Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29: Why are Terrorists Terrorists....?

Donald Trump will tell you it's because they're a lower form of human made evil by their religion and, therefore, not intelligent and peaceful like us Christians. In fact, all the leadership candidates will tell you that - or something close to that.
All this is based on what is essentially racist ideology. So let's go to a different starting point. Let's presume that terrorists are people of normal intelligence who have reasons for what they do. Let's start with 9/11. On that day, they killed over 3,000 Americans. Why?

Did they think the U.S. would instantly surrender? Not bloody likely. 3,000 people and a couple of buildings? No.  Dreams of a U.S.surrender had nothing to do with it.

Cripple the American armed forces? Puh-lease.

It was intended to provoke an American attack on some part, any part, of the Muslim world. It was to make Americans hate Muslims. And the U.S. walked right into it, creating two of the biggest military and foreign policy disasters of any country's history - Iraq and Afghanistan. And what would the terrorists gain by this?

For starters, they would gain recruits for a Muslim war against the U.S. The American reaction to 9/11 would lay the base for war between the U.S. and the Muslim world. 9/11 summed up the grievances of a Muslim world pillaged and dominated by the the west for over a century. Of all the oil wealth that poured out of their lands, most Muslims saw almost nothing.

A violent reponse by the U.S. to 9/11 would bring a century and more of anger and frustration to the surface. It would bring forward people willing to die, to blow themselves up even as they blew up westerners. It would create a mood that would encourage the rise of a Muslim army to face down the west. The Americans reacted exactly as Osama bin Laden hoped they would. And the result of all that was the creation of ISIS - which had been bin Laden's goal from the start.

Even in death, bin Laden has been winning ever since 9/11. American foreign policy has been a shambles ever since 9/11. The best policy, and the safest for the whole world, would be for the U.S. to withdraw from the middle east; and let the region settle its own problems. Nor would it have have any effect on the availability of oil. The profit from it would then go to the people of the middle east, of course, and not to a handful of western billionaires - mostly American. But when I fill my tank, I don't care who gets the profit.

The more difficult question is how to get the U.S. out of the region without losing face. That gets more difficult each day as the U.S. increases its involvement. There are those who think it's better to risk a world war and save face  than to step back.

Bin Laden's plan was also helped by an American far, far right think tank called  "Project for the New American Century". Most westerners never paid much attention to it. But bin Laden  probably did. It was on the web for everybody, including bin Laden to see. And it was a plan for world conquest by the U.S.. And it was drawn up by people who became major figures in the Bush administration. Our news media never paid the attention to that it should have.
It played right into bin Laden's plans. Here were people in the U.S. government planning for a world conquest by the U.S.  - the sort of conquest that the Muslim world has learned to hate in more than a century of them.

The intelligent thing for the U.S. and NATO would be to get out. They cannot solve the ptoblems of the middle east. In fact, they ARE the major problems of the middle east. And, by staying there, we are making a world war almost a   certainty.

And we have no capacity to win such a war if it is a conventional one. And nobody has any capacity to win if it's a nuclear war.
The Irving press is its usual self. The editorial talks about the need to improve the food bank system. It admits this would be costly. So far, so good. But, as with everything that costs anything, I have never seen a mention of the role of the wealthy in this. How much do they pay in taxes? Do they pay taxes at all? It is not possible to discuss any economic issue without some mention of those who have most of the money. But, obviously, the Irving press isn't going to let that happen.

Norbert Cunningham has a column which has interesting bits on what poll results really mean. This will be an exciting read for people who care what they really mean.

The guest commentary is yet another one by a politician. Look. If a politician says something useful, then you quote it in a news story. I have yet to see one of these politicals speeches disguised as commentary that said anything. Nor do I have much of a patience with a newspaper    which prints only the speeches of two parties. If we're going to  have political speeches in the paper, ALL parties should have equal access.

Alec Bruce has a column of despair about the Senate. And despair is all one can do because nobody is going to run the risk of all the political dealing that would have to go on in order to change the constitutional definition of the Senate.
Then, there is a column on Canadian Marketing Boards and their failure to help farmers. It's well written. It looks convincing. But my knowledge of farming is limited to five years of failing to grow the melon my farmer ancestors supplied to King Edward V11, the Decarie Melon. I think this is a good column - but better to seek the advice of a farmer on it.
The Canada&World section is a smorgasboard of leftovers. The biggest story (and so, presumably the most important story in the world) is that the CEO of Irving shipbuilding says Irving Shipbuilding can  build anything our navy needs.
Well, that's a relief.

Can it also pay taxes?
Here's a story that has received little coverage in our press. It's about car companies faking carbon emissions tests. This not only breaks the law; it also seriously damages human health. But nobody has been charged for it - and nobody will be. And the list of such companies is far more than this article suggests. Japan, for example, is also involved.

There is also concern that car makers may have been playing games with safety requirements. if so, people will die for that. But not the car makers. Big business kills. It's only objective is profit no matter what the cost to the public or even to human life. And governments won't touch it. We saw that in the U.S. bank bailouts, and we're seeing in the car  scandal.
...and speaking of evading the law...

Those airmen knew what they were attacking. The attacks were prolonged; and there were repeated calls to tell the the air controllers what they were attacking.
Trudeau often makes the foreign press. Here's a tentative appraisal of him in The Guardian. I think it's wise to  wait and see because, so far, I've seen little to suggest he has any of his father's abilities.
The speech by Trump looked sensible for the first sentence or so. But it rapidly collapses into the old approach to Russia - using different words. As for his reference to NATO, Trump is talking nonsense. When he refers to NATO "paying its share", he obviously means NATO acting as an agent of U.S. policy.Bin Laden would love it. Why do you think ISIS is setting up raids in NATO countries? It wants that angry reaction. It wants Europe's rejection of Muslim refugees. It wants Muslims to feel they have no hope in a world dominated by the U.S. and other western powers.

He's right that the current relationship between Russia and the US will turn out to be disastrous for both of them. But to say that he will impose a settlement between the two that is 'great' for the U.S. clearly suggests that Russia would be the loser in the deal. Well, I understand the Kremlim has access to TV as well as we do. This is a very flimsy speech to base a policy on.
Gee! The U.S. has combat troops in Iraq who are actually in combat. They're in Iraq and Syria.  Now think, Canada. We have combat troops in Syria that our government insists are non-combat - except that they might be in combat. Thank Justin for that big step into the military swamp that is the middle east.

Oh, and American combat troops in Iraq are not likely to be greeted by maidens tossing flowers. The remember the invasion of Iraq and the civilian death count very well. Any movement of U.S.  troops in Iraq is a post-mortem victory for bin Laden.
This is from a Russian news agency. But the source is Ernst&Young, a reputable American firm. Note the position of Ukraine, the country supposedly democratic as a result of western intervention.
The next one looks bad for Obama. But it's not his fault. The U.S. is a  falling empire. Get used to it.
Oh, there's also a story that the U.S. is raising its military aid to  Israel from 3 billion for 4 or 4.5 billion. This is more important than it may look
1. A U.S. which cannot feed its own hungry can spare 4 billion or more for weapons for Israel.

2. Much of that money will go to U.S. war industries - which means there will be a good deal of corruption here.

3. The U.S. is giving all this to an Israel which has openly been stealing Palestinian land,  withholding money that should be going to Palestine, cutting off Palestine from the world by blockading the Palestine coast, making the passage of medical supplies and  food to Palestine almost impossible, refusing to allow Israeli-Palestinians to walk on "Jewish" streets in the cities, expelling Israeli-Palestinians (and those in Palestine) from their homes, tearing down their homes, segregating public transit, pushing Palestinians into eternal poverty and hopelessness, and completely ignoring all U.S. requests to ease up.

It has made Israelis hated by Muslims, and the U.S. hated for its complicity.
Osama bin Laden could not have planned it better. The U.S. has allowed itself to be sucked into a swamp. It  has also drawn in NATO countries like Britain, France, The Netherlands....and Canada. The plan that began with 9/11 is working like a charm.
Here's Paul Craig Roberts on Trump's foreign policy speech. I think he's even a little bit gentle on the speech. But he's quite right about the massive power of the Senate to overrule any president and, if anything, understated about various parts of Washington who run their own shows  without paying much attention to any president, and still others who kill and who support strange groups in many countries without the president even knowing about it.

On of the greatest problems of the U.S. is that it has so many agencies - FBI, CIA, and on and on - designed to control people in the U.S. and abroad that the president cannot control them, and commonly does not even know what they are doing.

But I think Roberts is wrong to suggest that if Trump is elected, the public will simply become disillusioned. I don't think so. I think it's more likely to become violent.


  1. Graeme, I read your stuff every day and enjoy most of it. Check out Clifford William Robinson on Wikipedia. He is one part of my Family Tree that goes back to a couple of years before the Pilgrims landed in USA.The Robinsons and others were there to greet the Pilgrims along with The Native People.