Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Oct 8: Part 1

My computer has just pulled it's stunt of losing a large number of it's entries.
So I shall immediately publish this one. And then work into the cold, dark night to finish it.



An event of 1841 can scarcely be called a current event. But it has a lesson for us.             

In 1841, the British feared a Russian attack on Afghanistan that would provide the base for an attack on British India.  This sort of thing was ( and is) still common. Afghanistan is positioned almost as if designed as if it were deliberately a base of attack on a number of countries - (though it was not a nation of attack itself.) So the British decided to invade.

A base was established on the Afghanistan border. Then the main force of 3000 troops moved in to settle near Kabul. With that main force were wives, children, prostitutes attached to the army.base.near Kabul. Reluctantly,the British began the long trek to the coast through wild, mountain cover. The Afghans fired on them every step of the way. The worst stretch came in a  valley with cliffs on both sides.

As the British plodded through the valley, Afghans kept up a constant fire from the hill sides as well  as a steady dislodging of boulders to crash own onto the retreating British.

Soon after, a man exhausted rode into the British fort on the border. He was a doctor. And of the 3000 soldiers and their wives, children, prostitutes, he was the only survivor. \Afghanistan has a long history of  defending itself against intruders.

Too bad George W. Bush was not much of student of  history. There is, after all ,a quite modern parallel for those ghosts of the British army of so long ago.

In 1979, devout Muslims in Afghanistan rose in revolt against their communist government. They opposed communism,. In the remarkable war that followed, the Muslims were also supported with money and some weapons by the U.S.
This was a remarkably successful revolt against an enemy far, far bigger and better equipped than the Afghans were.

But then the U.S. made the strange decision to invade those Afghans it had supported.

I know of no official reason for that. At the time there was a lot of double talk that the Afghans were behind 9/11. But, in reality, there is no evidence of that.. On the contrary, most of the evidence then and now points to Saudi Arabia.

So why did the U.S.decide to attack? A logical possibility is that the U.S. was acting as Britain had in the early 1800s, and as the Russians did in the 1980s.
The U.S.wanted to occupy and control Afghanistan as an American base to attack Russia. It is Afghanistan's sin that it is a place attractive to major powers as a base to attack other major powers.

The U.S. had no other reason to attack. Canada joined the attack without even that much reason. We sent Canadians to die in Afghanistan for no good reason at all.

So, yes, we should remember those we sent to die in Afghanistan. We should also give bloody hell to the politicians who sent them. To respect the sacrifices our soldiers made is important. And that most certainly includes those who served in, say, Korea and Afghanistan. But respecting their sacrifices is only half the story. To show real respect, we should also remember what a betrayal it was for us to send them.  I could wish the Canadian Legion would do that, and stop being a cheerleader to cover up for the politicians. The Canadian Legion should be defending the veterans, not the politicians who betrayed them.
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/hrt-ruling-1.5312191

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The Canadian leadership debate? It was dominated by the the Liberals and Conservatives - the two parties that had nothing intelligent to say. Both Trudeau and Scheer had nothing to say. The whole world is facing extinction. When is  hard to say but it could be within the lifetimes of our children.

So who gives a damn?

Trudeau had very little to say on the subject. Scheer had wisecracks and personal attacks. So it's up to us to face reality.

Think. Our leading scientists tell us we are on the brink of the destruction of all life on planet Earth. Scheer didn't even bother to dispute that. Lesson to be drawn, Conclusion? In the greatest crisis of human history, Scheer plans to do nothing - except to  boost profits for oil barons.

And what would be the result of a Conservative government? Quite possibly that it would be end of any chance of dealing with climate change.

And a Liberal government? That would be a repeat of the four years of nothing much that we've earlier seen in the Conservatives.

In short, the Canadian people have wasted over twenty years in failing to deal with the greatest challenge in human history. And they now plan to waste more. This is not an election we're facing. It's a death notice.

And that sums up the meaning of this election. We have created a paradise for the greediest people in history, people too greedy to understand they are destroying themselves, too.

The great debate  came far short of dealing with Canada's problems. In that sense, it was a a debate that was a shabby and ignorant and greedy as the election itself.  We are allowing the rich to steal from us all by keeping billions of dollars from the nation. (They don't have to pay income tax; and that means we, have have less and less money, must scramble to find the money to feed and house the very poor, to maintain decent standards of education and health care. It also means we can't afford pharmacare.) Since World War Two, we have created societies remarkably similar to those of medieval times and of the    empires like Rome before that.

We are allowing the super rich to create a spreading poverty which is going to get worse, much worse. We are in the process of cutting off school lunches for tens of thousands of children who starve every day.

That's what this election has been about. And the people of Canada  throughout the election campaign have been brainlessly preparing to vote for those who rob them.

How can the people of this country be so brainless as to vote Conservative or Liberal? (Mind you, the NDP and the Greens could both use some pep pills.)
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/hong-kong-china-military-1.5312894

Let's get real. It's game over in Hong Kong. There is not the slightest chance of Hong Kongers winning in this revolt against China. I regret this. But the reality is that maintaining an increasingly violent resistance cannot be a winning policy.

The people of Hong Kong, for now, should deal for any concessions they  canget. But a victory over the huge population of China is not going to happen.

And the attempt to achieve it  could take a terrible toll of the lives of Hong Kongers. Indeed, the great risk now is that American agents might encourage  the revolt for American propaganda purposes. And that would do nothing but create more violence against the Hong Kongers.             
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/us-withdrawal-syria-canada-1.5312618

ISIS -o-o-oo, bad guys. One can get that impression from our news media. But the reality is that we have been pounding those countries for a hundred years. We did it, largely, to steal control of their oil resources, thereby making obscenely wealthy British and then Americans to rob them blind.

Our news media are usually highly critical of these people who simply want to control their own countries

But the fact that they.have foreign names does not necessarily mean that they are evil.
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/road-ahead-oilsands-future-andrew-leach-1.5268556
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/08/the-guardian-view-on-trump-and-syria-damage-has-been-done
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https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-hong-kong-protesters-pushing-for-reforms-china-will-never-allow

Like I said - but, oh, Gwynne Dyer says it better.
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http://rabble.ca/columnists/2019/10/andrew-scheer-factor-election-2019

Well, I agree with the writer's mood. But --- the reality, depressing as it may be,  is that Scheer IS a major player in he election.
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/07/maddening-graphic-shows-how-400-richest-americans-paid-less-taxes-any-other-income

This is the greed and abuse that we have allowed to happen. And it's not just in the U.S.. It's in Canada, too, and many other countries. While a premier like Ontario's Doug Ford gives monster tax breaks to the rich, he ends school lunches for poor children.
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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/07/brazilian-experts-warn-open-letter-president-bolsonaro-genocide-underway-against

Greed wins again.
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https://www.commondreams.org/further/2019/10/07/his-great-and-unmatched-wisdom-wtf-gop
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