Archive for the ‘AMERICAN POLITICS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE HAZY IDEA OF “RETURNING TO NORMAL” IN AMERICA WITH JOE BIDEN – AMERICANS WANT A SUGARY WALT DISNEY CARTOON WHILE THE KILLING AND DESTRUCTION ARE CARRIED RIGHT ON ABROAD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLAND JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Biden Can’t Return US to Normal, Because Trump is a Normal President

“Wanting America to go back to how it was before Trump is like rewinding the same horror movie”

 

‘Trump is a very normal U.S. president”

Despite the seeming contradiction in those words, I completely agree with your meaning, Ms. Johnstone.

When it comes to real substance, America has been killing and torturing people, destroying homes and whole countries, ignoring the rule of law, for many decades.

Trump really hasn’t added much to that “normal behavior” except his crude style of presentation. And his insistence on inflicting his absolutely talentless family on the world, the Beverly Hillbillies of Fifth Avenue.

But many Americans seem to believe otherwise. Or perhaps, it’s just that they wish very much to believe otherwise?

Many are ashamed of Trump as the chief representative of the country, and of course with good reason. He is shabby and ignorant and often ridiculous, but they mostly have not been ashamed of the country’s destructive activities abroad for three-quarters of a century. I think it might be fair to characterize the perspective as somewhat superficial.

Just bury the Trump voodoo doll and everything will be fine, except that it won’t. But Americans look for no truth nor demand any from their government, so long as they feel vaguely at ease, as when wearing comfy old slippers. You could look at Joe Biden as a pair of comfy old slippers.

It really is going to be a dumb game show, the coming election. Even dumber than usual. The choice, after billions of dollars spent on marketing and advertising and trips, comes down to what one writer aptly called “Trump and not-Trump.”

If you know Biden’s record, you find the role of knight on a white charger to be serious miscasting.

This is a loyal party hack. He supported all the killing and destruction abroad, even though he now lies about his early support for the carnage of a million deaths inflicted on Iraq.

He supported all the internal dishonesty of his party, as revealed in the massive DNC and Hillary Clinton material published by Wikileaks.

He scoops up bags of campaign cash from American plutocrats behind closed doors, making them promises we know nothing about.

He pushed for Obama’s hellish extrajudicial killing system, complete with “kill lists” in the Oval Office’s in-box for approval. He never objected to any of the very harsh treatment of whistle blowers, including Assange and Manning, a category of people against whom Obama was relentless.

Biden stood by, watching as Libya and Syria and other countries were torn apart, governments guilty of nothing but independent thinking about American policy. He kept wearing his big smile as Israel bombed and shot the hell out of Palestinians locked by high fences in a big refugee camp, killing several thousand adults and about a thousand kids, some streets running red with blood in photos.

I never heard him once complain about Saudi Arabia’s grisly tyrant or about the blood-spattered Generalissimo running Egypt.

Biden happily served as imperial proconsul for America’s paid coup in Ukraine, a coup against an elected government. He smiled, shaking hands with such Nazi types as the commander of the Azov Battalion. And did all the dirty business he was bidden to do with the corrupt and smarmy President Poroshenko.

He scooped up all the bribes he could for his family. Imagine a big firm in Ukraine suddenly wanting to pay his son, Hunter, fifty thousand dollars per month (yes, that is, “per month”) for years of doing nothing? Yet somehow that wasn’t a grotesque bribe?

A disgusting politician for sure, but he doesn’t bellow like Trump or display laughable facial grimaces. He’s not embarrassing, except when he introduces his wife as his sister or forgets where he is during a speech, but I guess that kind of embarrassing can be endearing.

Americans do not want to see the truth about their country, and the country’s press happily accommodates their wishes.  It is the world’s bully, and it is engaged full-time in state terror. There is simply no other word to describe many of its acts abroad. And it never stops lying about all of it.

No, Americans don’t really mean “to go back to normal.” Normal has never gone away. They mean the normal of their undisturbed ability to pretend the country is something other than what it is.

Americans want a pleasant fantasy, sort of a sugary Walt Disney cartoon – “Uncle Remus’s Tales of Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross” – and that’s just what they’ll get from Joe Biden.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IMPORTANT NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THE CORONAVIRUS STRUCK EUROPE IN NOVEMBER 2019, HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH CHINA – BUT I DOUBT SCIENCE WILL GET IN THE WAY OF DONALD TRUMP’S WITCH-HUNT RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN – HE HAS ACHIEVED NOTHING AS PRESIDENT, EXCEPT A GOOD DEAL OF HUMAN MISERY – SO HE HAS TURNED TO THE METHODS OF THE INFAMOUS SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY, ANOTHER POLITICAL FAILURE WHO FIRED UP HIS CAREER FOR A WHILE WITH HATRED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – IMPORTANT NEW EVIDENCE CONCERNING DATES OF CORONAVIRUS STRIKING EUROPE

 

We have important new evidence about when the coronavirus struck France.

Apparently, there were cases in November, 2019, having nothing to do with China.

If further investigation confirms the existing evidence of dated patient X-rays, all of Trump’s ignorant attacks will be shown for just what they most certainly are, ignorant attacks.

Although I can’t imagine that will stop him, he and his loyalists not being the kind of people who are overly fastidious about proof. In the absence of any achievement in office, Trump’s re-election strategy is set on a bellowing witch hunt about China.

I find that interesting. The original American Cold War witch hunts were the work of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a drunk looking for something to rekindle a declining political career. Trump is a teetotaler, but his short political career has been an unmitigated disaster.

Science before politics, especially the ugly politics of name-calling and witch hunts.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/05/breaking-french-doctors-believe-they-may-have-treated-coronavirus-patients-in-november/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRUMP – STRIPPING AWAY THE HOLLYWOOD ILLUSIONS ABOUT AMERICA AND REVEALING SOME RAW, DISTURBING REALITIES   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TRUMP

 

This is a man who thrives on conflict and hostility. It is almost an appetite which needs feeding.

We see this characteristic in his every effort, from working relationships with staff and experts of various kinds to his threats and name-calling against other countries. His belittling epithets for foreign and domestic politicians. His relationship with the press is the same.

The only people who seem not subjected to his belligerence are extremely “safe” or “tame” individuals such as his doted-upon daughter, someone completely unchallenging, a cotton-candy personality, an Eloi-like creature, almost having the impact of a stuffed toy or dolly.

On top of the anger and hostility, there is his demonstrated lack of competence in almost everything he undertakes. If anyone, as a reporter just doing his or her job, is ungracious enough to touch a shortcoming or failing, as Trump’s lamentable handling of the pandemic, they immediately receive a hot blast of ferocious anger.

He insists on everyone seeing him as extraordinary, but extraordinary at what?

I’m not sure he could even answer the question himself. He just wants to be seen as extraordinary.

He has no perceptible talent. He is not even a good public speaker. His words are loud, bellowing, and demanding, demanding that his listeners understand how extraordinary he is.

His words offer no inspiration. He himself is the inspiration for listeners who ask very little.

As long as they hear some of the right sounds, words saying little but working almost like struck tuning forks with sympathetic vibrations – refugees, migrants, Muslims, America, Mexicans, foreign, troops, enemies, Democrats.

He has no body of knowledge about anything – from history and culture to science. Many of the assumptions contained in his words are ordinary, plodding, petty, banal. That is part of his appeal for his political base. He is “one of them.” His distance from them in wealth and position almost is not perceived.

He is “one of them” especially blessed by God in His wisdom and thereby worthy of admiration and loyalty. It is all on a gut or instinctive level. There are no ideas. There are no heroic words.

He is not at all a clever thinker, but he does possess a fierce animal cunning. It helps him in his savaging of people. He can almost smell weaknesses the way a predator smells fear.

In the end, I think the phenomenon of Trump says a great deal about America. It strips away sentimental Hollywood illusions and reveals raw, disturbing realities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: JOE BIDEN AND TARA READE – READE IS CREDIBLE AND HAS OFFERED A FAIR-MINDED WAY TO END A SERIOUS CONFLICT OF CLAIMS – BIDEN IGNORES HER OFFER WHILE TALKING MEANINGLESSLY ABOUT HER BEING LISTENED TO – I FEAR AN ELECTION CATASTROPHE – THE WORLD CANNOT TAKE ANOTHER FOUR YEARS OF TRUMP’S VICIOUS LUNACY – BIDEN, ALREADY A WEAK CANDIDATE, MAY WELL HAND TRUMP THE ELECTION WITH THIS SCANDAL – IF THERE IS ANYTHING TRUMP KNOWS HOW TO EXPLOIT, IT’S DIRT – BIDEN SHOULD TAKE A POLYGRAPH ALONG WITH READE OR QUIT THE RACE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN HIDE OUT NOW

 

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said this week that those who believe the accusation of sexual assault against him by former aide Tara Reade “probably shouldn’t vote for me.”

http://www.hideoutnow.com/2020/05/biden-tells-large-group-of-people-they.html

 

That’s quite a set of statements from Biden.

“She [Tara Reade] should be listened to.”

“But I’m telling you this never happened.”

“Truth is on our side.”

I find Tara Reade quite credible, and she has the support of someone she had spoken to about the matter.

She has made a fair offer which would put this all behind. She will take a polygraph test if Joe Biden also does.

That appears to be part of her words Biden does not want to listen to, nor do the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party.

She also gains credibility through comparison with Biden’s well-known, long-term sleazy behavior around women. From pawing their necks and shoulders to pushing his face into their hair, sometimes startling them, and we have the recent revelation that he always swam in the nude in front of female Secret Service agents who did not want to be assigned to his protection.

I see the election as potentially a national catastrophe.

Trump is a dangerous incompetent. He literally generates crises. He made a crisis out of mishandling a disease. He has manufactured a crisis with China. He has given the world a whole set of terrible situations – Iran, Venezuela, Israel/Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Bolivia, and more.

There is a very good chance that if Biden runs for the Democrats, Trump will win. That would be catastrophic for the world, not just the United States.

Biden is not a strong candidate in the first place, a lifetime party hack with no distinguished achievements and now displaying fading cognitive abilities.

But this matter of Tara Reade makes him extremely vulnerable – and remember what a ruthless opportunist Trump is, ready to exploit any bit of dirt – and Biden seems not prepared to do what is required to make it go away, that is, accept Ms. Reade’s offer of polygraph tests.

He should either take the test or decline to run.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A WRITER SAYS “OBAMAGATE” WILL NOT RESULT IN ANY SIGNIFICANT OUTCOME – THE DARK STATE PROTECTS ITS OWN – AND I THINK SHE HAS IT JUST ABOUT RIGHT – I JUST WISH SHE WOULD AVOID USING THAT TIRED POLITICAL SALES-PITCH WORD “SWAMP”   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Why ‘Obamagate’ Will Never Lead to Anything of Significance”

“You will never see Obama or his administration officials brought down by ‘Obamagate’ for the same reason Trump wasn’t brought down by the Mueller investigation, the swamp protects its own”

 

I think the author has it just about right.

There is no more justice in America than there is democracy, and for sure there is none of that.

Power is all that counts. The rest is stage play.

Most Americans simply cannot admit that truth.

As for change? Only under the influence of cataclysmic events would it be possible, events we are not likely to see.

Just a note, I wish the author avoided that tired political sales-pitch word “swamp.”

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CHILDISH IDEA THAT GLOBALIZATION CAUSED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND THAT THE PANDEMIC WILL PUT AN END TO GLOBALIZATION – THE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW WORLD BEING OPENED IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES WITH THE CONSTANT PRESENCE OF DISEASE – AMERICA OFFERS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO GOVERN TO NO ONE – AMERICA’S PARODY OF LEADERSHIP – THE OUTSTANDING EXAMPLES OF OTHER SOCIETIES – THE KNOW-NOTHINGS’ ROLE IN AMERICA – IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN GLOBALISM AND “NEO-LIBERAL” OR “NEW WORLD ORDER” GLOBALISM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – THE CHILDISH IDEA THAT GLOBALIZATION CAUSED THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND THAT THE PANDEMIC WILL PUT AN END TO GLOBALIZATION

 

My title is a favorite conceit right now of America’s extreme Right, its super-Patriots, its Nativists, its Know-Nothings. I am sure it is something with which Trump is at least a little comfortable because it supports his poorly-conceived ambitions for America.

But it is ridiculous, both portions of the idea.

Think back to the early days of exploration and discovery, the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. What made all the vast efforts possible was new technology in the form of sailing ships capable of going thousands of miles over the seas accompanied by the learning and experience of hearty seaman-adventurers. It marked a new epoch in human history, and there was no going back. It is always that way with the great changes technology brings, there is no going back.

Almost as soon as explorers arrived in North and South America, they began transferring diseases in both directions, to the Indigenous people and back to Europe. And with the relatively fragile things early sea-going ships were, there were countless disasters in storms or on unknown shoals with ships going to the bottom and no coast guard to save their crews.

None of that ever truly threatened the new exploration and settlement and trade. No, in just a couple of centuries, we had sprawling colonies of Europeans all over the New World with communities and plantations and governments and institutions. And they made still more discoveries over time – such as new foods and products that Europe hadn’t known, chocolate, maize, potatoes, squashes, certain nuts and berries, tomatoes, tobacco and precious metals and gems. They established new regular trade routes with Europe and new enterprises grew just out of the transportation needs and arrangements. Malaria, Yellow Fever, Smallpox, and a host of other threats, despite creating setbacks, did not halt the progress.

Pandemics are awful things, but I do think we’ve had some extreme and entirely unwarranted speech and writing around this one. People saying things, with no perspective at all, such as doubting whether there will be much international trade and business again.

At another extreme, we have American Nativist types saying, “Hell, I’ll do what I please. I was born free, not to serve government’s grab for more power.” People showing no concern for how their own actions can hurt others and no understanding of the role constraints have often played in their own society. As though there never was in the past such common practices as quarantines, or the extreme practice of demanding part of millions of young men’s lives through the military draft, or experiencing martial law in an emergency.

The fact that there are so many Americans who object to simple and effective measures, such as wearing masks and “social distancing,” tells you something not very pleasant about large portions of the country. Trump and his immediate retinue play to those sentiments by refusing to wear masks. Imagine the Vice President touring a hospital, meeting patients, as he just did, and ignoring the hospital’s rule for wearing a mask? Imagine how many lives Trump might have saved just by setting the example of wearing a mask during his television appearances? His is leadership only to the Wagon Train crowd. And they are not the people who will inherit the earth.

We will get through this. We’ve already seen examples, like China’s immense effort and the far-sighted leadership here and there – I think of Singapore or New Zealand or South Korea. Our news is full of noise from the world’s worst example, the leaderless and willfully stubborn United States, a nation which has a tendency to believe it is the model for all to emulate in any matter.

The virus itself keeps mutating and could well become a more harmless thing to humans. And of course, a vaccine or a new drug treatment, if a vaccine is not possible, will likely be created. Whatever, we will learn to live with it just as we do with so many things, from Malaria to AIDS.

It never has been true that America provides a good model for others to follow, as in the way government is organized. The people who have followed it have generally been under the easy-to-understand illusion that such a wealthy country must be doing things right. The reasons for America’s wealth have little to do with the way its government and institutions are organized, and most of them cannot be duplicated by others. Circumstances of resource endowments, unique historical opportunities, the nature of migrants attracted over the years, and more go into the mix.

If the idea of America being a suitable model for others is not accurate, and it is not, it is even less accurate for the pandemic with all its accompanying side-effects. The President of the United States has frequently resembled a slapstick comedian, like one of the Marx Brothers, but with a super-grimacing face intended to be taken seriously in communicating his self-assumed sheer weightiness. He and his appointees have failed on a scale not seen in many places.

And the failure of so many institutions and organizations inside The United States – from the healthcare system itself to the distribution of vital supplies and the open squabbling among various levels and parts of government – has been monumental, anything but reassuring for the world. Even the country’s military handled the challenge badly, a senior Trump appointee in the Navy, Thomas Modly, traveled half way around the world, spending a quarter of a million dollars, to dismiss a warship’s commander and berate him in front of his crew, a crew, like many in the world, who considered the commander a hero.

The country – its leader and many of its institutions – foolishly ignored a detailed example containing hard-won knowledge from China. Just immense carelessness, ignorance, and arrogance. That has been followed by an organized campaign to accuse and vilify the very people from whom they should have learned, the Chinese.

I do believe that poisonous mix of carelessness and ignorance and arrogance is not unique to Trump. It is part of America’s mainline political culture, its establishment, for example, literally is unable to grasp and accept China’s miraculous rise and accomplishments. Washington, on all sides, is blinded by its own fantasies about itself.

We have a “turn the first victims into villains” campaign the like of whose viciousness I don’t recall even in the Cold War. Inhumanity and callousness in the service of getting a political leg-up with America’s darkest and least educated minds.

I do not see how it is possible to provide a more brain-crushing example of how to do things than cutting the funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of a pandemic. That action was intended to raise Trump’s political stature with America’s Know-Nothings – always a fairly sizable group which has over the years provided the human material for everything from private militias and the Klu Klux Klan to Aryan churches and the American Nazi Party – and taking it only emphasized his complete lack of concern with helping anyone except himself.

Trump’s record of decisions shows him literally toying with the health and security of both his own people and the world’s people. Somewhat in the fashion of a sick little boy who enjoys pulling the wings off butterflies to watch them struggle. Who on earth looks to someone like that for leadership? Only the Know-Nothings. The kind of people who confuse brutality with strength.

The re-openings being nudged along by Trump and some state governments are not planned to follow the best medical practices. It is likely they will, in short order, result in a new wave of infections and deaths.

The clear success of other societies in dealing with the crisis and working to share what they have learned greatly enhances their stature in the post-pandemic world. America looks a whole lot smaller, smaller in ability and in morality. Trump and Pompeo are the very worst, but we see so few prominent Americans doing anything to oppose them or to help others.

There should have been near-universal condemnation inside the American political establishment for Trump’s destructive action against WHO, as there should have been for his entire string of ignorant and uncaring statements during the early months of the disease, and for his appalling attack on China – an approach taken both by him and his Secretary of State worthy in every detail of Joseph Goebbels.

That’s not in the least an exaggeration. A lot of filthy, vicious words have been uttered by both men. A crisis for humanity has been reduced to a personal grab for political advantage. A bit like stopping to steal some stuff from a sick or dying man on the street.

Last, I think we must distinguish, many not doing so, between a globalized world, something I argue is inevitable and beneficial, and a globalized world led by America – sometimes called the new World Order or Neo-liberal World Order – something which is not inevitable, not all desirable, and I believe is on its way out.

I am always troubled by that use of “neo-liberal” because I consider myself a classical liberal holding to strong Enlightenment values. The “neo-liberals” really are contemporary global imperialists covered by a dissimulating name. Who could be more harmful and destructive than such American political luminaries as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or George Bush or John McCain? Lovers of empire and death, each of them.

America’s extreme Right insists on “throwing out the baby out with the bathwater” by echoing a welcome to the end of globalization. They are wrong, of course, but it is just part of the utter confusion that is contemporary America.

Posted May 11, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: GOOD LEADERSHIP ESSENTIAL TO EVEN MAINTAINING YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD LET ALONE ADVANCING IT – THE UNITED STATES SIMPLY DOES NOT HAVE ANY – POLITICAL BANKRUPTCY TO GO ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER BANKRUPTCIES HEADING ITS WAY – EXAMPLE OF TRUMP AND SAUDI ARABIA – SAUDI OPTIONS – POTENTIAL FOR CHINA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON AN ARTICLE BY DANIEL LAZARE IN STRATEGIC CULTURE

“From Overstretch to Collapse”

 

“So the collapse intensified, which is why America is now such a helpless giant. A crazy man is at the helm, yet the best Democrats can do is put up a candidate suffering from the early stages of senile dementia, who may be a rapist to boot. No one knows how things will play out from this point on. But two things are clear. One is that the process did not start under Trump, while the other is that it will undoubtedly continue regardless of who wins in November. Once collapse sets in, it’s impossible to stop.”

 

That is the closing paragraph of an article by Daniel Lazare, and I find it quite powerful in the way it brings things together. There is much in the same article with which I disagree, especially his interpretation of the Wars in the Mideast and of the coup in Ukraine. I regard him flatly wrong on those.

But while every writer has his/her agenda, an agenda I may not agree with it, that doesn’t preclude some truths being said along the way. And here is a perfect example.

Incidentally, that observation about agendas is why you cannot flatly condemn anyone for reading a certain writer or publication you know to have a bias or prejudice, maybe even an unacceptable one. Truth is most often found in little nuggets, and that holds for mainstream and alternative publications.

The collapse referred to is America’s imperial collapse, and I do believe that, with each passing day’s events now, the collapse is coming much more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated, and I agree strongly with the observation: “Once collapse sets in, it’s impossible to stop.”

Trump’s total mismanagement of the pandemic only piles on top of his mismanagement of relations with China and with Europe and in the Middle East. It is just one disaster after another, all leaving behind anger and resentment and lack of trust.

I agree it isn’t just Trump. America’s establishment had been headed on this destructive course for some years – under both Obama and Bush Jr – and then Trump jumped onto the stage with his blustering, offensive, and just incompetent ways, and things have started moving considerably faster.

Please note how most of America’s governing elites have made almost no serious effort to restrain or oppose him. The impeachment was about a far less consequential matter than almost every aspect of his foreign policies. He has definitely launched an assault on the foundations of what we know in the world, the set of international trade, diplomatic, and military relationships, almost without opposition.

He’s even at war with Saudi Arabia, the foundation of the American dollar’s special place in the world, a foundation without which much of America’s military and imperial activities would not be possible. The huge global demand to hold American dollars, owing to everyone’s needing some to buy oil, gives the US the exclusive privilege of printing far more dollars than the productive activity of its own economy would warrant and doing so without creating inflation. It has other advantages, such as giving America the ability to pay for many goods and services anywhere in the world with its own currency.

The Saudi situation is a very illustrative one. The Saudis want to increase their market share in the world.  Costly, uncompetitive American shale oil has filled some markets, but that was only possible because OPEC and Russia had held up prices earlier. American shale oil had a free ride. Well, the Saudis really aren’t willing to go on that way. The US shale industry can be largely collapsed in fairly short order with low prices, and both Saudi Arabia and Russia would be happy to see it.

Trump was not even willing to add a meaningful American contribution to the production decreases he was demanding of everyone else so that prices could rise. No, this stable genius wanted the higher prices and he wanted the flourishing American shale industry, wanted them both without any American sacrifice, just by force of his will, but that is not a sustainable outcome, not at all. Even if you cobble together a deal, as they did, it cannot hold because it works against the interests of major players.

Trump’s fixation on high American crude production (consisting heavily of shale oil) is much like his MAGA mantra. He literally believes that through force of will, he can make it be 1959 again for America, a time when America’s conventional crude production was high, just as its production of many manufactured goods it sold all over the world was high. His beliefs around the strength of his will – reflected I believe in the grim and grotesque grimaces we see in so many photos of him – actually somewhat echo those of Germany’s leader of the 1930s who frequently used the expression, “my unshakable will,” and we all know how that story ended.

To get better cooperation from Saudi Arabia, Trump is reported to have quietly threatened to remove America’s military umbrella for the Saudis. Only the other day, some Patriot missile batteries were reported to be leaving the country, likely a tangible demonstration to make the military threat credible.

But making Saudi Arabia vulnerable is not a wise thing to do. Nor is making its temperamental Crown Prince angry. And since we have rumors of a recent coup attempt in the country, Trump is playing with fire.

The de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince, is not a terribly flexible guy either, as his butchery of Jamal Khashoggi and the hefty increase in national beheadings amply demonstrate.

Actually, if that rumored coup attempt involved the US, as some reports suggest, Trump has already played with fire, and the Crown Prince has even more incentive to make changes in the Kingdom’s policies.

Saudi Arabia could reorient its policies and hurt the US. The atomic bomb of such measures would be changing the currency demanded for Saudi oil.

But there are many other measures that might serve Saudi Arabia’s interests and work against what the US regards as its interests, from ending the war in Yemen or ending support for the terrorists in Syria to altering its posture towards Iran, incidentally a country which stopped pricing its crude in dollars a while ago. After all, it is Yemen and Iran cited as the threats to Saudi facilities. That threat could readily be reduced or ended.

Any improved relationship with Iran would contribute to the forces beginning to nudge the US out of the region.

And there is China with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiative which could contribute mightily to the Crown Prince’s ambitious development plans for Saudi Arabia. China is ready to partner with anyone, and coming out of the pandemic, it is prepared to make every effort to get its economy humming again. China is an important oil customer too.

Good leadership is indispensable to even keep your place in the world, let alone improve it, and the US simply does not have it. Trump’s incompetence with the only political alternative being pathetic Joe Biden is itself living, breathing evidence of accelerating decline. Political bankruptcy, if you will, to go along with all the other bankruptcies headed its way.

Posted May 9, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: OBAMA’S RECORD OF VIOLENCE AND DISHONESTY AND HARSH DEMANDS FOR SECRECY – HILLARY CLINTON AND JOE BIDEN AS AUXILIARIES IN TERROR – AMERICA’S PATHETIC POLITICAL LEFT – ROLE OF MODERN PRESIDENTS IN DETERMINING MILITARY AND IMPERIAL AFFAIRS – THE NEEDS OF EMPIRE – THE DEEP STATE IS AS REAL A DIVISION OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TODAY AS THOSE SET BY THE CONSTITUTION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO A (REPRINTED) ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“25 YEARS OF CN: ‘Obama’s Self-Deceit’—Sept. 29, 2015”

 

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/08/25-years-of-cn-obamas-self-deceit-sept-29-2015/?unapproved=400210&moderation-hash=c04fb841d8867b4abfc930dd211bdd31#comment-400210

 

Yes, a good piece, vividly recalling what a dishonest man Obama was.

It’s remarkable to me that so many remember him with nostalgia.

In part it was his appealing boyish smile and baritone voice. In part it was a kind of credibility he had gained by becoming the first black President. In part it was the relief everyone had felt seeing the end of George Bush, an embarrassingly ignorant, awkward, and vicious man.

I was taken in by Obama during his first campaign. A guy who sometimes wore sandals and briefly eschewed a dorky American flag pin on his lapel sure caught my attention.

I even started a small Internet tribute site with some extraordinary photos of him I discovered here or there.

But it wasn’t long before I took the site down. Perhaps that experience is why I react strongly against efforts to portray him as an admirable leader.

He bombed people every day of his eight years as President.

Obama overthrew the Qaddafi government in Libya, leaving behind chaos which remains to this day. Qaddafi’s was a government that actually took care of its people with free education and good water and healthcare. He also kept Libya out of wars.

His “sin,” for which he paid with his life and the destruction of his country, was in not adequately toeing the line of American imperial policy for the region.

Obama approved the ugly coup in Ukraine which still causes all kinds of unnecessary grief in the world, and that coup was against a democratically elected President. Indeed, it was under Obama that the whole Russo-phobia business was ignited. He’s the one who started running tanks up to Russia’s borders and creating unnecessary hostilities that fed off of the old Cold War fears, drummed into people’s heads for decades, fears which remain festering to this day.

I have no doubt he was secretly at the center of efforts to undo Trump’s election. Officials like the heads of the FBI and CIA do not speak out, as they did, without the President’s approval. It just does not happen.

Of course, Hillary was a close ally in the effort, keen on anything that explained away her embarrassing election loss. It is easy to say that Trump is such a horrible, incompetent man – and he is horrible and incompetent – that he deserved being unseated with secret plots, but that really is not the way to run a government with at least pretenses to democratic values and rule of law.

Obama supported the ugly, secret war against Syria, a pretend civil war using fake-jihadi mercenaries recruited from many places, a war that has killed almost three-quarters of a million people and destroyed much of one of our most beautiful and historic places. He even had Hillary Clinton running weapons and mercenaries from the smoldering ruins of Libya in a secret effort to introduce them into Syria, generally through Turkey.

Indeed, at one point, Obama talked about his “red line,” the use of chemical weapons by Syria. What he really was doing with those self-righteous words was setting the stage for a faked attack so he would have an excuse to declare a no-fly zone in Syria and bomb the crap out of it, the very approach he had used in Libya. Only Putin’s exceptional statesmanship saved the day for Syria.

By the way, a serious error of Obama’s was underestimating Putin. Obama treated Putin almost with disdain at times, speaking of Russia as producing nothing anyone wanted to buy but oil and gas. Judging from some photos, the two did not get along all that well in private.

The infamous incident at Benghazi, Libya, where an American ambassador was mysteriously killed by thugs – something never explained to Americans – happened as a part of the ambassador’s work on Hillary’s secret project to smuggle weapons and cutthroats into Syria. That is why it could not be explained.

We even know from one of our finest living investigative reporters, Seymour Hersh, that she also had a small amount of Libya’s stock of poison nerve agent shipped for ultimate use in Syria. It was to provide Obama with his “red line.” Qaddafi, just as several Arab leaders had done, kept such stocks as a counter to Israel’s secret nuclear threat.

The same charming Hillary who laughed when Qaddafi died an agonizing death – being bayoneted in the rectum while lying on the ground – “We came, we saw, he died! Ha, ha, ha!” The words were recorded. It is not a myth that she said that. Just as it is not a myth that she once said of Julian Assange, “Can’t we just drone him or something?” She’s a very enlightened and humane politician, much like Obama but more outspoken.

Obama made minimal progress in repairing the horrors America had inflicted upon Iraq. Years after the “Shock and Awe” [Hitler’s Blitzkrieg concept re branded] delivered by George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, millions of Iraqis still had no electricity and no decent water and no jobs. What had been the most advanced Arab country was a shambles.

Obama maintained America’s unwarranted hostilities against Iran. Later, he distinguished himself once with the nuclear weapons agreement (JCPOA), but that came only after Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, made an approach to talk, Iran suffering under heavy sanctions levied against a nuclear weapons program which in fact never existed.

Obama supported many other bloody adventures, as in Somalia.

He never did anything of consequence to help the Palestinians see even a modicum of justice or relief from brutal abuse.

After all the horrors in the Middle East, Obama spoke, much like an arrogant general, about “now making the pivot to Asia,” which was code for intense new hostilities against China and its interests.

Once he lightly “joked” in a meeting, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this killing stuff!” A rather bizarre sense of humor, to say the least.

Obama holds the distinction of having created an industrial-scale extrajudicial killing system, incinerating people far away who were never legally charged or tried for anything. The method frequently kills bystanders, too, but even the targets are legally guilty of nothing.

Joe Biden was a big advocate for it at the time, perhaps just one of the reasons Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with tasks such as having served as Presidential proconsul in Ukraine to make sure America’s objectives in having staged a coup there against an elected government were adhered to. Biden is just another charmer from America’s supposed party of the Left.

It is notable that Obama never did one meaningful thing to help raise his own people back home, despite having campaigned to them on a “Yes, we can!” theme and often making speeches in the rhythms of traditional black preachers. He created that ugly, costly bureaucratic compromise with the corporate health industry, Obamacare, and that’s as close as he came to helping.

In addition to the immense amount of violence Obama oversaw as President, he had a compulsive need for secrecy and went after whistleblowers with a vengeance.

Poor dear Chelsea Manning was imprisoned under him, an ordeal she almost didn’t survive. Edward Snowden was forced into exile under his watch. John Kiriakou went to prison under him for revealing the CIA’s use of torture. And it was in his time as President that Julian Assange sought asylum from Ecuador.

The tight embrace of secrecy is also seen in the plots against Trump’s election.

The intelligence community’s massive new Utah Data Center, designed to hold frightening amounts of secret data about people everywhere was opened under this President.

I don’t think he did one thing to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. It was awarded in the hope it would encourage and fortify him to go a different direction than George Bush, but it proved a sad, empty hope.

He campaigned on closing down Guantanamo, just one portion of America’s international torture gulag where people were “rendered” by the CIA – that is, kidnaped, flown far away to a “dark site,” and tortured – Gina Haspel, the present head of CIA, having headed one of the sites. Then after Obama was elected, he changed his mind.

A man absolutely as inhumane and brutal as Bush or Trump, judged by his actual deeds, although he never bellowed and used foul language and openly threatened others as Trump does and he never sounded like the moron George Bush is. He carried a somewhat graceful and dignified appearance in public, but appearances can be so deceiving.

And, as you can plainly see in some of his photos and hear from some of his words, he is an extremely arrogant man. The boyish smile was missing more times than not.

Of course, what the details of Obama’s dark work tell us – just as is the case with Trump, from the other end of the American political spectrum, who has flip-flopped numerous times in foreign policy and has kept no campaign promise about the military and wars to speak of – is that American Presidents really do not control foreign policy, do not control the dark work of American empire.

They can perhaps tweak it here or there, they can give it a pleasant or unpleasant public face, but they do not determine it. That is the work of the so-called Deep State, which is just a living reality of the American “republic” with its supposed Constitutional divisions of power.

So, while American Presidents hold, under the Constitution, the title of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, they are simply not free to command them. And while they head the Cabinet, they are not free to command such Deep State forces as the State Department and CIA, organizations which work intimately together in every American embassy in the world, CIA having its own side of the house in all of them and working under State Department cover with phony diplomatic passports.

Those are just part of the results in a country whose power establishment serves the wealthy, using the tools of the military and security services to run a global empire benefiting the wealthy.

In terms of ethical and moral responsibility, the fact that American Presidents do not determine foreign policy doesn’t remove their responsibility for crimes. Obama voluntarily joined the vast imperial machine and served it faithfully, being rewarded at the end of his political career with a fortune worth many tens of millions of dollars, not the kind of money a President earns –  which is precisely four hundred thousand per year plus fifty thousand in expenses – and certainly not what an nontenured young university lecturer in law makes.

All American Presidents of the modern era leave office wealthy. The fact can help assuage a conscience. But I suspect there generally is not much in the way of conscience because it is extreme narcissists and moderate psychopaths who are attracted to run for an office like the contemporary American Presidency, and lack of conscience is a defining characteristic of those psychological conditions.

It’s an immensely long journey from some men in frock coats pledging their sacred honors, but it is the American reality, and we should never confuse American brute power today with charming tales of the Founders.

Posted May 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S DING-DONG COMPARISON OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC TO PEARL HARBOR AND 9/11 – COMPARING A NATURAL DISASTER FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED TO A DELIBERATE ATTACK BY AN ENEMY – AND MOTIVATED BY HATE – THE MAN HAS NO SHAME OR DECENCY – HIS DOWNRIGHT INCOMPETENCE HAS CHANGED PERCEPTIONS OF AMERICA GOING INTO A POST-CRISIS WORLD   Leave a comment

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN YOUR DESTINATION NOW

 

“Donald Trump says coronavirus is an ATTACK on America worse than Pearl Harbor or 9/11 as the [American] death toll climbs to more than 74,000”

 

The world has two major crises – a pandemic and an economic collapse – plus many other serious ongoing problems, including wars and trade wars.

And at the very time of such great need for leadership, a demonstrated incompetent serves as the President of its most powerful country. A man who speaks only in dishonest terms, a man who refuses to cooperate with almost anyone, and a man seemingly bent on destruction.  Not just an incompetent, but a highly belligerent incompetent.

Trump’s efforts are going to make America anything but great again when all this is over.

A lot of old friends and allies – quite apart from those he needlessly calls enemies – are going to remember this ghastly performance which has included a savage lack of compassion for the sick – both at home and abroad – and America’s credibility and influence are going to be much reduced.

That will only magnify the effects of Trump’s previous clumsy, bludgeoning efforts to intimidate everyone into doing things America’s way. Well, it turns out, that in a crisis, America’s way is a disaster.

As well, we have his flash-fire intemperate readiness to tear-up important working international treaties and agreements, acts which only caution everyone about the value of obtaining America’s signature on an important document.

Trump’s America has the greatest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world, with a very great many more headed its way. America’s healthcare system, which knowledgeable people understood was poor and extremely unfair, has been put under spotlights for the world to see.

America has been shown not even able to marshal its own resources, as with medical supplies, an important area an unqualified, arrogant son-in-law was appointed to head.

America has been embarrassed by the firing of a very able Navy commander who was only looking after the health and welfare of his crew. At the same time, Trump pardoned another Navy man, one convicted of vicious murder abroad, a man some of whose past associates describe as sick, and even granted him a friendly White House chat.

But Trump is too wrapped up in himself to grasp the withering general impact of any of that. He is uncontrollably angry that the pandemic and its side-effects have interfered with his re-election, which he had earlier believed was pretty much “in the bag,” and which he regards as the world’s pivotally important event.

So, someone must be held responsible, and what better candidate for that role than China, a country he literally hates and has insulted many times over?

His obsession with China from the beginning has been to get it completely “de-coupled” from America. The world’s two most important economies “de-coupled,” and at a time of world disorder in finances, economics, and trade? He simply has no grasp of what he is doing, but he has astonishing depths of resentment and hate.

It’s a rather remarkable display seeing such incompetence and ignorance mated to insatiable drive and ego. But Nature is like that, often creating the most startling nightmare creatures as its long experiment with evolution proceeds, creatures much like the coronavirus itself.

I think it means that America’s relative decline in the world, already well underway and against which Trump has seen himself as heroically battling, can only be speeded-up, affected by perceptions of a President’s incoherent acts and words and the ensuing necessary heavy loss of confidence, in both America’s abilities and intentions.

Other countries, ones with far less resources, but endowed with generous cooperation and enlightened leaders, have simply done far better. How, after this, in any way can America be regarded as “indispensable” or “exceptional”? I think it cannot.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE VERY REAL THREAT OF WAR TRUMP NOW REPRESENTS – HIS OWN RE-ELECTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE FOR THIS PRESIDENT – AGGRESSIVE NEW EFFORTS AGAINST CHINA AND EFFECTIVELY THE ENTIRE WORLD, GIVEN ITS FRAGILE ECONOMIC SITUATION – PHONY NEW TRUMP-INSPIRED “DOSSIER” LEAKED ABOUT CHINA’S SUPPOSED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PANDEMIC – THE WORLD’S EXPERTS VERSUS A SELFISH POLITICIAN – DANGEROUS PROPOSALS ABOUT COLLECTING VAST “DAMAGES” FROM CHINA CAUSED BY THE CORONAVIRUS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT -THE VERY REAL THREAT OF WAR TRUMP NOW REPRESENTS

 

To bury memories of his own grotesque mismanagement in the pandemic, Trump has opened an intense new verbal assault on China. His earlier attacks on China, although truly motivated by resentment at superior business success and no little tinge of prejudice, at least related superficially to economics and trade, but the new ones are something else entirely.

Trump’s record of ignoring serious advanced warnings about the disease, of belittling its nature for a considerable period, and of then advocating absurd efforts like injecting household disinfectant or heavily using an unproved anti-malarial drug, one with dangerous side effects, have left him looking absurdly incompetent in the eyes of many.  Especially in view of his country’s now running by far the world’s greatest toll of infections and deaths under the watchful eye of “the chosen one,” the unique American “stable genius.”

So, Trump has to create a distraction as he heads towards what in his eyes is the world’s most momentous event, his re-election. He has to generate some heat, some hatred and simmering resentment, because those are the kinds of intense feelings that make people forget inconvenient facts. Hate blurs all details the way a blast furnace melts iron.

New steps have been taken to block American government pension funds from investing in China as well as putting an end to any science grants which support the Wuhan bio-lab. These are unreasonable acts. Investment should go where investors feel it is best to go, and not be restrained by presidential diktats. And science grants are just part of the international system of support and information exchange involved with all top science.

I’ll briefly repeat a bit of what I’ve written before. Many facilities at Wuhan were installed by the French, who also have such a lab. Many of the technical staff at Wuhan were trained in Galveston, Texas, where the US has a facility. Wuhan has been given grants by the US National Institutes of Health and by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Wuhan’s findings are shared with the global virology community.

If anything, the pandemic should stress the immense importance of maintaining such work. Nature is constantly evolving new virus strains, and the only way people can be prepared to deal with them is by maintaining research. Trump’s approach is backward, not only in terms of assuming something for which there is no proof – that the virus came from the Wuhan bio-lab – but also because it goes against an important scientific principle.

Top scientists in the field say that there has never been a release of pathogens from a high-level lab like Wuhan. The labs are designed with many redundant safety features. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control last year closed the American military’s bio-lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, over concern about its waste water treatment, but no release of pathogens was involved.

Remember, absolutely nothing has been proved about the Wuhan lab, nor is it in the least likely anything can be proved. Scientists studying the coronavirus have said that it did not come from a lab but made the kind of jump in nature from animals to humans often seen as viruses evolve.

Only recently, the US Director of National Intelligence said that there was “wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”

But those unwarranted measures by Trump are nothing compared to other possible activities being discussed. And at this writing a 15-page dossier compiled by intelligence agencies, has been leaked. Use of the word “dossier” is very telling, as in the “Steele Dossier” commissioned privately to defame Trump himself or in Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossier” compiled by British security services to justify the invasion of Iraq. Both the last two were proven frauds. But people trying to do what Trump is aren’t terribly concerned about accuracy. He just needs some red meat to throw to the animals.

Here is a man, demonstrated many times over to have no scientific understanding and little sound knowledge, suddenly telling the world that he knows things they do not. And those things add up to China somehow owing America for all the costs and damages of a new disease. Billions and billions of dollars. We’ve heard mumbling about unilaterally seizing those “damages.” After all, what court would be competent to judge such wild claims?

Certainly, stealing other people’s valuables is nothing new for Trump. We’ve seen him at it, always done under a feeble pretext, in every attempted coup and unwarranted attack on other states. In Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Palestine, and other places.

The idea of invalidating some of China’s vast holding of American T-bills, more than a trillion dollars worth, has been heard – in other words, reneging on your solemn financial obligations to benefit yourself, stealing from your customer’s account at the bank. Also heard is the idea of levying big new punitive tariffs against China, tariffs based on not even a pretense of trade arguments, but simply the claim that America is owed vast sums. Any of the approaches runs counter to international law and good practices. Any of them would further darken what’s left of the honor and credit of the United States.  And any of them would rightly infuriate China.

Any such behavior introduces a gigantic new destabilizing element into international relations. Well, the United States has long done such things, but it does them to relatively weak economies, ones having little influence on the world’s economic and trade affairs, countries such Venezuela or Cuba or even Iran.

But China is something else entirely. Its economy is almost the same size as that of the United States, and by some measures, is indeed already larger. In not many years, it is certain to be larger by every important measure.

Of course, the world’s economy is in a very shaky situation already owing to multiple causes. What kind of mind thinks up new ways to weaken it?  For surely, trying to seriously hurt China, often the world’s engine of economic growth in recent years, is directly attacking the world’s economy. Indeed, while the US is still struggling with the world’s greatest infection of coronavirus, China will be back comparatively to normal, having successfully dealt with the virus, and ready to provide the world economy some stimulus.

It is the same kind of mind that talks about people injecting household sanitizers to fight a virus. Or that takes credit for sweeping achievements that never happened, as millions of Americans supposedly saved by Trump’s (imagined) timely efforts in the pandemic. Or that gives his daughter and her husband – neither of them with any special competence or expertise or even talent – offices with big titles in the White House, with the son-in-law having a special role in the pandemic, an appointment very much in keeping with all of Trump’s dishonesty and bravado and incompetence during the early stages of the pandemic.

Somehow or other, rather than being seen as the disease’s early and rather heroic victim, China is now to be seen as responsible for all the harm done by it, perhaps sharing responsibility with the WHO, the kind of international organization Trump just viscerally dislikes. His reaction to international organizations being a mix of instinctive authoritarianism, hatred of outsiders, and readiness to harm those who believe they know better than he does, even if they clearly do. As well, we have a man with no regard for learning or expertise of almost any description, except for that which manipulates people and takes money from them.

No matter which method Trump fixes on, what he is really trying to do is to steal hundreds of billions of dollars from someone while at the same time heaping them with insults and accusing them of things they didn’t do. China did things right with the outbreak of the virus, as every international expert says. No one did things as badly as Trump’s America. All so that he can be re-elected to inflict still more incompetence and bellowing on the world. Does that sound like a scheme that a proud and ancient society will quietly accept? A remarkably successful society in the modern era, almost the polar opposite of America?

Of course, it isn’t. Trump, being the kind of vicious personality that he is, knows exactly how to inflict hurt and insult on others. That’s just what his kind of morbid personality does. But to believe China will just accept such treatment is to believe a fantasy, an extremely dangerous one.

Trump sharpens his insults with the most insensitive activity in China’s backyard, “freedom of navigation” trips by American warships in waters where China already guarantees all nations freedom of navigation, so long as they follow the basic rules. He adds new provocations about Taiwan, a place that Richard Nixon solemnly pledged America recognizes as an integral part of China, which in fact is just the historical truth, only politics in America having interfered with the fact.

How long before activity on all these fronts leads to war? Calling names. Heavy-duty false accusations. Provocations in China’s territory. And a plan to steal hundreds of billions of dollars. And more effort to undermine China’s remarkable economy at a dangerous time. America is pursuing a reckless course under the generalship of a genuine lunatic. One thinks of General Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s “Doctor Strangelove.”

Trump’s motive is to blame others for upending what he thought was going to be an easy re-election. For that he is willing to do almost anything, ignoring all the world’s many terrible problems.

Mike Pompeo might regard the lying, cheating, and stealing he did in the CIA as amusing and acceptable, as he once not long ago joked about at a university appearance, but applying that sense of values as working principles to China is not going to result in smiles and chuckles.

A figure like Trump is quite capable of calling down Gotterdammerung upon his head, seeing that his fantasies about himself, fantasies of great leadership, are proved just that, fantasies, ridiculous ones, in all the world’s eyes.

We are entering a seriously dangerous period, and the madman in the White House only sees the next six months as a barrier to his re-election that he believes he knows how to overcome. Yes, war would do it. When don’t Americans loyally endorse a president in time of war, even if he is completely wrong as most American presidents have been in their wars? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more – you name it. All pointless and destructive but all supported by the people as though it were impossible for Old Glory to do any harm.

 

NOTE:

Just the day after I wrote this, I read an item saying President Xi Jinping’s staff had prepared a memo for him warning of the risk of war from the United States.

 

ADDITIONAL LATER NOTE:

Trump at this writing has called the coronavirus pandemic the worst “attack” his country has ever experienced. He blamed China for not stopping it.

“This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center,” Trump said in the White House.

Dangerous words indeed, and as complete a lie as those he offered when he hurled missiles into Syria for a gas attack which never happened or when he assassinated Iran’s national hero, General Soleimani, claiming he had been up to an evil plan when the opposite was true, he was working on a plan towards stability in the region.

 

 

VARIOUS COMMENTS ON TRUMP AND THE CORONAVIRUS

https://wordpress.com/post/chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/19483

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/19469/

htps://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/john-chuckman-comment-some-trump-trash-about-china-and-the-coronavirus-hits-canada-in-a-free-newspaper-here-are-some-facts-about-the-wuhan-virus-lab-nature-of-its-work-c/wn-re-election-more-important-than-anything-for-the-lunatic-president-aggressive-new-efforts-against-china-the-world/

Posted May 3, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME TRUMP TRASH ABOUT CHINA AND THE CORONAVIRUS HITS CANADA IN A FREE NEWSPAPER – HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT THE WUHAN VIRUS LAB – NATURE OF ITS WORK – CONNECTIONS IN THE WORLD – ALL SERIOUS EXPERTS NOW HAVE SAID THE VIRUS WAS NOT MANUFACTURED – IT AROSE NATURALLY AND JUMPED TO HUMANS AS IT EVOLVED – JUST AS DID AIDS OR POLIO IN THE PAST – YOU DON’T HOLD COUNTRIES RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OF NATURE UNLESS YOU ARE IGNORANT AND HATEFUL – BUT THOSE WORDS DO DESCRIBE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO NOW RUN THE WHITE HOUSE – A FEW EYEBROW-RAISING STATISTICS ABOUT AMERICA AND THE VIRUS WHICH CONVINCINGLY DEMONSTRATE TRUMP’S GROTESQUE MISMANAGEMENT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“’Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by “Epoch Times” claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon

“Special edition delivered to homes to attract new subscribers”

 

I am sorry this kind of trash is being distributed in Canada.

Anyone who really keeps up with the news knows this is entirely wrong from beginning to end.

The Chinese lab at Wuhan is not for “bio-weapons.” It is a world-recognized place for the study of certain viruses.

Many of its staff were trained at a similar lab in Galveston Texas.

Much of its equipment was installed by the French, who also have such a lab.

It is in part supported by an American scientific grant.

Its work is reported world-wide. All top science is international in nature.

The disease has absolutely no affiliation with the lab, and top experts have already studied the coronavirus gene sequence and they say it arose naturally and, at some point, made the jump from animals to people, in a place a good distance away from Wuhan.

That is just something which happens at times as viruses mutate. The virus for AIDS did exactly that, jumping from chimpanzees to people many years ago in what used to be the Belgian Congo. That fact does not make Belgium or the modern D R Congo responsible for AIDS.

Polio is another virus-caused disease, although it is not known just when and where it first arose. An early large polio epidemic hit Vermont in 1894. Is the United States then responsible for all the many polio victims who followed?

The idea that China is somehow responsible is being promoted by politicians and officials in Washington at the highest level, people who hate China owing to its economic success.

It is a totally irresponsible thing to do, but clearly the effort catches the attention of some, just as all forms of hate-speech do.

Readers may enjoy these related discussions:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/19483/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/19469/

 

FURTHER NOTE:

America has 4.2% of the world’s population.

Yet America has 33% of the coronavirus infections and 27% of its deaths.

Trump’s government is desperately trying to blame the WHO and China for its own mismanagement.

Note, too, that back in the early days of China’s battle with the coronavirus, Trump was quoted in the press many times praising China’s brave efforts. But those quotes reflected a time when Trump was most focused on securing the best possible total trade deals with China.

Now his focus is on getting re-elected, despite his publicly-demonstrated incompetence in the pandemic, and doing so by blaming someone else, China and the WHO. This truly represents the worst possible kind of leadership, leadership that literally changes its facts to suit its latest purpose.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COMMENTS TO A STORY ABOUT THE RELEASE OF FBI FILES ON FAMOUS INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST ROBERT PARRY – THERE IS NO PLACE IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY FOR SUCH A POLITICAL POLICE FORCE, RESEMBLING EAST GERMANY’S OLD STASI IN MUCH OF ITS WORK – BUT WHO WOULD SENSIBLY CLAIM AMERICA IS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY? – FBI KEPT FILES ON ANY AMERICAN WHO THOUGHT, WHETHER IN POLITICS OR THE ARTS OR SCIENCE – UNDER J EDGAR HOOVER, IT SERIOUSLY INTIMIDATED AND THREATENED PEOPLE AND YET NOTE HOW HIS NAME REMAINS UP IN BIG LETTERS AT THE HEADQUARTERS – A WORD ON MARTIN LUTHER KING’S ASSASSINATION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The FBI Investigated Robert Parry

“The bureau’s file on Robert Parry, the founding editor of Consortium News, was released last month”

 

The FBI investigated virtually anyone whose work wasn’t on an assembly-line because the FBI had nothing useful to do, and largely still has not.

If you had a mind, if you thought about ideas – whether in politics or the arts or science – you were investigated. And likely still are. In many cases, “investigation” does not adequately describe what was invasive and intimate spying on prominent citizens.

The FBI has a long and terrible history of abuse, including J Edgar Hoovers years of quietly intimidating politicians in Washington with secrets from their private lives. He was even involved in intimidating Martin Luther King and trying to push him into committing suicide with threatening letters. More than a few serious people believe Hoover’s FBI was likely involved in King’s assassination, so intense was Hoover’s hatred of King.

The FBI is an institution which has no place in a truly democratic state, but then people who read and think know that the United States is not really a democratic state.

It runs a world empire by force of a gigantic military-security machine for the benefit of its oligarchs and giant corporations. It is a slightly-disguised plutocracy. And neither of its money-endowed political parties opposes any aspect of that reality.

Just as they don’t oppose the godawful FBI. Some of the top Democrats even worked with people in the FBI to try nullifying Trump’s election. Horrible as Trump is, truly horrible, that is not the way things should be done. The FBI was murkily involved in many aspects of the effort.

The past work of the FBI in many ways resembles the work of the infamous Stasi in East Germany.

You’ll note despite decades of abuse of every description, J Edgar Hoover’s name is still up in shiny big letters at the FBI Headquarters in Washington.

If you want a fuller idea of the FBI’s real record, see:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-dreadful-record-of-the-fbi/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY THE IDEA OF A VIABLE THIRD PARTY IN AMERICA IS A FLIGHT OF FANCY – AMERICA’S CURRENT PLUTOCRATIC STRUCTURE AND WHAT KEEPS IT IN PLACE – THE DARK UNDERSIDE OF AMERICAN POLITICS – VOTER CHOICE? DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IDENTICAL ON THE MILITARY/SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT AND ITS ROLE IN GLOBAL EMPIRE AND BIG DOMESTIC SOCIAL PROGRAMS IMPOSSIBLE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A FEW IMPORTANT FACTORS SEEN IN REVOLUTIONS AND AMERICA’S SITUATION   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“COVID-19: The Craziest Things About America Highlighted by this Virus

“The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic bailout”

 

In revolutions, a common factor is the elites’ lack of response to wider social/economic problems.

This was definitely true of the French and Russian revolutions.

It should perhaps be noted what has arisen in America before the current crisis, and that is the immense divide between the “one-percent” and the great mass of the population.

The divide has arisen through things like a tax system which puts no responsibility on the super-privileged, while, at the same time, a great deal of the government’s activities serve those same people – eg, the Pentagon/security complex and the empire abroad that it is designed to serve.

Many aspects of that structure are not stable, and they now are to be put under great stress.

I think all bets are off as to the ultimate outcome.

America’s domestic future might well be very different than many would have assumed just a short time ago.

And that goes for its international arrangements too.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EMPIRE OF HATE – TRUMP’S VILE CAMPAIGN OF HATE AGAINST CHINA – USING AMERICAN MISERY AND FEAR ABOUT THE PANDEMIC TO WIN RE-ELECTION, THE ONLY GOAL THAT EVER REALLY COUNTS FOR THIS COMPLETE NARCISSIST AND BELLOWING INCOMPETENT – CHINA’S REAL EVIL IS OUTCOMPETING THE UNITED STATES, AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN – USING HATRED AS A TOOL FOR RULING – JOE BIDEN WILL SUFFER THE UGLY OLD CHARGE OF APPEASEMENT AND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO OVERCOME IT – THE UGLY NOISES OF SMARMY SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM – INTERESTING NOTE ON THE REAL REASON FOR THE VIETNAM WAR – AMERICANS ARE EASILY MANIPULATED   4 comments

John Chuckman

EMPIRE OF HATE

 

Trump has begun a new campaign of hatred against China.

It is new only in its intensity and nastiness. Trump from the start has used China politically, accusing it of many evil trade and business practices in an effort to squeeze concessions from it while telling the folks back home he is fighting for them, for more benefits to good old America.

The truth is that the only evil practice of the Chinese has been to outperform and outcompete the United States on many economic and business fronts. You simply are not allowed to do that to the “indispensable” nation, embarrassing its “exceptional” leaders. It’s a form of lèse-majesté.

While China has worked to make itself the world’s factory, turning out almost every conceivable kind of good and machine, sending them, peacefully, everywhere across the seas, America has pretty much stopped making anything except an unholy number of weapons it uses in its ceaseless wars. It sells them, too, as the world’s greatest arms merchant, larger than all the other large ones combined. It sells them in captive markets to allies it pressures into buying them, and it sells them to many of the world’s worst tyrannies who support its policies.

The attack on Huawei has been until now the greatest single campaign in a virtual war of misinformation, unfair pressure, and uncompetitive practices against China – going so far as intimidating allies against using Huawei’s world-beating 5-G technology. But the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic brings a dazzling new opportunity, one much richer in possibilities to whip up fear and hatred than mere suggestions of spying, suggestions always a bit limp since everyone who counts knows America spies on everyone continuously, through the insidious NSA and the American hi-tech and on-line industries.

It is an unexpected political blessing from heaven. Perhaps it’s all those evangelical prayers for him being answered? After all, he is, in his own words, “the chosen one.” It provides the means for that most important task of all, getting himself re-elected. Everything he has ever said or done as President, a great deal of it very shabby, is dedicated to that task. Here is a man, with nothing to say worth hearing and who has done almost nothing worth doing, who insists on staying center-stage. Narcissism is his deepest quality.

Now, it very much appears he’s going to make China and his version of what China is supposed to have done in the pandemic the central focus of his re-election campaign. In brief, he’s saying it is a Chinese disease and that it’s quite possible China created it in a bio-lab and that in any event China has lied every step of the way and failed in its responsibilities to the World Health Organization (WHO), the same WHO Trump has recklessly cut-off from funding at a time of unprecedented world need owing to their asserted complicity and accommodation of China.

It is hard to imagine a more confused and dishonest stitched-together crazy quilt of stories. You might think they would convince few of anything, serving only as further evidence of Trump’s recklessness and viciousness. But, no, remember this is America, a country that has been almost continuously at war for decades without most of the people ever having any idea why they fighting, spending astronomical sums of money to kill people and destroy places they know nothing about.

Truly, anything is possible in America, and its first P. T. Barnum President is fully aware of the fact and ready to use it on a great new purpose, his re-election.

I am being unfair to Barnum who was indeed a grand-scale huckster and is credited with saying “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but he wasn’t foul-mouthed, and there is no evidence that he hated entire classes of people (refugees, many immigrants, Muslims, and those like China who embarrass America by their success) or that he abused tens of millions afflicted with both illness and illegal sanctions (Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others) or that he carried on killing in any number of places (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and others) and supported others killing in still other places (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and others) or that he promoted discord and distrust on a vast scale (China, Iran, Russia, and others).

When the United States finally finished its decade-long orgy of killing in Vietnam – having killed an estimated 3 million people and turned that lush country into a landscape of smoldering bomb craters and toxic deposits of Agent Orange and other chemicals – virtually no Americans even understood what it had all been about. Just vague stuff like fighting for democracy (in an artificially-created rump state run by dictators, but dictators loyal to America) and Old Glory, the very kind of stuff Trump likes to bellow about.

And there were great numbers of Americans who believed for many years that the evil Vietnamese communists secretly held still more American prisoners, without ever asking themselves “what would be the sense of a poor country doing that?” Paranoia and superstition held sway, and the believers constituted a large movement, and it even had its own flag, demonstrating convincingly how far Americans will go in their misconceptions and myths. America’s government made no serious effort to correct them because it had its own purposes in harnessing that hate and confusion against Vietnam.

As an aside, the real reason for the Vietnam War is nicely sketched by an anecdote from America’s last truly crass president, Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was given to many obscene behaviors behind the scenes, like carrying on discussions with aides or interviewers while taking down his pants and relieving himself on the toilet with the door wide open. In those days, you could count on the press not to report such things. Once, when asked at a meeting just why America was fighting in Vietnam, Johnson promptly unzipped his pants and pulled out his (ample) penis, pointed to it, and growled something to the effect, “That’s the reason, Son.” (Johnson at least had the one grace of not displaying his crassness to the general public, a quality entirely missing in Trump’s makeup).

So, Trump has very fertile ground for sowing seeds of confusion and hatred and resentment, and sow them he will. It even provides him with a weapon directly against Joe Biden. He can associate Biden with dealings in China and thereby being a kind of shill for the communists. I’m sure we’ll hear the word “appeasement” introduced into the campaign against Biden.

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned fear and uncertainty, as of a dreaded disease, to whip your political constituency to a frenzy. And that kind of stuff will arouse those outside your own natural constituency too. At the same time, there is the added benefit for Trump of diverting public attention from the clearest series of blunders, misdirection, and just plain falsehoods in his own handling of America’s portion of the world crisis.

There is even the added benefit of stirring up America’s large murky pool of fear of foreigners – a theme for him from the beginning with the mater of immigration and refugees and walls – and all the better if they’re foreigners who look different.

Hatred is very elemental. It doesn’t need or seek elaborate explanations. Hitler well understood that, as I think all tyrannical temperaments do, and he used it skillfully as a tool for ruling.

Trump already has an orchestrated effort underway with various officials, including the Pentagon, making ugly assertions or suggestions. The assertions and suggestions will never require any proof – they couldn’t provide any in any case. For effect they just need the fact of high-level officials making them, echoing and re-inforcing each other. It is is enough in a time of fear.

We even have one of Trump’s smarmiest political allies, Senator Lindsey Graham, making loony statements about how China owes us reparations for all the misery and cost they’ve caused. Even if the coronavirus arose in China originally, something still not proved, since when is it a practice to charge nations for diseases which happen to arise within their borders?

The idea is intellectually ridiculous, but to people out of work and maybe losing their homes and afraid, it has an obvious vicious appeal. It’s a well-crafted piece of hate.

It’s the kind of thing you expect from Lindsey Graham, a man who matched John McCain in his unthinking enthusiasm for war and bloodshed and special interests.

Posted April 18, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICAN INHUMANITY ON HARSH DISPLAY – SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA AND IRAN IN THE MIDST OF A FRIGHTENING PANDEMIC – MEMORIES OF MADELEINE ALBRIGHT AND THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEAD KIDS IN IRAQ – AMERICA’S MEDAL OF FREEDOM AND ORWELL’S PARTY SLOGANS IN 1984   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ALBA CIUDAD IN ANTI-EMPIRE

 

“Maduro Says It Costs Venezuela Triple to Buy Virus Test Kits Due to US Sanctions

“Calls on Washington to drop sanction so they can go and buy what’s needed”

 

Nothing better reveals America’s worst character than its behavior towards Iran and Venezuela at a time of great hardship.

It indeed does bring back thoughts of dear old Madeleine Albright, a genuinely hateful creature, speaking callously about the tens of thousands of dead children in Iraq.

By the way, she received the Medal of Freedom just like Joe Biden, who perhaps got it for his advocacy of America’s industrial-scale extrajudicial killing operation or perhaps his glorious work in Ukraine or his enthusiastic support for invading Iraq and killing a million people.

If ever there were something totally misnamed, it is the Medal of Freedom.

The name quite literally has the character of one of Orwell’s Party slogans in “1984.”

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE INORDINATE INFLUENCE OF “THE ISRAEL LOBBY” WITH WESTERN GOVERNMENTS RESULTS FROM THE INTERACTION OF TWO CIRCUMSTANCES – WESTERN GOVERNMENTS, ESPECIALLY THE UNITED STATES, HAVE PUT MONEY AT THE VERY HEART OF NATIONAL POLITICS AND JEWISH CITIZENS ENJOY AN ABOVE-AVERAGE RATE OF SUCCESS IN BUSINESS AND THE PROFESSIONS OWING TO NATURAL TALENT AND HARD WORK – EFFECTIVE CONSTANT ISRAELI MEDDLING IN WESTERN POLITICS JUST FALLS OUT OF THOSE CONDITIONS – IT REQUIRES THE ATTENTION OF LEGISLATORS TO CORRECT BECAUSE IT HAS RESULTED IN DANGEROUS AND UNFAIR SITUATIONS RANGING FROM THE BLOODY NEOCON WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST TO THE COMPROMISE OF ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT HOME AND ABROAD   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PHILIP GIRALDI IN THE UNZ REVIEW

 

“It poisons everything it touches”

 

“A recent article by Philip Weiss on the Mondoweiss website… details how the vast sums of money raised by both Democratic and Republican Jews has distorted American politics since the time of President Harry S. Truman. He describes how president after president has backed down versus Israel when confronted by Jewish power and observes that ‘This is not just a domestic political question, it’s a foreign policy problem.’”

 

In any discussion of the influence of money in politics, it is important to remember that we have no democracies in the Western world, despite constant references to them. We have nothing even seriously approaching democracy anywhere in the West. Of course, the very word “democracy” implies certain kinds of equality among citizens, something we simply do not see.

We have governments wrapped in various representative democratic theatrical costumes, from parliamentary to congressional, all of which, in fact, are highly responsive to wealth and plutocratic interests, both corporate and personal. Those with more money have more influence in all our societies, always, except in times of extraordinary stress, as during revolutions.

I hardly think the case even needs to be made that wealthy corporations and individuals are especially well served by Western governments.

Their favorable treatment stems both from a belief that it is good for the country’s economy and its international competitiveness, but also from the certainty that it is good for the campaign war chests of the political parties and individual politicians involved.

This is very apparent in the United States where the Congress has often been sarcastically described as “the best that money can buy” and where the Supreme Court has ruled that “money is free speech” when it comes to politics.

Now, it seems also unnecessary to argue the fact of Jewish success in our economies. The number of successful businessmen, large and small, and professionals, of every description, is quite remarkable, their numbers well out of proportion to the numbers of Jewish people versus other groups. A source of pride and achievement, surely.

I believe that easily observable fact is explained by higher-than-average native intelligence plus a group cultural dedication to education and willingness to work hard with strong natural drives for success. All fine qualities.

So, in societies where politics are heavily influenced by money – and I really cannot think of any where that is not the case – why would it be a surprise, or in any way controversial, to say that Jewish people, out of proportion to their number, are influential?

It would seem to me to follow just as sunset follows sunrise.

After all, is anyone in any way surprised, or insulted, by the obvious fact that people of no means have no influence, none at all, their only political role being fleetingly to be appealed to for a vote every few years, and that appeal generally not even in person but by means of advertising?

And please note, even the advertising needed to do that, with all its ancillary research and marketing functions, costs serious money on a national scale.

In large countries, just sheer brief access to people holding high office is mainly determined by influence and wealth, and given the political system that we have, I don’t see how it could be otherwise. It is a form of social/political triage.

The fact shouldn’t be a point of envy or hatred either, because it is meaningless to have such feelings about natural outcomes of a given set of circumstances.

However, the unique reality of Israel, an organized state which claims to represent only one group of people, Jewish people, and employs many avenues of influence, does considerably alter the naturally occurring political situation.

It is a state with all the tools of intrusive intelligence services and with immense diplomatic privileges and access. It is also very heavily armed, giving it weight in international affairs it would not possess otherwise. And it tends to be supported, naturally enough, by most Jewish citizens in any country.

Having all the powers of an organized state behind one group of citizens in many different countries considerably distorts things, both realities and perceptions. It also becomes a source of common distress and frustration when that state is seen to be so patently unfair to millions of non-Jews who fall under its rule, as is very much the case for Israel.

To be fair and to be perceived as fair, Israel would actually have to go out of its way, maintaining a strictly hands-off, proper diplomatic behavior, to avoid trying to influence affairs in other countries, but we can all see that it does not do that.

It literally does the opposite frequently, actively trying to influence what laws and policies are adopted, as well as sometimes entering directly into partisan political matters, as it has done both in the United States and in Britain.

Just a few notable examples include efforts to see legislation equating criticism of the state of Israel with the prejudice of anti-Semitism, something that is patently unfair and untrue. We also see heavy efforts for legislation to curtail the rights of citizens to protest the state of Israel’s behavior with peaceful boycotts, activity that was key to ending apartheid in South Africa decades ago.

And we see various direct meddling by Israeli officials in politics abroad, as recently by Israel’s Prime Minister libelling the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. He was joined by some other Israeli officials, too.  And Israel directly interferes in foreign policy at times, as in the recent launching of all-out American economic war with serious military threats against Iran, a country which has broken no laws and started no wars.

Indeed, the source of many accusations around “anti-Semitism” isn’t actual prejudice – although that is often blurred by lobbyists and special-interest leaders. It is the natural human emotional disturbance millions feel over the glaring injustice of a national state and its efforts to evade all responsibility for that injustice.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THINK TANKS RIGHTLY CALLED “FRONTS” BY A WRITER – A WORD MUCH USED IN THE COLD WAR FOR INSTITUTIONS THE FBI THOUGHT COVERTLY SPONSORED BY THE SOVIETS FITS WELL THESE AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS SPONSORED BY AMERICAN WEALTH – WHAT THEY DO – THE HUGE ELECTROMAGNETIC CLOUD OF ADVERTISING AND PROPAGANDA IN WHICH WE ARE IMMERSED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PHILIP GIRALDI IN THE UNZ REVIEW

 

“Old Ideas in New Bottles

“A new front group preaches restraint while embracing interventionism” [Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft]

 

It is interesting that Philip Giraldi calls American think tanks “fronts.”

That was a term much used during the Cold War for various organizations around the world regarded by the FBI or CIA as covertly sponsored by the Soviet Union.

It works well for American think tanks, which I’ve traditionally referred to as “propaganda mills.”

Of course, that is really the job of any of them, getting out propaganda and disinformation under the guise of disinterested analysis by experts.

The experts are often given high-blown academic-sounding titles, as Senior Fellow, and an effort is made to keep the tone and appearance of an academic campus.

But the papers, books, films, and speeches of any of them are anything but disinterested. They always have a bias, with each of the many such organizations specializing in a subject or range of subjects of concern to its chief wealthy sponsor or sponsors.

I don’t understand the gullibility of Americans on the matter of think tanks.  Many seem to believe that extremely wealthy people are supporting genuinely neutral analysis just for the public good. Commercial news sources – as television and radio stations and others – frequently cite think-tank output as though it offered facts. Of course, the various news media are getting free “filler” for their programs while effectively serving as megaphones for the institutions. Their citations also tend to reinforce the authority of think tanks.

Seems a naïve belief, but this is America we are talking about, the land of P. T. Barnum, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street. Why would anyone believe that extremely wealthy individuals and organizations would fork over millions of dollars a year just to advance human knowledge? Even when wealthy people do pay for a genuine academic facility or library, they want it named after themselves.

And a really ugly truth in America is that many “real” universities now are much engaged in the same business, either through an institute of some kind or more generally with the many rules and restrictions put on publication of controversial matters.  The practices exist because they are profitable and to avoid offending some donor or donors.

America, where people are, for their entire lifetimes, submerged in a kind of electromagnetic cloud of advertising and propaganda of all descriptions. From selling Twinkies and military recruitment to hamburgers and candidates for office. Americans, who believed well after the terrible invasion of Iraq that they just hadn’t yet found where Saddam hid all those “weapons of mass destruction,” or, years after the holocaust of Vietnam, that the communists were still hiding American prisoners of war somewhere for some unknown dark purpose.

So just like the old CIA disinformation man who once spoke of sitting down to his “mighty Wurlitzer,” its keys representing the various cooperating commercial publications, to get “something out there,” think tanks represent another approach to doing the same thing.

The “fake news” controversy in recent years and “fact checking” operations suggest how thickly clouded over things have become, for they themselves are just new kinds of flim-flam intended to misguide or confuse. Everyone of almost any consequence in America is engaged in selling you something. Only the individual, and with considerable effort, can sort his or her way through it all.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE PREVALENCE OF LYING IN AMERICA – A RATHER BOY-SCOUT APPROACH TO IT INSPIRES A RESPONSE – THE COUNTRY RESTS COMFORTABLY IN A VERY THICK WEB OF LIES COVERING ITS CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW AND RUTHLESSNESS – IT NEVER ADMITS THE HORRORS IT INFLICTS ON OTHERS – DETAILS OF RECENT UGLY WORK IN UKRAINE AND VENEZUELA AND IRAN – BUT THE CLAIM IS ALWAYS MADE TO BE WORKING FOR HIGH PRINCIPLES – WHY IT CANNOT BE OTHERWISE – THE VALUES YOU CULTIVATE WITH PLUTOCRACY, MILITARISM, AND EMPIRE   2 comments

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY LAWRENCE DAVIDSON IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The Cultural Problem of Cheating & Lying”

“This is not just a lesson for parents, schools, the courts, and the marketplace. It is also a necessary lesson for our politics. But we have not managed to come up with a way to vet our leaders so as to assure their long-term honesty and integrity — a process we have been searching for since the time of Plato. Nonetheless, we should try harder…”

 

Yes, indeed, but I do find the piece weak and rather squishy, avoiding as it does the real source of the problem and putting things into philosophical terms of a search for ways to insure truth in American politics and in the wider society. It actually gets quite preachy, but preaching doesn’t change the real political economy of a huge state, and, indeed, I think it effectively offers a kind false hope to hide behind.

A little like the people in America who periodically stand in a crowd on a hillside with their arms outstretched in a kind of supplication, waiting for the Second Coming. They are sincere, to be sure, I have no doubt, but their efforts are utterly pointless since they ignore science and the realities of the human condition.

There are bricks-and-mortar causes for the ailments of American society, and if you refuse to deal with those, you are in a very real sense lying to yourself and just adding to the total volume of American lying.

Given America’s empire and the vast and costly military/security services supporting it, I don’t think there is any option but for leaders to lie, and doing so almost continuously. The emergence of American plutocracy, which is what the empire serves, and money-driven politics at home are at the heart of the problem.

Can America’s leaders in Washington openly admit that they are starving children and depriving the sick of medicine in Iran and Venezuela and were working to do the same in Bolivia and still other places?

Even the ugliest, most powerful government officials or the plutocrats they serve do not happily take public credit for such grim acts. So, lying and cheating just become built into the society at the highest level. Almost everyone, no matter how malevolent their intentions and actions, wants at least a veneer of respectability, credit for worthy motives. Only the genuine psychopaths, of which America has more than a few in powerful positions because they are useful, are likely to want such credit, much like credit for scalps on display.

So, destroying someone else’s elected government invariably is transformed into fighting for democratic values. Venezuela’s unelected Guaido, absurdly swearing himself in as President without ever running for election and financing his activities with American intelligence agency funds as well as American-appropriated Venezuelan national assets, becomes the hope for democracy over the party of twice-elected Maduro and his thrice-elected predecessor, Chavez.

Again, except for the scalphunters, who would want credit for shutting down Venezuela’s electricity grid several times so that millions of poor ordinary people likely lost the food in their fridges? And many life-sustaining machines stopped working?

Such are the realities of empire. And there are just so very many examples, the story of Ukraine being a prominent and tragic one in recent years.

According to the delightful Victoria Nuland, a high State Department official who was overheard at the time, America spent five billion dollars on the coup in Ukraine, doing absolutely nothing for Ukraine’s people, overthrowing an elected government, and indeed wrecking the country in many ways. All done just to threaten the security interests of Russia along a huge border. Needless violence and intimidation, with plenty of killing along the way.

Parts of Ukraine seceded under the unpleasant language and cultural policies of the coup-installed government, and I think it pretty unlikely they will ever return. Thousands died in an unnecessary civil war over the matter. Great numbers of people sought work in other parts of Europe as the Ukrainian economy literally collapsed under a corrupt and incompetent American-installed administration.

Versions of neo-Nazism now openly flourish in Ukraine because the groups’ capacity to intimidate the government is useful in preventing any turning back to rational policies. Such groups, some subsidized by the State Department or American security services, threaten the government into not making reasonable concessions for peace.

Incidentally, Joe Biden, in his then role as presidential proconsul to Ukraine, assisting the coup government in getting things right – “right” meaning the way America wants them – was photographed warmly shaking hands with the commander of one such group, the Azov Battalion, a group whose marches much resemble those of Hitler’s Brownshirts of the 1930s.

The post-coup Ukrainian military demonstrated gross incompetence. Despite its far greater numbers and resources, it had poor leadership and lack of motivation and managed only to kill thousands of civilians in breakaway Eastern Ukraine. Its efforts to draft soldiers in Western Ukraine to send to fight in Eastern Ukraine resulted in embarrassingly high levels of running from the draft.

And all the previous coup government leader, Poroshenko, could talk about was how the Russians were invading and how brave Ukrainian soldiers were preventing Europe from being invaded. Absolutely absurd stuff, but our press and politicians credited it as truth. Somehow, with all such claims, the hi-tech, unarguable evidence of America’s fleets of spy satellites and sophisticated radars just manages to disappear. America would in fact know in a heartbeat if Russia invaded Ukraine, and it would not sit silently watching it happen.

So, we not only have thick clots of lies, we have the government of the United States treating us all as though we were totally ignorant of the realities of around-the-clock surveillance.

Perhaps the most grotesque aspect of Ukraine’s post-coup military operations was the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, either in error or deliberately, an event which launched an industrial-sized cover-up with a shameless investigation which never even bothered to collect all the evidence, pieces of the plane and contents still being easily discovered in the region where it crashed. If you study the case, there are many powerful reasons for believing the Ukrainian military shot down the airliner with fighter planes, but imagine the risk to America’s five-billion-dollar coup investment if the truth had been broadcast right away? So, years of throwing dust in people’s eyes began, and now the matter is almost forgotten. And, again, no American satellite images or radar tracks were ever produced.

We have ugly stunt after ugly stunt – such as the infamous Skripal Affair of two years ago in Britain – done merely to hurt the interests of those America does not like. Truth is impossible, and the lying goes beyond all normal bounds to become a massive network of distortions, all dutifully attested to at the highest levels of government and by the corporate press which of course always serves the government which has so regulatory powers over it.

It was after all, Hitler himself in his 1925 book, Mein Kampf, who propounded the concept of “the Big Lie.” It proved a highly successful idea, and tyrants and seekers-after-power have never stopped employing it since.

That is the very nature of empire, and there is no escaping it. It is impossible to behave the way America does and not lie about it, massively and continuously.

I’ve said it many times, but there’s no shame in repeating such an important truth: you can either have a decent country or you can have an empire, but you cannot have both.

The infrastructure of empire is built on threats, oppression, subversion, coups, dishonesty, and no shortage of violence.

And there is always an underlying assumption that a relatively small number of people in the United States are somehow entitled to tell the other more than 95% of humanity how they are to run their affairs. Are you not implicitly lying about your democratic and human-rights values when you do that? Of course, it isn’t America’s roughly 5% of the world’s people making the claim, it’s a tiny fraction of that, the highly privileged.

There’s no way the establishment politicians in Washington – including the best Congress money can buy – can one day just take a kind of Boy Scout Oath to reform things. Believing that goes beyond naïve to asinine.

Fundamental change is required – including basic matters like a tax structure which supports the creation of plutocracy and the grotesque role of money in politics – but I don’t think Americans are prepared to undertake it, and perhaps they are not even able to do so, given the establishment’s powerful tools of self-defense.

Right now, the Democratic Party is working to shut out Bernie Sanders, and it has already pretty much shut out Tulsi Gabbard, yet neither of those two admirable politicians is even advocating large-scale change. That’s a good measure of how risk-averse America’s establishment is.

The other half of America’s money-controlled political duopoly, the Republican Party, supports a foul-mouthed madman who brags about stealing. Why? Because he vigorously continues the good work of imposing America’s will on the planet, and he actively works to hurt those who are going to become important parts of a very different future, as China and Russia.

Well, I believe sadly that America is stuck right where it is until larger events overtake it and the now-emerging multi-polar world becomes the dominant reality.

MAGA will be seen as a museum relic, like some Shaman’s pathetic talisman, representing futile efforts by America to claw its way back to where it was seventy years ago, pretty much king of the world.

Either that, or it is not impossible at all for genuine widespread and destructive war to emerge from America’s present global hostilities almost everywhere.

After all, what do bullies do when their demands are ignored but start throwing punches or using a weapon?

Posted March 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WE KNOW THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT HAS PLOTTED AGAINST BERNIE SANDERS – BUT IT DOES NO GOOD TO RUN A CANDIDATE SUCH AS BIDEN WHO IS LIKELY TO LOSE TO TRUMP – IS THERE A SECRET PLAN CONCERNING A DIVIDED CONVENTION? – THE POSSIBLE ROLE OF THE MOST ADMIRED WOMAN IN AMERICA, MICHELLE OBAMA, WHO IS FAR MORE ELECTABLE THAN BIDEN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

“If Trump could pick the Democratic Party nominee, he’d pick Biden”

I couldn’t agree more.

Biden is a man who is able to generate no excitement or enthusiasm. He’s a place-filler. And a very temporary-looking one, given both his age and feeble behaviors.

He’s also a man with a rather shabby political record. Everything from his lousy treatment of Anita Hill decades ago in the Senate Judiciary Committee to his advocacy with Obama for extrajudicial killing on an industrial scale by the CIA.

I just can’t imagine how they are going to prevent some aspects of his behavior in Ukraine from surfacing. Ukraine itself might have incentive for providing evidence to ingratiate itself with Trump.

At the very least, and something we know without additional evidence, Biden’s behavior as Obama’s proconsul to the new coup-installed government of Ukraine included effectively taking a large bribe, one in the form of the appointment of his son to a company director’s position.

His son, Hunter, was completely unqualified for the position. He had no industry contacts or influence. It was in an industry about which he knew nothing, and it concerned a country whose language he could not even speak. On top of all that, he had a record as a serious drug addict. He received, for years, an unheard-of salary (for directors of companies) of $50 thousand dollars per month.

Biden also has the same annoying tendency as Hillary Clinton of just suddenly blurting out some claim about his past that’s just complete fiction, as his recent claim about being arrested when trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison decades ago. It resembled Hillary’s proven-false claim about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia.

He has done that kind of thing many times over many years, including a story about being asked to award a Silver Star to a heroic soldier in Afghanistan, an event which never happened. Again, he claimed he always opposed the invasion of Iraq when just the opposite is the case, he is remembered as an enthusiastic supporter, and an early one.

That kind of story-telling isn’t about the forgivable failings old age. It represents an inherent mental or psychological problem, the need to present yourself to others as being at the center of events. It’s almost a version of Munchausen’s syndrome.

Apart from his quirks and shabbiness, his whole political career has been sitting-on-the-fence establishment, never having created anything new or valuable, but always looking for an opportunity to advance himself.

Add his newfound propensity, much commented on in the press, for making what do seem to be age-related errors and forgetfulness, such as the very recent introduction of his wife as his sister, and his nice smile just won’t do it.

The Democrats are desperate, and they’ve put themselves in that position. There can be little doubt the party bigwigs have worked hard to discredit and defeat Bernie Sanders, a man who inspires much enthusiasm among voters, and especially young voters.

And they’re going to make the world desperate with four more years of the most remarkably ignorant and foul-mouthed man ever to be President.

It is possible the Democrats have a secret plan here. A writer has suggested that Michelle Obama, who ranks in polls as the most admired woman in America – yes, she does outpoll Oprah – could be waiting in the wings to save a divided convention.

While she has no qualifications, she is likable and well-spoken and carries a last name that still has luster for some Americans. She might well be able to defeat Trump, who, after all, had no qualifications when he ran. And what a delicious irony that would be, because Trump loathes anything associated with Obama.

The truth is, although we like to fool ourselves into believing otherwise, qualifications and experience no longer matter that much for the office of American President. The Dark State calls the shots on all significant matters of foreign policy and empire, and the various key party leaders do the same on domestic issues.

There is little of consequence a modern American President can truly decide, but his tone and manner and those of his appointments still do mean something for international relations, which have reached their lowest point in history under Trump.

America already has had a few “talking head” Presidents, ones who sit at the Oval Office desk smiling, make speeches with someone else’s words on a teleprompter, and sign pretty much whatever paper is placed before them by one of the “heavies.” At least this one would have a pleasant smile, and many would be happy about a woman finally being elected, and a second black American to boot. It would be widely applauded, and America just doesn’t get any applause anymore.

The object of the whole effort is to get rid of Trump, and if Michelle Obama can do it, the Democratic establishment plots will have achieved something worthwhile. While I’m fond of Bernie, as I’ve said before, his domestic programs would never be enacted by the best Congress money can buy, and there is little anyone can do to alter the affairs of empire. Those matters really are in other hands, as Trump’s many ridiculous flip-flops about Syria amply demonstrated.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHY BERNIE SANDERS HAS A GOOD CHANCE OF BEATING TRUMP – TRUMP IS NOT ALL THAT POPULAR AND IS A MINORITY PRESIDENT – ONE WHO HAS FAILED TO ACHIEVE MUCH – PLUS WEAKNESS IN THE WORLD ECONOMY THREATENS AN INCUMBENT, ESPECIALLY ONE WHO DID SO MUCH TO MAKE IT WEAK – WHO ELSE DO THE DEMOCRATS HAVE WHO CAN GENERATE ANY EXCITEMENT? – THE ESTABLISHMENT’S PLOT AGAINST BERNIE – RUSSOPHOBIA ENTERS STAGE LEFT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Sanders’ socialist revolution sweeps Sin City with Nevada caucus win”

 

Sanders is not a socialist, even though he has used the description himself.

He is just an old-fashioned progressive. His views resemble those of many old New Deal Democrats or those of Canada’s third major political party, the NDP.

It does seem to me that when the press keeps using the word “socialist,” it is assisting the anti-Bernie establishment now clearly at work with Buttigieg and Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton.

A reader below has said: “Bernie’s nomination would all but guarantee a win for Donald Trump”

I believe that is not accurate. We even have a recent big-name poll that shows Bernie beating Trump by a decent margin. Trump is not wildly popular despite the enthusiasm of his base supporters, and he has been unsuccessful at most of what he has attempted. His crudity and name-calling have grown into a source of embarrassment for many.

Clint Eastwood, the actor and director and minor politician, is known to be quite conservative in his politics. He supported Trump in 2016, yet he has just announced that he is endorsing Bloomberg, going out of his way to criticize Trump for his inappropriate name-calling and tweeting.

Remember, Trump is a minority President. His base is not large enough to elect him. That’s why he pulled in anti-war people not otherwise in his base in 2016, but he has sure let those people down.

In Iraq and Syria and Iran, he has intensified hostilities, very much so in Iran. The American-supported Saudi Arabian assault on Yemen continues. He has encouraged Israel’s aggressiveness and has virtually promised it perpetual total control of the Palestinians, instead of peace.

The recent agreement signed in Afghanistan represents almost no progress towards peace, and that’s if it even takes effect, something not at all certain owing to that country’s politics.

First, the Taliban wanted an agreement with all US troops leaving, but the US refused. Second, the agreement only reduces US troops to 8,600, the number that were there before Trump. Third, even that reduction doesn’t take place until a year and half of “truce.”

Trump could have set a schedule for pulling out all the troops, but he did not. Afghanistan is not and never was a threat. The US, despite its superior weapons and heavy use of bombing, has been stalemated by the impoverished Taliban who still control more than half the country. The longer the US stays there, the more chance hostilities will flare up again. Vietnam redux because the Taliban are the same kind of determined people the Vietnamese were.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the Pentagon intends to stay in Afghanistan for some time, considering Trump’s increased hostilities towards neighboring Iran and China, and Trump certainly isn’t going to oppose it.

Trump enjoys bragging about the economy, but the truth is there are serious weaknesses threatening every major economy, including that of the United States, and Trump himself has only contributed to making them worse. Sanctions, threats, tariffs, reduced trade, higher consumer prices, and wars do not strengthen economies. Just the opposite. And neither does the kind of debt Trump is piling up.

Bernie has a real chance of defeating Trump because Bernie inspires the young and energetic.

If they turn out in good numbers, it can be decisive.

Who else do the Democrats have? There’s absolutely no excitement about Buttigieg or Bloomberg or Warren or Biden. None.

Tulsi Gabbard is a very attractive politician, but the Democratic establishment virtually exiled her from the race.

The Democratic establishment is now working against Bernie with Bloomberg and Buttigieg, but they are not having a lot of success. However, if Bernie doesn’t secure enough votes in the primaries for a first-ballot convention victory, a brokered convention kicks in automatically, and establishment forces will almost certainly displace him.

Bloomberg has pockets deep enough to buy support – that’s how he managed to get himself into the Nevada candidates’ debate. Given the clear bias against Bernie within the party’s establishment, Bloomberg will get all the official cooperation he needs. Hillary Clinton pretty much heads up that establishment, and she has made negative public comments about Bernie while he campaigned, an unprecedented display of hostility within a political party.

Again, Bernie is not a socialist. He’s a progressive, and a very eloquent one. Trump is loud but about as eloquent as George Bush.

Bernie would need his eloquence to defeat the predictable smear about being some kind of communist, but I’m sure he has it in him.

It’s interesting that the re-emergence of threadbare tales about Russia interfering in American elections now contain the twist of Russia working to get Bernie elected.

ADDED NOTE

The terms of the signed American-Taliban agreement are somewhat different than those I read earlier, but as with all Trump’s “achievements” in foreign affairs, they lack clarity and certainty. And they do not represent a genuine peace Trump will certainly brag about in the upcoming election.

Troops will be reduced to 8,600 over the next five months. Five bases will be closed. All the rest of the American and NATO troops could leave by the end of 14 months if the Taliban adheres to the agreement’s conditions which include, importantly, holding peace talks with the Kabul government they do not recognize as legitimate.

That is a big “if” because Kabul is not a party to the agreement, and just exactly what is to be achieved between Kabul and the Taliban, in order for the remaining troops to leave, is not clear. And the government in Kabul has not yet even settled who won the last presidential election, so the Taliban’s actual negotiating partner is not known.

The deal promises to work on a large prisoner exchange between the Taliban and Kabul, but there are certainly disincentives for Kabul releasing large numbers of Taliban prisoners.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ABOUT MICHAEL BLOOMBERG – WHAT HE APPEARS ACTUALLY TO BE DOING AS A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE (HE USED TO BE A REPUBLICAN) AND THE DARK STUFF BEING TURNED UP ABOUT HIM   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – MORE ABOUT MICHAEL BLOOMBERG – WHAT HE APPEARS ACTUALLY TO BE DOING AS A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE AND THE DARK STUFF BEING TURNED UP ABOUT HIS PAST

 

With many articles now digging into his background, it is clear Bloomberg is a rather dark figure indeed, at least from the perspective of genuine liberal values.

Bloomberg’s motive as a Democratic candidate – note that he was a Republican as Mayor of New York – does appear to be the negative one of sabotaging Bernie. He is lobbying Democratic officials and donors to get behind him if Sanders can’t win enough support in the primaries for a first-ballot victory, a real possibility which automatically triggers a brokered convention.

Of course, ”lobbying” for a man of Bloomberg’s immense wealth (his net worth is said to be 65 billion dollars) likely means something more than just talking, American political parties and groups having insatiable appetites for money.

The Intercept reported that Bloomberg, as Mayor of New York, ran a large and detailed surveillance program against Muslim Americans. The Police Department’s “Demographics Unit” targeted Muslim Americans, their businesses, mosques, and restaurants, operating much like East Germany’s fabled Stasi.

Another article offered insight into Bloomberg’s attitude towards privacy and government. In 2014, he said, “We should hope the NSA is reading every e-mail.”

An alternative news source reported that Bloomberg is listed in Jeffrey Epstein’s “little black book.” His name is on page six, the article including an image of the page.

And we have a photo of Bloomberg socializing with Epstein’s companion and reputed procuress of young girls, Ghislaine Maxwell.

A Vanity Fair article last year included this from Ghislaine, “When I asked what she thought of the underage girls, she [Ghislaine] looked at me and said, ‘they’re nothing, these girls. They are trash.’”

Readers may enjoy my original comments about Bloomberg to which I had added other new observations in footnotes:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/john-chuckman-comment-a-few-words-about-michael-bloombergs-candidacy-an-establishment-figure-of-some-charm-and-ability-a-safe-choice-to-tell-the-world-america-is-returning-to-its-senses-but-a/

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE TALE OF RUSSIA TRYING TO INFLUENCE AMERICA’S ELECTION HAS RESURFACED LIKE A BLOATED CORPSE FLOATING IN A STAGNANT POND – WHAT IS GOING ON – WHAT PUTIN ACTUALLY THINKS OF TRUMP   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – THOUGHTS ON THE TALE OF RUSSIA AGAIN TRYING TO INFLUENCE AMERICA’S ELECTION

 

Political and ideological tales in America enjoy a remarkably long shelf life. I think the fact has to do with unchanging, iron-bound ideology and a simple lack of imagination.

Already, the stuff about Russia working to influence the approaching American election has resurfaced like a bloated corpse floating in a stagnant pond. It’s being repeated by American intelligence officials, American media, and Democratic politicians. 2016 redux.

Hillary Clinton used it as one of several fall-back explanations for her loss, something she had a brutally difficult time accepting as reality, having spent more money than some nations’ space programs have at their disposal. About 1.2 billion dollars.

The charges about Russia were silly then, and they are only sillier now.

But it is an intimidation tool in a country which listened to J. Edgar Hoover blubber for decades about “the communist conspiracy,” trying to tell voters that their votes are supporting Russia.

Russia wouldn’t dream of getting caught trying to manipulate an American election. There really is no reward important enough to be worth the risk.

Of course, facts make no difference in this kind of mumbo-jumbo, but Julian Assange already told us that Russia did not give him the damaging material about the Democrats in 2016.

Several distinguished American technical experts have repeatedly said that the material came from downloading to memory sticks by someone with access to DNC computers, not from hacking. That is the kind of statement that can be made definitively in such matters by an expert who recognizes the telltale signs.

Anyway, what has Trump done for Russia that possibly could have rewarded an effort on his behalf? Nothing.

Of course, individual Russians, both politicians and others, and news sources have their election favorites, just as is the case in America.

I believe a fair part of the Russian establishment does favor Trump, but there are some easy-to-understand explanations for the fact, and they have nothing to do with conspiracy.

First, Russia is a remarkably conservative country. This fact jumps out at you if you read some of its news sources, as I do regularly.

Second, while both American political parties are Pentagon-embracing War Parties with very little real difference between them, the Democrats do seem to make the most noise around hostility towards Russia.

Third, Putin is a very clever and subtle man. He knows what a hopeless putz Trump really is. There are reports of Putin and associates making fun of Trump in private.

If he does favor Trump, it is only because he knows how bad Trump is for America’s interests, America being a nation with about a century of hostility towards Russia. A poor leader like Trump making blunders and creating enemies with everything he does is a lovely situation to chuckle over with some vodka in Moscow.

Putin wouldn’t dream of doing anything to influence the matter, beyond his influence over Russia’s own now extensive English-speaking press, but so what? America’s press never stops talking about Russia, and in disparaging terms, calling it everything from a “regime” to a “kleptocracy.” And it is overwhelmingly the case that most Americans never see the Russian press.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN INTERESTING ARTICLE ON TRUMP INVITES THOUGHTS ON TRUMP’S CHARACTER AND THE NATURE OF HIS “LEADERSHIP” – WHY HE SUCCEEDS POLITICALLY DESPITE CLOSE TO COMPLETE FAILURE ACHIEVING ANYTHING – COMPARE PUTIN AND XI – POWER ESTABLISHMENT HAS ITS OWN REASONS TO SUPPORT TRUMP – A GREAT UGLY TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA: HE IS THE PERFECT CONTEMPORARY PRESIDENT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY BRAD GRIFFIN IN UNZ REVIEW

 

“Trump’s Chumps”

 

https://www.unz.com/article/trumps-chumps/

 

Some strong points here, not all of them, but a number.

“He has been a disappointment on all fronts.”

No statement could be more accurate.

Trump is a failure, but one with a very loud mouth and a rather twisted psychology that magically converts all failures into successes. Nothing factual ever fazes him.

And the ability to just keep going is a great asset in politics, even if it means you keep going to do destructive things. Your actions communicate strength and purpose and determination to ordinary people.

After all, much of the ordinary public literally has no idea what is going on, abroad or at home, so poorly informed are they by the mainline press and the political establishment.

Trump does a daily war dance of self-praise, finding new phrases to whoop and chant, describing his almost complete failure in opposite terms.

But because he is doing, overall, the power establishment’s work – against China, against Iran, against Russia, for Israel, and in Latin America – they not only do not oppose him, they support him. Any opposition is pretty tepid, falling within the generally accepted limits of political rhetoric.

He does his work rudely and utterly without grace.

He wears his ignorance as though it were a finely-tailored suit.

But the power establishment is okay with the grotesque style, so long as they get the results they want. And they do.

The desired results are negative, not positive, achievements.

But that is the essence of imperial America today, to do harm to others in order to improve its own relative standing. It does almost nothing positive anymore anywhere. It threatens friends and foes alike. It destroys international organizations and order. It supports the creation of chaos, as in Syria or Libya or Yemen or Palestine.

The contrast of America’s now-constant threats and hostilities with China’s great Belt and Rail Initiative couldn’t be starker. Or with Putin’s pragmatic “live and let live” philosophy. We see destruction versus creation. Coercion versus cooperation. Ignorance versus information. Darkness versus light.

So, Trump, with all of grotesqueries and lies, provides almost the perfect contemporary President.

Sorry, America, but that is a very great, if ugly, truth.

Posted February 8, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL – LAWYER ALAN DERSHOWITZ OFFERS A DANGEROUS PRINCIPLE OF DEFENSE – BUT IT IS ONLY IN KEEPING WITH MUCH OF AMERICA’S LAWLESS BEHAVIOR IN THE WORLD TODAY – AND IT COMES AT A POINT WHEN THE TRIAL APPEARS READY TO CLOSE WITHOUT EVEN LISTENING TO KEY TESTIMONY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KAZI STASTNA IN CBC NEWS

 

“’A descent into constitutional madness’: Legal defence of Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo draws ire

 “Alan Dershowitz told senators that if a president believes his re-election is in the national interest, it’s not wrong for him to do something to benefit his own electoral interest.”

 

Simply unbelievable.

But it does tell us how much genuine protection is offered by a piece of parchment kept in a display case, the American Constitution.

The underlying reality in American politics is that what powerful men with bad intentions want to do, they freely do.

This argument of Dershowitz’s is just bizarre and unacceptable. A politician’s beliefs should determine the legality of his acts?  My God, that’s dangerous stuff.

But it is only in keeping with what we see in so many of America’s activities today.

Bragging about stealing oil in Syria? The assassination of another country’s national hero and making light of it in some remarks? Giving away things belonging to others, which very much are not yours to give away?

Is it any surprise that such a President would have such a defense offered?

The logic and legality here are in keeping with a Senate which appears ready to quickly close the trial down now without even listening to testimony that is central to the case, that of John Bolton.