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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“NYT’s Eye Broccoli Charles Krauthammer Tells Bill O’Reilly Putin Will Kill Him”

Krauthammer has long been one of America’s ugliest public figures.

I don’t mean, of course, physical ugliness, although he does possess that in an abundance sufficient to have enjoyed a successful career as a B-actor in cheap horror films.

The man simply has an ugly mind, unrelentingly ugly. Perhaps his physical ugliness is just a kind of metaphor for what’s contained inside him?

He has always been a cheerleader for Israel’s killings, theft, and abuse – always. He at times almost might have reminded one of a dog-faced concentration camp guard cheering when he saw smoke rising.

He was a charter member of the people providing media support to the American group called Neocons whose influence since 9/11 has given us wars that have killed at least 2 million people, destroyed several countries, and sent millions running for their lives.

The Neocons’ basic credo was that the US should not hesitate to use its immense military power to re-shape parts of the world to please itself.

They advocated long ago in books and policy councils and universities the firestorm through the Middle East that we have actually witnessed in an attempt to create “the birth of a new Middle East,” one shaped to please Washington and its embattled fortress-colony in the region.

The ultimate outcome was to be the destruction of all independent-minded leadership throughout the region, literally dismembering several of the countries (Iraq, Syria, Libya) to create weak rump states – all of this intended to create a vast cordon sanitaire around Israel and catapult it into the position of unquestioned master of the region, a kind of miniature replica of the United States’ position in the rest of the world. A miniature replica right down to the fact that its largely alien American and European establishment would rule over vast numbers of people with ancient local roots, different languages, different religions, and different cultures.

At the same time, this Neocon march of destruction through the Middle East would demonstrate to all opposition just how ready and ruthless the US was in getting its way.

This task remains uncompleted so long as Iran remains untouched. Iran, a country which has attacked or threatened no one in its entire modern history, is constantly called an “existential threat” by the madman serving as leader of Israel, a man who himself has killed many innocent people and one who pursues an official policy of stealing the homes and farms of others. Iran, because of its size and potential wealth, is a threat only to the unqualified influence of Israel in the region. One becomes concerned when Trump makes unwarranted threats to Iran, Trump a man we all hoped would be able to finally shake the Neocon grip on America and end the pointless wars.

But the Neocons ended wanting to do more than just demonstrate to potential opposition. After all, any people who release war and viciousness on the world just to achieve their own interests, tend to become only more savage and hungry for results. So, we also saw policies like the overthrow of a democratic government in Ukraine in an effort to gain an intimidating new position against Russia.

Russia is, after all, seen by the Neocons as the only country which can deny the United States doing pretty well whatever it pleases in the Middle East and in Europe. It is, of course, the only other nation on earth capable literally of obliterating America. That fact makes it a constant target. There is also a clear residual strain of thought here from the Cold War when the Soviet Union was frequently presented by folks like Krauthammer as a viciously anti-Semitic place, in addition to all its other many faults.

Europe’s recent generation or two of leadership has so fallen in stature and capability that it has become an ineffectual yes-man for the Neocon policies, even though those policies have brought down a firestorm of side-effects on Europe’s head, including a massive army of refugees the United States does absolutely nothing to help with. These leaders have functioned so poorly that the future of the EU itself now is definitely in question. The UN too has been eviscerated by the Neocon crowd, removing a voice that should have strongly opposed their clear aggression in the world. The last Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, was almost a joke in all the matters of war and aggression, the very things the UN was designed to oppose.

But we still have Mr. Krauthammer and his many media associates in the US spewing out their ugly hatreds and prejudices around the clock, always just slightly dressed-up for a kind of polite respectability. He is indeed a wonderful man, as is his colleague at “the liberal” New York Times, Thomas Friedman. They work to make death and destruction acceptable as state policy and to make hatred, so long as it is hatred of the right things, a part of normal discourse.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS IN INVESTMENTWATCH

 

 “The Leftwing Has Placed Itself In The Trash Can Of History”

What truly does belong in the trashcan of history is the almost meaningless division of Left versus Right.

Sound policies and ideas are simply not the prerogative of this or that political party.

Political parties or groupings partly thrive out of the herd instinct and the inability, or unwillingness, of many individuals to think for themselves.

True individualism, thinking for yourself, is certainly not the exclusive property of people identifying as Right.

In fact, that is an absurd idea on its face.

To wish away a whole body of people you’ve labelled as Left (or as anything else) smacks very much of religious extremism, the kind of Bible-thumping we see from ignorant folks like Franklin Graham of Pat Robertson or Oral Roberts.

Believe me, you cannot build a good and wholesome society starting with such religious-style intolerance.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN IN INVESTMENTWATCH

 

“Make Liberal Democrats Tolerant Again”

Tolerance is one of the key characteristics of a true liberal.

But there are almost no true liberals in America.

America is not a sheltering place for such values and attitudes.

It is so easy to forget that you are the center of a massive, brutal empire, and that empire is run for the benefit of America’s power establishment.

Empires and grand armies and giant spy organizations are not things which promote tolerance or even democracy.

America is governed as a plutocracy.

That is not going to change in our lifetimes.

Trump, even if he succeeds in a few needed areas, such as peace with Russia, end of Neocon Wars, create jobs, is not going to change anything about America’s basic structure.

He wouldn’t even be inclined to do so.

Few if any Democrats in America qualify as “liberal.”

After all, they have been the War Party for years, and they’ve helped kill millions abroad.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOVERNMENTSLAVES

 

Note in the story a reference to: “the Jefferson School Heritage Center”

The greatest unrepentant slaveholder in American history was Thomas Jefferson. His record was appalling. He held over two hundred slaves until his dying day.

We know he beat slaves at times because a reputable witness wrote the fact down. He did not even manumit his slaves with his death either as some slaveholders did. He died a bankrupt from his spending excesses.

He used slave Sally Hemmings, starting at the grand old age of thirteen, as his sexual partner and had children by her. We know this from the written testimonial of one of her grown sons.

He was known to have sometimes sold uncooperative slaves “downriver,” a practice for disposing of stubborn slaves to the feared Deep South where they were treated far more brutally.

He openly wrote of black inferiority in his “Notes on Virginia.” He also once wrote, being quite aware of what he was doing, that he feared for his county’s future over what had been done with slavery.

When President, he supported France’s Napoleon in trying to brutally suppress the revolt of the plantation slaves of Haiti. He made no pretense about what he thought the right course, dictator over slaves seeking freedom.

All this, of course, while writing his little catchy sentences and phrases on freedom so often still quoted today. He was essentially his own public relations flack for the judgment of history. The man stands as the greatest hypocrite in American history.

And please note, that to this day, Washington still does not have a monument to slavery. There clearly should be one, a very large and compelling one, but there is not. Only some polite teasing around the edges by the Smithsonian.

Yet Jefferson continues to enjoy a marble memorial in Washington, a place on Rushmore, and has thousands of local streets and institutions named for him.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Measures to ‘enhance combat readiness’ have already begun”

And well they should.

Putin sees America, helped by weak governments such as Germany and Britain deferring to its bullying demands, surrounding his country’s borders with whole armies of tanks and troop transfers and missile systems.

Combat ships placed in spots they’ve not been before. Spy planes invasively, dangerously approaching Russia with their transponders turned off. New supply depots with large stocks of heavy weapons established. All this has been accompanied by extreme rhetorical outbursts from high officials at times.

Does that sound friendly or peaceful to you? Only if you are the kind of person who thinks a violent lunatic like Netanyahu is devoted to peace and justice.

Trump may just be able to put a stop to this insanity – that being one of the great hopes for him as President – but that is not certain, and, if it is possible, it will take time with careful steps.

America’s military/security establishment has some powerful and dangerous characters in it who have pushed and promoted all of this under Obama. They are not in command now, but they cannot be just ignored, no matter how unreasonable they may be.

Good God, Putin would be irresponsible if he failed to do what he is doing.

And if there is one thing Putin is not, it’s irresponsible.

And if there is another thing Putin is not, it’s lacking in strong analytical intelligence.

America’s rhetoric, echoed by compliant buffoons in NATO, has been frightening over recent years, often making claims that are literally nonsense. It should be embarrassing to all thoughtful people, but you cannot laugh at people who can destroy much of the planet.

It all started with a stupid, violent coup against a democratic government in Ukraine, sponsored and paid for by the United States in an effort to intimidate Russia. Putin outsmarted Obama’s blunderers, and for that he became hated. At the same time, the coup-installed government of Ukraine has pretty much made a mess of its every initiative. Its efforts have sent that country spiraling down into economic ruin and political chaos.

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

‘Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world. And it offers provocation after provocation’

Thus, the fetid imaginings of a proven street thug, thief, murderer, and serial liar (Presidents of two major Western countries having so described him a few years back).

Thus, Iran, which has attacked no one in its entire modern history, is characterized by the sick leader of a country which has attacked every neighbor that it has, some more than once.

Iran, which has been busy truly fighting ISIS alongside Russia, while we know Israel has always secretly supported the terrorists in Syria.

Iran, which knows full well, just as we all do, that Israel possesses a totally illegal nuclear arsenal which it uses to intimidate the entire Middle East, only seeks with its missiles to defend itself.

Were the Israel Lobby not so important in British and American politics, Netanyahu would be laughed out the door for making such insane, ranting claims.

We know also that Netanyahu was ready to strike Iran with no declaration of war some while back. Israel spent a lot of time and money practicing just that.

He was reportedly only stopped by Obama telling him he’d shoot Israel’s planes out of the sky if they attacked in one of Obama’s few sound moves in foreign policy.

_____________________________

Response to another reader:

Your bundling the names together is simply wrong.

Well, Trump Farage and Le Pen have yet to kill a single person.

Netanyahu has literally killed thousands, including hundreds of Palestinian children.

Trump Farage and Le Pen have yet to steal so much as a basket of apples.

Netanyahu has brazenly stolen the homes and farms of thousands.

______________________________

 Response to another reader:

Iran is hated by Israel for one simple reason.

It is a large country which happens to be Muslim, and it is potentially a powerful and influential one.

Israel, bristling with weapons out of all proportion to its economy or population, strives to be the miniature replica of the United States in the Middle East.

It wants to tell everyone in the region what to do and to keep anyone who does not agree with it, intimidated.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Theresa May is showing contempt for Palestinian rights as she rolls out the red carpet for Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu”

Of course, she is.

But when have those rights – better put as human claims to rights completely denied by Israel – played any role in modern British politics?

Tony Blair was a complete sell-out to the Israel Lobby.

That really was his distinguishing quality which got him to support mass murder in Iraq and earned him the Israel Peace Prize, a prize whose very name is an oxymoron.

David Cameron followed the same path, though less sensationally. Thus, his filthy secret support for terror in Syria and for the House of Saud, Israel’s closest (secret) associate in the Middle East.

And May is headed down the same path.

By the way, look what happened to poor old Jeremy  Corbyn for even trying to be independent and decent as leader of the Labour Party.

He was hit by a tidal wave of McCarthyite hate speech in the form of anti-Semitism accusations, good old Tony and David joining right in along with much of the press.

Even the head of the Israeli Labour Party was hauled in to offer his two-cents worth about another country’s internal political affairs, which are of course none of his business.

That is, sadly, the contemporary state of British politics.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Iran is ‘world’s biggest sponsor of state terrorism’, says US Defense Secretary James Mattis”

 

Response to a reader comment:

“What actually is a ‘terrorist’?

Answer.

Anybody uncle Sam says is a terrorist!”

 

That is very true.

Today’s world is artificially divided up between “terrorists” and “supporters of terror” versus those supposedly “opposed to terror.”

It is a completely arbitrary and highly misleading division decided by no one other than the American government and serving its own needs in manipulating world affairs.

The nomenclature for the division got started in America’s Middle East colony as it tried to distinguish itself for public relations purposes from the people it had displaced, abused, and killed in substantial numbers. The artificial and self-serving division was adopted wholesale by the US after 9/11.

The division is a virtual replication, just using new names, of the world of the Cold War era, also imposed by the US for its own manipulative purposes – “communists” and “communist sympathizers” and “fellow-travelers” versus “the Free World.” That wording became so ingrained, we sometimes still see references to the Free World more than a quarter century after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One is tempted to recall America’s Puritan origins as well as the still-substantial influence of Bible-thumping Fundamentalism with a world view of “Satan and his legions” versus “God and His people.”

America does seem to need a devil of some kind “out there” to oppose just to keep the military engine stoked and throbbing for imperial expansion.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

Response to another reader’s comment:

find it very interesting how the Russian ministers, diplomats, and Heads, outshine by light years, all of the U.S.’s government’s officials. It’s downright embarrassing…

Yes, this is true.

But there is a genuine reason for the fact.

Many American appointments simply reflect the pure arrogance of power.

There is a feeling that America has no need to genuinely explain things to its inferiors “out there,” just to keep putting out its ” official line.”

The people who are best at doing that rather tedious and ungratifying task tend not to be particularly interesting or thoughtful or charming.

They are pit bulls or drones like Samantha Power, like John Kirby, or they are creatures from another planet, like Jen Psaki.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

Last week, UK Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon accused Sputnik and RT of “weaponizing misinformation,” and said that the outlets need to be “called out” for “misleading or not duly impartial” reporting.

“Fallon’s Attack on Sputnik Reveals Panic Over End to Mainstream Media Hegemony”

That describes the situation exactly.

The West’s mainstream press has been “weaponizing misinformation” all of my life. The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, BBC – all have played this game for as long as I can remember.

In the United States, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and even PBS play the game night and day.

In Germany, from what someone who does not read German can tell, it is much the same. On the Internet, only the German Economic News offers an informed, interesting, non-official view, and it is under attack from government-inspired sources right now, but it is available only in Google’s [fairly poor] translation.

It is all so obvious, and the pretense of people like Fallon that it is otherwise is tiresome, for people who are critically-minded and want genuinely to understand what is going on, especially on matters of great consequence and of life and death.

Governments like the United States have long felt free to drag their people into wars without any real explanation to the people paying for them, both in money and lives, offering only flimsy reasons written up and colored-up by a fully compliant press. I am not sure the reality is all that different to the peasants of a liege lord in the Middle Ages being taken to war.

Believe me, it is great to see sources which don’t follow that crowd.

I’m not one who believes everything I read anywhere automatically, but you must judge the nature of competing stories to get some sense of truth.

Just as when you write a term paper, you cannot, with academic integrity, cite a single source for something critical. It is incumbent upon the writer to cross-check.

People like Fallon literally demonstrate their own lack of integrity by speaking against this. They also effectively are insulting the intelligence of their own people by saying they cannot distinguish the truth when they read different sources.

Sputnik and RT provide an extremely valuable service to people in Europe and America, another source, a well-resourced source, of information with which to compare and cross-check things of great importance. Of course, they have Russia’s interests to heart, but so what? Russia is an important part of the world community, and increasingly so.

The mainline press in the West is all big corporate interests today, and it faithfully reflects those interests as well as the interests of the governments upon which they depend for permissions, licenses, tips, interviews, and even leaks.

Even the alternate or independent press virtually all have agendas, and those agendas reflect the interests of those who bankroll them.

The bigger, better-financed the source, the more you can be sure that has bias built into it. All those big, new, shiny alternate news sites – outfits like Breitbart or Alex Jones – on the Internet are biased in their own ways just as surely as is the New York Times.

Only some of the small-scale independent bloggers or journalists are not totally encumbered by bias, but they are encumbered by a lack of resources.

The main value of the new alternate and independent sources is to supply another point of view.

If you want to truly understand something vaguely resembling what is really happening, you cannot depend on a single source of any kind

You must read and analyze and compare different sources, keeping in mind their various biases.

Only then can you begin to be informed.

But even with that effort, you will fail to understand some matters because governments and large organizations of every description lie about or hide some of what they are doing. No matter who is reporting about them.

Always. It’s a state of affairs which never changes. Thoughtful citizens must always take it into account.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOVERNMENTSLAVES

 

‘We’re not losing touch’

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said he doesn’t believe the paper’s coverage has a liberal bias and doesn’t believe the Times has “lost touch” with people in between America’s two coasts.

Not losing touch with what?

The Pentagon?

The security services?

American corporate interests?

The Israel Lobby?

No, you certainly are not losing touch with any of those folks.

Your bonds are likely stronger than ever, in fact.

As for, “he doesn’t believe the paper’s coverage has a liberal bias…”

Absolutely, it does not. There is nothing, absolutely nothing liberal about the New York Times, except in the minds of some Americans who are fixated with hating liberals, even though many of them could not define the word accurately.

Some of the things I see written in America about ‘liberals” resemble a Christian fundamentalist preacher’s rants about Satan. They are often, ipso facto, uninformed and silly.

America in fact has few genuine liberals living in it. A throbbing, fairly brutal world empire is about as far from being a cozy, sheltering home for liberals as you can get. Someone who might start out being liberal in America is before long hammered into a more acceptable form, but even if a person is not changed, he will have few outlets for his views and few audiences.

There can be nothing liberal about a newspaper which has consistently supported and promoted and lied about America’s every war for decades and decades, none of those wars having anything to do with legitimate defense.

Or about a newspaper which passes all its Mideast stories by the official Israeli Censor for approval before running, a fact only recently revealed.

Or about a newspaper which keeps Thomas Friedman as a top columnist. Covered with Pulitzer Prizes – American journalism’s way of elevating questionable practitioners into unquestioned authority, even though we know it has been awarded to outright frauds in the past – Friedman has virtually never written an honest sentence in his life, except for all those many sentences when it is clear to all he is just doing advertising blurbs.

Or about a newspaper which has been caught playing footsie with the CIA a number of times. It was even been caught with CIA personnel on its staff. A newspaper, too, that has on a number of occasions used shabby FBI tips to publicly hound or persecute innocent people.

The New York Times has been described as the “official house organ” of America’s power establishment.

That describes its function accurately, and there is nothing remotely “liberal” about that. The paper contains often enough good or interesting items to maintain the interest of that establishment and promote its own general reputation, but when it comes to the really important function of informing readers about what is behind great matters, the newspaper not only fails consistently, it works to the opposite purpose.

Too many people in America simply do not understand the origin or meaning of the word “liberal,” yet they regularly complain or even rage about liberals. It is laughable.

The Clintons are not liberals. John Kerry is not liberal. Madeleine Albright is not liberal. The New York Times is not liberal. The Democratic Party is not liberal. Indeed, it is the War Party of a vast imperial enterprise, otherwise known as America.

_________________________________

 

Response to another comment:

“Objective reporting is not in their repertoire”?

And just where do you see that quality in America, anywhere in America?

It doesn’t exist.

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY EMILY HILTON IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“As a Jew, the ‘de-judification’ of the Holocaust by Donald Trump and Richard Spencer is terrifying”

You should be ashamed to write that, totally ashamed.

First, ‘de-judification’ is a term straight from the Nazis. It is an appalling word to use.

Second, whether you like it or not, it was not only Jews hurt and destroyed by the Nazis. There were many groups. Hitler was not a person with only one seething hatred.

I actually have a hard time understanding why recalling the fact that many others died should bother the writer. It just smacks of an extreme and weird kind of prejudice.

It “shouldn’t,” but then shouldn’t in today’s world can be applied to so many behaviors, notably the appalling behavior of Israel in keeping millions as legal non-persons while regularly “legally” stealing their land and homes, the Holocaust somehow always being cited as making this additional later barbarism okay.

I’ll note also that many unfair charges have also in the past been laid by writers with views related to this writer’s views against speaking of the documented Armenian Genocide or the Ukrainian Genocide called Holodomor. The late Elie Wiesel sometimes went through frightening, accusatory paroxysms over the very mention of any other event being compared with the Holocaust.

As though terrible treatment can only be spoken of with regard to Jewish people. That is an absurd claim, on its face.

And, of course, the greatest catastrophe in human history, Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, killed 27 million Soviets plus millions of Germans. It indeed provided the covering noise for the Holocaust.

No, vast suffering and brutal unfairness are not afflictions only Jews can claim or, as we see in Israel, afflictions Jews are free from committing.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ERIC ZUESSE IN RINF

 

Well, I do like what I read of Tulsi Gabbard.

And for me, good political qualities and values are never found on just one side, Right or Left. Never.

People who think that way are naive in the extreme and generally have no real grasp of history.

In the end, parties almost do not matter as guarantors for the personal qualities of leaders. This has been demonstrated countless times in history.

Indeed, parties frequently interfere with the natural ability of some leaders to communicate with people in the interests of pure partisanship.

Parties are control-mechanisms, they are money-raising machines, they are organizational armies, and they are, for some, virtually secular religious organizations.

They are not honest, sound, trustworthy organizations for the assembly of people with similar beliefs.

Having said all that, I want to disagree with the author’s characterization of Lincoln as “progressive.”

I have read many of the important biographies, and I do not believe that word applies.

He was a decent, fair-minded person, a self-made man, well liked for his humor and modesty and honesty, but he has come down to us as almost a secular saint. He was not a saint and his politics were only “progressive” if you stretch the word beyond its reasonable meaning.

He was moreover quite a hard man at times. His horse-like work on his father’s farm until he was an adult, and his hard work at becoming a successful lawyer with less than two years of formal education made him that way.

His big clients included corporate interests like the growing Illinois Central Railroad. Those were the kind of fees that enabled him to build a handsome house in Springfield, Illinois.

He is in fact responsible for creating the imperial colossus America has become. He was a kind of later-day re-founder of America. The Civil War, never about slavery or rights from his own words, welded America into a more unified and industrialized and militarized society.

Whether you think that is a good achievement is just opinion, but it cannot be termed progressive.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN GOVERNMENT SLAVES

 

“CANADIAN PM JUSTIN TRUDEAU BREAKS PROMISE TO REFORM VOTING SYSTEM”

 

I am extremely disappointed in Justin Trudeau over this.

I wrote him, as a member of Parliament, about two years ago, advocating that if he ran for leadership of his party, he make an issue of vote reform and that it would be one of the most important things he could do.

Ordered-preference ballots are much more democratic than the current, simplistic first-past-the-post ones, the ones now used in Canada and in the United States.

Such ballots give voters a much greater sense of having had some effect with their vote, and they would encourage greater voter participation.

Well, he did make the promise and made it rather strongly in his campaign, not just with a little sound-bite or two. And I took it, along with one or two other promises, as a key measurement of his future performance.

Always with elected politicians, you get a bundle of goods, so to speak, some, or many, of which you do not want, and so you select one or two as the important ones for you.

And here he is, backing out of what I regard as his most important promise.

I understand that he cannot get the various political parties to agree on reform, and he rightly does not want a plebiscite on the matter, plebiscites on complex matters such as this being almost guaranteed to fail. Many simply might not understand what it is they were being asked.

But that is the role of leadership, to implement what you truly know is a better, far better, system and let people learn about it by experience. If they prove unhappy with it, it can always be undone in future. Trudeau has a comfortable majority in Parliament, so there is no barrier to his acting, other than his own hesitations or reservations.

Justin also recently made what appears a seriously bad move in foreign affairs by removing the classy, intelligent Stéphane Dion (PhD from the Sorbonne) and replacing him as Foreign Minister with a pierogi-eating, speaks-Ukrainian-at-home, Russian-resenter named Chrystia Freeland.

It is not at all clear what his intention was in doing this, but, for some reason, he thinks that this will appeal to Trump. Why else do it at this time?

He could be right, but, if so, it wouldn’t speak well of Trump. Trump’s complete set of views and intentions remain unknown, although he campaigned on some mighty important matters with which we can only hope he will follow through – a much better, more cooperative, and respectful relationship with Russia being a key one.

This provides just one more example of the difficulties humanity has in governing itself, a matter which becomes far more critical to everyone with Trump simply because his office and his country influence everyone, not just 35 million Canadians. Will Trump make good on ending the murderous Neocon Wars? Will he set a new standard for American foreign affairs? Or will he get bogged down in a narrow agenda of interest only to American Patriot types, a group not known for large views?

There is an inherent, ongoing contradiction in America’s leading role in world affairs with the interests of many ordinary Americans being narrow, the other 95% of humanity counting for little or nothing while yet being profoundly affected by America’s acts. That reality made the work of the War Party elites easy because no one at home much cared what they did abroad.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s”

That is a completely irresponsible statement from Prince Charles.

Darker and more dangerous than some of the other irresponsible statements he has a bit of a reputation for making over the years.

It also brings him close to political comment he has no business making in his position as a modern royal.

I’ve studied that era thoroughly, and I don’t see any real parallels, beyond a resurgence of nationalism.

I’m not overly fond of nationalism, but I don’t regard what we see as in any serious way “dangerous.”

The Prince is repeating “a line” that is being put out there by a number of newspaper columnists and was put into the Pope’s mouth recently.

I frankly doubt the columnists or the Pope or the Prince have much hard knowledge of the era of the 1930s.

____________________________

And where was the good Prince’s voice while Obama dropped over 100,000 bombs on seven countries, killing tens of thousands and driving hopeless refugees from their homes?

In not one day of his eight years in office was the US not killing people.

Never heard a squeak.

By the way:  http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.ca/2015/08/john-chuckman-grotesques-royal-family.html

 

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES DELINGPOLE IN RINF

 

I regret to say he may be right.

The EU was a great idea, but its execution and its administration, especially in recent years, have been disasters.

It did not have to be this way.

But American influence pushed the EU in the direction it has gone, extending itself too far and into countries incapable of meeting the same standards as the traditional anchor states of the EU.

The United States has used the EU in much the same fashion it uses NATO, to control European affairs, to create a wall against Russia (Europe’s natural partner for many resources and projects), and effectively to create one-stop shopping for the State Department in pushing American policies and demands.

Europe’s weak leadership has been complicit, always accommodating American imperial attitudes, and it deserves responsibility for the regrettable events happening.

There are some very short-sighted comments here, especially stuff about traditional borders and sovereignty. That is tiresome stuff which ignores history and stifles much original thinking.

The borders of modern nation states are neither somehow sacred nor are they eternal. Everything about the modern political entities we call states or countries is subject to change over time.

Look, modern Italy only came into existence in 1861.

Modern Germany really only dates to Bismarck.

Tiny Austria was once a great sprawling empire, just before WWI.

America only dates back 225 years, but actually modern America only dates to the 1860s Civil War.

Indeed, parts of America were only added around the turn of the last century with the Spanish-American War and the illegal seizure of Hawaii.

Things change.

Sometimes countries come into being, and sometimes they disappear, as did the USSR just a couple of decades ago.

The EU was a promising experiment in creating a large market with world-scale clout as well as a new force in world affairs to offset the undue influence of a post-Cold War United States.

Emerging China and the BRICS countries are other developments along those lines.

A multi-polar world is far better than a unipolar world, just as surely as representative government is better than a dictatorship in a single country.

But the EU leadership has failed, and it has failed in many ways.

The United States, in the interest of keeping its single-power status in the world, deliberately encouraged much of the destructive nonsense of the EU. America’s establishment – the same folks who gave you Bush and Obama and Clinton – is not looking for competitors nor does it welcome anything which erodes its ability to exert near-dictatorial influence over a good deal of the world.

The United Nations, too, has come under the same increasing American pressure. Essentially, America has been saying to the UN, do it my way or it’s the highway. Progressively weaker Secretaries-General recently culminated in Ban Ki-Moon, a totally ineffective man who failed to speak for the 95% of humanity who are not Americans.

While Trump’s promises to end the terrible excesses of the Bush-Obama Neocons are welcome, antipathy to worthy international organizations is not. This hostility plays to the belly-over-the-belt segment of Trump supporters, and, in the end, if there are no other effective voices in the world, America may easily slide back into Neocon assumption of arrogant and destructive power.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KEVIN DOUGHERTY IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Quebec Mosque shooting suspect was a fan of Donald Trump and Marine le Pen”

This is just completely irresponsible, Independent editors.

A man murders people for reasons we know nothing about – although to any well-informed person, such acts first suggest an unbalanced mind at work – and you connect it with his political position!

How about his religion?

Oh, I forget you’ve done that many times before, especially where Muslims are doing the killing.

How about his tastes in literature?

God, for all we know he’s been reading the Bible, especially that Old Testament which is just packed with violence and hatreds.

Maybe he goes to bad movies or plays too many violent computer games?

Then, on the other hand, maybe he just was reading too many confusing newspapers like The Independent?

I really have to say this approach to a horrific crime stinks, and stinks really badly.

John Chuckman

COMMENTS MADE TO TWO ARTICLES IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ could be just the beginning

Truly dumb journalism.

“Experts warn”?

What experts?

And in what are they experts?

Did they all take university courses in the mind of Donald Trump?

The Independent these days just repeats shabby trick after shabby trick of what Americans call “yellow journalism.”

This is a complete non-article on a complete non-subject intended only to run a scary headline.

Grow up.

____________________________________

 “Experts warn Donald Trump policy on torture could be ‘catastrophic”

Here we go with “experts warn” ploy again, two of them in one day.

I despise torture, but Trump, if you carefully consider his words, is not saying he will torture people.

Where was all this self-righteousness when Bush tortured people by the thousands in the CIA’s black sites?

When they opened Guantanamo?

When they killed a million people in Iraq and destroyed the country?

When Obama killed at least another half million in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and other places?

There was virtually the complete silence of consent from our press.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE WATTS IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Pressure grows on May as a million people sign anti-Trump petition over ‘Muslim ban'”

So what?

Please remember, just a while before the filthy Tony Blair committed Britain to the invasion and destruction of Iraq, London saw the biggest peace march ever, more than a million people.

It didn’t do a thing to stop far more terrifying events than a temporary ban on migration.

The plain fact is that if Blair had not joined in on that murderous assault on the Muslim world, generating years of increasing hatreds and violence on all sides, we likely would not be facing what we face today.

And exactly the same goes for a sleazy politician like David Cameron with his secret support for the destruction of Syria. And how about selling cluster bombs to the rotten House of Saud for use on women and children in Yemen?

Western policies in the Neocon Wars have been appalling, and they are responsible for much of what people fear – both massive migrations of people fleeing American-induced horrors and what we loosely call “international terror,” most of which is the response of powerless victims to the destruction of their families and countries.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN STILL REPORT

 

“Trump Sets Up 6 Refugee Safe Zones in One Day”

 The problems here are at least two.

One, the US has no business doing things in Syria without approval from the Syrian government.

Two, these “safe zones,” decided without conferring with Russia, have the awful potential of becoming gathering and regrouping places for the various terrorist groups.

You really can’t pull “go it alone” surprises on the other parties involved unless you are returning to discredited Obama policies.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

The letter is, of course, completely sensible.

However, these are all things that those of us who are able to work at being informed on important matters already understood. Nothing here is new.

The problem with the approach of the academics is that “Western media” are treated as though they were something they in fact are not.

Western media, the major broadcasters and newspapers, are actually owned by relatively small group of large corporate interests after years of mergers and take-overs.

Moreover, they have lost some of their most traditional sources of revenue – as, for example, classified advertising in big cities, something which now belongs to the Internet. So, their financial ability to do more extensive or better quality reportage is greatly reduced.

None of them is in any way an independent source of journalism. None.

And they proved that to us overwhelmingly with Trump’s election, during which they lined up like the troops of a foreign power rather than as objective journalists. The case of Syria was even worse, but many ordinary people had no way of fully understanding what was going on. They never saw Syrian or Russian speakers or independent critics the way they saw Trump on the hustings contradicting the corporate press’s claims.

To even expect large corporate interests, who depend on the American government for many things – from permissions and licenses to favors with leaks and interviews – to behave much differently than they have done is actually pretty naïve.

It is only new competition that will stir things up a bit and create some change, and we are very much seeing that happen before our eyes on the Internet.

Alternate media were very influential in Trump’s victory, and he knows it. He has already demonstrated in a few ways that he intends to formalize the changing media situation – from giving accreditation to an alternate media site to asking questions of reporters at the back of the press room and to avoiding the traditional wave to the press corps when he leaves on Air Force One.

One thing is certain, things in the Western press are changing and changing fast.

 

 

 

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Anti-Semitism rising across West as result of ‘populism and isolationism’, Jewish leader to warn Pope Francis”

I’d swear they were kidding, but I know better.

The Pope is being used as a photo-op or sound-bite opportunity to create publicity for unwarranted charges.

How in the hell does isolationism cause anti-Semitism?

You might, with equal implausibility, say that staying at home causes anti-Semitism.

And where does anyone see isolationism today? What I see are raging wars and destruction in many places, ceaseless interference in the affairs of others – all of it deliberately started and all serving no good purpose.

And populism causes anti-Semitism? How about democratic elections, do they cause anti-Semitism? Just utter nonsense.

And the assertion of rising anti-Semitism is question-begging. Various Jewish groups do keep statistics on anti-Semitic events, but are those statistics of any value when we see events and people regularly being characterized as anti-Semitic which plainly are not?

Just a few examples demonstrate this with frightening clarity. Jimmy Carter, the most decent man to serve as America’s President in a century as well as a man of exceptionally keen intelligence and powers of observation, was widely labelled as anti-Semitic for his words on the oppressive situation in Israel and on the true nature of Hamas.

Jeremy Corbyn, another genuinely decent man, just after being elected as leader of Britain’s Labour Party, faced a months-long firestorm of false accusations over anti-Semitism from Britain’s corporate press driven by a powerful insider group of Tony Blair loyalists in the party. Of course, it just happens that Blair earned that support by having joined America’s illegal and bloody invasion of Iraq, an invasion conducted almost exclusively for Israel’s benefit, one pleaded for by Ariel Sharon many times.

While various Israeli politicians freely express themselves in threatening or prejudiced or even violent terms almost without criticism, anyone of prominence who criticizes what they see in Israel and advocates peaceful measures, such as boycotts, to create pressure to change it is typically called anti-Semitic. Among many efforts by Israel to lobby for protective legislation in Western countries have been efforts for legislation literally equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, a totally self-serving, repressive, and anti-democratic idea.

So, when we hear that anti-Semitism is on the rise all over, we really do have to question the validity of the claim, insulting claims about anti-Semitism being so often used to cover Israel’s own dark acts and to attack the credibility of those who question them.

How is it that among all the cases of injustice in the world, we are effectively told that in the one case of Israel, observers are supposed to suspend their usual ethical standards and that not doing so makes them guilty of some nasty charge? Human nature is such that the basest human instincts are always and everywhere working their way towards power over others. No group with power over others can ever simply be blindly trusted to do the right thing and be exempt from criticism – not prison guards, not police, and not armies of occupation. There is no other way for an informed and ethical person to look at things.

So, what are we to say of charges that anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially, coming as they do, at a time when Israel feels free to simply march in and destroy the homes of others? To build new homes of its own on the property of others, violating time and time again that most basic Western concept of the sanctity of people’s ownership of homes and farms? A time when Israel’s Defense Minister is a former bar-room bouncer who makes outrageous statements which, coming from someone in any other country, we would immediately condemn as hate-filled and violent?

A time when Israel’s Prime Minister is a man who has raged and made threats for years in all directions, someone past presidents of both France and the United States are on record as having called a non-stop liar? A man who killed 2,200 people with complete impunity, people living in what is effectively a giant, open-air refugee camp surrounded by fences and machine-gun towers? And a man who has left the victims and survivors of his savagery just to rot in destroyed homes and public facilities by forbidding the import what they need to rebuild? This is also a man who dropped a million cluster-bomb bomblets in Southern Lebanon some years back, a violation of all international norms and standards for these horrible weapons? A man whose intense drive to start war with Iran was only blunted by Obama’s reportedly telling him that he would shoot down the planes if sent?

Any honest and dispassionate observer would say there is no anti-Semitism to speak of in Western society today. It has no significant influence anywhere in the West. It has no official status anywhere in the West. It is the position of no political party in the West. Its clear expression is even a crime in many places.

However, Israel’s ugly behavior naturally affects people and what they say in response. It cannot be otherwise, and Israel’s unacceptable behavior seems only to increase with time. Can anyone not understand how that would incite both hatreds and behaviors which can be deliberately misinterpreted as hatreds?

The question always remains unanswered, and indeed it is never even asked in our press or by our governments, just what is it that Israel sees itself as doing? In not making peace? In not returning to its own previously-accepted borders? In maintaining an abusive occupation for more than half a century? In marching out regularly and stealing homes?

The answer seems clear, even if all the details remain unclear because Israel’s government always maintains the same kind of ambiguity on this matter that it does on its illegal atomic weapons. Israel is creating what is called Greater Israel, a vague, supposedly Biblically-based and religiously-charged concept that simply should have no validity in today’s world of legal boundaries, treaties and protocols and international standards.

It is conducting ethnic-cleansing in slow motion across an extensive territory. By making the territory’s inhabitants miserable through countless unfair laws and abusive acts and by, bit-by-bit, taking their land.

The intended fate for these millions is completely unclear, whether they will be driven out entirely, as has been advocated by a number of prominent Israelis, whether they will simply be reduced to an existence in South African-style Bantustans under the perpetual authority of an Israel in which they can never enjoy citizenship and rights, or whether they will be made so miserable and hopeless that they will flee to other places?

What other places? Names like Jordan or the Sinai crop up, almost as though they were reasonable suggestions, but what thinking person believes any other state in the region would willing to take millions of refugees? They won’t and they can’t, but no one in authority in Israel appears to care in the least about this. We see in Europe the effects of vast numbers of refugees, and it is not pleasant and its shock waves are affecting many parts of the world, stirring anti-refugee sentiments.

And it is important to note that these terrible refugee problems, stretching as they do from Turkey to Britain, problems which have shaken the foundations of so staid an organization as the European Union, are in fact the result of deliberate and violent American activities in the Mideast.

And for whose benefit have those American activities been taken? Clearly, “the birth of a new Middle East,” as American officials sitting in armchairs casually term the destruction of whole countries, the killing of a couple of millions of people, and the creation of millions of desperate refugees, has a great deal to do with Israel. Its own leaders in the past – notably the monstrous Ariel Sharon – openly advocated for it. The reduction of these places leaves Israel, a land of alien European and American migrants, as the dominant and unquestioned power in the region.

Although there is one other, unintended result of America’s destructive work, as there so often is in dirty affairs, and that is the re-emergence of Iran as a regional power. And that is why we are already hearing new calls against this essentially peaceful country, new calls for sanctions, new calls for military action. It is all very bleak.

I think these men who talked with the Pope know all or much of that, but the charge of “anti-Semitism” is one of Israel’s main weapons for deflecting attention from Israel’s morally repulsive and violent behavior.

Dragging in anti-Semitism as a charge against those rightly upset with Israel’s behavior is rather like shouting out in a court room that the honest witness to a crime is just a prejudiced liar.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more wasteful than military spending.

It consumes huge amounts of resources and produces nothing of economic value.

And when the spending is done in gigantic amounts, as it is the United States, it only provides a machinery with a constant temptation for politicians to use, producing even more waste.

Quite apart from all the human misery generated.

Wars and big armies are consumers and destroyers of resources, but the egos of many politicians love them.

Why? Because it is such a nasty-little-boy pleasure to watch things be crushed and blown-up.

Bad things are done simply because they can be – that is satisfying to some exceptionally large egos, the kind often found in politicians.

This is true of some politicians regardless of their position on the political spectrum. It has nothing to do with Left or Right.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON THE GOVERNMENT SLAVES SITE

 

Well, this the first thing ever from Albright’s mouth for which I have any respect.

Perhaps, she is feeling twinges of guilt over all those Iraqi children she helped kill?

Or is she thinking of the horrors of Rwanda that she assisted Bill Clinton in suppressing wider knowledge of at an early stage when they conceivably could have helped instead?

Her whole record, including as UN Ambassador, is one of working for the forces of darkness.

But on this matter, she is right.

And were I living in America, I absolutely would do the same.

I truly hope Trump, who is sometimes given to knee-jerk responses, avoids making this nasty idea a reality.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JON SHARMAN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Defies wishes of Republicans in Congress”

Well, I am glad to learn that he has done something worthwhile.

But let’s put Obama’s gesture into perspective.

$221,000,000 for the genuinely needy Palestinians and $38,000,000,000 just went to the folks who are picking their bones, the Israelis.

That’s just over one-half of one percent.

Really impressive.

And, finally, he gave the little bit of money to the government of the Palestine Authority which does not even represent all of Palestine, has gone without any election for years, and has generally pretty much served as a useful stooge for Israel. The people of Gaza, with their elected government, are allowed to continue sitting in the rubble and pollution Israel created for them in 2014.

____________________________

Response to a reader comment:

“Obama elected to make the American people the focus of his Presidency and has left them in a far better situation than when he started…”

Oh, yes, indeed.

After all, he dropped more than 100,000 bombs on 7 countries, and there was not a single day of his eight years during which the United States wasn’t killing people.

There’s also his new hi-tech system of extra-judicial killing, something which makes the old Argentine junta’s style of “disappearing” people seem primitive and brings such honor to the name of America and its claims over human and democratic rights.

And, at home, he oversaw record funds for intelligence agencies spying in new ways on their own people.

He topped that all off with having done absolutely nothing to stop creating the greatest debt in human history.

And this was accompanied by no effort to even reform the financial industry whose poor regulation and oversight created a financial crisis we are all still seriously threatened by.

My, that is a genuinely remarkable set of achievements, isn’t it?

The only act making anything better in eight years of this strange murderous man with the big smile is his final departure.

Trump may well prove a disappointment, I am prepared for that distinct possibility, but Obama is perhaps the most disappointing figure in modern history. We all thought he had such promise in 2008, and it all turned literally to ashes.