Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oct. 4: a pot-pourri

To understand what the fighting in Syria is all about, check the sites below.

To see the whole article these came from, go to the site below. And for those who think these stories are just anti-American propaganda, just note where they come from. The Christian Science Monitor, for example, is not a hotbed of anti-Americanism.

Meanwhile, guess which country the UN has been named ( at US. urging) to chair the panel on human rights. It's Saudi Arabia which has, arguably, the worst human rights record in the world. In fact, the very concept of human rights does not exist in Saudi Arabia. The role the U.S. played in this appointment gives some insight into its attitude toward human rights.

In news which still hasn't made the Irving press, though it will have an enormous local impact, the city of Montreal plans to dump 8  billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. And guess where that will flow to.

Northumberland Strait is already suffering damage from agricultural chemical drainage into the river along its whole length.
Why is nothing done about mass shootings in the U.S.? Some 300 people have been killed in the U.S. in mass shootings so far this year. And that's normal.  What makes it possible is that anybody can get a gun, and get as many as any lunatic might want. This includes semi-automatics with high capacity magazines. ( In a visit to a U.S. gun shop, I had my choice of submachine guns from Thompsons to Stens to Uzis. Or a Vickers machine gun at 500 shots a minute. Or an anti-tank gun.) Who is behind this?

It is, of course, a powerful lobby group for the gun industry. For Republicans, who are heavily funded by the industry, regulation of guns is a no-no. Democrats, in the majority, are in favour of gun control. But changing the legislation requires such a large majority in Congress that it's virutally impossible.

But let's not feel smug. Here in Moncton, a disturbed young man managed, with no trouble, to get a couple of semi-automatic combat weapons with high capacity magazines - essential for mass killings. And Harper had destroyed the only safeguard we had left - the gun registry.

That killed three police. And you know what the people and the governments and the news media of New Brunswick have done?  Not a damn thing.
On google news, but probably not to be in the Irving press, U.S.  bombers attacked a charity hospital in Afghanistan. 22 staff and patients were killed. It was operated by Doctors Without Borders.

Gee! Didn't the Irving press just recently carry a story about how Americans never, ever kill civilians? No. They use smart bombs which don't kill civilians.

Actually, since the Spanish civil war,  civilians have been the major bombing targets for all countries. And the U.S. is almost certainly the major killer of civilians all over the world.
The site below is VERY far right wing. And it makes no pretence of being anything else. That's why I was surprised at its analysis of the Syria war - and its high regard for Putin.  My own regard for Putin is rather less - but this does an excellent job of talking common sense about the war. It also lays out the only possible solution.

(BTW, there is a right wing type of error. It gives a list of casualties for the Iraq war that is the official U.S. list. It has long ago been proven false. The real figure is some ten times as high.)

Putin's solution is highly regarded as the only one that will work. It is to pull our ALL foreign forces and to stop ALL support for "rebel" groups. In the interim, we need an alliance of  western and Muslim forces to break up ISIS. Then we go away, and leave people alone.

Failing that, we face endless wars with Muslim countries - and risk a nuclear war.

But U.S. oil billionaires will never accept anything unless it makes them richer.
It's not mentioned in this article, but a factor in almost all those wars has been U.S. 'special forces' which are used to attack countries all over the world to assassinate, to foment unrest and violence, to desabilize countries in what's called 'regime change'. Estimates are the U.S. has such teams in over a hundred and fifty countries at any given time. They created the Ukraine crisis, the Syria crisis...they're all over Latin America.

It's all illegal, of course. Whether it's a couple of hired killers or a destabilizaton team, it's an act of war - and that's illegal unless you're attacked. And that's the gang that our military leaders want to integrate Canadian forces with.

Is this what Canadians died for? Shouldn't we be hearing about this from The Canadian Legion?

Hillary Clinton, in defiance of Obama, says the U.S. should impose a no-fly zone over Syria. Does that sound nice and peaceful? It isn't. A no-fly zone is one in which no country would be able to fly - except the U.S. (Of course, though, the U.S. would use only bombs that don't kill people.)

Finally, the right of a muslim woman to wear a niqab while taking the oath of citizenship has, thanks to Harper, become a major and perhaps a decisive issue in the Canadian federal election.

Now, we have an economy to deal with. We have the excessive power of corporations to deal with. We have issues in child care, health care, poverty, our military role, tax evasion by the wealthy... but   for many Canadians, the decisive issue, the one that stands above all others is that a handful of women insist on  wearing a veil when taking the oath. In fact, that is a right they have. The courts have decided that. It's also easily handled by appointing a woman to help administer the oath. Religion permits Muslim women to take off the veil when no men are present.

Why is Harper fighting so fiercely on this issue - especially when he knows that it is a)trivial and b) easily solved? Is it because he believes in its importance, that this is the great question facing Canada?

Not likely. Not even Harper.

He's doing it because he knows that a great many voters are bigots who live in fear and hatred and, let's face it, a racism that has been sponsored by his government and by our news media. There are also a great many voters who live in an ignorance encouraged by government and news media - and billionaires. And then you have all those voters who are self-righteous in their opinions. As I write, some of them will be leaving the Irving Chapel, inspired by the special music and coffee in the barn.

Harper is smart enough to know that. And he's run his campaign to attract those people.

Hitler had Jews. Harper has Muslims. Never kid yourself. We are back in Germany. The year is about 1936. Western billionaires supported Hitler because he was the world's dam against the spread of socialism. They accepted and even encouraged his treatment of Jews because they knew that appealing to bigotry and racism (and ignorance) was the key to power.

Today, we are having that same experience but on a much bigger scale as the Russian and Chinese and American and Canadian and British wealthy are very much alike. And if we object, we become the German Jews of the 1930s and 40s.

I wonder if the Irving Chapel would be interested in me leading a service on this topic. There's lots of biblical support for such a service.

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