I am beginning this in the early evening of Sept. 7 because of outrage at what Stephen Harper has done. It is dangerous, potentially murderous- and it cannot be excused simply as stupidity. Harper is too high- focused a scoundrel for that.
I am beginning it now because I know that the Moncton Times and Transcipt, if it covers this story at all, will get its information from the highly biased PostMedia or Reuters. A report from either is certain to be beneath contempt. And, I'm quite sure, there is nobody at the Moncton Times and Transcript with the brains or integrity to give this story any meaning..
Canada has cut diplomatic relations with Iran. Diplomats in both countries will return home. No big deal?
Actually, it's the last step before war. Now please tell me a single incident in history when Canada has taken the lead in such a step. (Yes, the US has broken diplomatic ties to Iran. But that was many years ago.) This is a huge step in any case, an unheard of one for Canada to take the lead in. Why did Harper do it?
The reasons he gives are laughable. ( But there are plenty of Canadian foolish enough to take them seriously.) He says Iran is the most serious threat to world peace. Let's see.....
Iran has not attacked anybody in over a century. It has no capacity to launch attacks much beyond its borders even if if did have plans to attack. Far from attacking others, it has been attacked in the past century by Britain, then by Britain, and the US who overthrew its democratically elected government to install a dictator; then by Iraq's Saddam who attacked with major support from western Europe and the US in a war that killed over a million. The motive in all cases was the same, to plunder Iran's oil fields, and make huge profits for those nice people in the oil industry.
Israel has been calling for an attack on Iran for at least ten years, always saying that Iran is just a month from getting a nuclear bomb. (What the hell. If people are so stupid as to believe a lie repeated so often, who can blame Israel for repeating it?) In fact, and despite all the misleading stories in our hack journalism world, there is no evidence that Iran is even planning to develop a nuclear bomb.
Iran is the biggest threat to world peace? Not China which is threatening Japan and Taiwan and is widening its sphere of influence? Not Russia which was the evil one for so many years? Not Pakistan which has been the world's biggest proliferator of nuclear weapons? Not the US which has killed somewhere well over four million people in Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and Afghanistan and Africa in the last seventy years? And which is fighting a war of aggression now against Afghanistan as well as unadvertised wars in Yemen, Somalia, and nobody knows how many other places? And which is the world's largest supplier of weapons and torture implements?
Iran is threatening Israel? Israel has been demanding a war against Iran for ten years, and has routinely murdered Iranian scientists over that time.
There are a lot of aggressive and heavily-armed nations out there - China, Russia, the US, Britain, France, Pakistan, India, Israel - and they have thousands of nuclear weapons. Iran has a navy that can barely handle coastal patrols, an air force with no long range capacity, no nuclear weapons, and no long range missile ability. And Harper says this is the most dangerous country in the world. The US has over 500 military bases all over the world;and has been at war almost constantly for the lifetimes of most readers. But that's good. That's to spread peace and democracy. Like when they slaughtered a quarter million civilians in Guatemala to install a dictatorship.
Oh - I forgot. Iran is guilty of human right abuses. Wow! Torture on our side doesn't count? Not even when the Canadian government hands over Canadian citizens to be tortured? The mass murder of a quarter milllion Guatemalans doesn't count? The use of drones to kill indiscriminately and illegally in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia doesn't count? Guantanamo doesn't count?
Harper doesn't give a damn about threats to world peace or about human rights abuses. He's proven that he doesn't give a damn. He happily turned over Canadian citizens for torture at the hands of the US. Canada is the only western country that did not demand that it's citizens captured in Afghanistan be returned for fair trial. So what's this all about? And why is Harper playing such a leading role?
Part of the answer is that Harper depends heavily on the Israeli lobby to get out the Jewish vote. Though many Jewish Canadians are no great admirers of the Israeli lobby, it has lots of money and influence. (Yes, Virginia, there is an Israeli lobby in Canada, the US and other countries - and it has lots and lots of money to buy support and spread propaganda for Netanyahu.)
The break in relations will have no effect on Iran. So why is the Harper government lying so hard? (And the break will have no effect on the US plan to attack Iran. The war was long ago decided on by the US oil industry which is picking up the tabs for both the Democrats and the Republicans. (It's like New Brunswick that way.) Obama is trying to delay the war, not to avoid it.
So why the lying and posturing?
This can only be a guess. Two people stand to gain from our announcement. One is Netanyahu who is furious at President Obama for not going to war immediately against Iran.
The other is Mitt Romney, who is painting Obama as weak and indecisive.for slowness in attacking Iran. (though there is no doubt Obama will attack in his own time - gotta make those oil people happy. He just wants to keep things cool till the election is over.)
Only one person is hurt - President Obama. who has now been publicly humiliated for trying to keep cool about Iran; and that humiliation comes in the midst of an election campaign.
In short, Harper is currying favour with Mitt Romney and the oil industry.
A great many people are going to die in the coming year and, in the pattern for war for the past century, most of them will be civilians, children, the elderly. Harper has pretty well committed us to help out with the slaughter. So much for parliament deciding on war.
It's quite likely that Canadians will die, too - just as they died in Afghanistan "to protect our freedom and spread democracy."
In my teaching days, I taught at least one military history course every year. Many of the students were militiamen and women who were planning for military careers. They were good students, admirable people, and highly idealistic. They were proud of their uniforms, and had a high sense of the honour of military service.
I often wonder how they feel now that they have been used to bomb Libya, to kill in Afghanistan, to hand over people for torture, to inflict starvation and unspeakable hardships on millions of people....
Now, Mr. Harper, from the comfort of his office in Ottawa, will send them off to kill and be killed not only in Iran but in the impossible to predict effects of the war's spread out of control, and even into a world war.
But not to worry. On Nov. 11, a year from now, some stuffed shirt will step up to a microphone to say how grateful we are to our young people for giving their lives to protect Canadian freedom.
And I'm sure the leaders of the oil industry will second those kind words.
Neither Canada nor Harper has ever sunk so low. I'm ashamed to be a Canadian.
p.s. As I expected, The TandT simply planted the story in C section as a story of no great distinction. PostMedia offered it with not the slightest attempt to raise any questions about it, or to examine the implications of it.
God help us - because it is obvious that our government and the Irving Press won't.