Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 13: a very depressing news day

The fearless newshounds at the irving press today carried a front page story. The New Brunswick government has released a list corporations that looked for favours from it this year. Not a single New Brunswick based corporation was on the list. I’m so proud. New Brunswick corporations would never dream of looking for favours from the government.

Israel has become a flashpoint for major world war. It’s worth understanding how that happened.

The idea of a state of Israel actually came from British political leaders just after World War One. It had nothing to do with helping Jews. In fact, the purpose of it was to get rid of Jews from the western world. It reflected the common prejudice of western Christians against Jews, and a general desire to get rid of them.

It didn’t happen, but the idea was picked up by Jewish leaders to create the Zionist movement – a movement to settle all Jews in their own land – Israel. This created a wave of support in Jewish schools which, up to the present day, have created generations of children eager to move to Israel. Many of my friends were caught up in that ambition.

Then came the war – and the Nazi murder of over 6 million European Jews. And, as the excerpt above suggests, they had lots of help from European Christians. I remember a comment when I was visiting Europe. A woman said, “They had no right to take OUR Jews.” Exactly, there was nothing wrong with murdering Jews – but not HERS. In most European countries the locals joined happily in betraying Jews who were hiding.

Canada, the U.S. and Britain, starting before the war, throughout it and for a time after, refused to accept Jews fleeing the horror that was Europe. I knew one family that got out in the late 1930s only by paying monstrous bribes to Canadian officials.

The start of the holocaust changed nothing. Any who escaped arrest and tried to flee to safety were refused by almost all western countries. Instead, they were sent back to the death camps. Canada, the U.S. and Britain knew quite well what was going on in the camps. It was never reported to the public, and we made no attempt to help. At the end of the war, we hanged Nazi war criminals. We could, with as much justice, have hanged Churchill, MacKenzie King and Roosevelt.

When the war ended, those European Jews who could fled to Palestine, determined to create their own nation. British warships blockaded them, but it was futile. Jews flooded in, forming terrorist groups to chase Muslims out of their homes and take them over. (Jews already living in a Palestine which had been their home for thousands of years, did not welcome the European Jews. These Jews had centuries earlier merged with their arab neighbours, had lived in peace, and were not admirers of Zionism. These are called Mizrah. Some have moved to North America, and even here their relations with other Jews have been awkward. There is even some physical distinction between the two groups with the Mizrahs being darker complexioned. Some argue that the European Jews are not of the original stock but are descended of European converts to Judaism.)

The European Jews, in effect, conquered that part of Palestine that they would call Israel. In 1948, the western powers would reluctantly recognize the state of Israel. But the new, Israeli Jews were very different from their European ancestors. The holocaust left a bitterness and anger and hatred in them. They saw themselves, correctly, as victims of world neglect, trusted no-one, and saw arab Palestinians (including those who remained in Israel) as scum of the earth – just as western powers had seen Europeans Jews. Arabs with Israeli citizenship were segregated (most of them now walled in), forbidden even to walk on the streets of some districts, and with few of the normal rights of citizens.

The U.S. didn’t get much involved until after 1948 – and that had nothing to do with affection for Judaism. It saw in Israel as a useful partner for its moving into control of the middle east for the benefit, of course, of its capitalists. Thus the enormous generosity in supplying weapons to Israel.

Thus the chaos in the middle east, the result of everybody acting with nobody thinking of the consequences. And now, it could well be the opening bell for World War 3.

There are no heroes in this record.
___________________________________________________________________________________The Chinese government has, I fear, made an extremely unwise decision. Besides being absurdly anti-democratic, it opens great danger in what would happen if Xi and the legislature disagreed on a major issue.

The most interesting part of this comes at the end where it mentions that the new head of the FBI is, for the first time, a woman. But this is not a woman you want to meet. Much of her career has been spent running a torture prison in Europe. (Yes, the U.S. still tortures people all over the world. One man at her prison was water-boarded over 80 times, and European human rights groups are seeking an arrest warrant on her.)

The U.S. government, the greatest murderer of children in our time, and the one that is starving millions of children to death in Yemen, has demanded that the UN resolve to force a cease fire in Syria because American hearts bleed for the child casualties. And if the UN does not vote for it, the U.S. proposes to take its own (illegal) action.

Trump is concerned about the poor, little children who get killed in wars? Please. The U.S. wants to destroy the Syrian government for reasons that have nothing to do with loving children. And the U.S., in worship of its Christian God says it will launch on its own killing spree – something to add to the 70 countries it has (with Christian concern) invaded since 1945.

I very much fear that we are watching a collapsing empire. (American Christianity collapsed a long time ago.)

When the U.S. overthrew the elected government of Ukraine, and installed a replacement government, it turned on a powerful wave of Naziism in the country.

Hope for the future. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

The choice of Doug Ford as leader of the Ontario ‘Progressive’ Conservatives made news all over the western world. We should take warning from that. And it is certainly dismaying to see this happening in a Canadian province. Are we slipping into the American tragedy?

(Incidentally, the word ‘progressive’ has no meaning whatever in Canadian politics. The Conservative party tacked ‘progressive’ onto its name to draw in a leader from the so-called Progressive Party. But there was nothing progressive about the Progressive party.)


The world’s super-rich have been building nuclear-proof bunkers for some years now. I’m so happy for them. And I’m sure they’ll invite us to share.

There are lots of ways to read history. Here’s something different.

During the separatist movement in Quebec, separatists damned the English for acting as if they had an equal right to live in Quebec with the French they had stolen it from. I guess Quebec history books neatly forgot that the French had stolen it earlier from the native peoples.

Even Palestine’s best educated people find life close to impossible under the conditions imposed by Israel. What I like about Haaretz is its commitment to giving such people a voice. I can’t imagine the irving press of New Brunswick ever doing that.

Our commercial news media are heavily slanted in their reporting. That’s been very noticeable in its treatment of the war in Syria in which the Syrian government is always wrong and the rebels always right.

Britain is very, very angry at Russia. A Russian spy who defected to Britain was poisoned. Britain blames Russia. Quite right, too. Britain has the copyright, and only James Bond is allowed to kill agents who defect.

We’re getting very close to decision time. Where’s the political debate on how to react?

One of the most destructive forces of our time has been patriotism. Patriotism is what justified the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Patriotism is what justified the deaths of Canadians in Afghanistan. Patriotism is what justified Canadians murdering Libyans. Patriotism is what justified the U.S. in murdering millions in its seventy undeclared wars since 1945.

But none of the above really had anything to do with patriotism.

Patriotism has become a buzzword which means anything that capitalists and their governments want us to do (for their benefit.)

For those who really want to serve their country’s needs, it’s a quite appropriate word. But we are moving into a world in which those who really want to serve their country in the true sense of patriotism could end up in jail.

We’re not getting much news about the Russian claim to have developed a new standard in nuclear weaponry. (Well, in fairness, the irving press hasn’t had room for the story. They needed the lead space for a fast-braking tale of how two, Canadian media giants are swapping newspapers.)

Here is a fuller account of the murder of a spy who was a double agent (working for both Britain and Russia.) It’s certainly better than any likely to appear in the irving press.

And here is a more careful and more intelligent examination of the murder by a person of considerable expertise.

For over a hundred years, U.S. capitalists have been abusing the people of Haiti, forcing them to accept poverty (as they also had in Cuba and still do in Guatemala and other countries. Not surprisingly, this poverty (with the helpful cooperation of American gangsters) drove many of the people into the drug trade.


In both Canada and the U.S. these are dangerous times politically. Neither country has a party significantly different from the other partys. Both countries, though called democracies, are essentially ruled by the wealthy who also control our supply of news. This has, predictably, taken us both to declining standards of living, savaging of what democracy is left, and to the edge of world nuclear war. And we are trapped in playing their losing game.

We are continuing a war that goes back several centuries, The Great War of the Capitalists. Ordinary people have never been winners in this war.

Assad certainly appears to have the support of the Syrian people. (He may be evil. He may collect pornography. He may be a secret conservative. But the reality is that he has the support, by far, of the majority of Syrians.) Tossing in assorted jihadists, armed and paid for by the U.S., has not changed that. Nor has the intervention of Israel, Turkey changed that. That’s why the opposition against him has pretty much collapsed. Let’s face fact. The Syrian people don’t want us in their country.

Now Trump has threatened to intervene on the side of the ‘rebels’. And Russia, which now has a stake in the survival of Assad, says – just try it.

This is insanity. It creates every possibility – almost every certainty - of world nuclear war. The great and final opportunity for us all to die in the service of our greedy billionaires.

These are very dangerous times. The people who have real power in our world are greedy, short-sighted, irresponsible, not very bright, and own almost all the news media. One consequence is that the general public has almost no idea of what is going on, and what the dangers are. Add to that a natural fear of disagreeing with the elite of our aristocracy. ( And so it is that we accept the economic gluttony of our wealthy elite, and a ranting editorial in today’s irving press about wasting money on the unemployed when we should be giving it to the wealthy.)

As we ignore the greatest danger to human existence (up to now), the enormous challenge of climate change, we dabble with the quick answer to all problems by threatening nuclear war.

And the Christian clergy? No doubt they will be lining up to bless the missiles as they are fired. (That is no exaggeration. When the U.S. bombed Cuba, Cardinal Newman blessed the bombs.)

The U.S. looks very much like a society in collapse. That’s as true of the Democrats as it is of the Republicans. Canada should be looking out for itself instead of scampering after the U.S. and shouting ‘me, too’.

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