Archive for the ‘AMERICAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS’ Tag

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

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JAMES CARDEN IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

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

Clueless Trump clearing another impediment to an arms race with Russia

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted October 25, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN COMMOTION NEAR CRIMEA – IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH “RUSSIAN AGGRESSION” – IT IS ABOUT SOMETHING FAR HUMBLER AND DOWNRIGHT EMBARRASSING – THE UTTER INCOMPETENCE OF THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Russia-Ukraine crisis – live: Kiev declares martial law as world powers call emergency meetings after Putin’s forces seize ships near Crimea”

 

Poroshenko is pathetic. Declaring martial law is a very serious matter in any society, and doing so just because a neighboring country stopped a group of ships off-course in a sensitive region makes no sense at all.

This declaration is really about the coming election in Ukraine and the likelihood, from polls, that Poroshenko is going to lose it badly. He is very unpopular, as we might expect with the basket-case his government has made of Ukraine since the coup.

Nothing like a good dose of fear to make people less likely to vote for change.

This was clearly a created incident.

The Ukrainian ships went where they knew they were not supposed to go.

They did not follow instructions of Russian Border Services.

Now, what kind of reaction will that earn you anywhere, most certainly including Britain?

__________________

Response to a reader who said “The West, by supporting this scumbag either out of natural stupidity or prejudice, plays right into his hands”:

Well, “the West” has behaved stupidly from the start.

First, by even going along with the American-induced coup against an elected government in Ukraine.

We know from ugly big-mouth, Victoria Nuland, American Neocon figure and former State Department official, that the US spent $5 billion on the project to destabilize Ukraine.

And “the West” completely tolerates the open displays of fascism in Ukraine by a number of ugly outfits – things like torch-light parades with Nazi-like symbols and some terrible words.

This whole American project was for the purpose of threatening Russia on a major border, a simply downright stupid act against a nuclear super-power.

This Ukrainian government has sent its own country into a tailspin, too. There have been major out-migrations of Ukrainians to other countries willing to accept them. The Ukrainian economy is in decline. Its trade is in decline. Civil War was needlessly started over language and cultural rights, resulting in the separation of regions. Everyone inside and outside the country is aware of large-scale corruption. There has been complete government paralysis in moving even an inch forward with the internationally-agreed Minsk Accords for peace in the country. I don’t think it would be possible to create a worse government.

_________________

For some perspective on this incident in the Kerch Strait, let’s remember what unarmed people – even women and children – receive just approaching the Israeli fence around Gaza.

A bullet in the head. A shattered leg. A blown-off foot.

More than 200 have been killed by Israel’s cowardly snipers, and many thousands wounded.

None of them armed. None of them ever setting foot on Israeli territory.

By contrast, here near Crimea, there were actually minimal problems despite the facts that the Ukrainian ships were well-armed and were definitely in the wrong location.

________________

Additional notes.

At least one Ukrainian official has claimed Russia used a missile from a fighter plane on one of the ships.

Well, first, we have quite a number of photos of the incident, and no missile damage is to be seen.

And there is no evidence of large numbers of crew members being hurt or killed, as there very much would be from a modern anti-ship missile. Instead, we have reports of just a few Ukrainians sustaining injuries in resisting Russian Border Services and receiving medical treatment.

Of course, the ships were brought to port by the Russians, something that wouldn’t be possible after a missile attack.

I think the bizarre nature of such a claim, despite much contrary evidence, tells us a good deal about the chaotic nature of Ukraine’s current politics and internal affairs.

Russia also reports that at least one Ukrainian intelligence service member was on board one of the ships. Just what you’d expect to find on a ship innocently straying off-course, is it not?

Readers should keep in mind that the Russians are very much on-guard for the Kerch Strait Bridge. Some idiotic Ukrainian politicians have actually openly advocated attacking it with explosives.

And it is a magnificent piece of engineering which provides daily testimony to Russia’s determination and creativity in a difficult situation.

Since Ukraine – whether individuals or the state, we don’t know – employed many deliberate obstacles and instances of sabotage against people on the Crimean Peninsula after their votes to leave Ukraine and join Russia, the bridge has become far more than just a symbol too.

________________

I see in this morning’s CBC News the headline: “Canada condemns Russian aggression in clash with Ukraine.” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland condemned Russia’s seizing three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea. The article offers no opportunity to comment.

Freeland has been an embarrassment as Foreign Minister on a number of files, and she has always been ready to jump with both feet into Russian affairs she likely doesn’t even fully understand.

She’s proven a genuine Russophobe which I suppose is understandable given her growing up in a Ukrainian-Canadian family, the kind of families I know from experience often display narrow hostility towards Russia.

Well, that’s a shame, Russia being an increasingly important country and one trying as it never did in the days of the Soviet Union to be open and ready to do business with everyone, but it’s her own business so long as she’s not Canada’s Foreign Minister.

But she is Foreign Minister, and she has no business making statements like this, whose only purpose is to serve the Russophobia insanity gripping the United States. She makes Canada look petty and small and not well-informed.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP WALK AWAY FROM NATO? WHY IT WILL NOT HAPPEN EVEN IF HE HAS THE AUTHORITY WHICH IS NOT CLEAR – NATO’S CHANGED PURPOSES SERVE AMERICAN INTERESTS SO WHY SHOULDN’T IT PAY? – THE HOPE EUROPE WILL SEEK NEW DIRECTIONS AFTER BEING BULLDOZED BY IGNORAMUS TRUMP   7 comments

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN INVESTMENTWATCH

 

“Trump Puts Merkel on Notice, Threatens to Pull Out of NATO”

 

There has been no real need for NATO, when judged in terms of its founding purpose, for many years.

It was created out fear that the USSR’s massive Red Army would roll over Europe. Well, neither the USSR nor the Red Army has existed for decades, and Russia is a place keen to get on with business and new development.

But with the fading to irrelevance of its original purpose, the US has developed new ones for NATO, largely reflecting its own new needs.

One is just as a mechanism for peacefully occupying one of its greatest potential competitors and manipulating its policies. America does a lot of manipulation towards its own interests in Europe.

This purpose very much includes preventing that long-held fear of an economic marriage between Europe and Russia, something that one glance at a map will tell you is a “natural.” Napoleon certainly thought so. As did Hitler. As well as other German historical figures, such as the Kaiser of WWI. There is in fact a long history of Germans, many specialist and technical people, working and living in Russia. Resources, industry, and markets make powerful incentives.

America wants to prevent this from happening, and it likely feels it is already somewhat underway with arrangements such as Russian natural gas sales, which it wants to prevent. A crude and awkward man like Trump insists on using language to express his opposition which makes him sound as though he thinks the date is 1957.

Two is to sell arms to NATO members, a huge captive market, the US being far and away the world’s greatest arms dealer. And, as America’s newest weapons are horrendously complex and expensive, as the F-35, expecting all NATO members to place orders effectively has Europe subsidizing the Pentagon.

NATO provides America many reasons to be used in support of these demands, such interchangeability of parts and entire machines among member states with volume production runs supposedly lowering costs, not that you’d ever notice with something like the F-35.

And three is the use of NATO as a kind of geopolitical fig leaf. It provides a way for American imperial wars to appear as though they reflect international interests, which they largely do not.

NATO members each send token forces to places like Afghanistan to keep America happy. The news headlines, instead of reading “American bombing,” read “NATO bombing.”

It diffuses responsibility and gives a sense of greater international legitimacy.

After all, the US now avoids the UN as much as it can (when it isn’t actually actively trying to dismantle it), the very place where some international legitimacy would come from.

And that isn’t just because the US hates the UN, which just happens to represent the other 95% of humanity.

It is because the US has so many wars now, all of them with very little point except in America’s own estimation, that it would be impossible to have the UN legitimize many of them. The UN did turn them down at the beginning of the Iraq War, a totally illegitimate, criminal enterprise., the first big step in the coming Neocon War rampage across the Middle East.

NATO wasn’t ready for that one, but Britain’s pathetic Tony Blair, thinking he would be part of a great historical achievement, was practically on his hands and knees to join the murderous enterprise. America took what it could get and started the bombing, its favorite international activity over the last couple of decades.

NATO – and an expanded NATO flush with grateful small new member states who all look forward to increased entrée with American officials and would never dream of contradicting them – provides a kind of ersatz (and purchased) international support. These smaller, relatively unimportant states much resemble some ugly girls asked out on a date by some “hunk,” and they act accordingly, as the US very much counted on them doing.

In most cases, it costs the major European countries comparatively little to keep the great angry bully happy. They each sent numbers of troops to Afghanistan previously on the order of hundreds to a few thousand with many or most not even in combat roles.

Were Afghanistan what America always claimed it to be, a serious threat to the world, I think the Europeans would have acted much differently. Their level of support eloquently said what they really thought.

For all of these reasons, it is unlikely the US would walk from NATO. It is largely a set of American purposes being served, so why would America end it and why shouldn’t America pay for it?

Telling the Europeans, they must now pay a great deal more is just a kind of extortion racket, and Trump is just the kind of lowlife to see whether he can get away with it.

Except for a few countries with very unusual backgrounds – rather pathetic places such as Latvia or Poland – I don’t think any of NATO’s significant members regard Russia today as a threat to anything, but they are unwilling to say so openly in view of the long past American relationship and the fear of offending the US, which really is capable of taking some serious economic or financial reprisals.

The US is even toying now with yet another self-serving purpose for NATO. Colombia has become an “Alliance Official Partner” a new kind of designation with new American purposes behind it. In this case, a threat right on the border of a Venezuela America hates, the potential threat of “international” intervention into a country the CIA has been working hard to destabilize for years and one Trump has now openly mused about invading.

This is stretching NATO’s purpose about as thinly as it can be stretched from the organization founded to protect Western Europe from Soviet aggression.

For all these reasons, no, Trump is not going to leave NATO. And it is not even clear, under America’s system of divided government, he would have that authority if he wanted to. NATO is a tool of the new American hyper-aggression being used to reclaim international dominance, and I think the Europeans understand that well enough to call his bluff. They are not going to start handing over all that money.

But maybe Trump’s increased pressure – conducted with no diplomacy, rudely and in public – is just the thing to move the Europeans in new directions. I sure hope so.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SOME VERY DARK THOUGHTS OF WHERE AMERICA IS GOING IN ITS RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AND IRAN – I DO THINK WE LIVE IN DANGEROUS TIMES AND THEY ARE DELIBERATELY MANUFACTURED   1 comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DAN GLAZEBROOK IN RUSSIA INSIDER

https://russia-insider.com/en/war-iran-has-already-begun-and-russia-must-end-it/ri23373

 

“The War on Iran Has Already Begun — and Russia Must End It

“The destruction of states such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran will isolate Russia when its own turn comes”

 

An interesting and perceptive article.

While offering genuine insight into what is taking place, it also is rather bleak and distressing.

Russia is in a critical position, and failure to act, after all the hard work in Syria and other places, would be extremely dangerous long term.

Iran is clearly in Washington’s cross-hairs, and largely owing to the inordinate influence and rather savage demands of Israel, its de facto colony. America has already worked to destroy Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and others for the benefit of Israel and what it narrowly sees as its interests in the Middle East.

If Iran is allowed to be destroyed or dismembered, it represents the loss of a very substantial ally, and there is little doubt who is next on the checklist.

I think there can be little doubt that somewhere in Pentagon and CIA vaults, there are plans – likely various and alternate ones – for the destruction of Russia, or at least for its dismemberment.

“Delenda est Carthago” is truly what the establishment in Washington thinks to itself. The place is rife with hostile words and the smell of aroused hormones twenty-four hours a day now. The American press, while it may not be much for conveying the news, conveys this reality unmistakably.

This is an establishment clearly dedicated to dominating the planet militarily now that it understands its economy is in relative decline in an evolving world, an economy with no hope of regaining anything like the accidental golden period of post WWII. And America’s Neocons, out of their own concerns for reborn Israel, are on the sidelines cheering all the way.

I am not even sure there can be any effective opposition anymore in America. Both major parties are committed to American imperial efforts completely. One is no better than the other, both hiding ugly drives under the guise of that American secular religion called Patriotism, much as the brutal Crusades of the Middle Ages hid their greed and bloodlust behind a symbol of Christianity.

And American society at large, under the pretext of international terror, has been totally wired and rigged to detect and deal with opposition. The gigantic security establishment – 17 agencies and all of them better funded than you can imagine – is unprecedented in American history for its elaborate spying and snooping and interfering, but then so is the entire arrogant, imperious attitude of America’s establishment.

That is an absolutely deadly mixture brewing and bubbling away. It is hard even to imagine it changing anytime soon.  An economic catastrophe, which in one form or another is definitely on the horizon, may contribute to its fizzling out, but that is not at all certain. The establishment in Washington is better insulated against shocks than most parts of American society. Trump’s maladroit efforts on trade and other matters will only hasten its coming and perhaps deepen its effects.

Russia is the only country now capable of obliterating America, so unless it chooses unilaterally to disarm and commit itself to Washington’s tender mercies, it will remain a menace to American plans for complete dominance.

We’ve already seen numerous moves – some big, some small – along this line with Chechnya, Ukraine, Armenia, sending tanks and troops to Russian borders, ringing Russia with anti-missile missiles, readiness to nullify important treaties like INF, committing a fortune to new-generation nuclear weapons, a stream of contrived personal attacks on Putin, sanctions and still more sanctions, pressuring other countries not to buy Russian goods and weapons, and many others, some of which would not be public knowledge.

It is already pretty close to war by another name.

Posted May 6, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 35 YEARS SINCE THE INFAMOUS FRAUD OF THE HITLER DIARIES CAUGHT AN EMINENT PROFESSOR IN EMBARRASSING ERRORS – WHICH REMINDS ME OF DEVELOPMENTS IN TWO CURRENT FRAUDS – BOTH FAR MORE DEADLY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“The Hitler Diaries: How hoax documents became the most infamous fake news ever

“Thirty-five years after forensic tests showed the diaries to have been forged, Adam Lusher recalls an extraordinary story of deception, delusion and incredulity”

 

Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper got things wrong a number of times.

The case of his authenticating the forged diaries is, of course, the most glaring.

Obviously, he should have backed off doing it if he could not do it, and the now recognized shoddiness of the forgery tells us clearly that he could not.

But further, his book “The Last Days of Hitler,” commissioned by British intelligence at the end of WWII, is now known to be terribly flawed.

Just shows you, even experts fall flat on their faces, like circus clowns into cream pies.

How much more so in the case of mediocre politicians like Theresa May and Boris Johnson, experts in absolutely nothing, claiming to authenticate what they cannot possibly authenticate, events in Douma, Syria, and those of the Skripal Affair in Salisbury?

In the Skripal Affair, we still have not been offered one shred of real evidence. The “victims” still aren’t even allowed to talk to anyone. And the President of the Czech Republic has only just confirmed his country used to make the very nerve poison in question. Undoubtedly just one of many countries and scientific establishments which have done so.

Already we know to a certainty that the Douma Incident was a cheap fraud by the White Helmets. In case you hadn’t heard, the United States just quietly dropped funding this propaganda branch of al-Qaeda.

It is a remarkable case where independent reporters, actually working in Syria, had already conclusively shown with photos and interviews what not a single major newspaper or broadcaster ever hinted at, the White Helmets were frauds. But then, why would major newspapers and broadcasters discover that when they do absolutely no reporting from Syria and work assiduously to buttress the unsupported claims of the American and British governments? Journalism at its finest.

In the best traditions of Professor Trever-Roper, a shabbily-assembled fraud from Douma didn’t stop Theresa May and Donald Trump from concluding Syria was responsible and hurling a fleet of missiles at an innocent country, a war crime in and of itself.

In retrospect, Professor Trevor-Roper’s errors look pretty harmless.