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Monthly Archives: July 2017

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

The Real Reason for Sanctions? Stubborn Russia Won’t Surrender Its Sovereignty

Yes, and the regular resort to sanctions is surely a sign of criminal mentality, a form of mental illness.

In private life, if you are unhappy with the politics or attitudes of a neighbor or fellow worker, no sensible person would agree that you are entitled to sabotage their economic welfare, much less the welfare of all those living with or associated with that person.

This becomes even more true when we are dealing with millions of people in another land, most of whom have nothing to do with the imposing government’s demands.

Political arguments between countries should have nothing to do with the economy and trade. To get at the decisions of one or two or a dozen people you don’t like, you don’t decide to hurt millions, unless your thinking is criminal.

Note how the greatest use of economic sanctions is by the United States, the world’s most aggressive and demanding state, a state, which in virtually all of its international relations, tries to impose its way of looking at things, bend previously-negotiated rules to its own advantage, and just generally makes every effort to squeeze extra advantages or gains from its sheer size and power – a pattern which in everyday life we call bullying.

The greatest use of economic sanctions by a small country is likely that of Israel, America’s unofficial colony in the Middle East. The attitudes and motives behind their use are the same as those for its colossus mother country, to get your own way over others and having nothing to do with fairness or principles. In other words, bullying.

The act of imposing economic sanctions is simply a form of aggression, nothing else. They involve no ethics or morals or principles despite the advertising claims made for them. They do not serve democratic values or human rights or even demonstrate the simplest respect for other people and their institutions. They are used by the United States and Israel to force compliance from others without resorting to open warfare, something itself so extensively used by both countries that they stand in danger of revolting the world’s people.

In addition, sanctions just make the world a poorer place by shrinking trade and jobs. They are the opposite of free trade agreements. And today’s world already is regarded by many observers as being near the edge of a deep economic pit, so it hardly needs anti-trade and prosperity measures.

But the US has long indulged itself in using these measures against any country it doesn’t like, paying no attention to the consequences or to rational argument. Such is the distorting force on thought of mumbo-jumbo ideology and great wealth and power with no effective opposition.

Of course, the only possible exception to this way of looking at sanctions is when they are used to oppose genuine tyranny or abuse. That is virtually never the case with America’s many regular uses of them, but even in the case of tyranny or abuse, sanctions inevitably hurt many innocent people.

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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Response to another reader’s comment about the threats made by North Korea:

Do you have no understanding?

The threats from North Korea are bravado stuff for their own population.

North Korea has no motive at all to attack the US.

Indeed, it has virtually no ability to do so despite the bravado and all the American propaganda to which we are subjected.

North Korea has no ICBMs, only moderate-range missiles. Russia’s ministry of defense has told us so precisely.

And North Korea feels highly threatened by America. Who wouldn’t, given America’s posture towards them?

Remember the US keeps a large, well-equipped army on its borders.

It puts on noisy war games regularly, including flights by nuclear bombers.

Keeps warships off the coasts.

Keeps atomic weapons at the ready in Japan.

Refuses to even talk to North Korea directly.

Refuses to recognize its government.

Refuses to sign a peace treaty more than half a century after a horrible war.

Maintains as many restrictions and sanctions against North Korea as it can.

Makes belligerent speeches regularly.

If you want to see what the North Koreans fear and what terrible acts the US is capable of, see:

https://theintercept.com/2017/05/03/why-do-north-koreans-hate-us-one-reason-they-remember-the-korean-war/

The unpleasant children and violent lunatics running Washington – and that includes far more than Trump – just cannot stand the idea of someone not giving in to them.

There is nothing to fear from North Korea if it is just left alone.

Russia has a small regular ferry service from its far east, and a small number of Russians take vacations in North Korea regularly with nothing to be afraid of.

This is a manufactured crisis, manufactured by the same folks who are right now trying to topple the elected government of Venezuela, already toppled the elected government of Ukraine, bombs and pays rag-tag armies of mercenaries in half a dozen countries, threatens a law-abiding Iran, threatens Europe’s economy with more aggressive sanctions against Russia, keeps running up arms right at Russia’s border, threatens China, sells an unbelievable arsenal of weapons to godawful Saudi Arabia, supports Israel’s endless oppression of millions, and runs an industrial-scale murder program with its drones.

You think about it and tell me who is actually dangerous.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

US Senate Approves Iran, Russia, North Korea Sanctions

The US government is entirely in the hands of unpleasant children and lunatics.

This bill is an appalling piece of proposed legislation.

It attacks countries who have not attacked the US.

It attacks German industry as well as industry in other EU countries.

It attacks a peaceful Russia that wants only to do business with the world.

In both cases, Russia and Europe, the bill invites counter-sanctions from countries concerned with interference in their internal affairs.

It attacks Iran which has attacked no one and has scrupulously followed its obligations under the nuclear agreement.

The U.S. government does all of this, too, at a time of great economic uncertainty in the world.

Does anyone sensible believe the world economy today needs more restrictions on trade?

The contemporary US now represents a serious set of threats to the entire planet with its idiotic restrictions, its induced-coups, and its military hyper-aggression.

One has a hard time hearing a single sensible sentence coming out of the United States.

Just sick childish fantasies about Russia and American elections.

Just demands for more stupid legislation, as though you don’t already have enough.

Of course, a major driving force in all of this is America’s unbelievably-cringing attitude towards Israel.

Israel likes an aggressive America because it makes them feel more secure in their garrison state.

It also covers-up their aggression towards all their neighbors as they attempt to secure complete dominance of the region.

Israel is virtually the sole cause for the continued hostility towards Iran which is pointless and destructive.

Israel sees Iran as a regional rival, and it keeps using its immense improper influence with American politicians (through campaign-financing and favorable publicity employed by the Israel Lobby) to hype aggression and opposition to Iran.

Israel influences the aggression against Russia too because Israel likes and wants a hyper-aggressive America. It wants that everywhere with no challengers.

Russia represents the most serious challenge to a hyper-aggressive US and that automatically means Israel has problems even though it keeps good relations on the surface with Russia.

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

North Korea can now fire missiles at targets across the United States, experts say

You are quoting all kinds of misinformation and nonsense.

Jeffrey Lewis is a paid hack doing what paid hacks do in America all the time, much like the “experts” which appear on CNN regularly to confirm some questionable notion.

The North Korean missile was not an ICBM, not even close.

Just as was the case with the North Koreans’ previous test, the American government and its corporate press cheering section claimed it was an ICBM and made all kinds of ridiculous claims and noises.

But the Russian Ministry of Defense knows the missile and made it clear that it was an intermediate range one, not an ICBM.

As for quoting the threats of the Korean leader ever, that is just asinine.

His words are for local consumption and are as meaningless as many of Donald Trump’s or Nancy Pelosi’s outbursts.
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Response to a reader who wrote:
“Democracy is in peril in the West and events can make a huge difference as to in what form it survives.”

Democracy is in peril in the West?

And just where do you see democracy in the West?

Look at your own country. David Cameron ruled and did a whole lot of damage at home and abroad with the support of about 35% of the voters. Some democracy, that.

And the United States?

There is none. There is an elaborate, costly charade. America is totally run by money. It is a plutocracy.

Its elections are bought and paid for. Do you know that an American Senator, on average, spends two-thirds of his or her time raising money? Or that Congressmen spend hours every week working the phones for money?

Hillary spent somewhere in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) dollars, and she was defeated by a man said to be personally worth $8 billion dollars who spent a lot of his own money.

Decisions are made, just as in 18th century France, by an establishment of insiders who serve the plutocrats’ interests. You see this even with a political outsider like Trump.

He cannot make major decisions in that government. The establishment won’t let him. Outfits like the CIA have been particularly visible in opposing an elected leader, and they have succeeded to a great extent.

Obama was different in outward style, but exactly the same in substance. He played smiling liberal but did absolutely everything the Pentagon/CIA guys wanted done, none of it which America’s people wanted, all of it destructive.

He fought war after war and manufactured coups, killing at least half a million people and creating millions of refugees – all done while offering the public his boyish smile.

If that’s your idea of democracy, well, all I can say is that it’s as pathetic as calling Israel the Mideast’s only democracy and it’s a good thing there are not more such democracies.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

If Richard Dawkins can’t understand why he was no-platformed, then maybe he’s not as smart as he thinks he is

Richard Dawkins is an odd case.

A very bright, articulate scientist, a man interesting to hear on some subjects.

But on religion, he has more than once proved himself an ignoramus.

No less with Christianity than Islam.

I read his book on atheism, and what a weak effort it proved.

I am not a religious person, but I always object to arguments which do not hold, and just so Dawkins’ book.

He completely missed some of the fundamental reasons many people are religious, as for example the cultural and communal aspects of religion, and those are very important.

A worthy scientist and writer has only badly damaged his reputation in old age under the illusion that he can convince people to believe as he believes.

A bad mistake.

In a way, it reminds me of another, even more famous, scientist, Stephen Hawking.

A truly important figure in modern cosmology has, in his declining years, made some ridiculous public statements on matters about which he has no more expertise than the local postman.

I refer to his fantasies about earth ceasing to be habitable and the “need” to fly off somewhere in the cosmos to find a new home.

Simply utter rubbish, influenced, just as Dawkins objectionable statements, by personal prejudice and/or fantasy wishes, not by science.

It all does prove once again – there being many examples in history – that even great intellects can completely flounder when they deal with the emotional rather than pure science.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ITEM ON YOUTUBE

A Prescription for Murder

This is just appallingly ignorant.

SSRIs help millions with anxiety and certain kinds of depression. Millions.

As with any other medication, they can be wrongly prescribed and likely are.

And that is especially true when underqualified, and sometimes incompetent, general practitioners prescribe them where they are not indicated.

It is a matter of simple fact that medical malpractice in the US kills more people every year than all highway accidents and all murders combined.

Part of that malpractice is doing the wrong procedure or giving the wrong drug.

It happens daily somewhere.

One of the symptoms of terrible psychoses like Manic-Depression and Schizophrenia is depression. I have no doubt some under-qualified GPs prescribe the wrong medication. SSRIs work well for only for a limited range of anxieties and depressions – not all of them, not for psychoses.

I am also aware that some American GPs prescribe SSRIs on a temporary basis to patients feeling low. That is just plain wrong.

People who need SSRIs face the same kind of lifetime commitment as people using something like transplant-rejection suppressants or insulin for diabetics.

It is not a drug you take like aspirin for a temporary headache.

The limited number of cases – and the number is extremely small out of the many millions using these drugs – cited in the press about the danger of SSRIs are almost certainly patients who have been wrongly prescribed by not-well-informed GPS.

I am sure it happens often, just like a lot of GPs give people an antibiotic prescription for a cold, which of course is caused by a virus not germs. Inappropriate prescription of antibiotics has contributed to their declining effectiveness for life-saving cases.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Angelina Jolie comes under fire for new film’s ‘cruel’ Cambodian orphan casting game

Amazing to learn someone is critical for once of this weird woman.

Despite her status as one of the world’s “beautiful people,” she has a long record of genuinely weird acts and claims.

Once she spoke idiotically but in all sincerity, with a glass of champagne and in a designer fashion at a UN celebrity-cause event, about banning rape in war – as if that were conceivably possible or enforceable.

And within days, she was blubbering again, this time about the West’s needing to do more against the government of Syria!

Advocating for more war and more killing and more rape in a place which has suffered terribly at the hands of the West!

Her words and behavior have always suggested to me that she is seriously mentally imbalanced.

And that’s on top of her obvious intellectual limits.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN UNZ REVIEW

America’s Militarized Police
Made in Israel?

As if the United States did not already have one of the world’s worst problems with violent, brainless police.

Each year more than 1,100 Americans are killed by their own police.

Many times that are injured and abused.

That is a toll worse than any terrorist outfit you care to name.

It is a reflection of poor hiring and training and follow-up practices. It is also just a reflection of an increasingly brutal society.

So, what do local governments do?

Send their police for training by a gang of concentration camp guards in Israel.

Makes sense to me.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

Shock Horror! CIA Director Admits US Trying to Overthrow Venezuelan Government

Of course, we all understood this.

But it serves again to emphasize what an arrogant and corrupt state the US has become. Now, it can even announce that it is destroying a democratic government while working on it.

Really, I hope the day is coming when the whole world collectively holds its nose when an American diplomat gives us another phony, self-serving, dishonest speech – a la Nikki Haley – about democracy and human rights, and – barf! – “the last best hope of mankind.”

Today’s America pretty well represents the precise opposite of the words in those phony speeches.

It represents international lawlessness and the embrace of fascism to get what it pleases.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

Declassified Files Show FBI and NSA Routinely Broke Privacy Rules Under Obama

I have long suspected that Obama – who poses as an open-minded liberal – is in fact CIA.

This new information on intelligence abuses under Obama further supports a notion derived from many bits and pieces.

As very much does the fortress redoubt Obama made of a mansion in Washington, a place from which he continues to contact many different interests largely in secrecy, including some abroad we learn from time to time, advancing matters we know are on the CIA’s agenda, such as the important one of hobbling US-Russian relations.

There are many reasons for thinking Obama is CIA, including the blurry record of his birth and early life and a resume with definite holes in it.

He is certainly their type – an intelligent narcissist bordering on psychopathy – although historically CIA hires few blacks. But requirements change over time.

His record of activities as President strongly suggests this connection too.

He has launched every murderous campaign and coup abroad that CIA could possibly desire. None of it the kind of stuff a genuine political liberal would have anything to do with: Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen.

And then there is the industrial-scale extrajudicial murder program Obama launched – a program built and run by CIA, mind you, and a program reminiscent of the old Argentine junta’s practices decades ago when they used to just make people “disappear.” They did so in the thousands, and, of course, all of it was activity the CIA was aware of and gave no objection to. After all, leftists, even suspected ones, represented a threat to American business interests in South America.

In total, Obama’s smiling boyish face gave orders to kill at least half a million people and turn millions into refugees. The scale I think is not appreciated by most Americans.

It represented a continuation of the murderous American policies of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for eight years – President Bush fils being a silly, nodding figurehead too dumb ever to have been recruited or used by CIA – both men well connected to CIA historical operations abroad through their companies.

Obama’s pattern of behavior reminds me closely of that of George Bush pere, whom well-read people know was CIA going back to the days of the Kennedy assassination. We have snippets in documents.

Bush Pere launched a remarkable number of violent actions in his brief term, including the First Gulf War and the invasion of Panama. Characteristically of covert operations, these were done under elaborate ruses.

The First Gulf War involved the American Ambassador in private offering no objection to Saddam’s suggestion to her that Iraq should absorb Kuwait. We saw the actual dimly-lit, secretly-recorded video of the meeting that he broadcast when the US was invading. The Panama invasion used trumped-up drug charges against Noriega – and, of course, American laws which technically had no force in another country – to remove a man that the CIA felt threatened American control of the Panama Canal and promoted a too vigorous style of Panamanian nationalism. There was also a trumped-up nonsense, much broadcast by American television networks and published by other CIA-friendly outlets like Time and Newsweek, about an American sailor having been beaten.

And the CIA named its headquarters building in Langley after Bush, the kind of thing you don’t do for a former director of just two years duration. Sometimes, the good ol’ boys just can’t help tipping their hats.

While it is technically against the law in the US for the CIA to act domestically, a long trail of evidence – everything from some Wiki-Leaks documents to the CIA’s cozy relationship with Google and other American high-tech firms and to documents around the Kennedy assassination and still other matters – tells us they in fact very much do, including a long record of subsidizing certain magazines for which they had use, planting countless stories in America’s corporate press, to, at times, actually having agents covertly work for outfits like The New York Times and Washington Post.

And of course, since they are permitted to lie under oath, as we learned years ago from former Director Richard Helms, there is no way of accounting for their obeying American laws anyway.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

US National Archives Reveals the Story of KGB Agent Linked to JFK Assassination

Anyone who knows some modern American history knows Soviet KGB defector, Yuri Nosenko, was an extremely controversial figure. They know also that claims he made about the Kennedy assassination were no more reliable than other claims he made. Indeed, he was controversial in part because he could not, under CIA interrogation, supply details about KGB methods and operations which his rank of Colonel meant he should have known.

There probably never has been a defector who generated such fights and hostilities and disagreements inside a major intelligence agency the way Nosenko did inside the CIA, and it went on for years.

He practically tore the CIA apart internally during his defection with one faction regarding him as a KGB plant sent to “poison the well.”

The validity of any of his claims has never been established. And we knew the general line of his claims years and years ago.

So new stuff regarding him is not new and is of virtually no value.

If this release of material about Nosenko represents the quality of the newly-released Archives material as a whole, then we have made no advance at all on the Kennedy assassination.

But I would not expect anything else. The key material, if files ever existed and if they still exist, has never been released.

Those are the files that would tell us why the CIA has always lied about the assassination, there being a number of instances, even with our very limited information, where the lying is just obvious, as in the completely wrong Cuban Embassy surveillance photo taken during Oswald’s supposed trip to Mexico City. And as in the phony excuse about embassy telephone recordings being routinely recycled. Also, files on people in Dallas, Russian speakers, who befriended Oswald and are known to have had connections to the CIA, people like George de Mohrenschildt and Ruth Paine.

We might like information on the CIA’s James Angleton and his relationship to the program which saw Oswald and several other American servicemen temporarily defect to Russia in the 1950s. Angleton, by the way, was chief of one of the two warring factions in CIA over Yuri Nosenko’s credibility years later. Angleton also had other roles to play. After the mysterious murder of Mary Pinchot, Kennedy’s lover and closest friend, he was discovered rummaging around in her studio for papers.

Those are also the files that would tell us why the FBI, led from the very top, J. Edgar himself, rushed to the judgment of a man who had absolutely no motive, and no aptitude either, and virtually instantly identified him as the assassin. All with no evidence. And the files that would explain the FBI’s relationship with Oswald because we know from a number of snippets that there was indeed a relationship, at the very least as a paid informant, which by the way is hardly what a genuine communist, as Oswald was made out to be, of that day would do. And the files that would explain why the chief of the local FBI office destroyed key evidence immediately after the assassination. He burned a letter from Oswald and then lied about its contents.

That is the evidence that would explain the utterly mysterious behavior of the Dallas police investigation in everything from mishandling evidence to allowing Jack Ruby, a known gangster, to hang around the headquarters frequently. It was close to total incompetence from beginning to end, and I just cannot believe that record does not cover much darker matters. The policeman, Tippet, said to have been killed by Oswald, a claim contradicted by better witnesses who were ignored, we know was up to some pretty dark activities, ultra-right wing stuff, but we have never had any details.

But the key evidence remains that which would tell us why, if the simple official story of Oswald’s responsibility is true, that a murder by a quite ordinary man generated immense secrecy which endures to this day. There simply is no national security matter involved in one misfit suddenly buying a gun and shooting someone, even a President. No documents should ever have been classified, and the insipid and vague nature of much that has been de-classified in several releases only adds force to the point. Why were the FBI and CIA ever even involved?

Also, why it is that not one piece of conclusive evidence has ever been provided of Oswald’s guilt. All of the so-called evidence is weak, circumstantial, and even in some cases fraudulent, starting with the true purchase and shipping and ownership of the inadequate gun which from all circumstances appears to have been a planted decoy for police. And even ownership of the postal box involved is quite blurry.

While general facts of Oswald’s background were released, they simply do not add up to what we were told they add up to. Nothing has ever been explained about how a man, a man with a security clearance for special radar work, learns Russian in the Marines, pulls an obviously phony defection to Russia, stays a while and then returns to the United States (with a Russian bride!) at the height of the Cold War, is never put on a security watch-list, is able to readily obtain documents like a passport, and quickly comes to have a circle of quite well-off and well-connected Russian speakers as friends in Dallas. If you think the anti-Russian stupidity in Washington is bad today, you should look back at what it was like in the late-1950s and early-1960s, Oswald’s time for all of this activity. It was a howling madhouse in the United States, but it never really affected Oswald.

No, the new Archives release will yield nothing really worth having. That could almost have been forecast. I don’t know where the dark agencies of government put their most damning documents or how they file them in impenetrable filing systems or even if they indeed keep such material at all (there being, after all, the discouraging historical precedent of the Nazis who kept meticulous files on their crimes), but none of the documents released in Bill Clinton’s time and others, including these, explain either the crime or the need to have ever kept such stuff secret in the first place.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUSSELL BENTLEY IN FORT RUSS NEWS

BBC trounces taxpayer while belittling independent journalism

BBC is, indeed, a “state-run propaganda outfit.”

There have always been elements of that in its make-up, as George Orwell noted in his essays, but since Tony Blair’s time and the huge and murderous controversy around information from arms expert, Dr. Kelly, BBC has literally been reduced to an embarrassment.

I long ago stopped looking at their Internet site. I now do so once in a while just to see how they are manipulating a story.

They do it with everything from photo selection and word selection to outright lies and misinformation – all offered with smug self-confidence to reassure readers.

You sure could do worse than use BBC as study material in the craft of propaganda and opinion manipulation.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN BLACKLISTED NEWS

FACIAL RECOGNITION SURVEILLANCE IS HERE — BUT PRIVACY PROTECTIONS ARE NOT

Privacy, sad to say, never was never recognized by American Courts as a right, despite efforts of liberals to have it so.

And now it not only is not a right, it is quickly utterly disappearing.

There will be absolutely no privacy in anything in a couple of decades, at most.

The establishment wants it that way, and they are most assuredly getting what they want.

Americans will resemble cattle in vast herd, each with machine-readable tags stapled to their ears.

Enjoy!

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY BEN KENTISH IN THE INDEPENDENT

Vladimir Putin says he may seek re-election as President of Russia in 2018

And every thoughtful person on the planet hopes so.

God, here is the most sensible and capable leader of a major state we have, a voice for stability, peaceful pursuit of economic growth, respect for all players, and an opponent of aggression and tyranny.

And we are lucky to have him at a time of threatening political midgets, absolute midgets – May, Macon, Merkel, Trump – and genuinely bloody tyrants – Netanyahu, Salman, Erdogan.
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Response to another reader who said: The opposition in Russia is either the communist party or pro-western types, who many Russians do it even trust. Putin will always smash them at the ballot box.

I think that is a very astute observation, a fact ignored by many in their efforts to denigrate Putin.
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Response to another reader who said: The Indy doesn’t like Russia, it’s owned by a Russian ‘Liberal’ and written by pro ‘rebel’ journos who I do not need to name.

The Independent, for whatever reasons, is also quite perceptibly under the Israel Lobby’s influence.

Not as badly as The Guardian, which has become almost an official house organ in Britain for Israeli interests, but still clearly influenced in its selection and slant on many topics.

Just go back to the months of filthy propaganda and Senator Joe McCarthy style attacks over non-existent anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

The Guardian was even worse, but The Independent was plenty busy throwing mud.

Why does the Israel Lobby not like Putin when Israel itself appears to have reasonably good relations with him?

Because Putin’s Russia is quietly viewed as a threat to America’s current bout of hyper-aggression and determined global dominance. At present, Russia is the only serious deterrent to American absolutism, China’s military capabilities being not yet nearly as well developed.

Israel and its Lobby like a highly aggressive United States because it is seen in terms of protection and succor for Israel’s own smaller-scale hyper-aggression and effort to dominate its region.

The entire thesis of Washington’s Neocon crowd, people who have strongly influenced American foreign policy for the last two decades, has been that a hyper-aggressive United States is a good thing.

A typical statement of the American Neocons has been that if America has the power, it should use it.

The last 15 years of American-generated war and terror in the Middle East, involving the deaths of a couple of million and the creation of many millions of refugees, directly reflects Neocon influence.

One country after another has been bombed or overthrown or terrorized, none of them having threatened the United States.

The United Nations remains largely silent on the aggression because at the same time that America has bombed and terrorized these lands, it has worked methodically and ruthlessly at the UN to silence voices of opposition from the other 95% of humanity. The UN has been effectively neutralized through threats and bullying.

Why does the United States do this? Because it creates a cordon sanitaire around Israel and it assures Israel’s dominance in the region. It also eliminates independent-minded leaders there, creating something of a homogenized region unopposed to American intrusions.

All the renewed noises around Iran reflect precisely the same influence, and, given America’s recent history in the region, are quite ominous. Of course, Iran’s 80 million population – compare 18 million for Syria or 6 million for Libya – makes it a much more formidable opponent to take on.

Iran has completely complied with its international nuclear deal and is not a country which has launched any aggressive war, but that is not enough for Israel, a country which has broken every agreement in existence on nuclear weapons and which has launched conflict after conflict.

Israel wants Iran overthrown, and Trump makes ugly noises in response. The Israel Lobby’s influence on America’s Congress and other parts of government is genuinely frightening.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

US airstrike accidentally kills 16 Afghan police officers who were fighting the Taliban

The U.S. has “accidentally” killed police, villagers, families, and hospital staff in Afghanistan literally dozens and dozens of times since its senseless invasion.

Countless incidents over the years of its war against a people.

That’s the way America does things.

Three million slaughtered in Vietnam.

A million eliminated in Iraq.

We can go clear back to the use of atomic weapons on civilians in completely non-military targets in Japan, setting one of the ghastliest precedents in history.

That’s what the red stripes on the American flag really do stand for, the blood of other people, and lots of it.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

CIA Chief Claims Russia’s ‘Soft Power’ on Rise Due to RT, Sputnik
…you can win wars without firing a single shot

Pompeo is simply an ass.

You either have free speech or you don’t.

And that applies between countries as much as it does within countries.

Equating free speech, or competing ideas, with a form of war tells us precisely his mindset.

That mindset is called tyrannical.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ALTERNATIVE NEWS ALERT

Washington Post Worries About “Islamophobia” After Somali Cop Kills White Woman
After a Somali police officer in Minneapolis shot dead a 40-year-old Australian in what appears to be a senseless murder, the Washington Post’s primary concern was to fret about “Islamophobia” and a “backlash” against the Somali community.

There is reason to be concerned, given the stuff you may easily find on Internet sites denigrating and insulting Muslims, including the innuendo in this very article.

I might note that that “white woman” stuff sounds like the Deep South, circa 1930, when black men were still being lynched for looking at someone the wrong way.

Did you know that Southern charm families used to gather and have picnics sometimes to watch a lynching, just as though they were going to a sports event?

However, in this case, no matter what his background, the man in uniform who killed an innocent woman, shooting her from his car without any idea of what he even was shooting at, has proven himself a good, solid American police officer.

This is what American police do, after all.

American cops kill more than 1,100 Americans each year, far greater than the toll by any group of terrorists you care to name, and they get away with it, all the time.

And the numbers seriously injured and the numbers merely abused and threatened are many, many times the number killed.

America simply is an extremely brutal society, and it tolerates such behavior, day-in and day-out.

In a way, American police show us exactly why the American military is such an obscenity abroad. And, after all, the military is a large source of recruits for the police.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Emmanuel Macron says anti-Zionism is a new type of anti-Semitism
French President tells Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that France will ‘not surrender’ to anti-Israel rhetoric

Macron is pathetic.

What he is saying is untrue and dishonest, and all honest people understand that.

It reminds me of some American politicians in the past, with campaigns heavily supported by apologists for Israel, going around the United States actually saying, “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.”

Macron’s is a line taken directly from Israel’s playbook provided to all those strongly under its influence.

Indeed, Israel has made major lobbying efforts to have that statement converted into criminal law in many countries of the West.

Fortunately, the intense efforts have not yet resulted in new Orwellian laws in most cases.

But Macron’s Newt Gingrich-like statement shouldn’t surprise. He has already proved himself a milquetoast, faithful to America’s empire, and, of course, Israel is America’s outpost in the Middle East, its colony.

So, the one pretty much requires the other.

France has never displayed less dignity and grandeur than in recent decades with leaders the caliber of Sarkozy, Hollande, and now Macron.

Its historic identity as the country Ben Franklin spoke of, “Every man has two countries, his own and France,” a country long regarded as an important home for human freedom, is pretty much lost.

De Gaulle would be ashamed of the total inability of recent French presidents to show any independence from the United States. The last time France acted as anything like its old self was when President Jacques Chirac refused to join America’s criminal invasion of Iraq.

This kind of meaningless language from Macron reminds me of his effort to beef-up the Bastille Day parade for Trump’s visit to France.

As though that displayed France’s strength or independence. Just empty show. Vapidity in fancy costumes. Hollywood.
__________________________

Response to another reader who said:
All Jewish people are not Israelis and not all Israelis are Jewish. I can see nothing wrong with peaceful opposition to a nation state, with whose policies you don’t agree.

Indeed.

And I believe in the quiet privacy of thought, virtually everyone understands this principle.

But the fanatics and shabby special interest-serving politicians and those with no regard for genuine human freedom say otherwise in every forum they can enter.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

“Three Years Since MH17 Crash: What is Stopping the Truth From Coming to Light?”

Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s far, far more than three years since John Kennedy’s assassination.

And it’s also a good deal more than three years ago since 9/11.

Yet neither of those watershed events was ever adequately investigated or satisfactorily explained.

We are talking, of course, about events with some of the same actors standing in the wings.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Christian conservatives don’t support Donald Trump despite his vulgarity – they support him because of it”

A truly silly piece of analysis.

Christian conservatives support Trump for the same reasons anyone else does: he offers some things they very much want, and if they get those things from him, they don’t much care about all the other noise.

Christians can be just as hypocritical and cynical as any other group. They are not in any way different from the rest of humanity when it comes to basic impulses motivating them.

My God, American Christians always mostly support war and the death penalty, apart from matters like opposing abortion.

I remember the near-lunatic Franklin Graham – inheritor of a Christian goldmine ministry from his father, Billy – actually preaching earnestly after 9/11 about wiping out America’s enemies with atomic weapons!

Then we have others, such as Pat Robertson – who controls a minor financial empire of “Christian” assets, a man and who publicly blamed all the horror of terrible disasters like a hurricane on homosexuality in America!

Any association between the attitudes of Jesus, so far as we can understand them, and American fundamentalists is completely coincidental.

American Christian fundamentalists also, many of them, have a strong streak of xenophobia and America First. Sounds like Trump, does it not?

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmancartoons.blogspot.ca/2006/02/americas-jesus.html

http://chuckmancartoons.blogspot.ca/2006/02/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-americas.html

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARK STEEL IN THE INDEPENDENT

“This is why, when it became clear that of all the countries in the region, it appeared the Saudis were the most closely linked to 9/11…”

A false assertion.

The author clearly is reinforcing a tiresome theme of certain parts of the American establishment. People like New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a world-class phony.

The Saudis were paying bin Laden solely for keeping his activities out of Saudi Arabia.

The payments had nothing to do with 9/11. Nothing.

The Saudis had no motive whatever for attacking America.

Indeed, to this day, we do not truly know that bin Laden himself had anything to do with 9/11.

After 9/11, American asked the then-Taleban government of Afghanistan to extradite bin Laden.

They asked for some evidence, providing evidence being a normal part of international extradition.

America refused, and soon invaded.

And you know what? America has never since supplied the world with a scrap of real evidence that bin Laden was involved with 9/11.

His guilt is just assumed, being repeated like a mindless mantra from our corporate press.

By the way, readers will be fascinated by the following article. I make no claim for its accuracy, but it is interesting and tends to support a far more powerful motive than the Saudis would have had, America’s imperial wars through the Middle East led off by the dark operations of security services.

http://yournewswire.com/cia-911-wtc7/

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley and the Pope Enjoy a Russophobic Threesome”


Yes, but it is not just Russophobic bile. How about Israelophilic bile?

Nikki Haley might just as well be serving as Ambassador for Israel. Her comments at the UN are nearly insane at times. Her focus, when not on Russia, is regularly a country whose population is the size of Ecuador’s.

She insists it is a victim of widespread unfairness, always ignoring the facts of its criminal behavior and total disregard for the United Nations, except as a venue for making self-serving speeches.

Lindsey Graham is cut from the same cloth.

Mention the word “Israel” in Congress, and old Lindsey jumps to his feet and starts blubbering. Talk about money for Israel in Congress, and old Lindsey jumps from his chair to say he wants it doubled.

The Pope is simply a hopeless man, sometimes seeming fairly nice but always quite inept. His record back in Argentina with the murderous military Junta was nothing of which to be proud, a record of no real ethics or principles but his own survival.

The Vatican, for years now, having been pummeled by the US and Israel in private over historical anti-Semitism, has been unbelievably wishy-washy on Israel’s criminal behavior. This Pope is no improvement. If anything, the opposite.

You know, that is no accident, the shared attitudes towards Russia and those towards Israel.

While Israel is reasonably friendly outwardly towards Russia, at the core, Israeli leaders can only see Russia as something of a huge stumbling block.

The Neocons – a group of influential lobbyists for Israel at the heart of today’s Washington power establishment – want a strong and hyper-aggressive America. That is because they regard that as best for Israel, for its thriving, expanding, and flourishing.

They are the big pushers for all the Middle East wars, and their views are coordinated with those of Israel, for certain.

So, there is an inherent conflict in American-Israeli-Russian affairs because a powerful and assertive Russia is seen as the main opposition to what the Neocons endlessly advocate and work diligently towards, a hyper-aggressive America pushing right up to the gates at Russia’s border while busy supporting and supplying destructive wars all over the Middle East.

The views of these three, but especially Graham and Haley, reflect that down to every comment they make.

Interestingly, some have speculated on Nikki Haley’s being secretly promoted by Neocon operators in Washington. She is not-very-bright and at times quite an embarrassing representative for America, but she has the basic Israel and Russia theme down pat, and that is what counts.

Lindsey Graham, as I’ve written, was almost certainly the target of a past Mossad honey trap. He is a fairly well-known closet gay, and that does not go down well with the fundamentalist part of the country he represents.

So, Mossad likely has compromising photos of him which keep him tied to Israeli interests like a monkey on a string. And, indeed, the way he jumps around and makes noises for Israel in Washington much resembles the activity of a monkey.

This strong suspicion is supported, too, by recent reports about a very senior politician like Graham not being able to get to the bottom of American security service surveillance of which he has become aware.

In all three cases – the Pope, Lindsey Graham, and Nikki Haley – what we see is a politics devoid of genuine ethical or moral concern. And this politics devoid of ethics or morals is the dominant one in Washington today, regardless of political party. They all serve the ruthless American imperial establishment in its wars and aggression and never give a genuine thought to either the welfare of their own people or what is really in the best interests of the world’s people.

The Pope is just a useful idiot-savant servant, much like recent heads of the UN or other international agencies the hyper-aggressive United States has got at. They all provide a semblance of international order and support for imperial America, and they all raise no difficult or embarrassing questions or objections as did some past leaders.

Is it any wonder in what a mess our world is?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

“Moscow Points Out Faults in US Version on Damascus Dropping Sarin Bomb in Idlib Syria”

Note that when a Director of CIA asserts anything, thoughtful people only listen to learn how facts are being twisted, not to learn any facts.

We know, since Director Helms’ testimony after Kennedy’s assassination, that lying under oath is something the CIA is allowed. He said so. So even in affairs of great internal importance, the CIA can lie if it believes it serves its purposes.

Moreover, we know that the real activity of great parts of the CIA – the operations division – is not collecting facts about the world to inform the American government but sowing discord in disliked countries and manipulating internal affairs in other countries.

CIA is a “dirty tricks” and manipulation outfit, much like Mossad, although they tend to minimize that big part of their job in their public relations. They do everything from manipulating the elections of others and giving pay-offs to cooperative foreign politicians to organizing coups and assassinations and dealing in drugs.

Nothing prevents their carrying the same set of assumptions and attitudes over into the internal affairs of the United States, except a law forbidding their internal operations.

But we know to a certainty that that law was ignored in the past – for example, CIA long opened any domestic letters and parcels it wanted to – and the truth is, if you are permitted to lie under oath and you manipulate things as everyday work in other countries, any mere law cannot control your behavior at home.

There can be little question that the same tricks employed abroad come to be employed in domestic affairs.

We had the example just a short time back of Obama’s CIA Director, Brennan, lying again and again in public about Trump and Russia and that stinking, phony “dossier.”

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ANTHONY HARWOOD IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Trump’s crusade against Qatar isn’t about terrorism”

And what thinking person on the planet ever thought it was?

“it’s revenge for a failed business deal”

Rubbish, that’s just as uninformed an idea as the first one about terrorism.

Let me enlighten the writer who knows extremely little about the subject he discusses: Qatar’s problems are about Qatar’s relationship with Iran and Israel’s tireless insistence on hurting Iran.

Qatar, on more than one front, appears to be coming to a reasonable relationship with Iran, in large part owing to their shared natural gas interests.

But “a reasonable relationship with Iran” is something which does not compute in Tel Aviv.

And if it doesn’t compute in Tel Aviv, it doesn’t compute in Washington, the virtual servant in Middle East affairs of the Israel Lobby.

And, in recent years, it doesn’t compute in Riyadh either, Riyadh having bent over backwards after 9/11 to become a loyal American-interest supporter and virtually a secret ally of Israel.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

A study by University College London (UCL) PhD student has uncovered that the fear of crime is perpetuated by the opinion of others and in most cases doesn’t correlate to the actual likelihood of experiencing crime.

Well, it is interesting to see another angle of analysis taken on this, but the finding is definitely not new.

I noted decades ago that people, especially in America, develop inordinate fears of crime from local news on television which almost always seeks out sensational items to feature, sensational items about violence or danger always having the effect of increasing your viewing audience and the intensity of its level of involvement.

News on what local city council is doing about rubbish collection, genuine local news, just does not affect ratings and advertising rates the same way.

If there is nothing local of a sensational nature to broadcast, then something is selected from another place, either a neighboring town or city or a more distant place.

The net result is a steady drizzle of such stories into the living rooms of otherwise comfortable and safe middle-class people.

In an extremely safe – judging by the actual stats – small-size city in the United States, I heard some ridiculous statements at times, as from a couple in a nice, safe neighborhood who felt they had to accompany their grandchildren to the playground about two blocks away.

It was ridiculous, but it was extremely serious for those people. The only explanation was paranoid feelings induced from local television news broadcasts, and of course these feeling reinforce each other among neighbors.

I think it is also true that some individuals are more susceptible to paranoid and fearful suggestions, just as some people are more easily hypnotized than others or more susceptible to various superstitious appeals.

As it happens, the psychological mechanisms are exactly the same for so-called terror. I say “so-called” because the distinction between violent crime and terror is one that largely cannot be made. It’s just that adding the word “terror” somehow makes violence, in the eyes of many ordinary people, “doubleplus” frightening.

Terror for most people is virtually non-existent. The statistics tell us clearly that, in the scheme of things with innumerable violent crimes and terrible events, it is an extremely rare thing to be hurt by terror. But people hear about it all the time on news broadcasts, constantly having their fears reinforced.

Governments understand this and deliberately use the phenomenon for their own purposes. There is no question that America’s government exploits fear of terror constantly to buoy up support for its wars in the Middle East, wars which in fact have nothing to do with fighting terror.

Indeed, people might well ask how it even could be that you can fight against a method or a concept, such as terror, with real guns and bombs, but that basic question has long been lost in all the smoke and noise of numerous real wars whose targets are real people and real possessions, not the thoughts or plots of demons.

America’s Middle East wars actually use covertly-organized mercenary forces – rag-tag armies of people spouting all kinds of nonsense to disguise their purpose – organized to resemble what terrorists might be expected to resemble, to get their way in places like Syria or Libya. Of course, those wars also generate the periodic backlashes of vengeance or anger which are mislabeled “international terror.”

The ugly publicity from all of it – whether the work of mercenaries like ISIS or Al-Nusra employed by America and Israel and Saudi Arabia in Syria or the periodic outbursts of angry young men trying to strike back in places like London or Paris – is used as kindling to feed the fires, to keep the wars going, to keep the mood hard for “fighting terror.”

It’s a clever but extremely evil game of power.