Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jan. 18: no news news

There really isn't much to comment on in today's TandT. As always, the teens' columns are a good read. I was particularly struck by the confessions of Alex Corbett. He reminds me of me. Christina Korotkov had a perceptive commentary, expressing a value that almost all of us will agree with - but almost none of us will ever carry out.

Bill Belliveau has an excellent column in defense of Justin Trudeau's seemingly separatist remark. (It wasn't separatist at all.) To bad he can't write similar columns when it's the Conservatives, NDP, Greens, etc. under unfair attack.

The op ed page has something odd. It has an opinion column "For the record" which has no indication of who wrote it or what his or her qualifications might be.I have never before seen that in a news paper. It also reveals a stunning ignorance of the subject. Usually, anonymity and stunning ignorance are reserved for the editorial.

So - with nothing in the paper even worth criticizing, let's take a stab at the big picture of what is going on in the world. And we'll try it in a very small  space.

We live in the richest part of the world. Credit for that is commonly given to capitalism - and that is bunk. Greece, Egypt, and Rome in their time were the richest parts of the world. They didn't have capitalism. What they had was military power. They could exploit neighbouring countries for food, minerals and slaves. That's who they got rich.

We did it the same way. For almost five centuries, western armies were the class act of the world. We were the ones who get rich on gold from South America and South Africa, minerals from Congo, slaves from Africa, cheap labour from China and eastern Europe to build our railways, opium exports to China, land taken from India to grow the opium, land taken from native peoples in the Americas for agriculture and mining. It wasn't capitalismm that did it. It was guns.

The western countries took turns as imperial powers - Portugal, Spain, France, Britain. By 1950, the European ones had collapsed, and the US took over. It began its empire with the United States, itself, all on land taken my military force. Then it extended its military power to establish dictatorships in Central and South America - guaranteeing cheap labour for factory farmers like Chiquita Banana. Then the Empire spread to Asia (The Phillipines) and to Africa (the middle east).

Western wealth was built on the impoverishment of the rest of the world. Yes. Capitalism built the wealth. It also built the poverty that created the wealth.

Then about fifty years ago, the wheels began to fall off. The Vietnam war was fought to maintain US power in Asia. But the power didn't work. Cuba got rid of its US-backed dictator - and got away with it. The US was able to overthrow democracies that developed in Guatemala, Chile, and Haiti. But the old sway over Latin America is seriously in trouble. In fact, the American Empire is in trouble all over the world. That's why it has far the world's largest "defence" budget. That's why its news media  (and puppet Harper) depict relatively small powers such as Cuba, Afghanistan, Iran, as terrible, terrible threats to world peace.

Go to google. Type in Project for the New American Century. There is the document that has shaped American policy since 9/11 - and even earlier. It's a plan for world domination. Military domination - because from military domination comes economic domination.

That's what the world news is all about. But the news media aren't going to say so. Instead we are told we bombed Libya for "humanitarian" reasons. We're in Afghanistan to help little girls go to school. We sent troops to Haiti to defend democracy (and, in the process, expelled the democratically elected leader, and we permitted the son of the former dictator to return to the country.) We invaded Saddam because he was evil. (In fact, it was the west which put Saddam in power, which encouraged his war with Iran, and which supplied him with weapons.)

We claim to be concerned about Iranian democracy. In fact, it was Britain, France and the US that destroyed Iranian democracy sixty years ago, and installed a brutal dictator.)

Of course, our news media can't say that.So they have to invent a world of good guys and bad guys. We're good guys. But them Islam's is evil. It is, as Harper so wisely said, their culture. The news, most of it, is about making us scared, making us hate, making us ignore the truth of our own behaviour over the past five centuries...

You will never understand the news by reading it. And once you understand the big picture, you don't need the news to understand what's going on.

Maybe I should try this one day, dealing just with New Brunswick.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Reading you is like listening to my own thoughts! I've searched enough places online in the past to acknowledge and confirm everything you have said in this latest post is tragically accurate!

    It kills me in 2012 we can't think in a more enlightened way.

    You reminded me with your mention of stolen elections in Iran, of a video on youtube of the war-monger Bill O'Reilly who casually brushed aside as 'ancient history' the 1953 interference in Iran's democratically elected President who wanted to nationalize Iran's oil fields so the wealth from it could be used for the good of the nation instead of it going to (Standard Oil?) now BP in Britain. For that offensive stance he was replaced by a puppet dictator who helped to continue to impoverish the Iranian economy and people. Finally the Shaw was overthrown in a popular uprising that left a disenfranchised vacuum that morphed into an extremist religious rebirth in Iran...but all this is thanks to Britain and the U.S.

    That was 60 years ago, and we now know what the fallout of such dirty work has done to the security of that region, and the world at large.

    But then again, arms sales wouldn't be what they are today now would they? Nor, would extreme paranoid members of the GOP in the States, nor extreme Israelis have another excuse to call for an all out war with Iran in the near future...