I've just returned from a visit to Montreal. There, I saw a copy of The Gazette. It was always a stodgy paper with a heavy bias - though the bias never showed as crudely as it does in the Irving press. But I was shocked by The Gazette's similarity now to our very own Irving press. It's become a thinner paper, with news that is mostly trivial, and not much of it. There was only one column of commentary, and it wasn't worth reading. The editorial was brainless.
The whole thing might have been very slightly better than the Irving press. But not much. And this seems to be true of most newspapers all over the western world. They aren't nearly as profitable as they used to be. They don't have adequate news staff. They can't afford commentators. And most are owned and closely controlled by the wealthy who have always used them as propaganda sheets.
In the years I wrote for newspapers, I was able to say what I believed, and got fired only once for doing so. But today, much journalism has become nothing but trash. That's true of most of our print journalism. Most radio journalism is even worse because private radio can't afford enough news staff. (Mostly, private radio just gets its news from the day's paper.)
There was no news in Montreal about the New Brunswick civic elections, so I had to settle for the news about the dreadful fire in Fort McMurray. If we think back, last summer was a warning for what was to come with its forest fires, especially in B.C. And all that could well bring us back to the our own civic elections.
Climate change has implications for us. Its combination of heat and dryness could soon be felt here, too. And New Brunswick has lots and lots of forest, a good deal of which comes deep into the city of Moncton - a city of wooden houses.
Did any of the candidates for mayor or city council mention that? This surely has implications for city planning, and for some review of the requirements of housing.
The thought that bothered me most through my 'away' days is one that has never received much attention from any of our news media. It's the web site for 'Project for the New American Century'.
What this means is very clear. This is a blueprint for world conquest by the United States. Now, we thought this was pretty serious when we thought Hitler was trying for it. (He actually wasn't.) So why do we hear and read so little about it when the U.S. adopted it?
Let's go back to world wars one and two. The world had never before experienced the killing and destruction of those two wars. Everyone realized we could not afford to continue on this road. We needed some form of world cooperation, of international law, to prevent this. We needed law. We needed an agency to enforce it. Obviously, this was not going to be achieved overnight. It was going to take, perhaps, a century to get it fully operational. But it had to be done.
The first try was the League of Nations. It didn't work because the major powers wouldn't allow it to interfere with their looting of the world. In fact, they used it to continue the looting - most notably in the oil fields.
But lessons were learned from that So, after World War Two, a more honest and sophisticated attempt was made in the form of United Nations. An international legal system was established. Aid was extended to those countries in need. This was the seed that was to establish a world government. Again, it would take a long time to mature - perhaps a century. But it was essential to create a livable world.
To some degree, the transition was eased with the collapse of the European powers which had been the world's major war makers. But, now, American capitalists had the military power behind them to loot the world. So the U.S. went on to hold its empire in Latin America, The Phillipines.... It eased its way into the Middle East via Iran (where it established a dictatorship). It had hoped to replace the French in Vietnam and the British in China, too.
Late in the war, it warned the British and French not to liberate Hong Kong or Hanoi. The British ignored the warning, (they had too many ships in the Pacific to be brushed aside), and occupied Hong Kong, the key to the China trade. But France had only a few, small ships. When it sent them into Hanoi harbour, the U.S. heavily bombed them. However, the French returned - only to meet defeat by the Vietnamese.
Generally, the U.S. was a U.N. supporter when other countries broke international law. For example, when the British and French invaded Egypt to re-establish their power in the Middle East, Eisenhower firmly slapped their wrists. (After all, the U.S. intended to dominate that whole region.)
Generally, by the 1980s or so, American big business had become impatient with international law. It wanted dominance of the world, a dominance that could be established only by using military power, and using it illegally against countries that were no threat to the U.S. Those who supported this programme of world conquest for profit were called neocons. They were, at first, to be found in the Republican party, but soon had a following among Democrats.
These are the people who put forward the Project for the New American Century. They were supported by big money that had long been annoyed by a UN that was too concerned for the rights of people to have adequate respect for the greed of 'entrepreneurs'.
George Bush Jr. was their choice for president as a puppet whose strings would be pulled by the VP Dick Cheney - an ardent neocon. Thus followed the wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria. None of these was a threat to the U.S. so these were not wars of self-defence. All of those wars were planned well before 9/11. That attack was simply what gave the US the excuse to officially start its wars of world conquest. They were illegal under international law - and used weapons that were illegal under international law. But the neocons had covered themselves for that. They invented a new principle. It was called 'American exceptionalism'; and it meant that American leaders were above the law. Both Bush and Obama have publicly proclaimed acceptance of American exceptionalism. Both have used illegal detention, illegal invasion, illegal torture, illegal drones (illegal since they are used against countries the U.S. is not even at war with, and which are no threat to the U.S.).
The wars we now follow are wars of old fashioned, imperial conquest. - except that the U.S. record in such wars has been a weak one for the last 50 years. It's most faithful servants have been Britain, Canada, Australia. (It is illegal for Canada to have troops - combat or non-combat - in Syria. It was illegal for Canadian aircraft to bomb Syria and Libya. Countries which aren't obedient servants ( like France) get ridiculed - as when France refused to help in Iraq. ( The American Senate renamed french fries as liberty fries. And the penalties can be far, far worse than a bit of childish ridicule.)
So where does all of this take us?
We are in World War Three, the war for the universal American empire. The costs of this war, largely because of corruption, are the greatest war costs in history. They are driving millions of Americans into deep poverty. They are destroying education in the U.S. They have created the hysteria that allows politicians to ignore the real problems of the U.S. And they are taking the U.S. into very serious civil disorder.
The war is very real because U.S. capitalists don't have much time to make their play. That's why the U.S. has military bases and missile sites right up on the Russian border. That's why it maintains large naval and air patrols off the China coasts. That's one reason it so badly wanted control of Afghanistan. (Ever notice that China and Russia don't maintain such patrols and missile sites along American borders?)
It is all so insane it cannot be debated in public. That's partly why Trump and Clinton have little of any intelligence to say. That's why the U.S. has to run on fears and hatreds.
And the U.N.? It might well be history. For some time, many countries, recognizing the failure of world order, have been moving to alternatives - like uniting many countries into one, big one. The European Union, though presently a reluctant tool of American power, may well become a very large nation called Europe. And it might, possibly, include Russia. Something similar is being developed for Africa.
The U.N. having failed them, many countries are becoming mega-countries to resist bullying by major powers. (Imagine one, big country of South America.) Imagine a U.S., with its southern half no longer able (due to climate) to support a large population extending its northern border to the Arctic for land and fresh water.
How all this will work out can only be speculation, of course. For the time being, we are feelling the results of one of the worst foreign affairs blunders in history - the invasion of Iraq. It was probably to establish Iraq as the centrpiece of American expansion and control in the region and, not coincidentally, a base for attacks of Syria and Iran.
But it has all turned into an economic, military, policy, and human disaster. It has been a major encouragement for those people we call terrorists. In fact, without a U.S. being so murderous in the Middle East, terrorism would not exist. The reason ISIS launches terrorist attacks in the west is because it draws terrorist recruits from a population that has suffered nothing but indiscriminate killing, starvation, destruction and horrible flight from homes. ISIS wants westerners to hate Muslims.That attacks in France and Britain obviously are not going to defeat France and Britain. They're not intended to. The intent is to attract more brutal attacks on Mulisms. That way ISIS hopes (probably incorrectly) to win the support of the whole, Muslim world.
The middle east has become a swamp created by the U.S., and from which it seemingly cannot escape. And our, Canadian prime minister, in his wisdom, is sending Canadian troops into this swamp. In fairness, though, if he didn't send them, the Senate would have renamed Canadian maple syrup as Liberty syrup.
Well - a long time on that. But there was really nothing in the Irving press to talk about. And, certainly, the Irving press is never going to make comments similar to those above.
Here's an opinion column that supports the view that Europe is going to become one nation. I think it's a little gentle on the reasons for that happening. It's not just recognition of something culturally reasonable. It's a essential for survival.
We rarely hear about drones in our news; few are aware of how commonly they are used, how indiscriminate they are in their killing, and how many thousands of innocent people get killed by them every year. So far, only a half dozen or so countries use them. But they are not scientifically challenging, and the materials are easy to gather. We really have to get control over these things.
Of course, if we did get the UN to enact an international law governing their use, the U.S. would (without doubt) ignore the law, citing American exceptionalism.
This opinion offers a lighter touch - or maybe a darker one.
For some days, I have not been able to get The Counted The Guardian. This is the only site in the world - so far as I know - that gives something like an accurate count of the number of Americans killed by American police throughout a year. The site used to appear on information clearing house; but it has long since been blocked by some American agency. Now, I can't get it on The Guardian site, either. "Sweet land liberty, Of thee I sing..." "Let freedom ring." I can't even get it by going to search on The Guardian site.
Of course, this could be Canada's very own thought control agency kicking in. No doubt there will be an editorial in the Irving press demanding full freedom of information.
I just couldn't resist this one. Just imagine. The Norse people of almost 4,000 years ago had ships capable of reaching Cyprus and carrying on a trade with the people of the middle east. So much for Columbus!
DNA tests showed me I had traces of west Asian barbarian in my bloodline. Our ancient ancestors got around a lot more than we think they did.
This next one, by Noam Chomsky, is very long. But it's worth the time it takes to read.
And this one is impressive because it's about a most impressive person.
Reverend Berrigan, SJ. never made the Faith Page of the Irving press. Nor did his ideas. And don't even imagine you will ever hear such a person at the Irving Chapel.
And this story of democracy in action.
Actually, all of this site is worth a look.
This is about New York's public use of a Monsanto spray that is linked to cancer.
I wonder - JDIrving is using massive amounts of such a spray on New Brunswick - and on us. I look forward to the tough, investigave reporters at the Irving press who will take a look at this.