Saturday, June 30, 2012
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Shamir was an old Irgun and Lehi terrorist with lots of blood on his hands.
Among other terrorist acts, he authorized the assassination of the UN's representative in the region, Count Bernadotte.
It is odd that Israel, with many such leaders in its past, whines constantly about terrorists.
Given slightly different circumstances, Shamir would have been hung.
IRAN'S FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD REZA RAHMI MAKES SOME STUPID REMARKS ABOUT JEWS - BUT WORDS LIKE HIS ARE FAR LESS DANGEROUS THAN ACTS LIKE ISRAEL'S - AND CONSIDER THE PRESSURES NOW PUT ON IRAN
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Isn't this just the kind of garbage which always and everywhere happens in the wake of someone with a reputation for atrocious behavior?
There are countless fantasy stories about famous gangsters or dictators, stories conceived in the minds of the unthinking or credulous or paranoid, but these stories are in fact stimulated by other real behaviors which are terrible.
Of course, Remi’s accusations are fantasy nonsense, but there is nothing nonsensical about Israel's genuine abusive and brutal behaviors.
It does kill and it does steal and it does abuse millions, virtually with impunity.
And I do think those acts more dangerous and reprehensible than this man's muttering.
Were Israel finally to demonstrate some generosity of spirit towards its neighbors and stop threatening everyone, it would do more to shut up such stuff than all the official condemnations in the world.
"And the Pro Iran Fan club and western leftist tell us Iranian government officials do not have anything against Jew?"
There is no "pro Iran fan club," but your saying there is is just as stupidly thoughtless as Remi’s nonsense.
How about dealing with the genuine abuses and crimes of Israel?
They are not fantasy. They are real.
And did the thought ever enter your head, however fleetingly, that when Israel - an Israel which has attacked every neighbor that it has, many more than once, and maintains millions in semi-bondage and tries starving out the people of Gaza - daily threatens Iran, it just might have an effect of this nature?
Words, however stupid, are cheap and retractable.
Bombing, shooting, abusing, and torturing are not.
"I am asking you [Chuckman] and anyone that claims that Rahimi's statements are just not so important, what would have been the reaction if this hate would have been uttered by an Israeli?"
I did not say - read my words - that the words were unimportant, only that they are far, far less important than systematic oppression, theft, torture, threats, and killing.
There are bad words on all sides. You may easily find quotes from prominent Israelis advocating the ethnic cleansing of all non-Jews from Israel as well as horrible words about Palestinians being vermin, words spoken by ultra-Orthodox rabbis.
The simple truth is that modern Iran has attacked no one in its entire history.
And what of Israel?
It has attacked every neighbor, and it never stops threatening.
Perhaps you have no experience or imagination in such matters, but I am confident that human psychology is badly strained by endless threats - almost as in the case when someone stalks you for a long period. Even rational people are subject to fears and terrors.
And it has been more than threats.
Israeli agents assassinated, with magnetic car bombs, several innocent Iranian scientists recently.
And Israel worked with the United States to create Stuxnet and Flame, the most dangerous computer malware ever discovered.
Stuxnet got out onto the Net, and it may very well have been responsible for the failure of Japanese controls on the horribly-failed nuclear power station at Fukushima.
Moreover, a huge and threatening American sea armada sits not far from Iran.
Reportedly, there is also an Israeli German-built submarine which is nuclear-capable with a cruise missile.
But Iran has done absolutely nothing to deserve this oppressive treatment.
All intelligence reports worth talking about confirms that there is no nuclear weapons program.
Wasn't the horror of Iraq - a million dead and millions of refugees - enough for Israel's apologists?
The same arguments were made of Iraq, and they were entirely false.
But, please recall, Israel not only refuses to join the Non-proliferation Treaty, it refuses all inspections - as Iran does not.
And we know Israel in fact has a nuclear arsenal, one about which it regularly lies.
We've seen actual photos from Mordechai Vanunu, whom Israeli agents drugged and threw into prison.
We've seen a test flash some years ago - likely done in cooperation with South Africa - in from a spy satellite.
We know now that the German-built diesel-electric subs being given to Israel at knock-down prices have gear for handling a nuclear-capable cruise missile.
And we know from Jimmy Carter, perhaps the most honest and honorable man to be President since Lincoln, that Israel has at least 150 nuclear warheads.
And we know to a certainty that Israel helped South Africa in becoming a nuclear power, seeing in apartheid South Africa not only a kindred spirit but an important source of strategic raw materials.
Please, you tell me where any reasonable person, not an ideologue for Israel, sees the real threats and dangers?
And last, let's not forget that Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela both have said that what they see in Israel resembles South African apartheid.
"Chuckman...we get it you hate Jews.'
That is simply brutally stupid.
Indeed, how is that any different to the words of the Iranian official?
Of course, it is not. Just a cheap way to answer well-ordered facts you cannot deal with.
I believe in logic it is called ad hominem argument.
But then logic has nothing to do with your words, does it?
WESTERN NAIVETE IN THE MIDDLE EAST? THINK TANK HACK SERVES ONE MORE GENEROUS PLATE OF PROPAGANDA FOR ISRAEL
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY BY YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI
"Western naiveté about the Middle East is hardly confined to Egypt.”
Indeed, Yossi Klein Halevi amply demonstrates his own here.
If the Middle East is so terrible a place, why in God's name did Israel insist on locating there in the first place?
Why is it so awful to have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - by the way, a rather mild-mannered Islamist party - yet Israel is entitled to demand everyone recognize it as "the Jewish state"?
And every thinking person knows that is Israel's 60 or so years of work of manipulation, war, theft, and brutality in the region that is the cause of most of its turmoil.
If you take Mr Halevi's words to their limit, I guess we should just clear out all the "troublemakers" in the Middle East for a thousand miles around Israel, a couple of hundred million Muslim people who lived there countless centuries, and send them to Siberia.
Sometimes that seems not that far from the heart of Israel's destructive policies.
I don't see who can defend it except those with no sense of fairness or justice.
This isn't analysis, it is propaganda, just one more unappetizing serving of the stuff we are served day after day after day.
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
There are no choices here at all.
Obama, once so promising, has proven a man of little backbone and no principles, unable to change anything worth changing.
He is responsible for at least 3,000 deaths by killer-drones.
The incipient American police state has continued to grow rapidly with TSA agents and drones everywhere.
There are even new portable backscatter x-rays, the ones used at airports, mounted on vans to travel up and down cities.
TSA agents are beginning to patrol the nation's highways, and they are riding on inter-city buses.
The hideous Patriot Act has not been attacked, only re-inforced.
The CIA torture international gulag remains in place, its ghastly reality not even called into question.
Obama is almost indistinguishable from George Bush, judged by his acts.
We already know that a man with Romney's background - a man who travels hundreds of miles with a dog tied to the roof of his car, a man whose hobby as a young man was to pretend he was a policeman with a blinking light on his car, and a man who made his fortune throwing people out of work and keeping his money offshore - is almost certainly psychopathic.
No matter who wins this silly election - after billions are spent on a big show and tons of advertising - the military-intelligence-security complex will go right on running things.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
COLUMNIST SAYS AUNG SAN SUU KYI MUST BALANCE POLITICS AND PRINCIPLES - THE TRUTH IS HER LACK OF BALANCE IS LIKELY A MEDICAL MATTER - A WORD ON NOBEL PEACE PRIZES
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MARK MACKINNON IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Sorry, but I think Aung San Suu Kyi is a bit off her nut.
The press - that creation of American imperial interests and huge corporations - has treated her as some kind of sainted person standing against the forces of darkness.
I don't see that at all, and she has made many statements which do not even make a lot of sense.
First, of all the world's tyrannies, Burma is not one of the worst by a very good measure.
In a really ugly place, she would simply have been "disappeared" long ago.
Instead, she was given house arrest with the occasional access to press and other outsiders.
And of course, when a bloody monster like Hillary Clinton praises her, we know something is not quite right.
As to the Nobel Peace Prize, well, other winners include Barack Obama, who is now busy slaughtering thousands of people by drones; Henry Kissinger, a genuine war criminal if there ever was one; Andrei Sakharov, father of the Russian hydrogen bomb; Simon Peres, political father of Israel's nuclear arsenal; Menachim Begin, an old Irgun terrorist with lots of blood on his hands; Al Gore, the biggest phony pitchman since Oral Roberts; and Mother Teresa, a religious zealot of questionable ethics.
TURKEY GOING TO NATO OVER DOWNING OF PLANE IN SYRIA - THE REAL MEANING OF THESE EVENTS - THE FANTASY CREATION OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS IN WHICH WE LIVE
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Turkey is acting as stalking horse for the United States and Israel in their desire to topple Assad and dismember Syria.
Here Syria legitimately downed a warplane either within or on its frontiers.
Yet when Israel murdered about ten Turkish citizens during its high-seas piracy of a humanitarian ship, Turkey took no such action with NATO.
This entire business is a set-up.
The Free Syrian Army is a fraud, an American-Israeli creation, and there too Turkey plays a role in providing refuge for what a group fairly characterized as terrorists.
America and Israel simple do not think any international laws or conventions apply to them when they want something outside their territory.
It is a world governed by bullies they are creating.
"According to Reuters news (I know, I know....not very reliable), Syria announced that it has killed several Turks who have infiltrated into Syrian space.
In other news....Iran is asking both parties to cool down.
"Will we ever find out the truth about this plane incident?"
Reuters of course has a well-earned reputation as part of the CIA's "mighty Wurlitzer," the intelligence agency’s name for the set of news outlets it manipulates in planting of stories.
We've had one story that the plane was not a warplane.
One story that it was a warplane.
One story that it was indeed in Syrian airspace and Turkey was sorry.
And now we have a story that it was in international air space.
Good God, we no longer can get reliable news on anything of importance.
Our entire sense of reality, at least in international affairs, is today reduced to a fantasy creation, a few facts hung, here and there like a few nasty-looking ornaments on an ugly Christmas tree, just enough to make the created story seem plausible.
This is because there is so much concentration in the ownership of news outlets, the hands into which it is concentrated are huge corporations sharing interests with governments, and governments like the United States and Israel view it as their God-given right to constantly play with the lives of others.
In effect, the West today, in such matters, is governed by lies in pursuit of goals without ethics or morality.
"Democracy" and "rights" and "law" are words used in Orwellian fashion by these governments and their loyal followers, words without any genuine meaning, resembling the suggestive and untruthful words used in advertising.
Friday, June 22, 2012
AN OTHERWISE ADMIRABLE POLITICAL FIGURE PLAYS THE PART OF CHEERING SECTION FOR AMERICA'S HORROR IN SYRIA
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY HUGH SEGAL IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Hugh Segal is a man I much respect and admire, an example of a thoughtful and decent conservative.
But he has this matter dead wrong, and I am disappointed to read him acting as part of cheering section for this horror.
If we want to help Syria, we will pressure the United States and Israel to halt their damned black operations.
The Syrian Free Army is the creation of American Blackwater-types. The refuge in Turkey they use - much along the lines of what the U.S. accuses the Taleban of in Pakistan - is a U.S. creation, having pressured the Turkish government into doing so.
Israel is running arms into Turkey to keep the blood flowing. It is doing so totally illegally, of course, but then almost everything Israel does breaks international laws.
So it is, absolutely and without question, American-Israeli interference that has shed this blood.
And the reason has nothing to do with freedom or rights because as American and Israel have amply demonstrated freedom and rights mean very little stacked against geo-political manipulation of advantages.
They want Syria dismembered.
Again, if a third state wanted to arm the discontented in the United States with rifle grenades and plastique and shoulder anti-aircraft missiles, there would be hundreds of thousands ready to accept them (Haters and malcontents of dozens of descriptions), and they could cause plenty of havoc before they were brutally put down, as they would be, by American's Frankenstein military.
American did not hesitate to shoot hundreds in the streets during the various black riots in the past, and those people had no modern arms.
God, today in the United States, all you have to do to get a beating or tasered or even shot is to take cellphone pictures of the police doing something inappropriate, which they do a great deal of the time.
"A no-flight zone is a prudent, limited intervention that could tip the balance against Assad and his criminal regime."
The "no-fly" zone in Libya was neither limited nor prudent.
NATO - read the United States using others to front for it - killed hundreds of people and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of property.
Then the rag-tag bunch they supported took over and acted like anything but a democratic government.
Today, the phrase "no-fly zone" would be included in George Orwell's great essay, "Politics and the English Language."
It is a morally foul concept like "pacification," a harmless-sounding term to cover mass murder.
And it really is important to understand that what is sauce for the goose....
There are no words you can use to describe Assad's government which cannot be applied with equal meaning and moral authority to Israel's government.
It is almost an absurd example of the emperor's new clothes to regard Israel's behavior as anything in keeping with democratic values or regard for human rights.
The total of its acts of stomping in the face of international law, its murders, theft of others' property, illegal imprisonment, torture and abuse is matched by no state other than a few bizarre places like North Korea.
ANOTHER THOUGHTLESS PIECE BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF - THIS TIME SAYING THE LIBERAL PARTY BELONGS TO THE YOUNG - AND ALONG THE WAY A LOT OF OTHER NONSENSE
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
No, Michael Ignatieff, you have not "allowed" your enemies to caricature you.
It is you who have caricatured a politician.
And it is you who have caricatured being a thoughtful and honest man.
You gave the nasty bunch of frat boys in Harper's government the ammunition: They just loaded it into a big gun and fired.
And, please, will you stop your tiresome post-losing apologias?
They are almost as annoying as you were as appointed leader, and they are so poorly constructed in logic and force of argument, they make all people wonder how you ever were once regarded as a serious intellectual.
I'm not a betting man, but I would bet on this.
Were Harvard to come up with a new offer of cushy sinecure with a high-blown title, I'd bet good old Ignatieff would grab at it before a full heartbeat passed.
Just think, he would be relieved of the embarrassment and shame of his political catastrophe in Canada. He could quit writing pap like this piece.
And he could go back and be received with open arms to serve in the role he long played at Harvard, pseudo-liberal speaking out on behalf of imperial America's brutal mass murder and interference in the lives of countless others – in other words, a high-price political prostitute.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
THE PACIFIC RIM FREE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS - HARPER HAS CANADA IN - BUT THE COUNTRIES INVOLVED ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT - HE'S DONE NOTHING WHERE EXPANDED TRADE IS IMPORTANT
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Harper is such a dishonest man.
First, when you speak of Pacific trade initiatives, any clear-minded person immediately thinks of really important economies like China, Japan, and South Korea.
But that is not what this initiative is about.
This involves mainly countries which in trans-Pacific trade terms are literally insignificant, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Further, Harper consistently speaks in such a way that he leads Canadians to believe he is taking real initiative here, but this entire matter is an American initiative.
Again, as with his silly token deals in Latin America with micro-economies of no importance, he is simply tagging along, wagging his tale, with an American initiative.
The truth is that for America especially, these deals with such countries (most have GDPs a tiny, tiny fraction of America's) are not important economically, their real purpose is to tie these countries into a more dependent and compliant relationship with the United States in geo-political terms.
Harper so far has utterly failed to deliver on anything new and important in diversifying our trade.
Indeed, quite the opposite is the case, he is only tying us in more securely to the United States.
You really cannot be more dishonest in these matters.
Its just about as silly as his parka-clad photo-ops in the Arctic, blubbering about sovereignty when all thinking people know the only genuine long-term threat to Arctic sovereignty is the United States.
"The Harper government seems to want to make trade deals with the EU, Mexico, South American countries, China and now more Pacific Rim countries."
We do not see any real initiative where China and the EU are concerned, and those are the places offering us a better, diversified trade future.
Harper's blubbering is just a disguised way of moving to even greater lock-step with the U.S.
"What a coincidence:
"Harper passes legislation giving US Security police unfettered independent authority to pursue on Canadian soil, capture and detain any 'suspect'.
"Obama finally lets Canada 'in' on the TTP talks after being denied 12 times before."
Yes, and he does this at a time when the United States is genuinely approaching becoming a police-state.
"For those who want to live in their basements, keep right on.
For the rest of the world FREE TRADE has produced jobs and prosperity for all."
Yes, free trade with significant economies is important.
Free trade with unimportant economies is simply not important .
It's important for them, but not for us.
Classical Economics 101: it is always the smaller partner who disproportionately benefits.
The U.S. uses such deals to hamstring governments in future disagreements over geo-political and security matters.
Vote our way or your free trade privileges could be lost.
The economic value of this initiative for Canada is not terribly significant.
You don't seem to understand that basic concept.
What Canada needs is better access with economies like China, the EU, and Japan.
Harper has done nothing in that regard.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
AN EDITORIAL ADVOCATES A NEW MODEL FOR FOREIGN AID: PAY UPON COMPLETION - A NAIVE VIEW - WHAT FOREIGN AID IS REALLY ABOUT
POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
The person writing this editorial is naive and foolish.
Foreign aid is not given for the reasons that generally are advertised, although donor governments like to be able to pat themselves on the back for doing worthy things.
Foreign aid is given for influence in international affairs.
It buys loyalties and votes in various international institutions.
It buys favoritism for doing business with the donor country's business establishment.
In the case of an imperial power like the United States, it supplies great leverage - through quiet threats of its removal - for votes in the United Nations supporting American policy.
Foreign aid in the real world differs not greatly from the bribes great multinational firms use to get foreign governments to buy their planes or tanks or telephones.
No power on earth is going to change that reality.
THE COST OF AFGHANISTAN IS NOT MEASURED BY AMERICAN LIVES - NOR IS THE COST OF ALL THE OTHER COLONIAL WARS IN WHICH AMERICA HAS KILLED MILLIONS
POSTED RESPONSE TO A POSTING ON ALEXANDER HIGGINS' BLOG
No, the toll is tens of thousands of Afghans, not to mention the Pakistanis now being killed.
One could throw in the million dead Iraqis since the Afghan adventure was used as an excuse.
Americans tend always to measure the impact of their wars by the number of Americans killed.
That is neither accurate nor ethical.
How many times did we hear about the 60-odd thousand Americans killed in Vietnam?
And it was the rate of those deaths which ended the war.
But the real toll was 3 million Vietnamese killed, many horribly, millions made homeless, an ancient society torn apart, and a sea of Agent Orange and landmines left to kill and maim for decades.
You could fairly add, too, the horrors of Cambodia, for America’s incursions and secret bombing were responsible for the neutral government’s fall. America is doing much the same today in Pakistan.
THINK TANK HACK ASKS WHAT THE WEST CAN DO TO STOP THE SLAUGHTER IN SYRIA - WHAT A DISINGENUOUS QUESTION WHEN PART OF THE WEST (U.S. AND ISRAEL) STARTED THE HORROR
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY TIMOTHY GARTON ASH IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Stop the slaughter in Syria?
It is the West – in the form, at least, of the United States and Israel - responsible for the slaughter’s happening in the first place.
Those countries have dumped weapons and intelligence and money into the hands of gangs representing God-knows-what, and they are responsible for the hideous consequences.
If another country tried doing this in the United States - and there are millions of malcontents and oddballs in the United States - it could certainly get a bloody rebellion going, although, of course, it would end miserably with America's massive armed forces.
The United States has pulled this dirty trick before. One of the worst instances was Kissinger's getting the Kurds to revolt in Iraq. It ended with thousands killed and the United States cowardly leaving them to their fate, as it generally has done in such cases.
'Couldn't the author's criticisms of Russia about its relationship with Syria also be made of the U.S. and its relationship with Saudi Arabia?
'"Hypocrisy has its own elegant symmetry." - Julie Metz'
And how about America's relationships with Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Egypt under Mubarak, Pinochet, Ceausescu, Marcos, the late Shah, General Thieu, the PRI in Mexico, etc., etc.
Until we get to its relationship with Israel, one the world's most bloody-minded states and one that breaks every international law and code of behavior, yet is always supported, heavily armed, and given great privileges by the United States.
And let's not forget the million dead in Iraq, the 3 million in Vietnam, the horrors of Cambodia (caused by America's intervention toppling a neutral government - the same game it plays today in Turkey).
The entire record since WWII is one of hypocrisy, arrogance, and stupid brutality.
America has nothing to teach anyone.
For "Senior fellow at the Hoover Institution," author Timothy Garton Ash’s credit line, you should read: "Sinecure Holder at one of America's great privately-funded Right Wing Propaganda Mills."
Very little ever written by "Fellows" or “Senior Fellows” at the Hoover Institution is honest analysis, virtually all of it tending to support the imperial hegemony of the United States in high-blown doubletalk.
BOB RAE BOWS OUT AND THE LACK OF ANYONE IN THE LIBERALS WITH HIS TALENT - CONSERVATIVES PERMANENT MINORITY - SMALL "L" LIBERALS REMAIN SPLIT
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Well stated, my feelings exactly about Bob Rae.
It is important to emphasize that the Harper Conservatives are, and will remain, a minority party.
It is only this set of circumstances that have let them rule - not the appeal of their leader, not any clever strategies, and not the support of most Canadians.
This tells us we suffer a tremendous democratic deficit under our current system.
One could hope a government that mouths stuff about democracy would bring in reform, but we know that isn't going to happen.
One can only conclude that either a coalition or the effective death of one of the liberal (small "l") parties will end Harper's ugly efforts to abolish Canada in favor of the body politic of Texas.
We remain in as much of mess as when the insiders of the Liberals gave the party's leadership, as though it were private property, to that arrogant political nincompoop, Ignatieff, insuring that the Liberals could not come back.
“It was Chrétien that disabled the Liberal party. he was just as tyrannical as Harper is and set the stage for the Harper method of operation.”
Chretien was a magical politician.
Only Rae even comes close.
He had a charming public persona, and he was tough in private.
I can't imagine how else a politician could be successful.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
WORLD OPINION AGAINST AMERICA'S DRONE MURDERS - THE ARROGANCE AND CORRUPTION OF GREAT POWER - BELLOWING ABOUT RIGHTS - DEATH SQUADS ALIVE IN AMERICA AND ISRAEL - NOTE ON CYBER WAR
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Imagine my surprise to learn that most people in the world don't accept extrajudicial murder by governments?
And one has to say, the murdering agency here is not just any government, but a government which blubbers and drones day and night about human rights and democracy and freedom. America’s Secretary of State, just for one, has become practically a recording device playing slogans on loudspeakers as the murders go on.
It wasn’t that many years ago that the world was appalled to learn that juntas in some South American countries made thousands “disappear” by rounding them up, drugging them, and throwing their bodies out of planes over the ocean.
What America is doing – and it is doing it in half a dozen places, including Yemen and Somalia – is indistinguishable from the juntas “disappearing” citizens they didn’t like.
The word “terrorist” in this context is meaningless, serving only as an Orwellian excuse to murder those with whom you disagree and to intimidate others by the example.
It is a measure of the sheer arrogance and corruption of power that the government of the United States assumes it has a right to act in this fashion.
Of course, in this, America closely copies the brutal and unethical practices of Israel, a country which cheers them on as at a big sports event. And Israel is such an example of success, isn’t it?
None of the world's so-called rogue states - places like North Korea or Burma - are known for this level of lawless savagery.
It is estimated recently that American drone-missile strikes, just in Pakistan, have killed 3,000 people in a few years.
The Pentagon says that "only 20%" of the dead were civilians, and that that is an acceptable level of performance.
600 civilians - over and above the 2400 targets, themselves, each and every one, legally innocent – murdered is acceptable?
But, of course, numbers on deaths coming from the Pentagon always have a large element of hazy fantasy. They murdered 3 million souls in Vietnam, and you never heard a word from them on the extent of that holocaust. All for nothing but an insane Ahab-like compulsion to kill communists.
A million or so people were killed in Iraq, America’s compulsion having changed to Muslims, but no mention of numbers there either.
You cannot have a government of laws unless you are yourself willing yourself to obey them.
When we choose not to be governed by laws, it is the powerful and psychotic who inherit the earth.
"Iran embarks on $1b. cyber-warfare programTehran has embarked on an ambitious plan to boost its defensive cyber-warfare capabilities and is investing $1 billion in developing new technology and hiring new computer experts..."
Idiot, the most dangerous examples of cyber warfare we've ever seen are the Stuxnet and Flame pieces of malware.
It is even possible that Stuxnet - which escaped its intended target of Iran to spread - caused part of the nuclear plant horror in Japan by making controls unusable.
We know from analysis that these two pieces of malware were developed by the same people.
The United States and Israel are the authors.
A COLUMNIST LOOKS AT THE NOTION OF EQUALITY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF LARGE NUMBERS OF BLACK AMERICANS IN PRISON - USE OF STATISTICS - VIOLENT CRIME AND YOUNG BLACK MALES
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DOUG SAUNDERS IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
An impartial investigator cannot assume that a disproportionate number of one group in jail means, ipso facto, that prejudice and inequality are at work in the justice system.
That is simply not the way statistics work.
One thing that we do know is that when any phenomenon has very large numbers of observations, something genuine is at work.
A study of a drug that finds a modest difference between taking it and not taking it is rather inconclusive, but when we see large numbers, we know we are seeing a genuine phenomenon.
In the case of young black males and crime, especially violent crime, we see remarkably large differences, the kind of numbers that would convince in a drug study.
Blacks make up about 13% of American society, yet nearly half of all violent crimes are committed by blacks, or more accurately, by young black males who are on the order of 3% of American society.
The numbers are overwhelming, a young black male is many times more likely to commit a violent crime than any other group you care to designate.
In regions of the United States where there are few blacks - say, Maine - violent crime rates are on the order of those in Canada.
In regions of the United States where there are great majorities of blacks, it is a fact that violent crime rates reach third-world levels.
All the violent cities of America - Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, etc - are areas where the population is overwhelmingly black.
Even in portions of large cities, the areas where violent crime is high are black neighborhoods.
You have to ask why that should be.
I cannot accept that it is largely the result of prejudice. After all, black defendants in violent American cities generally face black juries.
We know that in prison populations, people with personality disorders and low intelligence always dominate. It is no different in Canada or anywhere else. Those with little ability to control their impulses tend to end up in prison.
Given the highly physical nature of young black males - they dominate every major team sport despite their small proportion in society - and given a long record of IQ tests administered by the public school systems in the United States for decades (no longer permitted) as well as the American Armed Forces testing of millions of recruits, we do have a statistical record of relatively low intellectual achievement.
That finding tends to be confirmed by blacks not entering in any appreciable numbers fields like finance, law, and science. We also see a very disproportionately low number of blacks who create businesses.
I am not arguing for prejudice, but I am arguing against facile books which generate false arguments.
There is a violent crime problem in American society where black populations are dominant. The numbers are simply not to be reasonably disputed and cannot reasonably be attributed largely to prejudice.
I don’t know what society’s answer should be, but simply yelling “prejudice” is not a thoughtful response.
'And, as we now see some crime "rates" dropping, if not the total volume of crime. perhaps more prisons have helped save many lives and reduce the numbers of victims.'
There is also the view, by some knowledgeable people, that the worst killers simply wiped each other out during the height of the killings.
There is another view, again put forward by knowledgeable people, that birth control's becoming widespread slowed the killing.
At the height of the killings, Detroit, having declined to half the population of Toronto, ran at about 900 murders per year and Washington, a much smaller population city than Toronto, at about 450.
In any event, the violent crime rates in places like Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, Miami, while lower than a couple of decades ago remain very high by Canadian standards or indeed the standards of advanced countries.
There are in general two kinds of murder.
There is the "traditional" kind, motivated by extreme passions or personal conflicts. It is also the easiest form of crime to solve, solution rates being high, up to ninety percent, for any good police force because the motive is very clear and there are often unmistakable clues.
The second kind of murder involves people with no known connections and often complete strangers. This kind of murder is extremely difficult to solve because of the apparent lack of motive.
It is the second type of murder that flared up in American cities a few decades back. Many of these were killings over drug territory.
It is the second type that we see so prominently today in Toronto involving Jamaican gangs.
THE AMERICAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE FEEDING FRENZY HAS STARTED - REFORM NEAR IMPOSSIBLE - HARPER PLANS FOR CANADA
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
The best government money can buy.
America now has only the superficial appearance of democracy.
It is in fact a plutocracy.
Campaign finance reform is almost impossible in the U.S.
And the main reason for that assertion is that the American Supreme Court has ruled: 1) that corporations are individuals under law; and 2) that giving money to campaigns is a form of free speech under the Bill of Rights.
How did that bizarre situation happen?
Year after year, appointments made to that court have moved it further and further to the extreme right.
Just think about the position Harper is in to reshape our Court, and you will have every reason to feel afraid for our future as a democratic nation.
Harper's long term strategy includes adopting something resembling the American system of finance.
That provides a subtle way of tipping our politics permanently towards the right wing, since money is so important to "getting a message out," "defining an issue," and creating "name-recognition" - among other manipulative concepts of political marketing.
He already eliminated government support for parties - unfairly characterizing an enlightened policy with pejorative words - and as we can all plainly see, he works tirelessly to serve special interests in a position to advance large sums.
A COLUMNIST SAYS JUSTIN TRUDEAU WOULD MAKE THE BEST LEADER FOR THE LIBERAL PARTY - BUT JUST A NAME IS NOT ENOUGH
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY LAWRENCE MARTIN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
First, a great deal of time has passed with considerable change of circumstances since Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, changes which might well render Pierre himself not electable in the contemporary world.
But regardless of what Pierre's political standing would be today, Justin is not Pierre, not even close.
Justin is a handsome and charming young man, but he received more of his mother's genes than his father's.
The steely will and fierce intelligence are simply not there.
I would say Thomas Mulcair more closely resembles some of what we saw in Pierre Trudeau, but that is not good news for the Liberal Party.
I suppose it's worth a try, running Justin, but it would be a desperate measure for a desperate party whose fall is only the responsibility of its own coterie of insiders and in-fighters.
"Those in Hog Town and kebec will love it though
"A great way to divide a country"
He was voted as the greatest Prime Minister in a public poll.
He did have qualities of toughness most people admire in a leader regardless of some policies with which you might disagree.
He also had a strong ethical bent we see utterly missing today.
Your "kebec" is stupid speech and plays to the trailer park crowd.
Talk about dividing the country, stupid speech will do it every time.
"This is an informercial by a Grit hack."
No, it's a genuine matter of interest to millions.
Justin is a very popular figure.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
CHARLES TAYLOR'S CONVICTION FOR WAR CRIMES CHARACTERIZED AS STARK WARNING TO OTHER WAR CRIMINALS - OH SURE
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Tony Blair, mass murderer and liar, walks freely about, scooping up bags of money from special interests.
George Bush, mass murderer and liar and extraordinary ignoramus, sits peacefully on his porch, swilling beer.
Dick Cheney, mass murderer and vile abuser of his office, shoots his ugly mouth off regularly.
Nothing has happened to mass murderer Donald Rumsfeld.
Benjamin Netanyahu continues bullying and threatening, stealing and murdering.
Ehud Olmert, murderer of 400 children among other accomplishments, is retired in comfort.
Ariel Sharon, who spent a lifetime killing people and launching unwarranted wars, was only felled by natural causes.
Henry Kissinger, a war criminal as great as any tried at Nuremberg, still lurks in the shadows whispering advice to the influential.
The totality of those gentlemen's handiwork makes Charles Taylor look a piker at murder.
I don't see Taylor’s trial as anything more than the powers-that-be getting an old enemy.
A HATCHET PIECE ON BOB RAE BY ADAM GOLDENBERG, FORMER MICHAEL IGNATIEFF SPEECHWRITER - SO THE WRITER FOR ONE OF THE MOST INEPT POLITICIANS IN HISTORY QUESTIONS THE ACTIVITIES OF ONE OF THE MOST POLISHED
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY ADAM GOLDENBERG IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
I do not even understand why Adam Goldenberg has written this hatchet-job piece.
And I do not understand his qualification to do so, since having been a chief speechwriter to Michael ignatieff is pretty much an overblown claim to nothing.
Ignatieff plainly is the most terribly failed politician of our time, and his poor judgment and lack of skills have given us a legacy of a national government bent on copying the right wing of the Republican Party down to almost every detail.
Many of us knew that it would be so: Ignatieff is by nature a standoffish man and his spoken words have always been considerably less than dazzling. Mr Goldenberg's efforts appear to have no spice to a dull dish.
Of course, there was Ignatieff's past service to the worst war crime of this generation, the invasion of Iraq, an event in which a million or so perished. his claims to being a genuine liberal (small "l") were always tenuous.
He proved himself a much overrated person in a dozen more ways when he took on the Liberal leadership.
He made a dumb speech at the convention attacking his own party which then became useful attack-material for the Harperites.
He accepted being parachuted into a riding, and then arrogantly chose not to live there, after having promised he would.
He accepted being parachuted into the leadership, an act which starkly cast doubt on Ignatieff's democratic values.
Ignatieff went on that ludicrous Ma and Pa Kettle Cross Country Bus Trip when it became obvious to Party leaders he had no ability to communicate and empathize with people.
Since when does a bus trip change one's character? It only made him look ridiculous on top of all his other shortcomings.
He always raged and blubbered against a coalition when it was clear to many - given the Liberal Party's weakened status - that that was the only way to wrest power from Harper's minority.
And Ignatieff chose when to call an election - he didn't have to do so, but he did - and it was the most destructive election call in my lifetime.
Compared to Ignatieff's fumbling, preachiness, lackluster speechmaking, poorly chosen issues, lack of organizational skills, and just plain boring personality, Bob Rae still looks remarkably good.
"Then he ran and lost, then ran again..."
That is subtly but definitely dishonest. There was no second-time race. Ignatieff was handed the leadership by a small group of Liberal Party insiders.
I and many others believe Bob Rae could have beaten Ignatieff, Rae being one of the most eloquent politicians of our generation, rising to levels of clever observation and well-chosen words Mr ignatieff could only dream of.
Of course, the genuine question is not why the talented Bob Rae ran and is running but why the inept Michael Ignatieff ever thought he had something to offer, other than some kind of legacy claim to crown his family's achievements. Pure arrogance.
"Liberals are now in third place and electing a man with a track record of failing to run provinces well during a recession (which is exactly the situation we are in now) will do nothing to fix that."
You have it precisely wrong: he ran it well under the circumstances.
There were hard choices to make, and he made them.
"Rae Days" were a thoughtful and decent option to large dismissals.
Union leaders and cheap columnists have never forgiven him.
And that doesn't say a lot for their speaking in an informed manner or displaying effective intelligence.
For completely different reasons however I think Bob Rae's day may have passed. I do not see the Liberal Party regaining its position any time soon.
Harper's potential for growth is exhausted, 39.6% certainly being his high-water mark, a number interestingly which is close to the highest number achieved by the National Socialists when they ran as a democratic party in the early 1930s.
There is a dazzling new star on the political scene, and his name is Thomas Mulcair.
I do believe he has a serious chance of making the NDP Canada's other major party and of rising above the old sort-of Boy Scout image from which the Party long has suffered.
I don't see anyone else in the Liberals remotely up to the challenge. Talk of Justin Trudeau is pathetic. He has more of his mother's genes than his father's.
Dalton McGuinty is sickening and tiresome to almost everyone in Ontario, and it is only the PC's stupid moves that have kept him going - first, John Tory's insistence on committing political suicide and then the Party's electing the current nasty gnome, Hudak, as leader.
Dominic LeBlanc is an intelligent and attractive candidate, but he never seems to have caught fire in the Party.
While intelligence is important, politics is far from a rational process, many emotional and lucky factors playing roles.
The Liberals cannot succeed without Quebec, and they are now far out-shown there by Mr Mulcair.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
AMERICA'S DRONE-MURDERS IN PAKISTAN CALLED A SUCCESS - ALL LEGALITY AND ETHICS HAVE DISAPPEARED IN AMERICA'S DEATH-SQUAD BEHAVIOR - ISRAEL AS A MODEL FOR MURDER
POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
"Latest U.S. drone operation in Pakistan should be judged a success"
Surely, the words of an ethical and moral bankrupt.
A target or targets - uncharged and untried - is assassinated by a buzz-cut thug at a computer console.
In the process, a host of others, all innocents for certain, are murdered, and the cretin writing this editorial says it should be judged a success.
Have you lost all sense of values?
If we all nod and accept this absolutely criminal behavior by a great power, we will lose all claims to a free society which has laws and is organized to honor human rights.
If you do not live by the rule of the law, you are not a whit better than the junta generals who used to kidnap people off the streets of South America and fly them out over the ocean to throw out their drugged bodies.
They "disappeared" thousands in that fashion, and it is certain that the horrible governments committing such crimes believed they were every bit as justified as America in getting rid of people working against their interests.
Now, the apologists for Israel's brutal excesses always support this kind of thing, and indeed Israel is the very model for this behavior. The word "terroriist" is used like a magic word to make any inhuman act perfectly okay.
It is one thing for an irresponsible state like Israel to behave this unacceptable way, but it quite another for the world's mightiest nation to be reduced to the same behavior.
We are only protected by rule of law from having the violent barbarians and psychopaths of the world governing. If you abandon rule of law, you have abandoned civilization.
ISRAEL RETURNS 91 DEAD "MILITANTS" : A PROPAGANDA STUNT PASSED OFF AS A MEASURE TOWARDS PEACE TALKS - THE IRONY OF DRAPING CHEAP COFFINS WITH PALESTINIAN FLAGS
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
I love that phony word, "militants"?
The people were either criminals or they were not.
If they were all genuine cases of people killed while attacking others, there would be no use for the word, "militant," and I guarantee Israeli authorities would never use it.
The Globe has accepted Israel's propaganda by using a euphemistic word which literally means nothing.
Of course, the word was intended to blur the distinction between shooting innocent people and shooting someone attacking you.
It's a coward's word.
And its constant propagation through news media is just a sign of how little genuine reporting goes on in these matters.
Even Israel's presentation here is phony propaganda.
The cheap boxes the remains are in are all covered with Palestinian flags, covering a coffin with a flag being the traditionally accepted way of burying a soldier.
But we have not one shred of evidence any of these are soldiers.
And we know, from countless experience, Israel blithely kills people who oppose it in the smallest way.
Witness the Palestinian family wiped out on a beach a few years ago.
Or the lovely young American girl deliberately crushed by a bulldozer.
Or the Canadian officer and 3 others murdered while bravely doing their UN observation duties as Israel once again invaded Lebanon.
Or the 400 children Israel murdered in Gaza.
Or the unarmed party aboard a ship on the high seas which Israeli commandos literally executed.
The list goes on and on.
And of course Israel holds thousands of Palestinians in prison with no proper trials or legal procedures.
And we have the report of the respected UN Raconteur for the region, Mr Falk, that Israel has killed over 1200 children just since 2000.
This pathetic effort by Israel is a cheap show.
It means nothing to return bodies.
And irony of ironies Israel uses a Palestinian flag, the flag of a country Israel refuses to allow to exist.
Good Lord, let's use our critical faculties, and maybe then we can see some justice.