*edit, May 26, 2015 – I have the most amazing bulletin in my inbox from the folks at The Center For Media And Democracy. It includes a link to an NBC segment showing their reporter exposing the fascist ALEC. There they are, the politicians and the CEOs and their lobbyists, behind closed doors deciding how to run America. Still believe in voting? Canada might not have ALEC, but we too have fascism. That’s what corporatocracy is. It’s not called corporatocracy because it’s democratic. If it was democratic, it would be called democracy. I will attach a link (and the page it goes to includes both an article and a video) to the mention of ALEC below.
*edit, May 2, 2015 – I will append a screenshot from the Toronto Star showing another article about Omar that the Toronto Star doesn’t allow us to comment on. It was in today’s Star (May 2nd). I might even add in a couple more – just because. But I won’t add more than a couple more.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Thomas Walkom follows:
For Omar Khadr, it never ends. During most of his young life, he has been a pawn in someone else’s political game. He still is.
This time, the pawn-master is Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose government announced Friday that it will appeal a judge’s ruling to grant the 28-year-old Canadian bail while he appeals a 2010 U.S. conviction…
The real Omar Khadr never had much of a chance. He was born in Toronto but spent most of his youth in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His parents chummed around with Osama Bin Laden and others in the Al Qaeda leadership.
When the U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Khadr’s father sent the 15-year-old off to help Taliban fighters defend the country’s government…
Throughout, he has been at the mercy of others. His father used him to curry favour with the Taliban. The Americans used him in an attempt to find his father, and through him, Bin Laden…
On Friday, [Roxanne] James appeared on CBC TV to repeat again and again the government’s mantra: Khadr is a terrorist; the Harper Conservatives oppose terrorism. Therefore they oppose any court ruling that might give this Canadian, who has spent almost half his life in captivity, any kind of break.
Their message to the opposition: We’re out to screw this guy. Challenge us if you dare.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Yes, The Conservatives hope to use Khadr as a wedge. It’s more like they want to and enjoy doing that sort of thing. “Challenge us if you dare” sums it up. Harper… ought to take up a gun and face Ukraines fighting Nazis for their freedom or any of the killers in the mid east – take your pick, and whoever you pick will belong to a group who at one time Harper et al supported – if he likes violence so much, instead of encouraging young people to do it. But he likes [the] power[ful] and likes to be powerful, like God. One way to do that is by exercising the power of life and death over others. Of course, The real God has standards and his qualities are polar opposite to [those of] Sephen Harper and his gang. Thankfully. How else will this perversity and terror end?
If this was anyone else’s column, you’d see no commenting allowed. The Star and it’s gatekeepers hate some subjects more than others. If they are going to talk about Omar, then they prefer to talk at us while spewing hatred. Do they hate Omar? It doesn’t matter how it started. Their criminal treatment of Omar as a child, and now, deserves to be punished. Period. They are in control of what they do. We certainly have no power over them. Not in this ‘democracy’.
I then responded to my own comment (Viafoura doesn’t provide an editing feature, which would be something the Star requested) with: ** Ha, ha. I forgot for a moment that I was talking about The Star when I concluded that they know what they’re doing and should be punished, and, they are in control. Not that I’m wrong about that. The difference between the Liberal Star and the Conservative government is zero, the few caring journos attached to the Star notwithst[a]nding. ** I was talking about the Conservative government specifically when I made the comment that “they know what they’re doing” and “they are in control.”
I examined, belatedly, the Star’s editorial on Omar Khadr, which, I noticed, included the ‘call out’ icon to indicate that comments were allowed. Which doesn’t mean that a gatekeeper won’t simply yank comments he (or…) doesn’t want. Which happened, because I did comment and then it was disappeared. I then came across a blog that pointed to a website dedicated to freeing Omar Khadr, which I examined. That’s where I saw some discussion of a Toronto Star editorial discussing Omar Khadr, which I only realized after close examination was an earlier editorial. The one that that blog looked at was dated March 26. It had the same title as the most recent editorial (as of this writing), which was printed on April 24th. I didn’t care for either, although those editorials were better than the baying for more torture and blood that the fascists running Canada do.
Still, It’s clear that the Star is trying to have it both ways. They want to snare the self-identified liberals while not turning off every Conservative out there (not that there’s a difference). Here’s a line from the earlier editorial: “This is not to whitewash his tainted past.” Here’s a line from the April 24th editorial: “This is not to whitewash Khadr’s notorious past.” In other words, Khadr isn’t innocent. He’s got a bad record, via association. But the issue isn’t whether we would want to whitewash someone’s bad past behavior. The issue is that here is Omar’s fake friend, the Toronto Star, tainting him, via association, with people and organizations that had influence over him and his course in the past when he was unprotected and too young to make his own decisions. With friends like the Star…
As for “notorious past,” I’ve got quite a collection of disappeared Toronto Star posts if anyone wants to click on my ‘censored’ tag. Those aren’t all Toronto Star comments, of course. But many are. And I’ve begun screen capturing pages showing subjects that the Star would rather we not discuss. I don’t know what criteria the Star uses. I only know that, however you slice it, they don’t allow free discussion. One of the funniest (and saddest) things I’ve seen recently is an article where there was commenting allowed. I saw, alongside the message that ‘commenting was now closed’, that the total number of comments were at zero. Were comments ever ‘open’ for the article?
I’ve been waiting for Omar to catch a break. So has Harper and his soulless gang.
Stephen Harper and his gang can support terrorism and terrorists, openly, and that’s okay. But a victim of terrorism – and the war on terror is actually responsible for creating victims of terrorism and is in fact a war of terror on the people – has to be tortured for years? Tell me that we are not into a time of deep darkness. Check out the gang who Stephen Harper and his Ottawa gang run with, below.
See the CBC documentary titled “The U.S. vs Omar Khadr.”
Then there’s Stephen Harper’s famous support for Israel, no matter what. See the Canadian Dimension article by Murray Dobbin titled “Harper’s Disservice To Israel.”
From Sasa Petricic’s CBC report titled “Israeli attitudes on Gaza seem firmly behind Netanyahu,” the following:
Some other Israelis do disagree. But in today’s Israel, they express that at their own risk.
Those who oppose the way Israel is attacking Gaza and upset at the growing civilian casualties on the other side have held a number of protests here.
They are frequently heckled and disrupted or just plain refused a permit to demonstrate because the police cannot guarantee their safety.
Several left-wing activists have been beaten up severely, ending up in hospital. After a round of duelling demos in Tel Aviv this past weekend, where extreme right-wing youths shouted down and then attacked those opposed to the war in Gaza, one outspoken demonstrator, Elizabeth Turkov, tweeted, “Numerous protests were held in Tel Aviv against the war for the past three weeks. ALL of them ended with racists attacking us.”
Even more subtle expressions of support for Gaza are discouraged. Non-profit group B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, tried to buy air time to read the names of Palestinian children killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza. The ads were banned by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority for being too “politically controversial.”
Here’s Glenn Greenwald speaking in Canada on Canada, about privacy and security, following the Wednesday, October 22, 2014 attack on Parliament Hill by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Start this poorly edited video at 11.40. To get right to Glenn’s speech, skip to 19.35 Here’s a Rabble article on the subject by Karl Nerenberg: “Who are the victims of Wednesday’s attacks at the War Memorial and on Parliament Hill?”
Here’s a clip, from The Young Turks, with Jeremy Scahill calling a spade a spade in regard to Harper’s boss:
From Roger Annis’s Rabble article titled “Toronto Star promoting the extreme right in Ukraine,” the following:
The three conglomerates that dominate print media in Canada — Torstar, which publishes the Toronto Star, the country’s largest daily newspaper; Woodbridge, which publishes The Globe and Mail, the largest national daily; and Postmedia, which controls the daily newspapers of most cities in English Canada — speak on Ukraine as though they all attended the same indoctrination sessions…
Among the three, the Star has distinguished itself in that three of its writers have used their column and article space to vaunt the fundraising projects of Ukraine’s extreme-right parties and militias and the Ukraine army. These are the forces which have been shelling towns and cities in eastern Ukraine and otherwise committing countless war crimes for the better part of the past year.
I raised a hue about the fundraising in an article dated January 30. It was published in CounterPunch and rabble.ca, drawing attention to two articles in the preceding six weeks, including one by seasoned Star Foreign Affairs Reporter Olivia Ward, which promoted pro-war fundraising. I accused the Star of “running with the extreme right in Ukraine.”
Earlier, on December 29, I published a letter responding to a December 23 article by Star writer Tanya Talaga which first introduced Star readers to “Patriot Defense.” Its campaign, I explained, funds “first-aid” kits and training “being provided to members of the special Battalions, the National Guard, the Army and the Border Service and other security agencies. We are working together with Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence.” Note the “working together” language indicating this is a straight-up effort of the rightist battalions (which tolerate Ukraine’s elected institutions at the best of times and are known to threaten to overthrow them if the extreme right is not given its political way). I complained to the writer and to the Star editors, to no avail.
From “The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond,” the following:
“A new film examining the arson attack by right-wing extremists on the Trade Union House in central Odessa, Ukraine on May 2, 2014 has been released in Germany. ‘Wildfire: The Oddessa atrocities of May 2, 2014‘ is subtitled in English. The 45 minute film is produced by leftvision.de and Ulrich Heyden and Marco Benson.
“On May 2, 2014, more than 40 anti-fascist protesters were murdered by right-wing extremists during an arson attack on the Trade Union House in the center of the city of Odessa. Many were killed after they had escaped from the burning building. The protesters had taken refuge in the building after their protest camp came under attack by gangs of vigilante extremists. Many of the vigilantes had come into the city that weekend expressly to assert the authority of the new government of neo-conservatives and extreme, right-wing nationalists that came into power in Kyiv two months earlier on the crest of the violent, ‘Euromaidan’ street riots.”
Here’s the documentary:
Robert Parry wrote, on April 17, 2015, an article titled “How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust,” which can be found at Consortium News. Here’s an excerpt:
The U.S.-backed Ukrainian government came up with a curious way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust being brought to an end. The parliament in Kiev voted to extend official recognition to Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews.
Though Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. media continue to dutifully ignore the key role played by neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s February 2014 coup and in the post-coup regime’s subsequent military offensives against ethnic Russians in the east, Ukrainian politicians can’t stop their arms from snapping into Heil Hitler salutes like the fictional character Dr. Strangelove. They can’t hold back this reflex even as the world stopped this week to recall the Nazi barbarity that claimed the lives of some six million Jews as well as other minorities…
Over the past several months, there have been about ten mysterious deaths of opposition figures – some that the government claimed to be suicides while others were clearly murders. It now appears that pro-government “death squads” are operating with impunity in Kiev…
These deaths are mostly ignored by the mainstream U.S. news media – or are mentioned only in briefs with the victims dismissed as “pro-Russian.” After all, these “death squad” activities, which have also been occurring in government-controlled sections of eastern Ukraine, conflict with the preferred State Department narrative of the Kiev regime busy implementing “democratic reforms.”
But many of those “democratic reforms” amount to slashing old-age pensions, removing worker protections, and hiking the price of heating fuel – as demanded by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $17.5 billion bailout for Ukraine’s collapsing financial structure.
Similarly, the decision by the Ukrainian parliament to bend to the demands of neo-Nazi and other ultra-right groups to honor Ukraine’s World War II fascists is also downplayed or ignored by the major U.S. media.
From Lysiane Gagnon’s La Presse article, via The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond (where we find it translated from French), titled “The Ukraine Obsession Of The Canadian Government,” the following:
What, exactly, is Canada doing in the heart of Europe, in a conflict where it has no national interest – a conflict, if matters are handled in a cavalier manner, could engulf the Old Continent? Human folly, alas, has no limit…
The presence of 200 Canadian soldiers more than one thousand kilometers from the combat zone will not change much militarily. Already, 800 Americans and 75 Britons are on the ground. But it will be seen by Moscow as another provocation, following NATO’s moving of missile bases eastward to the Baltic states, two steps from the Russian border, and the European Union’s acceptance of an economic partnership with a Ukraine which has always been in the orbit of Russia.
In was in response to these provocations that Vladimir Putin decided to recover the territory of Crimea. It had belonged to Russia until 1954 when Nikita Khrushchev, in a day of great drinking, it is said, ceded Crimea while maintaining Russian military bases there…
Former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird started the ball rolling in December 2013 when he participated, against all diplomatic rules, in a hostile demonstration against the Russian-leaning government of the day in Kiev.
At the G20 summit meeting last November, true to the frank and brutal approach that characterizes his relations with foreign countries, Mr. Harper speared President Putin with the tone of a small, school yard bully, saying “Get out of Ukraine!”…
Some Canadian officials abroad have even been counseled by Ottawa to leave any meeting attended by a representative of Russia!…
The electoral soliciting began with this absurd project of constructing a monument to “victims of communism” in the heart of the federal capital, steps away from the Supreme Court.
Certainly, communism created countless victims, in Europe, China or Vietnam. But why a monument here and now, at a time when communists everywhere are on the road to extinction? Perhaps the petty aim here is that this big building will crush in its massive shadow the delicate edifice of the Supreme Court, the number one enemy of the Harper government? But of course, the primary aim is to accommodate an electorate eager to do battle with Russia.
Two things. Lysiane asks why Harper is in Ukraine right now. She tosses out quite a few dots and, while she doesn’t explicitly connect them, she does manage nicely to allow the informed reader to do so. She also mentions the absurd monument to victims of communism that Harper had built close to the Supreme Court. She suggests that it might serve to crush that “delicate edifice” in its massive shadow. Certainly the Supreme Court has tripped up Harper a number of times.
Michael Klare, probably does the best job of connecting a lot of the dots presented in Lysiane’s piece, connecting them to other dots as well. His article titled “A Republican Neo-Imperial Vision For 2016” goes a long way toward helping us to make sense of, among other things, Stephen Harper’s actions in regard to Ukraine. Stephen Harper worships the powerful and seeks to be powerful. That’s what he lives for. Robert Parry’s article titled “The Whys Behind The Ukraine Crisis” complements Klare’s piece nicely, but misses a few items, such as this piece, by Christina Sarich, about Monsanto’s interest in the ‘bread basket’ of Europe: “What They’re Not Telling You About Monsanto’s Role In Ukraine.” Michael Hudson’s “Ukraine Denouement” also complements Klare’s article. (Hudson’s main point, in a nutshell, has to do with the way the powerful become powerful in this world, which is something I talk about all the time. The powerful become powerful by breaking rules. Michael, who knows economics, asks whether the IMF will, under pressure from the US, try to stiff Russia? Why wouldn’t it? When it looks like it might lose, with everyone playing by the rules, the US just abandons the game/rules.)
The problem I have with some of these investigative journalists, however, is that they get caught up in meaningless details and the narrative of the establishment that sees the Democrats as being capable of doing less damage than the Republicans. (I don’t at all mean to imply that expertise that they possess results in our being inundated with meaningless details. I wish had their education. I can’t add two plus two and it trips me up often.) It makes no sense. They both take their marching orders from corporations, even if we don’t always see it happening directly. (Linda McQuaig’s book, “Its The Crude, Dude,” looks at how Big Oil wanted war with Iraq and, apparently, huddled with Dick Cheney before the attack on Iraq in 2003, in order to plan it all out! See pages 84-86. Of course, What is ALEC? CEO’s get together with rightwing governors and decide how best to push rightwing legistlation onto the rest of the US. And ALEC has a lot of imitators out there.)
What’s happening isn’t even in the least bit mysterious. Or noble. Or decent. Or godly. We the people (some of whom have been ruined spiritually and mentally by political and other leaders who don’t care about people) are being made to pay, dearly, for elites and their political tools to play. Fracking, which is adding to pollution and hurting people’s health and ruining fresh water sources everywhere throughout the States, is part of the maneuvers of the US in their bid for dominance – which they euphemistically call ‘leadership’ – of the global capitalist system. The incredibly destructive, and economically damaging Tar Sands are also a part of the maneuvers by uncle Sam and the Canadian government. The fact that the biggest players in the great game of ‘oil/riches for the strongest’ are striving to see who can dominate and continue the very practices that are going to destroy the liveable earth means that these players are unsupportable. Following these blind guides isn’t beneficial. It’s suicidal, spiritually and literally. The game that those losers are playing is ‘riches for the strongest’.
Klare describes a two-pronged approach, to winning, by the US ruling class. (And no great power ruling class is righteous in this destructive, insane game.) One: Ramp up Cold War II. Two: Create a North American energy bloc, or energy superpower as leverage and as a way to forestall leverage by other players. The US created the capitalist, fossil-fueled world post World War II, but there’s no reason why ‘it’ should dominate it. But it just happens to. And it wants to continue to do so. And that’s all that’s happening here.
In regard to Ukraine specifically, Putin has acted relatively reasonably. He truly does have the high moral ground here, which doesn’t make him a good guy. There’s always been the fear, by US planners, that they might lose control of the capitalist order to some other rising bloc, like the Eurasian bloc, which would (naturally) include Europe and Russia and maybe others. The task for the US, then, is to somehow make that seem evil to the American people (who are being soaked so that their ‘leaders’ can play this game) and its allies. That’s where ‘evil communism’ comes in. And that’s where the more difficult rehabilitation of Nazism comes in. Afterall, Nazis fought the communists. (People don’t think Nazism is good, but then they don’t think about what it is exactly. They only remember Hitler and equate him with evil. Hitler = Nazis = evil. But the West never had a problem with Hitler, Nazism or fascism. Those were preferred ideologies of the West in fact. But those ideologies sort of became casualties in the war which was forced on the allies when Hitler turned his attention to them. The Right itself continues to refer to some of its enemies as Hitlers and certainly joins with others in condemning the Holocaust. So this rehabilitation isn’t going smoothly. Then again, That depends on where you are. In places like Ukraine, it’s going better, although still not smoothly. See “Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Demand Respect” and “How Ukraine Commemorates The Holocaust” by Robert Parry.) Thinking people might ask, “But if democracy means choice, then what’s wrong with people wanting communism?” Exactly.
Imperfect humans are not going to create perfect social/economic systems, but, according to the concept of democracy that most people embrace – until it gets twisted by manipulative elites and their media and other tools – people should be able to decide freely what their politics will look like and what form their social/ economic system will take. Getting what it wants, by force, which is uncle Sam’s way, will always be how it does democracy and global policing, because the military industrial complex profits from war. So there’s that as well.
Uncle Sam’s neoliberal capitalism will never be what sound people desire. Who wants dog-eat-dog when they can have peace and security and prosperity for all? And that explains why the state is so brutal with the people. The people won’t willingly accept what the state, and its business partners, want to give it. Chomsky notes that US planners frankly acknowledged that fact, but not publicly. That was the problem that the US ruling class had with, and has with, communism. (Stalin didn’t do communism any favors of course.) Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” thoroughly makes the case that capitalism only triumphed by being backed by force. “Communism may have collapsed without the firing of a single shot, but Chicago-style capitalism, it turned out, required a great deal of gunfire to defend itself: [Boris] Yeltsin called in five thousand soldiers, dozens of tanks and armoured personnel carriers, helicopters and elite shock troops armed with automatic machine guns – all to defend Russia’s new capitalist economy from the grave threat of democracy.” -pg 275
Some of the people who Stephen Harper doesn’t think should be in jail would include various Nazi players in the coup in Ukraine, below. Much information about all of these players can be gained from Consortium News and The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond. Michel Chossudovsky has a straight forward report on the US-backed coup in Ukraine and it carries some decent pics to go along with it. See his article titled “The US Has Installed A Neo Nazi Government In Ukraine”