Sunday, April 27, 2008

April is the busiest month ...

Well, actually, I don't know about that. Read something at straightgoods.ca:

The Conservatives' three budgets have left Ottawa financially incapable of offering any new national social program like affordable housing, higher education or day care. Although overall spending went up, mostly on the military, measures were taken to deplete revenues to the point future governments' hands will be tied unless they raise taxes or run deficits, both prescriptions for political suicide.

I don't know about that "political suicide" thing. If I was King of Canada, I'd raise taxes on people and things that would never vote leftist ever, ... and I'd spend the money on services for the majority, ... and I'd lavish funds on those groups (artists, First Nations, the environment, universities) that could be loyal constituencies. And I'd let the wealthy and the corporations whine and gnash their teeth for four years, until the next election, at which point, all the people who received concrete benefits from the government would be more easily mobilized.

Y'see, the right-wing has learned that if they ignore our protests, our scathing letters to the editor, our think-tanks' critiques, our internet sites, that there are no ill consequences for their legislating against our interests.

Well, it's the same thing for their television and newspaper allies, their corporate speeches, and the blowhards on the radio and in the locker-rooms and bars and their blog aggregates of insanity and stupidity. Fuck 'em. Let 'em bitch to high-heaven. At the end of the day, they're
inconsequential.

Whose side are you on? They're not on our side. Their lies don't matter. Shut 'em out and get on with it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Those stains should be gone in about six months ...

... (no promises).

That's my little joke about the pie-ing of racist, mindless blowhard, sooper superfluous asshole Thomas Friedman:




Given the mindlessness and destructiveness of his work thus far, this incident prompts me to think that Friedman's due for a career change. He should be one of those guys who gets pies thrown at him for a living at the carnival.

h/t

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Moral Minority

A few Canadians think Canada should "take the gloves off" when it comes to "fightin' terrorism." The ter'rists have no respect for the dignity and beauty of every individual life, and therefore we should disembowel them with chainsaws or something, until they learn to renounce hate.

These Canadians are known as the "Blogging Tories."

Most other Canadians don't appear to be too concerned about Canada's complicity in torture, or imperialism, or genocide. Not enough to write a letter of protest. Or boycott a product. Or rouse themselves to learn more about it after "Deal or No Deal" is over.

A few Canadians protest about injustice and torture. In the last few decades of the 20th century they really became influential. Something happened that made political elites believe that they represented the broad mass of Canadains.

Now it appears that the elites are acting as if they know that human-rights activists are a tiny minority, and that there's no political repercussions for pissing them off.

Alas, alack. T'would appear that they're right.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ahem,

It's just that kind of day.

First, Canadian Cynic brings our attention to TBogg's musings about the opinions of a US-American woman's political dilemma (she's "wishy-washy" as to whether her country should start leaving Iraq immediately, or stay forever):

Sharm herself is equivocal about Obama and McCain, and she said she is "halfway between" their opposing views on Iraq -- with Obama urging an immediate start on a pullout and McCain saying the United States should remain there in force until Iraq is stable.
To which TBogg responds:

If the terrorists are smart, they will give up on trying to attack us and just sit back and wait, because eventually our entire country is going to be so stupid that people will start sticking their tongues in wall sockets just to see what electricity tastes like.
Then, on CommonDreams.Org, the always good Robert Scheer writes:
Are Americans unusually stupid or is it something our president put in the water? ?
He's referring to the fact that many US-American voters are willing to let the ignoramus/asshole/bush II embracer John McCain be their candidate for president. Scheer continues:

As millions surrender their homes and sacrifice other standards of our nation’s economic and political reputation to the caprice of the Bush-Cheney imperium, a majority of voters tell pollsters that they might vote for a candidate who promises more of the same.

Assuming that likely voters are not now thinking of yet another Republican president simply because John McCain is the only white guy left standing — an excuse as pathetic in its logic as the decision four years ago to return two Texas oil hustlers to the White House because they were not Massachusetts liberals — must mean that tens of millions of Americans have taken leave of their senses.


It's the putrid results of a debased political system. A debased political culture. Neoliberalism doesn't work for the majority of people. It is designed to benefit wealthy elites. The "neoconservatism" represented by Thatcherism, Reaganism, etc., ... (not the "neo-cons" of US foreign policy) wed neoliberalism to social conservatism. This allows them to appeal to that solid core of the electorate who are more concerned about other people's homosexuality and their own latent homosexuality or bisexuality, ... people more wrapped-up in their own racism and religious delusion to know when they're being had.

Recently, in my comments section, I typed a list of foreign policy successes of the "loony left" that I think bears repeating here, not because I'm saying anything so dazzlingly smart, but because it's a concise presentation of how correct we've been in comparison to how mind-numblingly wrong the right-wing has been:

Let's remember; some people thought that the US was going to go into Iraq, find the WMDs and bring democracy and Western values to that country.

People like me thought that was moronic at the time, and we've been proven right in spades.

Some people thought that we'd go into Afghanistan, bring Osama bin Laden to justice, smash the Taliban-terrorist network and bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan.

People like me thought that wasn't going to happen. Here it is, over 5 years later, and we're still there, killing more people than our enemies, propping-up an increasingly unpopular government.

Some people believed (when they thought about it at all) that Canada, the USA, and France were ridding Haiti of an incompetent, corrupt, dictator, and that we'd bring democracy and development to that poor country.

People like me thought that was all a crock of shit, and now, 5 years later, the UN, Haitian security forces and paramilitaries are killing at will, and crushing the political movement that represents the majority of the people, and the people themselves have been reduced in too many instances, to actually eating dirt.


US-Americans aren't more stupid than anyone else. Their political culture is, because mindless, delusional, consumer-capitalism is completely in control of it. In Canada, Canadian Cynic (and his team-mates LuLu and Pretty Shaved Ape) perform heroic feats daily, exposing the utter mindlessness of the Canadian right-wing. Just like in the USA, the "blogging-tories" are the dregs of a political movement that comprises the bottom-third of the country's mental capacity, just like "pajamas media" represents the 30 percent of US-Americans who are so mentally challenged as to have loyally supported bush II even into his second term. (A number that's down to 25 percent these days.)

None of this nonsense will change until we change the system. Idiotic, corrupt capitalist serving politicians like Stephen Harper, and garbage capitalist media journalism that deceives and blinds the public, neither of these will go away until the capitalist system is removed. Asking for a kinder, gentler, smarter capitalism is a fool's errand. Focus on the possibilities of changing the game altogether.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interview With "Radio Free Afghanistan" Broadcaster

From straightgoods.ca, a very interesting interview.

The long and the short of it is that according to Jan Alekozai, the people who he's spoken to are quite upset with the warlords' US-backed power in the new Afghanistan. They are corrupt, incompetent, and (with their private militias) ruthless and dangerous. Karzai and his security forces are not trusted. Western aid is misappropriated. Alekozai says that no Afghans that he's spoken with hate the Western forces because they're "foreigners occupying their country." Apparently they accept that they're there for protection. Afghans also welcome the development efforts of the West. (The projects they see completed, as opposed to the money skimmed off by the warlords.)

Personally, I'd hazard a guess that in those areas of the country where NATO bombs have devastated entire villages and ISAF and US forces have shot at farmers resisting the Karzai government, the acceptance of foreign troops is markedly less. Still, it's important to remain sensitive to the realities of local conditions everywhere.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Good Bit of Wrasslin' with the Issue of Aristide

This book review from Znet appears to me to be the best attempt to put the alleged failures of twice-deposed Haitian president Jean-Betrand Aristide into context.

Alex Dupuy is an experienced and highly regarded scholar who has already written two other substantial books on modern Haitian politics. He has a sophisticated grasp of the workings of the
‘new world order’, of transnational capitalism and of contemporary forms of political and economic domination. Readers familiar with the recent work of analysts like David Harvey, Immanuel Wallerstein or William Robinson will find themselves right at home. His latest book is sure to appeal to people who are instinctively critical both of US imperialism and of the apparent degeneration of Aristide and the Lavalas movement that he led.


...

What may be more controversial is Dupuy’s insistence that the primary responsibility for the end of democratic rule in 2004 nevertheless lies with President Aristide and members of his Fanmi Lavalas party. Like a good many other analysts who considered themselves sympathetic to the embryonic phase of the Lavalas project, Dupuy claims that whereas Aristide’s first administration was marked by a mix of authoritarian and democratic tendencies, his second administration was simply authoritarian through and through. ‘Aristide’s second term of office’, he writes, was ‘disastrous on all fronts -- political, economic, and social.’

...

Dupuy mounts three main accusations against the twice-deposed president. First, he claims that Aristide contributed to the first coup, in 1991, by failing to do enough to placate his enemies within the Haitian economic and political elite. Second, he claims that by the time Aristide was re-elected in 2000 (if not by the time he returned to Haiti in 1994) he had abandoned his original principles and had become just another ‘all-too-ordinary and traditional president, who like all the others who came before him, was using state power for his and his allies’ personal gains’ (170). Third, as his corrupt administration began to encounter understandably agitated forms of political opposition, Dupuy claims that Aristide decided to arm gangs of his most impoverished and desperatesupporters (the infamous ‘chim├Ęs’) to intimidate his opponents.

...

I’ll go through these three accusations in turn, paying particular attention to the first and the third.


Read the whole thing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vapid, Useless Air-heads and Death Squads

What a bizarre title, 'eh? (Although cryptic post-titles appear to be a compulsion with me.)

But I've written about death squads before. They're seen as a necessity by the elites if they're going to perpetuate their systems of domination and exploitation. And they put the lie to claims that we're concerned about "development" and "democratization."

Death squads inflict terror and horror on civilian populations, in order to dissuade them from demanding social justice and genuine democracy. They are designed to keep people subservient to systems of mal-development, social inequality and political oligarchy. They are designed to perpetuate a system whereby the wealth of "Less Developed Countries" is priced low for the benefit of the "Developed Countries" and to protect the fortunes of those few compradors who benefit by their relationship with the "Developed Countries" selling them coffee or mining rights or cocoa , or whatever, and who dominate their countries political systems to help the "Developed Countries" to keep them in a pattern of raw materials provision and mal-development.

Here's an example of how death squads work:

On March 7, 1980, two weeks before the assassination, a state of siege had been instituted in El Salvador, and the war against the population began in force (with continued US support and involvement). The first major attack was a big massacre at the Rio Sumpul, a coordinated military operation of the Honduran and Salvadoran armies in which at least 600 people were butchered. Infants were cut to pieces with machetes, and women were tortured and drowned. Pieces of bodies were found in the river for days afterwards. There were church observers, so the information came out immediately, but the mainstream US media didn't think it was worth reporting.

Peasants were the main victims of this war, along with labor organizers, students, priests or anyone suspected of working for the interests of the people. In Carter's last year, 1980, the death toll reached about 10,000, rising to about 13,000 for 1981 as the Reaganites took command.

In October 1980, the new archbishop condemned the "war of extermination and genocide against a defenseless civilian population" waged by the security forces. Two months later they were hailed for their "valiant service alongside the people against subversion" by the favorite US "moderate," Jose Napoleon Duarte, as he was appointed civilian president of the junta.

Okay, ... you can all look for more stuff on your own. ALL of you. This shit is still going on in Colombia, Iraq, and other places.

So, what about the vapid airhead? Well, a while ago, when I wrote about a racist moron's book, a number of that idiot's fan-boys came and condemned me for not knowing what I was talking about.

One of them, a "Mark" fellow, didn't really have anything to add to the discussion other than to note that I said that I didn't have the time to discuss all the points being raised but that I was able to type out several thousand words in my replies. Which was true, I didn't have the time, but I was being polite to the several people who showed up. Besides that, "Mark" (I suppose) tried to argue that the Republican Party of the United States is controlled by its base, among whom, John McCain is a popular candidate.

However, in a later post I wrote the following:

But if we're going to talk about the working class, in this era of globalization that means everyone. From the displaced manufacturing workers of the North, to the underpaid miners of Russia, to the sweatshop workers of Asia, to the oppressed plantation workers of Central America, to the displaced peasants of Mexico, to the exploited miners of Africa.

Every instance where the capitalist system uses its wealth and power to keep commodity prices low, via death squads and corrupt governments and invasions of oil-producing nations, ... all this has to be factored into the "success story" that is globalization.


To which "Mark" in an air-headed attempt at humour replied:

Speaking as one member of the oppressed Canadian Proletariat to another, those death squads in the motherland (I live abroad now) are quite ruthless, eh?

Now, here's the thing. Obviously I never wrote that death squads are operating in Canada. But I don't think "Mark" believed that either. The most charitable interpretation I can give this is that is that "Mark" thought I was indulging in over-the-top leftist rhetoric which he thought he'd puncture. However, it remains a fact that death squads are real. Their atrocities are documented. They were ubiquitous in the US fiefdoms of Latin America, and are a constant presence wherever US interests are threatened by organized and armed opposition. Sometimes they're employed in areas where the opposition isn't armed. And even when the opposition is armed, the death squads usually do their gruesome work on unarmed civilians. And in those places where the opposition is armed, it is usually do to the historically established fact that the US and its puppet-state governments employ violence against any forms of organized opposition.

Meanwhile, "Mark" and other dimwitted denizens of the "developed" countries continue to bitch about their taxes, listen to corporate news propaganda and/or right-wing radio, follow their favourite teams, and vote for the mainstream political parties that sell them and pretty much everyone else down the river. All the while living in blissful ignorance, and putrid, cowardly delusion, about the nature of the system they support.

The existence of death squads, ... the persistent endurance of death squads, says something about a political system. It says that it is inhuman. It says that it is fundamentally undemocratic at its roots. The endurance of death squads has discredited this entire experiment in capitalist "democracy" and the denial of air-heads such as this "Mark" character do nothing to change this. Their denial does help to perpetuate it though.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Reason to Hate that "Two-Tier" Bullshit

On EnMasse, "granny" brought our attention to a demand by some native activists to get the federal government to do a thorough accounting of the aboriginal children who died of tuberculosis at the residential schools.

Apparently (and I didn't know this) some children were just described as "missing" to their families, and were instead dumped into mass graves.

While contributing to that thread, I came across sites dedicated to the forced sterilization of aboriginals during Alberta's eugenics madness. Aboriginals were also sterilized in British Columbia.

You know, when I defend First Nations activists, or when I try to put their actions in context, and I'm forced to deal with stupid fuckwads (who've exhausted themselves parting Gary McHale's considerable ass-flaps in order to plant a wet one on his hairy, brown, filthy asshole) who mouth this self-interested whining about "two-tier justice," I usually argue by pointing to decades, if not a century of government fraud and obstructionism on land claims, and by pointing out the over-policing, unequal sentencing, and harsher treatment that aboriginals suffer in Canada.

But this stuff about MASS GRAVES OF NATIVE CHILDREN and forced sterilizations; ... the hypocrisy of imbeciles like McHale and his doofus acolytes has just gotten ten-times more nauseating.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Afghanistan: What Should Have Been Done?

I was looking at the ISAF's (pdf) 2007 progress report, and I started reading a little bit of it. The usual bland euphemisms about "remaining challenges," and how Afghanistan realistically requires a "long term committment" and then it followed up with some factoids about roads and schools being built, also, that the hostile provinces only contained 6% of the country's population (something I remember always being said to dismiss the violence in Iraq).

Some of the statistics about redevelopment don't jibe with the sorts of left-wing propaganda that I tend to read (because it's usually vastly more accurate and dependable) and given the fact that this was NATO-ISAF propaganda ("our report is not objective/we have taken sides/we have taken the side of the Afghan people") I thought it best to see if there were any reviews of this progress report.

I didn't find anything very quickly, but I found this article: "NATO chief urges overhaul of Afghanistan effort," which isn't really all that interesting, but what the hell.

It was at that point that I thought that I wish I could be paid to do this digging and take the time to wade through pro-Western propaganda and genuinely evaluate the claims, and come to a "fair and balanced" conclusion on what we're doing in Afghanistan in terms of actual redevelopment (right now, I'm pretty sure that it's insufficient or even counterproductive) and foreign policy (at the moment I'm convinced that it's cycnial imperialism and political posturing).

It also occured to me that we on the left tend to say that the Western powers should just leave Afghanistan and let them sort out their own problems. At the same time we condemn the United States for having done just that after the Soviet Union left the country, allowing the country to descend into bloody chaos that was only arrested with the rise of the Taliban. Of course, the United States had enabled a bloody civil war between the Mujaheddin [sp?] and the pro-Moscow clique in Kabul. It was the fundamentalist warlords, ethnic warlords, gangster warlords, armed by the United States and financed and trained by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan who turned the country into a charnel house after the Soviet exit.

So then, I thought of a "what if." What if the pro-Moscow coup in Kabul during the late-1970s had been allowed to stand. I honestly forget the title of the book a prof loaned me in grad school about US Cold War policy, but it stated that Afghanistan had long been a Russian client (since the mid-19th century) because Russia had been the least pressing imperialist between Russia and Great Britain during their "Great Game" in Central Asia during that time. When Russia became the Soviet Union, Afghanistan adapted some vestiges of Soviet political and economic policies to adapt to the changing nature of its now-super power neighbour and ostensible protector. As the Soviet Union became visibly stagnant during the 1970s (far more so than the extent of the USA's relative decline in the face of Vietnam, Soviet nuclear parity, OPEC and the economic recoveries of Europe and Japan), the leadership in Kabul decided to attempt a switch in allegiance from the USSR to the USA. This didn't sit well with pro-Moscow officials in Kabul. Their experience and expertise in managing the Soviet allegiance was to be dismissed in favour of new mandarins more familiar with the new hoped-for protector.

According to that book, this was the source of the palace coup in Kabul, the installation of a pro-Soviet regime, the Carter administration's funding of fundamentalist opposition to this, and the eventual bloody failure of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (If we're going to call the Soviet action and "invasion," consistency demands the same thing for the United States in Vietnam. Both powers were "invited" in by their respective puppets.)

So, at the end of this silly post, I ask this: What if we'd simply left Afghanistan alone in the late-1970s? What if this palace coup had been treated as the internal affair which it was, and allowed Afghanistan to deal with it in their own way?

Would a clearly pro-Soviet regime in Kabul have really arrested the material decline of the moribund Soviet political-economy? Would the Soviet Union's closer proximity to the Indian Ocean coastline have really altered the international balance-of-power? Would a brutal, pro-Soviet dictatorship have been any worse than the civil war, warlord gangsterism, and Taliban lunacy, and NATO occupation that instead occurred?

What would have happened?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Belated Reply to "Mithrandir"

I wish that I had the time to engage in the extended debates that I'd hoped would come out of having this little blog. I don't really like raising an issue and then having to tell somebody who makes an attempt to tell me that I'm a big poopy-head who hates America, or Canada, or the Jews, or "the troops" [tm.], that I don't have the time to pursue it with them.

On the other hand, I'm glad that as the Supreme Lord God of my own little blog (until blogger/google mega-corp pulls the plug on me that is) I can also ban people who only want to lie repeatedly, or spew racist nonsense, or repeat the same thing over and over, ignoring all my statements that challenge them.

A commenter from a bit of a way's back here, "Mithrandir" (some sort of geeky Tolkien fan I guess) responded with a fair bit of eloquence to my post "Gary McHale gets bruised" wherein I called McHale a hypocrite and a racist, while being pointedly un-outraged that he got roughed-up at one of his stupid Caledonia rallies.

I also said: "Cue the closeted racists to appear and start denouncing First Nations violence, roused from their blissful sleep, where they were not dreaming about over one-hundred years of broken treaties and "two-tier justice" against the First Nations."

And, sure enough, they came. Some of them even came to the schoolyard! But Mithry first seemed a little serious and earnest, stating that McHale was being falsely accused of assault (something that I wasn't prepared to dispute, indeed, I hadn't mentioned that he was being charged, let alone cheered that fact) and that my characterization of him as a "racist" was unfair because McHale never says anything about the natural inferiority of First Nations people. McHale is simply opposed to "two-tier justice." (The Rule of Law is a sacred principle. When it is compromised, civilization itself is endangered.

Regarding the absence of explicit racial theories in McHale's yammerings, I'll admit, from what I've read, there doesn't appear to be anything. But in this post-Nazi eugenics day and age, it's rare (relatively) that somebody actually states claims about genetic superiority/inferiority out loud, especially if you're trying to get a sympathetic reception from the mainstream.

But the narrow definition of "racist," where you believe in genuine human "races," and you believe that some breeds of human are superior to other breeds of human isn't necessarily what I was saying. You can be "racist" if you think that a people, or a culture, are inferior as a civilization, or as a culture, especially if you can identify these people you've lumped into this inferior category through their shared physical attributes.

On top of this, I was perfectly prepared to concede the use of the term "racist" for McHale, if only his defenders would accept the use of the term "bigot" or "complete fucking moron." No dice. McHale is neither a bigot or a moron in their eyes, but, once again, the champion of the sacred principle of THE RULE OF LAW. He is, therefore, a hero.

Which of course, is complete garbage. McHale is a hypocrite, plain and simple. If you're going to puff yourself up and put yourself up on a soap-box and bloviate on some topic, it's best if you be consistent. And neither McHale, nor this "Mithrandir" character seemed aware of, or concerned about, the persistent violation of the sacred RULE OF LAW when it came to the abuses against the First Nations.

And that was something that "Mithrandir" was never able to grasp. If it's so damned sacred, then where was McHale, where IS McHale on the excessive application of the coercive aspects of the law that are routinely applied to the First Nations? McHale has said nothing about this. Just like the OPP and the provincial government, McHale is being selective in his concern for the rule of law. Only on the Douglas Estates in Caledonia, and ONLY at this Native occupation, is McHale prepared to demonstrate on the rule of law. Not for corporations getting away with illegal dumping. Not with the McGuinty government arresting FN elsewhere for protesting a mining project that violates their rights to consultation. Not with the Harper government's abuses of parliamentary traditions, but only in Caledonia, when FN people are taking a stand and where the authorities are reluctant to ignite a wider conflagration by moving against them, does McHale feel compelled to take a stand. Complete, utter hypocrisy, and his motivations seem particularly transparent.

At first though, as I said, I was prepared to give "Mithrandir" the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps he genuinely believed in McHale and had never considered these things before. So I debated with him. But it was quickly becoming obvious that "Mithrandir" was an idiot and was more concerned with getting out as many slurs against the First Nations as possible on my blog. Which was something that I was not going to allow. But before I could finish establishing this nauseating agenda as clearly as I'd have liked, I had to close it off and simply delete his comments, as life/work issues took precedence.

But here's the gist of it: "Mithrandir" took issue with my claims about uneven treatment of First Nations at the hands of the police, the courts, the prison system. When I gave him links to example of this, he blathered some Tom Flanagan-inspired nonsense about a culture of crime that I couldn't be bothered exploring with him:

A few years ago I hitch-hiked to a Tea Party concert. I was picked up by a truck driver. Nice fellow. He was native. He talked about how rough the reserves are and how people around him did nothing to take on their own responsibility to drag themselves out of it. But he said he left. He told me not to party on the reserves. He said it is fucked up in alot of those places. And he said that blaming it on everyone else is what keeps it going on.

It's not a racial thing. It's a segregationist culture thing. And no one says natives have to stay there.

Then he said that this evidence of mistreatment didn't have anything to do with McHale, because "two wrongs don't make a right." But of course, it has everything to do with McHale if McHale's whole shtick is about how the law must apply equally to everyone or else we do not have justice. If McHale is going to ignore utterly, the fact that many of these Native activists are angry at how their rights have been systematically ignored for over a century; how as a people they've been singled out for abuse for over a century; how the law has shown itself to have "two-tiers" with themselves on the lower tier, and if McHale will only stir himself when these people decide to ignore this corrupt system, then he is a blatant hypocrite, a moron, and most likely a bigot.

That was when "Mithrandir" farted out this little gem:

Now I don't know exactly what you mean by one hundred years of oppression. Have all native indivuduals been oppressed for a hundred years. I sincerely doubt that any of the Warriors and Six Nations protesters are one hundred years old.

At which point, I decided that "Mithrandir" was either too big a racist, or too big a moron, for me to bother with. I'm making this post though, because I didn't have the time to explain to Mithrandir why I was shutting him down. And that's kind of been gnawing at me. Because I generally only refuse to post ad hominems and stupid attempts to goad me. But "Mithrandir" was veering quite close to making my blog a forum for his racist hypocrisy and double-standards and I was more prepared to appear censorious than to permit that.

If, as a people, the First Nations have received the lower tier of "two tier justice" for over a century, and as a people, they've been robbed, abused, and oppressed, then individuals of this group of people, have every right to feel aggrieved, as a people. Abuses of 100 years ago against their people, will not fail to resonate with them today, as members of the same group of people.

Besides trying to appear as a naif imbecile, "Mithrandir's" other debating tactic was to continue repeating that he was winning the debate. I found that amusing, but I gotta also mention this:

People can't excuse everything with racism and bad treatment. You don't see Jewish people going around beating up people and saying "you know the holocaust and all".

Uh, sure Mithry, sure.

I don't think there's any reason to give such people more space to spew their nonsense.

[ETA: Why the fuck does "blogger" make "snot-green" the default colour when you change fonts???? Also, how many times are you supposed to choose the "jet-black" colour option at the top-right before the software figures out what you want???]

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cheney the Shit-Head Behind Latest Insanity in Iraq


As of this writing, it appears that the two-million people of Sadr City remain under siege and under bombardment from the "heroic" US service-men and women who bravely drop bombs on unarmed civilians from high up in the air.


That's an awesomely cute little person, isn't it? Not that only the cute deserve to live, but that toddler is as cute as my new little guy, ... same kinda big eyes and all. Made me think about what sort of existence my family would have if a complete moron, asshole, scumbag, criminal nut-bar like Dick ("other priorities") Cheney really needed to get control of my country's resources.

I'm mentioning Dick ("gutless hypocrite") Cheney, because t'would appear that in yet another one of the colossal blunders that is the story of his revolting existence, he was the guy who gave the green light to Iraqi PM Al Maliki's military assault on political rival Sadr's Medhi Army (and therefore, the necessary US air-power that would give him any hope of success).

Vice President Cheney's surprise March visit to Iraq was unsurprisingly followed by a unilateral assault waged by Prime Minister Maliki against the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. It was only this past February that al-Sadr extended the order for his Mahdi Army to observe a unilateral ceasefire for an additional six months.


Even if US air-power prevails, and Al Maliki "succeeds," it's all a complete waste of time and blood. Because some argue that Maliki is even more beholden to Iran than Sadr is. Maliki is less popular in the country than Sadr is, and any destruction of Sadr and his loyalists is not going to make people decide to switch their loyalties to Maliki. Which, again, wouldn't help even the cold-blooded greedy goals of the "realists" in charge of US foreign policy, because Maliki is an Iranian supporter himself. Because, once again, at the end of the day, Cheney is just a complete idiot who managed to get himself inserted into the vast apparatus of power that is the US government.

And so a lot of blood is going to be spilled, adding to the river of blood that Cheney is bathing in, and nothing of any value whatsoever will come out of it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Eating Dirt in Haiti: Canada is Making a Difference!

I went to the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti website, mentioned in yesterday's post, and found links to this story:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

Yes, Canadians can be proud of the achievements of Haiti after we helped them get rid of their selfish dictator, Aristide. After years of occupation and "assistance" Haitians are reduced to eating dirt. We can also thank Canada's media systems for keeping a close eye on this important Canadian initiative, relentlessly following the impact our tax dollars are having in the country where we deposed one government to provide them with a better one.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Haiti in Context

From the new, improved Zcommunications.org:

"Globalization and Terror: Murder Inc. and Haiti"

Documents the recent crimes of the "developed" countries in Haiti and their significance.

Corporate media silence on the post coup massacres in Haiti is in stark contrast to mainstream media coverage of government repression of the 2007 uprising in Burma or of the post-election inter-communal violence in Kenya. One is entitled to assume that since most of the victims of Haiti's violence seem to have been impoverished supporters of President Aristide, their suffering was and is unimportant as far as the Western Bloc propaganda media are concerned. At the time of the coup only a handful of journalists like Kevin Pina and Jean Ristil were faithfully reporting matters at grass roots - their reports were ignored by the major corporate media.

...

Just as in ... former conflicts, the [developed countries] openly fund non-governmental organizations opposed to target governments under the guise of "strengthening democracy and human rights". At the same time they covertly organize paramilitary organizations and murder campaigns. Having deliberately provoked conflict and instability, they then accuse the target government of being incapable of meeting its people's needs. Then it is time for "regime change" via whatever puppet quisling opportunists they can muster, imposed by some cynically engineered "coalition of the willing" with or without a UN Murder Inc. permit.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The bush II Regime Was Never in Control

Just time for a quick post today. I intend to combine some of this analysis with a response to the intellectually bankrupt "conservatives" (or whatever) who visited my site about a week ago.


Since it began, I've wondered whether or not the continual stream of disasters out of bush II's Iraq has been either the result of a) sheer incompetence and collosal stupidity, or b) a cynical, callous desire to keep a nation of 25 million people off-balance and divided to more easily further Cheney's control of their oil.


Obviously, and as I've said numerous times in the past, george w. bush is a sputtering idiot. [the phrase "a stumbling, demented child king" seems apropos!] Furthermore, Rumsfeld and Cheney are both no-talent losers (Rumsfeld genuinely believed that the 1970s Soviet Union had moved far ahead of the United States in military might, and as bush II's secretary of war he stupidly imagined that Iraq could be pacified by the same number of troops it would take to topple Iraq's dictatorship. Cheney's biggest claim to fame is his failure to do due diligence when as C.E.O. of Haliburton he bought Dresser Industries when it was already the target of ongoing asbestos-related lawsuits. As a result of Dick "free markets" Cheney, Haliburton stock plunged by 70 percent and was only saved by Cheney's recourse to his old stand-by of blatant pulling of government strings to get bailed-out.) The less said about the brain-dead John Ashcroft, Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales, the better.

The point is, they're all morons. But I always wondered if there was some sort of deliberate calculation in Iraq, something within Cheney's talent for manipulating the sheer preponderance of power of the US political system, that was directed towards a consciously desired end.

When the Repugnicans took that severe drubbing in the 2006 Congressional elections, I started to lean towards thinking that they were simply incompetents. Bloody-fisted, smashing incompetents. That the situation in Iraq was out of their control. That they actually believed in Chalabi's lies, that Rumsfeld actually thought he could run the country with less than 200,000 troops and some brutal mercenaries. That the Occupation Authority and the bush II regime genuinely thought that you could simultaneously provide employment opportunities for college-aged airhead Repugnican Party supporters, super-corrupt contractors, AND develop a war-torn country and win hearts and minds.

To this day, I still believe that the US and the British actively worked to foment sectarian, ethnic and civil violence, but now I believe that their brains were so internally divided that they never imagined this would hurt the "Iraqi people" on the whole. (I've used scare quotes because it's obvious that for the bush II regime, the "Iraqi people" are this wholly inert lump of living matter that can supposedly passively acquiesce to whatever it is the US government does for them, and that this passivity counts for political loyalty, regardless of the politics.)

Nowadays I'm even more convinced that this disaster is really just the product of a bunch of useless shitheads. That's due to Iraqi Prime Minister/US puppet al-Maliki's attack on his Shiite political rival Moqtada al-Sadr. Evidently, there's going to be some fall elections and Maliki expects his party to get creamed by Sadr's party. So, rather than change policies or anything, Maliki decided to physically wipe-out his rival's power-base, the Mehdi Army militia based in Basra and across Shiite Iraq. A "conservative" commentor at this blog described this as all part of a rational, confident move on the part of Maliki and the Americans. Taking out a rival with Iranian loyalties, etc., etc. And I was momentarily alarmed that the US would successfully take-out an Iranian loyalist in Iraq, neutralizing any ability of Iran to retaliate for a bush II regime attack on them. In other words: the violence was a deliberate, calculated plan of the Americans, and their sheer power would allow them to succeed.

Unfortunately for Maliki and the bush II regime, the attack turned out to be a ghastly failure. A monumental failure. A failure of staggering proportions. Representing once and for all, that this nightmare, these one million dead, these million homeless, these millions maimed and wounded, this holocaust, has all been the result of greedy stupid disgusting people with far too much power and far too little brains.

My first source for describing the disaster was David Lindorff from CounterPunch:

The battle of Basra ended-at least for now--with Moqtada al-Sadr stronger than ever, his fighters still armed and in control of the city, and of their stronghold in the slums of Sadr City, Baghdad. It concluded with a cease-fire agreement-negotiated by Iraqi governmet offials who, embarrassingly, had to go hat in hand to meet al-Sadr in his headquarters in Iran--under which the Iraqi army and police must stop attacking al-Sadr's forces, as they have been doing for months, and must release members of his forces currently being held captive.

...

Had the US not plucked al-Maliki from his embattled fortress in Basra, he would not be being paraded through the streets of Basra with a plaque on his chest saying "American puppet" (that's if
he were lucky). Instead, he has survived to serve his American masters another day. (And let's give Maliki his due: at least he had the guts to go lead his troops. It's hard to picture Bush or Cheney directiing American forces from a bunker in Baghdad...or anywhere remotely unsafe.)



While I trust CounterPunch and David Lindorff, I thought that a debacle of that extent must surely have been reported elsewhere. I needed confirmation. I found it:

Yesterday, McCain outdid even himself. First, he expressed surprise that the al-Maliki government launched its offensive against the Shia militia in Basra, despite having been with al-Maliki the prior day. [n.b. the British had reduced their forces from 40,000 in the city to 4000 at the airport (a "de-surge"), leaving Basra under the control of competing Shia militias but relatively non-violent]. Now, there's a potential president we can depend upon to get good information -- can't wait, can you?

But, even more foreboding, McCain then asserted that al-Maliki had "won" the battle with al-Sadr. Why? Well, said McCain, the side that sues for a ceasefire is usually not winning. Yet, it was al-Maliki who asked the Iranian government to intercede with al-Sadr to ask al-Sadr for a ceasefire. As Keith Olbermann said, by McCain's own metric, al-Sadr was the winner. Or, as a President McCain is likely to tell us, "Mission Accomplished."


And today, what do we find? This AP report is moronically and crudely "even-handed" (in giving equal credence to the claims of Maliki and Sadr, when only a few days ago, Maliki had been vowing the annihilation of Sadr's forces and Sadr had been calling for peace), but the writing is on the wall, so to speak.

The graffiti on the walls speak of the defiance of al-Sadr's followers.

"No, no to occupation," says one.

"We will never be humiliated," reads another.

More recent graffiti reflects some of the nuances of Shiite politics.

"This is Badr headquarters," is a phrase inscribed on many of Sadr City's green trash bins. It refers to the Mahdi Army's archenemy, the Badr Brigade militia of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a Shiite party that competes with the Sadrists for influence.

Al-Maliki, who returned to Baghdad on Tuesday after a week in Basra running his ill-fated security
crackdown, is the subject of some of the more scathing graffiti.

"Down with al-Maliki," declares one. "Al-Maliki is treasonous," charges another.

So, to the bush II regime, and each and every shit-head who continue to support them, ... you have been so consistently, horribly wrong, for so long, to such an extent, that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that you say from here on in deserves to be listened to with even a modicum of civility. You can shut-up now and forever. And this has been said before, at greater length. But it's official with me. That's all. Like Paul Abrams says in his huffingtonpost article says:

[This] is the sad, tragic truth of this entire debacle. People who have no idea what they are talking about making policy. People with such a vested interest in proving their idiotic theories correct holding the reins of power. A media so pathetic that they carry the stories fed them by the White House and now an eager White House aspirant.


This is my blog. If anyone ever wonders why I'm predisposed to insults and derision and disregarding the claims of whatever calls itself "right-wing" or "conservative" or whatever stupid filth votes for bush II's party, or the bush II loving Conservative Party of Canada, this post is the reason. You can't be this tragically stupid, this dangerously deluded, on such a vast scale, and expect to be treated seriously on anything.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Iraq War Isn't Funny Anymore

It never really was actually. Goddammit, actually it's been a monstrosity, an abomination, a crime against humanity, from the very beginning. And it's been an ever-increasing nightmare for the people of Iraq for five years now.

So, it's getting a little tired to look at Jon Stewart's grinning face, and listen to his droll humour as he punctures yet another idiotic bush II regime talking point. (In this latest case, the contention that a drop in violence is a sign of "the surge's" success, and that any increase in violence is likewise an indicator of it's success.)

Yes, yes; we all know that the bush II regime are shameless liars and idiots. But it's long past the point where Americans should be laughing at this unelected travesty. This isn't the time for gallow's humour. The American people are not dead yet, and IF this bush II government is UNELECTED, and if it launched an ILLEGAL WAR based on LIES, and if this ILLEGAL WAR has KILLED ONE MILLION PEOPLE, then the American people (the seventy percent of them with at least half-a-brain anyway) must do what is necessary to make the consequences for this criminality suit the actions.

Otherwise, the idiot bush II and his crooked puppeters will get away free, laughing all the way to their bailed-out banks, after having shat over everything that the American people claim that they stand for.

In the future, I intend to spend more time trashing Canadian policy in Afghanistan, Haiti, and towards our own First Nations, but I was just moved by watching that "Daily Show" segment to type this.

I've long been annoyed with the stupid liberalism of "The Daily Show." Rather than being satirists with a conscience, attacking the depredations and stupidities of the ruling class, using their talents for humanity, "The Daily Show" has this moronic, mechanistic compulsion to "skewer both sides" in some sort of US liberal conception of "balance." So they mock the bush II regime, but they also mock peace protestors. Because, obviously, peace activists are at least as dangerous as the bush II regime and we mustn't relax our vigilance over them either.

Then of course, there's this clueless US liberalism that sees fit to slam Harry Belafonte for calling bush II the world's biggest terrorist. Obvious hyperbole to some wealthy New York City television star who has never been on the receiving end of "Shock and Awe."

To Jon Stewart, and "The Daily Show" staff, there's evidently no comparison between an unelected war-criminal with frightening ideas about the extent of his stolen executive powers, who has killed, maimed, and made homeless MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, and Osama bin Laden, who has killed, maimed and wounded perhaps 20,000 people. (Even if bin Laden has destroyed or damaged 500,000 lives, it's still ludicrous for it to be beyond "The Daily Show" to fail to see an equivalence between their mass-murdering "president" and Osama bin Laden. Somehow there's a qualititative difference between "terrorism" and "shock and awe.")