Below is an examination of a powerful factor in the manipulation of public opinion in the U.S.There is a very wide belief in the U.S. that Americans are God's chosen people. This goes back almost to the American Revolution; and it has been used to justify every war the U.S. ever fought.
Politicians and business leaders enouraged that, from the slaughter of native peoples to the conquest and dictatorship of The Phillipines to the invasion of Iraq. It's a theme reflected in a popular song of World War Two - 'Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.' Every American president I can think of has used that belief to justify war. Bush routinely used it to justify his wars. And it was the real message of Trump's cap slogan, 'Make American Great Again!.
I noticed the message subtly repeated in an American hymn book. Included with the hymns - and AS hymns - were American patriotic songs like God Bless America, The Star-Spangled banner There was no distinction between religious faith and patriotism.
Of course, the U.S. is not the first nation to do this. Britain was much the same in the days of its empire. You can find echoes of it in "Rule Britannia". And the churches justified the killing and exploitation of millions on the grounds that Britain (and now the U.S.) was bringing civilization and faith to the heathen. It was used to justify the Belgian conquest and exploitation of Congo - and the murder and exploitation of its people, and the looting of its resources. A century and a half later, civilization for that miserable land is nowhere in sight.
Hitler and his supporters slaughtered Jews, seeing it as God's will. I don't whether Hitler was, as he claimed to be, a devout Catholic. The point is that he used religious faith as an excuse for mass murder - and most German Christians supported that.
Capitalism has very effectively used religion to justify mass murder and looting and abuse all over the world. And the Christian churches have, for the most part, been happy to drift along with that. Nor has there been a word of criticism of capitalists for what they have done and encouraged. On the contrary, they are mentioned only for their good works as philanthropists.
And that blend of patriotism and religion is what has made possible the murders of some 20 million people since the end of world war two, (And I notice there has never been a word about that in the Faith Page of my local newspaper.)
That mix of religious phantasy and patriotism is the greatest danger facing the world today. It's what makes it possible for the very wealthy to manipulate Americans. And, among others, it's dangerous to a Canada that has allowed itself to become an American colony. There would, of course, be a heavy penalty for Canada in severing that relationship. But there will be a heavier one if we don't.
Refugees who flee the U.S. into Canada - often at dreadful hardship - are given a very hard time by Canada. Very, very few are allowed to stay. And that refusal has nothing to do with any danger they pose. It has to do with Canada being a colony that has to please Trump.
And for those of us who think we should keep out refugees, I would say (expletive deleted.) We helped to make them refugees. We helped to destroy lives. If we don't want to help refugees, we shouldn't help to create them. (unless you think that we, like Americans, are the chosen people of God.)
Maybe we could impose a special tax on those Canadians who have benefitted from exploiting the poor all over the world. Nah. They won't pay any taxes now. And no Canadian government has cared enough to mention it.
Here's a short but very sensible look at our priorities. Did you know that there's a big rush among the very rich to buy underground, luxury shelters to escape climate change - you know- the change they say isn't happening?
But don't worry. New Brunswick will be preparing for that - just as soon as it can find time to think about maybe cleaning its polluted beaches.
And here's an inspiring story. While poverty is rising all over the world, and while at least tens of millions are starving to death. billionaires are getting richer. Isn't that nice?
This next is a long read. But it's an important one. Profits for the weatlhy have become far more important than education or human health or even human survival. This column emphsizes the role of Trump in this in the U.S. But watch for a similar pattern as Canada tags along.
Tell me more about how capitalism makes us all rich.
Meanwhile, "God's chosen nation" is starving millions of helpless people to death. In fairness, I should also add it's also killing them by bombs so they won't starve.
War rarely has anything to do with fighting terrorism or defending ourselves against 'evil' people. Most wars are for money - for resourcces, for cheap labour.... We have reached - and passed - a crisis in this.
A story that's about a week old, now, hasn't received much attention or comment. That's too bad. The Girl Guides of Canada have announcement that all trips to the U.S. are cancelled because of the risk that some girls might be stopped on the basis of birth or religion.
That should have received more attention. It's a protest against American bigotry that the Canadian government has been too wimpy to make.
And we continue to learn more about the spread of the police state in the U.S. Canadians should pay attention to this Canadian governments have a long history of complying with American practice in spying on citizens.
What will Trudeau do about climate change? Nothing. You can bet on it.
Prime Minister Trudea and his Liberals have always talked a good game about about healing Canada's treatment of native peoples. But, just like the Conservatives, it's been mostly talk.
While Trump gives every sign of looking for a war with China, the U.S. has made no progress whatever in its long, long war with Afghanistan. I guess that's why news media seldom even mention it.
Islamic terrorism was largely created by the U.S., and has survived largely because of American support. This goes way back to the days when Russia was invading Afghanistan, and the CIA was the U.S. organization that organized the Afghan opposition to Russia.
Ever since then, the US has been the major sponsor of the people it calls terrorists. (Actually, and for all the hysteria, terrorists operating in the U.S. typically kill fewer people in a year than American police do in a day.)
There seems a strong possibility that American and British bombs may have created a rash of deformed babies in Yemen. (Yes. I know this is according to Russia Times. I have found it to be a good deal more accurate than most western, commercial news. And, yes, I wouldn't be surprised if Russian bombs had the same effect.)
The point is that are getting little information about this sort of thing. This is certainly not a first for the U.S. We know of people being burned alive with napalm bombing, born horribly disfigured with agent orange bombing, poisoned with depleted uranium shells....
Once in a while , it even gets reported. But not often.
By the way, why are Saudis and Americans killing people in Yemen? Why is Canada supplying some of the weapons to Saudi for this war?
How come our news media haven't asked those questions? How come we haven't?
I always save Haaretz for the end because it's the only commercial news medium that is honest and intelligent.
In contrast to that Haaretz column, we live in a world dominated by news media that generate lies and fears and hatreds.And all of it is controlled by people of enormous greed, and of indifference to human suffering. All that has meaning to them is money. And they have come to dominate our world.
And their greed, as greed does, destroys them intellectually so they cannot see the damage they are setting up even for themselves.
The U.S. has gone far past the tipping point. I think it unlikely it will ever develop more intelligent and caring leaders. However difficult it might be, Canada has to separate itself from that greed and stupidity.