A Yank Expat in Berlin’s Blood Boils as He Watches Frau Merkel and Über War Criminal Heinz Kissinger ♥-fest


I wasn’t able to contact the author to ask for permission, and hope that he won’t mind my re-blogging his entire comdenation; I really didn’t want to edit out anything, as it was all of a piece.

‘“Realpolitik”: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger in Berlin’, by Gregory Barrett / June 22nd, 2017, DissidentVoice.org

“After a tumultuous week which brought a number of nasty shocks and alarms, including the shooting down of a Syrian jet by the United States military in Syria, spiraling tensions, and fears of direct US-Russian confrontation in the Middle East, on Wednesday evening yet another horror story jumped off the screen and out of the evening news on German public radio to slap me in the face with the full force of its repellent vulgarity. The most infamous and despicable living war criminal, America’s Henry Kissinger, was once again being honored and treated as a wise elder statesman by a major world figure who claims to be an advocate of human rights and justice.

The occasion was a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan in Berlin, where the depraved one was allowed to represent his adopted country, as it was thanked for helping to rebuild Germany following the Second World War.

I could feel my blood pressure rising, as it does every time I see this poisonous creature fawned over by powerful and influential “leaders” who purportedly stand for human rights, justice and democracy. Whether it is Hillary Clinton, who referred to the mass murderer during her presidential campaign as a “great friend of democracy” – the same man who helped put in power dictators such as Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, overthrowing a democratically-elected leader in the process and ushering in years of torture, murder, and repression, to name only one in that category – or Ms. Merkel, who loves to talk about the “shared values” of NATO and European Union members, but dallied with Kissinger embarrassingly this week before cameras in apparent blissful, willful obliviousness to his bloody record; or Barack Obama, who, in a moment of stupendous and supreme Orwellian shock theatre, awarded the world’s most famous war criminal the “Distinguished Public Service Award” a couple of years back: Kissinger is courted by heads of state and major power brokers as if he had made the world a better place, instead of being a major player in the initiation of the events that have produced today’s spreading chaos and grim death watch for our planet.

“Realpolitik”, they call it, and no one is more strongly associated with that term than the malevolent old German by birth, born Heinz Kissinger, who as a Jew fled from the Nazis in 1938 and emigrated to America. Among his famous quotes are such unforgettable classics as ‘There are no permanent friends, only permanent interests,’’The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer,’ and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern,’’It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination,’ and the refreshingly candid “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.’

For years, as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State during a crucial and formative period in modern American history, he acted vigorously upon those chilling Machiavellian principles with results that have only grown more apparent and damning in the historical perception of anyone willing to trace the development of the current status quo. No brutal strongman was too nasty to merit US support if it was considered necessary in terms of preventing the spread of socialism and achieving the aims of United States Realpolitik. “Democracy” and “freedom” were public relations terms for domestic American consumption only. Kissinger did not only support and shake the hands of tyrants, he smiled broadly and convincingly for the cameras while doing so. His sincerity was only too obvious.

After spending much of my adult life as an expatriate living in Germany, I find such encounters not only horribly depressing, but increasingly revealing regarding the true nature of the European governments which I once considered far more enlightened than the American ones under which I grew up. The death penalty was abolished here long ago. I found post-war Germany’s historical policy of giving asylum to foreigners threatened by political persecution to be a noble sign of atonement for its Nazi past, even if its support for Israel in the face of decades of war crimes and military occupation of Palestine was the morally corrupt downside of that atonement. The environmental policies here which once looked so progressive, in comparison to America’s absolute refusal to take any meaningful steps to prevent the coming disaster, now stand revealed as window dressing and fig leaves, as Trump’s environmental apostasy has given Europe an opportunity to revel in its comparative enlightenment, although the practical effects of that superior approach will be just as non-existent.

Although Merkel was always maddeningly conservative on all issues related to the American alliance – refusing to criticize the war in Iraq, for example, when she was CDU party leader but not yet Chancellor, even as the Schröder government of Social Democrats and Greens refused to participate in that war and vocally condemned the invasion; and quickly changing the subject following the brief NSA scandal associated with the Snowden revelations, after it was revealed that her personal cellphone had been tapped, and she had pretended that the German government was not involved in such activity itself (now known to be pure deception) – she nonetheless represented her conservative party’s left wing. I have defended her against charges that her actions at the height of the massive refugee influx into Europe two years ago were not based on sincere compassion, and on a desire to help desperate humans fleeing from war zones where survival was increasingly dangerous and difficult. She took on her party’s right wing and much of the EU, and risked her political future for quite some time. But now, Kissingerian Realpolitik is once again ascendant as she runs for her fourth term in the Chancellor’s office.

On Thursday, German media ran multiple reports that her government will again begin deporting Afghan refugees who are rejected for asylum back into the war zone, where multiple recent terrorist attacks have taken place in the capital of Kabul, which the German government had until recently designated as “safe” along with other regions of the country (although these claims have been hotly contradicted by groups and organizations active there). A few weeks ago, as a planeload of Afghans was about to take off from Berlin for Kabul, a major attack in the direct vicinity of Afghanistan’s German embassy, which killed some 150 persons, exposed the true nature of that cynical assertion. The flight was canceled and the government said it would review the situation. Now, a few weeks later, they are about to resume the deportations.

The election campaign is in full swing: in September, national parliamentary (Bundestag) elections will take place.  All polls show that many right-wing, racist and xenophobic voters who had deserted Merkel’s CDU in anger over her refugee policy, to support the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), are now returning to the CDU in the wake of her near-reversal on refugee issues. The refugee issue and the issues of terrorism and “domestic security” (“innere Sicherheit”) are all being linked in her party’s campaign, and fear of foreigners is being consciously and deliberately nourished. The 600 to 700 attacks on refugees and migrants by vicious, xenophobic thugs which take place in Germany each year have disappeared from the news: apparently violent neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers are not considered to be a threat to that domestic security.

I thought about all of these things as I looked at the photo from Berlin of Merkel smiling and shaking hands with a buoyant Kissinger, her other arm on his shoulder, in what struck me as an odd combination of Realpolitik-groupie behavior and condescending courtliness. The shame that I feel as an American citizen for the foreign and military policy carried out in my name for many years by the repulsive Kissinger and his brutal ilk was accompanied by growing anger — over the huge gap between the rhetoric and stated ideals of the European Union as contrasted with the reality of its policies; the walls and the barbed-wire fences being built in Southern Europe; the new legal walls and corrupt deals being built to keep the world’s most desperate victims of war and poverty as far away as possible; the continued alliance with the power responsible for much of that war, and the taboo against speaking about the real causes of a large part of the refugee crisis; the infuriating cooperation in the campaign of lying propaganda against Russia, and the refusal to admit that European, American, and NATO mistakes and duplicity are responsible for the New Cold War (as in the case of the United States they were, largely, for the original Cold War); and over the glib designation of those of us who oppose these policies as “extremists”, while those who practice this deadly and disastrous Realpolitik are nonetheless presented as responsible and prudent statemen and citizens who uphold the noble values upon which NATO and the EU are allegedly based.

Any head of state who claims to believe in human rights, peace, and democracy makes a mockery of every word when they honor the depraved Henry Kissinger who, in spite of the best efforts of the late Christopher Hitchens and many others, has yet to stand trial for his unspeakable crimes.  Merkel looks to be well on her way to proving herself a worthy disciple.”

Warning: Dark, dark, evil reading ahead.  Enter at your own risk.  Seriously.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Via AP: ‘You can hear the screams: Inside Yemen’s secret prisons’;  The United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces run a secret network of prisons where prisoners are brutally tortured. The U.S. has questioned some detainees, and have regular access to their testimony — a potential violation of international law. (June 21)

“They call it the “grill”: The victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun furiously within a circle of fire. It is just one of the terrors inflicted by interrogators on detainees in Yemen who are routinely beaten with wires and were kept in filthy shipping containers, blindfolded for months — all by one of America’s closest counterterrorism allies.” [snip]

American defense officials confirmed Wednesday that U.S. forces have interrogated some detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. The American officials confirmed that the U.S. provides questions to the Emiratis and receives transcripts of their interrogations. A Yemeni witness of American interrogations also told the AP that no torture took place during those sessions where he was present.

(Oh, yes; I buy that rubbish…don’t you?  Because: the US does not torture™.)

Still, the American role raises potential concerns about violations of international law. Obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture, which prohibits complicity, said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year.

Washington has long relied on allies to help it gain intelligence in the fight against al-Qaida. The UAE has been so key that Defense Secretary James Mattis praised it as “Little Sparta” for its outsized role in fighting the militants. The UAE government in a statement to the AP denied that any secret prisons exist or that torture takes place.”

From AP: ‘No Tapes after all; Trump Says he didn’t record Comey Talks

And just to concretize the mental image for all of us:

39 responses to “A Yank Expat in Berlin’s Blood Boils as He Watches Frau Merkel and Über War Criminal Heinz Kissinger ♥-fest

  1. just as an FYI aside, when i’d read gregory barrett’s essay, i’d gone to the wiki to refresh my lame memory on the details of the marshall plan (European Recovery Program), and had discovered: ‘The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from…’, etc. clicking into the wiki on george kennan had allowed me to see more clearly why i’d thought earlier that his many quotes, memos, telegrams, etc. on ‘soviet containment’ seemed so self-contradictory, as an example: ‘Soon after his concepts had become U.S. policy, Kennan began to criticize the foreign policies that he had seemingly helped begin’. anyway, the ‘long telegram’ section sorted me out.

    g’nite.

  2. The almost doe-eyed shock of his sudden realization that the a German leader would cavort with Heinzi is just quaint as all fuck. I’ll admit my own naiveté in as much as it related to that of the typical Yank’s understanding of “European politics”. I’ve written plenty about the evolution of that misapprehension over the years. For example, kicking it off with the musing about the fortuitousness of coalition administrations — that of the SPD-Green in particular and how it kept Germany out from Iraq and extended the subsidizing of wind and solar energy — versus the US’ more partisan way of governing. Aside from my having ignored Schröder’s status quo on everything from Kosovo to Kabul, there’s his lifting of the ban of nuke sales to China for the mere convenience of selling nukes to China, and his literal sell-out of the only thing Germany had going for it outside of the framework of its capitalist trade dominance, the social net.

    I mean, if Homey Ex Patrius wasn’t already nauseated by Deutschland’s deliveries to the Haus von Saud mere week’s ago — the extension of the fact that, next to America, they are the world’s leader of the manufacture & sale of death machinery — I suppose then the expected response at such ceremonial diplomacy would be to see it as the corruption of darling Angie, Hero of the Left of the Right.

    However, included in the Real Politik he laments is the very framing of the refugee crisis in terms that has elevated this central arbiter of the central cause of the refugee crisis to such status worthy of admiration from people who otherwise consider themselves to be anti-war. The appearance with Kissinger is just another day at the office.

    • thanks for the deconstruction of barret’s uber-naiveté, davidly. the bits he blew by in his apologia (partisan then? as with obombabots?) of the Schröder/green alliance government weren’t known to me. but then, he did out himself a bit by noting:

      “I have defended her against charges that her actions at the height of the massive refugee influx into Europe two years ago were not based on sincere compassion, and on a desire to help desperate humans fleeing from war zones where survival was increasingly dangerous and difficult.” and now, after so much due consideration (a week or two?), may will begin the deportations of afghans again. whooosh.

      i’m lost not grasping your final paragraph, save for ‘The appearance with Kissinger is just another day at the office.

      thanks for the corrections; as an ig’rant Yank i was too credulous, it seems. and why can’t i ever think of the term ‘yank’? it simplifies all the ‘amerikan’, ‘USian’, yada, yada…stuff.

      • The author’s partisanship would seem to be residual, I think. His apologia, like me with my own naiveté, based on what he doesn’t/didn’t know.

        The point in my last paragraph, valid to the above, is that for all his lamentations he enumerates regarding Real Politik, is that Merkel’s position taken during “the refugee crisis” was championed by the great big middle (who, after all, are the greatest purveyors of- or apologists for Real Politik), that is, she was subsequently turned into a champion by every voice heard and read — as a heroic figure of humanity. Her steering the ship of continuity in the war(s) that are causing the crisis, on the other hand, are roundly ignored.

        • thanks for explaining. but at least barrett did go to some lengths to call mutti merkel a hypocrite for not taking responsibility for her part in the ‘refugee crisis’. guess the election will be pretty interesting, no?

          as a side note, no one seems to address the US complicity in the uae (our partners in peace, as are the sauds) torture sites in yemen. the images have burned holes in my brain. did scahill in yemen miss them? or did he pull his punches? and do i give a fuck what ed snowden has to say about them? (bingling 4 news coverage brought my bitchy Qs.)

  3. As one self exiled; boy, oh boy, can I relate to his (gregory barrett’s) seething anger.
    Funny (in a non-humourous way) how certain names (Kennan) keep popping up, a stark reminder of the importance of history.
    So little time, so much to learn…

    • ha. ‘so little time, so much to learn, then…forget’. (wd, that is.) but i do understand why you relate, boy howdy.

      i liked that vis a vis the marshall plan and soviet containment, they reckoned that ‘containing china’ didn’t work all that well.

      “Containment worked less well in Asia. In December 1945 Truman sent General Marshall to China with instructions to work out an agreement between the communist rebels and the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. This was an impossible task, and in the subsequent fighting Mao Zedong’s communist forces prevailed. The Nationalist government fled to Taiwan in 1949, and the United States then decided to concentrate its East Asian policy upon strengthening occupied Japan, with much better results.”

      • Containing China worked well enough after the US got clear on the line of containment. So well that China flipped to capitalism before the Soviet Union collapsed during the leadership of Deng Xiao-Ping. It worked so well that China is now a capitalist competitor and competitor for imperial power as well. It is the competition for imperial power that now scares Washington. The Belt-Road-Initiative is so terrifying to the Mackinder-Spykman types that the US is willing to allow Islamic State of Khorasan (whoever they are) to set up in the Tora-Bora region of Afghanistan in order to disrupt and Chinese or Taliban stabilization of Afghanistan.

        The US today is incapable of doing what it did in the Marshall Plan in the late 1940s. It no longer understands the logic of that kind of power play. But China learned well. That’s why some countries are going to get some ports and high-speed railway that the local people don’t necessarily want. Even the Marshall Plan in the context of Europe was not a slam-dunk at the time; it only looked that way from the 1960s onward, especially as political momentum built behind the European Union idea.

        • yes, what a difference 50 yrs. can make on ‘containing china’. ;-) even in the 60s there were critics of the plan as Imperialist, too heavy on the soviet union. henry wallace, for one.

          i’m sure you can parse this one of pepé’s; too many geographical features, too many roads, former road plans, etc., esp. at 5 a.m. but i’d forgotten that it’s 4-loaves-of-bread day, and i’m purdy far behind schedule.

          back as i’m able.

          • Bottom line. Afghanistan is going to be a big problem for China because of US benign neglect of the Islamic State setting up in Tora-Bora and failure of the Afghan government and its warlords to suppress the Taliban so that the US can leave.

            Nonetheless, China has been in talks with the Taliban (the least unpopular group they see), India, Pakistan, Iran, and the -stans about how to extend BRI through Afghanistan. Pepe points out that the US no longer is acting to produce stability but to plant a destructive movement at the heart of any successor’s relations with Afghanistan; that worked so well for ridding Afghanistan of the Soviets.

            Everything else is just the hard realtiies of what negotiating specific BRI projects consists of.

            The Syraq section just reiterates that breaking up the “Shiite corridor” from Iran to Lebanon is US capitulation to Saudi/Israeli policy, but has the geopolitical spin of frustrating a BRI link to the Mediterranean through Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Geopolitically, long term the link to the Levant would be the route of entry to Egypt, North Africa, and an African infrastructure network. That would be the long term equivalent in the Eastern Hemisphere of an all-Americas infrastructure network for Newfoundland and Point Barrow to Tierra del Fuego.

            While we are on an extreme long-term tangent, a 50-year-old proposal of Bucky Fuller is interesting. That proposal during the Cold War was to link the electric grids of the Western Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere to allow day-night load balance in the grids. The tendency would be to depend on that as an effective subsidy, making any major power reluctant to disrupt the grid through war. Still merits consideration.

            • i appreciate the pithy cliffs notes mightily, sir tarheel. now bucky’s plan would take some heavy ocean floor cables, yes? and iirc, those can be tampered with, as w/ dilma: ‘we’ll build our own cables to foil the nsa internet spying!’

              • Electric transmission cables. Smart grid has to do with load balancing information, not communication. The original proposal was for dumb wires, which would suffice to generate the economies without the information anxieties.

                • i get that smart grid keeps track of need v. availability etc., but are you saying that a world-wide grid could all be accomplished by above-ground cables? my analogy was simply assuming that to cross oceans, etc. the grid would require cables. but never min, clearly i don’t know what i’m talking about. sorry, bucky. ;-)

                  p.s. our regional electrical power co. wanted to complete a major grid (CA to wherever), and toward that end built a 345 kv line thru our mountains. we fought it for years, they won…and now it’s been deemed totally unnecessary. the cursed thing glows in the morning light and i mentally flip it the bird.

  4. The anthem of “realism” — there are no permanent friends; there are no permanent enemies; only permanent interests — is not original with Kissinger. It is attributed to Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (Lord Palmerston), UK Prime Minister 1855-1858 and during the US Civil War, 1859-1865. Palmerston went from Tory to Whig to Liberal in political party affiliation. It is a remarkably accurate observation of political behavior.

    It is remarkable that Kissinger never was able to articulate exactly what those US permanent interests were that drove war without end.

    Merkel is a fascinating figure, the first Chancellor born and raised in East Germany. What is fascinating about the context is the fact that East Germany never was formally and publicly “de-Nazified”. Indeed, the US CIA used former Nazis as part of their covert operations in the Warsaw Pact countries and Soviet Republics, chickens that have come home to roost in Ukraine, for example. No one recently in profiling Merkel has clarified how those contradictory political forces played out in her upbringing and political career.

    The parallel I have is the resurgence of Confederate white supremacy in the US out of the region that never was actually reconstructed. I think the jury is still out as to whether the Marshall Plan and the postwar prosperity (finally) in Western Europe solidified the de-Nazification efforts in West Germany. Had the robber barons made the South prosperous in the 1870s, would the Mississippi Plan of 1875 ever existed? Had the economies of Western Europe failed in the 1955-1970 period, would there been nationalist movements for home rule like we see today with Brexit, and the nationalist party resurgence in individual EU nations? If the bankers in Germany screw up with the home country, what happens? Austerity uber alles does not seem like a winning prescription for stability. And the guest workers of the 1960s and their descendants are sitting ducks as scapegoats.

    Well, Kissinger has arrived at his ambition of imitating Tallyrand and Metternich in survivability and being a “statesman”, war crimes notwithstanding. He’s the sort of asshole (compare Strom Thurmond) that nature allows to live to the biological time limit.

    The impermanence of friends and enemies means also that the havens of exile are likewise impermanent. Compared to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Brussels, all once former havens, Berlin seems to be the current choice. But events can change hospitality rapidly. Just look at Toronto, Montreal, or anywhere in the US. Emigres and exiles must be continuously aware of their surroundings and their options. It is easy to develop a halo effect about a new place or one that attaches “hometown pride”. When dark sides appear, it can be a shock.

    It is also easy to develop a reverse halo effect with respect to a morally difficult society and ignore the people who are working to change institutions. One’s geographical decisions often are matters of which struggles have priority for you or whether you’ve gotten to the point of just working to “bloom where you’re planted”.

    • To be clear: While the GDR is not officially credited with having carried out any kind of de-nazification program, they did the more effective job of ridding their society of their remnants, while that of the West was but a dog & pony show more akin to nazi rehabilitation. In my analysis, extent to which the same fascho tendencies emanate from the former East has to do with a brand-specific bigotry that has worsened in the context of the environment created after reunification, not because the East was soft on Nazis.

      • My argument is that the US covert operators in the GDR were soft on Nazis and that influenced one of the political streams in post-reunification politics. Other aspects of US policy under the Dulles brothers seemed remarkably entwined with key Nazi technocrats.

        A reactionary branding as a result of austerity is by far a stronger reason–fits for a lot of the backsliding of bigots in America as well. Also makes one wonder if austerity has a political motive more than an economic one.

        • Thanks for that. I had not considered that aspect. A friend and I discuss the potential political motives of austerity a lot. It dovetails nicely with the effect it has on the reactionary unwashed in the former GDR whose pet conspiracy theory is that “they are deliberately flooding Europe with refugees so as to implement their plan for ultimate control”. It’s hard for me to disagree, except I prefer to focus on the horse and empathize with the occupants of the cart. Neo-nazis’ and racial purists’ sympathies, obviously, will remain narrowly consistent and predictable.

        • It is obvious, too, that in all the todo re. the Birthler Behörde (Stasi Records Agency), whose fallout continues to affect almost exclusively Linke party members (that they had spied for the Stasi or were functionaries etc.), there’s a lot of hush-hush as soon as there’s a whiff of western “counter-espionage”.

        • Also makes one wonder if austerity has a political motive more than an economic one. TD
          In my opinion austerity is far more political than economic.
          Austerity will ultimately destroy society as we know it and cement the establishment of a feudal society.
          Jobs are fast disappearing; in the next 24 months MacDonald’s will eliminate over 5,000 jobs with robotic kiosks. And wage wise, these are shit jobs, but jobs never-the-less.
          That’s the future, or at least a large part of it IMO.

          • Our society is not prepared for the coming of robotics and has no vision for the future; but the purveyors of austerity are far ahead with their Orwellian road map for “us”.
            There is an ongoing program of perpetual distraction; most of us are asleep at the wheel. This will not end well…
            The status of a democratic society is effectively gone; Trump and his minions are a window to the future.
            Beware the man on the white horse; the 4 horsemen ride behind…

            • This will not end well…
              Yet innate to this ominous warning is a distraction from the present. We see this forever in one Party’s response to The Other’s bad deeds, as in, “Such torture sets a bad precedent that could lead to mistreatment of our own.” Or in the case of the ostensible first droning of an American citizen: the presence of bad actions used as a portent of grave consequence rather than simply to point out that the present process cannot and should not stand as it is.

              This is not to say you, V., are delivered up to such distraction. Only that analysis of this perniciousness lends itself to future frets that disadvantage present suffering.

              You did remind me of my joke: Thus spake the Third Horse: “The end is neigh!”

              • I like your joke, very clever.
                I’m afforded the luxury of time and distance away, by half the planet.
                Does this make me immune from distraction; I am not certain; but then, I’m not certain of anything.
                I do think my Usian-centric view of the world is forever gone; if not 100%; likely more than 90%.
                Having lived through 2 military coups here; I’ve had to rethink my uninformed views of such things.
                It would seem a distraction is that which deflects a view of reality; the thing as it is.
                I have lived through events which have shattered my view of the U.S. and the world; rebuilding a view firmly planted in the now seems a better place to abide.
                I do not claim any exclusivity in that; my life has been, relatively, an easy path compared with many.
                Anywho, I do prattle on…

          • i watched some of the discussions (well, read the transcripts when available) when i covered this year’s Masters of the Universe pageant at davos. the one on robotics and job losses led a lot of discussion on guaranteed basic income. sticking davos and those terms into a search, this page popped up: ‘As robots take human jobs, Europeans mull free money for all‘, but oy, pilot programs aside (will free money make peeps lazy???), the devil will be mightily in the details. my fear is that it will be the next bright and shiny object con and the plans will moot what’s left of any social safety net, maybe even unemployment compensation in the US.

            i’d seen a headline that Ca will vote on one soon, but i hadn’t clicked in. sweezerland came closer to passing one in a second vote recently, but my stars, it was a complicated formula. not ‘no strings’ as some of these claim to be in a hasty scan.

            on edit: before i closed the tab, i saw yeppers: “Doing away with housing, family, poverty and unemployment benefits could free up more than 100 billion euros ($106 billion) to fold into a replacement basic income scheme.

            There’d also be less red tape, saving money that way, too, but switching to basic income would still require new taxes, a 2016 Senate report said.”

        • question, then, thd, although i’m struggling w/ the terms to ask it. are you speaking of the austerity driven by payments to foreign creditors, imf structural adjustment punishments, or the ‘gotta start balancing the budget, so sorry about the social safety net ones and pubic pension raids’ ones?

          even the imf claims to have learned that their economists were wrong about keyensian capitalistic deficit spending, when studies showed the high multiplier effect from say…food stamps.

  5. …Hi wd

    …As we USians approach another month of July and prepare to celebrate USian Independence Day by mounting mass rallies of 100,000’s of USians descending on WashDC to remind the USians in WashDC who as Representatives of USians conduct USian national and international politcs/policies who really is in charge it will be heartening to know 1600 PA. Ave., Capitol Hill, Pentagon, Langley and the courtesans of K Street and Wall Street will all be firmly reminded once again that they are allowed to exist solely at the pleasure of common USians…errrr…ummm…hmmm….oh wait…July 4th is that One Day / Weekend Big Summer Holiday for some USians to go boating, camping, do cookouts and drink lots of beer and maybe even go see some fireworks. What waz I think’un…Silly me…

    …Independence?!…Of course USians are Independent! USians are Free don’cha kno cuz Great USians like Hank K. made it possible to Stay and Be Free!…Did Hank K. OK the killing of many innocent humans? Sure did. But so did so many other USians who have climbed the heights USian Empire and overlooked from those heights the formulation, execution and institutionalization of USian Empire political, economic, monetary and militarism influence, power and enforced hegemony. Old Hank surely was/is one evil SOB USian but so is William Jefferson Clinton, George Walker Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, James Clapper and Barack Obama just to begin a very long list. Hell even Great USians like Woodrow Wilson and FDR were bonafide USian Empire enablers and warmongers who both had a big hand in positioning and enabling the start of wars. How many USians died fighting to protect the Monarch of Great Britain and British Empire during British Empire’s war on the German Empire from 1914 to 1919? But wait…why were USians fighting for British Empire imperial economic, monetary and militarism interests? What was July 4th about again? Of course FDR led USians into another Imperial War but by 1946 it was the USian Empire that ascended to the pole political, economic, monetary and militarism pole positions once reigned over by British Empire.

    …Some 70 years later we USians are now being led ( misled? ) by a hotel / real estate biz tycoon / tv reality show host and according to some ptb in WashDC someone who is plainly a Russian / Putin stooge who sabotaged King Willy’s and Queen Hillary’s rightful restoration and coronation as Rulers Seated At 1600 PA. Ave. How dare DT The POTUSE ( President Of The USian Empire ) thwart the likes of Not WarMongers, Not WarCriminals, Not Wall St. / Tel Aviv SellOuts Democrat Obama, Clinton, Pelosi and Schumer!

    … I get Hank K. is a First Class WarCriminal. Undoubtedly so. But so is Barack Obama. Those who want to play Pick And Choose And See / Not See games when it comes to WarMongers and WarCriminals should carefully try to understand the who, what and why components of that game. Ever see Bernaysian inspired photos or films of Adolph Hitler surrounded by happy and smiling children? That is how many Germans actually did see and framed what and who Adolph Hitler was. We USians are no different and no better than the Germans were when it comes to how we allow the likes of Hank K., R.B. Cheney, G.W. Bush and B.H.Obama to move and walk free amongst us, pocket obscene payouts of wealth and be allowed to attend public events and stand with happy and smiling adults or children.

    …How many innocent human beings did Hank K. OK being killed? How many innocent human beings did Barack Obama OK being killed? Playing Pick and Choose is a dangerous game when it comes to seeing and knowing who the WarMongers and WarCriminals are.

    …Looks like USian Empire plans on being and staying in SW, East Asia and Central Asia and across most regions of Europe in all ways of political, monetary and militarism hegemony. Or anyway for as long as USian Empire paid off, supplied and directed mercs, terrorists an agents of mayhem keep going. Should USian Empire have to forcibly draft God Lov’in July 4th Celebrat’in Common USians by the tens and hundreds of thousands in ways not seen by young USians since the 1960’s or early 1970’s? Forced to go and be maimed and killed to protect the imperial legacies of Hank K., Z. Brzezinski and numerous other USian Warmongering WarCriminal Imperialists. Then and only then we may see some real USian rebellion minded Independence …Until then?…It is Until.

    …Seems the days and weeks coming and going faster than ever wd……flowers abloom’in, bees ahum’in, birds and bunnies aborn’in …beautiful sunrises and sunsets, wondrous blue sky and white cloud days and the enchanting moons and stars of summer nights…I try to keep what matters foremost in the larger and eternal scheme of things great and small when possible …most of the time do too…;-) This rant and rave comment thankfully is the exception as I try to not be or stay too upset or heated up about politics, DT and the likes of HK for too long…Companion says it ain’t good for me to get my blood pressure all elevated over what or who I can not change or do much about anyway…Of course he is right as so often he is …silly me. …Pecking away on this Jobs device when I should be tending to gardening, housekeepiing and culinary matters and tasks…well…ain’t that the itch to not scratch?!! …dag nabbit !! …as always 🏹…
    …take care wd…🌌🌅🌈

    • hey, arrow; it’s great to see you, esp. w/ your self-imposed rules to comment only once every so often. three months? i’ve forgotten. and i wish i had the energy to tell you how fun your rant ‘n rave comment is, most esp. your parody of fourth of july protests. all that day means to me is that pbs is taken up w/ military festivities at the white house and elsewhere. ugh. radio is likely similar: ‘the star-spangled banner’ all day on a continuous loop.

      yeah, it’d be hard to pick the top twenty war criminals, but as far as longevity, heinz and zbig (gone to his great military marching band in the sky now, thankfully) would be toward the top frau ‘it was worth it’ albright would be on it, too.but your list is a good un, esp. adding in the erik princes of the ‘free world’.

      hell, ending the draft was brilliant, wasn’t it? and now w/ ever-mechanized war, ‘fewer boots on the ground’ need apply, eh? lovin’ the hell out of your enjoyment of the treasures on this great blue-green ball, and the love we can can create thru not only appreciating it, but finding spiritual renewal in it. mr. wd and i are parked smack dab in the middle of paradise on earth, sounds a though you and your companion are as well. dunno if you’ll look back, but if you do, would you email me at wendyedavisATmsm.com? i’ve emailed you before to ask how you make those kewl colored graphics (alt codes?) but you may use a kinda unused, let’s say, e-address for a log in.

      this may a good place to drop this in, i’d grabbed it earlier and it tickled me witless. ‘A spook comes out of the woodwork to attack Brad Pitt’s War Machine’, David Walsh, 21 June 2017, wsws.org

      “Whitney Kassel, late of the Defense Department, Special Operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a former member of McChrystal’s “team,” and an associate in private business of a long-time leading figure in the CIA, has written a denunciation of War Machine in Foreign Policy magazine, “Screw Brad Pitt and the ‘War Machine’ he rode in on.”

      The character of Kassel’s objectivity in regard to Gen. McChrystal makes itself evident early on when she notes that Hastings (whose Rolling Stone article, later expanded into the book on which War Machine is based, essentially ended the general’s career) “took down a man I worked with during the time in question and deeply respected—one near-universally viewed as an American hero of integrity and intelligence.”

      McChrystal was a ruthless practitioner of counterinsurgency warfare, responsible for the killing of thousands of Iraqis. His entourage in Afghanistan, according to Hastings, was “a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs.” A staffer neatly describes in Hasting’s book the now infamous Gen. Michael Flynn, one of McChrystal’s toadies, as a “rat on acid.”, and so on.

      remember how michael hastings…er..’died’? and the likelihod that his onboard computer was…er…hacked? best to you, and set your clocks ahead to july 5, lol. ach, for me, not blogging would give me blood boil (high BP).

      on edit: how many nazis are in ukie’s US-puppet ‘democracy’, miz aldark?

      @madeleine / “America should help solve the refugee crisis, not make it worse. Oppose Trump’s dangerous budget on #WorldRefugeeDay
      @madeleine Jun 9
      “Today we celebrated the life of Zbigniew Brzezinski and I said goodbye to a great mentor, boss, and friend http://bit.ly/2rft34d

  6. maybe known to people in these here internet hinterlands (hinternets?), but I mention this cuz a couple of days ago the NYT ran another of their psy-op pieces about how great Norway is at combining luv luv luv for mother nature w/”advanced” capitalism. I didn’t read it but i’m sure it was all high praise for tax credits for wind farms, public-private partnerships, how natural the natural gas is, how eco their oil-drilling is, etc., etc.

    and then ya have to go & do something stupid like goog
    norway dumping radioactive waste off of Somalia

    seems like the Europeans, the big economy countries anyway, are just as good at “green-washing” as their Amerikan counterparts, except they probably have to put more effort into it b/c of the locals.

    and what percent of the “stay behind” forces under Operation Gladio were Nazis? I think the US & co did everything they could to ensure that Nazis remained in charge of the local/state police forces, intel services, and defense ministries, even if the gladio operatives were behind the scenes. if Merkel was not involved during her E German days, she’s involved now.

    anniversary of the “end” of the battle of Okinawa yesterday. Japan’s NHK tv reports 240,000 total dead on both sides by 6/22/45. it’s pretty clear that the whole strategy of the US has been not to prevent another world war, but to ensure US “victory”. w/all the carnage & destruction, they immediately, w/o a second’s hesitation, started planning to do it all over again. and worse. PM Shithead Abe vowed to “fully honor the war dead” at a memorial service. hurray. I guess their shades can only be appeased by more war dead?

    • and just what is the point of this kind of shit?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa#MEXT_controversy

      There is ongoing disagreement between Okinawa’s local government and Japan’s national government over the role of the Japanese military in civilian mass suicides during the battle. In March 2007, the national Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) advised textbook publishers to reword descriptions that the embattled Imperial Japanese Army forced civilians to kill themselves in the war so they would not be taken prisoner by the US military. MEXT preferred descriptions just to say that civilians received hand grenades from the Japanese military. This move sparked widespread protests among Okinawans. In June 2007, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly adopted a resolution stating, “We strongly call on the (national) government to retract the instruction and to immediately restore the description in the textbooks so the truth of the Battle of Okinawa will be handed down correctly and a tragic war will never happen again.”[69][70]
      ——-
      when the morning light comes streaking in, let’s get up & do it again!

    • gads, i swear i’d seen another headline recently like the old con: “even the seals cluster around our drilling rigs in the arctic!” hydro, too, in norway, but yeah, they’d have to greenwash for mega-capitalism to be touted, wouldn’t they? that’s quite a question on the gladio-nazi-stay-behinds; did davidly’s analysis moot it? on edit: just looked, and they’re discussing it…

      shinzo abe and tokyo: joining SK, the US in south sea exercises and off the coast of somalia, and in the sea of japan. increasing their military budget up the wazoo as well, no? when was japan ‘allowed’ to have a standing military again? i’ve forgotten, needless to say. but yes, as diana johnstone had said, the US Imperium doesn’t want ‘victory’ over its enemies, it wants ‘destruction’, and yes, economic control.

      the MEXT stuff’s interesting, and i’ll add that i just ran into a bunch of photos stored in the café image files of protests wanting the US military bases gone!

      • fucking Nazis, nothing changes. or are they nihilists? are we gonna split hairs?

        PM Abe is def. “our man in Tokyo.” quite the warmongering, lying, p.o.s. iirc, he rammed thru gag orders on reporting on fukushima. japan has been “pacificistically” & ergo technically “constitutionally” in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. for some time. so they are saying, “ooh, ooh, me too! me too!” to the games w/China? at least some Japanese are restive about the US military. makes the politicos have to act/speak a little more deftly, makes the con job they are pulling somewhat more interesting as pure spectacle. US politics are so g.d. boring….

        “the kamikaze is the model, the paragon for any nation. for humanity. what greater honor than to pilot the zero of the world into the noble flames of martial suicide. bonsai, planet earth!!!”

        MEXT: they do the same lying b.s. we do about the war, precisely b/c their intent is & always has been to do it again. mo’ betta this time. make it smell even more like victory.

        • ooof, yes. but the kamikaze model, was it the forerunner of the ‘suicide vest’ we hear so much about? at least in films. ah, wikipedia said the chinese were first to use them in the second sino/japanese war (1937-1935).

          “The use of suicidal attacks to inflict damage upon an enemy predates the Second World War, in which Kamikaze units (suicidal air attacks) and Kaiten (“living torpedoes”) were used to attack Allied forces. Japanese soldiers routinely sacrificed themselves by attacking Allied tanks while carrying antitank mines, magnetic demolition charges, hand grenades and other explosive devices.”

          da wiki: “In 1954, however, separate land, sea, and air forces for purely defensive purposes were created, subject to the command of the Prime Minister. The armed forces consist of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). Japanese military expenditures are the seventh highest in the world. In the aftermath of the Occupation, attempts were made by some administrations in Japan, particularly at the urging of the United States, to amend the Constitution to rearm.”, etc.

          quite a read, and short, to boot!

  7. How is this halfascist fooker still free of Interpol; when The Hague is literally next door?

    • i understand that your question is rhetorical, bruce, but there have been instances in which some nations have issued arrest warrants or some such for some yankee war criminals, wish i could remember which, but all they need to do is…stay out of those nations. i did a four minute search, and came up with nothing applicable, just ‘opinion’ lists similar to shoot that arrows. the most recent case i’ve seen in headlines is a group saudi arabia for 9/11 twin towers deaths.

  8. From justsecurity.org (in the tweet i’d embedded): ‘The Potential Legal Implications for the U.S. in the AP’s Disturbing UAE Torture Scoop’, by Steve Vladeck, a few bits and bobs:

    “And most relevant here, the AP reports that the United States has played at least some role in these cases—which may include feeding questions to (and perhaps even observing) some of the interrogations; receiving intelligence from those interrogations; and even conducting subsequent interrogations of some of the same detainees by US forces themselves inside UAE detention centers. According to the AP, the Pentagon’s response has been to acknowledge the interrogations, to deny that any US personnel were directly involved in committing any of the alleged abuses; and, apparently, to otherwise wash its hands of responsibility for the actions of the UAE—even if those actions softened up the detainees for American interrogators and produced intelligence information shared with (and utilized by) the US intelligence community. (Never mind how troubling such an apparent “not our problem” response to this story is as a matter of policy, ethics, or, you know, basic human decency.)
    There’s no possible way to cover all of the important legal, policy, and political implications of the claims in the AP story in a single piece. Instead, my analysis starts by asking—and trying to answer—three questions:
    1. Do any of the allegations in the AP story suggest a violation by US forces of US domestic or international law?
    2. Would the detainees have any remedy available to them under US law?
    3. What options would the US government have if it seeks to assert jurisdiction over any of these detainees, going forward?
    under: I, US law, and arrgh, ‘proxy detentions are not all equal’:

    “Even the most robust statutory anti-torture protection out there—the McCain-Feinstein Amendment to the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act—applies, as relevant here, only to detainees “in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States government” at the time of the interrogation. So unless the United States was in “effective control” of the proxy detention as it was happening (including if, for example, the interrogations took place on US vessels in international waters), or unless the interrogations could properly be understood as a “joint venture” between the United States and the UAE (a difficult sell, at least based on the most closely on-point case law), it’s not clear that torture by a US proxy would violate US domestic law. Of course, anything the detainees say under torture will likely be inadmissible in a US court (even in prosecutions against others), as would anything they say in subsequent interrogations by the United States.” there’s much more of course…

    i’d checked at the center for constitutional rights (ccr justice) to see if they were talking about it, but no; everywhere were notices as to how to resist the Trump administration and a few pieces on ongoing gitmo detainees advocacy.

  9. christ in a canoe. while i was on some page chasing a link from b at moa, i saw that 60 minutes was doing a ‘heart-wrenching’ white helmets story. that evil psyop just won’t stop, nor w/ using those two chirren as props, i’ve forgotten their names. mr. wd said there was a new one at RT, so i just looked in. goddam.

    White Helmets member caught on camera disposing of Syrian soldiers’ mutilated bodies (GRAPHIC VIDEO)’, RT. (they quote vanessa beeley and eva bartlett.

    on edit: here’s eva bartlett earlier at RT. ‘Meet Aylan & Omran: Child victims used for Syrian war propaganda’

    night; i’m finished for today.

  10. “Well” (to quote Raygun); yes, we have N0 initiatives (e.g., http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-bush-six-to-be-indicted), nor follow-up; much Less ENFORCEMENT! Bush (CIA) Company PNAC Attack PUT$CHI$T$ Remain At-large.

    • nice diggin;, bruce (and great memory?). evil is as evil does, but ya go to war w/ the torturers ya have, not the ones ya wish ya had. and fukkit, i stand at this podium for fourteen hours a day…it ain’t torture!

    • Good find, indeed. I had recalled that it was Spain, but couldn’t remember further details. Of course, “Spain prosecutes Bush admin” in the ole Duck Duck Go…, one can answer then the obvious question of subse— consequence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Six

      On April 17, 2009, Spain’s attorney general, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, said his office would not support Judge Baltasar Garzon’s effort to prosecute six Bush Administration officials for their role in the US antiterror effort. Spain’s AG said any such prosecution would turn his nation’s National Court “into a plaything” for politics.

      When considered appropriately, Wikipedia is a great resource. It’s, ironically enough to those who, like me, regularly contribute, a plaything for politics. Some entries, however, remain unmolested by the ne’r do wells (whichever version of those you care to glean from the term). An entry is particularly good, when not sanitized for our protection, for link aggregation.

  11. ‘US, UAE operate network of torture chambers in Yemen’, wsws.org

    “Whether or not American soldiers or intelligence agents were present during interrogations, receiving intelligence obtained through torture is a violation of the International Convention Against Torture and is considered a war crime.

    In conjunction with the AP report, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the cases of 49 of the nearly 2,000 men who have been swept up by this torture network. At least four of the 49 were children, who had been arbitrarily arrested or forcibly disappeared and kept in prison along with adults.

    A former detainee at the Central Prison in the southern city of Aden reported that seven to eight boys between the ages of 15 and 17 had been in the same prison ward when he was detained in 2016. The children described being blindfolded and beaten by guards who threatened to strip off their clothes.”

    yes, torture by the US has continued thru dubya (and rummy), thru obama, now trump. how many were children? how many who lived will ever be healed, even in some minuscule way? no, obama didn’t stop the torture, he just redefined it by keeping the pre-tortured prisoners moving from site to site. what was his time-table? every three days or some such rot? right in the ‘paper of record’, it was. and the center for amerikan progress has the ballocks to pen ‘The United States Must Stop the UAE’s Abu Ghraib in Yemen’???

    fuck. our son’s back in the UAE, after 6 weeks of ‘leadership training’ in kuwait. and here comes news from out DiL that he might make the army his fooking career. how did this happen? yeah, yeah, i know we weren’t the only influences on him, but goddam, somehow, some way, some day…i want him to read all of this that’s been done w/ ‘our partners in peace, the emiratis. how i’ve not thrown up a hundred times since i read about it…is a mystery to me.

    goddess grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/27/yeme-j27.html

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