President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree approving Russia’s new Foreign Policy Concept. The document specifies Moscow’s position on key global issues, highlighting its relations with the US, EU, China and other countries.
Published on Thursday, the concept is now in force, replacing the previous one from 2013. Moscow’s “views on core principles, priority directions, aims and tasks of the Russian foreign policy” are stated in the document of almost 40 pages.
Saying that Russia pursues an independent foreign policy based both on national interests and respect for international law, the concept states that Moscow’s policy is “open, foreseeable” and “shaped by centuries” of Russia’s historic role in the development of global civilization.
“Russia is fully aware of its special responsibility for maintaining security in the world both on global and regional levels, and is aimed at cooperative actions with all concerned states in the interest to solve common issues,” the document says.
Moscow calls for “creation of a broad international anti-terrorist coalition, firmly based on a legal framework, and effective and systematic cooperation among states,” the document says. No “double standards” should have a place in such a coalition, which should become the main force to fight global terrorism.
Nuclear war hazard low, but US missile shield threatens Russia’s national security
Moscow stands for the creation of “zones free of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the Middle East,” the concept states, adding that “fighting international terrorism is key priority in international security.”
No country should use terrorist organizations to pursue its “political, ideological and other aims,” it says. Political and legal framework for nuclear and other weapons nonproliferation course is key, to avoid risks of such weapons landing in the hands of terrorist organizations.
Russia stays true to its international obligations in the arms control, and expects the same from its partners. Washington’s development of its global missile defense system is viewed as a “threat to national security,” with Moscow “reserving the right to take relevant counter measures.”
“Russia stands for constructive cooperation with the US in the field of arms control, with a compulsory allowance for an inseparable correlation between strategic offensive and defense weapons,” the document says. Global strategic stability should be the key factor in possible further arms reduction, it adds.
“Despite [the fact] that a threat of a large-scale war, including nuclear war, initiated between key states remains low, risks that [such states] may be involved in regional crisis, escalating them, are growing,” the new Foreign Policy Concept warns.
Russia-US dialogue possible, but only if US abandons its ‘restraining’ course
Washington and its allies have been pursuing a “restraining course” against Russia, aiming to “pressure” it both politically and economically, the document says, adding that such policy “undermines regional and global security.” It also harms long-term interests of both sides, and goes against a “growing necessity for cooperation” and joint counteraction to global threats.
Russia reserves the right to “harsh” retaliatory measures to “unfriendly actions,” including measures in toughening its national defense.
Moscow “is interested in building mutually beneficial relations with the US, taking into consideration the two countries’ responsibility for global strategic stability and the state of international security in general,” the concept stresses, adding that the two nations have significant opportunities in trade, investment, scientific and other forms of cooperation.
The development of dialogue on bilateral relations, as well as on other international issues “is only possible if based on equality, mutual respect and non-interference in one another’s internal affairs.”
In regard to contacts with NATO, Moscow plans to build its relations with the alliance based on its eagerness to be engaged in equal partnership. So far, Russia negatively regards NATO’s expansion, with its military infrastructure getting closer to the Russian borders. Such actions are considered as “defying the principle of equal security” and might cause new “division lines in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Moscow praises the role of the United Nations in “regulating international relations and coordinating world policies,” saying that there are no other options to replace the organization in the 21st century.
Relations with EU among Moscow’s priorities, abolishing visa regime will strengthen ties
Stepping-up mutually beneficial bilateral ties with European countries is named among one of Russia’s key priorities in the new Foreign Policy Concept.
The EU is Russia’s important trade and economic partner, the document says, adding that Moscow also regards Europe as its associate in foreign policy and is looking for “stable cooperation” based on mutual respect. Relations with Germany, France, Italy and Spain are mentioned as being key for the Kremlin in promoting its interests on the international arena.
“The strategic task in relations with the EU is forming a broad economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,” that will unite and “harmonize” the European continent, the concept says.
“The visa regime remains one of the main barriers in the way of development of contacts between Russia and the EU. The gradual cancellation of the visa regime on a reciprocal basis will become a powerful impulse for strengthening cooperation between Russia and the EU in economic, humanitarian, cultural, educational and other spheres,” the document says.
Russia to strengthen ties with the East, presence in the Antarctic
Among Moscow’s other foreign policy priorities, the concept mentions developing further relations with its eastern neighbors. “Full-scale” partnership and cooperation with China is on the agenda, as well as “further deepening” of strategic partnership with India. With the latter, Russia has always had “privileged” relations, according to the document, which says that the two nations’ cooperation is based on corresponding foreign policies, “historic friendship and deep mutual trust.”
Japan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region are also mentioned as important partners to work with in the near future.
“Russia will also continue its work on preserving and widening its presence in the Antarctic,” the concept states, adding that Moscow is as well “open for building relations with Canada” to cooperate in the Arctic and other regions.
Russia’s position on Syria is also mentioned in the new Foreign Policy Concept, with Moscow standing for the Middle Eastern country’s “unity, independence and territorial integrity.” Representatives of all ethnic and religious groups in Syria should be provided with equal security and peace, and enjoy “equal rights and opportunities,” the document says.
Imagery date refers to Google Earth capture of land forms. Ice extent is for August 31, 2016 from MASIE. Serenity is docked at Devon Island.
Researchers found that ice conditions in the 19th century were remarkably similar to today’s, observations falling within normal variability. The study is Accounts from 19th-century Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs Reflect Present Climate Conditions (here) by James E. Overland, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory/NOAA, Seattle,Wash., and Kevin Wood, Arctic Research Office/NOAA, Silver Spring, Md. H/t GWPF
This article demonstrates the use of historical instrument and descriptive records to assess the hypothesis that environmental conditions observed by 19th-century explorers in the Canadian archipelago were consistent with a Little Ice Age as evident in proxy records. We find little evidence for extreme cold conditions.
It is clear that the first-hand observations of 19th-century explorers are not consistent with the hypothesized severe conditions of a multi-decadal Little Ice Age. Explorers encountered both warm and cool seasons, and generally typical ice conditions, in comparison to 20th-century norms.
There were more than seventy expeditions or scientific enterprises of various types dispatched to the Canadian Arctic in the period between 1818 and 1910. From this number, we analyzed 44 original scientific reports and related narratives; many from expeditions spanning several years. The majority of the data come from large naval expeditions that wintered over in the Arctic and had the capacity to support an intensive scientific effort. A table listing the expeditions and data types is located at http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/arctic/history. The data cover about one-third of the possible number of years depending on data type, and every decade is represented.
Our analysis focuses on four indicators of climatic change: summer sea ice extent, annual sea ice thickness, monthly mean temperature, and the onset of melt and freeze as estimated from daily mean temperature. Historical observations in these four categories were compared with modern reference data; the reference period varied, depending on data availability. Both sea ice extent and the onset of melt and freeze were compared to the 30- year reference period 1971–2000; monthly means are compared to the 50-year period 1951–2000. Modern sea ice thickness records are less continuous, and some terminate in the 1980s; the reference period is therefore based on 19 to 26 years of homogeneous record.
(a) Proxy record of standardized summer air temperature variation derived from ice cores taken on Devon Island. This proxy record suggests that a significantly colder climate prevailed in the 19th century. Shading indicates temperatures one standard deviation warmer or colder than average for the reference period 1901–1960 [Overpeck,1998].
(b) Historical monthly mean temperature observations compared to the 20th-century reference period 1951–2000. Sixty-three percent of 343 monthly mean temperatures recorded on 19th-century expeditions between 1819 and 1854 fall within one standard deviation of the reference mean at nearby stations (reference data from Meteorological Service of Canada,2002; and National Climatic Data Center,2002).
(c) Onset of melt observed by expeditions between 1820 and 1906 expressed as departures from the mean for the reference period 1971–2000. The period of melt transition observed by 19th century explorers is not inconsistent with modern values.
(d) Onset of freeze observed between 1819 and 1905 compared to the reference period 1971–2000. The onset of freeze transition is frequently consistent with modern values,but in some cases occurred earlier than usual. The incidence of an early onset of freeze represents the largest departure from present conditions evident in the historical records examined in this study. Melt and freeze transition dates for the reference period 1971–2000 were calculated from temperature data extracted from the Global Daily Climatology Network data base (National Climate Data Center, 2002).
Fig.2. The ship tracks and winter-over locations of Arctic discovery expeditions from 1818 to 1859 are surprisingly consistent with present sea ice climatology (contours represented by shades of blue). The climatology shown reflects percent frequency of sea ice presence on 10 September which is the usual date of annual ice minimum for the reference period 1971–2000 (Canadian Ice Service,2002). On a number of occasions, expeditions came within 150 km of completing the Northwest Passage, but even in years with unfavorable ice conditions, most ships were still able to reach comparatively advanced positions within the Canadian archipelago. By 1859, all possible routes comprising the Northwest Passage had been discovered.
As stated here before, Arctic ice is part of a self-oscillating system with extents expanding and retreating according to processes internal to the ocean-ice-atmosphere components. We don’t know exactly why 19th century ice extent was less than previously or less than the 1970s, but we can be sure it wasn’t due to fossil fuel emissions.
Explorers encountered both favorable and unfavorable ice conditions. This drawing from the vicinity of Beechey Island illustrates the situation of the H.M.S.Resolute and the steam-tender Pioneer on 5 September 1850 [from Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, courtesy of Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks].
According to Reuters, about 200 Canadian commandos are actively involved in the ground operation to recapture Mosul from ISIS rule. According to Michael Rouleau, Canadian Special Forces Commander, troops are engaged in a ‘substantial’ number of clashes with terrorists which continues to rise.
Why is Canada sending troops to Iraq? What are the results desired by the Canadian government? And what is it willing to sacrifice?
First, Ottawa claims that by doing so it protects itself against terrorism. Former foreign minister Rob Nicholson stressed the need to weaken and destabilize ISIS in 2015. However neither airstrikes in Iraq and Syria nor coalition’s participation in Mosul mincing machine will lead to eradication of terrorism. The example of the Taliban in Afghanistan clearly demonstrates that large-scale fighting will be followed by long and bloody guerrilla war, in which Canada could get stuck with no end in sight.
Second, we should analyze the aftermath of ISIS defeat in Iraq and Syria. This question has no clear-cut answer. In theory the Canadian military presence in Iraq helps the Iraqi government to regain control over the country. In practice Ottawa is cooperating with the Kurds, who are planning to establish their own independent state on the territory of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. These aspirations could further destabilize the region.
Third, it is unclear whether Canada is ready to confront the Islamic State on a global scale. ISIS is conducting subversive activities in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, as well as in the countries of Southeast Asia in addition to Syria and Iraq. Consequently, it will require much more effort than just sending a few hundred soldiers to take part in an operation with controversial results for the complete elimination of the Islamic State.
Fourth, the situation in Syria and Iraq resembles a scenario that has repeatedly led to disastrous consequences in the Middle East. For example, the Western overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in fact led to the creation of ISIS. NATO’s invasion in Libya has practically ruined the country, led to fierce carnage over Muammar Gaddafi and contributed to the rapid spread of terrorist groups throughout North Africa not mentioning numerous victims among the civilian population.
Fifth, judging by the events in Mosul, one could argue that the operation would require a considerable amount of money. Despite the fact that the military operation in Iraq has already hit the budget of the country, Canada is going to allocate approximately $305.9 million extra towards extension, refocusing and carrying out the mission. This includes $41.9 million to be allocated for redeployment of personnel and equipment in 2016-17.
In addition, Canadian military’s participation in missions abroad comes with casualties. According to The Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces, 162 soldiers were killed in Afghanistan with more than two thousand injured. During the ten years of military presence in Afghanistan the Government invested more than $11 billion in the operation.
It is obvious that in the absence of a clear military strategy and achievable goals the situation in Iraq can become a second Afghanistan for Ottawa. Instead of solving internal problems, by supporting the international coalition Canada dared to get involved in another endless armed conflict. The leadership of the country once again has not consulted the opinion of its citizens sending dozens of soldiers to death and destroying the state budget.
“Sweep away the community of honest brokers in America [and] we’ll be left with a culture and public dialogue based on assertion rather than authenticity, on claim rather than fact.”
While you were going about your daily routines this week, the Trudeau Sunny Ways government was rushing Bill C-30 (the act to implement the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement — CETA) through the House. Thirty of its 140 pages are devoted to amending The Patent Act, amendments which will increase annual drug costs for Canadians by up to 13 per cent. We already pay more for drugs than any other country except the U.S. Unless the rewards of CETA are very impressive, this “free trade” zealotry qualifies as a special kind of madness.
Faith over fact
In observing the Trudeau government and its media cheerleaders regarding CETA, I am reminded of U.S. journalist Ronald Suskind’s revelations about how the George W. Bush administration justified their decisions. One of Bush’s senior aides chastised Suskind for being part of the “reality-based community” in contrast to Bush’s “faith-based community.” He told Suskind:
“[You] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore. … when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality …we’ll act again, creating other new realities.”
If those contrasting realities ring a bell, they should, because we have lived for 10 years with such thinking under Stephen Harper and there has been an almost seamless transition to the Trudeau government’s dissembling on international treaties. When it comes to trade and investment deals, the facts mean nothing. Chrystia Freeland simply refuses to answer questions and calls the deal “the gold standard” of trade agreements — full stop.
As in the U.S., we have assertion rather than authenticity, claim rather than fact.
The federal government makes its own “reality” by crafting “facts” to fit its policy objectives — no matter how outrageous they are when put to the test. Three numbers stand out in the talking points of federal governments under both Harper and Trudeau: that CETA will increase GDP by $12 billion, that it will create 80,000 jobs and that the newly created wealth will boost income by $1,000 per family.
But economist Jim Stanford debunked these numbers long ago — pointing out in 2012 that the federal trade department simply took the $12-billion figure (itself a highly dubious figure) “[a]nd divided it by the number of families in Canada. That assumes that every additional dollar of GDP translates directly into family income. In fact, higher GDP never fully trickles down into income…” The money that does find its way into income goes mostly to the wealthy.
The $12-billion figure came from a study commissioned by Canada and carried out by three EU economists. Stanford pointed out that the model used made some outrageous assumptions:
“[c]onstant full employment (so no one can be unemployed due to imports), balanced trade (so a country’s total output cannot be undermined by a trade deficit), no international capital flows (so companies cannot shift investment abroad), and no impact from fluctuating exchange rates.”
Stanford called the study “outrageous.” He was being far too polite. It was outright fraud. Anyone paying even cursory attention to the Canadian economy knows that not one of these assumptions holds. We haven’t had full employment for decades, we have been experiencing trade deficits for years, NAFTA resulted in the shifting of billions of investment dollars to Mexico and China, and our exchange rate has been all over the map.
Faith gets a reality check
But while the Harper/Trudeau axis trots out its faith-based “reality” others are thankfully stuck in the “fact-based” one. The latest are researchers from Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute (GDEI) who in September produced the aptly named study “CETA Without Blinders.” The Tufts researchers used the Global Policy Model developed by the United Nations. That model, unlike the one commissioned by Ottawa, examined the likely impact of CETA on jobs, wages and inequality. It’s not a pretty picture:
- “CETA will lead to a reduction of the labour income share. Competitive pressures exerted by CETA on firms and transferred onto workers will raise the share of national income accruing to capital and symmetrically reduce the share of national income accruing to labour.
- By 2023, workers will have foregone average annual earnings increases of €1776 in Canada and between €316 and €1331 in the EU depending on the country.
- CETA will lead to net losses of government revenue. Competitive pressures exerted by CETA on governments by international investors and shrinking policy space for supporting domestic … production and investment will reduce government revenue and expenditure.
- CETA will lead to job losses. By 2023, about 230,000 jobs will be lost in CETA countries, 200,000 of them in the EU, and 80,000 more in the rest of the world [the study projects a loss of 23,000 Canadian jobs due to CETA in the first seven years].
- CETA will lead to net losses in terms of GDP. [D]emand shortfalls nurtured by higher unemployment will also hurt productivity and cause cumulative losses amounting to 0.96 per cent of national income in Canada…”
As if to highlight the predictions of the Tufts University’s report, a recent Canadian study underlined just how grim things are already getting for Canadian workers and their families. Researchers at the University of Waterloo just released a national index of well-being which shows economic growth has not resulted in an improved quality of life since the 2008-2009 recession:
“The index shows the Canadian economy expanded 38 per cent between 1994 and 2014, while improvements in Canadians’ well-being grew just 9.9 per cent. … The biggest decline in that time is in leisure and culture — areas that can enrich lives, alleviate stress and build connections with others, such as socializing with others or taking a holiday.”
The start of this two-decade period coincides precisely with federal governments’ (starting with the Chretien/Martin regime) complete abandonment of enormously successful post-war industrial policies aimed at high wages and value-added manufacturing, and putting literally all their economic policy eggs in the external trade basket.
Why any reputable economist would expect a different result from signing CETA is inexplicable — unless you remember that it’s all about faith. Beginning with the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA), its promoters saw it as a leap of faith. Peter Nicholson, a former Scotiabank vice-president and later a personal adviser to Paul Martin, was one of free trade’s gurus. He acknowledged that supporters of the free-trade agreement thought it would “cause Canadian firms to pull up their socks … and compete in the North American market.” Instead, bemoaned Mr. Nicholson years later, many companies adjusted to the FTA “by simply moving across the border… taking the path of least resistance.”
Welcome to CETA, back to the future.
Murray Dobbin has been a journalist, broadcaster, author and social activist for 40 years. He writes rabble’s State of the Nation column.
“Canada is back” to isolating itself from world opinion on Palestinian rights
How can you identify a Canadian Liberal? They talk to the left, but walk to the right.
Under Justin Trudeau “Canada is back” to isolating itself from world opinion on Palestinian rights.
On Monday Canada joined the US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau in opposing a UN Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee resolution in support of Palestinian self determination.
Two weeks ago Ottawa joined Israel, the US, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau in opposing motions titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” and “persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities.” One hundred and fifty-six countries voted in favour of the motions while seven abstained on the first and six on the second.
Two among numerous resolutions upholding Palestinian rights Canada opposed. These votes follow on the heels of foreign minister Stéphane Dion attacking UNESCO for defending Palestinian rights. Last month the UN cultural body criticised Israel for restricting Muslim access to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and recognised Israel as the occupying power. “Canada strongly rejects UNESCO World Heritage singling out Israel & denying Judaism’s link to the Old City + Western Wall,” Dion tweeted.
A few months earlier Trudeau’s minister criticized another arm of the UN. In March Dion denounced the UN Human Rights Council’s appointment of University of Western Ontario law professor Michael Lynk as “Special Rapporteur on Palestine”. Claiming the Canadian lawyer was hostile to Israel, Dion asked the UNHRC to review Lynk’s appointment.
In addition to isolating Canada internationally, the Trudeau government has pursued various pro-Israel moves. At the start of the month Governor General David Johnston visited a Jewish National Fund Forest. An owner of 13 per cent of Israel’s land, the JNF discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel (Arab Israelis) who make up a fifth of the population. According to a UN report, JNF lands are “chartered to benefit Jews exclusively,” which has led to an “institutionalized form of discrimination.”
While the GG recently visited a racist Israeli institution, the PM attended the “Butcher of Qana’s” funeral at the end of September. In 1996 Shimon Peres ordered the shelling of a UN compound in the village of Qana, Lebanon, which killed 106 civilians — half of whom were children. Through his long political career, reports Patrick Martin, Peres “was deeply implicated in many of the foulest historical crimes associated with the establishment, expansion and militarization of the state of Israel.”
Peres’ role in dispossessing Palestinians didn’t stop the Trudeau government from gushing with praise after he passed away. “The whole country of Canada is supporting the whole country of Israel and the prime minister wanted that to be very clear,” Dion told the press.
At the start of the year the Liberals condemned Canadians seeking to hold Israel accountable to international law. The Prime Minister and most Liberal MPs supported a Conservative Party call for the House of Commons to “reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel.” The February resolution also “condemned any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”
The Trudeau government’s efforts to undermine Palestinians’ liberation strengthens Canada’s multifaceted contribution to Israeli expansionism. Each year registered Canadian charities channel tens of millions of dollars to projects supporting Israel’s powerful military, racist institutions and illegal settlements. Over the past decade Ottawa has delivered over one hundred million dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority in an explicit bid to advance Israel’s interests by building a security apparatus to protect the corrupt Palestinian Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building. Further legitimating its illegal occupation, Canada’s two-decade old free trade agreement with Israel allows settlement products to enter Canada duty-free.
The truth is, it’s hard to tell Canada’s political parties apart when it comes to enabling Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
Without a growing popular movement campaigning for Palestinian rights this country’s political elites will continue to isolate Canada from world opinion.
Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.
Summary: I argue that in the many societal battles that serve to repair continually arising unjust features of the societal hierarchy, individuals must respect two fundamental “rules of war”: (1) Not to violate the natural right of individual self-determination (control over one’s body and mind) and (2) not to violate the natural right of individual free expression (control over one’s expression and attempts to have societal influence by expression). This centrally includes not allowing the state and its institutions to violate the said rights. My main example is drawn from the current society-wide battle around sexual identity and the language of sexual identity.
In a recent TV-Ontario debate1, Dr. Nicholas Matte of the University of Toronto emphatically stated: “Cis normativity is basically that everyone assumes that there is male and female […] It’s not my view, I just know that for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.” The debate is one where the university is trying to suppress another professor’s right of free expression. In this case, the professor (Jordan Peterson) wants to express and debate on campus that he will not be forced to use gender-neutral pronouns.
Dr. Matte has not responded to my written request for clarification about the alleged scientific consensus that there is no male and female in the human species. I read Dr. Matte’s 2014 PhD thesis2 to seek clarification, and then I did my own examination of the scientific literature about sex differences in humans, including influential books and essays about the “fluidity” of sex and gender.
Leaving questions of self-identity aside, which are largely cultural, it appears that the idea that there is no binary male/female sex divide in humans is simply a vast overstatement of the fact that many other things also occur in the genital and metabolic physiology of a minority of individuals.
Irrespective of the genetic, metabolic, biological and environmental circumstances in which a minority of individuals cannot unambiguously be attributed with a physiological sex that is unambiguously either male or female, there is without a doubt a male/female binary in humans, across time (history) and space (locality), where the male or female sexes correspond to distinct sets or groupings of physiological differences.
Variability in the said physiological differences, and border uncertainty about which physiological attributes contribute to resolving sex, are not valid reasons to deny that there is a clear male/female bimodal distribution of a (variable) set of (variable) physiological attributes, fundamentally linked to natural reproduction.
That environmental factors — including culture and the violence or authoritativeness of the local social dominance hierarchy — affect both natural reproduction and the said set of sex-differentiating physiological attributes does nothing to invalidate the sex binary in human society.
Widespread male/female division is consistent with the reproductive function being distributed in the human species, or at least having the intrinsic possibility of being distributed. Such distribution across classes occurs and is hormonally driven, in societies and cultures in which the dominance hierarchy does not strictly interfere with reproduction in classes of individuals.
Likewise, admitting that, in a distant (dystopic?) future, social hierarchy could result in classes or large populations that are deprived of natural reproduction, or could result in dominance-hierarchy stress dramatically affecting biological expression of sex3, does nothing to invalidate the conclusion of the reality of a dominant male/female binary in present societies. Glimpses of that distant future are visible in present Western societies, such as the fertility problems related to delayed child-bearing, the economic and cultural pressures away from reproduction and family focus and towards models of individual liberation and institutional child-rearing, etc., but these glimpses do not allow one to extrapolate towards an imminent sexless society.
One cannot deny the societal battle for institutional and political territory between traditional “family value” folks and the folks who wish to thrive in a more societally engineered and politically correct “just” environment where natural reproduction and family economic organization take a second place to individual liberation free from criticism and worldview threats. However, denying the reality of the male/female binary does nothing to help anyone see more clearly in the said societal battle.
Individuals must have both self-determination and free expression rights. Despite all the legalistic hubris, these rights are not contradictory. Both self-determination and free expression are methods for shaping society in the inevitable battles that must occur. They are not “values”. Neither right should be suppressed as part of a machination intended to seek advantage, for a given side in a given battle.
All sides should recognize the two fundamental rights of self-determination and free expression as nonnegotiable and not in opposition, and as necessary for the constant adjustments and struggles in society. There needs to be this “rule of war”. Otherwise, both clarity and sanity are lost, and all players become more vulnerable to hierarchical oppression. There is no right not to be offended. There are natural rights of participation, self-determination, and free expression.
Attempting to deny opponents their fundamental right of self-determination (self-definition, body ownership, beliefs, and control over one’s entire person) or of free expression (not hierarchical power but individual free expression, motivated by a desire to influence society or simply to express whatever thought or emotion) is no way to have a decent and healthy societal conflict. In common language, such tactics of denying rights are “fucked up”. The said tactics are societally pathological and always serve those elements in society seeking steeper and broader hierarchical domination, even at the risk of approaching or increasing totalitarianism. The said tactics are both induced by and a positive feedback towards totalitarianism.
Individual expression of disapproval for personal choices or preferences or beliefs, however offensive or vehement, is not suppression of the individual right of self-determination. Only actual (institutional or mob) physical oppression is oppression. Apartheid and segregation laws are oppression. Economic barriers are oppression. Institutionalized exploitative class structures are oppression. Class targeting enforced by the “justice” system against personal consumer or other choices is oppression. Individual expression seeking influence is not oppression. Attempts to make unorthodox life choices are not oppression. Political organizing around common beliefs or desires is not oppression. Oppression occurs when a societal structure uses effective physical force (withdrawal of resources or freedoms) to obtain compliance against individual rights.
The “hate speech” screaming and criminalizing must stop. And the hysteric phobias about individual choices, beliefs, and politics, must be prevented from materializing into state suppression. Already materialized oppressive structures must be dismantled. Our “rules of war”, as individuals in the always changing society, must include both self-determination and free expression, and these rules must be protected beyond all else, as though we were protecting humanity itself. Otherwise, Western states show little restraint in violating these rights4.
To be specific, the exaggerations a la Matte are politically motivated. I think the new “justice warriors” are fighting for territory within academia. What better way than to represent oppressed groups? How dare anyone question the keepers of the new territories, given the enormous suffering that the appropriated victims have endured throughout history (The Holocaust Industry model is a proven method).5 Anyone who questions the new priests is a racist, sexist, etc. Political correctness, like “critical race theory”, is born from the new breed of academics who expressly use oppressed groups as their dominant raison d’être, rather than expressly allege “truth seeking”. Consequently, there is no place or utility for outside criticism. Resulting rampant and predictable intellectual insecurity among followers leads to shrill accusations of “hate”, in place of debate.
The campus battles have little to do with actually alleviating oppression of the lower classes, and much to do with the classic manoeuvres to gain professional status and disciplinal territory. Virtually all academics are service intellectuals that act as overseers, collaborators, and house negroes6,7. This includes the most strident institutional defenders of social justice, who train society’s social justice cadre. That cadre includes foundation-funded Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizations. In the words of Black Panther Elaine Brown, in speaking about BLM tactics: “This to me is a plantation mentality. It smacks of ‘master, if you would just treat me right’. And it has nothing to do with self-determination, empowerment and a sense of justice, or anything else.”8
Are Elaine Brown’s words hate speech? Would they be hate speech if spoken by a white academic? Is Elaine Brown racist? Would she be racist if she was white? We must all reject the harmful notion that state-enforced speech control is acceptable, and we must all reject state-condoned forceful violations against individual self-determination. The way forward is to organize and argue, without ever allowing the state to forcefully violate fundamental freedoms of our opponents or anyone.
If I had my way, no public washrooms would segregate the sexes, starting in schools. People should live together and not be segregated by the state. Agree or disagree but don’t ask the state to remove the rights of those who are different or have different opinions and seek societal influence.
- “Genders, Rights and Freedom of Speech”, The Agenda, TV-Ontario, 2016-10-26.
- Nicholas Matte, Historicizing Liberal American Transnormativities: Medicine, Media, Activism, 1960-1990. 2014 PhD thesis, University of Toronto.
- Stress from dominance hierarchy is the dominant determinant of individual health, and is known to cause large metabolic responses. See, for example: Robert M. Sapolsky, “The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Primate Health”, Science, 29 Apr 2005: Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 648-652. DOI: 10.1126/science.1106477
- One example for Canada is documented in this report: Denis G. Rancourt, “Canadian defamation law is noncompliant with international law”, report for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, 2016-02-01
- The exploitation of suffering to shut down criticism or to extract personal or institutional gain is a common machination among management classes. One example is authoritatively documented in Norman G. Finkelstein’s 2000 book: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.
- I defined “service intellectual” in my 2006 essay: “Gradual Change is not Progress”
- I describe the central role of collaborators in maintaining social dominance hierarchies in my 2013 book: Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism
- ‘Black Lives Matter has a plantation mentality’ — Black Panther Elaine Brown on the degradation of black liberation. Tom Slater, Deputy Editor. Spiked: 2016-10-19.
Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. While he was at the University of Ottawa, he supported student activism and opposed the influence of the Israel lobby on that institution, which fired him for a false pretext in 2009.
A few days after Burundi, South Africa and The Gambia announced their intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court an article appeared in the American journal, Foreign Policy, stating that the ICC is considering investigating allegations of war crimes that may have been committed in Afghanistan. The allegations are spread among the Afghan resistance to the western invasion and occupation of the country, the puppet government installed by the United States, and the United States itself.
This has caused some surprise among observers of the ICC who have correctly criticised the tribunal as an asset of the US and its allies since it has only gone after certain African leaders who stand in the way of western interests while providing complete immunity to other leaders who are useful agents of those interests. Some of them have accused it of racism, a charge difficult to refute but which misses the point that the objective is the projection of imperial power.
The United States, though not a member of the ICC, has established its dominating influence in the staff of the tribunal so that it and its Canadian and EU allies effectively control its machinery, most importantly the prosecution, the administration and the selection of judges. It is because of this influence that the ICC falsely accused Muammar Gadhafi with crimes in 2011 thereby helping it excuse the NATO aggression against Libya and also provoking and excusing his murder.
The ICC is meant to prevent war crimes and war but it has been used in fact to overthrow governments and throw their leaders in prison, or in the tragic case of Muammar Gadhafi, provoke war and excuse murder; just as the ICTY in The Hague was used to justify the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and the arrest and death in NATO hands of President Milosevic. The ICC continues in that criminal tradition.
But is this announcement a surprise, a hopeful step that the ICC may live up to its claims? The answer is a clear no. The timing of the announcement and its delivery are interesting. It comes within a few days of the disastrous blows to its prestige and credibility with the withdrawal of the African countries. Something needed to be done to try to restore some credibility, some appearance of impartiality; and that is what the announcement does, or tries to do because it will soon be realised that it is a cheap trick, a charade, designed to save the ICC so that the United States and its allies can continue to use it as they see fit, as a means of control, not justice.
It is not a surprise in the first place because the ICC made public its Report on Preliminary Examination Activities on November 12, 2015. In that report there is a section on Afghanistan setting out more or less the contents in the Foreign Policy Report. It makes interesting reading and starts off with a lie that indicates where we can expect this investigation to go.
On page 26 the document states,
“After the attacks of 11 September 2001, in Washington D.C. and New York City, a United States-led coalition launched air strikes and ground operations in Afghanistan against the Taliban, suspected of harbouring Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban were ousted from power by the end of the year. In December 2001, under the auspices of the UN, an interim governing authority was established in Afghanistan.”
This is a lie because the Taliban government, a government installed by the United States in the first place, was not “harbouring” Bin Laden. They stated to the US government, when it demanded they turn him over in 2001, that he was in the country but by law they were required to demand that the US provide them with evidence that he was involved in the events in New York. The US flatly refused to provide any evidence to form the basis of a legal extradition so the Afghanistan government refused to hand him over. Any country would have been required by law to do the same. Instead of a file containing evidence they received cruise missiles and exploding bombs. Bin Laden of course was just the excuse, not the reason for the war. So for the ICC to state a lie that serves the narrative of the United States and then to continue with the joke that instead of the US overthrowing the Afghan government, (they were “ousted from power” they say, but how and by who is not said), they in fact helped to reestablish government, with the help of the peace loving UN, is to give the United States immunity from prosecution of the ultimate crime of aggression against Afghanistan that still continues today and all the war crimes that have flowed from that aggression. They bear the ultimate responsibility. But since the ICC sees fit to rewrite history in favour of the United States in its investigation of the war how can we expect it to ever prosecute that nation for the crimes it has committed?
Most of the document discusses allegations of crimes and some attention is paid to allegations against US forces and Afghan government forces but most of it is concerned with crimes of the Taliban. Where it discusses war crimes allegedly committed by the United States it points out that the US is investigating those allegations and has taken disciplinary action against those responsible in hundreds of cases. The question then is whether the United States is properly investigating and then prosecuting those cases in its military discipline system. For if the United States were in fact properly investigating and actively prosecuting soldiers and officials then the ICC cannot step into the situation. Only if this is not being done and cases appear to be sham cases can the ICC claim jurisdiction. This writer cannot imagine the United States ever accepting a finding from the ICC that it is not acting correctly, and having regard to its rewriting of history, I do not expect it to make such a finding.
That this is a public relations exercise is supported by the source of the article, Foreign Policy, which is owned by the Washington Post ; and the writer, David Bosco, who lectures on international law and the ICC at the Washington College of Law, in Washington D.C. has an interesting career. After graduating from Harvard he worked on “refugee issues” in Bosnia, first for an “NGO” then the UN and NATO and interned at NATO Military Headquarters in Belgium, then went to the State Department, and has largely been an editor at the journal and law lecturer ever since. You can understand my doubts of the bone fides of their intentions when you know that.
Why is it that this information had to come from this source and not the ICC itself? The answer is that if it came from the ICC no one would believe it. Its credibility is in tatters. It would look like the face-saving action it is. So it had to be made to look like a revelation of something daring that the ICC was reluctant to make it public, a bold step for mankind, all hush hush, so the US cannot get in the way of justice. But instead of a revelation it looks like a manipulation, a propaganda action to support the ICC as a tool of domination by the west against the rest of the world. And so, the game continues.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes.
Next week the Fraser Institute’s newly established Peter Munk Centre for Free Enterprise will offer a day long “Introduction to Economic Reasoning” seminar for Grade 10-12 students in Scarborough. Launched in June with $5 million from the founder of Barrick Gold, the Centre for Free Enterprise cements Munk’s position as leading contributor to right-wing ideas. But, the ideologue’s biggest contribution has been to a venerable public institution.
The Munk School of Global Affairs reveals much about the state of foreign-policy debate in this country. Among 35 million Canadians, the University of Toronto would be hard pressed to find a less credible source of support for the study of international affairs.
Peter Munk is a right wing ideologue and mining magnate with an important personal stake in a particular foreign policy. The Munk founded Barrick Gold has benefited from Canadian diplomatic support, export financing and development aid.
With its projects spurring ecological devastation, communal conflict and dozens of deaths on six continents, the Toronto company has led the charge against moves to withhold diplomatic and financial support to Canadian companies found responsible for significant abuses abroad. After An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas Corporations in Developing Countries was narrowly defeated in 2010 Munk wrote a letter in the Toronto Star “celebrating those MPs who had the courage” to side with Canada’s massive mining industry lobby and vote against bill C 300.
Munk espouses far-right political views. In 1997 he praised dictator Augusto Pinochet for “transforming Chile from a wealth-destroying socialist state to a capital-friendly model that is being copied around the world” while two years later the Canadian Jewish News reported on a donation Munk made to an Israeli university and a speech in which he “suggested that Israel’s survival is dependent on maintaining its technological superiority over the Arabs.” In 2007 he compared Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to Hitler and later dismissed criticism of Barrick’s security force in Papua New Guinea by claiming “gang rape is a cultural habit” in that country. He responded to a 2014 Economist question about whether “Indigenous groups appear to have a lot more say and power in resource development these days” by saying “globally it’s a real problem. It’s a major, major problem.”
An initial $6.4 million contract to rename the International Studies Department the Munk Centre for International Studies stipulated the Centre would receive advice from Barrick’s international advisory board, which included US President George Bush and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. (When asked why he appointed Mulroney to Barrick’s board, Munk told Peter C. Newman: “He has great contacts. He knows every dictator in the world on a first name basis.”) The 1997 agreement empowered Munk to stop payments if dissatisfied with the Centre. Happy with its direction, Munk contributed $5 million more in 2006 and $35 million to launch the Munk School of Global Affairs in 2010. That deal committed the U of T to pony up $39 million from its endowment while the Ontario and federal governments chipped in $50 million (as well as a $16 million tax credit to Peter Munk for his $35 million donation).
Flush with resources, the School is highly influential. It co-sponsors an award for the world’s best non-fiction book on foreign affairs, Canadian Forces College workshops, annual lecture with Washington’s National Endowment for Democracy and Toronto International Film Festival speakers series. The School also co-sponsors the Munk Debates, which held the first-ever Canadian foreign policy leaders debate during the 2015 federal election.
The School’s Munk Fellowship in Global Journalism awards twenty fellowships for a year-long program run in partnership with the Globe and Mail, CBC News, Toronto Star, Postmedia and Thomson Reuters. The School has significant ties to the Globe and Mail with former editors-in-chief John Stackhouse and William Thorsell both senior fellows at the School.
While executive director at the Munk Centre in 2007, Marketa Evans helped spawn the Devonshire Initiative, a project for NGOs and mining companies to discuss corporate social responsibility and development issues. Named after the street where the School is located, the Devonshire Initiative undermined a government–civil society Roundtable that called for withholding government financial and political support to resource companies found responsible for major abuses abroad. Evans would later be appointed Canada’s inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility counselor, a post the Harper Conservatives set up to alleviate pressure to restrict government support for companies found responsible for international abuses.
The School supported the Harper Conservatives’ low-level war against Iran. After severing diplomatic ties and designating Iran a state sponsor of terrorism in 2012, Foreign Affairs ploughed $250,000 into the Munk School’s Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran. The aim of the initiative was to foment opposition to the regime and help connect dissidents inside and outside Iran. Expanding the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, Foreign Affairs gave the Munk School $9 million in 2015 to establish the Digital Public Square project to undermine online censorship within enemy states.
Canada’s most influential global studies program is the brainchild of a mining magnate with a significant personal stake in a particular foreign policy. And the school has been shaped in his hard right image.
Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.
In an historic move the United Nations First Committee voted Thursday to convene a conference next March to negotiate a new treaty to ban the possession of nuclear weapons. The vote is a huge step forward in the campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons launched several years ago by nonnuclear weapons states and civil society from across the globe.
Dismayed by the failure of the nuclear weapons states to honor their obligation under Article VI of the Non Proliferation Treaty which requires them to pursue good faith negotiations for the elimination of their nuclear arsenals, and moved by the growing danger of nuclear war, more than 120 nations gathered in Oslo in March of 2013 to review the latest scientific data about the catastrophic consequences that will result from the use of nuclear weapons. The conference shifted the focus of international discussion about nuclear war from abstract consideration of nuclear strategy to an evaluation of the medical data about what will actually happen if these weapons are used. It was boycotted by all of the major nuclear powers, the US, Russia, UK, China and France, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, or P5.
Further meetings in Nayarit, Mexico and Vienna followed in 2014 and culminated in a pledge by the Austrian government to “close the gap” in international law that does not yet specifically outlaw the possession of these weapons. More than 140 countries ultimately associated themselves with the pledge which was fiercely opposed by the United States and the other nuclear weapons states, and in the fall of 2015 the UN General Assembly voted to establish an Open Ended Working Group which met in Geneva earlier this year and recommended the negotiations approved Thursday.
The United States, which led the opposition had hoped to limit the “Yes” vote to less than one hundred, but failed badly. The final vote was 123 For, 38 Against and 16 Abstentions. The “No” votes came from the nuclear weapons states, and US allies in NATO, plus Japan, South Korea and Australia which have treaty ties to the US and consider themselves to be under the protection of the “US nuclear umbrella”.
But four nuclear weapons states broke ranks, with China, India and Pakistan abstaining, and North Korea voting in favor of the treaty negotiations. In addition, the Netherlands defied intense pressure from the rest of NATO and abstained, as did Finland, which is not a member of NATO but has close ties with the alliance.
Japan which voted with the US against the treaty has indicated that it will, nonetheless, participate in the negotiations when they begin in March.
The US and the other nuclear weapons states will probably try to block final approval of the treaty conference by the General Assembly later this fall, but, following Thursday’s vote, it appears overwhelmingly likely that negotiations will begin in March, and that they will involve a significant majority of UN member states, even if the [major] nuclear states continue their boycott.
The successful completion of a new treaty will not of itself eliminate nuclear weapons. But it will put powerful new pressure on the nuclear weapons states who clearly do not want to uphold their obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty even as they insist that the nonnuclear weapons states meet theirs.
We have come perilously close to nuclear war on multiple occasions during the last 70 years, and we have been incredibly lucky. US nuclear policy cannot continue to be the hope that we will remain lucky in the future. We need to join and lead the growing movement to abolish nuclear weapons and work to bring the other nuclear weapons states into a binding agreement that sets out the detailed time line for eliminating these weapons and the detailed verification and enforcement mechanisms to make sure they are eliminated.
This will not be an easy task, but we really have no choice. If we don’t get rid of these weapons, someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, they will be used and they will destroy human civilization. The decision is ours.
Ira Helfand, MD, is past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility
Wallonia is not going to be pressured into agreeing the EU-Canada trade deal according to the leader of the French-speaking Belgian region Paul Magnette. The EU has given Belgium an ultimatum to end its objection to the agreement by Monday.
“Every time you try to put an ultimatum it makes a calm debate and a democratic debate impossible,” Magnette said at a meeting in Brussels.
“We don’t need an ultimatum,” he told reporters. “We will not decide anything under an ultimatum or under pressure.”
On Sunday the leader of the Wallonia region told the Belga news agency the ultimatum from the EU “is not compatible with the exercise of democratic rights.”
“We are not against a treaty with Canada,” Magnette said. “But we won’t have one that jeopardizes social and environmental standards and the protection of public services and we want absolutely no private arbitration mechanisms.”
Magnette was referring to an introduction of a secret corporate court system, empowering big business to sue states for policies that threaten their profits.
Belgium has been given until Monday to resolve an internal disagreement holding back the CETA trade deal with Canada. The pact needs the backing of all 28 EU countries to be passed. Belgium cannot sign without Walloon support.
The EU has warned that unless Belgium makes its position clear, it will cancel this week’s EU-Canada summit. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is expected to make a speech on Monday, an EU source told Reuters.
Wallonia is a region of 3.6 million people, and has become an obstacle in the controversial free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. The region has refused to approve the deal, fearing an influx of Canadian pork and beef products would undermine local farmers.
CETA promises to eliminate tariffs on 98 percent of goods traded between the EU and Canada. The agreement encompasses regulatory cooperation, shipping, sustainable development and access to government tenders.
Supporters of CETA say the deal will be worth $13 billion a year to the EU and $9 billion to Canada.
Opponents say the trade deal will violate workers’ rights and benefit the interests of the wealthy elite and corporations.
The EU has warned a failure to complete the agreement after seven years of negotiations will jeopardize the bloc’s trade policy.
Academic freedom? Thought police come for Prof. Anthony Hall, suspended under Zionist lobby pressure
Investigative reports: Live interview with native American history Professor Anthony Hall who’s been suspended without pay from Lethbridge University in Alberta, Canada targeted by the Israel lobby because somebody shared an anti-Jewish post to his Facebook page.
Professor Anthony Hall from a recent talk: Is War Really A Remedy For Terror? We are lied to by media – 9/11; Native American genocide. Anthony Hall discusses his suspension from University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada – for linking 9/11 attacks to Israelis and Neo-Cons – and the smear done by ‘Canary Mission’ – his outlets – False Flag Weekly News – American Herald Tribune
Andrea Amelinckx, president of the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association, said the school’s suspension without pay of Anthony Hall, a tenured professor, may have been premature.
“The president’s [Michael Mahon] action violates provincial law and contravenes the university’s contract with its faculty, which provides a process for investigating complaints, such as those alleged against professor Hall, in a fair, speedy, and thorough fashion,” Amelinckx said in a statement Tuesday.
University officials announced the following day the school was suspending Hall without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation into possible violations of the Human Rights Act.
Amelinckx is calling for quick action on the part of the school.
“We call on the board of governors of the University of Lethbridge to ensure that the allegations that have been made against professor Hall are investigated with the speed and thoroughness they deserve using the legal and contractual procedures already in place in the Post-Secondary Learning Act and the contract with the faculty association,” she said.
Wow, the world gets crazier every moment! Stephen Lewis, former socialist NDP leader from Canada’s province of Ontario was asked about PM Justin Trudeau’s letter to the UN asking for a special General Assembly meeting, as reported by the CBC yesterday:
The Canadian Mission to the United Nations has submitted a rare request asking the president of the General Assembly for a meeting of all 193 member states to “explore concerted action to apply pressure on the parties of the violence [in Syria],” now in its sixth year.
ON CBC this morning (Friday, October 14, 2016) Lewis was briefly interviewed by the CBC and clearly and distinctly chose the U.S. /NATO / western imperialist /mainstream media (MSM) position on Syria. He called Canada’s moves “artful and important.” His reasons were shallow and demonstrated clearly that his socialist ideals – at least as an international socialist – are not very near and dear to his heart.
He commented that “war crimes are being committed by Russia” but hopefully that “Russia may at some point be forced to reconsider,” its position. When questioned further on this he said he did not think that Russia – more specifically Putin, our now necessary evil ‘other’ personified as one man – would change its actions. Why? Because “Putin doesn’t care”, he wants to show that “Russia is back” and that is a “terrifying proposal.”
Double standards abound
Apparently the letter was co-sponsored by 68 other countries. All of them for sure sycophantic allies of the U.S. empire…. but perhaps underneath something unintended may occur.
Lewis said the meeting of the UN would “allow the world to express its outrage” at Russia’s war crimes, at the “destruction of children…the murder of children.” Most interesting here is that while Russia is being singled out with this narrative, the history of the U.S. empire over the past several decades appears to be getting a clear pass.
Does anyone remember the war in Iraq, an illegal war (all initiators of wars are war criminals) that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (many children obviously, as most populations consist of about fifty per cent children)? And before that, an estimated 500 thousand children died as a result of U.S. sanctions against the Hussein regime. When questioned about this, then U.S. Secretary of State said the deaths were worth it for U.S. interests. War crimes? Absolutely.
And what about Libya and the war crimes committed there, with the destruction of civilian infrastructure and attacks against the government that went well beyond the UN sanctioned no-fly zone. More war crimes, more severe unintended consequences – although it did play into U.S. plans to eliminate Syria.
Back to Afghanistan where the U.S. “war on terror” simmers on. War crimes and crimes against humanity were committed there by U.S. forces and its “coalition” forces, including Canada. Afghanistan as you should well know, is now a mess of factional fighting with the Taliban controlling about a third of the country.
Before all those, Serbia was bombed illegally by NATO (which the U.S. leads and in which Canada played a major role), attacking civilian structures such as bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, businesses, and as an aside, the Chinese embassy. This was supposedly a “right to protect” operation, proved to be a preconceived excuse in order to weaken the Serb Republic and further contain a soon to be resurgent Russia. An estimated 500 civilians were killed – sorry, no child count there. But definitely a war crime.
And I probably shouldn’t mention Israel as I will instantly be labelled anti-Semitic, but the war crimes against civilians there – both in the West Bank and Gaza – have been ongoing for decades. The notable case here at least as seen from the MSM perspective, have been the Israeli attacks against the open air prison of Gaza (population now at 2 million). Hundreds of children have been slaughtered there using many “made in the U.S.A.” weapons, including chemical warfare (modified tear gas, phosphorous bombs), serving as well as a testing/proving ground for Israeli manufactured materials in support of their militarized economy. More U.S. supported war crimes.
The U.S. has committed war crimes of an overt or covert nature in 50 countries since WW II, disposing of non-compliant governments with violence against citizens of those sovereign states.
Careful what you wish for
Perhaps, just perhaps, the unintended consequences of the UN meeting might be the bringing to light the war crimes of the U.S., against children, against civilians, against sovereign governments. I don’t expect that as the U.S. controls the MSM for the western world. But to focus a call on Russian war crimes is the height of arrogance and hubris from a nation (Canada) that has supported U.S. war crimes and committed some of its own.
Yes, indeed, let’s have a special General Assembly meeting on war crimes, but let’s do it for the whole world and not just the sycophantic interests of an increasingly belligerent member of the U.S. imperial coalition.
The world does need to express its outrage – at war crimes committed by the U.S., about U.S. support for Saudi war crimes in Yemen, about U.S. support for Saudi support of the various salafist jihadi groups around the world.
Russia is back
Well, yes and no. Russia endured three major invasions from Western Europe (Napoleon, Wilhelm, Hitler), more invasions after WW I from western nations, and suffered under the “shock doctrine” of U.S. neoliberalism. The latter came about as the result of U.S. influence on the drunkard Yeltsin and created a country in decline ruled by oligarchs who stole much of the wealth of the country (Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky among them). Currently, the U.S. has a first strike nuclear policy with missile bases in Poland and Romania within minutes of the Russian heartland.
Not exactly a great history of western accommodation. And now NATO has expanded towards Russia’s borders, yet accuse Russia of aggression (??) – logic not being a strength of the MSM or the politicians of the west. The U.S. initiated the coup in Ukraine, just ask Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, partner of Robert Kagan, known neocon warmonger.
The MSM across the west, in collusion with the political elites, are doing their best to create an evil Putin leading an evil Russia trying to regain its empire. That they have succeeded in this image is a testament to the power of the MSM, the ignorance of the people of the west (most particularly in Canada and the U.S.), and the arrogance, hubris, and wilful ignorance of the elite class.
Russia is back (and Canada postures)
– and is scaring the bejesus out of the U.S. and its allies. It has obviously revived its military power, and in many cases is considered to be well ahead of the U.S. It’s economy, in spite of the best intentions of U.S. sanctions, is doing reasonably well as its home grown industries are being forced to develop more, and its agricultural sector has benefited from counter sanctions against EU products. Western action against China have created a Sino-Russian alliance stronger than it ever was during the Sino-Soviet era.
The latter has serious implications for the U.S. desire to be the global hegemon with full spectrum dominance over – everyone and everything. And for that, it is good that Russia is back.
For Canada and Trudeau to attempt to corral the western MSM message into the UN is simply political posturing. Whether it comes from wilful ignorance and arrogance, simple ignorance, simple stupidity, or a pretty boy posturing as the good guy Canadian mediator is difficult to discern. But it is definitely posturing – it is the U.S. that has created the mess in the Middle east, it is the U.S./NATO that has created the belligerence towards Russia, it is the U.S. military /industrial /political /financial complex that has created a world of fear and terror in order to attempt its global hegemony. Finally someone is capable of standing up to that – which unfortunately, given the U.S. propensity for nuclear sword threats, may result in the U.S. having created the perfect storm to induce world war last.