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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE SITUATION BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA – AMERICA’S ROLE IN KEEPING THINGS JUST AS THEY ARE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“US-South Korea Talks on Trump’s $5bn Troop Payment Demand Collapse After Just 80 Minutes

“$5bn is politically impossible for Seoul as South Koreans understand the US is on the peninsula for its own reasons”

 

The enduring situation of North and South Korea with a lack of peace or any normal relations is pretty much the work of American policy and occupation.

North Korea only went through the huge sacrifice, for a relatively poor state, of developing nuclear weapons because it had endured three years of American carpet-bombing, killing one-fifth of its entire population during the Korean War.

America has always wanted North Korea to disappear, if not in an active war, then at least through the effects of strenuous sanctions and punishments. It has mostly never even talked to North Korea, until recently, and that effort now appears to have badly failed.

America wants unification of the Koreas, but under American terms.

The troops have never been in Korea just to keep peace or to defend democracy.

The fact is that South Korea, for most of its history, was governed by a series of slightly disguised authoritarian administrations. There was no democracy.

The United States was pleased, just as it was pleased with the series of tyrants who ran the artificially-created South Vietnam for some years.

As a side-effect of recent contacts, the leaders of North and South have established a relationship, an encouraging one. They are both quite intelligent and open to change. Moon is the most promising leader the South has had.

I think the two Korean leaders could, over a bit of time, iron things out themselves. There is a lot of goodwill. But the United States, without openly saying so, stands squarely in the way of that happening.

As in so many things, Washington’s view is “My way or the highway.”

I expect no breakthroughs. Washington is completely unwilling to make any serious goodwill moves, as with removing sanctions. And it is clearly keeping a tight rein on Moon in the South, so that he is not free to deal with the North.

Kim would be wise just to keep his nuclear arsenal in good shape, and I’m sure he knows that. He would very much like to be better integrated into the wide world, but the United States is not going to permit that.

And to add to the confusion and mess that prevails, along comes Trump demanding billions of dollars more from the South for its “defense.”

I wish there was something encouraging in the situation, but I fear there is not, not at all.

Trump’s Korean initiative has turned into something as stupid and indecisive as his efforts in Iran or Syria or…you name it.

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Response to another comment:

Of course, you are right. In theoretical terms.

“Kick the US out?”

How does anyone do that?

It isn’t just America’s military power, it’s the country’s immense financial and diplomatic leverage.

America is a determined bully with lots of dangerous toys. Three-quarters of a century of telling much of the world what to do has had its effects on the mindset of the entire Washington establishment.

It seems to me, we will only get real change, here and in other places, as American power diminishes relatively vis-a-vis China and Russia and others.

We are very much moving that way, but nothing of that nature happens quickly.

Unless, I should add, we have an economic catastrophe with the collapse of America’s economy and perhaps of the dollar, a not totally unrealistic possibility.

Posted November 21, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA TAKES A DEADLY NEW STEP IN ITS DISPLAY OF ANTAGONISM TOWARDS CHINA – ONE THAT WILL LIKELY DESTROY THE RELATIONSHIP – HENRY KISSINGER’S WARNING – AMERICA’S INABILITY TO SHOW ANY UNDERSTANDING OR EMPATHY FOR THOSE IT HAS DECLARED TO BE “ADVERSARIES”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MICHAEL SNYDER IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

‘US-China Relations Have Just Been Destroyed, and Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

‘The U.S. Senate just unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” and the Chinese are absolutely seething

‘”US and China are now enemies, and ultimately that is going to result in a tremendous amount of pain for the entire planet”’

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/us-china-relations-have-just-been-destroyed-and-nothing-will-ever-be-the-same-again/

 

A troubling, but unfortunately accurate, summary of the situation.

It may prove nothing less than a world historical watershed, coming, as this stupid Act does, piled on top of all the other American complaints and demands and threats towards China.

An extremely dangerous turning point. Even that hideous old creature, Henry Kissinger, was just in the news warning about the possible catastrophic effects of a serious divide between America and China.

The article says, “The Chinese take matters of internal security very seriously.” Of course they do, but please keep in mind that that is no less true of the United States.

With 17 massive national security agencies, I think it fair to characterize the United States as pretty much “apeshit” on the topic.

And just look at all the endlessly repeated brain-fried stuff about Russian election interference. It just never stops, almost like babbling from poor sick inmates of an asylum.

Despite their own paranoid level of concern about security, American leaders seem unable to understand, or have any sympathy with, the concerns of others.

A complete lack of empathy. I do believe we call that psychopathy.

 

 

Posted November 21, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: YET AGAIN TRUMP GIVES WHAT IS NOT HIS TO GIVE – THE MATTER OF THE LEGALITY OF JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ON PALESTINIAN LANDS – CONTEMPT FOR THE RULE OF LAW FROM THE “LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD” – WHY TRUMP DOES WHAT HE DOES FOR ISRAEL’S NARROW INTERESTS – ISRAEL’S STATUS VIS-A-VIS AMERICA – HISTORICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE IDENTITY OF CONTEMPORARY JEWS VERSUS THE ANCIENT HEBREW PEOPLE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DONALD MACINTYRE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Trump declaring Israeli settlements legal is indefensible – Palestinians deserve more than vote-grabbing

“The settlements, which are swallowing more and more land and resources, remain the biggest obstacle to a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”

 

It’s just the latest shameful chapter in the story of Trump’s relationship with Israel.

He has proved the most servile and corrupt President since Lyndon Johnson in all matters touching Israel.

He has ignored international law a number of times to give Israel something that is not his to give – Golan, Jerusalem, West Bank properties – and he has created some ugly international situations on Israel’s behalf.

The unnecessary vicious assault on a law-abiding Iran – his just arbitrarily tearing-up of a valid treaty, extreme war-like sanctions, serious military threats, even using the word “obliteration for 80 million people – is a direct result of trying to please Netanyahu and the important big donors in the United States who want pretty much whatever Netanyahu wants.

So were Trump’s crazed steps against the United Nations – quitting UN Human Rights, quitting UNESCO, cutting UN Palestinian aid funds, threatening voting members in the General Assembly by telling them they are being watched how they vote, and owing the UN around a billion dollars in back dues.

A rather vicious and focused set of acts taken against international law and order.

The basic driving political force for these deeds in the United States is less votes, I think, than money.

America’s campaign finance system is almost totally corrupt, as are its laws governing the activities of political lobbies.

It’s often joked that America gets the best government money can buy, and it really isn’t far from the truth.

The concept, “money is free speech” dominates American politics.

Israel has some of the best organized and financed lobby groups in the United States. It also has a clutch of American multi-billionaires who identify very closely with Israel for all of their huge campaign contributions. Those are Trump’s main targets for such policies.

The lobby groups not only supply cash but also expert professional and technical assistance with campaign work. They are also quite influential in press coverage in America’s “quality” press and broadcasting, all of which is managed with great deference to Israel’s interests.

As far as numbers, American Jews make up about 1.5% of the country’s population. “Fundamentalist” Protestants, depending on your definition, total between 6% and 25% of the population, the world’s largest such group and certainly a large segment of the electorate.

However, American Fundamentalist Christians are seen in polls as not being a particularly well-informed group, as you might expect with a good part of them waiting for the Second Coming of the Lord. Likely, in most cases, they not even aware of many of Trump’s acts, only having a general awareness of his friendliness towards Israel.

But the money and influence people of course follow and analyze and weigh the value of every step.

__________________

Response to another comment:

I think it is more complicated than that.

Israel, de facto, is an American colony in the Middle East, a special one with many extraordinary privileges. Many citizens freely move back and forth, and so does money and influence and technology.

Israel almost always operates on the two levels simultaneously – that of small “independent” country and American imperial colony.

It makes for a bizarre and complicated relationship.

It compares in many ways to France’s old relationship with Algeria, which France considered as an integral part of metropolitan France, although the relationship has dimensions making it still different in nature than that.

The concept of Israel includes the very emotional claim of being refuge for the world’s formerly terribly abused Jews. That claim of course ignores the healthy, prosperous situation of Jews in America and in many other places. It also ignores the fact that the majority of the world’s Jews do not live in Israel. Indeed, America alone has about as many Jews as Israel does.

______________________

Response to another comment:

Sorry, you are confused.

The Jews you speak of in London are European people, not Middle Eastern people. “Judea,” apart from being a long-dead concept like “Troy,” is not their place of origin.

The Ashkenazi and the ancient Hebrews are not the same people, except for the religion they profess.

The Ashkenazi go back on the order of 900-1000 years according to DNA work.

Their native language is Yiddish, a dialect of German.

Most of their customs and dress are derived from central and eastern Europe, as deli food and most of the dishes eaten on holidays.

Even the dress of the ultra-Orthodox does not reflect the Middle East at all, but central and eastern Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is most likely that the closest we have to direct descendants from the ancient Hebrews are indeed the Palestinians, and what a bitter irony that is. Two thousand years of history have made many changes in them, including religion, but it is a well-established historical fact that the Romans did not expel populations from conquered territories.

The Romans wanted the farmers farming and the taxpayers paying taxes. The whole “wandering Jews following expulsion from the Holy Land” story is just that, a story, one which more closely binds European Jews to the ancient Hebrews, but it just cannot be historical.

The Hebrews, at least some of them, clearly at some point in history became evangelical, having seen the great success of Christianity, which did start as a small Hebrew sect, and they proselytized in many regions, creating what became remote Jewish colonies.

A larger Jewish population gave more opportunity for marriage, too, something that is always problem for small groups. That is why there are varying traces of Semitic characteristics found in the DNA of Ashkenazi people.

Posted November 20, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WORDS ABOUT “LIBERALS” AND BOLIVIA’S COUP BRING SOME THOUGHTS – AMERICA’S WIDESPREAD MISUSE OF THE WORD “LIBERAL” – CAN YOU BE A LIBERAL AND SUPPORT A BRUTAL EMPIRE? – THE GENERALLY UNNOTED ROLE OF WHITE SUPREMACISM IN AMERICA’S COUPS AND INTERVENTIONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Bolivia’s White Supremacist Coup Regime Determined to Quench Resistance in Blood

“The fury of Bolivians cheated of their elected government has to be subdued with terror”

 

While I am in sympathy with much of this article, I very much object to the following:

“The one time there is an actual white supremacist takeover the liberals predictably line up behind it”

First, the word “liberal” is misused so often today, it is becoming meaningless, and this quote represents just another misuse.

No liberal can possibly support the coup. Liberals don’t ignore democratic principles, they are defined by them.

The fact is that there are almost no liberals in the United States and in many places under its dominance. But isn’t that what you expect to find at the heart of an empire? Its people all nurtured on twenty-four-hour-a-day political cant and corporate press propaganda?

America is a place, after all, where a football player can’t even make a brief, respectful gesture of protest against police violence without literally being booed and heckled, even insulted by high officials.

Empire- and Pentagon-loyalists like Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden and most of the Democratic contenders are not liberals, no matter what views they may hold about social programs.

In fact, America’s political party system leaves almost no room for careers in opposition to empire and the crushing weight of the military and security services.

By definition, empire and the military represent the antithesis of democratic and human values. They represent telling others what to do and using force if they don’t.

Second, we have had other “white supremacist” takeovers. Very much so.

As in Ukraine. That coup could not have happened without the work of Right-wing extremists like the Azov Battalion.

America’s covert support of such outfits in 2014 was publicly displayed by photos of America’s appointed Proconsul to the Coup Government, Joe Biden, smiling broadly, while vigorously shaking hands with the commander of that dreadful outfit.

You could argue that all American-induced coups and interventions abroad are of that nature, even if some of the actors used inside the target country are not white. You do have to use the material at hand for a coup, don’t you?

The guys running the show from Washington could very much be viewed as sympathetic to many of the world’s “white supremacists.” Just look at photos of the faces gathered around the Cabinet table or sitting in attendance at the Oval Office.

And the long-term record supports that impression. Until the actions of others in the world made it no longer sustainable, Washington vigorously defended and cooperated with the former white Nationalist government of South Africa, just as today it vigorously supports the brutality of Israel’s apartheid government.

Washington has had a hand in many coups and interventions against genuinely democratic governments over the years, but they were democracies with either “non-white” majorities or major “non-white” components of support, as in Egypt or Iran or Libya or Guatemala or Panama or Chile or Haiti.

Posted November 19, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: VLADIMIR PUTIN SPEEDS UP HIS PREVIOUS FORECAST OF THE COLLAPSE OF THE DOLLAR AND I’M INCLINED TO THINK HE IS RIGHT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY MARKO MARJANOVIC IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Vladimir Putin Predicts the Speedy Collapse of the Dollar

 

“This is not the first time Putin has said that dollar’s status as the world reserve currency is being eroded (and that America’s own weaponization of it was to blame)….It is the first time however that he has expressed the opinion that US dollar will exit the scene sooner rather than later.”

 

Indeed.

And there are other forces at work in the world towards the same end.

But I do think America’s completely ignoring of what the world actually wants in a reserve currency is key.

Nations want a safe and assured store of value and internationally-acceptable medium of exchange, not something controlled by political ideology and effectively requiring users to offer a pledge of allegiance to a foreign power.

America’s extreme weaponizing of the dollar speaks of arrogance and corruption and rot from within.

 

Posted November 19, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE QUESTION OF HUMAN AGENCY – BASIC REALITIES OF FOSSIL FUELS – BASIC PROBLEMS WITH MAJOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES – THE NATURE OF JUSTIN TRUDEAU, THE MAN WHO IS GOING TO PITCH POOR CANADA INTO A COSTLY GRETA THUNBERG CRUSADE – TRUDEAU TOES THE LINE OF TRUMP’S MURDEROUS CHAOTIC INTERNATIONAL POLICIES – YET IN THE VITAL DOMESTIC ECONOMIC MATTER OF ENERGY HE IGNORES TRUMP AND WANTS TO DRIFT OFF INTO FEEL-GOOD FANTASY   1 comment

John Chuckman

SERIES OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“For better or worse, Trudeau’s next 4 years are going to be about climate change”

 

Even if you believe human activity drives the climate change we do see – and that remains an unproven hypothesis no matter what evangelists like Greta Thunberg say – Canada’s contribution to the world’s carbon dioxide is a tiny, tiny fraction.

Our share of emissions is 1.6% of the world’s.

And we have our massive forests contributing the other way.

Nothing Canada can possibly do would make a significant difference to the world.

But there are lots of things we can do that will hurt our economy, vis-a-vis international competitors who do not embrace the Greta Thunberg’s theology.

And there are lots of things we can do that will further rupture Canada’s new East-West divide.

I feel confident in suggesting Trudeau likely will undertake all or most of them.

He already has established a record across a range of portfolios as the worst Liberal government of modern times.

Now he’s determined to top that by becoming the worst government, period, ignoring real problems while pursuing massive unproven solutions to the unproven problem of human agency.

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Fossil fuels will play an important role for decades to come.

There just is no substitute for their density of energy content. Their use in petrochemicals and the vast distribution system we have in place also have no substitutes.

Alternates today are totally inadequate and every one of them has problems and hazards of its own.

Batteries are still inadequate in their capacity for serious transportation needs. They are also very heavy, with the weight having been demonstrated to create extra forms of pollution while driving, as with road surface and tire dust particles flung out by higher rates of wear and tear.

Their full-cycle manufacture is in fact demonstrated as carbon-generating.

And their disposal is already creating horrors in some parts of the world as the leach ugly chemicals into groundwater after being dumped to rot in masses.

Windmills are an expensive joke. They cannot supply baseload power (24 hour-a-day reliability when you hit a light switch). They are always backed-up by other generation as by gas-fired (fossil) plants. They also kill millions of migrating birds. And they are a visual blight in some locations. Their long-term maintenance record is not good.

Solar has some limited promise in special applications, but again cannot provide baseload power. Solar panels are costly, not terribly efficient, and, as they age, they give off all kinds of nasty chemicals. Disposal is a problem, just as for batteries. So is full-cycle manufacturing.

There are no magic formulas unless you want to share the fantasies of Greta Thunberg who hitches rides across the Atlantic from wealthy folks in costly yachts constructed with petrochemical hulls.

__________________

Really, the prospects for our country are enough to make you cry.

Off on a costly fantasy crusade with the actual cause of climate change yet unproven.

Treating a world-class industry and resources as though they were unimportant.

We have an industry which is the envy of many in the world.

Extremely high new taxes, like the carbon tax, of absolutely no proven efficacy for their intended ultimate goal, which is to slow or to halt climate change.

All kinds of missed opportunities abroad for the sale of a valuable resource.

Missed development and jobs and legitimate new tax revenue on a big scale.

Additional alienation in the country between East and West.

Our international posture, in everything except energy, lined up almost toe-to-toe with the United States of Donald Trump.

That’s lined up as in not opposing such ugly activities as coups, interventions, war-like sanctions, bombing in a half dozen places, and supporting genuine tyrants.

Saudi Arabia, China, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Russia – you name the place, Canada under a so-called Liberal government, stands with the United States.

What a delightful future our Flower Child Prime Minister has lined up for us, assisted by his Neocon-lite, well-regarded-in-Washington, Foreign Minister.

__________________

A comment (below) makes the astute observation, ‘[Justin] Trudeau is not, and never was, a “complicated man”.’

I’m glad he picked up on that.

It is so very true.

Pierre Trudeau was an extremely complicated man, a reflection I believe of his razor-sharp intelligence and unusual education.

We do not see anything remotely like that in Justin.

A good observer watching him just a brief time realizes there isn’t a hint of anything complicated there.

In photos of Justin Trudeau with other Western leaders, their interactions can be quite revealing.

There is none of the attention and admiration and even awe Pierre could command. Justin is sometimes actually left to the side of a group of leaders, seeming to be ignored in photos I’ve seen. Given enough formal respect, I’m sure, because he does represent Canada, but no more than that, no more at all.

I’m sure he’s widely regarded as a “lightweight.” After all, there’s some pretty sharp minds among leaders of, say, the G-20. They aren’t easily fooled by a nice smile.

 

Posted November 19, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH FLIES ALL THAT WAY TO TALK WITH JUSTIN TRUDEAU ABOUT “EXTREMISM” – DOES IT GET ANY SILLIER? – BUT INEPT TRUDEAU GETS TO PLAY STATESMAN FOR THE CAMERAS AND THE KING GETS A BREAK FROM TAKING PARADE SALUTES IN JORDAN – BOTH WILL DUTIFULLY IGNORE THE WORLD’S PRIME EXAMPLE OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Jordan’s king to meet in Ottawa today

“PMO says Trudeau, King Abdullah II will discuss ways to counter violent extremism”

 

Actually, this kind of “high-level’ visit much resembles Trudeau’s recent song-and-dance routine seeking a Temporary UN Security Council Seat.

It’s public relations aimed at his image as statesman and world figure. This visit represents a very low-risk effort by Trudeau’s handlers since there is zero hard content involved.

The King of Jordan is a decent man, but he is about as important to the world’s affairs as the fancy silk drapes which hang in his palace windows.

And how much more proof can anyone require of Trudeau’s complete absence of a statesman’s talents than his last four years of achieving nothing, except occasionally embarrassing the country with dress-up stunts abroad?

____________________

Hard to imagine why King Abdullah would even bother with the long trip, but the King, too, likes to feel as though he has a role to play beyond standing in splendid uniform to take the salute at parades in Jordan.

If they truly wanted to talk about extremism and violence, of course, the world’s outstanding example is just south of Ottawa, but how much do you want to bet Trump’s America doesn’t get a mention?

Trudeau’s actually been quite the willing helper for that gang, whether by conviction or intimidation, who knows? Jordan’s King has absolutely no latitude in such matters, being, as he is known to be, virtually a prisoner of his powerful neighbor, America’s Middle Eastern colony.

Posted November 19, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized