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Monthly Archives: September 2009

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Even if Iran were working towards a weapon – something that is not at all clear – why would that be so terrible?

Israel has had a nuclear weapons program since about the 1960s.

That program is totally illegal and has always been hidden. Only gradually, with bits and pieces of information, do we understand the Israeli program.

Israel has abused its nuclear weapons status in several ways over the years.

It has frequently threatened its neighbors, using its weapons to intimidate virtually the entire Middle East. For example it has fitted its small fleet of German Diesel-powered submarines with American Harpoon missiles adapted to carry a nuclear warhead.

Israel participated in proliferation, a case as bad as anything done by Pakistan’s renegade scientist, in its strategic agreements with former apartheid South Africa, which briefly became a nuclear power thanks to Israel.

Israel has used secrets around nuclear weapons, stolen by spies from the United States, to trade with places like the former Soviet Union. That’s why Jonathon Pollard likely will die in prison, the American intelligence and military establishment considering him the worst spy in American history.

Israel has initiated wars and conflicts with every neighbor that it has.

Iran’s entire modern history is peaceful. It was forced to fight a bloody war with Saddam Hussein who was helped by the United States – and possibly secretly Israel – in that terrible war.

Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers, including of course America’s occupation of Iraq after killing a million people there.

Europe grew for decades under MAD, and today represents a great and thriving set of societies.

A form of MAD in the Middle East would also help peace.

I see only two likely scenarios for Israel ever to agree to what the rest of the world calls peace, to stop attacking everyone, to cease its apartheid, and to treat its neighbors with respect.

One is for the United States to stop subsidizing Israel and make some demands. This is a virtually fantasy scenario. Israel’s carefully-groomed influence in Congress makes it impossible.

The other scenario is for Israel to have a competitor that reduces its ability to behave the high-handed bully that it now is. A large state like Iran having nuclear weapons could have just that effect. MAD in the Middle East would be beneficial, not harmful – at least from the viewpoint of anyone other than Israeli Imperialists and their supporters.

And with all the noisy propaganda we read and hear around Iran’s extremists (this is actually if anything a very conservative government) everyone should remember that the only country ever to use nuclear weapons was the one represented by Obama, using them twice, both times on civilians.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

George Bush was allowed to speak.

He killed a million people in Iraq and made refugees of another two million.

Ahmadinejad has killed no one.

Bush killed many tens of thousands in Afghanistan – at least 50,000 just in Kabul.

Ahmadinejad has killed no one.

Israel just killed 1400 people in Gaza and still keeps them penned up like animals.

Ahmadinejad killed no one.

Israel killed 1400 people in Lebanon, including a Canadian officer doing his duty.

Ahmadinejad killed no one.

Israel steals more homes and land and water every day in the West Bank.

Ahmadinejad has stolen nothing.

I do think it fair to ask whether we indeed live in a rational world or one governed by mindless ideologues like Harper?

The game that is being played here with the “agree” and “disagree” buttons couldn’t tell us more clearly.

A gang of mindless supporters of Israel’s every bloody excess works the buttons to create large and meaningless numbers.

And just so with the general behavior of Israel and her mindless supporters like Harper. The tide of world opinion is so clearly against them and growing more so in the face of so much injustice and brutality, yet they insist on shouting against the wind.

As the CIA has reported, Israel has maybe another 20 years before its own contradictions collapse it.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY TOM FLANAGAN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

When I read this piece by Tom Flanagan, I can only wonder at the basis of tenure in our universities, for, truly, here are bits of weak observation, clichés, and half-truths pasted together and offered as analysis. Worse, there is a thread of partisan propaganda holding the bits together like a string of beads.

“Harper announced that his Conservative government would adhere to the national interest in formulating Canada’s foreign policy…”

I am sorry, but anyone who genuinely understands the history and foreign affairs knows that that has, everywhere and always, been the basis of foreign policy. To say anything else is a declaration of just plain ignorance.

Genuine national interests do change over time – after all, your interests are different when you are exporting, say, fighter planes than when you are exporting wheat. But also, and very importantly, yet something Flanagan conveniently leaves out, people’s and government’s perceptions of what are the national interests change, often for no more reason than political ideology.

The authors of the report Flanagan pretends to analyze are “not mushy-headed idealists obsessed with soft power…” so they deserve some attention. Is it usual for a professor intending to be taken seriously in what follows to use the kind of pejorative language and straw-man argument we’d get from Rush Limbaugh?

Yes, if you are a neo-con propagandist.

“These people deserve out attention when they talk about genocide.”
Good God, “genocide” is one of the most over-worked words in our contemporary language, and, far more importantly, concern about it is always used by people like Mr. Flanagan as a tool for other purposes. This is no small point.

No power or great power ever goes to war over perceived genocide.

Most importantly, has the US, a Frankenstein of military power if ever there was one, ever opposed genocide, other than in words? It is the US which holds political and economic sway over international agencies like the UN, and it is the US which has the military power to do something.

We have had several authentic genocides in the modern period.

We had a genocide in Rwanda (around a million killed). The US simply refused to use the word internally so that they could ignore it.

We had a genocide in Cambodia (over a million killed), caused by America’s de-stabilizing of the once peaceful country with its bombing and secret invasion. When tough little Viet Nam went in to do something, the US stood back and said, ‘See, we told you, the domino theory at work!’

We had a genocide in Indonesia with the fall of Sukarno. Five hundred-thousand people, vaguely identified as communists, had their throats cut and their bodies dumped into rivers.

Not only did the US not react, there were officials at state department phones late into the night transmitting names of candidates.

I would argue, too, that America’s slaughter in Vietnam was a genuine genocide. About three million were killed, mostly civilians, for no reason other than embracing the wrong economic system.

Many aspects of Bush’s “war on terror” have assumed aspects of genocide. Ever heard of the three thousand prisoners in U.S. care who were driven out to the desert in sealed vans to suffocate by General Dostum’s men while American soldiers watched, picking their noses? This came after Secretary Rumsfeld publicly declared Taleban prisoners should be killed or walled-away for life.

‘Never again’ is a slogan – we’ve proved that – and, like all slogans, it is selectively applied to sell something, just as Flanagan does here.

Great standing armies have virtually no record of doing worthy things.

They do, very much, have a record of fighting pointless wars, intervening where they do not belong, and even intimidating or overthrowing governments.

Flanagan’s “beyond our power to fulfill” is nothing but a plea for more militarism and closer association with a United States which has overthrown governments in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, and a dozen other places as well as killing millions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq for absolutely no good purpose.

Great power like that is something to be very wary of, not to embrace.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Vietnam, here we come again.

The simplest truth in military matters is you always fail when you seek the wrong successes.

You cannot convert a fourteenth century, economically depressed land into a modern society.

There is simply not enough resources on the planet to do that.

The US went there for bloody vengeance, and as soon as it killed enough people, it did not know what to do with the place.

And it still doesn’t know, except to keep killing and spread the killing into Pakistan.

McChrystal is a true “dog of war.”

The guy’s entire background is in secretive operations involving assassination and torture.

Anyone who would take the word of this psychopath for anything is a fool.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This does seem a tremendous waste of time.

Israel clearly has its own agenda, and that agenda does not include what any fair-minded person calls peace.

How can you have “peace” while you continue daily to steal the farms and homes and water of those with whom you are supposed to be making peace?

Of course, there’s also Israel’s re-creation of South African apartheid in all its unrelenting fury, treating millions as less than equal humans.

And what additionally do we have in Gaza?

A brutal blockade stopping assistance to a people who have done nothing other than elect a government Israel doesn’t like, and that act of war (for so blockades are considered in international diplomacy) comes after a savage attack, killing hundreds and hundreds of civilians, including a great many children.

Israel insists it is a victim, but the claim is ridiculous on the face of it.

Israel is unrelentingly aggressive, and demonstrates no guiding principles of democracy and human rights towards others.

That ugly Israeli stance can only change if the United States finally shows some courage and stops sending a gigantic annual subsidy to a state that takes its money and then sneers back that it will do exactly as it pleases.

And, considering Israel’s supporters’ fine-tuned art of constantly lobbying Congress with targeted contributions, what does any realistic person believe are the chances of that?

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DENIS SMITH IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

‘“Can I trust this guy?” And he hasn’t given us the answer.’

I disagree with that point in your otherwise excellent article, Denis Smith: he very much has given us the answer.

The truth is Ignatieff has always been a politician, and a rather shallow one. Anyone who listened to him carefully years ago knows that.

Most importantly, Ignatieff’s stuff on human rights has always seemed more of a cocktail-party view than a bred-in-the-bone characteristic: it is precisely the kind of stage persona shallow politicians assume.

He reminds me of a rich blue-haired Boston matron attending a dazzling gala to benefit some cause somewhere out there in the third world. She doesn’t much care in about the nitty-gritty of the cause, and perhaps even knows little about it, but she is concerned with her reputation among a certain social set.

Ignatieff has always given us words with little or no substance, and different words to different audiences, nicely calculated to appeal to each with half truths.

I believe there is no center, no “there,” to Michael Ignatieff, and that has always been the case. His writing and lectures betray that. They are characterized by mannered ambiguity and not particularly insightful or exhibiting the thirst for justice.

The Liberal Party has made a terrible choice in Ignatieff, and it was not even a democratic choice.

The fact that he accepted the leadership in this fashion speaks volumes.

God, we desperately need a genuine leader, a person of eloquence and driving concern for justice. It is regrettable to have to say that Gilles Duceppe displays these characteristics immensely more than Harper or Ignatieff.

That great thumping political cretin, Harper, is shaming our country in a dozen ways, from handing out orders in Foreign Affairs to have the term “child soldier” not used to condemning the UN for deaths of observers in Lebanon murdered while bravely doing their jobs.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I’m sorry, but these are silly pop ideas.

The notion that there is such a vast amount of knowledge is almost childish.

The truth is virtually the polar opposite. We are only at the first beginnings of real knowledge, and a bit of humility would be most appropriate because false assumptions and arrogance are behind so many of humanity’s miseries.

In area after area of human knowledge, we are only the most rudimentary stages of development.

Think of the human brain and how little we know despite the posturings of psychologists and educators.

We do not understand why some people are extremely violent or why some people are sexually attracted to children.

We do not understand the cause or even the full nature of conditions like schizophrenia or manic-depression.

We do not understand the cause or full nature of conditions like autism or psychopathy.

We are nowhere near to understanding how the brain develops and learns, although some half-educated educators would have you believe that they understand.

We do not understand many ordinary natural processes, including notably the earth’s cycles of climate change and the sun’s cycles of change.

We do not understand the basic building blocks – if one may use such a term – of the universe, despite our wonderful achievements in relativity and quantum mechanics.

We do not even understand the basic nature of time.

We have no idea, beyond speculations, of how life arises in the universe.

We have no idea of how to square the basic notions of randomness in nature and cause and effect.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Muntadhar al-Zeidi will always be a genuinely heroic figure.

Bush was never in any danger from the shoes, but that brave man spoke eloquently for a great part of the world with his one brief act.

Think of all the cowards in “the Land of the Free” who never made any genuine, meaningful protest against mass murder in their names.

And here, in a country that remains anything but free, a country shattered by American military brutality, one man made the only meaningful gesture in eight years against a genuine war criminal.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN IN THE TIMES

The government of the United States has only itself to blame for the beliefs of Charlie Sheen and, indeed, millions of other Americans if sites on the Internet are any indication.

For whatever reasons, the American government has withheld important information, and many understand that much. When a government chooses withholding information in such a dramatic event, it literally is inviting speculation and superstition to flare up.

The official version of 9/11 is certainly incomplete, and I say this without believing that government was involved in plots.

There are the clearest bits of evidence.

The towers‘ collapse is a completely unexplained matter: it resembled precisely the kind of controlled explosion and collapse used in tall-building demolition.

A number of engineers have also pointed out the melting point of the kind of steel used in construction: it is twice the temperature (3000 degrees versus 1500) at which aviation diesel fuel (aviation fuel is a refined diesel) burns.

There is a well known picture of a woman standing in the wreckage of the building façade a short time after a plane crashed. She shows no signs of heat discomfort, and stands right next to the building’s crumpled metal.

It is likely then that the scheme was larger than just the 19 or 20 on the four planes. After all, there had been a previous attempt to bring down the Trade Center with controlled demolition.

The authorities do not want to acknowledge the size and success of the scheme. It is a confession of the utter incompetence of intelligence and police services.

Little noted by the mainstream press is the fact that the skyjackers had valid American visas. One senior American diplomat, after 9/11, complained in the press about an inordinate number of visas issued abroad under pressure from the CIA for rapid issue.

It is virtually certain that there was some kind of CIA operation under way, training people from the Middle East for God knows what purposes. Mossad was aware of this, thus the involvement of a group of its agents (below) in following some of the skyjackers in the U.S. Also, former American intelligence agents use the term “blowback” to describe the entire set of events.

The fourth plane over Pennsylvania was certainly shot down – just the extensive nature of the wreckage field (spread about three miles) says this to a certainty.

Cheney undoubtedly ordered it shot down – he is a totally ruthless man – and naturally they do not want to tell the world this ugly fact and be deluged with law suits. So we get mythical nonsense about “Let’s roll.”

There is also the documented matter of a group of Mossad agents, under cover of a moving (removal) firm, who were aware of these plotters and were following them around inside the U.S. They were arrested, questioned, and deported a short time later.

Just the fact that there was a sizeable group of an ally’s agents operating inside the U.S. and that this group was on to the plotters further emphasizes the complete incompetence of an American intelligence establishment chewing its way through tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money every year.

Of course, the entire thing could not have happened had the simplest precautions been taken in aviation security, such as cockpit doors that lock securely from inside and the upgrading of boarding procedures, too.

There had been years of skyjackings – many like that of D. B. Cooper still unsolved – and the U.S. Congress continued to refuse to spend this small amount of money on real security. It is only generous when it comes to bombing people in the colonies.

So now we suffer from a ridiculous degree of over-kill in American security. We all are paying a price for the incompetence of American government, and no government wants to be thought incompetent.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY IRWIN STELZER IN THE TELEGRAPH

Irwin Stelzer does not seem to realize that just because we have a name for a concept does not make the concept valid.

The “special relationship” is as meaningless as cold fusion or angels.

It is a concept which dates back to the days when dominance in world affairs was perceptibly shifting from Britain and its Empire to the United States, an evolutionary process completed by World War II.

I find it difficult to believe that any clear-thinking and informed adult defends what is a name with no content, but I also know that there are other (unexpressed) reasons for doing so.

Already at the time of the Suez Crisis, the concept was pretty much dead on its feet.

Since that time, there have been countless demonstrations that the United States takes no account whatever of Britain’s views in critical areas.

It listens, I’m sure, but listening is cheap, particularly when the payoff is the kind of foolish loyalty Britain has demonstrated in recent decades.

When America tried to pressure Britain to join its pointless holocaust in Vietnam (about 3 million killed by America justifies the term), it was told no.

A few decades later, pathetic Tony Blair enthusiastically joined in another meaningless war, responsible for the deaths of a million and a couple of million refugees.

What did Blair get for Britain?

Absolutely nothing. His views on a number of subjects were listened to and politely ignored.

Tony personally benefited, softening the blow to his ego. He is loaded down with sinecures in the gift of the American government.

Blair goes down in history as pretty much a paid fool who degraded his office with countless lies to become wealthy.

Americans – and I spent half my life in America – simply do not care what others think. Indeed, generally they regard others with skepticism and even contempt as “foreigners.”

British people are often thought of as amusing, but there is a huge reservoir of dislike underneath for everything from monarchy and manners to accents and customs.

Please, always remember, it was Americans who supplied the IRA with arms and money. Collections were taken in bars in large cities countless times, and there was little sympathy when buildings in London were blown up. Why? That wasn’t terror, it was fighting for freedom.

Britain’s best opportunity to influence world affairs is as an important member of the EU. America’s policy towards Britain also has the object of keeping that from happening.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Yes, indeed, Jeffrey Simpson, but I think the problem goes deeper than that.

Ignatieff was parachuted into his seat.

Ignatieff was parachuted into the party leadership, and indeed over the heads of better men than himself.

He is an “insiders’ leader,” a backroom boy, not a people’s leader, and I think the public “gets” it.

No man who genuinely respects democratic principles could have accepted those terms of having a political career in this era. It might have been acceptable in the 1950s, but it is not today.

The trouble is Ignatieff’s whole background is replete with such contradictions in ethics and principles.

He was always touted as an academic who represented human values, but the reality was glaringly at odds with that claim.

I cannot imagine one of our great humanitarian writers – say a Graham Greene – ever doing what Ignatieff did in supporting torture and Nazi-like invasion of a country, an act which ended in a million deaths and a couple of million refugees.

I heard Ignatieff interviewed on several occasions years ago, saying things which were totally at odds, at least to my sensitivities, with strong humanitarian values.

He virtually worships American power and influence in the world. He actually warned Canadians against opposing American excesses, and, as we all know, he so identified with that imperial power that he went around there bragging of being an American.

He actually competed in his first bid for leadership by attacking the party’s achievements, providing Harper with film clips to use against Liberals.

Now, of course, other past statements of his own are used against the party.

Ignatieff is a disaster. The faster he steps down, the better.

Sadly for my country, Harper is an equally unfit man to represent Canada.

A political nightmare, surely.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

What an absurd, regressive step this is.

There is no sound case for this, none at all.

Are we to divide up into separate schools for the scores of ethnic identities that now constitute our society?

No, no one is asking for that.

So how are children of African descent so different?

If you cannot succeed in our schools as others do, how can you expect to succeed in our society at large?

One is tempted to suggest that any grade improvement seen here will be the self-fulfilling efforts of teachers and administrators needing to prove they were right.

Extra Afro-centric grade inflation on top of the already inflated grades of our public schools?

Are we then to have Afro-centric high schools, colleges, and universities ready to accept the inflated-grade graduates?

Will they train students for Afro-centric corporations and Afro-centric professional careers?

Or for diplomatic careers in an Afro-centric world?

__________________

“It’s amazing to me that none of you seem to grasp the concept that it isnt a BLACKS ONLY school… ANYONE is welcome to enroll.”

Oh, please, this tired point has been made a thousand times, and still it is meaningless.

Of course, the school could not be funded otherwise.

But no one else is going to enroll.

Indeed almost no black children have enrolled. It is a group about the size of two or three normal classrooms.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DOUGLAS BLAND IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Douglas Bland serves up a bland piece of propaganda.

Harper’s efforts in South America have nothing to do with empty geopolitical clichés like no longer a “North Atlantic nation.”

Harper is simply slavishly following the lead on U.S. foreign policy, a policy aimed at things other than the benefits of free trade.

The nations with which Harper has signed agreements are virtually insignificant to Canada’s economy, as is even more the case for the U.S.

However, from the U.S. geopolitical point of view, they are significant. This is a new American approach to the power politics of imperialism.

The U.S. has signed these silly agreements with economically insignificant places simply to keep them in line, to have something valuable to them with which to threaten them.

The smaller nation, as any economist will tell you, always gains the most from a free trade. Having such a prize over the heads of these countries is a powerful tool to command compliance with matters having nothing to do with trade.

I wouldn’t write this had Harper signed a free trade agreement with an important country like Brazil, but he has not. He’s given us jokes like Panama because that is what Washington wants.

There is no other rational explanation for this behavior.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

Gee, I wonder what an “action-oriented think tank” is?

Would it be anything like the Bush appointments in federal agencies which gave us his heroic achievements in New Orleans?

Would it be anything like the efforts leading up to the war crime of invading Iraq?

Would it be anything like people that gave America torture and assassination as part of its day-in-day-out policy?

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I know.

It’s an outfit that works overtime to blur and bury the truth in all these matters.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Why is the Globe and Mail giving free public relations efforts to Mr Bryant?

At the same time, you have joined in the general effort to blacken the reputation of the victim.

It is shameful.

How nice that he has the money to have a high-price lawyer to defend his irresponsible actions, but I would feel better as a citizen of Ontario if I saw some fairness at work in this ugly business.

No matter what the victim is said to have done, there was only one person who controlled the gas pedal and the brake, and that person was Mr Bryant.

He committed a terrible act, no matter what extenuating circumstances he claims.

The poor judgment he showed during this episode only makes me glad he has not achieved a greater office. There is a fundamental flaw in the man.

If indeed the victim seemed to be trying to grab the wheel, he was only following a fairly common practice of couriers who have been abused by a car driver: they reach for the keys and extract them and toss them down a drain.

Not nice, but not something you kill for, or even risk killing for.

Mr Bryant had his wife and a cell phone – which he used after killing the man – and could easily have stopped and called police while the victim harangued them.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Yes, sadly, it is Obama’s war now.

But Obama chose to be President of a country that his keen intelligence had to know is addicted to war.

The Puritan genes – with their bizarre gift of making recipients always seeking for the evil one and ready to damn what are considered the enemies of God and tons of smug self-satisfaction – absolutely dominate modern America’s identity.

The trouble with the modern version of God’s New Model Army is that it is a world-straddling monster with the power to destroy the earth or, alternately, to assassinate someone on the other side of the planet by a bureacrat playing at a joystick.

And it is backed up by an intelligence house of horrors – at least a dozen agencies, some secret, and all receiving more money than they know what to do with.

There are few statements ever made that belong in my personal secular bible, but one is Lord Acton’s dictum.

Who is able to resist the lures of such hellish power? Who is able to stand against it?

Obama is a fine human being with virtually all the talents of a great leader.

But he is surrounded, even at the mercy of, individuals who subscribe to the thoughts of Milton’s Satan, it is better to be a prince in hell than serve in heaven.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This is simply the ultimate demonstration of how meaningless the war in Afghanistan is.

You have to put on a P.T. Barnhum stunt to remind Americans you are even there?

The pathetic Canadians responsible for this, apart from lacking any judgment, clearly are completely ignorant of history.

Americans know they are responsible for every victory everywhere, and even manage to fantasize victories from their losses.

The British breakthrough of cracking Germany’s WW II codes was portrayed in a Hollywood movie a few years ago as an American achievement.

Ask any American who won WWII, and you’ll never ever hear about the Soviets’ four years of agony and 27 million dead.

Indeed, of the more than 50,000,000 people slaughtered in WWII, America lost less than 1/2 of one percent, yet every American knows America won.

You’d be hard put to find a single American who knows Canada entered WW II two years before they did.

It’s the same for WWI. The two sides lost about 18 million in four years of bloodshed. America entered the war in its last months, just tipping the balance enough to ensure a defeat for Germany.

But any American will tell you America won WWI.

And, God, just look at that holocaust of Vietnam, that criminal enterprise in murder in which America killed about 3 million Vietnamese and managed to lose the war.

But you’d never know America lost the war if you see movies like Rambo or go to the Wall in Washington.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TIMES

 

That’s the way to win hearts and minds, America.

There are many, many instances of American pilots wiping out whole families during their time in Afghanistan.

In their early days, they, several times, wiped out trucks full of friendly village leaders.

How many wedding parties were wiped out just for practicing the old Afghan custom of firing guns into the air to celebrate?

One brave American pilot killed four Canadian allies and wounded eight others trying to prove what a daredevil he was.

It is rather misleading for the press to characterize these strikes as being by NATO. The air attacks are virtually all by Americans.

I think the air attacks symbolize the entire filthy enterprise in Afghanistan, full of killing and no meaning.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TIMES

Oh, my, the U.S. Senate is such an august and dignified institution, the very symbol to the world of scrupulousness and honesty.

It is a fact that U.S. Senators, on average, spend two-thirds of their time chasing campaign donations from rich donors.

It is peopled largely by men past their retirement age who hold on to their seats as though they were personal property – owing in great part to all those campaign funds and the favors done in return.

It has featured a cast of characters who easily could be made into a Tussaud’s tableau, The Hall of Political Horrors.

And their last effort to attack someone – the redoubtable George Galloway – turned into a laughable farce.

Have at it, boys.

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JOHN MANLEY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

More bilge from John Manley.

How does Manley have any idea of turnout to make the statements he makes? We haven’t had a single good report, except that it was very low.

We owe nothing to Afghanistan. It has a crooked government, despite seven years of occupation. Drugs flow like water. Women still wear the burka through most of the country.

Credible reports say that the government’s handling of the election was atrocious with ballot boxes removed from some areas and ballot boxes stuffed in others.

I heard an expert witness on CBC Radio, a woman AP reporter who has a couple of decades of experience in the area.

Considering she is from an American organization, her testimony takes on extra force.

She spent many days talking to people in the street. Many expressed utter disgust with the government. Others actually expressed the notion that if the Taleban came back, maybe they wouldn’t be so extreme.

The tone was overall one of the election really won’t change anything, and I am sure that is right.

Just before the election, the president brought back one of the world’s most evil blackguards, General Dostum, a mass murderer.

And the good General, among many other ghastly acts, is directly responsible for executing about three thousand prisoners early in the occupation, under American supervision.

3,000 men driven in groups in locked vans out to the desert to be suffocated and buried in mass graves, while American soldiers looked on.

And Dostum is not Taleban, he is one of America’s allies of the Northern Alliance.

And of course there is that wonderful piece of legislation passed by the government regarding women’s rights in marriage.

Afghanistan is no more a democracy than Cuba.

It is stuck in the 14th century.

Does the pathetic Manley actually believe we have accomplished anything except kill people – according to the expert AP reporter, 50,000 died in Kabul alone – and set up some Potemkin villages for photo-ops?