Archive for the ‘MIGHT MAKES RIGHT’ Tag


John Chuckman



“If Russia Doesn’t Quickly Put Its Foot Down It Will Eventually Face the Choice of Total Surrender to the US or Nuclear War

“Putin’s policy of mild or zero response…is inviting ever more intense provocations”


I just couldn’t agree less with Paul Craig Roberts on these matters.

Even his opening words about truths that are emotion-based versus evidence-based is confused and confusing.

Yes, people do say things such as “Trust your feelings,” but the expression has absolutely nothing to do with truth as science understands it or, indeed, with truth in the sense most people understand it.

It’s just a form of psychological reassurance for troubled people, not an alternate technique for discovering truth. Some people with psychological problems are confused about their feelings and are paralyzed to act in the world, but I am not sure such words help them in any event, like so much of the babble we get from self-help efforts.

It is not an alternate route to understanding reality that has been adopted by growing legions of people.

The fact is that scientific truth has an increasing place in our society. This is so because of the tremendous embrace of technology and the rapid pace of change in technology. Most people can see where scientific truth gets us. Every corporation and government agency on earth just keeps expanding their efforts in science – such has our faith in it been established.

(Of course, I even misspeak when I combine “truth” with “science.” Science has actually taught us that there are no truths, just phenomena which may be observed and measured by experiment and may be summed up to guide future expectations through hypotheses and theories, all of which remain open to contradiction through new experiments forever, a basic principle of science. But it is hard to give up old figures of speech, just as we still often speak incorrectly of “laws” in science.)

Yes, we could find some strange people for whom it is an alternate path to understanding, but we have always had many kinds of strange people, and we don’t use any of them as examples for making universal generalizations.

So, we have a weak introduction to a weak piece.

Our troubles with “truth” start with an intensive effort by the American government and establishment, including all their invariably faithful press, to inject all kinds of misdirection and nonsense into things. It is a deliberate effort to generate confusion and doubt and to cover up what is really being done in the world, much of which just could not stand up to honest scrutiny. Because the establishment’s drives for dominance and empire are now greatly intensified, so are these efforts. We live now surrounded with smokescreens.

The theme of the Roberts’ piece might be summed by the quote, “His [Putin’s] policy of ignoring provocations made perfect sense for a while…”

Putin has never ignored provocations. I am certain of that. I am sure he can recite them from memory, and I know he has a very good memory. Another statesman has said that you had better know your stuff when you have a meeting with Putin because he is always deeply prepared on the topic.

Putin has the capacity, an important quality, to not allow provocations to make up his mind for him and hurl him and his country into something far worse than a particular provocation.

Does Roberts actually think the leader of a great nation should be led to starting a war over a provocation?

That is an extremely foolish point of view. On a level with hormonal teen-ager angry over what he regards as a slight.

I, for one, am glad Putin has this quality, and it works well in combination with his other qualities.

He is observant, very thoughtful, and practical. He is also driven by real purpose, not ideology, and his overarching purpose is to see that Russia achieves her place in the sun. He knows the country needs years of peace and growth to achieve this, but he also knows that it is important to work towards establishing an international environment of peace and compromise and acceptance.

He will take whatever legitimate opportunities come his way, but he will not be tempted into making bad bets.

And we should all be happy, because we live in a time when provocation and bad bets are being offered almost continuously by the dangerous spoiled children running the United States. The President of the United States resembled a paranoid lunatic on a day-pass from his institution yesterday at the UN Security Council meeting he chaired. It was a truly ridiculous performance, lowering his country’s esteem in almost everyone’s eyes.

The principle he enunciated – essentially declaring American exceptionalism as the foundation for the future – is totally negative and unpromising, and everyone, except impetuous, angry ideologues like Nikki Haley or John Bolton, understands that.

Every intelligent person understands that that is a principle which can only impoverish the world society, and that it is a principal fraught with genuine threats and danger.

The world’s leaders are only now beginning to “digest” the new American reality, and I have little doubt that it will lead to new and unexpected turns and developments.

You know, if you’ve studied history extensively, we sometimes see the most unexpected turns suddenly happen, turns which a short time earlier could not have been forecast, watersheds in history, and I think we may well be on the precipice of that kind of event or set of events.

America’s folly and the complete failure of its political leadership – and that includes the whole corrupt Washington establishment, not just Trump – to provide any worthy vision or to offer creative leadership in anything has been now noted universally. Trump is the awkward, noisy, and obnoxious salesman for these views, but he is not the author of even most of what is going on.

America’s effort to re-make the globe to its own liking – for that is what really is going on – are, in the end, doomed to fail, but they can cause a terrible amount of damage in the meantime, and how wisely the world reacts to this new hyper-aggressive American drive will help determine the extent of that damage.

We enter now what can truly be termed a new world order, a dangerous reality and not the fantasy America’s Right has talked about for years as something being imposed on them by “globalists” and “liberals.” No, this new world order has a great deal to do with official America’s embrace of principles like “might makes right” and “my country, right or wrong.”

Few anywhere outside the United States will want to worship at the Temple to American Exceptionalism. It would be like expecting everyone to suddenly kneel to a new religious faith, and an extremely false one at that. But they are going to face many provocations over the near-term as America pursues a course that is not all that terribly different than the one pursued by 1930s’ fascist states of Europe.

It is going to be a dangerous world for a while, and wishing won’t make it go away. But acting precipitously, as I believe Roberts advocates, won’t get you safely through it.

An erratic man in power in a place with Russia’s capacity for war and destruction would be a terrible thing. Thank God, it is otherwise. And it seems so with Xi in China, too, so we are doubly fortunate.

Places like Europe have an immense and difficult task ahead of them. It isn’t easy to shake off ideas and attitudes which have guided you for three-quarters of a century. Ideas like America is fundamentally decent and trustworthy and embraces the same enlightened principles that we do. It has our best interests at heart despite the odd tiff or difference of opinion.

They are, in effect, stuck with a very outdated and inappropriate business model. Well, just look at how hard it is for many large businesses to adjust to new models in light of greatly changed circumstances. There is the huge struggle of the traditional, fat, and well-established press itself in the face of revolutionary changes arising from the Internet.

Putin’s steadiness and calmness under fire and lack of rash behavior greatly assist the Europeans in reassessing their situation, and the opposite behavior by him would have just the opposite effect. He builds bridges, talks of partners, and only discusses force where he has little choice.

Just so, China’s Xi with his great creative projects like the new Silk Road and all the efforts to establish peaceful, cooperative relationships around the world.

While China and Russia proceed like this, everyone can see how the United States is proceeding with now constant threats and ultimatums and sanctions and bombing. I do not think the contrast could be more glaring despite America’s huge efforts at propaganda to say just the opposite. Propaganda only goes so far when all tangible evidence contradicts it.

We have bridge-builders and willing partners in Russia and China, and we have the United States having turned to a thug’s philosophy in international relations, violating every enlightened principle written into its own founding documents.What Roberts is really preaching here – and it is preaching, not informing – is that old stuff about “Stand your ground” and “Just show ‘em what you’ve got” and “Don’t take no guff.” All very appealing to angry teen-agers and to people attracted to violence, but offering no wisdom, no “truth,” if you will, to guide us through a dark and serious situation.

Garbage. Just like his definition of truth. But this is dangerous garbage from Roberts. Well, he is, after all, an American.







John Chuckman



“The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease”


I think there is truth here, but it misses the fundamentals.

First, empires are never sound institutions. They always eventually collapse because they contain from the beginning the seeds of their own destruction, and, truly, they do a whole lot of damaging things along the way.

Men as brilliant as David Hume and Adam Smith said long ago that empires were unsound projects.

They waste great resources in having to maintain huge security and military establishments, which are in and of themselves not economic and not productive. Nothing on earth is less economically productive than the military. The more of it you have, the more economic damage it does.

Wherever military and security culture begin to dominate, liberal values – liberal in the best classical sense of the word – suffer. Military and security organizations are inherently anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-human rights – they are authoritarian in nature, and their heavy influence anywhere is rather poisonous.

Empires tend to violate the principles of free trade which are the real source of wealth.

They tend to induce a mercantilist system of trade, and that is a beggar-thy-neighbor system which does not work in the long term. They are much associated with plantation systems, even today, and the maintenance of those systems against reform.

Empires tend to corrupt the leaders running them because they begin to think and act as though they have unique qualities and privileges. We see this very strongly in the United States today with a pervasive sense of entitlement and special privilege. It is always so with empires, and it was quite unpleasantly dominant during the late 18th century and much of the 19th century in the British Empire.

Empires violate many ethical principals, as those around “might makes right” and “acting the bully” and abusing people and killing people and stealing.

In the end, a nation such as the United States can have either an empire or a decent country, but it cannot have both.

And it very much does not.

Its own people suffer in many cases complete government neglect because the political power establishment is intensely busy with the affairs of empire which can be very rewarding to them personally. And there are no resources left after vast imperial costs to help your own people.

This only enhances the sense of distance between a people and their government, something which has been a notable feature of the United States for a very long time.

A kind of closed political system develops with powerful and influential people and parties working towards empire and its rewards in terms of personal power, wealth, and advancement. It stimulates, too, some of humanity’s ugliest characteristics in terms of selfishness and authoritarianism.

There really isn’t a whole lot of good to say for empire, but it always is something which tempts powerful states and the people who run them. And, as with so many human institutions, people lose all sight of what has been done in the past or think that they can somehow do it better, avoiding the pitfalls.

In late 1770s America, the Redcoats and Britain’s hired German mercenaries, the Hessians, came to be truly hated symbols. How ironic that today, America’s professional (mercenary) army is regarded in the same way in many, many places in the world, and rightly so.

An interesting anecdote around this was the New York Times’ adopting, back during the totally illegal and heavily destructive Iraq invasion, the practice of calling America’s invading army, “GIs,” a ridiculous usage attempting to claim the good feelings of citizen soldiers doing their duty back in the 1940s.

Lord Acton, whom I’ve quoted many times owing to the profound truth of his words on the subject, told us that power tends to corrupt and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those are words you can count on. They state a universal human experience, yet that truth is ignored over and over.

America’s Founders were concerned with just such matters which is why they were so concerned with concepts like “checks and balances.” And yet they got a very good deal wrong in the structure of the Constitution that bedevils American society to this day, as, for example, the Electoral College, and it is a very difficult document to change, even if you are minded to do so.

But, over and above what they got wrong, there is the simple fact that if the powers-that-be choose to ignore things, they will be ignored. A consensus of powerful people often and easily ignores the most worthy-sounding paper declarations. And who is in a position to call them on it?

Look at America’s behavior at Guantanamo and in the hideous CIA’s International Gulag of Black Sites. These ignored or deliberately suppressed every principle of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As though, somehow, if you build dungeons and torture chambers and conduct kidnappings offshore, it’s just fine because the Constitution does not apply there. You can find no better example of completely corrupt imperial thinking in a people supposedly guided by constitutional principles.

And, of course, the entire “War on Terror” is just a reflection of American imperial efforts in the first place. So-called international terror has two main components. One includes the horrible mercenaries the United States itself often hires or subsidizes to do its dirty work abroad (terrorists like al-Nusra in Syria) and, as well, there are the oppressive state forces it supports in many places, as in Israel or Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

The other component is what security people refer to as “blowback.” These are people reacting to what has been done to them or their families or countries with either bombing or Marines or hired mercenary forces. In another context, they would just be called “partisans” or even “freedom fighters,” striking back at oppressors.

In either case, they wouldn’t exist if the United States weren’t up to its armpits in the dirty work of empire.

Imperial activity over time can even change definitions and norms. A few decades back, in the 1970s, Argentina’s military junta carried on with the practice of “disappearing” people. Thousands of them. Pictures of mothers and relatives piteously looking for information about lost loved ones were in our television news regularly, and most people deeply sympathized with them.

It was only much later that we learned that the military junta had a secret program of kidnapping people it did not approve of, drugging them, and flying them out over the ocean where they were thrown out of the plane to drown. They did this to a great many people.

But, of course, while our press either didn’t know or pretended not to know what was going on, the American security forces and State Department very much did know, and they did nothing about it. I’m sure they were secretly pleased that, mainly, the right kind of people were being eliminated.

Today, America has just such a program itself, and it is carried on in public and with little opposition. It was created, to operate on an industrial scale, by the same President Obama, so widely (and mistakenly) regarded as a liberal and a man of good will.

People working in secure CIA control centers sit at monitors to guide drones into position for firing Hellfire missiles at people they don’t even know. The targets have no rights. They are legally guilty of nothing. But they are burned alive by America.

Often others, completely innocent bystanders (“collateral damage” as the Pentagon calls them) are also killed, but even the targets are people guilty of nothing, only accused and accused in a secretive organization by a secretive process. And it has been done thousands of times.

If you see nothing wrong or threatening in all that, I just don’t know how to respond. But you cannot build or maintain any kind of decent society with activity which suppresses every principle of enlightened government we have developed slowly and painfully since the Middle Ages.

Because of the vague and unproved accusation, “terrorist,” actually not all that different than calling someone “witch,” this practice now goes on as though it were perfectly normal. “Say, Johnny, would you pick up a loaf of bread at the store? And, say, Johnny, nice going on that ‘kill’ the other day.”

Well, I’m sure the colonels in Argentina considered their thousands of victims as some equivalent term to terrorist or witch, but it did not make their state terror right. It can never be right, just as with many corrupt practices of empire.

The United States is well into the absolutely-corrupt stage of things in Lord Acton’s dictum. But in addition, its power establishment is keenly aware, though they do not speak of it openly, that the country has been in relative economic decline vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

There are many new and ambitious competitors in the world, and, of course, the traditional competitors who were all flattened for a while after WWII, giving the United States its unique and temporary historical opportunity to enjoy an illusory “American Dream,” now are all booming.

Meanwhile, American workers can’t compete. American management is often not competitive. America cannot even run its own finances on anything approaching a sound basis. And America is saddled with a monstrously unproductive military-security establishment. The best of a trillion dollars a year spent on guys who have little to do but pick their noses and read copies Playboy bought at the PX when they are not bombing and shooting people. Fleets of costly machines that, unlike bulldozers or cranes, accomplish nothing.

America’s elites have decided on the desperate strategy of using the country’s remaining brute force to secure as many future advantages for itself as possible in the world. Of course, many such advantages will be completely uneconomic.

Just take one contemporary example. America is shoving American Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) on Europe to displace Russian gas in conventional pipeline systems. But this is totally uneconomic. LNG costs much more than conventional pipeline gas – as you would expect from the elaborate refrigeration plants needed to prepare it and the special ships needed to haul it and the special ports needed to unload it.

So, Europeans will become that much poorer for buying it. American producers will be encouraged by something that is essentially an artificial subsidy (the Mafia tactics of their government pushing the liquified gas where it is not wanted) into producing more of a product with inadequate free markets. Russia, which has the needed gas at lowest possible cost, has markets stripped from it by bullying. Everyone simply gets poorer in the long run than they otherwise might have been.

This set of acts is just one of the reasons, too, for Washington’s promoting Russophobia, itself a dangerous and unproductive behavior.

This way of doing things sadly represents the future towards which American elites are now hurling themselves enthusiastically across a range of activities. They are driven by pride and arrogance to try keeping on top without genuinely competing.

And because they, so many of them, are corrupt and spoiled, they have no difficulty adopting such a national strategy. It also very much satisfies that base human instinct about dominating others. It is all both dangerous – since it involves threats and the military – and not the kind of activity which increases the wealth of nations.

We face dark times indeed.



Posted July 31, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman



“The disturbing truth about the UK’s special relationship with Israel [Theresa May’s insipid effort to mention Israel’s extreme Gaza violence to a visiting Netanyahu]”


This cozy, ethics-free British relationship with Israel has been a fact at least since Tony Blair’s day. It actually goes back further – Churchill was a great promoter of Israeli interests, Churchill, the great pretender on democratic values, was always ready to do any dirty deal he thought would help secure Britain’s Empire – but Blair gave the whole business new life and impulse in our time.

One of the chief aspects of Blair’s “New Labour” rebranding of the old Labour Party was just such a relationship with Britain’s Israel lobby, although you will never find that openly discussed in the press. But you could see it clearly in Blair’s actions.

Just as in the United States – a place where the practices are even more flagrant, perhaps because politics there is so openly and completely steeped in money – the rewards for politicians coming to such arrangements are generous. There is generous campaign funding, favorable mainline press treatment (plus the avoidance of its opposite, embarrassing or demeaning treatment), and the assistance of talented individuals associated with the lobby on various political problems and projects over time.

It’s a pretty attractive package which finds a lot of takers, the only price being that you leave behind any sense of fairness concerning the people of the Middle East and that you simply ignore endless brutality and oppression by the state of Israel. You must have a tough hide, as they say.

Since it is simply a fact that high-level politics, as a career, tends to attract narcissistic personalities and even sociopathic ones – and there is no better, clearer example than Tony Blair – the more normal range of human emotions and sympathies and moral concerns play very little role.

Blair joined the illegal and highly destructive Iraq invasion because the Israel lobby strongly favored it. He simply ignored the rest of the world, including the UN where the matter had been debated and rejected, and made a compact with the devil in the form of the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush presidency to launch an illegal invasion.

He accepted the fraudulent American-produced “evidence” about weapons of mass destruction, added still more of his own by pressuring security services to do what it is security services do, lie and cheat for an end, and ignored what all the experts in weapons inspection were telling us in public, that there were no such weapons. The invasion was effectively for the direct benefit of Israel, never mind all the disinformation at the time about oil.

Afterwards, Blair was rewarded, for his help in killing a million people and destroying a modern society for at least a generation, with the Israel “Peace” Prize of a million dollars plus a number of lucrative sinecures and favors.

And Blair remains at the forefront of the attack against Jeremy Corbyn’s current leadership of the Labour Party, a massive attack which has tended to center on totally specious grounds of accommodating anti-Semitism in the Party’s ranks. There’s been a genuine Joe McCarthy-style witch hunt in Britain, and at length, around that subject.

The truth is, I believe, Corbyn is much disliked by Israel and its lobby in Britain because, one, he is a genuine liberal, something always mistrusted and even hated in Israel, and, two, he is fair-minded about the Israel-Palestine horror.

You really aren’t allowed to be “fair-minded” where Israel is concerned. The undercurrent on that subject always reminds of the brutal ugliness in the United States at the time of its Vietnam holocaust, that last a word well justified by the fact that the United States killed, often in the most horrible fashion, about three million people there, was further instrumental in the killing of another million in Cambodia, and left behind a truly hellish legacy of landmines and soil drenched with agent Orange.

But “Love it or leave it!” “My country, right or wrong!” “The Reds are at the gates!” was what you heard shouted in the streets of America as all that got underway.

David Cameron and Theresa May certainly have never even pretended to be fair-minded about the Middle East or ever raised any difficulties over the most destructive American policies and practices there.

By the way, Britain, under these last two national leaders, has been covertly and deeply involved in yet another Israel-related project, the destruction of Syria by mercenary armies posing as jihadis, the use of disguised mercenaries being a lot cheaper and less risky than mounting a massive traditional invasion as was done in Iraq.

The inaccurately-described Syrian Civil War has been, from the beginning, a covert project of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France, and, originally, Turkey.

Again, the war’s purpose has been to destroy a country whose leadership did not toe the line of American policy in the Middle East, especially where it concerns Israel. You are not allowed to be independent-minded, and you are not allowed to say that your own country has interests which American policy takes no account of. Never mind the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the millions of refugees created, the destabilization of Europe by refugee floods, and the vast destruction in a truly beautiful and historic land.

Britain has lied steadily for half a dozen years about what it has been doing in Syria, and May maintains the same line.

France, too, has always lied about its role in Syria. Macron and Hollande both have displayed almost embarrassing deference towards Israel’s brutal thug, Netanyahu, while they cooperate in efforts to destroy or dismember Syria.

The various “terror attacks” in Paris were simply “blowback” as a result of France’s destructive participation in Syria, Libya, etc. Such attacks only represent young men trying to get back at a powerful state for its secret organized destruction of their places and relatives and friends. They bear no resemblance to the stories we are fed constantly by our mainline press about terror out of fanatical hatred for Western values and religious intolerance.

Our entire popular concept of terror is a deliberately-promoted construct to support America’s rampage through the Middle East, its Neocon Wars of the last fifteen years, and its unblinking support for an Israel which everyone with eyes can see treats millions of people as less-than-human and with unending brutality.


Response to a comment, ‘Amazing — Israel can murder people with illegal dumdum bullets and that is just “securing their borders:”’

We literally live in a kind of Twilight Zone where foreign policy and Israel are concerned.

I don’t think there has ever in memory been such gross hypocrisy and open lying.

Standards have hit bottom as the concept of “might makes right” is pretty well openly embraced in the West under American pressure.

Posted June 8, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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These are pathetic arguments, Boris Johnson.

Using every bit of logic you have – and that’s not much when you cut out the unwarranted assumptions and unproved assertions you make – it could be used to defend almost any act against an accused where the public had been pre-disposed by a barrage of publicity against him to utterly dislike him.

That is not how a free society works.

Nor is it how we have an international community bound by standards of human decency and democratic values.

Yours are the arguments of a 16th century tyrant.

You either have laws and obey them or you do not, in which case anything is possible.

What these events represent is nothing other than the principles of might makes right and to the victor belongs the spoils.

I regard it is barbaric and irresponsible that a man in your position, Mayor of London, in the great nation which gave the world most of its concepts of democratic government and justice through centuries of struggle, speaks as you do.

Response to another reader:

No, my friend, you are the one being ridiculous, actually rather more than ridiculous. Yours are the statements of a member of a raving lynch-mob.

And your numbers of bin Laden’s supposed crimes, too, are beyond ridiculous. Did you get them from the Paranoids’ Guide to the Internet Site?

There is not one shred of proof we have ever been given that bin Laden is responsible for anything but intensely disliking the United States and the House of Saud.

We do not know bin Laden’s connection with 9/11.

I don’t say there is none. I simply don’t know whether there is, and you, whether you recognize the fact or not, also do not know.

And if we had proof, it belonged before the Court in The Hague. Full stop.

But the United States has never recognized the International court for War Crimes.

And why not?

Because George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would face the Court themselves on the gravest charges.

We certainly don’t need paranoid speculation about what those gentlemen did. We know they destroyed an advanced society for a generation, inflicting or contributing to the deaths of about a million souls.

By the way, the number of people killed in 9/11 ten years ago was almost exactly equal to the number of innocent people Israel has killed in just the last few years of its activities in Gaza and Lebanon and on the high seas.

And only recently, we have had a report from Prof. Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying that Israeli forces killed 1,335 children in direct military operations and arbitrary shootings over the last decade.

But, of course, Israel only has contempt for the U.N., just as it has for every other international organization dealing with justice or human values.




Not much satisfaction in this.

He was killed by a far greater butcher, the one responsible for a million deaths in Iraq, three million in Vietnam, and who knows how many in Afghanistan, Somalia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Chile, and a dozen other places.

Only the pathetic Peace Prize President – who regularly has his drones killing people in Pakistan – takes any real satisfaction because he is looking forward to a difficult election.

Obama’s re-election is hardly something to celebrate, but that is what this unbelievably costly deed concerns.

By the way, there has never been one shred of proof offered of Bin Laden’s guilt of anything except not liking the United States.

The FBI never even put him on its Most Wanted List.

Justice has been done?

I truly believe the predatory United States has no concept of what justice is.


The excesses reflected in many comments simply prove the impact of propaganda and public gullibility.

Even if he was guilty as charged – and we have never, never been offered proof – his crime is smaller than many crimes of the same American military who killed him.

His crimes, if so they be, also are absolutely no greater than those of Israel, and just in recent years.

Here is a state which killed 400 children in Gaza and another 1,000 adults, about the same number in Southern Lebanon, who knows how many week-in-week-out in raids of various towns, and of course murdered about ten people on the high seas in an act of savage piracy.

There is no justice in any of this. Only more proof, if any were needed, that might makes right.



Safer for whom, Oliver Kamm?

For the more than 600,000 murdered by Bush in Iraq?

For the tens of thousands murdered in Afghanistan, including the 3,000 prisoners who were driven out to the desert in vans to be suffocated?

For the thousands of prisoners of the CIA’s International Torture Gulag?

For the abused and tortured of Abu Ghraib?

For the abused and tortured of Guantanamo?

For the millions of lives shattered in Iraq, a place that once was on the cusp of modernity and prosperity?

This has to be the most breathtakingly dumb piece of writing I’ve seen in years

Apart from my question of safer for whom, citing the piles of Bush victims, the world is not a safer place for many other reasons, Oliver Kamm.

First, suppression of human rights all over the Western world is no light thing. There is nothing ‘safe’ about living in a police state or a quasi-police state the U.S. has become under Bush. The Bill of Rights has virtually been suspended.

Second, people of Arabic origin or of Muslim beliefs are now routinely abused and insulted in many Western countries, especially in the United States.

Third, a wave of hatred and injustice is rippling through the Muslim world. That isn’t just going to go away. Bush’s approach has been the approach of Israel, which today remains a garrison state with no peace and defended by walls and brutality, a long-term untenable position, besides being a shining example of ethically-hollow behavior.

Fourth, Bush’s oppression and killing abroad have been closely paralleled by an almost unprecedented grant of license to Israel to behave as brutally and ruthlessly as it wishes towards Palestinians and other neighbors.

A genuinely horrible situation has grown up, and no open-minded person can possibly look at Israel’s wretched behavior in Gaza and in Lebanon and towards Syria without some revulsion. Nothing, absolutely nothing, Apartheid South Africa did has not been repeated by Israel towards its neighbors, and, of course, that includes infamous mass killings of poor blacks by South African troops and mass imprisonments with no rights or justice.

Fifth, Bush has also set aside the Geneva Conventions and other important international treaties, including that safeguarding the rights of child soldiers. No meaningful sense of safety comes from this arrogance.

He has practiced new bizarre doctrines, giving the example to other states to do the same in future, as, for example, pre-emptive strikes on suspects and high-tech assassinations. These provide another measure of the ‘Israelization’ of American policy. Imagine a world in which every state claims this philosophy?

What has happened overall in the world under Bush is a series of steps away from democratic principles. Even if America had the most vigorous and fair democracy, something that is demonstrably not the case, when its leaders decide the fates of so many others, its tiny group of electors (maybe 1% or less of the world’s people, taking into account many Americans do not even vote) effectively acts like an aristocracy vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

You cannot claim democratic values and behave this way. After all, the Communist Party of China rules more than a billion people with almost the same percentage of representation.

The United States and Israel have given democracy a bad name in much of the emerging world. After all, in the special limited sense they claim to be democratic, so was Apartheid South Africa or the American Confederacy or the Britain of George III.