Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nov. 26: We live at a turning point in history....

....and it's not a good idea to live at a turning point in history.

The fighting in the middle east has huge stakes for the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. has made it clear it is looking for world domination. That's the principle put forward by Project for the New American Century. There can be do doubt about it. It's easy to find on the web. It's a scheme developed by, among others, Jeb Bush. It's often spoken of as American Exceptionalism, the belief that the U.S. has the right to intervene anywhere in the world, regardless of the law. It has the right to invade for any reason - or for no reason. Obama has publicly endorsed this.

It's essentially similar to the old, American concept called Manifest Destiny, the one that justified invading all over Latin America and overthrowing governments, conquering The Phillipines and putting in MacArthur as the dictator in the inter-war years. And, like Manifest Destiny, it rests on the assumption that it is God's will for the U.S. to rule the world.

More important than God in this issue, though, is that ruling the world is the will of the big league, American capitalists. Britain and France are tagging on because they have to. Individually, they're no longer capable of conquering anybody. So they have to hang around for sloppy seconds.

What is happening now in the middle east is that Russia has drawn a line in the sand. For decades, the U.S. has been pushing NATO further to the East in order to give the U.S. military bases and missile sites close to the Russian border.

Ukraine was the last straw for Putin. That's the major reason the Russians are now in Syria, to stop American expansion. They are also using the occasion to demonstrate to the U.S. that their weaponry is very, very sophisticated.

They have also been far, far more effective against ISIS than the U.S. and its allies were. But, in fairness, that's partly because the U.S. doesn't want to destroy ISIS - not until ISIS has destroyed Syria.

If Russia succeeds in Syria, it will mean a major blow to the dream of American
Exceptionalism or The New American Century or Manifest Destiny - whatever it may be called.

That's why this war in a shattered part of the world is a very important one. And a dangerous one for all of us. Any mistake could have disastrous consequences for the whole world.

Too bad it made only the last page of Section B of the Irving press.
(The front page was taken up by the really big story of the day. "Dieppe proposes property tax hike".)  The Russia/Turkey story is a short column at the end of the last page. It also is an example of how we have come to accept bias in our news. In the fourth paragraph, it says both the Russian and Turkish leaders 'pose' as strong leaders.

What a silly comment!  How many leaders can you think of who pose as being weak leaders?  And, in fact, both Erdogan and Putin are strong leaders. So what's the point of the word 'pose' in there?

Putin has sent in a cruiser with missiles that are said to be extremely accurate. How would the west react if he used them on Turkey? This is one hell of a dangerous situation.

I have another report sent in by a reader from a source I'm not familiar with. So I'm still checking it out. But, according to this report, Putin has wiped out the Syrian rebel force along the Turkish border. The report says he did it yesterday. It also says Erdogan blinked this time; he ordered his aircraft to stay grounded. This is the rebel force the Turks were helping when they shot down the Russian aircraft. The report I'm just checking on also said that Putin has warned Turkey that its bombers will, in future, by escorted by fighters.

Oh, the Irving press story ends by saying that Turkish aircraft often fly into Syrian airspace to attack ISIS. Like hell it does. In fact, Turkey is the one that has been getting ISIS oil to the market, thereby making billions for ISIS. Turkey has also been the route for supplies to ISIS.

Putin doesn't just 'pose' as tough. He has a long record of being tough.  I can't think of a single incident of him bluffing or backing down.

In any case, the greater part of Syria does not exist any more. The most prominent examples of its breakup are what are effectively self-governing states operated by Kurds, ISIS, or Turkmans.

That's a common result when a nation falls victim to imperialism. The nation, itself, is destroyed, leading various groups, often based on religion, to break away. That's why Pakistan is very separate from India. That's why China survived only through civil wars until one side was strong enough to dominate the whole country. And that's why the Iraq of today is by no means the Iraq of fifteen years ago.

There was an excellent programme last night on History Channel describing the process in Iraq. The U.S. won a quick victory. But it was short-lived as the whole country quickly broke up into factions warring against the U.S. and against each other. The old Iraq no longer exists.

(A senior American official involved in that war was interviewed. He admitted that the war dissolved into failure for everyone, including the U.S But he added the line I had been dreading. "But Saddam Hussein was a bad man."

No doubt he was. So is Bush. So is the king of Saudi Arabia. So is Tony Blair.
Would anyone be so stupid as to suggest it would be worth killing over a million. innocent Americans or British or Saudis to get them?

The middle east is no longer far away. It's as good as next door, and it's a very dangerous game that is being played there.

On CBC, I watched a discussion of whether our six aircraft should be pulled out of the region. One man was angry at the suggestion. It was a matter of honour to stay and to do our part.

Killing people is never a matter of honour. And our part in this should be to help mend it -  unless, of course, you own Esso or something like that. I don't understand why Trudeau has not moved on this. A war about which billionaires should own the middle east has nothing to do with us - except to place us and the whole world in danger.

Not much in the Irving press. A2 has story about six New Brunswickers who were fined for not paying taxes. None or them was U-KNOW-WHO.

On A7, there's a story from a Montreal research group that there's no point in raising taxes on the rich. The main reason is given in paragraph 2. The wealthiest hide their money in tax shelters, anyway. So we still wouldn't get anything from them.

Interesting. That raises questions about why our federal and provincial governments have never addressed this problem. Can we expect a probing, Irving press report on this? If we don't deal with this, then the growing wage gap is going to create some very serious social problems in Canada. It already is doing that in the U.S.

B2 also has the story that this province is thinking of selling the rich the right to get public works like highways and bridges named after them - for a price. Great idea. And I guess that would be tax deductible, too.
The editorial criticizes our schools for their low quality compared to a world leader like Finland. I guess the editorial writer doesn't know that it all depends on which ranking system you're using. All of them rank Canada highly. And some rank Finland well below Canada.

In any case, ranking systems have limited use because the local culture has a great deal to do with student performance. Some cultures, like Chinese and Judaic, encourage thinking and learning. Some don't. New Brunswick is one of the don'ts. As the Irving press shows us every day, New Brunswick has a culture with a dislike of learning, of discussion, of any intellectual activity. That's why it has a low literacy rate. It has nothing to do with "snow days". The greatest damage done to learning in New Brunswick is done by the tone set by the Irving press.

Norbert rings the bell again for our need to face a financial crisis. Too bad he never looks at the wealthy as a cause of the crisis.

Rod Allen abandons his usual posture of pompous wording and heavy-handed wit to produce a column that is quite good writing. Too bad that all he says could have been said in 1/5th of the space.

Justin Ryan's column is a useful look at the big, big problem he's facing in his  job. In fact, it's big, big, big. Canada has a long history of racism and discrimination.

Alec Bruce is quite a hand with the final, punch line. I had no idea where he was going until the last, four paragraphs.  Good stuff.

The front page of Canada&World has a big story about failed Conservative candidates who met with Conservative wannabees to criticize the new, federal government. Who could possibly care?

B7 has a very big story that France is going to extend its airstrikes against ISIS.  It doesn't mention that France has been bombing it for over a  year. (Well, he may not have been bombing it. Like other western powers, France may prefer to bomb the legal government of Syria. ISIS, after all, has been very useful for the west in its fight against the Syrian government.)

The photo shows the French president with Angela Merkel. It's quite a contrast between two, very different people. Merkel has shown nothing but courage and compassion. I don't think any world leader has come close to her.

Asia, Africa and Latin America, as usual, don't exist in the world news of the Irving press.
Below is an interesting site for Moncton. It deals with homelessness. So far as we know, there are 780 homeless people in this city - and 15,500 at risk. Mind you, it's worse in jolly old England where London, alone, has 25,000 homeless children, just children, living in the streets. This takes us back to the London of Oliver Twist.

But the real stunner is the U.S. with 2.5 million homeless men, women and children - right down to babies.    

You know Moncton. It's the city that had no trouble raising a hundred million for a hockey rink.

All of this can be summed up in two words. Wage and gap. We have a few people in this province who can set their own wages. And they also get to set the wages for everybody else. There's a price to be paid for that wage gap. Care to write a column about it, Norbert?
Paul Craig Roberts has excellent credentials. As well, in several years of reading his columns I've learned to respect his courage as well as his understanding. His message is that Turkey is lying about its reason for shooting down the Russian bomber. And western leaders who take Turkey seriously on this are liars, too.

I don't know the reason for it. Was Turkey trying to pull NATO into the war so it could grab a large part of Syria? Is it possible the U.S. asked Turkey to do this?
The one thing we know for certain is that the U.S. is not fighting ISIS, and it never has. It is using ISIS to destroy Assad and to destroy Syria. That's why both the U.S. and Turkey have been allowing ISIS to transport its oil, and send it to market through Turkey. And that is why both are displeased that Russia is attacking ISIS.


  1. It's fun getting the blow by blow commentary on the lead up to WWIII.

  2. Well, I really like your stuff after a rocky start on my part a month ago. I must have arrived on a bad day.

    American exceptionalism surely began with the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. I remember being astounded in high school, Grade 11 in 1962, that the US decided that they were the policemen of the Western hemisphere. Just could not believe it at all, but it was true.

    Of course, the Anglophobe Webster was also busy reinventing spelling for the nascent Yankee empire at the time.

    I suppose the only thing we can be thankful for is that the US drive for hegemony is that they have hoodwinked themselves into believing that they were never a colonial power. Thus, they have in general not subjected civilians to grand excesses in their drive to conquer, preferring only mere normal excesses and throwing Hershey bars and chewing gum to the starving masses.

    The Phillipine occupation is one thing. Guam is quite another. It takes little google searching to find that the indigenous population of that island, ruled over by nitwits from the dregs of the US Navy, are still fuming at the way they are lorded over by the white man and treated as serfs.

    Of course, the FBI is free to roam our land without our permission as of 2012 in another harper grand finger to his countrymen, and the CIA never thought to ask in the first place.

    As a complete aside, I am annoyed that Brazil now harbours one of the biggest capitalists making money out of us all. Besides Timmies, he lords it over Burgerking, Kraft, Cadbury, Heinz, Budweiser etc, etc,. Company known as 3G Capital, one Jorge Paulo Lemann. Even cheeses off the Americans as he employs business procedures even they couldn't bring themselves to do.

    Buffet, who teamed up with 3G to buy Heinz, masquerades as a caring capitalist, Lemann operates it fair and square nasty. No longer do we get ketchup made from fresh tomatoes grown outside the plant in Ontario but synthetic goop from the USA. And another 600 jobs lost.

    And so it goes.

  3. The other day I watched Obama make a live speech before US thanksgiving basically reassuring people they can continue making capitalists money. I'm quite sure he said the US was taking most of the burden of fighting IS. I tried not to laugh out loud.