April 23, 2007
Interesting but sad to see that what I wrote below from 2002 onwards has all
turned out to be correct. But there is still Jazz! And at 72 I am still playing.
A reissue of my album Touching You (1987) on CD can now be obtained at
www.onlinejazzshop.com at the very low price of € 4,99. Samples of all the
pieces on the CD can be listened to on that site!
Line up: Bob Rigter tenor/baritone saxophone, Jan van Twuijver piano, Simon
Planting bass, Hans Beun drums.
Music: Touching You (orig), Skylark, All The Things You Are, Alteration (orig),
Round Midnight, Fried Bananas, You ' ve Changed, Simon (orig), Darn That
Dream, Blues For Jasper (orig).
April 15, 2006
Why this long
silence? Out of absolute disgust with American politics. I withdrew
into a small world of music and literature and Dutch landscapes. It is interesting
to see that what was obvious to me and many others in Europe is now gradually
becoming clear to the rest of the world. Unfortunately the damage is done.
November 3, 2004
Today I received the following mail from an American friend.
Four more years of lies and deceit and a power-mad "Messenger of God".
Sickening...he won more popular votes than any candidate in history.
Ashamed; saddened; - they don't seem strong enough.
Still, we must go on and teach children to do the opposite: read, know,
draw, paint, create, sing, play, dance, love, and believe in the beauty
of their fellow human beings.
October 11, 2004
Will our American friends who have the right to vote please read the following?
Rumsfeld said that there might not be an election in all sections of Iraq. Does this mean that
we can hold an election in America without Florida and it will count?
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004
Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions
on Iraq: "A flip and a flop and now just a flop."
Dear Mr. Bush,
I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq? You, your Dad, Rummy,
Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed your minds so many times, I am out of breath
just trying to keep up with you! Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet
have taken over the years represents your CURRENT thinking:
1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM. On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your
dad and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq.
Rummy looked so happy in the picture . Just twelve days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands
of Iranian troops. Your dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because ‘The Donald R.’
went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddam’s right-hand man , Tariq Aziz, just four
months later. All of this resulted in the U.S. providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled
Saddam to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post
reported that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the Reagan/Bush
administration wanted Iraq to win its war with Iran and anyone who helped Saddam accomplish
this was a friend of ours.
1990: WE HATE SADDAM. In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense
secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore so they attacked Iraq and
returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.
1991: WE WANT SADDAM TO LIVE. After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell
told the Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose up. But then
we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam, the Bush inner circle changed
its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites. Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.
1998: WE WANT SADDAM TO DIE. In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the
Project for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton insisting he
invade and topple Saddam Hussein.
2000: WE DON'T BELIEVE IN WAR AND NATION BUILDING. Just three years later,
during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election, when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer
where you stood when it came to using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright
“I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't
think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when
we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use
of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as
nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent
war from happening in the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously.”
--October 3, 2000
2001 (early): WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS A THREAT. When you took office in 2001,
you sent your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza
Rice, in front of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about Saddam
Hussein. Here is what they said:
Powell: “We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those
sanctions to make sure that they have directed that purpose. That purpose is every bit as
important now as it was 10 years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked.
He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.
He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.” --February 24, 2001
Rice: “But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is
divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep
arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” --July 29, 2001
2001 (late): WE BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US! Just a few months later, in the
hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy, you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You
wanted only to bomb Iraq and kill Saddam and you then told all of America we were under
imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way. You led the American
people to believe that Saddam had something to do with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's
sanction, you broke international law and invaded Iraq.
2003: WE DON’T BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US. After no WMDs were found,
you changed your mind about why you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new
after-the-fact reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate Iraq and give
the Iraqis democracy!
2003: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!
2004: OOPS. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED! Now you call the Iraq invasion a " catastrophic
success ." That's what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died, Iraq is in a
state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no clue how to get us out of there.
Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?
I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop," so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just
one: Flop. That is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors and the
"intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.
And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you call the "many positions" he has
taken on Iraq. By my count, he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position.
You told him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast majority
of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed you. You see, Americans, like John
Kerry, want to live in a country where they can believe their president.
That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the war, he supported YOU.
And YOU let him and this great country down. And that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to
the polls on Election Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White
House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping us and the rest of the world off.
We can't take another minute of it. Michael Moore
May 25, 2004
What did Bush say the name of that prison was?
"I will grab!"
What more could you expect.
July 22, 2003
What a month! You lie! You lie! Precisely 45 minutes after the war in Iraq started, it
was clear. The number of Iraqi's killed will probably never be divulged. I wonder whether
the American and British bereaved can sue the state for sending their sons and daughters
into war on false pretenses. They won't of course. Proudly they cherish a piece of cloth
a few medals and a piece of paper with the word Hero on it, to the sum total of at most
five dollars. The guerilla war has started and Iraq is turning into another Palestine.
May 1, 2003
Mayday - mayday - mayday - mayday ...
April 21, 2003
u r g e n t
Please fly in weapons of mass destruction a.s.a.p.
Americans do not care about legitimacy of war as long as they win, but for England it
is of vital importance that we finally find some weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Save Blair's skin!
March 29, 2003
When you come home, please not in a bag dad.
March 24, 2003
Since America has lost its moral and ethical credibility (rigged elections, supreme court,
Kyoto, Israel/Palestine, International Criminal Court, etc.) I watch the war as reality tv. Not
that you see the reality of it all, but still. Christiane Amanpour is delicious. I love the way
she speaks. It is that nasal quality that does it for me. I hear Rumsfeld whining about POWs
and the Geneva Convention. Suddenly he is all for international law and human rights. I think
of Guantanamo and the tears roll down my cheeks. What a wonderful show. And then Bush
makes an appearance. We see him making fun while he is being groomed for his appearance.
Then he puts on his dummy face and he recites his mantra on evil and the weapons of mass
destruction and that God is with America. And then, surprise surprise, some of his soldiers
die, and by way of consolation he announces that he prays for them! I wish I knew the precise
content of that prayer. It is too good to be true. Yet all this must be reality, for who could write
Still, again and again, I return to CNN. It is because of my craving for Christiane Amanpour and
her delectable nasal vocalisation.
March 18, 2003
What did Cook do with Tony Blair's goose?
Feb 21, 2003
If Sadam took Turkey from behind, would Greece help?
Feb 13, 2003
39% of the Dutch see America as the greatest threat to world peace. I remember the days
when the Americans were our heroes. They liberated us. Now, America has lost its ethical
and moral credibility. America exempts itself from human rights treaties. No American is to
be tried in an International Criminal Court. The senate has even passed a law that Holland
is to be invaded if an American should be tried there for war crimes.
They have for years now condoned the violation of human rights and of UN resolutions in the
Middle East. This led to the disastrous polarisation with the muslim world that has led to the
desperate kamikaze actions culminating in 9-11. Why must Iraq comply with UN resolutions
while Israel has been allowed to flout them for years? Sadam is a scoundrel and must be
removed. But the images of Sabra and Chatilla for which Sharon was responsible are still in
my mind. Who, in the Middle East, wields weapons of mass destruction? On which side will
the hundreds of thousands of war casualties fall?
Tomorrow is Valentines Day.
Feb 04, 2003
The ancient Greeks were aware that excessive pride and arrogance leads to lack of self-
criticism and ends in tragic failure. This was summed up in the notion hubris.
After 9-11, those who died tragically were triumphantly called heroes. Hurt pride made it
impossible for the USA to seriously consider the causes that led to the disaster. The
space-shuttle disaster shows the same blind self-trust. The stereotype reaction: those
who died are triumphantly called heroes and the incident must be forgotten as soon as
possible. The plans for building on ground zero have now been divulged. America is going
to triumphantly build the highest tower in the whole world as a symbol of its hubris.
War soon. If Sadam has weapons of mass destruction, they will be deployed as soon as
the war starts. If not, not. But then, at least, Bush has his war and the whole of the US will
rally behind him. God bless America.
Dec 28, 2002
The days of the legendary jazz concerts in The Hague appear to be back. The new Jazz
Club Pannonica has started off with a live cd recording of trombonist Slide Hampton with
Cees Slinger pi, Sjoerd Dijkhuizen and Simon Rigter ts, Frans van Geest b, Erik Ineke drs.
The cd will come out on the Blue Jack Jazz label. On dec. 26 and 27 there were fantastic
concerts by The Hague All Stars (Michael Varekamp trp, Simon Rigter ts, Vincent Koning
g, Peter Beets pi, Frans van Geest b, Gijs Dijkhuizen drs. For their new cd see Simon's page
on this site). Tonight and tomorrow there will be concerts by The Hage All Stars Big Band.
Be sure to have a look at www.pannonica.nl , and visit the club when you are in The Hague!
Dec 14, 2002
Racist Republicans: a sorry Lott.
By the way. Senator Lott, wasn't he the one that changed into a salt pillar? Nice and white?
Dec 10, 2002
Frost in Holland. Marathon skating. Great jazz, too. See new cd on Simon's page on this site.
Fortunately, one cannot generalize about American attitudes. There are some critical minds.
Maybe more than appears from the news. See www.markfiore.com/animation/corrections.swf .
Dec 4, 2002
Spent some days on a small island off the northern coast of Holland. Away from the world.
No cars. No entertainment. Just nature. The sea, the dunes, mud flats, rare birds. Water
colours hanging in the air. Greys, browns, shades of green, touches of blue and of red, the
white line of a sand bank far away. What a beautiful world. No radio. No newspapers.
Back in the civilized world, 80% of the news was about the aftermath of 9-11. The causes
have not been redressed. Instead, hawks lash out in fear or greed and the middle-east conflict
is allowed to fester on. Everywhere in Europe xenophobia gains ground. Fear reigns.
But not everyone has gone off their rocker. Go to www.moveon.org/winwithoutwar .
Nov 5, 2002
Elections in the USA today. In Holland we remember how Bush became president. We
are concerned about trade barriers, the environment, the struggle against symptoms rather
than causes of terrorism, the flouting of UN resolutions and international justice, even to the
extent that a decision was passed to invade Holland in the case of any American being brought
to justice in The Hague. Come on America, show your moral fibre!
(Nov 6: But no. After 9-11 fear reigns.)
Sept 12, 2002
After a year, the gap between rich and poor has only widened. The conflict in the Middle
East continues. International justice is far to seek. These causes of tension in the world
have not begun to be resolved. Yesterday the fear of terror was glaringly apparent. Let me
cite the president's recent comments on the Emron scandal: "Faith is earned by integrity.
There is no capital without conscience. There is no wealth without character." Wise words!
So wise, that they should also be applied to world politics.
Today the president insisted that a nation should obey UN resolutions. Great! And that
should hold for all nations.
Yes, we had a great summer in Holland. Elsewhere in the world it was a bit wet. Now why