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John Chuckman


Jens Stoltenberg has said so many stupid things in recent time that his words now come as just noise.

Russia of course has troops in Syria, troops to service their planes, load munitions, guard the base, and prepare food.

Such support always comes with an air presence by anyone anywhere. Any thinking person knows that.

To refer to them as “boots on the ground” (a dumb American expression for troops somewhere) is completely asinine.

Putin is clever, cautious, and decisive – an excellent combination in a leader – and he is not ready to march into any potential morass.

Besides the Syrian Army is doing a good job of defending its country, only being impeded by the immense secret assistance America and Israel with their associates have provided the terrorist gangs trying to destroy Syria.

What Russia is doing is simply erasing that assistance. The Syrian Army will do the rest.

Jens Stoltenberg is just pitching one more line of anti-Russian American propaganda, attempting to feed the bonfire of ignorant fear America has kept burning in Europe since its engineered coup in Ukraine.

My question is: considering its face-value worthlessness, why does The Independent bother giving it prominence?

John Chuckman


“Keep it in the ground” is a modern Luddite expression. We don’t need slogans. We need intelligent scientific work and patience.

In twenty years or so, the way technology is going, we will be greatly off-oil, even with no special efforts.

But pushing premature efforts is just religion and may prove dangerous.

Windmills, for example, in many applications, are a poor source of electricity, but they have been pushed on people in many countries in large numbers because they are vaguely understood as being “green.” But costly and rather unreliable electricity cannot be green, rightly conceived. Costliness and unreliability are waste, and waste is never green, and it deprives us of our ability to supply other needs.

Windmills cannot supply base-load electricity (that capacity which allows you to turn on the lights anytime in 24 hours), and they are horribly expensive over their useful life expectancy. Maintenance is costly, as for example each time some minor matter goes wrong, you must get a specialized truck that reaches very high up in a remote place just to service one unit.

They also have been demonstrated as not standing up well in extreme conditions of cold and wind. And because you require base-load power, you still need conventional generators to back up windmills, no matter how many of them you have. So they require redundancy automatically, if you will. That also is not green, rightly conceived. I’m all for experimenting with them, but just rushing out to throw up thousands of them, as some jurisdictions have done, seems foolish.

Solar is showing new promise, but we are not there yet for most applications. I think we are getting close to being able to have a practical roofing or siding material for houses, a great concept, which will greatly reduce demands on the grid, with all the reductions in infrastructure that implies.

Storage batteries for homes, another great idea, are coming along, and I suspect will be quite important in not too many years. They too will remove demand on the grid as well as reducing waste.

If electric cars are to come into their own, we need a different way of distributing and/or storing electricity on a widespread scale. We do not have that yet.

As to the matter of global warming, I think caution is extremely wise.

Only recently, a very able mathematician discovered a couple of serious mathematical errors in the world’s main climate model. The errors make carbon dioxide seem far more important in warming than it is without the errors, thus greatly exaggerating its role in climate. The results seem dramatic but will need to be confirmed.

Now, if we run off and spend countless billions on a threat which may not indeed be quite such a threat, we will deliberately impoverish our societies, robbing our children. That too is not green.

Climate change has been happening for 4.5 billion years. It is actually a part of our evolution.

I don’t in the least doubt that climate change is occurring, but I rather doubt we are responsible for it, and I doubt even more that we can seriously alter it with deliberate plans of global scope. Such schemes resemble too much the old Soviet grand engineering schemes of the 1960s for altering rainfall in a region or for altering the course of vast rivers. Global engineering is potentially quite dangerous.

When you talk about a great and immensely complex thing like the earth, I think it more than a little foolish to pretend that we really do understand it enough to be playing with its mechanisms and fine-tuning this or that. It is as complex as the human brain, an organ we understand only in fairly rudimentary fashion even today, and with which our best medical people have made many errors over decades.

Further, we are entering a solar-minimum period over the next decade or so, and this will undoubtedly make things colder for a while. It might actually prove a useful offset to a general tendency to warming as we continue developing our approaches to energy. Again, show some patience and let our brightest creators do their work. Let’s have no slogans and no crash programs we will almost certainly regret.

John Chuckman


Netanyahu is well known for despising the Oslo Accords from the beginning.

And now his long series of dark and hostile acts has pretty well succeeded in destroying them.

But that’s only a small part of what he has done. Mass killing in Gaza. Attempt to starve the people out with blockade (they actually counted the calories for minimum sustenance in the early stages). Piracy on the high seas. Horrible bombing in Lebanon. Assassinations. Threats and insults in every direction. Imprisoning without proper trial. Sending armed men more than once into holy places. Stealing homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

And Netanyahu has always made outrageous demands before even talking – for example, the demand that Israel (defined by what borders?) be first recognized as the land of the Jewish people (even though the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people do not live there – this is also a demand which directly threatens the lives of the million or so Palestinians who hold Israel citizenship through the accident of being trapped in horrors of 1948).

It couldn’t be clearer – although our press won’t say so – that Netanyahu is dedicated to creating Greater Israel, taking the land Israel illegally controls minus its unfortunate residents. It is slow-motion ethnic-cleansing, and nothing less.

What would you say and do if you were a Palestinian?

These people – five million or so in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem – live with no votes, no rights of any kind, almost no ability to travel, daily abuse, a good deal of danger and contempt, not even secure home ownership, and, to cap it all, the people responsible for all the oppression broadcast to the world a steady stream of public relations announcements about being a democratic country.

Netanyahu – whose acts and words literally scream a narcissistic if not psychopathic personality – is one of the most dangerous men on the planet, and an Israel under his leadership or under the leadership of anyone like him, such as the late Ariel Sharon, will never seriously consider peace and the fundamental compromises so clearly needed to secure it.

I am most afraid it will all end in tragedy.


Response to a reader comment:

First, the Ashkenazim of today’s Israel have no relationship to the ancient Hebrews beyond sharing their religion. They are people largely of European origin, a fact which is established by their history, language (Yiddish-Taitsh), and even DNA testing.

But even if one somehow imagines the Ashkenazim as the descendants of the ancient Hebrews, how do they have a claim over land they would have left 2,000 years ago and others long have inhabited?

They don’t of course. It is an absurd proposition.

If you believe that is somehow proper way of doing things, then the Greeks should control Turkey (the Trojan War), Italians should control France (Gaul), Mongolia should control much of Europe (Genghis Khan), and indeed most of the planet should be completely re-ordered.

In many cases, there would be multiple claims to particular places, and, indeed, this is very much the case for Israel/Palestine. The Egyptians and the Phoenicians (Lebanon) ruled there for a long time before the Hebrews. Greece, Italy, and others would also have claims.

The notion of a Biblical foundation for modern Israel is so preposterous that it makes one’s head spin. But more than that, it was so clearly a violent and dangerous idea from the start. If someone with weapons and threats chased you from your home, claiming ownership in the name of vague and uncertain ancestors, and murdered many of your neighbors, is there any way to look at that as promoting peace or security or a bright future? It promotes feuds and hatred on all sides.

Apologists for Israel just remain blind to these basic principles.

Now, I am someone who regards the foundation of modern Israel as a geopolitical mistake because it was certain to create strife and bloodshed for countless years, but I am also one who believes that now that the mistake has been made, we have to try making it work. That can only happen if Israel ends its occupation, returns to its 1967 borders, and starts cooperating with, instead of attacking and oppressing, its neighbors. It must also give up imperial ambitions of growth at the expense of neighbors and working to dominate all of West Asia, and that is absolutely an accurate description of what motivates a tyrant mind like Netanyahu’s, and it is guaranteed to create endless strife and horrors.

The Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust, an event which happened in another land on another continent in another time. Why must they pay so terrible a price? And the cowardly American and European politicians who refused to help migrating Jews three-quarters of a century ago eased their guilt by supporting the creation of Israel, making innocent people pay the price for their own misdeeds.

No settlement or resolution which does not recognize these glaring realities and injustices can possibly succeed in the long term.

I do think Israel – at least the Israel of terrifying leaders like Netanyahu – is its own worst enemy. Refusing to deal with burning injustices means Israel ultimately is likely to go the way of the Soviet Union. After all, Israel today much resembles the old Soviet state with its huge military-intelligence-security establishment, its poorly functioning general economy only sustained by subsidies, and its ruthless hold over millions of captives who do not want to be held.

John Chuckman


Sorry, but this stuff about Syrian civilian deaths owing to Russian bombing is simply ignorant propaganda.

No one who is well read on this matter could possibly write this.

I remind readers that the top story in The Independent today is America’s stupidly brutal bombardment of an M.S.F. hospital in Afghanistan. The bombing continued for thirty minutes after staff notified others of what was happening. People from abroad heroically giving their time and talents were slaughtered in the pointless attack.

Contrary to this writer’s assertions, there is not an ounce of proof that the Russians have hit a single civilian.

But there is plenty of proof that the Russians have seriously hit ISIS, which is their only purpose. The Russians keep releasing video footage of what their planes achieved.

The Syrian government has confirmed this. Also all targeting is done with agreement between Syrian and Russian officials, contrary to America’s imperious practices of bombing whomever where ever and whenever it pleases, killing countless thousands along the way.

The Independent should be ashamed to run such dishonest writing as this.

Putin does more in a couple of days to stop ISIS than the U.S. has done in years.

And that’s because the U.S. does not really want to stop ISIS or al Qaeda or the other filthy terrorists who are doing America’s bidding in attempting to destroy Syria.

The U.S. now will not be able to repeat in Syria its Libyan dirty work in which a “no-fly zone” was converted into a murderous bombing campaign.

That is why the United States, and its apologists like this writer, is so upset. With a single rational stroke Putin has stopped their murderous intent.

We should all remember the hideous Sarin gas attacks in Syria and the effort to pin them on the government. That was not only a lie, it was cynical and immoral beyond belief. That poison came either from the United States or from one of its allies, perhaps Israel, to be used on innocent civilians just to provide a cause for war. It just doesn’t come any lower than that.

John Chuckman


“CIA-backed ‘moderate’ rebels struck by fresh air strikes…”

Sorry, but those words are just plain dishonest.

These creepy guys are accurately described as ‘CIA-backed terrorists,’ just another flavor, if you will, of ISIS, al Qaeda, and the other monsters supplied and let loose on a beautiful country.

You may insert the word ‘moderate’ according to taste.

Just what do you think Benghazi was about and why do you think it has been covered up? It was a dirty American operation to ship Libyan-based terrorists and weapons to Syria that went wrong in an instance of covert operation ‘blowback.’

It is so refreshing to see Putin hurl America’s lies back into their faces, and he does so with genuine grace, never raising his voice or even calling names. Quite remarkable. No one prominent in the West is willing to do so, and certainly not The Independent.

The entire disaster in Syria is engineered by the U.S. and its friends in the area. Its only purpose is to destroy a government supported by a majority of Syrians and one notably tolerant of minorities. It has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.

And anyone who covers up the U.S. operation to supply Sarin gas in small quantities to be used on innocents by these creeps as a false flag to justify further American operations (the exact opposite of what Obama claimed at the UN) just has no interest in truth and may be said to suffer from a serious ethics disability.


Response to another comment:


‘The USA wars have killed millions with no concern on who or what they are bombing.’


3,000,000  estimated in Vietnam, mostly civilians cut down by napalm, clusters bombs, carpet bombing, and land mines.

Another million in Cambodia which was destabilized by American bombing and covert invasions, allowing cutthroats to take over.

A million or so in Iraq, and a country left smashed to bits.

How many in Afghanistan? How many in Gulf War I? How many in Yemen? Somalia?

We know 15,000 died at the hands of the dictator installed by the U.S. in Chile.

How many in Iran? in Guatemala? A dozen other places?

It is the greatest public lie of the century that the U.S. cares about democracy, human rights, or even human life.

The U.S. cares only about control.

John Chuckman


“Syria is about to experience chaos on a whole new level”

Utter crap propaganda, likely from the Israeli Ministry of Truth or the Pentagon’s Disinformation Division.

The only honest and thoughtful actor in this whole squalid mess is Putin.

Russia’s strikes on America’s covert terrorist allies in the dirty job of destroying Syria mean only now do they face serious force applied specifically to them.

In Iraq, the troops were paid off with Saudi money to run away and leave their tanks behind when faced with nothing more than Japanese pick-up trucks and AK-47s in the hands of rabble.

In Syria, the US has been bombing infrastructure and the desert, and it has been searching for any excuse to repeat what they did in Libya with “a no-fly zone” which was actually an excuse for bombing the crap out of the country.

All the flap about Sarin gas attacks was just one utterly cynical effort to do so. Civilians were killed to create an excuse. The gas was used by America’s maniacs and was supplied by America either directly or indirectly.

But it is too late now to implement such a scheme – that is, unless you want war with Russia – and a few weeks of Putin’s precision air work is going to reduce these cowards before our eyes.

You end the terrors of Syria by attacking what has directly caused them, the maniacs the U.S. has supplied and tolerated, something the United States has only pretended to do.

John Chuckman


Well said.

Nuclear weapons are indeed unusable weapons, until such time as pretty much all human civilization is at an end.

In that event, who would care?

The fact is that nuclear missiles for a country like Britain are pretty much gigantic penis-envy toys, extremely costly toys.

Britain could make little difference in a full nuclear exchange with something like several hundred warheads versus many thousands – and in many modes of deployment – for Russia.

Russia requires its atomic forces to offset those of the United States, the most aggressive country on the planet which in the absence of Russia’s countervailing force would become the world’s dictator. Only Russia can respond to the ultimate aggression by America.

In case you think that unthinkable, go read some history. The United States had a fully developed plan for massively nuking Russia in the early 1950s. We were only saved by a miracle.


Response to another comment:

Protect you from what?

You are the one who is naive here.

The United States does not seriously protect anyone.

Being under “the nuclear umbrella” is only another means of control, much like some of free-trade agreements America has with economically insignificant countries.

Control is the American objective.


The point has been made below that Britain would not dare to launch a single missile without American permission, else the launch would quickly call down an attack on Britain by the United States.

I believe that that is a completely accurate statement of the situation in the modern world. Former Soviet countries like Ukraine were quietly told after the collapse of the Soviet Union that they would be targeted by American missiles if they refused to give up their stocks of Soviet nuclear weapons, and they did give them up.

The hard truth is that a country such as Britain with Trident submarines is rather like being a carrier boy for the big game hunter.

In effect, in allowing Britain to have a system like Trident, the United States is having your treasury subsidize a costly weapons system for them. You get the pride and penis-envy value out of it while America gets some costly armaments paid for by British taxpayers.

Such a system will never, never in fact be Britain’s to use according to its own judgment and for its own purposes.

The situation somewhat resembles that of the F-35 fighter jet which America is trying to foist off on every “ally.”

The F-35 is an unbelievably expensive dog of a plane, poorly designed to try doing everything and ending doing none of them well. The U.S. is pouring billions into it to try to get it half right. All the allies buying some of them, as they have been very much pressured to do, provide a huge subsidy to this effort for the Pentagon.

These are some of the most wasteful ways possible to spend British money, essentially shoveling it over to the Pentagon. And they do nothing for Britain’s defense needs or technological advance. In Trident, you have an effective but literally unusable weapon. In the F-35 you have an ineffective but usable weapon. In both cases you literally are billions poorer.

John Chuckman


A man once said there is only freedom of the press if you own one.

Of course, he was absolutely right, but a broader interpretation of his words gives us a more complete meaning.

The freedom that the press exercises includes the freedom to publish rubbish and disinformation of every kind, and that is just what it does and what it has always done.

Going back to America’s early days, the press worked in exactly the same fashion.

Each party owned a paper or papers and stuffed them with rubbish and even outright lies. Thomas Jefferson was an expert at this dark work and hired unscrupulous people to do his bidding, but he was not alone.

“Yellow journalism” was a feature early in the 20th century, especially with W. R. Hearst and his large chain of newspapers. So, too, The Chicago Tribune and its unpleasant and extremely biased owner, Colonel McCormick. Today we have the impossibly pompous, and regularly dishonest, New York Times presenting itself as the authoritative word in news when in fact its history is strewn with dishonesty, propaganda, fraudster journalists, and extreme prejudice.

You just cannot expect the truth about the really important issues from the establishment press because it has vital interests in maintaining high government contacts for leaks and leads, the friendship of great corporate leaders, and the patronage of corporate advertisers.

There is no way out of the conundrum. State press has proven how feeble it is in recent years, examples being the BBC and CBC, both disgraces as news services many times in recent years because they fear cuts in funding from their political bosses.

We always have a smart maverick or two like Seymour Hersh, but such genuine investigative reporters have trouble securing steady outsets of importance for their discoveries, and generally their printed stuff does not raise even a faint echo in the mainstream press which is what affects the thinking of most of the population.

The notion of a free press is pretty much a game, and all the rules and best practices taught at journalism schools are largely meaningless noise. The situation is not unlike the pretence that the United States maintains in the political sphere that it is a democracy. Elections between two money-drenched parties whose candidates are each carefully vetted and selected by the very establishment supplying the money really are not all that different to the old Soviet ballots with one candidate.

Most Americans live in a kind of fairy world when it comes to the hard-headed realities of journalism and government, and they mechanically repeat words they have heard repeated thousands of times such as democracy and a free press without ever examining their meaning.

By the way, the establishment has learned that it can afford to have the odd maverick voice such as Seymour Hersh, just as it can afford the odd independent political candidate. The fact is, money gives access to the press, and these people don’t have much of it. They represent the journalistic and political equivalents of an established marketing reality we all see regularly, a small local bottler of soda pop having a couple of feet of shelf space in a supermarket’s huge aisle overwhelmingly filled with the products of just two massive and wealthy companies.

As a last note, all of the prizes in journalism are close to meaningless, much like the Nobel Peace Prize often given to scoundrels. The Pulitzer Prize, which the writer cites for Hersh, has a terrible record of being awarded to undeserving and even fraudulent journalists. That is not a reflection on Hersh, but a statistical statement of the general conditions.

Like the silly and grossly biased Academy Awards, the Pulitzers are marketing tools and a way for the industry to slap itself on the back annually. Good God, Thomas Friedman, the most dishonest and manipulative columnist in the United States, has at least two of them.

Once in a while, again like the Academy Awards, a worthy recipient manages to slip through.

John Chuckman


I just cannot accept the image of Obama as a caring leader, somberly bowing his head over yet one more mass killing in America. The photo you use here resembles for me a scene from a well-acted movie.

In truth, Obama’s own hands are drenched in the blood of many thousands in a half dozen lands.

One of his drones often kills groups of innocents as large as the number of victims in Oregon.

And his continued tolerance of Israel’s keeping five million or so people as prisoners with no rights of any kind and constant abuse speaks for itself.

Israel killed a thousand children about a year ago in Gaza.

I don’t recall any similar photos of Obama after that true horror.

And America’s induced terror in Syria has killed a quarter million and sent millions running from their homes.

I don’t see a glimpse of genuine compassion in this entirely narcissistic man.



Response to another comment:

Americans are afraid and in great numbers. That is the basic reason for embracing the cult of the gun.

And when there are literally tens of millions of guns floating around, any maniac can obtain one.

America’s fear – of course, never expressed in public – is about black people.

The slave holders in the pre-Civil War South generally kept pistols under their pillows or swords near the bed because they were terrified of a slave revolt in the night.

There was only one genuine revolt in all those years, and that rather small one, but it terrified the South’s plantation owners.

What Obama refuses to see and many people abroad do not understand is that America was born in quite extreme violence – Indian massacres and massive slavery – and it remains a violent place.

How else do you think Americans support all that bombing of people around the globe?

John Chuckman



I do think that quite a strained use of the word.

You want to see horror?

Look to Syria. Look to Palestine.

Climate change has been happening for 4.5 billion years. It is actually a part of our evolution.

Only 2,000 years ago, Tacitus referred to North Africa as the granary of Rome.

I don’t in the least doubt that climate change is occurring, but I rather doubt we are responsible for it, and I doubt even more that we can seriously alter it.

And when you talk about a great and immensely complex thing like the earth, I think it a little foolish at this stage in our history to pretend that we really do understand it.

John Chuckman


America always believes it did everything worth doing, so it is true to form for it to think it won WWII. I once caught the most abysmally ignorant error in a major American newspaper. It had an article about how the Battle of the Bulge was the greatest battle of the war.

In fact the Battle of the Bulge, though sizable, was almost insignificant compared to the size and horrors of Stalingrad, the greatest battle in all of human history.

And just ask any American about Kursk, the greatest tank battle in history, and you will get a complete lack of recognition of the name.

America’s total losses, on all fronts, in WWII were about 300,000.

Compared with the Soviet losses of 27,000,000 in a grisly total war for survival, American losses seem blessedly light. Even a century before, in the American Civil war, America lost twice that number.

The truth is Americans have never experienced the horrors of total war, yet they like to think they have been incomparably brave and met challenges no one else could have met.

It is a fantasy mentality which prevails in America and this helps the government in its many ugly colonial wars and dark operations because the public largely simply can’t even imagine what is happening. In Vietnam, America lost over 60,000, a pretty small number over ten years, but those losses at their height are what instigated all the riots in the streets of America in the late 1960s. No one knew, or cared, that America killed an estimated 3,000,000 Vietnamese, a true modern holocaust.

I do believe in WWII that there was a tacit agreement to let Russia and Germany bleed each other. The U.S. has followed that concept a number of times including in the 1980s with the Iran-Iraq War.

America avoided starting the important second front in Europe until very late, and I do believe even then, when Russia was clearly defeating Germany, the motivation had to do with fear of Russia rolling through Europe.

In the Asian Theater, America used the most horrific methods to bring the Japanese to their knees. First, there was endless firebombing and then the only actual use, against civilians, of nuclear weapons.

It is an established fact that the Japanese were ready to surrender before the atrocity of Nagasaki. They had put out feelers through third parties. All they wanted was to keep their emperor. But the U.S. wanted absolutely unconditional surrender, an attitude reflecting the same kind of triumphalism we see from America today.

The final decision on the atomic bombs also related to Russia. America was sending a message to Russia that it not only had a working nuclear bomb and a number of them, but it was very willing to use them, American thinking again being to stop the victorious Russian Army from going too far. The original plan for the atomic bombing of Japan included the dropping of twelve bombs at intervals on different cities. These were not military targets. The plan was utterly cynical and immoral.

John Chuckman


You express it a bit strongly, but you are essentially right about Abraham Lincoln and brushing aside the American Constitution.

In fact, Lincoln’s record goes well beyond ignoring the liberties granted by the American Constitution.

He pretty much instigated the Civil War itself. He sent men and supplies into Fort Sumter at a time of great unease as a deliberate provocation.

The South was uneasy about Lincoln’s election because he was seen as an abolitionist, but he was definitely not an abolitionist. He was a property-respecting lawyer who did a lot of work for corporations like the Illinois Central Railroad, work which made him a reasonably well-off man and a well-known figure.

The South’s firing on Fort Sumter after resupply started the war, but even then things might have gone differently had Lincoln wanted them to go so.

At any rate, the Civil War was entirely unnecessary.

If the South had been allowed peaceably to go its own way, slavery would have died in a matter of decades anyway, just as it did in places like Brazil. Perhaps, then, the South would have returned hat-in-hand to ask to re-enter the Union.

Whether that happened or not, the war was not worth the 600,000 lives it cost, still by far the greatest number of losses the U.S. ever experienced (compare American losses of only about 300,000, a century later in WW II).

Many readers may believe, because it is an untrue concept endlessly promoted, that the Civil War was about slavery, but it most certainly was not.

Lincoln used the slavery issue as a tool against the South. He himself said he would be glad to see an end to the war just so long as the Union was intact, with or without slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves, was not issued until 1863 in a war which started in 1861.

The Civil War was actually about the disturbing and unstable matter of the relative powers of the individual states versus the national government. This was a vexing issue left unresolved by the original framers of the Constitution, and Lincoln was determined to solve it, and he did.

In the process of doing so over four years, the United States was turned into a great new military and industrial power in the world.

All of America’s later long record of imperialistic wars, such as the Spanish-American War, effectively grew out of that fact.

John Chuckman


Yes, American news is certainly censored, but to varying degrees so is the news in all countries.

What makes America stand out from most lands is not censorship but the manufacture of news.

Much of what is published and broadcast in the United States is simply manufactured. It speaks of events which did not happen, it gives events which did happen a false twist, and it is written to promote bias and favoritism.

In foreign affairs, Americans are quite literally among the worst informed people on earth.

It is truly Orwellian, and I don’t see how it is even possible to correct the situation, given a massive set of intelligence agencies with agendas and a mere handful of corporate press outfits whose interests are anything other than unbiased information.

John Chuckman


Mr Corbyn strikes me as an inherently fair-minded person.

Why should there be a relationship that is somehow different than the relationships with all other groups?

The very idea that there should something extra here is pure bias.

It is also an invitation to establishing the kind of leverage the Israel Lobby (not some fetid fantasy but an established fact of serious academic study) enjoys in the United States.

Nothing could be less fair than that special interest relationship which sees a great nation’s policies and acts distorted unnaturally towards one very small nation.


“…existential threat to Israel from Iran and extremist organisations such as Hamas.”

That is boiler-plate language from Israel’s official playbook.

There is no genuine threat of any kind from Hamas, let alone “an existential one.”

That is the most arrant nonsense and special interest pleading.

The only existential threat to Israel is Israel.

Its behavior of occupation and abuse of millions cannot go on indefinitely.

It will certainly go the way of the Soviet Union if it doesn’t behave as a nation of laws fair to all.

And living in the kind of dark security state Israel has become is simply not attractive to most Jews in the world.

John Chuckman


Trump would actually make almost the ideal American President.

He’s arrogant, rude, loud-mouthed, possesses a great deal of ignorance, and is filthy rich.

As far as his ability as President to conduct any dramatic changes in America’s mindlessly violent foreign policy, well, he would find himself in the same position as any other new President, at the mercy of the gigantic military-intelligence-security establishment which created the policy in the first place.

So, yes, by all means, vote for Trump.

John Chuckman


Well, I’ve always believed that at least a third of Americans are thoroughgoing fascists.

The great American journalist of WWII, William Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, wrote that he believed America was only a short way from going fascist.

And there were many historical bases for saying that.

The American Bund movement, often forgotten today, was a huge quasi-Nazi organization running around the United States in uniforms like Hitler’s Brownshirts.

The Klu Klux Klan, also in its practices much resembling the Brownshirts, had almost a century of history.

American imperialism arose early in the country’s history and with wars like the Spanish-American War, using phony excuses, was little different to Nazi plans for German expansion in Europe.

There was the longstanding treatment of American Indians and Blacks.

In the 1920s, there was a series of massacres of blacks in several places, notably one in Oklahoma where a whole neighborhood of about 300 blacks was murdered, their property stolen, and their bodies buried in mass graves.

Right down to today, American has very large groups of private militias and Aryan Churches.

And just consider, since WWII, America has started many wars, killed millions of innocents in dirty imperial wars from Vietnam to Iraq, and has used dozens of dirty operations to topple governments, including a number of democratic governments. America has also played an important role in the several genuine genocides since WWII. In Indonesia, the State Department actually worked into the night submitting names for the slaughter. The killing fields of Cambodia only took place because America, in its insane war with Vietnam (itself rightly termed a genocide, having slaughtered three million), destabilized a moderate but non-aligned government allowing a ruthless bunch to take over and begin murdering. In Rwanda, America early knew of the horror but deliberately kept it quiet and offered no help. To all of that, we see virtually no opposition inside America.


In answer to another reader’s assertion about keeping his guns:

Oh sure, you and a cabinet full of hunting rifles are going to stand up to America’s massive armed forces which are equipped with everything from flamethrowers to tactical nuclear weapons.

And then there’s the massive National Guard, almost equally well equipped and having demonstrated in numerous black ghetto uprisings its readiness to shoot dozens of Americans dead in the streets.

Then there are also America’s massive, militarized police forces that shoot people daily (about a thousand Americans a year) without qualm and mainly without consequences.

We mustn’t forget the Homeland Security organization which recently has been storing arms and ammunition and vehicles at a furious pace largely in secret.

Then there are all America’s belly-crawling Special Forces, thousands of bountifully equipped and well trained murderers, especially skilled at killing in the middle of the night.

And there’s an Air Force which could easily destroy whole neighborhoods or towns with everything from white phosphorus to cluster bombs.

This is supplemented by the Air National Guard.

And today, still further supplemented by America’s large, secret extralegal execution organization using drones and missiles to kill anyone they are ordered to kill.

Yep, you and other like-minded Americans are ready for a last stand with shotguns and hunting rifles.

Your statement is yet one more tired repeat of the utterly out-of-date Second Amendment stuff about opposing tyranny in America.

America has in fact morphed into something not one signatory to its Constitution would even recognize and probably with which most would be horrified. Much of the Constitution they wrote resembles a derelict building creaking in the wind of a ghost town.

John Chuckman


No one writing for The National Post ever gets the situation in Syria correctly.

All of our national press, like that in the United States, deliberately obscures these matters.

America and Russia both talk about stopping terror, but they each mean completely different things.

Not being at all the aggressive leader America never stops yapping about, Putin has not made up his mind about entering Syria, but if he does go to Syria to fight ISIS, among other terror groups working there, it will be precisely because he is supporting the government of Syria and genuinely fighting terror.

Obama doesn’t want Putin in Syria to fight ISIS because the United States is only making a show of fighting ISIS. You don’t fight the people you set up to do a job you want done. ISIS is doing America’s dirty work trying to topple the Syrian government.

When America talks of bombing, it means bombing which can help ISIS, and the other terrorists, complete their dirty work. America bombs Syrian infrastructure, as does Canada in Harper’s stupid effort to join in the American cause.

Sure, sometimes America actually kills some of their recruited ISIS members, but that is for show or because they have somehow exceeded their mandate. Quite possibly, once the government of Syria has been destroyed, America will go after ISIS, but that would only come after.

For Putin to talk of bombing means genuinely bombing ISIS and hampering its efforts to destroy Syria.

It’s all a filthy business, and the sponsors of all the killing and destruction and homelessness are the United States, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. They do everything from training, arming, equipping, and even giving refuge and medical help.

The terrible refugee crisis in Europe is ultimately the complete fault of these parties, none of which even has the decency to take the refugees they create. Harper’s Canada actually takes a token amount of refugees and at the same time joins in the bombing to create more.

The truth is, were Harper to genuinely fight ISIS, Israel would become extremely angry with him, and that could only mean some of Harper’s generous donors of campaign funds – the special interests for Israel he has groomed for years – would also become angry with him.

In this, as in so many things, Harper joins the United States in telling lies to us daily.

John Chuckman


She was and remains the person with the lowest intelligence active in American politics.

Her special curse from the gods is that they bestowed her also with a constant urge to talk and tell everyone listening exactly how stupid she is.

None of which, however, is any barrier to gaining high office in America, the land of opportunity.

That is especially true when you espouse Neanderthal-like, conservative views. Things apparently are arranged so that great showers of money just fall into your lap enabling you to keep “getting your message out there.” Sarah already has been a considerable beneficiary of the phenomenon.

Here is some good humor on the topic for readers:

John Chuckman


Christie Blatchford seems to have become The Conservatives’ chief apologist.

Her apology here though seems totally unneeded.

I believe in these two cases of dropped candidates, the bone-headed people involved would have made perfect Conservative candidates.

Pranks? Isn’t this the party of robo-calls and frat-boy negative advertising?

Isn’t this the party of never telling the truth to people?

Of never giving a straight answer?

The party of not complying with officials attempting to investigate misdeeds?

The party of hiding the many stupid things it has done?

The party of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Nigel Wright, and other charmers?

The party of slavishly catering to special interests?

The party of giving the finger to many of the world’s serious concerns?

The party of John Baird who resembles nothing so much as a mad dog when he argues with people?

The party of Peter MacKay, a man who had an affair with a subordinate, later harassed her and called her a dog in public, and then lied about it as well as a man who has demonstrated incompetence in almost every portfolio in the cabinet?

The party of the absolute thug, Patrick Brazeau?

The party of Maxime Bernier, who left top secret NATO papers at his biker girlfriend’s house for weeks?

The party of Pierre Poilievre, perhaps the most seriously twisted sister ever in Parliament?

I just cannot believe what an opportunity the party has missed with these two new fellows, each surely potential minister material.

It’s a shame, I guess that’s the price you pay for political correctness.

John Chuckman


It is crap to say Harper can’t be blamed for the horror of a dead Syrian child lying face down in the sand, Christie Blatchford.

Harper comes across in this emotional public event as the dried husk of a human being he truly is.

Leaders lead and set a tone and spirit for others.

Harper has led nothing, and the spirit of his time in office is Canada is as a completely indifferent place to human suffering and to threats and chaos at previously peaceful places like Syria.

I am repeatedly surprised by the depths of emptiness he displays in matter after matter.

Imagine the leader of a nation with the reputation Canada used to enjoy just letting people rot while he actually joins in the killing in Syria, albeit on a limited scale owing mainly to our not having enough fighter jets.

Well, I’ve always said he really secretly wanted to be an American, and I think he now has joined the hallowed ranks of Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey and Dick Cheney. They are not conservatives, they are creatures from Madam Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors.

One thing is sure, when Harper is swept from office in October, he and Laureen will find a warm welcome in East Texas.


ISIS is not responsible for the horror in Syria because it is merely a tool of outside powers, a terror weapon dropped into a beautiful, previously peaceful country.

It is the sponsors, suppliers, and enablers of ISIS – and other terrorist organizations like the al-Nusra Front – who are very much responsible for the horrors.

They are the United States, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia (with some additional money from Qatar).

These gangs of thugs and cutthroats would not even be gangs and they would not be in Syria without massive outside assistance.

The whole aim of the sponsors and suppliers of these horrors is to destroy the beautiful land of Syria and effectively smash it into pieces. The covert, proxy approach being used in Syria is different than the direct, blundering, and murderous American invasion of Iraq, but its goal is precisely the same in the end.

Who cares about the millions displaced, the hundreds of thousands killed, the historic treasures destroyed? Not America. Not Israel. Not Turkey. Not Saudi Arabia.

The chief beneficiary of all this horror is America’s nasty little colony in the Mideast.

And come to think of it, isn’t that same American colony one of Harper’s most intense and continuing focuses, to the point of having made, and causing some ministers to make, the strangest sudden outbursts of loyalty to it without any seeming context or cause on a subject, arbitrarily selected from the affairs of the world’s two hundred or so nations, and of no special interest to most Canadians?

And aren’t Canadian apologists for the colony’s own many atrocities among Harper’s keenest campaign contributors and supporters?

I suspect there is an unspoken but direct connection between those supporters and the idea of not taking in tens of thousands of Syrians, as we very much should. Of course, making no emergency effort in this regard comes easily to Stephen Harper, a man who has proved himself virtually devoid of humanity.

After all, the word “terror” is used by some in exactly the way the word “witch” was used in 17th century Europe, being repeated and echoed countless times like a superstitious mantra, although the genuine threat of terror in North America is virtually non-existent.

John Chuckman


There has been talk of this Chinese anti-ship missile for some years.

Now it would appear to be operational.

It climbs in a very high arc and, when it turns down, an elaborate computer and sensor system guides it to a target.

It reaches a great velocity – many, many times the speed of sound – and the tremendous kinetic energy with which it hits its target makes a warhead almost superfluous.

There are pictures on the Internet of experiments with targets shaped like the decks of flat tops, and the missile punches a big hole right through them.

China is reportedly stationing units of the new ASBM (Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile) along its sea coast.

China with this and other measures is clearly telling the United States that the South China Sea is not an American lake, and rightly so.

Russia, by the way, has another approach to attacking capital ships. Its Sunburn cruise missile travels at several times the speed of sound and weaves unpredictably as it closes in on its target. It is a very effective weapon.

There are yet other new weapons. China has a submarine which entered the space of an American battle group a few years ago and surfaced right in the middle of it undetected by all the American fancy array of electronic gear. The US Navy was said to be horrified at the remarkable feat but has kept quiet about it.

The technologies involved in the submarine – special rubbery coating on its hull and virtually silent screw drives – may well be of Russian design since Russia’s newest submarines are so equipped.

American aircraft carriers grow more vulnerable every day, and, if they are not already doomed in a big war, they will soon be.

A further note, China and Russia both are developing another potentially very deadly weapon, a hypersonic, steerable ram jet vehicle which may be used in various ways, including on top of a missile. China has tested this totally unstoppable weapon at least three times of which I am aware.

John Chuckman


Laureen Harper does at least know how to smile, years of marriage still not having transferred that ability to hubby.

But of a woman who married this creepy man – he is reclusive, largely humorless, often tyrannical, and given to furious bouts of anger (many having testified) – I think it fair to say something important just has to be missing.

Not only are Stephen Harper’s personality and character unattractive, but I’m sure a great many women would agree, the man is not even good-looking. And his body is just as unattractive as his face, having a rear end I’ve heard described by a woman as a “bucket ass.” His stomach too periodically bulges so that you can see his belly button in sweaters, a fact which reminds us that he’s also a mighty poor dresser. Glamorous or attractive, he’s not.

So what possibly could be Laureen’s attraction? Power? Ideology? Masochism? All of the above?

Creepy husbands generally do attract creepy wives – as we see in the Bill Clinton or Tony Blair cases – but Laureen gets very little exposure (deliberately?) most of the time, so we can’t really know what she is about.

John Chuckman


There is only one reason for an apology here.

The Mayor used the wrong word to describe Stephen Harper’s new private security unit recruited from veterans to work at campaign stops.

“Brownshirts,” the Mayor’s word, were a uniformed, quasi-military group, officially known as the SA.

The Mayor probably should have described them as Gestapo, a secret police force which wore plain clothes.

Then, there’d be no need to apologize.

John Chuckman


These are tough but accurate words about the Monarchy from Polly Toynbee.

As someone who has always enjoyed British history and tradition, I nevertheless think Polly Toynbee’s final words are wise ones: “…let Elizabeth be the last.”

The days of monarchs reigning are in fact well over. We now only maintain the empty appearance of things without any meaning.

It was around the time of the Great Elizabeth, daughter of a fearful tyrant and herself one of the most successful monarchs in history, that Parliament already was beginning to encroach on the power of the Monarch, and that development continued inexorably, resulting in a monarchy, say, by Victoria’s day which was largely symbolic. Today, even the awarding of honors is nothing more than signing papers put before the Monarch and reflecting the government’s political desires.

The Monarch as a branch of government, a kind of check against government excess, has become a badly faded fantasy. The Monarch today wouldn’t dare oppose an elected government on anything. There was never a peep over all Tony Blair’s lies and horrors, and that was about as deadly consequential as any government behavior is ever likely to be.

Everyone instinctively understands these things, so it really is a kind of dumb show we go through. And the system is subject to all kinds of awkward and embarrassing happenings – eg. The whole gigantic Diana fiasco, and yet today we have her one son, Harry, displaying some extremely unattractive traits and signs of her instability.

Science and ordinary experience tell us that even the basic assumption of aristocracy and monarchy is a false one: a superior father or mother is little guarantee against mediocre grandchildren.

John Chuckman


Sorry, but Cherie Blair has always been a bizarre and repulsive personality.

From sounding off like the proverbial fish wife to her 7,000 dollar hair-dos.

From begging Hillary Clinton to meet a filthy rich monarch to yawning in public with the Queen present.

From appearing in her dressing gown on Downing Street to making almost spastic movements at times.

I don’t know which is worse, her or low-life Tony.

But I do know no couple except America’s Borgias, the Clintons, ever deserved each other more.

I collect special political images, and here is Cherie at her best/worst:


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