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CHUCKMAN - BUSH - GOD - EVEN THE CREATOR GETS IT WRONG - TINTED

Posted May 30, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BOSTON TO REMOVE ITS COPY OF THE LINCOLN EMANCIPATION MEMORIAL – AMERICA’S USE OF LINCOLN AS A KIND OF SAVIOR OR REDEEMER FIGURE TO EXPUNGE THE SHAME OF SLAVERY FROM AMERICAN HISTORY – LINCOLN’S NATURE – WHAT THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION WAS – IF STATUES AND MEMORIALS ARE TO SERVE REMEMBERING THE PAST, THEY MUST BE TRUTHFUL – OTHERWISE THEY ARE JUST ADVERTISING OR PROPAGANDA, WHICH IS THE CASE FOR A GOOD MANY OF AMERICA’S HISTORICAL MONUMENTS – IDEAS FOR GENUINE MEMORIALS ABOUT SLAVERY – AMERICA HAS NEVER DEALT TRUTHFULLY WITH THE SUBJECT – BUT THEN AMERICA HAS NEVER DEALT TRUTHFULLY WITH MUCH OF ITS HISTORY – AMERICA IS A VERY CONSERVATIVE SOCIETY AND IN MANY WAYS RESEMBLES THE TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’ CHARACTER, BIG DADDY, AND HIS LIFE AS “A POUNDING FIST”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY

 

“Boston to pull Lincoln emancipation memorial following activist outcry over ‘demeaning’ depiction of freed slave”

 

The statue in Boston (from 1879), a copy of one in Washington (1876), is indeed demeaning. I doubt that it was intended to be so, but that is the insidious nature of prejudice, molding and shaping people’s perceptions.

While handsomely sculpted, it is patronizing. One can almost hear the crouching slave figure saying, Thank ya, Massa.”

Lincoln, an interesting and admirable man in real life, is given the pose of a demigod waving his powerful hand above the crouching slave. See photo:

https://www.rt.com/usa/493428-boston-remove-lincoln-statue/

It is best for this monument to be stored away. If there ever were to be a museum of rejected American historical monuments displayed with clarifying, truthful text about them, this would make a good candidate. But it says absolutely nothing about slavery or, indeed, about Lincoln. It misrepresents a complex and tragic set of events with a simplifying, church-worthy tableau.

It is important to understand that the Emancipation Proclamation was used by Lincoln as a war measure against the South. He hesitated for a while about the idea. He was, remember, a lawyer, a quite successful one who did some of his work in Springfield, Illinois, for corporations such as the Illinois Central Railroad. The War itself was not about slavery, but the Proclamation greatly helped to influence views of it being so, as with European powers.

Lincoln respected the concept of property, although he personally disliked slavery. And laws around property were an important building block of American society. Violating them might have undesirable consequences. There was even an issue of compensation for lost property.

It is a common misconception that Lincoln was an Abolitionist. He was not. That was a misconception shared by the states that seceded to form the Confederacy after Lincoln took office as President.

The Proclamation was not a universal document such as the Bill of Rights. It was carefully crafted to its purpose. A preliminary version was issued in the Fall of 1862, to warn rebelling states about what was coming in 1863, if they did not drop their arms.  None of the Confederate states did so. The Proclamation covered slaves only in rebelling states. Border states, where slavery was practiced, which remained loyal to the Union were exempted. From 1863, If a slave escaped the territory of the Confederacy and made it to Union lines, he or she was deemed permanently free. It is easy to see how that was intended as a weapon

The United States has long used Lincoln as a kind “savior figure” to redeem its vast and shameful history of slavery. A history never adequately acknowledged in any of its political or popular culture. Even many academic texts and biographies treat the subject rather gingerly, with some being plainly dishonest. There are no monuments in Washington to remember slavery itself. None. Instead, the place is littered with monuments to slaveholders like Jackson, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, and Washington – many a pedestal or wall engraved with words like “liberty.” And when I visited places like Mount Vernon (Washington’s Plantation) many years ago, the slave quarters were literally almost disguised.

The Lincoln Memorial serves as a kind of ersatz slavery memorial – as when Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered from its steps – but it doesn’t really do the job. Lincoln sits in white marble like Zeus on a massive throne in Mount Olympus overlooking the Mall.

What’s needed to memorialize and remember slavery is a huge and agonizingly accurate depiction of, say, a slave auction, where slaves were held bound and often partly stripped to display their physical attributes, of course that included young female slaves being ogled and considered for purchase  by visiting planters who lived in near isolation in the hinterlands.

Or, perhaps better still, a massive, powerful set of figures showing the “gang-system” of field slavery, used on large plantations and developed a while before the Civil War. Men were chained together in long rows or blocks to march through fields as a single unit, almost as human predecessors to large agricultural machines. It was the most brutal form of slavery, but it was economically efficient in its day and it gained widespread acceptance.

There would be several such blocks, one following behind the other, each block having assigned tasks, as from digging holes to seeding and to hoeing, an early version of “division of labor” and specialization of tasks, the reasons for its economic efficiency. Experts have said this system might well have continued into the early 20th century when machines began to appear. Just imagine marching all day chained to others in a sweltery Southern climate and having your pace constantly forced by those to whom you were chained? A genuine nightmare, but a genuine and important piece of American history.

Or you might have a huge bas relief of the top deck of a slaving ship with its human cargo, each individually bound up and arranged like rows of cordwood or rolls of carpet over most of the deck, arranged closely so as to minimize the cost of shipment per human being. Imagine the terrifying situation in a storm or with roaring waves? Many slaves died on the harsh journeys of several thousand miles, slowly powered by sail, their numbers being counted as just part of the cost of doing business. The bodies were tossed overboard.

Such suggestions would memorialize authentic history and give viewers something serious to think about. The existing Emancipation Monument does no such thing. It is benign. It makes viewers feel comfortable about the history. It is redeeming in nature. It even makes Lincoln something he was not. And that is why it is entirely unsuitable. And those descriptions, benign and not informative, fit a great many of the historical monuments in the United States now being challenged by demonstrators.

It is simply a false argument to speak about people forgetting history where there is little or no history to be found.

Although, as I’ve said, Lincoln personally disliked slavery, he was perfectly willing to keep the institution if the rebellion ended. He said so a number of times.

The Emancipation Monument is unpleasant in its tone. Lincoln the standing, suited demigod waving a hand over a nearly-naked, cringing man.

It represents nothing from history. If you want to remember history, it must be truth. Otherwise, you are engaged in propaganda or advertising.

While I am encouraged by some recent developments in America – God, the last state using the Confederate battle flag as part of its state-flag design has finally dropped it – I don’t believe the total changes are likely to be extensive. I would be happy to be proved wrong.

America is a very conservative country, far more so than many recognize. It isn’t just conservative in the sense of party affiliation. No, it is far deeper than that. It is “bred in the bone.” Its entire history has been taken up with expansion and conquest. It resembles Tennessee Williams’ character, Big Daddy, and his life as “a pounding fist.”

 

A FEW RELATED TOPICS WHICH MAY BE OF INTEREST

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/john-chuckman-comment-reference-to-americas-current-inability-to-have-intelligent-political-discussion-in-fact-it-is-an-illusion-to-think-things-were-ever-much-different-highlights-of-an-extrem/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/john-chuckman-comment-never-mind-iran-theres-a-vast-and-terrible-history-of-riots-and-quelling-riots-in-americas-past/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/john-chuckman-comment-some-history-of-puritanism-in-america-it-explains-a-lot-of-todays-wars-and-belligerence-and-close-mindedness-they-werent-quite-the-nice-folks-a-benign-name-like-pilgri/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/john-chuckman-comment-original-intent-and-americas-supreme-court-the-concept-is-part-of-the-creed-of-americas-civic-religion-the-supreme-court-has-always-been-conservative-only-varying-i/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/john-chuckman-comment-a-childish-effort-to-distinguish-wars-of-self-defense-from-wars-of-aggression-american-history-has-lots-of-wars-but-not-one-was-about-self-defense-empire-means-aggression/

 

Posted July 1, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S ABUSIVE TELEPHONE CALLS WITH FOREIGN LEADERS REVEALED USING THE EXALTED BYLINE OF CARL BERNSTEIN – A LONG PIECE AT CNN IMMEDIATELY MIRRORED IN SEVERAL FOREIGN NEWS SOURCES IN CLASSIC SECURITY-SERVICE PROPAGANDA STYLE – NOT THAT TRUMP MATTERS (HE DOESN’T) BUT THE FOLKS PUTTING THIS “OUT THERE” ARE ALSO PUSHING HATRED FOR RUSSIA – ODD HOW THAT EXACTLY FITS CIA AND PENTAGON PRIORITIES – WHEN AMERICA’S ESTABLISHMENT DOESN’T LIKE YOU, DIRTY TRICKS AND NAME-CALLING ARE ELEVATED TO DIPLOMACY – TOO BAD, IF TRUMP GOES, AMERICA WILL LOSE MIKE POMPEO AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT – THE ROTUND FUNDAMENTALIST PREACHER IS WORLD-CLASS AT DIRT AND NAME-CALLING – CORRUPTION AND POWER BREED DERANGEMENT IN WASHINGTON   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ABOUT AN ARTICLE BY CARL BERNSTEIN AT CNN (YOU CAN’T POST COMMENTS AT CNN)

 

“From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/29/politics/trump-phone-calls-national-security-concerns/index.html

 

In a sense, this lengthy Carl Bernstein piece – despite revealing some hair-raising details of language Trump has used on phone calls with foreign leaders – tells us nothing new.

There is no reason to expect Trump speaking differently to foreign leaders than the way we hear him speak almost daily.

He’s a crude, brutal man. Surely, the crudest ever to hold his office.

And I think he has few important facts at his command to impart to anyone. We’ve yet to see him at a podium and getting his facts straight about almost anything, from coronavirus to Syria.

Indeed, I believe Trump often says things from his own fantasies and presents them as facts, believing them himself, a pattern which is certainly part of a mental disorder. So why would that be any different with foreign leaders?

But I am suspicious of Bernstein’s piece, very suspicious, and what makes me suspicious is his treatment of Putin and Trump’s supposed interaction with him.

The words give off the distinct odor of propaganda.

It is yet one more effort to tie Trump to Putin in a way Americans would regard unfavorably.

It is one more effort at what the Democratic Party has tried so hard to do for four years, even abusing major government agencies in the efforts of the Obama administration.

And sadly, it is one more effort to stoke hatred of Russia in America. Bernstein even repeats some demeaning words describing Russia, something which isn’t necessary to the piece and isn’t reporting at all. It’s planting nasty whispers and suggestions for readers. That’s what propaganda does.

We’ve had a number of highly-connected individuals, including past and present military leaders and a former National Security Advisor, coming out in public against Trump on various matters recently. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but where were they for the last four years of horrible and embarrassing government?

We just had that planted story in the New York Times and the Washington Post about Russians paying Taliban bounties to shoot Americans – the clearest nonsense from the same security service creative department that gave us Iraqi soldiers ripping babies from respirators in Kuwait, an updated rehash of Germans bayoneting babies in WW I.

Even Joe Biden has picked up the phony theme in campaign accusations against Trump. It’s a two-for-one story, featuring blame for Trump not doing anything and hatred for Russia. The shabbiness of Biden in picking this up – shabby because, as connected as he is, he has to know the truth – just reemphasizes the fact that even if the world sees the last of Trump in November, it will have gained nothing with Biden except a lower-volume setting on the stream of crap from Washington.

Now we have Bernstein, a highly political and connected journalist – indeed, perhaps more a political operative than a journalist, going back to the days of Watergate, which many thoughtful people believe was a subtle CIA operation to dump Nixon – writing this lengthy piece, which involved high-level blabbing to him.

I, of course, don’t give a damn about Trump and what they manage to do to him – and they are very much trying to do something to him in a coordinated effort – but it is disturbing that they are again stoking hatred for Russia. Hatred that never stops, just as the dishonest and illegal sanctions piled against Russia never stop.

Just as is the case with China or Syria or Iran or Venezuela or Cuba. Once America’s establishment has decided it doesn’t like you, because you do not dance to its tune, dirty tricks and name-calling become elevated to diplomacy. Too bad the State Department will lose Mike Pompeo if Trump departs. It has never had a more able man with dirt and name-calling. He’s just a natural with his rotund fundamentalist-preacher style.

America is simply a lunatic asylum anymore. Corruption and power breed derangement, and on all sides.

 

NOTE

The very morning this article appeared on CNN, I saw excerpts or references to it on news sites from several other countries. Just classic CIA style.

Posted June 30, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME PEOPLE WANT TO CHANGE THE AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM BECAUSE THE AUTHOR OF ITS WORDS, FRANCIS SCOTT KEY, WAS A SLAVEHOLDER – THERE ARE OTHER GOOD REASONS FOR DUMPING THE ANTHEM, INCLUDING THE FACT FEW CAN EVEN SING IT, MANY OF ITS WORDS ARE VERBAL KITSCH, AND THE TUNE COMES FROM AN OLD ENGLISH DRINKING SONG – LINK TO A NASTY AMERICAN CONTROVERSY OVER A SPANISH VERSION OF THE ANTHEM SOME YEARS AGO   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN YOUR DESTINATION NOW

 

“Outrage as activists and journalists say the Star Spangled Banner should no longer be the National Anthem because it was written by slave owner Francis Scott Key”

“The lyrics come from Key’s 1814 poem Defence of Fort M’Henry”

 

Calling Key’s words a “poem” is stretching things a bit.

It is a kind of patriotic verbal kitsch.

Histrionic and almost silly in places.

Although, considering what the United States has become, a song about a fort and bombs bursting in the air seems fitting.

And as to the music the words are set to, it is an old English gentlemen’s club drinking song, “To Anacreon in Heaven.”

Few can even sing it, with its operatic flourishes. And how often have guest singers at public events blown this anthem?

By the way, when I was a young boy in grade school, we sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” rather than “The Star Spangled Banner.” It is set to the tune of Britain’s ‘God Save the Queen.” It has some over-the-top words too, such as “Land of the Pilgrims’ pride,” referring to the extremely intolerant and murderous Puritans who were running from genuine hatreds they had incited in Europe and killed many Indigenous people as they settled into America, but it is quieter and people can manage to sing it.

 

NOTE

Here is an interesting and revealing anecdote about the American anthem having been translated into Spanish some years ago and enjoying some popularity in the United States in that form. It includes a Francis Scott Key descendant making himself especially odious:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/oh-say-can-you-see-xenophobia-in-a-land-of-immigrants/

Posted June 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SPIES FOR THE SOVIETS IN THE 1940s AND 1950s – THE STORY OF URSULA BEOURTON ASSISTING PHYSICIST KLAUS FUCHS IN BRITAIN – ATOMIC SECRETS REVEALED – THE CAMBRIDGE CIRCLE AND OTHERS INCLUDING MI5’S GUY LIDDELL – THE SOVIETS WERE REMARKABLY SUCCESSFUL IN RECRUITING HIGH-LEVEL AGENTS ABROAD BECAUSE OF A STRONG APPEAL TO IDEALISM AND FEARS OF AMERICA AS AN ATOMIC MONOPOLY – RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON THE NOTION OF TREACHERY, I THINK THE WORLD OWES THEM THANKS FOR PREVENTING AN AMERICAN NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE ON SCOOPY WEB

 

“Did a staggering British blunder hand Stalin the atomic bomb? Startling new evidence suggests Agent Sonya who passed nuclear secrets to Moscow was recruited to work here by MI6”

http://www.scoopyweb.com/2020/06/did-staggering-british-blunder-hand.html

 

“Ursula Beurton presented herself as a bicycling housewife and mother of two

“She was a well-respected Soviet Union intelligence officer called Agent Sonya

“She acted as a courier for Dr Klaus Fuchs and at least two other British traitors

“Agent Sonya transmitted messages back to Moscow from a home-made radio

“Analysis of files suggests it was MI6 that brought her to Britain in the first place

 

It blew up in the face of both services [MI5 and MI6]”

 

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

The entire notorious Cambridge Circle of spies – Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and three others – operated right under the security services’ noses for years and provided the USSR with immense amounts of information on many topics.

It is also believed that MI5’s Guy Liddell, who rose in the service almost to becoming its director, was a double agent.

And in Japan, the Soviets had the extraordinary Richard Sorge, a German journalist secretly working for Soviet military intelligence.

The Soviets were exceptionally good at recruiting high-value agents abroad. Their flow of what today is termed “humint” was so extensive, sometimes Stalin became suspicious and ignored things to which he should have paid attention.

I do believe there was far more than “treachery” involved in this work, just as was the case for the physicist, Klaus Fuchs. Soviet success involved genuine appeals to idealism and to fears about America.

Many of these spies were concerned about America having a postwar monopoly on atomic weapons and what they might do with it.

Which was exactly America’s secret aim, to have a monopoly, effectively rule the planet, and be able to eliminate challengers.

The more thoughtful spies could see the frightening anti-communist fanaticism in America.

And we know that on more than one occasion the Pentagon did plan a pre-emptive, all-out attack on the USSR, even after the Soviets had nuclear weapons.

I sometimes think the Soviet spies did humanity a great service, preventing America from creating a nuclear holocaust, something it was perfectly capable of. Consider its fire-bombing and atomic-bombing later in Japan and, a little later still, its horrific three-year campaign of carpet-bombing in North Korea, something few Americans even know about.

Literally one-fifth of that country’s entire population was exterminated, and that is a Pentagon estimate. It should be no mystery today why a country like North Korea wants to keep its atomic weapons.

Posted June 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADA’S TERRIBLE STATE OF RELATIONS WITH CHINA – THE RESULT OF JUSTIN TRUDEAU’S COSTLY BLUNDERS AT THE BEHEST OF TRUMP – A COLUMNIST SHILLS FOR TRUDEAU TRYING TO PORTRAY HIM AS TOUGH AND PRINCIPLED IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS – HE IS ANYTHING BUT – CANADIANS ASSUME TWO CANADIANS HELD IN CHINA ARE TIT-FOR-TAT FOR CANADA’S (AMERICAN-REQUESTED) ARREST OF A SENIOR HUAWEI COMPANY EXECUTIVE – CHINA SAYS THE CANADIANS ARE SPIES – TRUDEAU HAS THE ABILITY TO INTERVENE AND FREE THE CHINESE EXECUTIVE BUT HE REFUSES TO DO SO FOR SUPPOSEDLY HIGH PRINCIPLES – THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER – AMERICA’S RELENTLESS ASSAULT ON CHINA AND ALL THINGS CHINESE – JUSTIN TRUDEAU SHARPLY CONTRASTED WITH HIS BRAVE AND ABLE FATHER, PIERRE, IN FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFERENCE TO THE UNITED STATES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY AARON WHERRY IN CBC NEWS

 

“Those arguing for Meng’s release still have to acknowledge what it might cost”

“Letting Meng go might free Kovrig and Spavor — but it probably wouldn’t end there”

 

This is a piece of journalistic shilling for Justin Trudeau, one trying to build him up as a tough and principled statesman, something he decidedly is not.

It also makes an unwarranted assumption about the arrest of two Canadians in China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, assuming their arrest is a tit-for-tat for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei and daughter of the company’s founder, an arrest made at America’s request. China says there is no relationship between the two cases.

There are no large issues in this matter, as the article asserts. That’s a pretense.

There is, hiding behind the big-sounding principles, a Prime Minister who has done virtually nothing right with China.

There is the awkward fact that Justin Trudeau blundered terribly in arresting Meng Wanzhou. It was avoidable. Completely. But Trudeau chose not to avoid it.

And he continued blundering afterward, as when he fired an excellent Canadian ambassador, one who had offered a few wise words in public, and then didn’t appointment a new one for a long time.

And, as when Trudeau suddenly flew down to Washington, like a child running to Daddy about a sore finger, to plead for help from Trump, who has to be the most hated and uninfluential man in China. As well as a man quoted by more than one source as saying he just doesn’t like Trudeau, so Trudeau’s embarrassing (for Canadians) desperation was perhaps mixed with a little Masochism? He got no help, of course, beyond a quickie return visit from the always-unhelpful and belligerent Mike Pompeo. Morale-booster from a thug.

And somewhere along the way, Trudeau ordered a Canadian destroyer to pass through the Strait of Taiwan, an egregious insult to China’s feelings, promoted by Trump, no doubt, as everything else Trudeau does in foreign affairs is, including selling armored cars to the mass-killers in Saudi Arabia who just happen to be good working associates of Trump and Pompeo.

Imagine, the son of Pierre Trudeau having Canada serve as Chair of a CIA-front organization like the Lima Group designed to help topple the twice-elected government of Venezuela? America hates President Maduro of Venezuela because he is independent and he is popular. (His predecessor, Hugo Chavez, also hated by America and the target of American dark operations, had been elected four times). After several outbreaks of independence under democratic principles, America wants all of Latin America returned to loyal plantation status under the creepy two-century old Monroe Doctrine. That’s what Justin agreed to, whereas Pierre openly opposed America’s dreadful policies against Cuba and built a good relationship with that country.

Justin Trudeau continues blundering, offering no leadership out of the hopeless mess he has made of Canada’s once-excellent relations with China. And they were truly excellent, as I learned firsthand from the many Chinese students I knew. They loved Canada.

Now, when it has been publicized that under the extradition treaty with America, Trudeau is entitled to intervene in Meng’s case, he declines to do so, citing non-existent or nebulous large principles.

In fact, he is just afraid to act, afraid of Trump. I think Trump makes him wet his pants, My God, he’s made of different stuff than his late father, Pierre, a fiercely independent and brilliant statesman.

I should also note that when Trump started his crusade against China and all things Chinese, Trudeau missed a wonderful opportunity to benefit Canada by increased trade and perhaps new agreements with China.

The arrest of two Canadians in China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, for all we know, has nothing to do with Meng. Many in Canada assume that it does, but China’s government maintains that the detention of the two Canadians has no relationship to the arrest of Meng. China refers to her arrest as “a serious political incident.” The Canadians are charged with spying, and the claim is made that there is good evidence.

After all, Canadian-born Paul Whelan, when first arrested a while back in Russia was widely proclaimed in Canada to be innocent of spying for America. But he was in fact guilty, as a court there just convicted him, and convincingly, sentencing him to sixteen years.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTE REGARDING CANADA AND THE US AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS UNDER JUSTIN TRUDEAU

Unfortunately, for a lot of liberal-minded Canadians, it is enough that Trudeau is on the side of the angels in matters such as climate change and feminist principles. They pay no close attention to foreign affairs, or they would quickly be horrified by how tightly aligned with Trump Trudeau actually is. Trump himself is regarded in almost demonic terms by Canada’s “small-l” liberals (a much larger percentage of the population than in the United States), but it is clear that among a good many, Justin Trudeau is in a different category despite supporting Trump almost every step of the way in hurting and abusing hundreds of millions of people in the world.

Canada’s opposition Conservatives, traditionally quite deferential to the United States, offer voters no real election choice in matters of foreign affairs. The Liberals, before Justin Trudeau, were quite different, and a series of distinguished prime ministers from that party – Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien, and Paul Martin – established an enviable reputation for Canada in international affairs. Canada was admired, and with good reason. That has been lost with Justin Trudeau, as demonstrated publicly recently by his costly, time-consuming effort to be elected to a temporary UN Security Council seat. He was turned down handily by the UN membership. Canada is not viewed any longer, as Jean Chretien so liked to say with his charming Quebec accent, “as the best country in the world.” And Justin has nothing to offer but a soft echo of American policies.

No, with a few warm and friendly words to Canadian voters about favorite Millennialist topics, Trudeau is given a free ride to support what I regard as no less than a campaign international terror – In Venezuela, in Bolivia, in Cuba (where his father’s enlightened policies are now being eroded by Trump), in Brazil, in Syria, in Iran, in Palestine, in Saudi Arabia, in China, and in still more places.

I have remarked many times in my writing about how distressing it is the way Americans, in large part, offer no opposition to the country’s brutal empire abroad with its endless bloody wars and coups and incursions killing millions, creating millions of refugees, and collapsing whole decent societies, so long as things are pretty good on the home front. That has in fact been the working policy outline for the Democratic Party for many decades: talk about social policies here and there and support the troops no matter what hellish business they are up to. The Democrats are a war party, no different than the Republicans, because that is part of the fundamental identity of America, war and empire. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year on destruction and killing.

Well, the experience under Justin Trudeau has revealed not entirely different tendencies now in Canada I much regret to say. But the great historian, Carlyle, said that history is biography, and I have never quarreled with the proposition. The quality of leadership is everything for a society advancing in the largest sense of the word, and Canada simply has none.

 

NOTE ON MENG’S CHARGE

” She is accused of lying to banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company that prosecutors claim was violating U.S. economic sanctions against Iran”

That is not a crime in Canada, nor anywhere else. After all, US sanctions are American laws applied to people who are not American.

US sanctions are themselves illegal by international standards, but no one has the power to enforce that fact, the US recognizing no one’s authority, including the UN’s.

The US enforces its laws on others through economic bullying and military threats.

So, for that lame American accusation against Meng, just one of its many false claims about China, Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland, his former foreign minister, destroyed relations with one of the most important governments on earth?

I just do not see how any Canadian views that as being anything but the worst incompetence. The relationship with China is no small matter.

 

NOTE

Readers may enjoy this earlier set of comments:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/john-chuckman-comment-what-every-canadian-should-know-about-canada-foreign-minister-chrystia-freeland-and-what-justin-trudeaus-sad-legacy-as-prime-minister-will-be/

Posted June 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FASCINATING VIDEO OF RUSSIA’S TREMENDOUS PARADE FOR THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY DAY, WHICH IS A MAJOR HOLIDAY IN RUSSIA – WHAT A SHAME THE US AND ITS CLOSELY-CAPTIVE ALLIES CANNOT JOIN IN THIS MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION OF THE GREATEST STRUGGLE IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY – THE GREATEST BUT ALSO THE MOST COSTLY AND PROFOUNDLY TRAGIC – LINK TO THE VIDEO AND OTHER LINKS ABOUT HITLER’S INVASION OF RUSSIA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE AND VIDEO IN FORT RUSS

 

WATCH: Highlights and New Weapons Unveiled During The 75th Victory Day Parade

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/06/watch-highlights-and-new-weapons-unveiled-during-the-75th-victory-day-parade/

 

The shortened video is fascinating.

Some dramatic shots of military equipment on the ground and in the air.

And talk about sharp-looking troops, Russia has them. Impressive.

It all speaks to pride, pride in one of the greatest achievements in history, defeating Hitler.

But also the most costly and profoundly tragic.

What a shame the US and its most closely-captive allies cannot join in the celebration and let their people understand what happened in 1945.

I’ve written a good deal around Hitler’s invasion of Russia. Readers may enjoy:

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/john-chuckman-comment-putins-victory-day-essay-some-moving-words-from-a-great-leader-my-additional-reflections-on-hitlers-invasion-of-the-soviet-union-the-most/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/john-chuckman-comment-the-extremely-sensitive-topic-of-holocaust-denial-the-holocausts-connection-with-the-invasion-of-russia-the-bloodiest-event-in-human-history-the-losses-of-russia-and-amer/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/john-chuckman-comment-hitlers-invasion-of-russia-some-important-points-against-the-notion-held-by-some-that-hitler-was-motivated-out-of-fear-that-stalin-was-about-to-strike-germany/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/john-chuckman-comment-a-bit-more-about-hitlers-invasion-of-russia-americas-sad-record-since-the-end-of-wwii-its-own-bloody-global-empire-and-its-support-for-many-bloody-tyrants-just-so-long-a/

Posted June 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: INTERDICTION AND SANCTIONS – AMERICAN PIRACY ON THE HIGH SEAS COVERED BY THE FAUX LEGALITY OF SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS WHICH ARE AMERICAN LAWS BEING APPLIED TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT AMERICAN – WITH SOME MONUMENTS TO HISTORICAL CRIMES NOW BEING PULLED DOWN, IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE CONCERN FOR CRIMES BEING COMMITTED RIGHT NOW IN THE NAME OF AMERICANS – THE COUNTRY IS NOT ONLY LOSING ITS RELATIVE ECONOMIC POSITION IN THE WORLD THROUGH NATURAL PROCESSES, IT IS LOSING ITS PRESTIGE AND MORAL AUTHORITY THROUGH CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR – HITLER’S GREAT “PEACE” SPEECH BEFORE WW II AND AMERICA’S ABUSE OF WORDS LIKE “DEMOCRACY” AND “HUMAN RIGHTS” – THE POST-WWII ORDER IS GOING TO SHATTER LIKE A BRONZE STATUE UNDER HAMMERS – A BRAVE NEW WORLD IS ON ITS WAY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK LAWRENCE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Iranian Tankers & the Age of Interdiction”

“Two forms of interdiction — the steady expansion of U.S. sanctions and our stunning drift toward unmasked censorship — have begun to intersect”

 

“Interdiction” is too neutral-sounding a word for what the United States routinely does now on the high seas and in other people’s waters.

It’s simply a form of piracy. Stopping people’s trade and commerce by armed threat. Hurting the sick and poor by depriving them of needed supplies.

And the Washington-issued sanctions, giving the piracy a faux legal framework, are nothing more than American laws applied to people who are not Americans, and without any legitimate international authority such as the UN.  Well, it does come from the same gangsters who literally threaten judges of an international court, the ICC.

I think the world is growing rather tired of America’s high-handed, self-serving methods and views. None of them relates to genuine principles, although the words “democracy” and “human rights” often are tossed around. America’s acts violate democratic and human rights and the rule of law.

People should remember that not long before the outbreak of WWII with its unprecedented carnage and destruction, Adolph Hitler gave Germans what some, including journalist/historian William L Shirer, called one of the greatest speeches about peace ever made. The words about principles used by American authorities as they bully the planet much resemble the authenticity Hitler’s words about peace.

Trump and Pompeo and Bolton and Grenell and Abrams quite literally resemble an old Sicilian Mafia gang enforcing who may or may not live in the villages and territories they dominate and under what conditions and from whom they may purchase their needs. It is a throwback to another era. It is lawlessness posing as law. And they only get away with it through force of arms and economic predation.

As statues to ugly past events are pulled down, it would be nice to see concern from Americans about crimes being committed right now in their name.

When we eventually get through the current storm of disease and economic crisis, America is going to stand hugely diminished in the world’s respect and in its own influence. It has provided no leadership to anyone. It has been seen as selfishly seizing things for its own interests. It has viciously attacked other societies rather than cooperating. And it is even seen busily conducting war against hundreds of millions of people, mostly the poor and the weak, with sanctions and blockades.

Natural evolutionary forces at work over recent decades affecting America’s relative economic decline – as new places emerged as superior competitors – will be mightily reinforced in their effects by the loss of American prestige and moral authority. Much of the post-WWII world order is going to shatter like a bronze statue under hammers. A brave new world is on its way.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PUTIN’S VICTORY DAY ESSAY – SOME MOVING WORDS FROM A GREAT LEADER – MY ADDITIONAL REFLECTIONS ON HITLER’S INVASION OF THE SOVIET UNION, THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE EVENT IN ALL OF HISTORY, GREATER IN SCOPE THAN ANY WAR OR ANY NATURAL DISASTER – AND REMARKABLY FEW AMERICANS ARE EVEN AWARE OF IT – HITLER’S ESPECIALLY BRUTAL APPROACH TO THE INVASION – THE SOVIET RESILIENCE AFTER THE INITIAL TERRIBLE SHOCK – STALIN’S PLACE   2 comments

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AN ARTICLE BY ROY MCGOVERN IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“’A Lump in the Throat’ – Putin’s Extraordinary Essay on WW2 Origins and What It Means for Today”

 

https://russia-insider.com/en/lump-throat-putins-extraordinary-essay-ww2-origins-and-what-it-means-today/ri30732

 

Putin’s words are very moving.

It is fitting that he should write this on the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory.

The invasion of Russia was, as still few Americans have any idea, the most terrible event in all of human history.

The events and the numbers are staggering and dwarf anything else, whether wars or natural disasters. And Hitler at the start had given his commanders direct orders to show utter ruthlessness.

Not all his generals agreed, but Hitler wanted to completely destroy the Soviet system and to shorten the effort with ruthlessness, ruthlessness always appealing to Hitler as a sign of strength. There were countless war crimes, such as captured Soviet Commissars being summarily executed.

Hitler had assembled the finest army ever seen in Europe, and it had many innovations and new advanced armor. But because there was a belief that the Soviets could be finished off quickly – Hitler did seriously believe in the inferiority of Slavs – the troops did not carry adequate winter gear. Russian Winter soon joined the ranks of the Soviet armies in the fight.

Here are a few measures of the scale of the invasion.

The Siege of Leningrad – 900 days of horror and starvation with bodies piled up like cordwood in the streets. About a million dead.

Stalingrad – the greatest single battle in all of history, and an absolutely decisive turning point in the war.

Kursk – the greatest tank battle ever fought.  Russia’s homegrown armor proved it could stand up to what had been the best equipped army on the planet.

The invasion was so vast and destructive that, as many people do not appreciate, it was used as the cover for the serious operations of the Holocaust getting underway.

On September 22, 1941, there were a number of Germans in authority who thought the whole matter might be ended in about three weeks.

While the first terrible shock suggested Russia could not withstand the Germans, things fairly quickly stabilized, and talk of three weeks ended.

It is said that with the first shock, Stalin got so drunk he was incapacitated in the Kremlin. I don’t know because only some books claim this, but clearly, he too came back and proved a terrifying opponent for Hitler after Hitler’s many comparatively easy victories in Europe.

In his Berlin bunker, near the end in April, 1945, Hitler is reported to have said the Russians with Stalin had proved they were more worthy of victory than Germany.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA, RUSSIA, ISRAEL, AND IRAN – THE NEOCON’S NEOCON, VICTORIA NULAND, MAKING UGLY NEW NOISES ABOUT RUSSIA – HOW A CLASH HAPPENS DESPITE PUTIN’S EFFORTS TO MAINTAIN GOOD RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL – THE SITUATIONS IN SYRIA AND IN IRAN CANNOT MAKE SOMEONE LIKE NULAND HAPPY – SO DESPITE ALL THE IMMENSE PROBLEMS OF DISEASE AND ECONOMIC DISASTER AND IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD, NULAND WANTS TO PUSH NEW DANGERS ONTO A FRAGILE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY – SOMETHING THAT SHOULD SIGNAL JUST HOW DANGEROUS SHE AND OTHERS LIKE HER ARE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PHILIP M. GIRALDI IN SOUTHFRONT

 

“VICTORIA NULAND ALERT”

 

https://southfront.org/philip-m-giraldi-victoria-nuland-alert/

 

A good article about an extremely dangerous person, Victoria Nuland, and the cause she represents

One of the great influences over American Neocon attitudes towards Russia – and Nuland is a Neocon’s Neocon – Is the set of relationships between Russia, the US, and Israel.

Israel and its American Neocon supporters implicitly regard Russia as an impediment to Israel.

For them, a strong, swaggering Israel in the Middle East is best assured by a highly aggressive US military posture. Full-spectrum dominance et al.

While Russia maintains excellent relations with Israel, Russia absolutely must respond to an aggressive US, and that is where the conflict between Russia and Israel and its Neocon supporters enters.

The perfect recent example of the conflict is in Syria. The horrible war in Syria is not of course a civil war as the West’s press insists on describing it.

No, the war in Syria is the result of deliberately introduced mercenaries recruited from many lands. They have a facade of being jihadists, but it is only a facade. They are paid and supplied by Western interests, including Saudi Arabia in that category. Unlike some real jihadists might do, they never attack Israeli interests or territory and they never attack the corrupt Saudi Princes that genuine jihadists would despise.

No, they attack only those Israel and the Neocons regard as enemies. Very odd jihadists indeed.

Their task is, and always has been, to topple the stable government of Syria – much as the stable government of Libya was toppled – a project dear to the hearts of Israel’s right-wing government and its American Neocon fan club. The Syrian War is a kind of unconventional, hybrid warfare involving many dark tactics, including the odd set-up scenario with poison gas to be blamed on the national government so that America is provided an excuse to bomb the hell out of the country.

When Putin decided to help his ally, Syria, in its struggle with terror, he made an instant enemy of the Israeli and allied Neocon interests at work in Syria.

As Putin and Assad largely proved successful in the fight against the mercenaries and reclaimed much of Syria’s territory, those interests have come up with dirty plan after dirty plan to prevent the full recovery of Syria, the last being Trump’s laughable claim about liking to steal oil in Syria, the idea there being to occupy an important resource and prevent Assad from fully recovering his territory and using its resources in the country’s postwar recovery.

Putin’s air forces could in theory attack and drive out the relatively small American forces involved, but that would likely mean war with America, and Putin is a very sensible statesman.

So, there is a kind of stalemate. People like Victoria Nuland would undoubtedly like to see that situation turned back to something more proactively aggressive.

She, of course, also cannot be happy over the stability of Iran under Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure,” a campaign artificially induced by American Neocons and Israel’s Netanyahu, not because they genuinely fear Iran creating nuclear weapons – all experts agree that Iran has never had a program to create any – but because Iran is the natural hegemon in the region by virtue of its size, and that is a role Israel covets for itself. The hegemonic situation for Iran was even further enhanced by the outcome of America’s disastrous Iraq War, again a war deliberately instigated by Israel and its Neocon allies in Washington, but without a great deal of foresight into its ultimate consequences.

Iran’s impressive domestically-built missile defenses, well demonstrated for their precision and accuracy, have effectively created something of a stalemate there also. America and Israel cannot now attack Iran without paying quite a price, a remarkable achievement given the terrible sanctions under which Iran works. Iran also has a “strategic relationship” with Russia.

Nuland making new noises about how the US should deal with Russia only adds new dangers to a to a terribly uncertain world plagued by disease and economic crisis and inept government.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A WRITER NOTES BIDEN’S NEW STRIDENT RHETORIC ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS – HE COMES AT A SITUATION LIKE TRUMP’S VICIOUSNESS IN VENEZUELA WITH AN ATTACK FROM THE RIGHT (YES, THAT’S CORRECT, FROM THE RIGHT) – NOTING A FEW ENCOURAGING NOISES BIDEN HAS MADE ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF AMERICA’S MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL RESIDENTS, WE SEE THE CLASSIC OPERATION OF THE MODERN DEMOCRATIC PARTY – STRONG SUPPORT FOR BLOODSHED ABROAD WITH FRIENDLY WORDS ABOUT DOMESTIC POLICIES – MAYBE EVEN A DARK PURPOSE FOR BIDEN’S OTHERWISE HUMANE-SOUNDING ADVOCACY OF LEGALIZING THE STATUS OF AMERICA’S MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS?   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Biden And His Ventriloquists Keep Out-Hawking Trump”

“In a series of truly chilling and ominous tweets, Joe Biden shows us he would dispense with Trump’s even minimal non-interventionism and return the U.S. to full-bore aggression”

 

Yes, of course. The Democrats are a war party, and Joe Biden has a long career of never opposing or criticizing America’s wars and coups and incursions. He was a strong advocate for Obama’s industrial-scale system of extra-judicial killing. And he took a direct part as Obama’s proconsul in America’s coup in Ukraine

He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with that truly bloody pair, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in killing at least a million people, in reducing millions more to refugee status, and in destroying several well-run countries.

Elections in America are not permitted to affect the dark work of the Pentagon and CIA.

Clearly, some of the elections Washington disparages – as those in Bolivia or Venezuela – were more democratic in nature than America’s own are. If you cannot change the course of huge and destructive policies, what’s the point of bothering about an election? Political theater, and nothing more.

I am very glad Ms. Johnstone is featuring this dark interventionist side of Joe Biden.

He is otherwise busy trying to portray himself as a humane and decent politician. Following the traditional path of modern Democrats, he toys with friendly-sounding domestic programs while fully supporting mass murder abroad.

In almost all cases, the social programs never see the light of day while the slaughter continues unabated.

Biden’s recent promise to send a bill to Congress on his first day in office to legitimize millions of illegal American residents and to create a path for them to citizenship is a good one, but if America continues its bloody activity abroad, and even increases it, Biden’s proposal can be seen as just a way of creating a new pool of grateful recruits for a Pentagon which cannot now keep its ranks full.

Willing bodies for the 800 or so military bases abroad and the dozen or so countries under American siege.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S WEAKENED POSITION – HIS FAILED POLITICAL RALLY IN TULSA AND BAD NEW POLLS – BUT IT IS FAR TOO EARLY TO COUNT HIM OUT – HE ENJOYS AN IMMENSELY POWERFUL OFFICE, A GREAT HOARD OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS, A SECURE POLITICAL BASE, AND HE IS RUTHLESSLY WILLING TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING TO GET WHAT HE WANTS – INDEED ONE OF THE THEMES OF BOLTON’S BOOK IS THAT TRUMP HAS NO POLICIES BECAUSE EVERYTHING HE DOES IS DIRECTED TOWARDS RE-ELECTION – TRUMP ALSO HAS THE STRENGTH OF HATRED AND CONTEMPT ON HIS SIDE AND THOSE ARE POWERFUL FORCES IN AMERICA – JOE BIDEN IS NOT A STRONG OPPONENT AND HE CERTAINLY IS NO PRINCE CHARMING ON A WHITE CHARGER, HAVING A LONG RECORD OF COOPERATING WITH CORRUPTION AND EMBRACING VIOLENCE – HORRIBLE AS IT HAS BEEN, THE TRUMP EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD IMPORTANT LESSONS ABOUT AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Trump rally features empty seats, staff with coronavirus infections”

“Campaign blames protesters, media for thousands of empty seats at Oklahoma event”

 

Response to a comment below, “The most recent poll has trump’s approval rating at 40%, disapproval at 56%. That is wipe out territory”

I would not yet count Trump out. The months ahead are a long time period in America’s volatile politics.

Trump has proven capable of doing almost anything towards achieving his personal goals, bending even the country’s foreign policy to advance personal ambition. He is a relentless, unforgiving political predator.

His possibilities include a dramatic development in world affairs, either positive or negative. A positive one to surprise and attract marginal voters back. Or a negative one to make Americans rally around their President, as they always do in time of war or crisis. They rallied even behind the lamentable George Bush.

Trump’s capacity for attacking Biden is immense – hostility and nastiness are what he does best, and Biden has many skeletons in his closet. He doesn’t have an ugly mouth like Trump does, but his political career is filled with smarmy and crooked stuff. He worked intimately with the corruption of Hillary Clinton and the violence and lying of Barack Obama. And Trump has been given just truckloads of money by special interests.

The Trump experience has not been without value to the world.

It provides something of a diagnostic x-ray of American society.

And what we see in the x-ray photo is an extraordinary number of nasty, brutish figures. People untroubled by lying, not keeping your word, and making outrageous claims. People untroubled by hatreds and name-calling. People untroubled by misery and death needlessly caused at home and abroad.

For those who analyze America’s actual behavior in the world, none of that is a discovery, but now it should be apparent to almost everyone.

Unfortunately, even Trump’s defeat comes with nasty side-effects.

Joe Biden is no prize, not at all, and with all the euphoria over a Trump defeat, the American establishment will powerfully reconfirm its place for a time. Its horrors – Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Palestine, and others – will just be carried right on.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NEW TARIFFS COMING FROM TRUMP AT A TIME OF GREAT ECONOMIC RISK – WHAT AMERICA’S “STABLE GENIUS” HAS GIVEN THE WORLD – LEADERSHIP IN NOTHING – NOT PANDEMIC, NOT ECONOMICS, NOT TRADE, NOT FOREIGN AFFAIRS – AND REMEMBER, IT WAS AMERICAN TARIFFS IN 1930 THAT HELPED SPEED ALONG THE GREAT DEPRESSION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DON PITTIS IN CBC NEWS

 

“As Trump talks tariffs, IMF warns protectionism will worsen a dire economic crisis”

Suffering won’t be evenly shared as post-COVID crisis lingers for world’s poorest

 

New tariffs in a world on the edge of a depression?

What a stunning fellow Donald Trump is.

Of course, his incessant attacks on the world’s other great economy, China, and his attacks on trade, as against the WTO, can only make the world’s economic situation worse.

And he is suppressing a lot of economic activity in a number of countries with illegal sanctions, American laws imposed by force on people who are not Americans.

His leadership through the pandemic was phenomenal too. A Columbia University study concluded 58,000 additional Americans would die because Trump did not respond to the original information he was given early.

And there are all the poor nations under sanctions struggling with disease and not enough supplies and necessities.

His magnificent leadership skills were perhaps best displayed in cutting ties with the WHO during a pandemic and in numerous cases of taking other countries’ medical supplies while creating real misallocations in his own country.

And then he set the fine example of never wearing a mask, a serious study having proved that masks were the single most effective measure the public can take for prevention.

__________________

Let’s not forget the second wave of the coronavirus heading our way.

It has already appeared in some countries, and it may well be worse than the first wave according to some experts.

With, of course, still further massive economic implications.

But Trump is always ready for more tariffs and sanctions and unsafe political rallies, even if he is ready for nothing else.

“Stable genius,” indeed, that America has gifted the world.

And never forget, it was bone-headed American tariffs – the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. 1930 – that helped generate the Great Depression.

Posted June 25, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: “DEFUNDING POLICE” IS A SLOGAN AND NOT A POLICY – IT’S NOT EVEN DEFINED BY ITS USERS – ALL POSSIBLE POLICE REFORMS ARE COSTLY – MOST OF THE ESTABLISHMENT ALMOST CERTAINLY BELIEVE EXISTING PROBLEMS ARE NOT WORTH THE COST SINCE THEY AFFECT THE POOR AND POWERLESS – AND FOR SURE TRUMP’S POLITICAL TRIBE BELIEVES THAT – THE ESTABLISHMENT IS EMBARRASSED BY ALL THE UGLY PUBLICITY, BUT THAT WILL PASS – SPEECHES WILL SAY OTHERWISE BUT THEY WILL BE AS INSINCERE AS AMERICA’S SIGNATURE ON AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY – MAINLY THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED ARE HURT BY POLICE BRUTALITY AND WE HAVE AMPLE PROOF NO ONE CARES MUCH ABOUT THEM – GUNS AND POLICE IN AMERICA AS CAPTURED BY A DISTURBING BRIEF SCENE IN THE OTHERWISE CHARMING FILM, “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” – DANIEL BOONE AS THE BEST EARLY REPRESENTATIVE OF WHAT AMERICA WOULD BECOME   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS T V

 

“Joe Biden does not support defunding police”

 

“Defunding the police” is a slogan rather than a policy, and slogans do not help real problems.

America’s police are over-militarized, have poor hiring practices, and are often badly trained and supervised.

Were it otherwise, we’d see a serious improvement over time in the shabby performance of the country’s many police forces.

The term “defund” isn’t even well defined by its users, and that is why it is a slogan, not a policy.

To somehow create an entirely new system of law enforcement would be extremely costly, and it would require the dedicated hard work of tens of thousands of qualified people.

America’s establishment is highly embarrassed right now by the sudden blinding glare of publicity revealing some of the worst of American society, but that will pass. They will make speeches and favorable sounds, but I believe, on the whole, privately, they would not agree that existing problems are worth the cost of fixing them. They have been going on a very long time. And, after all, most of the people hurt or killed by American police are poor or disadvantaged, and they simply do not count for much in America, no matter what the political speeches and grade-school civics texts say.

That is underscored, too, by Trump’s readiness to blunder right into raw events with what was implicit support for police brutality and severe criticism of demonstrators. Trump knows his political base. While establishment figures don’t approve of his crude ways, many harbor sympathies which are not wildly different. Otherwise the problem would not exist, and it has existed almost forever.

The US can be a pretty harsh and brutal place (as I well know because I grew up there), and many Americans like it that way, taking a kind of muscular pride in the swagger and readiness to use force. Many Americans actually support police brutality as a “necessity” in fighting crime in “the urban jungle.”

For me, American attitudes around violence and police were perfectly captured by a scene in the otherwise charming, sentimental film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The hero of the movie, played by Jimmy Stewart, is dazed and confused and runs away from the small town’s cop, Bert, played by a gruff Ward Bond. Bert promptly pulls out his pistol to start shooting at Stewart’s back, and in a busy commercial street. It is a quietly disturbing scene in what otherwise is a Christmas fantasy film.

This is a country with a large population which virtually worships guns, with an estimated three hundred million of them in private hands. There are many jurisdictions where you can actually “open carry” (visible in a holster) a gun or carry a concealed one.

And it is a country constantly engaged in wars and brutality around the globe. This is not, overall, a tender or even terribly caring society, despite a great deal of sentimentality in its popular culture. Tens of millions of its own people have no healthcare, attend terrible schools, and live in squalor. Some don’t even have decent drinking water. You do not find such things in a caring society.

It is a society whose police and prison guards have had a reputation for excessive force all of my lifetime. Local politicians in hundreds of jurisdictions were never ready to undertake the expense and trouble of doing anything about it.

A national, enforceable code for the hiring and training and supervision of police would be fitting, but I doubt the will is there for that. Properly administered, it would be costly, and the issue of federal versus state and local jurisdictions immediately enters the matter, something always of passionate concern in America. The country’s chaotic jumble of political jurisdictions, reverently embraced as a form of freedom by many, has always helped preserve and protect dark practices.

In the end, it is fair to say America very much is a “I, Me, Mine” society. That has been part of its character from the beginning and distinguishes it from many societies in Asia and in Europe.

Daniel Boone – a tough, harsh man, encroaching on Indigenous lands through early Kentucky, fighting and killing and constantly restlessly moving on to clear a new piece of land, leaving a despoiled one behind – was perhaps the best early representative for what America would become.

Posted June 15, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S CIVIL UNREST IS UNLIKELY TO PRODUCE REAL CHANGE IN ANY OF THE MATTERS DISTURBING SO MANY – PROTESTS LIKELY WILL LOSE STEAM GRADUALLY – AMERICAN SOCIETY LITERALLY IS STRUCTURED TO RESIST CHANGE – NONE OF THE COUNTRY’S IMPORTANT INTEREST GROUPS SEE IT AS TO THEIR BENEFIT – WITH COUNTLESS BILLIONS AT RISK, CHANGE IS NOT VIEWED AS A FRIEND – AMERICA’S MAJOR PROBLEM IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING ELSE, ITS DEEP DIVISIONS ALONG MANY LINES – AND THERE IS NO LEADERSHIP, NONE AT ALL, TO BRIDGE THOSE DIVISIONS – AND NOW IT IS SPREADING DIVISION IN THE WORLD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – AMERICA’S DEEPENING DIVIDE

 

I tend to doubt that the civil unrest in America will result in fundamental reform. The truth is that the set of problems involved is just too massive to be dealt with by anything less than heroic effort, and where is the leadership for such an effort? There is none. Absolutely none.

Disturbing as it is, the civil unrest is not the country’s greatest problem.

America’s greatest problem is a deeply divided society. I do not mean division along party lines, which is to a great extent an artificial division. No, the division is along fundamental lines, and there is absolutely no leadership to bridge those divisions.

The nation’s political system actually contributed to creating some divisions and to deepening others. It is likely incapable of supplying remedies.

It contributed, through taxation and other policies, to an unprecedented, lopsided division of wealth between the One Percent and the great mass of citizens. You do not have to be a socialist advocating for equality of some kind – always an elusive notion – to appreciate that the balance between “haves” and “have-nots” has entered socially destructive territory.

It only exacerbates other existing divisions. After all, America is a highly heterogeneous society, and has always been so. Immigrant-versus-native born divisions. Ethnic and racial divisions. Cultural and religious divisions. Class divisions. And still more.

It is the responsibility of government, any government, to maintain a balance in the distribution of wealth that is healthy for its society. That balance will vary between societies owing to historical, cultural, and other differences. There is no one formula. Close observers know however when things have become badly out of balance, as they very much have in America. It is an ongoing responsibility of government to be aware of the situation and to redress grotesque imbalance.

But we see no impulse for this in American society except for a few voices. America’s underlying deep, narrowly-defined conservativeness and its impulse towards “each man for himself” work against the interests not only of the society as a whole but against even the interests of many of the individuals embracing the ideologies.

If you keep effectively telling great numbers of your people that they are not part of the society and they can influence nothing, the result is absolutely destructive. And that is what America has done for a long time. And I am not thinking only of the stark case of the racial divide. It comes right down to such practical, everyday matters as healthcare. Some get it, others do not, a reality which has been painfully obvious during the pandemic.

It comes down to many everyday matters. Totally decayed neighborhoods, resembling Berlin in 1946, versus extremely refined places to live. Terrible schools versus high-quality schools. Police who behave like an occupying army versus respectable and responsible law enforcement.

The extreme division in wealth is not just about wealth. In America’s money-driven politics, it immediately translates into further political division. It’s a self-reinforcing mechanism. The One Percent gains more leverage over government and its policies daily while the great mass of citizens have no one to speak or act for them.

Democrats pretend to do so in their discussions of various desirable social programs, but it is only a kind of political theater. The Democratic Party is just as dependent on the One Percent for its financing as the Republican Party. I saw a refence in the press a couple of times recently to a meeting Joe Biden attended with some weighty donors, and he is said to have pledged that they would not be affected by economic shifts if he were president. Why not? Some shifting is very much in order.

He is quoted as saying to the donors that if he is elected, “Nothing would fundamentally change” and “No one’s standard of living will change.”

The Democrats, very much, join the Republicans in the close embrace of war and empire. There is no difference, except in rhetoric, between the two. And the massive, costly unproductive industry of the Pentagon and security services and empire serve the One Percent.

The stronger the institutions of war and empire are in a society, the more strongly the nation becomes committed to hostilities and aggression, which in truth are not in the interest of anyone outside the elites. The false religion of Patriotism is used to keep the crowd motivated to support it.

And the more strongly the society becomes committed against improvements which would benefit all citizens, because resources are limited and the attention and talents of all rising members of the establishment are riveted to where the resources are to be had. Note public improvements do not just serve the ordinary citizens. Better national infrastructure and better education and training improve the entire economy’s international competitiveness.

Look at China’s phenomenal concept of the New Silk Road – also called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a massive set of projects across much of the world that will improve infrastructure and competitiveness while generating employment for many years to come. Brilliant. Compare the concept and its potential to the steady work of destruction by America’s military and security services.

Or for that matter, compare it to Trump’s barren concept of trying to take value away from everyone else in the world through demands, intimidation, tariffs, sanctions, and destructive trade policies. You cannot improve the world’s economic well-being by attacking major parts of it. It truly represents the trade and economic equivalent of America’s endless go-nowhere wars, which serve only to control what is not legitimately America’s to control. It builds precisely nothing.

Although it is not certain, especially given continuing additional brutal police acts, the civil unrest we’ve seen likely will lose its steam gradually. It is very difficult for large movements of this kind to maintain momentum. And in the end, I doubt it will have produced much in the way of meaningful change. America is literally structured to resist change.

Certainly, the military-security complex does not welcome change of any kind except new weapons systems and technologies for spying and controlling.  The One Percent is extremely adverse towards change, especially any change which will cost them something, as all real change must. The political establishment serving the One Percent’s interests does not welcome change. They are comfortably ensconced in a rewarding relationship with the elites they serve and with the military and security institutions who support that service.

America’s divided society is now spreading division through much of the world. It resembles a cancer metastasizing. Division against China. Division against Russia. Division against Iran and others. And it is not a danger only for trade and the cooperation in a world economy needing cooperation to recover from the effects of pandemic. It is a serious danger for war.

Posted June 14, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT : TEARING DOWN STATUES – THERE INDEED ARE MANY THAT DESERVE TEARING DOWN – THEY HONOR MEN AND MATTERS WHICH SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HONORED, RATHER THAN HONESTLY TELLING A NATION’S HISTORY – MONUMENTS IN WASHINGTON TO GREAT AND DEDICATED SLAVEHOLDERS – THE LACK OF ANY GENUINE MEMORIAL TO AMERICAN SLAVERY – THE BRUTALITY OF EMPIRE – HOW IS AMERICA’S TREATMENT OF VENEZUELA OR CUBA ANY DIFFERENT THAN THE WORK OF PLANTATION OVERSEERS? – SOME VIEWS ON BRITAIN’S WINSTON CHURCHILL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JONATHAN COOK IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“When Tearing Down Statues Isn’t Vandalism

“It should have been obvious to Bristol’s authorities that it was offensive to revere a slave trader in a public square”

 

“Colston [a British slave trader] and his statue represent everything ugly and debased about our past and our present. If British leaders are still in thrall to the poison of our imperial history, then ordinary people must show the way through protest, defiance and disobedience – as they have done down through the ages. As they did once again at the weekend.”

 

Quite powerful, and I think entirely right.

Statues of this nature do need pulling down.

You could almost view the act as a public baptism towards entering a better future.

And I say that as someone with considerable reverence towards history and its commemoration.

Yes, slavery is part of history, but the kind of monuments that should be erected are the kind we see nowhere.

Along the lines of Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais.”

Washington has no great monument to slavery. I don’t think the Lincoln Memorial qualifies at all. Lincoln did not fight the Civil War over slavery. He hated the institution but was willing to see it remain if it meant peace. He said so himself.

A bas relief of that slave ship deck illustration in the article would be mighty suitable.

Yet Washington has many monuments to great slaveholders: Washington (his will freed his slaves but only following his own and his wife’s death), Jackson (right in that Lafayette Square location Trump immortalized – Jackson of course is infamous too for the brutal Trail of Tears), Madison, George Mason (more than a hundred slaves including children), and the greatest rogue of all, Thomas Jefferson (more than two hundred slaves, never earned his own living, and died a bankrupt owing friends money he borrowed – he also openly wrote in “Notes from Virginia” of black inferiority and supported Napoleon in trying to end the slave rebellion in Haiti).

_____________________

Response to a comment saying, “Colston and his statue represent everything ugly and debased about our past and our present. ”

So does the imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange.

 

Indeed. The clearest public evidence of the brutality of the American empire.

You simply cannot have an empire without brutality. The very nature of empire parallels closely in many respects the institution of slavery.

Of course, the millions of bodies abroad from America’s imperial wars since WWII are even more powerful evidence, but Americans don’t see the Pentagon’s handiwork for the most part. The establishment works pretty diligently to keep its horrors away from public view.

The estimates run from about eight to twenty million killed in America’s series of wars and coups and incursions, and the country is still busily at it in at least half a dozen places.

How is America’s treatment of Venezuela or Bolivia or Cuba any different than the work of plantation overseers?

Over in Britain, Boris Johnson is playing cheap word games, talking about “lying about our history”

The kind of statues being attacked glorify things which should never have been glorified.

They do not tell us about genuine history.

They are props used to cover over genuine history, hiding all the sordid bits from viewers.

A statue to a slave trader has no business being anywhere.

And even Churchill himself – except during the “hero of democracy” period of WWII which represented about five percent of his more than ninety years – was not an admirable political figure, not at all. Charismatic and very talented as a speaker and writer, but not admirable. He did not stand for great principles, even though he used great words.

His talents were dedicated to serving domination and control.

He absolutely relished empire and imperialism.

And empire is the polar opposite of democracy. Closely akin to slavery and dictatorship.

Churchill was willing to be quite brutal in protecting or expanding the empire. He never flinched from killing.

He expressed contempt for many other peoples and their ways, and on many occasions. Being quite sarcastic at times.

The heroic parliamentary statue basically uses a tiny fraction of his life to make him seem to be what he was not. He was not at all an admirer of democracy, offering some very sneering words about it during his career.

_____________________

Churchill was ruthless against the Germans.

He is the one who started the bombing of civilians in cities.

Only after his efforts did Germany begin bombing London.

Churchill typically called the Germans “the Hun,” a totally derogatory term.

What Churchill fought for was not minorities threatened by the Nazis, it was an old British imperial policy of not letting any European power dominate the continent.

Hence, the Napoleonic Wars and that grand folly, WWI, which only set the stage for WWII.

Posted June 13, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT : THE EXTRAORDINARY TOM PAINE – AN 18TH CENTURY POLITICAL WRITER FAR AHEAD OF HIS TIME – HIS UNPLEASANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GEORGE WASHINGTON – AND REMEMBERING THAT GREATEST HYPOCRITE IN AMERICAN HISTORY, THOMAS JEFFERSON   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUSSELL BENTLEY IN FORT RUSS NEWS

 

“TOM PAINE – THE ORIGINAL CHE GUEVARA”

 

Paine was one of our great, non-academic political writers. His words may still be profitably read. A very eloquent and thoughtful man, and given to sharp sarcasm.

George Washington treated him shamefully.

Paine’s writing – In the form of pamphlets like “Common Sense” – was highly influential in the cause of the American Revolution.

Paine later traveled to France during the Great Revolution, and he ended up in prison during The Terror.

There was a plea for Washington’s intervention, but it was coldly ignored.

Many Americans do not realize what an aristocratic figure Washington indeed was. He had not a trace of revolutionary spirit or even progressive spirit. He actually admired the British nobility’s way of doing many things, and his earliest burning ambition was to win a regular British Army commission, but that really was not done in those days, and Washington’s desperate efforts followed by disappointment likely pushed him in the direction of later supporting the colonial revolt.

His form of support was odd though. When he was commissioned by the Continental Congress to take command – effectively at his own suggestion by wearing a uniform of his own design to the Continental Congress, and he was known for having been an officer in the Virginia Militia at the time of the Seven Years War – over the revolt which had started spontaneously against Britain in New England, he saw his first task as bringing harsh discipline.

He instituted flogging and hanging, as in the regular British Army, on the militiamen who had volunteered and previously elected their own officers. He wrote unpleasant letters about what filthy rabble they were.

Eventually, he had uniforms designed along the lines of British ones but in different colors, as well as having standard arms and drill practices introduced. He in effect created the feeling of a British Army commission for himself.

He even wore the traditional sash and sword of European nobles, continuing the practice as President on formal occasions.

And though Washington was not a religious man at all, he did not approve of the kind of critical and satirical writing Paine did on the subject of religion. Washington was a privileged American aristocrat – one of richest men in all the colonies – and very much worked towards “keeping up appearances.”

Paine managed to survive, but no thanks to Washington.

One European writer nicely summed up the American “revolution” as a revolt which saw foreign aristocratic rulers displaced by local aristocratic rulers. It is a very accurate observation.

_______________________________

Response to a flattering comment from the author, Russell Bentley:

Thank you, Russell.

I too admired Ben Franklin, and I was distressed to fInd he had dabbled in slavery for a while.

There are no words for Thomas Jefferson, the greatest hypocrite in American history.

Jefferson owned more than 200 slaves until his death, as a bankrupt. He never earned his own living.

You may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-remarkable-case-of-thomas-jefferson-he-wasnt-at-all-what-so-many-think-he-was-how-the-needs-of-politics-can-twist-and-exploit-historical-figures-and-myth-making-as-a/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-using-quotes-from-famous-historical-figures-can-be-sometimes-misleading-what-they-said-was-not-always-how-they-lived-orwell-and-jefferson/

 

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/reflections-on-the-origins-and-meaning-of-americas-independence-day-re-posted-from-6-years-ago-nothing-having-changed/

______________________

Response to a further comment from Russell Bentley:

Thanks for the kind words.

Yes, it is hard to beat a fine line like Paine’s “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”

Or “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”

That last, while I’m sure bent by some whose main point is to offend, is a profound truth about human affairs, as sharply true now as the day he wrote it.

As to the first line, H. G. Wells said more than a century later, “Our true nationality is mankind.” Paine was far ahead of his time.

Posted June 13, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A WRITER SPEAKS OF ISRAEL LOSING ITS BEST – EMIGRATION FROM ISRAEL REFLECTS LIMITED POSSIBILITIES OF THE SOCIETY AND THE SOCIAL CONSCIENCE OF THOSE LEAVING – THE HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT ISRAEL REPRESENTS – ISRAEL’S EFFECT ON ITS REGION AND ITS DISCOURAGEMENT OF ARAB DEMOCRACY – SOME VALID POINTS OF COMPARISON BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION – THE LEGITIMACY OF CRITICIZING A HEAVILY-ARMED AND OPPRESSIVE STATE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY LAWRENCE DAVIDSON IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Israel Loses Its Best

“While economics is certainly playing a role in this emigration, it is not the only factor. There is also a question of conscience

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/10/israel-loses-its-best/

 

A first-class piece.

You could call the phenomenon a human-migration version of Gresham’s law that says bad money drives out good.

Who would want to raise children in a place so loaded with hatreds and brutality? Certainly not many of humanity’s most thoughtful and feeling.

By so many measures, Israel is such a huge disappointment. It is anything but a point of light for humanity.

Apart from so many other considerations, just the fact that it is such a militarized society and packed with security services. It is literally a garrison state.

And of course, armies and security services inherently have values that are different than the values of democracy and human rights. They are authoritarian organizations. The bigger the role they play in a society, the more impoverished ethically and morally that society will be. Just look at the United States, a similar though less intense case.

Israel’s practices and methods and prejudices have played a major role in perpetuating tyrannies in the region too. Israel always likes leaders like President Mubarak or Field Marshal El-Sisi, leaders who suppress their own people’s hopes and dreams. The bloody Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is almost a bosom-buddy with Netanyahu. The democratic Hamas is castigated while a long-unelected and ineffective man is propped up in Fatah.

Absolutely, Israel’s influence has contributed to the lack of democratic development in the Arab world. Why? Because leaders like Netanyahu or Sharon are comfortable with masses of people being suppressed.

I often think of the old USSR when I think of Israel. There are many striking parallels. A national ideology that allows little or no deviance. Military Frankenstein monsters. Highly aggressive towards neighbors. Riddled with suspicions and spy agencies and police of every description. Heavily distorted and unbalanced economies. Powerful limits on human rights. Resentment of criticism from outsiders. Claims to being democratic not supported by actual arrangements.

The entire trail of destruction of the Pentagon’s Neo-con Wars – wars killing several million and creating many millions into desperate refugees – owes a great deal to the drives of Israel and its right-wing supporters in America. Men like Ariel Sharon were intense advocates. As were men like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz in America.

I also think of the USSR when I hear Israel’s most vicious, unthinking defenders accuse those who criticize a heavily armed state which ignores rule of law of being anti-Semitic. The charge is ridiculous on its face.

It is intended to defend the indefensible. The charge is exactly parallel to having accused those who criticized the USSR of being Russophobes. Nonsense, at least in the overwhelming number of cases.

I disliked and criticized the USSR, yet always was and remain an admirer of the Russian people – their literature, their music, their magnificent churches and historic buildings, the very sound of their language, and their unbelievable bravery and heroism in the face of war and horror.

And just so, the case of Israel and the Jewish people, people who have given so many admirable things to the world.

Posted June 13, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN RACISM AND POLICE BRUTALITY – BUT THERE ARE OTHER TOXIC INGREDIENTS IN THE SOCIAL MIX PRODUCING WHAT WE’VE SEEN ON AMERICA’S STREETS – A LIST OF TERRIBLE PRACTICES IN AMERICAN POLICING, INCLUDING ITS MILITARIZATION AND HIRING SOLDIERS FROM AMERICA’S BRUTAL COLONIAL WARS AS POLICE – TERRIBLE PRACTICES USED TO RUN A VAST PRISON SYSTEM WITH THE WORLD’S LARGEST POPULATION OF PRISONERS – THE NEGLECT OF ORDINARY PEOPLE AS NATIONAL GOVERNMENT FOCUSES ENTIRELY ON THE MEANS OF WAR AND EMPIRE AND SERVING WEALTH – THE IMMENSE DISPARITY IN AMERICAN SOCIETY CREATED THROUGH ITS POLITICS – THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE WORD “CITIZEN” IN AMERICAN POLITICS – ORDINARY AMERICANS INCREASINGLY SEEN BY THE ESTABLISHMENT AS A HERD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – AMERICAN RACISM AND POLICE BRUTALITY

 

Racism is certainly a problem in America, a profound and very longstanding one. Its origins trace their roots to the very Founding.

But events like the gruesome police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis bring other harsh matters to our attention.

A crucial one is the very nature of policing in America, and I discuss that below.

Another important one, closely related to the quality of policing, is the immense disparity that has mushroomed in American society. It has been created by wrongheaded laws and tax “reforms” of recent decades. Created by selfish politicians serving selfish elites who assume little-to-no responsibility about the society in general, including the astounding debts they are largely responsible for incurring and even the society’s basic healthiness.

The country, while never a democracy, unquestionably has moved steadily towards being an outright plutocracy, a state which further corrupts and distorts all politics, leaving no room for proper representation of the interests of the vast majority and keeping government closely tied to the service of the privileged.

Both major parties, dependent on wealth for their immense funding needs, effectively have no independence and offer little in the way of genuine alternatives. It is extremely costly to run large political campaigns in America, at least given the way it is done with huge amounts of first-class travel and countless polls and never-ending advertising, and laws and court rulings have only served to keep it costly. That fact also makes it almost impossible for anyone outside the two establishment parties to even think of seriously competing.

As I’ve said before, that political structure is what ties America to a gigantic military, intrusive security agencies, and global empire, an empire serving the interests of elites. But the existence of empire also very much has an impact on domestic affairs. Big social programs of almost any description are simply out of the question, and legislation to support the always-evolving domestic interests of the source of all political-financing bounty, the wealthy, become a priority. The working of the mechanism over time only more deeply entrenches plutocracy and the lack of political support for any interests of ordinary Americans – eg, as for national healthcare.

Much of the harshness of American law enforcement reflects a focus on protecting those with wealth, both individuals and corporations, and promoting an attitude of indifference or contempt for a great many other people. The mass of Americans is treated increasingly as though it were a herd of some kind. Just minimal efforts and precautions are taken for its benefit and general social order. We no longer even hear the word “citizens” even used in political speech, a word that has historic resonance and implies obligations.

Police officers, while largely originating from ordinary people, are encouraged to think of themselves as having been raised out of that status, almost as being “knighted” for the special front-line service of America’s most privileged. Most people like the idea of being considered special and jealously guard their status, and America’s public culture almost deifies police work.

American law enforcement has an international reputation for brutality. Years ago, it was cited by Amnesty International for dark excess.

On average, American police kill 3 citizens each day, and that’s apart from the far greater number they assault and injure and terrify.

Use of choke holds, like the one that killed George Floyd, is common.

Many police departments are heavily militarized. The Pentagon has a regular program for distributing unneeded military supplies to local police. Some departments can put on displays similar to those of some small nation-state militaries, complete with armored vehicles, machine guns, helicopters, and drones.

The attitudes of military thinking come with the supply and use of that equipment, as well as from the nature of training and recruiting (mentioned below), and they are not attitudes to be encouraged in a civilian force.

Men leaving the military after their term often become police officers. America has a very large military, so there is a constant flow of police recruits. Of course, the record of the American military abroad in its many brutal colonial wars – as, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, etc. – is not one of civilian-oriented restraint or caution. It is one of “shoot first, ask questions later.”

Those ugly imperial wars saw countless atrocities and war crimes, but remarkably few soldiers ever were held accountable. American police-hiring practices bring something of that war-time sense of atrocity-with-impunity entitlement to the streets and citizens of America.

Many police forces do not even use all the safeguards available to them in hiring, as always testing candidates for sociopathic or sadistic tendencies. Police work, like the military, is a natural attractant for sociopaths and sadists.

As a recent trend, many local American police forces receive some training in Israel. Israel earns a good flow of funds from the contracts. Since Israel occupies a large population against its will, a population with no citizenship or rights, it is a very questionable practice to send civilian police there for training – at least if your intention is just fair and capable law enforcement by American police.

America’s prisons are notoriously violent places where prisoners can die mysteriously. One study a while back counted 800 such deaths in a year.

Solitary confinement, virtually a form of torture, is widely practiced in America. And the country has a set of hideous institutions called “Super-max prisons” where the conditions are severe and frightening.

A number of American states contract-out running their prisons to private companies to save money, and you can imagine the quality of staff and supervision when saving money is the goal.

America has the largest number of incarcerated people in the world.

Compared to their share of population, heavily disproportionate numbers of blacks are incarcerated in America. I am not arguing about the fairness of their charges or sentences, of which I know nothing, but given America’s endemic and intense racism, you can imagine the harsh conditions for many of them as prisoners. Prison guards, of course, do not tend to come from an educated or refined pool of people.

Training for prison guards is often poor, as it very much is for the local police in America’s huge number of towns incorporated out of suburban sprawl, a distinctly American phenomenon.

It is important to recognize that America, contrary to many pleasant stories told about it, is an extremely harsh society. You could not have the kind of imperial wars America has otherwise. You cannot have an empire without brutality. Empire and militarism fundamentally negate all principles one may claim to embrace, such as human and democratic rights. Millions of people are treated like crap around the world by America every year.

The state of American society not only is affected by the military and empire, it almost serves as a proving ground in the production of soldiers and leaders and public opinion for all that aggression and hostility.

I’ve said it many times, but it is a fundamental truth not widely understood: you cannot have both a decent society and an empire. You must choose, and America’s choice has been clear for a very long time.

You do have to ask yourself, “Do the people who truly run America, those who profit from its wars and empire, have any serious interest in changing those arrangements?”

Posted June 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RUSSIA AND AMERICA – RUSSIAGATE AND DNC “HACKING” – AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON AMERICAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS AND THE BEHAVIOR OF KEY AMERICAN PLAYERS – BUT THE ARTICLE MISSES A KEY POINT – THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY THAT POINT ARE ALMOST TOO OVERWHELMING FOR AMERICA TO DEAL WITH – THE MATTER OF SETH RICH’S DEATH – HIGH OFFICIALS WHO ACTED AND LIED THEIR WAY THROUGH THE HORRORS OF SYRIA AND LIBYA WERE PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF BRINGING SUCH BEHAVIOR HOME – THEY SAW IT PROVEN TO WORK ABROAD MANY TIMES AND THEY WERE NEVER HELD ACCOUNTABLE – THERE IS NO INVISIBLE BARRIER AT THE BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES TO STOP HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL MURDER – KENNEDY’S DEATH IN DALLAS EMPHASIZES THE POINT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RAY MCGOVERN IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“US-Russia Ties, from Heyday to MayDay

“Whatever hopes Russia’s leader may have had for a more workable relationship with the U.S. have been “trumpled,” so to speak.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/03/ray-mcgovern-us-russia-ties-from-heyday-to-mayday/

 

An excellent piece with some real bits of insight into American-Russian relations.

But at least one very important thing is missing.

The author says, “the faux-story [DNC Russian hacking] is simply too big to fail”

Indeed, but why?

If the official line isn’t so, and it is not, we get to the point, “Then, who downloaded the data from the DNC?”

Several analysts have made suggestions in the past, and Julian Assange himself hinted around the subject.

I believe that the “Russian-hacking” story can’t fail because the alternative is that a Democratic Party insider downloaded the material and supplied it to Assange.

And the absolutely best candidate for having done that was Seth Rich, a young, idealistic political worker who was likely shocked by some of the material to which he had access.

Further, since I just do not believe in coincidence, especially where such high-level matters are involved, we are left asking, “Then, who killed Seth Rich, or had him killed?”

The only serious candidates for that are at the top of the Democratic Party.

The article speaks of the kind of lying and subterfuge and attempts to hurt that go on in foreign affairs – as with the Sarin gas in Syria – and those practices are a major part of America’s entire set of foreign policies today, not just for relations with Syria or Russia.

I do not believe people can follow such practices abroad for years without eventually bringing them home. After all, they’ve seen how well they can work and they know there is virtually no risk for themselves, so why not use them at home where the stakes are great?

That is just one of the ways, empire and militarism corrupt a nation and crumble any principles it may have once operated under.

In the article, we have John Kerry openly lying about something that has vicious consequences.

And we know from Seymour Hersh, the great investigative reporter, that among the things Hillary Clinton was secretly having shipped from smashed-up Libya to the mercenary forces trying to destroy Syria also, was a small quantity of Sarin nerve agent from the dead Qadhafi’s stocks. The intention was for it to be used to provide the “red line” Obama had talked about.

I just don’t accept that such evil abroad can never come home to roost in America. Indeed, I think it has many times, going back to Dallas, 1963.

 

NOTE

Readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/john-chuckman-comment-on-re-opening-the-kennedy-assassination-investigation-why-it-would-be-a-waste-of-time-the-nature-of-truth-where-empire-or-great-power-is-involved-some-truth-about-the-fbi/

Posted June 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ROLE OF CORPORATE NEWS MEDIA IN GREAT EVENTS LIKE AMERICA’S RIOTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY – THE LIMITS TO PUBLISHED TRUTH ABOUT DEADLY SERIOUS MATTERS – CORPORATE JOURNALISM FOR THE MOST PART IS NOT JOURNALISM – IT HAS OTHER JOBS – WRITERS AND EDITORS AND PRODUCERS HAVE LITTLE CHOICE OR DISCRETION IN WHAT EVENTS THEY COVER AND HOW THEY COVER THEM – IN REAL-LIFE EVENTS, PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING, BUT WHEN DEALING WITH CORPORATE REPORTING OF EVENTS, PERSPECTIVE IS ALMOST AN UNACCEPTABLE WORD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DANIELLE K. KILGO IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“UPRISING: Riot or Resistance: Media Framing Shapes Public View

“The role journalists play can be indispensable if movements are to gain legitimacy and make progress”

 

I’m not sure that I accept the idea of “media framing.”

Too many think of the major media as separate actors who may choose to wrongly influence the public or not, who may shade or distort events or not, who may honestly report or not.

America’s major media are just tools of the power establishment, themselves a set of corporations in a corporate/wealth-directed state.

They couldn’t do anything differently if they somehow wanted to.

They are as dependent as that young man in the street was with the policeman’s knee on his neck.

Few recognize the way corporate media are indistinguishable from old state media, such as those of the USSR.

A newspaper publisher or a broadcaster who suddenly decided to be as scrupulously honest as possible about important matters would quickly suffer dire consequences.

Advertising revenue cut off. Access in Congress and the White House cut off. Cut off from any important leaks or other information. Access to federal agencies cut off. Licence renewals endangered. Merger or other business requests denied on trumped-up excuses.

In other words, a great wave of severe pressure from powerful actors, the kind of activity America regularly engages in against governments it does not like, as we see with Venezuela or Bolivia or Cuba.

It would be a journalistic death sentence. Indeed, a corporate death sentence.American journalism cannot possibly reform itself. Or do anything much differently than what it does. It is as free as a fly trapped in amber.

Until the very way America is governed changes – and what are the chances of that? – American journalism will remain just what it is, an elaborate outlet for official views, propaganda, and disinformation.

At least that’s what it is when it comes to vital topics, like war and political corruption. All the other stuff published or broadcast – from sports scores or stock prices to election results or travel information – are authentic, their authenticity only helping the other stuff “go down,” like fruit flavoring for a pill.

Posted June 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME REALLY NOTABLE THINGS ABOUT AMERICA REVEALED THROUGH TRUMP   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – SOME REALLY NOTABLE THINGS ABOUT AMERICA REVEALED THROUGH TRUMP

 

Trump has lost support according to several recent polls. The remarkable thing is that he commands any support.

We’ve had more than three years of incompetence at the highest level, blunder after blunder, erratic policy turns, laughing about theft, insulting people, displays of callousness, giving away other people’s property, serving America’s One-Percent slavishly while ignoring everyone else except in empty slogans at political rallies, and a long series of stone-stupid statements on any number of topics, from the coronavirus to the riots in Minneapolis.

Not a single solid achievement and not a campaign promise kept. How can there be anyone who supports him, much less something around forty-two to -five percent approving of him in polls?

It was one thing to support Trump when he first ran, when you may have thought that, despite his many grotesqueries, he might be able to achieve a few worthwhile things, as outsiders or mavericks occasionally do. But this man has achieved nothing, except piling up bodies both at home and abroad and shaming civil society.

This does say something disturbing about Americans, a good many of them anyway. I don’t know whether it has something to do with poor education and ignorance or just lowdown meanness. I suspect a bit of both.

There is a lot of meanness and brutality in America – as perhaps few people abroad realize, still under illusions created by glossy magazines, attractive television series, and Hollywood movies – as we can see by what happened in Minneapolis, the kind of gruesome display that has happened many times.

And there was the President, virtually applauding official murder, done in the most sadistic fashion as by a death-camp guard, and threatening deeply upset protesters.

Of course, accomplishing all that killing and horror abroad as America does, none of it having anything remotely to do with defense, requires a good supply of cold-blooded killers. And there are the countless corrupt and vicious police, the country’s suburban sprawl creating a weird expanding universe of jurisdictions, each requiring its own inadequate, poorly-trained and -disciplined police force.

There’s the small army of prison guards in a penal system with an international reputation for brutality. Where else do you find the Nazi-like concept of super-max prisons and the widespread, common use of the torture of solitary confinement? A small army of prison guards, indeed, because America has the highest incarceration rate on the planet, as well as some of the most unforgiving laws, including the common one of three relatively minor convictions automatically imposing a life-sentence on someone.

The country’s galaxy of seventeen huge, intrusive security agencies, respecters of no rights, certainly is not staffed by choirboys.

America is often a violent, Ill-informed, and nasty place – a few steps from tyranny – and Trump is the true champion for those constituencies, bringing out their best, as it were.

Posted May 30, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ACCUSATIONS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR COMING FROM THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JASON PROCTOR IN CBC NEWS

 

Meng Wanzhou [executive of China’s Huawei corporation, arrested in Canada by American request] is a fugitive only from the United States’ irrational fear and hatred of China and its success.

The only criminal involved in this case is the United States’ government, the same government practicing gunboat diplomacy in half a dozen countries.

The same government hurting millions of sick and poor people with its illegal sanctions, American laws applied to people who are not Americans and with no authority from anyone else.

The same government which pressures every ally to buy only its products and not those of China or Russia.

The same government that just quit the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic. That quit UNESCO. That threatened the ICC. That has quit almost every existing international treaty for nuclear peace – withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Accord, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty, threatening the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and talking about conducting a new nuclear test.

And Canada, shamefully, is doing part of its dirty work in the Meng case, as well as in its positions on matters as diverse as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran.

I just saw in another news source, that the same dear old United States is now considering laying some kind of criminal charges against the wife of President Maduro of Venezuela.

Of course, only recently, they put a 15-million-dollar bounty on the (twice-elected) Venezuelan President’s head.

Great country these days, the United States.

Posted May 30, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA BRINGS A NEW PHENOMENON TO WORLD AFFAIRS – THE OBVIOUS SELFISHNESS OF ITS ESTABLISHMENT’S ACTS IS STRIKING – IT HAS LAUNCHED A RELENTLESS AND GIGANTIC CRUSADE AGAINST CHINA JUST BECAUSE AMERICA FEARS THE COUNTRY’S COMPETITIVENESS – AUSTRALIA AND CANADA AS EXAMPLES OF HOW ALLIES ARE NOW SHABBILY USED – AND IT EMPLOYS METHODS FROM THE OLD SOVIET UNION IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH THREATS AND MASSIVE FORCE – A NEW IRON CURTAIN HAS DESCENDED, AN AMERICAN ONE – AND ALL THE DESTRUCTIVENESS AND THREATS COME AT A TIME OF GREAT FRAGILITY FOR THE WORLD’S ECONOMY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TONY KEVIN IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Australia & the Working of the American Imperial Hand

“The paradox of Australia: a wealthy country whose complacent, U.S.-indoctrinated political elites are betraying its promise in so many important ways”

 

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/28/australia-the-working-of-the-american-imperial-hand/

 

A truly excellent piece. Well written and concisely informative.

The United States is working hard all over the globe to shore up support for its hostile policies towards China. It is a frightening phenomenon. Attacking its technology. Attacking its companies. Attacking its laws. Attacking its science. Accusing it of every dark thing they can think of. All done under the principle that if you throw enough crap at a wall, some of it will stick. A very enlightened guiding principle to bring world affairs. Pure maliciousness.

The American establishment deeply resents China’s success and very much fears its competitiveness.

So, it is working hard on every level to hurt the country. That’s quite a new phenomenon I think in the modern world – instead of focusing on any genuine enemies, you focus intense hostility on a peaceful economic competitor. All while ignoring your own important business. America is a land heavily littered with rust and decay and despair and inadequate facilities. Repair and replacement would create jobs while increasing the country’s own competitiveness, but it is all ignored in this vicious crusade against “the yellow peril.’

Of course, there are no genuine enemies of any importance for the United States. Its gigantic, resource-consuming military and security service complex serves mainly to manage and expand imperial control and get rid of any nuisance, such as a government which thinks for itself. It just finished waves of that in the Middle East, leaving behind a landscape of death, destruction, and the despair of refugees.

It’s an ugly set of behaviors to bring to a world suffering from the fragilities both of disease and economics.

I recognize the situation the author speaks of because Canada, too, has been acting in foreign affairs in a way entirely different than its historical role, say, under the father of the current Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, a fiercely independent mind who opposed America’s holocaust in Vietnam, threw open the doors to young Americans avoiding the war, and established a strong relationship with Cuba despite America’s resentment.

His son, Justin, has supported virtually every aspect of America’s vicious new foreign policy – towards Venezuela, towards Iran, towards China, towards others, and he sells armored cars to the bloody tyrant running Saudi Arabia, without losing a night’s sleep.

A very distressing situation for anyone who admired the world view of Canada under Pierre Trudeau, Lester Pearson, and Paul Martin. Then, Canada enjoyed a strong reputation in the world, a reputation for principles like the rule of law, supporting international organizations, and just doing many things right.

Canada perhaps has had less room to maneuver than Australia since it has long been an economic dependent of the US. Whereas, the author says, China has been Australia’s economic partner.

Hard to see where all this is going, but it is dangerous and threatening, and it is all about America, serving no one else’s real interests. America’s interests defined in the narrowest and most selfish terms.

The American establishment’s activities do bring to light how little it and its servants – the State Department, the military, the security services – care about anyone else, including its own people. It’s “me first” for “the one percent,” the people whom empire serves.

In the long term, these activities cannot possibly make America a better place, and they certainly cannot make the world one. They only bring us all a period of darkness and uncertainty, as though a new kind of iron curtain had fallen, an American one.

Real economic forces, broadly-defined self-interests, and the resentment of diktats from one selfish country will prevail ultimately. But that could be a long time and a lot of harm done. We all know what happened to the Soviet Union, and in almost all of its external relationships, the United States resembles the Soviets more closely with each passing month.

Posted May 28, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE SPEAKS OF THE DANGER OF A NEW COLD WAR – I’M MORE CONCERNED ABOUT A HOT WAR – A LIST OF THE GREAT RANGE OF HOSTILITIES SET LOOSE BY WASHINGTON   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

 

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN PRESS T V

 

“US withdrawal from international treaties suggests new Cold War resumption”

 

“New Cold War resumption?”

Given the remarkably hostile words and acts coming from Washington, I’m more concerned about a hot war.

Withdrawing from treaties is certainly threatening, and the US has done a lot of that recently, but it has done so much more, too.

The words and acts go beyond anything I recall during the Cold War.

Openly assassinating another country’s national hero? Almost bragging about it?

Placing a bounty on the head of a twice-elected national leader?

Declaring the threatening phrase, “full-spectrum dominance,” as a national purpose in the world?

Trying to impose American law on everyone who is not American through a vast network of illegal sanctions?

Displaying contempt for many important international institutions and organizations? Quitting some of them? Threatening some? Demanding others serve its own purposes? UN. WHO. ICC. WTO. UNESCO. OPCW. UNRWA.

Ignoring the rule of law openly throughout the Middle East, on the high seas, and in Latin America?

Displaying no spirit of international cooperation, even during a medical emergency. At least in the days of the Cold War, the US always tried to appear cooperative about disasters and about international organizations. It was often the first to offer some assistance. Now, it does not bother.

Relentlessly attacking the world’s other great power, China, with genuine slander and lies. Doing so daily with no pretense to science or legality.

Posted May 26, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CHINESE PEOPLE’S IMMENSE PRIDE IN THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS – STUPIDLY AND DANGEROUSLY BELITTLED BY TRUMP AND POMPEO – HOW I EXPECT CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES EACH TO COME OUT OF THE DOUBLE CRISIS OF ECONOMICS AND DISEASE – CHINA WILL BE STRENGTHENED WHILE THE UNITED STATES WILL BE WEAKENED – THEN THE DANGER OF EVEN WORSE ATTACKS ON CHINA NO MATTER WHO IS ELECTED – ABSOLUTELY NO LEADERSHIP IN AMERICA – WE ONLY HAVE DEMANDS THAT AMERICA MUST BE FIRST – THE AMERICAN POWER ESTABLISHMENT FEARS CHINA AND ITS COMPETITIVENESS – A WORD ON THE AWFUL HONG KONG PROTESTERS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK LAWRENCE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

US, China & Hong Kong’s Betrayal

 

I have some familiarity with the Chinese, having served as a “homestay” for a fine young student from China for two and a half years and having got to know all his friends. I also taught a fair number of university students from China.

They were lovely, bright kids, and I remember their smiles and laughter.

I saw no hostility towards the US in them then.

But their pride in China and its accomplishments and history were immense. Quite palpable.

Only an idiot would act to belittle that pride, but the US very much has two noisy idiots at the head of its government. And touching on any matter of Chinese sovereignty, such as Hong Kong, borders on insanity. Chinese pride will not allow it.

Although they are truly obnoxious, it is not just Trump & Co. at fault. The whole Washington establishment resents China, its remarkable rise, and they fear its competitiveness. They have not opposed Trump’s viciousness. And many have parroted his most hateful themes.

It is becoming dangerous. And it is beyond foolish at a time of great fragility in the world’s economy to be attacking the other great engine of growth.

My own belief is that China will emerge from the current crises strengthened, able to compete in new areas such as health. It will have won new admirers and partners in the world. And it is ready to do business with everyone. Its people will work smoothly together to make things right. And they have superb leadership.

America will come out of the dual crisis of disease and economy considerably weakened. It has lost the respect even of some old allies with its display of selfish concern and incompetence. It has terrible leadership. And it is dedicated to purposes that make no sense – i.e., “full-spectrum dominance everywhere,” a one-way trip to nowhere, except possibly to war.

There isn’t a hint of real leadership in Washington. Just arrogant people who believe they should be number-one in everything. Even if Biden wins the election, he is a man of no promise. And I am something of a believer in Carlyle’s maxim, “History is biography.”

Corruption and war from a bellowing, unstable man or corruption and war from an old party hack does seem to summarize the grim election choice ahead.

My fear is that Washington will push with even more desperate tactics in either case, especially if my view of how the two countries emerge from the dual crisis holds.

__________________

Response to a comment saying “This author gives way too much credence to the Hong Kong protesters”

Agreed, Well-said.

The protesters were obnoxious, not heroic, not idealistic, and they used a great many home-made firebombs, and they were shooting bows-and-arrows in the streets.

The Hong Kong police did a difficult job well. The author doesn’t adequately credit them.

Just compare with what was going on in Paris and Gaza at the time – public mass killing and maiming of unarmed demonstrators. Just savagery.

And there was almost certainly State Department and CIA collusion behind the scenes in Hong Kong to stir things up.

Posted May 26, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized