Dries van Agt

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Person.png Dries van Agt   IMDBRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, Dutch Prime Minister)
Dries van Agt.jpg
Born2 February 1931
Geldrop, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Alma materRadboud University Nijmegen
A Dutch conservative Christian PM who started the Dutch Drug Policy to end the War on Drugs, vocally opposed Israel and appears to be removed as PM when neo-liberals and socialists became increasingly supportive of Cold War SDS policies.

Andreas Antonius Maria "Dries" van Agt is a Dutch politician, former minister of justice (starting the now infamous Dutch drug policy to end the War on Drugs), diplomat of the defunct Dutch Catholic People's Party, later the Christian Democratic Appeal party and Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1977 until 1982. Van Agt's was noted for pursuing the peace movement. During Van Agt's last term, Van Agt was seemingly forced out by an alliance of deep politicians clandestinely serving Inlichtingen en Operatiën, NATO and Prince Bernhard's Bilderberg interests.

Background

Van Agt studied Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen obtaining a Master of Laws degree and worked as a criminal defense lawyer in Eindhoven from September 1955 until December 1957 and as a civil servant at the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries and Justice from December 1957 until January 1968. Van Agt worked as a professor of Criminal law and Criminal procedure at his alma mater from January 1968 until July 1971 and served as a judge at the district court of Arnhem from April 1970 until May 1971.

Politics

After the election of 1971 Van Agt was appointed as Minister of Justice in the Cabinet Biesheuvel I and taking office on 6 July 1971. Van Agt was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after the election of 1972 serving from on 23 January 1973 until 22 April 1973. Following the cabinet formation of 1973 Van Agt continued as Minister of Justice in the Cabinet Den Uyl and also became Deputy Prime Minister taking office on 11 May 1973.


Den Uyl's Dutch Approach

Joop den Uyl presented the Dutch in the international community at the start of the 70s as having an unique "Dutch approach[1] to terrorism"; which translated to very long negotiations with hijackers and "terrorists" instead of military action[2], Den Uyl's session[3] at the Jerusalem International Conference on Terrorism was noted for a call in support of Irish Politician Frank Cluskey; trying to shift European politicians away from the usual enemy image (the Soviet Union) and try to focus on a larger variety of terrorists, in these cases called the IRA[4], Basque independence movements, Libya and the South Moluccans (since the 1950s part of Indonesia), which pointed to calling any independence group not aligned with the government "terrorist or "extremists".[5]

Den Uyl suddenly switched his stance during the attacks on Dutch soil of the South Moluccan train hijackers, with a controversial attack by improvised marines on the train hijackers in 1977, with Den Uyl admitting it being an "execution" 10 years later in a documentary. Den Uyl mentioned the idea to deport 35000 Moluccans from the Netherlands "had failed" while also immediately planning an "structural police raids on the moluccans living in the Netherlands, executing their voluntary defence forces[6]", not opting to maintain his original Dutch Approach plan of continues negotiations with the hostage takers, and joining the other ministers, a controversial decision still being the focus of lawsuits 40 years later as dozens of ex marines and officials are pointing towards either Den Uyl or Van Agt (who never mentioned any post-op raids) for the excessive gunfire used, as communication devices worn by the marines describe assassinating hostage takers that were already severely injured, with the marines seemingly laughing about the shootings directly after them on their communication devices.[7]. Den Uyl never explained why he became a vocal supporter to an "increased" call to "terrorism" by independence movements around the globe in the 1970s after the "terrorist" hijackings and attacks of the South Moluccans, as the approach were seen as extreme but successful as hundred of children in other hijacking were released and a plan to kidnap Juliana was discovered and thwarted.

Van Agt's rise

Den Uyl was reported to be unusually frustrated in parliament with van Agt and not himself becoming PM in December of 1977, after avoiding a delay of the Dutch general Election after the train hijacking.[8]

On 10 December 1976 Van Agt was selected as the first leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal and top candidate of the newly formed Christian Democratic Appeal for the election of 1977. After the election Van Agt returned as a Member of the House of Representatives and became the Parliamentary leader taking office on 8 June 1977 and subsequently resigned from the cabinet on 8 September 1977. Following a successful cabinet formation with VVD leader Hans Wiegel Van Agt formed the Cabinet Van Agt I and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands taking office 19 December 1977.

President

First Term

Van Agt's first term from 1977 to 1981 was a complex network of controlled chaos. Very surprisingly replacing previous PM Joop den Uyl, who was becoming an ally of Israel was "out conned" by van Agt's cunning and widely acknowledged negotiating skills, Van Agt was also met with criticism from the religious factions in his own party, that refused to vote along party lines as all Christian parties merged into the CDA party. The cabinet opted to introduce privatization as - like in many countries - the oil crisis had caused massive growth in unemployment. With a rise of television, Dutch citizens began developing an increased interest in geopolitical deep politics subjects, with massive protests against NATO placing cruise missiles in western-Europe, Princess Beatrix Armgard marrying a nazi soldier, and the apartheid-regime of South Africa.

Van Agt's cabinet also gave uranium to Brazil, sold submarines to the government of Taiwan (being criticized by China), supporting a non-answered boycott of Argentina, adding anti-discrimination laws to the constitution, setting fixed terms for senators and making it mandatory to vote on the chairpersons of both houses. Many of these ideas aimed at more transparency in politics failed.

Second Term

Van Agt's second cabinet was set-up with neo-liberals led by Hans Wiegel and the socialists led by Joop den Uyl, who called for increased arms to combat terrorism. Joop Den Uyl spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, on "The Dutch Response" to "terrorism". Barely one month after taking office, the cabinet almost fell due to a dispute between the CDA ministers and the Joop den Uyl's PvdA cabinet members as Lubbers as party chairman pressured van Agt to make a decision for NATO but van Agt refused as his coalition partners were split 50/50.[9] Van Agt's refusal to follow NATO's geopolitical strategy isolated him, as the Dutch had just re-allowed the big cities to become "de facto" European drug capitals[10], with crime syndicates overtaking all other crime power structures in the city, and many new jobless citizens being employed by them, with a lot of social unrest as a result.[11]

Van Agt placed soldiers in the 1982 Lebanon War as part of the UN force, against the request of the Israeli's, and quite a shift after den Uyl had his minister of defence Henk Vredeling smuggling weapons from the US to Israel (including giving Dutch arms as well) and helping them train for combat in the Suez canal. Van Agt's cabinet became known as "the cabinet of fighting" due to his hard stance to halt Israel by reversing the Dutch position on Israel and to not try to engage in more Cold War conflicts with the Soviet Union.

Deep State intervention?

Full article: Lockheed/Bribery scandals

Prince Bernhard received a $1.1 million bribe from Lockheed to ensure the Lockheed F-104 would win out over the Mirage 5 for the purchase contract. The commotion lead to his resignation as Bilderberg Steering committee Chairman and to the only ever cancellation of a Bilderberg meeting.

Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl ordered an inquiry into the affair, while Prince Bernhard refused to answer reporters' questions, stating: "I am above such things".[12] The results of the inquiry led to a constitutional crisis in which Queen Juliana threatened to abdicate if Bernhard was prosecuted. Bernhard was spared, but had to step down from several public positions and was forbidden to wear his military uniforms again, a shock as Den Uyl was reported saying to several cabinet members that wanted to resign immediately that he simply could not jail the husband of the head of state. Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment Marcel van Dam was reported as "calling in his resignation immediately", with several following in a night long chaos with nobody daring to publicly announce the report in parliament.

Unbeknownst to many[13], after the final report revealing the Lockheed scandal with Prince Bernhard was uncovered to Den Uyl and the Dutch public (becoming a bestseller along the way), the Dutch Commission of Three consisting of Henri Peschar, Marius Holtrop & André Donner included a secret chapter of 12 pages in the version to Den Uyl. The secret pages described Bernhard having orchrestrated[14] a similar deal with US Aerospace manufacturer Northrop Grumman, Den Uyl chose to secretly stash this part away in a secret safe in the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam for a minimum of 50 years[15], only to be revealed in 2005 by a scholar from the University of Amsterdam, as Queen Juliana threatened to abolish the whole monarchy (with Queen Beatrix refusing to take the throne), and presumably their contacts and influence as well, as several scholars ensured Bernhard was to be convicted if this passage was not hidden.[16]

“Marcel van Dam had the for many plausible opinion that the Prince of the Netherlands should be handled by the Dutch State as every other citizen. So to be brought before trial. I, as Minister of Justice didn't think that was completely unreasonable.”
Dries van Agt (2005)  [17]

Intervention

In October 1981, Juliana[18] appointed deep politicians Victor Halberstadt and Cees de Galan to mediate the Dutch Cabinet crisis, this crisis is now remembered with the official narrative as a feud between the PM and progressive Dries van Agt and his CDA-fraction and the socialists in the coalition headed by deputy prime-minister left-wing Joop den Uyl and his PVDA party. Following the 1973 Oil crisis and the major inflation and loss of jobs, the two could not reach an agreement on social reforms. Other forgotten details include the participation of the NATO Double-Track Decision of 1979, PVDA members wanted to participate in a protest in 1981 with 400.000 civilians in Amsterdam as other protests regarding the Iran-Iraq war and the 1980s Afghan war were also becoming political hot topics.[19]

In a country suffering from pillarisation[20] and the Dutch massive spikes in (at that time legal) drug trade, many overlook the lines connecting that the 1981 Dutch Cabinet crisis may have been a coup. Van Agt cabinet ended powerless in parliament in May of 1982, unable to find a new partner, which seemed strange for a cabinet with so many deep politicians) as even former presidents and popular peace-makers as BIS-president Jelle Zijlstra refused to revive Van Agt's coalition. Van Agt's eventually left parliament and was replaced with Ruud Lubbers, leading the party into a new closer alignment with NATO and European SDS-like policies.[21]


Legacy

Van Agt was a controversial character, his temper and decade long battles with Joop den Uyl, during the nation wide adoption of TV were marked as exasperating, as he often was a confrontational and cunning debater, daring MPs to vote him out of his role several times. With the rise of remembrance for World War 2, a lot of former Nazi sympathisers and personnel sitting in parliament were forced to resign, where Van Agt drew criticism for his forgiving stances.[22]

Also noted must be his aim for the peace dividend, as Van Agt's didn't cut financial or diplomatic channels with countries kidnapping Dutch nationals or engaging in proxy wars, even if it resulted in cabinet turmoil. Even after the "terror attacks" on the Dutch Royal family or the riots surrounding Queen's Beatrix marriage, Van Agt never reacted with militarization of police forces or social engineering through the media. Van Agt was named as the executive ordering to shoot hijackers during the 1977 Dutch train hijacking, but the court ruled that based on unsubstantial evidence.[23]

Van Agt also allowed the massive peace demonstrations against NATO, the US Cold War policies & and members of his own party supporting those policies. Van Agt's will also be remembered as the Dutch Minister of Justice who opted to the end the War on Drugs by making soft drugs tolerated on Dutch soil, something he regretted because it made the law ambiguous[24], as he opted for complete legalization of drugs like weed.[25]

Van Agt's is the sole PM critical of Israel.

In later life, Van Agt has become the sole and harshest critic among prime ministers of Israel, in particular their handling of the Palestine, and this even became the reason Van Agt left his party in 2021.[26]

Dutch Minister of State

Dries van Agt and his opinion on the Cold War and Israel are also a reason Van Agt will also never be given the title of Dutch Minister of State, a network of former Dutch deep politicians on a advisory board to the current coalition.[27] Interestingly enough, Van Agt's last coalition includes 4 Dutch ministers of State, along with 12 future mayors, something contradicting the modern stance of Dutch historians that Van Agt's coalitions were chaotic and slightly incompetent.

Bilderberg

The notorious Ruud Lubbers - coming from the same party as Van Agt - acquired the telling title of being PM of the same party that headed the last coalition, something that had not happened since 1965 when Gladio-agents from the Dutch Deep state were implicated in having attempted to assassinate Prime-Minister Cals.[28] All Dutch Prime Ministers since 1982 have visited the Bilderberg: (Ruud Lubbers (1982-1994), Wim Kok (1994-2002), Jan Peter Balkenende (2002-2010), Mark Rutte (2010-).

Wilders

Van Agt's was very critical on the party congress of the CDA Party in 2010 regarding voting whether to work with the party of Geert Wilders, probably because of Wilders steadfastly support of Israel and Israeli donors being Wilders his biggest financial backers, even quitting NGOs when they opted to cooperate with Wilders.[29]


 

Related Quotation

PageQuoteAuthorDate
Joop Den UylOf course he belongs in jail, but you can't jail the husband of the head of state. So I have to think of something else.”Joop Den Uyl2005
104 pounds thermometer.png
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References

  1. https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/11-juni-1977-was-het-gedaan-met-de-dutch-approach~b4ad4d94/
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781003073208-27/dutch-response-joop-den-uyl
  3. https://books.google.nl/books?id=pDv_DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT174&lpg=PT174&dq=Joop+den+uyl+terrorism&source=bl&ots=i2dFuAdXz9&sig=ACfU3U3p-G9lhL1qLwBO6lVaxmtbKae6Ag&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimh4bX9uvxAhWNzqQKHfEqDboQ6AEwCHoECAQQAw#v=onepage&q=Joop%20den%20uyl%20terrorism&f=false
  4. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/1986-06-18/44/
  5. https://books.google.nl/books?id=pDv_DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT174&lpg=PT174&dq=Joop+den+uyl+terrorism&source=bl&ots=i2dFuAdXz9&sig=ACfU3U3p-G9lhL1qLwBO6lVaxmtbKae6Ag&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimh4bX9uvxAhWNzqQKHfEqDboQ6AEwCHoECAQQAw#v=onepage&q=Joop%20den%20uyl%20terrorism&f=false
  6. https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/de-treinkapers-geexecuteerd-den-uyl-had-andere-zorgen~b72c13ce/
  7. https://nltimes.nl/2017/05/30/dutch-govt-releases-transcriptions-1977-train-hijacking
  8. https://anderetijden.nl/aflevering/134/Joop-den-Uyl
  9. https://www.trouw.nl/politiek/de-kruisraket-liet-het-cda-bijna-ontploffen~b8a3dcf1/
  10. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0091450919847846
  11. https://historiek.net/van-agt-ii-vechtkabinet/141127/
  12. Times article December 4, 2004
  13. https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Joop_den_Uyl_biography_reveals_Northrop_bribe_of_Prince_Bernhard
  14. https://dare.uva.nl/search?identifier=4ae73f51-bf12-4173-9fb0-5e0e019d9c6d
  15. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2008/02/21/hoe-de-rode-premier-de-kroon-redde-11491042-a674407
  16. https://www.vn.nl/de-northrop-affaire/
  17. https://anderetijden.nl/aflevering/325/Joop-Den-Uyl Dries van Agt
  18. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?coll=ddd&identifier=ABCDDD:010879825:mpeg21:a0074
  19. https://www.parlement.com/id/vg09llgz6ywn/a_a_m_dries_van_agt
  20. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/journal/41295
  21. https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/jelle-zijlstra-zonder-idealen-vallen-de-muren-om~b490f87c/?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
  22. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_Aantjes#World_War_II_controversy_and_resignation
  23. https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2014/11/no-evidence-of-executions-in-1977-moluccan-train-hijacking-review/
  24. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2014/12/06/oud-premier-van-agt-het-gedoogbeleid-is-absurd-a1420498
  25. https://voc-nederland.org/persberichten_pdf/Dries_van_Agt_en_de_geboorte_van_het_gedoogbeleid.pdf
  26. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/ex-dutch-premier-leaves-his-party-over-its-lack-of-support-for-palestine/2281223
  27. https://www.ad.nl/politiek/waarom-balkenende-nooit-minister-van-staat-zal-worden~a4fc3981/
  28. https://www.groene.nl/artikel/versnipperde-geschiedenis
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpoNgQjP0eU