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Miles Report No. 52 - Fear and the glories of war
It was played over and over…and over...again on CBC, the ISIS tape of Canadian John Maguire promoting the ISIS cause and targeting Canada and Canadians in the ever ongoing “global war on terror” announced over a decade ago. The video referenced two earlier incidents from lone wolf attacks on Canadian military personnel: the first when one soldier was killed and injured another in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec; the second - more famously, when a guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa was killed, with a followup gun fight within the Parliament Buildings.
All of these are criminal/terror actions, and all of them could not have arrived at a more propitious time for the ruling neo-Conservative government of Stephen Harper. Starting many years ago, with his proclamation that “Islamicism” is the greatest threat to Canada, Harper has continually glorified war, glorified the warriors (at least until they no longer serve, then they are denied what should be their rightful support for disabilities et al), and strutted his pitiful self on the world stage, no longer wanting to have a ‘peaceable nation.’
The NATO/US bombing of Libya was led by the Canadian military, followed by a glorified reception in the Senate of those who participated in that glorious mission to liberate the Libyans of their oil, gold, and water (yes, the immense underground aquifer that underlies much of the African sand). So, how has that worked out for you? Well, quite well actually.
Libya is a factional mess, creating many more jihadis than were originally there in the first place - the original few being supported by CIA covert ops in order to initiate the overthrow of the government. The weaponized militants from this fight have spread throughout the Middle East, with most concentrating in the Syria-ISIS-Saudi-US war in the region.
All the more ammunition for Harper’s fear factor, as he supports the jihadis fighting in Syria against the Assad government. Even better, that morphed into ISIS, a group that grew from the long roots of U.S. CIA involvement with the mujahideen, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda from days preceding the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan through the illegal pre-emptive war on Iraq. The latter, with its armed and equipped Sunni militias due to the U.S. ‘surge’, has proven to be the hard core centre of the new reign of extremism. Ultimately, Harper assigned six fighter jets with three support planes to the fight. (Go get ‘em, Canada!)
Also involved in Harper’s military pretences are his actions and attitudes towards Russia and the Ukraine. The CIA/NSA promoted coup d’etat in the Ukraine gave rise to a government that has many neo-Nazis in key cabinet positions, receiving key support from violent nazi elements willing to shoot and burn political opponents. Harper has sent military supplies in support of this regime, as well as sending military personnel for ‘training’ missions for the regime. According to Harper this is, of course, all Russia’s fault.
At the recent G-20 summit in Australia, Harper played the tough guy against Putin - at least he tried. Certainly it was good for his loyal supporters, but for most of the world, his confrontation simply came across as ignorant and stupid, cretinized posturing at its best.
Thus it stands that Harper is in all his glory, promoting the fear factor, fear of Russia, fear of Islamicism, acting the tough guy. This plays well to his base, and it also plays well to a large number of other Canadians who seem to be relatively ignorant of the global situation. These two major fear factors are of course fully involved with each other: they are both components of the U.S. empire’s attempts to prevent the “dedollarization” of the world as propounded by China.
China? To bring China into the debate also brings the awareness that Russia is not “isolated”, that the mess in the Middle East has ramifications all across Eurasia as (mostly) China bargains for more energy supplies. It spreads even further as the BRICS nations also support China and Russia in their efforts to de-Americanize the world order.
Oil and the Canadian dollar
This may seem like a bit of a sidestep, except that Canada’s economy is now highly reliant on oil/gas revenues for its sustenance. Unlike the US$, Canada’s dollar has no significant spot within world markets and is subject to all the fluctuations that any emerging market or petro-currency (as with Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia et al) has to deal with. Harper was at least smart enough to be involved with arranging a Renminbi trading swap agreement with China, a sort of backhanded acknowledgement that yes, perhaps, Canada better kowtow to the next powers that be: Russia and China.
Russia with immense natural resources and the ability to promote and create massive works projects; China with the industrial and financial capacity to support that; and together to build a new “Silk Road” (literally: highways, railroads, fiber optics, oil/gas lines, supporting structures and services) linking Eurasia into one large economic union, trading with most of the rest of the world for required resources.
Harper’s politics of fear and Pierre Poilievre’s ignorance
But let’s not get too far from Canada itself, where the fear factor is an important political factor. The Conservatives are pretty much ‘Republicans North’ for their attitudes and methodologies for political survival, meaning that pretty much anything goes. One of the best methodologies is that fear of the ‘other’, a malignant and wilfully misunderstood set of beliefs.
This fear and purposeful misunderstanding is best exemplified by the wonderful Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic (cough) Reform. Evan Solomon on CBC’s Power and Politics cited him as saying, “The root of terror is terror.” Yeah, wonderful, that really clarifies the situation!
Understanding does not mean acceptance. To understand the roots of terror, and to understand the various paths that terror has evolved through does not deny its cruelty and viciousness. Instead it points to the the real ‘roots’, the places where it first found sustenance and thrived. However in a sense, Poilievre is correct, the root of terror is terror.
The terror that is the ‘root of terror’ was seeded and fertilized by the colonial settler empires of Europe that later morphed into the empire of the U.S., NATO, and one could now add those wonderfully theocratic, monarchial, fundamentalist states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (led mostly by the originators of al-Qaeda and ISIS, our ally, Saudi Arabia). It is the ongoing terror of the wounded empire trying to support its petrodollar with its ‘full spectrum dominance’ military.
All that fear and loathing created by the blowback of terror from the empire of terror simply plays into the electoral hand of Harper’s Conservatives. Using tactics borrowed from Republicans they have successfully diverted attention away from their own autocratic authority. The promotion of the military, its glorification (but subsequent denial), the fear of acts of terror, the general ignorance of the Canadian populace concerning global energy and currency wars (mostly the latter at this point in time) all is part of the plan to assist in the upcoming 2015 election, a process now well underway. Harper’s main hope is to ride that fear and ignorance into his next electoral victory.