Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11: Not a bad day for the TandT.....

----boring, bland, lots of nothing about nothing. But not really, actively bad. Probably the biggest story of of the day is that Eva Longoria (a famous person of whom I  have never heard) is "...still longing for true love." Everything else is just nothing, one way or the other.

The big item is section A is a full page of pictures of people being outside, something that will certainly attract any reader who has never seen a person outside.

Foreign news  ( anything outside New Brunswick) occupies one page of Section C. There is a pointless story about how papal candidate Marc Ouellot's family will miss him if he becomes pope (he won't). There's also a story that Harper is signing over control of natural resources in the Northwest Territories to the people who live there - though it's not at all clear that is really what he's doing. And Afghan's leader, Karzai, is mad at the US again. The report isn't sure why. And that's pretty much it for the world.

None of this has much substance. In the case of Afghanistan, for example, the key question is why is NATO fighting that war in the first place? There is no evidence that the government of Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11. Here is a war that has cost over a trillion dollars, that Canadians have died in, a war that is long lost - and nobody seems to know why it's being fought.

Even Harper could figure this was a dumb war to fight. It was the Canadian Council of CEOs that pushed us into the war - because it was good for business.  Harper soon realized it was also a loser. That's why he was the first NATO leader to pull his troops out of combat, and confine them to a training role.

So, precisely why this war is being fought would surely be something useful to know. But I have yet to see a single item in the TandT that answers this question - or even asks it. This is a common failing of news services, especially in foreign affairs.

Why is France fighting a war in Mali? Because Mali has invaded France? Because France wants to spread democracy? Donne-moi un break. Why are France, Britain and the US training Syrian "rebels" (most of whom cannot be rebels since they aren't Syrians in the first place); and why are they supplying the "rebels" with weapons?  In fact, Britain, France and the US have been saturating Africa with weapons, many of them powerful and sophisticated. And they're soon up for grabs to anybody who wants them. Is this really a brilliant idea?

Why is there fighting in Syria in the first place? Because Assad is a bad man? Well, most informed opinion is that Assad would win a majority in any election. Besides, when did in the West get all virtuous about bad guys. Assad, Ghadaffi and Hussein were all bad guys, always. But we supported them for years.

And what game is Saudi Arabia playing in backing the "rebels" with money and weapons?  Is Saudi Arabia trying to encourage democracy? Not likely. It's the most anti-democratic government in the world. It's also the world's most theocratic government. That is, it governs by the strictest interpretation of Islamic teachings. And it's our good buddy. So what's this all about?

The whole of Africa and the Middle East is being pushed into disintegration.And it's going to get lots worse if there's an attack on Iran. In the latter case, there would be no predictable outcome.

And I shall be very surprised, indeed, if there is not a "struggle for freedom" in Venezuela. What is this all about?

Well, mostly it's about corporations that have grown far too big for anybody's health, and are trying to create a world which exists for no reason but to make a profit for themselves. It is not a coincidence that Libya and Venezuela have oil. It is not a coincidence that the US government began to see Chavez as an "enemy of democracy" when he raised charges for the oil companies, and then spent the money on useless things like houses and hospitals and schools.

But one would never guess any of this from reading NewsToday in the Moncton Times and Transcript.

There is no mention that there is a hunger strike spreading through the concentration camp/torture centre at Guantanamo Bay. Funny how the TandT could miss that. Perhaps one reason for the hunger strike is that just over half the prisoners at Guantanamo were cleared for release BACK IN 2010. Cleared for release. That means they were never enemy combatants in the first place. They've been imprisoned and tortured for all these years. Now they've been cleared for release because there is simply no evidence to charge them even before a military court. But they aren't released. They still sit there, anyway, in the prison Obama said over four years ago he would close.

The other prisoners haven't been cleared. But most haven't been charged, either. That means there's no evidence against them to support a charge. But they still sit in their cells.

Some should never have been there, anyway, not under international human rights legislation, because they were too young. Omar Khadr was such a case. I know lots of people don't like Omar Khadr. The facts remain - Khadr was a child under international law; and the Canadian government didn't even whimper when the US put him on trial as an adult. In fact, Canada was the only NATO  country not to demand that prisoners - children and adults - should return to their own countries for whatever measures were necessary in dealing with them.

We are being sucked ever deeper into wars that are being fought primarily for the benefit of big business. And these are wars that risk the final conflict.

But the important news in the Tand T is that Eva Longoria is still longing for a true love.

The editorial page is decent - not great, but decent. The editorial is reasonable Alec Bruce's column is well-written, as always, but very much on the light side.  Norbert shows a talent for dialect that I had never suspected.

On op ed, Craig Babstock makes a good point about  how we deal with prisoners in our jails - (or don't'e deal with them.)    Allen Abel, as usual, is irrelevant and to say the least, lightweight.

Generally, it's hard to say much about a paper that doesn't itself have much to say, not in any category.

1 comment:

  1. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
    Yes, things will get worse but fear not...I hope everyone who reads this blog also reads the Bible...although you won't hear many "religious" people talk about it, much of the Bible is prophecy and things are unfolding as expected...