Archive for the ‘JOHN CHUCKMAN’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: FORMER CIA WHISTLEBLOWER JOHN KIRIAKOU TELLS AN ANECDOTE FROM HIS TIME IN JAIL – EVEN THE POST OFFICE SPIES ON YOU – BUT HERE’S WHY THE AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY STATE CANNOT BE STOPPED   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN KIRIAKOU IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“Neither Rain, Sleet, nor Snow Will Stop the Post Office From Spying on You

“It’s called the “Mail Cover Program” and it’s run by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Yes, even the Post Office is spying on us

 

Good little piece.

I like the personal anecdote about sending his wife a card from prison (where this convicted CIA whistleblower spent just short of two years), something which highlights humble realities of life in a national security state.

“In general, Americans don’t–or at least haven’t–objected to a gradual loss of civil liberties and constitutional rights. That has to stop.”

The first part of that statement seems so true. But the herd behavior of populations, so counted upon by advertisers and marketers, is very much also counted upon by the power establishment and its security apparatus. I say “its” because that’s who is largely being served, not people in general.

I personally take a dark view of the second part of the statement, “That has to stop.”

There is no effective political mechanism for dealing with the situation.

The parties are both married to the security state through money.

Government by, of, and for the privileged and wealthy is what you have.

The combination of the various security mechanisms, the military, and the bought-and-paid-for members of the legislature work round the clock for their interests.

That is what the Dark State is, what America is.

Small independent voices heard in American politics are just that, small and independent. They are tolerated, but they have no power or hope of power.

The more prominent seeming-rebels – a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren – are just more of the same old, same old, dressed up in jeans and beads.

When you support activities like America’s outlaw work in Venezuela, when you support Dark State creatures like Hillary Clinton, and when you vote for Pentagon budgets, when you parrot all the lines about Iran or Syria, you are only a pretend critic, a potential reformer of nothing that counts. Moreover, even your more fanciful ideas about matters such as education and healthcare have zero chance ever without fundamental reform. That’s Sanders and Warren, completely.

The truth is that any kind of serious popular movement has almost no chance of accomplishing anything in a contemporary, advanced Western state. Just look at France’s Gilets Jaunes. There was a genuine, spontaneous popular movement and it started to have some impact, but France’s national security apparatus – and France is a state just like the United States in the way it is run – now appears to have quieted them with false accusations of being associated with anti-Semitism and a possibly contrived provocative event.

Sorry, but that really is how I see America, and I consider myself very much a realist.

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CORRECTION ON THE GHASTLY TOLL OF “WAR ON TERROR” – THE HANDIWORK OF AMERICA’S PRIVILEGED CLASS ANSWERING TO NO ONE AND ABOUT AS CORRUPT AS THEY COME – AMERICANS’ ASTONISHING TRUST IN BOUGHT POLITICIANS AND IN BOUGHT JOURNALISM   1 comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MATT TAIBBI IN ZEROHEDGE

 

“Nothing unites our political class like the threat of ending our never-ending war …”

 

A good piece, capturing some fundamental truth about America’s power establishment.

In the early summary of the costs of the War on Terror, however, we find this:

“What’s the War on Terror death count by now, a half-million?”

Well, it is far greater than that.

Just in Syria, at least that many have been killed.

The total for the invasion of Iraq, including all the aftershocks set off by it, is perhaps a million souls.

Then there’s Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and several lesser spots.

I think a fair rough number is around 2 million.

And the number of hopeless refugees?

Many million. At least 3 million are in camps in Turkey. Germany took around a million. Terrible old Syria took about 2 million originally from Iraq.

No, the consequences of this American insanity are immense and will affect people for a couple of generations.

Meanwhile, the expenses-paid lunches in Washington likely swelled to record amounts.

It’s called the abuse of power.

It’s also called corruption, and Lord Acton had it so right with his words about power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

America’s power establishment arrived at that last point in the dictum quite some years ago.

The amazing thing for me is how any American can believe his country would be free of these basic forces shaping human society?

Americans are somehow purer of heart? I do think there is some of that. Remember George Bush’s pathetic, blubbering Sunday School teacher words about America when some of the military’s war crimes came to light?

Take a bunch of privileged and ambitious insiders, give them hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on questionable projects with no well-defined purpose, give them all the secrecy they demand, give them no real accounting for their acts, and give them a blizzard of favorable propaganda to cover whatever they do.

What possible other results could you get?

The naivete of average Americans in just accepting this from their (bought-and-paid-for) politicians and never questioning what’s in their (bought-and-paid-for) corporate press is astonishing.

Astonishing but a fact.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THINKING PEOPLE HAVE BEEN APPALLED BY THE GUARDIAN’S RECENT FALSE STORY ATTACKING JULIAN ASSANGE – BUT THE CONTEMPORARY GUARDIAN IS CONSISTENTLY APPALLING – IN ITS HARD NEWS AND VIEWS THE GUARDIAN IS ABOUT AS TORY AND PRO-AMERICAN AND WAR-LOVING AS THERESA MAY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOE LAURIA IN CONSORTIUM NEWS

 

“The Guardian has claimed Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange at the Ecuador embassy. John Pilger visited Assange and tells CN’s Joe Lauria Assange strongly denied any such meeting”

 

The Guardian, under its present direction, serves pretty much as a crypto-Tory propaganda outlet.

It tries covering its trail with loads of stuff about the disadvantaged and minorities, but these are puff pieces of no real substance. Indeed, many of them strike the reader as forced and not terribly sincere.

When it comes to the big issues of the day – Assange, Russia, Corbyn, America’s military, Israel’s behavior, Saudi Arabia’s murderer Prince, Ukraine, and others – The Guardian view is virtually indistinguishable from some Tory Party house organ under the direction of Theresa May.

It is an amazing phenomenon that anyone still gives The Guardian any credibility. Its extreme bias and willingness to run what can only be called disinformation disqualify it entirely from being taken seriously, at least by serious people, and certainly on serious issues.

Its bias shows in many ways, notably in the way it handles comments from readers. It is very controlling, starting with big limits on what story topics are even allowed comments to removing (non-abusive) comments to banning people from commenting.

It still lives off its old reputation from decades ago when it was a (somewhat dull) publication genuinely concerned with working-class and progressive matters.

Today, on the Internet, the main page resembles a pop magazine with its mix of personalities, movies, fads, pop books, television, promotions, pop singers, and travel with a spot of local interest. This all goes to trying to draw a younger audience.

That is all enmeshed with numberless light articles about the unfortunate, women achieving things, and people with unusual sexual identity problems. This kind of material provides the paper’s only claim to being progressive or liberal today.

Under this outer skin, as it were, comes the red meat of The Guardian.

I could give dozens of examples, but here, below, is my favorite, analyzed as what I call a celebration of Hate Russia Day. It is propaganda and disinformation and just plain hate on a grotesque scale. An old 1950s Soviet publication might even have been ashamed to pile it on so thickly.

But The Guardian is not ashamed, not in the least, and it does comparable things, week-in and week-out, about Assange as Russian tool, Russia as an imminent threat to “the West,” Corbyn as anti-Semite, the good work of America’s military, Iran as the root of evil, celebrating Saudi Arabia’s murderer Prince as progressive, Ukraine as a victim of aggression, and others.

Along the way, it manages to heap praise and give continued publicity to the likes of Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton, a couple of the most dishonest and murderous figures of our time.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/john-chuckman-comment-absurd-lengths-to-which-our-press-goes-to-attack-russia-britains-guardian-holds-hate-russia-day-today-some-of-its-stuff-is-so-ham-fisted-it-reads-like-1959-pravda-atta/

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CAN TRUMP REMAIN FIRM IN HIS SYRIA DECISION? – APART FROM FORCES AGAINST HIM WE DO HAVE EVEN SOME POSSIBILITY OF A HOAX – TWO POWERFUL WASHINGTON FORCES AT WORK HERE AND TRUMP IS NO ENEMY OF EITHER – DESPITE TRUMP’S CLAIM AMERICA WAS NEVER THE MIDEAST’S “POLICEMAN” – POLICE ENFORCE LAWS BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT AMERICA DOES – AMERICA AND PROXY WARS – ISRAEL AND TURKEY AND THE KURDS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PATRICK BUCHANAN IN ANTIWAR

 

“Will Trump Hold Firm on Syrian Pullout?”

 

Well, it is hard to see Trump being “firm” on anything, except in statements admiring himself.

He is a fickle man.

And he has amply demonstrated cowardice. We’ve seen that quality over and over, and especially in his bullying.

Apart from Trump’s fickleness and the powerful opposition already hard at work against this decision – you can tell from various leaks, such as the one intended to embarrass him that the decision was taken without any consultation with advisors and cabinet and allies – this whole affair may prove a kind of elaborate hoax.

There were reports yesterday that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are sending troops and weapons to Kurdish areas American forces now occupy.

We also shouldn’t forget that France has forces in the area, and they’re not leaving as far as we can tell.

Could it be that we are just seeing substitutions for the departing American forces?

That’s an entirely different matter than a clean break with the illegal and murderous activity America has been engaged in.

It would amount only to a “technical” fulfillment of Trump’s campaign words.

One fact that tends to work against this idea is the sudden resignation of Mattis, but even that could fit. He may have opposed such an effort at substitution. He is not known as an especially imaginative man.

I have been pretty sceptical about the whole matter because it so clearly opposes two very active and powerful forces at work in Washington.

One is the American establishment’s new drive for global power with all that stuff about “full-spectrum dominance” from the Pentagon.

And the other is the Israel lobby, which carries a great deal of weight in Congress, at the Pentagon, and with Trump. He has come to be viewed as a great benefactor to Israel. It is difficult to see Trump having the backbone to deal with them as opponents, and they are very much opposed to this decision.

Netanyahu has relished the war in Syria, grinding away at people he hates, Assad and his Iranian allies, always wanting to make the Syrian territory occupied since 1967 on the Golan Heights an integral part of Israel, and at one point he was even eager to grab another slice of land next to the Golan.

But having largely lost the proxy war to the Syrian Army and Russia and Iran, I’m pretty sure he was counting on a back-up plan of de facto separation of the Kurdish region in the northeast which would significantly weaken Syria for the future, given that region’s oil wealth. Independent Kurds there would also be natural allies on another Syrian border.

That’s I think the main reason why the American troops were put there. Of course, this plan comes into direct conflict with Turkey, which has no tolerance for a Kurdish state anywhere near its borders. Turkey’s Erdogan accuses Kurds fighting in Syria of just being a branch of the Kurdish separatist movement inside Turkey, a movement he has brutally suppressed.

Trump said that the United States would no longer be the “policeman of the Middle East,” but it has never served the role of policeman, except in its own imagination.

Its role has been as praetorian guard to regimes it favors and as open threat to those it does not favor. Police enforce laws, but the only “laws” that the United States enforces in the region are its own political biases.

Every regime America defends is at least as lawless and brutal as any it opposes, and I certainly count Israel in that category because the rule of law does not exist on the territory it occupies and is ignored in all of Israel’s efforts to bolster its position in the region, from several thousand assassinations to illegal bombing sorties by the hundreds in neighboring countries.

Law is in great part about stability and legitimacy, and Israel’s efforts have done little beyond promoting instability for others. That indeed has been a goal for much of Israel’s activity, to render others unstable or even chaotic while it sits in a heavily-armed crusader fortress. And where instability hasn’t been a goal, it has supported the relative comfort of absolutism in its neighbors, as in Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

The long war in Syria and several other ugly matters in the Middle East are largely Israeli projects, carried out in covert cooperation with Saudi Arabia and America and Britain and France. Syria’s War is not a true civil war.

Of course, there were originally elements of legitimate opposition, but their relatively small numbers were drowned out by mercenaries and foreign intervention by bombing, missiles, and special operations. Assad has always been supported by all the powerful segments of Syrian society and by a majority of people. He is a unifying and stabilizing force. Just look at the army’s long, grueling loyalty through all of this. And minorities, such as Christians, tend to see Assad as their protector.

Ever since Afghanistan, America has regularly adopted a strategy of using proxies. The Northern Alliance – the pre-existing local political opposition to the Taleban, one, mind you, containing much of the same brutality and backwardness as the Taleban – did most of the fighting on the ground in Afghanistan while the United States did what it does best, bomb people. Variations on the theme have been used in Libya and Syria.

The events at Benghazi, Libya, so embarrassing to Hillary Clinton, also were related to this concept of proxy war. The American Ambassador was involved in recruiting cutthroats and shipping weapons from war-torn Libya to promote more hell in Syria. Some of the cutthroats saw the Ambassador himself as a good target for whatever reason. That is the real reason the attack has never been scrutinized for the public.

In Syria, we have several phony jihadi groups, who are in fact paid mercenaries. Any genuine Islamic radicals would have had as their first targets Israel and the corrupt rulers of Saudi Arabia, but we never see that. We see these groups – ISIS, al-Nusra, others – attacking only people Israel hates.

We also see weapons caches of stuff from Israel and the United States discovered, time and again, by the Syrian Army as it advances. We’ve even seen Israeli and American helicopters move some of the leaders of these thugs at critical moments. Some of the wounded have been treated at hospitals in northern Israel.

And we have the phony White Helmets, aligned with al-Nusra and effectively in the business of promoting increased American and British bombing through propaganda films and provocative acts, all done while carrying on with a much-publicized image of brave rescuers. This dirty outfit was formed by France and is financed by Britain, two governments pretty much as heavily influenced by the Israel lobby as the government of the United States.

It would be wonderful if the withdrawal proves honest, but powerful groups in Washington don’t just fold their tents and ride off because a proven erratic President makes a sudden decision against their interests.

 

AFTERNOTE:

I notice in news the next day a story on Trump’s having spoken of “the slow and highly coordinated pullout of U.S. troops from the area” as reported of a telephone conversation with Turkey’s Erdogan. That’s a rather worrying, courtroom-lawyer kind of phrase. We’ll see.

ADDITIONAL AFTERNOTE:

On the day after Christmas, Trump, making a visit to troops in Iraq said:  “In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria,”  The United States has several bases in Iraq and is said to have about 5,000 troops.

The number being withdrawn from Syria is about 2,000. Whether they also will go to Iraq is not known, but NATO fairly recently called for a larger effort at stabilization in Iraq.

ADDITIONAL FOOTNOTE:

It has been reported that the American military recently built two new bases in Iraq along the Syrian border.

So, it does appear that Trump’s controversial decision about leaving Syria has a lot less to it than meets the eye.

But that would be in keeping with the noise and lack of substance of virtually everything the man does.

Posted December 22, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: INSIDER DISINFORMATION WAR AGAINST TRUMP’S SYRIA DECISION STARTS ALREADY – WHY AMERICANS ARE EVEN IN SYRIA AND THEIR REAL RECORD WITH ISIS – WHY IT STARTED KILLING ISIS INSTEAD OF ASSISTING THEM – KURDISH RUMP STATE?   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN AP ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Trump decided to withdraw troops from Syria without consulting advisers”

 

I think at best that is only technically accurate.

Everyone knew Trump’s original position on this.

And many reports point to advisors telling him not to go that way. Over and over.

Indeed, I ‘ve seen a piece that says his sudden impulse was in part a reaction to his hearing the same stuff over and again from advisors. There does come a point when there’s not much point in asking the same people the same question again.

Perhaps Trump had reached that, although it remains easy to paint him as impulsive and erratic in this decision because he has been impulsive and erratic so very many times. It is part of his basic nature. But you can be impulsive and erratic in executing a sound decision, or you can be erratic and impulsive in even making the decision. Opponents are suggesting the latter.

Well, that all means he knew their positions, and they knew his. So, I view this kind of report as echoing a kind of disinformation from insider opponents.

This would be by far Trump’s worthiest act, keeping his word on a very important matter from two years ago.

There can be no question he has made his Neocon officials angry – folks like Bolton and Pompeo – but who cares? They are some of the most deplorable people in the government. People always ready to see others die in the name of ideology.

I don’t like Trump, but I completely support him here. We all should.  I only hope he is sincere, but that is not at all certain. Nor is it certain that even if he is sincere, he will not be diverted from his purpose by powerful forces.

Of course, his blubbering about defeating ISIS is just defensive posturing. The best comment I’ve read on that claim is: “Actually, ISIS Isn’t Beaten Yet Because the US Prevented Syrians From Doing So”

That reflects the truth about most of the American activity in a war that has seen half a million die and millions made refugees. The secret aim of all the effort was to remove a popularly-supported government and weaken a country that Israel does not like having on its border, and the effort has failed. Yes, in the recent past, America did engage in actually bombing ISIS, but that has not been its record for the war.

ISIS has been bombed by Western governments recently because they could no longer resist the public clamor over this horrible gang which went out of its way to terrify opponents with brutal acts. Before that, they were a useful tool. Anyway, they’ve served their purpose and failed. And no one involved in Realpolitik and the war business has sympathy or use for failed hired thugs. You might as well try to earn some public relations credit by killing some of them off.

American bombing of ISIS in places like Raqqa, Syria, has been the most brutal by anyone in the war, killing very large numbers of civilians. It appears the Pentagon put the emphasis on just quickly getting the job done.

Of course, the same pattern has been seen in Afghanistan, a place which endlessly frustrates an American invader whose purpose, beyond vengeance, was never quite clear from the start.

The entire record of American involvement in Syria is shameful, and, of course, all of it is completely illegal since America has no one’s permission even to fly over the country, let alone bomb and build bases and provide weapons to rebellion.

The Syrian army, greatly helped by Russia and Iran, in fact defeated ISIS and some of the other terrorists. Perhaps, soon they can finish the job in the Northeast, and all the refugees can begin going home to rebuild?

But Turkey is promising to do the job for them in its determination to prevent a Kurdish rump state on its border. It is anybody’s guess how that will all sort out, vis-à-vis Syria and Russia.

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT AMERICA’S NEOCONS REPRESENT FOR ARMS-CONTROL AGREEMENTS SUCH AS THE INF WITH RUSSIA – AND HERE’S THE DEADLY WEAKNESS IN TRUMP’S PSYCHOLOGY THAT HAS ALLOWED NEOCONS TO VIRTUALLY TAKE-OVER HIS GOVERNMENT   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY F. MICHAEL MALOOF IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Trump’s Neocons Have Always Hated Arms Control Agreements, INF Is No Different

“Pompeo trying to put the upcoming death of INF on Russia when it’s transparent this has been on the neocon agenda for a long time”

 

It is true that the Neocons have always disliked arms agreements.

After all, and people tend to forget or overlook this fact, one of the basic tenets of the Neocons has been that the United States should use its military muscle to get what it wants in the world.

That openly brutal concept violated traditional, official American attitudes about its military, which the country has long pretended is about defense, hence the name Department of Defense.

Of course, given all the wars and interventions since WWII, that official view has always been pretty much empty words. There is absolutely nothing defensive about any of what America’s military has done for about seven decades.

And when it wasn’t done with the military, it was done with the CIA. Eisenhower – an avuncular, much-beloved figure – gave the CIA, which had just been created shortly before his term, pretty much free rein under the Dulles brothers, that Cold War team of Secretary of State and CIA Director. “Ike” was able to be the friendly face of America while they conducted the dirty work of empire without burdening him with too many details. That’s how the CIA grew into the arrogant and formidable organization Kennedy confronted after 1960.

But still, the pretence has been maintained. Now, the Neocons have been effectively saying for some years, forget the pretence. And Washington’s power establishment has listened closely since dropping the pretence appears to serve an urgent need to re-enforce its position and will upon the globe.

Washington’s power establishment recognizes that America’s relative place in the world has been slipping for decades as postwar competitors arose and succeeded, and that, if it didn’t do something about it, it would lose the immensely privileged position it has occupied since WWII.

After all, it’s mighty nice having well-rewarded and prestigious jobs in Washington, complete with a sense of people tripping over themselves to get your attention or seek some favor. These are jobs that basically involve telling other people what to do – from openly directing small states you regard as plantation properties serving American corporations to throwing your weight around in international organizations, making sure that the ninety-five percent of humanity who are not Americans do not get the idea that they somehow are entitled to influence, as through the UN.

“But like any Trump tactic to get attention, an initial bombastic approach such as the shocking announcement of treaty withdrawal is designed to control events and seek leverage in getting the changes he seeks.”

That is an accurate assessment by the author.

When results don’t quickly fall out of his initial explosion, he is left perplexed about what to do because he is not knowledgeable and not even particularly intelligent, nor is he patient or methodical. He has a very limited repertoire, we might say.

The Neocon gang fills the void, always ready to suggest what’s next. They are ideologues with clear, if rather malevolent, ideas of what they want, and they are unified with a fairly well-ordered supporting establishment.

That pattern of Trump’s psychology likely at least in part explain how the Neocons have gained so much influence in his administration in so short a time.

Other more individualistic advisors and appointees during meetings would tend to put an unwelcome burden back onto a perplexed Trump to make a decision from their various advice and observations. We see hints at this when he tweets, as he has a number of times, that this or that former advisor or cabinet member is stupid, the bright and able Rex Tillerson being only the most recent recipient of such an accolade.

Of course, there are also the political financial arrangements with Sheldon Adelson and other very wealthy individuals, arrangements with which he hopes to support his 2020 run for re-election. Adelson and some others to whom Trump looks are quite focused on Israel.

And, not to be dismissed, is some influence from his (much doted upon, for reasons unknown since her talents remain rather elusive) daughter and her husband, whose family is well-connected in Israel.

Much of what the United States has been through in the so-called “War on Terror”- more accurately called the Neocon Wars – represents little more than a kind of intense Israelization of American foreign policy. After all, Israel has spent seventy years enforcing its presence and belligerently expanding it at the expense of neighbors. It is what they know how to do.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COURT HEARING OVER AMERICAN EXTRADITION REQUEST WHICH CAUSED CANADA TO ARREST CHINESE HUAWEI EXECUTIVE MENG WANZHOU – AMERICAN GOBBLEDYGOOK SANCTION LAWS SHOULD BE ENFORCEABLE ONLY IN AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Meng Wanzhou: Detained Huawei executive accused of sanction-breaking dealings with Iran, Canadian court told

“The US is seeking the executive’s extradition”

 

Sanction-breaking dealings with Iran?

Not exactly my idea of a crime.

Nor, I suspect, anyone else’s, at least of those living outside the hermetically-sealed environment of Washington, which is the only jurisdiction where this gobbledygook should be enforceable.

The only real crime in all this is the United States ripping up a perfectly good international agreement, one supported by the rest of the world, and using the mafia-like tactics of sanctions to make other countries follow its arbitrary laws.