The story is on B6, the Canada &World section of irving press. It comes from The Associated Press, one of the biggest news agencies in the world, and one that appears routinely in almost all of the western press.
"Russian airstrikes killed 9,300 in past year."
First, have you ever seen a story about how many people have been killed by American, British, or even Canadian airstrikes? How many have the Saudis and Americans killed in Yemen? How many has the U.S. killed with drones all over the world and with bombing in Syria? No. Of course we don't see those.
We are also told that tens of thousands were displaced. Gee. Could we get a figure for the tens of millions displaced by U.S. bombs?
And where did The Associated Press get this information? It got it from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Well, that's sounds impressive. But -
The Syrian Ovservatory for Human Rights is in Britain. It's run by a haberdasher who just happens to be a Sunni Muslim - the majority sect which also happens to contain those muslims hostile to the government of Syria and friendly to what our news media call "terrorists". The haberdasher in Britain spends his time on the phone talking to 'rebels' in Syria who give him the numbers. Nobody checks them.
In short, all that information comes, unchecked, from groups like ISIS that we call terrorists - but that the US and Saudi Arabia also supply with money and weapons.
The observatory is, to say the least, heavily biased with a habit of counting rebel deaths as civilians.
It's touched off with a photo of little children peering out of their ruined home. Of course, American, British and Canadian bombers would never bomb a house with children in it.
In journalistic terms, this story is garbage. It's pure propaganda. But it gets half a page in the Irving press. That tells you all you need to know about most of our western press.
Then we get a shpiel about how brutal the Assad government of Syria is. It may well be. But it is not so brutal as the U.S. which has been bombing Syrians and financing the "terrorists" who have killed hundreds of thousands. Nor does it mention that the U.S. has no legal right to be involved at all. It is illegal under international law. That makes it a war crime. You know what war crimes are - they're what we hanged Naziis for.
And that tells us all we need to know about the ethics of most privately-owned journalism.
Yesterday, I mentioned 'economic freedom' as the new propaganda buzz word of the day. Freedom. It sounds good - and sometimes it is good.
The story begins in 1941 when Roosevelt announced that World War 2 was to defend the Four Freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. The idea caught the popular imagination, and was used by the allied nations as an incentive to win - to make this a better world. We should remember that on November 11. That's what so many Canadians were told they were fighting for over seventy years ago.
Our record over those seventy years has not been impressive. Even Canada and the U.S., the most stable countries in that period have not, delivered on freedom from want in their own countries. And the U.S., at war for most of those seventy years, can scarcely have been said to bring freedom from fear to South America, Africa, the middle east or Asia.
And freedom from speech? Most New Brunswickers don't want it. They think it wiser to blend in and not be noticed. But the word freedom certainly sounds good, doesn't it?
So why not 'economic freedom'?
Well, for that matter, why not urinary freedom? (freedom to urinate on the sidewalk.) Shoplifting freedom? Freedom of assault?
Well, no. Some freedoms are not good. That why we have laws.
But now, economic freedom has popped up. It appeared recently in a propaganda column in the irving press. The idea is that business should have the freedom to pay no taxes, the freedom to have fewer regulations.... Yes. Then big business, particularly, would invest and create jobs, and we'd all be rich - just like all those lucky people in Africa, the middle East, South America, Haiti - who are rolling in money as a result of economic freedom
Expect to hear a lot more about this. Business, especially big business, already has the freedom to avoid taxes but the push is on for even more freedom. Yes. Let them be free to build pipeliness all the way to the moon. Get rid of minimum wage. Let business pay the poor the starvation wage that is all they are worth. Get those environmentalists off the backs of honest billionaires.
Expect to hear more, much more, about economic freedom. Expect it in columns from The Fraser Institute and the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. And if someone talks to you about it, smile, and exercise your urninary freedom.
Read this, and tell me how good the people of the western world are. Think of the U.S. which created most of the horror this story reflects - and think of how it now refuses to lift a finger for those millions whose lives it has destroyed.
Here's an old story but it might, just possibly, stir some thinking about the use of chemical sprays on New Brunswick's forests. (Yes. I know spraying creates jobs. So do drunk drivers and bank robbers by creating a need for more police.)
Here's one that should have made the irving press - but which didn't and never will.
Contrary to what many people think, there is nothing odd about conspiracy theories, nothing quacky about them. We live in a world of conspiracies - governmental, commercial, journalistic..... Anyone who dismisses all conspiracy theories is simply an arrogant fool.
And that takes us to the great conspiracy theory of our time. the World Trade Centre. I know the planes that hit the centre were loaded with fuel - but....
Not far away from those buildings was the Empire State building. Shortly after World War Two, it was hit by a large aircraft (an American bomber). And that bomber, too, was freshly loaded with fuel. But the damage to the building was almost superficial, and there was none of the long-lasting, intense heat of the trade cenre attacks.
It's never a mistake to ask questions. It's often a mistake not to.
Did you know the U.S. has 70 military bases in South America? That must be very conforting for American and Canadian owners of resource mining companies.
While claiming to be fighting ISIS and al nusra, the U.S. has been supplying and training them for years. But you won't find that in the irving press - or most other news media in the western world. The Russians have responded by taking part in the war - but to attack ISIS and al nusra.
Now - get this -----The US is supporting ISIS and al nusra. These are the same people it calls 'terrorist' Jihadists, and that it will not allow to enter the U.S. It wants the 'terrorists' which it now calls 'moderate rebels' to hold the city of Aleppo. But Russian bombing is blocking that.
So the U.S. is now planning to send anti-aircraft missiles to the terrorists (oops - moderate rebels - in Aleppo so they can shoot down Russian aircraft.
See any potential for trouble there? - like - say - a nuclear war between Russia and the US and everybody else?
This war has been steadily moving to a confrontation between the U.S. and Russia. It's a confrontation the world cannot survive. But we're now within inches of it.
So tell me what is that makes the destruction of all humanity worth while.
Though Trudeau and others are talking about enforcing the already sagging Paris climate agreements, scientists say that those agreements are too little and too late. But I think all the scientists are wrong. If I want to know something about climate change, I don't talk to scientists. I talk to people who really know things - like oil billionaires. I mean, the chambers of commerce like and trust them. So that just goes to show you.
And they are devout Christians. I know some who even sponsor a chapel. Yes, they do. With free coffee. Onward, Christian billionaires.