Archive for August 2011

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PALESTINE AND THE UN : FALSE ARGUMENTS – ERETZ ISRAEL – JORDAN AS PALESTINIAN STATE – NATION-STATE OF JEWISH PEOPLE – NATURE OF ISRAEL’S PEOPLE

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Hanan Ashrawi is a brilliant and articulate spokesperson for the Palestinians.

I wish her well, but I fear she has against her very powerful and devious foes.

The logic and fairness of Palestinian statehood should be apparent to everyone.

But Israel is interested in neither logic nor fairness.

It is interested in more land, and it wants that land minus its owners and occupants.

And the United States in matters of policy in this part of the world takes its direction from Israel.

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“On a separate note – since the Holy Ramadan started, 121 people have been killed in 50 separate terrorist attacks committed by Muslims.”

That is just uninformed trash.

Please note the reader quotes no details at all even as to location.

Just lets readers assume.

This trash is straight from the Israeli Ministry of Truth.

But if you want a documented fact – not a vague assertion – Israel has killed 1335 children in the occupied territories since the year 2000.

And that number is just the children.

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“The U.S has failed the Palestinians for more than 60 years…”

The U.S. administrations have been over a barrel since the beginning.

Harry Truman did not want to recognize Israel when the gangs of thugs like the Irgun and Stern seized a portion of the land and declared a state with no legitimate basis whatsoever, beyond a vague promise from a British Foreign Secretary decades before.

But Truman was facing an election, and his popularity was sagging.

He faced a literal onslaught of American Jewish leaders pleading and arguing and cajoling for Israel’s quick recognition.

He is quoted himself as saying he never experienced anything quite like it. It was intense.

And, in the end, he gave in.

Of course, with his surrender came generous financial contributions to his campaign plus a good press that built him up as a true statesman.

That is how it was in 1948, and that is how it still is more than sixty years later.

Obama’s polls have slipped. He needs big money for the 2012 campaign, and he needs the kind of press the major networks and papers liker The New York Times can give him.

Not only that but Israel runs a literal machine for influencing American congressmen. About eighty of them, largely freshmen, are going on paid junket to Israel. They will be well indoctrinated and made to understand the benefits of blindly supporting Israel.

This happens all the time.

One could argue that the endless foreign aid America sends Israel – the largest such amount given to any country on the planet – every year enables Israel to organize its elaborate and costly lobbying organization.

Thus the U.S. itself indirectly pays the bills for this massive effort at influence by special interests.

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“I see injustice in the Palestinians still embracing terrorism.”

What kind of thinking is this?

Who just recently murdered 400 Palestinian children, plus a thousand others, in Operation Cast Lead?

Who pirated a fleet of boats on the high seas, killing nine unarmed people?

Who regularly assassinates people it does not like?

Who fakes passports from New Zealand or Canada to commit its assassinations?

Who regularly steals homes and farms others have owned for centuries?

Who has 150 nuclear weapons, against all international laws and treaties?

Who traded nuclear weapons technology to apartheid South Africa?

Who maintains a literal garrison state, spending an unbelievable part of its wealth on weapons?

Who dropped tens of thousands of cluster bombs on Southern Lebanon to kill and maim for years?

Who killed about 1400 people invading Lebanon?

Who killed four UN Observers, including a brave Canadian officer, while it invaded Southern Lebanon?

Who almost daily flies warplanes over Southern Lebanon?

Who previously invaded Lebanon, killing thousands and occupying parts of it for 18 years?

Whose state started with a concerted terror attack on innocent civilians in 1948, killing and raping and brutalizing hundreds?

Who keeps a million and a half people imprisoned in Gaza?

Yes, Palestinians have at times used terror, but what is their example?

And can anyone reasonably argue that anything Palestinians have done even begins to compare to the endless war and brutal occupation and apartheid for which Israel is responsible?

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“There already is a Palestinian state.
It is called Jordan.”

Oh please, that is a tiresome refrain heard a thousand times.

It is not for Israel to decide such matters. The very repetition of this slogan is arrogant.

Jordan is Jordan.

It is not Palestine.

It does not want the Palestinians.

The Palestinians do not want to live in Jordan.

The Palestinians have a history as old as the Hebrew people.

Indeed, some academic authorities in Israel maintain that the Palestinians are at least in part the descendants of the Hebrews.

When Rome conquered a territory, as it did Israel/Palestine in the first century CE, it typically did not remove inhabitants, unless they were recalcitrant against Roman rule.

Thus, what we likely have in Israel today, are immigrants – most of them hybrid with Germans or Spanish or Russian over centuries – pushing out some direct descendants of the people who lived in Israel in Biblical times.

A dark irony indeed.

No matter what the case, if Israel wants to be regarded as a country like any other country, it must behave as we expect others to behave.

And that doesn’t include apartheid or the regularly stealing of the property of others or torture and assassinations and bloody invasions without pause.

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“Islamic supremacists can never conceal their hatred for the Jews as the worst enemies of the Muslims (cf. Qur’an 5:82) .”

What garbage you write.

The Prophet honored the Jews and called them “the people of the Book.”

Jewish prophets are honored by Islam.

Originally Muhammad had Muslims pray towards Jerusalem.

It was changed to Mecca for various reasons.

I think what this writer is demonstrating is the old idea in psychology called projection.

That is a state of mind in which a person attributes to those he does not like the very feelings he or she exhibits.

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‘”Don’t you ever tire of pitching propaganda? The partial and carefully selected facts here are the sure sign of a non-thinking ideologue” writes the poster in reference to my five point approach, below, to the way Israel should, and in all probability will, act upon the PLO’s move at the UN.’

Hard to believe someone can be so lacking in understanding.

First, anyone who writes of “Eretz Israel” has left the conversation of rational people.

“Eretz Israel” is modern made-up concept, and it is a concept that guarantees endless future troubles.

There are no maps in the Tanakh.

And even if there were, the claim to what temporarily existed in ancient times is a bad joke more than two thousand years later.

The concept also flies in the face of UN resolutions and even American policy.

You use the term “nation-state of the Jewish people” What is that? In fact, it is another made-up concept intended to sound reasonable but actually incorporating dark and dangerous dreams.

Israel is nearly 20% non-Jewish, but those non-Jewish people hold Israeli citizenship and Israeli passports.

It wasn’t that Israel planned it that way. It just happened because a lot of Palestinians refused to be terrorized by Lehi, Stern, and Irgun in 1948.

So Israel made up the concept you mention, a concept which is a legalistic construct above what all nations regard as normal definitions of citizenship, effectively excluding these million people by definition.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not understand the implications of this construct, just passing over it as a phrase with no special meaning, but they are greatly mistaken in doing so.

But were the world to accept this artificial construct, Israel would without question expel these million souls, despite their passports, to God knows where. Many prominent Israelis have in the past actually advocated this, and they include the current foreign minister, the appalling Avigdor Lieberman.

Of course, the biggest fallacy of your words has to do with the concept of Israel itself. Where is Israel? What are its borders? What defines a citizen?

Good and reasonable answers to none of these can be given beyond Israel is what’s inside the Green Line, and its people are those who live there.

Such a simple concept, really, but one unreasonable apologists for Israel flatly refuse as they go on with dreams of an Israeli Empire  – aka, “Eretz Israel.”

Israel is to close all borders with Gaza? Surely even you know that is impossible. Israel must allow people to move between the West Bank and Jerusalem. That is part of past international understandings and it is a required human need.

“As for the “Palestinians”, they’ll have to fend for themselves, in all respects, including financial!!”

Putting the word Palestinians in quotes and using a triple exclamation mark demonstrates the angry-child tone of your entire words.

Angry children do not make foreign policy, or, if they do, their work proves the despair of the world.

Of course, the last thing your pompous words leave out is the occupation. The 1967 War was deliberately engineered by Israel in an effort to gain the “Eretz Israel” which the Israeli terrorists of the Irgun and Stern and Lehi failed to grab.

Israel must surrender this land or a traded-equivalent to the Palestinians in the end. There is no alternative unless the world agrees that open aggression should be rewarded with expanded borders.

And I doubt even for Israel, with all its lobbying and inordinate influence, that that is going to happen: that would be a formula for chaos in world affairs.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GOOD EXAMPLE OF CIA PROPAGANDA POSING AS FREE AND OPEN ANALYSIS: SUSAN GLASSER AND PUTINISM – AMERICA’S SHABBY TREATMENT OF RUSSIA AFTER THE USSR

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED COMMENTS TO A STORY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Rarely does any true revolution last.

And that is not a profound assertion when you consider what happens in individual family lives with dramatic changes in established habits or customs.

However, no country which has experienced a revolution is ever quite the same again; in that sense revolutions do have lasting effect. Louis XVIII did not rule with the same absolute authority as predecessors before the revolution.

However the author has inserted a highly questionable concept here, Putinism.

I doubt she could define Putinism, and if she tried, I doubt few would agree.

I also believe she has used this term to demean Russia’s efforts.

After all, Susan Glasser works for Reuters, in the past a known CIA outlet, and for Foreign Policy , another outlet for subtle and consistent American propaganda.

Putin is simply one of those rare statesman-politicians who has a remarkable charisma. He is also extraordinarily intelligent for a politician.

Those are both qualities Russia needs in her long march from relative darkness and backwardness. Reconstructing a gigantic country like Russia is an immense task. It is not a job for the timid or people of unexceptional talents.

Russia has made great progress, considering from where they started, and I believe under capable leadership – not a drunken clown like Boris Yeltsin – Russia, given the intellectual gifts of its people and its incomparable natural resources, will be one of the great nations in not too many decades.

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Post Script : America’s record in assisting and helping along Russia after the fall of communism was a deplorable one.

The pathetic ideologues running the United States at the time – and truly who else ever runs the United States, regardless of two parties? – made a colossal set of errors in just being happy to see Russia fall and not doing everything possible to strengthen its new political world.

Germany understood this, and poured billions into Russia, chiding the United States for doing so little at the time.

Susan Glasser is an intellectual child of that environment.

Her words must not be taken at face value.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: CANADA’S HARPER SIGNS A FREE-TRADE DEAL WITH HONDURAS (AKA: THE MOUSE THAT ROARED AND A TRUE BANANA REPUBLIC)

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A STORY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I can hardly wait for those tariff-free bananas start rolling into our stores.

This has to be one of Harper’s most pathetic “achievements,” and it sheds no journalistic glory on the Globe and Mail that, day after day, it has big stories with photos of Harper playing statesman to the Mouse That Roared.

It is absolutely accurate that Harper’s entire Latin American effort is nothing but an effort to align toe-to-toe with the United States in trade matters.

The U.S. has free-trade deals with these insignificant economies solely to gain leverage over them in foreign and domestic policy.

Indeed, Canada’s effort here is so unoriginal and unneeded that Harper might just as well saved the trip and pseudo-statesman panoply: the agreement could just as well have been ratified by teletype through Washington.

What a dark joke.

But with this kind of ludicrous leadership from Harper, a prime minister who is de facto a junior member of the Cabinet in Washington, just watch out where our genuine interests are at stake, as in the Arctic or the Great Lakes or with softwood lumber.

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For readers’ perspective:

The economy of Honduras – its entire GDP – is:

00.03% of Canada’s.

00.002% of the United States.’

My God, what an achievement this deal represents.

I take back the line about the Mouse That Roared. The Mouse That Roared was actually larger.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EGYPT AND THE UNITED STATES ARGUE OVER FUNDING DEMOCRACY GROUPS – REALITIES OF AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT AND OF EGYPT’S SITUATION

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“Ms. Colton, The U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the U.S. is not interfering in Egypt’s politics.”

Well, if that were true, it would mark a first.

CIA bribes and influence are the norm in all such countries; the CIA maintains a huge secret fund for just that purpose.

I also think the situation in Egypt is more complicated than this story suggests.

The United States always maintains a noisy public commitment to words about democracy, but that is a very different matter than what goes on behind closed doors.

Not only is the United States comfortable with the stability and predictability of rule by military groups in the region, it must always be looking to the interests of its client-state, Israel.

A truly democratic Egypt is unlikely to be overly friendly to Israel, but a group of well-bribed military men or others keeps things on course.

I have heard an eloquent expert speak on parts of the situation in Egypt, and he said that Egyptian military is perhaps the country’s greatest industrial operation, controlling many profitable factories and businesses, much as the military in China or the Republican Guard in Iran.

The small number of people who control these enterprises are reluctant to give up any influence to popular notions about democracy.

The feeling is that if they, the military, just go slowly, the people will tire of their demonstrations and demands, and things can settle to something they regard as normal.

It is hard to believe that the United States government would seriously oppose this strategy, although, as always, it will do some public blubbering.

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‘Claims of a “meddling foreign hand” have routinely found resonance among Egyptians.’

And, considering Egypt’s history, why would it be otherwise?

That kind of statement is completely naive or it is dishonest.

Once controlled by Turkey. Once controlled by France. Once controlled by Britain. Britain, France, and Israel conspiring to take over the Suez Canal in the 1950s?

A popular hero like Nassar the target of foreign plots and plans for assassination?

A tyrant president like Mubarak, completely in the pay and in the pocket of the United States, for thirty years?

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“Noticably absent from this is how Saudi Arabia has been furiously funding fundamentalist groups as they are also terrified about the spread of democracy in the Middle East. Why don’t the world powers call Saudi Arabia out on this?”

Sorry, but that is very naive.

Behind the scenes, the Saudi princes, the United States, and Israel have long been great pals.

They often work together secretly towards certain ends.

None of them would value democracy in Egypt, each for its own reasons.

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“Never trust muslims [sic].”

I prefer never trusting people who make ignorant statements like yours.

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“Democracy is not for everybody. To make it work you need an educated, enlightened and engaged population.”

That is a very old and rather trivial idea. It is also quite arrogant.

Just where, among advanced democratic states do you see these conditions?

In the United States?

The United States that believes in polls that Saddam assisted in 9/11 and had secret weapons of mass destruction?

The United States that has ignoramuses like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin seeking the highest office?

The United States whose greed and complete lack of self-control just pitched the planet into a years-long financial disaster?

“As a nation, Egypt would be better served by a benevolent tyrant.”

And who selects the tyrant? And who determines that he is off on the wrong path?

Churchill had it right when he said that democracy was the worst form of government, except for all the others.

The historical truth is that democracy comes when a society has a large enough middle class who feel that their many interests cannot be properly looked after by a tyrant or king. Peasants don’t have many interests beyond keeping alive, but the middle class has business needs, investment needs, property-law needs, and many other interests.

Democracy flows naturally out of economic growth, always and everywhere.

The flow is often temporarily interrupted by old established interests, but only temporarily.

There is no reason to believe Egypt is not ready for democracy. It has a large middle class. It has millions of educated people.

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The Egyptian military has made deals with people like the Muslim Brotherhood in order to broaden its base of support.

That fact only points to the United States and Israel not being afraid so much of “Islamists” as democracies where people disagree with them.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, by the way, is not a terror organization of any kind. It is a rather tame organization.

Actually, many of the Muslim organizations in Egypt expect a form of Sharia Law to be established.

Now, we have been trained by an endless bombardment of Islamophobic propaganda to think that sounds terrible, but in fact is not much different to the fundamentalist Christians – millions of them – in the United States who demand the Ten Commandments in courts and prayers in schools and other public institutions.

And it is little different to the laws of Israel which enable ultra-orthodox Jews to practice their many ancient and backward rules, especially those concerning the inferiority and submission of women and the complete control of children by the husband.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISRAEL ANNOUNCES A NEW ROUND OF BUILDING ON THE PROPERTY OF OTHERS IN COMPLETE CONTEMPT OF WORLD OPINION AND THE NORMS OF NATIONS

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

If this doesn’t define a rogue state, what does?

Theft, just simple theft, over and over in front of the whole world.

And in effect Israel says none of your business.

Add the thousands of murders, illegal arrests, torture, the abuse of millions, illegal nuclear weapons, selling nuclear weapons technology, and I just do not see what separates Israel from the great thugs of the world.

Every charge we read made in our headlines about Gaddafi or North Korea is completely true of Israel, except the former two aren’t engaged in constant theft of other people’s property and they do not receive billions of dollars in assistance and technical help and receive free trade.

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Don’t like it? Tough luck.”

It’s all very well to say tough luck.

But that kind of attitude elicits only the contempt of the world.

If Israel wants to be a nation like any other, it must behave the way we expect others to behave.

Right now, Israel is firmly in the camp of thugs and rogue states.

Don’t like it? Tough luck.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON RIOTS – A SUGGESTION FOR PRAYER

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Oh, prayer will do it every time.

Countless millions of dead victims of wars and plagues and natural disasters can attest to that.

You know a situation is bad by the number of people who resort to mumbling with their hands folded.

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Did the copy editor slip up?

Is that Lorna Dueck or Lorna Dreck?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: LONDON RIOTS – WHAT THEY MEAN – A SARCASTIC VIEW OF THEM IN LIGHT OF OTHER ACTIVITIES BY BRITAIN – GADDAFI RECOGNITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES BY CLIVE CROOK

I’m not sure why these many people are rioting.

But I very much like the idea that Gaddafi apparently has recognized them as the legitimate government of Britain.

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I think you are still too young, Clive Crook, to have an accurate perspective on this.

The truth is that we are just chimpanzees with big brains, the brains largely serving to expand our opportunities for mayhem.

Perhaps a tenth of humanity thinks and reacts as you do, as civilized and thoughtful and decent.

I wish it were a larger portion, but I know to a certainty it’s not.

If you think the London riots or people defecating in an alley are bad, try imagining what the people of Iraq have experienced in the last decade, their entire advanced Arab society set back for a generation and perhaps a million dead and no jobs or opportunity left.

Or what the people of Vietnam experienced in the 1960s and ’70s when the world’s most advanced nation spent countless billions bombing, napalming, and poisoning them, leaving their land a hideous mess for decades to come, and all for absolutely nothing but political superstition?