zaterdag 28 november 2020

Ian Buruma's Lof der Zotheid


De Amerikaanse filosoof Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) schreef in zijn essay New England Reformers (1844) dat de handelwijze van een tiran gebaseerd is op het grondbeginsel dat ‘If you would rule the world quietly, you must keep it amused,’ om hier meteen aan toe te voegen dat:

the ground on which eminent public servants urge the claims of popular education is fear; 'This country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats.' We do not believe that any education, any system of philosophy, any influence of genius, will ever give depth of insight to a superficial mind. Having settled ourselves into this infidelity, our skill is expended to procure alleviations, diversion, opiates. We adorn the victim with manual skill, his tongue with languages, his body with inoffensive and comely manners. So have we cunningly hid the tragedy of limitation and inner death we cannot avert. Is it strange that society should be devoured by a secret melancholy, which breaks through all its smiles, and all its gayety and games?


Deze opvatting druist radicaal in tegen de leerstellingen van de Verlichtingsideologie, met haar Vooruitgangsgeloof, dat de mens door kennis automatisch rationeler en daarmee fatsoenlijker wordt. Toch blijft opiniemaker Ian Buruma zich nog steeds krampachtig vastklampen aan deze illusie, wanneer hij met grote stelligheid verklaart dat de ‘meeste mensen niet The New York Times [lezen]. De meeste mensen krijgen hun informatie via het internet, en daar kun je de meest grote onzin verspreiden en miljoenen bereiken. Dat is dus een groot probleem.’ Voor hem is het ondenkbaar dat ook The New York Times ‘de meest grote onzin’ verspreidt. Dat kan in zijn ogen kennelijk niet omdat het dagblad door hoger geschoolde burgers wordt gelezen. Ian gaat er vanuit dat die beter geïnformeerd zijn dan ‘de lager opgeleide mensen,’ en dat hoger geschoolden dus meer kennis bezitten en daardoor fatsoenlijkere meningen erop nahouden. In deze opvatting worden ‘de lager geschoolden’ veelal gedreven door wat Buruma ‘rancune en sentiment,’ noemt, en dus absoluut niet door de nobele motieven die hij de hoger geschoolden toedicht. In tegenstelling tot het volk zouden de ‘urban elites’ geen last hebben van hun driftleven, maar zouden zij worden gedreven door rationele overwegingen. Klopt deze veronderstelling? Eén van de, wereldwijd, meest gerespecteerde Amerikaanse geleerden, professor Noam Chomsky, bestrijdt een dergelijk simplistisch zwart-wit beeld.  Hij stelt het volgende:


the intellectual elite is the most heavily indoctrinated sector [of society], for good reasons. It's their role as a secular priesthood to really believe the nonsense that they put forth. Other people can repeat it, but it's not that crucial that they really believe it. But for the intellectual elite themselves, it's crucial that they believe it because, after all, they are the guardians of the faith. Except for a very rare person who's an outright liar, it's hard to be a convincing exponent of the faith unless you've internalized it and come to believe it.

https://chomsky.info/reader02/ 


Hoewel Buruma professor Chomsky’s gedachten achterhaald acht, vrees ik toch dat Chomsky gelijk heeft, al was het maar omdat Buruma  als hoogleraar ‘Democratie en Mensenrechten’ toch wel intens geïndoctrineerd moet zijn om publiekelijk heel Europa op te roepen dat ‘we too,’ net als de VS, ‘must do the dirty work’ en ‘take the risk of being held accountable’ voor de daaruit vloeiende oorlogsmisdaden en misdaden tegen de menselijkheid. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jul/16/usa.features11 


Deze aansporing tot grootschalig terreur, door het massaal schenden van de mensenrechten, is vanzelfsprekend geen demonstratie van de Verlichtingsideologie, zoals Buruma die zelf ziet, namelijk als een manifestatie van de ‘idea of the universality of rights, and that not just one particular elite or one particular people deserved rights, but that it were universal rights.’ Uit zijn oproep tot het uitvoeren van het genadeloze ‘dirty work’ valt op te maken dat hier geen rationeel denkend mens spreekt die gelooft in de universaliteit van het recht, maar een bezeten gelovige die — net als de fanatieke christen ten tijde van de Kruistochten — elke relativering en moraliteit is kwijtgeraakt.  Buruma en de westerse ‘corporate press’ spelen inderdaad de rol van ‘een geseculariseerd priesterschap,’ dat ‘werkelijk gelooft in de nonsens dat het verkondigt.’ Juist door die verblinding zijn zowel hij als de middenklasse voor wie hij werkt, niet in staat de eigen absurditeiten te herkennen. Integendeel zelfs, zoals onder andere blijkt uit het feit dat Buruma in 2008 de Erasmusprijs ontving van het polder-establishment, terwijl de man naar wie de

prijs is vernoemd toch de Lof der Zotheid heeft geschreven, waarin de bellicose krankzinnigheid van de toenmalige voorvechters van ‘smerig werk’ op de hak werden genomen. Na de onmetelijke gruwelijkheden van twee wereldoorlogen, en in een tijd van massavernietigingswapens Europa toch oproepen tot het plegen van ‘smerig werk’ is slechts één conclusie mogelijk, namelijk die van de humanist Erasmus, die in Lof der Zotheid schreef dat ‘als iemand zowel in zijn waarneming als in zijn oordeel faalt, en dat ook nog ernstiger dan gemiddeld én onophoudelijk, dan pas mag je vinden dat hij de waanzin nadert.’ Het was niemand minder dan Cicero zelf die door eigen ervaring opmerkte: ’De wereld is vol dwazen.’ Ian Buruma en de mainstream-pers bevinden zich onder hen. ‘Dirty work’ betekent immers oorlog, en ‘oorlog,’ zo schreef Erasmus:

is zo verschrikkelijk dat het iets beestachtigs en onmenselijks is, zo waanzinnig dat de dichters wel beweren dat hij door de furiën gebracht wordt, zo verderfelijk dat hij alle moraal aantast, zo onrechtvaardig dat de ergste boeven de beste oorlogsleiders zijn, zo goddeloos dat hij in alle opzichten vreemd is aan Christus,


of zoals men vandaag de dag zou zeggen: zo irrationeel dat het in alle opzichten vreemd is aan de Verlichtingsidealen. Erasmus:


Toch zetten ze alles opzij om zich daar volledig aan te wijden. Dan zie je dat zelfs die afgetakelde oude mannen een jeugdig elan vertonen en niet bezwaard door de kosten, onvermoeid door inspanningen, nergens voor opzij gaan als ze wetten, geloof, vrede, als ze alles wat menselijk is maar volkomen op zijn kop mogen zetten. En dan heb je altijd ook geleerde vleiers die deze evidente waanzin ‘geloofsijver, vroomheid en moed’ noemen, en een redenering bedenken om uit te leggen hoe iemand een dodelijk wapen tevoorschijn kan halen en in zijn broeders lichaam steken zonder dat daarmee de liefde voor zijn naaste, die een christen op grond van Christus’ eerste gebod moet hebben, verdwijnt,


of zoals men vandaag de dag zou zeggen: een mens zo wreed dat hij in alle opzichten vreemd is aan de mensenrechten.


Erasmus had gelijk: 


Overal waar je kijkt, bij pausen vorsten, rechters, bestuurders, vriend en vijand, van hoog tot laag, alles draait om het grote geld, en terwijl de wijze erboven staat, blijft het geld uit alle macht uit zijn buurt.


Ian Buruma gelooft in waanzin wanneer hij impliceert dat de hoger geschoolden minder dwaas handelen dan ‘de lager geschoolden.’ Laat ik het volgende voorbeeld geven om het tegendeel aan te tonen. In zijn boek A History Of Bombing (2001) wijst de auteur en voormalig Zweeds cultureel attaché in China, Sven Lindqvist, op het feit dat, zodra het erop aankomt, de hoger geschoolde macht niet voor het belang van de eigen, lager geschoolde, bevolking kiest. Lindqvist wijst namelijk op het volgende: 


1918. Several months later when the war was over, a demand was made that the German pilots who had bombed London be brought to trial as war criminals. The British Air Ministry protested. Trials of that sort 'would be placing a noose round the necks of our airmen in future wars.' Since the aim of the British air attacks against German cities had been 'to weaken the morale of civilian inhabitants (and thereby their 'will to win') by persistent bomb attacks which would both destroy life (civilian and otherwise) and if possible originate a conflagration which should reduce to ashes the whole town,' the application of the Hague Convention in these cases would defeat the very purpose of bombardment. 


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



Hoe misdadig hoog geschoolde, westerse politici kunnen zijn, bleek nog eens medio november 2019 toen aan de partijleider van de Britse Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson gevraagd werd 'would you ever be prepared to use a nuclear weapon?' en zij, zonder te hoeven nadenken, antwoordde: 'Yes,' er geen rekening mee houdend dat dit vele miljoenen burgerslachtoffers zal veroorzaken. De interviewster van ITV-News reageerde dankbaar met de opmerking 'That is a brilliant short answer. Thank you very much.' Het is deze criminele orde die de westerse mainstream-pers dag in dag uit verdedigt. ‘Dank u zeer.’  Een ander voorbeeld van het feit dat de macht van de hoog geschoolde elite absoluut niet fatsoenlijker/menselijker hoeft te zijn is het besluit van de Amerikaanse regering om in 1945 met een atoombom Hirsohima in één klap te vernietigen, in een poging op die manier de Sovjet Unie te intimideren. 


Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in his memoir The White House Years:


‘In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.’


Other U.S. military officers who disagreed with the necessity of the bombings include General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (the Chief of Staff to the President), Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military intelligence officer who prepared intercepted Japanese cables for U.S. officials), Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet), Fleet Admiral William Halsey Jr. (Commander of the US Third Fleet), and even the man in charge of all strategic air operations against the Japanese home islands, then-Major General Curtis LeMay.


The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.

— Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet,


The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

— Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, 1950, 


The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.

— Major General Curtis LeMay, XXI Bomber Command, September 1945, 


The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment ... It was a mistake to ever drop it ... [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it. 

— Fleet Admiral William Halsey Jr., 1946, 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki 


Ralph Waldo Emerson had gelijk toen hij, 158 jaar voordat Ian Buruma in The Guardian de beleidsbepalende Europese elite aanspoorde ‘dirty work’ uit te voeren, stelde dat ‘We do not believe that any education, any system of philosophy, any influence of genius, will ever give depth of insight to a superficial mind.’ Desondanks of misschien wel juist daarom beloonde de Nederlandse gevestigde orde hem met de Erasmusprijs. Een ‘oppervlakkige geest’ zal inderdaad nooit bij machte zijn om kennis werkelijk te integreren in zijn bestaan, hoe hoog opgeleid hij ook mag zijn. Ian Buruma en de jury van de Erasmus-prijs in 2008 zijn daarvan sprekende voorbeelden. De vraag is daarom: hoe nu verder? 


Het polder-establishment applaudiseert voor Ian Buruma's opvattingen, waaronder zijn pleidooi voor 'dirty work.' 





Fighting The Great Reset

 

Brave Vandana Shiva Speaks Out Against the Great Reset

Organic radical inspiration Vandana Shiva has been couragely speaking out against the insidious ‘Great Reset’ being sprung on us by Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and the rest of the global capitalist elite.

She warns in a new interview that “The Great Reset is about maintaining and empowering a corporate extraction machine and the private ownership of life”. (1)

Shiva has lately been drawing particular attention to the insidious role of Bill Gates in the technocrats’ assault on food and nature.

In October 2020 she warned:

“With his philanthro-imperialism, Gates is emerging as the Columbus of the digital age, the New Monsanto pushing failed GMOs and trying to introduce new GMOs based on gene editing”. (2)

Gates’ nefarious activity is the subject of a special report produced by Navdanya, the seed and food sovereignty movement founded by Shiva in 1987. (3)

Shiva commented:

“We have seen the Green Revolution and the industrial agriculture model fail, wiping out forests, transforming the land into a monoculture, causing pollution and illness, destroying natural resources and livelihoods. And it is now a major contributor of climate change and species and biodiversity extinction.

“In spite of this, while we are looking at better ways to farm, Gates has pushed the Green Revolution in Africa. He seems too impatient to look at the complexity of the natural world and biodiversity. He’s taking control of the worlds’ seed banks, pushing failed GMOs that we had rejected in India to other countries, taking control of gene traits through gene editing, trying to control the climate through geoengineering, and driving extinction through gene drives”. (4)

Shiva has also been strongly critical of The Great Reset, the global technocratic corporate coup promoted by Gates’ friend and associate Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum.

She told Jeremy Loffredo of The Defender:

“The Great Reset is about multinational corporate stakeholders at the World Economic Forum controlling as many elements of planetary life as they possibly can. From the digital data humans produce to each morsel of food we eat”. (5)

Shiva accused the WEF of “parading fake science” with its emphasis on GM food, lab-made proteins and pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals as “sustainable solutions”.

She added that “for Mr Schwab to promote these technologies as solutions proves that The Great Reset is about maintaining and empowering a corporate extraction machine and the private ownership of life”. (6)

Schwab’s WEF has partnered with an organization called EAT Forum, closely linked to the pharmaceutical industry.

Said Shiva:

“EAT’s proposed diet is not about nutrition at all, it’s about big business and it’s about a corporate takeover of the food system.

“EAT’s uniform global diet will be produced with western technology and agricultural chemicals. Forcing this onto sovereign nations by multinational lobbying is what I refer to as food imperialism”. (7)

Our updated profile of Vandana Shiva can be found here.

*

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Notes

1. Jeremy Loffredo, ‘Worl d Economic Forum’s ‘Great Reset’ Plan for Big Food Benefits Industry, Not People‘, The Defender, November 9, 2020.

2. Navdanya International, ‘Is philanthro-capitalism endangering sustainable development?’, Lifegate, October 26, 2020. lifegate.com/philantro-capitalism-sustainable-development

3. Navdanya International, ‘Gates to a Global Empire‘, 2020.

4. Manlio Masucci, ‘The Philanthro-capitalist empire of Bill Gates‘.

5. Loffredo.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

Featured image is from Sott.net

Extreem rechts Israël in Nederland: de hetze tegen Sigrid Kaag (3)

 


Extreem rechts Israël in Nederland: 

de hetze tegen Sigrid Kaag (3)

Op dinsdag 24 oktober staat minister van Buitenlandse Handel en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking al bijna op het bordes met haar collega ministers van het kabinet Rutte III. De gebruikelijke screening van ministers heeft blijkbaar ook niets opgeleverd. Niet dat dit de hetze tegen Kaag enigszins doet kalmeren want op deze dag doet Likoed Nederland, de zusterorganisatie van de in Israël regerende Likud partij van Netanyahu, een laatste wanhopige oproep: ‘Geen terroristenvereerder in het nieuwe kabinet’. Likoed Nederland is een bekende speler op dit terrein die zich vooral manifesteert in de media met het demoniseren van de Palestijnse samenleving en vaak onterechte antisemitisme beschuldigingen. De hele organisatie lijkt overigens uit één man te bestaan, de oud VVD senator Tom Struyk Van Bemmelen.

Van Bemmelen somt in zijn aanklacht tegen Kaag alle eerdere ‘argumenten’ op, inclusief het ‘Netanyahu is een racist’ citaat, echter de kern van zijn betoog is – zoals bij de column van Bas Paternotte op Geenstijl al te zien viel – Kaags relatie via haar echtgenoot tot terrorist Yasser Arafat. Nieuw hierbij is dat in een uitzending van Tegenlicht uit 2015 over Kaag is gebleken dat zij in de woonkamer een foto van het hele gezin met Arafat heeft staan. Vandaar de kwalificatie terroristenvereerder en van Bemmelen haalt zelfs de kinderen van Kaag erbij die ‘pro-terrorisme’ zouden worden opgevoed. Dat het nog hysterischer kan bewijst het extreem rechtse haatblog De Dagelijkse Standaard die de benoeming van Kaag als antisemitisch bestempelt op basis van het artikel van Likoed.

Deze wel hele flagrante poging tot karaktermoord valt zelfs de MSM op en Tom-Jan Meeus van het NRC schrijft er een column over waarin hij de overdreven en ridicule beschuldigingen weerlegt. Zoals eerder hier vermeld werkte de echtgenoot van Kaag voor Arafat ten tijde van het ‘vredesproces’ vanaf 1993 in welk jaar Arafat – ontegenzeggelijk een voormalig terrorist – de nobelprijs voor de vrede voor kreeg. Binnen de extreem rechtse pro-Israël propaganda geldt echter het adagium dat ‘eens een terrorist altijd een terrorist’ en is de uitgangspositie dat alle Palestijnen in eerste instantie terroristen zijn, zelfs kinderen.

Het ‘eens een terrorist altijd een terrorist’ argument is natuurlijk wel lachwekkend indien Likoed als organisatie dat oppert. De oprichter van Likud in 1973, de latere premier Menachem Begin, was namelijk zelf een terrorist. Voor het uitroepen van de staat Israël in 1948 was hij als leider van de terroristische Joodse organisatie de Irgun verantwoordelijk voor bomaanslagen en liquidaties waarvan de bomaanslag op het King David Hotel in 1946 waarbij 91 doden waaronder 17 Joodse slachtoffers de meest beruchte is. Misschien heeft Tom van Bemmelen wel een foto van Begin in zijn huiskamer hangen, hij werd immers net als Arafat na zijn terroristische carrière premier en internationaal staatsman.

In een hetze gelden argumenten echter niet en gaat het erom zoveel mogelijk te framen. En de foto van Kaag met gezin met Arafat is natuurlijk gemakkelijk scoren.

 

Op zaterdag 28 oktober wanneer Kaag inmiddels al beëdigd is, publiceert de Pro-Palestijnse organisatie The Rights Forum het artikel met het verhaal van ex CIDI medewerker Cnaan Lihpshiz die achter het persbericht van JTA zat. Het lijkt er op dat pro-Israël lobyiste, ex-CIDI directeur en hoofdredacteur van het Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad Esther Voet als insider hier van het begin af aan van op de hoogte is geweest. Hoewel zij op twitter ook van het begin af aan betrokken is bij het aanzwengelen van de hetze tegen Kaag en daarbij zelfs insinueert dat Kaag een antisemiet zou zijn, blijft zij opvallend terughoudend ten opzichte van het lasterlijke JTA persbericht. Voet die zich graag als gematigd voordoet, distantieert zich op twitter ook van het stuk van Likoed  en gaat er prat op dat haar eigen stuk dat de vrijdag ervoor verscheen gedaan is op basis van eigen onderzoek

Dat stuk Sigrid Kaag in vijf vragen blijkt een wat minder opzichtig maar toch lasterlijk stuk vol insinuaties. Zo komt Voet nu expliciet naar buiten met de beschuldiging dat Kaag een voorstander van de BDS-beweging is. Iets dat bas Paternotte de zondag ervoor nog impliciet suggereerde. Voet levert geen enkel bewijs voor deze beschuldiging. Het enige doel hiervan is Kaag als extreem pro-Palestijns af te schilderen vanwege de extreme reputatie van deze beweging.

Hetzelfde geldt voor het zogenaamde eigen onderzoek dat Voet gedaan heeft. Dat blijkt een analyse van het twitteraccount van Anis al-Qaq @Jerusalem47, de echtgenoot van Kaag, te zijn. Daar valt eigenlijk helemaal niets over te zeggen want het is een vanaf 2012 amper gebruikt account (86 tweets) dat vanaf april 2015 al niet meer gebruikt is. Al Qaq tweet op dit account vrijwel geen meningen slechts artikelen. Voet zegt daarover: ‘Op dat account veel retweets van Electronic Intifada, een activistische BDS-organisatie, en veel meldingen over de carrière van zijn vrouw. Hij is opvallend neutraal over Hamas’. In totaal tweet al-Qaq die dus zelden zelf commentaar bij een tweet zet, 6 keer een artikel van Electronic Intifada van de 86 tweets in totaal. Van die 86 tweets zijn overigens 22 tweets artikelen van het centrum rechtse Jerusalem Post dus in welke zin zijn die 6 tweets veel? Voet schrijft hier ook dat Electronic Intifada een activistische BDS-organisatie is maar ook dat is niet waar. EI is een zelfstandig pro-Palestijns online platform dat niet aan BDS verbonden is. Het is natuurlijk de bedoeling om al-Qaq zo extreem mogelijk af te schilderen. Vandaar ook de laatste opmerking dat hij ‘opvallend neutraal tegenover Hamas’ zou staan. Van alle 86 tweets gaat er maar 1 over Hamas waarbij al-Qaq over een toespraak van Hamasleider Mashaal opmerkt: ‘Interesting to see how Hamas reacts’. De conclusies van Voets ‘onderzoek’ zijn verzinsels gebaseerd op niets.

Het gaat te ver Voets stuk op de nog verder ruimschoots aanwezige onterechte frames richting Kaag te analyseren op de laatste zin van het stuk na waarbij Voet op een bijzonder smerige manier de integriteit van de toekomstige minister ter discussie stelt. Kaag wordt namelijk verantwoordelijk voor het ontwikkelingsgeld dat naar de Palestijnse Autoriteit gaat. Die laatste betaalt vergoedingen aan de families van omgekomen Palestijnse terroristen. Het kan natuurlijk niet zo zijn dat de internationale gemeenschap waaronder Nederland achteraf zou meebetalen aan het mogelijk in stand houden van Palestijns terrorisme. De internationale gemeenschap zou hier ook veel resoluter tegen op dienen te treden. Het is echter moeilijk voor de Nederlandse regering vanwege te weinig zicht op geldstromen binnen de PA om hier concreet iets tegen te doen. Voet schrijft hierover met betrekking tot Kaag de nieuwe minister:

Daarnaast is er nog altijd het hete hangijzer van de salarissen die door de Palestijnse Autoriteit worden uitbetaald aan de families van terroristen, waarvan de Tweede Kamer zich inmiddels bewust is. Het zal aan de oplettendheid van het parlement liggen om te monitoren of Kaag, direct of indirect, ‘douceurtjes’ die kant op zal proberen te sluizen.’

Een bijzonder lasterlijke uitsmijter. Wat minder schreeuwerig maar van hetzelfde niveau als de zwartmakerij van Likoed Nederland of Opiniez waarvan Voet zich voor de vorm distantieert.

Anderhalve week na de start van de hetze tegen Kaag pietert deze iets uit. Het laatste wapenfeit is een wederom nietszeggend stuk op Geenstijl over Kaag, het derde inmiddels (!), waarin auteur Constanteyn Roelofs, Kaag wegzet als ‘Palestijnse mol en Arabisch raspaard van Troje’, daarbij weer verwijzend naar het nietszeggende lasterlijke stuk van Esther Voet.

Kaag is inmiddels in functie dus wat heeft deze hetze nu opgeleverd en wat was de bedoeling ervan? Het antwoord daarop in het volgende en laatste deel. (wordt vervolgd)

https://batavirus.nl/2017/11/03/extreem-rechts-israel-in-nederland-de-hetze-tegen-sigrid-kaag-3/



Ilhan Omar’s Misguided Defense

 

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Misguided Defense of John Brennan and The Logan Act: a Dangerous and Unconstitutional Law

Foreign policy dissidents have the greatest interest in repealing the Logan Act, not wielding it as a weapon to shield ex-CIA Directors while heralding it as a clearly defined criminal statute.


The right to dissent from, and to work against, the official foreign policy of the U.S. Government is vital: foundational to Constitutional liberties. There is very little such dissent in the U.S. Congress, where many of the core tenets of the Foreign Policy Community (from CIA drone warfare and clandestine coups to steadfast support for Gulf State and Middle East tyrannies as well as Israel) enjoy overwhelming, at times virtually unanimous, bipartisan support.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017 (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

That is one of the reasons that — as I’ve said repeatedly — I am glad that there are now members of Congress such as Congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan who so vocally and unflinchingly dissent from this general foreign policy orientation and especially from those policies which most members of Congress either cannot or do not want to denounce. 

Whether or not one agrees with these two lawmakers on every issue, having members of Congress questioning and objecting to highly consequential foreign policies is inherently healthier than full-scale agreement or fear-driven acquiescence. Dissent is healthy for a democracy. That is why I have relentlessly defended Congresswoman Omar, even in the face of less-than-ideally-phrased proclamations, from what I regard as bad faith accusations of bigotry and a lack of patriotism (just as I denounced moronic claims that Trump was a “traitor”): bad faith accusations of bigotry or treason are often designed to demonize attempts to question pieties and ostracize those who do it. 

For that very reason, I was quite surprised to see that late Friday night, Congresswoman Omar, in response to something I wrote, defended not only former CIA Director John Brennan — who as Obama’s CIA Director presided over the bombing of numerous countries including Somalia — but also The Logan Act. The Logan Act is nothing more than an unconstitutional attempt to criminalize foreign policy dissidents, like her, and is so dangerous in the hands of the CIA, FBI and federal prosecutors precisely because it lacks any clear definition or meaning.

Despite this, Congresswoman Omar depicted that ancient statute not as what it is — an impossibly vague and overly broad attempt to criminalize the core Constitutional right to dissent from U.S. foreign policy — but instead as some kind of specific, precisely defined, and well-established precedent, the contours of which are clearly established and easily applied. None of that is true.

This 219-year-old statute is one of the most unconstitutional and dangerous laws in the U.S. Code. Because it has never been used to prosecute anyone, and was only used to obtain an indictment one time in its entire history — back in 1803, against someone who wrote an op-ed criticizing U.S. foreign policy toward France — nobody knows what it actually prescribes or allows because there is no binding judicial precedent interpreting what it means. It is precisely because it has never been used to prosecute anyone that there is no binding judicial precedent about what it means, and that’s how the U.S. Government wants it (for the same reason, they have never prosecuted any journalists under the Espionage Act of 1917: they prefer to weaponize the fear of uncertainty regarding its scope and application rather than prosecute journalists under it and risk a judicial ruling of its unconstitutionality).

The wildly broad vagueness and lack of clarity is what makes it so dangerous to leave the Logan Act on the books. These are exactly the kinds of ambiguous laws that can serve as an abusive pretext in the hands of the FBI, empowering it to investigate anyone it wants under the rubric of this archaic, ambiguous law.

But while all such vague laws are dangerous, the Logan Act is particularly menacing to those who dissent from core U.S. foreign policy and are thus often accused of disloyalty, such Congresswoman Omar. All members of Congress, but particular foreign policy dissidents, should be working to repeal this ancient and repressive law, not wielding it as a weapon against adversaries and pretending that it is some highly specific, clear and valid criminal constraint on the conduct and speech of U.S. citizens.


The context of the exchange with Congresswoman Omar, and the key role played in it by former Obama CIA Director John Brennan (now of MSNBC), is necessary to understand Rep. Omar’s point. Far more importantly, this context illustrates the severe, ongoing dangers of allowing this dangerous law to fester on the books. 

On Friday, reports emerged that, just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key Iranian nuclear scientist was ambushed and murdered by gunmen. U.S. officials told The New York Times that Israel was behind the assassination — which should be unsurprising given that Israel assassinated several senior Iranian nuclear scientists during the Obama years.

This news provoked indignation from MSNBC’s John Brennan, formerly Obama’s Director of the CIA, an agency heralded worldwide for its righteous opposition to assassinations. Along with condemning the assassination of this Iranian scientist as “a criminal act and highly reckless,” Brennan also used his tweet to send an explicit message to Iranian officials: urging them not to retaliate but instead to wait for the Biden administration to take over, promising the new U.S. administration would “respond against perceived culprits.” 

In other words, Brennan, like many people (including myself), is concerned that the Trump administration and Israel are seeking to escalate tensions with Iran during the transition — either because they seek war with Tehran or, more likely, because they want to provoke a cycle of retaliations that would prevent the incoming Biden administration from re-implementing the Iran Deal which Trump nullified and which Israel vehemently opposes. 

Thus, Brennan sought to subvert what he perceives as the current foreign policy of the U.S. Government — to provoke and punish Iran — by encouraging Iranian officials to ignore the provocation and therefore not derail efforts by the incoming U.S. administration to establish better relations: 

There are so many amazing ironies to this Brennan statement. To begin with, it’s just stunning to watch Obama’s Chief Assassin — who presided over a global, years-long due-process-free campaign of targeted assassinations, under which the official “kill list” of who was to live and who was to die was decreed by Judge and Executioner Brennan in a secret White House meeting that bore the creepy designation “Terror Tuesdays” — now suddenly posture as some kind of moral crusader against assassinations. I have denounced these Israeli assassinations as terrorism — both in the past and yesterday— but I have also denounced with equal vigor the Obama/Brennan global assassination program.

The audacity of Brennan’s moral posturing became even more evident as he tried to explain why his and Obama’s assassination program was noble and legal, while the one that resulted in Friday’s killing in Iran was immoral and criminal. After all, this is the same John Brennan who got caught red-handed lying about how many innocent civilians were killed by Obama’s global assassination program, and who even claimed the right to target American citizens for execution by drone without any transparency let alone due process: a right they not only claimed but exercised. 

When you’re reduced to sitting on Twitter trying to distinguish your own global assassination program from the one you’re condemning, that is rather potent evidence that you are among the absolute last persons on earth with the moral credibility to denounce anything. That’s particularly true when you directed your unilateral assassination powers onto your own citizensending several of their lives.

But that’s the Trump era in a nutshell: the most bloodthirsty monsters and murderers successfully whitewash their own history of atrocities by deceiving people into believing that none of this was done prior to Trump, and that their flamboyant opposition to Trump — based far more in stylistic distaste for him and loss of their own access than substantive policy objections — absolves them of their own prior, often-worse monstrosities.

Yet another irony with this Brennan outburst was that the Israelis assassinated several Iranian civilian nuclear scientists during the Obama years — four by the count of the Eruasia Group’s Ian Bremmer — and yet, as Bremmer points out, Brennan never once harshly condemned it. Only with Trump as President is his indignation provoked. Indeed, Obama, on his way out the door, seemed to reward Israel by providing that foreign country with $38 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid, some of which was required to be used for U.S. weapons manufacturers who donated to Obama: the largest such aid package in history.

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But to me the most glaring irony — as I pointed out — is how identicalis the transition message sent by Brennan on Friday to the Iranians when compared to the one sent by Gen. Michael Flynn to the Russians during the 2016 transition after the Obama administration sanctioned Moscow. The message of both Flynn and Brennan was extremely similar: don’t over-react or excessively retaliate: a new administration will soon take power and wants to work with you, so don’t do anything rash now that could prevent that from happening

But the difference is that while Brennan was predictably celebrated for his message to the Iranians, with viral likes and re-tweets, Flynn was criminally investigated for his. After FBI Director James Comey ordered the investigation into Flynn’s ties to Moscow closed at the start of 2017, FBI agents deeply hostile to Trump seized on Flynn’s December, 2016 intercepted phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — when Flynn was a national security transition official just weeks away from taking over — to continue the investigation on the ground that he may have violated the Logan Actby attempting to subvert current U.S. foreign policy with his message to Moscow not to overreact and instead to wait for the new administration.


Upon seeing Brennan’s series of tweets, I noted the glaring parallelbetween the content of the 2020 transition message he sent to Iranian officials and the 2016 transition message which Gen. Flynn sent to the Russian Ambassador. I then asked rhetorically whether the FBI should investigate Brennan for possible violations of the Logan Act, while making explicitly clear that I thought that law is abusive and that neither Brennan nor Flynn had actually done anything criminal with their actions. 

The expressly made point was that all this shows why The Logan Act is so dangerous and why it was so abusive of the Obama-era FBI to use this preposterous law as a pretext to criminally investigate Trump’s national security advisor:

In response to this claim, numerous people objected that the Flynn and Brennan situations were different for two reasons: 1) Flynn was a transition official when he sent his message while Brennan is merely a private citizen, and 2) there is a difference between speaking privately to foreign officials in a two-sided conversation and sending a one-sided message publicly.

But neither of those two objections make any sense. If anything, Flynn’s status as a national security transition officials gives him more of a right, not less, to send dissenting messages about U.S. foreign policy than a private citizen has (although both have that right). After all, the whole purpose of a national security transition team is to allow incoming Executive Branch officials to establish relationships with foreign counterparts in preparation for their new foreign policy. As even The Washington Post admitted about Gen. Flynn:

It would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work.

That’s why Biden himself and his national security officials are speaking to foreign leaders now, in the transition, before he is actually president. We expect a transition official like Flynn, or Biden’s aides, to speak to foreign officials about the policies they intend to pursue.

The other objection to my point — that there is a fundamental difference between speaking privately to foreign officials and sending a message publicly — is utter nonsense. Nothing in the law or in its history — including how Democrats have tried to use The Logan Act against GOP Senators — even remotely suggests this distinction.

Yet Congresswoman Omar, responding to my statements, decided to invoke that claim in order to defend Brennan from the suggestion that, like Flynn, he should be investigated under the Logan Act. Worse, to achieve this, she depicted this law as containing clear and established rules for what it does and does not criminalize. Namely, she insisted that a “one-sided communication . . . falls outside the statute’s scope”:

I would love to know the basis for Rep. Omar’s pronouncements about the scope of a law that has never been used to prosecute anyone. From what learning did she derive her certainty about the “scope” of this old law and what it does and does not include? Literally everything known about the Logan Act — which is not much — negates her claims. 

To begin with, there is absolutely nothing in the language of the Logan Act itself that even hints at this distinction she’s drawing between a “one-sided communication” and and a two-party exchange. To the contrary, this two-paragraph statute purports to criminalize not only direct communication but also anyone who “indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government” with the intent to “defeat the measures of the United States.”

How does a message from a former CIA Director that is explicitly constructed as directed to Iranian officials, encouraging them to ignore current administration acts, not at least arguably qualify as “indirectly commenc[ing] or carr[ying] on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government”? 

But to see how false Congressman Omar’s claim is about this law, just look at the only time it has even been used to indict anyone. The only indictment under this law occurred 217 years ago — in 1803 — when Francis Flourny, a Kentucky farmer, was indicted under the Logan Act not for entering into secret, two-sided communications with a foreign government, but for publishing an Op-Ed in his local Kentucky newspaper advocating western separatism as a way of opposing the belligerent war posture which the U.S. Government was pursuing with France (this law has from the start been used to threaten those who seek to tamp down U.S. Government war policies: the Logan Act itself is named after a Philadelphia Quaker and physician, Dr. George Logan, who infuriated some Washington officials by traveling to Paris, with the implicit support of his friend, then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson, to try to avert war between the U.S. and France).

The prosecution of Francis Flourny, as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes in its comprehensive history, did not proceed to a full prosecution only because the Louisiana Purchase rendered the separatism debate obsolete. So: literally the only indictment ever obtained under the Logan Act occurred in exactly the circumstance which Congresswoman Omar, citing nothing, claims clearly falls outside its scope: namely, when a citizen sough to undermine U.S. policy toward a foreign government through a one-sidedcommunication.

Congressional Research Service, Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act, Mar. 11, 2015

I would love to hear from Congresswoman Omar on this question: if Francis Flournoy is the only person ever indicated under the Logan Act in U.S. history for the “crime” of publishing an op-ed in his local paper due to his alleged intent to establish better relations with France, how could she possibly be so sure that a tweet published by John Brennan that is explicitly aimed at Iranian officials “falls outside the statute’s scope”? Flournoy’s communications was exactly the type of “one-sided communication” which the Congresswoman decrees with so much certainty that the Logan Act excludes.

Then there are the recent attempts to invoke the Logan Act — by her own Party — which also completely contradict Congresswoman Omar’s definitive pronouncements. In 2015, forty-seven Republican Senators sent an Open Letter to the Iranian Government warning it that the Iran Deal being negotiated by the Obama administration would not be binding on future administrations. This was purely a “one-sided communication”. None of these Senators flew to Tehran and met with Iranian officials nor spoke privately on the phone with them. It was just an Open Letter made publicly available: exactly like Brennan’s tweet to the Iranians.

Despite being precisely the sort of “one-sided communication” which Congresswoman Omar now assures us falls outside the scope of the Logan Act, numerous liberal law professors and Democratic activists demanded that all of the Republican Senators, and particular their ringleader Tom Cotton, be prosecuted under the Logan Act for trying to subvert the Obama administration’s foreign policy toward Iran. Then Secretary of State John Kerry declared the one-sided communication illegal. These Democrats evidently did not share the Congresswoman’s view about what is and is not included in the scope of this statute.

Then we have the 2007 visit to Syria by then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when she infuriated Bush officials — who were seeking to isolate Syria as punishment for arming Iraqi insurgents — by meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Calls for Pelosi to be prosecuted under the Logan Act were not based on anything she purportedly said to Assad in private, but simply on her public act of meeting with the Syrian leader and thus, in the eyes of Bush officials, legitimizing Assad at the time their foreign policy was to isolate him. 

While Pelosi’s actions — unlike the GOP Senator who signed the Iran Letter — did involve “two-sided communications,” it was not what she did in private but what she did in public that served as the basis for calls that she be prosecuted. The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by right-wing lawyer and former Reagan official Robert Turner — headlined “Illegal Diplomacy” — which argued that “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may well have committed a felony in traveling to Damascus this week, against the wishes of the president, to communicate on foreign-policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad.” Note that what mattered there was not anything she said in private but, more so, the mere fact of her public meeting.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) at al-Shaab Palace in Damascus, 04 April 2007 during her two-day trip to Damascus that has infuriated the White House. (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP) (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images)

[I also have to note the extreme irony of Democrats claiming that unilateral public statements directed to a particular government should not be construed as attempts to communicate with that government. Recall the utter bad faith in which Democrats claimed that Trump’s very public, obviously trolling comment during the 2016 campaign that the Russians should find Hillary’s deleted emails — made in front of dozens of cameras and millions of people — should be understood as  a genuine attempt to send earnest hacking requests to his allies in Moscow.] 

None of this is to suggest that the scope of the Logan Act is clear — that’s Congresswoman Omar’s apparent view that I’m rejecting. One could mount a rational argument that this law was intended only to apply to two-person private communications or one could make exactly the opposite case. That’s the point: it is incredibly unclear what this law did and did not intend to crimianlize, as evidenced by the utter incoherence of prior attempts to invoke it. And it is precisely this lack of clarity that makes this law so ripe for abuse, and in such urgent need of being repealed, not weaponized against one’s political adversaries.


All of this matters not only because of the perniciousness of the Logan Act, but also because of what it says about Trump-era liberal-left politics. 

That the Logan Act is a dangerously vague and unconstitutional statute was, until quite recently, a consensus among American liberals. As The Washington Post recalls, “Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) tried to repeal it in a larger criminal-code reform bill in 1977,” and “Rep. Anthony Beilenson (D-Calif.) pushed a bill to repeal the Logan Act in 1980.” 

The Logan Act has long been used as a weapon of the CIA and FBI to try to intimidate anyone — on the left or the right — who effectively opposes its pro-war policies. As the CRS recounts:

[C]ritics have suggested that Ross Perot’s efforts to find missing American servicemen in Southeast Asia have violated the Logan Act. Critics alleged that former House Speaker Jim Wright violated the Logan Act in his relations with the Sandinista government. In 1984 while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President, Reverend Jesse Jackson went to Syria to help in the release of a captured American military flyer and to Cuba and Nicaragua. The trips by Reverend Jackson occasioned comments from a number of people, most notably from President Reagan, that Reverend Jackson had violated the Logan Act. 

Other private citizens, such as Jane Fonda, have made trips which have been criticized as violative of the Logan Act. One of the most recent allegations involving a possible Logan Act violation focuses on a letter signed by 47 U.S. Senators to Iran suggesting that an agreement between the President and the Iranian leadership would be an executive agreement that another President or Congress would be able to abrogate. 

All of this is what makes it so jarring to see Congresswoman Omar, of all people, not only defending CIA Director John Brennan despite his history of assassinating innocent people and bombing numerous countries including in Somalia, but insisting that The Logan Act, of all things, is a clearly defined law whose criminalization schemes are easily discernible and can be consistently applied. Look at how it’s been used: why would anyone on the left, let alone someone who themselves is a vocal dissenter from U.S. foreign policy, do anything regarding the Logan Act but denounce it and demand its repeal?

But this is what has happened to American liberalism in the Trump years. Convincing themselves that Trump is a Hitler-like figure who poses an existential threat to democracy and U.S. “norms” — which are amazingly presumed to be inherently good things in need of protection rather than destruction — they have decided that it is not only justified but necessary to resort to their own authoritarian measures and norm-violations in the name of stopping him. The view that Trump’s movement — meaning the 70 million Americans who voted for him — must be obliterated at all costs means no methods are off the table and that this mentality will endure even once Trump peacefully leaves the White House on January 20, 2021 (as they insisted would not happen).

Thus did we see the attempt, before Trump was even inaugurated, to persuade electors to ignore their states’ votes and deliver the Electoral College to Hillary Clinton. That was followed by cheeringreports that unelected security state officials were concealing information they did not want the elected President to have, and more recent reports that they misled him about troop positions in Syria to prevent his withdrawal efforts: classic Deep State coup behavior whereby unaccountable military and intelligence officials prevent the elected president from implementing polices they decide are misguided. 

The list goes on and on — from cheering the CIA and FBI in virtually everything it did to subvert Trump to lying to the FISA court in order to illegally spy on a former Trump campaign official to resuscitating crusty Cold War scripts from McCarthy and Hoover about Russian infiltration and disloyalty, culminating with a claim this week from NBC News’ legal analyst that a court should refuse to honor Trump’s pardon of Flynn notwithstanding clear pardon power assigned by the U.S. Constitution: 

Once you start arrogating unto yourself the right to use authoritarian and lawless methods, and to align behind repressive institutions like CIA and FBI, you become exactly what you started off believing you were fighting. This is the mentality that led liberals to cheer the use of DOJ theories to prosecute Michael Flynn which Ruth Bader Ginsburg and liberal jurists have long denounced as dangerous (namely, criminalizing false denials to the FBI of one’s own wrongdoing) as well as the exploitation by Jim Comey of the Logan Act to justify a criminal investigation into Flynn for completely normal, even commendable, communications in the transition with his Russian counterparts.

And it is this same mentality that has unbelievably led Ilhan Omar not just to defend John Brennan — there’s nothing wrong with defending even bad people from unjust accusations of criminality (as I always insisted when arguing that the Flynn prosecution was unjust) — but, way worse, trying to lead people to believe that The Logan Act is some kind of coherent, clear criminal statute that can be applied fairly and with consistency.

If I had to list the ten U.S. politicians I thought most likely to one day be threatened with if not prosecuted under the Logan Act, I’d place Congresswoman Omar near the top of my list. Imagine if she called Palestinian officials to work on the Boycott of Israel that she supports but which Biden and Trump officials deem to be dangerous anti-Semitism, or if she spoke with Yemeni or Somali officials about how to prevent further drone bombing campaigns by the Biden administration — all things she has every right to do as a sitting member of Congress and that I hope she does. She could easily be accused of violating this archaic law that she is now insisting is clear and concrete.

Anyone who values the right to dissent from U.S. foreign policy should be doing nothing regarding the Logan Act other than what Ted Kennedy did for all those years (and what many conservative commentators now do): demand its full and immediate repeal. The last thing any of should want is for the CIA and FBI to have in its hands an ancient law so vague that nobody knows what it proscribes, thus leaving it those agencies to wield as a weapon to threaten anyone who opposes them.

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