Archive for the ‘EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DISTURBING NEW FINDING ON AMERICAN ATTITUDES ABOUT USING ATOMIC WEAPONS – SOME HISTORY OF AMERICA’S BRUTAL POLICIES OF WWII AND THE COLD WAR – JAPAN AND GENERAL CURTIS LEMAY – PRE-EMPTIVE ATOMIC WAR – FOOTNOTE ON THE VIOLENT RISE OF AMERICAN EMPIRE – AMERICA’S BRUTAL SOCIETY SEEN AS A TRAINING GROUND FOR THE REQUIRED FUTURE KILLERS FOR EMPIRE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

 

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM O’CONNOR IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“One-Third of US Backs Nuclear War on North Korea, Killing One Million”

 

A disturbing new polling study, sponsored in part by “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” found that fully one-third of Americans would support a pre-emptive American nuclear attack on North Korea, even when it involved killing a million innocent people.

Researchers said results confirmed earlier studies showing America “exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians.”

It’s hard to know what to say about such a result, except there are an awful lot of American cold-blooded killers.

But we should recall that we are talking about the only country ever to actually use nuclear weapons. It used them twice, on cities filled with civilians, cities determined to possess no military value as targets.

It was terror in the purest sense of the word, although perhaps no more so than the horrific fire-bombing of Japanese cities conducted by General Curtis LeMay previous to the atomic attack. There was a point reached in America’s bombing campaign when planners not only had no “primary targets” left standing in Japan but ran out of “secondary targets.”

The atomic attack came despite the now well-known fact that Japan had sent out serious feelers about surrendering, asking only that they be allowed to keep their emperor. America rejected that, demanding unconditional surrender.

Of course, after the atomic bombs, America got what it wanted, unconditional surrender. It then allowed Japan to keep its emperor. So, all those people died and America set its terrible precedent over American pride. Japan’s earlier secret feelers about surrender do put the lie to America’s widely-accepted excuse about all its soldiers who would have died invading the Japanese homeland.

LeMay in the early 1960s served as Air Force Chief of Staff and participated in serious planning for a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, plans presented to President Kennedy, who afterward told an associate that he left the briefing sick to his stomach.

LeMay was a big advocate of massive bombing in Vietnam. He also advocated bombing the Soviet soldiers present in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, completely unaware that they had been armed with a number of tactical nuclear weapons. Had his advice been taken, there almost certainly would have been a nuclear war in 1962.

He later briefly pursued a political career, running for vice president under notorious segregationist, George Wallace, in 1968.  Such was the kind of man who held a high Pentagon position during the Cold War.

LeMay certainly wasn’t unique, either inside or outside the Pentagon. It is simply a fact that there never has been any notable American shame or regret over its use of atomic weapons.

Indeed, we have the rather unpleasant fact that the Enola Gay, a WWII B-29 bomber used to drop the world’s first atomic bomb on a city, not long ago was carefully restored and put on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington where it is viewed by millions.

This is, after all, a society that has been literally immersed in murderous colonial wars since WWII. Estimates range from about 8 million to 20 million killed aboard – there are even higher estimates – with not one of those wars having anything to do with America’s defense.

And today, week-in, week-out, America’s industrial-scale program of extrajudicial killing carries right on with young buzz-cut people sitting at screens in secret locations playing computer games with the lives of real people. Thousands have been killed without judicial process, just having their names put on a “kill list” by some CIA thug.

It is also a pretty brutal society at home. Police kill an average of three Americans per day, more than any terror group could hope to achieve.

America’s homicide rate is almost five times that of a country like Italy, and substantially higher than a place like Turkey, often popularly regarded in dark terms. It is lower than many countries, but they are mostly places in the Third World.

American prisons are notorious for brutal conditions and for brutal behavior by guards. And more Americans are held in prison than in any other society.

I sometimes reflect on the notion that America’s domestic brutality serves almost as a kind of early training ground for all the future killers who will be needed for tasks around the globe.

Such is the nature of empire. It is not built with decency or compassion or humane values.

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Response to a comment about America having been a nation of killers from the start:

I’m aware of that.

What I am emphasizing is America’s modern-era mass-killing warfare beyond the boundaries of North America.

America, in growing its early empire, was fortunate to have all pretty weak opponents.

An antiquated Spanish Empire, Indigenous people, Mexico, and native Hawaiians.

They were all treated very harshly, but the total numbers were relatively small when compared to Vietnam or the Neocon Wars of the Middle East.

Had Germany, in its march for empire, faced such as those early American opponents rather than the powerful states it opposed, it might well be ruling the world today.

America has always been a bit lucky in its expansion. Fairly weak enemies early on in the march West. Later, a world flattened by WWII which barely touched America.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S DESTRUCTIVENESS TO TRADE – BUT HIS CONCERN MAY BE POLITICS FOR HIS BASE AND NOT ECONOMICS – HOW TRUMP NOW WELL SERVES AMERICA’S ESTABLISHMENT – GLIMMER OF FUTURE WORLD HOPE IN ALL THIS U.S. CHAOS?   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY LARRY ELLIOTT IN THE GUARDIAN

 

“The rust belt is being sold a lie – China has funded US spending

“The president’s bizarre solutions to the US trade deficit threaten to send his country into recession

 

“Make no mistake: Trump’s strategy is a sign of weakness not strength.”

That is correct.

However, this can be looked at from various perspectives. Besides, it is not at all certain that Trump even understands these economic matters.

If you look at it from Trump’s political perspective, he is showily, noisily serving the interests of his political base, which consists of folks who go to gun meets, get angry about football games marred by protest, dislike the very idea of migration, love Walmart, are fans of NASCAR, treat the American Flag as a holy relic, and not infrequently live in trailer parks.

They hate the UN and all international organizations. They regard any kind of talk about global relations as stupid or treacherous, and they believe America is involved with any of these only because of the treachery of “liberals,” never for a moment realizing there are almost no such critters resident in America.

NAFTA and other trade agreements plus international affairs generally have long been angrily bellowed about by this crowd. The only acceptable exception in international affairs is bombing people, and that’s always welcome.

In a sense, too, Trump is serving the American power establishment. They were doubtful about him at first, but I think he has won them over with his immediate capitulation as any kind of maverick or independent thinker, his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush-Obama imperial wars, his support for extrajudicial killing on an industrial scale, and his readiness to spend the United States into the poorhouse on the military, which by the way, if you count all the true costs, such as veterans’ affairs, is running at about a trillion dollars a year.

The power establishment couldn’t care in the least for Trump’s belly-over-belt crowd. They indeed care little for most Americans, only caring for their own privileged crowd. But it appears that Trump’s efforts for his political base also happens to serve some of their interests, the major one of which is an aggressive reassertion of American dominance everywhere in hope of being able to shape future events in a changing world.

They have adopted this goal because they recognize America’s relative decline since the lucky glory days post-WWII when America didn’t have a competitor standing. Today, it has many, and more emerge regularly. That is a reality which will not change. So, the idea is to dominate and push them all around, shaping future events by might and not right or fair hard work, and Trump has proven he is pretty good at pushing people around.

It all makes a highly dangerous situation, but it could have the positive side effect of realigning thinking and friendships and trade relations among many countries, perhaps marking an historical watershed. I am hopeful for this, as something immensely more positive and economically creative than everyone’s saluting the American flag daily and awaiting new orders for sanctions or bombing somewhere.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WORLD OPINION AGAINST AMERICA’S DRONE MURDERS – THE ARROGANCE AND CORRUPTION OF GREAT POWER – BELLOWING ABOUT RIGHTS – DEATH SQUADS ALIVE IN AMERICA AND ISRAEL – NOTE ON CYBER WAR   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Imagine my surprise to learn that most people in the world don’t accept extrajudicial murder by governments?

And one has to say, the murdering agency here is not just any government, but a government which blubbers and drones day and night about human rights and democracy and freedom. America’s Secretary of State, just for one, has become practically a recording device playing slogans on loudspeakers as the murders go on.

It wasn’t that many years ago that the world was appalled to learn that juntas in some South American countries made thousands “disappear” by rounding them up, drugging them, and throwing their bodies out of planes over the ocean.

What America is doing – and it is doing it in half a dozen places, including Yemen and Somalia – is indistinguishable from the juntas “disappearing” citizens they didn’t like.

The word “terrorist” in this context is meaningless, serving only as an Orwellian excuse to murder those with whom you disagree and to intimidate others by the example.

It is a measure of the sheer arrogance and corruption of power that the government of the United States assumes it has a right to act in this fashion.

Of course, in this, America closely copies the brutal and unethical practices of Israel, a country which cheers them on as at a big sports event. And Israel is such an example of success, isn’t it?

None of the world’s so-called rogue states – places like North Korea or Burma – are known for this level of lawless savagery.

It is estimated recently that American drone-missile strikes, just in Pakistan, have killed 3,000 people in a few years.

The Pentagon says that “only 20%” of the dead were civilians, and that that is an acceptable level of performance.

600 civilians – over and above the 2400 targets, themselves, each and every one, legally innocent – murdered is acceptable?

But, of course, numbers on deaths coming from the Pentagon always have a large element of hazy fantasy. They murdered 3 million souls in Vietnam, and you never heard a word from them on the extent of that holocaust. All for nothing but an insane Ahab-like compulsion to kill communists.

A million or so people were killed in Iraq, America’s compulsion having changed to Muslims, but no mention of numbers there either.

You cannot have a government of laws unless you are yourself willing yourself to obey them.

When we choose not to be governed by laws, it is the powerful and psychotic who inherit the earth.
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“Iran embarks on $1b. cyber-warfare programTehran has embarked on an ambitious plan to boost its defensive cyber-warfare capabilities and is investing $1 billion in developing new technology and hiring new computer experts…”

Idiot, the most dangerous examples of cyber warfare we’ve ever seen are the Stuxnet and Flame pieces of malware.

It is even possible that Stuxnet – which escaped its intended target of Iran to spread – caused part of the nuclear plant horror in Japan by making controls unusable.

We know from analysis that these two pieces of malware were developed by the same people.

The United States and Israel are the authors.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S DRONE-MURDERS IN PAKISTAN CALLED A SUCCESS – ALL LEGALITY AND ETHICS HAVE DISAPPEARED IN AMERICA’S DEATH-SQUAD BEHAVIOR – ISRAEL AS A MODEL FOR MURDER   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Latest U.S. drone operation in Pakistan should be judged a success”

Surely, the words of an ethical and moral bankrupt.

A target or targets – uncharged and untried – is assassinated by a buzz-cut thug at a computer console.

In the process, a host of others, all innocents for certain, are murdered, and the cretin writing this editorial says it should be judged a success.

Have you lost all sense of values?

If we all nod and accept this absolutely criminal behavior by a great power, we will lose all claims to a free society which has laws and is organized to honor human rights.

If you do not live by the rule of the law, you are not a whit better than the junta generals who used to kidnap people off the streets of South America and fly them out over the ocean to throw out their drugged bodies.

They “disappeared” thousands in that fashion, and it is certain that the horrible governments committing such crimes believed they were every bit as justified as America in getting rid of people working against their interests.

Now, the apologists for Israel’s brutal excesses always support this kind of thing, and indeed Israel is the very model for this behavior. The word “terroriist” is used like a magic word to make any inhuman act perfectly okay.

It is one thing for an irresponsible state like Israel to behave this unacceptable way, but it quite another for the world’s mightiest nation to be reduced to the same behavior.

We are only protected by rule of law from having the violent barbarians and psychopaths of the world governing. If you abandon rule of law, you have abandoned civilization.