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Monthly Archives: July 2016

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN AND THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Donald Trump has ‘black soul’, says father of fallen Muslim US soldier”

Cheap, exploitative political tricks don’t come much shabbier than this, but then we are dealing with Hillary’s corrupt crowd.

It’s an attack of the lowest kind, and it deserves answering.

I love that press use of “fallen,” too, sort of a way to elevate things to the level of a war memorial engraving.

The soldier was killed, full stop.

And he was killed in an illegal war of aggression.

He was a professional soldier, the only kind the US uses after the fiasco in Vietnam, paid and trained to kill, not some innocent babe.

He was not defending anyone and certainly not the United States.

He was attacking a country that never lifted a finger against the United states.

And Hillary Clinton voted to start that horrible war, which in total, now with all the terrible aftermath, has killed around a million Iraqis, sent millions running from their homes (Syria took most of them – how terrible man that Assad is), and set back the lives of everyone for a generation in what had been the Arab world’s most advanced country, leaving many for years with no drinkable water and no electricity.

Mighty fine accomplishment, one that I’m sure Hillary is proud of.

The United States now has tried doing the same thing to Syria with proxy thugs and mercenaries instead of its own soldiers. It’s done a lot of killing there, too, and almost destabilized Europe with the volume of refugees running for their lives, but so far they’ve failed to destroy one of the Mideast’s reasonable, independent-minded rulers.

The ugly woman for whom the parents are shilling, Hillary, has already promised to go after Assad for still more war and terror and death for everyone.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN

 

(Reference Nick Cohen article today, where, as is virtually normal in his case, readers are not allowed to comment.)

 

“Extremism thrives because of cowardly collaborators

Well, it doesn’t come much trashier than what you’ve written, M.r Cohen.

“Collaborators”?

Isn’t that a trifle pejorative? Of course, it is, as you meant it to be. Suggestive of WWII Nazi stuff, no less.

“Cowardly”?

Well, what is more cowardly than calling people names, as you do, and allowing no response? Afraid of what you’d hear?

“Extremism”?

Oh, I suppose you mean a 69-year old entrepreneur who has made about 8 billion dollars doing hard-nosed, traditional business deals, the kind of activity on which America was built.

Sure sounds like an extremist to me.

Of course, he is against the kind of American imperial overreach which the neo-cons have pushed the U.S. into, wars everywhere, but I hardly think that can be called” extremism.” “Sensible” is more like it, unless you are a war-monger like Hillary.

And the “extremism” is “thriving,” no less.

What does that mean anyway? That Trump is gaining in the polls in a democratic contest? Why does that so bother you?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Of course she would go after Assad.

Just as she went after Qaddafi, a decent leader in Libya who was toppled and murdered, although she managed to screw that effort up pretty badly.

Assad is supported by Syria’s public, and he is an independent-minded leader who offers religious freedom to all groups.

Israel, which does not itself even have true religious freedom, hates him, so, according to a neo-con servant like Hillary, he has to go.

Since when does the U.S. claim the right to decide who governs countries thousands of miles away, countries doing it no harm? It’s simply arrogance beyond understanding.

American policies have already caused great harm in beautiful Syria and sent millions fleeing for their lives, almost destabilizing Europe.

But that’s not enough for this brute. There’ll be more death.

Hillary is also on record as threatening literally to “obliterate” Iran.

That’s quite a fascist statement about an ancient land which attacks no one. Of course, it just happens to be hated by Israel’s government.

The woman resembles a pet pit bull ready to tear the throat out of anyone her master doesn’t like.

She is sick and corrupt and dangerous.

You want more war and mass killing, you support this woman with absolutely zero ethics.

_____________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment:

You have things quite wrong.

America hasn’t taken sides in Syria, and it most certainly is not a civil war.

America deliberately created this horror we see with some help from friends.

What do you think Hillary was doing in Benghazi when the American Ambassador was killed?

They were running a covert weapons and willing-thug collection business in the ashes of the Libya they helped destroy.

The weapons and thugs collected were sent to Turkey for transshipment to poor Syria, most expenses, such as the thugs’ salaries and supplies, being paid by absolute monarchs of Saudi Arabia.

But the covert operation went sour, as does happen in such operations, and the Ambassador and others were murdered by some thugs who preferred the target before them, the Ambassador, to anything being promised in Syria. Why else do you think she never wants to talk about the whole dirty business in which she was intimately involved?

_______________________________________

 Response to another reader’s comment:

The Sarin gas almost certainly came from her Benghazi operations, parts of murdered Qaddafi’s stockpiles.

Small quantities were shipped to Turkey to be transshipped into Syria where it was really used – in a certifiable war crime – on civilians in an effort to create a reason for Obama to start bombing Assad just as he had previously done to Qaddafi. Remember Obama’s crap about “crossing a red line”? Only here the U.S. not only was the one setting a “red line,” it was the one, through its cutthroat mercenaries, crossing it. Only Putin’s masterful diplomacy saved the day.

Here is a woman responsible for war crimes threatening more war. Just sick.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

A whining accusation without one scrap of proof, quite apart from the fact she has not expressed a regret for benefiting from her former DNC Chairman-friend’s manipulating.

But it is in line with Hillary’s historic approach to matters.

Here’s an interesting bit of insight from old political adviser and pollster, Dick Morris, who worked with the Clintons in Arkansas – quite fascinating:

http://ijr.com/2016/07/660911-hillary-adversary-dick-morris-fills-in-the-gaps-in-bill-clintons-dnc-speech-about-meeting-a-girl/

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON THE HILL SITE

 

The very people shilling for more subsidies to Israel would have a fit if you asked for comparable subsidies for almost any worthy cause you can name.

This has become totally bizarre.

Israel already is quite simply the most subsidized entity on earth, given its total subsidies from all sources.

So why do these shills advocate so much cash thrown at Israel?

Because money given to Israel effectively goes into an elaborate international black box where a portion of it is returned as campaign contributions to the very guys doing the shilling.

The name of the black box is the Israel Lobby.

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY CAROLINE MORTIMER IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

And why is this undoubtedly mentally ill young man called an “abomination”?

This is ridiculous language.

And why have you featured a picture of him wearing a cap with a big logo for Algeria? Would this have anything to do with inciting more hatred of Muslims? With promotion of more violence in the Middle East?

My guess would be that perhaps 500 people were murdered that same day in various parts of the world. Some of them undoubtedly in even more brutal fashion.

And only days ago American and French pilots killed about a 140 innocent people in Syria. You didn’t label them as abominations. How come?

How about just a little bit of perspective in your writing and coverage?

The truth is that perspective is everything. You cannot accept anecdotal events as evidence in science, which determines truth only with statistics.

It should be no different with journalism – that is, if you believe journalism should be objective and impartial. But we know that in general it completely lacks those qualities, don’t we?

Again, here is a site which tracks the brutal murders in just one city of the world, Chicago:

http://heyjackass.com/

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY OWEN JONES IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“The Sanders movement is bigger than Bernie. Now it must defeat Trump”

That statement is distorted nonsense, otherwise known as propaganda.

It misses the whole point of current events.

The Sanders movement was exactly and precisely about people like Hillary. So is the Trump movement. So was the Brexit movement. So is the internal war going on in the Labour Party.

It was just one aspect of a greater movement taking hold in several places, as people wake up to the political reality which has grown up around them, almost like a thick patch of noxious weeds. A sense of an oppressive establishment – despite nominally democratic institutions – has people working hard against the establishment.

Left, right, this, or that almost does not matter now. The issue for so many is whether you are with the establishment or against it.

The establishment – perfectly symbolized in America by Hillary and in Britain by Tony Blair – almost does not deal with the people it governs, only dropping phrases in speeches and doing the odd photo-op, smiling with ordinary folks.

The establishment is about money and the power that money can buy.

It is aloof, has become almost a kind of international class, and it has priorities of its own, which include the anti-democratic stuff we’ve seen from Hillary’s camp plus a major interest in enforcing a given order on the world.

It embraces war with no concern for what the people think, and it does nothing helpful for its own people.

Almost all of its efforts are towards securing money and power and alliances with other members of the establishment.

Newspapers and journalists, like yourself, virtually all support what they are doing because journalism today is just a small wing or department of the establishment, its publicity department.  Most newspapers and broadcasters today are not about genuinely informing people. They are about influencing them.

After all, newspapers are just corporations the same as any other corporation, and they depend for their existence on the establishment, to gain advertising, privileges, and the odd tip or leak by virtue of their loyalty.

John Chuckman

 

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARY DEJEVSKY IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“Russia may well be meddling in the US election. Why wouldn’t it?’

 

Just completely transparent propaganda, Mary Dejevsky.

In effect, you are supporting the crooked behaviors of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (by the way, who was just hired by Hillary’s campaign after resigning in disgrace as DNC Chairperson) and Hillary Clinton, the most corrupt candidate in memory, by switching subjects, and indeed supporting the very line of attack Hillary’s people now have taken.

A little concern over this troubling anti-democratic behavior might better be in order.

First, Putin is too wise a man to get himself in the mess of American politics.

As an old senior intelligence officer, he is well aware how easily such a thing could go wrong, creating what intelligence services call “blowback.”

There was plenty of motive here for others to act, and there are a lot of skillful hackers on the planet, or didn’t you know? Gluccifer from Romania gave us Clinton’s State Department stuff she so carelessly left available, having broken half a dozen laws in the process.

By all accounts, Russia had that information, too, but declined to use it and get involved. An unknown named Gluccifer 2 is responsible for the DNC hack. And by the way, the DNC was hacked many times. It even complained about it publicly at one point.

Second, a very clever man with computers, Edward Snowden, has just said, and he should know, that it’s entirely possible to find out easily who hacked the DNC. He names a special facility which he used once to confirm a Chinese hack.

I haven’t heard any claims or evidence from the FBI or NSA along those lines, have you?

But, no, we journalists just go ahead, making new, unproved charges and innuendos, don’t we?

Charges which just happen to cast a shadow of foreign conspiracy on Trump, which is a cheap and unethical trick in my view and which effectively support Hillary, the direct beneficiary of all this terrible behavior in the first place.

Of course, Putin would have a preferred candidate, as he is entitled to have, but that is a zero argument for Russia’s involvement.

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

‘I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves’

That’s a re-tread. She’s used the line before. And it’s so obviously insincere

This woman’s whole life is middle class to upper middle class.

She knows nothing of slavery, or even, for that matter, hard physical work.

And, what is perhaps most pertinent, the statement is simply not true. Most of the construction was by paid skilled workmen, stone masons, carpenters, and plasterers.

Slaves who had those kinds of skills were not at all common, and when they were “rented out” for a special job, they were typically paid a wage the same as any other skilled person.

The final whitewashing of the stone, ironically, was done by slaves.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Response to another reader’s comment:

“What have you [Trump] done over the past 8 years?

Besides instilling the fear, mass hysteria and the paranoia of a dictator, what does Trump stand for?”

 

Instilling fear?

That’s all Obama has done in the world.

It’s been kill, kill, kill in half a dozen lands.

He’s the first president to have an organized system for extrajudicial murders around the world, too.

The economic growth in America reflects only non-stop money-creation, something that very much is going to catch up.

Not one real problem in the financial sector, the sector causing the 2008 crash, has been corrected by Obama. There has been no reform of any kind.

Obamacare is pretty much a disaster, slowing crumbling as insurance groups formed to serve it, leave the business. It was an abortion of a creation, an ugly compromise between those wanted some system for healthcare in the US and massive private interests grabbing for all the money they could get out of it. Obama showed little leadership and settled for third-best.

America’s racial divide today is worse than any time I can remember.

And America’s violence and meanness on the streets is appalling when you know the facts.

The very rise of Hillary is a reflection of fundamental decay. It’s been a record set of corrupt primaries.

Her record against Bernie represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.

We now know from a huge Wiki-leaks release that the DNC, under Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a friend and fanatic supporter as chairperson, was plotting before the primaries began.

Only someone blindly quoting official Democratic Party talking points could write what you have.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Who cares?

Prince Harry is a boring man, indeed a rather foolish one, displaying his mother’s worst emotional characteristics.

I can’t think of one good thing he’s ever said or done.

But I can think of a number he should not have said or done.

He’s one of the best living arguments for abolishing the monarchy.

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2013/01/harry-is-prince-mad-he-does-have.html

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JULIAN BAGGINI IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“Jeremy Corbyn is a great populist. But that’s no good for our democracy”

Well, Julian Baggini, you have the distinction of having written the most thoughtless Corbyn hate-piece I’ve seen.

I understand why The Guardian’s current editors publish junk propaganda – they’ve literally wallowed in bias and hate-promotion ever since Corbyn was elected – but I cannot understand why anyone writes it. Desperate for a publication credit?

The ultimate irony is The Guardian’s old reputation as progressive. The current management carries on a charade in this regard with limp pieces on this or that social issue such as the trials of being left-handed, but the entire force of its work – in editorials, columns, selective interviews, and in selective coverage – is overwhelmingly biased towards the interests of a war criminal’s pack of followers.

It’s a pretty shabby show.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

This is only good and proper, but I must say if were not for important sites on the Internet, bent people like Wasserman Schultz would never be uncovered.

The conventional press does virtually no investigative reporting. Even more, it actually consorts with people like Wasserman Schultz to carry out anti-democratic plans. This is particularly true in the United States.

Now, Bernie, you need to act, too. You asked for her resignation, but that is not enough.

Your admirers and supporters have been hurt by your endorsing Hillary Clinton, the beneficiary of all this crooked business, Wasserman Schultz being a close friend of Clinton as well as a biased supporter.

You must withdraw your endorsement of this terribly crooked candidate who has worked to cheat you at every turn.

Her record against you represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Many making comments here show no understanding of the way political systems work.

Picking a candidate resembles buying a product in a number of ways.

There is a principle in economics called “bundling.”

This says that with some goods or services, you must buy a bundle of qualities or disparate things to get what you want.

People who assemble record collections of great hits or top hits use this principle to increase record sales.

No one album put up for sale will have everything that each buyer wants.

To get certain songs, you must buy more than one album.

It is much the same with politicians.

You need to focus on one or a few attributes you greatly want.

The rest come with “the bundle,” whether you want them or not, and this holds for every candidate.

Trump represents some serious re-thinking in international affairs, and for this old boy who hates war and neo-cons and re-shaping the planet in America’s image, that is immensely important.

Hillary, by contrast, is a life-long supporter of killing and pushing people around – from Waco and Serbia to Iraq and Libya.

The woman has the same kind of blood on her hands as Tony Blair.

Only Trump has indicated his preference for new directions, and only Trump has the strength and resources to stand up against the monsters in the State Department (neo-cons like Victoria Nuland, a best buddy of Hillary’s), Pentagon, and CIA. He may, like Kennedy, die in the effort, but he will make an effort.

As far as stuff like walls and selected migration, an American president requires the consent of Congress, and I believe he will not get it.

But we should keep in mind that walls everywhere are going up. In Austria. At Calais. Even the White House fence is being raised. And all over the place in Israel. So there’s nothing special about Trump’s view.

Keep your eye on the ball, as they say in America, and don’t drift off with slogans and empty rhetoric.

You get a bit of needful change with Trump. You get more stupid war and killing with Hillary, and that’s quite apart from her unbelievable corruption.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY DAN ROBERTS AND BEN JACOBS IN THE GUARDIAN

 

‘The party I worked for died tonight’: Republicans decry Trump’s dark vision

 

Fairly ignorant piece.

Parties die. Everywhere. All the time. Just like companies, just like distinguished families, and, indeed, just like countries, dozens of which have risen and fallen in the last century.

In politics it is no different than economics. One of the great economists of the last century, Joseph Schumpeter, wrote about the “creative destruction” of capitalism, one of the more insightful remarks of his time.

Indeed, the modern Republican Party was born just before Lincoln with the deaths of other parties, such as the Whigs, the No-nothings, etc.

More than a few observers over recent years have observed that the Republican Party has long out-lived its usefulness.

For example, for years it has desperately tried to expand its base by serving the interests of Christian fundamentalists and “family values,” sometimes threatening to bring America into the camp of theocratic states with official school prayer, flag-burning laws, and other brainless nonsense.

Just because America has a rather rigged anti-democratic system in its two-party system, so carefully regulated with many anti-democratic regulations and barriers-to-entry, does not make it good or even ethical either or give it any worth.

This rather uninteresting observer seems to impute moral worth to something which has none.

Donald Trump is a new invigorating force, and, as with all politicians, he represents both good and bad ideas.

By the way, Joseph Schumpeter was also a political scientist.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“…but it all depends on Bernie Sanders”

 

Well, if it does, she richly deserves to lose.

Her record against Bernie represents the most corrupt effort in modern American primaries.

A million ballots destroyed in California. Hundreds of thousands of likely Bernie supporters removed from the rolls and unable to vote in New York. Voters in Arizona sent to the wrong place and no ballots at some polls.

We now know from a huge Wiki-leaks release that the DNC, under Deborah Wasserman Schultz, a friend and fanatic supporter as chairperson, was plotting before the primaries began.

Many Bernie supporters were crushed by his turning around, after all his legitimate criticisms, acting just like the usual hack politician. He lost his shine completely. He sure lost it for me.

Anyway, the columnist much overrates the importance of the support of former opponents in American politics.

Hillary is not only dirty (as in corrupt), she is a genuine war-monger.

The trends in the polls – and trends are what is important – could not be clearer. Trump is ascending, Hillary is descending.

She will lose and lose big, unless, of course, she brings her cheating into the actual election, but in that, she faces a much tougher and better-resourced opponent than Bernie. Bernie ate crap. Trump simply doesn’t do that.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SABRINA SIDDIQUI IN THE GUARDIAN

 

I’ve heard him on the radio, and he’s a rather insipid-sounding man, but of course Madame Defarge would not likely pick a forceful ego with which to share a room.

I’ve just checked out a few facts, and he does prove a genuinely odd choice.

First, as mentioned below, he is a booster of TTP. Not the kind of thing a lot of the Democrats’ base is fond of and fairly anathema to organized labor.

Second, he is associated with crime initiatives which put a lot of black people in jail over some years. Given her pretensions, and they are pretensions, of sympathy with blacks, this is strange. It’s rather in keeping with a comment she was recorded on video making years ago about “black super-predators.”

Third, and this amazes me, he is against abortion.

Of course, she is trying to appeal to some Republicans, but that is a desperate hope. Hillary is, without a doubt, the most disliked Democratic candidate in memory, especially by Republicans.

Maybe Madame Defarge has lost her knitting?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY SECRET TEACHER IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“My pupils’ creativity is being crushed by the punctuation police”

I cannot tell you how sickeningly familiar this kind statement is for those exposed to American elementary school teachers in one of the world’s most failed education systems.

Punctuation is as important as the alphabet in writing.

This frivolous notion of “creativity” is just devoid of meaning.

It’s rather like talking about pouring concrete without a mold.

Likely wise that this teacher is keeping his/her identity secret.

John Chuckman

COMMENT

 

Plagiarism, in normal life, is a serious charge and not one to be uttered lightly, and it is never one to be shouted from the rooftops, but in politics things are different.

So we see stories everywhere, literally everywhere, saying Melania Trump “plagiarized” a paragraph from Michelle Obama’s convention speech of 2008.

In fact, this is a very good measure of how totally bent the press is against Trump.

Melania is not a politician.

She does not write speeches.

She did not write this speech.

I doubt very much she ever listened to Michelle Obama. Actually, few people do.

While Melania is a very intelligent woman – she speaks four languages – how could she possibly know whether a speechwriter on her husband’s staff borrowed a few phrases?

Clearly, she could not. So how can she be accused of plagiarizing Mrs. Obama as the press is almost universally asserting?

The whole point of such “speeches” is just to show off a candidate’s spouse, not really to say anything. All such speeches, including Mrs. Obama’s of 2008, are just fluff, filler, devoid of significance, excuses to be put on stage before lights and cameras and to be judged for poise and tone.

And Mrs. Trump delivered her modest words with great success, and this genuinely beautiful woman just sparkled on camera.

The press should be ashamed of the accusations, but the press – as we can see from the way it handles a whole panoply of serious and deadly world events – no longer has much to do with digging out information and presenting it with impartiality.

Sadly, its role now is largely as a propaganda machine, one just as clumsy and obvious in its way as Pravda was in the heyday of the USSR.

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“President Erdogan could be using the coup against him to turn Turkey towards full-scale Islamisation”

Patrick Cockburn, I believe you really do have it wrong here.

The error you make is a common one in the press.

Erdogan is using (manipulating) the coup for sure.

But not for the purposes of Islamization, our present world’s favorite demon word, endlessly chanted by press and politicians.

Erdogan uses (manipulates) Islam for his own political ambitions.

In this he much resembles the right wing of the Republican Party a couple of decades ago when they were exploiting Christian fundamentalists and “family values.”

The danger from Erdogan is authoritarianism and state terror.

The authoritarianism is already there. So are elements of terror including his treatment of Kurds, opponents, Syrians, and others.

The man is a genuine megalomaniac, as we can plainly see from his recently completed 1000-room palace, an unbelievably ugly and graceless monument to himself.

I do not believe a man of his mental state has much room for Muhammad or any other figure.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM PECK IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

There’s no idealism required in being against Trident.

Pure, old-fashioned good sense is completely adequate.

Its costs are unbelievable – and note how the government has been very coy in telling the full story there – and you, quite simply, can do nothing with it.

A deterrent cannot be a deterrent if you can’t use it, and it is very much the case that you cannot use Trident.

Here, again, the government is being very coy, but the fact is that part of the package you “buy” with Trident are controls against your ever using it independently.

You can only use it with American approval and against American-allocated targets, full stop. Any other possible use has built-in controls against it, and believe me any British enemies know that as well as I do.

American top-level policy does not allow independent nuclear deterrence anywhere. When countries like Ukraine and Belorussia separated from the Soviet Union, they were briefly nuclear powers themselves with Soviet weapons based on their territory. The U.S. quickly disabused them of any illusions, explaining that if they did not give them up for dismantling, they themselves would be targeted by American ICBMs.

All Trident does is make you feel like you’re playing in the big leagues, but it’s a silly illusion, enjoyed at immense cost.

Moreover, if you want to give Scotland a serious new issue for independence, then buy Trident. The Scots do not like having it based in their country, and Independence leaders there would love to have a hot new issue.

In the end, Trident is at least as much an illusion as “the special relationship” itself is, yet of course we know important people still go on about their special relationship, oblivious to the fact that disgraced Tony Blair provides the quintessential example of what America means by a special relationship.

For America, Britain’s having Trident is just one big fat, lovely, long-term subsidy from British taxpayers to the Pentagon, a pretty insane deal from the British point of view.

__________________

 

Response to a comment about Britain developing its own weapons:

The US would not allow it. Behind-the-scenes pressure would be immense.

British-made planes and other armaments have greatly declined over the decades precisely because of American pressure.

It’s yet one more way NATO is exploited by the US to insist on the same weapons – American ones – wherever possible. Qualities like compatibility are emphasized.

This again is just a giant Pentagon subsidy. In effect, you pay part of the freight for America’s continued dominance of European affairs, kind of like paying the costs of your own occupation.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY HARRY COCKBURN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Just gross propaganda.

Assad, the legitimate head of his country, is just doing his job in fighting the scum sent there by America, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

I wonder, do the editors ever try imagining what would happen if thousands of mercenaries and fanatics, armed with many weapons courtesy of the above four countries, were set loose in Britain to kill?

No, you worry yourself silly about a few possible terrorists making their way in among some refugees.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES MOORE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

I don’t know what the writer is going on about.

The latest polls show Trump near neck-and neck with Hillary. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times shows him leading by three points.

Now, that’s quite an achievement from his starting point and tons of negative press.

And you must consider if you are looking at polls, there are few quite manipulated ones out there showing a big lead for Hillary. It is a biased press game to publish such polls, and it is often done in Britain too.

Hillary has not yet felt the full impact of her genuinely corrupt and murderous career, but I’m sure she will. The trend is clear, and that’s one of the main things we learn from polls, the trend.

The only way she will win is with more of the same dirty tricks we saw in the primaries against Bernie Sanders – destroyed ballots in California and voter suppression techniques in New York, Arizona and other places.

But in such an effort, she up against a much tougher and better-resourced opponent.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARK TALIANO IN RUSSIA TODAY

 

Well, many of us in Canada do oppose it, but we also recognize how little ability our government has for independent action in foreign affairs.

We are, as unpleasant as it sounds, almost totally colonized by America.

The US government has many, many options for making us uncomfortable – financial, economic, military, and diplomatic.

It is also true that the pleasant Justin Trudeau does not possess his father’s fiercely independent intelligence, but even father Pierre might face frustration with today’s neo-con Washington, a decidedly more aggressive and unforgiving place.

I wish it were otherwise, but it is important for people abroad to appreciate Canada’s reality, no matter how embarrassing it is for us.

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

This could well be a big dark operation engineered by Erdogan’s security services. It smells of Reichstag Fire.

There were many suspicious circumstances, including people being sent out into the streets to confront revolting soldiers.

When I say “engineered” I don’t mean that there weren’t genuine opposition officers – indeed, there have long been rumors of serious dissent to Erdogan’s dictatorial ambitions – but they may well have been “guided” into taking an apparent opportunity that was not really there, thus showing their hands and giving Erdogan complete freedom of action.

This gives Erdogan the freedom to “cleanse” the armed forces and to take new repressive measures in Turkey.

Erdogan is, quite simply, one of the most dangerous leaders of a significant country in the world.

_______________________________

Reader comment:

A government that sails too close to extreme Islam.

 

It really is not the Islamic aspects of Erdogan’s policies which are troubling.

This man uses religion, much the way America’s right-wing Republicans used for years Christian fundamentalism and “family values,” to buy the loyalty of Turkey’s many devout Muslims.

A genuine Muslim leader does not build a 1000-room palace, of exceeding cost and ugliness, as a monument to himself. Yes, that’s right, a 1000-room palace opened not long ago.

It is the state terror aspects of Erdogan’s Turkey which are deeply troubling.

He helped create the horrors in Syria, and honest Turkish journalists who reported seeing some of the weapons crossing the border are doing hard time in prison.

A few years back there was even a delivery of Sarin nerve gas that was caught being smuggled. It was hushed up, but enough got out to tell us what was likely happening. This horrible stuff, of course, was used on people a few times in an effort to blame Assad. It likely came from flattened Libya’s old stockpile, courtesy of Hillary Clinton.

Many people concerned about civil rights in Turkey have been arrested and even assassinated.

He has slaughtered the Kurds mercilessly.

There are documented reports of Turkish border guards shooting refugees dead who were approaching the border.

The huge number of refugees in camps in Turkey also have communicated reports of abuse, and the threat of their being sent into Europe is being used as a powerful lever to squeeze privileged concessions for Turkey from the EU.

Erdogan has stolen Syria’s crude oil shamelessly to help pay for all his dirty work in Syria. His family reaps much of the profits.

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 Response to reader comment:

Erdogan was elected with stolen ballots, a lot of repression, and plenty of dark operations.

Everyone knows, except apparently people such as yourself, democracy under Erdogan is a fraud.