*January 13, 2012 – I just now reviewed this post and noticed that I had not provided an excerpt from the Democracy Now segment I provided a link to. It wasn’t an oversight. It wasn’t necessary for me to provide that in order for me to say what I had to say, which can be seen from the fact that the reference was within parantheses within a paragraph. But I realize that such an excerpt, besides being not a problem either, would also serve to show the reader where I took the idea for the title of my post from. Therefore, I added that excerpt below.
*edit, March 22, 2012 – You’ll find a dead DN link below. I will repeat my edit notice and provide a link to the same info there.
I had a few things to do today at Yonge & Eglinton here in Toronto and knew that I would stop for a coffee at the Aroma there. So I decided that I’d grab a paper. I didn’t intend to be out for long and I rather like reading a paper in a coffee shop, when I like the coffee shop. So I picked up some coffee filters at a Second Cup, grabbed a Toronto Star and some shoe polish and plunked myself down in Aroma after ordering a macchiato and some sort of potato pastry, which turned out to be quite nice. (Aroma actually makes nice macchiatos. I then tried my first Aroma regular drip coffee. It was not worth a nickel. It wasn’t bad tasting. It was simply too weak to be enjoyable.)
Because I wasn’t enjoying drinking hot brown water, I decided to pack it in. But I managed to get a little reading in, including a couple of articles on page A12. The cute Toronto Star gives both articles slightly different titles online. The one article, by Thomas Walkom, is titled “Behind Ottawa’s caution on UNESCO,” and the other article is from Canadian Press, which fails to impress me. It’s titled “Ships set sail to challenge Gaza blockade.”
I read the article about the humanitarian flotilla first. It includes this: “Foreign Affairs says the Canadian government cannot offer protection to Canadians who break the laws of another country.”
Nothing else is said about that by this article’s author. The state of Israel, like it’s boss, the United States, is a criminal state. Criminal states stand, perversely, on ‘law and order’ platforms and claim to pursue law and order agendas. Orwell understood. I’m not the only one who sees this perversity amongst those with power and privilege. Doing some research last night, poring through some books looking for something, I found this interesting passage in Maude Barlow’s “Take Back The Nation 2”: “It is ironic that Conservatives came to power in 1984, the year in which George Orwell set his futuristic novel of political manipulation. The story of the Conservatives’ remaking of Canadian society in the meaner, crueller image of its southern neighbor is told in classic Orwellian doublespeak. Social programs to be cut are a “sacred trust.” “Fewer taxes” mean more taxes. “Fair taxes” means unfair taxes. “Better public services” means worse public services. “More jobs” means fewer jobs.” She goes on; “When Michael Wilson said in his 1986 budget speech that he wanted to “spread the tax burden more equitably,” he meant that he was going to lower taxes for the rich. When he said in 1987 that he wanted “to improve our social programs and provide more help for those in need,” he meant that he was going to remove the structures that buttress our most vulnerable citizens against economic certainty. When he promised in the 1990 budget “a consistent and comprehensive plan to ensure Canadians can benefit from a rising standard of living and quality of life second to none in the world,” he meant he was creating society in which compassion is replaced by survival of the fittest, in which the ties of community are replaced by the law of the jungle, and in which winners are few and losers are many.” -pages 34 & 35
Indeed. However similar or dissimilar Canada is to it’s southern neighbor, it’s not going to be independent when it’s leaders have sold their souls for gain (and are willing to betray their fellow citizens) and are continentalists and corporatists, which is the most important thing to consider. We can have poutine. An independent foreign policy that allows us to truly go down a different path than the U.S., the head of the mafia capitalist system that John Perkins refers to as corporatocracy, is another matter.
Then I read Walkom’s article, in which he states that “Israel signalled its anger,” to UNESCO, the United Nations’s cultural agency, for it’s acceptance of Palestine as a member, “by speeding up Jewish settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem and refusing to remit tax payments owed to the Palestinian Authority.”
The world’s foremost deterers of democracy and purveyors of violence reveal themselves when they say that law and order are important one minute and then shamelessly announce their intention to break laws the next.
The U.N., clearly, is useful so long as it does what the U.S. tells it to do or what the U.S. wants it to do, as it did when it’s Panel Of Inquiry (POI), struck in 2010 in order to look into Israel’s murder of activists trying to reach Gaza on boats, declared Israel’s obscene blockade of Gaza to be legal. But when it’s cultural agency, UNESCO, dares to treat the tortured Palentinians with some respect, by accepting that people as a member, that’s unacceptable and to be met with some sort of punishment, legal or otherwise. (See Norman Finkelstein’s report titled: “Torpedoing The Law: How The Palmer Report Justified Israel’s Naval Blockade Of Gaza.”)
The people get rules, free trade and capitalism. Capitalists and their partners get freedom. The rules, as a Boeing top official once told William Greider, are not there on principle. They merely serve as road pacifiers, slowing things down a little so that the whole system doesn’t crash, bringing everyone down, including, crucially, the important people within it.
Today’s brand of capitalist gets the freedom to enslave, destroy and make money in the process, whatever the cost in human lives and suffering of innocents. (Global Research is covering NATO’s assault on Libya extensively, but I find that their reportage tends to be unbalanced. Still, It’s invaluable. Check out Global Research TV or the main Global Research website. NATO’s actions in Libya clearly are part of the closed loop system of disaster capitalism that Naomi Klein talks about in “The Shock Doctrine.”) And they are free to call all of that whatever they want. They can call it democracy. They can call it humanitarian intervention. They can, as we’ve seen, call their worst crimes against humanity and the environment the opposite of what those things are. They are humanitarians and protectors of the planet. Not! They are champions of democracy and law and order. Not!
See the Democracy Now report, “Israel Draws International Criticism for Sweeping Anti-Boycott Law,” which reports on Israel’s act of passing a law banning free speech that it doesn’t agree with. This is elite democracy in action. It’s not common democracy, which would include things like the right of a people to exercise self-determination and the right anyone should have to call those who would deny that to a people wrong. Notice in the video that some Israelis who don’t agree with the boycott & disinvest movement that activists like Naomi Klein support still feel that their leaders have gone too far in trying to ban free speech that they don’t like. Here’s some free speech, dogs: You’re Nazis!
*edit, March 22, 2012 – The people who own the world, and the internet, don’t like this Democracy Now segment. It’s not often I can’t retrieve something from Democracy Now. But here’s a link to the same article that DN carried: “Israel Draws International Condemnation For Sweeping Anti-Boycott Law.”
An excerpt from the transcript of the above DN video follows and that will be followed by an excerpt from Naomi Klein’s book, “The Shock Doctrine.” The italics are mine.:
JUAN GONZALEZ: Israel has passed a new law outlawing citizens and organizations from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The law is drawing criticism from around the world as an attack on freedom of speech. Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets without having to prove that they sustained damage. Israeli legislator Avraham Michaeli supported the law, saying that any call for a boycott is an act of “tortuous malice.”
AVRAHAM MICHAELI: [translated] Boycotts are liable to harm business, cultural and academic activities of those subject to the boycotts, and inflict heavy damage, both financial and repetitional on them. In order to prevent such damage, it is proposed that knowingly publishing a call for any sort of boycott on anyone because of their links to state of Israel will be considered an act of tortuous malice subject to tort regulations.
AMY GOODMAN: But dozens of Israeli lawmakers voted against the measure, including Nitzan Horowitz. Horowitz said, “We are dealing with a legislation that is an embarrassment to Israeli democracy and makes people around the world wonder if there is actually a democracy here.”
Prominent Israeli columnist Ben Caspit, who opposes boycotts, denounced the new legislation, writing, “This is a blatant and a resounding shutting of people’s mouths. This is a thought police. There is no choice but to use this word. Fascism at its worst is raging,” he wrote.
The Jewish daily newspaper, The Forward, issued an editorial claiming “a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy goal.” The editors of the paper then drew a line through the sentence, along with several others, to illustrate the type of reasonable thoughts that will be punishable under the new law.
“What happened on September 11, 2001, is that an ideology hatched in American universities and fortified in Washington institutions finally had its chance to come home.
“The Bush administration immediately seized upon the fear generated by the attacks not only to launch the “War on Terror” but to ensure that it is an almost completely for-profit venture, a booming new industry that has breathed life into the faltering U.S. economy. Best understood as a “disaster capitalism complex,” it has much farther-reaching tentacles than the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned against…
“To kick-start the disaster capitalism complex, the Bush administration outsourced, with no public debate, many of the most sensitive and core functions of government – from providing health care to soldiers, to interrogating prisoners, to gathering and “data mining” information on all of us. The role of government in this unending war is not that of an administrator managing a network of contractors but of a deep-pocketed venture capitalist, both providing its seed money for the complex’s creation and becoming the biggest customer for its new services…
“And that is the post-September 11 difference: before, wars and disasters provided opportunities for a narrow sector of the economy – the makers of fighter jets, for instance, or the construction companies that rebuilt bombed-out bridges. The primary economic role of wars, however, was as a means to open new markets that had been sealed off and to generate postwar peacetime booms. Now wars and disaster responses are so fully privatized that they are themselves the new market; there is no need to wait until after the next war for the boom – the medium is the message.” – Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine,” pages 16 & 17
Regarding the video below, Norman does not have a strong video, or tv, presence. There is no rule that says all fighters for social justice have to be perfectly telegenic. My apologies Norm.