John Chuckman



Trump’s Withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty Jeopardizes US National Security

Clueless Trump clearing another impediment to an arms race with Russia


Good piece. Trump is nicely and accurately characterized at the beginning.

We are all living through the deliberate setting-up of a nightmare world, one where international law and order and institutions count for little or nothing.

But note that we do not see Congress making any efforts to stop Trump’s abusive efforts abroad.

I don’t think the impeachment investigation counts because that is about politics, the politics of realizing they do not have a leading candidate for the 2020 election who likely can defeat Trump.

And the politics around the possible opening of the whole “can of worms” involved in the American-induced coup in Ukraine with all of its aftereffects.

Not to mention, the insane Russia-gate fantasies which seem to have acquired a life of their own simply because they are so useful to so many important figures.

The fantasies do not die away because America has been conditioned for three-quarters of a century to hate and fear Russia. It was ferocious conditioning in everything from the language of the press and politicians to the entertainment industry with its streams of shows and films like the old J Edgar Hoover-approved “FBI” series or “I Led Three Lives” or “The Manchurian Candidate” and scores of others.

Anyone pointing out the many merits of today’s Russia, so immediately in stark contrast with the Russia of the prime Soviet period, only risks being called a Russian “troll” or “bot” or “asset.”

The Congress is under exactly the same set of influences as Trump.

He’s just loud and ugly about it, and they gladly let him take the blame for going where they want to go themselves, but they really do nothing to stop him.

All of these matters – from the destruction of important treaties to the horrors of Syria and support for one of the world’s bloodiest tyrants in Saudi Arabia – ultimately reflect America’s awareness of its relative decline in the world and its refusal to accept new realities.

It perhaps has come to believe in its own myths of exceptionalism too much, of its inherent goodness, of its rightness, of its entitlement. Patriotism as it is practiced in America is, after all, a form of religion with its own sacred myths and tenets and blind spots, and it has a fierce hold on the country still.

It is stoked regularly as an important reinforcing mechanism for all those pointless imperial wars and insane military costs.

The country’s relative decline represents no malign forces at work, as the bizarre words of Trump often suggest. It is a quite natural outcome of the growth and development of other states plus changing technologies, but it is an outcome America’s establishment is desperate to somehow correct by almost any means, except the straightforward one of working hard to compete.

With prestige and authority and wealth at stake, virtually all pretenses of still being Jimmy Stewart’s America of, say, 1953, are gone. There is simply no room for tears or sentimentality or wanting the reputation of being a nice guy.

America’s establishment is much quietly encouraged in this by Israeli interests because Israel sees its best interests in the Middle East as being supported by an aggressive America, not a polite and diplomatic one. It can’t be kingpin in its region if America isn’t feared.

And despite its own good relations with Putin, Israel, beneath the surface, does not like Russia. It does not want Russia’s influence in the Middle East, and it very much sees Russia as a stumbling block to the desired America supremacy and aggression in many areas.

To start with, Russia is friendly with too many Arabs, and that’s an automatic black mark in Israel’s power calculous. The fact that Putin’s Russia strives to have good relations with all states means nothing to Israel, a state which deliberately maintains terrible relations with a number of others.

The growing sense of Russia’s increasing prestige in the Middle East and America’s declining prestige also generates quiet animosity.

The only way I can see this changing is with a turnaround in Israel’s view of its place in the region and of its neighbors. And just what are the chances of that?

But even without Israel’s influential encouragement, Washington’s power establishment does seem set on maintaining a dangerous course out of its own motives of pride and arrogance.


Posted October 25, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman



“Washington Imagines Itself the Master of the Globe but Its Military Is a Tiny Colonial Police Force

“As with Britain in the 1920s America’s global hegemony is resting on feet of glass”


There are interesting points here, but I find the piece unsatisfying and a bit disturbing overall.

The author focuses on America’s establishment having made some poor choices recently in its governance of empire – as, indeed, it very much has – rather than, what I think far more consequential, questioning the entire imperial enterprise itself.

I think a good argument can be made that such bad decisions in imperial governance always follow from the very nature of empire and the privileged class who run it largely for their own benefit.

And so many of America’s terrible problems at home are pretty direct fall-out from its imperial system, and the broad American public seems to have remarkably little grasp of the fact.

The money – borrowed, all of it, so that the spending is constantly building a terrifying future burden which everyone except the privileged who spend it will be responsible for, one way or another – squandered on the military and state security plus all the attention and focus and political will of the establishment leave the United States equipped to fix virtually nothing at home.

You have an almost unfixable decaying infrastructure of bad roads and bridges and urban sewer and water systems and transportation systems and schools.

You have one of the world’s strangest and most grossly unfair medical service industries with elites automatically getting the very finest and advanced care and so many others literally driven into bankruptcy, medical bills remaining as America’s single largest cause of personal bankruptcy.

You have a terribly violent social fabric with police killing an average of three citizens per day and generally not even being held accountable. You have the world’s highest rate of incarceration, and in some of the world’s more violent and ruthlessly-managed prisons, prisons in which many hundreds mysteriously die every year.

You have open squalor, indistinguishable from a Third World place, to be seen over vast stretches of the country’s cities and rural locations. Armies of homeless camping out on streets and in parks of great cities, reduced to defecating on the pavement, just as you might see in rural India.

You certainly have the complete end of all personal privacy in the country with a massive security apparatus that rivals anything the old East German Stasi. Everything from the made-legal intrusions of the FBI and NSA and Homeland Security to the backdoors built into various digital devices and to the unregulated gathering and distribution and use of sinful amounts of personal data by gigantic, unchallenged Internet monopoly firms.

It is interesting that a country which in its popular culture has long put such great emphasis on the individual has begun effectively to destroy many foundations of individuality, but of course the people running empires have little regard for individuality, beyond their own. It kind of “comes with the territory,” as they used to say.

You have the building of an elite class so separated from the mass of ordinary people by wealth and privilege that they really do represent a society within a society, a kind of Inner Party, one that pays almost no taxes to support the imperial edifice from which it benefits. It commands all the key political and social levers, effectively reducing the country to a plutocracy, with only a window-dressing of democracy and justice.

Well, there are many parallels, at home and abroad, not just to imperial Victorian Britain but to late 18th century France and even to Rome after the Empire ended the Republic.

Empire is intrinsically about privilege and extreme inequality and abuse of people, always and everywhere. Its effects are never just felt abroad. They always erode the very foundations of the society upon which the empire was built.

However much Americans may embrace the secular religious notion of their exceptionalism in the world, almost a contemporary parody of the Old Testament’s God’s Chosen People, America is demonstrably not free of the enduring stresses and forces and dangers of empire.


John Chuckman



[Note to readers: this long piece really is more an essay than a comment. But I have not gone through the effort I always used to do of submitting it to a list of publications. Instead, I’m just posting it here, and I will post it also on my companion site for political essays. I do think it makes some important and timely observations.]


I just read an excellent piece by Alastair Crooke, a former British diplomat, who often writes excellent pieces which appear in the foreign and alternative presses.

I’m not dealing with his entire thesis here. Just a portion of his piece serves as my take-off point on subject areas in which I have long held an interest

He was writing about what, from many indicators, appears to be a serious new turn in the convictions of Washington’s policymakers.

The convictions are against China and against Russia. The disquieting aspect of his words about China includes the idea that American hostility towards China is becoming something far broader, all-encompassing, and perhaps all-consuming than just the trade war Trump has started.

Indeed, we have the idea that America’s elites are hardening attitudes towards China and coming to a consensus about a new kind of Cold War, one involving hostilities on every front – economic, military, and diplomatic. Some have suggested the war will dominate the 21st century.

I don’t doubt most of what the article says at all. I’ve written many times about the American establishment’s enduring antipathy towards Russia, the real basis for everything from Russia-gate and baseless accusations about election-tampering to the general Russophobia pervading America and blinding it.

Russia gets in the way and Russia has the capacity to destroy America, so Russia is hated regardless of how it has changed, how it is governed, how its laws operate, and how it behaves. Which last, for the most part, is very admirably, representing such a change from forty years ago that it should astound anyone, but that doesn’t influence the permanent grimaces and pronounced forehead veins of those gathered around huge oak tables in Washington.

Crooke emphasizes, with regard to Russia, the harsh words he heard from one American official about Russia’s need to learn that it has not won the war in Syria and that there’s a lot of trouble ahead if it doesn’t learn that. A claim, of course, for America’s right to use and dispose of other nations, such as Syria, as it pleases. So, just stand aside, don’t get in our way, and shut-up. Even if you are helping your legal ally, we do not recognize your efforts as legitimate because they conflict with our plans

I have no doubt that that is a deep conviction in America’s power establishment. It explains why there was so much covert effort against Trump even after he was legally elected, it being thought at the time that he was not going to support all the establishment’s convictions about Russia and the need for wars in the Middle East. America, a country almost continuously at war, some place or another, since WWII and brimming with homecoming football-game rah-rah pride and enthusiasm about its “boyz” abroad, just does not like looking as though it is losing to anyone.

Even though, in the case of Syria, America has never directly joined the war as it did in Iraq. But the illegal and very bloody American invasion of Iraq generated a lot of criticism and ill-will in the world even from friends. So, in Syria, America has kept to covert activities and supporting proxies – recruited mercenaries disguised as jihadis, fake NGO outfits (such as the “White Helmets”) working to extend the conflict rather than bring peace, and other groups posed as legitimate opposition to a “tyrannical” government (which somehow remains fairly popular, especially with minority religious groups like Christians, and continues to be supported by the armed forces after more than a half dozen years of bitter war) – never once admitting to the true nature of what it is doing, which is to destabilize a government it doesn’t like and perhaps to dismember the country.

America supports the proxies with weapons, intelligence, propaganda, covert special forces advisors, dark-ops, bombing of every description, and Saudi and Gulf states’ money. Plus, it shepherds a little chorus of allies, such as Britain and France, each with its own assigned dark tasks. Such is the real story of the Syrian “civil war.”

And even though America has lost several wars through its insistence on doing things which were better not attempted – its out-and-out defeat in Vietnam, its long pointless stalemate in Afghanistan, and the chaotic messes it made of Libya and Iraq – it not only often still attempts such tasks, it arrogantly and foolishly underestimates its opponents. “After all, we are Americans, entitled to do as we please, anywhere. Little peasants in straw hats or godless ragheads better not get in our way.”

But they do get in the way, and sometimes with great success. It helps, of course, when an American target country has an ally or allies as does Syria. Still, the “we’re Americans” attitude is quite prevalent in the United States, even outside establishment circles. “Exceptionalism” as Putin accurately likes to call it. It’s a result at least in part of constant indoctrination via everything from newspapers and television and Internet news and public affairs to Hollywood movies and magazines.

The public’s embrace of exceptionalism helps the establishment undertake what it views as needed tasks virtually without opposition at home. Just consider, except for one limited, intense period during the decade-long Vietnam War, there has been, and is, effectively no opposition in America to all the nation’s pointless wars. Decade after decade after decade, it’s just an accepted part of what it is to be an American, hearing and reading about foreign wars and interventions in the news.

That American official’s words about Russia thinking it won in Syria would be heavily reinforced by the interests of Israel. As we all know, Israel can make life hell for any American politician who wavers from the true path. And Syria, like Iraq before it, is an Israeli-inspired project, Israel working with America, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, and a couple of others. Part of what America’s Condoleezza Rice arrogantly and brutally referred to as “the birth of a new Middle East,” the screams of tens of thousands of victims representing the “birth pangs.” That’s Washington’s god-like way of looking at human misery, human misery for which it is directly responsible. Not much different than seeing ants being stepped on.

Now, American concern about China’s remarkable rise and its competitiveness have been around for a while. We saw it in many things from annual State Department lists of human rights abuses – wow, talk about sheer hypocrisy – to arguments about China manipulating its currency or engaging in unfair trade practices or stealing intellectual property. The innate cleverness and hard work and organizational skill of the Chinese couldn’t possibly have created what we see. It must be the result of underhandedness, underhandedness especially towards America, the place where all good things originate, of course.

On the economic and trade front, things came to a head recently with Trump’s clumsy revival of the centuries-old concept of Mercantilism – an old and discredited economic-political  philosophy of using protectionism to generate favorable trade balances to increase your own country’s wealth, clearly something not everyone can do at the same time, so it is a philosophy inherently antagonistic – as a way to make America richer, or, as he puts it, “make America great again.”

Trump’s approach to Mercantilism is bullying the other party into making concessions favorable to the United States. So, it is easy to see how this kind of policy is on a continuum with the outbreak of actual hostilities. He uses a major new American government industry in generating and enforcing tariffs and sanctions to create pressure, “maximum pressure,” to obtain a trade treaty, one that according to his thinking, and this where Mercantilism comes in, must be better than balanced between the parties. It must absolutely favor America over China owing to all of China’s past abuses, “taking advantage of” the gentle, uncomplaining giant he believes America has long been.

I won’t run through all the flaws contained in Trump’s thinking. They are many, but just the notion that you can “beggar your neighbor” to make yourself richer is ignorant and dangerous. It is as unthinking as the conviction of the Luddites that they could stop the Industrial Revolution, with all its unwelcome changes in their workplaces, by smashing the new machines. Trump’s views are really that crude.

I suggest China may well just choose to make do, of course having taken serious reprisal measures but forgetting about any agreement with the United States, rather than submit to public pressure and unfair demands.

What Trump does not “get” is that most of China’s modern success is about natural competitiveness, not unfair practices or imagined tricks. China started with a great cost of labor advantage combined with great organizational skills and new, more-enlightened laws governing business, but already it has exploded past those starting advantages to serious technological and scientific competitiveness, what took centuries in Europe’s development. The reason a company like Huawei, some of whose technology is the world’s best of its type, has been under intense American attack is only that and nothing more.

The Communist Party under Mao, while holding the country together through difficult times, was an inhibitor of the country’s advance, much as the Catholic Church once was in Europe. But today’s Chinese Communist Party is something altogether different. It provides intelligent leadership, builds advanced infrastructure on a large scale, supports advanced education, again, on a large scale, generates important new long-term strategic national projects, provides new approaches to national defense – all while cementing national unity and allowing for considerable flexibility in the activities of individual companies.

As just one example of the Chinese government’s efforts, adult literacy rates, since the early stages of the new economic order in the 1980s, have grown at a phenomenal average rate of more than ten-percent per year, bringing them close to those of traditional advanced countries. Remember, this is a vast country with a population about seventeen times the size of Germany’s, one where rural peasants represented a large portion of the population. This is not a government which squanders resources.

And there will no pausing, as immense, government-set, brilliantly-conceived projects proceed in everything from the New Silk Road – something that literally will change the earth’s economic geography – and about 20,000 miles of operating national high-speed rail lines, two-thirds of the entire world’s total and still growing, and a galaxy of hundreds of modern airports built as China prepares to overtake the United States as the world’s largest air-travel market in the next couple of years, to imaginative moon exploration and truly advanced quantum physics work show us. As someone has observed, China now has about eight times the number of students studying science, engineering, and technology in universities as does the United States, just an immense investment in “human capital” for the future.

China has coped well with Trump’s tariffs. They have a national model that combines a powerful, well-informed, stable central authority with freedom for individual firms to adjust as they see appropriate. You must be exceptionally bright, as is Xi, to become the leader of China in recent times. The celebrity and populism and advertising and marketing we see in American politics have little place. It is a powerful state model for the kind of ambitious growth China has experienced and one well suited to any serious challenge such as Trump’s trade war.

Trump started something I believe he cannot win. But going beyond the threadbare limits of Trump, the American establishment, if Alastair Crooke is right, is committing itself to a greater, longer-term battle that it also cannot win. One, importantly, that will chew up immense American resources far better invested elsewhere. And one carrying implicitly the risk of war.

Today, America wastes huge sums on its military and on destructive wars motivated by 19th century imperial thinking. A major part of the reason that it can manage doing that, despite its immense debts, is the dollar’s special position in the world. But that position is rapidly deteriorating, and making enemies of China and Russia, plus all the pressure America applies now to everyone from the EU, and Germany in particular, to South Korea, plus the abuse of its financial and payments systems for arbitrary domination, as in the cases of Iran or Venezuela or Russia,  are unquestionably speeding the end of the dollar’s privileged reserve-currency role. The process of dethroning the dollar is already well underway. It is not clear just when it will be completed, but it will be completed.

A “weaponized” dollar simply does not provide the convenient medium of exchange people of the world need and want. Quite the opposite, it attempts to thrust politics and arbitrary limits into the world’s transactions. It also generates uncertainty, an enemy of all things financial. A weaponized dollar simply is not sustainable in the long run. As the dollar loses its reserve currency role in the world, America will be left not only without its immense currency-printing privilege but with slovenly habits and attitudes towards spending and debt and investment that it has accumulated over decades.

When it comes to defense, China and Russia each spend a fraction of what America spends, but they spend it wisely without the sense of unlimited resources to which Americans are conditioned, and they are producing impressive results. Russia spends less than a tenth of what America does. China now spends a bit more than a fifth of what America spends.

Both China and Russia have well-stated views on defense spending. Enough is required for the absolutely reliable defense of the homeland and no more. The amounts between them vary because so many of their individual circumstances vary, from physical geography to the current size and shape and state of their armed forces and to the level of mastering various key new technologies to be employed. But both states are committed to the idea of an arms race being wasteful and unnecessary.

The American establishment is, I believe, under the mistaken impression that it can repeat what happened with the Soviet Union during the Ronald Reagan era when immense new spending on exotic arms programs helped weaken the Soviet state as it strove to compete, its socialist system being inherently not as robust or flexible as a market-oriented one.  But that is entirely a wrong view, although of course it provides the Pentagon and defense contractors all kinds of opportunities to expand their empires.

Russia is no longer a socialist economy and neither is China. Despite the name of the Communist Party still being prominent in China, it has morphed into something quite different than what it was decades ago.

Putin especially has been clear about his philosophy of defense spending. Just enough to secure Russia’s very important efforts now underway to expand economic growth and national prosperity. You need peace for growth, and highly focused research efforts over years have given Russia the weapons capable of doing just that.

Weapons to assure the mutual destruction of the United States should it attack, remembering that it is the United States that, more than once in the past, produced detailed and aggressively-promoted plans for a massive nuclear first strike against the former Soviet Union, including all of its cities.

America’s increasingly aggressive pressures are driving Russia and China together, as we have not seen them before, to cooperate on a wide range of matters. Russia, apart from its products and excellent technologies in a number of areas, has the capacity to be a great natural resource provider for China’s ferocious industry, just as it has for Europe, especially for Germany.

Bonds that grow out of natural mutual interests are strong ones, just as antipathies over being told what to do, what and where to buy, and punitive threats are strong, antipathies which Trump and America’s establishment have been working hard in recent years to build.

America keeps putting new pressures on Germany, and the whole EU, with threats of sanctions for Russian natural gas projects, threats of tariffs on German cars, demands about new taxes being laid as by France on Internet commerce, and demands for purchasing overpriced American products from Liquified Natural Gas to F-35 fighter jets. Recent polls show a sizable majority of Germans are for ending sanctions altogether against Russia, sanctions which European governments have accepted in the name of a long-standing alliance. But serious cracks are starting to appear, both because the original purpose of that alliance has faded and because of America’s aggressive new and inappropriate demands. The American-imposed sanctions have cost Europe many billions of dollars of lost sales in everything from agricultural products to industrial machines.

China’s geography-changing New Silk Road is being welcomed in many parts of Europe, and countries are signing on to be a part of it. To some extent, China’s massive efforts on this project can potentially offset some of the effects of the economic collapse towards which America appears to be hurling itself. An important contributing cause of the Great Depression was America’s so-called Smoot-Hawley Tariff. It imposed protectionist policy on much of the world’s trade. Trump’s total effort to control the activities of other nations with tariffs, sanctions, and threats is doing much the same thing.

We do see something large taking form in the world that absolutely is against America’s comfortable, traditional position since WWII, and it is the American establishment’s belligerence itself helping to shape it. The new close ties between Russia and China, a quickly emerging new Eurasian center of finance and other important matters, Europe’s new skepticism about American behavior and intentions, the ties forming from China to Europe with the New Silk Road and other projects such as Chinese construction of nuclear power plants, Russia’s massive new Arctic projects and China’s serious parallel interest including launching its first huge icebreaker, Russia’s emerging Northern Sea shipping route as almost a branch of the Silk Road, China’s diligent efforts at economic relationships with Africa securing supplies of raw materials, American trade with Africa in sharp decline while Chinese trade enjoys healthy growth, the new African Continental Free Trade Area offering new opportunities for China building infrastructure, and new Russian and Chinese economic relationships in Latin America.

It is a greatly changing world, not necessarily hostile, unless you choose to regard it so. And, sadly, America’s power establishment does choose to regard it so. They do not want to give up the privileged position they have enjoyed since the end of WWII, something they fell into by the good fortune of being the last one standing more than inherent skill or superior abilities, but ultimately there is no choice. The stage is set, however, for conflict as America’s establishment fights to retain privilege, using its still mighty military and financial strength in a very uncreative effort to pry advantages from others or simply deprive others of advantages. The more intense this effort becomes, the more motivation there is for a still faster pace of change. And, of course, the greater becomes the risk of war.


Posted August 6, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman



“Trump Folds at G-20 on Everything

“To the neocons. “Welcome to the end of Trump’s presidency…He has become Bush the Lesser with arguably better hair.”


I agree with the thrust of this piece by Tom Luongo.

I have been saying much the same thing, with some different emphasis.

It almost makes me smile when I see pieces on the Internet still displaying the naive belief that Trump is “out there” fighting the good fight against the forces of evil in Washington, pieces written by people who have adopted Trump’s vision of himself as revelation.

What can you say when people so deceive themselves?

But there is, and always has been, a great deal of self-deception in the world.

It’s what makes cults and fads and great scams and meaningless political movements possible, and are those very things not major landmarks on the American social and political landscape?

Trump is a kind of gigantic bad joke in fact. He is bereft of any real knowledge of history, itself a common trait in America, or of much else outside the field of fleecing people out of their money, which very much represents his life’s work. Vision from this man? To embrace him as a source of vision is a kind of sad public confession.

And he has this inner conviction, much resembling an intense, cultish religious conviction, or perhaps the delusion of a crazed person, that he represents “the great man” able to lift America out of its sleepwalking and lethargy.

As that old Neocon and worker for American empire, Madeleine Albright, conferred a title on the cause for which she so mightily laboured, the “indispensable country,” so Trump sees himself as a kind of indispensable man working for the same cause.

And a good many naive people believe him, just as many people, many in perhaps more influential positions in Washington, accept Madeleine Albright’s view of America.

It is all self-delusion, bred of the immense, corrupting influences of great wealth and power. The wealthy actually almost always regard themselves as somehow exceptional apart from the mere fact of their wealth. It is perhaps an extension of the old Puritan doctrine that material success and prosperity only display God’s special acknowledgement of an individual’s worthiness. And just so, America’s power establishment. That provides the nourishing environment for American Exceptionalism, a very real and palpable faith.

At the level of Trump’s supporters, many a bit lower on the social-economic totem pole, the sense of exceptionalism came out of a postwar period when American workers sometimes reached the level of a genuinely privileged working class. You know, it’s very easy to fool yourself with the idea that such success represents your own special merits. American politicians and elites have traditionally been only too happy to foster the belief.

But the situation resulted not from any special merit of American workers. Nor from any special magic of American society endowing its people with special properties. It represented a temporary set of circumstances resulting from the collapse of much of the world in a great war and America’s unique position, relatively unscathed by the war, of being able to supply a great part of the world’s demands, thus producing jobs and incomes for American workers that were indeed exceptional by world standards.

Thus, the appeal of Trump’s empty slogan about making America great again. What he is really saying is about bringing back the glories of the 1950s, the time of the birth of another slogan, the American Dream. It is obviously an impossible expectation and an impossible task, but what did I say above about there’s always a lot of self-deception in society?

And slogans, when they are timed right, much like advertising jingles, find a new batch of willing believers, at least for a while. Another of America’s great Trump-like promoter types, P. T. Barnum, famously said there was “a new sucker born every minute.”

Anyway, this hopeful illusion plus lots of rhetoric about keeping America free of others who aren’t entitled to share the Dream – migrants, refugees, foreigners in general – is how Trump keeps his pretty much hopeless political base fired up. Of course, he cannot succeed, but the self-deception is enough to get him by in office. Broken election promises are an accepted reality in American politics, and Trump’s are no different for being based in fantasy.

It cannot be 1950 again. No matter how hard he tries, and he cannot make it so. He perhaps believes, having sold so many condo units in the past based in part on illusions that he is capable of carrying it off on an immensely grander scale. But that is no more possible than commanding the winds and waves to halt.

He likes to think he is brave and tough with an iron will and, yes, that he is indispensable. But he is not, and his even holding and keeping office has been under assault by the people who really run America, its power establishment, from the beginning.

Of course, virtually the opposite is true of his personal qualities. In his drive to be seen as a figure worthy of a place on Mount Rushmore, he has surrendered virtually everything of the precious little he once seemed to understand and embrace to America’s power establishment, featuring today, as it does, a major role for the Neocon cult.

He works strenuously for their interests now and does so, not necessarily out of any native conviction, but out of cowardice, a quality he has quietly displayed his whole life despite all the bombast and bluster. He wants to stay in office and is ready to do just about anything to be allowed.

And that’s what makes him an exceptionally dangerous figure. The power establishment already had been on its own new tear for a while, a tear to re-establish its once almost unquestioned authority in the world despite America’s relative economic decline for decades. Obama served them well with wars and threats and coups and defense and intelligence budgets, despite his public image of seeming progressive and peaceful.

The relative decline which preoccupies American elites concerned with their continued influence in the world is reflected for Trump’s base in the virtual disappearance of America’s almost-elite working class and the gradual melting away of real incomes for much of the lower middle class over decades as America’s unique postwar economic position gradually eroded away.

So, they cheer him on to “make America great again,” but he has become preoccupied, apart from the sheer impossibility of his original goal, with just hanging onto office and maybe having a bit of luck here or there so that he can say, “See, I did that!”

And, boy, have we all learned how he loves to be able to say those words when it comes to just about anything, “See, I did that!” It is pathetic and childish and dangerous.

And surely at some point he has realized that his general assumptions about making the world into 1950 again are hopeless, but there is a way still to affect “America’s greatness,” and that is through the program of the power establishment and its Neocon inner cult. He has signed on with full enthusiasm to show them what he can do.

Posted December 6, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman




I don’t think so.

This event not only is a fairly common one in the lunatic United States, it is actually a rather small one compared to events abroad which are day-in, day-out policy of the United States.

The press should report close-up what happens regularly in Damascus or Gaza City. Or the horrors of Libya or Yemen.

Americans of course always think what happens to them as the most terrible thing that can possibly be imagined, and their language reflects that thinking.

It is just another aspect of what is aptly called “American exceptionalism.”

One should never forget that American society murders over 20,000 people a year. American cops kill, pretty much with impunity, more than a 1,000 people every year.

And in just one of its numerous colonial wars, America left behind about 3,000,000 corpses in Viet Nam.


Response to a reader going on about Muslims and violence:


You have no insight into these people’s minds, yet you pretend that you do.

Essentially people like you are using a horrible event to promote your prejudices.


 Response to reader saying America was always reluctant to declare events as terror:

I don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about.

Indeed Americans are always far too ready to declare something an act of terror.

And what possible difference does it make whether you declare that or not?

None. It’s a lot like labelling a murder as “a hate crime.” So what difference does that make? Someone’s still dead no matter what the motive or mental state of the killer, and we cannot know the mental state of a dead killer.

Words like yours only serve to fog up issues and support the ongoing, mindless business of “a war on terror” and support the genuine state terror we see daily in Israel.










John Chuckman


A sniper is not a soldier, any more than a drone operator is. He’s a cowardly killer hiding in ambush.

This sniper was also, virtually certainly, a psychopath. He loved killing, and killed in record numbers.

The symptoms described for his killer suggest some degree of paranoid schizophrenia.

Of course, the military provides a welcome home for both types. It always has. Where else do you get to kill and commit acts of savagery in large numbers and be praised and even rewarded for it?

These recent American wars represent no principle, and they defend nothing but the self-assumed right of America’s establishment to tell people around the planet how to order their lives.

These are some of the dirtiest colonial wars in history, the work of a great bully wrapped in a flag who spouts nonsense about rights and democracy he doesn’t even understand.