Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29: Bit Wow!

Today, The Moncton Times is worth the price - and more. No, it's not the great ads or the Hack-written "Special Reports". It isn't the news stories - though ti was pleasant ot see decent coverage of Layton's funeral after those shameful columns on Saturday by Belliveau and Mazerolle. It isn't even the whole page on the Codiac Concert Band to be playing Tuesday evening in Victoria Park (though I have warm, childhood memories of summer band concerts in the park in Montreal with the bands of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Salvation's a wonderful tradition. I can barely wait to go, and take my children.)

What makes the paper worth the price is one column. Just one. But it's dynamite.

On the editorial page, one, short column by Alec Bruce rips to shreds the beaviour of the New Brunswick government, corporate money, and The Moncton Times&Transcript, itself, on the issue of fracking for shale gas. Read this one. Section D4.

Ii think I'll cut it out as oustanding example of telling the truth, and doing it with superb brevity and style. This one is a sure contender for column of the year in Canada.

What will the response of SWN and the government be? My guess is the drilling companies and the T&T might lie low for a year, saying they are listening to the people, and carrying out further studies. Through that year, we will get reports of wonderful progress that has been made in ensuring safety. Then it will be announced that the government has approved further fracking. I mean, Alward has to think of what he is going to live on after he loses the next election.

Oh, just read it. This is one of othe best columns I have read in any newspaper.

The news coming out of Libya has never been honest.  I was dismayed to read a BBC report that was an obvious piece of UK government propaganda about the war. Reuters, the source used by the T&T is just as bad. There are quite respectable sources out there that tell a different story. They also tell what the war is about. And democracy has nothing to do with it.
1. NATO was not supposed to have forces on the ground. In fact, Britain, France and the US have had troops on the ground from the start; and it is they, not the rebels, who have done much of the fighting.
2. The rebel forces have been very active in looting and revenge killing.
3. The NATO aircraft went far past their mandate to control the skies. They took sides in the war. In fact, it was the thousands of bombing raids that defeated Ghadaffi, not the rebels.
4. Ghadaffi was hated by the Libyan people? Oh. So how come it took so long to defeat him with all those forces we assembled?
5.We are there to save lives? So how come so many are dead that that are still piled, rotting, on the streets of Tripoli? We conducted thousands of bombing raids on cities. It is not possible to do that without killing very large numbers of civilians.
6.The war was conducted to bring democracy to Libya? Get real. Nato is trying to recreate the old, western domination of Africa by forming an African Union. Ghadaffi was opposed to it. NATO wants to keep China out of Africa, especially as an oil source. Ghadaiffi intended to sell oil to China.

Libya will get, at best, an imitation democracy, and with so much internal division and civil strife that we will have to send an army of occupation (though it will be called a UN peacekeeping force.) Life in Libya is going to become misery, poverty and violence. But not to worry. The oil fields will be secure.

As a sidelight, notice that Obama, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace, has managed to fight yet another war without declaring war. That's illegal under the American Constitution and under international law.  But dinna fash yoursel'. That news will never appear in The Moncton T&T. So it will be just as though it's not happening at all.

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