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Posts uit mei 14, 2006 weergeven

The Banality of Evil

Edward S. Herman's beroemde essay over: 'The Banality of Evil. From the book Triumph of the Market. The concept of the banality of evil came into prominence following the publication of Hannah Arendt's 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which was based on the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt's thesis was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes, like Eichmann, a top administrator in the machinery of the Nazi death camps, may not be crazy fanatics at all, but rather ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats.Normalizing the UnthinkableDoing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on "normalization." This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as "the way things are done." There is usually a division of labor in doing and …

Iran 48

De Amerikaanse dissident en emeritus hoogleraar Edward S. Herman schrijft in CounterPunch: T'he Fourth "Supreme International Crime" in Seven Years is Already Underway, with the Support of the Free Press and the "International Community"
US Aggression-Time Once Again: Target Iran. With the United States having initiated wars in violation of the UN Charter, and hence engaged in the "supreme international crime,"1 against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq in 1999, 2001, and 2003, one might have expected that its commencement of a fourth aggression only a few years later against Iran would arouse the UN, EU, other international institutions and NGOs, and even the supposedly moral and independent Free Press, to serious protest and counter-action, including referral to the UN Security Council under Chapter VII's "threat of peace" articles and support of possible diplomatic and economic sanctions. This has not happened, and in fact the Bush adm…

Martelen 43

De American Civil Liberties Union bericht: 'ACLU Applauds Call to Hold U.S. Accountable for Torture and Abuse. U.N. Committee Against Torture Criticizes U.S. Failure to Comply with Torture Treaty at Home and Abroad.
NEW YORK -- The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the recommendations of the U.N. Committee Against Torture which called for an end to U.S. policies that condone torture and abuse. The recommendations come at the conclusion of a three-week session during which the U.N. body of 10 independent experts on torture scrutinized a periodic report by the U.S. government and found it sorely lacking. "The message from the torture committee leaves no doubt that the U.S. policies and practices at home and abroad violated bedrock principles against torture and abuse," said Jamil Dakwar, an attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program who was in Geneva monitoring the session. "If America is to regain its status as a beacon of freedom around the world, the U.…

Economische Vluchtelingen 2

De onafhankelijke Amerikaanse journalist Chris Floyd schrijft: 'Border Lords: Immigration Plan is Crony Pork Bonanza. My, my, my, isn't this a surprise! It turns out that George W. Bush's "Secure Border Initiative" to "control illegal immigration" is actually just a great big pork trough for his cronies and benefactors in the weapons biz to cash in big-time off the suffering and poverty of dusky foreigners. Now where have we seen that before? The NYT reports that Bush is limbering up the federal checkbook to funnel even more millions to masters of war like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, still feasting sumptuously off the bloated corpse of conquered Iraq. These fine purveyors of contemporary "defense" (who says irony is dead?) will soon string the border with all manner of hugely expensive high-tech gizmonics designed to keep the hemisphere's most desperate and vulnerable people from crossing over to take the slave-wage, no…

Martelen 42

De Washington Post bericht: 'UN: US Should Close Gitmo Facility. Geneva - The United States should close its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and avoid using secret detention facilities in its war on terror, a U.N. panel report released Friday said. In an 11-page report on its review of US adherence to the Treaty Against Torture, the committee said detainees should not be returned to any state where they could face a "real risk" of being tortured. "The state party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility," said the U.N. Committee Against Torture, a panel of 10 independent experts on adherence to the U.N. Convention Against Torture. The United States should also ensure that no one is detained in secret detention facilities under its control and disclose the existence of any such places, the report said. The committee said it was concerned that detainees were being held for protracted periods with insufficient legal safe…

Nederland en Afghanistan 73

De Washington Post bericht: 'Italian Leader Calls Iraq Occupation "Grave Error." Another U.S. ally in the war in Iraq distanced itself from the U.S.- led effort today when Italy's new prime minister, Romano Prodi, called the invasion and occupation a "grave error" and said he would propose a withdrawal of Italian troops. "We consider the war in Iraq and the occupation of the country a grave error," Prodi told the upper house of Parliament, wire services reported. "It has not resolved, but complicated the situation of security." Italy has about 3,000 troops in Iraq in peacekeeping roles. They are already due to be withdrawn in groups before the end of the year. Prodi did not set forth a timetable for withdrawal and it was unclear whether he would speed up the departure. "It is the intention of this government to propose to Parliament the return of our troops from Iraq," Prodi said. Prodi's coalition narrowly defeated that of…

De Pro Israel Lobby 8

De Britse Midden-Oosten correpondent van de Independent, Robert Fisk, schrijft: 'United States of Israel? When two of America's most distinguished academics dared to suggest that US foreign policy was being driven by a powerful 'Israel Lobby' whose influence was incompatible with their nation's own interests, they knew they would face allegations of anti-Semitism. But the episode has prompted America's Jewish liberals to confront their own complacency. Might the tide be turning? -- - Stephen Walt towers over me as we walk in the Harvard sunshine past Eliot Street, a big man who needs to be big right now (he's one of two authors of an academic paper on the influence of America's Jewish lobby) but whose fame, or notoriety, depending on your point of view, is of no interest to him. "John and I have deliberately avoided the television shows because we don't think we can discuss these important issues in 10 minutes. It would become 'J' and &…

Hirsi Ali 16

Paul Jan Petersen uit Enschede wees mij op een oud bericht uit de Leewarder Courant betreffende de oud-wethouder van Borculo en huidige VVD minister van Defensie Henk Kamp en partijgenoot van Hirsi Magan: 'Media: VVD: asielbeleid van Verdonk nog harder. LEEUWARDEN - De VVD Friesland vindt dat het asielbeleid van minister Rita Verdonk nog wel kan worden aangescherpt. Opmerkingen in die richting van minister van defensie Henk Kamp gisteravond in Leeuwarden werden met applaus begroet. "Wij zijn in Nederland veel te slap geweest op asielgebied. Zijn we nu te hard? Ik vind van niet en ik spoor Verdonk geregeld aan wat harder te zijn.''Kamp deed zijn uitspraken tijdens de ledenvergadering van de Friese liberalen in het Oranje Hotel. Hij reageerde op een oproep van Karen Vasbinder, voorzitter van de VVD in Leeu warden. Zij noemde het beleid van Verdonk "keihard, bedoeld om af te schrikken. Ik denk dat op termijn een wat socialer beleid gewenst is.'' Dat pleidooi…

Femke Halsema

Ik heb net dit verzoek gedaan aan Femke Halsema van Groen Links: 'Geachte mevrouw HalsemaVoor zover ik weet heeft u nog geen spoeddebat aangevraagd voor het Iraakse gezin Naif, terwijl u wel onmiddellijk in actie kwam in het geval van Hirsi Magan. Zie: http://www.trouw.nl/hetnieuws/nederland … 6rsquo%3B. Toch zijn beide zaken volgens prof. mr. H.U.Jessurun d’Oliveira, oud-hoogleraar migratierecht aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam nagenoeg identiek. Bovendien stelt Ulli d’Oliveira in de Volkskrant: ‘Het is… onverdedigbaar om blindelings en zonder enige afweging, buiten de gesloten wettelijke regeling van verliesgronden om, vast te houden aan het idee dat de naturalisatie niet tot stand gekomen is als er sprake is van een valse naam of geboortedatum.’ Terwijl Hirsi Magan volgens de Bush-regering ‘meer dan welkom is in de Verenigde Staten’ om daar de gelederen van de neoconservatieven te versterken, (en die volgens een mij bekende journalist van de New York Times al lang geleden in 2…

Economische Vluchtelingen

Hirsi Magan komt net op tijd om de gelederen van extreem rechts in de Verenigde Staten te versterken nu gekleurde economische vluchtelingen, zoals zijzelf eens was, door de neocons bedreigd worden. Progreso Weekly bericht: 'Once More Immigration: Bush Bows to Xenophobia. Caught between the rock of economic and demographic reality (demand for immigrant labor, the aging of the U.S. population, a sharp increase in Latino voters) and the hard place of widespread xenophobia in the Republican Party, George W. Bush showed his hand. Torn between selling his party to the growing Latino electorate and responding to fierce anti-immigration sentiment among hard core Republicans, Bush made his choice: He went with the immigration hardliners. Deploying thousands of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border sends a clear message to the Minutemen and their brethren. It is a demagogic, desperate message sent by a President whose popularity is sinking like a rock. The latest polls show fewer …

Irak 77

Michael Schwartz, Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, has written extensively on popular protest and insurgency, and on American business and government dynamics. His work on Iraq has appeared on numerous internet sites, including Tomdispatch, Asia Times, Mother Jones, and ZNet; and in print in Contexts, Against the Current, and Z Magazine. His books include Radical Protest and Social Structure, and Social Policy and the Conservative Agenda (edited, with Clarence Lo).
In TomDispatch schrijft hij: 'How the Bush Administration Deconstructed Iraq. Media coverage of the Iraq War has generally portrayed the current quagmire as the result of an American failure to achieve a set of otherwise admirable goals: suppressing the insurgency that is intimidating the Iraqi people and sabotaging the economy; stopping the destructive ethno-religious violence that has become a major source of civilian casualties; build…

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 4

MSNBC bericht: 'Lawmaker: Marines Killed Iraqis "In Cold Blood." Navy conducting war crimes probe into November violence in Haditha. Washington - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday. From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children. One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. "The Americans came into the room where my father was praying," she said, "and shot him." On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true. Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps' own evidence appears to show Murtha is right. A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroo…

Nederland en Afghanistan 72

De Independent bericht: 'Western projects are bleeding Afghanistan dry, says minister.
Samihullah is just the kind of returned refugee his country needs. Aged 30, with a wife and two children, he was well educated in the camps across the border in Pakistan. After the Taliban were pushed out in 2001, he returned home and joined the Afghan Ministry of Education, where he helped to rebuild the higher-education sector. But not any more. I found him working as a security guard at the UN's World Food Programme headquarters in Kabul. With allowances he earns a total of $270 a month there, compared with $50 at the Afghan higher education. The decision to move jobs was not a hard one. But it is the international system that is sucking Afghanistan dry. Any returnee who speaks English can be guaranteed a job at a higher level in the UN, or the myriad big NGOs that have set up shop in Kabul. Ashraf Ghani, who was Finance Minister in the first year after the Taliban fell, and is now chancel…

Hirsi Ali 15

Nu.NL bericht: 'Tientallen vreemdelingen in vrachtwagen Hoek van Holland. HOEK VAN HOLLAND - De marechaussee heeft woensdagavond in Hoek van Holland 27 vreemdelingen aangetroffen die zich hadden verscholen in een vrachtwagen. Dat maakte het ministerie van Defensie, waar de marechaussee onder valt, donderdag bekend. De marechaussee trof de vreemdelingen aan tijdens een reguliere controle. Ze zaten verstopt achter pallets met tomaten. De truckchauffeur, een 42-jarige man uit Spijkenisse, was van plan de veerboot naar Engeland te nemen. Hij is aangehouden en wordt verdacht van mensensmokkel.' Lees verder:
http://www.nu.nl/news.jsp?n=734771&c=11&rss Uit de bijgaande foto maak ik op dat dit onderzoek naar economische vluchtelingen uitgevoerd werd door zwaar bewapende manschappen van de Koninklijke Marechaussee. Hoe anders is de behandeling van Hirsi Magan, het voormalige VVD Kamerlid dat de gelederen gaat versterken van de neoconservatieven rondom Bush en die op dit moment e…

Hirsi Ali 14

Trouw bericht: '"Hirsi Ali gered, dan wij ook." Terwijl de politiek zich druk maakt om het paspoort van Hirsi Ali, wacht het Iraakse gezin Naif gelaten op zijn uitzetting. Maar er is hoop.
De Hoge Raad oordeelde in november vorig jaar dat de naturalisatie van het gezin ongeldig is. Deze uitspraak gaf minister Verdonk (vreemdelingenzaken) de basis voor haar standpunt dat ook de naturalisatie van Hirsi Ali geen effect gehad heeft. Bij de aanvraag van zowel hun verblijfsvergunning als naturalisatie, gaf het gezin Naif destijds verkeerde gegevens op. „Het was geen kwade wil”, betoogt Achmed Naif (40), „we wilden onze familie in Irak beschermen.” Achmed zegt dat ze moesten vluchten voor Koerdische rebellen. De Hoge Raad bepaalde dat het besluit waarmee aan Achmed en zijn gezin het Nederlanderschap was verleend, geen rechtsgevolg kon hebben omdat hun ware naam niet in het besluit vermeld was. Niet zij, maar niet bestaande mensen waren genaturaliseerd, aldus de Raad. Achmed woon…

Honger in de Wereld 2

Al die opwinding, al die aandacht voor iemand die de grenzen wil sluiten voor de armen en wanhopigen. Iemand uit een werelddeel waar kinderen van honger sterven. Maar stervende kinderen zijn allang geen nieuws meer. De Amerikaanse journalist Norman Solomon schrijft: ' Corporate Media and Advocacy Journalism. We see this kind of news story now and again. Sometimes we try to imagine the people behind the numbers, the human realities underneath the surface abstractions. But overall, the responses testify to journalism’s failings -- and our own. “Poor nutrition contributes to the deaths of some 5.6 million children every year,” an Associated Press dispatch said early this month, citing new data from the U.N. Children’s Fund. And: “In its report, UNICEF said one of every four children under age 5, including 146 million children in the developing world, is underweight.” The future is bleak for many children who will be born in the next decade. As AP noted, “the world has fallen far shor…

Hirsi Ali 13

Ooit schreef de grote Huizinga hoe in een klein burgerlijk land als Nederland 'hypocrisie en farizeisme... individu en gemeenschap [belagen],' en hoe het gezag er behept is met 'een lichte graad van knoeierij of bevoorrechting van vriendjes.' De hysterische reacties op de Hirsi Magan affaire van zowel politiek links als rechts en het opgewonden toontje van de fabrikanten van de publieke opinie bewijzen dit opnieuw, ze zijn tekenend voor het provincialisme van Nederland. Trouw schreef dat Hirsi Magan een maatje te groot is voor Nederland. Dat is maar half waar. De hele wereld is een maatje te groot voor Nederland. Dat is vanaf de achttiende eeuw altijd al zo geweest. Het liefst trekt Nederland zich achter zijn dijken en grenzen terug om met elkaar het gezellige polderspel te spelen. Doe maar normaal dan doe je al gek genoeg, ons kent ons en met wat collaboratie en gesjoemel gaan we het leven door. Het buitenland is veel te groot en te bedreigend. Een paar jaar geleden m…

Iran 47

Het Britse dagblad The Herald bericht: 'US spells out plan to bomb.-- -- THE US is updating contingency plans for a non-nuclear strike to cripple Iran's atomic weapon programme if international diplomacy fails, Pentagon sources have confirmed. Strategists are understood to have presented two options for pinpoint strikes using B2 bombers flying directly from bases in Missouri, Guam in the Pacific and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. RAF Fairford in Gloucester also has facilities for B2s but this has been ruled out because of the UK's opposition to military action against Tehran. The main plan calls for a rolling, five-day bombing campaign against 400 key targets in Iran, including 24 nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and radar installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters. At least 75 targets in underground complexes would be attacked with waves of bunker-buster bombs. Iranian radar networks and air defence bases would be struck by submarine-launched Tomah…

Iran 46

En terwijl de Nederlandse politiek zich opwindt over een tamelijk onbenullige affaire voltrekt zich elders het wereldnieuws. Infowars bericht: 'Iranian Oil Bourse Opens for Business: A Final Step Toward US Dollar Collapse & Preemptive Nuclear Strike. The impending opening of the Iranian International Oil Bourse (IOB), set to commence trading next week on the island nation of Kish, strongly increases the chances of an imminent nuclear American-Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear and financial facilities. The electronic oil bourse, much discussed by terrorism expert Webster Tarpley, appears ready to launch in the coming weeks or even days. Because it will offer oil in euros, it may trigger the rapid collapse of the U.S. dollar. Over the past four days, the Western media has finally ended their blackout and acknowledged the possibility of an imminent dollar collapse, as gold reaches nearly $700 an ounce. On Friday, May 5, the Associated Press covered the oil bourse with their artic…

Olie

Le Monde bericht: 'Pipeline Diplomacy. Forget about Iraq: This watchword tacitly in force at the heart of the transatlantic establishment today allows the West to put up a united front opposite the many crises it must confront, of which Iran is the top-ranking star against a background of global energy insecurity. "Today, pipelines have become as sexy as missiles," an American expert recently remarked at the Brussels Forum, a conference organized in the European capital by the German Marshall Fund, an American foundation devoted to strengthening transatlantic ties. "The problem is that you don't gallivant pipelines around the world like aircraft carriers."
For the backdrop to all the areas of tension that worry transatlantic leaders - whether it be Iran, Islamist terrorism, or Russia and its progression - is the energy crisis. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso cites energy as one of the three great transatlantic challenges: the others are tra…

Irak 76

De Amerikaanse journalist Joshua Holland schrijft: 'America's foreign policy elite seems incapable of understanding the limited uses of hard power. Until they do, we'll continue to get into wars like Iraq - over and over again. As the architects of the Iraq war cast about for someone to blame for their debacle, they've turned their sights inward - to the U.S. public. A lack of fortitude among the American people is to blame; only the folks back home can defeat our awe-inspiring military. Others, despairing of the Bush administration's "soft approach" to the Iraq insurgency - and casting hungry eyes toward Tehran - have adopted a feverish, almost genocidal view of the war. If only we had the stomach to bring more firepower to bear on the Iraqi people, they say, "victory" would be assured. In both formulations, the media is ultimately at fault for poisoning Americans' view of the war and sapping our national strength. But the war's advocat…

Hirsi Ali 12

De Hirsi Ali affaire toont aan hoe weinig Nederland van Hirsi Magan heeft begrepen en op haar beurt hoe weinig Hirsi Magan van Nederland heeft begrepen. De meerderheid van de Nederlanders begrijpt kennelijk niet hoe wanhopig miljarden derde wereldbewoners zijn die in een uitzichtloze situatie leven. Die mensen zullen net als Hirsi Magan alles doen om de vleespotten van het Westen te bereiken. Vele duizenden verdrinken in de oceaan in een poging Europa binnen te komen, of ze stikken in vrachtwagens, of vallen in handen van pooiers en slavenhandelaren. De economische vluchtelingen zullen net als Hirsi Magan liegen en bedriegen om een beter leven te krijgen. Elke keer weer dat ik als journalist door de Derde Wereld reisde, schaamde ik me voor de zogeheten Westerse beschaving. Het is een schande dat het rijke Westen zijn grenzen voor de armen sluit. Het is een schande dat ook het Kamerlid Hirsi Magan onlangs nog verklaarde dat ze voor het sluiten van die grenzen is. Zie: http://stanvanhou…

Hirsi Ali 11

De NRC bericht: 'Hirsi Ali wil Nederlanderschap niet kwijt. DEN HAAG (ANP) - Ayaan Hirsi Ali vindt het idee dat ze haar Nederlanderschap kwijtraakt ondraaglijk. "Ik kan niet omgaan met het idee dat ik mijn Nederlandse identiteit verlies", vertelde ze een verslaggeefster van de New York Times dinsdag. GroenLinks heeft een spoeddebat aangevraagd over de perikelen rondom het VVD-Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Als de aanvraag voldoende steun krijgt, zal het debat dinsdag aan het eind van de middag plaatsvinden. Minister Rita Verdonk (Vreemdelingenzaken) liet maandag de Tweede Kamer weten dat Hirsi Ali mogelijk nooit het Nederlanderschap heeft verkregen. Volgens ingewijden legt de van oorsprong Somalische politica dinsdag haar Kamerlidmaatschap neer. Hiertoe is maandagavond besloten tijdens een spoedoverleg tussen haar en de VVD-top. Maandag werd bekend dat ze vertrekt uit Nederland. Vanaf september gaat ze aan de slag bij het American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, een…

Hirsi Ali 10

De Volkskrant bericht: 'Hirsi Ali per 1 september naar Washington. DEN HAAG - Het VVD-Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali treedt per 1 september in dienst van het American Enterprise Institute (AEI), een conservatieve denktank in Washington. Dit zal zij morgen in Den Haag bekend maken. Hirsi Ali bereikte afgelopen week overeenstemming met het Amerikaanse ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken over haar beveiliging. Het was de bedoeling dat Hirsi Ali op 1 mei volgend jaar naar de Verenigde Staten zou vertrekken. Maar omdat zij op 27 augustus haar huis in Den Haag moet ontruimen, heeft zij het AEI verzocht of zij per 1 september terecht kon. De afgelopen maanden heeft Hirsi Ali ook onderhandeld met twee andere denktanks, de Johns Hopkins University (‘te arm’) en de Brookings Institution (‘die zaten niet helemaal op mijn lijn’). Hirsi Ali gaat in de VS haar boek Shortcut to Enlightenment (Een korte weg naar de Verlichting) afmaken. Zij had al geruime tijd het idee dat haar aanwezigheid in Nederland …

Big Brother 15

De World Socialist Web Site bericht: 'NSA phone spying program: a blueprint for mass repression. In the wake of the May 11 revelation by USA Today of a massive telephone spying program by the National Security Agency, directed against nearly every American citizen, the media commentary has deliberately downplayed the sinister nature of the program. This is a deliberate cover-up of what is without question the most wide-ranging invasion of privacy by the federal government in US history. The press coverage has sought to obscure the vast scale of the data-gathering, as well as the political purposes to which it can be used, in order to lend credence to the Bush administration’s claim that the operation is targeted exclusively at suspected terrorists linked to Al Qaeda. There has not been a single serious media commentary questioning why a supposedly “narrowly focused” program should collect data on an estimated 225 million Americans. Nor has there been any suggestion that the real p…