Despite Netanyahu’s pre-emptive strike

It was with some surprise and a smidgen of disbelief that I listened to the local news and learned that not only was a nuclear deal with Iran in the offing, but the military was not involved. There were no boots on the ground, no aerial bombardment, no collateral damage, no killing of innocents, and no damage to schools, hospitals, churches, and civilian infrastructure. No f****** semper fi! Those tactics that the US and NATO had used mercilessly and with impunity since world war two were mysteriously absent. Hoo-bloody-ray!

So many pundits were against any sort of deal with Iran that such an event entered the realm of impossible. Those pundits showed their brass necks by noting at some length that Iran was not to be trusted. A short course in recent Iranian history would have taught them that any animosity on Iran’s part would have shown that Iran had multiple reasons for mistrust of US and NATO and their clients. Have the Israelis always treated Iran fairly? Did Iraq have US backing for its military adventures in Iran? Did the US shoot down an Iranian civilian aircraft over Iranian waters? Did agents of the US usurp the democratically elected government of Iran and install the Shah as their puppet?

US and NATO spokesmen have a terrible habit of rewriting history boasting that they are the good guys. War crimes do not apply to them and international criminal courts are only recognised when it’s to their advantage. Even the present incumbent in the White House regards the US as the shining city on the hill and its systems and players as exceptional. The naive might ask, ‘exceptional in what way?’ Surely not exceptionally violent, exceptionally aggressive, exceptionally greedy, exceptionally hypocritical, and the list of negative character traits goes on? How about exceptionally paranoid on a daily diet of media inspired fear?

It’s the Iranians who have reason to be paranoid. They had been caught between a theocratic rock and the hard threat of nuclear annihilation. Their choices were hell or hell!

Has the US and NATO actually listened to the oceans of criticism arising from their decades of misadventures and decided to seek a better solution for foreign policies? There are 47 so-called republican traitors who adamantly adhere to the previous bullying tactics and would disrupt the administration’s attempts at joining the human race and the side of good hearted folks world wide. Freedom of speech is good. Freedom of speech with accuracy and responsibility is better. Hopefully those brain addled clowns will always be in a distinct minority whether they are charged as traitors or not.

While today’s news is uplifting, it is not yet cast in stone having a 3 month respite to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. It does however, auger extremely well for the future of diplomacy. The reasoned talk, debate, tact and courtesy, as shown to a world wide audience, has exemplified that there is hope yet for the future of the human race. Mr. Netanyahu’s pre-emptive strike in his dubiously illegal, certainly discourteous, speech to the US Congress, may have earned him a few votes on the extreme right of Israeli politics but it earned him little, if any, brownie points with the larger audience. Just imagine the furore if Mr. Obama had been invited to address the Knessett behind Netanyahu’s back!

Dare we imagine that as Iran foregoes being a holder of nuclear weaponry, that all other nations will follow their lead? Will Israel and the US, to mention but two such candidates, also follow UN resolutions on nuclear proliferation? If the world is safer when Iran toes the line, doesn’t it follow that further safety is ensured when all nations do the right thing?

But why stop with nukes? The UN has resolutions on its books relating to the proliferation of all arms. Where is the leadership to take up those challenges? Surely there is a strong desire in China, Russia, and the US to make all nations safer? If those nations led the way, the other nations such as Israel, France, Britain, Italy and Germany would be obliged to follow suite. What a gift that would be to the peacemakers; to see the supply of arms dry up. Police forces would begin to sleep soundly once more and smiles would come back into fashion.

Today’s news was huge. It was not only welcome in our household, it removed a large cloud of cynicism from my shoulders and restored a large unit of trust in my fellow humans. Thank you.


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Je Suis Charlie: The CyberWar is now MainStream

The Washington Post recently published Anonymous hacks terror website in retaliation for Charlie Hebdo attack.

It’s a fascinating read on so many levels.

The cyberattack wasn’t on a nuclear station, a power grid, a military base, an operations center, an intelligence command depot.

The cyberattack was on an idea, a belief, a way of doing things.

I remember an IRA member talking about an extremist attack on the London subway system. He said, “Those people are f?cking nuts. They’re not doing this right. We’re getting out of the terrorist business.”

And when was the last time you heard about an IRA attack? They may still be happening, we’re just not hearing about them.

And I’m not condoning the cyberattack, only recognizing it as a new level of warfare and a new type of warfare, a Censorship warfare. Or maybe not censorship as in “I won’t let you get your message out”, more like “I don’t care what you say, just don’t act on what you say…at least not in a way that’s going to hurt people.”

I don’t know where to place this, really.

Thoughts, everyone?


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Is Paris Burning? And Who’s Holding the Match?


The situation in Paris came as no surprise and fell into the category of ” here come the chickens home to roost.” European nations have 500+ years history of crusades of one form or another having learned zilch from those mistakes. The US, its clients and NATO continue to apply violence in many Muslim countries. The perpetrators then have the nerve to ask, “Why do they hate us?”

After all, we are the good guys. We want to further the cause of democracy, but not in Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, etc. We want all nations to enjoy the fruits of capitalism don’t we? Not so, the critics sing out. The US has to be in charge. The conditions which they impose on their trading partners would not see the light of day in Washington DC. So we have the enrichment of US banks via “odious debts” which are ruinous in the third world.

Hundreds have been killed, wounded or orphaned in the Yemen, thousands have suffered similar inhumane treatments in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. When the sunshine is too much for the US media to stomach, the US calls on client states, such as Israel and Honduras, and US armed dictators to fill the breach with violent aggression, eg. the Contras, with the usual ruinous results.

Each one of those who have suffered under US led aggression, has a family of relatives all of whom grew up in a culture where revenge is a legitimate remedy. They also live in oil rich areas where access to funding is possible. Some attend Wahabbi schools and learn more than quotes from the Koran. Some learn to read in English and pick up armed forces literature on the art of war.

So with the means, motives and opportunities, are we really surprised that the chickens are coming home to roost? Just as the European colonialists were on the wrong side of history for centuries, the US and NATO have joined that losing side.

So what can be done? How about diplomacy? How about listening to moderate Muslims? How about closing US and NATO bases in Muslim nations? How about treating Palestinians exactly as Israelis are treated and funded? How about doing unto others as we would have them do kindly unto us? How about getting mental health treatment for the national paranoia?

Obviously having nuclear weapons, superior instruments of war, EITs, and a spectrum of legislative and educational tools are ineffective against 7th century warriors who see death as a good thing. Yet we see armed forces personnel being sent as advisors, legislators, and educators; a task for which they are neither qualified nor adequately trained. As the US and NATO media and news releases are far right wing extremists, the general public is continuously misinformed, pinning its hopes on government sound bites. And so the carnage will continue till Obama or his advisors join the human race.


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Gas Pump Nightmares

The oil producing province of Alberta is struggling to maintain its workforce as the price of oil plummets. Those who are in natural gas production, pipelines and alternates have not been hit as yet. The Albertans go on to blame the Saudis for deliberately keeping production levels high, glutting the market and putting the boots to the competitors especially the Ruskies. However, the Ruskie ace in the hole is their natural gas market on which Europe depends.

As a client state of the US, I wonder if there isn’t background shenanigans going on in Saudi land to keep the Ruskies on the verge of failed statehood. One empire at a time is enough.

The Saudi family is so obscenely well off that the present fall in the barrel price of oil does no harm. Later, as they close the spigots which are now wide open, the six month fall in price will be quickly reversed.

Other oil producers such as Iran and Venezuela, no friends of the US, also suffer from those crude tactics. The upside of those tactics, is that consumers gladly go to the pumps and have shekels left over for other things such as groceries.

The downside, apart from unemployment in oil producing countries and the economic fallout across the spectrum, is that investment in alternatives seems less urgent. So the ecology of the planet suffers, climate change advances, and climate control planners have to reset their priorities.

I have no proof that US policies in client states is at the root of all this, just as no proof was available for bankrupting the USSR in Afghanistan or EITs. Yet we must learn from history and see that if it walks, talks and acts like duck it’s not a lilywhite swan.


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Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Mr. Obama? Really?

The Senate Report on Enhanced CIA Interrogation Techniques puts the lie to all political pronouncements coming out of Washington over the past decade and in part over the past half century. Mendacity, hubris and hypocrisy are alive and flourishing in the land of the free.

The US signs pacts, treaties, international and domestic, which casual readers might assume are entered into law to be rigorously followed by all signatories to those agreements. But the US decides which treaties to ratify and even then which ratified treaties to uphold. It would seem that only those treaties which meet with the blessings of the corporate lobby and favour their culture of trade protection, form the standard. Yet for all other signatories, the US insists that the letter of signed treaties be followed unwaveringly. Hence we have one of the multiple double standards in American law. (The treatment of unarmed black children at the hands of a militarised police force is another and frightening in the extreme.) The same war crimes which sent Germans, Italians, and Japanese to firing squads, or lifetime hard labour are glossed over or white-washed by the American media when the US are the perps.

Many of the findings so far released in the Senate Report have been well known in North America and internationally for many years. The UN and other NGOs have regularly requested that the US judiciary take steps to see justice be done fairly and that the perpetrators be offered remedies according to US and international laws in accordance with their involvement.

The executive branch of government seems to think that their duty is only to lament that high crimes and serious misdemeanors have been carried out. The current chief executive is no exception. Mr. Obama’s daily lament, while no individuals are named and no blame is cast, shows a certain spinelessness. It may be good diplomatically but it is a weak response. If Obama follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, the perps will be pardoned as Reagan and NIxon had their crimes pardoned. Again a double standard. While millions of black americans live incarcerated for relatively minor infringements of law, those responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, or war crimes strut their stuff as free men.

Knowing all this as a given, isn’t there a case for American NGOs such as the ACLU, Amnesty International, Centre for American Progress, et al., to use the Senate Report to sue the perpetrators in American courts? The UN has asked for indictments. Why are Americans sitting back as if everything is just a storm in a teacup? Is it really OK to be the 1000 pound gorilla in the room, an international rogue state, practising lawlessness with impunity?

During his daily chats on this report, Mr. Obama has stated that, “This is not who we are.” “We are better than this.” Yeah right Mr. Obama. If you were really better there would have been no need for this report and the world community could look up to “the shining city on the hill” as mentioned in another dreamscape. If this is not who you are, show some fortitude and make things right. After all you are the most powerful man on the planet!