Archive for September 2011

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TONY BLAIR RIGHTLY ACCUSED OF BIAS IN MIDEAST DEALINGS – BLAIR’S NATURE EXAMINED – ONCE AGAIN THE SILLINESS OF ANCIENT CLAIMS TO ISRAEL

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN THE TELEGRAPH

 

Tony Blair’s chief bias is to greed beyond all ethical, and even mentally-sound, boundaries.

That motivates him in everything.

He helped America kill piles of innocent people so that he could retire with sinecures coming out of his ears from grateful neo-cons in America and Israel.

He took a job with the Quartet so he could get an extra salary and a limo and champagne and deference, but he is such a coward he on at least one occasion refused even to land in the region.

He deliberately kept his mumbo-jumbo beliefs secret while prime minister – although people might have guessed from his friendship with the world’s first certified-moron president, Bush – and then, in his retirement, he converted to Catholicism so that he could cavort with the Pope and Cardinals in their Gucci slippers.

Tony Blair is, apart from being just a ridiculous excuse for a human being, always on the side of power and wealth, and that would of course predispose him to Israel versus the Palestinians, who are in no position to give him anything.

Thus, too, the secret trips to Libya to warmly greet Gaddafi.

And recall the way he squandered money on his wife’s appearance when he was prime minister. A ridiculous man of course is likely to have a ridiculous wife, and he does in the woman who was photographed yawning in the Queen’s presence, snorts here and there like Charles Laughton playing Quasimodo, and appeared in her bed dress in front of Downing Street to yell like the proverbial fish-wife at reporters. Imagine a woman of any good sense accepting $7,000 haircuts? (or was it pounds?)

Tony Blair is the prime minister from Monty Python, and that isn’t an exaggeration in the least.

I believe his insatiable greed is a psychological response to people’s natural inclination to laugh at his and his wife’s foibles and pretences, but it makes him utterly useless as a statesman or even a public man.

_______________________

“Legitimate claim to Judea and Samaria”?

Good God, anywhere else such childish nonsense would be laughed away by the entire world.

Israel has no “legitimate claims” to anything, not even, strictly speaking, its 1967 borders.

It manipulated European politicians and forced its way into the region, using terror along a good deal of the way.

The world, after the Holocaust, was in a mood to accept Israel, spurious historical claims or not.

But the world is not in a mood to accept this nonsense about Greater Israel which is nothing but a formula in the modern world for endless war and oppression.

Basing anything in world affairs or diplomacy on ancient writings, and a single group’s religious ones at that, is a very bad joke. It truly is akin to quoting Nostradamus on world affairs or the paranoid insanity of the Book of Revelations.

If ancient books are valid deeds, then Greece owns a good part of Turkey from the Trojan War.

The Phoenicians lived in what is called Israel before there was an Israel. The Egyptians did too for a while. The Iraqis ruled for a while. The Greeks. Then there were the Romans.

Try sorting that mess of possible claims. Simply insane and a formula for war.

By the way, the Palestinians are almost certainly the actual descendants of ancient Israel. Rome followed the practice of allowing residents to stay in its conquests so long as they were loyal to Rome. Of course, in the intervening 2,000 years, they’ve undergone many changes, including religion and language.

What a bitter irony, a polyglot people from Europe – Germany, Russia, and Spain – the modern Ashkenazi and Sephardi who formed Zionism and lead Israel – kick the actual descendents of ancient Israel out of their homes and farms to fill them with migrants from Europe and America.

 

 

Advertisements

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADA’S JOHN BAIRD GROVELS AT UN FOR ISRAEL – DANGER OF STATE TERROR – FALLACY OF HITLER’S ELECTION – ISRAEL AMONG MOST UNJUST STATES

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“Just as fascism and communism were the great struggles of previous generations, terrorism is the great struggle of ours.”

And what about state terrorism, the largest and most lethal form of terrorism?

State terrorism is an everyday practice today by the United States, and it has been a building block of Israel since the foundation.

The early Zionists called it “the iron wall,” and that phrase encapsulates Israel’s every policy since 1948.

A significant part of Israel’s 1940s effort to carve out a state included the work of terror gangs like Stern, Lehi, and Irgun – all of whom assassinated, planted bombs, and generally terrorized Arabs.

Israel today sits back and claims terror is such a threat, but Israel itself is a garrison state, grotesquely over-armed and ready constantly to assault any neighbor it disapproves of, and it disapproves of virtually all of them.

It is a lawless state, possessing atomic weapons against all international rules and desires, and a state moreover that was willing to proliferate atomic weapons technology with South Africa, something it has never even received censure for.

Israel also stands in contempt of a list of UN Resolutions, the very kind of thing the United States has used as an excuse to bomb some government it doesn’t like.

It also stands in violation of dozens on international agreements and protocols.

Israel does not hesitate to kill children – having slaughtered 400 of them in its vicious attack on Gaza, and according to the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, Israel has killed more than 1,200 children since the year 2000.

Israel does not hesitate to kill peace workers, such as those aboard the Gaza humanitarian fleet attacked on the high seas, pictures and eyewitness reports from which clearly show Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed crew members in cold blood.

And don’t forget, while Israel was bombing Southern Lebanon a few years ago, dropping about a million cluster bombs (the world’s most ghastly, inhumane weapon) to maim and kill women and children and farmers for years to come, it also killed 4 UN observers, including a brave Canadian who died at his post.

John Baird’s boss, our glorious prime minister, after that cold-blooded murder said only he couldn’t understand why the UN had observers there: that is the fetid pool of thought from which John Baird’s words come.

On a per capita basis – the only fair way to compare – Israel is pretty much the world leader in brutality and abuse.

It keeps about ten thousand – the number is always changing – Palestinians illegally in prison.

Nearing half a century, it keeps more than 4 million Palestinians under occupation, totally illegal occupation, and it abuses them constantly with checkpoints and endless red-tape.

It helps itself each week or so to any parcel of someone else’s land that it chooses, indeed it has cobbled together a set of laws and regulations designed specifically to allow it to do this to Palestinians who cannot possibly meet the vicious laws’ requirements – anywhere else this would be called theft by a state.

It decides whether it will assassinate leaders that it does not like, and it does so regularly, with complete impunity – that’s the purest form of police-state terror you can come up with.

To carry out these dozens of assassinations, it breaks laws in many countries and it regularly abuses national passports by stealing and altering them or forging them, and Canada’s passport has been a frequent victim of this criminal behavior.

It does all these criminal acts with the complete support and approval of the United States, without whose influence and twisting of arms and rules, Israel might well collapse of its own gross excesses.

You do not and cannot get peace from a state which behaves as Israel does. It’s like saying the blacks in apartheid South Africa could have had peace by talking to the apartheid government – it literally is that absurd.

Only influence from outside can remedy what Israel has inflicted for decades.

But that influence will certainly not come from the dark bulk who represents less than forty percent of Canadians.

He’s too busy trying to please the United States in every nicety and detail, and he is too busy trying to appeal to the minority of intense Israel apologists, hoping to secure his party’s long-term financing, hoping to establish the same kind of arrangement which now absolutely determines the ongoing injustice of American foreign policy for the Middle East.

The dark bulk is ruining our international reputation, in every area of endeavor, making of us a sort of unofficial 51st state in the world’s eyes.

This is a nightmare world John Baird defends, a world where war is peace and hatred is love, but he does it unblinkingly and aggressively like a Joseph Goebbels defending his master’s bloody deeds.
_____________________________________________

FROM A READER:
“Recognizing the Zionist Stab in the back as the cause of their hardship, was the only reason that Germany democratically elected the Nazi party, to keep the Jews from repeating history.”

Absolutely wrong in every detail.

I’m no friend of Israel’s bloody work, but I deal in facts and logic, not ignorance and distortion.

Hitler was never elected.

The highest vote the Nazi Party ever got in free elections was about 37%, and that was after years of furious effort.

He was appointed Chancellor by the aging President, von Hindenburg, who wanted to stop the turmoil and fighting in the streets, part of which was of course Hitler’s own efforts through his private army of Brownshirts, the SA.

The Nazis conducted an elaborate coup with the burning of the Reichstag, and the aged and much admire war-hero president died. Hitler rammed through legislation giving him the presidential powers and more.

Once firmly in power, the Nazis conducted a number of plebiscites, and they got the kinds of votes you always saw in the Soviet Union’s elections, figures like 98%, but if you accept those as valid you really are a sad, uncritical soul.

As for “the stab in the back” there was no such thing. It was a figure of Hitler’s vivid and fetid imagination.

Hitler considered the Weimar Republic itself a stab in the back. He always hated any form of liberalism or popular government.
______________________________________

“Being surrounded by Muslim-only states does that. 4 million Jews live in a tiny state surrounded by a billion Muslims in 57 states, and it is apparently racist for Israel to be a Jewish state. Wow. But I can understand why the Jew haters want this “right to return”; flood Israel with enough Muslims and then you have 58 Muslim states!”

Simply appallingly ignorant.

What does the make-up of other states have to with Israel?

Nothing, and indeed when you make this appalling argument, your words closely resemble those of Hitler in his demands for lebensraum for the German people and his claims that Germans deserved a special space in which to flourish for the future, that too many other European states held more land than they needed.

In case you don’t know it, Israel has about 1 million non-Jewish citizens – I don’t mean the more than 4 million of the occupied territories but people who carry Israeli passports.

These are the descendants of the Palestinians who refused to run from Israeli terror in 1948.

Israel didn’t want them, but it was pretty much stuck with them.

However, Israel has found many ways of treating them through contrived laws as second-class citizens.

More than one prominent Israeli has advocated running them off the land.

The current ethically-obtuse Foreign Minister is definitely sympathetic to that kind of filthy thinking.

So if Israel is formally recognized as “the Jewish state,” what happens to those poor citizens?

I think we can all guess, and it won’t be pleasant.

And do you not recognize the irrational nature of the demand for a single ethic/religious state? It is no different at all to fundamentalist Islamist demands for Islamic states.

The truth is that Israel in concept was an outdated 19th century concept. It has proved divisive and destructive its entire brief history. It ranks among the world’s most unjust states.

But nevertheless, mistake or not, the world accepts its existence so long as it stops violating every law and moral concept we know to maintain its ethnic purity.

Is it too much to ask that it retreat to its borders and to finally start treating its neighbors as human beings?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COLUMNIST SAYS A PALESTINIAN STATE IS BEST ROUTE TO ISRAEL’S SECURITY – AND BOY IS HE RIGHT – WEAKNESSES OF STATESMEN AND OF DEMOCRACIES

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

That has always been true, a secure state whose people are assisted by Israel would have been a blessing.

Imagine how much progress could have been made had Israel not spent a gigantic fortune on its military and destruction and killing? Its spending is out of all proportion to its size. It is a garrison state. And its brutality on a per capita basis is world class.

But Israel’s policy from the start was “the iron wall” towards the Palestinians, not helpfulness or friendship.

Einstein has been proven absolutely right in his views on Israel: he favored Jewish settlement in the Middle East, but he thought a formal Jewish state would be a great mistake.

Israel’s leaders for years have viewed the Palestinians only as a burden to be gotten rid of, and it has viewed their land – the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem – as a land bank for Israeli expansion.

There is no other way to understand Israel’s behavior, and that is why it is utterly stupid to say to the Palestinians – as Obama did and Harper did – that the way to peace is through negotiating with Israel.

Israel has never once been an honest negotiator, and the United States has never once been an honest broker.

And the whole world ignores the fact that the 1967 war was engineered by Israel precisely to achieve in the future a Greater Israel, and Greater Israel is what Israel relentlessly works towards year after year, stealing more property and abusing more people.

_____________________________

“Why can’t Obama and Harper just do it. They really are little men.”

Yes, absolutely.

But consider how rare it is in this world for any leader to show genuine statesmanship?

It almost never happens, because it involves risks, the stuff of genuinely heroic behavior.

In Obama’s case, the answer is straightforward. He has proved an unpopular and largely unsuccessful president on almost every front, and he faces an election in which he needs all the campaign funds and favorable press comment he can get – just the things the Israel Lobby can provide in exchange for assuming the “right” posture towards the Middle East.

That’s exactly the situation Harry Truman found himself in with the intense lobby to recognize the self-proclaimed state of Israel. Truman’s instincts were that early recognition of the terrorists and army running people off their land was not wise, but he faced an uphill election and the Israel Lobby, by Truman’s own description, was intense beyond anything he experienced. So he granted early recognition and started the ball rolling towards the godawful mess we now have.

In Harper’s case, he not only mimics everything America does, but he clearly hopes to establish a smaller version of the financial political mechanism that dominates United States policy. He will make our politics even more dependent upon private large donations by doing away with Ottawa’s support for parties, he will then aim at those groups who can best finance Conservative ambitions, and that certainly includes Canada’s proportionately smaller but still important Jewish population.

There was a day when most Jewish people – owing to their own history of suffering and abuse – overwhelmingly supported liberal or progressive parties and leaders.

But the existence and behavior of Israel has greatly changed that fact. You simply cannot be an unquestioning supporter of Israel today and keep a sense of fairness and decency. Israel has proved a destructive and divisive political actor.

_______________________________

“From Israel to America, from Argentina to Swaziland, the people want one thing while their democratically elected governments supposed to represent the people and implement the will of the people, want another thing.”

A very true observation.

By a recent poll the government of Israel no more represents what most people want than Harper’s government in Canada does.

The American political system especially has been carefully built to keep a superficial resemblance of democracy while in fact completely catering to special interests.

Who are the special interests? Those who finance the campaigns.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CONSERVATIVES LOOKING AT CUTS TO CBC – FALSE ARGUMENT ABOUT CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS STANDING ALONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

“If CBC had any value it would be able to stand on its own.”

That is simply a tiresome old assertion, exposing only the writer’s lack of understanding.

Does opera stand on its own?

Does serious theatre stand on its own?

Do major art galleries stand on their own?

Do the buildings of our capitals stand on their own?

Do great museums stand on their own?

God, it is tiresome to read such childish words repeated time and again as though they had meaning.

__________________________

“Not only can private industry provide and better service, they can do it cheaper.”

You simply do not know what you are talking about.

Private radio for example is one vast wasteland of pop music and meaningless chatter and political invective.

And important, too, is the fact that American companies will crowd in on private broadcasting , as they already are, leaving little or no independent voice.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A PROFESSOR OFFERS THE ACCURATE VIEW OF THE MEANING OF 9-11 BUT IT IS AN UNPOPULAR ONE – AN UPHILL BATTLE AGAINST PROPAGANDA

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY LAWRENCE DAVIDSON IN INTIFADA PALESTINE

An accurate assessment, but an unpopular one.

From the beginning I have explained and advocated the same view, the view of relatively powerless people taking violent action against great injustices.

But governments and the large mainline news media which invariably support them have filled the atmosphere with Islamophobic nonsense to such an extent that it is blindly accepted by many.

Being a humanist with loyalty to no religion, I have no special brief for Islam.

But I am a person who has little toleration for injustice, and American policies after WWII are nothing if not one long series of injustices.

A very wise woman once said, in answer to the question of what distinguishes a good, democratic society, that it was whether the people lived with a sense of justice.

I cannot agree more with that profound and simple observation.

But we see very little justice from the foreign policy of the United States. We see, quite to the contrary, the imposition, over and over again, of injustice, on an international scale being much as one would experience in an old society where deliberate injustice is maintained as the ordinary state of affairs.

Global affairs, if we are to support democratic values and humane dealings, must also feature justice. It is no less required.

But so many people recognize that that is not the situation, and they include not only people living in the artificial reality of the Middle East maintained by the United States but people in Europe and North America who find it difficult even to have good public discussions of the matter.

The United States through NATO and its tremendous financial and economic power is remarkably capable of keeping these issues off the public agenda.

Sometimes, as in Egypt, an eruption simply gets too big to suppress, and the U.S. takes great hypocritical noises about democracy and the people’s desires, but it never does this automatically, and at the same time it throws its support to inevitable change (really as a form of emergency measure and damage control) in a place like Egypt, it is bombing people and supporting repression of people with the same kind of demands for freedom in Yemen, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

And even in Egypt, what do we see now? Basically a military junta taking immense amounts of time to change anything meaningful, hoping to let people’s energy and dreams dissipate. And it is the United States supporting the effort.

So much for the land of the free, a slogan that always has been more slogan than reality. Free people do not enslave others. Genuine democratic states do not do deals with dictators and just wink at gross injustice. But America is a land where all the vaunted assertions of the Constitution end right at the shoreline. The horrors of Guantanamo, 90 miles off shore, are just fine. And increasingly, with terrible invasions of privacy and police-state laws about “terror” even on shore America becomes a less democratic place daily.

Terror has become a word very similar to what the ghastly Joe Stalin meant when he spoke of “wreckers,” one of his signal words for new waves of state terror in the Soviet Union.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ENERGY MATTERS: THE ROLE OF COAL AND “RENEWABLES” – SOME OF THE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH WINDMILLS

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Coal makes sense from every meaningful point of view.

It is plentiful and not too costly and coal-fired stations provide base-load (on-call 24 hours a day) power.

We have nothing else to compare. We do not have plentiful natural gas, as is foolishly asserted in this article, an assertion which makes one wonder whether the author even knows much about his subject. Natural gas is being used rapidly now and prices are rising.

With Dalton McGuinty’s insane energy policies, we are going to see a lot more demand on natural gas and rising energy prices.

Because the Great and Mighty Dalton has declared windmills a job creator, they are going to cover our landscape with their visual ugliness and noise pollution and migrating-bird killing.

They also are not ever going to to provide base load power. They cannot.

That’s why McGuinty is running around building gas-fired plants as back-ups for the clear and proven failure of windmills. That’s what they’ve had to do in Europe. And the new demand for gas will cause home-heating costs to rise, the electricity costs already rising steeply because of windmills.

Closing Ontario’s relatively efficient coal plants only means that with increases or spurts in demand Ontario is buying extra energy from the dirtiest coal plants in the Midwestern United States, thus increasing pollution, not decreasing it.

There are clean-burning coal technologies today, and more are on the way.

A province that doesn’t want to bankrupt its citizens with energy costs will use them.

By the way, when McGuinty is through with his windmill-jousting and boastfully-ignorant closing of coal plants, energy costs in Ontario are going to be uncompetitive for the acquisition of new industries or even the retention of expanding old ones.

How do you think a McGuinty will solve that? You guessed right if you said he would heavily subsidize new industry’s costs to attract them.

And how will he subsidize them? You guessed right if you said he’ll raise residential rates through the roof, even worse than the other, above-mentioned causes of rising rates will do.
_________________________
“For the people who don’t understand why we can’t rely on wind and solar energy to power the grid here is the answer. Solar energy doesn’t occur at night or on cloudy days. Wind energy doesn’t happen on calm days.”

Yes, indeed, but there are even more reasons.

For windmills we’ve now started accumulating data on their weaknesses and failures.

Windmills in at least one jurisdiction froze still during a bad cold spell.

Windmills in another location were blown over and destroyed in a high-wind storm.

And in a case on the west coast of the United States, there was a blade which flew off and landed a good distance away, a serious hazard.

The “white noise” of windmill farms has literally driven some people living near them crazy. There have been quiet, behind-the-scenes settlements given. We have no long term data on the effects here upon people. It may well be more threatening than the electromagnetic energy of cell phones or power lines.

And windmills are ugly. They must be built in huge masses, generally in places like near shorelines or on hills. They are simply visual blight.

But the bottom line is cost. Windmill energy is costly, and it is only happening in Ontario because of heavy subsidies to the providers, courtesy ultimately of customers.

People loosely use the term “renewables” to describe and encompass all these alternate forms of energy, and it leads to great misunderstanding, as though they were all benign and equally important, but they are not.

I strongly suspect that the long-term answer to energy is going to be decentralization: instead of big stations and power lines, we are going to have individual power plants in our homes. They may be solar – improved solar – or they may be things like power cells and new light storage batteries.

Another coming revolution will be power lines which are closer to perfect conductors, making instantly all of our power plants effectively double to triple their output since so much is lost today through transmission.

Meanwhile, the renewables-crowd mostly has no idea of what it is talking about.

Electricity, which in a knowledge-based society is a fundamental need, is going to be made horribly costly and inefficient through their efforts.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 9/11: BRITISH COLUMNIST JANET DALEY OFFERS DRIVEL ABOUT ANTI-AMERICANISM AND BRITISH RESPONSE TO 9/11 – HARD TRUTHS ON AMERICA’S SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT AND EXCESSES OF GRIEF

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JANET DALEY IN THE TELEGRAPH

Just the kind of genuinely ignorant column one expects of Janet Daley.

Rather nice of her not to disappoint.

It is simply fact that America has been since WWII an arrogant and highly aggressive nation, clothing itself in the words of democratic values while invading, interfering with, or overthrowing anyone whose policies did not toe the American line, and those dark operations have included a number of democracies along the way.

America is a democracy on its own shores (sort of) which behaves every bit the bloody tyrant offshore, and where it has itself not directly acted as tyrant it has used and supported other tyrants to do its biding, right down to our time with someone like Mubarak.

Very much as it makes the same distinction with human rights: its border is where the spirit and letter of Constitutional protections stop.

It’s perfectly okay for the CIA to have an international torture gulag, flying illegal prisoners here and there by the thousands to dark holes around the world, just so the CIA keeps its operations outside American territory. The horrors of Guantanamo are just fine ninety miles offshore.

Is it any wonder that there are people and indeed whole peoples in the world that dislike America?

We know from the past that people love America at its best, but we’ve seen damn little of its best in a very long time.

It was Lord Acton who gave us one of the most profound truths of human nature, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now, why would anyone who purports to think believe America is exempt from this fundamental law of human nature?

It is not, of course, and criticizing it for its many excesses, stupidities, and brutal behaviors is not anti-Americanism. It is simply honest reaction to unthinking hypocrisy and an offensive sense of entitlement which feels it can do anything it wants to the rest of humanity.

Britain heroically endured the Blitz, but does Britain commemorate the Blitz every year? Does it read a list of the victims every year?

America does this with 9/11 out of its deep sense of its own ‘specialness’ and entitlement: one American is worth God knows how many of that motley lot of humanity out there. After all, it has managed to kill perhaps a million innocent people “out there” since 9/11 as payback.

These things need saying because they are truths, not out of any sense of anti-Americanism, whatever that undefined pejorative epithet is supposed to mean anyway.

Prejudice is a form of superstition and mumbo-jumbo. Responding to facts is exactly the opposite, refusing to accept superstition.

It really is the Janet Daleys of this world who are prejudiced and steeped in unexamined superstition. And of course, there are plenty of them, else we wouldn’t be bombing the crap out of others all the time.

Readers may enjoy:
http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/americas-strange-political-culture-of-grief-and-dying/