Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8: liars, fools? and Harper....

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.










42 comments:

  1. If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability – this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence – that may be because it is “inspired to do so” by the U.S.-Israeli threats, regularly issued in explicit violation of the U.N. Charter.

    http://www.alternet.org/world/noam-chomsky-why-america-and-israel-are-greatest-threats-peace?page=0%2C1

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  2. Thank you Graham for having the courage to write such an honest, truthful and eye-opening account of what is REALLY happening, and why.

    In a world where citizens can mostly no longer trust in the integrity of governments, journalists, or their corporate bosses, your excellent piece is a big healthy gulp of clean sea air! Thank you.

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    1. Honest and truthful? Iran has been waging proxy wars throughout the Middle East and Africa, funding and arming rebel armies and terrorist groups. To claim that Iran hasn't attacked anyone in over a century is very disingenuous. And to sum up all of the attacks Iran has suffered as simply being to secure nice profits for the oil industry is completely dishonest.

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  3. Graehme you must be a wonderful teacher. Thank you for writing so clearly and effectively what many of us know to be the truth. It is indeed a great talent to be about to write about the wrongs so clearly.

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  4. Thanks Prof. The only thing I would add is that, since the US is apparently determined to bomb Iran eventually, this move by our neoCons may be fine with the Obama regime as it struggles to depict itself as 'forced' to attack Iran - not only by Israel, but also by the rather selectively defined 'international community'.

    Cheers to you from a fellow historian who got her start at Sir George, with Ph.D. from Queen's.

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  5. Hey. No fair. I was supposed to be the only one.

    You knew Nish? McCullough?

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  6. Hear! Hear! Right on!

    One question: I know Graeme you mentioned the western media for the most part has not bothered to cover the Non-Aligned Movement recently hosted in Iran, but viewing that well attended convention, and seeing how Iran seemingly has much support from many other nations including China, and Russia, is it not the height of stupidity for the Harper regime to begin a fight?

    What else is going on here? Yes it can be a bluff designed to pressure Obama to act before the election? Same as happened with the Georgian/Russia affair in 2008 and the John McCain team.

    Or, is the Harper/Romney team feeling pressured to act before it becomes apparent to western citizens that Iran actually has much support from much of the world, and therefore any military action would be seen as a potential strategic disaster especially if it had to be sold to the public?

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  7. What a completely one-sided bias blog. Graham, have you ever spent time in Iran or Israel?? Likely not?? If Iran was serious at all about Peace, they'd let inspectors in to do an evaluation. As long as the Leaders of Iran refuse to let Inspectors in and continue to openly declare that they want to wipe Israel off the map, then there will be consequences. A nuclear device in the hands of Iran will completely destabilize the Middle East. It will lead to a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East i.e. Saudi etc, as they also fear for their country's safety. Everything written in this article is complete crap. Hate Harper if you want, but what he did was stand up to say all that Iran is doing in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Gaza (Hamas), and throughout the Middle East is unacceptable. Spend some time in the Middle East and then you might have a shred of credibility.

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  8. 1. the word you were searching for is biased.
    2, Tell me about your times in Iran and ISrael, and your fluency in both Persian and Hebrew.
    3. Inspectors have done inspections, all in accordance with UN regulations. Do you know what the UN regulations are? Even the US has publicly said, many times, it has no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb.
    4. The leaders of Iran have NOT said they will wipe Israel off the map. Anyone who seriously follows the news is aware that the claim for it was based on a mistranslation by an American journalist. However, for the last ten years, at least, Israel has been demanding a war on Iran. (Don't you ever read the Israeli press? And Hilary Clinton really did say on TV that the US could wipe Iran off the map.
    Iran has not attacked anybody in modern history. However, it has many times been attacked by Britain, France, the US, and by Saddam Hussein who did it with money and weapons from the West - and who killed a million people. read much history?
    5.The middle east is already destablized. And it has been deliberately kept that way by the major western powers for a century. Have you ever heard of oil fields?
    6. The middle east already has nuclear weapons. Israel has some 200 of them. Saudi Arabia and Israel are friends. Think about it.
    7. Harper attacked what Iran is doing in Syria? Are you very, very young, perhaps? Have you never wondered who is supplying the rebels with money and weapons? Kidding aside, are you really in the dark about that? And do you know that a high proportion of the rebels are Jihadists? Do you know what a jihadist is?
    8. And, I'm sure, you have no objection to NATO, including Canada, illegally invading Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia - and killing large numbers of civilians? of course not. They's just bein' good ol' boys.
    9. If you followed the news for today, maybe you know that Netanyahu said he has a bomb that would put Iran back in the stone age. Would you consider that a threat to wipe Iran off the map? Of just a happy birthday wish?
    10. You should apply for a job as editor of the Times and Transcript.

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  9. 1) I'm sure your blog is perfect in grammar and spelling.
    2) semi-fluent in Hebrew. I've lived in Israel for 2 1/2 yrs and was there during the first gulf war. I had my own gas mask, my own sealed room, and knew where the nearest bomb shelters were. I spent 2 yrs living in Indonesia, so I've lived in a Muslim country and speak semi-fluent Indonesian. I've actually been in a cafe on the beach in Gaza previously back when this was possible. Please share with us your vast experience in the Middle East?? Let me guess, you had a falafel at a Lebanese restaurant in Moncton.
    3) UN inspectors have asked to visit specific sites and have not been allowed to. If Iran was not hiding something, they'd simply let the UN inspectors in to do their job and report back to the UN.
    4) Wikipedia " Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, characterized by contentious speeches and statements, including calls to "eliminate the Zionist regime" (Israel) and Ahmadinejad has questioned the existence of the Holocaust" This is the nutjob you want to have nuclear weapons.
    5) Good logic here. Here's where you try to explain how the Arab Spring is simply a tool used by the West to destabilize the Middle East i.e. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria. Maybe the Arab people were sick of having no freedom for decades while their leaders got rich and their communities had no growth for 40 yrs.
    6) Saudi has not threatened to wipe Israel off the map. They're not threatening the whole region.
    7) Please do tell. This is where you spew some nonsense that it's really the Americans and the Israelis that are Jihadists. Might as well throw Harper and the Canadians in there as Jihadists too. One of my best friends is a Syrian Christian. Him and I have good chats about the facts, not conspiracy theory nonsense with zero credibility like you do.
    8) In your world, it's better NATO and every Country stay out of conflicts. Like in Syria where over 23,000 people (mostly civilians) get killed, muslims killing muslims mostly. That's the really tragedy here. Yes, I'm ashamed that the UN and the Arab League have done nothing to help the people in Syria. Let's here Graham's solution to the Syrian crisis, enlighten us with your wisdom. I know, say nothing, do nothing.
    9) Israel doesn't want a war. They want Iran to allow UN inspectors full access. They want Iran to come clean. There is no way Israel will let another Holocaust to their people happen with Iran using a Nuke on Israel. Israel wants the Iran leadership to know that they will go it alone if need be.
    10) Thanks, but instead maybe you should spend some time in Israel and the Middle East.

    Imagine you live in New Brunswick. You have neighboring provinces that bomb you with rockets everyday. You have other countries smuggling weapons in to these provinces. You have 2 terrorist groups in Hamas and Hezbolah at your doorstep calling for the destruction of your province. Imagine that most of the their money and weaponry also comes from your a close neighbour who has also threatened to kill everyone in your country and now they're trying to develop a nuclear weapon. So let's hear what Graham would do?? In his perfect world, he'd do nothing and hope Iran's threats are meaningless. Other neighbours in the area are so worried about Iran, they'd also start building nuclear weapons so nuclear proliferation would grow exponentially.

    Stephen Harper took a stand. Disagree with it if you like. Trudeau would have likely taken the same stand. It's the right call. Sometimes doing the right thing in Politics is tough. My advice, would be for you to vote NDP or Green Party in the next Federal election. Also, spend some time in the Middle East as well, rather than reading a few history books on the topic, and trying to convince yourself that you actually know something about the topic.

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    1. I wrote a lengthy response - which the computer would not send because it was too long.
      Look. Your letter is full of heavy bias and ignorance.
      I will say I knew Trudeau. And I don't think you did. He was very popular with the jewish community in montreal - for good reason. But I know he would never have said what Baird said. never.

      I also get the sense that you are part of the ISraeli lobby - or at least a puppet of it. There is no point in arguing with such people (and my reply would have to be too long for the computer.)
      If I want to discuss Israel with Israelis or Canadian Jewish friends, I know plenty who are not bigots or propagandists. They belong to a movement called Peace Now. So you don't like them.
      Anyway, I'll publish whatever you send. But i won't reply. It's a waste of time. (By the way, does you Syrian Christian friend know the rebels have been deliberately killing Christians? they are ten percent of the population of Israeli.

      BTW, if you believe in what you write, why do you sign yourself Anonymous?

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  10. Actually, I am not Pro war. If I lived in Israel, I would vote for Labour. I believe in a two state solution, where Palestinians have their own self government and the ability to live in peace and freedom. They too have endured plenty of pain and bloodshed. I am a member of Yala, which supports the freedom of all Arabs. So once again, all your assumptions are wrong. I didn't even vote PC federally or provincially, wrong again. I'm not a bigot or a propagandist like you are.

    My Syrian friend knows that Syrian Christians are in a tough spot. They don't want to support Assad, and have tried to stay neutral. Many Christian killings are committed by the Regime made to look like it was the Rebels, to try to get them to change their neutrality.

    So again, some simple questions for you?? Have you stepped foot in the Middle East in your 79 yrs on this planet?? What is your solution to the Syrian crisis?? I'd love to hear your diatribe on how Israel and the US is responsible for the mess in Syria. Do you not think that Israel has every right to be concerned for its' security with Iran developing a nuclear weapon?? Let's hear your solutions. Be brave, be bold, post something that actually has some facts behind it instead
    of conspiracy theories.

    Arguing with "such people"?? Exactly what do you mean by that?? Are Jews and Israelis or anyone that tries to debate with you all "such people." Truly shameful.

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  11. I'll just clear up a misconception you have. I lived most of my life in Jewish circles. I seriously considered converting, but was advised my a Jewish girlfriend of the time not to do it because I would always be an outsider.

    The strongest influences in my life were Jewish. And a great many Jews in Montreal (I was well known in the community) actually thought i was Jewish.

    I think israel has become a betrayal of Judaism.

    As to Iran being a threat to Israel, if it ever did develop a bomb and built it, and fired it in the face of Israel's 200 bombs and the many hundreds or over a thousand that the US has, it would be committing national suicide.

    In a nuclear world the threat to peace is not the country with one or even a dozen bombs. (I note that Harper is unconcerned about the several bombs that North Korea has. And notice the US has not said a word about attacking North Korea?

    The country with one bomb or a few has a deterrent. that's all. the one with hundreds is a threat to world peace.

    The US is the leader of the last western empire, a history of empire that goes back to 1492. We are now watching the fall of the last part of that empire. the writing has been on the wall for 75 years. (I wrote an article on it that is too lang to put here.)

    I take no pleasure in saying that. As the empire falls, it is putting all its hopes in military dominance - thus the many wars of the US, and thus the rapid increase of them today. And it's not working.

    What's my solution? It no longer matters. The time to work seriously on a solution was when the UN was first formed. We blew it. We all blew it, the whole world. I see not the slightest possibility that the powers on any side will do anything sensible.

    What you say could never happen again already has happened again - not to Jews, but to Vietnamese, libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Somalis, and on it goes.

    "Such people" means people who follow the Israeli lobby - which I regard as anti-Judaic. You are too quick to assume that anyone who criticizes a Netanyahu is anti-semitic.

    I agree with the two state solution because Israel, in its perversion of Judaism, has become too racist to function in a combined state.

    I oppose attacking Iran because attacking it would do nothing for Israel, and it would, at a minimum, put the whole region in peril.

    No doubt you will call this anti-semitic and shameful.

    Goodbye.

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  12. Someone else writing :

    Is a two-state solution really the answer? Isn't that just as childish? It's only tolerating each respective camps nationalism.

    The creation of a Palestinian state would not resolve the many other chalenges which the country would face : wide spread poverty, violence, lack of ressources, the coming of many ex-refugees from Lebanon etc.

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  13. I certainly can't quarrel with that. There's no doubt that a single state would be better. Far better. But it's not going to happen.
    Israel is a religious state - as fully as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan are Moslem states. In fact, there are remarkable parallels between Judaic and Moslem societies - notably in attitudes toward women. The rabbi can be as politically powerful as the imam. (I know that not all Israelis hold rigid and fundamentalist views. Nor do all Moslems.)

    Israel now will not give equality to Palestinian Israelis. They are not even permitted to walk in certain districts, and there has been talk of deporting Palestinian Israelis. They are certainly vulnerable to attack with much hope of police protection; their lands are taken, and they are expelled from their homes. Israel has become pretty racist. I see no hope it would accept a one-state solution.

    Except - it would accept one state, including Palestine - but with all the Palestinians deported. in fact, I suspect this is the plan.

    We often think there is a neat solution to every problem. But there rarely is. It's now a century and a half from the American civil war - and the US has still not solved its race problem.
    We have still not solved the problem of our native peoples.

    No. I like one-state. It makes eminent sense in all respects but one. Israel will not accept it. And it most certainly would do nothing to solve the problem of ex refugees from Lebanon. As for poverty, Israel already has a great deal of that itself. And a lack of resources, notably water.

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  14. Hmm, again I disagree with many of your comments:

    1) "Israel is a religious state as fully as Saudi, Iran, and other Muslim states." Wowsa. Then you compare women's rights in Israel as the same to Muslim countries. Wowsa. Again, you have no clue what you're talking about. As I said yesterday, go to Israel for a week, and it would open your eyes to the real world. Women can drive a car in Israel. Women can wear whatever clothes they want. Women can be in Gov't. Women can be in the Military. Women can be air force pilots. If you're talking about the small percentage of ultra orthodox Jews, they choose to follow their own beliefs. However the Gov't has now made it a requirement for them to serve in the military too. So your comparison is an absolute joke. Complete and utter nonsesne.

    Then you start talking your conspiracy theories. Israel deporting Palestinian Israelis. Nonsense. Palestinian Israelis are happy living where they live. Sure happier then those ruled by Hamas in Gaza. Palestinian Israelis goet to vote in elections, real and fair elections. They can choose candidates from an Arab party. Could you imagine an Arab country ever letting a Jewish party compete in fair elections i.e. Syrian Jews. Ha, ha, it's laughable. Israel had settlements in Gaza and uprooted whole communities to leave Gaza. If they wanted to take it over and deport the Palestinians, why didn't they?? Now they get rockets fired into their communities from Gaza on a daily basis.

    Let's remember back what Israel offered Arafat at Camp David in 2000. The US (Clinton) and Israel (Barak) offered Arafat an incredible deal. All sides thought they had a deal and he walked away from the Table. The deal offered 12 yrs ago will never be offered again. Truly a shame. Truly a shame that he also stole over $ 1 billion from the Palestinian people to his own personal bank accts.

    So even though you are quick to blame Israel for everything and saying a one state solution is impossible. Instead look at the other side and their leadership and the deals they've walked away from and the true disservice they've done their own people.

    Of note, Israel lives in harmony with Christians, Druze, and most Palestinian Muslims. Those that want to destroy Israel would not be welcome in a one state solution. Iran just released a pastor they jailed for 3 yrs for his political beliefs. So once again Graham, your comparisons of religious, political and women issues from Muslim countries to Israel is utter nonsense. Maybe with your University pension, you should travel to the Middle East and really learn about the world.

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  15. Usually, I report all comments. The exceptions are of two categories - those that are disguised commercial ads, those that are simply profanity.

    But I overreacted on one of them. I guess it was because it came with another that was just profanity. (Both were anonymous; but I think they were two anonymouses - and only one of them brainless.)

    It was a comment, written in very redneck and loutish style, about needing gas for his 12 mile per gallon car. I deleted it but, thinking back, it seems to be it was a pretty cleverly worded piece - and I was just being a sourpuss.

    If you wrote it, please send it to me again so I can publish it. (I suspect it was an American reader.)

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  16. I must agree with Anonymous here.

    His vision is not blurred by the MSM; he actually LIVED there. He saw the horrors committed on Israel on a daily basis, and is fairly wise in how he interprets them.

    I must disagree with the OP, because frankly, even if withdrawing diplomats out of a country and severing diplomatic ties are the last acts before a war, I don't see Canada attacking a foreign country. We don't have the logistics needed to go in combat missions overseas as charge leaders.

    Harper had to take a stand. It's a bold one, I'll give you that. But when push comes to shove, we need to show that we will not accept Iran refusing the UN inspections. If they don't have anything to hide, then there's no point denying access.

    Iran may not be the most dangerous country in the world, but it's certainly the most unstable in the middle east. A nuclear launch from Iran would send the middle east in a war where we (Canada and USA) will HAVE to intervene.

    And you are sadly mistaken when you think that a U.S. led attack will wait after November; EVERY EXPERT says that Obama has to do it BEFORE, for fear of appearing soft. After the election (no matter who is elected) is not a good time, because neither candidates will want to start a mandate with a war. It's just not how they want to be pictured for 4 years.

    Excuse my syntax, I'm french-Quebecker.

    While writing this, I learn that Jerry The King Lawler, one of the most well-known wrestler and commentator, has suffered a heart attack on Raw. Wishing him a prompt recovery!!

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  17. "Lets not start a war, by starting a war" - Israel Gov Logic.

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  18. Now they are going to plan an attack against USA war ships, then blame it on Iran, thus it'll be the beginning of WW3.

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  19. Odd, that when challenged to support your lunatic rants with facts, "the computer would not send [your reply] because it was too long." Yet other, much longer rants easily get through. Time for you to sit in the corner and go back to sucking your thumb. You've clearly lost this argument.
    (Another) Anonymous

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  20. SO MUCH FOR POSTING A CRITICISM OF YOU AND YOUR SITE. FOR THE RECORD SIR, YOU ARE A FRAUD. I DON'T EXPECT THIS WILL SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY EITHER, BUT I'VE HAD SO MUCH FUN POKING A HOLE IN YOUR BALLOON.

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  21. Graeme it wasn't me. This is Shawn and I have posted the "Anonymous" posts above. As much as I disagree with most of what your thoughts and opinions are, I would never use profanity or name calling in a debate.

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  22. well, well, well. I suspect the one who wrote loutish profanity was the anonymous above you. He obviously has an inflated sense of his own impact.

    Look - let's start by recognizing that we are dealing with people. not good guys and bad guys - people. People behave, alas, like people. Sometimes they're nice, and sometimes they aren't. The worse killers in the world ( as nations) over the last 5 centuries have been white Christians. They have also been top drawer slavers, having killed well over a hundred million Africans through slavery.
    The worst individual killer may have been Mao-Tse-Tung. But we can't be sure because Chiang Kai-Shek may have killed just as many. Mao was a Chinese atheist. Chiang was a Chinese Christian who was supported by the US.

    It is no more fun to be raped, tortured and murdered by a god-fearing westerner than it is to be blown up by an arab terrorist. (Oh, incidentally, the first recorded genocide in history was carried out by Jews. Read your Bible).

    What i am trying to do is to level up our world, to escape the paranoia created by a lying press and government.

    The US did slaughter a quarter million Guatemala native people. It wasn't long ago. Clinton can tell you all about it - and he confessed to the New York Times.

    But they were native people. And let's face it. We don't give a damn. it just doesn't sink in. I mean, they're not white or Christian or Jewish. So what the hell.

    The US killed way over two million in Vietnam. But, gee, that's not nearly as bad as killing 2,700 Americans in New York. of course not.
    As you can see from much of the above, our thinking is still good guys/bad guys.


    I emphasize the wrongs we have done because even if we hear about them, we just dismiss them. Like the old joke about a man reading the newspaper aloud in toronto to his wife. "Says here a train wreck in Turkey killed 50 Turks and one man from Toronto."
    "Oh, poor man."
    As to the notion that Shawn must know what he's talking about because he lived in Israel for two years, I have friends there who went and stayed in their teens. And they don't agree with Shawn at all.
    For that matter, there are Palestinians who have lived in Palestine all their lives. So they most know what they're talking about. (But I don't think Shawn would agree with them.)

    parker spoke out for human rights? How come he didn't mention human rights even as we watched the largest torture programme in history?

    Iran is the most unstable country in the region? Really? More than Syria? More than Saudi Arabia and the Emirates who are using live ammo against demonstrators? More than Iraq which is on the edge of collapse?
    A war with Iran will solve no problems. It will almost certainly create one monster problem.
    Get real. let's remember we're dealing with real people - on both sides.

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  23. This is hard because I see the same ole' issue over and over. To preemptive strike or not. If you do, you look like the ass (the liberals will say they never had weapons, the conservatives will overlook the civilian casualties). If you don't and you do get attacked first, the liberals will say (just like on 9/11 for USA) that BUSH knew they were coming! The conservatives declare all out war on anything that moves. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. War sucks, people die. I would hope that the US military is not making a strike on a facility or area strictly to kill civilians. Now, if civilians are there, didn't they get WARNED to get out? Perhaps they did, but their own government would not let them leave. Whos fault is it if they die now? The person who attacks, or the govt who makes them stay. It never seems to be a clear cut issue. I am american by the way. :)

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  24. Americans, like all of us, are people. My French ancestors (also people) with Iroquois warriors (also people) carried out terrorist attacks against those villainous folk, including babies, who lived in the English-American settlements.

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  25. Graeme, you're all over the map. Again, all your commentary is from history books of past battles where people die. The facts are that Israel as a nation won't risk a country like Iran getting a nuclear weapon and using it on them. If I lived in Moncton, and a neighbour has threatened many times to wipe me off the map, I would feel threatened enough to believe their nutjob leaders. So I am in favour of a preemptive strike. Yes, people will die, but it's sure better then having an outlaw regime bent on hatred having a nuclear weapon. That may in fact save millions of lives. Israel took out Syria and Iraq's nuclear facilities. Yes there were risks. Yes some people died. I'd argue that the world is a better place and lives were saved because of Israel's actions. You may hate Nato. You may despise the UN. You may hate war. You may hate Harper and the PC party. The fact remains, you know very little about the Middle East. It's like me trying to blog on Quebec politics, having never set foot in the province. I could say I dated a french Canadian 40 yrs ago. I could say I read some books. I could say I had some friends from Quebec. In the grand scheme of things that means nothing. Go to Israel. Understand the mistrust, understand the fear, understand the loss on both sides. Understand how much every second of every day is a threat to you and your family's survival. Imagine walking through a metal detector and getting searched just to go into a restaurant or a shopping mall. Understand having to explain to your children why they have to put on a gas mask when they hear an air raid siren and to run to a bomb shelter. It's easy for you to say war is wrong and look at all the innocents that died. It's easy to blame the West, blame the US, blame Harper. Blame is easy for you. You have no solutions, no ideas, nothing positive at all.

    I remain hopeful that tough talk and sanctions may lead Iran to let the UN Inspectors do their job. If not, then they will face the consequences. Nobody wants war, but Iran with a nuclear weapon is not an option.

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  26. Wow, if I ever need to find crazy people to study, I now know where to go. Why on earth would anybody ever think spending trillions of dollars to get at oil that already exists on our own lands, and is far easier to extract; why on earth would anybody think that makes sense? Why wouldn't we just buy it off them? We live in the free world, that means we are free to pursue our lives without the influence of some king or some dictator telling us what to do. Thank the British and the Americans for that. Standing with Israel is always the right thing to do; greatest nation this planet has ever seen.

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  27. Matt - you don't have a clue what you're talking about.I won't even try to answer wild blather.

    the guy above him
    1. read the israeli press. The Israeli military, the intelligence service and the president have all told Netanyahu an attack on Iran is crazy. Do you have information they don't have?
    2. Iran has been open to nuclear inspection. It's Israel that hasn't. are you prepared to insist that Israel should do what Iran did? - apply for permission to refine uranium, and open itself to inspectors? Of course, then Israel would also have to catch up by applying for permission to build a nuclear stockpile and to open that to inspection.
    3,I'm glad you have been to Israel. Now - explain to me why so many Israelis are opposed to a war.
    4. you keep ignoring the fact that Iran never said it would wipe Israel off the map. That ws a myth in much of the western press. However, Netanyahu has certainly said he wants to to that to Iran, most recently, he said it last week.
    5. I increasingly wonder whether you were ever in Israel. You remind me much of other run-ins I have had with the Israeli Lobby.
    6. Your account of Palestinan life in Israel is pure bullshit. You are either demented or lying. Accounts of Israeli discrimination against Palestinians, property theft, murder are easily available in many news sources which are respected ones. I have known a few Israeli settlers. They make no secret of what they have done.
    7. The UN has voted many times to condemn Israel for murder, torture, expulsions.... Each time Israel was saved only by the US VETO.
    8. Am I opposed to NATO? Yes. I am opposed to what it has become - the lynch mob for the US. That is not at all what NATO was meant to be.

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  28. This will be last post Graeme. There is no convincing you that your opinions are out of date and completely foolish. All your posts are about hatred. You live in Moncton on your university pension, OAS, and CPP. You believe yourself to be an expert of everything in the world. The facts are the facts. You can choose to ignore them and put whatever spin you want on things. Israel is not perfect as a country. Israel is not perfect as a democracy. Is there discrimination, is there hatred, sure, but what's your point. On stupid Cdn killing a person at the Quebec election does not condemn all anglophones or condemn all Canadians. Your logic is that because Palestinians have been killed by Israels and some right wing settlers have done some bad things, that this must mean all Israelis are like this. That's like me saying all Palestinians are terrorists. 95% of both sides want peace. I still say Arab Israeli's have a better life then those in Gaza ruled by Hamas. You'd last 5 seconds in Gaza before you would be kidnapped or killed.

    Instead of wasting all your time spreading hate, try to actually make a contribution to society. Find a solution, come up with something positive. "NATO is a lynch Mob of the US". Another example of your complete and utter stupidity. Negative blanket statements based on no facts. The fact you have had "run-in's" with with Jews or Israeli's is not a surprise. You just spew hatred of any western country that has ever been in a conflict. Blame, blame, blame.

    There is no point debating with you. You have no life and try to pass your negative garbage onto other people. People don't believe in your conspiracy theories. Most people in North America and Europe stand beside Israel. Most of the world including many of Iran's Arab brothers stand against them.

    You make no mention of Iran's killing of ten's of thousands of it's own people protesting for democracy. You make no mention of the tens of thousands of people they have locked up i.e. Amnesty international. You make no mention of the arms and money they send to terrorist groups in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. So you keep believing that iran is all about peace and nothing sinister. You have that right while you live in your cozy house in Moncton. You don't live on the front lines. You're an expert at nothing. Just a lonely man who's never set foot in the middle east but proclaims to be an expert.

    So keep posting your crap and reading your right wing anti-Israel, anti-Harper, anti-Nato, anti-UN, anti-West, anti-everything. Most intelligent people can see how wrong you are.

    I'm out of here. Not worth my time anymore.

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  29. Hi Graeme,

    Sorry to jump in and change the subject away from the interesting exchange with anonymous, but I'd like to return to the topic of your (original) post: why Harper cut off Iran.

    My sense is that these various actions by Harper and company are not actually the product of Jewish influence or pressure at all, but are instead, like a lot of this government's inexplicable actions, simply the result of deeply held religious beliefs.

    These are not men who can be influenced or bought, and there's not enough Jewish vote in the entire country to move the needle. Instead, these policies are something a lot deeper. These guys truly believe these things.

    They believe them because they were brought up ultra-Christian, and sang all those songs about Israel, and completely internalized Israel as the good guys. Anyone who threatens them is the bad guys. I have the same sort of early conditioning myself, though of a milder sort.

    They're more Zionist than the Zionists.

    I suspect Netanyahu himself was surprised by this. He probably would have asked for different timing if he'd been prewarned. But I'm sure he was not.

    Why now? Simply because it's been on their to-do list for a while and they only just got around to it. No provocation or timing necessary. End the long form census: tick. Close the gun registry: tick. Pass the crime bill: tick. Break relations with Iran: tick.

    A lot of what this government does is not explicable either by pursuit of votes, funding, or ideology either. Many of the things they do don't have any ideological basis and have no constituency, and are indefensible pragmatically. In those cases, where you shake your head and say, "what?" the real reason for the policy, I think, is religious.

    Take the crime bill. Why massively extend sentences and increase our prison population against all expert opinion arguing that this will not reduce crime- rates which are falling anyway?

    The answer: crime is sin, and sin must be punished. So sayeth the lord.

    So why did Harper cut off relations with Iran? God told him to. That's all there is to it.

    In terms of policy we can look forward to more separation of policy from fact, as they work through their to-do list. Close the National Research Council to prevent research findings that interfere with resource extraction? God gave the Earth to man. Already underway. Tick.

    On the one hand it means we're not in the hands of Israeli puppets.

    On the other it means we're ruled by religious zealots who have done a tremendous job of hiding the fact.

    And are less and less concerned to continue to do so.

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  30. Hello Graeme, I will say that I feel you had a very factual and well thought out argument. I also believe this action against Iran will come to no good.

    I feel that if Israel would only spend a fraction of the money that they spend on military purposes instead providing aid, educating, and ensuring equality between the Palestinian people and Israel, that most of these issues would not exist. They might find that they start creating a sense of trust instead of fear.

    I am always amazed at how we can sit and accept how Israel takes land from the Palestinians and gives it to a settler. Then, these supposed settlers come with guns to drive the people off the land in which they live. How are these people settlers when the land is already settled? How we can accept them building walls between communities.

    I do hope that one day, Israel elects a government that has the guts to say enough, and start making true inroads to peace. They say they want peace, but when there finally is some calm, they authorize another expansion of a settlement to break to calm. This has got to stop.

    I know that Iran talks the talk... they probably feel they are the only ones standing up against Israel, and for the most part, they are right. I don't agree with most of what Ahmadinejad speaks, but it doesn't mean I am going to support an attack on them.

    Maybe we should all start investing in their infrastructure and schools, their businesses and community groups... and see how that goes. It might cost less than a war in the long run.

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  31. Redlow, please read up on this and what was rejected by Arafat in 2000. Read what Israel offered 12 years ago. So when you say Israel doesn't want peace, you are so wrong and ignorant of the facts. The Israelis and Clinton took bold, bold steps for peace.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Camp_David_Summit

    For then Prime Minister Ehud Barak to offer what he did was a huge stretch for him, his gov't and the People of Israel.

    Where would be now if Arafat had accepted this deal for the good of his people. Again, you can make all the anti-Israel comments you'd like, but the facts are the facts. Read and learn. Arafat was more concerned about padding his own personal bank accts in Switzerland then creating a State for his own people. That's the really tragedy here.

    Again you have to ask yourself if Iran having a Nuclear weapon is really a good idea?? Imagine a nuclear weapon in the hands of the Iranian regime. Undoubtedly you're then ok with every country in the Middle East getting nuclear weapons, and they will. Where's the logic in that?? How does nuclear proliferation make the world a safer place??

    Shawn

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  32. If at first you don't succeed, try try again. I will never fall on the side of eye for an eye diplomacy. I don't care who rejected what. Try harder.

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  33. Where would i get the idea that nuclear arms are good for peace? Well, young Shawn, I was active (with a Jewish group) in the earliest days of the anti-nuclear movement. But the standard argument in favour of nuclear weapons came from the US government. It said, and still says, that nuclear weapons act as mutual deterrents, and they prevent war.

    So, if you support peace and the American side, you should be in favour of nuclear proliferation, too.

    North Korea has more than one bomb. Aren't you worried about it? Are you going to write in to demand we support South Korea in bombing the North?

    And if such bombs are threatening, don't arab countries have the right to bomb Israel?

    Be consistent, kid. Read what your propaganda ministers tell you.

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  34. Despite differences of opinions, I do wish all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah a happy and healthy New Year.

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  35. North Korea is a different story all together. It's funny how you never stay on topic. Isn't it about time to talk about people killed in Vietnam or Guatemala again??

    So by your logic, since Israel has nuclear weapons, then every Arab country should have them. Sure, let's let every country that can afford them, have them. Let's have a nuclear arms race again. Where's the logic in that?? Last I read, the world was trying to reduce its' nuclear weapon stockpiles. In Graeme's perfect world, let everybody have nuclear weapons, it would be mutual deterrents. Again, complete and utter nonsense.

    It all comes back to the same argument. You have a terrorist state lead by fanatics. They want to build a nuclear bomb. They won't let UN inspectors inspect the sights they want to. The world has decided to give sanctions a try. Iran continues to build its' nuclear weapon and refuse UN inspectors. Logically if I'm Iran, they know what the consequences will be. Israel is going to go after the nuclear facilities. Iran is not a regime the World trusts. Israel will go it alone, as they've done many times in the past while the world has done nothing. My guess is Iran has about 2 weeks before an attack happens. Israel will be condemned as always by people like Graeme and Redlow and others that want to paint Israel as the big bully. Reality is reality. No way Israel does nothing. Israel has Hamas on one border. Hezbollah at another border. Syria with Silkworm missles and chemical weapons. Iran with long range missles. Just another normal day. Nuclear capabilities push this to a level that Israel will not allow, i.e. instant Holocaust. Pretty easy to understand IMHO. It's a no-brainer. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but what choices honestly does Israel have. The world has given Iran plenty of chances, and Iran ignores the world.

    So Graeme, what is your solution?? Please tell us?? If you were Obama, Harper, Cameron, etc, etc, what would you do?? How would you avoid the inevitable confrontation that will happen?? Share with us old wise man!!

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  36. anon - please learn to read.
    I did not say say everyone should have mutual deterrents. I said it was the US government's argument at the height of Nuclear Disarmament Movement that nuclear weapons were a great, mutual deterrent to war. To the best of my knowledge, the warhawks in the US still say that.
    And it's your logic. If Israel nuclear bombs deter war, then, by the same logic, Iranian and Syrian bombs would deter war.
    And if they don't deter, why is it a good idea for the US and Britian and France and Pakistan and India and China and Israel and North Korea to have them.
    But you won't be able to follow that, will you? Logic and literacy are not your strong points.

    As for terrorist states, most states who can do it are terrorist - our side and their side. obviously, you don't know the meaning of terrorist.
    Similarly, you don't know the meaning of fanatic. there are fanatics in just about every government in the world. Always have been.
    The world has NOT decided to give sanctions a try. You have no idea what you are talking about. South Africa, for example, has applied sanctions. But it made it clear and public that it did so only under US pressure.
    China, rather a large part of the world, has refused to apply sanctions. So have many other countries.
    I'm interested to hear that you are an authority on whether Iran is developing a bomb. In fact, there is no evidence it is.
    As for the accusation that Iran has refused UN inspectors, that's not true. Try to read something besides the Irving Press. But it is true that a)Israel never applied to the UN for the right to build nuclear bombs and b) it as never permitted inspectors of any sort. Oh, C) there are lots of fanatics in Israel, too. In fact, Natanyahu's own army and intelligence commanders have accused him of being one.
    As for those killed in vietnam and guatemala, i mention them because you refuse to take those deaths seriously. A moslem kills somebody, he's a terrorist. The US kills men, women, and children by the million ---on, we really must have a memorial to the victims of 9/11.
    This won't make a dent on you. I've read letters like yours before. You're a patsy for the Israeli lobby in North america.
    That's okay. But if you want a polite answer, don't throw your gutter language at em.

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  37. Oh, yeah. The Koreas are not different. they are exactly the same. South Korea is a close US ally which says it is threatened by nuclear weapons in North Korea. And North Korea does have them.
    So, logically, the US should be encouraging South Korea to bomb the north, and with US support.

    Take a close look at your logic. that's what's called fanatic.

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  38. Oh - way back to the impolite Canadian who said Canada doesn't have the resources to fight a war.
    What on earth do you think we were doing in AFghanistan and Libya?

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  39. No solutions, just more negativity and hatred. Blah, blah, blah. Like any debate, there are 2 opinions, but both parties always has to look for a solution i.e. NHL CBA talks. With you there is never a solution. Just you going back to your history books. Instead try coming up with solutions to make the world a better place instead of your empty rhetoric. Then you might have a decent blog that encourages thoughtful, positive debate, instead of your vile hatred of the everyone in the world. So now I am gone from this site for good, trust me I won't be back. You are a sad and lonely man with no future.

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  40. Oh, please come back. If you don't, I will certainly be a sad and lonely man with no future.And I have learned so much from your wisdom and insights.

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