There's a letter to yesterday's blog asking me about the reasons for current turmoil in the middle east, and what it has to do with a pipeline I mentioned. I've answered in the comments section – but it's worth enlarging on here.
We'll start with Iran. Why did the U.S. smother Iran with sanctions? It's very simple. The U.S. destroyed democracy in Iran shortly after World War Two in order to impose a very brutal dictator. And the Iranians had the nerve to kick out this nice, American-appointed government – and elect their own government. It was very much like the way those terrible Cubans kicked out the dictator the U.S. had kindly imposed on them.
In both cases, the purpose was to get full control of the national economies of those countries for American billionaires. They did the same in Panama, Haiti, Guatemala, Vietnam, Libya – wherever the American empire reached.
That's why there was all the fuss over nuclear weapons that Iran, in fact, never had. It was, many years ago, working on a nuclear weapons programme – just like the U.S., Russia, China, South Africa, Israel, India, Pakistan, Britain and France – none of whom were opposed by the U.S.
Iran was working on a programme many years ago – and not unreasonably so since a hostile Israel already had the bomb. But it discontinued the programme; and it was well known that it had been discontinued. Even U.S. intelligence said it was discontinued. But that wasn't good enough. U.S. billionaires wanted full control over over Iran, its economy and its government.
Then came the blow. Qatar, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Russia agreed on a pipeline deal that would be of huge benefit to them. U.S. oil billionaires were not pleased.
That's why the U.S. created a 'rebellion' in Syria. That country was a key link in the deal. So the U.S. hired and supplied mercenaries to be the 'rebels'. Almost all the 'rebels' were not Syrians at all – something our news media never mentioned. The U.S. also trained and, with Saudi help, equipped groups like al Quaeda and even ISIL to step in as the rebellion weakened for lack of any support from the Syrian people.
American foreign policy in the region has been a mess since George Bush Jr. committed a war crime by invading Iran. Obama continued the same policies as Bush; (he had no choice. The billionaires controlled him as much as they had controlled Bush.)
That's why Obama, with the help of lying news media, raised the false issue of nuclear bombs to set up talks with Iran. There were no bombs. Obama knew that. Israel knew it. The talks were to wreck that pipeline deal.
The next step is to destroy al-Assad and, with him, Syria as a party to the pipeline deal – and as a nation. That's the reason why millions of people have fled their homes and in fleeing have died – of exposure, of starvation and even of drowning with their bodies washed up on foreign beaches.
The three year old boy washed up on a beach did not die because of terrorists. He died because of the greed of the billionaires who control the American government. The U.S. killed him. And both Canada and Britain have marched in step to build the American Empire which is as brutal as any empire in history.
Read today's superb column by Gwynne Dyer. It seems that a story I had (cautiously) mentioned last week was true enough – just premature. Russia is taking a hand to save the government side in Syria. Of course, it is. Russia has a major interest in this. As well, American intervention has turned into such a disaster for all of us that we all win with Russian intervention.
Obama knows that. But do the oil billionaires know that? Do the news media know that? And if they do know it, will they go on lying, anyway?
It is quite possible that the western news media and its politicians and its oil billionaires will whip the public into frenzy demanding that the U.S. take a military stand against Russia.
The editorial is about restoration of the river that passes through our city. And it makes sense. Big improvement for an Irving editorial.
Norbert writes again on education – a subject he knows nothing about, He also uses loaded language. He uses fiscal responsibility as if it actually means something. But fiscal responsibility depends on what you want. I don't think spending a hundred million and more for a new hockey rink is fiscally responsible. I think there are other things Moncton needs more. However, the owner of the hockey team who is not homeless, not hungry, not living in dangerous, slum conditions, and doesn't have children in public schools might have a different perspective on what is fiscally responsible.
Mostly, Norbert attacks citizens who don't take part in public consultations when they have a chance to. Well, yeah. I've noticed that about New Brunswick. But it's pretty hard to take a useful part in consultation when you're functionally illiterate and – if you are literate – get your news from the Irving press
Alec Bruce is quite right to say that politicians all tend to sound alike during a campaign - though I wish I could disagree with him.
But that's what happens at election time. They all stick to safe issues, usually minor ones. That's because voters lack the knowledge and, many times, even the basic reading skills to make sense out of the issues that count. And, of course, they've all been fed on the pap we call news media. They are stuffed with myths, propaganda, and false information. It's very, very hard to get a real message through. That's why our democracy is failing.
Check the big new, front-page headline on today's front page. Trudeau promises to make changes to employment insurance. I agree that it needs changes. But this is surely not one of the really big issues being faced in Canada.
We have troops and weapons so placed in Ukraine and Syria that both could commit us to wars we are not equipped to fight – and both are places we should not be, anyway. But try speaking on that issue. Every “patriot” in the country will shout you down.
We have monstrous tax money lost because of loopholes for the rich. But we have no information on that from our news media. Most of us are uninformed or badly informed, ridden with propaganda and myth… So candidates shy away from the big issues, and from the principles their parties stand for.
Good commentary, too, by Steve Malloy, “Your pop stars are questionable role models.” It's true. They play on sex so blatantly that it would not have tolerated in the strip theatre I attended on days I skipped school. They encourage drugs. Their lyrics run from foul to brainless. And most of them can't sing worth a damn. It's all a sort of hysteria with flashing lights (think AC/DC). But it wasn't always like that.
As a child, I heard British pop singer, Vera Lynn. She didn't grind or do simulated sex, but her voice was so magnificent it could draw tears. Later, I had a chance to see the Bolshoi Ballet doing Swan Lake with the magnificent Galina Yolanova as the dying swan. There were no blinking lights, no rockets; no screams from the audience. Instead, there was a stunned silence, and then the whole audience rose as one to applaud.
Popular music into the period of The Beatles, even of a sleaze like Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson could actually sing, and had intelligent lyrics. I can also remember “Where have all the flowers gone?”, and the folk songs of Pete Seeger. So I can agree that there has been a huge change to bad music, even-non music, to lyrics that would embarrass a monkey, to bad taste, to massive ignorance….
There's really no news in today's Irving press worth reading. You can get more and better on Google News.
Oh, there is one news story worth reading.
In Ontario, parents can refuse to allow their children to attend sex-ed classes in the schools. I have a flash for those parents. Kids have learned about sex on their own for a very long time now. Cats and dogs learn it on their own, too. Kids have to learn it, and they will – in school, or from a friend in his basement, or from a child molester, or from Miley Cyrus. Now, think hard.
Which of the above is trained to do it?
In fact, making it a school subject could discourage sexualtiy.
“What do you have in school today?”
“Oh, just another boring class about sex-ed.”
There are a couple of stories on the influx of refugees to Europe and the horror of their experience. But no news can capture to horror of that. Europe (well, France, Germany and Greece) so far are dealing with it as well as they can. Canada and the U.S. are trying their best to do as little as they can – which is a repeat of how they treated the Jews in the 1930s and 40s. Israel is refusing them any help at all, and won't let them cross the border. A Jewish friend wrote to me today, asking how Israel, given the Jewish refugee experience, could be so cruel to refugees.
I think I know why. We forget, but Jews remember, that almost everybody ignored them before, during and after the holocaust. That's why Israel can be so cruel in carrying out a slow genocide on the Palestinians. And who do I blame for that sort of thinking?
Us. We created it. We did it seventy years ago – and the damage has never since been repaired.
The millions of refugees today, created by the U.S. and British interference along with Harper playing his U.S. puppy dog role, are a problem that will last a century – and probably more. Europe will almost certainly not be able to cope with it. And it's all happening so American billionaires can control the world.
Capitalism on a large scale and without controls has always been a destructive force. The American rise to wealth and power, like the British one, was built on massive killing, including millions of native people and even more millions of Africans. Every war they have fought since 1945 has been fought to benefit the very rich. (And I would be prepared to argue that for every war in the centuries since capitalism has existed. For most of the history of Canada, the U.S. Britain, France life for the greater part of those countries was vile. Poverty was the rule. And thanks to the recent surge in the political power of big capitalists, we're heading back to the old days.
I don't have any slick answer to that problem because greed and indifference to the bulk of the people have been characteristics of the rich and greedy for millenia. We need to find a way to bring capitalism back under control (if it ever was) and, almost certainly, we need to give fuller study to socialism.
As a dominant system, big capitalism is without any morality or social responsibility whatever. It's murderous. It's crushingly expensive. And no society can survive it.