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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

Israel to Build Underground Wall on Sinai Border Amid Daesh Threat

This has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with ISIS (aka, Daesh).

This is the ultimate project to totally encapsulate the unfortunate people who reside in the world’s largest outdoor prison, Gaza.

The hypocrisy of Israel screams at its loudest possible level in a phony claim about ISIS by Israel.

Tunnels have for years provided an important lifeline to the people of Gaza, a million and a half souls Israel keeps effectively in a concentration camp.

They have no freedom to travel. They have no freedom to receive visitors. Their fishermen cannot go far from shore without being shot by Israel gunboats. The perimeter of their compound is equipped with radar-operated machine gun towers, like something out of a science-fiction story.

Israel’s years-long blockade keeps many essentials from entering Gaza, including basic building materials to repair what Israel’s bombing destroyed.

Israel has committed here such atrocities as spraying dangerous herbicides on great swathes of their farmland, bringing to mind America’s horrible use of Agent Orange in Vietnam. It has shut down their electricity. It has lowlifes who’ve deliberately dumped great loads of sewerage onto their land.

When the few settlers who used to live in Gaza finally left, some of them actually poisoned the water wells – kind of the ultimate savagery in a semi-desert. Israel controls the flow of outside funds. Israel controls even the receipt of postage.

Such works of hatred almost cannot be imagined by ordinary people living ordinary lives in other places. These people have been total captives for more than half a century, and in the last decade they have been treated as we might expect Nazi camp guards to treat people.

Why? Because Hamas, a democratic organization, won an election, replacing the famously–corrupt Fatah, just as originally Israel intended when it early on, covertly assisted Hamas just to create division among the Palestinians. But once Hamas actually was elected, it was declared – against all reasonable evidence – a terrorist organization, with the pliable American government pressured to agree. Hamas was elected by people seeking clean government, but it is despised by Israel.

You see, clean government, elected and popularly supported by the Palestinians, is exactly what Israel does not want. It doesn’t like unity and leadership among Palestinians. It doesn’t even like democracy, as it has demonstrated many times in its relations with all of its neighbors from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Jordan. Democracy amongst non-Israelis is viewed as too risky and dangerous. The brag about being the Mideast’s only democracy is extremely hollow for this reason as well as the fact that only one kind of people can become Israelis to vote in its elections.

Some of Hamas’s leaders were assassinated. Its president was openly threatened several times with assassination. Gangs of goon Israeli soldiers ran into Gaza and arrested large numbers of elected government members soon after their election and kidnapped them to Israel.

Israel still treats Fatah’s Abbas who resides in the West Bank – a man who has not faced an election in years – as the legitimate leader of Palestine, although it doesn’t even talk to him much. Why? Abbas is a very accommodating personality, a kind of “Stepin Fetchit” character, and it is handy to have a Palestinian you can wheel out onto the stage whenever it seems important to have a Palestinian official around for public relations purposes. Of course, the people of Gaza voted him out years ago, and he remains unelected in the West Bank.

Finally, Israel imposed an illegal and immoral blockade on a people who really have done nothing. In its original form, before covert international pressure, this blockade actually had a carefully calculated number of calories per person allowed in an effort to bring all these people to their knees. You could not even buy a candy bar in Gaza.

I don’t know how it gets more Nazi-like than that. No, Israel has not mass-murdered all these people – although it has killed thousands and Israel is not without voices calling for mass killing or expulsion – but keeping generation after generation of people in hopeless squalor without votes or rights or freedom of movement or any real access to the world at large is to my mind not morally superior.

It is a kind of living death Israel maintains in Gaza, and it is intended to make the people so miserable that they leave or beg for mercy. We have words to that effect, advocating making them miserable, from many prominent Israelis, going back to Moshe Dayan. One Israeli prime minister was quoted saying he had nightmares over Gaza. Well, that hideous man, Netanyahu, is doing everything he can think of to make the nightmares go away.

This underground wall is the cherry on the cake, as it were. The brave people of Gaza for years have laboriously dug tunnels to Sinai, tunnels which Israel has always diligently searched for and destroyed. But the Gazans keep building new ones to get at least a steady trickle of the life-sustaining things Israel prevents their receiving. Now, even that is to be shut off with an underground wall. This really is cruelty beyond endurance.

And the excuse? To prevent ISIS (Deash) from using tunnels to threaten Israel. But ISIS is in part an Israeli creation, used to destroy Syria and Iraq. ISIS has never once shown any intention of attacking Israel or Israeli interests. It attacks only people Israel hates. We know Israel has supplied ISIS in the past both from weapons caches uncovered in Syria and from observers of aviation patterns. Israel’s northern hospitals also openly served some of the wounded terrorists fighting the government of Syria.

So, if any threat has been received in Israel at all, it is one manufactured by Mossad to give the government a seemingly-plausible excuse for continuing to entomb the people of Gaza.

FOOTNOTE: Along the same lines of literally entombing Gaza, Israel has plans to build a huge artificial blockading island just a short distance from Gaza’s coast.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON THE RIGHT WING

This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War with Iran

Trump undoubtedly has come under pressure from Israel and the Israel Lobby concerning the failure of the Syrian project.

This is not pressure easily shrugged-off because Israel has a direct pipeline to many influential Senators and Congressmen, the very people making the legislative life of Trump a nightmare.

Destroying Syria was one of Israel’s beloved projects, much as was the invasion and destruction of Iraq, handed them by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush.

Well, now that it is pretty clear that they will not get their way, for the most part, in Syria, I’m sure there is intense pressure to make things good with still another beloved project going back years, destroying or badly damaging Iran.

For people like the late murderous Ariel Sharon, this was the Holy Grail of Mideast Projects, and he more than once spoke of it.

You see, Iran is a competitor – actually the only competitor – for regional hegemony, and Israel hates them for that fact. Ironically, the war crimes committed in the invasion of Iraq had the unintended result of actually improving Iran’s regional geo-political situation in some ways.

Israel’s non-stop hatred for Iran, judging from statements of Israeli political figures, has nothing to do with fear of being attacked by Iran or anti-Semitism, those being flimsily plausible arguments regularly put-up by Israel.

Iran would never attack Israel unless it were attacked first, and there is no evidence of any especially great anti-Semitism in Iran, tens of thousands of Jews living there peacefully, much to the consternation of Israeli ideologues.

Well, the one propitiating sacrifice for the failure of Syria Trump could make that would be acceptable to Israel would be Iran.

Trump, the man who so far has failed in virtually his every effort, may just think war on Iran could provide a huge political success. We can be sure that the daily phone calls from Tel Aviv are full of whispered suggestions to that effect.

And, of course, the Democrats, still after Trump’s presidency through non-stop attacks about non-existent deals with Russia and other fantasy nonsense and avoiding the need to deal with their immense internal political failures, would also welcome war with Iran.

They have been, after all, for some decades the true war party, and the long rampage through the Middle East by Obama, assisted by Hillary, was their gift to the world with at least half a million people killed and millions made homeless.

It is a very dangerous time.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

‘Based on the robustness of our system, we know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a national constituent assembly was manipulated’

This is crap.

The company quoted above, Smartmatic, is a part of SGO Group in London.

Does anyone really believe an outfit like that works independently of government policies and security services in its international business?

And we know exactly where Britain’s official view is on Venezuela.

It comes directly from Langley Virginia, from the same twisted people whose director has already announced that they are working on toppling a democratic government.

They have no shame at all anymore about their dirty work.

At any rate, what is going on in Venezuela is absolutely another form of war, covert war funded and guided by the CIA, and I don’t know of any government that has not taken extraordinary steps when someone declares war on their country.

We cannot possibly wade through all the arguments and claims of a situation like this.

The CIA literally has an army of operators who churn out plausible-sounding stories in such situations. It is a hopeless task to sort through their output, as it is very much meant to be hopeless.

But I know for sure the psychopathic frat-boys at CIA are on the job of toppling a democratic government.

And that is all I really need to know.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

Shielding Israel From Popular Outrage

Anti-BDS laws like the one being prepared in America cut right to the heart of a free society.

Imagine legislating away an entire people’s right to peaceful, voluntary protest against what they see as oppression and abuse abroad?

And doing so to serve lobbyists who make generous campaign contributions to the very legislators pushing the undemocratic law?

______________________________
Response to a reader who said:
“If BDS can be made illegal, why not campaign contributions?”

Well, yes, but that’s too logical for America.

Most Americans have no idea of the massive role of money in American politics.

A US Senator spends on average – and this has been studied – two-thirds of his or her time raising funds. A US member of the House of Representatives spends hours every week at a bank of dedicated phones, trying to raise money.

I think were the humiliating day-to-day realities of the situation revealed in a short hard-edged documentary film everyone could see, there would be widespread shock and revulsion.

All of America’s accommodating the brutal excesses of Israel pretty well stems from the campaign finance system because well-organized and well-financed lobbyists like those for Israel know how to manipulate it.

But so do many other excesses. Money rules in almost every aspect of American national politics. The joke about the best government money can buy is no joke.

But the existing establishment of American politicians appears quite satisfied with the corrupt system, and America’s Supreme Court has ruled that money is free speech – a ruling about as sensible and ethical as Dred Scott was. How many American national politicians do you hear complaining? How many clamor for serious reform?

The campaign finance system is a self-inflicted horror, but given America’s attitudes and prejudices – as, say, towards government-supported election expenses which, I am sure, would be just as anathema as government-supported health care – I see no way out.

At the Presidential level, it took man reputedly worth 8 billion dollars to defeat Hillary’s spending somewhere between 1.2 and 1.8 billion dollars, all of which came from special interests and big corporations who expected a return.

But, as we can now see, Trump’s personal wealth purchased no independence of action from the money-driven establishment dominating Washington. He is having a hard time even keeping his head above water and flaps his arms around to no effect.

America is in reality a plutocracy, just one with a lot of window dressing and stage acting around the idea of democracy. That is not an exaggeration. It only sounds exaggerated to those who do not think and do not inform themselves.

The entire tableau of the Founding Fathers in their wigs and frock coats gathered to create something new and honorable – a tableau much beloved by Trump’s base supporters – is no more than a pleasant, childish fantasy, having absolutely nothing to do with the way America actually is governed.

Think of any number of American politicians, some of reasonably humble origins, and look at how rich they’ve become. How do people on government salaries get to be worth millions and millions of dollars, especially when the costs of maintaining yourself in office are high in everything from wardrobe and grooming to maintaining more than one home?

We see this not just in egregious examples like Hillary Clinton, but in many, many others. Bernie Sanders is worth millions. Good old rebel rouser Maxine Waters is, too. Former Senator and “environmentalist” Al Gore lives in a massive house where the utility bills alone are said to be $30,000, and he is worth literally hundreds of millions of dollars. It appears a life of government service in America can be remarkably rewarding.

America is a plutocracy, not just in its campaign finance system, but through and through.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ANDREW BUNCOMBE IN THE INDEPENDENT

“Why Donald Trump could never tolerate someone who was more like Donald Trump than he was”

Andrew Buncombe generates more than his share of rubbish, causing me to regard him as a hack propagandist, but this piece sets a record. It is so bad, it literally smells.

You cannot get further away from journalism or analysis than Buncombe does in this literal parody attack piece.

Apart from making ridiculous claims about Trump, things he cannot possibly know, the author has missed the real lessons of these events.

First, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who recommended this nasty piece of work for the job, has absolutely no judgment.

She has demonstrated her lack of judgment on several occasions – her embarrassing performance at the G-20 and her reported advocacy of Trump’s cruise missile attack in Syria a while ago in response to a clearly phony gas attack (and some might add her choice of a husband, the regrettable and fumbling Jared) – but I think this one is decisive.

She helped get a monster into a position where he didn’t belong. And the monster quickly proved dangerous and embarrassing on a scale I’m not sure we’ve experienced before in a high-level spokesperson.

Scaramucci made it clear to everyone he was totally unfit for a job of political communications.

This brings us to a second important point. Trump is, surprisingly, quite a coward.

Scaramucci should have been fired within the hour after his obscene performance, but he wasn’t.

The job of firing this foul-mouthed lunatic waited for the appointment of Trump’s new Chief of Staff.

It reminds me of Richard Nixon. Nixon is known for having hated to fire people and always left the dirty work to others.

His quietly ruthless, personality-free, Nazi-like Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman, was given the job of difficult firings.

Of course, at the time, it was surprising thing to learn about a man like Nixon who had a reputation for toughness and even ruthlessness.

Well, here’s Trump doing exactly the same cowardly stunt. Some toughness. Some ruthlessness.

Cowardice, just as he showed earlier by virtually collapsing to the idiotic assaults of the corrupt Democrats and the political interference of the CIA about Russia.

I would never have believed Trump a coward and had hoped before his election that here might be a man who indeed was tough enough to deal with Washington’s ugly, powerful entrenched establishment, perhaps ending the hideous Neocon Wars in the Mideast started by the smiling Obama who quietly, loyally served that same establishment.

But, no, Trump does not have the “right stuff.”

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN IN THE INDEPENDENT

Hilary Clinton releasing book about 2016 US election loss to Donald Trump titled ‘What Happened?’

‘Now I’m letting my guard down’

Who is she trying to kid?

This woman has never let her guard down once since she was three years old.

She lives a completely synthetic life, never saying anything sincere, never doing anything which isn’t profitable either in money or political opportunity.

Great portions of her life are complete fabrications, as the real father of Chelsea or the use of Clinton Foundation funds again and again for her own purposes, as in the case of a three million-dollar wedding for darling Chelsea.

The record of her questionable to outright unethical activities is extremely long.

Now, she can’t even accept the fact that the reason she lost was herself, not the Russians, not any hacking, not the former Director of the FBI, but herself.

People who know anything about her don’t like her, except of course, for fellow travelers trying to benefit from her success, people like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or John Podesta, themselves people of very questionable ethics.

It is almost unbelievable but with this phony book she is trying to position herself for another run at the presidency.

And, of course, she did not write this book, just as she did not write the others with her name on the covers.

A former ghostwriter for Hillary, a woman who wrote her own biography, offers some fairly hair-raising anecdotes about what it was like working for Hillary.

Hint: not nice.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

The Real Reason for Sanctions? Stubborn Russia Won’t Surrender Its Sovereignty

Yes, and the regular resort to sanctions is surely a sign of criminal mentality, a form of mental illness.

In private life, if you are unhappy with the politics or attitudes of a neighbor or fellow worker, no sensible person would agree that you are entitled to sabotage their economic welfare, much less the welfare of all those living with or associated with that person.

This becomes even more true when we are dealing with millions of people in another land, most of whom have nothing to do with the imposing government’s demands.

Political arguments between countries should have nothing to do with the economy and trade. To get at the decisions of one or two or a dozen people you don’t like, you don’t decide to hurt millions, unless your thinking is criminal.

Note how the greatest use of economic sanctions is by the United States, the world’s most aggressive and demanding state, a state, which in virtually all of its international relations, tries to impose its way of looking at things, bend previously-negotiated rules to its own advantage, and just generally makes every effort to squeeze extra advantages or gains from its sheer size and power – a pattern which in everyday life we call bullying.

The greatest use of economic sanctions by a small country is likely that of Israel, America’s unofficial colony in the Middle East. The attitudes and motives behind their use are the same as those for its colossus mother country, to get your own way over others and having nothing to do with fairness or principles. In other words, bullying.

The act of imposing economic sanctions is simply a form of aggression, nothing else. They involve no ethics or morals or principles despite the advertising claims made for them. They do not serve democratic values or human rights or even demonstrate the simplest respect for other people and their institutions. They are used by the United States and Israel to force compliance from others without resorting to open warfare, something itself so extensively used by both countries that they stand in danger of revolting the world’s people.

In addition, sanctions just make the world a poorer place by shrinking trade and jobs. They are the opposite of free trade agreements. And today’s world already is regarded by many observers as being near the edge of a deep economic pit, so it hardly needs anti-trade and prosperity measures.

But the US has long indulged itself in using these measures against any country it doesn’t like, paying no attention to the consequences or to rational argument. Such is the distorting force on thought of mumbo-jumbo ideology and great wealth and power with no effective opposition.

Of course, the only possible exception to this way of looking at sanctions is when they are used to oppose genuine tyranny or abuse. That is virtually never the case with America’s many regular uses of them, but even in the case of tyranny or abuse, sanctions inevitably hurt many innocent people.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Response to another reader’s comment about the threats made by North Korea:

Do you have no understanding?

The threats from North Korea are bravado stuff for their own population.

North Korea has no motive at all to attack the US.

Indeed, it has virtually no ability to do so despite the bravado and all the American propaganda to which we are subjected.

North Korea has no ICBMs, only moderate-range missiles. Russia’s ministry of defense has told us so precisely.

And North Korea feels highly threatened by America. Who wouldn’t, given America’s posture towards them?

Remember the US keeps a large, well-equipped army on its borders.

It puts on noisy war games regularly, including flights by nuclear bombers.

Keeps warships off the coasts.

Keeps atomic weapons at the ready in Japan.

Refuses to even talk to North Korea directly.

Refuses to recognize its government.

Refuses to sign a peace treaty more than half a century after a horrible war.

Maintains as many restrictions and sanctions against North Korea as it can.

Makes belligerent speeches regularly.

If you want to see what the North Koreans fear and what terrible acts the US is capable of, see:

https://theintercept.com/2017/05/03/why-do-north-koreans-hate-us-one-reason-they-remember-the-korean-war/

The unpleasant children and violent lunatics running Washington – and that includes far more than Trump – just cannot stand the idea of someone not giving in to them.

There is nothing to fear from North Korea if it is just left alone.

Russia has a small regular ferry service from its far east, and a small number of Russians take vacations in North Korea regularly with nothing to be afraid of.

This is a manufactured crisis, manufactured by the same folks who are right now trying to topple the elected government of Venezuela, already toppled the elected government of Ukraine, bombs and pays rag-tag armies of mercenaries in half a dozen countries, threatens a law-abiding Iran, threatens Europe’s economy with more aggressive sanctions against Russia, keeps running up arms right at Russia’s border, threatens China, sells an unbelievable arsenal of weapons to godawful Saudi Arabia, supports Israel’s endless oppression of millions, and runs an industrial-scale murder program with its drones.

You think about it and tell me who is actually dangerous.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

US Senate Approves Iran, Russia, North Korea Sanctions

The US government is entirely in the hands of unpleasant children and lunatics.

This bill is an appalling piece of proposed legislation.

It attacks countries who have not attacked the US.

It attacks German industry as well as industry in other EU countries.

It attacks a peaceful Russia that wants only to do business with the world.

In both cases, Russia and Europe, the bill invites counter-sanctions from countries concerned with interference in their internal affairs.

It attacks Iran which has attacked no one and has scrupulously followed its obligations under the nuclear agreement.

The U.S. government does all of this, too, at a time of great economic uncertainty in the world.

Does anyone sensible believe the world economy today needs more restrictions on trade?

The contemporary US now represents a serious set of threats to the entire planet with its idiotic restrictions, its induced-coups, and its military hyper-aggression.

One has a hard time hearing a single sensible sentence coming out of the United States.

Just sick childish fantasies about Russia and American elections.

Just demands for more stupid legislation, as though you don’t already have enough.

Of course, a major driving force in all of this is America’s unbelievably-cringing attitude towards Israel.

Israel likes an aggressive America because it makes them feel more secure in their garrison state.

It also covers-up their aggression towards all their neighbors as they attempt to secure complete dominance of the region.

Israel is virtually the sole cause for the continued hostility towards Iran which is pointless and destructive.

Israel sees Iran as a regional rival, and it keeps using its immense improper influence with American politicians (through campaign-financing and favorable publicity employed by the Israel Lobby) to hype aggression and opposition to Iran.

Israel influences the aggression against Russia too because Israel likes and wants a hyper-aggressive America. It wants that everywhere with no challengers.

Russia represents the most serious challenge to a hyper-aggressive US and that automatically means Israel has problems even though it keeps good relations on the surface with Russia.

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

North Korea can now fire missiles at targets across the United States, experts say

You are quoting all kinds of misinformation and nonsense.

Jeffrey Lewis is a paid hack doing what paid hacks do in America all the time, much like the “experts” which appear on CNN regularly to confirm some questionable notion.

The North Korean missile was not an ICBM, not even close.

Just as was the case with the North Koreans’ previous test, the American government and its corporate press cheering section claimed it was an ICBM and made all kinds of ridiculous claims and noises.

But the Russian Ministry of Defense knows the missile and made it clear that it was an intermediate range one, not an ICBM.

As for quoting the threats of the Korean leader ever, that is just asinine.

His words are for local consumption and are as meaningless as many of Donald Trump’s or Nancy Pelosi’s outbursts.
__________________________

Response to a reader who wrote:
“Democracy is in peril in the West and events can make a huge difference as to in what form it survives.”

Democracy is in peril in the West?

And just where do you see democracy in the West?

Look at your own country. David Cameron ruled and did a whole lot of damage at home and abroad with the support of about 35% of the voters. Some democracy, that.

And the United States?

There is none. There is an elaborate, costly charade. America is totally run by money. It is a plutocracy.

Its elections are bought and paid for. Do you know that an American Senator, on average, spends two-thirds of his or her time raising money? Or that Congressmen spend hours every week working the phones for money?

Hillary spent somewhere in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) dollars, and she was defeated by a man said to be personally worth $8 billion dollars who spent a lot of his own money.

Decisions are made, just as in 18th century France, by an establishment of insiders who serve the plutocrats’ interests. You see this even with a political outsider like Trump.

He cannot make major decisions in that government. The establishment won’t let him. Outfits like the CIA have been particularly visible in opposing an elected leader, and they have succeeded to a great extent.

Obama was different in outward style, but exactly the same in substance. He played smiling liberal but did absolutely everything the Pentagon/CIA guys wanted done, none of it which America’s people wanted, all of it destructive.

He fought war after war and manufactured coups, killing at least half a million people and creating millions of refugees – all done while offering the public his boyish smile.

If that’s your idea of democracy, well, all I can say is that it’s as pathetic as calling Israel the Mideast’s only democracy and it’s a good thing there are not more such democracies.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

If Richard Dawkins can’t understand why he was no-platformed, then maybe he’s not as smart as he thinks he is

Richard Dawkins is an odd case.

A very bright, articulate scientist, a man interesting to hear on some subjects.

But on religion, he has more than once proved himself an ignoramus.

No less with Christianity than Islam.

I read his book on atheism, and what a weak effort it proved.

I am not a religious person, but I always object to arguments which do not hold, and just so Dawkins’ book.

He completely missed some of the fundamental reasons many people are religious, as for example the cultural and communal aspects of religion, and those are very important.

A worthy scientist and writer has only badly damaged his reputation in old age under the illusion that he can convince people to believe as he believes.

A bad mistake.

In a way, it reminds me of another, even more famous, scientist, Stephen Hawking.

A truly important figure in modern cosmology has, in his declining years, made some ridiculous public statements on matters about which he has no more expertise than the local postman.

I refer to his fantasies about earth ceasing to be habitable and the “need” to fly off somewhere in the cosmos to find a new home.

Simply utter rubbish, influenced, just as Dawkins objectionable statements, by personal prejudice and/or fantasy wishes, not by science.

It all does prove once again – there being many examples in history – that even great intellects can completely flounder when they deal with the emotional rather than pure science.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ITEM ON YOUTUBE

A Prescription for Murder

This is just appallingly ignorant.

SSRIs help millions with anxiety and certain kinds of depression. Millions.

As with any other medication, they can be wrongly prescribed and likely are.

And that is especially true when underqualified, and sometimes incompetent, general practitioners prescribe them where they are not indicated.

It is a matter of simple fact that medical malpractice in the US kills more people every year than all highway accidents and all murders combined.

Part of that malpractice is doing the wrong procedure or giving the wrong drug.

It happens daily somewhere.

One of the symptoms of terrible psychoses like Manic-Depression and Schizophrenia is depression. I have no doubt some under-qualified GPs prescribe the wrong medication. SSRIs work well for only for a limited range of anxieties and depressions – not all of them, not for psychoses.

I am also aware that some American GPs prescribe SSRIs on a temporary basis to patients feeling low. That is just plain wrong.

People who need SSRIs face the same kind of lifetime commitment as people using something like transplant-rejection suppressants or insulin for diabetics.

It is not a drug you take like aspirin for a temporary headache.

The limited number of cases – and the number is extremely small out of the many millions using these drugs – cited in the press about the danger of SSRIs are almost certainly patients who have been wrongly prescribed by not-well-informed GPS.

I am sure it happens often, just like a lot of GPs give people an antibiotic prescription for a cold, which of course is caused by a virus not germs. Inappropriate prescription of antibiotics has contributed to their declining effectiveness for life-saving cases.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Angelina Jolie comes under fire for new film’s ‘cruel’ Cambodian orphan casting game

Amazing to learn someone is critical for once of this weird woman.

Despite her status as one of the world’s “beautiful people,” she has a long record of genuinely weird acts and claims.

Once she spoke idiotically but in all sincerity, with a glass of champagne and in a designer fashion at a UN celebrity-cause event, about banning rape in war – as if that were conceivably possible or enforceable.

And within days, she was blubbering again, this time about the West’s needing to do more against the government of Syria!

Advocating for more war and more killing and more rape in a place which has suffered terribly at the hands of the West!

Her words and behavior have always suggested to me that she is seriously mentally imbalanced.

And that’s on top of her obvious intellectual limits.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN UNZ REVIEW

America’s Militarized Police
Made in Israel?

As if the United States did not already have one of the world’s worst problems with violent, brainless police.

Each year more than 1,100 Americans are killed by their own police.

Many times that are injured and abused.

That is a toll worse than any terrorist outfit you care to name.

It is a reflection of poor hiring and training and follow-up practices. It is also just a reflection of an increasingly brutal society.

So, what do local governments do?

Send their police for training by a gang of concentration camp guards in Israel.

Makes sense to me.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

Shock Horror! CIA Director Admits US Trying to Overthrow Venezuelan Government

Of course, we all understood this.

But it serves again to emphasize what an arrogant and corrupt state the US has become. Now, it can even announce that it is destroying a democratic government while working on it.

Really, I hope the day is coming when the whole world collectively holds its nose when an American diplomat gives us another phony, self-serving, dishonest speech – a la Nikki Haley – about democracy and human rights, and – barf! – “the last best hope of mankind.”

Today’s America pretty well represents the precise opposite of the words in those phony speeches.

It represents international lawlessness and the embrace of fascism to get what it pleases.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

Declassified Files Show FBI and NSA Routinely Broke Privacy Rules Under Obama

I have long suspected that Obama – who poses as an open-minded liberal – is in fact CIA.

This new information on intelligence abuses under Obama further supports a notion derived from many bits and pieces.

As very much does the fortress redoubt Obama made of a mansion in Washington, a place from which he continues to contact many different interests largely in secrecy, including some abroad we learn from time to time, advancing matters we know are on the CIA’s agenda, such as the important one of hobbling US-Russian relations.

There are many reasons for thinking Obama is CIA, including the blurry record of his birth and early life and a resume with definite holes in it.

He is certainly their type – an intelligent narcissist bordering on psychopathy – although historically CIA hires few blacks. But requirements change over time.

His record of activities as President strongly suggests this connection too.

He has launched every murderous campaign and coup abroad that CIA could possibly desire. None of it the kind of stuff a genuine political liberal would have anything to do with: Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen.

And then there is the industrial-scale extrajudicial murder program Obama launched – a program built and run by CIA, mind you, and a program reminiscent of the old Argentine junta’s practices decades ago when they used to just make people “disappear.” They did so in the thousands, and, of course, all of it was activity the CIA was aware of and gave no objection to. After all, leftists, even suspected ones, represented a threat to American business interests in South America.

In total, Obama’s smiling boyish face gave orders to kill at least half a million people and turn millions into refugees. The scale I think is not appreciated by most Americans.

It represented a continuation of the murderous American policies of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for eight years – President Bush fils being a silly, nodding figurehead too dumb ever to have been recruited or used by CIA – both men well connected to CIA historical operations abroad through their companies.

Obama’s pattern of behavior reminds me closely of that of George Bush pere, whom well-read people know was CIA going back to the days of the Kennedy assassination. We have snippets in documents.

Bush Pere launched a remarkable number of violent actions in his brief term, including the First Gulf War and the invasion of Panama. Characteristically of covert operations, these were done under elaborate ruses.

The First Gulf War involved the American Ambassador in private offering no objection to Saddam’s suggestion to her that Iraq should absorb Kuwait. We saw the actual dimly-lit, secretly-recorded video of the meeting that he broadcast when the US was invading. The Panama invasion used trumped-up drug charges against Noriega – and, of course, American laws which technically had no force in another country – to remove a man that the CIA felt threatened American control of the Panama Canal and promoted a too vigorous style of Panamanian nationalism. There was also a trumped-up nonsense, much broadcast by American television networks and published by other CIA-friendly outlets like Time and Newsweek, about an American sailor having been beaten.

And the CIA named its headquarters building in Langley after Bush, the kind of thing you don’t do for a former director of just two years duration. Sometimes, the good ol’ boys just can’t help tipping their hats.

While it is technically against the law in the US for the CIA to act domestically, a long trail of evidence – everything from some Wiki-Leaks documents to the CIA’s cozy relationship with Google and other American high-tech firms and to documents around the Kennedy assassination and still other matters – tells us they in fact very much do, including a long record of subsidizing certain magazines for which they had use, planting countless stories in America’s corporate press, to, at times, actually having agents covertly work for outfits like The New York Times and Washington Post.

And of course, since they are permitted to lie under oath, as we learned years ago from former Director Richard Helms, there is no way of accounting for their obeying American laws anyway.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

US National Archives Reveals the Story of KGB Agent Linked to JFK Assassination

Anyone who knows some modern American history knows Soviet KGB defector, Yuri Nosenko, was an extremely controversial figure. They know also that claims he made about the Kennedy assassination were no more reliable than other claims he made. Indeed, he was controversial in part because he could not, under CIA interrogation, supply details about KGB methods and operations which his rank of Colonel meant he should have known.

There probably never has been a defector who generated such fights and hostilities and disagreements inside a major intelligence agency the way Nosenko did inside the CIA, and it went on for years.

He practically tore the CIA apart internally during his defection with one faction regarding him as a KGB plant sent to “poison the well.”

The validity of any of his claims has never been established. And we knew the general line of his claims years and years ago.

So new stuff regarding him is not new and is of virtually no value.

If this release of material about Nosenko represents the quality of the newly-released Archives material as a whole, then we have made no advance at all on the Kennedy assassination.

But I would not expect anything else. The key material, if files ever existed and if they still exist, has never been released.

Those are the files that would tell us why the CIA has always lied about the assassination, there being a number of instances, even with our very limited information, where the lying is just obvious, as in the completely wrong Cuban Embassy surveillance photo taken during Oswald’s supposed trip to Mexico City. And as in the phony excuse about embassy telephone recordings being routinely recycled. Also, files on people in Dallas, Russian speakers, who befriended Oswald and are known to have had connections to the CIA, people like George de Mohrenschildt and Ruth Paine.

We might like information on the CIA’s James Angleton and his relationship to the program which saw Oswald and several other American servicemen temporarily defect to Russia in the 1950s. Angleton, by the way, was chief of one of the two warring factions in CIA over Yuri Nosenko’s credibility years later. Angleton also had other roles to play. After the mysterious murder of Mary Pinchot, Kennedy’s lover and closest friend, he was discovered rummaging around in her studio for papers.

Those are also the files that would tell us why the FBI, led from the very top, J. Edgar himself, rushed to the judgment of a man who had absolutely no motive, and no aptitude either, and virtually instantly identified him as the assassin. All with no evidence. And the files that would explain the FBI’s relationship with Oswald because we know from a number of snippets that there was indeed a relationship, at the very least as a paid informant, which by the way is hardly what a genuine communist, as Oswald was made out to be, of that day would do. And the files that would explain why the chief of the local FBI office destroyed key evidence immediately after the assassination. He burned a letter from Oswald and then lied about its contents.

That is the evidence that would explain the utterly mysterious behavior of the Dallas police investigation in everything from mishandling evidence to allowing Jack Ruby, a known gangster, to hang around the headquarters frequently. It was close to total incompetence from beginning to end, and I just cannot believe that record does not cover much darker matters. The policeman, Tippet, said to have been killed by Oswald, a claim contradicted by better witnesses who were ignored, we know was up to some pretty dark activities, ultra-right wing stuff, but we have never had any details.

But the key evidence remains that which would tell us why, if the simple official story of Oswald’s responsibility is true, that a murder by a quite ordinary man generated immense secrecy which endures to this day. There simply is no national security matter involved in one misfit suddenly buying a gun and shooting someone, even a President. No documents should ever have been classified, and the insipid and vague nature of much that has been de-classified in several releases only adds force to the point. Why were the FBI and CIA ever even involved?

Also, why it is that not one piece of conclusive evidence has ever been provided of Oswald’s guilt. All of the so-called evidence is weak, circumstantial, and even in some cases fraudulent, starting with the true purchase and shipping and ownership of the inadequate gun which from all circumstances appears to have been a planted decoy for police. And even ownership of the postal box involved is quite blurry.

While general facts of Oswald’s background were released, they simply do not add up to what we were told they add up to. Nothing has ever been explained about how a man, a man with a security clearance for special radar work, learns Russian in the Marines, pulls an obviously phony defection to Russia, stays a while and then returns to the United States (with a Russian bride!) at the height of the Cold War, is never put on a security watch-list, is able to readily obtain documents like a passport, and quickly comes to have a circle of quite well-off and well-connected Russian speakers as friends in Dallas. If you think the anti-Russian stupidity in Washington is bad today, you should look back at what it was like in the late-1950s and early-1960s, Oswald’s time for all of this activity. It was a howling madhouse in the United States, but it never really affected Oswald.

No, the new Archives release will yield nothing really worth having. That could almost have been forecast. I don’t know where the dark agencies of government put their most damning documents or how they file them in impenetrable filing systems or even if they indeed keep such material at all (there being, after all, the discouraging historical precedent of the Nazis who kept meticulous files on their crimes), but none of the documents released in Bill Clinton’s time and others, including these, explain either the crime or the need to have ever kept such stuff secret in the first place.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUSSELL BENTLEY IN FORT RUSS NEWS

BBC trounces taxpayer while belittling independent journalism

BBC is, indeed, a “state-run propaganda outfit.”

There have always been elements of that in its make-up, as George Orwell noted in his essays, but since Tony Blair’s time and the huge and murderous controversy around information from arms expert, Dr. Kelly, BBC has literally been reduced to an embarrassment.

I long ago stopped looking at their Internet site. I now do so once in a while just to see how they are manipulating a story.

They do it with everything from photo selection and word selection to outright lies and misinformation – all offered with smug self-confidence to reassure readers.

You sure could do worse than use BBC as study material in the craft of propaganda and opinion manipulation.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN BLACKLISTED NEWS

FACIAL RECOGNITION SURVEILLANCE IS HERE — BUT PRIVACY PROTECTIONS ARE NOT

Privacy, sad to say, never was never recognized by American Courts as a right, despite efforts of liberals to have it so.

And now it not only is not a right, it is quickly utterly disappearing.

There will be absolutely no privacy in anything in a couple of decades, at most.

The establishment wants it that way, and they are most assuredly getting what they want.

Americans will resemble cattle in vast herd, each with machine-readable tags stapled to their ears.

Enjoy!

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY BEN KENTISH IN THE INDEPENDENT

Vladimir Putin says he may seek re-election as President of Russia in 2018

And every thoughtful person on the planet hopes so.

God, here is the most sensible and capable leader of a major state we have, a voice for stability, peaceful pursuit of economic growth, respect for all players, and an opponent of aggression and tyranny.

And we are lucky to have him at a time of threatening political midgets, absolute midgets – May, Macon, Merkel, Trump – and genuinely bloody tyrants – Netanyahu, Salman, Erdogan.
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Response to another reader who said: The opposition in Russia is either the communist party or pro-western types, who many Russians do it even trust. Putin will always smash them at the ballot box.

I think that is a very astute observation, a fact ignored by many in their efforts to denigrate Putin.
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Response to another reader who said: The Indy doesn’t like Russia, it’s owned by a Russian ‘Liberal’ and written by pro ‘rebel’ journos who I do not need to name.

The Independent, for whatever reasons, is also quite perceptibly under the Israel Lobby’s influence.

Not as badly as The Guardian, which has become almost an official house organ in Britain for Israeli interests, but still clearly influenced in its selection and slant on many topics.

Just go back to the months of filthy propaganda and Senator Joe McCarthy style attacks over non-existent anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

The Guardian was even worse, but The Independent was plenty busy throwing mud.

Why does the Israel Lobby not like Putin when Israel itself appears to have reasonably good relations with him?

Because Putin’s Russia is quietly viewed as a threat to America’s current bout of hyper-aggression and determined global dominance. At present, Russia is the only serious deterrent to American absolutism, China’s military capabilities being not yet nearly as well developed.

Israel and its Lobby like a highly aggressive United States because it is seen in terms of protection and succor for Israel’s own smaller-scale hyper-aggression and effort to dominate its region.

The entire thesis of Washington’s Neocon crowd, people who have strongly influenced American foreign policy for the last two decades, has been that a hyper-aggressive United States is a good thing.

A typical statement of the American Neocons has been that if America has the power, it should use it.

The last 15 years of American-generated war and terror in the Middle East, involving the deaths of a couple of million and the creation of many millions of refugees, directly reflects Neocon influence.

One country after another has been bombed or overthrown or terrorized, none of them having threatened the United States.

The United Nations remains largely silent on the aggression because at the same time that America has bombed and terrorized these lands, it has worked methodically and ruthlessly at the UN to silence voices of opposition from the other 95% of humanity. The UN has been effectively neutralized through threats and bullying.

Why does the United States do this? Because it creates a cordon sanitaire around Israel and it assures Israel’s dominance in the region. It also eliminates independent-minded leaders there, creating something of a homogenized region unopposed to American intrusions.

All the renewed noises around Iran reflect precisely the same influence, and, given America’s recent history in the region, are quite ominous. Of course, Iran’s 80 million population – compare 18 million for Syria or 6 million for Libya – makes it a much more formidable opponent to take on.

Iran has completely complied with its international nuclear deal and is not a country which has launched any aggressive war, but that is not enough for Israel, a country which has broken every agreement in existence on nuclear weapons and which has launched conflict after conflict.

Israel wants Iran overthrown, and Trump makes ugly noises in response. The Israel Lobby’s influence on America’s Congress and other parts of government is genuinely frightening.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

US airstrike accidentally kills 16 Afghan police officers who were fighting the Taliban

The U.S. has “accidentally” killed police, villagers, families, and hospital staff in Afghanistan literally dozens and dozens of times since its senseless invasion.

Countless incidents over the years of its war against a people.

That’s the way America does things.

Three million slaughtered in Vietnam.

A million eliminated in Iraq.

We can go clear back to the use of atomic weapons on civilians in completely non-military targets in Japan, setting one of the ghastliest precedents in history.

That’s what the red stripes on the American flag really do stand for, the blood of other people, and lots of it.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

CIA Chief Claims Russia’s ‘Soft Power’ on Rise Due to RT, Sputnik
…you can win wars without firing a single shot

Pompeo is simply an ass.

You either have free speech or you don’t.

And that applies between countries as much as it does within countries.

Equating free speech, or competing ideas, with a form of war tells us precisely his mindset.

That mindset is called tyrannical.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ALTERNATIVE NEWS ALERT

Washington Post Worries About “Islamophobia” After Somali Cop Kills White Woman
After a Somali police officer in Minneapolis shot dead a 40-year-old Australian in what appears to be a senseless murder, the Washington Post’s primary concern was to fret about “Islamophobia” and a “backlash” against the Somali community.

There is reason to be concerned, given the stuff you may easily find on Internet sites denigrating and insulting Muslims, including the innuendo in this very article.

I might note that that “white woman” stuff sounds like the Deep South, circa 1930, when black men were still being lynched for looking at someone the wrong way.

Did you know that Southern charm families used to gather and have picnics sometimes to watch a lynching, just as though they were going to a sports event?

However, in this case, no matter what his background, the man in uniform who killed an innocent woman, shooting her from his car without any idea of what he even was shooting at, has proven himself a good, solid American police officer.

This is what American police do, after all.

American cops kill more than 1,100 Americans each year, far greater than the toll by any group of terrorists you care to name, and they get away with it, all the time.

And the numbers seriously injured and the numbers merely abused and threatened are many, many times the number killed.

America simply is an extremely brutal society, and it tolerates such behavior, day-in and day-out.

In a way, American police show us exactly why the American military is such an obscenity abroad. And, after all, the military is a large source of recruits for the police.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

Emmanuel Macron says anti-Zionism is a new type of anti-Semitism
French President tells Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that France will ‘not surrender’ to anti-Israel rhetoric

Macron is pathetic.

What he is saying is untrue and dishonest, and all honest people understand that.

It reminds me of some American politicians in the past, with campaigns heavily supported by apologists for Israel, going around the United States actually saying, “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.”

Macron’s is a line taken directly from Israel’s playbook provided to all those strongly under its influence.

Indeed, Israel has made major lobbying efforts to have that statement converted into criminal law in many countries of the West.

Fortunately, the intense efforts have not yet resulted in new Orwellian laws in most cases.

But Macron’s Newt Gingrich-like statement shouldn’t surprise. He has already proved himself a milquetoast, faithful to America’s empire, and, of course, Israel is America’s outpost in the Middle East, its colony.

So, the one pretty much requires the other.

France has never displayed less dignity and grandeur than in recent decades with leaders the caliber of Sarkozy, Hollande, and now Macron.

Its historic identity as the country Ben Franklin spoke of, “Every man has two countries, his own and France,” a country long regarded as an important home for human freedom, is pretty much lost.

De Gaulle would be ashamed of the total inability of recent French presidents to show any independence from the United States. The last time France acted as anything like its old self was when President Jacques Chirac refused to join America’s criminal invasion of Iraq.

This kind of meaningless language from Macron reminds me of his effort to beef-up the Bastille Day parade for Trump’s visit to France.

As though that displayed France’s strength or independence. Just empty show. Vapidity in fancy costumes. Hollywood.
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Response to another reader who said:
All Jewish people are not Israelis and not all Israelis are Jewish. I can see nothing wrong with peaceful opposition to a nation state, with whose policies you don’t agree.

Indeed.

And I believe in the quiet privacy of thought, virtually everyone understands this principle.

But the fanatics and shabby special interest-serving politicians and those with no regard for genuine human freedom say otherwise in every forum they can enter.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

“Three Years Since MH17 Crash: What is Stopping the Truth From Coming to Light?”

Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s far, far more than three years since John Kennedy’s assassination.

And it’s also a good deal more than three years ago since 9/11.

Yet neither of those watershed events was ever adequately investigated or satisfactorily explained.

We are talking, of course, about events with some of the same actors standing in the wings.