Friday, May 24, 2019

The Gods of War


Before I begin, let me make my position clear. I know that what I have to say will label me as anti-Semitic to some. But I am not. I do hold anti-Patriarchal religious views, including the one I was raised in. Because my family’s church was of the fundamentalist Christian kind, it preached something akin to what many fundamentalist Christian churches preach today; that one must simply wait and work for the “Rapture” to come. The Rapture is that time when Jesus will return to earth and the “saved” will be taken to heaven with him, and the “unsaved” will be cast into pits of different infernos depending on whatever church one belonged to. In the meantime they eagerly slap down anything that looks like racial equality, science, same sex anything, and women’s rights including abortion.

I am now ninety years old and sometimes think I am looking at old news reel re-runs when I watch the news. It doesn’t seem to matter that Charles Darwin settled the question a long time ago about how evolution made the world we live in, not some Biblical god who intervenes on the side of his favourite humans. The godly voices that the war-mongers hear, or claim they hear, tell them to tell others that God is on their side, and they are about to be attacked by those other godless beings who deserve death and destruction and must be attacked first.

And nothing is more detrimental to the earth and earthlings than war. Because most people - the world over - hesitate to kill other people, it takes some kind of group consensus, some whipping up of fear and hated in the human breast to get a good war going. The selling of a potential invasion of one country into another sovereign country takes a concentrated national effort. And the media must be on side. First, fear of the country to be invaded must be presented as monsters who are about to invade them. Patriotism must be invoked and laced with religion. Quoting sacred scriptures that assure the masses that god will be on their side, religion becomes the cherry on the top of the push for war. Still, as it is a bit difficult to preach that their god is love but still demands regime change which means killing a whole lot of people, some people have to be resented as sub-human. So, a selling point is that it is that it is god who demands regime change.

And oil. God apparently also loves oil. Whoever gets it, by whatever means, is the godliest. The US in its struggles to start bombing Iran appreciates any propaganda assistance from other countries that can be helpful in these desires. They just got a big assist from US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. As Israel considers Iran to be its biggest threat because it supports the Palestinians, it would not be displeased if the US made Iran disappear. Israel loves to parade the deep love between themselves and Americans, and their deep devotion to religion, while not exactly the same as American Christianity, does dovetail nicely. And David Friedman is a perfect conduit.

Friedman recently gave a speech at a ceremony in Jerusalem to commemorate the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem a year ago. In that speech Friedman stated that “Israel is on the side of God”, and that the US embassy is “a shrine that people could pray to and thank God for… the US and Israel need to get even closer in the coming months…and move toward even greater “holiness.” He went on to say that “The closer Americans get to Israel the holier they become”.

This is sheer madness. In fact, Israel is giving Americans a big push to becoming crazier by the day. And the Bolton bunch just love it. Watch the happy smile on Mike Pompeo’s face these days as he threatens Iran with absolute destruction. I think these men were born with a blood lust. What else would explain the raw hunger they exhibit to start bombing other countries they don’t like, especially Iran. And Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea. The ultimate goal? Russia and China. These US war-mongers are the craziest men in the entire world and they are running the show. They must know, and I am sure they do, that they are tampering with World War Three. And calling in the nuclear weapons.

Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons. But the Americans do. And so does Russia and China who will never permit Iran to go down. They know that if Iran goes, they are next. And don’t think we as Canadians are going to escape this kind of madness. If Netanyahu with the help of the Saudis manage to push Trump with complete US military compliance into attacking Iran nobody on the face of this earth may escape it. If we are going to survive as a nation, as a people, or even just survive, those of us who can read and write need to start exercising that ability. Let Trudeau know that the religious talk being weaponized to start a war with Iran is too dangerous to be borne. Our Prime Minister should give push back. Or is David Friedman speaking for us, too?


Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Bright Spot

There was one bright spot in the news this week and that was the outcome of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election in BC.  Paul Manly won hands down.  A Green.  Fancy that.  And not just squeaking by, either. Manly won by over 37 per cent of the vote.  And there was the suggestion (by the Globe and Mail and others) that the Greens may be more of a moving force in the coming federal election than thought possible.  And it certainly wasn’t a good sign for Justin Trudeau’s government.

I like the Green Party.  I always have.  They don’t usually lie and cheat and they don’t like war.  Am I saying that the other parties like war? Well, it seemed to me that Stephen Harper with his religious fanaticism was working toward the Rapture, and the Rapture will never come cheap.  According to Biblical interpretation, which Harper followed, there will have to be many wars going on, with Israel in the midst of them before the Rapture will come, and it takes a whole lot of money to start and keep multiple wars going. But that seems to just whet the appetite of at least three of Trump’s closest people, two of whom who also yearn for the Rapture, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, national security adviser. Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, being of Jewish ancestry, probably isn’t of the Rapture persuasion, as far as I know, but is probably glad the others are, as he seems to just simply like war and the carnage that war brings.   He has been the proponent of so many of the wars of Regime Change. These three men would like to go straight to their target and bomb the hell out of Iran.  And if Trump may have seemed a little reluctant at first, they have persuaded him that attacking Iran is a necessity.  And I am sure Trump remembers vividly how all parties and the media got on board when he authorized the bombing in Syria. Suddenly he was described as acting “presidential”!


There was an article in Huff Post several days ago with a headline asking: “Can Congress Steer the U.S Away from War with Iran?”  I think the short answer to this question is no.   Too many members of the US Congress have stuffed their pockets with too many Saudi Arabian Petro dollars.  Not to mention the massive amounts of dollars from the Israeli lobby for the American politicians election campaigns. But why do Saudi Arabia and the Israeli Lobby give so much money to American politicians?  One of the main drivers is religion.  Wahhabism is Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith; an extreme form of Islam that believes in beheadings and chopping people up who displease the princes. Some under-performers even receive something special, an actual crucifixion.  The Saudis want to spread their gospel which is that anyone not practicing Wahhabism is an infidel and must eventually be put to death.  A gruesome one, too.  All of their deaths as punishment are gruesome. Iran, besides refuting the bloody awful Saudi interpretation of Islam, is much hated by the Saudis because Iran supports Hezbollah.   Hezbollah, in turn, supports the Palestinians.  


The Israeli lobby also hates the Palestinians.  They simply want the Palestinians to disappear and they do everything possible toward this end (blockades, open air prisons, live ammunition for protestors, etc.).  The Israeli lobby spreads dreams of Zion among the US Congress while generously sweetening the politician’s dreams of re-election with lots of cash for “the coalition of the willing”.  Which follows of course, the Biblical promise of returning the Jews to Jerusalem.  And to all of Palestine, evidentially.  No Biblical provisions for the Palestinians.  This means of course that Jews must be the chosen people of God.   So anything that refutes the Biblical, like Hezbollah, is on their list of actors the Israeli government want disappeared.  And Hezbollah doesn’t like the changes being made by the Israeli government. At the end of World War Two the land that the Israelis received turned out not to be enough for them.  So they started slicing off what was left for the Palestinians by sending Jewish settlers to chase the Palestinians out and build new Jewish settlements.  They call it “mowing the grass” when they feel they have to start shooting Palestinians with guns, missiles and bombs when they try to fight back. In my opinion, Saudi actions and those of Israel, always led by the US military corporate structure, have contributed more to the general cruelty inflicting the world today than anything else.   


For instance, to combat public unease about US drone strikes, the American drone masters have come up with a more accurate weapon that won’t take out entire wedding parties when they are just after one guy.  They are called NINJA bombs.  It’s a drone with long whirling blades that shred a targeted person into ribbons of flesh.  Isn’t that wonderful!  The NINJA’s are already in use.  And those who witness such an attack , especially children, will be left so damaged in so many ways, so filled with hatred for the Western world, that they will seek such revenge that  we cannot image.  So let us Canadians be proud of our Green Party, a political party that is already anti-war and searching for peace. Does this writing mean I think we are doomed to a war in Iran?  No, but avoiding this unspeakable scenario won’t be due the wisdom of the US congress.  It will be, if this occurs, due to other world actors.  Next time.    


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Bolivarian Revolution: Venezuela’s Race and Class War

The reason the disenfranchised in Venezuela cling to Maduro is because they feel they can trust him – he is one of them. Maduro is a Mestizo Venezuelan, that is, he is from a group of people that are a combination of European, Amerindian, and African ancestries decent.  They are the largest group in Venezuela and the poorest.  The other prominent, but smaller group, is composed of people who are called Creoles.  They identify as Europeans, or primarily identify with their European descent. The Creoles led the revolution that led to the expulsion of the colonial regime from Spanish America in the early 19the century.  Prior to the Bolivarian Revolution they were considered second class citizens. Yet after independence (including Mexico, Peru and elsewhere), Creoles entered the ruling class. “They were generally conservative and cooperated with the higher clergy, the army, large landowners, and, later foreign investors”. (The Independence Movement).


Simón Bolívar, who began the Bolivarian Revolution, was a rich Creole.  However, he had the good fortune to become acquainted with Alexander Von Humboldt, a German scientist who first began to recognize that the earth was one living eco-system and wrote volumes about this. Contemporary author Andrea Wulf, in her book The Invention of Nature, talks about how Bolivar had always been attuned to the power and beauty of nature, especially the natural wonders of his home country of Venezuela.  It was through the love of nature in his homeland that Bolivar began to love the Mestizo people who he recognized as being terribly enslaved and mistreated in the Spanish colonies of South America. He decided to do something about it.


Bolívar began what became known as the Bolivarian Revolution.  It was a fight for freedom and justice, a fight to end slavery of all kinds.  The revolution spread through many regions of South America, and by the end of 1819:

“Bolivar drove his entire army with single-minded determination from Angostura across the continent towards the Andes to free New Granada. His troops consisted of Paez’s horsemen, Indians, freed slaves, mestizos, creoles, women and children…  There were also many British veterans who had joined Bolivar at the end of the Napoleonic  Wars when hundreds of thousands of soldiers had returned home from the battlefield with no  jobs or income…..In December Quito  and Venezuela joined new Granada to form the new Republic of Gran Colombia with Bolivar as President.”  (Wulf, 2015)

Bolívar liberated or helped liberate four territories: New Granada, Venezuela, Quito, Peru and also established Bolivia (which still bears his name).


This history of class and race struggle lives on in Venezuela. Juan Guaido, who is Creole, has called for privatization of Venezuela’s oil for foreign investments (US) and for these same foreigners (again US) to came and invade his country and change him from a make-believe to ‘official’ president. While Simón Bolívar was able jump out of the class and race he was born into, and was able to identify with the Mestizos and Blacks, Guaido only identifies with the elites, the rich and powerful.

Guaido and his financial backers care so little for their country that they invite foreigners  to invade their country and to use whatever force is necessary to install Guaido as their president even if this means sacking the entire country.  Maduro and most of the people who fight for and with him understand they are fighting for the very sovereignty of Venezuela.  I think many of these people are also driven to stick with one of their own, by their mutual love of place, of country, their homeland, of their breath-taking forests and mountains and rivers.  Most of Guaido followers willing to sell out their homeland seem to connect primarily with power and wealth.  They have already indicated, through their leader, that they are willing to privatize the oil of Venezuela and put it in US hands.  They, of course, would be rewarded handsomely and have reassurances they would still have their Mestizo servants. We will see who wins this struggle. In the meantime, Canada has set our course along with the oil-hungry Americans and rich elites of Venezuela who want to crown their leader, Juan Guaido, with the gold and silver they have stolen from the labor of the Mestizos.


Monday, May 06, 2019

The defeat of US war hawks in Venezuela

John Bolton, who acts as chief adviser to the president, did not get his way with President Trump, at least last week.  It seems that the  Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of  Staff Gen. Paul Selva, turned thumbs down on Bolton’s heart felt desire to invade Venezuela and conquer the stubborn Maduro with guns blazing, whether by US forcers or simply hiring  mercenaries to do the job (the US has hired mercenaries’ before in its never ending wars).  So it was a real treat to hear the top honcho of the American military say, more or less, that this was a stupid idea.  Selva himself framed it differently according to reports by the Washington Post that appeared thusly:  “…Selva reportedly felt that the Bolton staffs confrontational style was “out of line” with a senior administration official saying that the Bolton staffers were dissatisfied over Selva’s failure to present sufficient military options” (Sputnik International 02.05 2019).


Is this just a difference of opinion between the Pentagon and the war hawks? Or extremely poor intelligence from the CIA? I don’t think so.  Although it does seem strange to say anything good at all about the Pentagon, I thank good earth vibes that Gen. Selva has enough sense, or sense of self preservation, and national preservation, to realize that invading Venezuela militarily would probably evoke World War Three.  Russia has investments in Venezuela that she is not going to let go and she also knows that if the US war haws win in Venezuela the next invasion will be Iran (maybe after they have knocked off Cuba first, a small matter) on their agenda.  Of course by that time these dumbest of dumb people think Russia will be so scared they will capitulate and forget all about dumping the American Petro dollar and starting their own banking system.  The same way Venezuela was supposed to forget all about the Bolivarian Revolution and rush to give America who is the Good, and the Home of the Brave, their oil fields. 


Instead, in spite of all of Bolton and crew’s efforts to get the invasion of Venezuela going as soon as possible, aided by most of US Congress urging the invasion on, Trump got on the phone last week and called Putin.  Oh, horror!  The president of the US making direct phone contact and actually discussing how both nations could maybe, just maybe, sort of, kind of, well, just perhaps, ease out of the dangers of an open military confrontation between the two nuclear powers.!  And maybe forget either one of them ever heard of Juan Guaido and his self-proclamation as the true president of Venezuela.  But what might happen to the military industrial complex if such an agreement might take place between Trump and Putin? Might that affect all of future missing trillions of tax payers dollars by the Pentagon go awry if some of the regime changes stumbled and maybe stopped altogether? Those trillions of tax payer’s dollars that the Pentagon can’t find?  Where would most congress members get a whole lot of their money to stage their lying-to-the-public campaigns if regime change got seriously bogged down.  After all, the Israeli lobby can’t supply all of their pay-off money.  No, a mutual decision to leave the Venezuelans to chart their own course just can’t be allowed to happen, damnmit! The US Democrats (and some Republicans) will have a complete melt-down. 


 But I think it is happening.  But still…if Maduro hangs on and Trump wants a way out and is cautious about blowing up the world, what about all those other countries that so eagerly accepted Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela?  What about Canada?  What about our so self-righteous Foreign Minister  who was, as a member of the LIMA group, so anxious that we understand that the Venezuelan children  be rescued, while she approved more sanction against the same Venezuela children she claims to be so concerned about.  But why is she so ignorant of the nature of the Bolivarian Revolution?  A bit of study might have made her somewhat hesitant to eagerly embrace the idea of regime change on the majority who live in Venezuela. And Justin Trudeau.  What does this say about him?  And why did he and Freeland even think of joining a group of extreme right wing Latin American countries (the LIMA group) who have had their own tries for independence from US rulers eaten out of their innards by Petro dollars and the corruption that brings.     Next time.