• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

donderdag 27 oktober 2016

Frank Westerman's Provinciale Schrijverij 31

There is nothing the political establishment will not do -- no lie that they won't tell -- to hold their prestige and power at your expense. And that's what's been happening.
— Donald Trump. 14 oktober 2016

‘Wat Hillary Clinton zei is ook terecht: “hij is ongeschikt,”’ zo stelde Geert Mak op de Nederlandse televisie over presidentskandidaat Donald Trump. Het orakel van Bartlehiem heeft misschien gelijk,  misschien ook niet, want zoals Mak zijn publiek in dezelfde uitzending verzekerde: 'De toekomst is altijd totaal onvoorstelbaar.' Bovendien is, afgaande op zijn voorspellingen voor Europa en de VS, zijn profetische gave nihil. Maar ook al zou hij gelijk hebben over Trump, dan nog blijft uitermate twijfelachtig of de Democratische tegenkandidaat wel een ‘geschikte’ president zal zijn, zo is de overtuiging van een aanzienlijk talloze, goed geïnformeerde Amerikaanse intellectuelen, van zowel Democratische als Republikeinse zijde. Het is ook niet verwonderlijk dat progressieve ‘pro-Sanders’ Democraten weigeren op haar te stemmen. Zij kennen namelijk Hillary Clinton’s doortrapte houding in het verleden. Tijdens zijn oproep om op mevrouw Clinton te stemmen, verzweeg Mak angstvallig de feitelijke opsomming van haar politieke machinaties zoals die zijn beschreven door onder andere de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Stephen Zunes, een bekende deskundige op het gebied van de Amerikaanse buitenlandse politiek. Betreffende de houding van Israel’s fanatiekste politieke ‘friend’ was hem het volgende opgevallen:

During and after her term as a U.S. senator, Hillary Clinton has developed a reputation as one of the most rightwing Democrats on the Israel-Palestine conflict. She has repeatedly sided with Likud-led governments against Israeli progressives and moderates. She has not only condemned Hamas and other Palestinian extremists, but has been critical of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as well. That has bolstered the Israeli right’s contention (bewering. svh) that there are no moderate Palestinians with which to negotiate.

As a U.S. senator, Clinton defended Israel’s colonization efforts in the occupied West Bank and was highly critical of UN efforts to uphold international humanitarian law that forbids transferring civilian populations into territories under foreign belligerent occupation, taking the time to visit a major Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank in a show of support in 2005. She moderated that stance somewhat as secretary of state in expressing concerns over how the rightwing Israeli government’s settlement policies harmed the overall climate of the peace process, but she has refused to acknowledge the illegality of the settlements or demand that Israel abide by international demands to stop building additional settlements. Subsequently, she has argued that the Obama administration pushed too hard in the early years of the administration to get Israel to suspend settlement construction. In 2011, Clinton successfully argued for a U.S. veto of a UN Security Council resolution reiterating the illegality of the settlements and calling for a construction freeze. On this issue, that fit a pattern of Clinton’s disregard for the UN Security Council, which was established precisely to be a vehicle for enforcing international law such as in matters of belligerent foreign occupation. ‘We have consistently over many years said that the United Nations Security Council — and resolutions that would come before the Security Council — is not the right vehicle to advance the goal,’ Clinton has said.

The favoritism toward Israel is all the more glaring given America’s failure or unwillingness to stop Israel’s colonization on its own. When the government of Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reneged on an earlier promise of a temporary and limited freeze and announced massive subsidies for the construction of new settlements on the eve of Clinton’s 2011 visit to Israel, she spoke only of the need for peace talks to resume. She equated the PA’s pursuit of its legal right to have Palestine statehood recognized by the United Nations with Israel’s illegal settlements policy as factors undermining the peace process.

While rejecting Palestinian demands that Israel live up to its previous commitments to freeze settlements on the grounds there should be no pre-conditions to talks, Clinton has at times demanded pre-conditions for Arab participation. For example, in response to President Bush’s invitation for Arab states to attend the Annapolis peace conference in 2007, then-Senator Clinton went on record insisting that Arab states wishing to attend should unilaterally ‘recognize Israel’s right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israel concessions’ and ‘end the Arab League economic boycott of Israel in all its forms.’ The letter made no mention of the establishment of a Palestinian state, an end to the Israeli occupation, the withdrawal of illegal Israeli settlements, or any other Israeli obligations. As James Zogby of the Arab American Institute put it at the time, ‘if the goal is for Arab states not to participate in the upcoming conference, this would be the way to go.’ The Bush administration rejected her demands for such pre-conditions.

Another example of Clinton’s double standards has been in her pledge as a presidential candidate to increase U.S. military aid and diplomatic support for Israel’s rightwing government. This is a government that includes ministers from far right parties who support violent settler militia that have repeatedly attacked Palestinian civilians, oppose recognition of a Palestinian state, and reject the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements by the Israeli government. However, Clinton insists, ‘We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel, and agreed to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority.’

More recently, Clinton has been making a series of excuses as to why Israel cannot make peace despite the Palestine Authority’s acquiescence to virtually all the demands of the Obama administration. For example, the Washington Post noted how she ‘appeared to blame the collapse of direct Israel-Palestinian talks on the wave of Mideast revolutions and unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring, although talks had broken off the previous year.’ Clinton has also said that Israelis cannot be expected to make peace until they ‘know what happens in Syria and whether Jordan will remain stable,’ which most observers recognize will take a very long time; that line of thinking enables Israel to further colonize the West Bank to the point where the establishment of a viable Palestinian state is impossible. What kind of peace settlement she envisions has not been made clear, but she did endorse then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2004 ‘Convergence Plan,’ which would have allowed Israel to annex large areas of Palestinian territory conquered by Israeli forces in the 1967 war, despite the longstanding principle in international law against any country expanding its territory by force and the fact that the plan divides any future Palestinian state into a series of small, non-contiguous cantons surrounded by Israel.

As a U.S. senator, Clinton co-sponsored a resolution which, had it passed, would have established a precedent by referring to the West Bank not as an occupied territory but as a ‘disputed’ territory. This distinction is important for two reasons. The word ‘disputed’ implies that the claims of the West Bank’s Israeli conquerors are as legitimate as the claims of Palestinians who have lived on that land for centuries. And disputed territories — unlike occupied territories — are not covered by the Fourth Geneva Convention and many other international legal statutes. As a lawyer, Clinton must have recognized that such wording had the effect of legitimizing the expansion of a country’s territory by force, a clear violation of the UN Charter.

Hillary Clinton spreekt vaak en graag met de leden van AIPAC, de puissant rijke, fanatieke joods zionistische lobbygroep in de VS. 

Clinton has challenged the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In 2004, the world court ruled by a 14-1 vote (with only the U.S. judge dissenting, largely on a technicality) that Israel, like every country, is obliged to abide by provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Laws of War, and that the international community — as in any other case in which ongoing violations are taking place — is obliged to ensure that international humanitarian law is enforced. At issue was the Israeli government’s ongoing construction of a separation barrier deep inside the occupied Palestinian West Bank, which the World Court recognized — as does the broad consensus of international legal scholarship — as a violation of international humanitarian law. The ICJ ruled that Israel, like any country, had the right to build the barrier along its internationally recognized border for self-defense, but did not have the right to build it inside another country as a means of effectively annexing Palestinian land. In an unprecedented congressional action, Senator Clinton immediately introduced a resolution to put the U.S. Senate on record ‘supporting the construction by Israel of a security fence’ and ‘condemning the decision of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the security fence.” In an effort to render the UN impotent in its enforcement of international law, her resolution (which the Republican-controlled Senate failed to pass as being too extreme) attempted to put the Senate on record ‘urging no further action by the United Nations to delay or prevent the construction of the security fence.’

Overduidelijk is dat Hillary Clinton het internationaal recht alleen accepteert zodra het haar ideologische visie dient, voor de rest trekt zij zich nauwelijks iets aan van de juridische orde in de wereld en geldt voor haar het aloude fascistische adagium ‘might is right.’ Als jurist die staatsrecht doceerde aan de universiteit van Utrecht lapt ook Geert Mak de internationale orde aan zijn laars wanneer hij oproept op Clinton te stemmen, gelijk zijn vader in het interbellum het humanitaire recht schond door als dominee publiekelijk te verklaren dat de nazi-rassenwetten, die de joodse burgers in Duitsland uit het openbare leven verbanden, ‘staatkundig tolerabel’ waren. Maar niemand van de polderpers die Mak junior vraagt waarom hij het recht van de sterkste steunt. Die vraag is taboe, omdat de mainstream-journalist diep ervan overtuigd is dat 'might is right' noodzakelijk is om de bestaande neoliberale orde met massaal geweld te kunnen handhaven. En het onwetende uitsluitend witte publiek van het programma College Tour, behorend tot de 20 procent van de mensheid die over 80 procent van de rijkdommen op aarde beschikt slikte deze overtuiging als zoete koek. De veronderstelling van Mak is zo’n diep ingesleten banaliteit dat zij niet meer besproken hoeft te worden. Weliswaar mag zijn echtgenote, Mietsie Mak, dan wel volhouden dat haar Geert ‘altijd aardig en lief voor iedereen’ is, maar daarbij negeert zij bewust dat miljarden straatarme medemensen de dupe zijn van de ronduit misdadige opvattingen die de bestseller-auteur verspreidt. Het optreden van Geert Mak in College Tour was vanuit publicitair oogpunt een slimme zet, nu zijn nieuwste boek De levens van Jan Six (2016) onlangs op de markt verscheen, maar moreel gesproken was zijn tv-vertoning opnieuw rampzalig, zeker gezien zijn eigen stelling dat hij en de zijnen, ‘chroniqueurs van het heden en verleden, onze taak, het “uitbannen van onwaarheid,”' niet ‘serieus genoeg’ nemen. Een bewijs daarvan gaf de ‘chroniqueur van Amsterdam, Nederland, Europa, en Amerika’ door ook de volgende informatie van  Diana Johnstone te verzwijgen:

Clinton’s claim that ‘it makes no sense for the United Nations to vehemently oppose a fence which is a nonviolent response to terrorism rather than opposing terrorism itself’ was false in that the UN and the world court were only objecting to the barrier being built beyond Israel’s borders. Indeed, in her resolution and elsewhere, she appeared to be deliberately misrepresenting the ICJ’s published opinion, claiming that opposition to the plan of building a barrier in a serpentine fashion deep inside the West Bank as part of an effort to effectively annex large swathes of the occupied territory into Israel was denying Israel its right to self-defense and therefore was proof of an ‘anti-Israel’ bias. In a series of statements and in her resolution, she made no distinction between Israel’s legal right to defend its borders, which the world court upheld, and the land grab to which the court objected.

Clinton has also been an outspoken defender of Israeli military actions, even when the United Nations and reputable international and Israeli human rights groups have documented violations of international humanitarian law. While appropriately condemning terrorism and other attacks on civilian targets by Hamas, Hezbollah, and other extremist groups, she has consistently rejected evidence that Israel has committed war crimes on an even greater scale. For example, since becoming a U.S. senator in early 2001, she has publicly condemned the vast majority of the 135 killings of Israeli children, but not once has she criticized any of the more than 2,000 deaths of Palestinian children.
In the face of widespread criticism by reputable human rights organizations over Israel’s systematic assaults against civilian targets in its April 2002 offensive in the West Bank, Senator Clinton co-sponsored a resolution defending the Israeli actions that claimed they were ‘necessary steps to provide security to its people by dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas.’ She opposed UN efforts to investigate alleged war crimes by Israeli occupation forces and criticized President Bush for calling on Israel to pull back from its violent reconquest of Palestinian cities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

She has vigorously defended Israel’s wars on Gaza. As secretary of state, she took the lead in attempting to block any action by the United Nations in response to a 2009 report by the UN Human Rights Council — headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone (a Zionist Jew) — which documented war crimes by both Israel and Hamas. She claims that the report denied Israel’s right to self-defense, when it in fact explicitly recognized Israel’s right to do so. Since the report’s only objections to Israeli conduct were in regard to attacks on civilian targets, not its military actions against extremist militias lobbing rockets into Israel, it appears that either she was deliberately misrepresenting the report, never bothered to read it before attacking it, or believes killing civilians can constitute legitimate self-defense.

When Israeli forces attacked a UN school housing refugees in the Gaza Strip in July of 2014, killing dozens of civilians, the Obama administration issued a statement saying it was ‘appalled’ by the ‘disgraceful’ shelling. By contrast, Clinton — when pressed about it in her interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic — refused to criticize the massacre, saying that ‘it’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war.’ Though investigators found no evidence of Hamas equipment or military activity anywhere near the school, Clinton falsely alleged that they were firing rockets from an annex to the school. In any case, she argued, when Palestinian civilians die from Israeli attacks, ‘the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.’

Een opvallende parallel tussen Hillary Clinton en Geert Mak is dat, hoewel beiden jurist zijn, zij nooit geprotesteerd hebben tegen het vermoorden van vele duizenden Palestijnse kinderen sinds het sluiten van de Akkoorden van Oslo in 1993. Daarnaast riep Mak op om op een vrouw te stemmen, die het vermoorden van ongewapende Palestijnse burgers geen oorlogsmisdaad acht. Het is niet meteen iets dat men verwacht van een man die ‘altijd' zo 'aardig en lief voor iedereen’ is. Men zou eerder kunnen stellen dat Mak een keiharde opportunist is die, met het oog op zijn handel, de controverse vermijdt. Door angstvallig te zwijgen steunt hij als bekende Nederlander het onrecht, terwijl hij toch weet dat het ‘uitbannen van onwaarheid,’ de belangrijkste taak is van een ‘chroniqueur.’ Wat verzwijgt mijn oude vriend nog meer? Opnieuw, een fragment uit Queen of Chaos. The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton van de Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Diana Johnstone: 

Clinton’s defense of Israeli war crimes is not restricted to Palestinian-populated areas, but includes those that take place in countries with historically close relations with the United States. During the thirty-four-day conflict between Israeli and Hezbollah forces in 2006, which resulted in the deaths of more than eight hundred Lebanese civilians, she responded to the widespread international criticism of the Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure and the high civilian casualties by co-sponsoring a resolution unconditionally endorsing Israel’s war on Lebanon. Failing to distinguish between Israel’s right to self-defense and the large-scale bombing of civilian targets far from any Hezbollah military activity, Clinton asked, ‘If extremist terrorists were launching rocket attacks across the Mexican or Canadian border, would we stand by or would we defend America against these attacks from extremists?’ During and after the fighting, Clinton failed to recognize that most critics of the Israeli actions never questioned Israel’s right to self-defense against Hezbollah, but — in the words of a Human Rights Watch report —  the ‘systematic failure by the IDF to distinguish between combatants and civilians’ and the way in which ‘Israeli forces have consistently launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military gain but excessive civilian cost.’ The report, echoing a similar report by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, noted how ‘in dozens of attacks, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.’ While tens of thousands of Israelis protested the Lebanon war — which the Israeli government later acknowledged was unnecessary and harmful for Israel — Clinton emerged as one of its biggest cheerleaders. While diplomats at the United Nations were desperately working to end the fighting, Clinton spoke at a rally by rightwing groups outside the UN headquarters in New York City where she praised Israel’s efforts to ‘send a message to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, [and] to the Iranians,’ because, in her words, they oppose the United States and Israel’s commitment to ‘life and freedom.’

Clinton has opposed humanitarian efforts supportive of the Palestinians, criticizing a flotilla scheduled to bring relief supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip in 2011, claiming it would ‘provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.’ Not only did she fail to explain how ships with no weapons or weapons components on board (the only cargo on the U.S. ship were letters of solidarity to the Palestinians in that besieged enclave), she also failed to explain why she considered the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the port of Gaza to be ‘Israeli waters’ when the entire international community recognizes Israeli territorial waters as being well to the northeast of the ships’ intended route. Clinton’s State Department issued a public statement designed to discourage Americans from taking part in the flotilla to Gaza because they might be attacked by Israeli forces, yet it never issued a public statement demanding that Israel not attack Americans legally traveling in international waters. The flotilla never went forward, however, after she successfully convinced the Greek government to deny the organizers the right to sail from Greek ports.

A focus of Clinton has been her insistence that the PA was responsible for publishing textbooks promoting ‘anti-Semitism,’ ‘violence,’ and ‘dehumanizing rhetoric.’ The only source she has cited to uphold these charges, however, has been a rightwing Israeli group that calls itself the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP). The group, whose board includes Daniel Pipes and other prominent American neoconservatives, was founded to undermine the peace process following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. CMIP’s claims have long since been refuted, for example in a detailed report released in March 2003 by the Jerusalem-based Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. The center reviewed Palestinian textbooks and tolerance education programs, and concluded that while the textbooks do not openly or adequately reflect the multiethnic, multicultural, and multireligious history of the region, ‘the overall orientation of the curriculum is peaceful.’ The report said the Palestinian textbooks ‘do not openly incite against Israel and the Jews and do not openly incite hatred and violence.’ The report goes on to observe how religious and political tolerance is emphasized in the textbooks. Similar conclusions have been reached in published reports by the Adam Institute, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and Nathan Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (The books Clinton cited were apparently old Egyptian and Jordanian texts found on some library shelves; they were not currently being used as textbooks nor were they supported by the PA.) Yet Clinton has continued to make these charges, emphasizing that the PA’s ‘incitement,’ which she insists is creating a ‘new generation of terrorists,’ more than Israel’s occupation, repression, and settlements, is the driver of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Here, as in forming her support for the Iraq war, Clinton often seems to rely more on rightwing advocacy groups than she does scholarly research.

Het spreekt voor zich dat wanneer Geert Mak hetzelfde zou overkomen als de Palestijnse bevolking elke dag weer overkomt, hij dan verontwaardigd zal eisen dat het onrecht ogenblikkelijk wordt gestopt. Desondanks roept hij het Nederlandse publiek op om hun familieleden en vrienden in de VS ‘op het hart te binden’ om op een sociopate te stemmen die plus royaliste que le roi is, roomser dan de paus, zionistischer dan de zionisten. Kenmerkend is dat Mak het aanbod om zelf polshoogte te nemen in de bezette gebieden heeft afgewimpeld. Hij had geen behoefte eraan om getuige te zijn van  de Joods-Israelische terreur tegen de Palestijnse bevolking, die mede door de steun van de EU van ‘Geen Jorwert zonder Brussel’ al decennialang mogelijk is gemaakt, zowel op economisch, politiek en zelfs militair gebied. Kennelijk vond hij het niet belangrijk genoeg om te weten wat Europa als belangrijkste handelspartner van de zionistische staat uitspookt. Ironisch in dit verband is dat hij in College Tour wel met grote stelligheid vertelde dat vandaag de dag, in tegenstelling tot de zeventiende eeuw van Jan Six, ‘ongelijkheid’ niet meer ‘de norm’ is, daarmee opnieuw aantonend dat zijn wereldbeeld niet verder strekt dan de grenzen van Europa. Dat 64 miljardairs even rijk zijn als de helft van de hele mensheid, die van één tot twee dollar per dag moet zien te overleven, is een werkelijkheid die hem volledig ontgaat. Mak is en blijft een provinciaal. 

Dat Palestijnen in het door Mak's God geschonken ‘beloofde land’ er als tweederangs burgers leven, wil hij niet weten. De miljonair uit Bartlehiem die ‘altijd’ zo ‘aardig en lief voor iedereen’ is, en die vol gereformeerde ‘schuldgevoelens’ zit, is een bekwaam toneelspeler, wiens consequentieloze en vrijblijvende mentaliteit zijn onverschilligheid demonstreert tegenover de Ander. Ook in dit opzicht verschilt hij niet van zijn vader, dominee Catrinus Mak, de verkondiger van het woord van ‘de Verlosser, de Heiland, de zoon van God,’ die ‘voor de zonden van de mens aan het kruis gestorven was.’ Geert Mak typeert zijn vader als een man die ‘op zijn manier met God [wandelde],’ waarmee  in christelijk jargon wordt bedoeld ‘dat je niet uit bent op de waardering van mensen, maar op die van God.’ Het was een karaktertrek van Mak senior die volgens Mak junior ‘zijn leven een bepaalde zorgeloosheid waarmee hij zich soms afsloot voor zijn allernaasten.’ Dit verklaart tevens waarom Catrinus de onderdrukking en uitbuiting van de de volkeren in ‘Ons-Indië’ moeiteloos kon accepteren. Gefocust op zijn God kon hij zich afsluiten voor de Ander, waardoor zelfs zijn echtgenote ‘de prijs voor het lichte leven van haar man betaalde -- zonder dat hij dat ooit zag,’ aldus haar zoon die voorts opmerkt dat zijn moeder, volgens eigen zeggen, ‘in Indië altijd bang was,’ voor ‘het vreemde en ondoorgrondelijke van dit immense land.’ Wat zich buiten de trektocht met God voltrok, zag de godsvruchtige Mak senior niet, net zoals zijn zoon Geert nu blind is voor het leed van de Palestijnen en voor andere volkeren die door de westerse terreur worden getroffen. Vandaar dat hij zonder enige terughoudendheid kan beweren dat ‘ongelijkheid’ niet langer meer ‘de norm’ is, en dat de VS ‘ordebewaker en politieagent’ van de wereld was, die door ‘soft power,’ dus ‘overtuigingskracht’ en zonder  de dreiging met geweld of de toepassing ervan ‘de kracht’ bezit ‘om het debat naar zich toe te trekken, om de agenda van de wereldpolitiek te bepalen.’ Daarbij stelt mijn oude vriend zich niet de vraag hoe het, ondanks de 'soft power,' verklaarbaar is dat de VS sinds 1776 slechts 21 jaar geen oorlog heeft gekend. Dat feit moet evenwel verzwegen blijven, net zoals er een taboe rust op het feit dat rond de 45 procent van de Amerikaanse kiesgerechtigden al een halve eeuw niet meer stemt. Het bedrog mag niet aan de kaak worden gesteld, het dient overeind te blijven. Daarom maakt Geert Mak propaganda voor een land dat zelf geen werkzame democratie kent, dat zijn eigen middenklasse aan het vernietigen is, dat de kloof tussen arm en rijk schrikbarend laat toenemen, dat de mensenrechten en democratie elders in de wereld schendt, en dat desondanks, volgens  ‘de populairste geschiedenisleraar van het land,’ de democratie en mensenrechten op aarde wil verspreiden. De waanzin stijgt hier ten top, en nagenoeg geen enkele journalist in het polderland die dit doorheeft. Binnen het raam van deze waanzinnige voorstelling van zaken dient men Mak’s klemmende advies om toch vooral op de corrupte en agressieve Hillary Clinton te stemmen, te interpreteren. Mevrouw Clinton is samen met haar echtgenoot Bill de initiatiefnemer van The Clinton Foundation, een in 1997 opgerichte stichting die, nog voordat Bill Clinton het Witte Huis verliet, ‘found itself mired in controversy,’ aldus de Amerikaanse auteur en ‘political consultant’ Peter Schweizer in zijn boek Clinton Cash. The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill And Hillary Rich (2015). Schweizer wijst erop dat

The timing of certain contributions raised questions as to whether they were tied to official favors. On October 6, 1999, Anheuser-Busch Companies gave the first of five payments totaling $1 million for the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum (or Clinton Library for short), which was funded in part by donations given through the Clinton Foundation. As the New York Times reported, less than a month earlier ‘the Clinton administration's Federal Trade Commission dropped a bid to regulate beer, wine, and liquor advertising’ allegedly aimed at underage drinkers. 

In May 1999 a bankruptcy attorney from Chicago named William A. Brandt Jr. also pledged $1 million. At the time the Clinton Justice Department was investigating Brandt’s testimony to Congress to determine whether he had lied under oath concerning a Clinton fundraiser and the lobbying of federal officials. Three months later, in August, the Department of Justice dropped the investigation and determined that ‘prosecution is not warranted.’ 

In 1999 Dr. Richard Machado Gonzalez and his lawyer, Miguel Lausell, were lobbying President Clinton to boost Puerto Rican hospital Medicare reimbursements. This would benefit, among others, Machado, who owned one of the eligible hospitals. Eight months prior to Clinton proposing increased Medicare payments, Lausell gave the Clinton Library a $1 million gilt. Machado gave the foundation $100,000 six months after that. 

The controversies reached a fever pitch during Clintons final days in office, when he pardoned billionaire fugitive Marc Rich, an oil trader and financier who had been indicted on numerous charges by US prosecutors and had fled the country. Rich's business ties included a ‘who's who’ of unsavory despots… He owed $48 million in back taxes that he unlawfully tried to avoid and faced the possibility of 325 years in prison. As a result, he was on the FBI's Most Wanted List. On his last day in office, President Clinton infamously pardoned Rich, sending shockwaves through Washington. The pardon came after his ex-wife, Denise Rich, donated $100,000 to Hillary's 2000 Senate campaign, $450,000 to the Clinton Library, and $1 million to the Democratic Party. 

Condemnation of the whole affair was immediate and nearly universal. Maureen Dowd (New York Times-columniste. svh) labeled the Clintons as ‘grifters’ (oplichters. svh) and the New York Times bemoaned President Clinton's ‘outrageous abuse of the pardoning power.’ Former president Jimmy Carter called it ‘disgraceful.’ Even longtime Clinton supporters, like James Carville and Terry McAuliffe, were critical. The Washington Post wondered if the ‘defining characteristic’ of Bill and Hilary Clinton was that ‘they have no capacity for embarrassment.’

Precies hetzelfde gaat op voor Geert Mak. De laatste jaren van mijn langdurige vriendschap met hem vroeg ik me steeds vaker af of hij geen enkele ‘capaciteit voor schaamte’ bezat, wanneer hij zichzelf weer eens publiekelijk dan wel en petit comité met veel stelligheid tegensprak. Wanneer ik hem daarop wees, reageerde hij alsof hij het niet gehoord had. Sterker nog, nadat ik hem publiekelijk begon te bekritiseren, zei hij tegen mij tijdens een verjaardag van een wederzijdse vriendin dat ‘wij tweeën in feite dezelfde opvattingen hebben,’ niet beseffend hoever onze visies uit elkaar liggen. Toen ik hem daarop wees liet hij tenslotte weten dat hij het mij kwalijk nam dat ik de opvattingen van zijn ouders in de jaren dertig anti-semitisch had genoemd, terwijl hij dit anti-semitisme toch zelf zo duidelijk had beschreven in zijn bestseller De eeuw van mijn vader (1999). Het was niet tot hem doorgedrongen dat toen zijn vader, dominee Catrinus Mak, in 1936 publiekelijk had laten weten dat de anti-joodse wetgeving van de nazi’s ‘staatkundig tolerabel’ was, die opvatting uitgesproken anti-semitisch was. Deze al dan niet geacteerde onwetendheid is een groot raadsel. Misschien speelt hier hetzelfde mechanisme mee die Peter Schweizer beschreef bij het commentaar over de schaamteloosheid van ‘Bill and Hillary’:

This last comment expresses a view of the Clintons frequently voiced by journalists and establishment figures over the years. Indeed, speculating on their motives has become something of a Washington parlor game. In this view, either the Clintons are utterly shameless, cynically assuming they will survive whatever scandal comes their way, or they are so convinced of their own virtue and benevolence that they are able to excuse whatever they have to do in the pursuit of their noble ends, no matter how low or unethical. We may never know the answer to this fascinating riddle.  

Either way, the Clintons were just getting started. Once liberated from the White House, Bill hit the lecture circuit, collecting $105.5 million from 2001 through 2012 and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation. Significantly, his biggest payments came not from sources in the United States but from foreign investors, businesses, and governments eager to please the former president — and probably hungry for access to the corridors of American power. Meanwhile, Hillary was quickly rising in the ranks of the US Senate, gaining influence and power, especially on matters concerning national security and foreign policy. When she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, her power prospects rocketed. While Barack Obama’s unexpected victory in the Democratic primaries apparently derailed this inexorable (onverbiddellijke. svh) ascent, she still ended up in an even more powerful position than before.

When President-elect Obama first floated Hillary Clinton's name for secretary of state in late 2008, serious questions arose about the sources of funds donated to various Clinton interests. Many were troubled by the fact that so much of the Clintons' newfound wealth was tied to foreign contributors. During her tenure as a senator, two-thirds of Bill's enormous speaking fees had come from foreign sources. (As we will see, after she became secretary of state, Bill's speaking fees and income from foreign speechmaking ballooned.) There was also the fact that tens of millions of dollars had flowed to the Clinton Foundation from the foreign governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from dozens of foreign financiers. 

Gezien deze achtergrond is geen enkele serieuze westerse waarnemer van de handel en wandel van de Clinton’s bereid om de ongeveer 65 procent van de kiesgerechtigden, die nog de moeite neemt te stemmen, op te roepen op ‘Hillary’ te stemmen. Dat Geert Mak dit wel doet, demonstreert slechts hoe gecorrumpeerd hij is geraakt door wat hij in 2013 het ‘grootkapitaal’ noemde, ‘die ons totaal ontglipt en waar je niks tegen kunt doen!’ Kennelijk juist daarom is mijn oude vriend bereid om het ‘grootkapitaal’ op allerlei manieren te rechtvaardigen, ondanks het feit dat hij claimt het neoliberalisme ‘buitengewoon beklemmend’ te vinden. Behorend tot de politieke gevestigde orde past ook op hem de woorden van Donald Trump dat:

There is nothing the political establishment will not do -- no lie that they won't tell -- to hold their prestige and power at your expense. And that's what's been happening.

Volgende keer meer hierover. 

Frank Westerman's Provinciale Schrijverij 30

In het televisieprogramma College Tour van 14 oktober 2016 verklaarde de journalist Geert Mak:

De toekomst is altijd totaal onvoorstelbaar. Dat heb ik altijd als les geleerd. Als ik denk aan de jaren dertig, een parallel die vaak wordt getrokken, dan denk ik: statusverlies, dat is voor mensen altijd héél erg essentieel. Dat gebeurde toen en dat gebeurt nu weer. 

Opmerkelijk genoeg heeft Mak van dit inzicht niets geleerd, want nog steeds meent hij met grote stelligheid dat hij zijn witte publiek kan adviseren op welke presidentskandidaat de Amerikanen moeten stemmen, ditmaal op Hillary Clinton, omdat Donald Trump vanwege enige kritiek ‘in razernij kan uitbarsten. Zo iemand moet je niet als opperbevelhebber hebben’ en ‘[w]at Hillary Clinton zei is ook terecht: “hij is ongeschikt,”’ aldus ‘de populairste geschiedenisleraar van het land.’ Dat de feiten aantonen dat mevrouw Clinton qua ‘temperament’ tenminste even gevaarlijk is als Trump, is iets dat Mak verzweeg, omdat dit 'statusverlies' zou opleveren. In het christelijk manicheïsme staat tegenover het Kwaad (dus Trump) altijd het Goede (in dit geval Clinton). Dat de wereld veel gecompliceerder is dan de simplistische voorstelling van zaken die de mainstream-pers biedt, is een inzicht dat de bestseller-auteur Mak zich om voor de hand liggende redenen zich niet kan veroorloven. ‘De toekomst’ mag dan wel ‘altijd totaal onvoorstelbaar’ zijn, maar dit weerhoudt mijn oude vriend niet om zonder steekhoudende argumenten te stellen dat Clinton minder gevaarlijk zal zijn dan Trump. Trump wil weliswaar geen gewapend conflict met Rusland, terwijl volgens Amerikaanse deskundigen Clinton daar wel op lijkt aan te sturen, maar dat is een te verwaarlozen detail voor de ‘chroniqueur van Europa,’ die terecht opmerkte dat de ‘mensen héél erg slecht van de geschiedenis [leren].’ Geert Mak zelf is daarvan het levende bewijs. Zijn eigen publiek wordt door hem slecht geïnformeerd en meermaals op het verkeerde been wordt gezet, en daarom kan men van de ‘mensen’ niet verwachten dat ze veel ‘van de geschiedenis’ leren. De geïnteresseerde burger is wat betreft de presidentsverkiezingen aangewezen op Amerikaanse deskundigen die het verkiezingscircus van binnenuit kennen. Iemand als bijvoorbeeld de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Stephen Zunes, die begin 2016 onder de kop ‘Hillary the Hawk’ na een uitgebreid onderzoek naar de politieke keuzes van mevrouw Clinton concludeerde:

Despite Hillary Clinton’s reputation as a liberal, the record suggests her presidency would push America toward a more militaristic approach to the Middle East.

Als één van de voorbeelden gaf Zunes het feit dat Hillary Clinton als senator voor de VS desastreuze inval in Irak stemde, en die ook nog eens jarenlang bleef verdedigen. Zunes:

Clinton finally began calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops when she became a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, but she was critical of her rival Barack Obama’s longstanding antiwar stance. Even though Obama in 2002 (then a state senator in Illinois) had explicitly supported the ongoing international strategy of enforcing sanctions, maintaining an international force as a military deterrent, and returning UN inspectors to Iraq, Clinton charged in a nationally televised interview on Meet the Press on January 14, 2008, that ‘his judgment was that, at the time in 2002, we didn’t need to make any efforts’ to deal with the alleged Iraqi ‘threat’ — essentially repeating President Bush’s argument that anything short of supporting an invasion meant acquiescence to Saddam’s regime. She also criticized Obama’s withdrawal plan.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates writes in his book ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ that Clinton stated in his presence that her opposition to President Bush’s decision in 2007 to reject the bipartisan call of the Iraq Study Group to begin a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops and to instead escalate the number of American combat forces was largely political, given the growing opposition to the war among Democratic voters. Indeed, long before President Bush announced his ‘surge,’ Clinton had called for the United States to send more troops.

Unlike former U.S. Senators John Kerry, Tom Harkin, John Edwards, and other Democratic supporters of the Iraq war resolution, Clinton has never apologized for her vote to authorize force. She has, however, said that she now ‘regrets’ her vote, which she refers to as a ‘mistake.’ Yet, arguments against the Iraq war authorization, virtually all of which have turned out to have been accurate, had been clearly articulated for months leading up to the congressional vote. She and her staff met with knowledgeable people who made a strong case against supporting President Bush’s request, including its illegality under the United Nations Charter, providing her with extensive documentation challenging the administration’s arguments, and warning her of the likely repercussions of a U.S. invasion and occupation.

‘All Options on the Table’

Saddam’s Iraq is not the only oil-rich country towards which Clinton has threatened war over its alleged ties to terrorists and Weapons of Mass Destruction. She long insisted that the United States should keep ‘all options on the table’ — clearly an implied threat of unilateral military force — in response to Iran’s nuclear program despite the illegality under the UN Charter of launching such a unilateral attack. Her hawkish stance toward Iran, which is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has disavowed any intention of developing nuclear weapons, stands in contrast with her attitude toward countries such as Israel, Pakistan, and India which are not NPT signatories and have already constructed nuclear weapons. She has shown little regard for the danger of the proliferation by countries allied with the United States, opposing the enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions challenging the programs of Israel, Pakistan, and India, supporting the delivery of nuclear-capable missiles and jet fighters to these countries, and voting to end restrictions on U.S. nuclear cooperation with countries that have not signed on to the NPT.

Clinton has nonetheless insisted that the prospect of Iran developing nuclear weapons ‘must be unacceptable to the entire world’ — challenging the nuclear monopoly of the United States and its allies in the region would somehow ‘shake the foundation of global security to its very core,’ in her view. In 2006, she accused the Bush administration of failing to take the threat of a nuclear Iran seriously enough, criticized the administration for allowing European nations to lead diplomatic efforts, and insisted that the United States should make it clear that military options were still being actively considered. Similarly, during the 2008 presidential campaign, she accused Obama of being ‘naïve’ and ‘irresponsible’ for wanting to engage with Iran diplomatically. Not only did she promise to ‘obliterate’ Iran if it used its nonexistent nuclear weapons to attack Israel, she refused to rule out a U.S. nuclear first strike on that country, saying, ‘I don’t believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons.’

Het spreekt voor zich dat Mak tijdens zijn televisie-oproep om op mevrouw Clinton te stemmen over al deze zaken zweeg, een zwijgen dat mogelijk werd gemaakt doordat tevens programmamaker Twan Huijs hierover zijn kaken stijf op elkaar hield.  College Tour is een amusementsprogramma dat niet verstoord moet worden door onwelgevallige feiten, of een geheel andere kijk op de werkelijkheid dan de officiële versie ervan. De consensus dient gehandhaafd te blijven, dat is namelijk de taak van de mainstream-media. Daarom opnieuw professor Zunes:

As with Iraq, she has made a number of alarmist statements regarding Iran, such as falsely claiming in 2007 that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, even though International Atomic Energy Agency and independent arms control specialists, as well as a subsequent National Intelligence Estimate, indicated that Iran’s nuclear program at that time had no military component. Clinton supported the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment calling on President Bush to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group, which the Bush administration correctly recognized as an irresponsibly sweeping characterization of an organization that also controls major civilian administration, business, and educational institutions. The amendment declared that ‘it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence… of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ language which many feared could be used as a de facto authorization for war.

Her hawkish stance towards Iran continued after she became Obama’s first secretary of state in 2009. In Michael Crowley’s 2014 story in TIME, Obama administration officials noted how she was ‘skeptical of diplomacy with Iran, and firmly opposed to talk of a “containment” policy that would be an alternative to military action should negotiations with Tehran fail.’ Clinton disapproved of the opposition expressed by Pentagon officials regarding a possible U.S. attack on Iran because she insisted ‘the Iranians had to believe we would use force if diplomacy failed.’ In an August 2014 interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, when she was no longer in the administration, she took a much harder line on Iranian nuclear enrichment than the United States and its negotiating partners recognized was realistic, leading some to suspect she was actually pushing for military intervention.

Clinton, by then an announced candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, did end up endorsing the 2015 nuclear agreement. Opposing a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting Democratic president, especially one with strong Democratic support, would have been politically untenable. Yet, Clinton’s hardline views toward the Islamic Republic remain palpable. For example, in a speech in September 2015 at the Brookings Institution, she claimed that Iran’s leaders ‘talk about wiping Israel off the face of the map’ — a gross distortion routinely parroted by hardliners in Washington. The original statement was uttered by revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini a quarter century earlier and quoted in 2005 by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (who left office in 2013). Moreover, there is no such idiom in Farsi for ‘wiping off the map.’ Khomeini’s statement was in a passive tense and asserted his belief that Israel should no longer be a Jewish nation state, not that the country’s inhabitants should be annihilated. Yet, during her speech, Clinton kept repeating for emphasis, ‘They vowed to destroy Israel. And that’s worth saying again. They vowed to destroy Israel.’

Clinton often seems oblivious to the contradictions in her views and rhetoric. For example, to challenge Iran, an authoritarian theocratic regime which backs extremist Islamist groups, she has pledged to ‘sustain a robust military presence in the region’ and ‘increase security cooperation with our Gulf allies’ — namely, other authoritarian theocratic regimes like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, which also back extremist Islamist groups.

She has also repeated neoconservative talking points on alleged Iranian interference in various Middle Eastern conflicts. For example, she has decried Iran’s ‘involvement in and influence over Iraq,’ an ironic complaint for someone who voted to authorize the overthrow of the anti-Iranian secular government of Saddam Hussein despite his widely predicted replacement by pro-Iranian Shiite fundamentalist parties. As a U.S. senator, she went on record repeating a whole series of false, exaggerated, and unproven charges by Bush administration officials regarding Iranian support for the Iraqi insurgency, even though the vast majority of foreign support for the insurgency was coming from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries and that the majority of the insurgents attacking U.S. occupation forces were fanatically anti-Iranian and anti-Shiite.

She has also gone on record holding ‘Iran responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel.’ Presumably since she realizes that relations between Iran and Hamas — who are supporting opposing sides in the Syrian civil war — are actually quite limited, she has not called for specific actions regarding this alleged link. But she has pledged to make it a priority as president to cut off Iran’s ability to fund and arm Hezbollah, including calling on U.S. allies to somehow block Iranian planes from entering Syria. In addition, notwithstanding the provisions in the nuclear agreement to drop sanctions against Iran, she has called on Congress to ‘close any gaps’ in the existing sanctions on non-nuclear issues.

When Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her principal rival for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, suggested taking steps to eventually normalize diplomatic relations with Iran, the Clinton campaign attacked him as being irresponsible and naïve. Despite the fact that the vast majority of U.S. allies already have diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic, a campaign spokesperson insisted it would somehow ‘cause very real consternation among our allies and partners.’

Presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an 'existential threat to Israel,' en 'Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.'

Deels is Mak’s oproep om op de ‘war-hawk’ Hillary Clinton te stemmen verklaarbaar uit het feit dat hij en de rest van de mainstream-journalisten de gewelddadige interventies van Washington in soevereine landen zien als de politiek van de ‘ordebewaker en politieagent’ in de wereld, te weten: de VS. sinds 1945. Volgens Mak ‘brachten’ de VS al in het begin van de twintigste eeuw ‘een begin van orde in de mondiale politiek en economie.' In zijn bestseller Reizen zonder John. Op zoek naarAmerika (2012) toonde hij zich voorts laaiend enthousiast over ‘het vitale karakter van de Amerikaanse democratie.’ Hoe die ‘vitale’ democratie erin is geslaagd om 0,1 procent van de bevolking net zo rijk te maken als de onderste 90 procent van de Amerikanen bijeen, verzwijgt mijn oude vriend Geert. Kennelijk moeten we ervan uitgaan dat dit juist een teken is van ‘het vitale karakter van de Amerikaanse democratie,’ of zoiets. Met een dergelijke binnenlandse politiek, die leidt tot een steeds bredere kloof tussen arm en rijk (en waarbij nu ook een aanzienlijk deel van de middenklasse is vernietigd), dient men zich af te vragen hoe 'vitaal' het karakter van de buitenlandse politiek van de VS is wat betreft ordebewaking? Opnieuw Stephen Zunes over Hillary Clinton:

 Dictators and Democrats

Though bringing democracy to Iraq was one of the rationales Hillary Clinton gave for supporting the invasion of that country, she has not been as supportive of democratic movements struggling against American allies. During the first two weeks of protests in Tunisia against the dictatorial regime of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in December 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her concern over the impact of the ‘unrest and instability’ on the ‘very positive aspects of our relationship with Tunisia.’ She insisted that the United States was ‘not taking sides’ in the struggle between the corrupt authoritarian government and the pro-democracy demonstrators, and that she would ‘wait and see’ before communicating directly with Ben Ali or his ministers. Nearly four weeks after the outbreak of protests, she finally acknowledged some of the grievances of the demonstrators, saying ‘one of my biggest concerns in this entire region are the many young people without economic opportunities in their home countries.’ Rather than calling for a more democratic and accountable government in Tunisia, however, her suggestion for resolving the crisis was calling for the economies of Tunisia and other North African states ‘to be more open.’ Ironically, Tunisia under the Ben Ali regime — more than almost any country in the region — had been following the dictates of Washington and the International Monetary Fund in instituting ‘structural adjustment programs’ privatizing much of its economy and allowing for an unprecedented level of ‘free trade.’

Just two days after the interview in which she appeared to back the Ben Ali regime, as the protests escalated further, Clinton took a more proactive stance at a meeting in Qatar, where she noted that ‘people have grown tired of corrupt institutions and a stagnant political order’ and called for ‘political reforms that will create the space young people are demanding, to participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives.’ By this point, however, Tunisians were making clear they were not interested in simply ‘political reforms’ but the downfall of the regime, which took place the following day.

Clinton took a similarly cautious approach regarding the Egyptian uprising, which began a week and a half later on January 25. In the initial days of the protests, despite the government’s brutal crackdown, she refused to do more than encourage the regime to allow for peaceable assembly. Despite appearances to the contrary, Clinton insisted that ‘the country was stable’ and that the Mubarak government was ‘looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,’ despite the failure of the regime in its nearly thirty years in power to do so. As protests continued, she issued a statement simply calling on the regime to reform from within rather than supporting the movement’s demand for the downfall of the dictatorship.

After two weeks of protests, Clinton pressed vigorously for restraint by security forces and finally called for an ‘orderly, peaceful transition’ to a ‘real democracy’ in Egypt, but still refused to demand that Mubarak had to step down, insisting that ‘it’s not a question of who retains power. That should not be the issue. It’s how are we going to respond to the legitimate needs and grievances expressed by the Egyptian people and chart a new path.’ On the one hand, she recognized that whether Mubarak would remain in power ‘is going to be up to the Egyptian people.’ On the other hand, she continued to speak in terms of reforms coming from within the regime, stating that U.S. policy was to ‘help clear the air so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak, with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to… plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.’ As the repression continued to worsen and demands for suspending U.S. military assistance to the regime increased, she insisted ‘there is no discussion of cutting off aid.’ As late as February 6, when Mubarak’s fall appeared imminent, Clinton was publicly advocating a leadership role for Mubarak’s newly named vice president. That was General Omar Suleiman, the longtime head of Egypt’s feared general intelligence agency, who among other things had played a key role in the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert rendition program under which suspected terrorists were handed over to third-party governments to be interrogated and in some cases were tortured. In discussions within the Obama administration, she pushed for the idea of encouraging Mubarak to initiate a gradual transition of power, disagreeing with Obama’s eventual recognition that the U.S.-backed dictator had to step down immediately. In her book Hard Choices, a memoir of her tenure as secretary of state written three years later, Clinton noted, ‘I was concerned that we not be seen as pushing a longtime partner out the door.’

After Saudi Arabian forces joined those of the Bahraini monarchy in brutally repressing nonviolent pro-democracy demonstrators the following month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Clinton had emerged as one of the ‘leading voices inside the administration urging greater U.S. support for the Bahraini king.’ In Yemen, while she eventually called for authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, she backed the Saudi initiative to have him replaced by his vice president, General Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, rather than support the demands of the pro-democracy movement to allow a broad coalition of opposition activists to form a transition government and prepare for democratic multiparty elections.
Clinton proved an enthusiastic supporter of regime change when it came to dictatorships opposed by the United States, however. While there has been debate regarding the appropriateness and extent of U.S. intervention in Libya and Syria, she consistently allied herself with those advocating U.S. military involvement. She pushed hard and eventually successfully for U.S. intervention in support for rebel forces in Libya, over the objections of key Obama administration officials, including the normally hawkish Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. While the Arab League had requested and the United Nations had authorized the enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians from attack by the forces of dictator Muammar Gadhafi, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces — with Clinton’s encouragement — dramatically expanded their role to essentially become the air force of the rebels. Following the extra-judicial killing of Gadhafi by rebel soldiers, she joked, ‘We came, we saw, he died,’ which some took as an effective endorsement of crimes committed by armed allies against designated enemy leaders.

During the Benghazi hearings in October 2015, when she was asked about that comment, she said it ‘was an expression of relief that the military mission undertaken by NATO and our other partners had achieved its end.’ However, in justifying U.S. military intervention, the Obama administration initially insisted that the goal was ‘to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone,’ not regime change or assassination, underscoring Clinton’s apparent role in dramatically expanding the mission of U.S. forces. The chaos that resulted from the seizure of power by a number of armed militia groups, including Islamist extremists, created a situation where militiamen numbered nearly a quarter million in a country of some six million people. While there appears to be little merit in the Republican accusations against Clinton in regard to her conduct regarding the killing of the U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi by Islamist extremists in September 2012, her role in helping to create the situation that gave rise to such extremists raises more serious questions.

Hillary Clinton's agressieve, en in internationaal rechterlijk opzicht illegale, beleid als minister van Buitenlandse Zaken heeft ertoe geleid dat Mak’s zo geliefde Europese Unie geconfronteerd werd met een massale vluchtelingen-crisis. Maar dit speelde opmerkelijk genoeg geen enkele rol in zijn oproep. Opnieuw toonde hij daarmee zijn onverschilligheid ten opzichte van het recht, en niemand van zijn publiek of de 'vrije pers' die hem hiervoor ter verantwoording riep, hetgeen moet worden verklaard uit het diep verankerd superioriteitsgevoel van zowel de zo populaire en populistische opiniemaker als van zijn witte fans. Allereerst en vooral betekent dit  een groot gevaar voor Europa, waar her en der nucleaire wapens liggen opgeslagen, zowel Washington en de NAVO aansturen op een gewapend conflict met Rusland over Syrië. Stephen Zunes: 

As a U.S. senator, and well before the 2011 uprising in Syria, Clinton was a strong supporter of Republican-led efforts to punish and isolate the Bashar Al-Assad regime. She was a co-sponsor of the 2004 Syrian Accountability Act, demanding that — under threat of tough economic sanctions — Syria unilaterally disarm various weapons systems (similar to those possessed by hostile neighbors), abide by a UN Security Council resolution calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon (which had also been occupied by Israel for twenty-two years without U.S. objection), and return to peace talks with Israel (despite Israel’s categorical refusal to withdraw from the occupied Golan Heights). Her resolution also claimed that the Syrian government was responsible for the deaths of Americans in Iraq and threatened to hold Syria accountable in language that other senators feared could be used by the Bush administration for military strikes.

Not long after the initially nonviolent uprising in Syria turned into a bloody civil war with heavy foreign intervention, the New York Times reported that Clinton pushed hard for the Obama administration to become directly involved militarily in support for Syrian rebels. Irritated that NATO had gone well beyond its mandate in Libya, Russia and China blocked UN action on Syria. Obama eventually agreed with Clinton to begin training and arming some rebels, but despite the half billion dollars invested in the project, only a few dozen rebels made it into the field and they were quickly overrun by rival Islamist rebels of the Al-Nusra Front. Clinton has subsequently insisted that the disorganized and factious nature of the armed secular Syrian opposition notwithstanding, the failure to topple the Syrian regime or contain the rise of Islamist extremists was that the United States did not arm the rebels earlier and more heavily. Indeed, she has essentially blamed Obama for the dramatic rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying his failure ‘to help build up a credible fighting force… left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.’ She has also expressed disappointment that the Obama administration backed down from its threats in 2013 to bomb Syria following the Al-Assad regime’s launch of a deadly sarin gas attack on residential areas near Damascus, even after the government agreed to disarm its chemical weapons.

Wikileaks: Clinton Admits No-Fly Zone Means 'Killing A Lot Of Syrians.' 

Overigens heeft begin 2016 de

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the traces of the sarin gas used in Syria are not linked with the Syrian government's former stockpile of chemical weapons. The report corroborates the Syrian government's assertions that the faction responsible for the chemical attack, as well as 11 other instances of chemical weapons use, was the Syrian opposition.

The report also substantiates last month's claims from Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, cousin of Muammar Gaddafi, who said that the chemical weapons used in the incident had been stolen from Libya and later smuggled into Syria via Turkey by militants.

Zeer aannemelijk is dat de door de VS gesteunde terroristische organisatie al-Nusra verantwoordelijk was voor de aanval met chemische wapens, om op die manier te pogen de VS en de NAVO uit te lokken het Assad-regime te verdrijven, nadat in december 2012 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a ‘strong warning’ to the Syrian government reiterating the president’s declaration that the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people will be ‘a red line for the United States,’

daarbij al-Nusra een argument gevend om chemische wapens in te zetten, wetende dat de gedresseerde westerse mainstream-media ogenblikkelijk moord en brand zouden schreeuwen, en het ten val brengen van het Assad-regime zouden eisen. Maar opnieuw, al deze feiten spelen in Mak’s oproep om op mevrouw Clinton te stemmen geen enkele rol. Ten eerste omdat zijn kennis niet uitstijgt boven de geijkte consensus-berichtgeving van de mainstream-media. Ten tweede omdat hij niet wezenlijk in het onderwerp is geïnteresseerd, zolang hij daartoe niet verplicht wordt, en de polderpers hem maar laat door kakelen. Ten derde is de kennis die hij wel bezit onverteerd. Ik bedoel, het is absoluut onmogelijk om binnen tien jaar zowel een boek over héél Europa als een boek over héél de Verenigde Staten te schrijven, zonder concessies te doen aan de kwaliteit en diepgang van hetgeen beschreven wordt. Het lijkt misschien heel wat, maar is het bij nadere beschouwing niet, althans niet voor een belezen burger. Wanneer een journalist zich oordelen aanmeet over de VS dan dient hij allereerst te weten ‘How We Got Where We Are,’ zoals de uitstekend geïnformeerde Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournaliste Diana Johnstone schreef in haar uitgebreid gedocumenteerde boek Queen of Chaos. The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton (2016). Voordat ik uit haar boek citeer, wil ik eerst de gerenommeerde oud-correspondent van The New York Times, Chris Hedges, citeren, die Johnstone's boek als volgt kwalificeerde:

If you are still fooled by Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as the Democratic Party, then Diana Johnstone’s boek will dispel (verdrijven. svh) the myth that either they or the party are redeemable (te hervormen. svh). Hillary, like her husband, Barack Obama and the Democratic Leadership, are controlled by corporate money and willing accomplices in the crimes of empire. Her appeal to gender holds no more promise for the poor, the working class or the wretched of the earth we tyrannize around the globe than Obama's appeal to race. The predatory (plunderende. svh) engines of corporate capitalism and the security and surveillance state will run as smoothly under her direction as they did under her predecessor. If you doubt this, read this book. 

Op haar beurt gaf ook Coleen Rowley, een gepensioneerde FBI-functionaris en ‘one of TIME Magazine’s Persons of the Year for 2002,’ een uiterst positieve reactie op Johnstone’s boek, hetgeen interessant is, omdat Rowley zelf een alom gerespecteerde FBI-onderzoeker was, die 

[a]fter the September 11, 2001 attacks, wrote a paper for FBI Director Robert Mueller documenting how FBI HQ personnel in Washington, D.C., had mishandled and failed to take action on information provided by the Minneapolis, Minnesota Field Office regarding its investigation of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui... In May 2002 Rowley testified to the Senate and the 9/11 Commission about the FBI's pre-9/11 lapses due to its internal organization and mishandling of information related to the attacks. 

Over Queen of Chaos schreef zij:

Wow! No other book cuts so starkly and accurately to the heart of the current violent chaos engulfing the world, and to the significance of Hillary Rodham Clinton's decades-long love affair with power that has helped push us to this precarious (hachelijk. svh) moment in history. The well-researched chronology and factual details compiled by Diana Johnstone about Honduras, Rwanda, Libya, Bosnia and Kosovo, to Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, turned into bloodbaths and finally into dangerous, failed states, constitutes the. harsh reality that we need to appreciate if, as decent people, we want to regain some moral conscience. But also for our simple self-preservation. 

Certainly Hillary is not the only neocon pyromaniac who likes to set a fire and then laugh when no one can put it out. But she now vies (dingen naar. svh) for leadership of that cabal (kongsi. svh), more and more people will hopefully see through their Orwellian lies, effectively selling perpetual war to the US-NATO-Israel as a noble cause to bring democracy, human rights, peace and love. Self-perpetuating war may indeed make the war profiteers happy and wealthy who so prominently top the the war top the Clinton’s donor list, but it is indeed as stupid as playing with fire. In putting a nuclear-armed Russia in their sights, the story cannot end well for anyone. I can assure that if you read Johnstone's book, you will want to help put out this insanity.

Hier spreekt niet een buitenstaander als Geert Mak die de context niet kent, maar een Amerikaanse insider die de politieke corruptie van dichtbij heeft meegemaakt, heeft onderzocht en in een bredere context weet te plaatsen. Mak speelt met vuur door te suggereren dat Hillary Clinton geen gevaar is voor de wereldvrede, en dat er een kosmische strijd gaande is tussen het absolute goed, versus het absolute kwaad. Gedreven door een combinatie van ijdelheid en een brandend verlangen naar bevestiging heeft mijn oude vriend zich steeds meer ontpopt als een levensgevaarlijk ongeleid projectiel. Hij verzwijgt fundamentele informatie of kent die domweg niet, en schuift tegelijkertijd onwelgevallige feiten terzijde, alsof die irrelevant zijn.  En ook de historische context verzwijgt Mak. In dit verband zou iemand hem eens moeten vragen waarom hij tijdens zijn oproep om op mevrouw Clinton te stemmen, de volgende, publiekelijk toegankelijk, informatie van Diana Johnstone bewust verzweeg:

Starting in 1950, the United States built an economic trap for itself from which it now seems unable to escape. The trap was given a name by Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech as President on January 17,1961: the military-industrial complex (MIC). 

The birth of this monster can be traced to National Security Council document 68, NSC-68, submitted to President Harry S. Truman on April 14,1950. The document was top secret then and remained so until 1975. Its main author was Paul Nitze, a prosperous and highly educated investment banker unknown to the general public. He summarized an elite consensus that in effect turned the United States decisively away from its New Deal social programs to endless military buildup. At the end of World War II, the United States was in danger of falling back into the Depression, especially since overseas trading customers were impoverished by the war. A Keynesian boost was needed, but the elite implicitly favored spending on the military over public works. To win Congressional and public support, it was therefore necessary to exaggerate the 'Soviet threat.’ But Communism was never a serious political threat to Western Europe beyond the Soviet-occupied buffer zone in Eastern Europe. Nor was it a military threat, for, under Stalin, the Soviet Union had abandoned the doctrine of ‘permanent revolution' (over protests from the exiled Trotsky) and was now concentrating on reconstruction from the devastation of the war and on building defenses against the further aggression it feared from the capitalist West. NSC-68 claimed that the USSR was still ‘led by a fanatic faith’ to ‘impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.’ As a result, Pentagon contracts became the life-blood of the U.S. economy, affecting every Congressional district and virtually every activity (most notably in the universities) which welcomed the influx of grants (staatssubsidies. svh), ignoring the implications of the strings attached. 

Without any public discussion, NSC-68 set the future course of the United States for generations to come. The ‘Cold War’ was already announced in 1947 in a Speech in South Carolina by Bernard Baruch (a Jewish American financierstock investorphilanthropiststatesman, and political consultanthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Baruch), who used the alleged Communist threat as an argument against the wave of post-war labor demands. Baruch called for ‘unity’ between labor and management, longer workweeks, and no-strike pledges from unions, since ‘today we are in the midst of a cold war.’ 

This largely-invented and certainly overblown ‘Soviet threat’ was used both to pump Congressional appropriations into the Pentagon and to tame the labor movement, using guilt by association with an American Communist Party which was never a threat to anything but racial segregation in the South. 

It is significant that this historic turning point was accomplished by an elite, behind closed doors, which used dire(ijselijke. svh) warnings of an external ‘threat’ to smother (smoren. svh) any possible democratic debate on the direction the nation might take. The media largely orchestrated this campaign, framing international news as an eternal dualistic contest between freedom and communism. 

Precies hetzelfde zien wij nu, in de vorm van de mainstream-media-hetze tegen het — in  het politieke jargon van NRC-propagandist Hubert Smeets — ‘Poetinisme.’  Tegelijkertijd worden, meer nog dan tijdens de Koude Oorlog, de geesten rijp gemaakt voor een gewapend conflict met de Russische Federatie. In een geconditioneerde reflex reageerde op bevrijdingsdag 2014 ook de opportunistische Geert Mak op 'het Russische gevaar' toen hij het televisiepubliek meedeelde dat ‘meneer Poetin’ aan ‘landjepik’ doet en dat de Russische president daarom 'Europa [dwingt] om meer aan defensie uit te geven,’ een klemmend advies dat hij afrondde met de bestraffende woorden: ‘Dus defensie kun je niet helemáál afbreken.’ Wat hij ditmaal verzweeg was het feit dat mochten de Russen een oorlog met de NAVO dreigen te verliezen de kans dan groot is dat Moskou nucleaire wapens zal inzetten, net zoals de NAVO in dezelfde omstandigheden zal doen, maar dit alles nam Mak op de koop toe, althans tot ik hem op het krankzinnige gevaar wees, door een email te sturen met de verwijzing naar de waarschwing van Henry Kissinger, die zomer 2015 had verklaard dat ‘breaking Russia has become an objective’ van de Amerikaanse elite. (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-interview-henry-kissinger-13615?page=2) Pas toen realiseerde de ‘chroniqueur van Amsterdam, Nederland, Europa en Amerika,’ zoals Twan Huijs hem betitelde, ineens wat de consequenties van zijn militante oproep konden zijn. Met evenveel stelligheid verklaarde hij vervolgens precies het tegenovergestelde door tegenover twee Belgische journalisten uiteen te zetten dat

Als  president van Rusland Poetin zich niet [kon] permitteren niet op het verlies van de Krim te reageren. Als je nog maar een middag de geschiedenis van Rusland en Oekraïne bestudeert, snap je dat. Er is veel te lichthartig met dat probleem omgesprongen… Het verwijt dat de NAVO na de ineenstorting van de Sovjet-Unie gebruik heeft gemaakt van de Russische zwakte is op zich correct. Zelfs Henry Kissinger heeft gewaarschuwd dat je daarmee een bepaald evenwicht verstoort.

Duidelijk is dat het opportunisme en conformisme van de westerse mainstream-opiniemakers levensgevaarlijk kunnen uitwerken, zeker wanneer journalistieke lichtgewichten als Twan Huijs hiervoor een platform bieden. Zonder over een historische context te beschikken zijn mijn mainstream-collega’s ‘loose cannons.’ Bij gebrek aan informatie en inzicht zou het verstandig zijn als ze de bredere historische context van de actualiteit zouden weten. Laten ze allereerst de volgende informatie van Diana Johnstone bezinken:

The NSC-68 Cold War dominated U.S. foreign policy without serious challenge until Mikhail Gorbachev moved to end it. The 'Soviet threat’ was such a valuable focus for U.S. policy that much of the ruling establishment remained wary, suspicious or outright hostile. What could we do without it? 

The impulse for world peace came from Moscow. Clearly, the Soviet elite had decided that their interest lay in loosening their power system and abandoning their Eastern European buffer zone in the hope of a peaceful partnership with the West. They were led to believe that this was possible largely by the German peace movement of the early 1980s, which gave the impression that German aggressive intentions toward the East had been rejected by the post-war generation. 

Western media have managed to distort that decisive Russian move for peace by reducing the end of the Cold War to a single symbol: the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was more a spectacle than an historic event. The real event happened earlier: Gorbachev's visit to the West German capital, Bonn, in June 1989, which sealed Moscow’s abandonment of the German Democratic Republic. East Germany was no doubt the most sincerely socialist and economically successful of all the Eastern European Warsaw Pact members, despite widespread resentment of institutions such as the Stasi. Once Moscow decided to allow German reunification, the Berlin Wall was obsolete and its ‘fall’ in November was simply the inevitable result. To fixate on ‘the Fall of the Berlin Wall’ creates the impression that Eastern European changes were caused principally by a popular uprising of the people against communism. This interpretation obscures the historic decisions made by the Soviet nomenklatura. 

Hoewel het Warschau Pact werd ontbonden waarmee de Koude Oorlog definitief was afgelopen, en het ‘peace dividend’ de ontbinding van de NAVO mogelijk maakte, waardoor de ontelbare miljarden verslindende wapenwedloop kon worden stop gezet, werd zonder enige democratische discussie het ledenaantal van het Atlantische militaire bondgenootschap verdubbeld en  rukten de NAVO/Amerikaanse bases steeds verder oostwaarts op. Wederom herhaalt zich de afgelopen kwarteeuw het militair Keynesianisme, waarop de Amerikaanse elite gelijk na de Tweede Wereldoorlog terugviel. De VS met zijn enorm militair-industrieel complex, waarvoor president Eisenhower al in 1961 waarschuwde, kan niet meer gestopt worden. Als een monster van Frankenstein is het een eigen leven gaan leiden, terwijl de voortgezette gigantische bewapening niet anders dan op een wereldwijde ramp kan uitlopen. En zodra dit zich zal voltrekken dan weet u welke opiniemakers in Nederland, uit angst voor wat Mak 'statusverlies' noemt, mede verantwoordelijk hiervoor zijn. Het is waar: ‘De toekomst is altijd totaal onvoorstelbaar,’ maar zeker is in elk geval dat een appel altijd naar beneden valt, en nooit omhoog. Dat is een natuurwet, zoals het ook de wet van oorzaak en gevolg is dat als de rijken de wereld tot de tanden toe bewapenen er dan oorlogen zullen volgen, en voor Mak belangrijker nog dat iemand die anderen bedriegt uiteindelijk zijn 'status'  zal verliezen, want zoals president Abraham Lincoln terecht zei: 'You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.' Net als sterven, zijn sommige gebeurtenissen nu eenmaal onvermijdelijk. In verband met de lengte stop ik hier. Volgende keer over de periode ‘From Cold War to Global Leadership.’