Thursday, November 19, 2015
John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. John regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like 3 million Vietnamese in their own land because they embraced the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada, which he is fond of calling “the peaceable kingdom.”
John’s writing appears regularly on many Internet sites. He has been translated into at least ten languages and has been regularly translated into Italian and Spanish. Several of his essays have been published in book collections, including two college texts. He has published a book, The Decline of the American Empire and the Rise of China as a Global Power, published by Constable and Robinson, London. John also writes book reviews.
Apart from his writing since retiring from the oil industry, John has taught university courses in economics, done a good deal of private tutoring, served as a professional newspaper restaurant reviewer (he likes cooking), followed his favorite hobby of photography, and created a popular family of image blogs on the Internet.
John may be reached directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME INTERNET SITES FROM JOHN CHUCKMAN:
CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY
CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)
CHUCKMAN'S PORT STANLEY
CHUCKMAN'S ILES DE LA MADELEINE (MAGDALEN ISLANDS)
CHUCKMAN PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: CHICAGO NOSTALGIA AND MEMORABLIA (SELECTED POSTCARDS AND RESTAURANT ITEMS)
CHUCKMAN’S PLACES ON WORDPRESS
CHUCKMAN’S PHOTOS ON WORDPRESS: TORONTO NOSTALGIA AND MEMORABLIA
CHUCKMAN' S NON-SPORTS TRADING CARDS OF THE 1950s VOL.1/4
CHUCKMAN’S GALLERY OF GROTESQUES
CHUCKMAN’S CARTOON COMMENTS
CHUCKMAN'S MISCELLANEA OF WORDS
CHUCKMAN'S COMMENTS FROM THE WORLD PRESS
CHUCKMAN'S POLITICAL ESSAYS
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH IN PARIS AND THE UGLY TRUTH OF STATE TERROR
Mass murder, as that which just occurred in Paris, is always distressing, but that does not mean we should stop thinking.
Isn’t it rather remarkable that President Hollande, immediately after the event, declared ISIS responsible? How did he know that? And if he was aware of a serious threat from ISIS, why did he not take serious measures in advance?
Within days of Friday 13, French forces assaulted an apartment with literally thousands of bullets being fired, killing a so-called mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Just how are you instantly elevated to the rank of “mastermind”? And if security people were previously aware of his exalted status, why did they wait until after a disaster to go after him?
Well, the ugly underlying truth is that, willy-nilly, France for years has been a supporter of ISIS, even while claiming to be fighting it. How do I know that? Because France’s foreign policy has virtually no independence from America’s. It could be described as a subset of American foreign policy. Hollande marches around with his head held stiffly up after getting off the phone at the Élysée Palace, having received the day’s expectations from Washington. He has been a rather pathetic figure.
So long as it is doing work the United States wishes done, ISIS remains an American protectorate, and regardless of Hollande’s past rhetoric, he has acted according to that reality. But something may just have changed now.
It is important to note the disproportionate attention in the West to events in Paris. I say disproportionate because there are equally ugly things going on in a number of places in the Middle East, but we do not see the coverage given to Paris. We have bombs in Lebanon and Iraq. We have daily bombings and shootings in Syria. We have cluster bombs and other horrors being used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. And of course, there are the ongoing horrors of Israel against Palestinians.
We have endless interviews with ordinary people in Paris, people who know nothing factual to help our understanding, about their reaction to the terror, but when was the last time you saw personal reactions broadcast from Gaza City or Damascus? It just does not happen, and it does raise the suspicion that the press’s concern with Paris is deliberately out of proportion. After all, Israel killed about twenty times as many people in Gaza not very long ago, and the toll was heavily weighted with children, many hundreds of them. Events in Paris clearly are being exploited for highly emotional leverage.
Leverage against what? Arabs in general and Muslims in particular, just part of the continuing saga of deliberately-channeled hate we have experienced since a group of what proved (after their arrest) to be Israeli spies were reported on top of a truck, snapping pictures and high-fiving each other as the planes hit the World Trade Center in 2001. What those spies were doing has never been explained to the public. I’m not saying Israel is responsible for 9/11, but clearly some Israeli government interests were extremely happy about events, and we have been bombarded ever since with hate propaganda about Muslims, serving as a kind of constant noise covering the crimes Israel does commit against Palestinians and other neighbors.
It is impossible to know whether the attack in Paris was actually the work of ISIS or a covert operation by the secret service of an ISIS supporter. The point is a bit like arguing over angels on a pinhead. When you are dealing with this kind of warfare – thugs and lunatics of every description lured into service and given deadly toys and lots of encouragement to use them – things can and do go wrong. But even when nothing goes wrong in the eyes of sponsors for an outfit like ISIS, terrible things are still happening. It’s just that they’re happening where the sponsors want them to happen and in places from which our press carefully excludes itself. Terrible things, for example, have been happening in the beautiful land of Syria for four or five years, violence equivalent to about two hundred Paris attacks, causing immense damage, the entire point of which is to topple a popularly-supported president and turn Syria into the kind of rump states we see now in Iraq.
A covert operation in the name of ISIS is at least as likely as an attack by ISIS. The United States, Israel, Turkey, and France are none of them strangers to violent covert activities, and, yes, there have been instances before when a country’s own citizens were murdered by its secret services to achieve a goal. The CIA pushed Italian secret services into undertaking a series of murderous attacks on their own people during the 1960s in order to shake up Italy’s “threatening” left-wing politics. It was part of something called Operation Gladio. Operation Northwoods, in the early 1960s, was a CIA-planned series of terrorist acts on American civilians to be blamed on Cuba, providing an excuse for another invasion. It was not carried out, but that was not owing to any qualms in the CIA about murdering their own, otherwise no plan would have ever existed. The CIA was involved in many other operations inside the United States, from experiments with drugs to ones with disease, using innocent people as its subject-victims.
There have been no differences worth mentioning between Hollande’s France and America concerning the Middle East. Whatever America wants, America gets, unlike the days when Jacques Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq, or earlier, when de Gaulle removed France’s armed forces from integration within NATO or bravely faced immense hostility, including a coup attempt undertaken by French military with CIA cooperation, when he abandoned colonialism in Algeria.
If anything, Hollande has been as cloyingly obsequious towards America’s chief interest in the Middle East, Israel, as a group of Republican Party hopefuls at a Texas barbecue fund-raiser sniffing out campaign contributions. After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Hollande honored four Jewish victims of the thugs who attacked a neighborhood grocery store with France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor. I don’t recall the mere fact of being murdered by thugs ever before being regarded as a heroic distinction. After all, in the United States more than twenty thousand a year suffer that fate without recognition.
Israel’s Netanyahu at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attack actually outdid himself in manic behavior. He barged into France against a specific request that he stay home and pushed himself, uninvited, to the front row of the big parade down the Champs-Élysées which was supposed to honor free speech. He wanted those cameras to be on him for voters back home watching.
Free speech, you might ask, from the leaders of Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, and Israel, who all marched in front? Well, after the free-speech parody parade, the Madman of Tel Aviv raced around someone else’s country making calls and speeches for Jewish Frenchmen to leave “dangerous” France and migrate “home” to Israel. It would in fact be illegal in Israel for someone to speak that way in Israel to Israelis, but illegality has never bothered Netanyahu. Was he in any way corrected for this world-class asinine behavior? No, Hollande just kept marching around with his head stiffly up. I guess he was trying to prove just how free “free speech” is in France.
But speech really isn’t all that free in France, and the marching about free speech was a fraud. Not only is Charlie Hebdo, the publication in whose honor all the tramping around was done, not an outlet for free speech, being highly selective in choosing targets for its obscene attacks, but many of the people marching at the head of the parade were hardly representatives of the general principle.
France itself has outlawed many kinds of free speech. Speech and peaceful demonstrations which advocate a boycott of Israel are illegal in France. So a French citizen today cannot advocate peacefully against a repressive state which regularly abuses, arrests, and kills some of the millions it holds in a form of bondage. And Hollande’s France enforces this repressive law with at least as much vigor as Israel does with its own version, in a kind of “Look, me too,” spirit. France also has a law which is the exactly the equivalent of a law against anyone’s saying the earth is flat: a law against denying or questioning the Holocaust. France also is a country, quite disgracefully, which has banned the niqab.
Now, America’s policy in the Mideast is pretty straightforward: subsidize and protect its colony Israel and never criticize it even on the many occasions when it has committed genuine atrocities. American campaign finance laws being what they, politics back home simply permits no other policy. The invasion of Iraq, which largely was intended to benefit Israel through the elimination of a major and implacable opponent, has like so many dark operations backfired. I call the invasion a dark operation because although the war was as public as could be, all of America’s, and Britain’s, supposed intelligence about Iraq was crudely manufactured and the reasons for undertaking an act which would kill a million people and cripple an entire country were complete lies.
America’s stupid invasion created new room for Iran to exert its influence in the region – hence, the endless noise in Israel and Saudi Arabia about Iran – and it led directly to the growth of armed rabble groups like ISIS. There were no terrorists of any description in Saddam’s Iraq, just as there were no terrorists in Gadhafi’s Libya, a place now so infested with them that even an American ambassador is not safe.
Some Americans assert that ISIS happened almost accidentally, popping out of the dessert when no one was looking, a bit like Athena from the head of Zeus, arising from the bitterness and discontents of a splintered society, but that view is fatuous. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens by accident in this part of the world. Israel’s spies keep informed of every shadowy movement, and America always listens closely to what they say.
It is silly to believe ISIS just crept up on America, suddenly a huge and powerful force, because ISIS was easy for any military to stop at its early stages, as when it was a couple of thousand men waving AK-47s from the backs of Japanese pick-up trucks tearing around Iraq. Those pick-up trucks and those AK-47s and the gasoline and the ammunition and the food and the pay required for a bunch of goons came from somewhere, and it wasn’t from Allah.
A corollary to America’s first principle about protecting Israel is that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in Israel’s neighborhood that is not approved, at least tacitly, by the United States. So whether,
in any given instance of supply and support for ISIS, it was Israel or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or America – all involved in this ugly business - is almost immaterial. It all had to happen with American approval. Quite simply, there would be hell to pay otherwise.
As usual in the region, Saudi Arabia’s role was to supply money, buying weapons from America and others and transshipping them to ISIS. Ever since 9/11, Saudi Arabia has been an almost pathetically loyal supporter of America, even to the extent now of often cooperating with Israel. That couldn’t happen before an event in which the majority of perpetrators proved to be Saudi citizens and which led to the discovery that large amounts of Saudi “go away” money had been paid to Osama bin Laden for years. But after 9/11, the Saudis feared for the continuation of their regime and now do what they are told. They are assisted in performing the banking function by Qatar, another wealthy, absolute state aligned with the United States and opposing the rise of any possibly threatening new forces in its region.
Of course, it wasn’t just the discoveries of 9/11 that motivated Saudi Arabia. It intensely dislikes the growing influence of Iran, and Iran’s Shia Muslim identity is regarded by Sunni sects in Saudi Arabia in much the way 17th century Protestantism was viewed by an ultramontane Catholic state like Spain. The mass of genuine jihadists fighting in Syria – those who are not just mercenaries and adventurers or agents of Israel or Turkey or the Saudis - are mentally-unbalanced Sunni who believe they are fighting godlessness. The fact that Assad keeps a secular state with religious freedom for all just adds to their motivation.
ISIS first achievement was toppling an Iraqi government which had been excessively friendly to Iran in the view of Israel, and thereby the United States. Iraq’s army could have stopped them easily early on but was bribed to run away, leaving weapons such as tanks behind. Just two heavy tanks could have crushed all the loons in pick-up trucks. That’s why there was all the grotesque propaganda about beheadings and extreme cruelty to cover the fact of modern soldiers running from a mob. ISIS gathered weapons, territory, and a fierce reputation in an operation which saw President al-Maliki – a man disliked by the United States for his associations with Iran and his criticism of American atrocities – hurriedly leave office.
From that base, ISIS was able to gain sufficient foothold to begin financing itself through, for example, stolen crude sold at a discount or stolen antiquities. The effective splitting up of Iraq meant that its Kurdish population in the north could sell, as it does today, large volumes of oil to Israel, an unheard of arrangement in Iraq’s past. ISIS then crossed into Syria in some force to go after Assad. The reasons for this attack were several: Assad runs a secular state and defends religious minorities but mainly because the paymasters of ISIS wanted Assad destroyed and Syria reduced in the fashion of Iraq.
Few people in the press seem to have noted that ISIS never attacks Israel or Israeli interests. Neither does it attack the wheezingly-corrupt rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic equivalent of ancient Rome’s Emperor Nero. Yet those are the very targets a group of genuine, independent warrior-fundamentalists would attack. But ISIS is not genuine, being supplied and bankrolled by people who do not want to see attacks on Israel or Saudi Arabia, including, notably, Israel and Saudi Arabia. ISIS also is assisted, and in some cases led, by foreign covert operators and special forces.
There does seem to be a good deal of news around the idea of France becoming serious in fighting ISIS, but I think we must be cautious about accepting it at face value. Putin is reported as telling ship commanders in the Mediterranean to cooperate and help cover the French aircraft carrier approaching. Hollande keeps calling for American cooperation too, as Putin has done for a very long time, but America’s position remains deliberately ambiguous. A new American announcement of cooperation with Turkey in creating a “safe zone” across the border with northern Syria is a development with unclear intentions. Is this to stop the Kurds Erdogan so despises fighting in the north of Syria from establishing themselves and controlling the border or is it a method for continued support of ISIS along the that border? Only time will tell.
I do think it at least possible Hollande may have come around to Putin’s view of ISIS, but America has not, and the situation only grows more fraught with dangerous possibilities. I’ve long believed that likely America, in its typically cynical fashion, planned to destroy ISIS, along with others like al-Nusra, once they had finished the dirty work of destroying Syria’s government and Balkanizing the country. In any event, Israel – and therefore, automatically, America – wants Assad destroyed, so it would be surprising to see America at this point join honestly with Putin and Hollande.
America has until now refused Russia any real support, including such basic stuff as sharing intelligence. It cooperates only in the most essential matters such avoiding attacks on each other’s planes. It also has made some very belligerent statements about what Russia has been doing, some from the America’s Secretary of Defense sounding a lot like threats. Just the American establishment’s bully-boy attitude about doing anything which resembles joining a Russian initiative does not bode well.
After all, Putin has been portrayed as a kind of Slavic Satan by American propaganda cranking stuff out overtime in support of Ukraine’s incompetent coup-government and with the aim of terrifying Eastern Europe into accepting more American weapons and troops near Russia’s border, this last having nothing to do with any Russian threat and everything to do with America’s aggressive desire to shift the balance of power. How do you turn on a dime and admit Putin is right about Syria and follow his lead?
And there are still the daily unpleasant telephone calls from Israel about Assad. How do you manoeuvre around that when most independent observers today recognize Assad as the best alternative to any other possible government. He has the army’s trust, and in the end it is the Syrian army which is going to destroy ISIS and the other psychopaths. Air strikes alone can never do that. The same great difficulty for Hollande leaves much ambiguity around what he truly means by “going to war against ISIS.”
It is an extremely complicated world in which we live with great powers putting vast resources towards destroying the lives of others, almost killing thousands on a whim, while pretending not to be doing so. We live in an era shaped by former CIA Director Allen Dulles, a quiet psychopath who never saw an opportunity for chaos he did not embrace.
The only way to end terror is to stop playing with the lives of tens of millions in the Middle East, as America has done for so long, and stop supporting the behaviors of a repressive state which has killed far greater numbers than the madmen of ISIS could dream of doing, demanding instead that that state make peace and live within its borders. But, at least at this stage, that is all the stuff of dreams.
Sunday, November 08, 2015
ASH CARTER ABOUT RUSSIA UPSETTING ORDER - NOTE ON MH-17 - RUSSIAN AIRLINE CRASH AND POSSIBLE BOMB - ISRAEL'S DARK HISTORY OF USING TIME BOMBS AND OTHER ATTACKS MANY MANY TIMES - FALSE RADIO TRANSMISSIONS
COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Why does The Guardian quote a man like Ash Carter saying absolutely nothing?
This is puke tossed from high places, so much so that it is almost comic but for the deadly serious underlying facts.
All thinking people who keep informed on world affairs know it is America putting the world increasingly at risk.
Good God, America has killed millions in the last half century in many pointless wars and interventions.
And the entire, insane war on terror is largely its responsibility, a result of its arrogant and terribly unjust policies in the Middle East for decades.
Russia is a civilized and relatively peaceful country by comparison.
And all of today's disasters - Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine - are either America's direct doing or benefit from America's cooperation and support.
And virtually every tyrant we see - Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey - has America's blessings.
This is propaganda so completely twisted from truth, it resembles a bad dream.
Response to a reader referring to MH-17:
Yes, one of America’s "keyhole" satellites was overhead at the time of MH-17 being shot down.
These satellites have cameras comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope plus many other technologies of observation.
The Russians knew this of course, and they said so very early.
But not one scrap of data was ever submitted to investigators by America.
Clearly, there was a cover-up of MH-17’s downing to protect America's infant coup-government in Ukraine.
And the pathetic Dutch, under America's thumb, worked a year to produce a report containing nothing but the bits we already knew.
And in this case in Egypt, after days we have idiots asserting what happened with no evidence.
If it was a bomb - and it is very premature to say it was - a strong suspect would be Israel's secret service.
ISIS has no capacity for doing this on its own. Since ISIS and al-Nusra are very much doing Israel's (and America's) work in Syria, Israel's displeasure with Putin is important.
Israel, as we know from many past events including in Iran, has often used timed explosive devices.
Response to a comment from another reader:
Your words reveal you as one of the pathetic boys who diligently search internet sites for discussions in which Israel is mentioned, and then post crap like this, being paid so much a line for the work.
I know perfectly well "ISIS” claimed credit. So what?
Indeed, ISIS is in part an Israeli creation.
Ever note how ISIS never attacks Israel in any way, which is exactly what such a wild-eyed bunch would do, were they authentic. They are frauds, mercenaries supplied and paid by America, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to destroy Syria.
Now, Israel has used time bombs countless times, so involvement in the Russian airline downing would be nothing new. It used MEK members in Iran to murder a number of scientists with timed car bombs.
These ugly practices of Israel's go all the way back to the Lavon Affair in 1954, when it was caught red-handed planting bombs in in Egypt. Even before, in 1946, there was the King David Hotel atrocity killing about a hundred people, the work of a Jewish terror group headed by Menachem Begin, a future prime minister. And need I remind readers yet again of Israel’s deliberate attack on an American surveillance ship, the USS Liberty, to cover up illegal activities in the Sinai during the 1967 War?
Yet another well-known example of deception involved President Reagan's bombing of Gadhafi. That was the direct result of fake transmissions originating in Israel which succeeded in fooling the U.S. into attacking Gadhafi over his presumed guilt for an attack in Europe against American soldiers, something never proved, by the way, although innocents like Gadhafi’s young son died for it.
Israel also tried this dirty trick around the time of the sarin poison gas use in Syria. There were fake transmissions trying to make the Syrian Army look responsible for the attack in the hope America would bomb Assad, but in this case the truth became known in a timely fashion. It was the very terrorist forces Israel is known to support who used poison gas in Syria, gas perhaps supplied by Israel.
No one who criticizes such dirty work is guilty of hating anyone or anything except a government which behaves very much like that of the old Soviet Union.
People like you have pretty close to succeeded in making the term "anti-Semite" meaningless by using it dozens of times a day against people you don't even know. For all you know, this writer could be Jewish.
How appallingly ignorant you are, and that is a pure fact and not name-calling.
People such as you are succeeding also in speeding the day when Israel collapses, again much like the Soviet Union, by trying to maintain a state built on endless injustice thickly coated with lies.
BRITISH GENERAL NICHOLAS HOUGHTON ATTACKS THE POLICIES OF JEREMY CORBYN - THE POISONOUS MIX OF THE MILITARY AND POLITICS - DAVID CAMERON REVEALED AS AN INCOMPETENT AND A GENUINE DANGER TO DEMOCRACY
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
It is completely inappropriate for a senior military man to be making comments about a politician.
Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton's words are shameful.
Politics and the military only successfully mix where there are coups and juntas.
What is most shameful here though is the implicit permission the general has from David Cameron to butt into politics.
With each passing day, Cameron proves a greater and greater incompetent and a danger to genuine democracy.
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK
Charlie Hebdo always was, and remains, something of a free-speech fraud.
It viciously attacks Muslims and Catholics and others, but it has not been an equal opportunity publication.
Things Jewish and Israeli are not attacked. And if they were in today's France, the staff would face prosecution.
Readers may enjoy this, written after the Charlie Hebdo Affair in Paris:
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
JOHN KERRY ON SENDING U.S. TROOPS TO SYRIA - THE REAL PURPOSE OF THIS STUNT CLAIMED TO BE FOR FIGHTING ISIS - CIVIL WAR IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN SYRIA
EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Kerry says the United States is sending fifty (special forces) troops to fight ISIS?
Fifty stinking troops? That surely is a joke.
But fifty troops to assist and advise ISIS and sister terror organizations such as al-Nusra, that makes some sense.
And since special forces use sabotage and covert operations, it is likely they would be involved in attacking Syrian infrastructure to help make the lives of Syrians still more miserable. After all, America’s jets, supposedly fighting ISIS, have in fact bombed targets such as Syrian power plants. The troops can serve as target spotters. That too makes some sense if you have the kind of twisted goals America has.
Or the fifty troops could form a human shield around some of America’s hardworking terrorist-mercenaries against Russian bombing, that too makes sense.
Of course, there is the overlooked fact that Russia works in cooperation with, and at the invitation of, the government of Syria. The United States does not, conveniently having declared with the wave of the imperial hand that longstanding government, known to be supported by a majority of its people, to be illegitimate.
How convenient, but its troops remain, no matter how small the number, simply invaders, and the United States violates international law putting them there. But international law has never hindered the United States or its Middle East colony (aka, Israel) when either of them wanted to do something.
What is it exactly that these invaders would advise and assist in?
Bringing down the legitimate government of Syria. It can’t be anything else because that is the mission of the very people they are assisting and shielding.
Now, if that isn't being involved in "the civil war", what is?
Kerry just keeps going in circles, but that is precisely the path of American foreign policy.
Just using that term, "civil war," is ridiculous because it is not a civil war.
It is an invasion by terrorists, secretly assisted by Kerry's government and some of its allies to remove a leader they do not like and reduce yet another peaceful country to what America produced in Libya and Iraq.
EGYPT'S EL-SISI AND DAVID CAMERON - WHY EGYPT CAN NEVER HAVE DEMOCRACY - ISRAEL'S SAD ROLE IN MAINTAINING TYRANNY IN THE MIDEAST
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Thank you for this moving account of your treatment by Egypt’s el-Sisi government, but such horrors cause David Cameron, now welcoming el-Sisi to Britain, no loss of sleep.
The truth is that Israel could not tolerate the previous, elected government of Egypt a week longer, and that is why it was toppled. Cameron invariably extends his friendship towards anyone doing Israel’s bidding. Rupert Murdoch, his patron, undoubtedly insists.
We all know how Israel loves jabbering about democracy in public relations speeches, but, when it comes to any neighboring countries or people, the jabbering falls strangely silent. Democracy for any of Israel’s neighbors is viewed as toxic.
And just so, Hamas in Gaza, not a terrorist organization but a party representing Palestinian interests (one Israel even secretly assisted in its early days in order to sabotage Fatah), a party which was freely and fairly elected in Gaza and relentlessly attacked by Israel ever since.
With whom does Israel insist on dealing in all matters concerning Palestine, at least on the very few occasions it deigns to talk? Abbas, a man who is not elected.
Some democratic values. Some democracy.
I'm sorry, but Egypt will never have a democracy of any meaningful description so long as Israel remains what it is.
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV AND U.S. TROOPS IN SYRIA - AMERICA'S NASTY FRAT-BOY PRANKS IN WORLD AFFAIRS - EU LEADERS SUPINE
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTCLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
A very wise man has spoken here, likely the finest diplomat for a major country of our time.
American policy in the Middle East and Europe and Asia has become impossibly convoluted and dangerous.
The Russians are in fact doing the job no one else honestly wanted to do, ruining the chances for terrorist bands to takeover Syria.
And Americans didn't want to do it precisely because the terrorist bands are doing their dirty work for them.
Any insertion of American troops, even a small number of special forces, adds only to extreme ambiguity and danger. Clearly some could be struck by Russian jets, and then what?
God, we all need to expect America to start behaving rationally in it foreign policy. The stakes are immense since Russia is competent to literally obliterate America and vice versa.
It is not a situation in which to play games and frat-boy pranks, but that is exactly what America is doing.
Response to a comment about the EU speaking out against America’s decision:
Yes they should, but, in case anyone hasn't noticed, the EU has been supine towards American policy recently. There simply are no strong leaders at this time.
If only on the firm basis of international law, Cameron, Hollande, and Merkel should speak out against the move, but it is virtually certain they will not.
CANADA'S EX "RUSSIAN-HATING" MINISTER CHRIS ALEXANDER - HOW STEPHEN HARPER'S GOVERNMENT WORKED - MINISTERS ONLY MOUTHED CANNED TALKING POINTS
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA TODAY
As a Canadian with a strong bias towards international relations, I have little good to say about any of Stephen Harper's cabinet.
But I do think it important to point out something about how that awful government worked.
Harper had the precise temperament of a tyrant.
He allowed no minister of senior government bureaucrat to speak out on any matter whatsoever.
If they were interviewed by the press, an event fairly rare during the Harper years, they had "canned talking points" from which they dared not depart.
You never learned anything of substance from such interviews. Harper himself rarely, rarely subjected himself to interviews.
Harper kept this kind of discipline over senior officials because he had in private a terrible temper, and he was a highly vindictive mam.
All that is to say, you really cannot say in most cases what his ministers believed or didn't believe.
I have heard Chris Alexander giving the official line, but I have also heard people who know him that he is a fairly decent man who doesn't agree completely with the bleak views of Stephen Harper. I don’t know.
This was said by people who knew him during the shameful treatment by Harper of Syrian refugees. Harper accepted virtually none - in complete contradiction to Canada’s historic humanitarian role.
Later, it was revealed that the small number even being accepted were being held up by having applications slowly and inappropriately securitized for religious identity. The secret order went out – we know from a brave civil servant who leaked the fact – to not admit any Muslims. Imagine, no Muslims from Syria – that’s the kind of filthy man Harper was.
Harper’s motives can only be speculated about, but I think they involved his bizarre relationship with Israel. He was absolutely servile towards Israel, a posture which earned his party handsome campaign-finance contributions from Israel’s lobby.
That same motivation is likely behind Harper’s ugliness towards Russia. Fans of Israel do not like any country which opposes American interests or challenges American hegemony, America being the country’s chief source of financial subsidy and unquestioning support.
At any rate, Russians should never believe that Harper's views were the views of most Canadians. He held office with 39% of the vote.
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Martin Amos virtually never has been right.
Unless of course you mean in the sense of “on the Right,” the far Right.
Amos is both a boring writer and a boring talker, but in the Cameron-Murdoch set that does not matter.
None of them reads or listens.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
MORE ANTI-ASSAD PROPAGANDA IN THE INDEPENDENT - JUST WHY SUCH THINGS ARE PROPAGANDA - CAMERON TSK-TSKING ABOUT HORROR IN SYRIA HE ACTUALLY SUPPORTS - A NOTE ON MERKEL AND REFUGEES
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE AND VIDEO IN THE INDEPENDENT
Here’s more propaganda from The Independent, so poorly disguised you cannot vouch for the source.
God, don't you ever get tired of pushing this stuff out?
Even if you could account for the source, this is propaganda precisely because it has absolutely no perspective. The best propaganda always has a tiny bit of truth, and the truth here is that, yes, such weapons are used.
You absolutely cannot fairly take one small part of a huge destructive war and suggest that it explains what is going on. It cannot. It can horrify people though, and that would appear to be its purpose here because The Independent makes no practice of presenting such things in most situations.
I can't recall any equivalent material being used by The Independent for Israel's slaughters in Gaza, and such material does exist. Some very brave photographers took images of the rivers of blood and smashed children.
I don't recall such material for America's (and of course Britain’s) proud invasion of Iraq in which such ghastly weapons as cluster bombs and white phosphorus were used. Thousands of pictures exist of sliced-up children and smashed women, but you never ran any.
The creepy Saudis, whom Britain implicitly supports and with whom it explicitly does a handsome business, are, right now, killing masses of civilians in Yemen, and they are using America's dreadful cluster bombs to tear them apart, maiming those not killed. Where are your terrifying images?
The horror in Syria did not start by the government's barrel-bombing places. The barrel-bombing is a response to the infiltration and entrenchment of tens of thousands of heavily-armed terrorists trying to destroy the country from scattered and hidden positions all over it.
They were infiltrated into Syria by the lunatic now running Turkey. They are financed and supplied by the absolute princes of Saudi Arabia. They were assisted, advised, and even led in some cases by the same government of Israel which holds more than five million unwilling people as prisoners. Yet more money came from the absolute princes of Qatar.
And the United States has also supplied and trained elements. It clearly approves of what has been going on or it would be stopped. We know to a certainty that nothing happens anywhere near its Middle East colony of which it does not approve.
Britain under David Cameron, as one of America's most groveling allies, has also done its dirty bit to help.
This entire misery could be ended if outside help and support for thugs were ended, but that help and support, by the above-named parties, will not stop. Because those countries want Syria destroyed just the way Iraq was destroyed, reduced to a meaningless set of rump states with a population left to suffer for a generation.
And they want to achieve that in the most cowardly of fashions, giving the bloody work over to hired mercenaries and ideological maniacs while standing off – tsk-tsking at the horrors as Cameron is wont to do - pretending they have nothing to do with it.
I simply do not understand how anyone can think human trash like ISIS and al-Nusra Front should prevail over a reasonable, highly-educated man like Assad, a leader who has always protected a secular and diverse society and who keeps the support of large parts of that society.
It is a totally absurd situation, and it can only be explained in light of American policy. It is the policy that destroyed Iraq and Libya and sparked in large covert operations the whole pointless and wrongly-named Arab Spring. There was nothing spring-like in what happened.
A brief experiment with democratic government in Egypt was smothered following Israel’s complaints about the threat it represented. Egypt was returned to a decades-old dictatorship much to Israel’s liking. In other places, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, potential uprisings were violently suppressed by absolute governments.
It was all an effort to re-mold the region to the liking of America and its Middle East colony under a façade of popular revolt and never mind all the inconvenience of death, destruction, and misery. The region’s authoritarian governments were overthrown only where they disagreed with America and/or Israel while in all other cases they were left to flourish, and the authoritarian governments overthrown were only replaced by others. Democracy flourishes nowhere.
Well, Mr. Putin understands that, and if the nations doing the deadly supplying aren't going to stop, he'll destroy what they’ve supplied. The Syrian army will do the rest.
Julian Assange has said that the massive influx of refugees into Europe is, in fact, part of the American strategy to de-stabilize Syria, and I don’t doubt that he is right. Emptying Syria of good parts of its professionals and technicians only further weakens it.
This, of course, puts in quite a different light Ms. Merkel’s controversial, open-arms support for unlimited refugees in Germany. She, rather than speaking from a heart larger than we would have credited her from past behaviors, is just once again supporting American policy, a much more familiar stance for her.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
THE INDEPENDENT ASKS WHAT ARE CHINA AND THE U.S. FIGHTING ABOUT? - PURPOSE OF CHINESE ARTIFICIAL ISLANDS - AMERICA'S BASES AND NUKES ABROAD
COMMENT POSTED TO A STORY IN THE INDEPENDENT
What are China and the United States fighting about?
Please, first, they are not fighting, but there is an unnecessary and unpleasant quarrel going on.
Just imagine a flotilla of Russian or Chinese or Iranian warships entering the Gulf of Mexico and cruising within shouting distance of an American facility.
Let's say, for example, the stolen part of Cuba called Guantanamo, which the United States maintains as a powerful military and dirty operations base completely against the wishes of Cubans.
All hell would break loose.
Many of the comments below show just how effective this propaganda from The Independent can be in stirring up war talk among readers.
But China simply has no such policy as “we’re not afraid of war with America” as suggested here. High officials never talk that way.
Anyone who follows China's affairs knows it does not seek war, and it is extremely unusual for the word to even be used by a Chinese official. China is a careful and cautious state.
Note the contrast with the United States, now fighting and killing in half a dozen lands.
Or America’s unrelenting effort to build new military bases. The United States maintains more than a hundred major military bases scattered around the world.
Please, these events in the South China Sea represent nothing more than the United States steaming half way round the world to strut around and show the flag. It is classic school-yard bully behavior done under the guise of nonsense about protecting shipping lanes, but those shipping lanes are under absolutely no threat of any kind.
China's activity in the South China Sea is about its legitimate interests in the area. Their artificial islands are small non-military bases, intended to support Chinese fishing and mineral activities.
It is the United States which has threatening bases all over the planet. The one in Okinawa, for example, has thermonuclear weapons, something completely against the wishes of Japan’s people. As do the ones in Britain and Germany, this last only recently being slated to receive a dozen replacements by America’s newest type of thermonuclear bomb.
Response to a reader writing that he’s been saying to watch out for China for years:
Then you've been saying nonsense for years.
If you had said, “watch out for Americans,” you could claim some early observational powers.
PERFECT EXAMPLE OF NEWSPAPER PREJUDICE AND PROPAGANDA PASSING AS INFORMATION - PLAYING WITH POLITICAL POLLS - THE INDEPENDENT CREATES A RIGGED POLL TO ATTACK A POLITICIAN
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Why would The Independent spend so many resources on a rather dumb poll attacking a new leader?
Not sure what would motivate that effort, other than your publisher simply not liking him. There can’t be many people reading the paper to learn that quite unimportant fact.
The truth is that a term like 'increasingly incompetent' cannot even be handled well in a proper poll.
It is not only a loaded term, it is ambiguous. Increasingly? Just how would one define that? Compared to what when?
Especially given the relentless press attack we’ve had on Mr. Corbyn since he was even suspected of possibly winning the leadership.
The results of a poll such as this shabby effort of yours largely reflects people's having read and heard "increasingly" negative press coverage about Mr. Corbyn, and gives us no actual information.
This kind of suggestive propaganda is quite shameful.
It is deliberately malicious, and do you think it is the proper function of the press to be deliberately malicious?
If you have a genuine story that reflects badly on Corbyn, of course, you should publish it.
But this crap is the equivalent of an interviewer asking a public figure: "Is it true what they say that you’ve stopped beating your wife?"
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
The United States is starting to repeat with China the errors it made with Japan in the 1930s.
The Japanese had no intention of attacking the United States, but after years of provocations and economic restrictions, it did so.
And that is just what the United States wanted it to do.
The United States is the most dangerous country in the world. Right now it is taunting and threatening and supporting wars in at least half a dozen places.
This “strutting their stuff” on the high seas has nothing to do freedom of the seas.
It is about American dominance in the world, something which now is fading inexorably, a fact America's establishment simply is not able to handle.
And they will endanger us all with their antics in imperial senility.
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Forget humans for the foreseeable future.
Send more robots.
They, the robots, have done a fabulous job, and at a fraction of the cost of transporting and sustaining humans.
We want to learn.
Astronauts are just inefficient, costly showboats.
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Tell it to the Americans, Daniel, and their nasty associates in the Middle East.
By the way, landmines are now only a small portion of the problem.
America's cluster bombs are even worse, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets, each of which will explode into razors when touched.
Saudi Arabia, courtesy of America, is using them in Yemen right now.
The United States used countless of them in Iraq, and you can still find pictures of the results on Iraqi children.
Israel literally covered the earth with more than a million of them on the Lebanese border a few years back.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
NOTES ON ISRAEL'S MODERN HISTORY - RESPONSE TO THE KIND OF GENUINELY UNINFORMED COMMENT ONE GETS FROM APOLOGISTS FOR ISRAEL - THE COMPLETE MYTH OF MODERN DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH
COMMENT POSTED TO ANOTHER COMMENT IN THE INDEPENDENCE
"It has done nothing but kill people for 65 years, having invaded every neighbor that it has, many of them two or three times."
Israel was attacked in 48, 67 and 73 by armies (variously) from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Israel risked being annihilated in all these wars.
Read some history - don't parrot what you've read on far-left hate sites.”
Your comment is arrogant and uninformed. It simply repeats the David and Goliath myths manufactured by the Israeli Ministry of Truth for American consumption.
It is you who should read some history.
The 1967 War was engineered by Israel. Yes, some Arabs attacked, but only after an elaborate series of aggressive and provocative acts by Israel. It was what Israel wanted because its government had made an elaborate calculation ahead and was sure it would win fairly quickly. The prize was all of Palestine and part of Syria.
In the War, Israel also betrayed its best allies.
De Gaulle, a defender of young Israel, warned that he wouldn't support conquest, but he was ignored.
The United States told Israel not to turn their armor north after defeating Egypt, but that's just what Israel did because the entire intent of that war was to conquer what Israel still occupies to this day. Just ask yourself why else it still holds millions of people captive and has worked so hard to make their lives miserable as an incentive for their leaving?
In order to turn the armor in the Sinai quickly, Israel had to eliminate its Egyptian prisoners, and that is what it did. It shot hundreds of POWs, much as WWII Germans sometimes did.
To cover this up from the United States and to cover up turning armor north, it attacked the American surveillance ship, USS Liberty, trying desperately for two hours to sink it with everything the pilots had. This was not an error as Israel claimed later, the ship was not only well-marked, Israel had been told of its presence, and the Israeli attack pilots who first buzzed the ship waved to the waving crew.
As to 1948, well, please, it was Israel who was slaughtering Palestinians, driving them out of their own land to seize their farms, homes, and villages - all re-named afterward. There were several documented mass atrocities by people like the Stern Gang, Irgun, and other Jewish terror organizations. Hundreds of civilians were shot and Palestinian women were raped. The hope was that all Palestinians would simply run away as the rumors spread. I should hope some Arab states responded with anger, but they made only a half-hearted effort.
1973 was indeed an attack by Egypt against Israel, but it happened in light of all I've written above and far more.
Israel has demonstrated not an ounce of ethics in its 65 years. Duplicity and killing have been the chief features of Israeli policy over the entire period. Let's not forget several invasions of Lebanon, killing tens of thousands, creating a years-long occupation (against which Hezbollah was formed, an army of genuine freedom-fighters, not terrorists), and using such horrible weapons as large numbers of cluster bombs on civilians.
And then America invaded Iraq, largely on Israel's behalf, killing a million. Now Israel and America have terrorists doing the same thing in Syria.
It has been a completely destructive and destabilizing history.
THE IDEA OF EUROPE'S AVOIDING RUSSIAN ENERGY - A COMPLETE MISTAKE PROMOTED BY SELFISH AMERICAN INTERESTS
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN SPUTNIK
It's not merely a "wrong method."
It's completely stupid because it violates Europe's own interests.
Anyone who looks at a map may plainly see that Europe and Russia form "a marriage made in heaven," as they say.
Europe's vast industries and huge population right next to Russia's vast natural resources and willingness to do business.
The United States has been pushing such nonsense on Europe for many years, and it is based entirely on a selfish imperial American ideology, not the interests of others.
The great irony is that America is always shouting from the roof tops about free markets, but then when that fair-minded economic philosophy comes seemingly into conflict with the American Empire, the Empire wins, every time.
I remember being in Washington back in the 1980s for an energy conference, and I met a representative of the State Department who expounded on why Europe should not buy Russian natural gas.
I told him then that that was an entirely wrong-headed view, but it is clearly one still cherished in Washington decades later.
It is actually pathetic that any state in Europe does not completely ignore Washington's dim-witted attitude.
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF
Of course she should.
But then that goes equally for her former boss, a.k.a., the President.
For thinking people, there never has been a great mystery about Benghazi.
It is an instance of classic blowback in a dirty intelligence operation.
The U.S. was rounding up, from the bloody mess they made of Libya, weapons and human scum to be shipped through Turkey to go kill still more people in Syria.
The Ambassador, up to his armpits in the dirty business, provided some thugs an accessible target as attractive in their eyes as any they might find in Syria.
The United States cannot explain the events in Libya because to do so would admit its responsibility for the bloody horrors of Syria.
ONTARIO'S PREMIER DISCUSSES WHY SHE PAID TEACHERS' UNIONS TO NEGOTIATE - PUBLIC EDUCATION OUT OF CONTROL - FOOLISH TEACHERS' COLLEGES - NO MANAGEMENT ANYWHERE IN EDUCATION
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TORONTO STAR
This is the dumbest, most Daltonesque stunt yet by McGuinty’s successor.
Unions are private organizations whose job is to get concessions from employers.
The teachers' unions are already well endowed because their members are well endowed, thanks to taxpayers.
Paying the unions money because you change the way negotiations are conducted is an idea straight from cloudcuckooland, and it should make clear to everyone in what a sad state of affairs we find ourselves. Quite possibly, the original change in the structure of negotiations was itself a hare-brained idea.
But then I must remember the Premier and her Education Minister are both former teachers.
God, will no one ever make a serious effort to get control over public education?
It is simply out of control.
Teachers who've left the classroom run the entire thing from principals to directors and to the Education Ministry.
Not only is the average public school teacher not skilled at management, many of them aren't even very good teachers because they have no special knowledge or strong motivation.
Unions belong in steel mills and plumbing shops, if anywhere, and not in schools. The very fact that they are there and function the way they do supports the previous observation about teachers’ skills.
The proof is in the pudding: Ontario's schools are not overly successful, and they are not even close to world-class. They are so-so, but they cost a fortune to run, almost all of it in the form of salaries and benefits.
Our teachers often can't use a computer, and computers have not been integrated into how we educate children. There are computer programs which should have replaced paper exercise sheets and even text books long ago, but Ontario doesn't exploit their learning strengths and cost reductions. Self-correcting programs designed by really capable people expert in their fields will beat the average drone teacher hands down in communicating a subject. They also can provide greater challenges to brighter students while allowing slower ones to go at a suitable pace.
We only get fraudulent reforms from our government such as making teachers' college a two-year program. Twice as much of nothing is still nothing, and it costs everyone twice as much. All this “reform” did was grandfather a lot of college staff who would have lost their jobs under mandated reduced student enrolments, itself a simple management housekeeping task which should have been done years ago. Teachers' colleges are where to go if you want to witness junk-science being taught as professional-level material. Moreover, they are staffed, again, with teachers who have left the classroom. Ridiculous.
We are backward in our public education, but the people responsible for the fact are never accountable and only ever want more pay and privileges, and our silly government is always ready to give it to them, sometimes even in elaborately disguised ways.
There are no checks or controls over the quality of our public education. No one assesses our teachers for their knowledge, curiosity about what is new, classroom demeanor, or methods at any point in what may be some forty years of exposing young minds to them. The only assessment ever is the fiasco that goes on in the teachers’ colleges. Their superiors, the principles, are only ex-teachers who’ve taken additional piles of academically-undemanding courses at a teachers’ college. They know nothing of management except by accident.
There are no able managerial people handling public education’s vast resources. None. If you have been exposed to a number of board superintendents and directors, you know how just how ineffectual a bureaucrat can be. They pretty much beat anything in all the old jokes about government agencies.
Local curricula for the most part are just nonsense because there is only a world curriculum if you want to be competitive.
Our public education today is a one-way trip to nowhere.
Friday, October 23, 2015
PROPAGANDIST SUGGESTS TRADE DEAL WITH ISIS TO SHAME BRITAIN'S DOING DEALS WITH CHINA - PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING - CHINA'S RECORD VERSUS BRITISH AND AMERICAN AND ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS HORRORS
EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT
Mark Steel is just a second-rate propagandist.
Of course, China has its flaws, and some serious ones.
But perspective is everything.
After all, let’s not forget that Britain did help mightily in killing about a million people in Iraq, the creation of a couple of million miserable refugees, and the destruction of large parts of an advanced society for generations.
And Britain happily supports America's horror in Syria, the letting-loose of tens of thousands of well-equipped cutthroats in an effort to destroy a beautiful land.
I haven't heard any public cries from Downing Street over the Saudi terror campaign in Yemen, including the use of cluster bombs on civilians. Perhaps I missed something?
No, I don't think I did. There was nothing either about all the Saudi beheadings and a sentence of crucifixion either. But there was a huge secret arms sale and a project for building prisons in one of the world’s great tyrannies.
Please, stuff like this of Mr. Steel's is just clap-trap. I doubt very much he raised his voice on such other atrocities as Israel's murderous abuse of several million Palestinians for half a century. This remains the world's single greatest example of a complete squashing of human rights and decency: the Palestinians have no votes, no rights, no future, and they can’t even enjoy their homes and farms with any security. Again, that is a matter about which we never hear from good old David or Mr. Steel for that matter.
After all, for David to do so, even slightly, would seriously harm relations with Rupert Murdoch, a man, by the way, whose British publishing empire was built in part on hacking the intimate telephone conversations of hundreds of unfortunate people, including victims of violent crime. To say nothing of casting a pall over those delightful country weekends with Rupert’s designated creature in Britain, red-haired bombshell Rebekah Brooks
Interesting, despite China's shortcomings in human rights, it has pretty well lived in peace with its neighbors for its entire modern existence.
That certainly cannot be said of the United States or its colony in the Middle East, the two most dangerous states in the modern world, both of whom get David's unlimited support and affection.
America has given us nothing but wars and coups and “interventions” since the end of the Second World War. The toll of their attempts to control the planet, including such glorious episodes as the Vietnam War, has been literally as many people killed - mostly civilian, as is the case in all modern war - as were killed in the Holocaust.
Three million victims just in Vietnam, another million in Iraq, a million in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Chile, Guatemala, and on and on.
Israel, America's colony in the Middle East, has behaved as a miniature replica of the mother country. It has done nothing but kill and suppress people for 65 years, having invaded every neighbor that it has, many of them two or three times.
I don't see how anyone can write what Mark Steel writes without being entirely ignorant of modern history or deliberately ignoring it. In either case, the result is not worth publishing.
HOPES FOR JEREMY CORBYN IN JUSTIN TRUDEAU VICTORY? - YES AND HERE IS EXACTLY WHY - HONESTY IN POLITICS - THE DARK MATTER OF ISIS - SECOND HOLOCAUST COURTESY OF AMERICA
EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Yes, there is something to the notion of Justin Trudeau’s experience in Canada having some application to Jeremy Corbyn’s situation in Britain.
Corbyn doesn't have Trudeau's good looks or family heritage, but they do share one very important quality.
They are both politicians who speak remarkably honestly.
And the people do come to understand that when they've heard from someone enough times.
Insincerity is the hallmark of most run-of-the-mill and smarmy politicians such as David Cameron.
And the people come to understand that, too, just as Canadians understood it about Stephen Harper.
It's just that they often, or usually, do not have an authentic choice in elections.
Give them a meaningful choice, and the democratic results can be gratifying.
Jeremy Corbyn has before him this possibility, and the hack political establishment knows and fears it.
That's why they came crawling out of the woodwork, day after day, name after name, at the mere possibility of his nomination as leader.
Imagine the second greatest liar living on the planet, Tony Blair, advising people against an honest man?
And the press gave him generous coverage, too, while he was doing it.
Pretty close to ridiculous.
Now, when we enter the subject of ISIS and other terrorists in Syria, we enter the world of complete dishonesty.
American flunkies like Cameron and Harper can do nothing about ISIS, except making token gestures. They are neither powerful enough nor can they take acts against what is American policy.
ISIS, al Nusra, and other gangs of murderers are doing America’s bidding - Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar serving as America’s chief administrative assistants in the murderous work.
David Cameron's implicit support for the terrorists in Syria, while blubbering on about fighting them, may be characterized as David's doing Rupert Murdoch's bidding.
Rupert is an intense supporter of Israel's interests, and the effort to destroy a stable Syria largely reflects Israel’s interests, just as the destruction of Iraq did. The cries of the birth of a new Middle East, as Condoleezza Rice once so graciously described subsidized murder and mayhem on a colossal scale.
Only this time, the key players and their associates do not want to take the credit and consequences and lingering sense of blameworthiness and shame involved in another illegal invasion, so they are secretly supporting a big gang of cutthroats - recruiting, training, supplying, and arming them - all while play-acting regret in public about the horrors they inflict. Who knows, such cynical, black-hearted policy may even have included plans to attack their own bloody servants in terror once the job of ruining Syria was done?
It is only because of the apparent contradictions arising from all the stoked-up press propaganda about ISIS - meant to play up their horrible acts as theater for the folks back home, intensifying Islamophobia and support for the existing, highly selective war on terror - that David Cameron feels moved to blubber on about (token) bombing.
But, of course, he has no intention of opposing American policy or Rupert Murdoch’s dictums in such matters. And that would considerably reduce the charm of country-house weekends with Rebekah Brooks.
Cameron wants to have his cake and eat it too, as they say. Talk about the banality of evil – David Cameron surely is one of our chief living examples, much the same as Canada’s now-departed Stephen Harper.
But Russia's genuine intervention in Syria is changing all of that by revealing the true state of affairs, how a determined attack can decimate these bloody thugs in fairly short order, unlike America's long-running pretend-attacks and actual attacks on Syrian infrastructure meant to support ISIS against Syria.
Response to a reader saying Trudeau’s victory was all in his name:
No, you are wrong. He fought a tough campaign, going from a point of being third in polls to victory.
Response to another reader calling Corbyn “a dead man walking”:
Yours are words which carry the pungent, seamy odor of Tony Blair with them.
THE SIXTH GREAT EXTINCTION BEING DRIVEN BY HUMANS ACCORDING TO ONE WRITER - RELIGION BLURRED WITH SCIENCE - EVER-CHANGING EARTH - A FUTURE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED HUMANS AND ROBOTS
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
A bit too much religion here, as there is in so much of this kind of apocalyptic discussion.
Every bad or undesirable thing going on seems thrown into the pot to suggest humans are creating a sixth great extinction.
We do change the planet, but I'm not sure that such change isn't "in the scheme of things."
The planet itself has changed immensely, time and time again, as the primordial super-continent broke up and pieces drifted apart, as great meteors fell from space, as volcanism reached high levels, and as the incoming solar radiation levels changed.
I would love to preserve every interesting or beautiful species, but I am afraid that is not possible, any more than it is possible to return mammoths and sabre-toothed cats.
Life itself is about change, continuing, relentless, and unstoppable change. It is called evolution. We as a people wouldn't even be recognizable to our ancestors of only a few hundred thousand years ago.
And I think it likely we will not be recognized by our future generations, as humans become part electronic or part genetically modified or even replaced by robots.
THE STEPHEN HARPER DECADE - NOT JUST UNHAPPY BUT DEPRESSING - THE TERRIBLE THEFT OF WHICH HARPER IS GUILTY
COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TORONTO STAR
That is an understatement.
Positively depressing is closer to the mark.
Worst of all, the very meaning of being Canadian in the world has been diminished and debased.
Harper stole something very precious from us, our good name.
Monday, October 19, 2015
KENNEDY ASSASINATION: RESEARCHERS CLAIM FAMOUS BACKYARD RIFLE PHOTO GENUINE - IF SO, WHY IT STILL PROVES NOTHING - REVIEW OF SOME KEY FACTS AND EVIDENCE AROUND CARCANO RIFLE
COMMENTS POSTED TO THE INDEPENDENT
This article tells us very little worth knowing while ignoring some tremendously important facts.
Apart from leaving out two unexplained cut-out mattes we have of someone standing in the backyard, the kind of thing used in forging composite photos in those days, even were the photo of Oswald authentic as claimed, it proves precisely nothing.
We know Oswald was carrying on a deception campaign about being a communist. In fact, he was a paid FBI informant (we even have his identifying number) during this effort which included everything from writing letters to handing out pamphlets.
He had previously been a phony defector to Russia for over two years in a program created by the Office of Naval Intelligence, a brainchild of the CIA’s legendary and often bizarre James Angleton. As a young Marine, one of above-average intelligence, Oswald was selected for Russian language training and suddenly started receiving communist literature at his barracks, to the amusement of his fellows. This was unquestionably to help build a “legend” for his future phony defection in a rather questionable program intended to discover what day-to-day life was like in the Soviet Union.
There is also absolutely no evidence Oswald actually purchased a mail-order rifle from Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago. It is too detailed to go into, but it remains completely unsettled whether he or someone else made this purchase. There is significant evidence that another unknown person had access to Oswald’s postal box.
The “killer” shot – the one to the right temple which explosively exited the rear of Kennedy’s skull, the occipitoparietal area, with a spray of material, including half his brain. Police outriders were hit with some of this gruesome stuff. Mrs Kennedy’s famous reaching back on the limousine was about reaching a piece of his skull blown back on the trunk. Such damage cannot ever be caused by a jacketed bullet of the kind used in the Mannlicher. It was caused by a soft nosed or explosive bullet. And it cannot ever be caused by a shot from the rear. Simply impossible.
In any event, that rifle is completely unsuitable for an assassination. It was not sighted correctly and was notoriously inaccurate as well as being subject to jamming. The World War II Italian army had utter contempt for it calling it a widow-maker.
Still further, there were several witnesses that the first rifle found at the Book Depository was a good one, a larger-calibre Mausser. It disappeared and the cheap Mannlicher–Carcano appeared later. Also the shells supposedly fired by Oswald were unrealistically lined-up on the floor for bolt-action shooting. The Dallas Police handled all evidence unbelievably badly – the chain of possession of key items having been violated many times - and there is strong reason to suspect some members were in on the conspiracy, including the one said to have been shot by Oswald later on a suburban street, Officer Tippet, a known right-wing militia type with highly questionable associations.
It is very likely that one of the assassination team – there were at least three men firing - fired ammunition suitable for the Mannlicher-Carcano with a device called a sabot, which allows a rile to fire smaller ammunition without making new barrel markings, from a different rifle. This provided actual strikes of such ammunition in the limo.
The limo had damage never formally investigated, including a hole in the windshield. After Kennedy’s body was taken to the hospital, the car was rushed off, ending up soon after to Ford’s Rouge River plant where it was cleaned-up and partially re-built, a totally inappropriate treatment of evidence. For the brief time it was at the hospital, despite Secret Service efforts to keep people away, several, including a reporter, saw the windshield bullet hole. There was also damage to chrome trim.
No honest and rational person who studies the evidence available to us can deny Kennedy was attacked from the right front (the general area of the grassy knoll). The first non-fatal neck wound was also an entry wound from the front. Other shots were fired from behind, but none of them would have seriously hurt him. I say “honest” person because there has been a stream of writers and apologists who have worked to muddy the waters, likely all in the pay or with the encouragement of the CIA, which has been covering up from day one with key files still not released.
By the way if you want to see an intriguing bit of photo analysis, see:
Response to a reader saying we already knew backyard picture authentic from Marina Oswald:
Yes, she authenticated the photos, under pressure from FBI and Secret Service men who controlled her every movement and could determine her fate, and that of her children, as to staying in the U.S. Marina's testimony is simply riddled with contradictions and uncertainties, making her sound almost insane at times.