Skip navigation

John Chuckman


After making building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone issue of his 2016 presidential campaign, it appears President Donald Trump is content with addressing the wall at a later date.

“…protect your families”?

Why would a migrant, legal or not, represent any more of a threat to your families than your own native population?

You do understand, don’t you, that America has the highest domestic violent crime rates in the western world already?

As for Israel’s Nazi-like wall, if you haven’t noticed that it includes a series of tall guard towers with men behind bullet-proof glass at machine guns, you’ve missed the most important part.

That in fact is the only reason Israel’s wall works at all, that it is not bulldozed, blown-up, or tunneled under constantly.

The brutal Israelis have certainly proved, many times over, that they have no compunction about shooting civilians for the slightest reason.

I don’t think, or at least I hope, that most Americans are not ready for that kind of behavior over a two thousand mile stretch of their country, rendering it into a gigantic maximum-security penitentiary.

Of course, what you and other Trump acolytes also miss is that there has always been a powerful American lobby for some degree of illegal Mexican migration.

Trump may well have been ignorant of this fact – he has proved ignorant of a remarkable number of things in a few months – when he blubbered about his wall, but I’m sure he has since been filled in.

Many of the vegetables and fruits on your dinner table are picked by them. Half the low-wage jobs in the American Southwest are staffed with them – cleaners, packers, baby sitters, caregivers, fast order cooks, etc.

It ain’t a simple situation, and people who yelp otherwise prove only their own simplicity.


John Chuckman


United Nations has ‘exhausted’ options on North Korea, says top US diplomat

“…top US diplomat”?

I beg to differ.

Nikki Haley couldn’t even provide a definition of diplomacy.

The woman is authentic trailer park, tarted-up with expensive suits.

I like the description of her they sarcastically use in “Russia Insider” as a former Waffle House Waitress. It summarizes her accurately and succinctly.

She is almost always photographed pointing or stabbing her finger at someone, behavior most of us learned as children was rude in the extreme.

John Chuckman


Samuel Johnson: The celebrated lexicographer’s 10 finest quotes and witticisms
Today’s Google Doodle raises a dish of tea to the man who said, ‘Sir, you have but two topics, yourself and me. I am sick of both’

A rather tepid selection, as you might expect from Google, aka, America’s friendly domestic face of the CIA.

Johnson could be so forceful and was one of our great defenders of humanity.

I’ve always especially liked, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

That rings true down to the present day in some sense.

The words were a dart aimed right for the heart of Thomas Jefferson, the century’s greatest hypocrite.

The famous “Patriotism and scoundrels” quote was also aimed at him, but few Americans appreciate the fact.

John Chuckman


I Agree With Jimmy Carter, Talk To North Korea
A couple of weeks ago I told you the Neocons were about to run amok across the globe because President Trump cut a deal with them on foreign policy. You know they are in charge because all pretense of talking to other people is dispensed with.

I don’t think Washington’s Neocon crowd care a fig for what anyone thinks of them, including this or any other writer.

Ideologically-driven fanatics are just that, fanatics.

They have given us an extremely dangerous world for the sake of objectives most people couldn’t care less about.

These objectives include America’s remaining the preeminent power on earth, able to dictate its will almost anywhere.

A corollary to this is the preeminence of America’s Mideast colony, aka Israel, in its part of the world. For many, and perhaps most, Neocons, it is the corollary to which they are fanatically attached, the push for American dominance everywhere being only a necessary means to that end.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to see this situation ending any time soon. America’s Neocons have used the country’s immense economic and financial power in many international organizations, too. Organizations which might otherwise strengthen the voices of reason in the world, including the United Nations.

Just look at the public theft, aggression, non-compliance with norms, and threats of Israel, and almost no voices are raised – much less any penalties imposed – in international organizations against them.

The United Nations, for example, was created to oppose exactly this kind of ugly, dangerous behavior, but its voice has been all-but-silenced by behind-the-scenes threats and bribes.

What Trump’s election has proved, and with blinding clarity, is that there is no simple political path to eliminating their influence. Hillary Clinton was completely an ally and beneficiary of the Neocons, as is virtually every Congressional leader, and I think an awful lot of people supported Trump in the hope of some progress being made against their current tyranny.

But Trump is a complete failure, having proved himself pretty much a coward in the face of an organized opposition. Indeed, his behavior today in most aspects of foreign policy tells us clearly that they have effectively recruited him to serve their goals.

He is much like some dumb kid who has been recruited to go join ISIS, and there is more truth than exaggeration in that comparison since we know ISIS and other terrorists in Syria were the creations of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia working together towards Neocon goals.

I am afraid they are entrenched. Gradual changes in the American public’s attitudes towards the current situation might change things, but that is an extremely difficult thing to achieve since all of America’s corporate press works without fail towards the Neocon goals.

We have seen examples of American public opinion turnaround, accompanied by decisive change in government policy, before, especially that which occurred with regard to Apartheid South Africa, a state long viewed by Washington’s establishment as a bulwark against “international communism,” but public opinion came to be convinced about the horrors of South Africa, and government priorities changed.

Israel is a much more difficult proposition since it has an immensely well-established lobby in America, has the complete sympathy of the press, and has that whole vague Biblical set of associations affecting a country which still has a lot of backwardness in religion from tent preachers to televangelists.

Of course, modern Israel has no connection with Biblical Israel, any more than modern Turkey has any connection to ancient Troy or modern Lebanon has to do with ancient Phoenicians. The residents are in fact an entirely different people – migrants from America and Europe who are of central and eastern European origin (the Ashkenazi), rather than descendants of ancient Hebrews.

Of course, they practice the same religion, but the average religious American has no idea of the differences and distinctions. They also have no idea of what a secular, unreligious society much of modern Israel is. There is only the emotional, unanalytical attachment to Biblical notions and mysteries.

And, for American politicians, given America’s dedication to the corrupt system of virtually unlimited money in financing elections, there is an organized and reliable source to turn to for portions of those funds in the Israel Lobby.

Realistically, only the ongoing growth in the relative strength of the BRICS countries, and the possible turn to more self-reliance in the EU, is likely to shake the hold of the Neocons in America. That plus the gradual and inevitable loss of the dollar’s position as the world reserve currency, a status which allows American authorities to abuse finances in a way they never could otherwise and allows them many routes to bribe and threaten other states, will do the job of ending American pretentions.

And there is the possibility of a disastrous major financial melt-down in America which might quickly alter its status and some balance of power, but that is, of course, something terrible which will hurt everyone.

John Chuckman


Iran will stand firm against any ‘wrong move’ by US over nuclear deal, says Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The US President called the nuclear accord ‘one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen’

Ayatollah Khamenei only speaks the most basic truth.

Trump is utterly wrong-headed in his every word and gesture towards Iran. He looks like a big dumb clown to anyone with some facts.

There is no other way to look at this.

Trump is, without question, following a script thrust into his hand by the madman, Netanyahu.

Every expert source worth listening to has told us Iran has scrupulously kept to the terms of the nuclear agreement. Not just “kept,” but “scrupulously kept.”

I remind readers that this is also a country which has attacked no one in its modern history (except terrorists in Syria), unlike both Israel and the United States who almost never stop threatening and killing someone somewhere.

What more can a country do to deserve being left in peace?

You do exactly what you are supposed to do, as confirmed by all observers, but you are still wrong and are told you must do still more things? Does that make sense to anyone except a madman?

In the eyes of Netanyahu, you have to leap, like a trained circus dog, through a long series of hoops he holds up, none of which have anything to do with the agreement proper, all while Israel threatens attacks and prods the US to attack.

And, of course, all while Israel maintains an arsenal of about 150 advanced nuclear weapons plus nuclear-capable missiles plus submarines (some or all of which have been rigged to carry a nuclear missile or two).

This is the most ridiculous charade we have on the planet, perhaps only excepting Israel’s completely illegal intervention in Syria – supporting phony jihadi outfits in their violence against a legitimate government and doing at least a hundred bombing runs of its own.

Of course, its criminal activity in Syria is aimed at keeping the Golan Heights which it stole fifty years ago, and whose petroleum and water resources it now exploits, and then this crazed man is demanding still more Syrian land right now.

And Israel’s criminal behavior towards Iran is based solely on its fanatical quest to completely dominate the region, behaving as a miniature replica of the US as it seeks to dominate the earth.

This surely is foreign affairs conducted as someone like the fascist dictators of the 1930s understood how to conduct them.

Response to a reader comment:

Trump is under the complete domination now of the Neocons in Washington, doing exactly what the ghastly Hillary would have done.

He has proved a remarkable coward in standing up for his original views. Lots of noise and bluster, and total capitulation.

John Chuckman


Sorry, Hillary, But Benghazi Isn’t Going Away

I’m always troubled that American critics of Hillary focus on the American security arrangements in events at Benghazi.

The terrible thing about Benghazi wasn’t a few Americans killed while conducting nefarious business.

It was the nefarious business itself.

Gathering arms and thugs from destroyed, war-torn Libya to transship into Syria.

The purpose in Syria was the five years of horror we’ve experienced with about 400,000 people killed. Lots of women and children, too, but Hillary never was one to worry much about that kind of detail.

Both the horror created in Syria and the horror created in Libya drove millions from their homes to become refugees, nearly destabilizing Europe and generating waves of hatred of migrants in the United States.

The four Americans killed – while they were doing dark, murderous-inducing stuff – was the tiniest part of the whole thing.

It is always interesting and disturbing the way Americans – even critics of American policy – focus on what happened to some Americans, almost always ignoring what those Americans were doing to others.

In Vietnam, over ten years of horror, a relatively small 60,000 Americans died, and there was always huge concern and chest-beating over that.

But those Americans died in a cause that would kill 3,000,000 Vietnamese in their own homeland and leave their country a dumping ground of bombs, landmines, and Agent Orange to keep killing for decades.

The Americans also helped kill a 1,000,000 Cambodians by destabilizing that neutral country with bombing and constant incursions, effectively giving it over to the Khmar Rouge.

No sense of proportion ever, and no sense of regret or shame for the horrors inflicted on others – that is a consistent pattern in America.

John Chuckman


Video: T-80 Test-Drive: Hitting The Track On The Russian Main Battle Tank

The Russian T-34 tank was responsible in good part for stopping Hitler’s Legions.

It was a crude but effective product, ultimately defeating Europe’s most advanced country’s products.

Today. apart from this T-80, Russia has the new versions of the heavy T-90 (which was filmed taking a direct hit from an American Tow Missile in Syria and just kept going) and the remarkable new, hi-tech T-14 Armata., a new kind of tank entirely.

The Russians are really good at this stuff protecting their homeland.

Why does the US keep pushing up against the borders? Aggressive stupidity and arrogance.

John Chuckman


The talking is over, the occupation goes on. Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?

Let’s be honest and put the responsibility where it belongs.

Netanyahu has always despised Oslo. We have many quotes from him to that effect, quite apart from his actions.

And how can anyone speak of peace while seizing the homes and farms of Palestinians and trying hard to make-over the ethnic composition of East Jerusalem?

You cannot.

Israel keeps an old man, Abbas, propped up as “president,” a man many would whose character resembles a kind of Palestinian Stepin Fetchit, a man who has not faced election in years. He is their stage prop to wheel out whenever there is a photo-op to show Israel is interested in peace.

Israel will not even talk to anyone else.

If Israel wanted peace it could have it tomorrow. Just return to the Green Line and put your boundaries into law. Few may realize it, but going on three-quarters of a century into its existence, it has no boundaries.

Why would that be? Because the land seized in the 1967 War is slowly being absorbed into some definition of Israel which exists nowhere else than in the minds of leaders like Netanyahu. Peace while stealing?

Just look at Netanyahu’s attitude towards neighbor Syria. Israel has conducted at least a hundred bombing runs against that war-torn land. And it has been involved in helping the mercenary fighters there who try destroying a legitimate government while posing as jihadis. It has talked of seizing still more land as a buffer.

And it has made it clear it regards the illegally-seized Golan Heights as its own in defiance of all international law. It is even drilling for oil there and making arrangements to sell it. Does that sound like a person who wants peace?

Netanyahu is now threatening Lebanon with another invasion. The threats are heard regularly. As are the threats against Iran, a country that has attacked no one in its modern history, except the terrorists at work in Syria. Israel openly spurns the Iran nuclear agreement and prods the United States to end it. Some devotion to peace.

Response (Promptly removed by Guardian editors) to a reader pointing out how Israel gave back Gaza for peace:

Israel never handed Gaza back to anyone, because in fact it never had Gaza.

It had a handful of settlers running around behind barbed wire with submachine guns and surrounded by soldiers.

They ran from an unsustainable and physically ugly situation, by the way, doing such peace-loving things as they left as poisoning their water wells and demolishing anything useful to others.

Hamas is a very key fact in the whole matter of peace. When Hamas was largely a humanitarian agency, back in the days of Fatah, Israel’s security services actually secretly assisted it, hoping to make trouble for Fatah.

When Hamas became a political party – political Hamas actually stood for clean government as opposed to the old, well-known corruption of Fatah – and won an open, observed, election, Israel changed its stance. Suddenly Hamas was a terror group.

They were not. They were a democratic organization which, of course, had no great affection for Israel.

Israel, after Hamas’s election, actually seized by force of arms many elected officials and threw them in jail. It assassinated a number of Hamas officials and openly threatened to kill its leader several times.

What Israel doesn’t like is that Hamas is democratic and independent-minded. Israel’s friends in the region are the King of Jordan, the King of Saudi Arabia, and the dictator of Egypt. It embraces democracy nowhere in the region. It hated Egypt’s first and only democratic government (that of Mohamed Morsi) and pressured the US to do something about it, which it promptly did, instigating a coup by the armed forces and the setting up of a new dictator.

Israel also doesn’t like Hamas because it will not automatically agree to Israel’s definition of itself, as “the Jewish state.” Why? There are more than a million Palestinians living in Israel. What happens to them if there were a strict definition of Israel as a Jewish state?

Anyway, the usual way of dealing with such issues is negotiation, but Israel does not negotiate. It tries to dictate. That’s not peace. That’s not even reality.

Response (Promptly removed by Guardian editors) to another reader who said that Hamas stood in the way of peace:

Not at all. Hamas has always been ready to come to an understanding, but Israel does not want an understanding, it wants to dictate.

John Chuckman


What does Putin actually want? Russia’s endgame with Trump, Europe and the Soviet Union 2.0
Former KGB man has been an indomitable force in Russian politics for two decades, but what is his geopolitical masterplan?

Russia is and was a great nation.

It has people of exceptional abilities and achievements.

But it has experienced some terrible difficulties, and today, despite its orientation to Western business principles, it faces constant hostility from America’s establishment.

Why? Because Russia is the only country on earth that can obliterate America. Not even China yet has that capacity.

And it stands in opposition to many of the goals of America’s Neocons, the dangerous fanatics who run foreign policy in the United States today.

Putin’s goals are no secret.

He has frequently revealed them in his often surprisingly frank talks and question-and-answer sessions.

He wants a multi-polar world in which a number of powers do not allow a single power to dictate.

We do not like the idea of dictators running our countries, and yet today we tolerate a would-be dictator in the international affairs, the Neocon-dominated United States.

This makes no sense to Putin or to millions of others.

You see American dominance considerations frequently overwhelm considerations of economic health and benefit.

Just look at what America tries to do in Europe vis-a-vis Russian energy supplies. This is completely against the economic well-being of Europeans.

Or look at the disastrous American wars in Libya or Syria which have driven millions from their homes to become refugees.

The refugees who have nearly destabilized Europe and created an intense fog of hatred against migrants in the US itself.

These are just a few of many examples where American Neocon geopolitical aims work entirely against the interests and well-being of others.

We are all significantly impoverished by them. The world could be a more prosperous and peaceful place.

Putin is the perfect practical statesman working towards goals, with skill and talent, that are in almost everyone’s interests.

It is a sad fact, but it is a fact, that America’s establishment today works towards “full spectrum dominance” everywhere. This is unhealthy and dangerous and impoverishes us all.

If you want a better, more open, and decent world, it is inevitable that you will come into conflict with America whose goals are something else entirely.

John Chuckman


The BBC’s political influence is weak. That’s worth defending
“…greater respect for still providing balanced news coverage for a divided nation”

What on earth is Polly Toynbee going on about?

I do not see BBC television news, but I do see the Internet site, and I have to say that Ms. Toynbee’s description is unrecognizable.

Since the Iraq invasion and the whole dark affair around the late David Kelly, BBC has been even more subservient to the government’s official views than ever it was.

It was Tony Blair who saw to that, just one of his achievements for democracy.

I view the BBC Internet site as a place only occasionally to see how a story is being manipulated by the selection of words and photos and emphasis.

Of course, all corporate or government news sources do similar things. It’s just that BBC is one of the most extreme.

I wouldn’t dream of regarding it as a news source, especially in international affairs.

John Chuckman


‘Tony Blair made mistakes, but I don’t accept the hatred’


Lying to people incessantly and bending all the government’s resources towards supporting those lies?

Assisting in killing about a million people, sending millions running as refugees, setting back one of the Middle East’s most advanced countries for a generation, and effectively planting the seeds for the rise of horrors like ISIS?

Putting BBC even more under the whims of government following the awful Doctor Kelly affair?

Taking a posture in international affairs towards the United States and its many abuses which resembled to many a posture of groveling?

I could extend the list considerably, but I make my point.

If those kinds of acts are not worthy of public revulsion, what is?

Are we to simply say, that’s okay, you horrible man, we all make mistakes?

John Chuckman


Hillary Clinton’s book has a clear message: don’t blame me

Hillary has always been a ridiculous politician – that is, apart from being a dangerous one (i.e. her infamously ugly quote on video about Gadhafi’s death or her quote on Julian Assange, “Can’t we just drone him or something?”) and under-handed (i.e. cheating Bernie Sanders out of the nomination).

She is ridiculous precisely because she always tries to be all things to all people and often has been caught in her false and even contradictory claims.

Witness her claim about bravery under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996. They were a complete fabrication, repeated many times on the campaign trail until we got the video of her actual arrival with a sweet young girl giving her flowers and not a shot to be heard. Her response: “I misspoke.”

There was her complete inability to say a word of truth about what she as Secretary of State achieved at Benghazi. She actually cried and melted down later trying to gain sympathy over her efforts in that murderous fiasco which only occurred because her administration was running a black-ops program of transferring weapons and thugs to use them from the ruins of Libya to try ruining Syria too.

Of course, in both cases, Libya and Syria, many women and children would be killed, but that seemed of little consequence to this self-proclaimed champion of women’s interests.

Remember her days, way back in the White House, swinging between speaking at times as though she were the President and then doing things like a photo-op baking cookies and wearing an apron?

Or witness the opening of her last campaign with the ill-considered, broad statement, designed to snare the votes of all young women, that a woman should always be believed in a rape case. Of course, there were several women making that exact charge against her husband, women she studiously ignored and often disparaged.

Now, all politicians are guilty in some degree of this kind of thing, but Hillary seems almost a screaming parody of the normal practices.

Of course, it cannot be any different with the responsibility for losing. She will not admit the truth we all recognize.

I think it fair, too, to remind readers that The Guardian gave her the strongest, totally-uncritical support during her campaign. Yes, Trump had some unpleasant behaviors and he has now proved a complete failure, but this woman had already proved herself a failure many times over and an extremely unpleasant person.

John Chuckman


NeverForget: Social Media Commemorates 16th Anniversary of 9/11

Never forget what?

To this day we do not have a proper explanation of what happened.

We know this much, the official story, for whatever reasons, is not accurate at all.

Readers may enjoy:

John Chuckman


The Bombast of Nikki Haley
She’s a lightweight, and a warmongering globalist

Nikki Haley is virtually a parody of what she believes she is.

All thinking people can see that.

It remains a wonder and a mystery that the United States puts forward such appalling people as diplomats.

But of course, many things about the way the US conducts its international affairs remain mysteries.

Nikki is simply a creature of the Israel Lobby. She speaks at times almost as though she did not know which country she represented, Israel or the United States. Israel loves her.

That fact explains Nikki, but we can never fully understand how such a large and powerful country as the US is so completely under the influence of Israel that it ignores terrifying realities and pretends it is doing good things for humanity, all while employing idiots to represent it.
Just a technical language note.

I do object to this author’s use of the word “globalist” for Haley.

It is a common enough use among America’s Alt-Right and Libertarians, but it is fundamentally wrong.

True globalism is something much larger than Nikki Haley’s provincialism, open prejudice, and aggression.

Globalism involves support for international institutions and treaties and an effort to make the rule of law work better in the international sphere. Not a bad set of goals.

She and other Americans like her are simply American Imperialists.

There is no other term for it.

Response to a reader who wrote: That may be your interpretation of Globalism. Others may call the transfer of capital to where labour is the cheapest, and the importation of cheap labour into western economies to drive down wages to be Globalism. Support for international treaties is simply that – support for international treaties.

Well, I can see how some may use the term that way.

But this is like giving a special term to the normal operation of the world economy.

Moving capital and seeking cheap labor are just the natural, inevitable operations of capitalism.

What is properly called globalization is just the movement of all resources and inputs on a planetary scale. It is the end result of the first steps taken in the 15th century to move products or skills between previously isolated rural villages.

Technology has steadily advanced to keep the process going and speed it up, as with new airplanes, ships, and telecommunications.

With a few centuries of growth, the same mechanism operates globally now.

You don’t need a special name, and the process will go on unless you in some way suppress it.

Suppressing these movements or advocating their suppression is a form of Luddism and in the end simply will not work, any more than it works to suppress new inventions and machines.

What does need a name is the world structure of agreements, treaties, and rules increasingly necessary as the inevitable process continues, just as we need a structure of laws within each country now.

No sensible person wants chaos nor do they want dictatorship by America.

People like Nikki Haley essentially operate on the assumption that America’s laws and rules and assumptions will govern. That is exactly what makes them Imperialists.

This is the source of many difficulties ahead. Other countries now grown strong following being flattened in WWII do not want dictates from America. They want laws and rules representing everyone’s interests, global interests.

The trouble with parts of America’s Alt-Right and Libertarians is that they do not see these important distinctions.

They speak endlessly of the evil of “globalism.” Really, they are speaking against nothing which makes any sense.

Effectively, they support Nikki Haley’s Imperialism, which tells us America has the right rules to govern everything and is ready and willing to do so.

They only depart from folks like her in not wanting the worldwide movements of capital and labor, but that is foolish, much like trying to command the wind to stop.

There were groups like this in the early modern era when the previous middle ages practice of commons was being overthrown by enclosures (of pasture lands), a way people owning estates could make what they owned more profitable.

The battles went on long and hard over enclosures in England, but the advance of enclosures won. And just so the movement of factors of production. But we need rules.

People are opponents because they are full of sentimental old American claptrap about how perfect America’s set-up is and how they don’t want it disturbed by the world.

But it is going to be disturbed, no matter what.

And, by the way, over time, this inevitable process will erode the traditional nation state concept. That too is inevitable. After all, the modern nation state was an artificial creation of the 18th and especially 19th centuries. Before that, everything was empires and kingdoms.

The eventual erosion of nation states is why some Alt-Right and Libertarians so oppose what they call globalism. I think they are just as doomed as the Nikki Haley Imperialist types who wish to govern the whole future by their rules.

John Chuckman


If Mark Zuckerberg runs for president, will Facebook help him win?

Well, of course, he is the owner, isn’t he?

But I must say, the corporate press has already helped Zuckerberg immensely.

Not a week goes by that his name isn’t in the press, sometimes more than once, yet I plainly observe he does nothing of note to merit the attention.

Zuckerberg has a baby, Zuckerberg buys an estate in Hawaii, Zuckerberg buys a fresh set of t-shirts.

He is being pushed, clearly, like a product by marketers.

When you run for high office in the United States, what is termed “name recognition” is a very important advantage.

The corporate press has supplied that in spades, otherwise, even though Facebook is widely known, his name would not automatically be associated with it. Only a small fraction of users would be able to name the head of Google, for example.

Well, the corporate press, including of course The Guardian, has certainly taken care of that.

This man sneezes and it warrants an article, much resembling the days of Diana or any movie celebrity.

But Zuckerberg does not have any of the charisma or charm of those celebrities.

He just has tens of billions of dollars and some decidedly unpleasant notions.
Response to a comment calling him the CIA candidate:

Yes, there’s more than a little truth in that.

Few seem to realize how active CIA has been in American politics in recent decades.

If you are in the Mafia, it is very comforting to have a “made man” sitting as judge in the court.

The first absolutely certain CIA president was George Bush pere, a lifetime agent back to Kennedy’s day. They don’t name the headquarters building after you just because you spent two years as appointed director.

Bush’s various conflicts were all classic CIA-type stuff. First Gulf War set up by the American ambassador secretly winking at Saddam’s suggestion about Iraq taking over Kuwait. The President of Panama set up on fake drug charges when what really mattered was Noriega’s nationalism and attitude towards the Canal. Noriega actually was often used by CIA in regional projects.

I’m pretty sure it was the same for Obama. He came out of nowhere, had little national name-recognition, and was heavily promoted by certain interests. Always very secretive, even in his limited time as a university lecturer. Holes in his resume. Questions about his birth records. And he spent his entire eight years bombing people the CIA wanted bombed.

CIA hires few blacks, but Obama might have proved a useful exception. Bright with the superficial charm of a narcissist or moderate psychopathy. We sure know he can kill. He did an awful lot of it.

It should surprise no one that the CIA is entangled in American politics. After all, their main work – in the really important operations branch – is manipulating other governments, paying bribes and “pensions” to politicians, interfering in elections, and staging coups. Why wouldn’t this spread to home?

Of course, CIA’s operating at home is technically illegal, but we know from past CIA figures – Director Helms, for instance, testifying after the Kennedy assassination – that the CIA is permitted to lie under oath. So how would they ever be prosecuted for breaking the law? The law is just a token. They’ve always operated at home when they thought it important.

Incidentally, Trump, for all his failings, has demonstrated for those who are observant how key CIA is to a President’s success. He started off on the wrong foot. Remember his early visit to the headquarters and his words about all the pillars in the building and how maybe we needed fewer? It was a former CIA head, John Brennan, who took him on directly with all kinds of false accusations and support for nonsense like the “dossier.” And they have, by whatever means, turned him completely around on some important foreign affairs matters. We are not seeing the same man.



Trump’s fascist contagion gives the anti-Brexit cause what it lacked: an emotional heart

“Trump’s fascist contagion”

Sorry, but I seriously object to that choice of words.

I don’t like Trump. I am disappointed in Trump. Trump is indeed a failed President.

But that does not warrant that kind of rhetoric.

The excess here reminds me very much of the days, not so very long ago, when The Guardian went into full McCarthyite attack mode against non-existent anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Jonathan Freedland, regrettably, was a leader there also.

Words do mean something, and poorly chosen words can be as dangerous as bricks tossed at someone’s house window.

John Chuckman


The royals and race: from Victoria and Abdul to Harry and Meghan Markle

“Our society is still obsessed with ‘purity’ and is shocked that a royal could marry a person of colour’

I’m not sure the word “purity” covers the situation.

Purity is not only a very loaded word, how does it possibly account for Scots (both highland and lowland), Northern Irish, Welsh, Cornish, English (many varieties), etc?

It doesn’t.

The English people themselves are the result of Celts, Romans, Norse, Norman French, Saxons, and other bits and pieces over centuries.

They are not homogeneous and becoming less so now with each passing year.

“Meghan Markle attracted comments about her race when she started dating Prince Harry.”

Now, there I take serious exception.

Her race?

First, I thought thinking people gave up on that word after the Nazis. The truth is that it never really described anything accurately.

We have groups of certain languages and ethnicities and color and other physical characteristics, but today thinking people do not say race.

Just as is the case of the British people being hybrids, just so are the French or Germans or Italians. Each of these modern national identities has a complex history, not simple and homogeneous.

America is only called a nation of migrants because all the migration, which happened in every country, occurred at a more recent time.

And here’s another objectionable expression used here, “…a court and household that is still about as white as it was in Victoria’s day…”

So what?

Apart from the history of the Royal Family, which is German, why has it become somehow unworthy to be “white,” which in fact is another term studiously to be avoided, considering all the ugly people on all sides of the “racial divide” who use it daily as either one of contempt or one of unmerited praise.

Ms. Markle obviously has a complex heritage. She can no more be described as black or colored than can, say, Beyonce.

In the end, the really unacceptable fact here is the very idea of royal marriage. It is long outdated, rather backward to say the least, and having nothing to do with a twenty-first century state.

Harry himself is a dull and reckless man of absolutely no particular merit. His marriage is no more important or consequential than the marriage of the local pub keeper.

Get rid of the monarchy because it is itself a living form of pretention and prejudice.
Response to a reader who claimed Britain would be dull without the monarchy:


Could there be anything duller than Harry?

Or Anne?

Or Charles?

Or riding around in a gold-painted Walt Disney coach?
Response to a reader who said Isn’t this why Diana was killed. Because the mother of the future king could not be allowed to potentially have a baby, a half brother or sister of the future king, with a brown Muslim:

No, and it is a totally silly notion, unfortunately still widely held.

Diana died because she was a reckless, unbalanced person.

She was the one who liked rushing off in fast cars.

Just as she was the one who liked reckless love affairs, often hurting other people’s lives, as the affair with her bodyguard.

Just as she is reliably reported sometimes laughing uncontrollably in the backseat of her limo at some of the very people she had just smiled at and accepted flowers from.

Just as we have a record of almost insanely neurotic phone calls to people – scores of them sometimes in a single day.

Her lovely smile and occasional kind gesture cannot hide the pretty dark reality of her unbalanced mind.

And, please note, any similarities between her behavior and Harry’s is not coincidental.

He appears to have inherited her worst qualities.

Readers may enjoy:

John Chuckman


Kim Jong-un’s happiness is just a great mini-break away
The North Korean leader needs discipline; Donald Trump needs love. If only they could get together for a holiday of a lifetime

Please, tell us the author is kidding?

Comic book psychoanalysis.

The truth is that we know very little about Kim Jong-un.

We cannot be sure he really is in charge.

Senior army officers surround him in just about every photo we see.

So, I’m not sure he isn’t something of a figurehead.

As for Trump, I know he has become a figurehead.

This seeming-maverick candidate capitulated completely to the Washington establishment and its Pretorian Guard of the Pentagon and CIA.

He definitely is not running the show, although he is allowed to make all the noise he likes and to carry out minor stupidities of no interest to the power establishment.

It didn’t take Trump to create the horrors of the Mideast Neocon Wars which have killed a couple of million and sent millions running for their lives or to start a giant system of extralegal killing which shames all American pretensions to being a nation of laws.

No, he didn’t start any of it, but he hasn’t ended the horrors either as many hoped he would. He is now just along for the ride, as was that smiling killer, Obama.

john Chuckman


“Don’t take lessons on patriotism from Brexiters.”
“After all, who is the true patriot today?”

Does anyone really think this is sound argument?

There is nothing wrong with having some affection for your country, but that word “patriot” is especially loaded since it is a favorite of the American belly-over-the-belt, shotgun-rack-in-the-pick-up-truck set.

It is almost a kind of totem or taboo, and not fit for arguing ideas.

I tend immediately, when anyone uses it, to think of my beloved Dr. Johnson.

His response was perfect because he spoke truth, a rare commodity still today.

John Chuckman


Unbelievable! Obama Sent $300 Million to Afghan Soldiers Who Do NOT Exist! Arrest The SOB

Oh, please, do you know or remember nothing about America’s dirty imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Many, many billions of dollars just disappeared. Whole pallet-loads of freshly-printed money disappeared with no explanation under George Bush in Iraq.

Such money is used to pay all kinds of bribes off-the-books and it is used to secretly supply people or groups America’s government wants to support but not in public.

This kind of total ethical filth is what you get with constant imperial wars abroad. It simply comes with the territory, as they say.

It is not the work of a single man or party.

It is the work of Washington’s military-security establishment working hand-in-hand with money-elected officials of both parties.

It is the work of the very kind of people Trump told us he was going to clean out of Washington.

If you have a world empire, you simply cannot have decent or honest government.

It is very much like talking about having a Mafia that is law-abiding.

It really is long past time Americans should have learned that simple, fundamental truth.

All the flaps and noise about this or that party or this or that politician are meaningless.

Indeed, what all the noise and selected partial information disseminated by articles like this effectively do is assist the ruling establishment to just keep doing what it is doing.

There are no more naive people in America than the Obama-hating Trump true believers. Everything they think they are opposing is actually effectively being supported.

And you do not have to like Obama to say that. I certainly do not.

John Chuckman


“Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara to stand trial over corruption charges”

The police have the goods on Netanyahu, too.

It’s just his huge political pull preventing charges so far.

This pair have the distinction of being both financially corrupt and being war criminals.

By the way, there seems to be a pattern in the country’s leadership.

Ehud Olmert did prison time as well as kill plenty of people.

Ariel Sharon escaped prison for corruption by the skin of his teeth, but his record of killing is exceptional.

Several previous ones, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, were simply terrorists who helped kill many people.

I think Albert Einstein was right when he said:

“My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.”

John Chuckman


US Wants Ukraine In NATO To Encircle Russia: Analyst

Well, that’s been obvious since the coup.

I do tend to doubt, though, that the US can push them into NATO.

The EU states recognize Ukraine for what it is, a poor country with poor leadership and no good future prospects, and one very likely to go through further convulsions.

But given how many stupid things the desperate United States does these days – everything from neutering the other 95% of humanity’s voice at the UN to corrupting the process for selecting Nobel Peace Prize winners – nothing would surprise me.

We really are seeing desperate days from the Washington establishment which knows its time as the only player on the field who counts are coming to an end.

Putin’s multi-polar world with all states treated fairly is what is needed and what will eventually emerge, no matter what the creeps in Washington do to delay it.

John Chuckman


The racial bias in our justice system is creating a social time bomb

The article makes assumptions which are not necessarily warranted.

It is the commonest thing in poor journalism to say about some phenomenon: “Well, there is x times as much of this or that for a certain group, so clearly there is huge bias in the system giving us these results.’

And, of course, anyone who has studied some statistics knows that is simply inaccurate. An overwhelming preponderance of some outcome may just as well be signaling a problem, a problem having nothing to do with the justice system.

We have problems in crime and violence we have never honestly discussed.

Here are the official stats for just one American city, Chicago, and they are updated regularly and presented with graphs. These are straightforward stats on the occurrence of killing and wounded.

Bias has nothing to do with these stats which tell us clearly that the overwhelming number of violent crimes are black individuals killing and wounding black individuals.

John Chuckman


Hillary Clinton is set to dish the dirt in her new book – and we can be sure that everyone is going to want a piece of it
Clinton’s honesty – two words which when combined will make some of her haters choke – liberates her not just to critique herself, but also anyone else she thinks contributed to her loss

“Bestseller” has no meaning in these things.

The Clintons alone would find it nothing but an inconvenience to send out ‘the boys’ to buy hundreds of thousands of copies just to pulp.

Then add the George Soros types, the Zuckerbergs, etc, etc, each sending out ‘the boys’ to buy up countless more copies.

Amazon would only be too happy also to promote and play numbers-games with the book.

If you think this kind of thing isn’t done, you are naive.

And there is nothing to learn here.

Her key hysterical claims have all appeared in newspapers.

Only Hillary shills like Usborne would think otherwise.

John Chuckman


Unbelievable! Obama Sent $300 Million to Afghan Soldiers Who Do NOT Exist! Arrest The SOB

Oh, please, do you know or remember nothing about America’s dirty imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Many, many billions of dollars just disappeared. Whole pallet-loads of freshly-printed money disappeared with no explanation under George Bush in Iraq.

Such money is used to pay all kinds of bribes off-the-books and it is used to secretly supply people or groups America’s government wants to support but not in public.

This kind of total ethical filth is what you get with constant imperial wars abroad. It simply comes with the territory, as they say.

It is not the work of a single man or party.

It is the work of Washington’s military-security establishment working hand-in-hand with money-elected officials of both parties.

It is the work of the very kind of people Trump told us he was going to clean out of Washington.

If you have a world empire, you simply cannot have decent or honest government.

It is very much like talking about having a Mafia that is law-abiding.

It really is long past time Americans should have learned that simple, fundamental truth.

All the flaps and noise about this or that party or this or that politician are meaningless.

Indeed, what all the noise and selected partial information disseminated by articles like this effectively do is assist the ruling establishment to just keep doing what it is doing.

There are no more naive people in America than the Obama-hating Trump true believers. Everything they think they are opposing is actually effectively being supported.

And you do not have to like Obama to say that. I certainly do not.