Archive for December 2010

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FEARS OVER CHINA DEVELOPING A MISSILE CAPABLE OF SINKING AIRCRAFT CARRIERS – MORE ON CHINA’S NEW WEAPONS – THE WELCOME END OF AMERICAN HEGEMONY


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

It has long been only a matter of time until an effective anti-carrier missile is developed.

The Chinese – with their intellectual gift for mathematics, engineering, and computers now financed by a successful economy – have long been good candidates for coming up with it.

After all, they have already, in a short space of time, come up with a working satellite-killer and an advanced thermonuclear warhead comparable to the American W-88.

And, not very long ago, during some American naval exercises in the Southwest seas, a brilliant Chinese submarine commander managed to surface his boat right in the middle of America’s ships, America’s hugely expensive and complex electro-magnetic “umbrella” having failed to detect his boat.

The American Navy was hugely embarrassed and rather shaken by this feat, the result of a new coating and other technologies for Chinese submarines.

I think these events remarkable for a country which spends about 15% of what America spends every year on its military.

There is nothing unsettling about it.

Indeed, I think but am not sure the Russian “sunburn” missile, which spirals unpredictably as it homes in at supersonic speeds, may be capable of sinking a capital ship despite its radar-guided Gatling-gun defenses.

The United States for too long has arrogantly roamed the world’s seas with its aircraft carriers, busy intimidating others, carrying on pointless wars and interventions.

A world of multiple powers will be a much healthier one.

In the way international affairs work, having a single unstoppable super-power is just as unhealthy as having a tyrant running a country.

America itself has suffered seriously in its democratic values and human rights from the decaying effects of its monstrous military-industrial complex.

Remember, America spends more on its military than all other nations on earth combined, and it has done so for a long time.

Remember, that since WWII, America has launched an almost continuous series of ugly wars and invasions and interventions, almost all of them pointless and none of them serving the interests of democracy and human rights. Three million dead in Vietnam, a million dead in Cambodia (destabilized by American intervention), a million dead in Iraq, plus countless lesser savage tolls.

And remember, too, that America is the world’s largest arms merchant, spreading death for profit across the face of the planet.

And, last, remember what Lord Acton said about absolute power.

Meanwhile, despite the fears constantly stirred up by our press and the American government, China has kept to its own sphere and it has not started any wars.
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A link to a reprinted chapter of my book of three years ago may be of interest.

See “China’s New Weapons” at:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/china%E2%80%99s-new-weapons/

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China’s new DF21-D anti-ship missile is a ballistic missile, as opposed to Sunburn which is a ramjet cruise missile which travels about 3 times the speed of sound. The DF21-D is launched much like an ICBM to arch over a region of sea. Its sensors detect enemy ships, and the warhead’s course is altered as needed from its ballistic arch to rain down on a target at hypersonic speeds, the kinetic energy alone of such a strike being adequate to disable a capital ship. This missile is being installed along the coast of China opposite Taiwan to put American carriers at serious risk should they be used to defend Taiwan. The combination of these two anti-ship missiles may well render aircraft carriers obsolete in parts of the world.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE TWISTED STUFF ON THE CONVICTION OF KHODORKOVSKY IN RUSSIA – NOW THE FAMILIAR AND UNWARRANTED ANTI-SEMITISM CHARGE


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“The Kremlin is being anti-semitic by targeting Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky, both jewish oligarchs…”

The writer of that comment cannot possibly know the facts which would substantiate what he is saying.

Because someone happens to be Jewish and is convicted of a crime, there is evidence of anti-Semitism?

Jewish people never commit genuine crimes?

The writer’s comment is the rubbish of reverse-prejudice.

And perhaps he should take note of today’s news that the former president of Israel was convicted of rape and other sexual crimes.

But then I guess Israeli courts too are anti-Semitic.

Nothing like calling names when you know none of the facts.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TWISTED NEWS COVERAGE OF THE SECOND CONVICTION OF OLIGARCH KHODORKOVSKY BY RUSSIA ‘S COURTS – AND A WORD ON THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE


JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“You shouldn’t express your views about something you don’t have a clue what it is.”

Yes, precisely, but then the author of this comment violates his own sound principle.

What a trivial observation to make comparing two rich men, almost neither of whom the author knows personally or knows a very great deal about.

But this dictum covers exactly the problem with such reportage of events in Russia.

The newspapers have made no real effort to investigate the matter: they report only an interpretation which suits the anti-Russian tone of a great deal of American press coverage.

And America takes the same approach to China and many others.

Never mind that international torture gulag of the CIA’s, of which Guantanamo is only a small part, there being facilities at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and on Diego Garcia which no one is allowed to visit.

Never mind the three thousand prisoners in the early days in Afghanistan who were in American custody but taken out in batches in sealed trucks to suffocate in the desert (then buried in mass graves) by one of the wonderful humanitarian warlords American allied itself to against the Taleban, shedding a minimum of its own blood in its pointless crusade.

And never mind that the United States has the highest proportion of its own citizens behind bars of any Western society, many of them in prison for minor matters, about half of them black, and a substantial number in so-called Super-Max prisons, hell holes where prisoners are kept in terrible isolation forever.

And never mind the many, many reports of American police brutality, America having been cited by Amnesty International and others time and again for inordinate brutality.

Never mind America’s ghastly practices such as sending Canadian citizens, who happen to have been born in the Middle East and end up unfortunately landing in a stopover at an American airport, to exotic lands places for long periods of torture.

And of course the approximately 9,000 Palestinians held illegally and tortured in Israeli prisons are not even to be mentioned. How about a mention of bloody piracy on the high seas? Or the murder of hundreds of children?

But let a billionaire in Russia get in trouble, and the matter is immediately given the colorization of injustice, with never a mention or investigation of the conditions around the fall of the Soviet Union in which people like Khodorkovsky scrambled, elbowing others out of the way, to seize Soviet assets for themselves.

I’d be willing to bet that the journalists who write this bilge, do not have the slightest grasp of Russian laws or courts, nor does the author of the comment I’ve quoted.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 18 ALLEGED MILITANTS KILLED BY AMERICAN MISSILE IN PAKISTAN – GEORGE ORWELL WOULD HAVE OFFERED A BITTER LAUGH


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

I just love that expression “alleged militants.”

Almost certainly, the deaths in fact were 18 civilians guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And even if one or two were suspects of some kind, this kind of extra-judicial murder is absolutely indistinguishable from the death squads in South American countries which periodically made people “disappear.”

It reminds me of each time Israel kills a batch of poor Palestinians: they are invariably called “militants” in the press.

It’s called demonizing your victim. It also clearly is a ghastly use of euphemism for extra-judicial mass-murder.

George Orwell would have loved this terrible and deliberate abuse of language in the interests of power.

He wrote about just such things in his wonderful essay, “Politics and the English Language,” an indictment of power that remains as true as the day it was written.

And our truth-loving press seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to kill “militants” and even “alleged militants.”

In one stroke the press both horribly abuses language and ignores completely its responsibility to inform people.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE POPE BLUBBERS ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN CHINA: HERE IS WHAT HE REALLY MEANS AND POPE AS SYMBOL OF FREEDOM TO NONE

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A LEAD STORY IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Truly, the Pope must be amongst the biggest hypocrites on the planet.

Here is a man dressed in gold and lace and ermine, styled in the patterns of a fifteenth century monarch, blubbering about freedom.

His gold and lace and ermine are paid for out of the contributions of tens of millions of the world’s poor and humble people making their offerings.

And he heads a church in which millions of women are refused the roles they would like to assume in their religious life.

He heads a church, too, where tens of thousands of children have been abused by twisted priests, priests who have always been protected and never treated as the common criminals they in fact are.

Perhaps most hypocritical of all, is the fact that what he is really concerned about is China’s policy of selecting bishops – the man is concerned with the Church’s power, not about people’s religious freedom.

It was, after all, the pretensions and murderous blunders of the papacy which created conditions for the Reformation and all the religious wars that followed.

In Germany and other places, Lutheranism displaced Catholicism.

In England, Henry VIII just took over completely, seizing all the Church’s property and substituting himself for the pope.

In France, the state gradually told the pope who it wanted as bishops: France would not allow the papacy to decide these then-important offices itself.

This last is pretty much all that China has done, and I think we can be confident that average Chinese Catholic could care less whether the CPC or the old unelected crones of the Holy See nominates bishops.

But the Holy See and its chief mouthpiece, Mr. Ratzinger, do very much care, just as the popes of hundreds of years ago very much cared about France taking a role in who gets to be a bishop.

The Pope’s words have absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom.

The ruling members of the CPC actually are subject to a slightly more democratic process than the Pope and his cardinals and bishops are: the CPC membership is roughly one percent of China’s population – interestingly, about the same as early Virginia’s percent of population with the franchise – and they vote for the leadership and policies.

No one but some appointed cardinals votes for the pope, and no one votes for the cardinals, and no ordinary Catholics have even the tiniest say or vote in the Church’s policies.

I think the Globe should be ashamed of running this hypocritical self-serving nonsense as a top story on Christmas. You are serving only elite establishment interests with this, not the interests of ordinary people or the cause of religious freedom.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA JOINS THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WORLD ALLOWING GAYS TO SERVE ITS MILITARY – BUT HERE IS A NEW FREEDOM WITH A HITCH

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Gays and lesbians will soon be serving openly in the United States military”

Joy, oh, joy.

Now they can join in on the next colonial slaughter, all while getting money towards a college education.

3 million in Vietnam.

1 million in Iraq.

Who knows how many in all the other American horrors?

Correction: it wasn’t the military so much as the cowards in Congress who kept this shabby prejudice going.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TIME TO GET SERIOUS ON THE WAR ON DRUGS BLUBBERS A BRAINLESS EDITORIAL – REFLECTIONS ON AMERICAN SOCIETY THE CONSUMER OF HALF THE WORLD’S DRUGS


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The war on drugs is as meaningless as the war in Afghanistan.

Not that they both don’t hurt lots of innocent people, but neither can ever enjoy anything called success.

Indeed, in the last decade the two have become badly tangled.

The Taleban – a movement originally representing the Muslim fundamentalist idea of clean government – had virtually eliminated the opium business.

The American gangbusters invasion, which Canadians are supporting with the blood of soldiers and billions from the treasury, brought it back like a fury.

Even Russia has complained formally of America’s impact on the flow of drugs.

Prices actually fell on world markets, one of the surest marks of a flood of drugs.

Nice achievement there, America.

But of course what people like the silly author of this editorial completely ignore in blubbering about drugs – always – is that it is America itself, with less than five percent of the world’s population, that sucks up fully one-half of the world’s illicit drugs.

It’s just part of the “I want it all, and I want it now” philosophy that pretty much characterizes today’s American society, the same ungoverned lusts that gave the world its financial collapse.

America also has a monstrous appetite for wars, manufacturing them even where there is no good cause.

Basically , America cannot govern itself, yet insists on many fronts in telling others how to govern themselves. It is, if you will, the great dark joke of the century.

So how do you solve a serious human problem having those kinds of roots?

You don’t, ever.

And people like the editorial’s author should just stop blubbering. They are literally peeing against the wind.