Archive for the ‘NO RESPECT FOR RULE OF LAW’ Tag


John Chuckman



“America’s Unreliable Friends: Today’s Allies Are Tomorrow’s Enemies”


As usual, Philip Giraldi provides good writing and food for thought.

 “but the Alshamrani [Pensacola] incident suggests that there is more dissidence bubbling beneath the surface than is apparent from the rosy assurances about The Kingdom coming out of the White House and the Royal Palace in Riyadh.”

Indeed. It is a very conservative country dominated by a very conservative branch of its religion.

Those are real forces inside any society and things which do not evolve or change with any speed.

We have to think in terms of lifetimes.

And the country’s leadership, the House of Saud, is not part of the region’s ancient, stable history but a relatively new addition, going back only a decade or so before Israel’s founding. It really represents another interloper.

I am sure many ordinary Saudis are offended at the increased American presence in their country, representing, as it does to them, a sacred place like no other.

And the new close cooperation with Israel, acting much as allies, while largely kept secret, couldn’t help but offend some who would become aware of it.

Playing with fire? Quite possibly. There may already have been some unknown events in Saudi Arabia with the mysterious murder of the King’s faithful chief bodyguard and a fire at the new Jeddah high-speed rail station recently plus the sending of significant new American forces, likely as bodyguards more than as countering any (nonexistent) threat from Iran.

“In 2015, Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon explained how Israel might have to strike Iran hard to prevent a long war. He cited the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…”

I am reminded of a remark Hitler once made about whether anyone even remembered the Armenian genocide.

America is playing dangerous games with dangerous people.

Instead, it should be the one to represent and enforce the rule of law in the region.

But it cannot do so because Israel is something like an undeveloped Siamese twin attached in vital ways to America’s body.

Israel exhibits no respect for the rule of law, caring only for narrowly-defined interests of control and expansion. We must never forget for the long-term, no matter what Israel does for temporary advantage, those five or six million Palestinians aren’t going anywhere.

Of course, the relationship with Saudi Arabia derives in many ways from the relationship with Israel. The Crown Prince is seen in Israel as part of a new relationship with the region, almost a parody of making good neighbors out of old enemies.

The Crown Prince has done so many dirty deeds to ingratiate himself with Israel (and, ergo, the United States), from the horrors in Syria to the horrors in Yemen. He has earned Israel’s good will, so much so that it supported the sale of tens of billions in American armaments to the Crown Prince, something it would never have done in the past.

It’s the kind of sale Trump loves, believing he’s making America richer and spreading American influence in the region, all while crowing about his own incomparable “salesmanship,” but that’s a very superficial view.

Such weapons are nothing on which to build a future. They only increase overall uncertainty and risk. Just look at what they encouraged the Crown Prince to do in Yemen, earning himself surprise attacks and a very prominent black eye, adding to everyone’s sense of greater instability.

Without even touching on the unwarranted hostility against that major, ancient country of Iran, the United States is doing nothing helpful or creative in the region. It is building only the possibility for more war and destruction, a badly distorted mirror image of China’s efforts abroad to build infrastructure, promoting trade and prosperity for billions of people.


John Chuckman



While I am not a political partisan of any party, I believe there can be little doubt that important American agency heads and senior Democratic figures plotted along several lines either to discredit Trump before the election or to deprive him of office after the election.

He was viewed as a political outsider, a maverick, an unwelcome, intrusive figure whose entrance on the national stage might upset a lot of people’s relationships and plans. And it didn’t help that he was a rude and awkward man, given to expressing himself at times in words you might expect to see scratched inside a stall door at a public toilet.

All indications suggest that Obama – the always-smiling but taciturn and secrecy-embracing Obama, his record on whistleblowers and leakers as well as his eight-year record of bombing countless people demonstrating him as being quite ruthless – led this effort, closely allied with Hillary Clinton, the woman, we know from documents, who cheated repeatedly in the Democratic primary campaign to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

These are ruthless people, although most of the public is not used to thinking of American political figures in that way. It is a hard thing perhaps for ordinary Americans to absorb the idea that their own country, “sweet land of liberty” as it’s termed in the national theology, is run along lines, not of respect for democracy and rule of law, but of what is sniggered at in Third-world lands.

The totality of the Democrats’ efforts – consulting with discreditable people abroad, paying an ex-spy to create a false dossier on a political candidate, spying on a political campaign, making outrageous public charges, and still other acts – does seriously flirt with subverting democracy and Constitutional government, and that actually approaches the definition of treason.

However, I cannot find myself entirely outraged by the dark series of events because, for me, Trump’s own behaviors are so outrageous and extremely dangerous that they tend to overshadow what the others did. I don’t exonerate them, but we are now faced with terrifying new dangers both to peace and to the health and stability of the world’s economy.

And it is not to be said that the Democrats understood and anticipated such developments and are at least to be partly excused for that reason. No, indeed, they very much contributed to bringing it all on.

The Democrats’ activity reflects the heightened sense of privilege and exceptionalism we now see in so many – indeed in most – of the words and deeds coming from Washington. America’s establishment has comfortably assumed a belief in its being God’s contemporary chosen people, or, in the outrageously self-serving words of Madeline Albright, the “indispensable nation.” Well, considering yourself as indispensable and chosen by God has always had some terrible consequences for those wielding great power. We have the eloquent testimony of Shakespeare’s tragedies and histories to just that effect.

Trump was targeted because he was something of an outsider, someone who hi-jacked, in effect, one of the two old-line political parties, depriving other establishment figures, old-line Republicans like the Bushes or Romneys, of a nomination that “should” have belonged to one of them.

That sense of things does come with something of a threat to the prevailing system of the American power establishment, a system where both parties, no matter what their campaign words, always end by closely supporting the American plutocracy, its empire, and all of the agencies of government concerned with maintaining and extending the empire, especially the Pentagon and the CIA. Even a suggestion that an outsider might represent a threat to that established order was enough to drive a number of insiders to distraction.

Normally, those who challenge the establishment in any fashion are simply allowed to say their piece while being largely ignored by the press and other politicians, having few of their words reach most Americans, as well as suffering the tremendous impact of a campaign-finance drought, those funds always overwhelmingly being gifts from the wealthy. Tulsi Gabbard is the best contemporary example of that approach. There have been others, people with various points of view, from Ralph Nader to Ron Paul.

But a unique set of circumstances in 2016, enabled an “outsider” to get inside under the edge of the big-top tent and assume a position at center ring under the spotlights. The main contributing circumstance, I believe, was the nature of the Democrat’s own candidate, Hillary Clinton, a woman who inspires a great deal of fear and hostility, both outside and inside her own party. But the Democrats were stuck with her because her husband, Bill, has been the key link for years in a supply chain of large campaign-fund donors. No one ignores money in American politics. Had someone else run, most of these events likely would not have happened, and Trump would not now be President.

The new dangers to peace to which I referred can also be at least partly attributed to the work of the Democrats and their senior agency heads. Here is the reason. Trump felt seriously threatened at various points, as we know from reports. One of his ways of dealing with the threat was to approach some powerful and influential people for support and money, people whose primary focus was not the American political establishment but Israel.

The money would provide a war chest for the 2020 election campaign as well as against the threat of a costly impeachment. We’ve only learned recently from an analysis of old tax records that Trump is far less wealthy than anyone had imagined, having been burdened with huge debts for years.

Trump got what he wanted, increasing his sense of security, but the price demanded saw him give away things in the Middle East that were not his to give and begin a seriously threatening campaign against Iran, a country which Israel detests but one which had followed the letter of the law scrupulously in its multi-party nuclear agreement as well as being a country which has started no war in its modern history, despite having had a vicious war launched against it in the 1980s. Its record in wars and strife, despite the rhetoric of Trump or Bolton or Pompeo, compares immensely favorably with those of the United States and Israel.

The new dangers to economic stability are largely Trump’s work, his constant noisy haranguing, his many threats, his arbitrary imposition of large new tariffs, and his creation of an entire new branch of public service, one dedicated to illegally sanctioning people all over the world. I say “illegally” because all of the sanctions represent efforts to enforce American law on other people, ignoring the rule of law in other countries and ignoring virtually all international law and diplomatic protocol.

But while Trump is particularly rude and loud about the way he approaches other countries, the essence of what he tries to do is supported quietly by the American establishment, all of them from both parties. Big matters such as the rise of China and new relationships between Germany and Russia have been establishment concerns for decades. They foreshadow the emergence of a brave new world order, one very much not welcomed by America’s establishment.

The American establishment dreads its relative decline in importance to the world’s economy and its geopolitics. So, they appear, all of them, willing to support, at least for now, Trump’s crude efforts to extract concessions from countries like China by methods which really do reflect traditional mafia methods of gaining footholds in other people’s businesses, with “offers they can’t refuse.”

In the 1950s and 1960s Chicago where I grew up, restaurants and other businesses periodically burnt down for no explained reason. It was widely understood that it was the price of having refused to cooperate with “The Outfit,” to pay the required fees for services such as “protection,” that they offered.

So, we have an extremely complex and devious situation in Washington. Senior members of one major party came close to treason in their opposition to a newcomer. However, at the same time, the newcomer has proved himself so destructive in world affairs, in matters of trade and war, that some might almost be tempted to say that the efforts by Democrats and their senior agency heads were warranted.

But no reasonable person can say that. Rule of law is civilization’s greatest founding principle. Take that away, and you have the rule of the strongest, but it so happens that that is something both parties have long worked towards in America’s foreign affairs. There’s nothing of law or principle involved in any of America’s long string of colonial wars and coups and interventions since the end of WWII. They all involved forcing others to do as they were told. They all involved breaking innumerable laws and conventions and treaties. And they involved a great deal of killing and destruction. Now, that same long-accustomed approach has found a home at the very center of American power in Washington.

We were all treated to the most arrogant display of power and abuse and contempt for law with recent events in Venezuela. It’s never been so plainly on display, almost resembling the free summertime performance of a play in a neighborhood city park, even though it represented immoral and illegal practices America has used many times, perhaps with variations, such as more killing, here or there – in Ukraine, in Cuba, in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran, in Nicaragua, and in other places. Maybe it is just a reflection of the incompetence of those in charge today that we saw the failed efforts so plainly, but that is just the kind of thing immense and unwarranted arrogance produces, a bizarre belief that if you say something should happen, it must happen.

The center of the American empire is in an unprecedented tangle of downright criminal behavior and fears, on all sides, and represents the greatest possible danger both to the world’s peace and its economic stability. I do not see how it all can end well, even if this or that particular crisis is diffused.

It really does remind one of tales of the last days of Rome, but if you find that an excessive comparison, there’s no escaping the fact that what we are seeing is the close-to-absolute corruption that accompanies close-to-absolute power.


Posted May 25, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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