Archive for the ‘JOHN CHUCKMAN’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EXCEPT PERIPHERALLY, OIL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SYRIAN WAR – SYRIA WAS ONE OF SEVEN STATES THE PENTAGON PLANNED TO TOPPLE WAY BACK NEAR 9/11 – WHY DIRECT INVASION USED ON IRAQ WAS NOT REPEATED ON SYRIA – AMERICAN USE OF TERROR – NEOCON WARS ARE A BLOODY YEARS-LONG URBAN-RENEWAL PROJECT FOR ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORHOOD – IRAN WAS ALSO ON THE LIST AND MAY HAVE ESCAPED ITS FATE THROUGH ITS RECENT IMPRESSIVE DISPLAY OF NEW WEAPONS – BACKGROUND OF AMERICA AND THE 1980S IRAQ-IRAN WAR – HEAVY IRAQI USE OF AMERICAN-SUPPLIED CHEMICAL WEAPONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MURRAY BREWSTER ON CBC NEWS

 

“Can allies trust an administration that boasts of using military power to pillage other nations’ resources?”

 

Trump has used his remarks about “liking to steal oil” as a lame-joke way to hide his real purpose. He thinks the poor joke is more acceptable to the world than the truth.

The Syrian war has never been about oil. It has been about destabilizing or toppling a government the United States and its regional friends dislike because it is independent-minded and does not embrace America’s vision for the region. It refuses to take the Pledge of Allegiance.

And Syria has always refused to relinquish the territory Israel has occupied since the 1967 War, the Golan Heights, a territory Israel claims to have annexed against all international law.

With the help of Syria’s allies, the main war, a vicious proxy war using recruited outsiders such as al Nusra and ISIS and others, is now largely over, and the United States did not win.

The effort in Syria’s northeast with the American occupation of the country’s oil fields is about claiming a consolation prize for the larger loss, effectively crippling the Assad government’s future efforts at rebuilding the war-torn country.

Trump, I believe, at one point genuinely wanted to leave Syria altogether, knowing the main war was lost.

But powerful pressure groups in Washington immediately opposed withdrawal. The consolation prize of hurting Syria was demanded. And Trump, focused insanely on getting himself re-elected and on the need for heavy-duty campaign donations, gave them what they wanted. He’s never had any problem with reversing himself on policy if there’s a personal benefit.

The United States is using the notion of keeping the oil from ISIS as an explanation. But it is a feeble explanation because ISIS is not strong in that region, and the unpleasant truth is that the United States has never genuinely fought terror inside Syria.

Not at all. It is ultimately responsible for the terror being there, a responsibility it shares with Israel and Saudi Arabia, originally Turkey, and a few other regional friends. Although I suppose America’s ideal outcome would see the terror groups having achieved their goals in Syria and then be disbanded or destroyed. They are trash to be temporarily used, not allies for the future. Geo-political toilet paper.

The United States has had some conflicts with ISIS, as you’d expect when dealing with such unholy thugs, but the focus of the terrorist groups has always remained toppling or hurting the Syrian state, which just happens to be the aim of America and its close regional friends. They have never attacked the interests that true jihadi types would attack, Israel and the corrupt Saudi Royals.

Over the years, the United States has used the presence of ISIS and others as a convenient excuse to keep troops in various locations and to bomb things in Syria it wanted to bomb. The terrorists have proved quite handy that way.

It has been a very dirty war.

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Just an additional note on the causes of the Syrian War.

The names of the Middle East countries destroyed in a series of wars now often called the Neocon Wars were long ago on an official American government list of seven countries to be toppled over future years. The list was part of a secret Pentagon document.

The list was seen by former General Wesley Clark at the Pentagon not long after 9/11. He has spoken of seeing it several times.

And, remember, Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, spoke of hearing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East” at the time of the invasion of Iraq. America, essentially, has long had a secret plan for a kind of vast and bloody urban-renewal project surrounding Israel.

The list was assembled under leading American Neocon Paul Wolfowitz, one of the Pentagon’s highest officials then. Syria was on the list, as was Iran.

Just as the invasion of Iraq was not really about oil, so the hybrid proxy war in Syria was not. By using covert means and proxy forces, Washington avoided another costly invasion like Iraq, something that had created a lot of adverse reaction in the world.

The open and extremely violent invasion of Iraq violated international law, and it offended many, even in friendly nations. So, the approach would not be repeated for other nations on the list.

Iran, with its now demonstrated impressive military capabilities under renewed American belligerence, may just have avoided the fate of the other countries on the Pentagon’s list.  The range and accuracy of Iran’s many missile and other systems have been impressive.

Iran began developing new capabilities as a national project after the long and bloody Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s, a war the United States encouraged and supported, even going so far as supplying Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with deadly chemical weapons to adjust the odds against the forces of Iran’s much greater population. Huge numbers of Iranian soldiers were gassed.

 

Posted December 7, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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JOHN CHUCKMAN ESSAY (REPOSTED FOR THE HOLIDAYS): AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT…A CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS TALE   Leave a comment

A short tale written years ago and widely published, one which I think still says something important and is a piece of which I’m fond. Reposted for the holiday season.

 

AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT

A Contemporary Christmas Tale

 

John Chuckman

It was only a matter of time before Santa Claus himself came under the Neanderthal-eyed scrutiny of American intelligence. After all, Santa’s citizenship is unknown, and he crosses borders with no passport or other form of identification. No one knows whether he even has a valid pilot’s license.

Although his image is well known, there is no official photograph on file with American border control, and he has never been fingerprinted or body-searched. Most disconcerting of all, he delivers parcels to children all over the world, including the children living in the Axis of Evil. His intentions with this activity are not understood beyond some fuzzy generalization about kindness and generosity to all. Clearly, here was the world’s largest unplugged pipeline to potential terrorists.

It was only after receiving no response to several urgent letters from the State Department requesting an immediate meeting in Washington that a decision was made to approach Santa’s North Pole solitude. As usual in such matters with the people now running America, a wing of America’s most lethal killing machines was employed for the purpose. You never know what you might encounter in such a forbidding place.

As the planes first zoomed over the icy silence of the North Pole workshop, one of the pilots decided to swoop down for a closer look. He was one of those daring fly-boys, and his tail struck the only wire for thousands of miles around, the North Pole Telegraph, sending his plane hurling into the workshop in a ball of flames with tons of ammunition and missiles exploding.

Santa and Mrs. Claus rushed out of their snow-blanketed gingerbread house to see what was happening, trying to calm the terrified reindeer running from their stable at one end of the house. The elves, too, scurried towards the stable, trying to stop the reindeer from running or flying off.

Above, in the dark vault of sky, the other pilots observed the explosion and saw missile trails smoking into the air. They also saw the frantic activity below and quickly concluded their comrade had come under anti-aircraft attack. So they swooped down in attack formation, rapid-fire canon tearing into everything ahead of them.

Most of the reindeer fell in the snow, spurting warm blood across the bluish-white surface. Most of the elves, too, fell gasping for life. Mrs. Claus received a wound in the head and instantly fell limp. Santa tried heroically to reach his wife but realized the situation was hopeless and turned, running into the darkness accompanied by Prancer, the only surviving reindeer.

The only witness to the massacre is one surviving elf now living somewhere in Canada under an assumed identity, fearful for his life. It is only from his testimony that we know anything about Santa’s fate.

Realizing the horrific mistake they had made, the pilots dropped white phosphorus bombs with the intention of incinerating all evidence. The entire North Pole lit up and Santa and Prancer could be seen in the distance on a huge block of ice drifting off into the dark sea, the ice everywhere cracked and weakened by the combined effects of white phosphorus and years of global warming.

Within in a few hours, the beating sound of a black helicopter approached Santa and Prancer. The elf, from his hiding place in a snowdrift, could only make out intermittent sounds across the howling coldness, but it seems armed men emerged from the helicopter, shot Prancer and shackled Santa, shoving him into the dark, beating machine. The elf heard a word that sounded like Guantanamo and Santa has not been heard from since. Reports of his fate reached the International Red Cross and organizations like Amnesty International, leading to inquiries, but these have been met only with silence from American authorities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: SWEDEN HAS PLAYED A TRULY UNSAVORY ROLE IN THE JULIAN ASSANGE AFFAIR – UNDOUBTEDLY UNDER AMERICAN PRESSURE – BUT STILL SWEDEN USED TO BE SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT – A FEW REFLECTIONS ON THE SWEDEN THAT USED TO BE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSON IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

‘Now That [Julian] Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its “Investigation”’

“Continues to be detained in a high security prison, having completed an extreme sentence for not meeting the bail conditions for a charge that wasn’t and won’t be made”

 

Sweden, years ago, was in many ways a very admirable country.

It remained unaligned during the Cold War, staying out of NATO.

Sweden welcomed many American war resisters from the bloody, pointless Vietnam War.

It had a solid reputation in international humanitarian efforts.

It was a truly independent and reasoned voice in world affairs, although its small size limited its influence.

During the 1990s, Sweden, for reasons I do not understand, started cooperating much more closely with NATO, forming a kind of partnership. The timing is even odd, given the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

It is under its closer relationship with the United States, that the country has acted in ways that go completely against its earlier, independent-minded history and reputation.

In the 1970s or even 1980s, Sweden would never have done what it has done to Assange with the phony charges that ended by making him a prisoner in Britain, clearly done at America’s bidding.

The country’s very progressive Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated in 1986, in a great mystery never solved.

Some have speculated that CIA might have been involved. Who knows, but it may well have affected the future course of events.

It wouldn’t surprise. It is said that at least one of the serious attempts at assassinating de Gaulle, a real thorn in the side of NATO, was CIA supported.

The airplane-crash death in 1961 of eminent Swedish diplomat, Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations and a much-disliked figure by the United States and some of its allies, was never properly investigated owing to various states’ lack of cooperation. It is thought by many to have been an assassination.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: YET AGAIN TRUMP GIVES WHAT IS NOT HIS TO GIVE – THE MATTER OF THE LEGALITY OF JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ON PALESTINIAN LANDS – CONTEMPT FOR THE RULE OF LAW FROM THE “LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD” – WHY TRUMP DOES WHAT HE DOES FOR ISRAEL’S NARROW INTERESTS – ISRAEL’S STATUS VIS-A-VIS AMERICA – HISTORICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE IDENTITY OF CONTEMPORARY JEWS VERSUS THE ANCIENT HEBREW PEOPLE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DONALD MACINTYRE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Trump declaring Israeli settlements legal is indefensible – Palestinians deserve more than vote-grabbing

“The settlements, which are swallowing more and more land and resources, remain the biggest obstacle to a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”

 

It’s just the latest shameful chapter in the story of Trump’s relationship with Israel.

He has proved the most servile and corrupt President since Lyndon Johnson in all matters touching Israel.

He has ignored international law a number of times to give Israel something that is not his to give – Golan, Jerusalem, West Bank properties – and he has created some ugly international situations on Israel’s behalf.

The unnecessary vicious assault on a law-abiding Iran – his just arbitrarily tearing-up of a valid treaty, extreme war-like sanctions, serious military threats, even using the word “obliteration for 80 million people – is a direct result of trying to please Netanyahu and the important big donors in the United States who want pretty much whatever Netanyahu wants.

So were Trump’s crazed steps against the United Nations – quitting UN Human Rights, quitting UNESCO, cutting UN Palestinian aid funds, threatening voting members in the General Assembly by telling them they are being watched how they vote, and owing the UN around a billion dollars in back dues.

A rather vicious and focused set of acts taken against international law and order.

The basic driving political force for these deeds in the United States is less votes, I think, than money.

America’s campaign finance system is almost totally corrupt, as are its laws governing the activities of political lobbies.

It’s often joked that America gets the best government money can buy, and it really isn’t far from the truth.

The concept, “money is free speech” dominates American politics.

Israel has some of the best organized and financed lobby groups in the United States. It also has a clutch of American multi-billionaires who identify very closely with Israel for all of their huge campaign contributions. Those are Trump’s main targets for such policies.

The lobby groups not only supply cash but also expert professional and technical assistance with campaign work. They are also quite influential in press coverage in America’s “quality” press and broadcasting, all of which is managed with great deference to Israel’s interests.

As far as numbers, American Jews make up about 1.5% of the country’s population. “Fundamentalist” Protestants, depending on your definition, total between 6% and 25% of the population, the world’s largest such group and certainly a large segment of the electorate.

However, American Fundamentalist Christians are seen in polls as not being a particularly well-informed group, as you might expect with a good part of them waiting for the Second Coming of the Lord. Likely, in most cases, they not even aware of many of Trump’s acts, only having a general awareness of his friendliness towards Israel.

But the money and influence people of course follow and analyze and weigh the value of every step.

__________________

Response to another comment:

I think it is more complicated than that.

Israel, de facto, is an American colony in the Middle East, a special one with many extraordinary privileges. Many citizens freely move back and forth, and so does money and influence and technology.

Israel almost always operates on the two levels simultaneously – that of small “independent” country and American imperial colony.

It makes for a bizarre and complicated relationship.

It compares in many ways to France’s old relationship with Algeria, which France considered as an integral part of metropolitan France, although the relationship has dimensions making it still different in nature than that.

The concept of Israel includes the very emotional claim of being refuge for the world’s formerly terribly abused Jews. That claim of course ignores the healthy, prosperous situation of Jews in America and in many other places. It also ignores the fact that the majority of the world’s Jews do not live in Israel. Indeed, America alone has about as many Jews as Israel does.

______________________

Response to another comment:

Sorry, you are confused.

The Jews you speak of in London are European people, not Middle Eastern people. “Judea,” apart from being a long-dead concept like “Troy,” is not their place of origin.

The Ashkenazi and the ancient Hebrews are not the same people, except for the religion they profess.

The Ashkenazi go back on the order of 900-1000 years according to DNA work.

Their native language is Yiddish, a dialect of German.

Most of their customs and dress are derived from central and eastern Europe, as deli food and most of the dishes eaten on holidays.

Even the dress of the ultra-Orthodox does not reflect the Middle East at all, but central and eastern Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is most likely that the closest we have to direct descendants from the ancient Hebrews are indeed the Palestinians, and what a bitter irony that is. Two thousand years of history have made many changes in them, including religion, but it is a well-established historical fact that the Romans did not expel populations from conquered territories.

The Romans wanted the farmers farming and the taxpayers paying taxes. The whole “wandering Jews following expulsion from the Holy Land” story is just that, a story, one which more closely binds European Jews to the ancient Hebrews, but it just cannot be historical.

The Hebrews, at least some of them, clearly at some point in history became evangelical, having seen the great success of Christianity, which did start as a small Hebrew sect, and they proselytized in many regions, creating what became remote Jewish colonies.

A larger Jewish population gave more opportunity for marriage, too, something that is always problem for small groups. That is why there are varying traces of Semitic characteristics found in the DNA of Ashkenazi people.

Posted November 20, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP’S NEW “PASTOR” PAULA WHITE – “BRINGING TRUMP TO CHRIST” OR BRINGING MILLIONS OF CHUMPS IN FOR ANOTHER FLEECING?   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Charlatan or saviour: What will Trump’s controversial new pastor [Paula White] bring to the White House?”

 

Oh, please, there is only one thing a “pastor” like this woman brings to the White House of a “president” like Trump.

America has an entire subculture of empire-building televangelists and monster-church pastors who really are in the business of creating illusions to scam people out of their money in the Name of the Lord. It’s a rather unique American institution, at least on the scale it exists in America.

This woman’s background puts her in the same camp as much grander past operators, such as Pat Robertson, Robert Schuller, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, and Oral Roberts. So, of course, she’s very comfortable with a shabby figure like Donald Trump, just as he is with her.

Her sole purpose is to provide plenty of opportunities for stagey photos like the one you have at the top of the article. She’s a hired, roving photo-op for Christ.

Such images go down like cotton candy with the Religious Right, a group Trump counts on fairly heavily for political support.

In the case of this appointment, the pubic relations folks managed to hit two targets at once, the Religious Right and women, at least some women.

Trump has always been an irreligious man. Almost grotesquely so. That’s just an established fact.

But photos of this slight woman with her well-practiced sympathetic expressions looking up into his looming hulk of a face give pathetic believers something to fantasize over, her bringing him “to the Lord.”

Most of America’s huge flock of offering plate-chasing evangelists or pastors, like this woman, wouldn’t be able to contribute much of anything to anyone, except claptrap.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FOUNDER OF ONE OF THE GREAT FRAUDS OF OUR TIME, THE WHITE HELMETS IN SYRIA, IS FOUND DEAD – HE WAS A BRITISH MI6 AGENT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY BEL TREW IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“James Le Mesurier: White Helmets backer found dead near his home in Istanbul

“Former army officer helped start the White Helmets, credited with saving thousands of lives in Syria”

 

People who read widely have known for quite some time that The White Helmets are a fraud.

There are countless tidbits of evidence for the claim, but you have to search them out. You won’t find them in any of the corporate press in America or the parts of Europe, like Britain, which are under America’s thumb.

Most of the Western corporate press goes on praising them, and of course dear old Hollywood even gave them an “documentary film” Oscar.

That’s the very same Hollywood that each year holds a big gala dinner to raise millions and millions of dollars for Israel’s army. The army whose main job is to harshly occupy millions of people who have no rights, and an army, over the last year, which has weekly busied itself ambushing unarmed Gaza protesters from behind a fence, killing about 300 and wounding thousands.

I wouldn’t doubt Hollywood even supplied expertise and supplies for the make-up work used in White Helmet films, but I don’t know that.

The job of The White Helmets has always been to promote local divisions inside Syria and to create provocations that can be used to justify more American or British bombing at desired locations.

They mounted and filmed several “rescue operations” from poison gas attacks which they staged themselves, trying to incriminate Syria’s government. They film their own stuff and distribute it to the Western press. Undoubtedly, they also perform other covert work such as “bomb spotting.”

Their films all have been frauds, using everything from child actors (documented by some critics) and Hollywood make-up to other mislabelled footage.

This outfit represents a true ethical low point in America’s diligent efforts at hybrid and proxy war in the region, a fake humanitarian organization to promote real death and destruction.

How absolutely fitting that it was founded by one of the creeps from MI6.