Friday, July 22, 2016

July 22: Us Very Imperfect Humans.

Again, I shall be off to sea and sand for this weekend.
Man murders   50 in Orlando nightclub.  News media go wild for days, even weeks, in covering it.

Two men murder over a million people, including thousands of their own nationals. They also create millions of refugees of whom thousands die of exposure, starvation, drowning as they attempt to flee. It makes some  headlines - for a day. Now, it's forgotten.

As a result of the Chilcot report, there cannot be the slightest doubt that Tony Blair and George Bush, jr. (a big fan of Jesus) invaded Iraq with no cause and no mandate. There is no doubt they lied about 'weapons of mass destruction'. That act has plunged the world into a chaos of destruction and suffering which will last as far into the future as we can see. The heaps of dead now are only a down payment.

Believe it or not, this is far, far bigger than nightclub murders in Orlando.                                
And there is not the slightest doubt that Blair and Bush lied about their reasons for the war. We have the evidence investigators. We have recorded conversations between the two.

But you'll notice none of this has been mentioned in the U.S. leadership races. And, at the political level, it has received little, if any, attention in Britain.
Nobody has even asked why they did it. If I were arrested for urinating behind a tree in Centennial Park, it would get more news coverage in the irving press than the mass murder of Iraqis, Americans, and British did.

The can be said for the war in Afghanistan where the murder included natives of Afghanistan as well of American, British and Canadian troops. Why did we send them?  Why did some half-wit think that Canadians should die in a war that had nothing to do with Canada against a country that was no threat to Canada. And why did Canadian line the streets waving flags as the caskets rolled by as if there were something glorious about it all? Is this why Canadians died in World War Two? To help U.S. billionaires to conquer the world? And why have the members of The Legion sat on their thumbs as all this happened?

What a sodden, stupified lot we have become! And, concerning a world that goes beyond horror, have you heard a single word from our Christian leaders? Or even prayers for all those murdered people? Or, perhaps, something from the British Legion about this wilful abuse of British soldiers?

And, amazingly, nobody has even asked why these wars are fought - though I think we can all guess why if we close our eyes and think really hard about it.
Iraq, for example, has only one thing worth fighting a war for. Its oil. Now, think about that aspect of it. Did Bush and Blair  do this as a sort of surprise party for British and American oil barons?

Not likely.

No. More likely, the oil barons told them that they wanted that oil. Over a million people died and millions were made refugees to make the already wealthy even wealthier. And, in the process, they have plunged us into war without end.
But have you seen an editorial in the Irving press about this? A commentary by Norbert Cunningham? Perhaps even something from Rod Allen written in a style of adolescent humour?

Almost nothing has been said. Nothing has been done. Nothing is likely to be done because this case is not just about two mass murderers. It's about the whole, ruthless and murderous world of  the 1%. Perhaps you might want to discuss this on Sunday while having coffee in the barn at the Irving Chapel.
There are two items worth reading in section A news. One is about the food bank. Its stocks are way down. There's also an interesting - and thoughtful - story about two Moncton photographers who are raising money to build a wheelchair accessible school for Haiti. A key fearure of this is to pay Haitians to build it. That's huge improvement over the more common practice of putting the job into the hands of contractors with government connections - who then pocket most of the money.
The editorial is on NB Power's debt. And its advice is typical  irving press advice. Make the poor pay.  And don't even mention Irving.
Similarly, Norbert talks about the province's shortage of money  without mentioning the wealthy and their tax privileges.

The three columns on the commentary page are more useful. But they share one weakness with the opinion page. They are all about local affairs. But the world does not end at the borders of metro Moncton. We are far more affected by decisions taken in Ottawa and Washington and even more distant cities. We need to understand this.

We get (some) news about these places. But we also need commentary to stir our thinking, to deepen our understanding. We are now sending troops into danger in Syria and in Latvia. We need informed columnists to understand what we are doing, and if we should do it. We need informed columnists to assure the    timid people of this province that they are allowed to discuss these things.  We cannot act intelligently if we don't understand what's going on.

That is particularly important in a war-prone world. For at least hundreds of years,  countries have gone to war without knowing why they were going to war. Why, for example,  did Canada go to war in Afghanistan? And please don't say it was patriotism. (If so, we're no different from those Germans who went to war in 1914 and 1939).
Canada&World? One of the big items is that elevators seem to be breaking down more often. Another one is about a local man who has interesting jobs. Yemen? South America? Africa? Never heard of them.
I began today's blog with an account of how killings in Orlanda or Nice or Paris get enormous play in our news media. But our killings of millions are matters of indifference to us. Here's a commentary on that phenomenon.

Here's another mass murder, this one comitted by Indonesia, Australia and Britain. They tortured and killed a half million people. But who cares? It's not as if it happened in a nightclub in Orlando.

God save the Queen.'crimes-against-humanity'/7647274
Here's another example of the same kind of thinking.
I remember 9/11 well. I was on air as the news came through. The host of the show, Gord Sinclair Jr., and I stared at each other. Each of us knew what the other was thinking. The world would never be the same again. Aghanistan, Iraq, Syria were all products of  9/11. Indeed, one might say that World War Three for the conquest of the world by American billionaires began with 9/11.
People say they don't believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, most people believe in them every day. The  war on Iraq was 'justified' by a conspiracy theory. Ditto for the war on Syria. And here, Paul Craig Roberts makes an interesting case about a 9/11 conspiracy.

Get real. We are not led by truthful people.
The Koch brothers, the American oil billionaires who have spent a large fortune (though smaller than their personal fortune) to convince us that climate change isn't happening, have dropped their support of Donald Trump to switch to Hillary Clinton. Final proof, if proof were needed, that Hillary Clinton is just as dangerous as Donald Trump. People like the Koch brothers  don't want just  to peddle even more oil. They want war to steal more oil. And the beauty of  the war part is that it they don't have to pay a cent for the war. The hundreds of billions - even more with some over a trillion - that wars cost are paid for by us suckers. Noor is it common for the wealthy to serve in these wars. The swaggering George Bush Jr. is more an example of the type.

(Countercurrents, by the way, is an excellent source of information about parts of the world the irving press has never heard of - like southeast Asia and Africa and, in fact, most of the world.)
The insanity of greed.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't yet read the article you posted about autism, but I'm skeptical. One of the reasons the number of autistic people seems to have grow since the 1970's is simply because the definition of who is autistic changed.