Archive for December 2017

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP-HUNTING – BUT WHO CARES WHETHER THIS PATHETIC MAN IS REMOVED FROM OFFICE NOW? – HIS RECORD OF JUST ONE YEAR IS APPALLING – LIAR OR COWARD? – I’M PRETTY SURE IT’S COWARD – WHY?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

Witch-Hunter-in-Chief Schiff Panics as His Show Trial Threatens to Devour Him
“He knows the walls are closing in on him.”

_______________________

Response to a comment saying, “It’s increasingly clear that there was and continues to be a conspiracy to discredit Trump and ultimately remove him from office”:

Well, if it is so, I think many would now welcome its success.

Trump has proved an unqualified disaster, and I say that as one who a year ago hoped he had something, at least in a few areas of international affairs, to offer.

But he does not, at least anything anyone would want.

America’s extrajudicial killings are running at record levels, an unforgivable activity for a state claiming loyalty to human rights.

We have open aggression in Syria continued with America troops and equipment occupying places they are not welcome.

We have a dangerous and unnecessary confrontation with North Korea. And a gigantic fleet placed, as part of that confrontation, near China is a serious provocation to a great power.

There is no end of the hostilities to Russia, which now include open talk of arming Ukraine, an insane provocation and something guaranteed to bring no peace.

There is absolutely no end to the utterly false claims of Russian aggression, Crimea having chosen its own fate as surely as did the Falklands, Gibraltar, or Kosovo.

We have increased intensity of trade restrictions with Russia, a brainless set of measures only making everyone poorer at a time of economic difficulties.

We have an American UN Ambassador who is literally a world-class embarrassment, an ignoramus in knee-high suede boots with a very big mouth and absolutely no judgment.

We see Trump giving the Nazis now running Israel everything they want and demanding nothing from them towards peace or justice.

There is Trump and his ridiculous Ambassador threatening the UN, time and again, to get what it wants on Israel’s behalf.

We have the spectacle of Trump featuring his damned, incompetent daughter, Ivanka, at the G-20 as though she were an important world figure. He looked like the world’s greatest dumb-ass father pushing her into photos with other world leaders. After all, they all have children, too, with whom they could pull the same brainless stunt.

And, in several matters, Ivanka has demonstrated incompetence comparable to Nikki Haley. She belongs nowhere near the Oval Office.

No, Trump is beyond a disappointment.

And he is either a grotesque liar – on a par with Tony Blair – with all the things he campaigned for or he is world-class coward for backing down on everything almost as soon as he took office.

I’m definitely inclined to think the latter in view of his earlier background.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/john-chuckman-comment-trump-as-the-most-american-of-presidents-a-claim-which-should-infuriate-both-his-supporters-and-opponents/

No, there’ll be nothing missed but a lot of bluster and bullying if he goes.

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Posted December 31, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE TIRESOME INCLUSION OF FACEBOOK IN DISCUSSION OF TECHNOLOGY OR INNOVATION – IN FACT THE FACE OF BIG BROTHER IN A GREY T-SHIRT WITH A BLAND SMILE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

From the future of bitcoin to Facebook, 2018 in technology
Social networks and politics, the still unfulfilled promise of augmented reality, pay-to-play games: what might change in the year ahead

Why is Facebook a name that is repeated in every article having anything to do with technology and the Internet in The Guardian?

In fact, it is an operation that does nothing interesting in technology. It is a pioneer in almost nothing.

But there it is regularly, much like the sun rising, in The Guardian.

I don’t know whether it is deliberate or careless, but Mr. Zuckerberg and his Frankenstein creation are there, time after time, whereas there are all kinds of other people doing interesting stuff with technology, but their names and efforts remain strangers to The Guardian.

Indeed, the one creative aspect of Facebook much resembles what we would expect in Egypt or China or some other such place, innovations in enforcing political preconceptions and official standards of acceptability.

Just the other day we learn, from sources other than The Guardian, Facebook is busy at again, coming up with new modes of enforcement, this time deleting vast numbers of accounts at the direct request of the governments of Israel and the United States.

Innovation? Advanced technology? Social Media?

I think rather the face of Big Brother wearing a casual grey t-shirt and smiling blandly.

Posted December 31, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER PROVES THE WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT HAS STILL NOT DIED

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY NED LAMB IN THE GUARDIAN

My self-worth and confidence were shot to pieces, and something had to change. Quitting drink gave me some control over my life

“Giving up alcohol for a year salvaged my mental health”

Perhaps, and if so, I am glad for you.

But I think there are many people whose mental health would deteriorate without the soothing application of limited amounts of drink.

It’s a tricky balance, perhaps, but then so are many, many things in life.

I have to say that The Guardian, with more than one article touching on this, emits faint echoes of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in recent days.

Posted December 31, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ARTICLE SAYS IT WAS A GOOD YEAR FOR ISRAEL – AMERICA’S DANGEROUSLY-ENTANGLED RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL IS LARGELY SELF-INFLICTED THROUGH FINANCE AND LOBBYING LAWS – SOME KEY HISTORY IN THE RELATIONSHIP

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

It’s Been a Very Good Year for Israel and Her Friends

“Congress is to a certain extent the source of all evil.”

Not quite right.

Money for campaign costs plus laxity in lobbying laws are the sources of all evil.

And that same money buys the pathetic Congress we see in America.

But Americans, many of them, are adamant about private financing of campaigns.

It’s a ridiculous prejudice, and it has become enshrined in law by a Supreme Court decision that equates money and free speech.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, it makes little sense to an thinking person who is not involved in the receiving or giving of campaign contributions.

And elections are costly in the US. You see, if your opponent can spend unlimited amounts, then you must do so too.

Hillary Clinton, for example, burned through at least 1.2 billion dollars in her failed campaign.

It took a billionaire to beat her.

Anyway, that billionaire is also not immune to the effects of unlimited campaign spending. His party’s chances in Congress (Congressional elections in 2018) depend on it.

Well, you can just imagine the pressure to give Israel whatever it wants in the current situation, and that’s just what Trump is doing.

The money and good publicity (The simple fact is that Jewish Americans do own most of the high-end press and broadcasting in the US – it’s a powerful political tool) will flow from the Israel Lobby owing to his stunt in giving away someone else’s capital.

The history of this kind of thing goes back to Harry Truman in 1948. He was immensely pressured to recognize Israel despite his personal doubts about doing so.

Truman was losing to the Republicans’ Thomas Dewey, but after his decision for the Israel Lobby, things turned around and he won what was an unexpected victory.

Well, that event set a political precedent, a very poor one.

Since then, all American Presidents have, to one degree or another, pandered to Israel.

Perhaps the worst of them was Lyndon Johnson who both began the massive annual subsidy in foreign aid to Israel, but who also secretly colluded with Israel on the Six Day War.

We do not know the details of Johnson’s collusion, but he was perfectly ready to see an American intelligence ship, the Liberty, sunk with all hands by Israel.

The Israel attack was deadly serious, killing many, but it failed to sink the ship.

Now, wouldn’t you expect a ferociously-tempered Johnson to make Israel pay for that?

No, he meekly called back all forces going to help the Liberty and never in public said a harsh word about Israel, despite its deliberate act of war. One former senior American naval officer who was dispatching assistance has written, long afterwards, that he had received a direct communication from Johnson saying he wanted that ship to go to the bottom.

Why? Israel may have known of his collusion in the assassination of John Kennedy, and, undoubtedly, Israel’s Lobby made sure Johnson would be rewarded.

It’s all a vicious business with the affairs of a tremendously powerful state deeply affected by a tiny one and ending up often doing things against its own long-term interests.

But it is a self-inflicted wound.

Congress set the standards for campaign financing and for lobbying activities, and it is married to the corrupt situation which has evolved.

NOTE: For background on recent events around this topic, see:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/what-trump-is-doing-in-jerusalem-and-why-he-is-doing-it/

Note especially the footnote there, written about three weeks after the essay.

Posted December 29, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S ISIS PROPAGANDA CONTINUES – ISIS IS JUST AMERICA’S NEW WAY TO FIGHT ITS UGLY COLONIAL WARS – THE METHOD WAS DISCOVERED USING OTHER ACTORS IN AFGHANISTAN – NOW IT RETURNS THERE WITH A TWIST

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

American Isis fighter says ‘war on Islam’ has made US more vulnerable to attack in video message to Donald Trump
African American Isis fighter appears in propaganda video saying Islamophobia will help fuel support globally

This is just a stupid article giving publicity to low-grade propaganda.

ISIS is an American-Israeli-Saudi creation with generous assistance from Britain and France plus a couple of others. Turkey was deeply involved, but appears now to have backed off.

Reports like this one serve only to keep the murderous charade going, the charade of gangs of non-uniformed mercenaries – people who receive regular paychecks, training, supplies, and air support – posing as jihadi warriors.

They serve both to do some of America’s dirty work and to perpetuate the myth of a vast uprising of Muslim terrorists in the world, the very myth which supports America’s decade-and-a-half-long blood-drenched war through the Middle East in support of Neocon imperial goals.

It still amazes me the way our corporate press reports the doings of ISIS as though it were some independent entity. The reporting just provides more evidence, as though more were needed, of how the establishment regards the general public’s intelligence, and that’s remarkably low.

Yet they largely get away with it. The press and government officials are never seriously questioned or doubted. Nor is there ever any investigative reporting into any of these matters, outside of independents and some other government news services.

My favorite ridiculous example is the CBC’s Middle East correspondent who regularly reports from Jerusalem where he magically obtains material about places like the heart of Syria. But all the major Western news services are the same. None wants to be viewed as upsetting America’s elaborately prepared schemes and narratives. Their governments and their major advertisers would simply not tolerate it.

That’s why we never see interviews with people actually in the thick of things, like Assad or Gadhafi or even the head of Hamas or Hezbollah or even academics with some independence and deep understanding. We only hear other people, people representing definite interests, telling us what to think.

It is the old story of the “big lie” repeated often. There are so many instances of it now in Washington, no one can easily tell just what is happening. From tales of Russia and Trump to the last rag-tag lies still about the Kennedy assassination. As far as official sources go – both government and corporate press – we live in something pretty close to a hermitically-sealed space in which nothing too “dangerous” is allowed to enter.

ISIS is a tool, a tool of governments. It is not a cause. And it is not independent.

Individual members do sometimes misspeak or carry on in terrible ways, but what else could you expect from a mercenary army of violent idiots recruited from a dozen broken lands?

Of course, some fools from Western countries have taken the bait provided on the Internet and other places, providing the press and government officials with neat anecdotes to frighten people and keep the phony narrative going. Endless crap about recruitment and terrorist conditioning.

But this relatively tiny number of fools and discontents have nothing to do with the aims or direction of ISIS. Their experience is nothing but what intelligence services call “blowback.” They serve also to reveal to intelligence services where there may be some disagreeable sympathies at home, something always to be looked into by the kind of people we see in the FBI, for example, whose history includes such glorious achievements as providing about a third of the membership of the old American Communist Party.

Saying the tiny numbers of foolish ISIS volunteers from the West are any real threat is much like claiming a few brainless groupies on the rock music circuit do something important in popular music.

Indeed, America has seen to it that there is now a substantial concentration of ISIS in Afghanistan, a recent story from Afghanistan suggesting eight thousand of them now there, Afghanistan being yet another land America is trying still to completely conquer.

ISIS, if it were indeed what its publicity claims it to be, would have little interest in fighting Taleban.

But America does fight Taleban for local control and now appears to be recruiting unofficial allies in the form of ISIS and others, just as it did in its efforts to destroy Syria and Libya.

Remember, in the original Afghan invasion, America avoided what it did in Vietnam – that is, sending in a vast traditional army of foot soldiers, a true disaster by every measure for the Pentagon. Something which, at its height, came close to creating a new civil war in America and stamped America’s military with shame and disapproval from the public for years.

What America did in Afghanistan was to bomb heavily in support of the Taleban’s natural political opponents in the country, tribes of the so-called Northern Alliance, many of whose members were people no more modern than, and just as ruthless as, the Taleban. Their only merit was that they opposed the Taleban long before America arrived on the scene.

The Northern Alliance were the guys, behind a wall of carpet-bombing supplied by America, who actually chased the Taleban into the hills, not American soldiers. And no one at the time dared pursue the Taleban into their natural redoubts, so over time they have gradually returned with a vengeance. Although America did plenty of bombing in places they thought Taleban might be hiding, as in Pakistan, undoubtedly killing thousands of innocent people.

The Taleban is a threat to no one, except to the government America has installed in Afghanistan and to the Pentagon’s pride. The Taleban, despite endless propaganda in the press, are not international terrorists bent on subverting the West. They are just a tribal party interested in governing their own land of Afghanistan without foreign interference, as they were doing when America’s intervention first started.

American soldiers in the original invasion defeated no one and served mainly “to secure” “liberated” areas. Their work consisted of terrifying house-to-house raids, blowing down doors and holding whole families at gunpoint, running around in armored vehicles shooting at things they hadn’t even identified, many times massacring masses of people and establishing secret torture centers and prisons.

American planes joined in the same dirty work, strafing or bombing groups and parties they hadn’t even properly identified. More than once, they were fooled by malicious reports into killing innocent groups an enemy wanted killed. This is, after all, a land of ancient grievances and grudges, a tribal place resembling a little the American Ozarks during old blood feuds.

But the Taleban has remained strong because it is not just a party but virtually a basic division in the country. You cannot defeat them in any traditional sense of war, unless you are ready to go into mass exterminations, something I believe only the terrible publicity has stopped the US from doing.

There are, indeed, no ethics or principles in anything we see anywhere from contemporary Washington’s murderous efforts in country after country. But there is always a keen awareness of public opinion. Plenty of spokespeople, plenty of press releases, plenty of denials of this or that, and always a readiness to come down hard on anyone from the corporate press who breaks ranks. It all has to be given a constant sense of everyone’s agreeing the right thing is being done and the truth is being told.

Indeed, there have been mass exterminations several times. A group of about three thousand Taleban prisoners were “disappeared” in the early days after the invasion. Donald Rumsfeld, a man who would have been perfectly content working for the Nazi hierarchy had that been his time and place, was quoted in public as saying those prisoners should be walled away for life or all killed. Imagine, a man who knew nothing about a group of prisoners thousands of miles away, saying that?

Well, one of the local Northern Alliance warlords allied with America perfectly accommodated Rumsfeld. General Dostum had his people put the prisoners in batches into the backs of trucks which were then sealed up and driven out into the hot desert until they expired. Three thousand of them while American troops stood around watching and picking their noses. A Scottish film-maker actually made a documentary about it.

Now, America’s current wave of killing Afghans with bombs – involving everything from striking hospitals and schools to such horrors as using America’s gigantic non-nuclear bomb (called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast or MOAB), which created devastating effects and pollution on a colossal scale – is going to be supplemented by paid ISIS lunatics.

Imagine the morality of people who would secretly ship thousands of cutthroats into a country to let loose? Well, that’s America today. Of course, they are only repeating something they’ve done now a number times and largely with success, if you judge the chaos and ruins of a Libya as success, as surely the Pentagon does.

Of course, when ISIS (or al Qaeda or any of a number of other such created outfits) is sent somewhere else like this, it gives the US an escape refuge for them, as when we saw clearly, thanks to Russian intelligence, hundreds of ISIS thugs being helped to evacuate parts of Syria and given a safe-conduct by American forces.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PROBLEM IS NOT TRUMP, IT IS THE TRUMP IN ALL AMERICANS – AN ACCURATE OBSERVATION FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE – BUT THERE IS NO SOLUTION

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES TRAUB IN FOREIGN POLICY REPRINTED IN ZERO HEDGE

The United States of America Is Decadent and Depraved
The problem isn’t Donald Trump – it’s the Donald Trump in all of us…

A surprisingly sensitive assessment.

And highly accurate.

But I don’t think there is a lot of hope for change.

Change will come only after some kind of disaster.

If you know much American history, you will know I am being truthful and not just insulting when I say America learns by banging its head into walls.

There’s a long list of precedents.

Posted December 28, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON NORTH KOREA AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS – WHAT DEITY DECLARED WHO SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM? THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: ISRAEL

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

North Korea will not be accepted as a nuclear power by US or Russia, say Rex Tillerson and Sergei Lavrov
Both sides agree to pursue a ‘diplomatic solution’ to the crisis

Well, I don’t know why North Korea is less worthy to be a nuclear power than America and Russia or, indeed, others. I’m not sure what deity declared this.

The ugly truth is, America has a record of horror in North Korea few appreciate.

Look at these:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/19/us-germ-warfare-apology-north-korea-could-advance-dialogue.html

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

Given that record, it is hard to view North Korea as irrational.

And, by the way, all reliable observers indicate, Kim is an intelligent leader, likely more so in some respects than Trump. Some comments here just reflect the stuff fed to us by our corporate, government-serving press.

And, of course, any time we discuss this topic, we must include Israel, not only an outlaw nation which has killed many people and abuses millions but one with a large, and unquestioned arsenal of nuclear weapons.

It also is a nation which engaged in serious secret proliferation in the case of Apartheid South Africa, a nation which acquired a small arsenal with Israel’s illegal help.

What is your standard?

Israel supposedly fears what people in one country did 75 years ago, so its weapons are okay.

Plus, it is okay that they’ve violated every standard set for nuclear weapons?

But North Korea experienced hell on earth about 65 years ago at the hands of the same US now threatening it, but that, too, is okay? They somehow are unfit to join “the big boys”?

Posted December 27, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized