Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 5: Newspapers as propaganda, people as an hysterical mass...

A lead story from Canadian Press "Canada suspends Russian military ties" tells us that last week the Russians made a dramatic incursion into Crimea.

No,  they didn't. There was not incursion at all. Russia has a treaty with Ukraine to keep up to 25,000 troops in Ukraine at all time. (The reason is that Crimea is vital to Russian defence.) At the present time, it is still below that number.

You'd think a big press agency like The Canadian Press would know that. What has happened is neither dramatic nor an incursion.

Our own enthusiastic but woefully ignorant John Baird has said Canada can ever accept....ethnic nationalist justification for invading a peaceful, democratic neighbour.

Bullshit, John. (though, in fairness, I have a suspicion he doesn't know what most of this sentence means.)

Guatemala was a peaceful, democratic nation when the US sponsored an invasion of it in the 1950s, overthrowing the government, and installing a dictatorship. I don't recall a single complaint about that from Canada.

Haiti was a peaceful, democratic country in 1991 when the US invaded it, displaced the elected president, exiled him, and replaced his government with the dictator thugs who have ruled Haiti for almost a century with US protection.

Canada, far from objecting, participated in the destruction of democracy in Haiti by sending "peacekeepers" to act as a cover for what was really a US invasion..

Canada and the US, far from being beacons of democracy, support dictators all over world - especially if their nations have resources to pillage Check out virtually all of Central America, Congo, Saudi Arabia.. and the list goes on. Ask your favourite Canadian mining companies about the role they place in all this.

In fact, Ukraine was democratic. It had an elected government. New elections were due in a year. And it was not the Russians who attacked that government. It was the rebels supported by the US who did it. To call the present government of Ukraine a democracy is absurd.

It is a government which was not elected, not elected at all. And it is made up of people we have never heard of and know little about - though we do know it has some people of neo-Nazi connections.

The story closes with a Ukrainian pep rally in Ottawa.

In all, there is not a single word of support for the Russian/Crimean positions, and not a single word of criticism for the coup. This isn't a new story. This is a harangue designed to spread hatred and fear. There is no distinction between this and the work of Dr. Geobbels.

It gets even worse with a story from The Associated Press. US secretary of state, John Kerry,  tells us that "it is not appropriate to invade a country, and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve.

In the first place, Russia has not invaded a country. It's  troops are where treaty rights allow them to be.

In the second place, Mr. Kerry, what the hell did you think you were doing in Vietnam? Where you helped kill at least two and half million people. And what about the invasions of Iraq (over a million dead), Afghanistan, Libya (with the help of peace-loving Stephen Harper)/

Obama adds a horse's ass speech in which he says more and more people around the world are opposed to invading others. This comes from the president of the country with the biggest military budget in the world, bigger than all of the rest of the world put together, the country that began the Syrian war by arming and equipping and paying Al Quaeda terrorists to overthrow the government, the country that has invaded more countries in the past fifty years than any other country in the world.

This is real "fwow -up" stuff.

Oh, yes. Kerry brought billion dollars of aid for Ukraine. How thoughtful.

The US has at least 630,000 homeless (never believe the official figures. They are rarely 50% of reality). It has, officially, 7% unemployed. The real number could be as high as  30%.

It has people starving, a high proportion of them elderly and/or veterans. But it cut food stamps and other services to the desperately poor in order to maintain the world's biggest military budget.

It's also broke, so broke it has to borrow just to pay the interest on its loans.

But - wait - they just found a billion dollars to help the people of Ukraine.

The whole purpose of the stories on Ukraine is to spread fear, anger, hysteria - and ignorance.

This is the world that George Orwell was talking about. It really is.
The editorial is a pointless one that follows up on a pointless story yesterday about the liquor board getting a new chief.

Norbert has a column on our economic challenges and problems. Norbert, I will take you seriously when you admit that one of our problem is your boss. So sue me for slander.

The op ed page is not of its usual quality. It's actually worse.

The whole paper is awful; but those two stories on Ukraine are really frightening.

These are pure propaganda, designed to spread fear and hysteria. And, as I read the American press, I think it's working. There's only one place this can take us - straight to the frying pan. All of us.

You think it makes sense? Okay. Here's a case that would be exactly parallel.

Ukraine has an election due in a year. Canada has one due it just a little more.

Bands of Quebec separatists, financed and encouraged by US sources, sweep across the Ottawa river to stage a coup d'etat. It succeeds. Most of the Canadian government is kicked out and replaced by separatists.

Canadians respond by massing troops near Ottawa.

The US rattles its sabre. It says the coup d'etat government is now the legitimate one, and those Canadians who still support the old government don't count. It imposes severe sanctions on Canada.

And what would you do?


  1. Russia is allowed to had troops on their bases in Crimea, but all military movements are supposed to be reported to the Ukraine government and they are not supposed to do things like take over customs offices, ferry terminals, airports and surround Ukraine military bases.

  2. What government would the Russians have reported to?
    There had been an elected government. It was destroyed in a coup, remember? That means there was no legal government.
    (Oh, I know that the US often recognizes governments established by a coup - but only if it was behind the coup.

    Not only is this government illegal. We don't have a clue about the people in it or who they represent or what they represent or how many they represent.

    Russia did not create this situation. Nobody has even suggested it did. It's reaction seems to me the only sane possibility. What do you think they should have done?

    Mind you, I can think of situations in which the US has accepted coups as creating legal governments. In South Vietnam, for example, the elected president was assassinated, and the government taken over by Vietnamese generals.

    But the US recognized that only because it had organized it in the first place.
    p.s. The last Vietnamese general to be dictator fled with the US army. The last I heard, he was managing a MacDonald's in Washington.

  3. There was no reason for the Russians to do anything with thier military. They could have stayed in thier base and reported any routie movements to the usual functionary they reported to before.

    There is going to be an election in a couple months and there is a good 50% chance it would have all settled down after that.

  4. Good.

    Now open your other eye.

    1. The Crimea is essential to Russian defence, particularly for its port at Sevastapol. It is their only by treaty with Ukraine.
    2. The Ukraine government is taken over by a violent group of whom we still have been told nothing.
    3. The US has made no secret of its intention to use Ukraine territory up to the Russian border as a vast base for nuclear weapons.

    Let's see now, Canadian government is overthrown by a violent group. Nobody seems to know who they are. There is evidence of Russian involvement, and some Russians are speaking of planting nuclear missiles along the American border.

    The US says, hey, don't worry. I'm sure there'll be an election in a couple of months, and there is a good 50% it will settle down after that.

    Gee. Too bad Kennedy never thought of that in the Cuban crisis.

    How do we know there will be an election in a couple of months?
    How do we know it will be a free election?
    Where does this "good 50% chance" come from? With his countries survival at stake, do you think Putin would make a big hit by announcing - "It's okay, folks. There's a 50% chance we'll survive."

    Phew. That's a relief.
    Yep. We can just slip by this one mumbling doh-di-doh, doh-di-doh.

  5. I find it hard to believe the US would want to put nuclear weapons in Ukraine. They haven't put any in the other Eastern European countries that have join NATO recently.

    The Russian action has only made it much more likely the Ukraine will join NATO.

  6. There are 480 US nuclear weapons based in NATO countries. As well, Britain and France have their own nuclear stockpiles.

    The US also has nuclear weapons in Turkey.

    All the above are aimed at Russia.

    The US forced South Korea to accept the basing of US nuclear weapons back in the 1950s. (Gee. I wonder where North Korea got the idea it should have a weapon. Do you recall reading about the stockpile in your local paper? They had lot of time for it. It wasn't pulled out until 1991).

    Britain, the US, France and Israel also have fleets of submarines just off "enemy" coasts. Most of these are used to threaten China. Many of them are armed with nuclear weapons.

  7. Look. There is something we need to get real about. The US is not an international charity and big brother to the friendless.
    It is empire and, like all empires, it is brutal, murderous, and exploitive. We have no idea how many countries it has invaded because it normally doesn't bother to declare war.

    Imperial rulers are not nice guys. never have been.

  8. Follow the money. Oil and gas (ng) flow through the Ukraine on it's way to Europe (Italy, France, Germany to name the heaviest addicts) from Russia. Who would fill that market if those pipelines were shut off?