Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Sept 11: the propaganda buildup to attack Syria has begun.
First, though, let me pass on a web site which was sent to me by a reader. It's a superb interview on the decay and collapse of journalism. It's by a person more knowledgeable in the field than I am. And it paints a picture even worse than I had thought in my gloomiest moments. http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=F17Nt9fCGz --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As to Syria, check "Syrian weapons plan bogs down". Pay close attenttion to the sub-head (the smaller headline under the large one). It reads "As U.S., France seek UN resolution, Russia rejects threats of force to ensure Syria disarms." That's very cleverly written. In the sub-head, the US and France are good guys who are seeking a solution. Russia is the bad guy trying to wreck it. The reality is that Russia is the country which proposed the solution in the first place - not, as most reporting has implied, the US. The reality is that Syria, not the US or France, was the first to accept it. (Another unrevealed story is that German intelligence says that Assad had specifically ordered his troops NOT to us chemical weapons.) If you read the news report, the impression is that the US and France want a peaceful solution - and Russia and Syria are blocking the way. That comes from The Associated Press, oen of the world's biggest press services, and a regular in the pages of the TandT. It even quotes the French foreign minister as saying it's all a trap. Really? A reporter with any brains would have asked him. "What trap? What are you babbling about? How could agreeing to hand over its chemical weapons be a trap? Are they going to hide Syrian soldiers in the gas tanks then, when they get to storage, have them break out and conquer the US and France?" It's stupid statement. But it achieves what it's supposed to. Millions of readers who have never even seen a Syrian will nod wisely, and tell friends, "Them Syrians is some sly. Ya gotta watch 'em'." The reality is that France and the US are putting forward a UN resolution to threaten Syria with attacks and legal sanctions if it doesn't hand over its chemical weapons. The purpose of that is to make it impossible for the Syrian president to turn them over without profound humiliation for himself and Syria - amd quite likely to destroy his government - with no replacement in sight.And even if he does accept those terms, the US and France will find another reason for bombing. You think it's no big deal to hand over all your chemical weapons in the middle of a war? So where were you when the US was burying Vietnam under napalm and Agent Orange? When it supplied Saddam Hussein with Sarin? When it littered Iraq with depleted uranium? Under the smokescreen of the news, what has happened is that Syria has accepted a peaceful proposal. The US and France are trying to make it impossible for Syria to accept it. They want to bomb. And they are going to do it. The why I can only guess. So here goes. A 'rebel' win would make Syria an al Quaeda state.Not good for the US or Israel. A win for the Syrian government, but not for US oil companies or for Israel. The US solution may be simply to destroyed an organized society in Syria, to turn it into a chaotic hell on earth. That's what they did in Libya. As a leadup, think of a possible next step. Supply the 'rebels' with gas to be fired into Israel - then claim it was Assad who did it. Incidentally, an enquiring press might make some effort to find out whether Canada has chemical weapons. It it doesn't, it's one of the few developed countries in the world that doesn't. The US has huge stocks of chemical weapons. Think they'll offer to turn theirs over to the UN? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Quebec Charter of Values (p.C 3) is one hell of a dangerous and socially corrupt piece of legislation. It allows government to decide what our "values" must be. Unless my values lead me to be a danger to the lives of others, they are none of the government's damn business. (And I note that though turbans will be forbiden. there will still be a huge crucifix in the Quebec Assembly. and a monstrously ugly cross overlooking the city from Mount Royal.) What has happened is that the Parti Quebecois has run out of things to do - and it once put forward some badly needed social legislation. So it has fallen back on the old, Quebec tradition of racism, collecting a charter of the values it decides the Quebec race has. It reminds me of Harper's attitude to native peoples.And brings back the memory of the day I visited a lake for rich anglos north of Montreal. Since I was directing a camp for the YMHA that summer, I wore a T shirt with a Star of David on it. That led to a stormy meeting of of the lake's wealthy, anglo cottagers to ask who had invited "the Jew" to this sacred spot. Both the Conservatives and the NDP in Ottawa have opposed it. Section A tells us that a man in Guelph is happy to have a heart transplant. This story is twice the size of the story on Syria. And it is so trivial as to be utterly brainless. Much of the rest of section A is full of free ads. "Rankin to play at casino----Margaret Trudeau to visit Miramichi." Who bloody cares? Why do we pay to read this? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kurt Peacock continues to act as a stenographer at the top of Section C to quote people who have nothing to say. Alec Bruce's column is well written - but on the light side. Norbert rants about how our politicians are incompetent. He dismisses the lesser parties, though he gives no evidence he knows anything about them at all. Certainly his newspaper never tells us anything about them. I agree that the Conservatives and Liberals are incompetent. But they don't run the province, Norbert. Read your own newspaper. Two years ago, the great one himself got a flunky to write a column that he was in coalition with the government. Yes. Mr. Irving said in that column that he was a member of the government. And at a high level. He appointed the official advisers to the Minister of Finance. That's the budget (and the deficit) among other things. In other words, Norbert, you are suggesting that Mr. Irving is an incompetent ass. I have some sympathy for that view. But are you sure you want to go there? He also criticizes the public for not following events more closely. Where are they going to do this following, Norbert? In you contemptible newspaper that prints only lies, trivia and propaganda? Oh - in column 3 of your essay, Norbert, you say "neither are enough". Norbert - neither is singular. So,"Neither IS enough." You also say "gotten". Well, it is commonly used, Norbert. But it's wrong. In column 4, your write "...we'd at least have gotten a hint..." Not only is the gotten sort of, you know, lower class - but "have gotten" is using two words that mean the same thing. You should have written, ...we'd at least have a hint.." Keep trying Norbert. There's a good boy. Brian Cormier and Eric Lewis have nothing to say. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A "must read" is a letter to the editor "outraged by movie role for Fonda". it's from a reader who was disgusted when Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam during the Vietnamese war. She spoke in favour of the North in its war against the US, even though he says she must have known US prisoners of war were being tortured. She "lowered" herself to side with the communists". She was a "peacenik" Ugh. I see the writer's logic. In World War Two, there were Germans who opposed Hitler. Some escaped to Britain and North America. We should have condemned those traitors. those people who betrayed their government and its wise leader. They were unpatriotic. The people we should have supported were those who were loyal - Hermann Goering, Goebbels, Himmler. These were the patriots. And the North Vietnamese tortured some prisoners? Oh, my goodness. Our side would never do such a thing. (Incidentally, think of the US presidential candidate who claimed he was tortured after being shot down. In fact, he was terribly injured when he crashed into a lake, and was saved only by the courage of a North Vietnamese who swam out to save him. He was then taken to the Hanoi Hilton where his torture consisted of doctors treating his many, serious injuries, and saving his life. On the US side, American troops killed millions, mostly civilians, using some of the most brutal means known, including vast quantities of chemical weapons. The war was also illegal under international law. The US claims it was okay because France had asked the US to join it. That's nonsense. Picture this. A friend is robbing a bank. You agree to help him. You get caught. You tell the judge it was okay because your friend asked you. Let me know how it comes out. The American government threw away 60,000 Americans on a war that should never have been fought in the first place. The rich kids, like George Bush II, survived because rich daddies kept them safe in the National Guard. Why is the letter writer so bitter? First, he got his information from the news services - places like Brunswick News. And it was heavily propaganda. Yes, the "Hanoi Hilton" had a terrible reputation. But the writer learned about that only from our news services, and from a propaganda movie. We have to read more widely than that. We have to learn not to believe propaganda. As to torture, the US is scarcely the country to point the finger. It operates the largest and most shophisticated torture apparatus in history. And, finally, WE DO NOT OWE OUR FIRST LOYALTY TO OUR GOVERNMENTS. Our first loyalty is to our faith, our sense of morality, to our common sense. Anyone whose first loyalty is to any government is a zombie slave. Anybody can kill. Anybody can cheer the parades. Anybody can pay taxes to maintain torture camps all over the world. The poliical and economic leaders of any country are commonly so greedy and murderous as to satisfy anybody's definition of evil. Goering and Himmler were loyal. But they were not heroes. The heroes were the ones who were disloyal to the Third Reich. And many paid a heavy price for it. Oh, there's also another factor at work here. Prejudice. What our troops do is never bad - not really - because they're our kind of folks. What those foreigners do is always bad. Prejudice. And, I'm afraid, we all have it. And our governments and our economic leaders and their puppet news media know how to use that for their propaganda. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Section A isn't worth commenting on.