Media (385)

 

Great and Unmatched Wisdom

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

During the 2016 presidential campaign Jeb Bush predicted a ‘chaos presidency’ if Trump were to be elected and boy was he right.  It’s the only thing that the president does well, confusing and obfuscating, to the point where he himself cannot keep track of his lies.  Realizing that his perfect call with Ukrainian president Zelensky might actually get him impeached Trump tried to shift the blame to Energy Secretary Perry, who had just resigned and allegedly made him do it even thought he didn’t want to.  That version of events didn’t have a long life, because it was unclear why Perry would have wanted Joe Biden investigated.  So the president tried another tack, first denying that he had ever asked for Biden to be investigated and then declaring that it was perfectly fine to have Biden investigated in the context of his never yielding battle against corruption.  Imagining the most corrupt US President ever as a corruption fighter was a new challenge for the American public, made even more arduous by the idea that Trump would disapprove of the children of politicians being engaged in profitable foreign business ventures.

Meanwhile House testimony by the former US envoy to Ukraine and text messages he made available showed that for an extended period of time American diplomats and Rudy Giuliani had pressured Ukraine to comply with Trump’s wishes, initially with a White House visit by Zelensky as the reward, but eventually with military aid to Ukraine hanging in the balance.  The acting ambassador to Ukraine called this ‘crazy,’ but was silenced by the Trump sycophant who is the ambassador to the EU, who, after checking back with Trump, assured him there was no quid pro quo in the interactions with Ukraine.  The White House considered it too risky for this character to testify in Congress, so his appearance was canceled in the last minute, which resulted in a subpoena.  In response to these developments the White House Counsel sent a letter to House Democrats calling the impeachment inquiry ‘illegitimate’ and ‘unconstitutional,’ and declared that the White House would not cooperate.  In the meantime in New York Trump’s lawyers argued that impeachment is the only constitutional process to investigate a president.

Over the weekend Trump decided to immediately withdraw the US troops who formed a buffer between the Kurds, who had fought side by side with them against ISIS and had 11,000 corpses to show for it, and the Turkish border, all but guaranteeing that the Turkish army would invade Syria and slaughter America’s only reliable allies in the region.  Warned even by his staunchest supporters that this was a big mistake Trump tweeted that in his ‘great and unmatched wisdom’ he would obliterate the Turkish economy if Turkey attacked the Kurds, which it has now done.  

Trump made his decision after a phone call with Turkish president Erdogan, and since he has significant business interests in Turkey, among them two Trump Towers in Istanbul, he’s not very likely to follow up on that threat.  After throwing the Kurds under the bus the president pointed out that they didn’t help us on D-Day, and with a possible release of ISIS fighters by the Kurds he had no problem because they would want to go back to their European countries.

Even the Evangelicals are now split about Trump.  Pat Robinson stated that the president would lose his ‘mandate from heaven’ because of the way he had responded to Khashoggi’s murder and abandoned the Kurds, while Ralph Reed said that Christians have a ‘moral obligation’ to support Trump.  According to the latest polling 51% of Americans disagree and want him out of office.     

 
Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen

 

 

Het ‘moet-toch-kunnen’ nihilisme

Door Theo Uittenbogaard

De consumptie van toiletpapier gaat onverminderd voort. Een eindeloze stroom snot zakt vanuit de sinussen m'n keel in. Zo nu en dan rijst de vloed te hoog en borrelt het vocht in mn ogen op, of druipt het gestaag uit m'n neus. Uit de loodgrijze lucht ruist de regen grijs en onverdroten. Het huis is donker, kil en wil maar niet warmer worden. Ik ril.
      De dood van Ella Vogelaar op 69jarige leeftijd deprimeert me boven mate. En ik ken d'r niet eens. “Ella ging haar eigen weg”, zo wordt haar zelfmoord omfloerst in de krant omschreven. Het enige wat ik me van Ella herinner is dat ze als minister door die klootzak Rutger Castricum van het gewetenloze Geen Stijl, met het voorwendsel ‘journalistiek’ te bedrijven, met de camera tergendlang werd achtervolgd met steeds dezelfde vraag: “Waarom antwoordt u niet ?”. Als een uitgeput vluchtend dier dat meedogenloos door een giechelend pak jonge wolven werd afgemat en tenslotte dodelijk gewond naar de grond getrokken. Het begin van het einde van haar politieke carriere.
      Voor mij is Rutger Castricum direct verantwoordelijk voor haar zelfgekozen dood. Maar van hem ontbreekt elk zelf- of rouw-beklag in de krant van vandaag. Natuurlijk. Niks mee te maken, toch ? Wel dus. De Castricums van deze wereld doden koelbloedig, en voor de lol, alles wat van waarde is. Trouwens, de pagina’s ‘familieberichten’ vol beleden leedwezen van al die politieke en maatschappelijke organisaties waarvoor Vogelaar werkte, en haar dood betreuren, getuigen ongewild van hetzelfde cynisme, als het ‘moet-toch-kunnen’ nihilisme van Castricum.
      Nu pas, als het te laat is, getuigen zij haar te waarderen en onmisbaar te achten. Terwijl ze haar alleen lieten aanmodderen tegen de Castricums en consorten en het bijbehorende cynische wereldbeeld. Nogmaals, ik ken Ella niet, ik weet niks van haar, noch ken ik haar kwaliteiten als bestuurder, -misschien was ze geheel onbekwaam- maar -als ik twee regels verder lees- begrijp ik, dat zij zich in al haar functies met hart en ziel inzette voor de zwakkeren in de maatschappij. Tegen de klippen op. In onmogelijke omstandigheden. Als vakbondsbestuurder. Als Minister zonder portefeuille -en dus zonder budget. En dus zonder gezag of kracht. In de steek gelaten door medebestuurders en politici, die haar verleidden zich in te zetten als vlag op hun modderschuit vol geveinsde goed wil. Zonder zich werkelijk te willen committeren, aan waar zij voor stond. En aan alle Ella Vogelaars van deze wereld. En langer dan vandaag. Begrijp je waarom ik ril ?

 

 

 

Ridderlijk plagiaat

Er was deze week erg veel aandacht voor Marianne Thieme, die afscheid van de Tweede Kamer nam. Veel lovende woorden, een ridderorde en foto’s in velerlei gedaantes.  Vooral op Prinsjesdag verscheen zij -zoals ik in een krant las- altijd verrassend en verfrissend.
     

We kregen bijvoorbeeld deze foto te zien uit 2012. De politica gehuld in een patronenband, waarbij de kogels zijn vervangen door worteltjes.  Bovendien met een militante baret op het hoofd.

Lydia Ché Guevara

Ik heb er een paar dagen over lopen tobben, want ik kende dat beeld. Waar had ik dat toch meer gezien?
       Maar ik heb ’t gevonden. Wat vindt u van deze dame?

 

Het is Lydia Ché Guevara (inderdaad: de kleindochter van…..) .Zij had een paar jaar eerder voor nogal wat opwinding gezorgd in Argentinië door halfnaakt te poseren op billboards. Zij had de kogels vervangen door worteltjes, want ook Lydia is vegetariër.
     
Het was een actie van PETA, People for the ethical treatment of animals.
Plagiaat dus van Thieme. Beetje jammer dat ze die battledress  heeft aan gelaten.
      Nu is 't alleen maar mutsig & potsierlijk.



 

Treason, Civil War, and a Coup

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Impeachment is not Trump’s thing.  In the beginning of the week the president accused Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of treason, because he had the gall to run an impeachment investigation into Trump’s abuse of his office in communications with the president of Ukraine.  By the middle of the week Trump predicted that Schiff’s probe might result in civil war, and after more reflection he called it a coup attempt.  As inappropriate as it was to blame Schiff for doing his job, the latter two characterizations are far more dangerous.  The president doesn’t have an army and a secret police to protect him, but he has plenty of followers with MAGA hats on their deplorable heads who would love to have an excuse to use the assault weapons they have been stockpiling.  In another statement Trump demanded that the identity of the whistleblower, who is protected by a statute, be revealed, so that he ‘can face his accuser,’ and when it became known that the whistleblower first contacted Schiff’s staff to make sure that the White House would not bury the complaint  the president concluded that Schiff wrote it.

Apart from the impeachment inquiry, during the week more incriminating information about Trump became available.  It turns out that during the infamous Oval Office visit of Russia’s Foreign Secretary and Ambassador the president told them that he was not concerned about their country’s meddling in US elections, because ‘we do it too.’  With regards to border security Trump once advocated the digging of ditches that subsequently would be filled with snakes and alligators, electrifying ‘the wall,’ and outfitting it with spikes that ‘cut through human flesh.’ If none of that would deter asylum seekers and other migrants from crossing the border it would be fine to shoot them in the legs.  Becoming more unhinged by the minute the president tweeted that the impeachment inquiry is ‘BULLSHIT,’ and to show how much it is on his mind, during a press conference with the president of Finland, who would not let him touch his leg, Trump declared that Finland got rid of Pelosi and Schiff.  While the Finnish president was still chuckling about that news his US counterpart told the surprised press corps that Schiff cannot hold Mike Pompeo’s jock trap.

As his own words and deeds were scrutinized Trump made sure that he put some blame on Mike Pence, who had carried the message that the money for defensive weaponry was still frozen to the Ukrainian president, albeit after Trump’s ‘perfect’ phone call.  Although Pence wanted to pretend that he didn’t know anything about the shakedown, to keep his own chances of one day running for the presidency alive, that avenue was closed when it was revealed that his own national security advisor had listened in on the call, so that Pence had no other choice but to back up Trump.

Next to Pence Attorney General Barr also let himself be dragged deeper into Trump’s trash can.  Investigating the origins of the Mueller probe Barr traveled to Italy to find dirt on the agents that originally flagged the leadership of the FBI, while Trump urged Australia to be of assistance to Barr as well in his pursuit of bizarre conspiracy theories that also involve Ukraine and the UK.  A consequence of  Trumpism is now  that the AG is engaged in a worldwide quest to discredit the US intelligence services.

When asked at the presser with the Finnish president exactly what he had wanted to know about Joe Biden from Ukraine Trump rudely dodged the question, but yesterday he found the answer, calling on both Ukraine and China to investigate both Bidens.  The president sounded like a thief who steals Amazon packages in plain daylight and believes that makes it less of a crime than doing it at night.


Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen

 

 

A Beautiful Shakedown

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

In his ‘perfect’ phone call with the Ukrainian president Trump essentially said ‘what a beautiful country you have, wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to it?’  That was after he had held back $390 million in military aid Ukraine desperately needed to defend itself against Russian attacks that started in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea.  The ‘favor’ the president expected from Ukraine was help for his gofer Rudy Giuliani and potentially his Attorney General, Barr, in finding dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  At the time Trump saw Biden as his most likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election, but soliciting as well as accepting foreign help in an election is a crime, and using the power of the presidency for personal gain violates the constitution.  Trump made his phone call the day after Robert Mueller testified in Congress, clearly feeling safe enough to become an active player in the next interference scheme.  However, after a whistleblower informed intelligence authorities of the president’s misbehavior Trump immediately released the money to Ukraine, and this week he released the memo of the phone call in an attempt to put the issue to rest.

In most of these cases the cover up is worse than the crime, but in this case it’s pretty even.  According to the whistleblower the White House decided to hide the word-for-word transcript of the phone call in a secret digital vault, and the Director of National Intelligence, confused by the fact that the whistleblower’s complaint pertained to the president, took it to the White House instead of Congress and was told by Trump’s Department of Justice that it was ‘not urgent’.  Once the dam had broken with the release of the memo it was not possible to keep the complaint a secret so that was released as well, followed by testimony by the DNI in Congress.  Other than an attempt to blackmail a president in desperate need of help against a foreign aggressor the memo contains some other breathtaking information.  Trump re-visited the false narrative that the Democrats hacked their own emails with Ukrainian help, in spite of the fact that Mueller had indicted 12 Russians for that crime, slandered Mueller and the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, and floated the evidence-free theory that Hillary Clinton’s emails and the DNC server were hidden somewhere in Ukraine.

When Trump realized that releasing the memo would not get him off the hook he called Nancy Pelosi to see if they could make a deal about ‘this whistleblower thing.’  By then Pelosi, who months ago had said that the president would ‘self-impeach,’ had already committed herself and her caucus to starting impeachment procedures, and the only advice she gave Trump was ‘to stop breaking the law.’  Some of the president’s cronies may think that impeachment will help him in 2020, but Trump doesn’t think so any longer, realizing that it will be the first line of his obituary.

During a Wednesday press conference at the United Nations to highlight his formidable accomplishments during its annual meeting Trump seemed distressed and deflated, although he still had just enough energy to call the whistleblower complaint fake news and utter a few choice words for the Democrats in Congress.  On Thursday he sounded more belligerent, calling the first person who informed the whistleblower about the phone call ‘almost a spy,’  who should be tried for treason.

All this time Trump did Putin’s bidding.  Withholding military aid to Ukraine obviously helped the Russians, and so did his sowing discord with European countries by blaming them for not sufficiently supporting Ukraine.  Suggesting to the Ukrainian president that he sit down with Putin to work things out was equivalent to having told Churchill to have a chat with Hitler during the Battle of Britain.

 

Ga HIER naar toe voor alle afleveringen

 

Subcategorieën