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Monthly Archives: March 2017

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON ZEROHEDGE

Michael Moore Loses It (Again): Warns Of “Extinction Of Human Life Due To Donald Trump”

But contrary to some of your words, Michael Moore is neither a “leftist” nor a particularly liberal guy.

His record of political support proves that absolutely. General Wesley Clark? Hillary Clinton?

He is also a talker and not much of a doer when it comes to politics and social issues.

He is just one more comic American political figure, yet another buffoon.

American politics are packed with them, in all shapes and sizes. Airheads, narcissists, phonies, cheap opportunists – a regular human menagerie.

John McCain. Newt Gingrich. Joe Biden. Lyndsey Graham. Chris Christie. Trent Lott. Bill Clinton. Nancy Pelosi. Good God, what a sad parade marches across America’s national politics.

There is unquestionably a tragi-comic streak in American politics.

Part of it is in something a great critic called the “culture of complaint.” This is a phenomenon observed by outsiders and given its name by Robert Hughes, in which Americans argue endlessly without ever solving or achieving anything.

All kinds of pro- and anti- groups form on any issue you care to mention, and all the groups provide soapboxes for wannabe politicians, and almost nothing ever said or done amounts to anything beyond a great deal of noise.

I suggest the roots of America’s truncated politics as being both the way politics are financed and the massive reality of America as world bully, an ugly reality which goes pretty much unquestioned by all significant participants in American politics while they quibble about this or that fine point.

These two things form the entire foundation for modern American society: elections which cost billions of dollars each campaign, assuring only candidates the donating elites approve of and a massive, brutal world empire, which entails the ugly realities of the Pentagon, 17 national security agencies, plus regular coups, overthrows, and colonial wars.

You never even get a guy like Bernie Sanders, self-proclaimed socialist, seriously questioning the thing that overwhelms the political reality of America, the thing which chews up money, creates endless conflict, and slowly destroys the very freedoms Americans like to foolishly believe they enjoy. The Patriot types are the most foolish in their childish words on the subject, but in the entire American political spectrum, you find no serious questioning of foundations for fear of being called disloyal or cowardly.

It all makes the establishment pretty much unassailable in a form of permanent government with the constant demands of empire always put first but with lots of pretty window dressing about democracy and rights. Hopes for change are dim to non-existent. Even pushy, billionaire, iconoclastic Trump is pretty well shut-down already. I very much doubt he will achieve anything worth achieving.

The final truth Americans just cannot face up to is that you can have a world empire or you can have a free society. You simply cannot have both.

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John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Perfect Timing: Islamic State Vows to Destroy Iran For ‘Protecting’ Jews’”

 Well, it just doesn’t get much clearer than that. In fact, it is almost comic in its clarity, resembling a feeble script written somewhere in the bowels of Mossad by junior publicity officers.

ISIS never, never attacks Israel or Israeli interests or even individual Israelis. There is nothing about ISIS threatening to Israel but the odd cheap slogan.

It always, always fights against governments Israel hates, as in Syria or in Iraq. Almost as if on command.

Now, the country Israel hates most of all, Iran, is said to be added to the list, with that asinine nonsense about the sin of “protecting Jews.” Why does Israel hate Iran so much? Because Iran is the only remaining competitor for the role of dominant state in the region. Israel wants it all, and the Pentagon and CIA happen to agree that America’s nasty little colony should have it all.

Israel has always been a key player in covertly supporting ISIS and other cutthroat outfits like Al-Nusra.

What we have here is good old-fashioned American imperialism working covertly, hand-in-glove, with its Middle East colony, otherwise known as Israel.

________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment about Putin’s description of ISIS as mercenaries going for the highest pay:

Yes, as Putin has said, they are mercenaries. The US knows it is always possible to collect rag-tag armies of such people, give them a bit of help and arms and set them loose on some place you want to destroy. The world is full of young men with poor job prospects in their homelands and who are attracted to paid violence and the opportunity to excel in some way, if only in killing and raping. All you have to do is round up some of them under a phony advertising name, suggesting a cause such as Muslim militancy.

The “help” you give them gets a bit complex here, as with money from Saudi Arabia and Oman, armaments from Israel, Britain, US, and France, medical services from Israel, and air support from the US, Britain, and France.

When so-called terrorists strike back at parts of Europe, as we see occasionally in huge press events, they are not in fact ISIS or Al-Nusra, the people who have always been, in one way or another, supported by America, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain, and others. That phony claim of responsibility only reinforces the public support for the dirty war which got everything going in the first, the war against legitimate governments like that of Syria.

The attackers in Europe are really desperate men from some of the very places under attack, and they are trying to strike a blow against states they know are involved in the destruction of their homes, as France or Britain, places like the US being much too hard to reach effectively.

This entire stage play with ISIS and Al-Nusra and other murderous bands surely represents one of the most complex and insidious covert operations we’ve ever seen. I am sure people in the State Department and CIA spent many long hours years ago working it all out.

How do we destroy Syria without sending American troops in for another illegal invasion like the one in Iraq, illegal invasions having many undesirable consequences including huge amounts of public disapproval and dirtying your carefully-groomed public image with the clear public perception of your being an aggressor nation?

Same for Israel. It could have handled all or much of this alone, but it is already seen, and justly, as a pariah nation by much of the planet. How neat to get all the dirt you want done carried out in this fashion.

American troops dying in any large numbers, even though they are not conscripts as in Vietnam but well-paid mercenaries themselves, is still not politically acceptable in America. That’s why the “shock and awe” and unbelievably overwhelming force used in Iraq, to pulverize the “enemy” and to prevent really large numbers of coffins coming home. Its aggressive war on the cheap, as it were.

That’s why Afghanistan was done with massive bombing supporting the cutthroats of the Northern Alliance doing much of the fighting on the ground against their old opposition, the Taleban.

That’s why the phony imposition of a no-fly zone in Libya while rag-tag forces you’ve recruited and supplied, quite likely helped by American special forces covertly seeded in, fight a government totally pinned down by American planes. Of course, that situation quickly morphs into one where the US air forces simply start massive bombing and strafing, effectively an open invasion but from the skies, supposedly excused by violations of a harmless-sounding “no-fly zone.”

That is what the US wanted to do in Syria, too, with Obama’s phony “crossing a red line” talk over sporadic use of chemical weapons, sporadic use exclusively by America’s own paid goons but attributed to the government, using material likely forwarded by team Hillary from Gaddafi’s captured supplies in Libya to create an excuse for direct American air intervention. It is all a huge, dirty game to keep the public confused while getting what you want with extreme violence in other lands.

Does the US ever really bomb ISIS? Yes, there are times and places, as at Mosul now, when it views its former servants as inconvenient and disposable. Who cares about such human trash? is the American attitude. Use them while they are useful, and kill them off where they’ve started getting in the way for one reason or another. After all, gangs of armed thugs do get tempted to stray from the script, or we find external circumstances change enough to warrant dispatching them.

The deadly cynicism is what you would expect from well-paid teams of bright psychopathic personalities deliberately hired by CIA for its operations branch, a branch which amounts to a large covert army free to fight under no rules or international laws, one which has access to virtually limitless funds. The operations branch, the real reason for the CIA’s existence as it provides bones and sinews for expanding America’s international empire. This is opposed to the CIA’s information-gathering branch, something which serves almost as window dressing for public consumption over the decades. After all, gathering information is good, isn’t it? And intelligence is what the organization’s name has in it, isn’t it? The dark destructive stuff, well that stays deep in the shadows.

This all serves multiple objectives. In the West, the stuff about horrible terrorists keeps getting reinforced, scaring people and getting them to keep supporting more military spending, more covert operations abroad, and more intrusions by outfits like CIA, NSA, and FBI into their own rights and freedoms in the name of fighting “terror.”

Actually, all the while, a mass grave is being surreptitiously dug, a grave for what people were used to regarding as “inalienable rights.” America’s power establishment, in its pursuit of total world domination, has little use for such niceties, but it is not politically acceptable to say so. I’m sure there are many nasty smirks and chuckles in places like Langley, Virginia, when speeches are heard about America’s traditional rights, as by naïve idealistic politicians like Bernie Sanders or naïve leaders of rights organizations. Powerful bullies, of course, do not have a lot of tolerance for “bleeding hearts” stuff, but the many sadistic types among them appreciate a good laugh.

This way of doing things serves Israel’s interests, too, in continuously portraying Muslims as terrible people capable of anything, so Israel, the actual aggressor and begetter or most of the wars in the region, can keep playing the phony role it has played for decades, that of poor little David fighting Goliath and hordes of ignorant, uncouth Philistines. The role was somewhat well received back in the 1960s, but, after a half century of Israel’s brutal occupation, abuse, theft, and killing, the role had become a bit tired in its acceptance by audiences. This work tarts things up a bit, like a fresh coat of make-up applied to a corpse.

And Israel’s interests are the interests of the Pentagon and CIA since Israel really effectively is an American colony serving a number of American imperial interests in the region.

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

“US-Led Coalition Destroyed Four Bridges, Interrupting Transportation in Raqqa”

_________________

Response to another reader’s comment about all this reflecting America/Israel’s goal of snatching and grabbing a piece of Syria, perhaps using the Kurds to do it.

Yes, of course, you are right.

The really disappointing thing here is that Trump has literally been paved over by the Pentagon and CIA.

It might as well be Hillary or Obama still making decisions.

But of course, in this sphere, Trump “making decisions” is only an illusion.

Just as it was an illusion for Obama.

American foreign policy – that really should be, American efforts to dominate the globe – is not determined by the elected President.

There have been many hints of that being the case in the past – Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon – but it seems to me that what we see now is clearer than ever.

An outsider, a strong-willed iconoclast, comes to office saying things like “Why are we hostile to Russia?” and “Why is the whole Middle East in flames?” and a few months later, we are back to where we were. Perhaps even worse than where we were.

Do elections at the highest level even matter in America?

I think not, except for relatively unimportant pet projects like building a silly wall.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Civilian deaths from US-led airstrikes hit record high under Donald Trump”

 The US has a long record in every land it has invaded of careless airstrikes hitting civilian targets.

The record goes back to Vietnam and continues through Afghanistan to Iraq. Hospitals, schools, villages, everything you can imagine over the decades.

It took the corporate press almost a couple of days to even report this particular event, which could be read about in Russian sources almost immediately after it happened.

Now, you are busy with the sort of nonsense of “how could this happen”?

Simple, the US has never been especially careful about who it bombs. Never. Remember, even in Serbia they bombed civilian targets like the national broadcaster’s offices?

Yet when Russia was taking heroic measures to assure accuracy in Syria – measures which included specialist soldiers on the ground risking their lives to double check the legitimacy of targets before they were bombed – you regularly reported them as carrying out brutal atrocities.

I recall the aid truck convoy that was attacked near East Aleppo, you and others went on for days, falsely, asserting it was Russia.

In fact, we know it was the Al-Nusra forces in Aleppo, forces holding civilian hostages who did that horrible act and many others.

There had been another bombing incident within days before which you also falsely reported as the responsibility of Russia too.

By the way, the same Al-Nusra proxy army of terrorists doing those things in Aleppo has long been supported by Britain, Israel, America and others in the effort to destroy Syria’s legitimate government and ruin the country the way Iraq was ruined by direct invasion.

Of course, that is only one small part of this whole filthy effort in Syria. We have the idiot White Helmets – who are in fact an organization of Al Qaeda terrorists well supported through foreign government agencies to resemble a genuine NGA for relief agency and given a lot of false positive publicity – regularly praised for nothing they’ve done.

You know these creeps have even been captured in pictures setting-up fake horror scenes with children in make-up to shoot propaganda videos. Of course, the corporate press used some of the faked video images as though they were authentic.

Fake news everywhere you look.

_______________________

Added comment:

Trump has been trumped by the Pentagon and the CIA.

We have, regrettably, no reason to expect any important changes now in the long-running Obama horrors of the Middle East killing at least half a million people and creating an international refugee crisis, or in the senseless promotion of hostility towards Russia.

A long series of phony scandals about Russia and dossiers, etc, have brought a man who might have proved a genuine reformer in these matters to a screeching halt. Such is the power of America’s unelected government which serves as the bones and sinews of the American empire.

He has been left no freedom of movement in America’s foreign policy by the people who actually control it, the unelected psychopaths in the Pentagon and at Langley Virginia.

Lovers of peace and democratic rights have nothing to celebrate here.

But I have to say it is just more shabby stuff featuring his name with this bombing event. Why? Because you are using a horrible event to continue the relentless attacks you made on him before he was even elected.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Russia’s Foreign Minister paves the way for a consensus-driven world order in a landmark speech”

Lavrov is absolutely right.

There is a gradual evolution taking place in world affairs. It is gradual, but it is inevitable.

It is a point I have been making for a decade in my own writing.

I think the new hostility between the US and Russia today reflects American awareness of this new reality.

Henry Kissinger was just quoted by a Russian scholar as saying American-Russian relations are at their lowest in 50 years, and he is a man who should know.

America’s establishment is bit panicked I think with the realization about where things are headed.

So, there is a new aggressive American self-assertion in Europe, trying to make sure Russia is as hamstrung there as possible. Everything from the coup in Ukraine and the constant attack on Russian news sources to immense hype taking place in NATO and demands for new spending are about this reality.

America has tried to stop Russian gas from entering Europe for decades, and it has increased efforts recently despite the obvious fact that Russian gas and German industry are a marriage made in heaven.

America also is starting to get aggressive about its people reading or seeing Russian media. In the past, during the last Cold War, America’s press, always subservient to the demands of security services such as CIA and the FBI, had the public to itself to convince of the official interpretation of the world.

That is no longer true. Russian press offers reliable information in many cases running against the official American narrative, as does at least a portion of the much-maligned independent press on the Internet.

Information, as Americans know, is a powerful tool. After all, perhaps America’s most significant, original contribution to the modern world is the art and science of marketing and advertising, the ways to influence opinion and drive sales, including sales of government views.

Clearly, contemporary Russia has grasped that concept and is operating very effectively on the information battlefield, as it were. We have some competition at last, which, as Americans who traditionally embrace a free economy know, is essential for a healthy economy of any kind, and that applies to markets for information as much as it does to markets for washing machines.

I do think we have rather dangerous times ahead with the blind and trashing efforts of America’s establishment to regain its momentum and dominance. Seriously bad decisions may easily be made where pride and fear become involved. Washington has many very dark and devious characters in important positions. And we have seen already how they have entangled Trump and prevented him from accomplishing a few worthwhile things so many of us hoped to see, including reduced conflict with Russia and an end to the Neocon Wars and coups.

The whole ugly process America is going through reminds me of the situation we see in Israel, only of course on a vastly greater scale. Israel’s establishment understands certain realities are unavoidable parts of its future, and it acts aggressively in many directions in a desperate attempt to alter its fate.

In Israel’s case, it realizes, among other things, that its population prospects are glum with low birthrates for Jews and higher birthrates for Arabic people combined with the extremely low prospects for new pools of immigrants. Israel simply faces a declining (Jewish) population without big pools of immigrants.

But who wants to go live in Israel today except a few fanatics and some American-Israeli businessmen, who know they can always return to American when things get sour, out to make a quick profit on some projects? For ordinary people, Israel offers little to nothing.

The ethos and ideology which fired-up Israel 75 years ago are dying, unavoidably and certainly. Like all painful events in history, humanity slowly but unavoidably forgets. Nature built us this way for resilience and survival. Youth growing up cannot have any first-hand experience, only textbooks and museums. The actual Holocaust generation is virtually gone.

This is why we see all the desperate efforts at building Holocaust museums everywhere and publishing books on the subject, but this is all largely futile with the march of time and evolution. I am reminded of the famous statue of Ozymandias slowly crumbling away in the desert.

You know, the Vietnam War was a pivotal point of my early life. It was the reason I left the land of my birth. America killed perhaps three million people in the world’s great post-WWII Holocaust, and despite monuments and movies and books, it is being forgotten by the population at large. Many young Americans today do not even know what you are talking about when it comes to the subject of this massive, decade-long horror.

So, too, the ethos and ideology which saturated American society for decades after WWII. The sense of being the world’s good guys, the incomparable victors, the “big generation” striding the earth and distributing the blessings of freedom to everyone. Superman and “the American way.” Jimmy Stewart in his pressed WWII uniform with tears in his eyes. It was an illusion, of course, and, like all illusions, it fades.

The reality today is a vicious establishment fighting almost endless dirty colonial wars and fomenting coups and generally making a lot of people miserable. Even America’s press can no longer hide all these realities dawning on the public’s awareness. You cannot, as the old saying goes, turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

The truth is that America has only gotten uglier with each passing year. It is often said “the American Dream” is dead, and it very much is. No more jobs galore, which in the 1950-60s was owing to the fact that all the world’s competition was all flat on its back. No, there is serious competition on many fronts, and short of a massive war, it is not going away but only getting stronger.

But the ugliness extends much further than to jobs. Who, thirty years ago, could have guessed America’s government would establish a vast organized effort at extrajudicial killing, something not different, except in its technology, from what the old Argentine military junta practiced when it made large numbers of people “disappear?”

And with that fading reality for America, a lot of other things, many illusions and fantasies, begin to fade. Trump’s election campaign, as far as domestic matters go, was an effort to fire things like jobs and optimism back up, but that was always doomed to fail. You cannot re-create what was a unique situation of 1959.

America, like Israel, has a long, huge process of adjustment ahead of it, adjustments to dealing with the new realities and not just slogans and old memories. It must in many ways become a different place than it has been, than it has been portrayed in Hollywood films for decades, than the myths to which so many ordinary Americans cling and try desperately to keep alive.

Hopefully, for all of us, the insanely aggressive acts of the Bush-Obama years will cease to reflect the way America’s establishment reacts. But we have no certainty in such matters. Powerful people and states have often in the past tried fighting the elements, resisting the winds of change, and they have always failed. But they can do a great deal of damage in the attempt.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“London Attacks: Terrorism ‘Becoming a Routine’ EU Countries Are Getting Used to”

I am rather a contrarian on such matters, and I do wish there were more like me.

A man running around stabbing people is, of course, horrible, but it is not necessarily terror.

We have had severely mentally ill people doing such things for all of history.

Remember Norway’s Anders Breivik killing 77 people, mostly children?

Remember Marc Lépine at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique killing 14 women?

Remember the sick boys of America’s Columbine High School killing 13 people and hoping to kill a lot more?

Remember the “Manson Family” murders?

If we wanted to recall all the examples in just fairly recent history, the list would be gigantic, and not one of the killers could truly be called a “terrorist,” unless you really stretch the meaning of the world beyond recognition. People with dangerously fevered minds are just an unfortunate part of our human condition.

All of these people undoubtedly had some political or religious beliefs, to which, if we wanted, we could attribute their acts, but historically we do not do that.

It is in the era of the so-called war on terror and the Neocon Wars (all of which can most accurately be consolidated under a heading of “America’s campaign to bomb the world into a shape it likes”) that each time some sick person kills someone, he almost instantly becomes a terrorist, especially of course if he happened to be Muslim.

Even if the claims about the killer made in the immediate aftermath prove completely wrong, the headlines and speeches will have been made and the desired effect achieved.

Western governments grossly exploit such events to fit political agendas. Theresa May’s statement about the London killings was actually quite appalling. May said the killers “struck at values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.” Absolute rubbish.

She was manipulating a horrible human situation for political gain. Some of her words reminded me of George Bush’s contemptible words about 9/11, attributing hatred of American freedom as a motive, as though he had the least idea of what dead perpetrators thought. But Bush’s pathetic thought was sufficient reason for America to invade two countries to no purpose and to begin systematically destroying the rights Americans thought were ‘inalienable.’

But May is doing more than just that cheap trick. She is promoting the fear governments have used now for fifteen years to keep the public supporting all their dark, violent, unexplained activities abroad, many of which are indeed genuine terror because they kill and destroy on a large scale for political gain.

Britain has long been involved in America’s horrors in the Middle East, always publicly pretending to be fighting something called “terror” while actually itself practicing genuine state terror, using destruction to get its way in other lands.

We also had in today’s news the fact that at least 200 people were killed, mostly civilians, in American air strikes on Mosul, Iraq.

Now, that’s real terror, although only on a miniscule scale compared to the original invasion of Iraq, the combined handiwork of America and Britain, which took a million lives, destroyed a society, and created some of the very groups whose names are now waved in front of our faces to frighten us into supporting still more death abroad and more state suppression of our freedoms.

Final note: I’ve just come across the latest information on this “terrorist.” He had several past convictions for violence and once stabbed a man in the face. Here is a classic example not of a terrorist or any other kind of politically-motivated actor, but of a seriously unstable man, perhaps a paranoid schizophrenic or a severe manic-depressive. His acts have no more to do with terror than all the violent criminals in all jails and mental asylums of the country.

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NAOMI ZEVELOFF IN DESERTPEACE

 

“Why Do A Third of Israelis Want To Leave The Country?”

You first have to wipe away all the old myths, misty-eyed sentiments, and government propaganda, but when you do, you find that for most of its inhabitants, Israel is not a good place to live.

It has a poor economy, hugely dependent upon immense foreign subsidies, and there are few prospects for improvement over time.

The subsidies come in many forms, but who believes subsidies continue forever? They don’t.

It is an armed camp with constant tensions and fears, and there is the fact that any children face conscription into an occupying army.

Prices are high, and some things, like housing, are simply not affordable for large numbers.

Life is much, much better in other places where many Israelis can go because many are in fact dual citizens. I suspect, but do not know, that dual citizenship is concentrated in Israel’s more affluent classes. Even if that is the case, there is still an effect on the psychology of ordinary people, knowing as they do, that the already-privileged have fool-proof means of escape if things go too sour.

You cannot live forever eating and breathing ideology. It grows tiresome to say the least.

Israel is condemned, by the structure of its population, to a government constantly driven by extremists who always hold, and will always hold, the balance of power. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and Settlers are cut from the same cloth as any hateful, unthinking extremist religious or political groups you care to name anywhere.

A future declining population without new immigration, but what is there to attract numbers of immigrants? And the world pool of potential immigrants is quite tiny with only something like 15 million Jews in the entire world and Israel willing to accept no other kind of people.

A future growing population of Palestinians, people who, owing to their lesser economic state, have more children which is just the natural pattern for populations everywhere.

Living with millions of people who must unavoidably harbor resentment for what you have done to them, done to them owing to nothing they ever did to you, is I am sure less than pleasant.

There is the need to learn a genuinely useless language in the schools, Hebrew being about as useful in the world at large as Mohawk or Welsh.

And there is the just living in a society heavily, heavily dominated by soldiers, security services, and police. It is in fact a garrison state not so very different than what the Crusaders established centuries ago. This is not a lot of people’s idea of a good lifestyle environment.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM BATCHELOR IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Russia launches ‘unprecedented’ Crimea army drills to test rapid reaction forces”

‘unprecedented’?

The writer does realize, doesn’t he, that NATO has warships prowling around in the Black Sea, a place in which they really have no honest business?

And that Ukraine has conducted, over recent months, a series of extremely provocative acts along the border with Crimea?

Well, if he isn’t aware, why is he writing a story about a subject of which he is ignorant?

More absolutely hopeless corporate press propaganda.

It’s just endless. The Guardian – one of the world’s most prejudiced and dishonest newspapers – today features two stories on Russian criminal money entering the UK.

What would that have to do with the government of Russia?

And as though American and Italian Mafia money doesn’t constantly pour into Britain.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CHARLOTTE ENGLAND IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Donald Trump’s presidency is the ‘most failed first 100 days ever’, says US historian

‘I don’t know how it can get much worse,’ says Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is a silly man.

He wrote biographies of three presidents, so that fact qualifies him to make universal statements about American presidents?

I don’t think so.

Indeed, he tells us something about himself with his own words, using the phrase, “the most failed first 100 days of any president.”

The “first hundred days” in fact is a modern construct, something the pop press uses, having no place or status in the serious study of American or any other history.

I don’t even like defending Trump anymore because I do think he has failed in the couple of areas most profoundly important to me, but I still can’t stand trashy, meaningless journalism such as this article.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY HARRIET AGERHOLM IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Sadiq Khan refuses to respond Donald Trump Jr’s criticism of him, saying he has ‘better things to do’ in wake of London attack”

He has better things to do?

Gee, I wonder what those could possibly be?

Getting a manicure or a pedicure?

As a regular reader of British news, I simply cannot think of one significant act or initiative by this man.

There is no sense of mission or purpose coming from his regular press exposure, other than the mission of advancing his career to the next level despite achieving nothing at his current level.

And he does manage to get plenty of press, despite having nothing to say.

My guess is that all the exposure relates to his early-displayed disloyalty to the leader of his party, a disloyalty rendering him attractive to a press dedicated to bringing back the ethical stench of Tony Blair.

The very fact that Mayor Khan is even engaged at all over a comment from afar from Donald Trump Jr, a man holding absolutely no official position, pretty much tells you what a petty, silly person you are stuck with as mayor.

Khan is in the full-time business of giving interviews and preening himself for public appearances.

The hollow man, par excellence.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY HOLLY BAXTER IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“London needs a Muslim mayor now more than ever”

That is as silly as anything Trump might say, perhaps more so.

The truth is that London needs a mayor now more than ever, whatever his religious affiliation or racial origin.

Sadiq Khan – and it has nothing to with his identity – quickly proved himself a rather poor figure of mayor.

Right after election, he started making self-serving interviews and speeches having far more to do with his further political ambitions than anything about the city and what he can do for it.

Truly an ineffective and annoying “small time” politician with nothing of substance to offer London’s people.

________________________

Response to a reader who commented: “Islam is not a race, it’s a violent, 7th Century ideology.”

Well, you are wrong, as any educated person knows.

However, if one were to accept your characterization for whatever bizarre reason, then two conclusions follow immediately:

Conclusion One, Christianity is a violent, 1st Century ideology.

Need I remind of the immense record of violence in Christianity? It went on for centuries and, indeed, continues. Crusades for a couple of centuries, Inquisitions, Autos-de-fe, Reformation and Counter-reformation, Hundred Years War, the bloody “conversion” work in the New World, huge massacres like the St Bartholomew’s, papal wars, and on and on.

And never forget, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini were all products of Christian churches.

Conclusion Two, Judaism is a violent, 5th Century BCE ideology.

Go read your Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch (aka Torah). There you find little beyond war, killing, rape, slavery, sparing no one, and extremely harsh rules to be imposed with severe punishments, to say nothing of the idea of stealing someone else’s home being blessed.

All religions are the same essentially because all people are the same. We really are violent chimps just dropped out of the trees, so to speak.

Saying there is anything especially bad, or good, about any religion is just plain ignorance.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SAMUEL OSBORNE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Turkey’s Erdogan warns Europeans ‘will not walk safely on the streets’ if diplomatic row continues.

“It comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns war of rhetoric must stop”

 

Erdogan is a pretty dangerous character.

I don’t think there is the least doubt that he is mentally unbalanced.

However, this mentally unbalanced and cunning man enjoys the support of a great deal of Turkey’s population.

And he is a hard-nosed card player who happens to hold a number of aces.

In effect, he was handed these aces by America’s stupidly aggressive policies and by Europe’s leaders cringingly supporting those policies.

If Europe over the last decade had even one or two real leaders – it did not – to stand up against American excesses, there very well might not be the huge refugee problem.

The refugees are a direct result of American bombing and support of proxy armies throughout the Middle East in its dirty wars on behalf of Israel.

And Europe’s marriage to a place like Turkey is a direct result of America’s long and tiresome and dangerous treatment of Russia as a threat rather than a cooperative state. It views Turkey as a needed buffer state against Russia.

America just never stops thinking like Rome looking at Carthage when it comes to Russia. It’s imbecilic.

That American view also impoverishes large parts of Europe today, as, for example, French farmers who can’t export to Russia or German car makers. Demands for substantial increases in military spending don’t help either.

The success of Brexit was also a result of the policies which created all those refugees which no European state could readily handle, and we may see more of the same in other EU countries.

The EU itself has structural weaknesses encouraged by past American policies too. Americans encouraged the building of the EU, but only as a one-stop-shopping window for their own interests and not as another potential competitor, which is what a more cohesive and unified and not-so-unevenly structured EU would have become.

Had relatively weak southern states not been admitted (imagine even considering Turkey or Ukraine too!) and had the Euro been soundly founded with real central banking powers, EU would be on a trajectory for a strong long-term future.

America’s view of Russia is an on-going threat for European interests, as, for example, with industries that depend on long-term reliable supplies of natural gas.

And, in addition, the stupid, American-engineered coup in Ukraine, intended to hurt Russia (why? intelligent people might ask) has only added more instability for Europe. The incompetent government put in place there cannot possibly in any meaningful way become a real member of Europe, being also an economic basket case, and it will almost certainly fall as a result of its own devices.

____________________

An additional note on Germany’s Merkel and her warnings.

Just consider how foolishly this leader has behaved for years.

Facing her own election challenge this year, she’s been directly aping the brainless stuff in Washington about Trump and Russia. It makes no sense, but it keeps being repeated much like an advertising slogan being imprinted into people’s brains.

And it was she who engineered the ethically-corrupt deal with Erdogan over refugees in the first place. We’ll pay you serious money, you keep them in tent camps.

While I am very sympathetic to the plight of refugees, believing all advanced countries have a duty towards them, it was almost imbecilic of Merkel to just throw open the doors, as she did at one point, and try pressuring others to do the same.

Any state can only successfully absorb so many refugees at any one time. Pushing the acceptance of huge numbers at once, she is responsible for a lot of the anti-refugee attitudes we now see, including in the US.

And did she, or any other EU leader, pressure the American government of Obama to take a generous share of the refugees it created?

No, she volunteered the EU for pretty much the whole job, likely motivated by deep pangs of conscience (at least she has a conscience, unlike Obama or Clinton) over her years of supporting Obama’s destructive policies which destroyed whole states, killed at least half a million, and uprooted millions. The US, even before Trump’s harsher rhetoric on the subject, did nothing serious about a human catastrophe its own acts created.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

Response to a comment asking why the FBI is not investigating Israel’s influence on US elections:

Yes, if ever there were an example of interference in elections and domestic politics on steroids, it is that of Israel in America.

It close to beggars belief that so massive a set of intrusions could not only be tolerated but happily supported by many important people.

Daily calls to American leaders. Regular personal access to them. Same for agencies and institutions of the government, as the Pentagon or NSA.

Obama opined to Sarkozy in an open-mic incident a few years back about the daily calls he had to take from Netanyahu. Both leaders were commiserating about the way you could believe absolutely nothing Netanyahu said but they still had to listen to him.

How about the way Netanyahu, not welcomed by the White House on the sensitive matter of Iran nuclear negotiations, shoved his way in to speak to Congress – an institution always receptive owing to the campaign donations of the Lobby and the influence of a greatly consolidated press – about what really were American matters? Essentially, he publicly insulted the elected President and grossly attempted to interfere in legislation dealing with American security and international affairs.

He did the same in France after the Charlie Hebdo murders. He was (deliberately, for security reasons) not invited to the parade in Paris but came anyway and literally pushed his way to the very front for the cameras. Afterwards, he went around the country meeting Jewish Frenchmen and telling them they should leave France and go to Israel!

The Israel Lobby so organized that it puts to shame the efforts of any other lobby. A systematic appraisal system for American legislators on their favorable efforts for Israel is maintained. Regular paid junkets to Israel for indoctrination are offered after every American election for newly elected members. Woe betide the Congressperson who declines.

We see the conversion of some in Congress to literal mouthpieces for Israel, as we see in someone such as Lindsey Graham, a man who, in view of his widely-rumored proclivities, was most likely sexually-compromised long ago by Mossad photographers in a “honey trap”.

Never mind RT, we see a virtual tidal wave of propaganda through Israeli-influenced newspapers and magazines and broadcasts. We only learned recently, for example, that every New York Times story having anything to do with Israel is voluntarily passed to the Official Israeli Censor for review before publication.

We have the creation of unfair laws in America governing Americans in their free associations and advocacy inside the United States owing to Lobby pressure. If you speak, for example, of an anti-Apartheid peaceful boycott in many parts of America, you can be in some trouble.

We see Israel’s ability to break many laws with no consequences, as when American-supplied weapons are used to attack people, something which violates supposedly strict American laws governing their use.

There are huge and well-known espionage efforts by Mossad in Washington. It is rarely discussed in the corporate press, but American intelligence, we know from various bits of information, spends immense efforts on counter-measures against a “friend and ally” whose espionage efforts exceed those of many large and important states.

There are bizarre spying anecdotes like the time an Israeli spy was caught crawling through an overhead air-conditioning duct to get a view of confidential information on an official’s desk.

And business deals, as when some accuse Trump and Russia? My God, we have hugely wealthy men who live in both places because they are allowed dual-citizenship, constantly transferring investments back and forth and knowledge of technology and other knowledge from America to Israel.

And that only scratches the surface.

If Russia were involved in a fraction of such things, there would be war.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY IAN JOHNSTON IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Last year’s weather proves climate change is real with ‘no room for doubt’, say scientists

Another silly piece on climate change.

First, you’re creating a strawman argument.

Of course, climate change is real. I don’t know of anyone worth reading who has denied it.

Then you use that authority-granting gimmick, “say scientists.”

Well, I don’t know how it is even possible to quote scientists in general. What would there be in the world? A million of them, maybe?

The fundamental unanswered questions are:

1) Did human society create the climate change we think we see?

2) And more importantly, even if it did, is human society capable of altering it?

Altering it, that is, at a cost which is favorable compared to the humanity’s historic strategy of adaptation?

I remind readers again, Tacitus called North Africa “the granary of Rome” just two thousand years ago.

And we see countless other effects of climate change over even that interval, let alone over much longer periods.

The magnificent Great Lakes, around which I have lived for a good portion of my life, were created only something on the order of ten thousand years ago during the retreat of the last Ice Age.

Now, that was serious climate change, indeed, and it had nothing to do with people.

With our new technologies, archeologists dig up surprising new finds now regularly, evidence of the immense turmoil and twists and turns human society has undergone in just a few thousand years.

You know, the old Soviets advocated and built massive projects to the landscape, such as diverting the waters feeding the Aral Sea, for agriculture. They had massive plans for changing the course of whole river systems.

But does anyone today regard that as sensible?

Some of the measures advocated by our current secular religious cult around climate change actually resemble those monstrous Soviet plans, only on a global scale.

The George Monbiot types resemble nothing so much as ancient prophets going on about doom or American tent preachers trying to win souls for Christ.

I do think continued intensive scientific investigation and cautious government policy are the wise course.

A last note. I don’t see how any reputable scientist can assert that “last year’s weather” proves anything. Just not making statements of that nature is a fundamental rule of science. A single event can never be taken as proving anything.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RACHAEL REVESZ IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“The Queen and Barack Obama should jointly sue Donald Trump for libel, George W Bush’s ethics lawyer says”

George Bush?

George Bush’s “ethics lawyer”?

I’ve never heard of anyone’s having an “ethics lawyer”

And if there were such things, George Bush would be the last man on earth to have one.

That is the same George Bush responsible for at least a million deaths, unbelievable destruction and human misery?

I now nominate this article as The Independent’s Stupid Story of the Year. And believe me, winning that title is quite an achievement.

_______________

Response to a reader who uses an icon photo of Trump with a Hitler mustache:

I just wonder whether you have even the slightest idea of how utterly brainless that photo icon of yours is?

Trump is not a sweetheart, but whom has he killed? What places has he destroyed?

Obama and Bush with the Neocon Wars killed at least 2 million human beings. Lots of women and children.

They destroyed countless places. Including some great historical and archeological places.

And they drove, quite literally, millions running for their lives as refugees, only to de-stabilize parts of Europe and create the waves of hatred we see towards migrants.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM BATCHELOR IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Russia launches ‘unprecedented’ Crimea army drills to test rapid reaction forces”

‘unprecedented’?

The writer does realize, doesn’t he, that NATO has warships prowling around in the Black Sea, a place in which they really have no honest business?

And that Ukraine has conducted, over recent months, a series of extremely provocative acts along the border with Crimea?

Well, if he isn’t aware, why is he writing a story about a subject of which he is ignorant?

More absolutely hopeless corporate press propaganda.

It’s just endless. The Guardian – one of the world’s most prejudiced and dishonest newspapers – today features two stories on Russian criminal money entering the UK.

What would that have to do with the government of Russia?

And as though American and Italian Mafia money doesn’t constantly pour into Britain.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“US Secretary of State Acknowledges Possibility of Nuclearization of Asian Allies”

 

A large, well-equipped American standing army on the southern border.

Regular, large-scale, menacing war games offshore.

American nuclear weapons stored within easy reach in Okinawa (against the law of Japan and the wishes of its people).

An endless stream of negative stories in the American press.

Harsh, threatening language from top American officials such as Tillerson (and just look at that menacing picture of him at the top of the article).

America never willing to have open and free discussions.

The harshest possible economic sanctions.

Gee, I can’t imagine why the North Koreans might feel threatened.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

“Israel Won’t See Aid Cuts Under Trump Budget Plan: State Dept.”

Gee, I definitely remember during his campaign Trump musing about “Why can’t Israel pay for its own defense?” It was such a legitimate question.

It was one of several refreshing statements on foreign affairs and war – virtually never heard from American politicians – which convinced me he was what America and the world needed for a while, even though I couldn’t disagree more with the majority of his views.

Other early and encouraging statements included a suggestion to leave Syria for the Russians to end the terror and a complaint at Obama’s having the entire Mideast in flames. There was also an early promise of the United States being out of the nation-overturning business.

Well, now we see and hear something different on virtually every subject.

Military budget is to grow like it has cancer. Threats to Iran. Threats to North Korea. Provocative behavior towards China. Israel can have and do whatever it pleases. The good old thugs at CIA can just decide for themselves who it is they want to kill. Troops sent into Syria against the will of its government. Bombing in Yemen. No respite in Europe vis-a-vis Russia. New weapons in fact going to Europe.

Just a genuinely sickening picture in total.

The man is functioning just as we might have expected Hillary to function in almost every area of military activity and international affairs, the most important areas for reclaiming a free and decent society.

Complete deference to the military/ security/ corporate establishment with continued whining about the press and making an international laughing stock of American migrant and refugee policies.

And on top of it all, he has done next to nothing real on serious budget cuts and job creation.

He really has proven a colossal failure at quite an early stage.

 

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Israel threatens to destroy Syria’s air defence systems ‘without the slightest hesitation’”

Arrogance beyond belief.

Israel effectively claims the right to send fighter jets into Syria anytime it chooses.

And if Syria dares do what any country in the world would do – use its air defenses – Israel claims the right to destroy them.

Of course, the entire horror of Syria is a deliberately created event, staged to look like a genuine revolt, created by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Turkey with lots of help from Britain and France.

Israel hates Assad and wants his legitimate and widely-supported government gone, and it would like a Syria left as a set of ruined rump states, much as Iraq after America’s Israel-inspired invasion there.

Israel is a country out of control. A kind of well-armed Mafia State threatening everyone within a thousand miles and making endless arbitrary demands of everyone.

We know, for instance, from the words of former Secretary of State Colin Powell that Israel’s nuclear arsenal is aimed at Iran, a country without nuclear weapons and a country which has attacked no one in its entire modern history.

And still Israel thinks Iran should be attacked and says so frequently.

Is it any wonder Iran would be concerned? That it would support the fight against subsidized terrorists in Syria and in Yemen?

Almost every horror and difficulty in the Middle East can be traced either directly to Israel’s acts or indirectly to its influence upon the United States and some of its allies.

The entire series of Neocon Wars, killing perhaps two million people, has been aimed at creating a cordon sanitaire around this state which absolutely refuses to live in peace or respect its neighbors’ rights.

It is almost hard to imagine how countries which helped create and nourish the rule of law as an important building block of civilization – Britain and the US – support a country which we see freely stealing from its neighbors regularly and attacking anyone it feels like attacking.

It is the civilized world upside down.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ELECTRONIC INTIFADA

 

Rima Khalaf, the head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which published the report, announced her resignation at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.

Reuters reports that Khalaf took the step “after what she described as pressure from the secretary-general to withdraw a report accusing Israel of imposing an ‘apartheid regime’ on Palestinians.”

“I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report,”

There is simply no end to American dominance and abuse of the UN.

The earth’s other 95% of humanity has been deprived of its voice in international affairs through American manipulation and threats and blackmail at the UN.

American diplomats of the lowlife character of Madeline Albright and Samantha Power have seen to that.

The effort was helped considerably by America’s previous unilateral refusal to pay its treaty-determined dues until it got its way, threatening the UN’s very existence.

Recent Secretaries-General have no independence or character at all. Ban Ki-Moon was almost a joke, a kind of Monty Python-like American creature loyally and obviously serving America’s interests.

Of course, one of the main beneficiaries of all America’s international dirty work at the UN is America’s Middle East colony, otherwise known as Israel.

The never-ending dirty game of telling people what to say or getting rid of them when they don’t comply tells us all we need to know of American-Israeli principles.

We know that both Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu described what they saw in Israel as apartheid, and their view was seconded by the most honest American President of the century, Jimmy Carter. Of course, Carter’s honesty was rewarded by being widely labelled as anti-Semitic in McCarthy-like attacks.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NIAMH MCINTYRE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Network of wealthy Russians has sunk $100m into Donald Trump’s luxury developments”

I don’t even like Trump anymore – owing to his now-apparent failure in military and international affairs policies – yet I dislike outright dishonesty in the press even more.

This story is beneath contempt.

Trump projects get investor support in many countries. It is just ordinary international business activity.

Russia, in case you haven’t noticed in a fairly open and free economy.

People investing in a project are not the same thing as political connections and influence.

And, please, a hundred million dollars in today’s investment world is pocket change, not a “lengthy list of major investments.”

Just utterly brainless, and the kind of stuff that actually generates sympathy for your target.

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY BETHAN MCKERNAN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“After six years of war, Syria’s rebels reflect on whether revolution has been worth it”

This has never been an authentic civil war, and it is extremely dishonest to keep repeating that it is.

This is a dark-ops, proxy project to destroy Syria and its independent-minded government for the benefit of Israel and perhaps for the benefit of proposed pipeline projects into Europe.

It is utterly without principle, pure moral filth, in its mass killing and creation of refugees for creepy geo-political purposes.

The horror’s main authors are the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Turkey with generous assistance from Britain and France.

A really interesting summary piece on the treatment of Syria by the Western press is found here:

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201703181051722298-fake-news-stories-syria-compilation/

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“Trump’s ‘Reaffirming the Right of CIA to Decide Whom to Kill and Where’”

Well, that about does it for me with Trump. What a waste of time he has proved in people’s hope for change.

He is going to change nothing worth changing.

He is identical to Obama or Clinton when it comes to the things which really count, such as war and destruction. His only difference is in style and noise about things that don’t matter much.

Extrajudicial killing continues, and it remains in the hands of the unaccountable psychopaths running the CIA.

I could never have imagined such things when I was growing up in America.

It is beyond sickening.

So, with this, Trump effectively confirms that elections in America mean almost nothing.

He will go on ranting about the press and ranting about migrants – fairly trivial matters in the lives of most Americans – and everything else will be just the same as if Hillary Clinton had been elected.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“9/11 Widow: ‘Why Is Trump Meeting with My Husband’s Murderer?'”

I’m sorry, but this woman does not what she is talking about.

Saudi Arabia, an unpleasant place for sure, had nothing to do with 9/11.

Just because they made payments to bin Laden to stay away from his homeland means nothing, no matter what creepy American politicians like Chuck Schumer may say.

And, further, the US has never provided a scrap of proof that bin Laden himself was even involved in 9/11.

Afghanistan’s Taleban government of the time, when they received an extradition request from America following 9/11, asked for some evidence, as is the normal procedure with international extradition, but the US highhandedly refused to provide anything.

Then the US just attacked mindlessly.

There are so many things about 9/11 that suggest some kind of inside job, and it is bizarre the way they have been ignored.

Readers may enjoy this analysis:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/john-chuckman-comment-a-survivor-says-even-the-simplest-questions-around-911-have-not-been-answered-by-government-yes-and-some-disturbing-truths-around-those-events-the-saudi-arabian-nonsense/

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY IAN JOHNSTON IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

‘I agree that the effects of a changing climate — such as increased maritime access to the Arctic, rising sea levels, desertification, among others — impact our security situation’

This, actually, is not news.

The Pentagon issued official reports on this matter years ago. At any rate, it is kind of stating the obvious when you are discussing things like shorelines or temperatures or precipitation.

Perhaps, Gen. Mattis was in a high position there then.

The issue has never been, I would like to remind Independent editors, whether there is climate change or not.

There is, and always has been climate change. Tacitus, two thousand years ago, wrote of North Africa as “the granary of Rome.”

The issue is whether the particular change we think we see today is caused by human acts.

That is quite a different matter, almost always glossed over by enthusiasts. And it has not been scientifically proved.

And there is an even greater, less certain issue, and that is whether what we think we see can be, in any way, affected by our society’s deliberate acts.

That is a totally unanswered question, and it ain’t trivial when you are talking of vast projects and plans on a planetary scale, costing trillions of dollars.