*edit, March 14, 2014 – There’s been no change in the Star’s belligerence. Like the belligerent CBC, I email them to ask why I’m seeing what I’m seeing and no one replies. I switch back and forth between laptops. One usually runs out of free articles faster than the other because I just happen to visit haphazardly. Of course, the freebies are bogus, since they count refreshing (which their crappy website forces on you) as having viewed another article. I’m reading Rick Salutin’s most recent article on the machine that the Star is allowing me to view articles on still. I’m logged in, but trying to post a comment to Rick’s article, where others have and where commenting has not yet been halted, is futile. There’s a ‘login’ button. I tried refreshing the page. I tried logging in again. Nada. Losers!
*edit, March 9, 2014 – The Toronto Star is slimy, a few good journos there notwithstanding. They allow readers to have five free writers in a handy widget who you can quickly access. I had five. Now I can only have three. Just me. I experimented. I can’t add ‘anyone’ other than the three writers who I’m left with. Also, ‘All’ of my comments, about all sorts of things, including those that were approved and have been there for some time, have been removed. That’s not moderating in any positive sense. That’s malice from people who are too free. They are too free – when they can break written and unwritten rules with impunity – because they have the ‘right’ political views. Correspondingly, I’m not free enough – because I have the ‘wrong’ political views. And that’s elite democracy. That’s not what regular people would call democracy. The elimination of all my comments came a short while after my having posted, to a couple of articles (where I could), comments on Ukraine. I touched a nerve I guess. The soul is gone, but the body hasn’t completely disintegrated. Let’s see what’s next?
An excerpt from the above linked to article by Tim Harper follows:
Governments don’t have to make room for opposition MPs as part of international delegations, and the history of high-mindedness and bipartisanship in this place was already a thin read before Stephen Harper arrived.
But Harper’s Conservatives are increasingly looking like denizens of a daycare protecting their turf in the sandbox…
The Conservatives have been similarly using a crisis in Ukraine to further their own domestic political fortunes.
[Ian] Cotler would not discuss the Israeli events. But he did say missions such as that one, as well as this week’s Ukrainian mission, are trips on behalf of Canada. There can be a preponderance of government MPs, but not exclusively government MPs, he says.
“You are representing a country, you are not representing a party,’’ he said. “We are all here to represent the people of Canada.’’
Mitch Potter has been high volume talking ‘at’ Star readers about events in Ukraine. But the Star isn’t allowing readers to comment, at least not about his rants. I’ve therefore taken advantage of the commenting feature in regard to Tim’s above article in which he makes the barest mention of Ukraine. The intention of the editorial board of the Star is to preserve the purity of the line/lie that the compliant, corporatocracy media, is putting out. That’s the intention of editorial boards of major media everywhere and not only in regard to Ukraine, but also in regard to Syria and Venezuela, where Obama’s crowd is similarly causing trouble, not democracy. It’s indeed chaotic and violent in Ukraine, but to ignore the scariness of the neo-nazis and other fascists on the loose over there and to imply that it’s only Russian sympathizers in the Ukraine (an evil thing according to the corporatists’ propaganda) who are scary and threatening reveals much about the journos who are screaming ‘at’ us with ‘their’ facts.
The Bible refers to nation states as wild beasts. (The Bible book of Daniel goes into some detail about that.) In the Bible book of Revelation [“Apocalypse” in Greek] it refers to them collectively as a single wild beast with 7 heads and 10 horns. There are actually 3 wild beast mentioned in Revelation with the basic form of 7 heads and 10 horns, with each beast having unique characteristics. The first, called a dragon, is identified as Satan. The second 7 headed beast is created by the first, and it in turn creates a third beast. Chapter 12 introduces the first seven headed beast, namely Satan. (The first dragon is, to us, an image of the wild beast he creates. That’s the only reason he has 7 heads. In the second wild beast, those seven heads represent dominant world powers in succession, from the Bible’s standpoint, since the first one, namely Egypt. Then there were: 2. Assyria 3. Babylon 4. Medo-Persia 5. Greece 6. Rome and 7. Anglo-America.) Chapter 13 continues:
“And it stood still upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, and upon its horns ten diadems, but upon its heads blasphemous names.” -R 13:1
There’s the ruler of this world (by God’s permission, for a purpose) standing before the turbulent, roiling sea of the growing population of humankind, scheming and influencing and watching the nation states come and go. From that “sea” arises a configuration of nation states, still fluid but firming up and becoming more durable with time, including those that are the most powerful. The most powerful states are the beast’s heads. Interestingly (and overlooked by Jehovah’s Witnesses who taught me all this stuff), the diadems/crowns worn by the second wild beast are worn on its ‘horns’ and not touching the beasts’ collective body, for a reason. The 3rd beast (symbolizing the League of Nations/ United Nations) has no crowns, which are symbols of authority, but it is said to receive authority for “one hour” from the second (and by extension the first) wild beast, confirming this interpretation. The first beast is said to give its authority to the second, which means that it is the ‘source’ of that authority. That’s why its crowns are on its heads, ‘touching’ its body. The authority and the source are one. The crowns are not touching the beast’s body in the case of the second wild beast because it isn’t the source of the authority it exercises. It gets its authority, clearly, from a higher, invisible power, namely the person symbolized by the first wild beast.
From verse 11 of chapter 13 to the end of that chapter, the Bible focusses on a nation state component of that second wild beast, which, unlike the rest of the composite beast, ascends out of the “earth.” That component/ beast, ascending out of the earth, is the United States, which is also referred to as the “false prophet.” The Bible here focusses on that nation state’s role in compelling people to embrace darkness, the paradigm of ‘riches for the strongest’ and the gift of mysterious lawlessness which allows its owners to sin and survive. The lawlessness goes hand in hand with the ‘riches for the strongest’ paradigm, which is the opposite of what has come to be called the ‘golden rule’ (Matthew 7:12), given to us by God’s Son, which tells us to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Jesus simplifies matters by saying, in effect, that that rule is one of the main take-aways from the entirety of the inspired writings – the Law and the Prophets – that went before. If ‘riches for the strongest’ is the dark mirror image of Jesus’s golden rule, which (golden rule) is a prominent feature of God’s message, then one can reasonably view ‘riches for the strongest’ as the main take-away from the words (such as found in the Bible book of Job) and actions of that great deceiver, Satan.
The wild beast/ false prophet, which arises in later (less ‘formative’, more ‘formed’ or firm) times in mankind’s history – the United States is relatively young – has two horns like a lamb but a mouth like a dragon. It is happy to report to those willing to delude themselves and ignore evidence that it is godly, democratic and good, like an inoffensive lamb. In reality, other components of the wild beast are instructed by this 7th head of the wild beast (which has become the corporatocracy) how to behave and only disobey at their own peril. (With the octopus of corporatocracy, single nation states – Venezuela, Egypt, Haiti for example – are not allowed independence. They – their people and leaders together – can choose independence but the corporatocracy doesn’t accept that choice and will pressure/ attack that nation state until it complies or is changed, favorably. The people’s wishes are ignored. Those among the people who embrace corporatocracy, whose ruling classes and elites conveniently view the people as the enemy, while exploiting them, pay for their ‘vote’ for dependence, while a handful of the soulless among them might enjoy some material benefits as they actively assist the corporatocracy in devouring their society.) And often, if they are weak but possess resources (or a door to resources) that the false prophet component of the beast wants, they don’t have to disobey. They will simply be swallowed down suddenly and violently the way the former Yugoslavia was (after which it was fed to bankers, investors, etc), the way Haiti was (making it a sweatshop paradise), and the way countless other nation states have been.
The striking image of that wild beast/ false prophet presented in Revelation includes a mouth like a dragon below the two horns of a lamb. The dragon-like mouth represents the imperialistic nature of the United States. Imperialism means aggression by a nation state (or group of nation states), not in self-defense, but for improper gain. Haitians, Hondurans, Chileans, Argentinians, inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly learned all about imperialism. And not from books.
“However, There also arose a dispute among them over which one of them seemed to be greatest. But he said to them: “The kings of the nations lord it over them and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. You though are not to be that way. But let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest and the one acting as chief as the one ministering. For which one is greater: The one reclining at the table or the one ministering? Is it not the one reclining at the table? But I am in your midst as the one ministering.” -Luke 22:24-27
What the wild beast of corporatocracy ‘does’ includes the propaganda that it does in conjunction with its devouring of the people. The mouth of the dragon is ferocious and backed up by its power and habit of destroying, especially when it comes to individuals and groups that are weak. The corporate-owned media is the mouth of the wild beast. Mitch Potter’s shameless, pro imperialism rants – allowing no distracting comments from the rabble – in the Toronto Star are an example of the dragon’s mouth in action. (The Toronto Star is a joke. You can read 10 free articles a month. I hit ten on March 1st. One thing that helped hasten my allotment was the crap build of the site. When I resize the text on the page, the page disappears on the third resize. When I go to retrieve the page, the Star counts that as an additional article viewed.)
As Michel Chossudovsky points out in his above linked-to article explaining the background to the destruction of neutral (not aligned with the US or the old Soviet Union) Yugoslavia, the compliant media was careful to convey and not contradict the imperialists’ lie that the fighting there was solely about old, simmering, ethnic rivalries. The corporate owned media isn’t about to direct the people’s attention to the (capitalist) predators scheming and carrying out their schemes and that’s because they are allies. We see a similar thing happening now in regard to major media reportage on Ukraine.
As Tony Clarke notes on page 9 of “Tar Sands Showdown”: ** The US-led invasion of Iraq, which arguably had more to do with securing control over Middle East oil deposits than fighting the war on terror, highlighted the need to focus more attention on how the US military is geared to policing the world in order to control oil sources and supply routes to serve it energy needs.” ** That’s putting it mildly. The problem with this self-appointed global (evil) policeman is that in his world, he has to be sure to stay powerful or else one of his powerful corporatocracy colleagues will replace him as top dog. The picture that Mitch Potter frantically paints of Ukraine carefully ignores all of that background, which I’ll try to provide a little of below. The Russian ruling class is slime. No question. But that, and ethnic rivalry, isn’t the sole answer to the question: What’s going on in Ukraine?
There are many interconnected issues here. This wild beast tells people – the way an inoffensive lamb would – that it believes in freedom, while making it clear that freedom, as far as it’s concerned, only means the freedom to agree with it and all of the lawlessness and terror that it does, Or else. Those who actually believe in law and order are horrified. Then there are those cogs – We are all cogs in the machinery of corporatocracy – who have no desire to resist assimilation, like the Toronto Star’s editorial board and many of its journos (Mitch Potter) who want those with power in this world to know that they have their backs. They will sin in the hope that they can continue to survive. When will they know that they’ve lost? What is life? What is survival?
To help you understand the above the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus provides a great breakdown/ transcript here: “Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call”
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the vicious, unprincipled, blasphemous wild beast of corporatocracy, every problem will be met with force. That’s the game. Riches – survival, resources, domination, glory – for the strongest is what this beast knows. Consider Michael Klare’s thoughts on this. He wrote “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet.”
“The sudden arrival of aggressive new contenders on the global resource playing field with the emergence of powerful energy brokers like Russia, was bound to alarm the United States, Japan, and major European energy-consuming nations, prompting them to accelerate their own efforts to secure abundant reserves of critical materials. The global resource race is, however, being propelled by something else, no less powerful: a perception that the world’s stockpiles of essential commodities – oil in particular – are shrinking.” -pg 32
Couple that with the nature of the players, as I indicated above, and the obstacle of entrenched special interests (owners of fossil fuel companies and the soldiers, government and private, needed to assist them), and the following fact, also included in “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet”:
“But the wheels of industry are not the only ones to slow without an abundant supply of energy; military forces are equally dependent on a copious infusion of critical fuels. For major powers like the United States that rely on airpower [sic] and mechanized ground forces to prevail in conflict, the need for petroleum products multiplies with each new advance in weapons technology.” -pg 11
“Government officials speak of their desire to develop novel sources of energy – biofuels, hydrogen, tidal power, and so on – but their actions suggest a deeply ingrained preference for more familiar fuels.” -page 49
“The Europeans are also interested in the construction of additional pipelines to transport Caspian oil to their doorstep, preferably without crossing Russia. At present, oil from the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan, for example, is carried by the CPC [Caspian Pipeline Consortium] pipeline to the Russian port of Novorossiysk and then shipped by tanker across the Black Sea and through the narrow, congested Bosporous (dividing European Istanbul from its Asian side) before reaching the Mediterranean. To avoid this, several European consortia are developing plans for pipelines that would originate on the western coast of the Black Sea and traverse southeastern Europe to ports on the Aegean or Adriatic. A consortium of eastern European and Baltic nations has also been formed to extend an existing pipeline through Ukraine (the Odessa-Brody line) to Gdansk in Poland and eventually onward to Lithuania in order to carry oil supplied by Azerbaijan.
“Even more ambitious plans are being developed for the eventual shipment of Caspian natural gas to Europe without traversing Russia.” -page 140
*It’s beyond my power to offer, right now, the fullest analysis of this pipeline background material. And it’s possibly beyond me to do it at all. I just do a lot of reading and I can see what I’m pointing at here. These factors pertain to ‘one’ world, namely the world in which events described by the media tool, Mitch Potter, happened in. If I can’t say ‘exactly’ how all these dots connect, I can at least say that it’s reasonable to conclude that they do.
And make no mistake about it: When the US-led corporatocracy devours another nation state, really, It’s that country’s regular people who are being devoured. What is the West offering to Ukrainians for rejecting Russia? Austerity is the answer. Austerity for gosh sakes!!! If the neo-nazi and fascist opposition in the streets in Kiev think that they are all going to get cushy jobs and security in the new, devastated Ukraine, they are dreaming. Are they that stupid?! Russia has already materially aided the Ukrainians and promises to give them natural gas at a discount. (As we’ve so often seen recently, The exploited and abused people finally rise up and protest because they just can’t take it any more. Then the more violent elements in society, used by outsiders to carry out an agenda, step in and hijack the people’s revolution, which just happened in Egypt and Syria and is now happening in Ukraine. They succeed because they and their powerful backers are willing to break all kinds of rules in order to gain control and dominate. Regular people who desire law and order, who have been deprived of it, who can’t take it any more and have arrived at the point where they are willing to die for it, end up with lawless, monstrous law & order governments instead. Which is to say, They end up with what they started with. Meet the new boss who’s the same as the old boss.) Often the destruction is aided and abetted by those ‘failed’ states’ leaders, as we saw in Chile and Greece. John Perkins enlightens us about how that can happen. Leaders, good and bad, who don’t comply with the Don in the corporatocracy, can be replaced, one way or another. The people are to be led by ‘strong man’ leaders who the corporatocracy will proclaim to be Benefactors bringing ‘stability’. The people may have no voice to object, but they will know better, sooner or later, because they will have to endure the corporatocracy’s ‘beneficence’. They will know directly.
If the US is setting out to spread democracy and freedom around the world, as it claims when wearing those lamb’s horns, then why does it have to plot coups and do things in secret and employ terrorism? If the US and other elites helping to run the corporatocracy care so much about Ukrainians, then why are they so eager put into positions of power there anti-democratic believers in inequality whose only offer to the people is punishment in the form of austerity, namely the “unpopular social measures” Ray McGovern, below, refers to. The US’s chosen strong man leader for Ukraine, namely Arseniy Yatsenyuk, assures us that he’s not afraid to commit “political suicide” by implementing those banker-dictated policies. But it’s an Escher-like suicide in which a 1 percenter jumps and the people, who don’t have the backing of power, hit bottom. Hard. From Ray McGovern’s Consortium News article titled “Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?,” the following:
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Past is not always prologue. But it is easy for me to imagine the Russian Army cartographic agency busily preparing maps of the best routes for tanks into Independence Square in Kiev, and that before too many months have gone by, Russian tank commanders may be given orders to invade, if those stoking the fires of violent dissent in the western parts of Ukraine keep pushing too far.
That said, Putin has many other cards to play and time to play them. These include sitting back and doing nothing, cutting off Russia’s subsidies to Ukraine, making it ever more difficult for Yanukovich’s successors to cope with the harsh realities. And Moscow has ways to remind the rest of Europe of its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
There is one huge difference between Prague in 1968 and Kiev 2014. The “Prague Spring” revolution led by Dubcek enjoyed such widespread spontaneous popular support that it was difficult for Russian leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin to argue plausibly that it was spurred by subversion from the West.
Not so 45-plus years later. In early February, as violent protests raged in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and the White House professed neutrality, U.S. State Department officials were, in the words of NYU professor emeritus of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, “plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine.”
We know that thanks to neocon prima donna Victoria Nuland, now Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, who seemed intent on giving new dimension to the “cookie-pushing” role of U.S. diplomats. Recall the photo showing Nuland in a metaphor of over-reach, as she reached deep into a large plastic bag to give each anti-government demonstrator on the square a cookie before the putsch.
More important, recall her amateurish, boorish use of an open telephone to plot regime change in Ukraine with a fellow neocon, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Crass U.S. interference in Ukrainian affairs can be seen (actually, better, heard) in an intercepted conversation posted on YouTube on Feb. 4.
Yikes! It’s Yats!
Nuland was recorded as saying: “Yats is the guy. He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know. … Yats will need all the help he can get to stave off collapse in the ex-Soviet state. He has warned there is an urgent need for unpopular cutting of subsidies and social payments before Ukraine can improve.”
And guess what. The stopgap government formed after the coup designated Nuland’s guy Yats, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, prime minister! What luck! Yats is 39 and has served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister. And, as designated pinch-hitter-prime-minister, he has already talked about the overriding need for “responsible government,” one willing to commit “political suicide,” as he put it, by taking unpopular social measures.
= == ===
I just finished reading Michael Klare's “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet,” about the corporatocracy states’ mad scramble for fast disappearing energy. A big reason why powerful nations (political/ corporate leadership) won’t pull back from destroying the liveable earth, which burning fossil fuels is leading to, is that they now can’t. Remember, These are destructive beasts. They are armed to the teeth and any state that shows weakness runs the risk of suddenly being swallowed by the US or by some component of the US-led corporatocracy. And armies depend on oil. Their foot is on the accelerator, because macho, unprincipled, reckless deciders, over time, have unwisely created a situation in which slowing down, being thoughtful and caring can get you devoured. That’s the beast that they have created, worshipped and fed and which we all must contend with. And it’s ‘natural’, with this state of affairs, for the bigger states to take a very aggressive stance toward each other. The top dog is always threatened by other big dogs, even if they are brothers.
My online response to the top of post linked-to article by Tim Harper follows:
Don’t you just hate being talked at, readers? Of course, Only readers who do serious reading (dailies and more) and think critically about what’s going in the world will be disturbed by that attack on the people. Thanks Star for letting us have ‘some’ say about what your contributors write. / I wouldn’t read too much into the (usual) pettiness of Harper et al in excluding his opposition colleagues at various fora. Whichever corporatocracy party represents Canada, it’ll make sure that its class interests, (which class is shared by the other major parties) are attended to. / As for the Ukraine, the compliant media is united in pushing the lie that the US/ European interference in Ukraine (which includes supporting extremists among fascist elements who have hijacked the coup, not named a coup) doesn’t exist, the Russians are evil for (naturally) responding to the coup on its border appropriately, with readiness, and Putin fears Russia will experience the same sort of unrest.
From Max Blumenthal’s article titled “Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?,” the following:
As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.
White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.
From Robert Parry's Consortium News article titled “Cheering A ‘Democratic’ Coup In Ukraine,” the following:
There was always a measure of hypocrisy but Official Washington used to at least pretend to stand for “democracy,” rather than taking such obvious pleasure in destabilizing elected governments, encouraging riots, overturning constitutional systems and then praising violent putsches.
But events in Ukraine and Venezuela suggest that the idea of respecting the results of elections and working within legal, albeit flawed, political systems is no longer in vogue, unless the “U.S. side” happens to win, of course. If the “U.S. side” loses, then it’s time for some “shock doctrine.” And, of course, the usual demonizing of the “enemy” leader.
Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych was surely no one’s idea of a pristine politician, though it looks like there are few to none of those in Ukraine, a country essentially controlled by a collection of billionaire oligarchs who jockey for power and shift their allegiances among corrupt politicians…
But Yanukovych sought to maintain cordial relations with neighboring Russia, which apparently rubbed American neocons the wrong way. Official Washington’s still-influential neocons have been livid with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin because he cooperated with U.S. President Barack Obama in averting U.S. wars against Iran and Syria…
So, Putin found himself in the center of the neocons’ bulls-eye and – given some of his own unforced errors such as defending Russia’s intolerance toward gays and spending excessively on the Sochi Olympics – he became the latest “designated villain,” denounced and ridiculed across the neocon-dominated op-ed pages of the Washington Post and other major news outlets.
Robert Parry dramatizes Obama's upsetting of the neocons' (a term I find not too useful) plans, as though he were a different creature than they, but other than that, I think Parry's bringing some good analysis to the discussion.
From Margaret Kimberley’s Black Agenda Report/ Freedom Rider article titled “America vs The World,” the following:
The United States quite openly makes it clear that it wants to have its way in the world. If Russia attempts to use its influence then it is vilified and caricatured as a cruel dictatorship controlled by a tyrant. No matter how many elections Chavez and now Maduro won, they are called dictators by American talking heads.
A superpower can foment conflict anywhere it wants to at anytime it chooses. Venezuelans must knuckle under or face the prospect of more turmoil and violence. Ukraine must sign onto economic policies which have already proven disastrous. The United States leaves its fingerprints in these and many other places and that is the essence of imperialism. It is all about control with the rawest brute force available.
The United States hasn’t officially made Venezuela or any other a colony but it doesn’t have to do that. It just has to show that it is boss and the dominos will fall wherever it chooses.
The video that was attached to Max Blumenthal’s Salon article, which I also showed, below, has disappeared from undependable YouTube. I’ll substitute this one. Let’s see how long it lasts: