November 17, 2015
Crisis: Stock Prices, Isis, Kunduz, Paris Attacks, Medicine
 "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
  -- Benjamin Franklin
  "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone

  "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

Prev- crisis -Next


Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since
Paris Attack

2. How Western Militarists Are Playing Into the Hands of ISIS
3. The Increasingly Horrible Truths About the Brutal U.S. Hospital Bombings
4. Updated: Everything We Know About the Paris Attacks
5. Study 329: Big Risk


This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

This is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about Glenn Greenwald's response to the events in Paris; item 2 is about the factual cooperation between Isis and the Western military (who appear to be nearly always falling for Isis' provocations); item 3 is about a long and thorough article about the attack on the MSF hospital on Kunduz; item 4 is about the facts in Paris: this seems a decent summary; and item 5 is about a non-crisis item: An article by psychiatrist and professor David Healy on the corruption of much of medicine, which happened mostly by the - normally non-medical, these days - heads of pharmaceutical corporations, who seem to care very much more for profits (also if gotten by gross deceptions of many patients) than for patients' health.

1. Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack

The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
  • Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack
This starts as follows:

The Paris attacks took place on Friday night. Since then, France’s president has vowed “war” on ISIS and today significantly escalated the country’s bombing campaign in Syria (France has been bombing ISIS in Iraq since last January, and began bombing the group in Syria in September).

Already this morning, as Aaron Cantú noticed, the stocks of the leading weapons manufacturers — what is usually referred to as the “defense industry” — have soared:

I still think the French president is one of the worst presidents France has ever had, and I think he is either acting hysterically or as a clever manipulator for the few to mislead the many, but then that is merely what I (and a few others) think, who believe that Hollande does what Isis wanted him to do.

But for the majority it seems he is suddenly "a hero". Ah well... (it will probably change again).

At this point in the article there are six consecutive graphics, that all make the same point: The values of the shares of the manufacturers of weapons - spefically: Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Thales - went up by around 2.5% in the last few days, with the following comment by Glenn Greenwald:

Note how immediate the increases are: The markets could barely wait to start buying. The Dow overall is up today only .12 percent, making these leaps quite pronounced.

I think this is a rational reaction: "Look at the money!" 

2. How Western Militarists Are Playing Into the Hands of ISIS

The second item today is by Max Blumenthal on AlterNet:
  • How Western Militarists Are Playing Into the Hands of ISIS
This starts as follows:
The Islamic extremists who killed over 125 Parisians on November 14 were heartless murderers, but they were also political operators implementing a carefully conceived strategy. A February 2015 article in Dabiq, the official magazine of ISIS, offers a clear window into their agenda. Published in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the essay was titled, "The Extinction of the Grayzone."
Yes indeed, though I much doubt the strategy is rational or feasible. Here is the plan of Isis:
Once repression and Islamophobia in Western societies reaches sufficiently unbearable levels, the author wrote, “The Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one of two choices, they either apostatize and adopt the kufri [infidel] religion propagated by Bush, Obama, Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy, and Hollande in the name of Islam so as to live amongst the kuffar [infidels] without hardship, or they perform hijrah [emigrate] to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens.”
The reason I can't take this seriously is that it is strongly prejudiced: As if most Muslims who live in the West must choose between Bush and Obama (etc.) or emigrate to the Islamic State. Of course, the vast majority will do neither.

Then again, it seems Francois Hollande does respond as Isis wanted him to respond:

The reactions to the Paris attacks by influential political actors across the West suggest that ISIS may have gotten exactly the result it wants. Vowing a “pitiless war,” French President Francois Hollande ordered a series of airstrikes around the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa. To convince himself that another bombing run over the smoldering ruins of Syria would do anything to improve France’s security, Hollande clearly ignored the final words of one of the gunmen who massacred theatergoers in Paris: “Hollande should not have intervened in Syria!”
Actually, I think it is quite likely Hollande did not ignore these final words, but rather explained them as supporting his decision.

There is also this in the article:
Billions of dollars have been spent and hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the global war on terror. At every step of the way, Western governments played directly into the hands of Islamic extremists, falling for their ploys and fueling their ambitions.
Perhaps. It seems also entirely possible to me that at least some of the Islamic extremists are in fact manipulated by Western secret services. I don't know, but I do know that there are no nearly 15 years of "War On Terrorism", in which the terrorists made around 3000 to 4000 Western victims.

Here is Goering again:

3. The Increasingly Horrible Truths About the Brutal U.S. Hospital Bombings

The third item today is by Laura Gottesdiener on Alternet (and originally on TomDispatch):
  • The Increasingly Horrible Truths About the Brutal U.S. Hospital Bombings
This is from near the beginning:
After all, what do I know? I wasn’t there when the American gunship began firing on that hospital Doctors Without Borders ran in Kunduz, and I didn’t get there afterwards either.  Nor was I in Yemen’s Saada province a few weeks later when a Doctors Without Borders health clinic was bombed.

If you live here and don’t listen to Democracy Now!, odds are you didn’t even know that second strike happened. How is it possible, I think to myself, that bombing medical facilities isn’t front-page news?
This is part of a much longer story, that I liked, but leave to your interests. But here is my answer to the last question: Because most "frontpages" are now owned by a few very rich men who don't want that kind of news.

You - still - can get parts of the real news, but to do so you have to look outside the mainstream media. And most people don't - they lack the time or the intelligence or the taste.

Here is a summary:

In all, 30 people died: 13 staff members, 10 patients, and seven bodies so badly burned that, more than a month later, the remains have not yet been identified.

The hospital closed that same day. About two weeks later, a U.S. tank rammed into the shell of the charred building, possibly destroying evidence of what that AC-130 had done. All told, MSF General Director Christopher Stokes concluded: “The view from inside the hospital is that this attack was conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy. But we don’t know why.”

Yes, Christopher Stokes is clearly right (as you will see if you read all of the article). Here is one reason why this may have happened:

The American military decided MSF is impartial, and it only wants the victims of its wars to be treated by medical staff that embraces the American military ends.

That seems the most likely hypothesis to account for what did happen. I agree I have no direct evidence other than what is listed in the article.

4. Updated: Everything We Know About the Paris Attacks

The fourth item today is by Max J. Rosenthal on Mother Jones:
  • Updated: Everything We Know About the Paris Attacks
This starts as follows:
  • European authorities mount 160 raids.
  • French fighters planes bomb ISIS stronghold in Syria.
  • A manhunt is underway for a possible eighth attacker who may have escaped.
  • ISIS claims responsibility for the attacks in Paris.
  • At least 129 people have been killed and 352 injured.
  • Seven attackers have been killed, six of them in suicide bombings and one in a police shoot-out.
  • Many of the deaths were at the Bataclan concert hall, which police stormed after terrorists took scores of hostages at a concert by California band Eagles of Death Metal.
  • Attacks hit at least seven sites, including multiple shootings and bombings.
  • French President François Hollande mobilized military and shut down borders. The country has declared a state of emergency.
I copy it because it seems correct. And this is the top of a much larger file of "Updates", starting at 11/13/15, 6:36 pm.

5. Study 329: Big Risk

The last item today is by David Healy (<-Wikipedia) on his site:
  • Study 329: Big Risk
This starts as follows, and is here because I am ill since 37 years, and there have been quite a few changes in medicine over the last 35 years, all of which lessened the medical services I and others get, while vastly increasing the costs [1].

Also, I should start with explaining that in medical and psychiatric circles "Study 329" is a well-known case example of the very many things that go wrong in modern medicine, it seems mostly intentionally, simply because these measures much increased the welfare of the pharmaceutical companies and of the medical doctors who work for them:

Study 329 seems to fit the classic picture. It has Big Pharma ghostwriting articles, hiding data, corrupting the scientific process and leaving a trail of death, disability and grieving relatives in its wake.

Pharma began in the middle years of the nineteenth century when advances in the chemical and biological sciences underpinned the development of analgesics and antipyretics and later antibiotics. Within medicine, these were the first drugs that reliably worked. Within business, they led to developments in patenting and trade-marking, big profits and the emergence of an industrial- scientific complex.

The Second World War put a premium on pharmaceuticals. The development of Atabrine for malaria and Penicillin for everything else helped win the War – a lesson not lost on Governments. Pharma had become a strategic industry.

Incidentally, David Healy is a practising psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry in Wales. If you want to know - a whole lot - more about Study 329, the best reference is to many files written by an American psychiatrists, 1 boring old man. (These are two of the few psychiatrists I still mostly trust.)

There is this on the ever growing influence and power of non-medical men at the top of medical companies (for these have a much better eye for profits, it seems):

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Little Pharma called in management consultants in a bid to keep the goose laying the golden eggs. These outfits advocated outsourcing clinical trials to Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) and medical writing to Ghost Writing Agencies. They also advocated having businessmen and marketers as CEOs of the company rather than chemists or scientists or medics. They insisted on five year development plans that put a premium on the selling and reselling of popular diseases where even less effective products could be made into blockbusters rather than developing medicines for conditions that had no treatments. If the company was in the business of making profits, this switch in focus was a no brainer.

This advice created the very model of a modern major pharmaceutical – out of which came Big Pharma and Study 329.

Here is the difference this made to patients (apart from getting medicines and treatments one did not ask for and cannot see the reasons for):

Unlike any time in medicine hitherto, when you go to a doctor today you will have to take your place in a queue of people, many of whom have been summoned to a consultation by a clinic screening for a wide range of things none of which bother the people who have been summoned. They will come to the clinic unaware of any problem but will leave with diagnoses and on medication. The doctors call them in not out of concern for them but because the doctors have targets to meet in order to get reimbursed – targets set by Big Risk.

Precisely. I simply refuse to do any of this, not only because I think this is an utterly useless way of making money, but also because I have been systematically discriminated for 37 years (by doctors who assured me I couldn't have M.E. for there are no unexplained diseases: whoever thinks so is - the vast majority of psychiatrists say [2] - not sane).

When you do get in to see the doctor, you’ll find someone who adheres to Guidelines. She will do so in good faith, figuring this the way to bring the best evidence to bear on your case. She will not recognize she is being guided to see problems in certain ways and to deliver on patent treatments.

Yes, indeed. And she also had half of the education (at best) medical people of my age (65) got, 35 and more years ago.

In case you are not worried (and I grant few who are not ill for quite a while are worried) there is this:

In all of medicine, one of the greatest sources of morbidity and mortality – perhaps the greatest – now stems from the treatments patients have been put on, the multiplication of hazards by polypharmacy and the denial of the possibility of risks by corporations whose own health depends on the continuing consumption of the greatest possible number of medications by the greatest possible number of patients from the earliest possible age.

Precisely. I refuse to do so, and since I am a psychologist I probably can persist in that, but otherwise medics and medical firms meanwhile would have gotten several thousands of dollars (by means of my legally binding "medical insurance", that costs more than 6 times as much as my non-legally binding much better health insurance did till ca. 2000) for things they "wanted" to do "for me" as part of some general "medical" program for thousands, on the basis of compaints I don't have, for therapies and medicines I don't believe in, simply because they are clearly designed to help the medics get more money, and the medical firms get more profits.

For me that is deeply immoral and unethical.


[1] The "health-insurance" that is now legally binding all Dutchmen (they have to have it, and have to pay it, regardless) is over 6 times as expensive as was the health insurance I had until I was 52, and is far less good: Even the sleeping pills I do need I have to pay myself (at extortionate prices).

The only reason I have to pay 6 1/2 times as much as I did before is to make the pharmaceutical and risk organizations that provide these "health-insurances" a lot richer, and also to keep the medical doctors in the highest income bracket.

[2] They really say so, in droves also. Why? Because everyone with unexplained diseases thus becomes their patients, to be treated with anti-depressives, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Gymnastics Presented As Therapy.
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