Archive for the ‘MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW JOHN MCCAIN SAW HIS ROLE AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR – SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS – NOTES ON THE WAY VLADIMIR PUTIN DEALS WITH AMERICA’S NOW QUITE REGULAR PROVOCATION   2 comments

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Provocations Have a History of Escalating Into War”   

“The Russian Government and President Putin are coming under pressure not from US sanctions, which are very good for Russia as they force Russia into independence, but from Russian patriots who are tiring of Putin’s non-confrontational responses to Washington’s never-ending insults and military provocations.”

 

“What is being eulogized is McCain’s hatred of Russia and his record as a warmonger. What Washington is eulogizing is its own commitment to war.”

Yes, but slightly more than that.

McCain was a faithful servant for the Neocons (and other portions of America’s Israel lobby such as AIPAC), the Neocons being a highly influential group in Washington’s power establishment who help drive the great new wave of American aggressive behavior, including the anti-Russian activities, Russia being seen as a barrier to complete American dominance.

McCain made his Neocon efforts close to a full-time job, and that earned him many rewards including plenty of campaign fund support, good press in the high-end newspapers, and helpful, influential contacts in his work.

We saw this in every step he took, in his many trips abroad, in those he supported and opposed abroad, and right up to his meetings with such ugly characters like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Neocons fervently believe an aggressive US is good for Israel, and McCain supported the concept wholeheartedly.

He held irrational attitudes towards a number of subjects, including Iran and Russia, and these attitudes lack any reasonable explanation except through his alliance with the Neocons. There is no innate reason for a Senator from Arizona to hate Iran as much as he seemed to. He was almost deranged-sounding on the subject.

It simply reflected the same phenomenon we saw in 2012 when Newt Gingrich tried to get the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich went around giving speeches in which he said things like, “You know, there really is no such thing as a Palestinian.” It just made no sense, suddenly blurted out and with no connection to any issue anyone cared about, but the reason for its appearance can be found in the fact that American billionaire, and huge Netanyahu supporter, Sheldon Adelson, was reported to have donated the best part of $20 million for his campaign.

A politician from Georgia concerned with telling Americans that there was “no such thing as a Palestinian” comes from the same place as a Senator from Arizona who goes on and on about the evils of Iran, a country which has attacked no one and a place most Americans couldn’t even locate on a map.

McCain was completely irreligious, as his personal behavior and language always showed, so the Old Testament mumbo-jumbo about Israel, something which does influence Christian Fundamentalists in America, had no hold on him, and, in 2000, when running for the Republican nomination, he even briefly revealed his contempt for America’s Fundamentalist Christians, big supporters of Israel. That included a harsh attack on Jerry Falwell, an influential Fundamentalist whom Israel’s Netanyahu has in the past sought out to talk with privately.

The whole big explosion in Florida got McCain lots of press and enabled him to put another notch in his belt as a maverick, but, in classic McCain fashion, as he has done many times, he was apologizing the next day, realizing he might have hurt his political career. He did the same thing with George Bush, who won the nomination, literally performing a public penance of hugging Bush desperately and wet-eyed at the Convention, for having verbally attacked the winner. Even Bush was embarrassed (see photo: http://chuckmangrotesques.blogspot.com/ ).

Indeed, all the events around McCain’s funeral – the inordinate praise for a man of few substantial achievements, the lavish bestowing of the title hero on someone who most certainly was not one, his virtual beatification in speech after speech and editorial after editorial – point to the influence of his powerful Neocon (and other American Israel lobby) connections.

You’ll find some other material on McCain: https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/john-mccain-a-matter-of-character/

Here’s a further thought on Putin’s perceived (and disliked, by some Russians) non-confrontational behavior towards America. He is always a pragmatist, a clever one, and he never truly reveals ahead what he is intending. He plays his cards “close to his vest,” as they say. So, I think many hasty and impatient suggestions about him are just that, hasty and impatient.

Much as with the new impressive Russian weapons systems created on a defense budget literally one-tenth that of America’s, he tries to squeeze whatever advantages he can from a difficult international situation and looks for little openings and opportunities to exploit without noise and bluster. He is in many ways the opposite of blow-hard, close-to-non-achiever Trump.

I think we can take it for granted that he is a sincere Russian patriot and that he does not want war. We can see that in many of his behaviors and speeches in the news. War is not good for Russia, a Russia making great strides in leaving behind the depression and ruin of the collapse of the USSR.

He is also a very proud man, and rightly so. He certainly doesn’t work towards any kind of humiliation, ever. But he doesn’t let himself be pushed where he does not want to go.

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN ARTICLE ABOUT WASHINGTON’S LACK OF WILL OR WISDOM TO SOLVE THE MIDDLE EAST MESS – HOW THE IMMENSE ROLE OF MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS MAKES THIS SO   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE ON SPUTNIK

 

What many readers in Russia undoubtedly do not understand is Washington’s election campaign finance rules and their relationship to special interest groups like the Israel lobby and the never-ending turmoil of Israel-Palestine.

There are basically – despite a complex web of rules – no limits on money given to candidates for election to office.

The Supreme Court, under the influence of decades of conservative appointments, has ruled that money is free speech.

Well, you could not come up with a more corrosive rule for democracy if you tried.

The best organized and financed special interest in the United States – the Israel lobby – is able essentially to buy the loyalty of most congressmen and senators and presidential candidates.

That sounds like exaggeration, but it absolutely is not.

Money is so important in Washington elections because you must travel extensively, buy television air-time, have professional commercials produced, commission endless polls and studies, and purchase the services of costly experts. It all precisely resembles the marketing and selling of a product by a great multi-national company rather than an exercise in democracy.

This is especially true of American presidential elections, which effectively stretch out over a year including primaries and caucuses.

A year of spending like a drunken sailor!

Imagine the vast costs?

That is the American presidential campaign system in a nut shell.

This system achieves several things. One, an entrenched, well-financed special interest can stay entrenched indefinitely. Two, all the serious candidates – those with hundreds of millions in their pockets from donors and the promise of more (the Hillary Clintons or Jeb Bushes) – are effectively vetted by their existing establishment donors. They are safe bets on key matters. Nothing can really change, including major policies. The system is built to achieve that result.

Then along comes an ambitious character like Donald Trump who can finance his own campaign, there being very few people who have or are willing to spend a billion dollars of their own on a campaign.

This is part of what makes the Israel lobby in the U.S. extremely suspicious of him. Then add the fact that he is very independent-minded and says America should get along with Russia and China and that it shouldn’t be in places like Syria, and a form of panic ensues.

I dislike most of Trumps’ views, but on the Middle East and some foreign policy he could represent important and overdue change. The Israel lobby understands that and already on many fronts is getting ready for one ugly fight. We see former New York Mayor, and billionaire, Bloomberg talk of running as an independent, The Weekly Standard, voice of Neo-cons and the Israel lobby is screaming about Trump, and some newspapers have already engaged in underhanded stuff like reporting that a distant relative of Anne Frank’s says “Trump sounds like Hitler.”

If Trump gets the nomination, there’s going to be a really dirty fight with the Middle East at its center, but Trump’s opponents will not openly make the Middle East the issue as it is much safer with the general public and easier to talk about Trump’s sometimes wild words and more extreme ideas. But the intensity of the fight will be about the Middle East.

It will be an interesting political year.