First published at Axis of Logic
Miles Report No. 62 - Felicitations et bienvenue
Je voudrais vous envoyer mes felicitations pour vos succes pendant les elections legislatives du Canada. Au debut, j’espere que vous trouverez vos services au Canada comme une periode d’entrainement menant vers un Canada plus ouvert, plus responsable, et plus au courant des affaires domestiques et mondials.
Quant a moi, je suis tres heureux d’avoir une nouvelle gouvernement qui evitera les attitudes de peur, de division, et d’ideologie. Si ca suivra pendant des mois et des annees a venir, tous seront mieux que pendant les annees passees.
Malgre ca, il y a plusieurs choses pour lesquelles j’ai des incertitudes qui m’inquieter. Je connais que la plupart des representatives ne lirent pas ces messages, mais a la fois j’espere que le “message” sera entendu par ceux qu’ils travaillent avec les representatives.
J’ecrit pour la plupart en anglais parce que je peux penser plus vite en anglais. Donc les “reports” suivant sera en anglais.
Vous avez vu que le titre et nombre 62. Si vous voulez voir ce que j’ai ecrit pendant des annees passees, veuillez aller chercher mon site internet (ci dessous).
Range of topics
There are many topics that I express my views on. Few of them are entirely domestic, few are entirely concerned with foreign affairs. For example, environmental change is obviously a domestic concern, in particular for the people of the north and the indigenous people who still are strongly associated with the land as their culture; at the same time it is obviously an international affair as the upcoming meetings in Paris demonstrate.
Similarly, relations with Russia, the U.S., Iran, Syria, Israel are readily classified under foreign affairs, but their domestic impact is large economically and ideologically.
In both areas, as with many other areas, there is a lot of ignorance, and there has been in the past far too much ideological determination of actions and attitudes. I hope that these comments will perhaps present a perspective that will create points of discussion (rather than the “talking points” all too frequently seen) towards more critically thought out courses of action.
My sources are global - I do not rely on the mainstream media for the correct interpretation of the news. I do not believe that the news should be “balanced” as many journalists subscribe to as there is little balance in global affairs where hugely powerful governments/corporations are able to create and disseminate their ideology frequently with apparent disregard for others perspectives or the actual reality of a situation.
The main good news are the changes already evident in the new government. First off is attitude: much more open, more receptive, much more positive. Primarily I have been impressed with the new cabinet. While watching the swearing in ceremony it was obvious that the members of the cabinet were placed according to credentials and abilities and that this included an equal allotment of women to represent Canada as it truly is.
And for all the cabinet posts, I was most impressed by the appointment of Jody Wilson-Raybould as Justice Minister. The indigenous people of Canada have long had to resort to the courts in order to establish their rights according to treaty and according to laws dating back to the Royal Proclamation of 1783. To now have an indigenous person as Justice Minister is simply amazing in a positive way - if we cannot relate to our own indigenous people, to correct past mistakes, and to acknowledge their rights for the future, then we should have no place in commenting or acting on any policies concerning others foreign affairs. The courts have been of tremendous service in Canada during the past decade and hopefully will continue their honest non-ideological interpretations of the law as Canada moves forward.
More good news is possible with the new attitude towards the environment. While I really do not expect great changes in the global scheme of things, at least Canada can perhaps assume a leadership role rather than its last decade of belligerence and recalcitrance towards science in general and climate change in particular.
That same change of attitude will hopefully be seen with foreign relationships in other areas. I was also impressed by the new minister of defence, Harjit Sajjan. Ironically having a serving member of the military as minister is far better than having a simple ideologue in the war department. First off, thank you for removing the F-35 as a choice for a Canadian jet fighter as its record of overcost, malfunctions, and inadaptability are well documented in U.S. commentaries.
As yet I have not heard an actual announcement of the recall of our jet fighters from the Middle East, nor of any actual stepping down of our apparent combat role alongside the Kurds into a training role - components of the latter still being somewhat prejudiced by a general ignorance of the many layered geopolitical situations being played out in the Middle East (and elsewhere). However, to renege on those commitments will quickly create an image of a government mired in past ideologies.
This morning (Remembrance Day) Mr. Sajjan said on CBC that Canada should “play a part in preventing conflict.” It is that comment that leads into my major present concern, Canada’s foreign policy and its abrasive relationships around the world.
Uncertainties and bad news
At the moment, I have yet to perceive anything as bad news, but there are major uncertainties that could lead to that. The previous decade has seen a serious disintegration of Canada’s role in the world in its self-perceived role as a peacemaking nation.
Canada’s image over the recent past has been as a belligerent operating fully in cooperation with the U.S.’ attempts to retain global hegemony through the use of military force, using the rhetoric of “freedom and democracy” as a cover for their efforts to create chaos in effectively the whole continent of Eurasia in order to contain Russia and China.
As such, Canada withdrew its embassy from Tehran - this should be restored. Iran’s history is generally unknown to most in the west, people remain unaware that most current affairs began with the CIA/MI5 overthrow of a democratically elected government in 1953 in order to secure the rights to cheap oil from Iran. The overthrow of the Shah in 1978-79 was the blowback reaction to that.
Canada has supported U.S. sanctions against Iran and Russia. These need to be stopped. The Iranian people did suffer as a result of this as their economy and global power could not stand up to the powers of the financial/corporate world through which they had to operate. Russian sanctions have mostly hurt the Europeans, while Russia has made significant progress in rebalancing its economy and generating new areas of strength alongside China and the BRICS.
Canada has also supported the U.S. led coup (search Victoria Nuland, U.S.assistant secretary of State) in the Ukraine led by the right wing and its neo-nazi members. It has sent “trainers” to work with this government and has supplied equipment to the Kiev military that is attempting to control Novorussia ( also Donbas; Donetsk and Luhansk) militarily and in defiance of the Minsk accords signed only last year. Along with Russian sanctions, the financial and military support of the current Ukrainian government needs be stopped.
Russia is not the aggressor, in spite of the right wing ideological rhetoric coming from the mainstream media. The CBC has had a lead hand in this, following the script as presented by the U.S. government/CIA sources. It is NATO that has moved towards the Russian border, and if anyone has ever read the Project for a New American Century, who has ever read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1998)” will understand that U.S. foreign policy is determined towards the containment/destruction of both Russia and China in order to become the world’s global hegemon.
Dare I mention Israel? All party leaders in Canada trot out the tired cliche about “Israel has a right to defend itself.” I would ask, from whom? It is Israel that has occupied Palestinian territory and has subject the indigenous people to an internal ethnic cleansing through the building of settlements, the destruction of towns and farmlands, the arbitrary use of military rule in the West Bank, the use of arbitrary arrests, torture, home destruction, and the use of a myriad of arbitrary rules and regulations in order to keep the indigenous Palestinians from ever receiving equality in a democratic society.
Israel is not threatened by any Arab country. Except for Syria and Lebanon, Israel has peace agreements with its bordering neighbours. Saudi Arabia in spite of its Wahhabi rhetoric, is currently allied with Israel in both military and commercial terms. Egypt is under the control of a military government (nominally democratic only) and is supported by billions of dollars of U.S. aid (as is Israel). Israel has a powerful military and generally is a fully militarized country, using the fear factor in order for the various governments to maintain power, witness the attacks on Gaza that seem to occur quite regularly before election times. They are a nuclear power and non-signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to which Iran has signed on to, with its given right to enrich uranium.
Honestly I do not expect any change in Canada’s attitude towards Israel. In spite of the evidence of Israeli atrocities against its indigenous population, Canadian attitudes seem to be overwhelmingly determined by U.S. government/corporate mainstream media messaging. A two state solution is no longer possible. Will Canada do anything to promote a true democracy in Israel within its de facto one state arrangement?
The current mess in the Middle East
I doubt that few if any of our legislative members have read or listened to Putin’s speech at the UN this fall. In it he asked indirectly of the U.S., “Do you know what you have done?” His context was the full range of events in the Middle East, especially since the illegal invasion of Iraq, the destruction of its domestic and governmental infrastructure, the attacks on Libya that Canada had a major hand in also destroying infrastructure and bombing government forces (and they called it a no fly zone?) to support the Sunni led insurgents, and the more recent foray into supposedly fighting ISIS, but mostly pretending to fight them while they supported terrorist groups fighting Assad.
It is of interest to note here how the Harper government remained strangely quiet on this topic after Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow, and Israel’s general silence and cessation of activity in support of the anti-Assad terrorist groups. Is Israel repositioning itself now that the U.S. global hegemony is seriously impaired? Was Harper taking ‘recommendations’ from Netanyahu? We will probably never know that reality.
Canadian troops are currently fighting with the Kurdish forces. Canada has been against Russia’s actions, as per its usual subservience to the U.S. and NATO dictats. The Kurds however are positive in welcoming Russia’s assistance against ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria (like the “moderate” al-Qaeda, you know, the ones who supposedly attacked the WTC). Turkey is against the Kurds for fear of their own problems with a large Kurdish population, and pretends to be against ISIS (but who is buying their oil? And who refrained from combatting them as they attempted to take the Kurdish town of Kobani?) but has a rather porous border allowing supplies and personnel to pass through to the various terrorist groups.
Iraq, now permanently dismembered into essentially three states (western Sunni, eastern Kurdish, and southern Shia) has not recovered from the U.S. invasion. Iraq has also welcomed the Russian intervention by creating an intelligence headquarters in Damascus (with Iran, Iraq, Russia and Syria as members notably without the U.S., that latter who will not share intelligence on the terrorist forces that they seem incapable of destroying).
What it truly amounts to is the EU/US desire for cheap oil to be transhipped through Syria rather than to have Russia control the oil pipelines vis a vis Iran. It is also part and parcel of the above mentioned Chessboard within the supposed American Century in order to contain/deconstruct Russia as a global power.
Canada should not be participating in this war in any way militarily. Our forces should be removed and diplomatic channels should be opened to all concerned with a concerted effort made to arrive at some form of settlement. Now that Russia has impinged upon the U.S. chessboard (which ironically is used by some pundits to indicate that Russia is playing chess while the U.S. is playing checkers or pick-up-sticks) the reality of a Russian aligned Syria needs to be recognized and dealt with outside of the military.
Therefore I wait to see what transpires within Canadian foreign and domestic policy over the next year in particular. I have not touched upon Canada’s financial position vis a vis the TPP and other trade aspects, including the infamous tar sands, but that would make this already long discourse much too long). If Canada wishes to regain its image as a peacemaker rather than a belligerent with pretences of grandeur, it needs to reshape its policies both at home and abroad. It will be an interesting year for sure, while the sunny ways are here at least temporarily.
The Miles Report is available on line here and here.