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Monthly Archives: May 2013

JOHN CHUCKMAN

EXPANSION OF A POSTED RESPONSE TO AN INTERVIEW WITH SYRIA’S PRESIDENT ASSAD IN INTIFADA PALESTINE

I am no great defender of unelected leaders like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, but in the case of Syria’s current troubles I support him and wish him success against the forces responsible for murder and destruction on a large scale in his country.

The great writer, Graham Greene, said:
“…the writer should always be ready to change sides at the drop of a hat. He stands for the victims, and the victims change.”

Syria is the victim in this case, and the bloody bullies attacking Syria are the United States and Israel, both too cowardly to attack directly and both dishonestly claiming that the Free Syrian Army represents a genuine popular revolt.

The aim of the United States and Israel in all this violence is to wipe Syria off the Middle East chessboard, leaving it a divided society with no central direction.

Their efforts are designed to serve Israel’s drive to dominate the Middle East, just as America’s invasion of Iraq served the same drive. Israel aspires to be a miniature replica in the Middle East of what the United States has become globally, and the United States’ government, compromised by its corrupt election financing system and the central role of special interests in that system, is more than willing to grant Israel the role.

The brutality and hypocrisy involved in creating a pseudo-popular uprising and putting millions of innocent people at risk are breathtaking. The United States and Israel have gathered, armed, and supported a gang of thugs and injected them (through Syria’s border with Turkey, Turkey also offering refuge and re-supply) into what was a peaceful country, the very kind of cut-throats neither the U.S. nor Israel would allow to cross their own borders.

The recent death of an American ambassador in Libya at Benghazi, an event which no American official will discuss honestly, was part of the same dark scheme and involved the ambassador working with the CIA to gather killers and arms for export to Syria. The operation badly backfired when some of the thugs being dealt with turned on the Americans, something American officials will not acknowledge out of embarrassment and the desire to hide the dirty business in which they are engaged.

The world is not the simple place of angels and devils as America’s propaganda efforts ceaselessly proclaim it – great camps of goodness and evil ready to do battle for the soul of humanity. No matter whether a government is democratic in origin or not – and given the utter corruption of America’s politics, its claims to authentic democracy are tenuous – powerful insiders are fully capable of bloody, ruthless behavior in secret, destroying the lives of others.

While the United States loves hearing itself talk about being a bastion of freedom and rights, the fact is that over the last 40 or so years, it has been, quite simply, the most murderous nation on earth, killing 3 million in Vietnam plus a host of victims in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and in many, many other places either invaded or toppled in bloody coups. It still runs an international torture gulag, of which Guantanamo is only a part.

The world can support a bloody global dictator even less than an individual country can support a local one. So, in Syria we see a stark choice, and the ethical balance favors for once a local dictator.

If you want the rule of law, you must abide by the rule of law, a principle which neither the United States nor Israel makes even a pretense of embracing although they sure like talking about it between bombing runs and terrorist activities.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

This confirms what many believed: that it was the rebels, not the government, using chemical weapons.

Now, where does one obtain this nerve gas, sarin, a deadly and sophisticated one which comes in two compounds only assembled at the time of use?

There are only a limited number of countries who make and store it, including both the United States and Israel.

We know about Israel’s chemical arms because there was a crash of an El Al cargo plane in 1992 in the Amsterdam area, killing dozens of people and releasing toxic substances Israel refused to accurately identify.

It was later determined that at least part of the cargo was one of the components of sarin, a cargo which was not declared and which is illegal to ship in most countries.

One has the well-founded suspicion that Israel supplied some of the sarin material recently to that rabble called the Free Syrian Army.

Its purpose in doing so would be typical of Israel’s nasty security forces practices – of which we have a long history including the 1967 War and Israel’s attempt to sink an American intelligence ship – and that is to create a casus belli with the claim that Assad had crossed one of Israel’s many arbitrary “red lines.”

Only in recent days we read a lot of nonsense about the government of Syria having used poison gas, including from America’s pathetic Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, who managed to reverse himself in less than a day after asserting – rightly – that American intelligence did not believe Assad had used chemicals.

His reversal undoubtedly reflected the immense pressure of the Israel Lobby, incensed that he had effectively contradicted Mr Netanyahu’s earlier public claim about Syria’s use.

We see the outlines here of a very shabby story: the desperate efforts of Israel and the United States to support the phony rebellion they created in Syria because it is beginning to look like that rebellion will fail.

What Israel wants in these matters is for Syria to be removed as a power in the region, left as a weak and divided state whose elements will fight with each other for years to come.

Never mind those elements include the same kind of scum that neither Israel nor the United States would even allow to cross their borders. Who cares about the poor Syrians, just so long as once more Israel gets what it wants.

The whole series of events in Syria will prove a textbook example of arrogance, brutality, and cynicism in foreign affairs.

But then that description pretty well sums up the entire brief history of modern Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN RUSSIA TODAY

It is simply gorgeous.

There are too few examples in the world of really fine contemporary public-space architecture, modern architecture which works well with older buildings.

Jack Diamond was an excellent choice as architect. He did the opera house in Toronto, and there he established some of the design principles used in the Mariinsky, although on a much smaller scale, given a much smaller budget.

Diamond is not one of those “looks only” architects who design sculptures with little consideration for the use to which they are put.

The Mariinsky benefits from his approach and great experience.

Congratulations.