Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Crisis: Trump´s Threats, Militarized USA, U.S. Deep State, On ¨Antifa¨, 40 Million Slaves

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
Crisis Files
    A. Selections from September 20, 2017 


This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will continue with it.

On the moment I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and will continue.

2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from September 20, 2017

The items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:

This article in The New York Times is said to be by The New York Times. It is true it is a quite long article. It starts as follows:

If the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” President Trump said in his address to the General Assembly.

He denounced North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, saying the nation “threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life” as a result of its nuclear weapons program.

“If the righteous many don’t confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump emphasized that it was against the interest of the entire world for North Korea — which he called a “band of criminals” — to obtain missiles and nuclear weapons.

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself,” he said of Mr. Kim.

Mr. Trump accused Mr. Kim of overseeing a regime that has starved its people, brutalized an imprisoned American college student who was returned home in a coma, and assassinated Mr. Kim’s older brother, a potential rival, with poison chemicals.

“If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons threatens the entire world,” Mr. Trump said.

I have said over 1 1/2 years ago that in my - psychologist´s - eyes (with which quite a few psychologists and psychiatrists currently agree) that Trump is a madman, and I also concluded later in 2016 that he is ideologically speaking best defined as a neofascist, in the sense in which I use the term (see here if you are interested in fascism and neofascism: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions), and it seems his latest address to the United Nations only supports my diagnoses.

And I will not pick apart Trump´s madness, but will quote some more of it:

“It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world,” Mr. Trump said.

The president said that America would act alone if needed. He emphasized an “America first” agenda, and said that while the United States would “forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies,” his primary responsibility was to Americans.

“As president, I will always put America first, just like you as the leaders of your countries will always — and should always — put your countries first,” he said.

I´d say about the same thing as has been said about North Korea by Trump (and I agree North Korea is a sick dictatorship) could be said, and with far more justification given the atomic weapons of the USA and the many wars the USA fights since 16 years, about the USA.

And Trump said he may blow up North Korea all by himself, and - it seems - he also said or implied that all international laws are baloney, since he insists that all countries should do as he does: OUR country FIRST. (Incidentally, this seems to be also a reason why the USA´s secret services can pick up all emails and everything else of anyone who is not an American: Everyone not American is - at best - secondary, and has no real citizens´ rights whatsoever, in practice.)

Not only did Trump threaten he will blow up North Korea (with 24 million inhabitants), but he also extremely much dislikes Iran:

After condemning North Korea, Mr. Trump pivoted to the next “rogue nation” — Iran.

He called the Iran nuclear deal “an embarrassment” that is “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

Mr. Trump has long portrayed Iran as a sponsor of terrorism and has suggested that the United States may abandon the 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration and five other major powers that limited Iran’s nuclear activities. So far Mr. Trump has grudgingly accepted the nuclear agreement despite having described it as a disgrace.

“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” he said.

And not only did he threaten war with Iran, he also threatened to militarily intervene in Venezuela:

Mr. Trump declared that the United States was “prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.” He said Mr. Maduro’s government had “destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried.”

“This situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch as a responsible neighbor and friend,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump’s government has imposed economic sanctions on Mr. Maduro’s government but has not specified how it would exert further pressure. Last month, he caused a backlash among Latin American leaders by suggesting that he could order American military forces to intervene in Venezuela.

There is a whole lot more in this article from the NYT, and it is recommended.

2. US Says No Money for Social Programs, But '$700 Billion to Kill People? Yeah That We Have'

This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

Where were the pundits and elected lawmakers who complain about the cost of providing healthcare to all Americans when the Senate voted to spend $700 billion on the military?

Many critics were raising this question Monday after the Senate—in what was portrayed as yet another indication of bipartisan support for endless waroverwhelmingly approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will dump a larger sum of money into the military budget than even President Donald Trump asked for while also authorizing the production of 94 F-35 jets, two dozen more than the Pentagon requested.

Passage of the NDAA—which this year approves a $700 billion defense budget, an annual increase of $80 billion—is something of an automated process in Washington, one that often flies under the radar and garners little opposition.

Yes indeed, and the question is a very good one, especially in view of the fact that already under Obama (and without his great increases in military spending by the USA) the USA spent more than ten times as much on what they are pleased to call ¨defense¨ (with some American troops in 180 countries, I think) as the next largest spender on weapons and wars.

There is also this in the article:

Adam Johnson, a contributor to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, argued that the explanation for this double standard is simple: America's dominant political class and mainstream commentators view exorbitant military spending as a given.

"Note: neither Vox or WaPo will have pundits lament over 'where the money will come from' for [the Department of Defense]," Johnson wrote on Twitter following the Senate's vote, implying a reference to those who slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Medicare for All bill on budgetary grounds. "Money for war just is. Like the tides."

I agree. And this is from near the end of the article:

"If the additional military spending over the next ten years instead went to pay off student debt," Emmons added, "it could come close to wiping it out entirely."

Instead, as Monday's vote revealed, the a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators appear content to continue unquestioningly pouring money into a military budget that already far exceeds spending of any other nation in the world.

Only 8 senators voted against the NDAA, which is expected to become law by the end of this year (...)

Indeed - and it would seem (to me at least) that around 8 (or 5, if we subtract the Republicans) Senators (from 100 in all) are more or less honest and more or less independent from ¨their sponsors¨.

I say, and this is a recommended article.

3. Trump Falls in Line with Interventionism

This article is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:

In discussing President Trump, there is always the soft prejudice of low expectations – people praise him for reading from a Teleprompter even if his words make little sense – but there is no getting around the reality that his maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly must rank as  one of the most embarrassing moments in America’s relations with the global community.

Trump offered a crude patchwork of propaganda and bluster, partly delivered as a campaign speech praising his own leadership – boasting about the relatively strong U.S. economy that he mostly inherited from President Obama – and partly reflecting his continued subservience to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, perhaps most importantly, Trump’s speech may have extinguished any flickering hope that his presidency might achieve some valuable course corrections in how the United States deals with the world, i.e., shifting away from the disastrous war/interventionist policies of his two predecessors.

I agree with Robert Parry that Trump´s ¨maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly must rank as one of the most embarrassing moments in America’s relations with the global community¨, and indeed I have been saying since the beginning of 2016 that I think he is a dangerous madman and also ideologically a neofascist, as I defined them, and his latest personal show only supports my diagnoses.

And while I don´t know about Trump´s ¨continued subservience to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu¨ and do not have ¨a soft prejudice¨ for Trump, I agree with most of the rest Parry said in the above quotation.

Here are some of the reasons:

Just this century, the United States has invaded multiple nations without U.N. authorization, based on various “coalitions of the willing” and other subterfuges for wars of aggression, which the Nuremberg Tribunals deemed the “supreme international crime” and which the U.N. was specifically created to prevent.

Not only did President George W. Bush invade both Afghanistan and Iraq – while also sponsoring “anti-terror” operations in many other countries – but President Barack Obama acknowledged ordering military attacks in seven countries, including against the will of sovereign states, such as Libya and Syria. Obama also supported a violent coup against the elected government of Ukraine.

For his part, Trump already has shown disdain for international law by authorizing military strikes inside Yemen and Syria.
Yes indeed. Here is one conclusion drawn by Robert Parry:
Despite some of his “America First” rhetoric – tossed in as red meat to his “base” – Trump revealed a global outlook that differed from the Bush-Obama neoconservative/liberal-interventionist approach in words only. In substance, Trump appears to be just the latest American poodle on Bibi Netanyahu’s leash.
As I said above, I simply do not know much about the relation between Nethanyahu (whom I much dislike) and Trump (whom I much dislike), and I don´t want to speculate. But apart from this, Parry seems quite right (although I would not call Obama a ¨liberal¨).

Parry ends his article as follows:

So, what Trump made clear in his U.N. address is that his “America First” and “pro-sovereignty” rhetoric is simply cover for a set of policies that are indistinguishable from those pushed by the neocons of the Bush administration or the liberal interventionists of the Obama administration. The rationalizations may change but the endless wars and “regime change” machinations continue.

Yes indeed - and note that there are now 16 years of continuous mostly illegal wars in no less than 7 countries, while it does seem as if the Deep State/the military- industrial complex did get its way with Donald Trump (who said to the United Nations that he wants to blow up North Korea, intervene militarily in Venezuela, and who insists Iran is ¨a rogue state¨, or so it seems to me).

4. The Left Seems Pretty United In Opposition to Antifa

This article is by Kevin Drum on Mother Jones. It starts as follows:

Here’s an article that was posted prominently online today in the Wall Street Journal:

How Antifa Violence Has Split the Left

Broadly labeled antifa, for “antifascist,” such protesters are part of a loose affiliation of far-left groups and individuals who unite around a willingness to confront, sometimes violently, anyone they perceive to be an agent of racism, anti-Semitism or fascism….The antifa tactics are testing the liberal movement that has galvanized in opposition to Mr. Trump—creating a rift among its leaders, organizers and demonstrators about whether to denounce a radical fringe, some of whose antidiscrimination objectives, if not tactics, they share.

I don´t believe in ¨the antifa¨ either, indeed - and both of my parents were in the real antifascist resistance in Holland and risked their lives and risked being tortured in the Second World War, as was my grandfather; both my father and his father were arrested in June of 1941 and conviceted as ¨political terrorists¨ to concentration camp imprisonment by collaborating Dutch judges (who were never punished after WW II, as virtually no one was in Holland, where more than 1% of the total Dutch population was murdered for being ¨of the wrong race¨), which my grandfather did not survive; and my father also designed and built (with others) the National Exhibition on WW II and Resistance in the 1960ies, for which he even (a near miracle in Holland, for he was a communist since 1935, and communists were excluded from being knighted until after 1991) was knighted briefly before his death in 1980. [2]

So I do know what real antifascists are and what moved them, but I do not believe that a bunch of apparent hysterics without decent ideas of their own, and who do not even call themselves antifascists (but instead by the bullshit term ¨antifas¨) are real anti-fascists like my parents and grandparents were.

In fact, they mostly remember me of the Weathermen (<-Wikipedia) who also were much for violence without having any realistic analysis of their opponents or themselves.

Here is Kevin Drum´s conclusion about the ¨antifas¨:

So: has antifa really split the left? If by “split,” you mean that the far left disagrees with the mainstream left, just like it always has, then I guess so. By any other measure, though, there appears to be nothing but unity. The vast majority of the left has no use for antifa and no use for violence on city streets. It’s indefensible to suggest otherwise unless you can deliver some real evidence.

I agree with Drum, and I hope he is right: who needs more Weathermen?

5. New Research Reveals There Are More Than 40 Million Slaves Worldwide

This article is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

New research reveals that more than 40 million people, primarily women and children, were victims of modern slavery in 2016.

"Modern slavery occured in every region of the world," according to two reports released on Tuesday during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, and produced by the U.N.'s International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The studies were commissioned to gain a sense of the global situation as the U.N. works to meet target 8.7 of the sustainable development goals, which aims to "take immediate and effective measures to eradicate" modern slavery and human trafficking, "and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms."

I say! ¨More than 40 million¨ persons is more than three times the total population of Holland, and I did not know there are (at least) as many human slaves as over 40 million in the present world.

Here is some more on the two reports:

Modern slavery is an umbrella term researchers use to refer to "situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power," including forced labor, debt bondage, and forced marriage.

Among the reports key findings were:

  • An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were enslaved worldwide.
  • 24.9 million were in forced labor, working in the sex industry, on construction sites, at domestic residences, in the agriculture sector, and in factories.
  • 15.4 million were "in marriages to which they had not consented," and "enduring a situation that involved having lost their sexual autonomy and often involved providing labor."
  • Women and girls accounted for 71 percent of total victims, and 99 percent of those forced to work in the sex industry.
  • One in four victims were children, and 21 percent of all victims were children who were sexually exploited.
  • Over the past five years, an estimated 89 million people have "experienced some form of modern slavery."
  • An estimated 152 million children, or nearly one in 10, remain engaged in child labor.
  • Among child laborers, 73 million "are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety, and moral development."

I say. And I note that (bolding added) ¨[a]n estimated 152 million children, or nearly one in 10, remain engaged in child labor¨.

Here is the last bit that I´ll quote from this article:

Even so, Walk Free Foundation's executive director of global research, Fiona David, said, "What is startling about these new estimates is the sheer scale of the modern slave trade." When taking into account that "only 63,000 victims of slavery were reported to the authorities last year," David added, "the gulf between the problem and the insufficient global response becomes very clear."

Yes, I quite agree with the ¨sheer scale of the modern slave trade¨, and indeed it seems that about 1 in a 1000 cases of slavery are ¨reported to the authorities¨.

And this is a recommended article.


[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better (!!).

[2] While I have been called ¨a dirty fascist¨ since 1977 (that´s over 40 years ago now) because I wanted to get a real scientific education in the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam, whereas what I got (all the time) was politicized ideological bullshit and totally false propaganda from the Stalinist terrorists of the ASVA and from the fascists and terrorists from the PvdA that formed the Board of Directors of the UvA. They are all dead: I can say what I please about them, and indeed they destroyed my life quite intentionally and between 1977 and 1989; they never answered any of my mails or letters to them; and they never excused themselves or their degenerate quasi-university in any way whatsoever.

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