grote of kleine rollen kunnen laten zien wat ze waard zijn. Wat zouden mijn mensen zeggen als ze van mij hoorden, dat ze op een kleine steenklomp huizen, die onafgebroken rondtollend om een of andere ster heen draait, één onder vele, een tamelijk onbelangrijke! Waar is dan al dat geduld, die aanvaarding van eigen ellende nog nodig of goed voor? Waar is de heilige schrift nog goed voor, die alles verklaart en als noodzakelijk heeft gepredikt, het zweet, het geduld, de honger, de berusting, en die nu vol dwalingen blijkt te staan?’ Zie Klukhuhn's Sterf Oude Wereld.

Welke antwoord heb ik hierop? Merijn, wat moet ik tegen Jack zeggen?

Oil 29

Het ging vooral om de olie en het blijft om de olie gaan. De rest is propaganda voor de westerse commerciele massamedia. Maar dat blijft geheim.

'Secret US plan for military future in Iraq.

A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq, passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended military presence in the country.
The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security" without time limit.
The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US "does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq". But the absence of a time limit or restrictions on the US and other coalition forces - including the British - in the country means it is likely to be strongly opposed in Iraq and the US.
Iraqi critics point out that the agreement contains no limits on numbers of US forces, the weapons they are able to deploy, their legal status or powers over Iraqi citizens, going far beyond long-term US security agreements with other countries. The agreement is intended to govern the status of the US military and other members of the multinational force.
Following recent clashes between Iraqi troops and Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in Basra, and threats by the Iraqi government to ban his supporters from regional elections in the autumn, anti-occupation Sadrists and Sunni parties are expected to mount strong opposition in parliament to the agreement, which the US wants to see finalised by the end of July. The UN mandate expires at the end of the year.'

Lees verder:

maandag 7 april 2008

De Israelische Terreur 351

Hoe groter de Israelische terreur is, des te hechter de banden met Europa. Zo toont het verlichte Europa de Arabische wereld wat mensenrechten en respect voor het internationaal recht in de praktijk betekenen.
'EU "closer than ever" to Israel
David Cronin,
The Electronic Intifada, 7 April 2008

BRUSSELS, 4 April (IPS) - Israel has been described as "closer to the European Union than ever before" by a leading Brussels official, even though a new EU report laments the ongoing killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces.This week, the European Commission published a series of progress reports on its relations with countries neighboring the 27-country bloc.Benita Ferrero Waldner, the EU's external relations commissioner, used the occasion to indicate that she is keener to foster closer ties with Israel than with almost any other country in the Mediterranean region.As well as remarking that Israel is "closer to the European Union than ever before," she said that a "reflection group" is studying how relations between the two sides can be upgraded to a "truly special status."Formed in March last year by Tzipi Livni, Israel's deputy prime minister, and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister, the reflection group has been tasked with paving the way for Israeli participation in implementing EU policies.But Ferrero Waldner's upbeat assessment of EU-Israeli ties contrasts with the recognition her officials have given to how Israeli forces are responsible for much of the violence that blights the Middle East.In a new report, the Commission notes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulted in the deaths of 377 Palestinians during 2007. This was 29 times higher than the 13 Israeli lives lost.A range of controversial issues relating to Israeli activities in the Palestinian territories -- including the expansion of Israeli settlements and the continuing construction of the annexation wall that has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice -- were also discussed by the two sides over the past year, the report adds. Yet it says that "little concrete progress was achieved" on any of these matters.'

11 september 2001 (40)

Het kenmerk bij uitstek van een gelovige is dat hij een pakket geloofsartikelen heeft dat zijn waarheid vormt. Die waarheid is absoluut, twijfel eraan duldt een gelovige niet, want dan zou het hele geloofsbouwwerk net zo makkelijk instorten als de twin towers, om maar een voorbeeld te geven. De gelovige is wat betreft zijn geloof onverdraagzaam. Alles dat zijn geloof ter discussie stelt dient ogenblikkelijk met alle middelen te worden bestreden. De toon van een gelovige is die van onverdraagzaamheid. Zijn waarheid is de waarheid voor de hele mensheid, een andere waarheid dan zijn eigen waarheid bestaat niet. En twijfel is voor hem de grootste bedreiging.

Ik schrijf dit vanwege een aantal reacties zoals deze:

'Ook verdedigde Stan graag lieden die hun twijfels hadden over de ware toedracht van 9/11. "Geachte heer Meens," zo schreef hij eens aan de Volkskrant ombudsman. "Ook u gelooft in een complot, alleen dat is de officiële versie van de werkelijkheid, namelijk dat een groep van negentien Arabieren, van wie enkelen later nog bleken te leven, zonder veel ervaring vier vliegtuigen hebben gekaapt en vervolgens drie ervan in grote gebouwen hebben gevlogen, met een vakmanschap die volgens piloten adembenemend is. het staat u vrij in dat complot te geloven, maar ook dat complot is alles behalve geloofwaardig voor een onafhankelijke journalist. De vraag is dan ook waarom u de ene complottheorie wel accepteert en de andere afwijst." Hij heeft sympathie voor die 9/11 complotters die al net zo tegen die Amerikanen zijn als hij zelf, maar al die details interesseren hem niet zo. Want waarom kom je anno 2008 nog eens met een complotbaard van zes jaar oud? "Kijkt u eens goed naar die ontploffing onder de wolk aan de rechterzijde van dit gebouw, frappant nietwaar?" schrijft Stan met verwijzing naar foto's van een plofwolkje. Zelfs complotters durven daar al niet meer over te beginnen. Al ongeveer overal gedebunkt. Gewoon geperste lucht die door het instorten van de torens naar buiten wordt geperst. "Dit is een beetje spuit-11 geeft modder werk," luidde het commentaar bij de Zappies.'

En deze reactie:

'Er zijn ook helemaal geen twee complottheorieën, er zijn er vele. Lees de reacties maar: wel eens van no-planers gehoord? Moet je daar nu ook allemaal maar aandacht aan besteden, alleen maar omdat de officiële theorie onwaarschijnlijkheden bevat? En van wie komen die alternatieve theorieën? In elk geval niet van mensen die ik als echte (technische) experts beschouw. Journalistiek is niet het tegenover elkaar zetten van meningen, maar ook het toetsen van feitelijkheden.'

Het zijn twee illustrerende voorbeelden van de onverdraagzaamheid van mensen die geloven in de officiele complottheorie. Ik neem die theorie niet voetstoots aan omdat er geen antwoord wordt gegeven op bijvoorbeeld de vraag: hoe kan een groot vliegtuig in een klein gat verdwijnen zonder enige sporen op de buitenmuur achter te laten? Sterker nog, zonder dat de ruiten op de bovenliggende verdiepingen kapot gingen? En de vraag: hoe kon het WTC 7 gebouw zonder door een vliegtuig te zijn getroffen als het ware spontaan ineenstorten? En dit zijn maar twee 'feitelijkheden.'

Wat mij opvalt aan deze gelovigen in de officiele complottheorie is dat zij anderen in feite het recht ontzeggen om vragen te stellen. En dat is nu kenmerkend voor het totalitaire element van elk geloof. Er mogen geen vragen worden gesteld, want de gelovige heeft de waarheid in pacht en duldt geen tegenspraak. Hij is namelijk 'de echte deskundige' en daarmee blind voor de werkelijkheid.
Daarmee verwerp ik het geloof an sich niet, maar wel de gelovige die geen ruimte overlaat voor de waarheid van een ander. Deze zogenaamde rationalisten ontpoppen zich steeds meer als fundamentalistische gelovigen. Elk fanatisme eindigt in fundamentalisme.

zondag 6 april 2008

Het Neoliberale Geloof 108

'Wall Street brokerages borrowing $38.1 billion a day from Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON -- Big Wall Street investment companies are stepping up their borrowing a bit from the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented emergency lending program. Advertisement
The Federal Reserve reports Thursday that those firms averaged $38.1 billion in daily borrowing over the past week from the new lending program. That compared with $32.9 billion in the previous week and $13.4 billion in the first week the lending facility opened.
The program, which began on March 17, is part of the Fed’s effort to aid the financial system.
The Fed, for the first time, agreed to let big investment houses temporarily get emergency loans directly from the central bank. This mechanism, similar to one available for commercial banks for years, will continue for at least six months. It was the broadest use of the Fed’s lending authority since the 1930s.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues opened the facility as it raced to deal with the sudden crash of the venerable Wall Street firm Bear Stearns, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. Fearful that other investment firms could be in jeopardy given the intense fear that gripped the markets at that time, the Fed moved to give investment firms a place to go for overnight cash loans.
The lending facility is seen as similar to the Fed’s "discount window" for commercial banks, where the Fed acts as a lender of last resort. Commercial banks and investment companies pay 2.5 percent in interest for overnight loans from the Fed.
Banks also stepped up their borrowing from the Fed’s discount window. Banks averaged $7 billion in daily borrowing for the week ending April 2. That compared with $550 million the previous week.'


  S.L. Kanthan @Kanthan2030 Western politicians are absolute clowns, but they have no self-awareness. “Iran’s actions are reckless!” Surpr...