Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 18:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/14/military-ignores-obamas-order-release-shaker-aamer-guantanamo

This will be very short because my breakfast newspaper never arrived at all. In fact,   I haven't received it until noon, at the earliest, since September. Thank you , Mr. Irving. I know you're a busy man. But do you have, perhaps a grandson who's looking for a summer job? Or are they all at elite camps?

So I bought a copy, wrote for two hours - and lost it all. I have no idea why.
So here goes a short one. Yesterday, I said that the top general in the U.S. army had refused a direct order to release a Guantanamo prisoner who had been held for over ten years. He is a British subject. There is no evidence whatever against him. American intelligence has been saying for years that he is not a terrorist, and never was. The British prime minister made a personal request to Obama to send him home to Britain.

Obama, who is, under the constitution, the commander-in-chief of all American forces, ordered the general to release him.

The general refused. And he also refuses to explain why.

Under the constitution, he should be facing charges which carry a life sentence. In most countries, he would be shot.

Obama has done nothing. He has been humiliated and the presidency has been humiliated. But he has done nothing. This is also a serious blow to the very idea of democracy and freedom in the U.S.

I wrote yesterday that the Irving press would not carry the story. It didn't. But The Guardian did - and you can get this story from the URL that is the headline of this blog.

So, what is the REALLY important world news? Well, a man in Maryland was hit and killed by a car whose driver couldn't see him. It was night. And the man was wearing a Batman suit.

Well, that certainly changes my plans.

The president of Egypt, already a dictator in reality, has passed a new-anti-terror law so broad and harsh it is being criticized all over the world. (Well, probably harper likes it.) The Irving press has two stories on it. Neither mentions that Egypt once had a democratically elected president and government. But God bless America overthrew them to put a tyrant general in their place.

There is no signicant news of the world. We are killing and starving the people of Yemen in a war whose reason, if any, is known only to the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. There's not a word about it.

Ukraine is in poverty, thanks to the western bankers who have really drained it dry. There is great dissatisfaction with the puppet government the U.S. put in place. None of this made the paper.

As for section A, it's worth reading but only if you hadn't noticed it was hot yesterday. There's a statement by Harper as the lead headline. He proposes to increase military reserves.

So what? The increase will take three years and add only 6,000 to the reserves. And who will they be trained to fight? That makes a big difference in training and equipment. Anyway, let's face a few realities.

There is no country in a position to attack Canada. Nor has any country expressed a desire to attack us since the U.S. threatened us in 1903. All of our wars have been fought at the wish of our imperial masters - formerly Britain, and now the U.S. Today, and despite Harper's tough talk, there is not the slightest chance of us going to war except in support of the U.S.

The United States obviously wants war with Russia and China. It probably could not win a conventional war against either - not even with help. The US military, for all its cost and size, has clearly won only one war since 1945. That was against tiny Barbados. Korea was a draw. Iran, very techically a win, but with no positive result. Afghanistan is still in a state of war - and ISIS is gaining ground there. Libya is a mess.

Not only is the U.S. military unimpressive in recent history. It  has shown that Americans, much as they want wars do not want to risk themselves in them. That's why the U.S. depends on mercenaries. Russia, in contrast, accepted 30 million killed in World War Two. and it fought on.

It also destroyed, by itself, some 90% of Hitler's armies.

No. The U.S. would have to go nuclear. That would make the U.S, iself a nuclear target. And, given our history of support for the U.S., it would make Canada a nuclear target. This is a world with thousands of nuclear weapons. If we nuke their bases, many can be fired offshore by submarines.

There is no possible gain to be made by anybody in such a war. But we h ave planted ourselves in precisely the places where such a war might begin - Ukraine and the middle east.

We need a serious examination of where we're going in foreign affairs. and expanding the reserves by 6,000 or so doesn''t mean a poop in getting started on that examination. Harper is leading us straight into a holocaust.

Then there's the good part.

It's not the editorial. I've long since lost hope for that one. And it's not in Alan Cochrane's city view column which tells us the new events centre will need support if it's going to succeed.  Alan, you're writing for a newspaper which has boosted the events centre from the start - and has assured us this is a sure-fire success story.

Now you write a column suggesting it's not a sure thing?

Gwynne Dyer has an interesting column, but very much about a distant future that may never come. I've suspected for a long time, the Irving editors sift through his columns to be sure they are ones the boss won't object to.

Ah, but then - oh, bliss...

Norbert Cunningham has a superb column, informed, well-reasoned and well -written on the value of a basic income for all Canadians. This, alone, is worth the price of the paper.

Then there's Alec Bruce. I've always thought him a top rank journalist. However, there have been times when I much disliked his columns as he carried the banner for oil billionaires proclaiming there was no climate change, often disparaging environmentalists for their concern.

Today's column is quite different. The writing is good - as it always is. but his view of climate change has become quite different. I agree with him this time, of course. But it's not just that. This is a powerfully written column. But, even more than that, it's an act of courage
Now, it's dark, and I want to go to bed. But - first -

I discovered on Youtube something I had long forgotten about. It was a movie I did with National Film Board, "The Rise and Fall of English Montreal" I was historical advisor, and also appeared a few times in the film. At the time, I was very busy in the fight against separatism, and the virtual outlawing of English in Montreal. I thought the French of Quebec were bigots and racists. I still think so. But I did not hate people because they were French. I hated them because they were bigots.
That's why I''m not a great admirer of anglo-New Brunswickers who attack French rights in this province.

Anyway, ya goot see it. Just go to Youtube. I mean, somebody has to look at it..

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