Archive for the ‘PENTAGON’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TITLE OF A COLUMN “AMERICAN MIND MELTS AWAY” IS FUNNY IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS BUT IT MISSES REALITY

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

“The American Mind Melts Away”

Despite being an amusing line, I am not sure that “melts away” is the right verb.

Something more along the lines of “The American Mind Was Never There,” better fits the facts.

Americans are navel-gazers. Big kids who, for the most part, find anything outside the United States boring.

They are, as a whole, about as unsuited to the role of directing or governing world affairs as any people you could find.

That being said, however, the truth is that Americans do not direct anything.

The American power establishment very much does.

A plutocracy and some major lobbies supported by the massive resources of CIA and the Pentagon.

That’s who runs the world.

And the attitudes of ordinary Americans, certainly not discouraged by the establishment running their education and politics and entertainment, have nicely served the few in America who really do matter and who really do run things.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHITE HOUSE CLAIMS OF SYRIA’S USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS – A DAY AFTER DEFENSE SECRETARY CONTRADICTED ISRAEL’S CLAIMS – THE FALSE MARCH TO WAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

This is an absurd development.

Yesterday, in the morning, I read Mr Hagel saying that United States’ intelligence did not believe Syria had used chemical weapons.

Because Israel had already just claimed in public that Syria had used such weapons, Mr Hagel was careful to state that the United States used its own intelligence sources.

By that afternoon, we had this new story that indeed the United States thought it likely (but had no hard evidence) that Syria had used chemical weapons.

I know of no example from real life events more deserving of the descriptive term “Orwellian.”

We know from the inadvertently-overheard words of two presidents not terribly long ago, the presidents of France and the United States, talking in private that Mr Netanyahu is regarded by both of them as an inveterate liar.

Mr Hagel, owing to his independence of mind regarding the Mideast, fought quite a battle after the election to be confirmed for his cabinet post.

Of course, his first words about chemical weapons contradicted Mr Netanyahu.

Something happened in the course of one day to turn him around.

Was it the same group which so opposed his nomination and confirmation?

And that group is the special interest of American apologists for Israel’s excesses.

Actually, if anything, virtually the opposite is true. There was a documented incident of the so-called rebels using some form of chemical.

From where did they get the material?

From Israel, in an effort to create a casus belli?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: YES, TRADE WITH AMERICA BUT NOT MAKING IT AN ECONOMIC MODEL – GROSS INEFFICIENCY OF THE MILITARY – PARTIAL LIST OF THINGS WHERE AMERICA IS NUMBER ONE

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Not an economic model, indeed, but also not a social or political model.
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“The US has a very poor history of government-run enterprises, except the military…”

Except the military?

You have to be kidding. America’s military is the most inefficient enterprise on earth.

Billions just disappear into holes.

Projects go over their development costs and time horizons by vast amounts, everything from the V-22 Osprey to the F-35 just in recent years. Billions and billions and billions over budget.

Most of the time, all the military does is sit around consuming resources and doing nothing real or economically beneficial to the majority of society.

Men being paid pretty fair wages, earning early retirement benefits, consuming government food and clothing, and most of them unskilled guys who could not hold on to a decent ordinary job.

Yes, they do something beneficial for America’s wealthy establishment, and everyone one else, those who pay taxes, pay the bills. They keep the world safe for American policy and economic expansion of corporations.

The Founding Fathers, most of them, knew a standing army was a terrible waste and a threat to civilian values, but they would have no idea of how dangerous it could be.

It is a fundamental principle of our species – for whom, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – that a great powerful force will be used for some purpose or another by politicians.

Just so Vietnam. America killed an estimated 3 million Vietnamese in horrible fashions and wrecked their land with mines and poisons, ultimately to no purpose whatsoever.

Just so Iraq, with about a million dead owing to America’s pointless invasion and a once-prosperous Arab country set back for a generation.

And just so countless coups and intrusions and small conflicts – almost all pointless from a larger point of view and all having nothing to do with the actual defense of the United States.

Even the post office looks efficient and purposeful compared to America’s Frankenstein military which consumes the GDP of a decent-sized country every year.
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“Canadians have cornered the market on self-righteous sanctimony, moralistic whining, and self-congratulations.”

My God, the American who wrote that either never attends his own local Fourth of July celebrations or is simply blind to what he is used to.

Is there ever a speech in America that does not grate the sensibilities of thoughtful people across the planet?

Just listen to the meaningless rhetoric about democracy or human rights or ethics or blessings from God or freedom from representatives of a government that has crushed democracies time and again, ones that disagree with it, a government which today runs an international torture gulag, and a government in which money determines pretty well everything, from the direction of national policy to the outcome of elections.

You are of course, by those Fourth of July claims, the greatest at everything on the planet.

Perhaps, it is thinking that way that makes you so eager to bomb the crap out of anyone who disagrees with you?

By the way, here is just a small list of comparisons and matters of record where the United States is genuinely number one. I could easily expand it.

Infant mortality is higher in the United States than in Canada.

Average life expectancy is lower in the United States than in Canada.

More people per capita go to prison in the United States than in Canada, but not just Canada, more go to prison than in any other advanced nation, by a long measure.

America has the highest illegitimate birth rate of any advanced country, although its noisy Christians always blubber about that kind of thing and America self-righteously refuses to fund international projects that involve abortions and even birth control.

Americans consume as many illegal drugs as the rest of the world combined.

America spends more on its military each year than the rest of the planet.

America is the world’s largest arms dealer, by far.

America’s murder rate is many times that of Canada.

America’s police forces have an international reputation for brutality, having been cited by organizations like Amnesty International on many occasions.

America has a unique sense of environmentalism, building Jack and Jill bathrooms and three-car garages across the deserts of Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California with never a thought where future water for all those toilets is going to come from and never a care about all the electricity needed for around-the-clock air-conditioning of five-bedroom houses, nor for all the roads and parking lots and cars in an arid region.

No thought for tomorrow could be the new national motto, just as we’ve seen with the irresponsible financial arrangements which threw the world into a crisis.

You cannot even go to a movie from Hollywood without being led to believe America has done everything. It won WWII even though it sustained a loss of about one-third of one percent of the dead in that terrible war where over 50,000,000 died.

There was even a movie some years ago in which America’s broke the German enigma code, not the British who actually did it.

God, what a ridiculous people you’ve become.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A NEW PHONY LEAK ABOUT OSAMA BIN LADEN – THIS ONE QUOTING HIM ABOUT NEED FOR A NEW ORGANIZATIONAL NAME – FROM THE VERY FOLKS WHO RUN A PERPETUAL WAR AND CLAIM TO HAVE MURDERED HIM

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Ridiculous.

How can any Arabic-speaking person have named his organization “the toilet,” which is what Al Qaeda translates?

This name was created by U. S. intelligence some years ago as a collective term for the various “bad guys” roaming around out there. There is no such organization.

We have the testimony of several very prominent people on that fact, including Britain’s Jack Straw.

Remember the supposed picture of Osama watching television released soon after his murder, a picture which still makes the rounds? That picture was positively identified as a neighboring man, as it should have been since it showed “Osama” using the wrong hand.

These “leaks” are, after all coming from the very people who assassinated bin Laden in cold blood with his family in the house, never mind taking him to The Hague for a fair trial.

The same people who never provided the public or other authorities with one shred of authentic evidence for bin Laden’s guilt of anything but disliking the United States.

The same people who invaded Afghanistan and still occupy it on flimsy excuses.

The same people who invaded Iraq, falsely making assertions about Hussein’s complicity, destroying a prosperous country and starting a terror that would see a million die.

They are the same people sending scores of drones into Pakistan killing hundreds of innocent people with their missiles.

They are the same people who have totally distorted a UN Resolution for a no-fly zone in Libya into an all-out effort to kill Qaddafi and his chief assistants.

This rubbish is just stuff to reinforce public acceptance of the moral filth of war without end, assassinations, and death squads.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AMERICA’S FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL INSANITY: NO ONE SAYS WHAT NEEDS SAYING AND NO ONE DOES WHAT NEEDS DOING


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFERY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Oh, yes, true words indeed.

But I fear they are good seed cast on barren ground.

The United States has demonstrated, time and again, that it is only capable of adjusting its governance after smashing its head into a wall, often after several times.

Its political system is a creaking wreck, a kind of man-made monster lumbering along, force-feed by special interest campaign contributions and marching to the drumbeat of outdated assumptions and truly ignorant superstitions.

Despite decades of declining real income, the American middle class remains moved by silly slogans like “the American Dream” and “America First,” much resembling the flock of some religious cult who even after being fleeced by its leaders insists the religion is true.

The United States is a plutocracy, perhaps as corrupt as France in 1788, and it is an overstretched world imperial power serving the narrow interests of its plutocrats, but always it is mouthing slogans about democracy and freedom and justice, largely dead and empty language, to its ordinary inhabitants.

People insulated from the effects of wars and bad times – the plutocrats and ruling establishment in Washington – just do not feel the impact of such terrible turns of event.

Elections only matter in the most nominal way in the United States, they are part of keeping the myths going, as we’ve seen so clearly in the case of Obama.

This bright, optimistic, and charming man took the world’s attention by storm after eight years of the rancid and hated George Bush.

But in two years what has he achieved? Almost nothing of consequence.

The wars go on. Indeed, they are now killing civilians weekly in Pakistan.

The Pentagon and the American intelligence apparatus have swollen into great wallowing beasts, consuming vast resources to no good purpose.

After a terrible financial catastrophe, what has been changed? Nothing, just countless billions given away to stimulate a temporary respite, paying for which threatens the very security and international position of the American dollar.

We see no meaningful legislation to regulate future financial excesses.

We hear not one voice speak about the painful sacrifices required to pay for all the ghastly excess of war and financial anarchy.

Do we see even one meaningful political change in the way elections are conducted and financed, something that might promise future reform? We do not.

Has anything changed, despite Obama’s early suggestion of a new policy direction, with America’s client state Israel and its terrible seemingly-endless abuse of millions?

Obama’s one big act, his health-care legislation, is an abomination, disliked by liberals and conservatives alike, an ugly ineffective costly compromise.

Has anything happened with the paranoid, democratically destructive legislation around American security, virtual police-state stuff which is unbelievably costly by every possible measure?

Nothing has changed. The election of 2008 might just as well not have taken place.

No individual, however bright and enthusiastic, can move the American establishment from its firm position of ignorance and selfishness and power.

And we all know what Lord Acton said about power.

His words apply to all power, no matter how established, even democratically-camouflaged power.
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If you want some interesting insight into the assumptions and attitudes of the American middle class, watch a few American real-estate, cable-channel television shows.

People often want three-car garages. They want granite counter tops. The want four bedrooms. They want three bathrooms. They want central air-conditioning.

They have saved no money. They are looking to finance on the basis of 100% mortgages.

And, perhaps worst of all, they are looking at subdivisions in the middle of nowhere, in Colorado or Texas or Arizona. Places which require cars for everyone and every single errand. Places which require twenty-four-hour-a-day air conditioning for major parts of the year. Places often with no long-term, dependable water resources, often genuine deserts.

Some of these shows actually deal with the results of the earlier excesses, people whose home prices have cratered, who owe huge amounts on their mortgages, people who are trying to sell ugly behemoths they can’t afford, and people who feel entitled.

Americans are entitled to walk away from homes and the loans which financed them when the value of the mortgage exceeds the value of the property, a fact not often appreciated in Canada where we honor contracts. They just hand the keys to the bank and go.

In buying homes, Americans often walk away from contracts too. That’s why in most places the signs in front of homes say they are “under contract” rather than “sold” during the interim between signing and closing. Realtors often keep showing homes “under contract” just in case. In America, for sure you do not know you have a valid sale until the little closing ceremony when money and keys are exchanged.

Another fact not always appreciated in Canada is that American home owners have long had the privilege of deducting the interest on their mortgages from their federal income tax. Yet even with this financial boost, still they cannot make a go of it, and for the simple reason that the deductibility has only encouraged still larger purchases and likely inflated prices.

Such shows tell us a great deal, exhibiting like educational films the results of America’s inability to govern itself sensibly. We see the grassroots reality of loose and chaotic government.

But when I say loose and chaotic government, I always exclude the intelligence monstrosity, the Pentagon, and America’s many and brutal police forces. Nothing loose there – just a quasi-police state taken for granted.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: 18 ALLEGED MILITANTS KILLED BY AMERICAN MISSILE IN PAKISTAN – GEORGE ORWELL WOULD HAVE OFFERED A BITTER LAUGH


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

I just love that expression “alleged militants.”

Almost certainly, the deaths in fact were 18 civilians guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And even if one or two were suspects of some kind, this kind of extra-judicial murder is absolutely indistinguishable from the death squads in South American countries which periodically made people “disappear.”

It reminds me of each time Israel kills a batch of poor Palestinians: they are invariably called “militants” in the press.

It’s called demonizing your victim. It also clearly is a ghastly use of euphemism for extra-judicial mass-murder.

George Orwell would have loved this terrible and deliberate abuse of language in the interests of power.

He wrote about just such things in his wonderful essay, “Politics and the English Language,” an indictment of power that remains as true as the day it was written.

And our truth-loving press seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to kill “militants” and even “alleged militants.”

In one stroke the press both horribly abuses language and ignores completely its responsibility to inform people.