Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov.12: ..And the big story is.......

... "Moncton wine expo looks for ways to grow further"... Wow! I'll bet that took some digging. The news YOU need to know.

Actually, most of today's Moncton Times and Transcript looks as if it were put together several days ago to produce a paper on the cheap after a two-day layoff. It's also heavy on pictures, another sign of a cheap and quick edition. Only Sports seems up to date.

The editorial is the usual trivial and gushing comment of someone who would be a good catch for a village looking for a village idiot.

Norbert's column, well, he has just one, little but bloody annoying fault. This is a man who knows nothing about education, not in New Brunswick, not in Canada, not nowhere. He makes a good point in general about government plans to improve the education system - but cannot resist sticking in a comment that only shows his ignorance and his bias. He says in reference to N.B. education, "which certainly has its problems." He cannot help making such a derogatory (and uninformed remark).

I might have some (though still not much) respect for him if he would occasionally make such remarks about the corporations that do so much damage to this province. Or about his boss. But Norbert never hits anybody who can hit back.

Craig Babstock's column, as usual, is trivial. Alan Abel tells his usual little anecdotes about ordinary peoplel in Washington that don't even  tell us anything about ordinary people in Washington. So far as news and opinion goes, this edition is largely a waste of time, and doesn't even pretend to be anything else.

There are just two items worth looking at.

de Adder's cartoon is a sad reminder of the meaningless rabble the Liberal Party of Canada has become.

Alec Bruce has an important column. It is probably too late to undo all the damage that will be done by a prime minister in Ottawa who has absolute contempt for democracy and for everybody but himself. (He will almost certainly be well-rewarded with directorships when his political days are over.) But it's important for us to recognize what he is, and what he's doing. Alec Bruce does a superb job of helping us to see something of what he's doing.

But, oh, what didn't make the news!

We'll pass lightly over stories that Israel is about to attack Gaza and, possibly, Syria and Lebanon. We shall ignore reports in the Israeli press that Israeli generals have advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Iran.  Small stuff.

As I discussed yesterday, and as just about all news media in the world are covering,  CIA chief General Petraeus has resigned because of two, extra-marital affairs.

The cheaper press is concentrating on the sex angle, and on gushing about the general's brilliance as a commander. The latter, as I mentioned in yesterday's blog, is mostly bunk. He did not turn the war around in Afghanistan. He got an extra 30,000 troops which enabled him to do a little more than his predecessor. But when he left, the war was just as lost as it had been before. He is also a general who used drones to attack Pakistan and to deliberately kill civilians (both are war crimes.)

The better papers are looking at other issues. He was supposed to answer questions to congressional committees this week, awkward questions that had nothing to do with a wife and two mistresses.

Here's a quick backgrounder:

1. Obama long ago ordered that the CIA was to have no more secret prisons (torture centres).
2. Just two months ago, a mob attacked the US embassy in Libya, a raid in which the ambassador and two staff were killed.
3. The CIA said that the riot was caused by a movie that denigrated Mohammed.
4. Obama has repeatedly said he was not supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels.

This conflicts with more recent information.
1. The annex to the embassy in Libya was a CIA prison (a very small one, but a prison), and was used for torture.
2. The major CIA base for Libya, well-stocked with specially trained troops)  was nearby.
3.The attack on the embassy had nothing to do with a movie - and the CIA knew it. The attack was on the annex, in an attempt to free the prisoners.
4. The defenders of the embassy and the prison made an urgent appeal for help. Obama refused. So, apparently, did Petraeus.
5. The American embassy and the CIA were both seizing weapons from rebels in Libya, including heavy weapons, to send to Syria.(That's not only contrary to what Obama was saying; it's also illegal for an embassy to be doing that.)

So - what did Petraeus know? What did Obama know? Did Petraeus withhold information from Obama.?Where the early CIA reports that the attack on the embassy were caused by a movie all lies? Why were reinforcements refused? Has the US been shipping weapons to Syrian rebels from the start? Petraeus must have know about the prison, and that it was contrary to Obama's public claims. Did he lie to Obama? Or was Obama lying to the world? Does the CIA have more such prisons?

All this is why congressional committees wanted to question the CIA chief this week. As it is, they now have to settle for his temporary replacement - who can deny knowing anything about anything.

 It is not likely that Petraeus resigned out of a sense of honour. In fact, the FBI investigators said that neither of the general's girlfriends was a security threat.It is far more likely he resigned to escape the questioning. It is also likely that Obama accepted his resignation for that same reason.

The person who advised Petraeus to resign was one of Obama's chief flunkies. Coincidence, I'm sure.

All of this information was available in reliable newspapers (and even some unreliable ones) yesterday. It took me, at most, a half hour to get it. But for all those super-editors of the Moncton Times and Transcript, the big story of the day was "Moncton wine expo looks for ways to grow further."

The Irving Operation Dumbing-Down goes on.

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