Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2: Double-talk in the news.

Elie Wiesel's story of his early childhood in the Buchenwald death camp, of how the people around him, including his own family, were starved, brutalized and murdered is the most moving book I have ever read. It's called "Night". The New York Times called it a 'terrifying book'. It's actually somehing even worse than that.

That's why the story below, from "Haaretz" came as a shock to me. Unfortunately, the story doesn't tell us nearly enough to get the meaning of all this.

One of the most terrible parts is Wiesel's reference to countries that knew what was happening to Jews long before, and during, the war - and didn't lift a finger to help. These were countnries like Britain, France, the United States and,   right up with the worst of them, Canada.

Today, the Jews of Israel are in a very dangerous position again. While they have their own country, their situation is a very difficult one.  Their nuclear weapons are not the final word that most people think they are, and they live a hostile environment, partly their own fault, partly the fault of us who should have known what a  dangerous situation we were setting up when we created Israel. It's so dangerous that Israel is losing its Jewish citizens, many of them to return to the European homelands they had fled from.
The big headline and long story for the day in the Irving press is that the president of NB Liquor spent more on travel costs this year than last. There's no hint of anything improper. So why such a big story? Well, it fills a lot of space.
There could have been a big story rather than the small one for yesterday's celebration of Battle of the Atlantic day. (Actually, Battle of the North Atlantic).  For example, it's the only theatre of war  in which Canada had supreme command.

One veteran at the ceremony spoke of the hardhips of crossing the North Atlantic in winter in tiny corvettes with the water in the ship often up to the sailors' knees.  It was unspeakably miserable. When the war ended and my father came home, his first move was to take down a picture of the Bluenose in heavy weather that the hung in his bedroom. And, for the rest of his life, the only water travel he would do was in a canoe on a small lake.

The editorial and Norbert Cunningham columns will offend nobody That's the best that can be said for them. Craig Babstock's column "Elections just like your future; both are entirely in your hands" is pointless drivel. Everything it has to say is in the headline which is not only useless information - but wrong. Our futures are not entirely in our hands. There are huge differences in opportunity. Elections are - sort of - in our hands; but only in the sense that everybody has a share. None of us can elect someone all by ourselves.

More to the point is Steve Malloy who is disgusted by the ugliness of the election posters on our streets, and disgusted that we have no idea who these people are or what they stand for.  There's a reason for that.

This newspaper has given us almost no indication of the major issues facing this city - except, of course,  for finishing the events centre. We have no information of the big problems we have to prepare for - NOW. There are big ones in housing development, for example,  and public transit.

And we have no idea what those faces on the billboards stand for. The total contribution to the Irving press on this has been two columns by candidates who told us nothing. With that kind of information service, how is it possible for anyone to know who to vote for?

Cananda&World is a lousy, 4 pages. One of the stories you really need to know is  that inmates of Newfoundland prisons don't like their new, orange uniforms.

There are only two stories worth reading - for quite different reasons.

Mike Duffy returns to the Senate this week. But the senate leaders, who refused to continue his pay after he was charged, insist they will not  not  give him  his back pay. Now, I dislike Duffy and everything he stands for. But he was found innocent of the charges. He should get his back pay. To stop it is a demonstration of petty vengefulness by the Conservative leadership.

Then there's the lead story. This is a prime example of how our news media use 'news' as propaganda.

The U.S. as asked Russia to stop the bombing of Aleppo in Syria. Why? Two reasons. One is to restore the truce talks between the warring sides. The other, we are told, is because the U.S. is concerned about the civilian death toll. The first reason is a good one. The second reason is a lie.

1. The U.S. killed about a million civilians, possibly more, in Iraq.

2. It has deliberately killed civilians as the major target, sometimes the only target, in Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala, Cuba (a civilian airliner), Irag, Afghanistan, Libya; and the U.S. with Canada and Britain has been supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia to kill civilians.

3. It created the civil war in Syria in the first place. It recruited and supplied the so-called 'rebels' (who are often terrorists). It has been helping ISIS in Syria by allowing its oil on the market, by conducting very feeble attacks on it,  and by actually supplying ISIS.

It's quite true that Russia is killing civilians. But it's also true that the U.S. couldn't care less about that. In fact, the U.S. is, and has been for some time, the world's leading killer of civilians.

And, of course, the story tells us all about the eagerness of the US  to deal with this through the UN. In fact, the United Nations has been virtually destroyed - largely at the hands of the US government. Anyone who has read the speeches, etc. of those leading Republicans who are called 'neocons' (George Bush Jr., Dick Cheney, Ted Cruz...) knows their hatred for the UN.

The UN was intended not to rule the world but to provide some level of law that would prevent major wars. The U.S. destroyed that. It's drone attacks are illegal under international law. It's invasion of Iraq was illegal. Torture of prisoners was illegal. The U.S. constantly ignores the UN. And for reason.

The U.S. wants to rule the world. That's what American Exceptionalism means. That's what the Project for the New American Century means. The U.S. wants the power to rule the world (no elections) as the ultimate imperial power.  (Which means the wealthiest Americans would rule the world.) And the law would be whatever the U.S. wealthy want it to be.

What can the UN do? It can scarcely call on the rest of the world to invade the U.S.  After all, the role of the UN is to maintain peace, not to create war.
So the U.S. has, for decades, been making the UN more and more ineffective. Canada rides with the U.S. on this because it has no choice.

Europe does have choices. watch for a splintering as some Europeans decide to opt for partnership with Russia. Watch as New Zealand edges away from a U.S. partnership that could soom be less useful than one with, say, China.
On the day World War 2 ended, I had been sent home from school for being late. My mother took me to downtown Montreal to see the crowds on St. Catherine St. Stunned, I watched the cheering mobs, then wandered down the street to look at the signs in the store windows. They were the ones I was used to from the war years -  V... __ for victory, Loose Lips Sink Ships. Then I saw a new one.  "We've won the war," it said. That stopped me. It looked good. We've won the war. Yeah.

 Then I read the rest. "Now we've got to win the peace."

 That was crazy.

I mean, we'd won the war. So, of course, we must have won the peace.
I was astonished that the following story did not appear in the Irving press. There was time to get it in. How could they miss such an uprising in Iraq while Iraq is fighting a war? I don't know who edits world news in the Irving press. It must be the office cat.

What has happened is that the 'democratic' government imposed by the U.S. is not democratic at all. Most Iraqis associate it with a U.S. they dislike at least as much as they dislike ISIS.
Here's another version of the story of the bombing in Aleppo as well as other parts of Syria. Read it, and watch for the information given here which is not in the Irving press story of the same event.
Here's a   variation on the Canadian line that Canadian troops are on a non-combat mission in Iraq - but there might be combat.
And here's a good explanation of the double-talk we often call news.
The next one is going to sound pretty radical. It is. But, according to Oxfam, just 62 people - remember that  62 - own half all all the wealth in the world. I think that's pretty radical, too. And those 62 could very well drive the world into nuclear war. That's not propaganda. That's reality.

Uncontrolled capitalism does not work. While uncounted millions starve, 62 people who could feed the world - don't. But they want even more. They will always want more.  And the thrust for that even more has us on the edge of world nuclear war.

Consider, too, that those people are almost certainly not paying taxes. So they are pulling out money from all over the world -   which simply increases poverty in the world.

I've found, over the years, that Paul Craig Roberts is one of the best commentators in the world. So get a good look at the picture he's drawing.

And, no, I'm not advocating marxism. Marxism is an idea that presumes a mature and principled society. Us humans aren't that. And I suspect we never shall be.
This story, on the fifth anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden comes as a surprise. I have no inside information on this. But Seymour Hersh is one, impressive reporter.
There are a number of stories about Hitler making a deal with Britain and the U.S. to deport German Jews to Israel (Palestine) in the 1930s. I don't know whether it's true; but it doesn't tell us much. Britain, the U.S. a and virtually all of Europe were anti-semitic. They found Hitler's ideas quite acceptable, and would happily have supported such a deportation. There's a reason why Israel is so distrustful of us.

To this day, we get almost no information on the Nazism that still infects much of Europe And, certainly, our news media have given no sense of the prominence of Naziis in Ukraine. Or of the Nazi (or, at least, fascist) principles in our 'democratic' governments.

There's no reason why this next  item should cause any surprise. With the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, we're on the edge of a revolutionary change with corporations becoming completely apart from government and, in fact, taking over what are now government functions.

If you're looking for the next revolution, forget communism. This is far more sweeping than communism - and more brutal. And I would not trust Trudeau on this one at all.

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