JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PREVALENCE OF LYING IN AMERICA – A RATHER BOY-SCOUT APPROACH TO IT INSPIRES A RESPONSE – THE COUNTRY RESTS COMFORTABLY IN A VERY THICK WEB OF LIES COVERING ITS CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW AND RUTHLESSNESS – IT NEVER ADMITS THE HORRORS IT INFLICTS ON OTHERS – DETAILS OF RECENT UGLY WORK IN UKRAINE AND VENEZUELA AND IRAN – BUT THE CLAIM IS ALWAYS MADE TO BE WORKING FOR HIGH PRINCIPLES – WHY IT CANNOT BE OTHERWISE – THE VALUES YOU CULTIVATE WITH PLUTOCRACY, MILITARISM, AND EMPIRE   2 comments

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY LAWRENCE DAVIDSON IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The Cultural Problem of Cheating & Lying”

“This is not just a lesson for parents, schools, the courts, and the marketplace. It is also a necessary lesson for our politics. But we have not managed to come up with a way to vet our leaders so as to assure their long-term honesty and integrity — a process we have been searching for since the time of Plato. Nonetheless, we should try harder…”

 

Yes, indeed, but I do find the piece weak and rather squishy, avoiding as it does the real source of the problem and putting things into philosophical terms of a search for ways to insure truth in American politics and in the wider society. It actually gets quite preachy, but preaching doesn’t change the real political economy of a huge state, and, indeed, I think it effectively offers a kind false hope to hide behind.

A little like the people in America who periodically stand in a crowd on a hillside with their arms outstretched in a kind of supplication, waiting for the Second Coming. They are sincere, to be sure, I have no doubt, but their efforts are utterly pointless since they ignore science and the realities of the human condition.

There are bricks-and-mortar causes for the ailments of American society, and if you refuse to deal with those, you are in a very real sense lying to yourself and just adding to the total volume of American lying.

Given America’s empire and the vast and costly military/security services supporting it, I don’t think there is any option but for leaders to lie, and doing so almost continuously. The emergence of American plutocracy, which is what the empire serves, and money-driven politics at home are at the heart of the problem.

Can America’s leaders in Washington openly admit that they are starving children and depriving the sick of medicine in Iran and Venezuela and were working to do the same in Bolivia and still other places?

Even the ugliest, most powerful government officials or the plutocrats they serve do not happily take public credit for such grim acts. So, lying and cheating just become built into the society at the highest level. Almost everyone, no matter how malevolent their intentions and actions, wants at least a veneer of respectability, credit for worthy motives. Only the genuine psychopaths, of which America has more than a few in powerful positions because they are useful, are likely to want such credit, much like credit for scalps on display.

So, destroying someone else’s elected government invariably is transformed into fighting for democratic values. Venezuela’s unelected Guaido, absurdly swearing himself in as President without ever running for election and financing his activities with American intelligence agency funds as well as American-appropriated Venezuelan national assets, becomes the hope for democracy over the party of twice-elected Maduro and his thrice-elected predecessor, Chavez.

Again, except for the scalphunters, who would want credit for shutting down Venezuela’s electricity grid several times so that millions of poor ordinary people likely lost the food in their fridges? And many life-sustaining machines stopped working?

Such are the realities of empire. And there are just so very many examples, the story of Ukraine being a prominent and tragic one in recent years.

According to the delightful Victoria Nuland, a high State Department official who was overheard at the time, America spent five billion dollars on the coup in Ukraine, doing absolutely nothing for Ukraine’s people, overthrowing an elected government, and indeed wrecking the country in many ways. All done just to threaten the security interests of Russia along a huge border. Needless violence and intimidation, with plenty of killing along the way.

Parts of Ukraine seceded under the unpleasant language and cultural policies of the coup-installed government, and I think it pretty unlikely they will ever return. Thousands died in an unnecessary civil war over the matter. Great numbers of people sought work in other parts of Europe as the Ukrainian economy literally collapsed under a corrupt and incompetent American-installed administration.

Versions of neo-Nazism now openly flourish in Ukraine because the groups’ capacity to intimidate the government is useful in preventing any turning back to rational policies. Such groups, some subsidized by the State Department or American security services, threaten the government into not making reasonable concessions for peace.

Incidentally, Joe Biden, in his then role as presidential proconsul to Ukraine, assisting the coup government in getting things right – “right” meaning the way America wants them – was photographed warmly shaking hands with the commander of one such group, the Azov Battalion, a group whose marches much resemble those of Hitler’s Brownshirts of the 1930s.

The post-coup Ukrainian military demonstrated gross incompetence. Despite its far greater numbers and resources, it had poor leadership and lack of motivation and managed only to kill thousands of civilians in breakaway Eastern Ukraine. Its efforts to draft soldiers in Western Ukraine to send to fight in Eastern Ukraine resulted in embarrassingly high levels of running from the draft.

And all the previous coup government leader, Poroshenko, could talk about was how the Russians were invading and how brave Ukrainian soldiers were preventing Europe from being invaded. Absolutely absurd stuff, but our press and politicians credited it as truth. Somehow, with all such claims, the hi-tech, unarguable evidence of America’s fleets of spy satellites and sophisticated radars just manages to disappear. America would in fact know in a heartbeat if Russia invaded Ukraine, and it would not sit silently watching it happen.

So, we not only have thick clots of lies, we have the government of the United States treating us all as though we were totally ignorant of the realities of around-the-clock surveillance.

Perhaps the most grotesque aspect of Ukraine’s post-coup military operations was the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, either in error or deliberately, an event which launched an industrial-sized cover-up with a shameless investigation which never even bothered to collect all the evidence, pieces of the plane and contents still being easily discovered in the region where it crashed. If you study the case, there are many powerful reasons for believing the Ukrainian military shot down the airliner with fighter planes, but imagine the risk to America’s five-billion-dollar coup investment if the truth had been broadcast right away? So, years of throwing dust in people’s eyes began, and now the matter is almost forgotten. And, again, no American satellite images or radar tracks were ever produced.

We have ugly stunt after ugly stunt – such as the infamous Skripal Affair of two years ago in Britain – done merely to hurt the interests of those America does not like. Truth is impossible, and the lying goes beyond all normal bounds to become a massive network of distortions, all dutifully attested to at the highest levels of government and by the corporate press which of course always serves the government which has so regulatory powers over it.

It was after all, Hitler himself in his 1925 book, Mein Kampf, who propounded the concept of “the Big Lie.” It proved a highly successful idea, and tyrants and seekers-after-power have never stopped employing it since.

That is the very nature of empire, and there is no escaping it. It is impossible to behave the way America does and not lie about it, massively and continuously.

I’ve said it many times, but there’s no shame in repeating such an important truth: you can either have a decent country or you can have an empire, but you cannot have both.

The infrastructure of empire is built on threats, oppression, subversion, coups, dishonesty, and no shortage of violence.

And there is always an underlying assumption that a relatively small number of people in the United States are somehow entitled to tell the other more than 95% of humanity how they are to run their affairs. Are you not implicitly lying about your democratic and human-rights values when you do that? Of course, it isn’t America’s roughly 5% of the world’s people making the claim, it’s a tiny fraction of that, the highly privileged.

There’s no way the establishment politicians in Washington – including the best Congress money can buy – can one day just take a kind of Boy Scout Oath to reform things. Believing that goes beyond naïve to asinine.

Fundamental change is required – including basic matters like a tax structure which supports the creation of plutocracy and the grotesque role of money in politics – but I don’t think Americans are prepared to undertake it, and perhaps they are not even able to do so, given the establishment’s powerful tools of self-defense.

Right now, the Democratic Party is working to shut out Bernie Sanders, and it has already pretty much shut out Tulsi Gabbard, yet neither of those two admirable politicians is even advocating large-scale change. That’s a good measure of how risk-averse America’s establishment is.

The other half of America’s money-controlled political duopoly, the Republican Party, supports a foul-mouthed madman who brags about stealing. Why? Because he vigorously continues the good work of imposing America’s will on the planet, and he actively works to hurt those who are going to become important parts of a very different future, as China and Russia.

Well, I believe sadly that America is stuck right where it is until larger events overtake it and the now-emerging multi-polar world becomes the dominant reality.

MAGA will be seen as a museum relic, like some Shaman’s pathetic talisman, representing futile efforts by America to claw its way back to where it was seventy years ago, pretty much king of the world.

Either that, or it is not impossible at all for genuine widespread and destructive war to emerge from America’s present global hostilities almost everywhere.

After all, what do bullies do when their demands are ignored but start throwing punches or using a weapon?

Posted March 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PREVALENCE OF LYING IN AMERICA – A RATHER BOY-SCOUT APPROACH TO IT INSPIRES A RESPONSE – THE COUNTRY RESTS COMFORTABLY IN A VERY THICK WEB OF LIES COVERING ITS CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW AND RUTHLESSNESS – IT NEVER ADMITS THE HORRORS IT INFLICTS ON OTHERS – DETAILS OF RECENT UGLY WORK IN UKRAINE AND VENEZUELA AND IRAN – BUT THE CLAIM IS ALWAYS MADE TO BE WORKING FOR HIGH PRINCIPLES – WHY IT CANNOT BE OTHERWISE – THE VALUES YOU CULTIVATE WITH PLUTOCRACY, MILITARISM, AND EMPIRE

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  1. Hi John, can support everything you have written here.
    One thing that pissed me off a few days ago, I’ve read you’re suggesting Michelle Obama as a presidential candidate, WTF how come ?

    The wife the Obummer who’s responsible for the Ukraine desaster !!! I’ve thought you must have gone mad !!!
    Explanation ?

    • Hi. I’m not suggesting her. I’m no fan.

      I’m suggesting there may be a Democratic establishment back-up plan to use her to avoid the almost guaranteed disaster of Biden.

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