Archive for the ‘AMERICAN POLICE BRUTALITY’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SAN BERNARDINO MASS KILLING CALLED UNSPEAKABLE BY POLICE – WELL YOU JUST HAVE TO WONDER WHERE A POLICEMAN WHO TALKS LIKE THAT HAS BEEN LIVING – AMERICA’S RECORD ON KILLING   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Unspeakable?

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.

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Response to a reader going on about Muslims and violence:

Crap.

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.

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 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 COMMENT: TWISTED NEWS COVERAGE OF THE SECOND CONVICTION OF OLIGARCH KHODORKOVSKY BY RUSSIA ‘S COURTS – AND A WORD ON THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“You shouldn’t express your views about something you don’t have a clue what it is.”

Yes, precisely, but then the author of this comment violates his own sound principle.

What a trivial observation to make comparing two rich men, almost neither of whom the author knows personally or knows a very great deal about.

But this dictum covers exactly the problem with such reportage of events in Russia.

The newspapers have made no real effort to investigate the matter: they report only an interpretation which suits the anti-Russian tone of a great deal of American press coverage.

And America takes the same approach to China and many others.

Never mind that international torture gulag of the CIA’s, of which Guantanamo is only a small part, there being facilities at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and on Diego Garcia which no one is allowed to visit.

Never mind the three thousand prisoners in the early days in Afghanistan who were in American custody but taken out in batches in sealed trucks to suffocate in the desert (then buried in mass graves) by one of the wonderful humanitarian warlords American allied itself to against the Taleban, shedding a minimum of its own blood in its pointless crusade.

And never mind that the United States has the highest proportion of its own citizens behind bars of any Western society, many of them in prison for minor matters, about half of them black, and a substantial number in so-called Super-Max prisons, hell holes where prisoners are kept in terrible isolation forever.

And never mind the many, many reports of American police brutality, America having been cited by Amnesty International and others time and again for inordinate brutality.

Never mind America’s ghastly practices such as sending Canadian citizens, who happen to have been born in the Middle East and end up unfortunately landing in a stopover at an American airport, to exotic lands places for long periods of torture.

And of course the approximately 9,000 Palestinians held illegally and tortured in Israeli prisons are not even to be mentioned. How about a mention of bloody piracy on the high seas? Or the murder of hundreds of children?

But let a billionaire in Russia get in trouble, and the matter is immediately given the colorization of injustice, with never a mention or investigation of the conditions around the fall of the Soviet Union in which people like Khodorkovsky scrambled, elbowing others out of the way, to seize Soviet assets for themselves.

I’d be willing to bet that the journalists who write this bilge, do not have the slightest grasp of Russian laws or courts, nor does the author of the comment I’ve quoted.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MARGARET ATWOOD ASKS WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY YOU WANT – COMPARISON OF POLICE AT TWO DEMONSTRATIONS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MARGARET ATWOOD IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Thank you, Ms. Atwood, well put.

I always treasured the restraint and decency of police in Canada, having come decades ago from a tough part of a tough American city.

The first time I was shocked out of my warm glow was with the OPP shooting at Ipperwash. That pointless and brutal event much resembled the activity of thugs like the FBI, an agency which has a huge list of abuses and violence and stupidity and literally thousands of victims over its history.

The Toronto example however is turning out even worse than first reports, so the contrast Ms. Atwood offers is even greater.

I heard today on CBC Radio the chilling report of a man with artificial legs who was arrested.

The police apparently ordered him up – he was sitting on the ground – but he couldn’t stand without the sticks he uses, and he explained all this to the police.

Then some genuinely bad-apple cop reached down and pulled one of his legs off.

Then the disgusting cop ordered him to hop.

The man was under arrest for more than a day without his appliances.

There was also the ugly case – involving genuine police-state brutality – of the man who was arrested while with our highly regarded journalist, Steve Paikin, who witnessed everything.

Such behavior by police ranks with the vicious criminal morons who killed a distraught Polish man in Vancouver’s airport.

I know, thank God, that most police do not behave in this way, but policing always is a job which both attracts dangerous personalities – psychopaths of varying degree – and challenges the self-control of those with bad tempers. People who want some “action” are inevitably drawn to policing, much as they are to the military.

Only a tough standard of review of excesses and the absolute determination to rid ourselves of such thugs in uniform are defenses against them.

I do not think we are in danger of all our police behaving the way American cops have a well-earned reputation for behaving in many small towns and poor parts of cities, Amnesty International having cited many times police brutality in America as common.

But I do think our institutions governing police are weak. Those cops in Vancouver, at the very least, should have been rudely dismissed. So too the cop who pulled off the artificial leg and ordered a man to hop.

Show the thugs the door, and I do not think we have to worry about their sickness taking hold. Doing so would serve as a declaration to the world that Canada is determined to remain a decent society, the kind of society where people peacefully protest the closing of prisoner farms as Ms. Atwood did.