Archive for the ‘AMERICAN POLITICS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WORDS ABOUT “LIBERALS” AND BOLIVIA’S COUP BRING SOME THOUGHTS – AMERICA’S WIDESPREAD MISUSE OF THE WORD “LIBERAL” – CAN YOU BE A LIBERAL AND SUPPORT A BRUTAL EMPIRE? – THE GENERALLY UNNOTED ROLE OF WHITE SUPREMACISM IN AMERICA’S COUPS AND INTERVENTIONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Bolivia’s White Supremacist Coup Regime Determined to Quench Resistance in Blood

“The fury of Bolivians cheated of their elected government has to be subdued with terror”

 

While I am in sympathy with much of this article, I very much object to the following:

“The one time there is an actual white supremacist takeover the liberals predictably line up behind it”

First, the word “liberal” is misused so often today, it is becoming meaningless, and this quote represents just another misuse.

No liberal can possibly support the coup. Liberals don’t ignore democratic principles, they are defined by them.

The fact is that there are almost no liberals in the United States and in many places under its dominance. But isn’t that what you expect to find at the heart of an empire? Its people all nurtured on twenty-four-hour-a-day political cant and corporate press propaganda?

America is a place, after all, where a football player can’t even make a brief, respectful gesture of protest against police violence without literally being booed and heckled, even insulted by high officials.

Empire- and Pentagon-loyalists like Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden and most of the Democratic contenders are not liberals, no matter what views they may hold about social programs.

In fact, America’s political party system leaves almost no room for careers in opposition to empire and the crushing weight of the military and security services.

By definition, empire and the military represent the antithesis of democratic and human values. They represent telling others what to do and using force if they don’t.

Second, we have had other “white supremacist” takeovers. Very much so.

As in Ukraine. That coup could not have happened without the work of Right-wing extremists like the Azov Battalion.

America’s covert support of such outfits in 2014 was publicly displayed by photos of America’s appointed Proconsul to the Coup Government, Joe Biden, smiling broadly, while vigorously shaking hands with the commander of that dreadful outfit.

You could argue that all American-induced coups and interventions abroad are of that nature, even if some of the actors used inside the target country are not white. You do have to use the material at hand for a coup, don’t you?

The guys running the show from Washington could very much be viewed as sympathetic to many of the world’s “white supremacists.” Just look at photos of the faces gathered around the Cabinet table or sitting in attendance at the Oval Office.

And the long-term record supports that impression. Until the actions of others in the world made it no longer sustainable, Washington vigorously defended and cooperated with the former white Nationalist government of South Africa, just as today it vigorously supports the brutality of Israel’s apartheid government.

Washington has had a hand in many coups and interventions against genuinely democratic governments over the years, but they were democracies with either “non-white” majorities or major “non-white” components of support, as in Egypt or Iran or Libya or Guatemala or Panama or Chile or Haiti.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A TROOP INFLOW/OUTFLOW LOOK AT TRUMP’S SYRIA “WITHDRAWAL” – WHAT GENERATES SUCH ABSURDITIES? – THE IMMENSE IMPORTANCE OF MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS – IMPERIAL POLICY TO SERVE PLUTOCRACY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ERIC SCHMITT IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

‘After Trump’s “Withdrawal” There Will Be 900 US Troops Left in Syria — 100 Fewer Than When He Made the Announcement’

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/after-trumps-withdrawal-there-will-be-900-us-troops-left-in-syria-100-fewer-than-when-he-made-the-announcement/

 

This absurdity is what you get when someone like Trump tries to please and serve two groups for his re-election, groups with entirely different aims.

The outflow troops are for headlines addressing anti-war voters in America, whose numbers he needs to secure election in 2020, his base not being quite large enough.

The inflow troops are a response to Israel’s incessant demands for keeping Syria hobbled, and keeping Israel happy keeps big campaign contributions flowing, the mother’s milk of American politics.

Hobbling or destroying Syria for Israel’s benefit was all the Syrian conflict was ever really about. All that horror and death and lying.

Perhaps the conflict represents the most extreme example of what “foreign policy” is in the imperial United States where elections depend close to entirely on money, gigantic amounts of it, for both parties.

The best government money can buy.

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE PORTRAYS PENTAGON OFFICIALS AS HAVING CONVINCED TRUMP ON THE BASIS OF HIS GREED TO MAKE OCCUPYING SYRIAN OIL FIELDS PART OF HIS “WITHDRAWAL” – MY DOUBTS OWING TO THE REMARKABLY LARGE AND DETAILED AMOUNT OF INSIDER INFORMATION WE HAVE ABOUT TRUMP’S BASIC NATURE – HE’S GREEDY BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IS DOMINANT HERE – WE HAVE ANOTHER ASPECT OF HIS TOTAL OBSESSION WITH BEING RE-ELECTED, AND THAT IS ISRAEL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL LARISON IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/how-the-pentagon-used-trumps-fixation-on-plunder-to-get-its-syria-occupation-reinstated/#disqus_thread

 

How the Pentagon Used Trump’s Fixation on Plunder to Get Its Syria Occupation Reinstated

“‘This is like feeding a baby its medicine in yogurt or applesauce’ said the official”

 

It seems to me that portraying Trump as someone who can be easily lured by Pentagon officials at the prospect of plunder to change a major decision is superficial, especially given a major decision governed completely by Trump’s political prospects and judgments.

Foreign policy as such does not really exist for Trump. The topic likely goes into the same mental trash bin as international organizations, “globalism,” and migration and refugees. Foreign affairs are just an arena for making gains in domestic political combat.

Trump’s political instincts are powerful, gut-level ones. He much resembles a high-level predator constantly sniffing the breeze for the scent of prey. Such instincts are not easily deflected or defeated.

Everything we really know about Trump – and, quite uniquely in modern history I think over so brief a time, we know an extraordinary amount of detail from many books and articles by insiders – simply does not support the idea of someone easily manipulated. Not at all.

Most insiders were baffled in their attempts to influence him, even in good ways. That includes people a good deal smarter than the average Pentagon general, but it also includes former top-level generals. Everyone agrees that he just does not listen to anyone, no matter what the person’s job title or qualifications, when what they are saying contains even a hint of anything which opposes his instincts.

While Trump is an erratic, rash, impatient, angry, and unpleasant man, he is also an unbelievably stubborn one, an almost textbook-perfect narcissist, one utterly convinced of his own rightness and remarkably proof against the ideas and arguments of others.

Trump functions at a gut level, and that’s just what the stuff about “plunder” and “feeding a baby” is intended to appeal to readers with. Yes, Trump is greedy – although I think no more so than most of the important players in Washington. But in this case, greed takes second place, at best, to political survival.

Trump is nothing less than obsessed with getting re-elected, and all of his twists and turns in Syria reflect that drive. He keeps making adjustments in what he is doing according to the political pressures he feels from different interests. Withdrawal was intended to appease the anti-war vote he desperately needs to supplement his not-quite-large-enough base. The anti-war folks made it possible for him to win in 2016.

But adjustments to the size and nature of that withdrawal reflect another important interest.

Nothing about American policy in the Middle East can be understood without taking account of Israel.

The Neocon Wars are not given that name for nothing. And efforts in Syria are just one theater in those wars, a theater where the decision was made to pursue the country’s destruction not through conventional invasion as in Iraq, something which had immense costs and many undesirable side-effects for the United States.

Israel wanted Syria toppled or broken up, but it was on the losing side in the main proxy war. It hung on to the hope of weakening Syria, as by creating a northeastern rump state for the Kurds, but that idea never was realistic given Erdogan’s attitude towards Kurds.

Trump’s original withdrawal, intended to attract anti-war voters – especially given the likelihood that the Democrats will oppose him with someone with no hint of being opposed to war, Biden or Warren – ignored what Israel wants. Trump has been reminded of what Israel wants – whether directly or by the Pentagon and CIA, both of whom have close working relationships with Israel.

So, a new scheme of occupying oil resources was hatched. This new hybrid scheme keeps an American presence in the region while allowing Syria to reclaim a considerable part of its lost territory, yet deprives Syria of a valuable natural resource, particularly critical with national reconstruction efforts ahead, efforts Trump has always been very uncooperative about, again looking to what Israel wants.

Trump does not need help, whether from the Pentagon or anyone else, in responding to what Israel wants. Such activity has been a dominant feature of his administration – as we’ve seen in everything from giving away what was not his to give in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to needlessly generating intense new hostilities against Iran and appointing people like Bolton and Pompeo to high office – Trump responds to Israel as few other presidents have.

And that responsiveness has a lot to do with his depending on some extremely wealthy American campaign contributors who help his sense of security both as to re-election and a possible impeachment. He can depend on them so long as he puts their major interest, Israel, as a top priority, and he has consistently done so.

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MADNESS STRIKES AMERICA AGAIN – TRUMP INTENDS TO WITHDRAW FROM THE “OPEN SKIES” TREATY WITH RUSSIA – HERE IS WHAT DRIVES AMERICA’S FRIGHTENING BEHAVIOR ABROAD – IT IS HARD TO SEE ANY HOPE FOR CHANGE EVEN IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF TRUMP BEING REMOVED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES CARDEN IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

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

Clueless Trump clearing another impediment to an arms race with Russia

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/trumps-withdrawal-from-the-open-skies-treaty-jeopardizes-us-national-security/

 

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 COMMENT: AMERICA’S GROTESQUE PRESIDENT ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING RIGHT IN LEAVING SYRIA, ALTHOUGH HE DID IT VERY BADLY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MARKO MARJANOVIC IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Donald J. Trump’s Brilliant, Hilarious Rebuke of the War Party”

 

“Trump is a lazy, demented degenerate.”

Indeed.

He’s almost unbelievable. You have to rub your eyes watching him.

An American original grotesque. Like something strange escaped from a zoo. Or Victor Frankenstein’s creature lurching around.

But, despite his ghastly nature, getting out of Syria was a good thing, although he did it very badly, costing many lives.

I actually did not think it would happen. After all, it very much goes against Israel’s wishes.

I think the key considerations for Trump were that he felt he had done enough for Israel’s desires in other matters that he could afford to oppose them here, and, the really important thing for this ultimate narcissist, that he was convinced he needed a “withdrawal” somewhere to get re-elected.

And, I’m inclined to think him right in that. Biden or Warren running against him is just the same old, same old, undeviating support for Pentagon and Empire. He won’t have done much, but his opponent will have done nothing.

Of course, this for that other segment that supported him in 2016, not the base wearing red MAGA caps on shopping trips to Walmart, the folks who love walls and hate anyone kneeling near Old Glory or speaking Spanish.

His opponent will say he did Putin’s work for him, but I don’t think that charge carries any weight with those opposed to America’s insane wars.

He has created an extraordinary political situation.

Readers might like:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/john-chuckman-comment-trump-and-northeastern-syria-withdrawal-turkeys-invasion-putins-success-notes-on-saudi-arabias-crown-possibly-endangered-prince-irans-new-pride-in-its-capabiliti/

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A BIT MORE ON IMPEACHMENT – NOTHING GOOD TO SAY ABOUT EITHER SIDE – MY SUGGESTION FOR ENHANCING ITS THEATRICAL APPEAL IF THEY DO GO AHEAD WITH IT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ANDREW BACEVICH IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Trump, Impeachment & Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House”

 

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/09/trump-impeachment-forgetting-what-brought-him-to-the-white-house/?unapproved=384106&moderation-hash=5ab61b3bd265c7e6d42f8cadd49643cc#comment-384106

 

There is almost nothing good to say about either side in this matter.

A rude, corrupt, dishonest, loud-mouthed, belligerent President or a scheming, corrupt, dishonest, mercenary, war-mongering Congress.

It is the American condition that virtually none of these people, none of America’s leaders, is worthy of praise.

The entire impeachment business is one more piece of dumb-show theater in Washington, theater which distracts from, and obscures, the ugly real workings of imperial government.

We should remember that the trail of events leading to the threat of impeachment goes back to an American-induced and paid-for coup against an elected government in Ukraine, a coup approved by that smiling Peace Prize winner, Obama, the same man who brought hell on earth to Libya and Syria, and there were no objections to speak of from Congress.

If they actually get around to a trial, which I tend to doubt will happen, the participants should perhaps wear frock coats and wigs and offer solemn scripted speeches about “pledging scared honor.”

It would considerably enhance the theatrics of the occasion, while off to the side, they starve people in a half dozen lands, bomb the crap out of people in another half dozen lands, run a massive hi-tech international extrajudicial killing operation, and support incredibly bloody tyrants like the Saudi Crown Prince, the Generalissimo of Egypt, and the thug Prime Minister of Israel.

These considerations on aspects of the impeachment, stressing its political nature, may be interesting to readers:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/john-chuckman-comment-a-few-thoughts-on-the-house-intelligence-committees-impeachment-inquiry/

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP AND THE WHISTLEBLOWERS – A PATHETIC PRESIDENT – SHAMEFUL HISTORY IN UKRAINE FOR ALL CONCERNED – WHISTLEBLOWERS OR PLANTS IN THE WHITE HOUSE? UKRAINE COUP EFFORTS BEING REPEATED ON THE BANKS OF THE POTOMAC?   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS (AND REMOVED BY EDITOR)

 

“2nd whistleblower in Trump-Ukraine scandal comes forward, lawyer says”

 

Once you get past all the bellowing noise and rudeness, Trump really is a rather pathetic figure.

He has literally handed his opponents the ammunition they need to shoot him down.

He just can’t help himself, I guess. When he thinks he’s right, whether it’s a personal matter or a matter of state, he just shoves ahead with no regard for niceties or even laws. It’s exactly his approach in Venezuela or Iran or Yemen.

And of course, he is right about Joe Biden. He was involved in highly questionable activity in Ukraine and his son managed to be given a $50,000 a month spot on a corporate board while having no qualifications to recommend him. That rate of pay is about fifteen times what board members, ones with qualifications, for large companies usually get.

But it was not Trump’s job to call the President of Ukraine and pressure him to investigate a man who is Trump’s American political opponent.

The entire matter just reeks, every bit of it – Trump, Biden, Obama, and the American-assisted coup in Ukraine that was at the base of it all and put in place a president, Poroshenko, with such a serious public reputation for corruption that a television comedian was able to easily defeat him in the recent election.

There is a serious question about just what these whistleblowers represent too. Were they plants by CIA? If so, that’s even more dangerous stuff than Trump was up to. More along the lines of the coup in Ukraine, but the CIA is forbidden by law from carrying on with its activities inside the United States.

Well, it is an empire, after all, and empires aren’t noted for scrupulous behavior.

Some are saying the Democrats’ real motivation is to put a stop to Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, who is conducting a tough investigation into some of the stuff that went on for 2016.

I don’t know, but it is a plausible idea. There were some very dirty doings by the Obama White House around the election, and many big names were involved.

After all, the then-CIA Director spoke out about Trump, and since when do CIA Directors do that on their own? And there was the costly dirty dossier compiled by an ex-MI6 agent with dark connections in Washington.

The empire’s politics are extremely labyrinthian and do not in the least resemble what you read in the text for a high school civics course.