Archive for January 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ARTICLE ASKS WHAT’S WRONG WITH LIBERAL JEWS? – ANSWER REALLY IS THAT THERE ARE NONE ANYMORE – NO ROOM FOR HUMAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLES IN THE WORK OF BRUTAL EMPIRE – ISRAEL AND AMERICA TODAY HATE LIBERALS

John Chuckman

COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

What’s Wrong with Liberal Jews?
” … somehow shooting simulated Arabs [Jerry Seinfeld] and grinning while doing so does not appear to bother him one bit.”

“What’s Wrong with Liberal Jews?”

Simple, there are none left.

The liberal Jews I grew up with – I lived in two neighborhoods, as a boy and as a young man, which had large Jewish populations – have virtually disappeared.

The attitudes evinced by many Jews in America today are greatly different than what I knew.

Israel’s founding involved the thinking of some very extreme Zionists like Ze’ev Jabotinsky who famously wrote in the 1920s of the need for “an iron wall” in the future Israel. Indeed, Russians should know that what he wrote was in Russian.

The concept of an iron wall certainly became unofficial Israeli policy. We see it in many, many behaviors. It is an iron wall towards all of Israel’s neighbors, and especially towards the Palestinians they continue to abuse and take things from.

Support for the bizarre behavior of Israel requires may compromises of conscience.

And it is an old and well-known phenomenon that for many people, as they move from youth to senior years, they become far more conservative anyway.

Further, the word “liberal” in Israel is almost a dirty word. Israeli fanatics, the people who always control the balance of power in divided Israeli elections, hate liberals because the essence of being a true liberal is opposing tyrannies of all kinds and respecting human and democratic rights.

Yes, Israel claims to be the Mideast’s only democracy, but that is only a heroic-sounding slogan meant to influence American thinking and comfort American supporters.

No state which accepts only one kind of people can possibly be called a democracy, and no state which keeps millions of people under endless occupation can possibly be called a democracy, and certainly no state that just periodically seizes the homes and farms of others can be called a democracy.

But if you highly qualify that word “democracy,” so that it just describes a political process in which only a select group of people from a society may partake, then you may call Israel a democracy, but then so was Nationalist South Africa a democracy by the same skewed definition. And so was the American Confederacy by exactly the same definition. And the world has had many other such “democracies.”

Surely, calling Israel a democracy is a kind of elaborate charade, but it is easy to see that in order to keep the charade going, you cannot have a lot of people questioning and doubting – which are the very activities genuine liberals always do. So, Israel has virtually no space for liberals, even less than in the imperial mother country, America, where small numbers are found huddled in country stores in places like Vermont or parts of Oregon.

The liberal way of looking at things does not sit well in Israel, it almost goes without saying. Even organizations like Israeli Labor Party do not reflect truly left or liberal views. The truth is that you cannot really be an Israeli without being, implicitly at least, a rather severe imperialist.

Were it otherwise, Israel could not continue keeping millions of people effectively under police-state government, the young men who make the IDF’s ugly excesses possible would not want to continue their day-in, day-out job of suppressing a hostile population and of occupying land they know is not theirs. Israel’s gigantic security services – gigantic, certainly, relative to the size of the country – wouldn’t be able to continue their years-long campaign of terror. A just-published book, for example, describes Israel’s 2700 assassinations, but assassination is just one of the dark practices employed as a matter of course by Mossad and Shin Bet.

For all these reasons and more, Israel is accurately described as a garrison state, much like an old Crusader fortresses of the Middle Ages. It effectively provides an American colony in the region, too, such an arrangement being seen as beneficial by both sides – by Israelis who want the greatest possible security and by the Pentagon-CIA Axis which wants dominance everywhere. It is convenient, too, for American Jews (the largest Jewish population outside Israel) who are allowed dual-citizenship and to freely move back and forth, almost as though Israel were a 51st state.

Those kinds of arrangements do not leave a lot of room for truly liberal sentiments, either on the part of residents or on the part of supporters abroad.

“Liberal,” through long effort on the part of government and media is dirty word in Israel, even more extremely so than it has become through much of America itself. After all, America’s post-WWII imperialism and constant colonial wars leave little room for liberalism to flourish and it has indeed been dying for many decades in America, today’s Democratic Party being pretty much a War Party with slightly different domestic views than the Republicans.

Americans supporting Israel are affected by all these political currents and can hardly assume a different posture without being subject to ridicule or contempt. There are few individuals anywhere who stand up to the prevailing views in a country, no matter how negative they may be. Just making a living is hard enough without taking on a full-time cause, one bringing down on your head many hostilities.

America, except for small enclaves and local institutions – political boutiques might almost be an apt description – really has little left that can be legitimately described as liberal, and the case in Israel is far more extreme, liberal voices often being treated as traitors.

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Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH – HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN LAUGHED OUT OF THE ROOM – A WORD ON FOREIGN AID

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

State of the Union: Donald Trump suggests UK among ‘enemies of America’ after UN Jerusalem vote
US foreign aid should ‘only go to friends of America’, says President

____________________

Response to a comment suggesting Trump was being logical:

Why comment when you have nothing to say?

“Enemies” is a very strong word, and it is totally inappropriate in this context.

Because someone disagrees with you doesn’t turn them into an enemy, unless you are an ignorant, loud-mouthed coward like Trump.

So, by this 3-year old’s attempt at logic, her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition are enemies?

His speech should have been laughed at with a laughter reflecting contempt.

Only there’s nothing funny about the abuse of power and stealing what’s not yours – the very things his dirty little Jerusalem deal with the corrupt and murderous Netanyahu supports.
_______________________

Response to a comment saying foreign aid is supposed to be about helping need:

Actually, foreign aid has always reflected influence peddling.

Real needs take a back seat, always.

You see, those payments represent something which can be ended or just diminished or increased as the donor wishes, and what the donor wishes depends on whether the recipient does as he is asked in international organizations and votes.

It has never been any different. Indeed, back in the late Middle Ages, the common practice of granting a “pension,” as by the King of Spain to an important court personage, say, in the Court of England, served the same purpose.

Of course, we should always bear in mind that Israel gets a slice of foreign aid fatter than everyone else on the planet. It literally floats on American subsidies.

Just the annual formal aid package – not including the many other subsidies and favors given – provides each Israeli with about $500 each year, a top-up only to be wished for anywhere else.

Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: REDESIGNING BRITAIN’S ARMED FORCES WHILE IGNORING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM ? – THE GIGANTIC WASTE OF TRIDENT NUCLEAR MISSILE SUBS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY IAN KEDDIE IN THE GUARDIAN

How the UK armed forces would look if you started from scratch
The debate about Britain’s defence funding has reached boiling point. But we could have a better military – and save money too

The largest and most useless military expenditure on the books is Trident.

You could rebuild a city or a health service with the money going to Trident.

And the impossible irony is that it buys you zero security. It buys you zero deterrence.

Those missiles cannot be used unless the US wants them used, and they can only be used for targets the US wants them used on.

In effect, Britain is subsidizing the Pentagon by bearing the cost of a portion of its missile-submarine fleet.

Britain’s senior naval officers get to ride around on the boats and brag and gloat over what they have that others do not have.

But that’s it – that’s what British taxpayers get for tens of billions of dollars.

Oh, there is one other thing.

You get to be targeted by the nuclear missiles of potential opponents, something true only for countries who possess nuclear weapons.

Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: UNINFORMED SILLINESS (OR PERHAPS PROPAGANDA) FROM THE GUARDIAN ABOUT ENDANGERED WESTERN DEMOCRACIES – WHAT DEMOCRACIES?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAS MUDDE IN THE GUARDIAN

It’s fashionable to say western democracies are dying. Don’t buy it (yet)
The claim that everything is getting worse is in part the consequence of egocentric bias among liberal commentators

What Western democracies?

America or Britain or France cannot be called democracies by anyone with some history and political understanding.

They have democratic trappings, but they are not remotely democracies.

America is run by money, by those who have vast amounts of it aided by those organizations designed to help and assist them.

I see no evidence things are very much different in Britain and France.

The British system for example is rigged so that someone with about 35% of the national vote can form “a majority government,” a majority of parliamentary seats, that is, from gerrymandered electoral districts.

A prime minister then, supported by a minority of actual voters, can freely and secretly go to war or, indeed, do almost anything he or she pleases because a so-called majority government becomes something pretty close to a dictatorship with few if any constraints.

In America’s last election, it took a multi-billionaire to defeat the woman who spent an unbelievable amount of money to be defeated. Hillary spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 to 1.8 billion dollars, money collected from special interest groups and plutocrats just as is the case for the great bulk of all American campaign contributions.

It is not ordinary people who supply the funds to either party, funds used literally to flood the public with advertising and staged rallies and all kinds of phony nonsense right down to gigantic imperial American flags carefully mounted behind every stage where a candidate briefly appears. Funds used to buy experts in manipulating people’s perceptions, to buy tracking polls, to buy barrages from telephone call centers, to buy writers for slogans and ghost-written books, to buy everything from voice coaches to make-up artists and even to guest appearances by pop singers.

Anyway, if you call that a choice for Americans, you have a problem with words.

And isn’t choice – the people’s choice – the very central idea of democracy?

Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: PRETENDING OSCARS AND OTHER AWARDS COULD EVER REFLECT DARING OR QUALITY – THE NATURE OF SELF-PROMOTING BUREAUCRACIES

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CHARLIE PHILLIPS IN THE GUARDIAN

Want to win an Oscar? Stay on the straight and narrow
In the first of a monthly documentary column, our critic bemoans the dearth of daring film-makers from the Bafta and Oscar nominees

Please, when in any organized endeavor, such as awards or honors, do daring people win?

Rarely, if ever, does even high quality win.

It is just the nature of organizations, like bureaucracies, to sink into mediocrity and safety.

Besides, these awards are nothing more than an industry’s own efforts to promote and market its products. Recognition of excellence, when it happens, is almost accidental.

Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HEY AMERICA WHY DON”T YOU TRY DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE IN THE WORLD LIKE CHINA’S SILK ROAD INSTEAD OF ALL THAT KILLING? – MORE PENTAGON WHINING ABOUT A RUSSIAN FIGHTER TURNING A SPY PLANE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Russian fighter jet flies within 5ft of US Navy surveillance aircraft
Washington calls on Moscow ‘to cease unsafe actions’

You are quoting Washington’s inaccurate hyping of it.

Russia reports a professionally-conducted intercept.

And, of course, the Americans have no damned business being where they are.

It’s just a constant game of provocation anymore from good old America.

Their stunts put us all at risk.

Why, in God’s name, does anyone need that?

Hey, America, why don’t you go do something worthwhile in the world for a change?

You know, the way China is building a vast and creative project like the new Silk Road to improve the future economic lot of humanity?

No, America bombs, threatens, and provokes – virtually 24 hours-a-day anymore.

By the way, here is an interesting bit for readers, showing how America really does business with its best allies behind the scenes, when all the pretense of friendliness and principles is dropped for the public relations claptrap that it is.

And this is that seemingly friendly, smiling old hack, Joe Biden, not crude Mr. Trump:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201801301061187790-us-forced-eu-sanctions-russia/

Posted January 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A NEW BOOK REVEALS THE APPALLING RECORD OF ISRAEL’S USE OF ASSASSINATION – ONLY ADDING TO THE DREARY WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE WE ALREADY HAVE OF CONTEMPT FOR LAW RESEMBLING THE MAFIA’S

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO REVIEW OF A BOOK BY RONEN BERGMAN IN THE INDEPENDENT

Poisoned toothpaste and exploding phones: New book chronicles Israel’s ‘2,700’ assassination operations
Intelligence correspondent Ronen Bergman persuades Mossad agents, Shin Bet and military personnel to disclose their stories on state-sponsored killings

Israel has demonstrated little to the world over its brief history beyond the fact that it is capable of succeeding as a criminal state. It has flourished on lawlessness and criminal activity of every description.

Assassinations, kidnappings, torture, illegal imprisonment, theft, terrorism, starting wars with every neighbor it has, using banned weapons, making nuclear weapons, making chemical weapons, proliferation of nuclear weapons (with apartheid South Africa), blackmailing other states, and more.

The record is simply appalling, and the world cannot go on saying everything is okay because of what some other criminals did in a different country on a different continent three-quarters of a century ago. That cannot be an excuse for decades of new terror and lawlessness.

All people everywhere are capable of sinking into corruption and criminal behavior if they are subject to no standards, no oversight, no checks and balances, and no penalties for wrongdoing. And add to that, allowed to function under the general acceptance of a terrible principle that anything can be excused owing to events of another place and era and people.

When I think of the way our establishment regards Israel, blind to all the terrible things done in its name, I am reminded of J Edgar Hoover whose FBI in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, simply refused to acknowledge that organized crime existed in the United States.

He spent all of his considerable resources chasing non-existent communists.

But organized crime did exist, and in a big way. And it grew and flourished precisely because of the way Hoover ignored it.

Turns out that old J. Edgar (who was a closeted gay and a cross-dresser) had been badly compromised by the Mob.

The Mob apparently had compromising photos of him.

J. Edgar and his companion, Clyde, also used to like vacationing at some Mob-run resorts, where they received all kinds of special treatment, including tips on how to successfully bet at the Mob-run race track. Here was the country’s chief law-enforcement officer accepting betting tips from the Mafia.

Now, does that remind us of anything?

As, for example, the badly compromised American Senate, Congress, and President – all of whom are completely blind to the crimes Israel perpetrates in the Mideast? People who, if they stopped accepting bribes and favors, could quickly straighten out one of the world’s worst ongoing injustices?

Posted January 28, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized