Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jan.2: Who is evil?

Fifty years ago, as protests against nuclear weapons spread across the world, the nuclear leaders calmed the storm with the assurance that the possession of nuclear weapons was the best guarantee we had  that no war would happen. Nuclear weapons were not really destructive. No. They were the guarantee that nobody would ever use them, that war would end.

Since then, the U.S. has fought 70 wars - all against non-nuclear countries. President Truman wanted to use them in the Korean War. But general MacArthur convinced him this would be a foolish thing to do.  So the U.S. stationed nuclear weapons in South Korea for fifty years instead, using them as a constant threat against North Korea. It has also planted them along the borders of Russia. So --

Do you feel safer now?

For the U.S., at least, nuclear weapons have always been not a deterrent, but a threat.

Isn't it just terrible the way North Korea has built a nuclear arsenal? Actually, no. It's quite reasonable.

North Korea cannot defeat the U.S. with its nuclear weapons. On the contrary, North Korea, while it might to some damage to the U.S., would be obliterated in return. Unlike the U.S., North Korea's nuclear weapons ARE a deterrent. But they probably won't deter.All the big powers have a stake in what is happening. Most of them have huge nuclear arsenals. The chances of a nuclear war starting in North Korea are now very strong. And no-one can predict any good outcome from that.

Oh, I know. Those North Koreans are evil.  Americans are good. They are defenders in the name of the Christian God - the ones who murdered millions in North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, who set up dictatorships all over Latin America, who are now deliberately starving the children and civilians of Yemen to death, and encouraging a dreadful cholera in that country.

God bless America!

This could have been avoided by giving North Korea a chance to become a peaceful country. But the U.S. didn't do that. It established a threatening military and nuclear presence in South Korea; it ensured that North Korea would have to struggle in poverty when it hit it with trade sanctions. The U.S. made it clear that it intended to destroy North Korea.

China knows why it wants to destroy South Korea. It's to set up an invasion of China. And both it and Russia will now be deciding, day by day, what to do. Maybe they will think they should strike first because, it they don't, the U.S. might strike them first - and then it would be too late. Or the U.S. might decide it has to strike them first. As we now know, the plan for that is already in place - for the war nobody would win.

We had to decide in 1945 how to deal with nuclear weapons, how to get rid of them, how to establish a world order of government. But big business, especially in the U.S., didn't want to do that.  The corporation bosses wanted the victory of 1945 to open the door for them to world conquest. And the fever is still there.

The U.S. is also flirting with nuclear war in the middle east where its years of interference have created a chaos in the whole region. For example, it is trying to  bluff  Russia to force it out of Syria.

And would Israel go nuclear in a war with Iran? Quite possibly. And equally possible, Russia might decide this is where it has to take a stand.

Trump is part of the problem. But only part. The greater problem is that the U.S. is ruled by greed. (Of the most Christian type, I am sure.) This greed and aggression goes all the way back to 1776. It has twisted the meaning of all we said we fought for in two world wars. It now threatens the survival of the whole planet.

Oh, forget the idea the U.S. might decide to conquer the world with a conventional war. Any such war would go nuclear very early. And, anyway, the U.S. could not win such a huge conventional war. This, remember, is the country that could not defeat North Vietnam or even rebels in Afghanistan. As well, the American public has shown it has no patience for long wars.

But don't let this bother you. Escape your troubles by reading the irving press. The Saturday editorial of the Moncton Times, for example, had a furious commentary attacking the Liberal Party for overspending. Damn right. Why, if we were to continue loosely throwing our money around on frills like education and hospitals, we'd  have to make the wealthy pay taxes.

No, forgive me. I have to intrude here with a rant about the irving press. If that doesn't interest you, skip to the section below which looks at the world press.

On Saturday, the irving press thrilled us with an editorial about how the provincial government is overspending. Of course it is. How else could it fund medical care, education, homelessness and other areas when the wealthy don't pay taxes.

Of course, the editorial writer lacked the guts and integrity to explain that. Instead, it laid all the blame on the government.  It might more usefully have laid the blame on the voters of this province who suffer from getting no truth out of their provincial newspapers.

Today's paper begins with a brainless headline. The province has come to a deal to privatize another part of our health system. We are told that the private company is non-profit.

Yeah. Sure. Lots of companies go into business NOT to make a profit. That is such a stupid statement that I wonder anyone could have the nerve to make it.

Then the commentary page has a brainless and uninformed commentary by an irving opinion editor. It's an attack on communism as an  evil force.

Now, I am NOT a communist. I don't think it's at all practical. However, contrary to what this commentary says, NO country - not the Soviet Union, not China, not North Korea has ever been communist.  But commentators can still write these idiot columns because they don't know what communism means. And, to make it worse, they seem to have to no idea of the misery and  hardship created by capitalism for centuries.

First communism. The fundamental characteristic of communism arises from Christianity. It is based on the principle that we should all work to benefit each other, and not for any selfish reason (and not imposing dictators on our people.) Whatever China and Russia may have said, I am not aware they ever worked on such principles.

I might add that capitalism has never worked on these principles, either. And if you want a system that is murderous and greedy and dictatorial and brutalizing and really, really evil, I suggest you take a look at the capitalism of the last few centuries.

Capitalist Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are now deliberately starving millions of civilians to death in Yemen.  How's that for brutality and evil? The U.S. tortured thousands in Afghanistan. And if you think it is not still torturing around the world, bless you for you childlike innocence.

 Spanish and Portuguese imperialist capitalists murdered and enslaved millions in Latin America. Then the U.S. took over the killing and enslaving in the late 1800s.

The British empire,  led by devout Christians, murdered millions and plundered all over the world - including North America. And neither the U.S. nor Canada has ever lifted a finger to repair the damage. Capitalism in both countries,  though, has virtually enslaved and its own people. (For a sample, you might go to the library for a book by Terry Copp, The Anatomy of Poverty- The Condition of the Working Class in Montreal: 1897-1929.) Employers in Canada and the U.S. have a long and rarely told story of intimidating, brutalizing, yes, and even murdering their workers - just as they now have a long history of avoiding the taxes we need to create conditions for decent lives. And just as they now exploit and murder workers in countries like Guatemala.

Nobody knows how many millions have been killed by largely Christian Americans since 1945. Conservative estimates are about 7 million, not to mention perhaps a hundred million refugees. You want to see real evil? Go to church and look around you at a community that hasn't so much as whimpered a criticism.

Actually, the teaching of Jesus and of the Israelites did much to shape Karl Marx's concept of communism.  But the Judaeo-Christian teaching has, alas, done little to shape our thinking.

You want real evil? Forget communism. Take a look at our endless wars, at our plundering of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. One of the very few clergy to comment on that this Christmas was the Pope.

There's an excellent column in today's irving press about a man who survived Hitler's holocaust. Another such man was a friend of mine who was released from a death camp as a child only when Germany surrendered. But the fact is that the allied governments knew damn well all about the death camps and the horrible murders of more than five million Jews. And the allied governments, including Canada, didn't lift a finger to help them. They refused to help those who escaped. The refused to accept those who, like my friend, were released at the end of the war. ( He spent most of his childhood in Israel.)

Hitler built his 'final solution' by promoting a racial hatred of Jews, by making people scared of Jews. And that racial hatred is exactly what the  west, especially the U.S., has been using to murder men, women and children in countries like Yemen and, as it has been threatening, in North Korea.

We are not good people fighting evil. We are evil. We are fed by fear and propaganda to hate and to kill - all for the benefit of  capitalism. We did not, I'm afraid, defeat Hitler - we have copied his final solution. The civilian death toll in Yemen is likely to be greater than in Hitler's holocaust. (And the irving press never even mentions it.)

And our churches, just like the Christian churches of Nazi Germany, have been cheerleaders.

Sorry. But this has to be said.

And the good news is..


There is going to be a price for this enriching of the already wealthy. And it's going to be one hell of a price.

Big oil has done nothing whatever to recognize climate change.  All it has shown any interest in is itself. That explains much about US wars in the middle east.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis is getting much worse as drought is spreading far more quickly than expected - and that means less food for a world that doesn't have enough as it is. It also means  human resettlement on a scale never seen before. We haven't begun to deal with the problems of that. Millions, hundreds of millions, will be looking for arable lands. The challenge of that is being ignored. What the hell!  It will be easier just to kill them.

And Canada is going to be a prime target for the displaced and, therefore, quite possibly a target for the U.S. government which is likely to produce its own refugees, especially from the west and mid-west.

The changes coming are immense - and they will happen whether we want them to or not. But the oil industry just yawns.


I don't know enough about the Iran crisis to understand it. But I do know this is a region where American interests collide with those of Russia and China. The most dangerous thing to do would be use the tension to destroy the Iranian government - and that is exactly what Trump is likely to do.

I think the following story is true enough. But I'm uneasy at it. We blame everything on Trump. And,  yes, he is a liar, a fool, irresponsible....But almost all American presidents since since 1945 have been murderous liars. The problem is not Trump. The problem is governments controlled by the very greedy and irresponsible, by the 'capitalism' that is as evil an murderous as 'communism' ever was.


In fairness, it  has to be said that many Jews have been critical of Israeli treatment of a young woman in the incident below. Haaretz has been very critical of it. (The irving press hasn't even mentioned it.)

The U.S. did something intelligent in Syria. How come none of our news media mentioned it?


This is a newsman's message for the New Year. It's about the real news media world. And it's worth a read. (Not all news people are as sheepish and as obedient as those of irving press.)


A story that would never make the pages of the irving press. The U.S. has been imposing profound suffering on the people of North Korea for well over half a century. Funny how our news media have never noticed that.


The real world.


News that didn't make the irving press.

The real issue for 2018 us whether we will begin to deal seriously with the enormous challenges of climate change. The changes that are necessary - a sharp stop to fossil fuels, an unimaginable movement of a billion people and more, the development of new lands - are the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity. We cannot deal with these while coddling oil billionaires and fighting wars for them. We cannot pamper billionaires in general. We cannot sustain racial stereotypes and religious hatreds. We almost certainly have to rediscover the principles of our various religions and to  practice them for a change.

We have yet to face the reality that we have to deal with the greatest crisis that ever hit this planet. And we don't have much time left to get real.
I'm switching blog days to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. Clearly, the pen (blog keyboard) is not mightier than the sword. How many words will it take to begin to even slightly change human behaviour? Hell, I can't even change my own behaviour. That said, good work, Graeme. That more should read what you write.