Archive for January 2018

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY – DANGER THE FAR RIGHT? – THE DANGER IS OUR IGNORING TOLERANCE AND DECENCY – ALSO RUSSIA’S UNBELIEVABLE AND FORGOTTEN WW II LOSSES AND OUR TREATMENT OF RUSSIA EVER SINCE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

“On Holocaust Memorial Day, saying ‘never again’ is not enough – we must be constantly vigilant against the far right’

I just cannot agree with that.

What we must be on guard about is the old-fashioned values like respect, tolerance, and decency.

We see such values violated time and time again in numerous places in the world, and about many of them never a word is said.
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Response to a comment about the massive WWII losses of Russia:

Yes, although the ghastly number is put now at 27 million.

The invasion of Russia was the most terrible event in all of human history, almost dwarfing anything else.

Stalingrad was the greatest battle. Kursk was the greatest tank battle. The Siege of Leningrad saw tens of thousands of bodies stacked like frozen logs.

But what do we see today in our press and from our politicians?

Hate Russia. Russia is evil. Russia is dangerous. Send troops and tanks to the border of Russia.

And this wave of filth comes after a long and costly Cold War and the West’s refusal to really help Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed and it experienced the equivalent of a Great Depression.

Posted January 27, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY – WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO REMEMBER – WHY YOU CANNOT ACTUALLY REPEAT HISTORY – EXTREMISTS OF EVERY KIND – THE MASS KILLING OF THE NEOCON WARS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Holocaust Memorial Day 2018: 92-year-old Kindertransport survivor warns about politics of division
‘Lessons have not been learnt in the 20th century. As far as the 21st century goes, we seem to not only have not learnt the lesson but are on track to copy it’

“Lessons have not been learnt in the 20th century.”

Absolutely right.

Just look at Israel and the concentration camp it runs in Gaza.

I’m not sure human beings are advanced enough to learn anything of the kind.

Chimpanzees with big brains.

And we know now from animal researchers that chimps are quite murderous.

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Response to a comment about dangers of the extreme Right:

Au contraire.

Extreme anything.

The Left is just as capable of horrors as the Right.

The Right had Hitler.

The Left had Stalin.
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Repose to a comment saying thousands of Jews were leaving France for Israel:

Thousands leaving?

I don’t think so.

That’s a commonly repeated nonsense.

Of course, the violent, ugly prime minister of Israel has, against all standards of appropriate international behavior, actually travelled around France actively seeking people to come to Israel and leave France.

He did so on his uninvited and unwanted visit following the events of Charlie Hebdo.

But you would have to be a mighty foolish person to leave a country like France to go to a place like Israel, which is little more than a garrison state.
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Response to a comment citing the old cliché about being condemned to repeat history:

George Santanyana’s saying is much over-quoted and, despite a superficial appeal, is actually quite incorrect.

Humans simply always do the same human things because they are human.

And, most importantly, there is no such thing as a true repeat of history.

Herodotus had it right twenty-five hundred years ago when he said history was like a flowing river where you could never dip your hand into the same place twice.
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Response to a comment:

Yes, indeed, and I’m glad you included, along with the Palestinians, Syria and other places.

The Neocon Wars since the time of Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush have likely killed about 2 million people.

They have sent several million running for their lives as refugees, too.

Arabs, of course. Muslims, mostly, of course.

And what has all that violence been about?

Tyranny? Nonsense. The US and Israel love tyrants who know their place – Mubarak, el Sisi, Salman, Abdullah, al-Sabah, Al Khalifa, etc, etc.

Democracy? Where do you see that, including in Israel where they want only one kind of person?

No, the Neocon Wars are a kind of geopolitical cleansing operation of the region around Israel. The creation of a vast cordon sanitaire.

Once prosperous and well-run nations like Libya and Syria are simply left in ruins by America.

Posted January 27, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: NONSENSE ABOUT THE FBI AND TRUMP FROM A GUARDIAN WRITER – THE FBI HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN INAPPROPRIATE ELECTION BEHAVIOR – BUT THAT’S NOTHING NEW FOR THIS SHABBY OUTFIT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JILL ABRAMSON IN THE GUARDIAN

“Trump’s attack on the FBI is an attack on the US constitution itself”

Oh, I am very sorry, but I think you have that quite wrong.

I don’t want to defend Trump. He’s a nasty piece of work, but even a nasty piece of work can be correct sometimes.

The FBI in fact has no place in the US Constitution. It could be argued that its very existence violates that document.

Freedom of speech and assembly combined with an American Stasi?

But even if its very existence doesn’t violate the Constitution, its hideous lifetime record of behavior does.

And, again, ignoring what we think of Trump, we do have strong suggestions of highly inappropriate behavior by the FBI around the election of Trump.

Does anyone really think secret police should be able to work against a proper election?

Keeping secret files on Congressmen. Helping Presidents do political spying. Hounding innocent citizens. Setting up agent provocateur operations. These and far more are the FBI’S legacy.

If you want a clear brief history of this abysmal organization, see:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-dreadful-record-of-the-fbi/

Posted January 27, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE AMERICAN INSANITY OVER THE SIMPLE GESTURE OF KNEELING FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM – “THOSE WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY THEY FIRST MAKE MAD”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ANDREW HELMS IN THE GUARDIAN

How the anthem protests split one small town
The sharp divisions of the Trump era were laid bare in rural North Carolina when a rumor circulated that the high school football team would be forced to kneel for the Star-Spangled Banner

Nothing better highlights the bizarre qualities of contemporary America than the NFL football players-kneeling controversy.

If you visit some alt-right Internet sites you will read the most seething and angry comments over the simple fact that some football players have chosen to protest by kneeling rather than standing during the playing of the national anthem.

Playing the national anthem at the start of a paid entertainment has always, always been inappropriate, but it is very “American.” The act itself is a measure of American Patriotic excess, generating social pressure on everyone to give a public quasi-religious response to music which doesn’t even belong there.

And many British people may not know this, but back a decade or so ago, the NFL players stayed inside for the anthem, only appearing on the field when it was over.

The only reason they have appeared on the field during the anthem since is because the American military started paying the NFL some fairly big money to have the players stand there.

Why would it do that? To excite young men to join the military when they see their sports heroes standing there.

How very inspiring.

So, who is it that really has been disrespectful to America’s symbols? The guys manipulating them to get recruits, the American military in need of young bodies to send off to America’s pointless colonial wars.

Of course, at a “deeper” level, one perhaps not appreciated by Trump or his trailer-park devotees, the very essence of being American is supposed to have something to do with rights and freedoms, including the right to protest injustice.

Not many months back, a police officer in Salt Lake City was released without blame after he shot a young black man in the back and killed him. The young man was running away, and a camera caught the entire sequence. Of course, this was not a unique event, but it was a well-documented one.

Some who saw the video say the officer literally executed the young man. Protests were immediate.

That’s what the players are kneeling about. In my sense of values, their protest is entirely fitting, and an even more demonstrative one would be.

Ironically, the players protesting have been almost overly respectful by going down on their knees, a gesture understood by most as respectful. It is only a protest because the gesture is different than the expected one.

Just think of what Trump and his pick-up truck crowd would be saying if these players instead were doing what some black American athletes did at the Mexico City Olympics of 1968. They raised their arms high in the black power salute while the anthem played. You should look back at the American reactions to that if you want to read about something exceeding the intensity of the current controversy.

This controversy has been ridiculous almost beyond telling. With all the terrible problems in America, from violent police to terrible ghettoes, and with all the wars and terror in the world, much of it deliberately created by America, here is the President and other major figures and commentators fiercely engaged over how football players pose during a piece of music.

The utter stupidity is comparable only with the Russo-phobia which has totally gripped the country for many months, a phenomenon comparable in every way with some primitive wave of fear over demon-possession. Yet this nonsense has engaged virtually all the country’s highest figures and its major security institutions and news organizations.

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”

Posted January 26, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FEW BRAVE ISRAELI PILOTS WON’T FLY REFUGEES OUT – RESPONSE TO A BLIND CHARGE ABOUT HOW IRRATIONAL COMMENTS BECOME AT THE MENTION OF ISRAEL – WHY ISRAEL DISTURBS   Leave a comment

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Israeli pilots say they would refuse to fly deported asylum seekers back to Africa: ‘I will not be a partner to this barbarity’
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Response to a comment “Strange how crazy, violent and irrational people’s comments become when the word “Israel” is mentioned”:

And do you think that just might possibly be owing to the reality of what Israel does, week-in, week-out, to several million people?

Gaza is a concentration camp, an unimaginable thing given the history of the people enforcing it. An enforced filth-hole with infinite restrictions on a million and a half human beings just because they’re not Jewish.

But there you have it, plain as day, one of the most brutal behaviors by any government in the world today. Never mind Myanmar or other godawful places.

And others are supposed to just ignore it?

Isn’t that exactly what encourages the worst evils, people ignoring them?

And here the same Israelis are in the press desperately maneuvering to send some poor black African refugees to their deaths. All because Mr. and Mrs. Netanyahu do not happen to like having black people in the neighborhood.

Nice to see a few brave pilots stand up against them.

But what week passes that Israel doesn’t openly, violently steal someone else’s home in the West Bank or East Jerusalem?

And surely you know that making threats against the UN, as Israel has done for months, gains it no friends or admirers.

Especially when those threats are simply a bad-tempered response to honest views and acts.

Imagine angrily leaving a fine agency like UNESCO, which does many good works in the world, just because it doesn’t follow Israel’s dictates, a country representing about one-tenth of one percent of the world’s people?

It’s arrogant in the extreme, but it does come from a state which remains in contempt of literally dozens of Security Council Resolutions passed over many decades.

Posted January 24, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT IS MIKE PENCE DOING IN ISRAEL? – HERE IS HOW THE AMERICAN ISRAEL LOBBY WORKS AND WHAT IT WORKS TOWARDS   Leave a comment

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

As Donald Trump’s emissary to Israel, Mike Pence is looking to a future in which he calls the White House home

No, what’s going on is more urgent than 2020.

It’s about the 2018 Congressional elections, in which, before this, it seemed very likely Republicans would lose control.

Pence is doing urgent missionary work in Israel.

Yes, we’ll move the embassy even sooner. Yes, we kill the Iran nuclear agreement.

In return, the Israel Lobby in the US will shower key Republicans with campaign finance gold. And money is extremely important in US elections.

The high-end papers and broadcasters – all in fact owned by Jewish Americans whose publications are doggedly loyal to Israel – will also shower them with favorable publicity and play down anything bad which happens.

The latter I am certain is what Trump’s whole sudden lurch on the embassy was about.

He has been clubbed by the high-end press from the beginning.

It is a certainty we will begin to see a gentle change. He will be treated much more respectfully.

After all, I don’t know whether readers appreciate the fact, but the New York Times, for example, submits every story having anything to do with Israel to the official Israeli Censor before it publishes.

Deference like this is typical too of the Washington Post or networks like CBS.

It was Harry Truman who first showed American politicians what the Lobby could do.

He was losing to Thomas Dewey in the polls at the time the self-declared Israel sought American recognition.

Truman was reluctant in light of all that was happening in Palestine – including massacres – to grant recognition.

He was tirelessly lobbied, and he finally relented.

Well, he won, by a small margin, but he won. Favorable publicity and lots of campaign funds plus smart operators coming to work for the campaign saved the day.

Truman actually wrote about the almost headache-inducing lobbying he was subjected to before he gave in.

The example was not lost.

By Lyndon Johnson’s day, lobbying for Israel was becoming an industry. Johnson set the further example of granting Israel the early version of the massive foreign aid it now receives as subsidy.

So, the pattern was established gradually of lobby for Israel, and Israel actually ends up not only with benefits, many of which may be unwarranted, but with money.

An American Congressman voting on Israel-oriented bills is carefully monitored for his correctness. After all, the same help can be shifted to the opposition, adding a stick as well as carrot.

When a Congressman votes for Israel, he is assured of support. He or she never considers that effectively a shell game is going on; money or benefits go to Israel from the American Treasury, and the Congressman gets financial and publicity support for his or her vote.

By the way, the system is so advanced and developed today that every freshman Congressman is given an invitation to a little all-expenses-paid holiday in Israel where he or she will be wined and dined and royally propagandized.

Any Congressman not accepting the invitation can pretty well be certain his next election (every two years) will be a very difficult one.

When you really think about it, given all the vast and complex problems in the world and all the wars and struggles including all the vast and nasty problems of America itself, why do any American officials spend special time and efforts on Israel, a country with a population the size of Ecuador?

Posted January 23, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A GENUINE AMERICAN GROTESQUE IN “RUSSIA EXPERT” MICHAEL MCFAUL – AND THE NATURE OF ALL THOSE AMERICAN PRIVATE “INSTITUTES” PASSING FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

Russia ‘Expert’ Michael McFaul Don’t Need No Russian Language Skills
Former US Ambassador to Moscow, neocon errand boy, would-be color revolution regime changer, and self-proclaimed Russia specialist Michael McFaul doesn’t feel the need to maintain his already highly questionable Russian

http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-expert-michael-mcfaul-dont-need-no-russian-language-skills/ri22287

He is typical of his type in America.

All those private institutes – dozens of them, directly subsidized by billionaires who can claim tax exemptions for donating, or in some cases, secretly subsidized by CIA – are little more than propaganda mills churning out “papers” and “reports” with little or no academic value.

The American “institutes” also serve as sinecures for political has-beens like the former ambassador.

They can sit ensconced in leather chairs looking out the window and be called “fellows” or “senior fellows” as though they were special professors at an important university. It’s kind of like kids playing house, old politicians playing professor and getting a title.

None of these institutes has serious academic credibility because they are, by their very nature, one-sided and serving to promote a view.

The pictures you have here of the ex-ambassador so fit the image – I have been inside such places – of the average habitué, privileged-looking and carrying himself with a very identifiable, distinctive attitude.

His photos are as silly as the words he has written, for anyone with a little familiarity.

Posted January 23, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized