Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA WORKS HARD TO BUILD A GIANT GLOBAL WALL OF SANCTIONS – ONLY SPEEDING THE DAY OF ITS OWN DECLINE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TYLER DURDEN IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Massive Leak Confirms Turkey’s Gold-for-Gas Scheme to Evade US Sanctions on Iran

“Not only is gold money, it’s US sanctions-proof money”

 

It is hard to imagine how much work US officials do just to enforce the vicious set of laws called “American sanctions.”

No one has the right to sanction other nations as the US does. After all, it means applying American laws to everyone else on the planet. Imagine the global chaos if everyone behaved the same way?

But America has absolutely no sense anymore of fairness or good sense or even regard for the proper rule of law.

I do very much believe that these feverish efforts actually speed the decline of the US.

Even friends and allies lose respect for the US, and they grow very tired of all the threats and enforcement efforts and of being told what they may and may not do.

The sanctions involve a shrill repetition of “I’m right, and you’re wrong,” over and over, something most people do get tired of hearing.

Of course, international trade is driven down by the effort, right at a time of fragile international economic circumstances. It just doesn’t come any dumber than that.

Building big walls always has been a sign of fear and decline for empires, and the American sanctions effort represents the world’s biggest wall, one which requires constant attention and repair.

Posted December 8, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE OF A SAVAGE IN A SUIT THAN A STATESMAN – PUTIN’S SECRET STRATEGY IN HIS RELATIONS WITH TRUMP – DOING MORE DAMAGE THAN ANY SECRET WEAPON COULD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY FINIAN CUNNINGHAM IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“French and Canadian Drama Queens Spoil NATO Summit with Bickering, Backstabbing”

 

Oh, please, that headline has the wrong emphasis.

I am not fond of Trudeau or Macron. They both are ineffective and pretentious.

But how about some emphasis on all the genuine damage done, both inside and outside NATO, by the blundering stupidities of Trump?

The man is more a savage in a suit than a statesman.

I’ve long believed that any regard shown Trump by Russia’s sophisticated and practical Putin simply represents a secret desire to see Trump continue to be inflicted on the West.

He does more long-term damage than any secret weapon could.

Posted December 8, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW TRUMP GETS AWAY WITH SO MANY THINGS – EXPLAINED BY THE CHARACTER OF HIS POLITICAL BASE – AMERICA’S SUITABILITY FOR WORLD LEADERSHIP   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TED RALL IN THE UNZ REVIEW

 

“Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does”

 

Trump’s people, a lot of them, are people filled with the resentments and humiliations of a lifetime.

They take pleasure in a leader who not only gets away with things but speaks rudely to the powerful.

It hardly represents a set of impulses on which to build a political movement, especially for the world’s leading nation.

But then, that’s just America, or at least a good portion of it. And it never was well suited for a leadership role in the world.

Leadership happened by the sheer accident of being the last big man standing after WWII.

Posted December 8, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EXCEPT PERIPHERALLY, OIL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SYRIAN WAR – SYRIA WAS ONE OF SEVEN STATES THE PENTAGON PLANNED TO TOPPLE WAY BACK NEAR 9/11 – WHY DIRECT INVASION USED ON IRAQ WAS NOT REPEATED ON SYRIA – AMERICAN USE OF TERROR – NEOCON WARS ARE A BLOODY YEARS-LONG URBAN-RENEWAL PROJECT FOR ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORHOOD – IRAN WAS ALSO ON THE LIST AND MAY HAVE ESCAPED ITS FATE THROUGH ITS RECENT IMPRESSIVE DISPLAY OF NEW WEAPONS – BACKGROUND OF AMERICA AND THE 1980S IRAQ-IRAN WAR – HEAVY IRAQI USE OF AMERICAN-SUPPLIED CHEMICAL WEAPONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MURRAY BREWSTER ON CBC NEWS

 

“Can allies trust an administration that boasts of using military power to pillage other nations’ resources?”

 

Trump has used his remarks about “liking to steal oil” as a lame-joke way to hide his real purpose. He thinks the poor joke is more acceptable to the world than the truth.

The Syrian war has never been about oil. It has been about destabilizing or toppling a government the United States and its regional friends dislike because it is independent-minded and does not embrace America’s vision for the region. It refuses to take the Pledge of Allegiance.

And Syria has always refused to relinquish the territory Israel has occupied since the 1967 War, the Golan Heights, a territory Israel claims to have annexed against all international law.

With the help of Syria’s allies, the main war, a vicious proxy war using recruited outsiders such as al Nusra and ISIS and others, is now largely over, and the United States did not win.

The effort in Syria’s northeast with the American occupation of the country’s oil fields is about claiming a consolation prize for the larger loss, effectively crippling the Assad government’s future efforts at rebuilding the war-torn country.

Trump, I believe, at one point genuinely wanted to leave Syria altogether, knowing the main war was lost.

But powerful pressure groups in Washington immediately opposed withdrawal. The consolation prize of hurting Syria was demanded. And Trump, focused insanely on getting himself re-elected and on the need for heavy-duty campaign donations, gave them what they wanted. He’s never had any problem with reversing himself on policy if there’s a personal benefit.

The United States is using the notion of keeping the oil from ISIS as an explanation. But it is a feeble explanation because ISIS is not strong in that region, and the unpleasant truth is that the United States has never genuinely fought terror inside Syria.

Not at all. It is ultimately responsible for the terror being there, a responsibility it shares with Israel and Saudi Arabia, originally Turkey, and a few other regional friends. Although I suppose America’s ideal outcome would see the terror groups having achieved their goals in Syria and then be disbanded or destroyed. They are trash to be temporarily used, not allies for the future. Geo-political toilet paper.

The United States has had some conflicts with ISIS, as you’d expect when dealing with such unholy thugs, but the focus of the terrorist groups has always remained toppling or hurting the Syrian state, which just happens to be the aim of America and its close regional friends. They have never attacked the interests that true jihadi types would attack, Israel and the corrupt Saudi Royals.

Over the years, the United States has used the presence of ISIS and others as a convenient excuse to keep troops in various locations and to bomb things in Syria it wanted to bomb. The terrorists have proved quite handy that way.

It has been a very dirty war.

______________________

Just an additional note on the causes of the Syrian War.

The names of the Middle East countries destroyed in a series of wars now often called the Neocon Wars were long ago on an official American government list of seven countries to be toppled over future years. The list was part of a secret Pentagon document.

The list was seen by former General Wesley Clark at the Pentagon not long after 9/11. He has spoken of seeing it several times.

And, remember, Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, spoke of hearing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East” at the time of the invasion of Iraq. America, essentially, has long had a secret plan for a kind of vast and bloody urban-renewal project surrounding Israel.

The list was assembled under leading American Neocon Paul Wolfowitz, one of the Pentagon’s highest officials then. Syria was on the list, as was Iran.

Just as the invasion of Iraq was not really about oil, so the hybrid proxy war in Syria was not. By using covert means and proxy forces, Washington avoided another costly invasion like Iraq, something that had created a lot of adverse reaction in the world.

The open and extremely violent invasion of Iraq violated international law, and it offended many, even in friendly nations. So, the approach would not be repeated for other nations on the list.

Iran, with its now demonstrated impressive military capabilities under renewed American belligerence, may just have avoided the fate of the other countries on the Pentagon’s list.  The range and accuracy of Iran’s many missile and other systems have been impressive.

Iran began developing new capabilities as a national project after the long and bloody Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s, a war the United States encouraged and supported, even going so far as supplying Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with deadly chemical weapons to adjust the odds against the forces of Iran’s much greater population. Huge numbers of Iranian soldiers were gassed.

 

Posted December 7, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY (REPOSTED FOR THE HOLIDAYS): AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT…A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS TALE   Leave a comment

A short tale written years ago and widely published, one which I think still says something important and is a piece of which I’m fond. Reposted for the holiday season.

 

AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT

A Contemporary Christmas Tale

 

John Chuckman

It was only a matter of time before Santa Claus himself came under the Neanderthal-eyed scrutiny of American intelligence. After all, Santa’s citizenship is unknown, and he crosses borders with no passport or other form of identification. No one knows whether he even has a valid pilot’s license.

Although his image is well known, there is no official photograph on file with American border control, and he has never been fingerprinted or body-searched. Most disconcerting of all, he delivers parcels to children all over the world, including the children living in the Axis of Evil. His intentions with this activity are not understood beyond some fuzzy generalization about kindness and generosity to all. Clearly, here was the world’s largest unplugged pipeline to potential terrorists.

It was only after receiving no response to several urgent letters from the State Department requesting an immediate meeting in Washington that a decision was made to approach Santa’s North Pole solitude. As usual in such matters with the people now running America, a wing of America’s most lethal killing machines was employed for the purpose. You never know what you might encounter in such a forbidding place.

As the planes first zoomed over the icy silence of the North Pole workshop, one of the pilots decided to swoop down for a closer look. He was one of those daring fly-boys, and his tail struck the only wire for thousands of miles around, the North Pole Telegraph, sending his plane hurling into the workshop in a ball of flames with tons of ammunition and missiles exploding.

Santa and Mrs. Claus rushed out of their snow-blanketed gingerbread house to see what was happening, trying to calm the terrified reindeer running from their stable at one end of the house. The elves, too, scurried towards the stable, trying to stop the reindeer from running or flying off.

Above, in the dark vault of sky, the other pilots observed the explosion and saw missile trails smoking into the air. They also saw the frantic activity below and quickly concluded their comrade had come under anti-aircraft attack. So they swooped down in attack formation, rapid-fire canon tearing into everything ahead of them.

Most of the reindeer fell in the snow, spurting warm blood across the bluish-white surface. Most of the elves, too, fell gasping for life. Mrs. Claus received a wound in the head and instantly fell limp. Santa tried heroically to reach his wife but realized the situation was hopeless and turned, running into the darkness accompanied by Prancer, the only surviving reindeer.

The only witness to the massacre is one surviving elf now living somewhere in Canada under an assumed identity, fearful for his life. It is only from his testimony that we know anything about Santa’s fate.

Realizing the horrific mistake they had made, the pilots dropped white phosphorus bombs with the intention of incinerating all evidence. The entire North Pole lit up and Santa and Prancer could be seen in the distance on a huge block of ice drifting off into the dark sea, the ice everywhere cracked and weakened by the combined effects of white phosphorus and years of global warming.

Within in a few hours, the beating sound of a black helicopter approached Santa and Prancer. The elf, from his hiding place in a snowdrift, could only make out intermittent sounds across the howling coldness, but it seems armed men emerged from the helicopter, shot Prancer and shackled Santa, shoving him into the dark, beating machine. The elf heard a word that sounded like Guantanamo and Santa has not been heard from since. Reports of his fate reached the International Red Cross and organizations like Amnesty International, leading to inquiries, but these have been met only with silence from American authorities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ISIS AND SYRIA AND AMERICA’S ILLEGAL PRESENCE THERE – WHAT THE SYRIAN WAR, DISGUISED AS A CIVIL WAR, HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT- THE SAME THING AS THE REST OF THE NEOCON WARS – AND IT’S NOT OIL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MIKE WHITNEY IN THE UNZ REVIEW

 

“The one insurmountable obstacle to peace in Syria is the US occupation.”

 

Well, yes, but the very reason US troops are in Syria is to prevent Syria from achieving peace and normality.

And why is that? Because Israel does not want Syria to return to peace and normality, especially under its existing government, a government the majority of Syrians support and a government that has always protected minority religious rights in that diverse country but a government Israel has always hated.

Israel does not like independent-minded countries in its region, ones which do not toe the American policy line, something certainly true of Syria, and it likes them even less if they are fairly well run and strong.

The entire American effort in Syria has been an effort to repeat what was done in Iraq on Israel’s behalf, but without a big invasion by America’s military, an event which had some unpleasant side-effects. The new effort was disguised as a civil war and used proxy forces, and it and was supported by several covert “helpers” – Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain, France, and originally Turkey.

The Neocon Wars, including direct warfare and proxy efforts, have been an effort to pave over societies within hundreds of miles of Israel, a giant urban renewal project, if you will, at the cost of a good two million lives and the creation of tens of millions of desperate refugees. “The birth of a new Middle East,” as Condoleezza Rice fondly put it.

Israel had motives for gain in the Syrian proxy war, too. It wanted to cement its ownership of occupied Golan – an occupation that Syria’s President Assad has rightly never accepted and tirelessly speaks against – and it wanted yet another slice of Syrian territory it termed a “buffer” for Golan. Israel lost when the main part of the proxy war was lost to Syria and its ally Russia.

But Israel secretly pushed a plan for some form of Kurdish rump state to be created in the northeast, an oil-producing region, to weaken largely victorious Syria and make reconstruction harder without oil revenues. That is what the US has been supporting.

All the stuff recently about loving to steal oil is just silliness Trump uses to cover what he really is doing, which is doing what Israel wants him to do. Just like Lindsey Graham, many Washington politicians try to avoid sounding as though they are serving Israel’s interests as often as they are. Maybe if they spoke honestly more often, American public support for wars on behalf of Israel would melt away. American voters have no concept of the unholy price they’ve paid for this project.

That was never really a viable idea, a Kurd rump state, given the realities of Turkey and its view of armed Kurdish groups like the YPG near its borders.

Trump decided to withdraw after talks with Erdogan, thinking he had done enough for Israel that he wouldn’t hear from them on this, but he was wrong. When Trump said he was withdrawing troops, he heard about it, and quickly, especially from Israel’s loudest lobbyists in Congress, folks like Lindsey Graham, although they are careful to phrase their words (“Letting down brave allies like the Kurds!”) so they don’t sound as though they are what they are actually doing, special pleading for Israel.

ISIS today serves mainly as an excuse for the US to remain in certain Syrian locations (illegally, of course) under the positive-sounding phrase of “fighting terror,” something they really aren’t doing at all. The US has never really fought terror in Syria, although here and there it has had fights with elements of its various ragtag proxy armies. That’s just how it is when you use collections of such cutthroats and thugs.

ISIS also has served as an excuse to bomb Syria at certain times and places. The US and Britain have served almost as an air force for ISIS by destroying Syrian infrastructure and at times directly attacking Syrian forces.

So, ISIS is and always has been an American policy tool, not a genuine enemy. And just so, too ,other groups like al Nusra (described as Syria’s al Qaeda) and the YPG Kurds in the northeast.

Note that ISIS or al Nusra has never attacked the targets you would naturally expect a jihadi terror group to attack – the fat, corrupt Saudi Princes and Israel. Never once.

ISIS has always attacked what Israel (and thereby, the US) dislikes – Syria and, at an earlier point, elements in Iraq.

After the murder of Gadhafi and the turning of once well-run Libya into a set of ruins by America and its allies, Hillary Clinton’s State Department started a program of picking up some of the immense number of weapons left scattered around and picking up gangs of cutthroats and sending them covertly to Syria via Turkey.

That’s what the Benghazi mess, Hillary was so afraid of addressing later, was part of. Things went wrong and some of the thugs they were dealing with found the best available target to be the American Ambassador working on the collection project.

We even know, at one point, Clinton shipped a wee bit of the dead Gadhafi’s Sarin nerve gas stocks to Syria (stuff he kept as a counter to Israel’s secret nuclear weapons) via Turkey. It was an effort to create a violation of Obama’s self-declared “red line” in Syria so the US could begin bombing the crap out of Syria, just the way it did Libya.

Putin’s remarkable statesmanship saved the day, of course giving Clinton one more reason later to regard Russia as her source of all evils.

Just an additional note, the names of the countries destroyed in the Neocon Wars were long ago on a list of seven countries that were to be toppled in the future. The list was seen by General Wesley Clark at the Pentagon not long after 9/11. It was part of a project under leading Neocon Paul Wolfowitz. Syria was on the list, as was Iran.

Posted December 6, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE FANTASTICAL NOTION OF AN AMERICAN “LIBERAL ESTABLISHMENT” – THE REALITIES OF LIBERALISM IN AMERICA – THE CONCEPT HAS ABOUT AS MUCH SUBSTANCE AS RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN AMERICAN ELECTIONS – BUT MILLIONS EMBRACE THAT TOO   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Washington Post’s Series of Articles on Far-Right Populism and Nationalism”

 

“Once again, the amazing assumption here by the liberal establishment…”

 

Liberal establishment?

The Washington Post?

Given that newspaper’s long public record of always supporting wars and interventions, of always supporting the establishment, of always supporting the CIA and Pentagon, I do find that a bizarre use of language.

There is no “liberal establishment” in the United States because, effectively, there are no liberals.

A genuine liberal always supports democratic and human rights. A genuine liberal opposes war unless it is self defense or the defense of others.

You cannot support a world empire and be a liberal. You cannot support organizations like the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and NSA and be a liberal. You cannot support what Israel does daily to Palestinians and be a liberal. You cannot accept the total squalor that exists in huge parts of American cities and be a liberal. And you cannot accept a national program of extrajudicial killing and be a liberal.

You cannot point to a single corporate newspaper or broadcaster in the United States that embraces those criteria

And you cannot point to a major political party that does either.

Not even individual candidates. If you listen to the candidates of the Democratic Party debating, you will not hear one voice that meets the criteria.

Tulsi Gabbard comes closest, but she still does not fully meet the criteria, and, besides, she is certain to be excluded from the nomination by a party establishment that is anything but liberal.

Yet, over and over, we read and hear in the press of American liberals or America’s liberal press or America’s liberal establishment.

This is especially true when writers or speakers try to make comparisons to Donald Trump, but the truth is that Trump is little more than a closet fascist, an ignorant hater of many things, and a man with a chaotic mind. Having some differences with him does not make anyone automatically a liberal.

The concept of American liberals is just as fantastical and meaningless as the constant threat of Russia and Russian interference in America’s last election. Yet millions embrace that too.

Posted December 4, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized