Washington has blocked the final document of a UN conference that reviewed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, accusing Egypt of manipulating the gathering to target Israel. Moscow has slammed the US for rendering the four-week meeting futile.
The 9th international conference was held in New York from April 27 until May 22. A total of 162 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) participant states were in attendance. These conferences are held every five years to assess the worldwide disarmament process.
The blocked document included a plan to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. To do this, Egypt, who first proposed such a zone in 1980, suggested a regional UN conference on banning weapons of mass destruction. The gathering would have no pre-determined agenda and would go ahead with or without the presence of Israel.
This was stonewalled by the US, with Washington representative Rose Gottemoeller saying the final document reviewed on Friday was “incompatible with our longstanding policies.”
She accused Egypt and other Arab supporters of the nuclear-free zone of being “not willing to let go of these unrealistic and unworkable conditions,” AP reports.
Israel, which is an observer, but not a participant of the NPT, is widely believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, which it has neither confirmed nor denied. It is also a close ally of the US.
Egypt expressed its disappointment and said: “This will have consequences in front of the Arab world and public opinion.”
Washington’s position was backed by the UK and Canada, ultimately sinking the proposal which had to be approved by all countries.
Russia, for its part, said it was committed to nuclear non-proliferation and saw similar commitment from most other participants.
“The vast majority of the delegations have noted that the treaty remains a ‘cornerstone’ of international security and stability, and serves their interests,” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said. “Participant countries have confirmed their readiness to comply with their obligations under the NPT.”
“We regretfully acknowledge that because of the positions of the US, Britain and Canada, we could not adopt the final document which included provisions on fulfilling the 1995 resolution on creating a Middle East zone free of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction.” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
It added, however, that Russia still has faith in the Treaty: “Despite such an outcome of the conference, the Russian Federation is ready to continue cooperating with other countries to help strengthen the NPT, provide its wholesomeness and viability.”
The failure of this conference means the next one can only be held in 2020.
By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | May 13, 2015
World leaders have long known that in order to stay in power, scaring the populace is a vital ingredient in any campaign. Look to the March, 2015 victory of Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu, who fanned the fears of his racist population, claiming that ‘Arabs’ were going to the polls in droves. In the United States, for decades whichever candidate was more successful at stoking the flaming fear of communism glided to easy victory. And as Canada and the U.S. approach election season, with Canada’s election five months away, and the long, drawn out campaign for the White House a tortuous eighteen months away, it is now, apparently, time to begin fanning the fears of what is generally called ‘radical Islam’.
A CNN report of May 11 is headlined thusly: ‘Retired Generals: Be Afraid of ISIS’. The article refers to President Barack Obama as “naïve”; discusses “the ever-growing numbers of victims of radical Islam in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia”, and condemns “the frightfully slow pace America’s commander-in-chief is currently allowing our military and intelligence community to take action against both ISIS and its progenitor, al Qaeda….”
It is interesting that people who make their living from war are called upon to comment on whether war should continue or not. The writers of the CNN article are Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; retired Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC, and congressional counterterrorism adviser Michael S. Smith II. Interestingly, these gentleman are co-founders of a ‘strategic advisory firm’ called Kronos Advisory. A small quotation from their website puts their fear-mongering into perspective:
“Increased global economic competition among rising powers could also exacerbate issues such as these. Indeed, as lucrative opportunities lure companies from nations with limited defense and intelligence resources into ungoverned areas and failed states the potential flashpoints for conflict will multiply.
“To manage increasingly complex international affairs, security officials require more robust decision-support solutions that leverage high-level subject matter expertise and innovative thought leadership in the areas of irregular warfare, geostrategy, and associated policy development. And history tells us human intelligence will be central to any successful programs that seek to advance American and allied interests in this volatile environment.
“From subject matter expertise with transnational extremist networks, to predictive analytic capabilities that can help officials identify and understand future challenges before they materialize, to strong relationships with lawmakers committed to helping defense and intelligence organizations achieve their missions, Kronos Advisory’s global network can deliver a range of vital resources national security managers require to more fully understand their operational environment — and define it.”
And as long as there is war, there can be little doubt that the costly services of Kronos Advisory will be in demand.
While the words from the Kronos Advisory website are self-explanatory, there is one small area that requires particular focus: “relationships with lawmakers committed to helping defense and intelligence organizations achieve their missions”. And now we get to the crux of the matter. Messrs. Flynn, Livingston and Smith all had prominent roles in the government, and now are capitalizing on the ‘strong relationships’ with those members of Congress who rely on the so-called defense industry to fund their campaigns. These members of Congress will keep the war machine working, thus keeping the military lobby happy, providing endless perquisites for the government officials, and keeping businesses such as Kronos Advisory very busy. Where in this is there anything about what’s best for the people?
Let us take just a moment to look at the three ‘frightening’ expressions quoted above. Mr. Obama, these august businessmen say, is naïve. Perhaps he has, naively, not yet sought out their services and expertise, which may have had a lot to do with their motivation for writing for CNN. Secondly, they state with alarm “the ever-growing numbers of victims of radical Islam in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia”, not mentioning that most of those victims die as a result of U.S.-provided bombs. Lastly, they bemoan “the frightfully slow pace America’s commander-in-chief is currently allowing our military and intelligence community to take action against both ISIS and its progenitor, al Qaeda…”, hoping, perhaps, for a wider, more comprehensive war which will require their services to a far greater extent, thus increasing their bottom line, at the expense of the blood of people around the world.
Meanwhile, north of the border, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a short time ago considered vulnerable in this year’s election, said this during a visit to Canadian troops in Kuwait: “Make no mistake: by fighting this enemy here you are protecting Canadians at home. Because this evil knows no borders”. One is reminded of a statement made on September 12, 2008 by then Alaska Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, when bidding an official farewell to soldiers on their way to Iraq. She said that their mission was to “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.” Any connect between Iraq and the September 11 attacks against the U.S. had long since been debunked, but what is this to Mrs. Palin? When the flag can be waved in a patriotic display, what do facts have to do with anything?
The same is true with Mr. Harper’s bizarre statement. The indiscriminate killing of Muslims doesn’t protect ‘Canadians at home’. It has, indeed, the opposite effect. A ‘Tweet’ sent in 2012 by a lawyer in Yemen to Mr. Obama applies as well to Mr. Harper: “Dear Mr. Obama, when a U.S. drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda.” So Canada, continuing to disgrace itself on the world stage, follows along with U.S. mass murder in the Middle East.
But jingoism sells, whether the original, U.S. version, or the copy that has now apparently been successfully exported to Canada. ‘They’ are bad; ‘we’ are good, and the only thing the ‘good’ people can do is kill the ‘bad’ people. Mr. Harper is positioning himself for victory by framing his campaign in the tried and true ‘us vs. them’ model that has long been successful in the U.S. As the U.S. election campaigning ramps up, with more and more clowns entering the two-ring circus known as the Democratic and Republican primaries, we can watch the candidates from both parties fall all over themselves to prove that they want to kill more of the ‘bad’ people, and will do it longer and more effectively, than any of their opponents. No doubt they will be assisted by Kronos Advisory.
What will future generations say? Will they look upon the current world situation as today we might look upon Neanderthal society, observing the way primitive man lived? Will they comment intellectually on the little value that human life had for twenty-first century society, and the way that society worked hard to develop more effective ways to eradicate it? Will they marvel at how close the population came to extinction through war?
This is the legacy we are leaving; this is what our descendants will say about us.
Sadly, with the media corporate-owned, and the U.S. education system only deteriorating, there seems to be little hope for any significant change in the near future.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has signaled plans to apply hate crime laws against advocacy groups that encourage the boycott of Israel, a report says.
The report by the Canadian broadcaster, CBC News on Monday said the move would target numerous civil society organizations who promote the boycott over the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the expansion of its illegal settlements in the besieged areas.
“If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” the report read.
The Harper government’s intention was revealed in statements by federal ministers to the broadcaster about a “zero tolerance” policy toward groups supporting the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, which is part of international efforts to pressure Tel Aviv to stop its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
A vast range of Canadian organizations support BDS including the country’s largest Protestant Christian denomination the United Church of Canada, Independent Jewish Voices, which is the chief organizer of the movement’s activity in Canada, various university groups and labor unions.
Asked what the policy means and what the authorities are doing to enforce it, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, detailed in a written statement a list of the country’s updated hate laws.
“We will not allow hate crimes to undermine our way of life, which is based on diversity and inclusion,” the spokesperson added.
Canadian civil liberty groups criticized the government plans, saying it would almost certainly be challenged under the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This is the latest move the Canadian government is planning to muzzle the BDS movement and supporters of the cause.
In January, Canada’s then foreign minister, John Baird, signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Israeli regime in al-Quds (Jerusalem), pledging to combat BDS, a movement the agreement described as “the new face of anti-Semitism.”
Last year, Ottawa changed the country’s Criminal Code, expanding the definition of hate speech to include statements against “national origin” along with race and religion.
Micheal Vonn, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, said the change in the country’s criminal code is clearly “a tool to go after critics of Israel.”
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
Last month, 16 European foreign ministers condemned the “expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories,” demanding that all imported goods originating from settlements be distinctly labeled.
More than half a million Israeli settlers live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands. However, the Tel Aviv regime defies calls to abandon its illegal settlement activities.
Ontario Power Generation owns 20 nuclear power reactors. Two of them permanently shut down. Six more scheduled to be retired by 2020.
The largest nuclear power station in North America is the Bruce NPP, located close to the shore of Lake Huron. The Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF) is sited on land adjacent to the eight operating reactors at Bruce. At WWMF, radioactive reactor wastes of all kinds from all of Ontario’s reactors are stored in surface or near-surface facilities. In recent years, because of the removal of large volumes of materials from inside the cores of these reactors and other materials connected directly to the core reactor vessel, the amounts and levels of radioactivity have gone up dramatically in the nuclear waste inventory at WWMF.
These wastes will remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. No one denies this elementary fact. But corporate bodies can not tolerate the concept of a never-ending liability, one that may require repeated expenditures far into the future, so they want to devise a protocol by which they can abandon these wastes. OPG describes the project as having four phases — construction, emplacement, closure, and abandonment. The object of the exercise is to abandon the waste. That is one of the chief motivations for burying nuclear waste — it’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. If and when this dangerous radioactive material escapes from the repository, as has happened at two such deep underground nuclear waste dumps in Germany and one in Carlsbad New Mexico — it will be somebody else’s problem. Not OPG’s. And not CNSC’s. Those bodies will have washed their hands of all responsibility. And if the radioactive material leaks out in the future, people will have no idea what those materials are or how to deal with them, and no resources to do so, because amnesia inevitably follows abandonment.
Alternatively, CCNR advocates a policy of Rolling Stewardship, by which the waste will never be abandoned but will be constantly monitored and kept in a retrievable condition indefinitely. We know how to package this waste very well so that it does not contaminate the environment. This information and this responsibility must be passed on to each successive generation with all necessary documentation regarding the dangers involved and the necessity of retrieving and repacking the material before any leakage problems develop. The necessary authority, information, and resources can be ceremonially transmitted to the next generation by means of a formal inauguration ceremony every 20 years or so. With the advance of knowledge and engineering capability, each generation will hopefully be able to do as well or better than the previous generation, until one day there may be a method for genuinely neutralizing these wastes or otherwise rendering them harmless. In the meantime, when the Bruce site closes down, the waste should be removed from the vicinity of the Great Lakes for greater security.
Abandoning the waste, as OPG plans to do in Phase 4 of their proposal, is not a solution to the problem. It is simply a corporate strategy for terminating liability.The waste is dangerous for much more than 100,000 years. The Great Lakes came into existence only 10,000 years ago. The pyramids of Egypt were built about 5000 years ago. OPG brags that it has studied this geological formation for 10 years. Over a period of 60 years, the USA has tried 8 times to locate a safe underground waste repository for its spent nuclear fuel, and it has failed all 8 times.
Why would anyone want to permanently lodge all of Ontario’s nuclear waste (except spent fuel) from all of its nuclear reactors right beside one of the most important reservoirs of fresh water in the world — the Great Lakes? The answer is simply: convenience. That’s where the reactors were built, so that’s where the waste has accumulated. And that’s where waste from other reactor sites has been dumped. There is no other reason for such proximity to the drinking water supply for 40 million people.
Gordon Edwards, PhD in Mathematics (Queen’s University), co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. He can be reached at: email@example.com. Visit Gordon’s website.
The Prize: Extinction
Don’t expect the concept of extinction or omnicide to roll off the lips of nuclear warriors. Their brains focus on the win-ability of nuclear war to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Let’s take a minute to examine the myopic mindset of nuclear strategists and what we should be doing about it.
The story of nuclear weapons begins with the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Since then, many authors have written and exposed this event as being more about starting a new war with our ally Russia than about ending WWII, more about continuing war so that the vast fortunes made by the US arms industry from WWII could continue indefinitely into the future.
Ever since Little Boy, the US has threatened Russia with nuclear bombs, and even had Russia ringed with nuclear weapons by 1951.1 Today the US is parading its nuclear arsenal in Ukraine along the Russian border in an unimaginable display of blatant aggression. Note that Russia is not posturing the same way by having Russian troops lined along the border of Canada or Mexico. The US claim that Russian aggression forces them to Russia’s doorstep with nuclear weapons is patently false. The Russian army remains in Russia, while the US military and its many mercenary armies are not only in Ukraine but run rampant across the planet.
Continuous aggressive nuclear posturing by the US over the years was memorialized in a military strategy called Escalation Dominance, wherein, rungs on a ladder of aggression escalate violence incrementally up the ladder until full domination is achieved. The principle of this stratagem was Dean Acheson, who laid out this plan in a now declassified top secret National Security Council Memorandum: NSCM-68, which was then received by President Harry S. Truman on April 14, 1950. It originated in the bowels of a secret meeting between the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations in 1939 explicitly detailing the role of a US empire as a replacement for the British Empire.2
The Council was set up in 1921 as a bridgehead to bring America’s emerging power under the umbrella of the British throne. This had already been partially accomplished by modeling the Ivy League colleges after Cambridge. Imperial-minded professors were given free range to preach the gospel of privilege for an elite few. As Britain fell from the top position of colonial power, the aristocracy, although now in the back seat, remained in the lead limousine of a new arising phenomenon called globalization—turning the world into a singular vast colony for elite domination.
The Council produces an influential magazine called Foreign Affairs. Council director Isaiah Bowen wrote in 1942 that the US must secure areas “strategically necessary for world control.” Foreign Affairs editor Edwin Gay wrote, “When I think of the British Empire as our inheritance, I think simply of the natural right of succession.” America was on track to take over the world, country after country, in domino fashion. British imperialism reaching around the globe using American muscle would be distasteful to the American people, who thought they had escaped British influence through their revolution, so the creeping dominoes of world control had to be blamed on some other targeted enemy, still ally at the time, Russia.
Professors Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod summarized the new state of affairs:
The advent of atomic warfare gave a new twist to the plans to assume the mantle of the British Empire: just as the British used the battleship as an ultimate weapon of intervention, the US would use the atomic bomb. According to the Council’s study groups, naval superiority, which protected and expanded British investments around the world, would be replaced by atomic superiority. Gunboat Diplomacy would be replaced by Atomic Diplomacy. Pax Britannia would give way to Pax Americana.3
A US new world order was rising out of the crumbling British, French, and German colonial empires. Financial barons from Wall Street were eager to be the architects of this new world order. About 100 senior bankers and lawyers jelled into what was called the “old boys’ network or “national security establishment.”4 Like aristocracies of old, their enemy was any populist sharing of power. The people of America were to be left out, while the US Constitution was to be ignored or used only in limited cases to shore up the old boys grip on power.
The aristocracies of old Europe were now to be demoted to puppet dictators. For example, exiled White Russians and members of the Tsarist aristocracy who fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution would be allowed to set up a puppet government for Wall Street. Russia had to be dismembered to expose its vast resources to the new world order, the new internationalists.
Back home, Constitutionally-minded Republicans and Democrats were not keen on American expansionism, as imperialism emanating from any country is anathema to a global plurality of democracies. Non-interventionist Congressmen wanted the US to remain isolated, sovereign, and independent, leaving other countries to fend for themselves, choosing their own respective sovereign destinies in the spirit of freedom. This friction came to a head when a fistfight broke out in a Senate chamber between internationalist Dean Acheson and his arch-enemy, Senator Ken Wherry from Nebraska.
Acheson was an impeccable member of the Eastern Establishment, growing up as a member of the upper class. His father became an Anglican minister then bishop of Connecticut after serving as a British Army Officer. His family was steeped in the traditions and mores of British colonialism. His mother grew up in a wealthy banking family with business interests in England and Canada. As part of the old-boy network, he attended colleges like Groton and Yale, “where it was considered the birthright and perhaps even the duty of his social class to intervene in the affairs of other nations.”5
Acheson saw most Americans as his social inferior, including the low-class haberdasher from Missouri, President Truman. Acheson hated the right-wing Republican isolationists who opposed the interventionist policies of the Council. In his typical condescending manner, he called the isolationists “sub-humans” and “apes,”6 unenlightened by his own troglodytic tendencies of greed and selfish acquisitiveness through ruthless means.
Like Acheson, the Dulles brothers, John Foster and Allen, were sons of a well-to-do clergyman. As boys, they tagged along with their grandfather to conferences around the world that introduced them to international power politics. They, too, attended exclusive schools like Princeton, which were modeled after aristocrat-controlled Cambridge University in England. John Foster traveled extensively during WWII, making intimate friends with members of the British Colonial Office.
Lord Cranbourne argued that Britain could no longer run its Empire alone, and that US elites should join and help lead a new bigger British world empire. America supposedly had escaped the grip of the British Empire, only to have the likes of John Foster Dulles aspire to yoke Americans right back into the ranks of British servitude. No wonder there was a fistfight in the Senate chamber.
The Dulles brothers father, Allen Macy Dulles, reared his boys to embrace missionary Christianity. The world was to be led by a new imperial ministry and their weapon of choice for global domination was nuclear Escalation Dominance. Students at Groton even coined a name for it, muscular Christianity. The age-old “divine right of kings” seems to have changed only in faces and names. The new theological kings declare “onward Christian soldiers” with nuclear weapons at their side and an image of Armageddon as doable. President Reagan puzzled over the possibility of Armageddon, uncertain whether or not God was commanding him to destroy earth or to leave it in the hands of God.
Psychopathology in Aristocracy
Aristocrats commonly suffer from profound delusional thinking and Severe Narcissistic Personality. They live a seeming fairytale life style, floating above the normal mundane chores of life, like having to cook or clean, never having to wash dishes, clothes or toilets. Being raised like veal, as in a confined ideological world, lends itself to psychological anemia and disconnected thinking from reality, thus, setting the stage for delusional thinking. The unusual degree of pampering in their upbringing includes coaching them to believe that their station in life is above the masses, even elevated in some theocratic families to the status of demigod, born of and “chosen” by God to lead lower classes. By self-pronouncing, without question, that their power is derived by God, they need not defer to the people themselves. The masses are, in effect, irrelevant and completely disposable. History is rife with examples of the aristocracy amusing themselves with killing lower people, like in the Roman coliseums. Disconnection from reality causes some elites to become perplexed by the distaste of the masses being subjected to the cruelties of servitude.
In the nuclear age, profound consequences follow from a toxic brew of distorted, disconnected, and arrogant thinking. From secret minutes of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles repeatedly bewailed the ignorance of the American people, “who draw an ‘artificial’ distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons and cannot realize that atomic bombs should be treated like bullets.”7 By losing touch with the fire power difference of bullet that kills one person versus an atomic bomb, like Little Boy, that fell on Hiroshima and indiscriminately killed 100,000 plus civilians reveals a callous disrespect for life almost too incomprehensible to imagine.
In addition, the lust for power adds an aggravating element of addiction to the toxic mix of disassociation, as exemplified by Dulles. Pursuit of power can become so engrossing and self-absorbing as to preclude the outside world, disconnecting critical brain functions from life and consequences of intended actions, not unlike a drug addict, totally obsessed with a perceived need to rob and kill to acquire money for the next fix. Keep in mind too, that not all members of the very rich become psychopaths.
John Kenneth Galbraith grew up among the elite but didn’t lose his sanity. He often lamented, however, the fact of being hopelessly outnumbered by the others in the Council “who felt it was natural, proper, and even Christian to apply force against other nations.”8 Having self-declared demigod status, “Thou shalt not kill” was meant only for the lower-class masses. Being the indispensible exception, as part of the white mans’ burden, the son’s of theologians all too often become entrenched in the perceived higher missionary work of eradicating the world of nonbelievers.
Adding another dimension to the toxic stew is the love of war, love of mass murder, which is so prevalent in military circles. John Hersey’s book: The War Lovers tells the story of how the fascination with annihilation drives men to obsess over death, like a moth flirting forward to test a candle’s flame.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark warned:
The pitiful mentality and ethic that can tirelessly banter, threaten, and toy with omnicide cannot be permitted to wield such power… The obvious joy that men like Teller, Kaysen, LeMay, Rostow, Kissinger, Haig, Brzezinski, Allen, and Reagan reflect in wielding such power provides a clear warning of our peril.9
We certainly can add the names of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Netanyahu, and a slew of neoconservatives. While working in a Top Secret war room, I personally witnessed officers planning wars of untold destruction. If necrophilia exudes a tone, then the prevailing mood in that war room was necrophilia. The clear warning is that we have allowed civilization to drift into the hands of necrophiliacs.
General Patton said that war is the “cataclysmic ecstasy of violence.” Nazi torturers described an almost orgasmic fascination with killing—almost a feeling of omnipotence. One psychopath described to Dr. Helen Caldicott how, as a boy, he experienced feelings of ecstasy by piercing the belly of a frog with a stick and watching it squirm and burn to death as he roasted it over a fire.10
These individuals are disconnected from humanity and reality, lost in pleasure seeking and intoxication with power, the power to destroy. The ultimate climax would be to destroy all life, creating a planetary-wide necropolis, as exemplified by the sinking of the gods into the sea, as the final climax in Wagner’s opera, Twilight of the Gods, which fascinated and held captive the mind of Adolf Hitler.
The general public finds it difficult to relate to this whole discussion of torture, narcissistic demigods, and necrophiliacs because the masses do not suffer the drama of these disturbed personalities. It takes one to know one, or you have to study psychopathology. Psychopaths flock together in the high echelons of power, out of view of the general populace. Therefore, the general public, out of ignorance, fails to conceive of remedies that could address such a strange disconnection from reality.
Keep in mind that psychopathology in war is not exclusive to other countries. As part of NATO, Canada plays a junior role in US gang murders around the planet. Nuclear threats to Russia and Iran are ongoing. This puts the Prime Minister’s office right in the thick of things, even escalating tensions in neighboring countries. Stephen Harper now claims that his administration can escape unharmed from bombing Syria and Libya, because (a) the US has world courts in a head lock, unable to prosecute him for war crimes, and (b) that victim countries cannot fight back because they lack the missiles required to shoot down Canadian fighter-bombers flying at high altitudes.
Of course, bombing little weak countries evokes mass casualties, mass murder. So Harper is claiming, in effect, that he can get away with a bloodbath scot-free. Does this evoke from you an image of a national hero personally bearing arms in a fight to stop a foreign invading army of Canada, or does it solicit more of an image of an emasculated leader who hides his cowardice behind the apron of a western gang murder force called NATO? Since none of the civilians he will have killed will ever have had the right to be tried for any crime, should he not personally go there to accuse, convict, condemn, then slay all these people with his own two hands in a spectacular showing of imperial just cause? You be the judge.
NATO consistently makes a patently false claim that bombing countries is done in order to free them. These countries are left in ruble. Churches, schools, hospitals, drinking water and food supplies are all destroyed in what NATO calls their responsibility to protect, the pretext they use to self-invite their bombing campaigns.
The real reason is stated behind closed doors, far away from the evening television news. The real goal is to further imperialism, to clear the land of all obstacles so that western corporations can access and take all the resources for free [more accurately, to be dominant over economic relations]. Dead people don’t complain or resist the taking of their lands. Psychopaths drive these wars of conquest.
These bombings constitute wars of aggression, what the UN now defines as the most egregious human behavior ever imagined. Yet, this is the current state of world affairs. For the record, US war-planners created and exploded the first atomic weapons over Japan in 1945. Their descendants have gone on to use tactical nuclear weapons in eight countries. No other country has used atomic or nuclear weapons on another country.11
The use of nuclear weapons has become so routine, that killing and poisoning the landscape of other countries has become part of an American nuclear culture. Imbued into the political landscape, nuclear weapons are never discussed in Congress, in Parliament, or the nightly news as weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, they are now claimed to be conventional weapons, you know, like rocks and spears. War-planners claim they are defensive weapons. Logically, this means that any number of them could be exploded over North-American soil to stop an incoming invasion. Can you imagine nuclear bombs going off all over the country in the name of protecting the land? I can’t. It’s just another example of disconnected, ignorant, and arrogant thinking.
Final Analysis: Sanity as a Path to Recovery
The most fundamental war facing humanity is the conflict between psychopathology and sanity. If we intend to survive, we need to begin a new mode of thinking. If we don’t we will continue to drift toward unparalleled catastrophe as Einstein warned us. We need to start educating ourselves about the causes and cures of wars. This new endeavor could be called warology. To some degree, each of you needs to become a warologist.
You need to understand that the role of Escalation Dominance in nuclear power politics, as carefully researched and explained by professors Kaku and Axlerod, is a move towards a state of total global domination and servitude. Seeking absolute power over other human beings is seeking the power of gods, the ultimate folly of an egocentric narcissistic personality, a self-anointed demigod that finds little room for other people on this earth except in the service of the narcissist’s pleasures.
Nuclear-war planners live in a world of make-believe, where they disconnect themselves from reality. They have to pretend that a god gives them the right to make and use hideous weapons of mass destruction. They have to pretend that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima did not produce mass destruction and ought not be of any more concern than a bullet. They have to pretend that evaporating people is part of a new normal. They have to pretend that shooting off nuclear weapons all over the world would be a permissible defensive posture. They have to pretend that by disallowing any media discussion of the use of nuclear weapons renders such weapons automatically safe for use. They have to pretend that nuclear weapons are not offensive weapons, which involves war crimes of the highest dimension.
The public is not trained to directly change the egomaniac delusions of the demigods, but it must not fall prey to collusion by accepting another set of delusional beliefs:
— that we are completely innocent and therefore free of all responsibility;
— that we are helpless;
— that our voices won’t count even if we do express ourselves;
— that public opinion is 100% ignored by the politicians;
— that any effort we put forward must show immediate results and rewards;
— that we can control nuclear war once it breaks out;
— that since an all-out nuclear war has not yet happened, it never will, so we can relax and ignore the problem.
You would likely scrub this last belief if you informed yourself of the many near misses we’ve had. For instance, in a single 18 month period, fail-safe mechanisms malfunctioned 151 times, and there were 32 broken arrow accidents between 1950-1980 alone.12
Sanity must come to power. To be sane, we have to live in the real world, not fantasy-land. Pretending that nuclear weapons are legitimate, legal, defensive weapons is insane. War-planners are insane, but what about the rest of us? Are we absolutely innocent? We must own our part.
We allow nuclear posturing to go on as if nothing has changed with the splitting of the atom. We look the other way. We, too, pretend that nuclear weapons are legal by virtue of our silence.
A thick blanket of nothingness hangs over the land: no media debate, too little rational-fear, too little rational-anger, considering the massive number of deaths thus far. If our collective-psyche is too numb to register fear, anger, and remedial action, then we need to question our own sanity. Is censoring a public debate in the media sufficient to make us numb and unwittingly insane? Well, we better start talking about it.
Sanity requires rational thought, rational discussion, and remedial action. Any one of the following: making, storing, transporting, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons is an international war crime, yet collectively, we have not created the proper courts to enforce war crime statutes.
Independent war crimes tribunals already have been conducted, showing the world how proper legal proceedings are done, like the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and the International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia. We, the people of the world, need to get behind the findings of these tribunals and push. This will take precious time that we can hardly spare. Meanwhile, the people of the world have a right to vote on the question of extinction, exactly where an all-out nuclear war is leading.
What to do right now
Would it not be logical for everyone in the world who has a computer to contact the White House with a clear message that nuclear war is not an option? Please don’t pretend that stopping nuclear war is the job of someone else, someone out there in fairyland.
We should not need to be told that having and raising children with a long bloodline loses all of its meaning and value when extinction arrives. Surely, a fight for the survival of posterity is something worth waging. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “No nation or individual, can be permitted to possess the power to destroy the world.”
The good news is that public opinion does have a dramatic effect on governments. Professors Kaku and Axlerod give ample examples of where, when, and how public opinion pulled nuclear policy makers back from triggering nuclear war.
Contact the White House. Keep contacting the President from time to time. Don’t expect a response, but they do count votes, pro and con, to every subject people raise and praise or complain about.
If you need to be energized, borrow a little psychological power from the movie, Network. You first have to get mad as hell. Get off your chairs, but I don’t want you to go to the window and shout out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more.”
Instead, I want you to go to your computers and type “The White House” into your web search window. When you get on site, click on “Contact US.” Find the blue box that says, “Submit comments online.” Click on it. Fill out the required information. In the comment window, I want you to type just three words, “No Nuclear War.” That’s it. Hit the send button.
If you then spread this message through social media, millions of people could flood the White House with a message too large in number for the President to ignore. This gives the President ammunition to show to the Pentagon warriors who are itching to conduct nuclear war. Be proud of yourselves. Tell your children and friends that you are at work on the right side of history.
- Caldicott, Dr. Helen. Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War. 1984. William Morrow and Company, Inc. New York, 69.
- Kaku, Michio and Axlerod, Daniel. To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans. 1987. Black Rose Books, Montreal-New York, 63.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 64.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 39.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 67.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 69.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 314.
- Kaku & Axelrod, 161.
- Kaku & Axelrod, viii.
- Caldicott, 296-297.
- Eight countries attacked with tactical nuclear weapons—one country with atomic bombs—all sponsored by the US government: Egypt by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; Iraq in 1991 US attack called Desert Storm; Yugoslavia during 1999 US continuous bombing raid of 78 days and nights; after 9/11: Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa, Libya, Syria.
- Caldicott, 17, 44.
Bo Filter is a social scientist, speaker, and author of The Cause of Wars and Aggression: Book 1.
How Air Canada broke the law, laid off thousands of workers, and outsourced operations to Israeli military drone maker
Air Canada had a very simple plan to increase its profits.
Step 1: Spin the airline’s heavy maintenance unit off as a separate entity
Step 2: Starve the spin-off of work and bankrupt it gradually
Step 3: Outsource the operations to an Israeli military drone manufacturing company wholly owned by the government of Israel.
Air Canada spun off its in-house maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit Air Canada Technical Services as a separate company, AVEOS, in 2007, four years after the national carrier entered into bankruptcy protection.
In 2011, many Air Canada workers were transferred against their will to AVEOS, despite a legal challenge by International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to prevent this transfer.
Slowly, but surely, Air Canada started taking work away from AVEOS, and sending it abroad. First it was to Germany then to China. As Air Canada accounted for 90% of AVEOS’s business, Air Canada’s actions hit the maintenance company hard, and AVEOS was forced to file for bankruptcy in March 2012 leaving 2,600 employees jobless.
Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu, who raked in $9.5 million the same year, justified Air Canada’s actions by placing the blame squarely on AVEOS for not being “cost competitive”.
The Attorney General of Canada filed a law suit against Air Canada for breaching the Air Canada Public Participation Act which reads:
6. (1) The articles of continuance of the Corporation shall contain
(d) provisions requiring the Corporation to maintain operational and overhaul centres in the City of Winnipeg, the Montreal Urban Community and the City of Mississauga;
In February 2013, the Quebec Superior Court issued a 139-page ruling finding Air Canada guilty of violating the Air Canada Public Participation Act.
“The court concludes that Air Canada doesn’t respect the law put in place when it privatized in 1988,” Justice Martin Castonguay wrote.
Georges Bujold, general chairman, eastern region, for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers warned the workers not to have too high expectations about getting their jobs back anytime soon, as he expected Air Canada to drag this all the way to the Supreme Court, and a final ruling won’t be made for years.
Bujold’s prediction came true in the form of a terse email from Air Canada: “Air Canada will be appealing this Quebec Superior Court decision, given the importance of the matter, and makes no further comment at this time.”
Even if the Supreme Court rules in the Canadian workers’ favour, Bujold fears that the Harper government will simply pass legislation to overturn the decision.
“We never know with the Tories what position they would take but it wouldn’t surprise the IAM that Air Canada would make that request to the prime minister or the minister of transport to revisit the Air Canada Act and make those modifications,” Bujold said.
In January 2014, the Air Canada CEO accompanied Stephen Harper on the Prime Minister’s official visit to Israel. A year later, Air Canada signed a maintenance deal with Israel Aerospace Industries, a company wholly owned by the government of Israel, and considered to be a pioneer of drone technology.
Senate Judiciary Committee – Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights heard from journalist and author Peter Bergen that “Israel is the world’s largest exporter of drones and drone technology, and the state-owned Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) has sold to countries as varied as Nigeria, Russia and Mexico. IAI has also reportedly sold a ‘loitering weapon’ called the Harop to India, Turkey, France, and Germany.”
Meanwhile, it has been a turbulent time for many of the 2,600 workers who lost their jobs and had to wait almost two years to hear any news of their severance pay or pensions. Some workers are hopeful that Air Canada will drop its appeal and bring maintenance jobs back to Canada. Many others, however, are not holding their breath.
Enclosed are two recent news articles on the case of Nadiya Savchenko, a former pilot in the Ukrainian air force. She stands accused by the Russian court system of directing fire in June, 2014 in eastern Ukraine resulting in the deaths of two Russian journalists. Because of her detention in Russia and the criminal charges she faces, she has become a folk hero in Ukraine and internationally for those who are supporting Ukraine’s war against the people in the east of that country.
Rally in New York to free accused war criminal Nadiya Savchenko (Olga Loginova, Radio Free Europe)
The first enclosed article, from Russia Insider, reports on the vote of the European Parliament on April 30 to threaten more sanctions against Russia if it does not release Savchenko from detention. The second article, from Canada’s Globe and Mail national daily, reports on a recent, two-day visit by Vera Savchenko to Ottawa as part of her campaign to win her sister’s release.
In the Globe and Mail article, the writer mentions Nadiya Savchenko’s decision last year to join what is called a “voluntary battalion” fighting for Kyiv in eastern Ukraine. The term “voluntary battalion” is used seveal times in the article. Unmentioned by the Globe is the fact that the battalion in question is the extremist ‘Aidar Battalion’.
‘Aidar’ has been cited for many months now by Amnesty International and countless sources in Ukrainian and international media for widespread commission of war crimes. Recently, New Cold War.org brought to the attention of English language readers the two reports published in November 2014 and March 2015 by the Moscow-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy documenting the widespread practice of torture of prisoners—rebel fighters captured in combat and civilians who are detained–by the Ukrainian armed forces, national police and the “volunteer battalions” operating alongside them.
The two reports on torture as well as media reports and other human rights reports in Russia and Ukraine on the same subject have gone utterly ignored by Western media. To the point where newspapers like the Globe and Mail can blithely refer to “volunteer battalions” such as Aidar and make them sound almost like squads of military cadets.
Ah, details, details. Why should war crimes get in the way of yet another story blaming Russia for anything and everything going wrong in Ukraine, in this case the story of a terribly unfair detention of an extremist accused of aiding the killing of journalists?
Also unmentioned in the Globe and Mail article are the aforementioned circumstances of Savchenko’s arrest—that she stands accused of directing fire that resulted in the deaths of two journalists. Regretfully, this is of a pair with the Globe and Mail‘s failure to report the wave of killings of journalists and opposition politicians that has shaken Ukraine in the past several months and the special laws being approved by Ukraine’s Parliament for the purpose of stamping out social and antiwar protests and banning opposition political parties.
To close, here is a description of the case of Nadiya Savchenko, excerpted from an article published in New Cold War.org on Jan 30, 2015. Further below are the two news articles mentioned earlier.
The case of Nadiya Savchenko, excerpt from ‘Toronto Star newspaper is running with the extreme right in Ukraine‘, in New Cold War.org, Jan. 30, 2015:
Twice in the past month, the Toronto Star has published articles by its journalists promoting the campaigns of the far right in Ukraine. The latest such article appeared on January 14, by Star foreign affairs writer Olivia Ward. It champions the cause of one Nadiya Savchenko, a member of the far-right ‘Aidar’ paramilitary battalion who has been in jail in Russia since June 2014.
Savchenko is a staunch ideologue of the war in eastern Ukraine. She took a “vacation” from her posting in the Ukrainian armed forces in order to join the Aidar Battalion and see action, not long after Kyiv launched its civil war in the east in April 2014. She was already known as one of only two women in Ukraine to volunteer and serve in the U.S.-led war in Iraq in 2003. She is a trained pilot in the Ukrainian air force.
Russian journalist Igor Kornelyuk, killed by Ukrainian mortar fire on June 17, 2014
Savchenko faces criminal charges that she directed mortar fire in the Luhansk region on June 17 causing the deaths of two Russian journalists, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, who were reporting on the conditions of war refugees in eastern Ukraine. Two other journalists, a Russian and Italian, were killed by battalion mortars one month earlier, on May 24.
There are several versions of how Savchenko ended up in a Russian jail. One has her arrested by self defense forces and then transferred into the hands of the Russian judicial system. The other (the Russian government version) says she crossed the border into Russia and was detained.
Russian journalist Anton Voloshin, killed by Ukrainian mortar fire on June 17, 2014
Terming Savchenko Ukraine’s “Joan of Arc”, Olivia Ward writes, “She has shattered sexist stereotypes to become a poster girl for Ukraine’s battle with its giant neighbour, which has seized the Crimean Peninsula and is now eyeing Ukraine’s turbulent eastern region.”
Savchenko has become a cause célèbre of the far right in Ukraine as a result of her detention. She was appointed to the Ukrainian Parliament (‘Rada’) following the election of Oct. 26, 2014 by the ‘Fatherland’ electoral machine of the billionaire, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. (In Ukraine’s electoral system, parties appoint approximately half the seats to the Rada, proportional to the votes they receive.) Savchenko resigned from the armed forces following her appointment.
Small rallies demanding her release from custody were held in Ukraine’s larger cities on January 26.
Savchenko told a television news interview last spring that she took leave from the air force because she could not countenance what she considered the timidity of the Ukrainian government in not going to war against Russia. Her delusional logic was the following: since the war in the east is against a foreign, invading power, Russia, and its local lackeys (whom the Toronto Star and other Western media term ‘separatist’ or ‘pro-Russian’ rebels), the Ukraine government should declare war on Russia and undertake a full military mobilization.
There is a twisted logic to Savchenko’s argument. Kyiv’s police operation in eastern Ukraine does, indeed, amount to full scale war. Its army is in the field and is shelling towns and cities. The Kyiv government has declared martial law in the war zone and effectively exercises martial law throughout the country. It has given its police the right to preventively detain or even shoot on sight so-called “separatists”.
How can the neighbouring governments of Ukraine in eastern Europe, or a skeptical public in western Europe and North America, be convinced of the mission of a government in Kyiv going to war against its own people? Kyiv and its think-tank advisors from NATO countries have turned to a time-worn prop—the ‘anti-terrorist’ ideology of the post 9/11/2001 world. Kyiv calls its civil war in eastern Ukraine an “Anti-Terrorist Operation”. Voilà. Surely an endeavour so titled must be virtuous and worthy!
But that ruse proved unsatisfactory for the purist Savchenko. She wants the unblemished story, as her ideology would have it. Forget the props– she wants all-out war against her fellow citizens in eastern Ukraine, and with Russia, even.
The Russian court has appointed lawyers to defend Savchenko. Her psychological state will be a factor in any trial. Her family has engaged the services of a Ukrainian lawyer who is traveling to Russia to defend her and is working with Russian-appointed court lawyers.
Nadiya Savchenko’s story was featured in the Nov 14, 2014 issue of the weekly fashion magazine in France, Elle. The magazine published a glamour story about the small number of women in Ukraine who have volunteered to fight with the extreme-right battalions. The magazine editors were caught out by some readers who noticed that one of the women that it featured was a brazen neo-Nazi who displays her fascist ideology on social media, including photos of herself giving Hitler salutes. The magazine apologized for glamorizing that particular neo-Nazi, but not for the overall adulation of Ukraine’s far-right battalions that its article lavished on readers.
* * *
EU threatens Russia with new sanctions over Nadiya Savchenko detention
European MPs have declared an “illegal kidnapping” of the Ukrainian pilot detained by Russian authorities and further demand Nadezhda Savchenko’s release.
In a plenary session on Thursday in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that condemns Russia over the detention of Ukrainian pilot Savchenko. The resolution goes on to warn Russia of possible impending sanctions as well as prosecution should the detention continue.
Calling for the “immediate and unconditional release of Nadezhda Savchenko”, the European Parliament harshly condemned the Russian Federation for what the body deemed “its illegal kidnapping, and confinement” of the Ukraine pilot without trial for almost a year.
European MPs cited commitments to the Minsk agreements as well, citing a paragraph that discusses the exchange of prisoners according to the principle “all for all”. The EU body suggests Russia has no legal jurisdiction to take action against the pilot accused of complicity in the June 17 killing of two Russian journalists, Igor Kornelyuk and sound producer Anton Voloshin. They died during a mortar attack on a rebel checkpoint outside Luhansk.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has pointedly referred to the pilot’s actions as a gunner aboard an Aidar Batallion chopper, a position from which she allegedly reported the journalists’ location and directed fire for the mortar attack that killed the men outside Lugansk.
The European Commission spokespersons this week addressed their side of the situation. “The European Parliament considers that the detention of Savchenko is a violation of the Geneva Convention; we therefore stress that those responsible for her illegal detention in Russia may be subject to international sanctions or prosecution for their actions.”
MEPs also cited Savchenko for having an outstanding military record, and the fact she was the only woman in the Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent in Iraq. She was the first woman admitted to the Academy of the air force of Ukraine. The parliamentarians also noted the Ukraine pilot is eligible for diplomatic immunity based on her being a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and member of the country’s delegation to PACE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Also in the resolution are demands for the immediate release of all other Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia, including Ukrainian film Director Oleg Sentsov and son of the leader of the Crimean Tatars, Hauser Dzhemilev. The European Parliament “urges the President of France and Chancellor of Germany and the foreign ministers of these countries to raise the issue of the release of Savchenko at the next meeting of the contact group on the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the “channel” format.
Finally, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and the EU foreign service have been given a mandate to closely monitor the situation around Savchenko, to raise this issue in meetings with representatives of the Russian authorities in a variety of formats and report to the European Parliament on the results of these efforts.
* * *
In Ottawa, sister of jailed Ukrainian pilot calls on Canada to help
By Kim Mackrael | The Globe and Mail | May 1, 2015
The sister of a 33-year-old Ukrainian helicopter pilot who has been imprisoned for nearly a year in Russia is calling on Ottawa to press for her release amid reports that her health is deteriorating.
Vira Savchenko met with parliamentarians, including the government’s junior foreign affairs minister and members of Canada’s Ukrainian community during a two-day trip to Ottawa earlier this week. The visit was part of a global campaign organized by Vira and her mother, and aimed at drawing attention to Nadiya Savchenko’s plight. … Full article
Near the outset of the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made Maj.–Gen. George McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union Amy. McClellan was highly popular among his men and a great organizer who built the Army of the Potomac into a formidable force. Unfortunately for Lincoln, McClellan the meticulous organizer lacked the courage and judgment to be a field commander.
On April 5, 1862, Lincoln ordered McClellan to attack a Confederate force in Yorktown, Va. He had at his disposal 121,500 troops, 44 batteries of artillery and prodigious logistical support. The Confederate contingent in Yorktown, meanwhile, comprised something on the order of 10,000 men. The battle was a rout waiting to happen. It never did. McClellan told Lincoln the enemy was 100,000 strong and refused to attack. This delusion was partly due to Gen. John B. Magruder’s crafty parading of his Confederate soldiers in a circuit to give the illusion of greater numbers and his ordering of logs to be painted black to resemble cannons.
McClellan knew that intelligence estimates of Confederate strength were laughable exaggerations yet he acted as if they were true. Instead of attacking, he chose the do-nothing option of laying siege to Yorktown. In early May, Magruder and the Confederates slipped out to fight another day, leaving McClellan to enter an empty town. He declared victory. The last straw for Lincoln was McClellan’s repeated refusal to hasten after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s retreating army after the Battle of Antietam. On Nov. 5, 1862, Lincoln relieved him of command.
McClellan was an administrator who proved to be more of a coward than a commander, notwithstanding the Washington Post’s risible attempt to rehabilitate him. There may be a lesson here for a certain Canadian leader, one who finds himself at the head of a large force in the run up to a political war.
Two years ago this month, Justin Trudeau was anointed leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, a decision that gave hope to Canadians that somebody might finally put the brakes on Stephen Harper’s totalitarianism.
For one thing, Trudeau has a good pedigree. His father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was a respected if not wholly popular prime minister, though his reputation has much improved since his death. Trudeau’s Liberal predecessors, Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, were, respectively, too bland and too aloof to generate any deep support among the party faithful or offer a viable governing alternative. When you add good looks and youth (41), Justin Trudeau appears to be the ideal prime-minister-in-waiting, especially for young voters.
Opinion polls in the month following Trudeau’s election seemed to confirm that a reversion to Liberal rule was highly likely if not inevitable. In May 2013, voter support for the Liberals had more than doubled since the end of the 2011 election, whereas support for the Harperites had fallen by a third. Some of that Liberal growth even came at the expense of the centre-left New Democratic Party, which lost more than 20% support. Had an election been called at this time, the Liberals would have coasted to majority rule. What a difference two years makes.
By April this year, the Liberals had fallen from 38.6% to 27.6%, and Harper, of all people, was the major beneficiary! The NDP, contrary to expectation, not only did not benefit from Trudeau’s slip but lost ground, confirming that its leader, Thomas Mulcair, is not perceived as a serious rival to Trudeau.
Like McClellan, Trudeau is highly popular. His victory came on the first ballot with 80% of the vote, and Liberal membership grew rapidly almost immediately. Trudeau’s popular appeal really took off in January 2014 and ballooned over the spring and summer.
Then, in mid-October, it all went south. The seminal event was the Oct. 22 shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a ceremonial guard on duty on Parliament Hill. It was a bizarre incident, not only because it came out of nowhere, but it received conspicuously comprehensive video coverage. Some of this coverage even managed to catch no fewer than four police cars parked near the site on Parliament Hill with officers standing around as if… waiting for something to happen.
As readers already know, the shooting of Cpl. Cirillo gave Harper the excuse he needed to legislate police-state repression and a host of other unconstitutional measures in the name of “public safety.”
This police-state repression is manifested in Harper’s Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act (Bill C-44) and Security of Canada Information Sharing Act (“Secret Police Act,” Bill C-51) which authorize the state to conduct spying, harassment, arbitrary detention and intimidation and other unconstitutional measures. The main targets are not so much “terrorists” as anyone who criticizes the government, people like environmentalists and Muslim charities. These groups are already subject to malicious audits and have been intimidated into repressing their political activism.
Canada’s McClellan fails test of character
The shooting of Cpl. Cirillo gave Trudeau the perfect opportunity to seize the initiative from Mulcair and the NDP, who represent the Confederacy for analytical purposes: He could condemn the shooting and condemn the Harperites for their conspicuously contrived campaign to demonize the shooter, Michael Zehaf Bibeau, as a terrorist. Moreover, he could call attention to the totalitarian overtones of the shooting and its aftermath.
On the day of the shooting, Trudeau did deliver a speech, but it was stiff and peppered with “values” blathering reminiscent of George W. Bush’s post-Sept. 11 screed. Nevertheless, it had one redeeming virtue—he did not demonize Zehaf Bibeau: “Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values. And they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.”
For his part, Mulcair also steered clear of the terrorism tar pit. On Oct. 29, he also used “criminal” to describe Zehaf Bibeau: “When you look at the history of the individual involved, you see a criminal act, of course. But… I think that we’re not in the presence of a terrorist act in the sense that we would understand it.”
At this point, Mulcair and Trudeau were on the same page regarding the shooting, but Trudeau had a big advantage. His Liberals are far and away richer and more populous than Mulcair’s NDP, and he can tap into overwhelming national hatred for Harper and his anti-terrorism totalitarianism to outmaneuver Mulcair. Since the Bill was announced, Harper’s terrorism smokescreen has lifted and opposition to state totalitarianism tripled in six weeks. Even key business leaders oppose it. All Trudeau had to do was channel this sentiment to become the people’s choice to restore Canada to parliamentary rule.
As expected, Harper and his minions jumped all over Mulcair for daring to be rational, but so did Trudeau! “The RCMP was clear, these were acts of terrorism, [so] these were acts of terrorism,” he said. Instead of lambasting Bill C-51 as unconstitutional and fascist, he tapped into his inner McClellan to adopt the do-nothing approach of proposing amendments that he knew full well would never pass. From a position of strength, Trudeau allowed himself to be outmaneuvered by both Harper and Mulcair thereby placing himself at odds with the electorate and his own party.
Trudeau’s abrupt about-face, and his attack on Mulcair for agreeing with him, makes no sense politically or morally. He does not allow for the possibility that the RCMP might lie, or that it might have abetted the shooting in some way. Currently, Parliament Hill has its own police force, which is loyal to Parliament; Harper wants it replaced by the RCMP, which is loyal to him. The RCMP has even admitted to being party to a smear campaign against former Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale that helped Harper win his first election. Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the RCMP came to Harper’s aid again? At any rate, Trudeau had no business taking the RCMP’s judgment on what is or is not “terrorism” at face value.
His uncritical acceptance of the RCMP’s version of events is also disturbing because it raises the possibility that he might have succumbed to political coercion. If so, one of the likely suspects is the Israel Lobby, which has the most to gain from the destruction of Canada’s civil liberties. This view gains credence from Trudeau’s knee-jerk condemnation of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which seeks to isolate Israel politically and economically because of the atrocities it commits in the Middle East. Trudeau claims (wrongly) that the BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses, but this is just standard Lobby propaganda.
Since Trudeau wants to return the Liberals to power, he might have thought it less risky to acquiesce in attacks on Canadians’ constitutional rights than risk offending those who control vast amounts of campaign money and influence. After all, since Harper’s primary loyalty is to Israel, an attack on Harper’s secret-police bill might be construed as an attack on the Lobby. The problem with this scenario, though, is that it is utterly self-defeating—at least half the country and two thirds of Trudeau’s own MPs oppose Bill C-51. Why would Trudeau pick an unnecessary fight with his own party and the voting public unless he lacked the character and confidence to do the right thing?
In the end, Trudeau, like McClellan, succumbed to cowardice. Despite having a decisive advantage over his opponent and Harper set up like a clay pigeon, the expected rout never happened. Instead, Trudeau resorted to timid half-measures and abdicated the role of national saviour-in-waiting to Mulcair. Today, Mulcair and Green Party leader Elizabeth May are the only two national leaders willing to stand up to Harper to defend the Constitution and rule of law. In fact, Green Party support rose by more than 150% over this same period.
Short of a shock caucus revolt, which is distinctly unlikely in an election year, the Liberals are stuck with a McClellan at a time when they need a Ulysses S. Grant.
Guaranteed profits—at any price
Last Tuesday, President Barack Obama told beltway bullhorn Chris Matthews that Senator Elizabeth Warren was “wrong” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest trade deal in American history, linking United States and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam in a pervasive and binding treaty. The president was referring to Warren’s claim that the trade treaty will license corporations to sue governments, and her contention that this was, to put it mildly, a bad idea.
Warren isn’t wrong, Obama is. And he knows it. The entire TPP, as understood, is based on a single overarching idea: that regulation must not hinder profiteering. This is a fundamentally anti-democratic concept that—if implemented—would effectively eliminate the power of a demos to make its own law. The final authority on any law’s validity would rest elsewhere, beyond the reach of popular sovereignty. From the TPP point-of-view, democracy is just another barrier to trade, and the corporate forces behind the draft treaty are intent on removing that barrier. Simple as that.
That’s why the entire deal has been negotiated in conclave, deliberately beyond the public purview, since the president and his trade representatives know that exposing the deal to the unforgiving light of popular scrutiny would doom it to failure. That’s why the president, like his mentor President Clinton, has lobbied hard for Trade Promotion Authority, or Fast Track, which reduces the Congressional role in the passage of the bill to a ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’
Cracks have begun to show in the formidable cloak behind which the deal has been structured. A coalition of advocacy groups advanced on the U.S. Trade Representatives office this week. Wikileaks has obtained and released chapters from the draft document. Senator Harry Reid declared his position on Fast Track as “… not only no, but hell no.” Warren has proved to be a persistent thorn in the side of White House efforts to smooth over troubling issues with the deal. But the monied interests that rule the beltway have all pressed for passage. And as a Fast Track draft makes its way through Congress, stakes are high. The TPP is, in the apt estimation of political activist Jim Hightower, a “corporate coup d’état.”
Not for the first time, the president and his Republican enemies are yoked by the bipartisan appeal of privilege against this faltering fence of protest. The marriage of convenience was described in last Friday’s sub-head to a New York Times article on TPP: “G.O.P. Is Allied With President Against His Own Party.”
All The Usual Suspects
Who else supports the TPP? Aside from this odd confection of neoliberals, the corporations that rule the beltway feverishly back the TPP. From the leak of Sony digital data we learn that it and its media peers have enthusiastically pressed for the passage of the deal. Sony is joined by major agricultural beneficiaries (Monsanto), mining companies like Infinito Gold, currently suing Costa Rica to keep an ecology-harming mine pit active, as well as pharmaceutical coalitions negotiating stiff intellectual property rights unpopular even in Congress, and various other technology and consumer goods groups. And don’t forget nicotine kingpins like Philip Morris.
Obama reinforces the corporate line: “We have the opportunity to open even more new markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America.” Perhaps he isn’t aware that our leading export is the workforce that once took pride in that moniker. We’ve exported five million manufacturing jobs since 1994, largely thanks to NAFTA, the model on which the TPP is built. The TPP will only continue that sad trend. The only jobs not being offshored are the ones that can’t be: bartenders and waitresses and health care assistants. That’s the Obama economy: a surfeit of low-wage service jobs filled by debt-saddled degree holders. As Paul Craig Roberts argued in The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, between 2007 and 2014, some eight million students would graduate from American universities and likely seek jobs in the United States. A mere one million degree-requiring jobs would await them. The irony of Obama’s statement is that the TPP would actually move to strip the use of labels like, “Buy American,” since they unduly advocate for local goods.
In truth, the authors of the treaty already know all this. The bill concedes as much, with Democrats building in some throwaway provisions of unspecified aid to workers whose jobs have been offshored, and a tax credit to ostensibly help those ex-workers purchase health insurance. Cold comfort for the jobless, as they are exhorted by the gutless paladins of globalization to ‘toughen up’ and deal with the harsh realities of a globalized economy. As neoliberal stooge Thomas Friedman has said, companies in the glorious global marketplace never hire before they ask, “Can this person add value every hour, every day — more than a worker in India, a robot or a computer?” Of course, the answer is invariably no, so the job goes to Bangladesh or a robot. No moral equation ever enters the picture. Just market discipline for the vulnerable and ingenious efforts by a captive state to shelter capital from the market dynamics it would force on others.
The Investment Chapter
Despite Obama’s disingenuous clichés about “… fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment and a free and open Internet,” the trade deal makes it clear that labor law and environmental law are both barriers to profitability. We know this thanks to Wikileaks, which once again proved its inestimable value by acquiring and releasing another chapter from the cloak-and-dagger negotiations. This time it was the investment chapter, in which so much of the treaty’s raison d’etre is expressed.
As Public Citizen points out in its lengthy analysis of the chapter, any domestic policy that infringes on an investor’s “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations,” is grounds for a suit. Namely, the suit may be pressed to “the extent to which the government action interferes with distinct, reasonable investment-backed expectations.”
Here’s what the TPP says about such legislation as it relates to investor expectations:
For greater certainty, whether an investor’s investment-backed expectations are reasonable depends, to the extent relevant, on factors such as whether the government provided the investor with binding written assurances and the nature and extent of governmental regulation or the potential for government regulation in the relevant sector.
Try putting that tax on financial transactions. Forget it. Barrier to a reasonable return. Don’t believe it? Just read the TPP investment protocols that would ban capital controls, which is what a financial tax is considered to be by TPP proponents. Try passing that environmental legislation. Not a chance. Hindrance to maximum shareholder value. Just ask Germany how it felt when a Swiss company sued it for shutting down its nuclear industry after Fukushima. Try enacting that youth safety law banning tobacco advertising. Sorry. Needless barrier to profits. Just ask Australia, which is being sued by Philip Morris for trying to protect kids from tar and nicotine.
Public Citizen has tabulated that, “The TPP would newly empower about 9,000 foreign-owned firms in the United States to launch ISDS cases against the U.S. government, while empowering more than 18,000 additional U.S.-owned firms to launch ISDS cases against other signatory governments.” It found that “foreign investors launched at least 50 ISDS claims each year from 2011 through 2013, and another 42 claims in 2014.” If these numbers seem small, recall that for a crucial piece of labor legislation to be struck down, only one firm need win in arbitration in order to financially hamstring a government and set a precedent that would likely ice the reformist urge of future legislatures.
As noted earlier, the text also appears to suggest to ban the practice of promoting domestic goods over foreign—another hurdle to shareholder value. This would effectively prohibit a country from implementing an import-substitution economy without threat of being sued. Governments would be relieved of tools, like tariffs, historically used to protect fledgling native industries. This is exactly what IMF prescriptions often produce—agricultural reforms, for instance, that wipe out native crop production and substitute for it the production of, say, cheap Arabica coffee beans, for export to the global north. Meanwhile, that producer nation must then accept costly IMF lending regimes to pay to import food it might have grown itself.
Of course, it is rarely mentioned that protectionism is how the United States and Britain both built their industrial economies. Or that removing competitor market protections is how they’ve exploited developing economies ever since. The TPP would effectively lock in globalization. It’s a wedge that forces markets open to foreign trade—the textual equivalent of Commodore Perry sailing his gunships into Tokyo Harbor.
The bill’s backers point to language in which natural resources, human and animal life, and public welfare are all dutifully addressed in the document. The leaked chapter explicitly says that it is not intended to prevent laws relating to these core concerns from being implemented. So then, what’s the problem? The problem is that these tepid inclusions lack the teeth of sanctions or punitive fines. They are mere rhetorical asides designed to help corporate Democrats rationalize their support of the TPP. If lawmakers really cared about the public welfare, they’d move to strip the treaty of its various qualifiers that privilege trade over domestic law. By all means, implement your labor protection, but just ensure “… that such measures are not applied in an arbitrary or unjustifiable manner, or do not constitute a disguised restriction on international trade or investment.”
If lawmakers cared about national sovereignty, they wouldn’t outsource dispute settlement to unelected arbitration panels, more fittingly referred to as, “tribunals.” (Think of scrofulous democracy hunched in the dock, peppered with unanswerable legalese by a corporate lawyer, a surreal twist on the Nuremberg Trials.) Just have a glance at Section B of the investment chapter. Suits will be handled using the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) model, itself predicated on the tribunal precedent. And in the event a government lost a suit or settled one, legal costs would be picked up by taxpayers, having been fleeced by an unelected committee whose laws it has no recourse to challenge.
Perhaps investor protections like ISDS were once intended to encourage cross-border investment by affording companies a modicum of reassurance that their investments would be safeguarded by international trade law. But the ISDS has been used for far more than that. The ISDS tribunals have a lovely track record of success (first implemented in a treaty between Germany and Pakistan in 1959). Here’s Public Citizen:
Under U.S. “free trade” agreements (FTAs) alone, foreign firms have already pocketed more than $440 million in taxpayer money via investor-state cases. This includes cases against natural resource policies, environmental protections, health and safety measures and more. ISDS tribunals have ordered more than $3.6 billion in compensation to investors under all U.S. FTAs and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). More than $38 billion remains in pending ISDS claims under these pacts, nearly all of which relate to environmental, energy, financial regulation, public health, land use and transportation policies.
New Era, New Priorities
Now the ISDS is a chisel being used to destroy the regulatory function of governments. All of this is being negotiated by corporate trade representatives and their government lackeys, which appear to have no qualms about the deleterious effects the TPP will have on the general population. But then the corporations these suits represent have long since discarded any sense of patriotic duty to their native nation-states, and with it any obligation to regulate their activities to protect vulnerable citizenries. That loyalty has been replaced by a pitiless commitment to profits. In America, there may have been a time when “what was good for Ford was good for America,” as memorably put by Henry Ford. But not anymore. Now what’s good for shareholders is good for Ford. This was best articulated a couple of years ago by former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, who bluntly reminded an interviewer, “I’m not a U.S. company, and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.” Those decisions usually include offshoring, liberalizing the labor market, practicing labor arbitrage, relocating production to “business friendly climates” with lax regulatory structures, the most vulpine forms of tax evasion, and so on—all practices that ultimately harm the American worker.
Apple says it feels no obligation to solve America’s problems nor, one would assume, any gratitude to the U.S. taxpayer for funding essential research that Apple brilliantly combined in the iPod and iPhone. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich finally admits corporations don’t want Americans to make higher wages. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce encourages shipping American jobs abroad. World Bank chiefs point to the economic logic of sending toxic waste to developing nations. Wherever you look, there seems to be little if any concern for citizenry.
The Financial Times refers to ISDS as, “investor protection.” But what it really is, is a profitability guarantee, a legal bulwark against democracy expressed as regulation. Forgive me for thinking that navigating a fluid legislative environment was a standard investment risk. Evidently the champions of free trade can’t be bothered to practice it. Still the White House croons that it has our best interests at heart. If that were true, it would release the full text, launch public charettes to debate its finer points, or perhaps just stage a referendum asking the American people to forfeit their hard-won sovereignty. No such thing will ever happen, of course. As it turns out, democracy is the price of corporate plunder. After all, the greatest risk of all is that the mob might vote the wrong way. And, as the language of the TPP makes explicitly obvious, there are some risks that should be avoided at all costs.
Jason Hirthler can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the fear campaign advances into ever-more delirious extremes, Westerners continue to be submerged in sensationalist headlines about ‘homegrown terrorism’ and ‘ISIS recruits.’
The American, Australian, Canadian, British, French, German and other governments have been on the hunt lately, swooping up a handful of would-be ISIS recruits before they could make their journey to Syria and Iraq. The arrests appear to be part of a stage-managed public relations effort to 1) keep up the false pretense that the West is actually trying to stop people from joining ISIS, when in fact they have been gleefully turning a blind eye to it if not aiding and abetting it, and 2) to justify the growing surveillance state across the West.
ABC News tells us that more than 2000 Westerners, mostly from immigrant communities but also a number of white converts to Islam, have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups fighting to topple the Syrian government. Knowing the high level of surveillance and monitoring that Western agencies already employ against Muslim communities, it beggars belief that all of these individuals simply evaded the all-seeing eye of Western intelligence which includes the “Five Eyes” spy network consisting of the combined espionage might of the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia. The massive resources of the spy agencies of those countries in conjunction with the data mining brigands of the NSA makes it hard for one to believe that they’re just unable to track and intervene before Western citizens depart for the phony ‘jihad’ against Israel’s adversaries in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.
The Intercept revealed that in a recent FBI ‘bust’ of an alleged ISIS sympathizer who was purportedly planning an attack inside the US, the suspect was goaded by FBI informants, as is the case with nearly every major foiled ‘terror plot’ in recent American history. John T. Booker Jr., the Kansas man accused of plotting a terrorist attack on behalf of ISIS, had checked himself into a mental hospital about a year before his arrest. The Intercept reports that the two FBI informants who initiated contact with Booker Jr. “provided the 20-year-old with the materials and support that led to his arrest on Friday on charges stemming from his alleged plans to carry out an attack against Fort Riley in support of the Islamic State.”
This example is merely one of many hundreds of cases involving the FBI’s army of 15,000 plus informants who infiltrate Muslim communities then work to incite and coerce impressionable, dejected young Muslims into completely inept and doomed-to-fail ‘terror plots.’
Canadian authorities have been caught mimicking the FBI’s duplicitous and unethical tactics of fabricating terror plots by way of informants. One recent case involved a bumbling British Columbia couple, John Nuttall and his wife Amanda Korody, who were prodded and pushed into a laughable ‘terrorist conspiracy’ by undercover RCMP agents. The Vancouver Sun reported that the undercover agents “spent more than four months in a futile attempt to have John Nuttall articulate a real [terrorist] plan.” Another Sun report described the ‘terror couple’ as “impoverished addicts” and delineated how an undercover agent coddled and encouraged them every step of the way, making suggestions about explosives and targets.
A story that broke earlier this year unveiled the West’s two-faced gambit as it relates to ISIS. The Turkish government exposed the identity of a Syrian national on the payroll of Canadian intelligence who was acting as a human trafficker for ISIS, escorting dozens of Europeans through Turkey and delivering them to ISIS strongholds in Syria, including three British schoolgirls.
“Turkish news agencies reported … that a foreign intelligence agent detained in that country on suspicion of helping the [three British] girls travel to neighbouring Syria to join ISIL was working for the Canadian government,” stated an Ottawa Citizen report on the scandal. The agent in question, Mohammed Mehmet Rashid, told Turkish authorities that he made routine trips to the Canadian embassy in Jordan where he received his marching orders from CSIS, Canada’s spy agency. That embassy was headed by Bruno Saccomani, a former RCMP officer and the former chief of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s security detail. Harper handpicked Saccomani to be the ambassador to Jordan.
Another issue routinely overlooked by mainstream media is that ISIS is not the only violent radical group that Western citizens are bustling to join. Hundreds of Canadians, Americans, Australians and Europeans have joined the Israeli military over the years, participating in the murder of thousands of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, the mass destruction of property and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In an article entitled “Supporting ‘terror tourism’ to Israel gets Canadian tax credits,” Yves Engler, an expert on Canadian foreign affairs, observes that in Canada “[i]t is illegal for Somali Canadians to fight in that country but it is okay for Canadian Jews to kill Palestinians in Gaza. And the government will give you a charitable tax credit if you give them money to support it.” Engler documents the activities of pro-Israel charities operating freely in Canada that recruit young Jews to fight for Israel. “At least 25 volunteers from the Greater Toronto Area fought in Gaza during Israel’s 22-day 2008/2009 assault that left some 1,400 Palestinians dead,” notes Engler, adding that “during Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon the Canadian Jewish News reported that ‘Canadian youths leave home to join Israeli army.’”
“The double standard is extreme,” Engler writes, pointing out how Canadians are proscribed from recruiting for foreign militaries under the Foreign Enlistment Act, but this law apparently doesn’t apply to Jews who enjoy a privileged status in Canada and other Western countries.
The Canadian government’s pro-Israel extremism showed its ugly face in 2014 when the Harper administration added IRFAN-Canada, a Muslim charity which helped raise funds for the besieged people of Gaza and the occupied West Bank, to its list of banned ‘terrorist organizations.’ According to the Harper regime’s skewed Zionist logic, Muslim charities that work with the democratically elected leadership of Gaza in order to dispense humanitarian aid to the suffering Palestinians are engaged in ‘supporting terrorism.’ Yet Jewish-Zionist charities are allowed, even aided and abetted by the Canadian state through ‘tax credits’ for donors, to raise funds for the Israeli military and even to recruit radicalized Canadian Jews to fight in Israel’s bloody wars of aggression – but this somehow does not constitute material support for terrorism.
Evidently, in Harper’s pro-Zionist fantasy world ‘terrorist’ is a smear word applied exclusively to the opponents of Israeli imperialism, whereas a state birthed through ethnic cleansing and maintained by way of bribery, blackmail, and state-sponsored mass murder is praised to the heavens merely for allowing its privileged Jewish citizens and disenfranchised Arab subjects to vote for whichever hawkish Zionist politician will continue the policies of terror in the holy land.
Copyright 2015 Brandon Martinez
Hints of the dark place he is taking us
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | April 24, 2015
Obama has been quoted saying he “takes full responsibility” for the two hostages, one American and one Italian, killed recently in a drone attack. At the same time, Obama praised the United States for its transparency in such matters.
What in God’s name does he mean? How can you have responsibility with no consequences? Isn’t that a bit like patting yourself on the back for high principles, having just committed murder? And transparency? That also is a word without meaning when applied to a country which runs a string of secret wars and coups, a country which spies on virtually the entire planet, and a country whose warehouses bulge with so many classified documents it would take a thousand years to review them.
Obama’s use of words has no meaning, much like the lack of meaning inherent in the kind of world into which he is eagerly helping to pitch us.
He has killed two innocent people in the course of an extrajudicial killing of others who were themselves, as is usual in these attacks, mere suspects.
And it is not the first time he has done this, only the first time where we know the names and faces of his victims. We only know the names and faces here because they were an American and an Italian. Our feeble and utterly corrupt press never lifts a finger to investigate who the thousands of others have been.
Estimates vary, but something on the order of 2,500 people have been murdered this way by the United States, almost all of them innocent, ordinary people, and even America’s intended targets, supposed terrorists, are guilty of nothing in law.
If a leader uses the word terror today, he can pretty much do anything he or his sadistic military/ security/ intelligence creeps want to do. I do not see any difference in these acts from those of the former military juntas in South America who made thousands of “undesirable” people simply disappear.
There’s an old saying about democratic governments that you pretty much deserve the government you get, but the glib saying is, of course, considerably less than true. Besides, it is not a great stretch to say of America today that it is about as much a democracy as was the former Soviet Union, with the key difference being voters in America get two choices instead of one on their ballots, each of them however ready to do exactly the same things, with only minor stylistic variations. You might say the choices represent two fashion statements in one official party.
However, if Western people in general just quietly accept the institutional barbarism Obama represents, they will indeed deserve the governments they get.
And what’s hurtling towards us, far more quickly than many realize, is government entirely by and for elites – wealthy, wealthy people with their paid mouthpiece political leaders and the vast military/ security apparatus they employ – the rest of humanity being reduced to unimportant mobs to be kept under control at the smallest sign of their becoming difficult, not so very much different from prisoners and perhaps even livestock.
We actually have an early prototype of the kind of society our leaders are working towards. We see it in Israel. The word “terror” there plays the same ugly role, almost like an air raid siren, justifying literally any response.
Has the world said one word of the 2,200 people slaughtered in Gaza recently and left to rot in its rubble? How about Israel’s treatment of refugees of color? I see no protest over their being horribly abused and even being turned away against international laws and conventions.
And now Israel uses dirty tricks like shipping refugees off to questionable African states whose leaders have been paid bribes to take them. Can you imagine a bright future for any of them under such circumstances? They too are more than a little likely to disappear.
Of course, assassination in many forms and in many places has played a large role in Israel’s brief history. Anyone Israel does not like is expendable, and America’s whole response to “terror” is right out of an official Israeli manual.
Israel loves to sing tired songs about democracy, but half the people under its control have no rights, no vote, no future, and are frequently openly told they are undesirable and should get out. Thousands are kept in prisons, and brutal acts like spraying farm land with filthy waste-water or with potent herbicides or cutting off power supplies are fairly regular events. When those on the receiving end get too uppity, they will be either assassinated or bombed or have their homes stolen through some of the most unjust laws on the planet.
Apart from the ghastly lives enforced upon millions of non-Jews by the “Jewish state,” Israel’s Jewish population demonstrates another part of the social model. Ordinary Israelis have quite unpleasant lives by Western standards, with home ownership out of reach, the price of everything exorbitant, being subject to oppressive army service, and living in a place which in many ways resembles a high security prison with guards, spies, and restrictions everywhere. The elites of Israel do very handsomely, thank you, just as oligarchs anywhere do, all the groaning mass of other residents’ problems and limits providing them with boundless opportunities, and most of the oligarchs freely move back and forth between continents with their dual passports to cut deals or avoid troubles.
That set of conditions and practices has become a model now for the United States, and where the United States goes, so go its weak-kneed allies like Britain, France, Germany, and even our once fair-minded Canada.
Canadian government has decided to send troops to Ukraine in a non-combat role, CTV News reported, citing official sources. The troops could arrive in the country in the coming weeks or months, but the details of the mission are still being worked out.
The Canadian soldiers are likely to be sent for a training mission and could cooperate with American soldiers, the report said.
“While the government is still working out the details, sources told CTV News a training mission is one of the options on the table. Canada is likely to work closely with American allies who are already in the region,” CTV News reporter Mercedes Stephenson said.
The Conservative government has been leaning towards a more significant Canadian involvement in the Ukrainian crisis for the past few months.
In February, Canada updated the list of its sanctions against Russia with travel bans slapped on 37 Russian and Ukrainian individuals. It also applied economic sanctions against 17 Russian and Ukrainian companies, which included Russian oil giant Rosneft.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich labelled the new sanctions as an anti-Russian step that looks like “an awkward attempt to hinder the implementation of the conflict settlement agreements, reached in Minsk on February 12 with Russia’s active constructive role.”
In December, Canada signed an agreement to send its military police to Ukraine to “look into the possibilities of cooperation,” while it also looked to help the government in Kiev with security issues.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) barred a Ukrainian-born pianist from playing in a scheduled program for expressing views on the situation in Ukraine via Twitter.
The orchestra dropped pianist Valentina Lisitsa who was due to play a concerto by Rachmaninoff. The hashtag #LetValentinaPlay surged in popularity on social media, and thousands of supporters spoke out for the artist, who was offered to be paid not to play.
Read more ‘Dangerous process’: Russia warns against US, NATO military instructors in Ukraine