Friday, October 27, 2017

Oct. 27: Why the 'other side' is always evil.

Would Canada torture people?  You bet. The Canadian government cooperated fully with the U.S. forces in torturing Afghanistan prisoners.

Big oil companies get a free ride in Canada. Gee! Who woulda guessed. And this doesn't  even count the ones who hide their profits in secret bank accounts.

The next one is a gem. Four years ago, an oil train being shipped to New Brunswick exploded in the town of lac Megantic, killing 47 people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Here is the CBC report on Irving's guilty plea, and the fine of 4 million dollars. It also very clearly states that Irving oil was entirely responsible for that tragedy. It ignored normal safety practices -  either because it was cheaper to do so or because nobody gave a damn. And so 47 were killed.

If you had killed 47 people by neglect of the laws, do you think you would get off with a fine?

But this CBC report was too damning for the irving press. No. This called for a report from the journalists at irving press. It appeared today on the first page----AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, and in one of the shortest stories of the whole, first section.

It touched very lightly on the major points - that 47 people had been killed, and  that Irving Oil had got off with a four million dollar fine for breaking the law and killing those people. No. Half the story is devoted to  an irving statement that it really didn't do anything wrong, and that it really, really, truly believes in oil safety.

Following this is a much more important and bigger story on page 3 - a local high school student is going to Ottawa for the national Remembrance Day ceremonies.
The following section may be a bit long.

Here are my own thoughts on the future of Canada. To see that future, go back in history to what might have been the greatest event of the 19th century - the unification of Germany in 1871.

That unification plunged terror into the hearts of British capitalists. With their empire, Britain was the world leader of capitalism. Of course, most of the British population got nothing out of that but poverty, slums and short lives. But the wealthy British lived in palaces paid for with plunder all over the world from the empire. That's why a Winston Churchill  could spend his childhood running through the magnificent halls of his family home - Blenheim Palace.

But a united Germany would soon be a major industrial power in its own right. That would challenge British capitalists - much as a rising China now challenges American capitalists. From that day of the unification of Germany, plans were set for World War One.

There was also another worry for British capitalists -  U.S. capitalists didn't just want their 13 colonies. They wanted everything to the Pacific coast and the Arctic ice cap. Thus the invasion of Canada in 1812, followed by a Mexican war to steal what is now Texas, Arizona, southern California, etc....  Thus the 'Indian wars'.

Well, of course. For all their warring against Britain, the Americans of the time were British. Its capitalists, just like the British ones, wanted their own empire. And they were every bit as brutal, murderous and racist as their British counterparts were.

And that worried the British Empire. British capitalists, while making some money out of Canada, also knew the U.S. was a far, bigger market. And it was afraid of another U.S invasion  (especially after the Fenian Raids). If it did invade, Britain would have to defend Canada - and, Canada, alas, wasn't worth the cost of defending it.

Another matter of concern to Britain was the U.S. annexation of Hawaii very late in the nineteenth century. Why would the U.S. annex Hawaii? And why would it build it major naval base way out there in the Pacific. (I know of no other country that has had its major naval base so far from home.) But there was a reason for it.

Hawaii would give the U.S. a base for invasions of China, French Indo-China (Vietnam), The Phillipines. In other words, the U.S. was building a commercial empire to surpass that of Britain.

All of this is why,  in the late nineteenth century, Britain was seriously thinking of how to get rid of Canada. But then another truth hit home.

A war with Germany was coming. A united Germany was becoming a competitor for British markets. And Britain by itself - and even with French allies - was in no shape for a war with Germany.

It needed Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India on its side to provide troops. But Imperial practice was that the colonies, while officially at war when Britain was, did not have to take part in any war - unless the colony itself was invaded.

So Britain needed a precedent for colonial troops going to war. That precedent was the British declaration of war against the Boers of South Africa. Britain, with the full cooperation of the colonial news media, turned on the propaganda taps for the colonies to help with the invasion of South Africa. Appeals were made to share in the glories of empire.

And it worked. Colonies all over the world sent troops to fight a war that had nothing to do with them. And so the groundwork was laid for a war to destroy Germany before it could become a major, market competitor.

The U.S. did not join that war until very late - 1917. Of course not. Why should it? I'm not even sure why it did join in the end.   (There was an official reason, of course. But official reasons are usually propaganda.) I suspect it had more than a little to do with the strides Britain was making in getting control of Middle East oil. The U.S. was already moving in on the middle east as early as 1912.

It also had to do with a large U.S. war debt to American capitalists. A defeat for Britain would have been a heavy blow for them.

In our newspapers, World War One was a war against evil.  In fact, one side was as evil as the other.  Almost all wars in history have been caused by greed. World War One was no exception.

When the war ended, Britain began losing interest in Canada. That's why, in 1931, Canada was given independent status as a Commonwealth country. But that soon changed as a renewed Germany appeared.

I guess that's why,  on my first day of school, I learned to salute the Union Jack, and recite "I promise allegiance to this flag, and to the Empire for which it stands."  Britain needed us to fight another war for it.

But it took a while for that to sink in. At first, many western leaders were very happy at the rise of Hitler. Indeed, they helped finance his rise. Hitler was going to be the barrier against those evil Soviets, and stop communism from sneaking in.

(Oh, yes. Canadian, American and British capitalists knew that Hitler was abusing and murdering Jews. But that didn't matter. Most of them were as anti-semitic as the Naziis were.)

The decision to go to war was, therefore, made late. Again, the U.S. did not enter. Of course not. A British defeat would suit the U.S. fine. Then its capitalists could move in and take over the British Empire. Meanwhile, American manfacturers would get lots of British military contracts. (Much of this was overseen by the U.S. ambassador to Britain who used his position for personal profit. He was an ex-bootlegger whose son became President John F. Kennedy.)

The U.S. would later enter the war. But the major reason it did was because it wanted China - and Japan seemed likely to take it.  (Yes, I know there was an attack on Pearl Harbour. But the U.S wanted a war because it wanted China. That's why it had embargoed oil for Japan, and that's why Japan attacked Pearl  Harbour. It knew it could not defeat the U.S. unless it took out the American aircraft carriers - but the carriers weren't home that day.)

When the war ended, most of  the British empire was exhausted. That was when the U.S. really moved in on Middle East oil. It had also warned Britain not to retake its headquarters for the China trade (Hong  Kong). But Churchill ignored the order. And so the U.S. lost out on its bid to conquer China, a loss underscored when mainland China eventually kicked the British out, too.

But the world had changed for Canada, too. When the British fought colonial wars after 1945 to regain lost colonies, Canadians did not join them. The days of fighting British wars were over because, for Canadian big business, we needed to fight American wars.

And so it is that Canada sent troops to die in Korea, Afghanistan, Libya. And so we have them posted in Latvia. That's why Canada is making noises about how evil the government of Venezuela is. The loyalty to the crown of the first half of the twentieth century has replaced by 'doing our bit' to help the U.S. bring peace and joy to the world.

The 'enemy' is, of course, evil. The 'enemy' always is. That hasn't changed.

For the same reason, Britain now has to fight American wars. Thus its large commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

And the other side in our wars, any other side, is, as it always has been, evil.

So what will happen to Canada?

We are on a treadmill that can lead only to destruction. We threw away the chance and the real possibility of creating a world of peace after 1945. Instead, we have just replaced murderous old empires with murderous new ones.

And there is no future for Canada in fighting the wars of a dying American empire. For a start, we need to detach ourselves from American control. And we desperately need to diminish the power held over us and our lives by big business.

Well, I said it was long.
Remember how the Ukraine had a rebellion - and we were told that this was the people rising against the evil, elected government?  Well, it turns out that the the rebellion was set up and financed by the U.S.,  that the elected government was replaced by one with lots of naziis onside.

And Canada has troops in Latvia - not enough to change anything, but enough to get killed.

Life in Yemen - as created by the world's most rigidly Islamic government and by it's most ardently Christian government - with a little help from Canada.

Canadians would never use torture? Actually, we've been using it for years.

For the last seventy years, the U.S. has been the world's most aggressive nation. It has killed about 25 million people - and that's a conservative estimate. The money spent on war goes largely to a small number of multi-billionaires (most of whom don't pay taxes) , and it also means there is little money for education or  health care.

Is that what you think World War Two was fought for?
Our news media haven't told us much of what China's President Jin Ping is about. Here is a pretty thorough outline of it. (I don't yet have an opinion on it. And least some of it seems self-contradictory.)

Trump's spiritual adviser has advised him that God has given the okay to nuke North Korea. That's really an old theme in American history. God wanted the U.S. to have slaves. God wanted the U.S. to kill native peoples. God approved the murder of 200,000 Maya Guatemalans.

The U.S. really needs an updated version of the Bible so its hypocrisy won't be so obvious.
The reality of our society is that we do not have equal opportunity. We do not have equal rights. Education, for example, is not equally available to all. Nor does it necessarily matter if one has an education. The wealthy can be morons - but get to attend private schools from which they can go to universities, then drop out half-way through to take over one of daddy's businesses. It happens all the time.

It's an economic and social system that has always broken down in the end. But we keep repeating it.

New Brunswick is not, of course, the only place where the rich are pampered and poor arrested. But it is a notable place for half-wit writers of opinion columns to feed us the bilge that when the rich get really, really rich, we all benefit.

Like hell we do.

Remember the fundamentals. Almost every war in human history has been fought for the economic benefit of a small, upper class. That upper class, typically born wealthy, usually believes itself to be superior to other humans. And the rest of us commonly accept that. And that's why wars are fought.


  1. private message:

    Dear Mr. Decarie,

    I saw on your profile that you've done some film advising. Are you still involved with that? I ask because I've completed a feature-length film script (drama) about the Pennsylvania-German settlers who founded the township of Monckton in 1766. I'm always open to any advice I can get. Fee negotiable.

    I also saw somewhere that you gave or give talks at the Moncton Library. Is there a schedule available?

    Kind regards,

    Les Bowser
    mobile 705-872-5213
    local 506-386-4734

    PS, your email address has changed?

  2. I advised in some films, and appeared in a few. for NFB. I'd be happy to help you if I can - but I could not possibly charge you for it. Yours is a subject I don't know much about.

    As for speaking on current events. I used to give 60 or more talks a year in Montreal, and usually to audiences of several hundred. I tried it at the Moncton liberary several years ago, but it never drew more than two or three people. I learned that New Brunswickers are frightened of having an opinion unless it's the same one as everybody else. (That's why they read the lies, propaganda and trivia of the Brunswick News.)
    I'd be happy to speak (free) to any group on current events. But nobody in this province is likely to ask me.

  3. I should add that I would be happy to speak to any group free. I enjoy it. And I need things to do.