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Tag Archives: JOHN CHUCKMAN

 John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“The British Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial celebrates those who destroyed my country”

It could not be said better than that.

This monument to acts of idiocy is actually a form of fake news, a fake historical memorial, trying to render heroic what was cowardly, trying to make significant what was shameful.

The establishment just never stops trying to tell us what kind of a world it is arranging for us without our consent, a kind of fantasy story to cover the actual nastiness we can all see for ourselves.

I have to add, too, that this particular piece of sculpture almost inadvertently reveals its poor intent.

It is just plain ugly, strongly resembling what we might have expected the Soviets to build in Hungary, 1956.

A Tony Blair vision of something inspiring, an ugly lump cast in bronze and stone and dedicated to mass murder.

Ugh!

The ugly monument may be seen here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iraq-afghanistan-war-memorial-blair-destroyed-my-country-a7626906.htmlhttp://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iraq-afghanistan-war-memorial-blair-destroyed-my-country-a7626906.html

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Response to another reader’s comment:

If you had an ounce of knowledge, you’d know Afghanistan really wasn’t even a country in the sense that we understand it, so religion could hardly overwhelm country.

It was a loosely organized area of tribal people living a hardscrabble life. There were even few roads. The border with Pakistan was never even formally settled.

Fighting between tribal groups went on incessantly, as the Northern Alliance versus the Taleban.

Indeed, they were, and are, all Muslims although they adhered to different factions, as Catholics fighting Lutherans in 16th century Europe.

There was no reason on earth to invade the place beyond American fury and demands for vengeance. Simply insane. The Taleban were in no way responsible for 9/11.

The US has never provided a scrap of evidence that even Osama bin Laden, a Saudi in exile in Afghanistan, was responsible either.

The Taleban government would have extradited him after 9/11 and said so, if the US had presented any credible evidence, but they refused to do what is normal procedure for extraditions.

And if you had an ounce of knowledge, you’d know for sure Saddam Hussein allowed no religious extremists or terrorist to flourish in Iraq. None. It was actually in many ways the most advanced country in the Arab world.

He was a tyrant, true, but that’s just the kind of people the US and Britain support anyway so long as they toe the American policy line -eg, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, etc., etc.

Iraq was only invaded to reduce it to a set of rump states for Israel’s benefit. The same effort has been underway in Syria for six years, only using covert operations and proxy armies instead of direct invasion.

It was only after the Bush-Blair illegal invasion of Iraq, we get the likes of ISIS and Al-Nusra.

You are, frankly, just appallingly ignorant.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN WASHINGTON BLOG

 

“CIA Stresses Loyalty to the AGENCY Over Loyalty to the Constitution”

I don’t know why this would surprise anyone.

You start a covert agency which is pretty close to unaccountable, you fund it beyond its ability even to spend sensibly, you see it hire armies of bright psychopathic personalities, you watch it play dirty tricks all over the planet, and you watch it lie at every turn about what it is doing or has done.

Clearly, a formula for disaster.

Clearly, something incompatible with democratic or human values.

And clearly why Trump can no more drain the swamp than he can lift the earth.

I think all the American Patriot-types are living in cloudcuckooland.

Nothing much is going to change.

___________________________

Response to a comment about JFK being right in wanting to smash the CIA:

JFK left the right side of his head splattered across the streets of Dallas if I’m not mistaken.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“Washington ‘Risks Getting Drawn Into Yet Another Ground War in Middle East’”

Donald Trump, from all evidence so far, appears to have been sucked into the same swamp bog that Obama was.

The imperial concerns of America’s unelected military/security/corporate establishment take precedence over everything else, including elected government.

It does seem Trump has been trumped.

________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment; “It’s not a risk. Americans love war, they are a nation of sick individuals.”

There is truth in what you say, but there is an understandable reason for it.

America has no first-hand knowledge of serious war.

All of its wars since 1865 have been abroad, inflicting suffering on others from which its own population is pretty much secure.

Even in WWII, a war which claimed more than 50 million lives, America’s losses were small, about 300 thousand. The gigantic battles and the horrific bombing were never seen once in America.

Had Americans experienced what Russia and Europe experienced over the last century, their views might well be different.

I’ve long observed how few Americans really care about what is happening to “foreigners.”

It was that way in the Vietnam Holocaust, a ten-year exercise in extreme brutality serving little point.

Americans only got excited over the relatively small number (small, given the world’s experience of war) of Americans coming home in boxes, especially when those boxes contained draftees.

The estimated 3 million Vietnamese slaughtered in various horrible ways – napalm, early cluster bombs, carpet-bombing – literally meant almost nothing in America.

Nor did the horror America left behind matter much – land mines, cluster munitions, and a sea of Agent Orange, etc. – things which kept killing Vietnamese for many years and do still.

The death of about 60 thousand “boyz” in achieving all that was the only thing that mattered and still matters.

I remember how enraged American officials were when they lost the war. They refused to undertake any obligations like reparations or land-mine clearance.

And when they talked to the Vietnamese, which was rarely, they insisted on crazy things like having suspected crash sites for American planes dug up to find some old bones and buttons, as though the Vietnamese hadn’t huge and urgent problems with which to deal. But, no, they had to find America’s bones and buttons and ship them home. It was insane.

The entire war was utterly insane, but to this day you will not find large numbers of Americans who admit that, so indoctrinated were they on the “threat” of communism. Feelings towards Russia today still reflect that indoctrination because the Pentagon has always found it useful to have a boogeyman in pushing for still larger budgets.

The one thing that came out of Vietnam for Americans was an end to the draft. A very-well paid professional armed force also offers job opportunities in a society which increasingly has trouble generating jobs, at least for young people without good skills.

The Pentagon also determined to become as hi-tech as possible, minimizing the actual exposure of soldiers. They learned in Vietnam that the coffins coming home in even modest numbers literally created civil unrest.

These new ways of doing things enable the Pentagon to pursue America’s many colonial wars – and that’s all any of America’s wars since WWII have been, dirty little colonial wars – with a minimum of disturbance “back home.” Americans mostly now never give a thought to what is being done to “foreigners.”

And, of course, as we know well, America’s corporate news media make sure Americans never see the gruesome results of the professional army’s work. The only time broken bodies and pools of blood ever appear in America’s press is when the deaths are misattributed to the very governments America’s establishment is trying to destroy, as in Syria.

So, we live in a strange world of shadows in which most of what America’s government does abroad is never even explained to Americans, and so long as great numbers of coffins are not being shipped home, Americans just don’t care.

This is a near universal reality in America including most parts of the political spectrum. You don’t hear even a self-declared “socialist” like Bernie Sanders railing against the horrors America inflicts abroad. Never. He’ll only brag something like having voted against the Iraq invasion many years ago, and that’s it.

It is nation of affluent navel-gazers whose ruling establishment pretty much has a free hand to kill and destroy abroad on a grand scale. After all, in the years of Obama and Bush, America killed maybe 2 million people in its Neocon Wars, absolutely none of them a threat to the United States.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Donald Trump can criticise the ‘mainstream media’ all he likes, the press will continue to do its job brilliantly”

Rupert Cornwell, if that is doing things brilliantly, well, then you must be one of our great political writers.

But your record speaks for itself, actually rather shabby, a life of scribbling propaganda and calling it political analysis.

In fact, the corporate press is suffering its worst time in ages. The industry, a mature one, is plainly in economic decline. In some cases, it plainly doesn’t have the resources to do the job well, as by having numerous foreign correspondents as it once had, even if doing the job well were its aim.

At the same time, new technology and new means of advertising are driving the creation and growth of new models for the distribution of news on the Internet.

In addition, the declining corporate press has been found openly colluding with various special interests, which sure removes the shine that supposedly comes with the word journalism. And even a child can see that it has acted out of immense negative bias against Trump.

There is almost no such thing as journalism and journalistic principles anymore in America or in much of Europe – that’s clear to many, not just Trump supporters.

The days of the Cold War also gave the press a special protective and nurturing environment, an environment of the forces of darkness versus the forces of light, the press being widely regarded as part of the forces of light.

That is gone, although the United States’ establishment – always including the corporate press as an intimate part of that establishment – is trying with its every fiber to re-create it, realizing what it has lost in many spheres, from unquestioned authority and playing the role of good guy – getting the role of Jimmy Stewart opposing Yuri Andropov – to facing new forms of competition. For the power establishment, peace and peaceful competition are not always the same good things most humans being accept them to be.

Who wants, people in Washington ask themselves, people in Europe using Russian natural gas or reading RT? And, so, ipso facto, Obama’s regrettable legacy of re-kindling the Cold War with everything from a shameless coup against a democratic government in Ukraine to tanks rumbling through Europe’s villages and towns to be emplaced threateningly in entrenchments on the Russian border and charming enforcers like Victoria “Fuck Europe!” Nuland being given high posts of influence there.

Well, that wasn’t even true then, as we know from the existence of things like unreported and unquestioned dark operations by a totally unethical CIA, everything from the civilian killings in Western Europe under Operation Gladio to the relentless terror conducted against Cuba or the manipulation of elections in Europe by secret payments to leaders and parties and to the over-throw by coups of even democratic governments not to America’s liking – all went unreported and unquestioned.

And it certainly not true now, perhaps, the only big difference being that now much of the activity has been exposed to the bright light of day. On the domestic front, things like the release of the DNC e-mails provide the kind of investigative reporting we’ve never experienced before from all those self-congratulatory journalists of yesteryear. On the international front, CIA allied dirty operations, like those in Syria, are actually being exposed to the light by news sources from abroad.

The days of the heroic journalistic duo in All the President’s Men are gone, completely gone. The book today almost seems a silly story on a level with “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” yet in its day, it seemed anything but. To my mind nothing better demonstrates some of the underlying and fundamental changes that have taken place.

It wasn’t Trump’s doing, but he is sure putting a high seal of approval on the fact, and lots of people are applauding. His approach, as at press conferences where the old privileged gang is feeling discomfort, will help speed the change underway towards something new, making him a genuine agent of change.

Journalism for the corporate press is a profession in dismal decline, having in most cases reduced itself willingly to paid publicity flacks and propagandists for the state.

Something entirely fresh is emerging using the new technology and forms of advertising. Its complete form is not yet clear, but it will deal the death blow to your industry, just as surely as Amazon ended local bookstores.

I don’t know whether it will be better or not – all great changes come not without drawbacks and flaws as viewed from some perspective – but I applaud its coming because your crowd has been shown to be utterly without principle and are well gone with your false assumptions and unwarranted privileges.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN RENTOUL IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Recent events make it likely that Labour will win both seats in the by-elections next week, meaning Jeremy Corbyn will remain leader – a disaster for the Labour Party”

How does John Rentoul manage to keep employed as a columnist?

Somehow in Rentouland – just a hop, skip, and a jump down the road from Cloudcuckooland – winning by-elections is bad for a party, a party which should instead be working to rid itself of its present leadership.

Well, I do know the answer to my own question.

Because The Independent just salivates about bringing the disgusting Tony Blair – in the form of one of his acolytes if not himself in the flesh – back to power, and writers like John Rentoul do the yeoman’s work of writing-up pages of lame arguments in favor of it.

That moral pigmy and complete sell-out to special interests, Blair, gets almost daily coverage in the paper, as do some of his cult followers.

Blair’s recent insane speech about the public rising-up against Brexit and stopping it – such words from the very man who ignored the greatest peace demonstrations in British history to charge ahead in his secret partnership with Bush to destroy Iraq – was given embarrassing over-exposure by the paper with many images on the same page as links to the same dreary stuff, as though it were statesmanlike material of the greatest possible importance being featured.

And why does anyone in the least wonder that Trump attacks the corporate press?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Bernie Sanders says Donald Trump administration is ‘totalitarian'”

And, please, what has he done that can possibly be so characterized?

Bernie, each time you open your mouth anymore, you prove only how unfit you were for the presidency.

But the corporate press likes featuring you as part of its attacks on Trump.

Why? Because you have an appealing public personality with a sympathetic, avuncular presence.

Have you forgotten Hillary stole her nomination from you?

Wasn’t that theft a blow at the very roots of democratic government? How can you say otherwise?

Trump was elected under the rules, and he is only using the authorities granted him by lifetime politicians like you and like Hillary and like Obama and like Bill Clinton.

You guys could have re-written the rules long ago, but you chose not to because the Democratic Party benefitted from them.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON ZERO HEDGE

 

‘Trump Declares CNN, NYT, CBS, ABC And NBC Are “The Enemy of The American People”’

Well, of course, it is an exaggeration.

But not such an exaggeration as to be untrue.

Constantly misinforming people about important matters is a very pernicious practice.

It certainly does not support democracy or respect for rights or good government. It does support secrecy, bad government decisions, and a sense of privilege in a class of people.

However, the corporate press only does what it does because of a long history of encouragement and cooperation with government. There have even been demands by government at times.

And there has always been a filthy underground relationship between the press and security services like CIA. Trump has just been stung by that very thing.

America has a fundamental lack of honesty in all of its national institutions. Not too much can change unless that underlying reality is changed.

The reason for that is that every government, no matter which party, is doing things for which the people never voted. Indeed, it is often doing things that hurt or disadvantage ordinary people, including wars, coups, dark operations, and supporting tyrants and monarchs of every description.

Since WWII the United States has been almost continuously at war. None of it was about defense. None of it was in the interests of the American people as a whole. None of it brought any benefits to ordinary Americans. All of it wasted immense wealth and plenty of lives. And all of it was about the insider ruling establishment enjoying the game of pushing people around all over the planet.

We all know the clichéd stories of Europe’s privileged classes in the 17th or 18th century. A peasant who was in the road in front of a Duke’s carriage became “roadkill.” What too many Americans do not in the least understand is that that is exactly how their government behaves abroad. Exactly. That’s why the same flag many Americans honor at home is literally hated abroad as a symbol of violence and oppression.

What the press has done has helped this all to happen, but it didn’t happen because of the press. It happened because of government after government serving the narrow interests of the power establishment. But that is the environment which helped “grow” the terrible press that America has.

And that utterly bent press has treated Donald Trump with that same attitude carried over. He has been viewed as a threat to the power establishment and its dirty little insider games of re-ordering the planet for its benefit and to its liking.

You cannot have it both ways, be a world empire and a decent country at home. The two realities are utterly incompatible, and I’m not sure that most Americans truly understand that.

It will be an immense task to change enough in America’s government to even begin to undoing the behavior of the press and other institutions.

I wish the President well in the effort, but it is a task for the gods.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Judge Slams CNN, Sets Stage For Defamation Case: Network’s ‘Reckless Reporting’ Constitutes ‘Actual Malice’ “

CNN has such a long history of gross and stupid behavior that you might think people would just stop watching.

But we all know memories are short, extremely short sometimes. And besides, some people just like the noise of the television as company at times.

I can remember how CNN literally dogged a poor security guard named Richard Jewell over the Atlanta Olympics bombing.

Perhaps they had a tip from the famously incompetent FBI, an organization which has pulled such stunts many times, but they had not one speck of evidence because, in fact, Richard Jewell was innocent.

They would do moronic bits like photographing the poor man as he left home for work, have a clumsy reporter stick a microphone in his face, and keep filming as he ignored the reporter and drove off.

Pictures of a car driving down a street with a reporter standing open-mouthed holding his microphone passing for news.

The guard proved not only totally innocent but something of a minor hero. The real killer proved later to be an anti-abortion maniac. It was totally wrong and shabby.

I recall also the sick piece of propaganda CNN tried to pass off at the time America was bombing the crap out of Afghanistan.

They had a ridiculous video supposedly produced in Osama’s mountain cave lair in which guys in a lab were developing chemical weapons and testing them on dogs.

We saw the scurrying of undefined figures in sandals and other ludicrous touches.

It was the most obviously contrived crap I’ve ever seen, and we learned those caves of Osama’s were simple and primitive shelters and nothing more.

The killing of a dog was obviously intended to revolt the audience into cheering for the bombing.

No responsible news organization would ever have broadcast it, but CNN is not, and never has been, a responsible news organization.

I am sure someone could fill a book with such stuff. I long ago ceased watching the Clown News Network.

They just work to keep the television screens full, full of something or other, and they pay hack journalists to voice over words that give an aura of suspicion or mystery or excitement.

It keeps people having dinner on the couch or travelers in the hotel rooms watching, and it keeps the advertising rates up.

A genuine piece of American junk culture.

CNN to news is pretty much what Beyoncé is to serious music.

 

 

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DARIA SEGALINI IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“The Women’s March on Washington represents the America I know and love”

 This is just mindless. Much like the “poem” I read about which was recited to a crowd by some air-head celebrity, a poem written by a teen-ager, undoubtedly the product of the miracle of American education, which compared Trump to Hitler and abusively said he had wet-dreams about his daughter.

Indeed, another mindless celebrity at the event, a rather older one perhaps trying to re-ignite a fizzled career, said she has had thoughts of blowing up the White House. High-minded stuff indeed.

It just does not come any shallower or more ignorant than that. In fact, it is downright dangerous to be spouting such stuff and ignoring other terrible matters.

Trump has done nothing yet of which to be afraid.

But Obama leaves office, having, quite literally, killed tens of thousands of women and their families, women just like some of these women demonstrating.

He dropped more than 100,000 bombs.

On seven countries.

Every day of his eight years was marked by war, by America killing people, somewhere.

And this wonderful man created a hi-tech version of the old Argentine junta’s “disappearing” people – a hi-tech version with “kill lists” dropped regularly into his office in-box for an approving signature.

If Trump starts looking anything like the world’s greatest contemporary mass-murderer – Obama having killed more people than any dictator of our day you can name – I will immediately turn against him.

But it is acts, not words, which count.

________________________

 

Response to another reader’s comment:

 Absolutely, and more.

But these kinds of unthinking persons care only about their own kind.

You know, the big turmoil in America’s streets over Vietnam, turmoil which for a time came to resemble civil war, was over (relatively small, in terms of wars) numbers of American caskets coming home for a while. And especially when those caskets contained draftees.

Never mind the estimated 3 million slaughtered in their own homes by America – napalmed, carpet-bombed, and sliced up with early versions of cluster bombs. Americans could have quite happily gone on going to dances and movies and slurping beer, had it not taken a fair number of American lives to achieve the grim task.

Never mind the million who died in Cambodia, the killing fields having been a direct result of America destabilizing a neutral country in its mindless Vietnam crusade.

Americans cry over Americans and ignore the millions they have murdered and maimed in far-flung points on the globe. The dead simply remain invisible in the most immoral behavior to be imagined.

________________________

 

Response to a comment about the number of votes which Hillary actually won by:

Uninformed gibberish.

The Constitution is the Law of the Land – it is indeed called that – and in America it takes legal precedence over all other laws.

In fact, every high official and every member of the armed forces takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.

The Constitution was deliberately written to be rigid and a number of its provisions are and/or were anti-democratic – eg, until 1913, American Senators were appointed, not elected.

The Founders were not democrats, many of them even said so, and America’s laws refer to that vaguely-defined entity called a republic, not a democracy.

The Constitution can be changed, but it’s an immense task to do so, one that a sound-bite politician like Hillary could never give any time to. She was always too busy running for office or collecting money to run for office to actually do some slogging work changing or improving anything real.

Again, here are the facts:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/john-chuckman-comment-more-nonsense-on-the-electoral-college-answered-to-know-what-it-takes-to-change-americas-rigid-constitution-is-to-understand-why-this-provision-still-governs-elections-the/

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MOSHE KANTOR IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Social media isn’t doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism. Thankfully, Angela Merkel is stepping in”

Oh, please, not more anti-Semitism!

The fact is that the genuine article is virtually non-existent in our society, at least in any public or genuinely influential way, but that does not stop the charge being freely used by lobbyists regularly to leverage either anti-free speech measures or to secure changes in political leadership.

The Independent and other British papers, notably The Guardian, spent months not very long ago attacking so decent a man as Jeremy Corbyn with this McCarthyite-like charge.

Their actual goal in doing so? To replace an independent-minded man with some shabby acolyte of Tony Blair, a man who lied and killed on a massive scale in the service of those who wanted to create “the birth of a new Middle East.”

It’s just horrible.

Lobbyist, too, use the charge to attack supporters of the perfectly peaceful and legitimate tactics for securing human and democratic rights called BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), a set of tactics which were used to oppose apartheid in Nationalist South Africa and Jim Crow in the Southern United States.

There have actually been intense, shameful efforts by Israel’s government and its apologists to make support of BDS illegal in many jurisdictions. Such backward-looking bills are signed quite regularly in various states and cities all over as a result of the pressure.

As for Angela Merkel, she has been a devastatingly bad leader, a worthy example to no one in anything.

Read this recent analysis of her:

https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/john-chuckman-essay-the-profound-disappointment-of-angela-merkel/

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 Response to another reader who said that any unwelcome criticism can be branded as “malicious”. Like “fake news”, what is decided as malicious will be decided by the establishment agenda:

 

That sums it up.

Another comment below accurately refers to the Stasi, too.

Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany, and it shows in many things.

____________________________

Response to another reader’s comment:

 

Well said on the Bible. It is simply full of vile things.

And, as Mark Twain said, upwards of a thousand lies.

Perhaps it should be banned or censored?

As for the notion “Semites,” that is a narrow avenue down which to travel.

The modern rulers and founders of Israel are Ashkenazi, a Germanic, European people.

They follow the same religion as the ancient Hebrews, but they are not the same people.

Adopting the Hebrew language in Israel was an artificial measure, because Yiddish, closely related to German, is the native language of most of these people or their immediate ancestors.

Hebrew studies were of course maintained in religious schools by the Ashkenazi in Europe and America, just as Muslim religious schools maintain Arabic for religious studies, but Hebrew was no one’s actual day-to-day language since ancient days.

DNA studies clearly show the European origins of the Ashkenazi, who arose about 1,000 years ago.

The fact of their embracing the religion of Judaism undoubtedly reflects an unknown historical period when the Hebrew people, some of them, came to be evangelical.

After all, they had the dramatic example of the amazing success of Christianity, which itself had started as a small Jewish sect.

There is some DNA evidence of Semitic origins, too, but this would reflect the intermarriage centuries ago of members from various Jewish communities in a diaspora of evangelical Jews and Hebrews, the generally small size of Jewish communities always having represented a problem for marriage and children.

Of course, the final topper, as it were, is that the Palestinians are almost certainly the main body of what remains of the ancient Hebrews.

They, of course, through two millennia, have changed with conquest and inter-marriage and religious evangelism of other kinds, those of Islam and Christianity.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

First, the silly pope is speaking only for the establishment, something senior levels of the Church have always been an intimate part of.

This pope’s entire term has been characterized very much by his own form of populism.

All the show and publicity over no traditional papal apartment, no fancy cars, etc.

The papacy obviously is not a democracy, but what is wrong with “populism” in a democracy anyway?

Nothing, of course.

What these establishment words really intend to suggest is that we are seeing incipient fascism, and despite that notion being promoted daily by our dishonest and self-interested corporate press, it is utter nonsense with no basis in fact.

This false theme just reflects the establishment lashing out over the seeming loss of its new world order, and, by the way, was there ever a more creepy, fascist-tinged phrase than “new world order”?

Second, Hitler was not elected, and talking this way reflects pure historical ignorance, yet I’ve read it a number of times. So much for the idea of people learning from the past.

Hitler, in his period of trying to be elected, never got more than about 37% of the vote.

He was appointed Chancellor by an aged (some would say, senile) President von Hindenburg, who was tired of the political turmoil in the streets of the time.

Hitler then quickly proceeded to seize absolute power with a wave of measures following the staged Reichstag fire event.

Now, more than a few observers have seen parallels between the Reichstag fire and all the measures which followed 9/11 and the beginning of the effort in earnest by America to establish a “new world order.”

I don’t know and remain open to whatever full evidence would reveal, but it is always true that big, sudden, watershed events in history, plotted ahead by leaders, were accompanied by massive lies.

 

 

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE BY KIM SENGUPTA IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

This story of Christopher Steele and his dossier on Trump and Russia is as phony as it gets.

Steele, an ex-MI-6 officer now working as a private consultant, was commissioned for a large fee (said to have been £130,000) from a Republican opponent of Trump to dig some dirt out on Trump. My guess would be the extremely sleazy Ted Cruz who had more campaign funds than he knew what to do with.

After Trump won the nomination, payments were continued by a Democratic source. Gee, I wonder who? Perhaps a dishonest candidate who won the Democratic nomination with dirty tricks, who also had more campaign funds than could be used sensibly, and who proceeded to spend $1.2 billion on a failed campaign?

After Trump’s election, Mr. Steele is said to have continued his work for free because he “was so concerned.” Have you ever heard of such wealth-connected operators working for nothing? Out of concern? It’s the equivalent of a top corporate lawyer claiming he worked away on a brief out of pure concern. It just does not happen. It is preposterous.

The public can be so gullible about such matters simply because most of people are honest, and security service people, including former ones earning big livings on commissions from sleazy politicians, are anything but. Many of them are even borderline psychopaths who enjoy throwing monkey wrenches into things, especially when they are paid handsomely for doing so.

Steele’s information supposedly came from “solid gold” contacts in Russia, but please remember that the politics of any large country includes wealthy or influential enemies of its current government. Would it be hard to find such people in America if you were inquiring about the Clintons or Obama? It would not. Such a statement about sources tells us precisely nothing, and we have no supporting evidence at all for this silly dossier just as we had no evidence for claims of Russia’s hacking the DNC.

Steele is said to have given information to MI6 and to have cut his communication with the FBI, to whom he had earlier supplied it, out of frustration with their inaction sometime before the election. Finally, he is said to have turned to the press, to the American magazine, Mother Jones.

For those who don’t know, Mother Jones is a kind of slushily-progressive publication in part supported by a foundation. It is almost certainly one of many publications secretly subsidized by CIA. Virtually any liberal or progressive publication in the United States since the Cold War has been secretly subsidized by them.

Such support arrangements are not even always even known to a magazine’s management. CIA used to secretly finance many progressive publications in the US, such as the old Saturday Review of Literature. It gathered information from them and used them for planting stories.

Other publications, such as those of the former Time-Life, were associated secretly to CIA through family ownership connections, in that case, Henry Luce. It was no accident when Time-Life immediately bought the Zapruder film of Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and it was kept out of the public domain for years with suggestions, when it finally did surface, of expert editing.

So, we come around full circle back to the CIA associated with some of the original phony stuff about Trump, undoubtedly manufactured under Obama’s direction. This is what they do. They did it for the First Gulf War. They did it for the invasion of Iraq. They did it for the horrors in Syria. More than half a century later, they still are lying about the assassination of a president, as well as a host of other matters.

Please remember that much of what security services, such as MI6 or CIA, do is foment trouble for others, manufacture documents, and create deliberate confusion and dark operations. They are not harmless information collection agencies.

Steele is not some honest information broker handing over his findings a bit late. That is a completely disingenuous, and an unquestionably contrived, description of what has happened with this dossier.

The description plays to the publicity-created image much of the public have of security services like MI6 or CIA being honest public servants. They are not. They have never been. They were not created to be.

The reality is something far closer to a dirty trickster doing what dirty tricksters do, and for big pay.

Why else has Steele run away into the night?

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY KATIE FORSTER IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

But a scam is exactly what it is.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the initiative did not come from the blind ambition of Hillary? Jill Stein’s tiny percentage of votes could not possibly change enough to matter.

The Green Party’s Jill Stein is being used as a stalking horse here.

Yes, that’s the same Jill Stein who during the campaign said that Trump’s thinking on foreign policy was preferable to Hillary’s aggressiveness.

Who is responsible behind the scenes?

George Soros, Hillary’s great intimate – as we saw in the Wiki-Leaks material, he regularly felt entitled to intimate access and to advise her on positions to take – and big financier and a billionaire dedicated to throwing his weight around in America and abroad.

His fake NGOs abroad, such as the phony White Helmets in Syria, have been directly associated with CIA activity in its efforts to re-make the face of the world.

His American NGOs, such as MoveOn.org, are associated with the early efforts to disrupt, in the fashion of Nazi street thugs of the 1920s, Trump rallies with hired strong-arm tactics.

A study has been made of the pattern of the supposed thousands of individual contributions to this recount cause.

The donations, in fact, come in neat little dollops with regularity, following a nice curve, the pattern of a computer bot operation – not of thousands of individuals acting.

So, Mr. Soros is able to contribute several million dollars – nothing for him, he has given Hillary tens of millions in the past – for this destructive purpose without the public’s knowing it.

And Hillary of blind ambition gets a last, desperate try for what she has lusted after for decades, again without the public’s knowing anything.

I don’t know what is in it all for Jill Stein for taking the lead role in the play, but you can be certain something important has been promised.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

As for American media, they are free, too.

Free, that is, to do as their very small number of large corporate owners dictate they should.

And I have yet to hear of a large American corporation which does not cooperate, hand in glove, with the government of the United States on a vast range of matters.

We saw the snowstorm of trash thrown at Trump by virtually every one of them, a relatively small version of what the last couple of years were like on the subject of President Putin.

And we are all aware of the stories of the ways Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and other (non-media) giants cooperate fully with the CIA and NSA as well as how they worked in many surreptitious ways against Trump during the election.

Anyone who believes in the integrity of corporate journalism is simply someone not worth paying any attention to. Such ignorance and naivete disqualify anything they might say.

I think still the best statement ever made on American journalism is the one that says that to have a free press, you have to own one.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK

 

“Castro to Go Down in History as the Only One to Hold Out Against US Empire”

Absolutely.

He was extraordinarily brave and dedicated to his purpose, whether you agree with everything he did or not.

What a time it was, both frightening at times and exciting. I recall as a very young man what an exciting figure he was. Lots of young Americans admired him then.

The United States government threw just about everything they had – short of open war, which in those days it seemed to still have the desire to uphold appearances about – against him.

He survived in large part owing to the great loyalty of most of his supporters, a fact which is powerful testimony to the man’s leadership.

There is the suggestion, from what we know of some of the CIA plots, that there was an insider in Castro’s retinue who was secretly working with the CIA. We don’t know his name, and, for all we know, he was in fact a counterintelligence figure working for Castro.

Despite many efforts, the forces after Castro in the United States failed in attempt after attempt to kill him, but then they went after John Kennedy, who had more or less guaranteed Castro’s future to end the Cuban Missile Crisis, and killed him.

They even deliberately faked up the trail leading to Kennedy’s assassination with clues and hints which were intended to link Castro to the assassination, thus warranting an American invasion of Cuba after all.

It sure wasn’t poor little old Oswald, a man who actually liked Kennedy, doing any of that.

Who else still is not completely clear, but the crazed, fanatical Cuban refugees, trained and supplied by the CIA, along with some fanatical CIA guys working on the file have always seemed the strongest candidates to me.

Money for the plot undoubtedly came from the Mafia who had been working with the CIA in this dirty business and also were disillusioned with Kennedy.

That is of course the untold story of the Kennedy Assassination, an event which punctuates Castro’s early years much like a giant historical exclamation point.

 

 

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“A hero or a tyrant? Fidel Castro’s legacy will echo long beyond his death”

Would the silly author of this silly piece please name one great historical figure who was not complicated, complex, and viewed quite differently by different groups?

Winston Churchill? My God, the man used machine guns on third-world people, regarded the British Empire as sacred, called opponents names, thought nothing of giving one group’s property to another group, made insider deals with hugely influential men, expressed contempt for ordinary voters on many occasions, admired Stalin in secret, plus many other delightful behaviors.

I do not say these things lightly, having read a number of biographies and a great deal of Churchill’s own writing.

Only naive people think great figures are either black or white. Very naive people, the kind who should not even be writing articles about one.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Really, this is an idiotic column.

America’s way of electing governments has never been what could be called democratic.

Indeed, the Founders went out of their way to call the new political entity a “republic” rather than a democracy. And the word “republic” is one of the most undefined terms in political science, meaning little more than government by some kind of representatives, however selected, and the absence of a monarch.

America has had many minority presidents, including the very George W Bush you mention, in 2000.

It is because of the Electoral College system set up by the Founders in the Constitution. These were mostly men who did not trust democracy and wanted safety valves against popular votes disturbing the privileges and wealth of the upper class.

Until 1913, the Senate, that most powerful body in the American government, was an appointed body for the same reason that the President is not directly elected by the people. All that grand pageant through the Nineteenth Century of American history, involving many famous and infamous names of Senators, was in fact about appointed officials, a fact few Americans even know.

The Electoral College system of election could be changed, but the Founders deliberately made it exceedingly difficult to change the Constitution they were creating. An amendment would require approval of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the President, and a vote in all fifty states. That’s a lot of effort and political capital spent to correct something that only pops up to irritate people once in a few decades.

The matter has never generated the intense public and political momentum necessary. Hillary Clinton, after Bush’s minority win in 2000, said it should be abolished, but, as with so many things Hillary said, she never did much about it.

What your column boils down to is a statement something like Trump was elected exactly according to the rules for American elections with an added sentiment, owing to ignorance of history and the rules, of “Gee, that ain’t democratic.”

No, it is not, but then neither is America.

Added thoughts.

As a reader below has pointed out, does the rising Clinton total of popular vote include the 3 million non-citizens who are said to have voted, completely illegally?

This behavior was definitely a form of vote fraud, and it was encouraged and enabled by Obama and Clinton in a kind of burst of faux populism put on just to keep their losing cause going.

And further, academic studies have shown, Hillary in fact stole the nomination of her party from Sanders. It was a long and shameless set of behaviors, and things just do not come more anti-democratic than that.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

“Vindication Of Sanders”

Sorry, but this is an extremely superficial view.

Bernie proved himself a poor prospect for President when he utterly capitulated to Hillary, abandoning the hopes and enthusiasm of millions of followers.

She embodied everything that he rightly said was wrong, and he still went ahead, campaigning for this murderous and utterly corrupt person.

It was Bernie’s moment on the world stage, and he blew it, completely.

Well, if he could not stand up in private to Hillary and her flacks, he certainly could never hope to stand up to generals and admirals and high-level security people and the representatives of massive special interests.

Bernie’s behavior added strong evidence in support of the idea that a person may prove an excellent campaigner and a failure at actually doing anything worthwhile after campaigning.

Of course, Barack Obama had already provided convincing evidence for the truth of the idea.

________________________________________

Response to another reader’s comment about Bernie moving from New York to safe white Vermont:

There is truth in what you say.

There was a huge movement of urban whites out of the cities in the 1960s.

It was called White Flight, and I witnessed it first-hand in Chicago of the mid-1960s.

It remains one of America’s most profound and unresolvable realities.

The very high violent crime rates among black males is the main driving force, not skin color.

The stats are unmistakable with young black men committing violent crimes at something on the order of 8 times that of others, and we find exactly the same thing in places as diverse as South Africa or the Caribbean.

In fact, in recent years, we have seen successful, middle-class American blacks doing exactly the same thing. Leaving urban areas, on a smaller scale, smaller because there are simply fewer of them.

There is much hypocrisy around this matter amongst genuine American liberals like Bernie.

And hypocrisy doesn’t solve problems.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN YOURNEWSWIRE

 

I think Kennedy is right only in small part. The pipeline is indeed something the establishment would like to create and that Assad has opposed.

But war in Syria, like Iraq, is part of a grand plan to re-mold the Middle East into Israel’s liking and secure its hegemony there.

Politicians like Kennedy would never discuss it for fear of offending America’s powerful Israel Lobby.

A kind of giant cordon sanitaire has been abuilding around Israel for years, and at an immense cost in human lives.

We have comments over the years from high American officials suggesting support for the concept.

Condi Rice once brutally called the screams of the hundreds of thousands killed in Iraq something to the effect of the screams of a new-born Middle East.

George Bush once candidly remarked on how much more Sharon demanded in the Middle East, saying something like I already invaded Iraq for him and how much more does he want?

In Iraq, American forces directly invaded, blatant aggression, and to the shock of much of the world.

In Libya and Syria and Yemen, surrogates – mercenaries and fanatics – were used with secret support, a very dirty business.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY LIZZIE DEARDEN IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

Really crap, almost laughable, propaganda which tries to tell the world ISIS is not Israel’s friend.

ISIS has never once attacked Israel or Israeli interests, which, if you believe in the fantasy stories about what ISIS is, should be their number-one target.

No, Israel has always been one of the sponsors of ISIS and Al Nusrah.

And ISIS has done virtually all of its filthy work against the countries Israel hates most, Iraq and Syria. It is a very convenient arrangement.

Saudi Arabia, under American auspices, is one of the main sponsors and suppliers of ISIS, and Saudi Arabia and Israel basically have been secret allies for years.

They share many common interests, both essentially being privileged powers in the region and both representing very regressive interests against any form of popular government near them or even genuine democracy within their borders.

The Saudis would do absolutely nothing important that would harm Israel. Moreover, the overseer of both countries, the United States, would simply not allow it, but it has very much tolerated ISIS while pretending not to do so.

ISIS was the creature of America, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel – each of these having its own reasons for supporting it.

It was born in the insane tumult created by America’s illegal invasion of Iraq (which was largely for Israel’s benefit) and was fostered by these countries in a number of covert and overt ways. American servants like Britain and France also assisted, while pretending to fight them.

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY

 

‘It’s been 15 years. Not even the simplest questions answered’

DeSantis is right in his main statements.

This collapse has never been explained.

In the case of 9/11, one thing is indisputably true, and that is that the official explanation is incomplete, and that is true no matter who was responsible.

Those towers were so strongly built with their central core each of 47 massive steel caissons – 4-inch thick steel assembled into immensely-strong rectangular upright beams – that the crash of a plane could not possibly damage them. The underlying structure was deliberately designed to be impervious to the crash of a large airliner. The holes we saw on the airplanes’ striking the twin towers involved only the outer curtain-walls, which, along with everything else, were suspended from the caissons.

Also, aviation jet fuel – a form of diesel – burns at about 1500 degrees. The steel of those caissons required a temperature in excess of 3000 degrees to melt.

You can see in the videos that, after the plane strike, there are huge billows of fuel which burn off fairly quickly. Their smoke is even a different color than what follows afterwards. If nothing else had happened, this would have been an event confined only to several upper floors of each of the twin towers. There is even a video shot at one point of a woman survivor looking out from a corner of the huge hole in the wall. She clearly is not experiencing the steel-melting heat which was to follow.

The images of collapse do make it clear that the central core began collapsing before the façade in each building, and you can see it most clearly in a video of the top mast of one of the twin towers which shows the mast hesitating and then beginning to sink down and through the roof. Something unknown has made the central core support caissons below the mast fail.

After that, the whole cascade downward, facades and core, begins. And we see a different color smoke – likely from oxygen-deprived burning in the central core, which was constructed in sealed-off intervals to prevent fire storms from moving through the buildings. And we see at intervals rivulets of melted metal pouring out of places on the façade, something not possible from the heat of burning jet fuel, almost certainly steel melted by a special explosive such as thermite.

I do not believe the entire series of events was possible without demolition charges having been planted along the length of the central caissons, shaped or thermite charges attached at intervals, wired together, and fired electrically. The third large building to collapse, Building 7, only suddenly collapsed many hours later, and it was not hit by an airplane. It went down in precisely the same fashion, literally moving downwards, suddenly, at just the speed dictated by gravity, a fact which has been carefully measured.

Steel-frame buildings simply do not behave this way. There have been hundreds of fires in different parts of the world in such buildings, and this behavior has never before been seen. The only exception is when they are subject to controlled demolition. Then we see exactly the same pattern.

Those caissons were in fact all reachable from the central elevator shafts, and security at those towers was quite lax with a number of contractors and service people doing work over an extended period before the disaster.

Who was responsible? I don’t know, but it is clear that the official explanation of “pancaking” floors holds no scientific validity.

If the charges were set by the same people who arranged the plane hijacking, that fact alone would cause US officials to want to hide facts, needing to explain how weeks of work went ahead undetected inside the buildings.

The lack of security – especially in light of the earlier effort to bring a tower down with a truck bomb in the basement by another group – is embarrassing and very difficult to explain.

As far as the role of the Saudis, that is a red herring. Saudi officials paid Osama to stay away from Saudi Arabia, not to attack anyone. That really is what was being hidden with that 28-page report not being published. It was felt people wouldn’t understand and would misinterpret, which is just what they are doing now that it has been published.

The Saudis had no motive, none at all, enjoying good relations with the American government. If for any reason they had done this, the United States would have only been too happy to invade their country and seize its oil production, a far greater prize than the wastelands of Afghanistan.

No, the answer about who did this lies elsewhere, but don’t expect the United States to explain any time soon.

We still don’t know who killed Kennedy. We still don’t know the truth about TWA Flight 800, which was almost certainly shot down by an American Navy missile in error. And, of course, we still don’t know the truth about Malaysian Flight MH-17 in Ukraine, an event whose investigation the US government controls and deliberately delays so as not to embarrass its pet government in Kiev.

 

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE AND VIDEO IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/5th-episode-mh-17-inquiry-it-was-mig-video/ri16248

An absolutely riveting film.

Extremely well done.

In my mind, from the beginning, the fact that America produced neither spy satellite images nor radar tracks – both of which we know to a certainty they had for this region of conflict – said they were hiding something.

But what could there be to hide?

Just the fact that the incompetent coup-installed government of Ukraine had shot down an airliner. They had already amply demonstrated their incompetence in the hostilities against Donbass.

But likely it was more than mere incompetence.

The film suggests a provocation against Russia, and I think that entirely possible.

But another possible motive has been suggested elsewhere, and that is an attempt to assassinate President Putin in his presidential jet. He was flying about this time, and his plane’s general appearance is not dissimilar to that of MH-17.

The artillery attacks on the site – which would of course have killed witnesses and any survivors – are in keeping with either hypothesis.

What a terrible business this all is, the dishonesty and massive false propaganda only compounding the crime.

And there’s Holland, a country much of the world regarded as extremely scrupulous, acting as America’s front man in the phony investigation.

They clearly have made no honest effort here, because this kind of event could have cleared up in a month or two, as we’ve seen before. They never even collected large quantities of the evidence, as we know.

Truly, the establishment directing American policy today – the Neocons – are ruthless beyond telling, and Obama has functioned as their willing helper for going-on 8 years.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JANINE DI GIOVANNI IN THE GUARDIAN

 

This is very sorry propaganda, and I am sorry to have to say so.

No one is coming to your rescue?

The Syrian Army and Russia are for sure, but they can’t work miracles.

And who is responsible for this horror – absolute horror – in the beautiful country of Syria? The same country which exploited the recent cease-fire to re-supply terrorists and add to their ranks. Russian intelligence has given us hard numbers for what America was busy doing during the recent “cease fire.” It includes about 7,000 new terrorists inserted and tons of weapons supplied.

The United States and Israel and Saudi Arabia and Turkey, plus other “willing helpers” in the filthy work such as Oman (money for terrorists and weapons), Britain (weapons and other assistance), and France (weapons and other assistance).

I should also mention an important country like Germany which has never raised its voice against the atrocious American policy, thinking only it is doing some good accepting large numbers of refugees America and its assistants have created, in the process hurting its own people. It has been an absolute abdication of responsibility by a major country.

And week-in and week-out for years, newspapers like The Guardian’s only response has been articles like this. That’s not progressive, that’s not liberal, it’s a sham concern for what was a completely preventable set of events.

America’s rampage through the Middle East – in Syria using proxies rather than sending in “the boyz” – is the greatest moral and ethical shame of our time.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN BY DAN ROBERTS AND BEN JACOBS IN THE GUARDIAN

 

‘The party I worked for died tonight’: Republicans decry Trump’s dark vision

 

Fairly ignorant piece.

Parties die. Everywhere. All the time. Just like companies, just like distinguished families, and, indeed, just like countries, dozens of which have risen and fallen in the last century.

In politics it is no different than economics. One of the great economists of the last century, Joseph Schumpeter, wrote about the “creative destruction” of capitalism, one of the more insightful remarks of his time.

Indeed, the modern Republican Party was born just before Lincoln with the deaths of other parties, such as the Whigs, the No-nothings, etc.

More than a few observers over recent years have observed that the Republican Party has long out-lived its usefulness.

For example, for years it has desperately tried to expand its base by serving the interests of Christian fundamentalists and “family values,” sometimes threatening to bring America into the camp of theocratic states with official school prayer, flag-burning laws, and other brainless nonsense.

Just because America has a rather rigged anti-democratic system in its two-party system, so carefully regulated with many anti-democratic regulations and barriers-to-entry, does not make it good or even ethical either or give it any worth.

This rather uninteresting observer seems to impute moral worth to something which has none.

Donald Trump is a new invigorating force, and, as with all politicians, he represents both good and bad ideas.

By the way, Joseph Schumpeter was also a political scientist.

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM PECK IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

There’s no idealism required in being against Trident.

Pure, old-fashioned good sense is completely adequate.

Its costs are unbelievable – and note how the government has been very coy in telling the full story there – and you, quite simply, can do nothing with it.

A deterrent cannot be a deterrent if you can’t use it, and it is very much the case that you cannot use Trident.

Here, again, the government is being very coy, but the fact is that part of the package you “buy” with Trident are controls against your ever using it independently.

You can only use it with American approval and against American-allocated targets, full stop. Any other possible use has built-in controls against it, and believe me any British enemies know that as well as I do.

American top-level policy does not allow independent nuclear deterrence anywhere. When countries like Ukraine and Belorussia separated from the Soviet Union, they were briefly nuclear powers themselves with Soviet weapons based on their territory. The U.S. quickly disabused them of any illusions, explaining that if they did not give them up for dismantling, they themselves would be targeted by American ICBMs.

All Trident does is make you feel like you’re playing in the big leagues, but it’s a silly illusion, enjoyed at immense cost.

Moreover, if you want to give Scotland a serious new issue for independence, then buy Trident. The Scots do not like having it based in their country, and Independence leaders there would love to have a hot new issue.

In the end, Trident is at least as much an illusion as “the special relationship” itself is, yet of course we know important people still go on about their special relationship, oblivious to the fact that disgraced Tony Blair provides the quintessential example of what America means by a special relationship.

For America, Britain’s having Trident is just one big fat, lovely, long-term subsidy from British taxpayers to the Pentagon, a pretty insane deal from the British point of view.

__________________

 

Response to a comment about Britain developing its own weapons:

The US would not allow it. Behind-the-scenes pressure would be immense.

British-made planes and other armaments have greatly declined over the decades precisely because of American pressure.

It’s yet one more way NATO is exploited by the US to insist on the same weapons – American ones – wherever possible. Qualities like compatibility are emphasized.

This again is just a giant Pentagon subsidy. In effect, you pay part of the freight for America’s continued dominance of European affairs, kind of like paying the costs of your own occupation.