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Ruud Gullit & het (voetbal)-leven

In oktober 1989 kreeg ik een vraag van de VPRO-Gids. Of ik wilde afreizen naar Milaan om Ruud Gullit te interviewen. Daar hoefde ik niet lang over na te denken. Graag!
      Nederland was het jaar daarvoor Europees kampioen voetbal geworden en in 1990 zouden ze wel eens wereldkampioen kunnen worden.
      “We” hadden niet alleen Ruud Gullit, maar ook Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten en Ronald Koeman om een paar namen te noemen.

            V.l.n.r. Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit


De afspraak was zeer eenvoudig tot stand gekomen. Kees Sluys van de Gids had even met de assistente van de persvoorlichter van A.C. Milan gebeld en ik zou daar van harte welkom worden geheten. Hoewel ik grote twijfels had over die vermeende voortvarendheid reisde ik af en maakte het onderstaande interview.
Om het allemaal in goed historisch perspectief te plaatsen moet u van tevoren nog een paar dingen weten.

n  Nederland won de laatste kwalificatiewedstrijd tegen Finland met 3-0 en plaatste zich moeiteloos voor het Wereldkampioenschap in Italië.

n  Gullit was op het moment van het interview ernstig aan zijn knie geblesseerd, maar zou alle wedstrijden als aanvoerder meedoen.

n  Thijs Libregts was de coach, maar werd op instigatie van de spelers ontslagen.

n  De meeste spelers (8) kozen voor Johan Cruijff als de nieuwe coach. Vijf waren voor Leo Beenhakker en twee voor Aad de Mos.

n  Rinus Michels, coach van het kampioensteam uit 1988, had een soort vetorecht verworven , koos er voor om de stem van de meerderheid NIET te volgen en benoemde Leo Beenhakker tot nieuwe coach.

n  Het wereldkampioenschap werd mede daardoor een groot fiasco. Nederland haalde met grote moeite de volgende ronde, maar verloor toen in een ontluisterende wedstrijd van West-Duitsland. Frank Rijkaard bijvoorbeeld werd in die wedstrijd het veld uitgestuurd, nadat hij Rudi Völler vol in het gezicht had gespuugd.

n  Met Johan Cruijff en de bobo’s van het Nederlands elftal is het daarna nooit meer goed gekomen.

n  De VPRO heeft Ruud Gullit niet betaald voor dit gesprek.

n  Rinus Michels zou later tot coach van de eeuw gekozen worden. Een man dus die gezorgd had voor een verziekte sfeer in 1990 en het notabene gepresteerd had om in 1974 in de pauze van de finale tegen West-Duitsland linksbuiten Rob Rensenbrink te vervangen door de rechtsbenige hardholler René van de Kerkhof.  En dat terwijl Piet Keizer op de bank zat.





After the Fall

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

It is hard to predict when it will hit him.  Maybe stepping out of Air Force One for the last time, or at Mar-a-Lago, when he realizes that from now on he’ll have about one fifth of the space he had in the residence and Melania still wants her own bedroom, or in a couple of days, when it’s clear that Lindsey and Rudy are not calling anymore.  Recapping, according to the Mayo Clinic Trump’s mental illness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.  Behind a mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.  On top of this people with megalomania, which is forged with NPD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, have delusional fantasies about their powers, beliefs and accomplishments.  Obviously each of those symptoms has been enlarged, if not squared, by the pomp and power of the US presidency, which has now been taken away from him.  Trump was a sick puppy when he won the 2016 election but now he is an even sicker full grown Rottweiler that’s being put into a tiny dog house, and something’s got to give.  

There is plenty of speculation about the harm Trump can still do after the disastrous last four years, as the leader of the GOP or of a modern fascist spinoff of that party, supported by a new Internet platform of his own design, but before he can re-establish himself he’ll undoubtedly have to get through a serious depression, and there is no telling how much mental damage his most recent demise has done.  Dealing with his election loss to Joe Biden he has never moved beyond rage and denial, and in fact he has been regressing, because although initially he appeared to understand that Biden had won, gradually he started to believe the stories that were told by the loonies surrounding him, about a stolen election and massive voter fraud, primarily committed by black voters.  After having used the full power of his position to thwart everything Biden wants to do both domestically and internationally, after sabotaging the transition into Biden’s presidency from the very beginning and after calling for an insurrection that ended with the defiling of the Capitol by a white supremacist mob he is now without a communication channel, without a staff,  without a lawyer and without a plan, but with a mind full of grievances.

Whining about a fantasized injustice is not a political program, and other than getting out of the past and into the future Trump may face bigger challenges.  He’ll almost certainly be sued for tax and insurance fraud in New York and for election tampering in Georgia, and the incoming Attorney General will have to decide whether to indict him for the obstruction of justice that was documented in part two of the Mueller report and for the incitement to insurrection on January 6th.  Instead of leading a party or building a new platform Trump may spend most of his time with lawyers and in courtrooms, and eventually in prison.

In a farewell address that raised the question if Hitler could have given a similar speech touting his achievements if he had had the chance Trump said that the movement he started was only just beginning, but also condemned the violence at the Capitol.  The fact that even Mitch McConnell holds him responsible must have both scared and infuriated him, and opens the possibility of conviction in a Senate trial that would take away his Secret Service protection and, more importantly, keep him out of public office forever.

Trump’s last act as president is a slew of pardons, mostly for white collar criminals who will be able to repay him at some point in the future, because the grift never ends.  For his departure from DC Trump wanted a band and a red carpet at Andrews Air Force Base, and he got both, but of the people he invited almost nobody showed up.  Even Mike Pence decided that Biden’s inauguration is much more important, and justifiably so.

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Death in the Capitol

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Officer Sicknick died a victim of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th but if it was up to Trump democracy would have died too. After months of lying that he had won the election and telling his followers that the official result could still be reversed, after dimwit Trump-mutt Don Jr. had threatened politicians who didn’t support his father that ‘we are coming for you’ and after Consigliere Rudy Giuliani, who has lost more than 60 court cases challenging the election results, had thrown ‘trial by combat’ into the mix, the president told his goons to march on the Capitol for the wild ending he had promised.  And so they marched, in their camouflage fatigues and ‘6 Million Jews Was Not Enough’ t-shirts, with oversized MAGA hats and red, white and blue face paint, some in body armor with hidden guns and others with confederate flags, united in the intention to ‘stop the steal’ and keep Congress from doing its constitutional duty.  Once at the Capitol they broke through the perimeter, forced themselves into the building and went looking for Mike Pence, who was supposed to be hanged at a gallows outside, and for Nancy Pelosi, who was supposed to be shot on site.

They didn’t find Pence and Pelosi, who had been whisked away by security personnel, but they broke into the Senate chamber and Pelosi’s office, where they stole a laptop and a podium and broke a mirror.  Some of them defecated on the floors and spread their feces through the building while others went looking for members of Congress, armed with zip ties to take them prisoner. On their journey through the corridors they ran into officer Sicknick, who stood his ground and was hit with the fire extinguisher that broke his skull, which made them all complicit to murder. Meanwhile at the White House Trump, who had told them he would be with them but of course was not, was cheering the mayhem on, surprised and later disappointed that except for initially Don Jr., his witchlike girlfriend and Mark Meadows nobody was happy about the spectacle.  When the scope of the disaster he had brought upon the country became clear his staff begged him to ask the perpetrators to go home, which he did after repeating his lie about the election being stolen and telling them he loved them.  The next day, medicated up the wazoo, he condemned their actions but only for a few hours.

It is still unclear if the president played a role in keeping the National Guard away from the Capitol until the late afternoon, but it’s obvious that he committed treason by inciting to insurrection in an attempt to hold on to the White House.  He has been complaining lately that unlike Obama he didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize but he is first in line for the Benedict Arnold Award, and punishment will be coming, both for him and for the white supremacist scum under his command. For Trump that will start with today’s impeachment and later continue in federal and state courts.

Following the closing of his Facebook account the president was also banned indefinitely by Twitter, and although he tried to keep messaging on the platform, first from his POTUS account and then from his campaign account, like a trapped rat in a sewer looking for an exit, every account he tried to use was summarily shut down, taking away his most important ‘instrument,’ as dirty trickster Steve Bannon, who is still waiting for a pardon for the financial fraud he has been indicted for, would call it.

Yesterday Trump was back at being his old lying, pompous self.  First he made a futile effort to convince Kevin McCarthy that the invaders of the Capitol were Antifa, not MAGA people, then he told the press that a second impeachment would be ‘very divisive and dangerous’ and that people who read his speech thought it was ‘totally appropriate’ before he flew to Texas to see if Mexico had already paid for ‘the Wall.’

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International reaction: The rest of the world watched the once-unimaginable scene unfolding in Washington with dismay for what it said both about the U.S. and about other nations.


“This is not merely a U.S. national issue, but it shakes the world, at least all democracies,” said Peter Beyer, Germany’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic affairs. Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter: “This is what happens when you sow hatred.”



Another Perfect Call

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

When Trump called the Ukrainian president Zelensky on July 25th 2019 to blackmail him into starting an investigation of Hunter and Joe Biden, Alexander Vindman was listening in and blew the whistle on the president’s criminal behavior, and having learned a lesson, when last Saturday Trump called Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger he and his lawyer were prepared and recorded the call.  After the president tweeted some falsehoods about their ‘conversation’ the secretary released the recording to the press, and soon thereafter the whole world could listen to Trump threatening, lying, cajoling and blackmailing to have the result of the election reversed in his favor.  His reasons were that 18,000 fraudulent ballots were brought into a polling place, that there were no poll watchers, that close to 5,000 dead people and 4,925 out-of-state people voted, that some ballots were entered multiple times in voting machines and many ballots were burned in Fulton County.  Some of these ‘arguments’ came from the darkest corners of the web, where QAnon followers manufacture and spread their conspiracy theories for simpletons like the president to believe.

After Raffensperger and his lawyer calmly rebuked Trump’s preposterous claims and told him that his data were simply wrong and that Dominion voting machines had not been removed or altered there was nothing left for the president than to ask the secretary to find him 11,800 votes, one more than he needed to win the state.  The request is a federal crime, although the statute allows for its own version of an insanity defense if the perpetrator doesn’t know that his ‘facts’ are false, and it’s also a violation of Georgia state law, which doesn’t have a similar back door. Trump didn’t seem to be deterred by the prospect of another state lawsuit without protection from a pardon and repeated the same gibberish last night at a rally for the two GOP senators who were in a runoff in Georgia, where he really was supposed to talk about those senators, who both lost, but barely mentioned them.  Also not deterred by the phone call are 140 Republican House members and 12 senators who stand ready to challenge the outcome of the election in possibly six states when the Electoral College votes are presented to Congress today, potentially forcing an all-night debate.

Neither that debate nor flipping Georgia will give Trump the presidency and there is speculation that he is just pissed off about having lost Georgia, traditionally a red state, but his effort is more nefarious.  He has called on the Republican governors of Georgia and Arizona to intervene, and put pressure on legislative leaders in Pennsylvania and Michigan to have the election results in their states reversed.  And those are only the actions we know about, but considering that he tried 18 times to get Raffensperger on the phone God knows how many other politicians he has called.

The president seems to realize that objections from a minority of House members and senators won’t keep him in the White House, but he is delusionally convinced that Mike Pence, who has an entirely ceremonial role prescribed by the Constitution in receiving the Electoral College votes, can still change those votes and declare him the winner of the election.  Apparently Pence told him that he cannot do that but Trump put out a statement that he and the VP agree he can.

For weeks Trump has urged his cult members to come to Washington, DC, today and the city has been filling with sizable contingents of QAnon crazies and white supremacist hoodlums like the Proud Boys. The latter had to leave their artillery at home and without it they won’t try to get into the Capitol but more serious rioting can be expected after Trump speaks to them at the Ellipse.

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