Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Do You Believe in Coincidence?

Here’s the latest report from our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan.


Do you believe in coincidence?
by H. Numan


Last week I reported about the international arrest warrant issued by a court in Amman, Jordan. This week two major Dutch corporations caved in for fear of a boycott: Zwanenberg and Friesche Vlag. The first is a (pork!) sausage maker in Oss, North Brabant; the other a milk conglomerate in Friesland. Both produce many more products than sausages and milk. And both export to Jordan. Both placed full page advertisements in which they distance themselves from Fitna and Wilders, as the Volkskrant reports (my comments are in italicized square brackets):

Companies bow to boycott

AMMAN — Dutch companies yielded to a threatened boycott in Jordan against Dutch and Danish products. Zwanenberg (Zwan sausages) and Friesland Foods (cheese and milk) placed advertisements in Jordanian newspapers in which they distance themselves of Geert Wilders’ Fitna movie.

Doing so prevented their brand names from appearing on the latest poster of ‘The Messenger of Allah Unites Us’, that attacked Danish brands last week. On their most recent poster KLM, Philips, Friso, and Milupa are featured.

KLM and Philips are being boycotted. Wednesday all travel organizations in Amman received a letter calling on them to boycott KLM. The letter is also distributed in other Arab nations, said chairman Zakaria Sheikh of the committee ‘The Messenger of Allah Unites Us’.

Pallets loaded with posters are stacked in the office of the committee in Amman. “We printed over a million of them” said Sheikh.

Last week the committee got the Justice Department to investigate whether Wilders can be prosecuted. Sheikh expect a court order soon. “This has nothing to do with freedom of speech,” said the publisher of the weekly Fact International. “Wilders insulted all Muslims of the world. He should not escape punishment.”
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The Zwanenberg Food Group in Almelo stated in the advertisements ‘to reject the opinions and remarks in the movie Fitna made by ‘Geert Welders’ [sic!], in which he equated Islam with violence’. “We strongly reject any expressions or opinions against Islam that serve, according to us, no other purpose than to hurt.” Friesland Foods published a similar text.

Furthermore, Zwanenberg acknowledges solidarity with the campaign of ‘The Messenger of Allah Unites Us’ in its efforts to create an international law forbidding any insult to any religion, including Islam and its prophet Mohammed. In an open letter, dated 14 June, Zwanenberg describes itself as a producer of hot dogs, cocktail sausages, luncheon meat [‘some kind of Spam’] and mortadella, all produced under the brand name Zwan [and all made with pork… I wonder if they wrote that too].

According to Sheikh, in order to escape this boycott companies must also advertise similar texts in their own country. In the Jordan Times director Aldo van der Laan of Zwanenberg denied any knowledge about this demand. ‘But I have no problem saying our company is worried about Wilders’ actions in The Netherlands as well’.

Zwanenberg and Friesland Foods were not available for comments. KLM, according to a spokesperson, has limited itself to an earlier prepared statement: “KLM does not interfere with any religious or political organization whatsoever, and distances itself of the contents of this controversial movie.”

Now, this may sound odd to you, perhaps. The Netherlands and Jordan have very close royal ties. Mrs. Beatrix von Amsberg, queen of the Netherlands, was a very close friend of the late king Hussein of Jordan. Normally the government decides based on the amount of business or political importance if an embassy, consulate, chancellery or honorary diplomatic representation is required with a certain nation. One cannot have fully staffed embassies in each and every nation of the world.

The amount of business or political importance between Jordan and the Netherlands is infinitesimal. Matters were handled by (usually honorary) consulates elsewhere in the region. In the early reign of queen Beatrix she insisted on having full diplomatic relations with fully staffed embassies in both nations, out of her personal friendship with king Hussein. The government caved in to the royal demand, and established full diplomatic relations, despite the fact that we do more business with Greenland without even an honorary consul… This created a bit of a scandal, as her insistence was not exactly constitutional.

Now, Jordan is anything but a democracy. The king holds substantial powers, both military and legal as well as administrative. Anything the king says, goes! Strangely enough his royal majesty seems to be royally occupied with grave matters elsewhere, while his subjects, purely democratic of course, dance the makaramba with the relationship of a nation which has exceptional friendly ties…

Remember, the king of Jordan appoints all judges as he sees fit. Or removes them, if that be his pleasure. Also, the king, if he judges this necessary, can order in the army to remove whatever offends him. And he has done that in the past, quite a few times. But his royal majesty is royally occupied…

Also remember that the Dutch government has done everything in its power to prevent Wilders’ producing Fitna. Both legal and illegal. Without any success at all. For example, the police printed already filled-in complaint forms, where complainants only had to fill in their names and sign to complain about Wilders — that’s not exactly legal. The Prosecutor General’s office tried, in vain, to set up a court case against Wilders. Many organizations tried likewise. Even the biggest names in law and advocacy tried, again unsuccessfully.

Now, all of a sudden Wilders is being sued by a nation that doesn’t even have a word for democracy, but has very strong bond of friendship between the royals. Both royals look royally occupied. Both governments wash their hands in complete innocence. Both governments cannot do a thing against the democratic actions of lawful citizens.

It is just me, or do you smell a dead rat the size of a camel, too?

15 comments:

spackle said...

I dont see what the difference is between companies that do business with Islamic countries bent on our destruction and those that did business with the Nazi's? I mean how overt a threat do these tools need to realize they should not sell anything to these guys? Greed is truly an amazing thing. It will make you sell out your own neighbor, country and soul. General Electric is still doing business with Iran!! I think the only way this will change is when stock holders start taking this personally.

Diamed said...

"You capitalists will sell us the rope to hang you with."

Nothing has changed. Capitalism only cares about money and is willing to trump any other concern, including security, culture, long-term future, the environment, etc, etc. Any country interested in a future must confront capitalism. (and democracy while we're at it, which gives money far too great a say in government, and encourages the mass importation of voters so long as it favors any particular party, and legalizes robbery and parasitism.)

Natalie said...

From the article: "This has nothing to do with freedom of speech... Wilders insulted all Muslims of the world. He should not escape punishment."

Except that it has everything to do with freedom of speech! How can people be so stupid as to say something like that? Just when I think I can encounter no more stupidity than I already have, I read something like this.

Diamed, I'm not so sure it's the capitalists selling the rope... it's more like almost the entire western civilisation. Many people are just too cowardly to resist Islam because they believe all this stupid "multicultural" rubbish that our governments feed us.

Zenster said...

Spineless sodding tossers. They'll be the death of us all.

costin said...

Diamed,

It's not about capitalism, its about those disgusting individuals running those corporations.

Zenster said...

costin: It's not about capitalism, its about those disgusting individuals running those corporations.

Bravo, costin, it is wearisome beyond measure to keep defending capitalism against charges of greed. The two have NO connection. Corruption will manifest in every socioeconomic system so long as people continue to perceive there being any benefit to be derived from it. Once corruption becomes the indelible stain that it should be upon a person's reputation, it will cease to be such a problem.

If anyone wants a better understanding of why free market capitalism is the only valid socioeconomic system, please read Ayn Rand's, "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

Grimmy said...

Diamed,

The intellectual inbred sack of dumb*** that made that prediction...what ever happened to his government?

Totalitarians are so slow it's almost not funny.

Diamed said...

Grimmy -- The communists won the cold war. Rather than former communist countries embracing, let us say, traditional western values, it is us who have adopted all of theirs. From the welfare state, to thought police, to an end to all 'discrimination,' there is little that separates us from the USSR anymore.

Zenster -- I have read that very book, and I don't see how it changes anything. So long as people are free to make business decisions without any reference to its wider impact on the community, standing for economic freedom simply means the right to be a rogue and rascal profiting off the damage you do to others.

Rather than freedom (capitalism) or equality (communism), the only valid economic system is nationalism. Making sure your people are well off, for now and forever, both spiritually, bodily, and mentally. If that means making money, then fine. If it means foregoing profits that could have been made, but are unhealthy in other aspects and ways, then down it goes. Buying oil from dictators, importing cheap labor, and bringing women into the workplace have made us rich, but will capitalists ever sum up the real prices of their actions? Capitalism would legalize the drug trade and would happily make money off poisoning our own children. That is enough right there to never speak of capitalism again. Money isn't everything. In fact, it's barely anything.

The per capita GDP of the USA is $45,000 now. How much more money do we need? What has it purchased us? In forty years we'll have lost our entire homeland, our kids will be a perpetual 2nd class visited by every indignity and crime, our culture will be erased, our history vilified, our faces downtrodden and our communities and families torn apart, atomized, until you are lucky to have just one mother and one child in a house. Or better yet, 3 fathers and one catamite adopted son, since this is the brave new world America is preparing for us.

Oh but who cares, after all, we're making 45,000 a year.

Grimmy said...

diamed:

The US has been plagued by the idiocies of socialist utopians long before the existence of marxism.

The elasticity is just about played out of the system these days. The lash back is going to be nasty.

Oh, and about your take on capitalism... Capitalism has proven to be the single most robust and flexible economic system on the planet, bar none.

We've got our problems stemming from constant crap from the utopians gloming on to the program, and the fact that nothing done by man will ever be perfect, but it is still the best thing going.

Your version of the future is bunked by one thing, at the very least. You assume that since we've all behaved to this point, that we'll continue to do so. Rest assured there mister, the rage break is coming. These things take time.

One of the biggest victories of the cultural destroyers was in the judgement that all speech, regardless of its intent or purpose, is protected speech. To give anyone protection to spread their poison without any repercussions, even when that poison demands our own destruction... That's about as competent as passing judgement that any parent that refuses hungry predators full unfettered access to their children is guilty of animal abuse.

That, and more, will get changed once the free men and women of the US get tired of being treated as peasants.

Kim Hartveld said...

"KLM does not interfere with any religious or political organization whatsoever,"

and then goes on to make this political statement:

"and distances itself of the contents of this controversial movie."

How duplicitous can one be?

EMB said...

Stock lots of ammo, salt, rope, and
staples along with water.
The ammois for the self haters who realize they do love life when they come to steal from you.
Align yourselves with the Remnant.
There are more of them than you think.
Dow Chemical just raised their base
price 25%, after an increase of 20% just 2 weeks ago.
Plastic is going to become as priceless as oil or gold.

Zenster said...

Diamed: I have read that very book, and I don't see how it changes anything. So long as people are free to make business decisions without any reference to its wider impact on the community, standing for economic freedom simply means the right to be a rogue and rascal profiting off the damage you do to others.

The point remains that people AREN'T "free to make business decisions without any reference to its wider impact on the community".

Companies that operate irresponsibly can find themselves on the wrong end of crippling lawsuits, devastating boycotts or bankrupting stock slides.

When it comes to these amoral corporations, America's investing and buying public needs to start voting with its wallet. These scumsucking parasitic companies need to watch their sales sink faster than the Titanic.

As with Zwanenberg's betrayal of Geert Wilders, Europeans intent upon remaining a free people need to halt all purchases of that company's products until the loss of Muslim sales shrinks to insignificance. You can bet the farm on that $h!thole of a company reversing itself in favor of Free Speech faster than the devil can get his shoes on one millisecond after European profits decline below those of the MME (Muslim Middle East).

Zenster said...

Diamed: "You capitalists will sell us the rope to hang you with."

I'm about fed up to here with the patent fallacy of that worn out and wholly erroneous saying. Notice how capitalism drove every nail into the coffin of Soviet communism? We hung the Soviet Union with our well-manufactured rope. Whose rope would you rather use to lash down your expensive cargo, Soviet or American?

I've got to add that, quite clearly, you weren't paying much attention while you read Ayn Rand's "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal". Honest capitalists-the only kind there are, the rest are all gangsters-would never sell the tools of their own destruction to a dedicated enemy.

It is the equivalent of America selling functional nuclear weapons to Iran. Everyone here really needs to get over conflating capitalism with corrupt business practices. Corruption is the EXACT antithesis of capitalism.

Brian H said...

Ignore ijits in the ME who want to boycott. Their GNPs and purchasing power are actually minute in the grand scheme of things. Let them have their self-destructive snits.

Diamed said...

Is it their own destruction? After all, these companies are multi-national and exist everywhere and nowhere.

Furthermore, since most companies do not last more than 50 years, it's impossible to be destroyed, they simply make their money and then vanish back into the abyss they came from, never to face the long term consequences of their actions.

And what if their actions profit them, while hurting their hosts, but the hosts are strong enough to bear it? In that case they've made a tidy profit at no cost, since it never backfired all the way to them.

Capitalism cares about one thing, profit, an 'honest' capitalist will always go bankrupt competing with 'dishonest' capitalists who can get more business deals around the world, get cheaper labor, fool more customers into a bad deal with a jingly advertisement full of women in bikinis, or whatever else simply by lowering their moral standards. It is an arms race to the bottom, and competition always rewards the most money-grubbing, the most ruthless, the most uncaring, the victory.

Your idea that people could punish ruthless capitalists by boycotting their goods is impossible given how much research it would take to find out the business practices of every company and what they make, under what subsidiaries, etc, and then they would quickly find themselves stuck with no company they could in good conscience buy from, since all of them are doing it. And lastly, the vast majority of people would have to first form a negative opinion of those business practices. This will never happen since the businesses have something called PUBLIC RELATIONS, an entire branch of business devoted to making people like them. Smart people in smoke-filled rooms spend all their lives figuring out how to manipulate dumb people into not minding how the company is hurting them and making sure they never hear of it, while meanwhile making sure the government looks the other way or subsidizes it all out of public view. The perpetual vigilance it would take to not be manipulated by these advertisements is beyond the common man.

Instead, they will simply compare prices, buy the cheapest, and go home to enjoy the beer, the game, the soap opera, the whatever mind-numbing entertainment device (brought to you by capitalism), alone and completely isolated of course, and prepare for another grueling long day at work tomorrow, with perhaps a child they put to bed after getting home from school or daycare, crossing paths like ships in the night.