This World is not a Commodity: The Planet versus the Trans Pacific Partnership

The latest Wikileaks  release  outlines the secret  deals being conducted by   Western  state  on behalf of international  companies under the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, to  ensure those companies can  engage in whatever malpractice and destruction of the environment they  choose to . If those companies object  to  anything a local  state is doing to  restrict  their trade or profits, that  state entity can be sued in  a  highly partial  court of law without  any  jurisprudence standing (ie i totally biased without safety measures against conflict  of interest  of the legal  agents involved.

If the consequences of the TPP were not so  incredibly damaging for the environment and the future of this planet-this piece of  negotiation would be seen  as pure farce and another mighty demonstration of the woeful  lack of intelligence of the political  parties and individuals involved.

Common Dreams describes the bill  as a “Fast track to Hell”; which  in many respects,  the deal is.

A Hell  of climate hothouse change and  unfettered environmental  and species destruction; let alone  a hell  for human “consumers” of unregulated and unsafe products . But more particularly it is a madhouse.

A truly insane drive to  destroy the planet  with  unregulated commodification before any of us get  the smallest  opportunity to  save  our species and the other remaining species on  this planet  that  are “useful” to us, from  the wholesale destruction of this planet  through  the insanity of  “market forces” .

That   supposedly sane  negotiators from  all  those Pacific countries could seriously  consider this Partnership  deal  as some thing  worthwhile to  even consider for a moment is deeply disturbing, and  is  a spectacularly horrifying litmus test  of how  irrevocably  the human species has departed from  any sense of connection with the planet  it depends upon  to  survive.

The TPP surely shows that  the human species really  don’t deserve this planet.


Links

Analysis of the TPP Investment Charter

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/TPP-Investment-Chapter-Analysis/page-4.html

 Fast track  to  Hell-Common Dreams

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/16/fast-track-hell-trade-bill-officially-introduced-congress

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

 

The Rule of International Law

Richard Falk; ex- U.N. rapporteur for  Palestine, writes another beautifully effective and rational  analysis of the realities of international  law  in his blog entitled   “Opposing Impunity  for Geopolitical  Criminality” .

In this of many similar articles from Richard Falk, he exposes the hypocrisy of state entities who  proselytize about the rule of law in  state conflicts.

The ongoing theme of “victor’s justice” permeates all current   and historical rule of international  law – that needs to  change if we are to  see the end to  wars and  state violence.

Supporting Our Friends in Yemen

Once again we see bombs falling in the middle east; this time on the civilians in Sana the capital of Yemen by Saudi  Arabia and their arab coalition friends, with the full support of the United States. Livingunderthebombs Once more the mainstream media portrays these bombings as some fair and responsible response to evil aggressors. The reality could not be further from the truth. In reality we see the hereditary dictatorship in Saudi Arabia , which holds to extremist wahhabinist Sunni views, providing logistical support for its Al Qaeda affiliates in  Yemen: the home of Al Qaeda, and the original home of the Bin Laden family. The Houthi separatist rebels that the Saudis and their friends are now attacking from the air are no angels themselves, but they in no way equate to the terrorists that the Saudis, and by proxy,the United States and its allies, are supporting in the Yemen. The Saudis and the Arab League have been  touting the bombing campaign  and the preparation for 40,000  Arab league troops to  invade Yemen as the result of Iranian “meddling’  in Yemen to  support their fellow Shi-ite  brethren ( however the Houthi  Zaidi Shi-ite sect is apparently more closely related to  Sunni  practice than it is to  Iranian  Shiites’). In reality there is currently no evidence but much  speculation about Iranian involvement, with  the Houthis themselves  denying Iranian  involvement. However the spectre of Iranian hegemony is a very  useful  tool for both  the Saudi and Israeli regimes. The reality again  is somewhat  different. It is Saudi wahhabi  extremism and its grand goal of violently eliminating all other “heretical”  Islamic sects,  (including the Sunni Sufis who  form  a large proportion of the Yemen Sunni population) as well as  Israeli fears of  a rising major middle east  power which   (unlike the other Gulf states)  cannot be bought by  the United States, that is prompting this assault on Yemen.

Map  of Al Qaeda in Yemen: 2104 by CriticalThreats.org
Al Qaeda reach in Yemen: 2014

The Houthis have been in danger of fully ousting Al Qaeda from Yemen and therefore had to be forcefully removed as a threat. Be assured that Western intelligence is fully informed of the implications of this invasion, but will not for some months recognise that this new adventure is in fact the beginning of the end of the extremist Saudi regime, with many of their military  composed of Yemen nationals  not so  sympathetic to  Wahhabi  extremism and its  hatred of Shiites and other Muslim sects. The removal of the wahhabist Saudi “monarchy” will remove one of the key drivers for any rationale for the supposed “war on terror” and as such, is something to be feared in Washington and their war industry.

Ironically Iran has proved itself adept in the many middle east  wars initiated by  the United States and its proxies, at using the  confusion and anarchy  so  created to its advantage . The Saudis and their “allies” have undoubtedly already committed a  multitude of war crimes  in their bombings of  Yemen infrastructure and civilian targets. Those crimes will  not be forgotten .

Interestingly the Wall St  Journal is  clearly (and proudly?)  stating that  US Command is providing the intelligence and command for Saudi air-strikes in Yemen.   Once again  this implicates senior US Military and political  figures  in  further war crimes in  just  another Middle East  country.

Postscript

The decision by  the U.N  Security Council on 14th April  2015,  by 13 votes to  Russia’s abstention, to  condemn the Houthi invasion of Yemen, and impose sanctions on the Houthi leadership, is a sad indictment of international  politics.

While support for sanctions by  the US and UK  for their Saudi  arms and oil   trading partner, was to  be expected, most troubling was China’s willingness to  support sanctions; this presumably  indicates a shift in China’s alliances towards Saudi Arabia as   a major oil  producer  which  will  then  reflect  badly on their  developing relationship  with Iran. This is a serious miscalculation of coming events by  the Chinese.

 


Links

http://rt.com/op-edge/244585-yemen-conflict-saudi-arabia-intervention/

 http://disquietreservations.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/putting-sanctions-on-saudi-arabia.html

http://atimes.com/2015/03/m-k-bhadrakumar-responds-it-suits-everyone-to-pretend-this-is-a-solo-saudi-act/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/graham-e-fuller/decipher-yemen_b_6965564.html

A Call to Resist Saudi (and US) Aggression in Yemen
http://www.thenation.com/article/203225/call-resist-saudi-and-us-aggression-yemen?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow#

Al-Qaeda Seizes Yemen Port, Frees Over 300 Prisoners

 

Fighting with the Big Boys

Note: another letter (below) to  my local  newspaper which  funnily enough, was never published..!
I note that  NZ soldiers   are likely to be deployed to  Iraq to  fight the terrorist  threat, and that their first  port of call will be, where else, Saudi Arabia ,the homeland of jihadist wahhabi  extremism, from  where  Saudi billionaires, if not their  tyrannical inherited dictatorship, fund support and train  their jihadists.
Might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers fly there via Qatar Airways, whose “government” is our next good ally in the middle east  also funding jihadist extremists.
 And to  add to  the satirical  mix, might I also  suggest  that  our soldiers spend some time in  the training camps in Jordan,Turkey  and Libya where Western governments have spent vast  amounts  of money  funding  the training and arming of “moderate” extremists to fight our ‘real’  enemies.
Its such a   shame when “our” terrorists get confused and fight us instead!

Appendix:

Peace Movement Aotearoa

4 March 2015

Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country from Hokianga to Dunedin at 5pm tomorrow, Thursday 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa. The details of each vigil are included below and available online at https://www.facebook.com/events/757364991025571 and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq2015.htm – please share the links, thank you. The details of vigils in other towns and cities will be added to those pages when confirmed.

If there isn’t a vigil in your area, you are invited to gather friends and family at 5pm on 5 March, light a candle for peace, then make your support visible by taking a photo of yourself or your gathering holding the ‘Military deployment in Iraq? Not in our name’ message and posting it on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa The ‘Not in our name’ poster is available in colour at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-col.pdf and in black and white at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nion-b&w.pdf If you are not a Facebook member, please send your photo to Peace Movement Aotearoa email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘Peace vigil photo’ in the subject line of your message and we will post it for you.

There is also the opportunity to add your name to the Open letter on military deployment to Iraq at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq-ol15.htm

The Death of Boris Nemtsov: A Quick Analysis

The recent murder of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian  opposition politician  and ex-physicist, on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge very  near to  the Kremlin in Moscow, raises many questions.

Predictably,  Western  politicians  and  mainstream  media are pointing  the finger at  Vladmir Putin, the President of Russia, as the man  who  signed off on Nemtsov’s execution. In  remarkably similar  ways to  the their response to  the  downing of MH 17 over Ukraine last  year,  they have leapt at  the opportunity to  once more demonise Putin. Proof of course, is immaterial in  this game.

Let us be under no  illusions, Putin  as an  ex-KGB officer is perfectly capable of signing Nemtsov’s death  warrant and may have done so, but , as I will  attempt  to  demonstrate, that   is the more unlikely  scenario in this instance.  Western media point to   other deaths of Russian  opposition politicians and oligarchs where  some of the evidence points to Russian  state apparatus involvement as proof that  this time, once again, another key  opposition to  Putin  has been  removed.  This despite the fact  that  Putin’s approval  rating in Russia  remains  at  around 86% while Nemtsov’s appears to  have been  less than  5% at  the time of his death.

Nemtsov’s political  colleagues argue that  he was killed to  pre-empt his imminent disclosure of  proof of Russian  military  direct  involvement in Ukraine.  Why his death  would prevent that  disclosure happening is unknown, or even  why  Nemtsov would have access to information that  was not  immediately available  to  Western politicians via  high-resolution  spy satellite imagery,  is a mystery.

His death  certainly resulted in  a Moscow march  of  many  thousands  of supporters and also  presumably included some  who  want an end to violence murder and political  intimidation in  the city . The Guardian  newspaper disparagingly reported that Moscow  Police estimated 7,000 on the march,  whereas in  fact  the police estimates from  RT.com  talk  of   around 50,000.

Boris Nemtsov was undoubtedly an  interesting  person.  With  a Phd in physics and a significant number of academic papers under his belt for quantum physics, he turned , instead to  politics, and quickly became a rising star  in Boris Yeltsin’s alcoholic haze of a government after the fall  of Soviet Russia becoming Deputy Prime Minister  for four months under Yeltsin in  1998 . Credited as being a “reformist”,  he later co-founded  the the “Union of Right Forces ”  party  in 1999 , and then opposed its inevitable merge to  survive as part of the ‘Right Cause’ party in 2008.  In 2012,  Nemtsov was appointed co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS) which  is a  member of the  Alliance of Liberals and Democrats  for Europe Party . 

Nemtsov and many of the parties he has been  affiliated to have been  accused, with  some truth, of being funded supported and guided by  European  and American  political interests such  as the  (European) Endowment for Democracy - an agency  with  distinctly  U.S. business  and right wing agendas, but portraying itself as a supporter of  local democracy.   Such  philosophies  are clearly on  a collision course with rising  nationalist  fervour in  many parts of Eastern Europe.   Implicated in  many of the “colour revolutions” in  places like Ukraine and Georgia, and in support of the “moderate” rebels in Syria, the agency  plays a lead non government role in  supporting  U.S.  government  power and control agendas. Very  much because of this American  bias and Russian  nationalism,  rather than  their neo-liberal agenda,  the political  parties Nemtsov was active in, played  to  an increasingly  smaller Russian audience over the years.

Russian  opposition activists see Nemtsov’s death  as an  opportunity; “We need to seriously think what to do from now on,” Leonid Volkov, an opposition leader and organizer of the March 1 memorial, said by phone. “We were at a low point but now some things have crystallized that allow us to make plans. I think it’s the start of a new wave of protests. It’s a real shame it took such an event for that to happen.”

The  answer to  the question  therefore, of “cui  bono” ( who  benefits) by  this death  remains complex.  It is still  certainly possible that  Nemtsov’s death  was ordered or orchestrated by  President Putin or  members of his coterie, but given  Putin’s professed wish  to  re-establish  positive relations with  the West  after the annexation of Crimea and supposed military  involvement in Eastern Ukraine, this seems unlikely.  Russia Today (rt.com)  stated that  “At the moment, investigators are looking into five possible motives behind Nemtsov’s assassination.   ” According to Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, the murder could have been a provocation to destabilize the political situation in Russia. It could also be linked to threats Nemtsov received over his stance on the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris or the current war in Ukraine. The politician’s business activities and a possible assault related to his personal life are also being looked into.”  Notably,  and understandably for their personal  safety perhaps! the Moscow Police  excluded a  state political  motivation for the  murder.  Could Putin have removed Nemtsov because he  might be seen to be a  leading contender for Presidency if the economic situation deteriorated even  further in  Russia?- a possible but rather obscure motivation in  my view.

Nemtsov certainly had links to  what has been  termed as  the Russian Mafia and oligarchs -to-be ,  in his role in selling off state assets at  bargain  prices to criminals after the fall  of the Soviet Union- did he still  have enemies from  those days?-that  also  seems unlikely; although his recent links to  Russian  business interests are deemed to  be extensive, but  unknown to this blogger.

The role of the  young girl who  accompanied him  onto  the bridge where he was shot and who escaped entirely unharmed after 4 shots were fired into  Nemtsov’s back, warrants investigation. Indeed one may wonder why  Western mainstream media is so  indignant that  she is being held for questioning  (as is standard Police practice internationally),  and not allowed to return  home to the Ukraine. Nemtsov’s was  very  much  opposed to  Russia’s annexation of Crimea and  the Russian  connection to  the Eastern Ukraine rebellion. Such  a political  view is extremely unpopular and deemed to  be unpatriotic in  Russia today; was he murdered by Novorussians perhaps because he was considered a traitor?

Or alternatively, was he murdered by  his  Western intelligence handlers because he was now  worth more to  them dead than  alive? Certainly the track  record of Western “intelligence”,  would indicate they  have absolutely no  qualms about torturing, murdering or destroying the lives of anyone who  gets in their way to  create that ‘better world’  ruled by  their funders.  Clearly the immediate  benefit of his death is to  further undermine  Putin’s credibility in  the eyes of those who  read and believe  Western mainstream media. The impact  on a Russian audience is likely to be negligible given  Putin’s high standing with  the Russian public.

The Russian  opposition is ever hopeful  however: “We need to seriously think what to do from now on,” Leonid Volkov, an opposition leader and organizer of the March 1 memorial, said by phone. “We were at a low point but now some things have crystallized that allow us to make plans. I think it’s the start of a new wave of protests. It’s a real shame it took such an event for that to happen.” 

So, we are left with an implausible reason for Putin  and/or Russian intelligence to  kill Nemtsov, i.e. “proof” of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine;  a possible  business deal gone wrong,   a murder to meet  the needs of  anti-Russian sentiment in  the West, an  opportunity for Russian opposition parties to  garner local  support, or possibly, but unlikely  given the murder ‘s locality on  a very public bridge,  a murder  to  avenge  a romantic relationship  gone sour. The death  certainly has the look of a targeted killing rather than  an act of revenge, and the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge is an ideal  public location to  stage opposition solidarity demonstrations after the death with  a Kremlin backdrop. And four single bullets to the back? hmmmm

 


Links

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/27/russian-opposition-politician-boris-nemtsov-shot-dead-moscow-reports

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/garry-kasparov-speaks-out-on-assassination-of-boris-nemtsov-2015-2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Cause_%28political_party%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_Right_Forces

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.nz/2015/02/breaking-news-false-flag-in-moscow.html

The Fall of Empire

A new piece of analysis   of the likelihood of severe drought in the United States in the later half of the 21st  century has made some dire predictions.. Entitled  Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains, the article posits that the American Southwest ( The broad definition of the South-West includes nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah) and the Central  Plains of the U.S. (includes Nebraska, Kansas, southern South Dakota and Minnesota, western Iowa and Missouri, and northern Oklahoma), will  as a result of global  warming and natural  climate changes, endure increasingly longer periods of severe drought.-  the worst  in  a thousand years.

The research  argues that  rainfall  measurement and soil  moisture levels  over the past 100 years do  not accurately  indicate the drought potential in the United States.

Drought Predictions 2050-2099

The “mega-droughts” of the 12th  and 13th  centuries in North America will pale into  insignificance compared to  the impending droughts beginning to occur somewhere between 2030    and 2050. This drought will  be compounded by  the then  very   severe impacts of global  warming, and the  massive loss of  groundwater and river depletion caused by  unsustainable agricultural  practices, fracking, and the large influx of  human populations  to  the west  over the preceding 100 years.

Benjamin  Cook,  a lead researcher for the study  from  the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies , notes that the models also revealed that the “drying in the Southwest would result from a combination of less rain and greater soil evaporation due to higher temperatures. They were not as conclusive about less rain in the central Great Plains but all showed more evaporation there. “Even where rain may not change much, greater evaporation will dry out the soils,” Cook says.”

If this research  is in  fact correct, then perhaps, you might argue , this is  payback  time for the 200  years of  devastation to  the planet  and horrific suffering inflicted on  so  many human beings by  that experiment in  global  destruction – the United States.

But we must not  forget  that  “innocent” human beings will  undoubtedly die , and countless millions of unique species may  well  disappear from  the face of the planet as a  result of this calamity. Or perhaps, as many of the Plains tribes ave predicted, this is their opportunity to  re-claim  their destiny.

The rich of the West  and mid-West  will have no problem  relocating to  their  houses in the eastern states or  overseas. It is the poor of the US who  will  once again  suffer as they  did in  the dust-bowl era.  Will  this extreme dislocation  lead then to  a resurgence in  workers’ rights, of equality for all, and  true non-oligarchic democracy? Or will it instead lead to  a desperate grab for other, more fortunate,  countries’ resources by  what is still  likely to be the largest  military  machine in the world?  It is however  indisputable that, over time, this environmental catastrophe will dramatically accelerate the United States’ transition to  relatively minor international player .

Will  those who  assume the mantle of ‘international leadership” be less voracious and barbarous in  their responses to international issues?-we will have to hope so.


 

Links

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

New Paper: Unprecedented 21st-century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists


 

 

The Absentee Landlord

A research  paper published  by Oxfam,  published to  coincide with the  World Economic Forum at Davos in late January  2015, shows that the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014, and at this rate will be more than 50 percent by  2016. Members of this global elite had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult in 2014.

In my view, the issue is less  that the disparity between  the rich  “elite”‘ is widening, and more to  do with how that  rich “elite” use their power and influence.   Provided people have enough to  eat, good sanitation, clean water,  safe housing and  peaceful  living environments, the issue of disparate  incomes becomes less an  issue of need , and more of perception and unfairness. Why  should I be poor when you are rich, and you clearly have no  more r right to  those riches than I do, and certainly don’t use those riches  in  a way that benefits  anyone other than yourself and your immediate clique?

The concern  about the   majority of  the   wealth  and power and control   resting with  a minority of the word’s population is  therefore not  so  much  an issue of how the world’s “wealth”  is shared, but the quality of the decisions that  are now being made about our future world as a result of  the disenfranchisement of decision-making  from  those who  are connected to their local environment. That  wealthy elite make their decisions on the  property they own based  almost  exclusively on how much  profit can be accrued through its exploitation.

The history of absentee landlords in  Scotland and Ireland in the late 18th  and 19th  centuries is unequivocally clear on this, and a lesson for today ,  where more than  50%  of the world will soon be owned owned by absentee owners.. The welfare of  Scottish  and Irish rentees on the land was of absolutely no concern to the landlord in most instances. Neither was the environmental  destruction of the land  of any  concern, unless it impacted on profit or pleasure.

Those who  remain connected to  the land, particularly inter-generationally, have a much greater driver to  ensure it remains sustainable for the long-term. Bad short-term decisions can undoubtedly still be made that destroy natural habitats and species, by  those connected to the land, but  an algorithm  of exploitation based purely on  short-term monetary  gain, does not make sense to those who  will inherit that land in  the future.

As just one of so many examples, in New Zealand, the rise of  dairy absentee millionaires and  conglomerates who  buy up  large tracts of pasture land (which  was once dense bush  with a myriad of species  within it)  and then proceed to  destroy the land through  unsustainable exploitation of the water resources available  to them and the long-term contamination of the water table with  dairy foecal  and nitrate pollutants. Once the profits have gone from  the “business” and the land destroyed, those absentee landlords will  take their money  and move on to another more  profitable  exploitation option.

The rapid erosion of local  ownership   to land and property therefore is not simply and issue of equity or even poverty; but more importantly, just one more ingredient in that lethal recipe for environmental  global  disaster.


 

Links

Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016

Banks, Inequality and Citizens: Roberto Salvo

 

Je suis …. une Charlie?

Firstly, it needs to be unequivocally stated that  any  murder, violence or threats of violence  need to  be condemned, and repeatedly  condemned, until  such  actions no  longer occur on this planet.  Violence in any form is a primitive and non-productive way of achieving one’s aims.  Because human beings are  predominantly social  beings,  intra-species violence  cannot create long-term positive outcomes for either party.

The killings by  religious extremists  of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists/ journalists and subsequent deaths in other parts of Paris, purportedly because  those cartoonist’s denigrated the Prophet, are an abomination, and certainly appear on the face of it, to be designed to  inhibit   further ridiculing of Islam, or more probably, to  incite   disenfranchised  white  males to  commit crimes against   local  Muslim populations to again  encourage French muslims to  rise against   the French  state.

But there are, in my view, three things to  consider here:

Nous sommes hypocrites from  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7J15OGCAAMrB1F.jpg:large
Nous sommes hypocrites from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7J15OGCAAMrB1F.jpg:large

One, is the  equity of the Western public and media response to  these killings in comparison  with  the ongoing murders of thousands  of people in the Middle East by  Western  state war-machines.    Just  one example of this hypocritical  perspective is  the disgusting and appalling  treatment of Palestinians by  the Israeli  state to  which  every  Western  country  has not only turned a blind eye in  the last  67  years, but almost all  have   actively supported the ongoing atrocities against  that imprisoned population.  Where are the “je suis une Palestinian” mass rallies I wonder? or where were those demonstrators when the United States  for instance delivered “targeted strikes’  into  the hotel rooms of    Al Jazeera  journalists  while they  were staying  in Baghdad in the second Iraq War ? These organised Parisian  mass rallies,  with  their  identical  laser printed placards, smack  of hypocrisy , selective judgement and useful  scapegoating.

JesuiunePalestinian

Secondly, why  is the media so  keen to portray  these killings as organised, premeditated killings by   well-trained terrorists?. Losing your ID card in the getaway car does not particularly strike me as the work  of  a well-honed  hit -squad. More than likely (as with so  many other “terrorist” attacks) , these pathetic young men  were likely supported and encouraged by   (in this case) French intelligence services.  And before you  snarl  about “conspiracy  theories”, it is worth noting that much of   the “terrorist” activity during the French/Algerian war was in  fact  undertaken by French  intelligence;  they  are no strangers to  false flag operations. As The Intercept notes, many Western “law enforcement” agencies have provenly been active in the past few years  in  recruiting and fomenting “terrorist plots for their own ends.

This blog has noted many times the  multitude of advantages to  state security apparatus of hyping up  some “existential” threat  to  the population.  And if, as some reports suggest, the killers had recently been in Syria fighting with the rebels, then they  are most certainly  the product  of Western   tactical  and resource support for anti-Syrian government rebels.

This attack  also comes at a convenient time, when the President of France ,  the inept ‘socialist’  Francoise Hollande, appeared to be weakening in  his resolve to  support U.S. demands for continued sanctions against  Russia because of the  deleterious impacts on  the French  economy of those sanctions.

Thirdly, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists were, and are, hardly  the epitome of Western liberal tolerance and fair-play. Their cartoons are often racist, and inflammatory. That is of course, no  excuse for violence against  such  bigots, but neither does it provide a rationale to  eulogise such people.  Western democratic values presume that  everyone has the right to insult anyone  on the basis of their actions or beliefs, with  the opportunity to  address  outstanding concerns in  a court of law.  This is largely a civilised approach to  working through  dis-harmony: one to which  Western governments  publicly  subscribe to in the media, while  in reality  wreaking indiscriminate destruction and murder in other parts of the globe. The assumption of a  “free” media in the West, is  however, by and large, true.  Notwithstanding  Slate’s narrative that   “despite its 18th-century constitutional provenance, the First Amendment did not play a significant role in U.S. law until the second half of the 20th century. The First Amendment did not protect anarchists, socialists, Communists, pacifists, and various other dissenters when the U.S. government cracked down on them, as it regularly did during times of war and stress, non libelous  anti-government points of view, are  in most cases, allowed free dissemination. Western governments rely on the fact  that   wide spread dissemination of news requires large amounts of  financial resources. Those  financial resources, by definition, come from  those who  support the status-quo. Non status-quo points of view are therefore in the vast minority and largely invisible to  the public.  Status-quo  views,  even when  blatantly  and obviously lies, can  steam-roll  the public to  accept them  as truth through  the sheer volume and multiple sources of the “un-truths”.  George Monbiot’s  recent  examples on Canadian  and UK media’s “selective journalism” illustrates this argument well.

Charlie Hebdo  journalism falls into  that category of being some what  right -wing and subtly supporting the  conservative status-quo, with  simplistic  judgements of those who  are different from  “us”. Interestingly however, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.

As noted in the Common Dreams article below. As the late great Molly Ivins said, “Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar.”

I for one, am not  a “Charlie”.

 


 

Links

http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/mossad-attacks-paris.html

http://www.occurrencesforeigndomestic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Madsen-on-Hebdo-false-flag-clues.pdf

Who Profits from Killing Charlie? -Pepe Escobar

I Will Grieve. I Will Laugh. But I Am Not Charlie

15 Signs The Charlie Hebdo Attack Was A False Flag

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons

 

 

Rumblings on the Eastern Front

The Post title parodies  that  remarkable and brave account of the German war  in  Western Europe during World War One, “All  Quiet of the Western Front”  by    Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I.

220px-Remarque_Im_Westen_nichts_Neues_1929As Robert Parry wrote in Consortium News If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats versus black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.”

But this impervious narrative is an essential  component of the drive to  crush  the Russian  economy with  sanctions and lowered oil  prices, along with  the attempts to  encircle   China via the  East  Asian  Pivot.

Much  like the sanctions imposed on Iran for decades because of their fictional  nuclear weapons development, every  political  player West  and East  knows that  the fictional  Russian  troops in Eastern Ukraine (aside from  the Crimea)   are a wonderful  excuse to  attempt to economically destroy  the country. It is virtually impossible for the sanctioned country  to  prove the absence of something that  did not exist  in  the first place. But as Cuba has so ably proved in  the past 50  years, alternative strategies are possible and even beneficial.

The impact  of  crashing oil prices -however temporary-  on   all  the major oil  producers- including  Saudi Arabia, Dubai,  Abu Dhabi  and Qatar as well as Iran,  Venezuela, Russia and the shale oil industries of the U.S. and Canada , are unknown  and unpredictable. Did the  powers-that-be in  Washington and London consider what the impacts  of plunging oil prices would have on their jihadists  in Syria and Iraq and their consequent capacity to  buy more men and equipment? or even consider that weakening oil prices will  strengthen  China’s economic position in  the world?- we may never know…

In response to  these threats , Russia  and China have launched a whole swathe of economic  agreements between themselves and with other  neighbouring countries . As Pepe Escobar describes it, the   development of  the new silk road  via  high  speed rail  links between   China  and the rest  of Asia and Europe has begun  at  a startling rapid pace and will  result in  a completely changed  political/economic dynamic in  the world within  a very  short space of time that will also  be out of the reach  of U.S. and U.K . interests.

There is therefore urgent  need for the UK and US war economies  to  move fast  to eliminate these new threats as Western economies start to  crumble and their capacity to   control  markets and other state and non-entities is progressively  reduced.

Perhaps that  haste is the reason for the  level of incompetency  shown  by  the State Department in  putting “their man” Natalie Jaresko as Ukraine’s new Finance Minister.  The contempt shown to  Eastern Europeans  by  the US government in the appointment of this  corrupt US citizen and State Department official  as Ukraine’s Finance Minister is staggering, but yet remarkable for the   lack  of a response from  the (for now) subjugated Western Ukrainians. Or the even more absurd  Obama reaction to  some hacker group  infiltrating Sony and threatening  the company  for its film which  encourages the  assassination of a living head of state – something for which  the company could in fact  be indicted for in an international  court of law; (were there such a neutral  international  player)

The recent  reports from  the U.S on the types and extent of torture US officials are prepared to  disclose, is a tiny drop  in the ocean of the countless examples of the extent to  which  US and UK governments have long been  prepared to enslave, murder, torture and destroy  indiscriminately  if it serves their interests. While the British Empire’s  brutality  against  those of other skin colour  should need no further  explanation, it is often useful  to  point out  that the United States’ history  of state terrorism  and genocide is also  a very long one;  beginning with  the terror and genocide against  the Plains Indians in the  late 18th  century,  to  the US’s    brutal  colonizations  of  the Philippines and Caribbean in the 19th  century and the genocide committed in  the name of “democracy  and freedom”  in Korea, Vietnam,  Cambodia and Iraq ( to name just  a few). The 21st  century  is no  exception to  this long litany of terror, torture and murder by  these two  so-called “civilised” countries.  The scale of devastation and horror inflicted by  these two  countries against other  (‘foreign’)  populations, has no  equal.

That is not to  say  that   those state entities the United States and the UK  wish  to destroy  are themselves  necessarily humanitarian  and democratic; but it can be argued  that  -as in  the case of  post 1917 Russia, Weimar Germany, North Korea and Cambodia; where  civic institutions are crushed by  an overwhelmingly  powerful  outside force, then despotism  can freely reign.

The United States , the United Kingdom  and a few other ex-colonial  powers, have no  such  excuse. It is interesting to  note, that  up  until  the development of the “Terrorist” threat post 9/11, the  actions  of those two  states against  their own citizens had been  relatively benign; their emphasis has traditionally been on  harming external  states for  commercial  benefit; that  locus appears to  be changing into  a more wide-ranging capacity to  harm or  destroy  any individuals or entity  within  or without their  state borders that   impinge on the  powerful “elite”s capacity to  extract  more money for itself. In  all  probability,  this shift in  focus  is directly attributable to the dawning understanding that  the days of Western hegemony over  the world’s resources are numbered.

What  is blindingly obvious in this analysis is the totally banale and infantile drivers for these  constant wars, let alone  their leaders’  complete lack  of understanding and compassion for the suffering of others.   And we should not forget   the  massive contribution to  environmental  destruction this  300  year  old process  has delivered. This is certainly not an intelligent  process, although  the processes of domination and extraction of plunder are often complex.

We can only watch in  amazement  at the  psychopathic behaviours of key  US officials delighting in  the violent deaths of others  -eg  Dick Cheney, or Hilary  Clinton (below)

or Obama joking about killer drones, knowing full well  the impacts in  families and communities of  the thousands of innocent lives killed by  these random killing machines.

In fact  recent evidence on Hillary Clinton’s motivation’s for the war in Libya, reveal  little else than  the fact  that she didn’t like Muammar Ghaddafi.  Certainly there was absolutely no  evidence of the  genocide of Libyan civilians  by  Ghaddafi’s forces as was alleged and provided as rationale to U.S. supporting the jihadist  forces  there. Clinton’s  maniacal  delight in  Ghaddafi’s brutal  death  is a warning to us all.

and the UK’s Blair  and Jack  Straw who  simply refuse to  acknowledge that  their orders  resulted in  the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans based simply on their whim ( ‘I kill because I can’). It may  be salutory  to  read Ahmad Baqawi’s damning analysis of the NATO intervention in Libya  and the resultant total  and deliberate destruction of Libya as a nation-state, or perhaps Peter Lee’s account of the  brutal  murder and destruction carried out by  the West  proxy’s in Syria in the name of “democracy  and freedom”

In another more equitable world , those  politicians would have long ago  been convicted and sent to high security forensic mental  health wards; or perhaps, as  the highly respected American  columnist   William Pfaff notes -simply tried Nuremburg style and, if convicted on  the evidence,  hanged.


Links

John Pilger – The Coming War documentary’ campaign

Accelerating over the Cliff in our Latest Roadster, and never mind the road-kill!

The Intergovernmental  Report on Climate Change  earlier this year noted if action is not taken  “soon’  the resultant 2C increase in  global  temperatures will have ‘severe’,  and ‘irreversible”  impacts on  human  habitation  and economic activity.

Governments, in their desperation to  feed the “god of growth” are increasingly making more and bigger   foolish decisions that  undermine our sustainability as a species on this planet. Take for instance, the ever-increasing taxpayer dollars pouring into   oil and gas explorations,  or the actions of corporate-resourced governments such  as  the UK or New Zealand, with  their  intent to  emasculate  regulations that  protect  the environment against  corporate interests .  Or the potential  horrendous environmental  impacts of international  agreements such  as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The “god of growth” must  be fed, regardless of the  consequences to our planet and the species who  inhabit it.

While climate change gets all  the press these days in  the media; it should be noted that  climate change is just one of a multitude of impacts of homo sapiens’ drive for “progress’  and ‘growth’ over the past 200 years. For those  species (including humans) at  the sharp end of climate change- those in  tropical  countries or drier hotter climates,  the impacts are likely to  be truly horrendous over the next  100 years -and for the next  few thousand  or perhaps million years beyond that. However what  underpins this destruction of our planet is our incurable arrogance that  we are somehow “superior”  beings who  are overlords of the other species on  this planet.

It is absolutely undeniable that  unless we can  co-habitate with the other remaining species  that  we have not killed off as yet-we too  are doomed as a species. We are entirely reliant on other species  for our short , medium and long-term survival. No  amount of  concrete or tar or metal  or money can  hide this fact.

What is required is a fundamental  shift  by  all  humans on  this planet to  understand that  every other species shares an equal  right to  life on our little blue ball. Killing off a species or a few million individual  sentient beings  to make way  for a shopping mall, is just  nonsensical.

While we may  pretend, we have not behaved in any way as caretakers of this planet;  we have not behaved rationally and with fore-thought, we have not allowed the blinkers to  fall  from our eyes to  let ourselves see the folly of our shallow understanding that  because we are homo sapiens, then anything that  does not exist or think  like a homosapien is inferior, and not worthy of life, unless it is for our use:  for us to  kill  and eat, or for human tourists to  gawp at while they  destroy  the surrounding environment. A supposed scientific principal which  argues that   other species are inferior to one particular  species whose “superiority” is based on  the core attributes of that one species and no  other, is a rather dubious piece of scientific endeavour!  This superficial belief,  called anthropocentrism, must  be eliminated from human  consciousness, if we are all  to  continue to  thrive or even survive  on this planet.

To put it bluntly,  those rationales exhibit  primitive thinking and  zero  compassion for other species; let alone  a rather dubious understanding of the laws of cause and effect.

As Prof. Will Steffen of the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre  notes; “Some people say we can adapt due to technology, but that’s a belief system, it’s not based on fact. There is no convincing evidence that a large mammal, with a core body temperature of 37C, will be able to evolve that quickly. Insects can, but humans can’t and that’s a problem.”

In all  the reports about climate change or even  loss of bio-diversity  it is very rare to  see an analysis of the impacts of homo sapiens’  folly on other species.  In almost every case  you will  instead see a superlatively superficial   analysis of the impacts of climate change  in dollars and cents, or  the cost of a species  lost we can  no longer exploit. Those analyses are proof in  themselves that  we have lost our way  as a species in  a  spectacularly ignorant way.

Oliver Millman’s graph below in The Guardian illustrates well  how close we are to  global cataclysm.

Planetary  Boundaries- Guardian article
Guardian graphic from article entitled ‘Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists’

It is time for us to  change-and soon….

 


 

Links:

The Superior Human -Youtube  1hour 13minutes

Peter Singer: Ethics and Animals 

G20 Countries Spending $88 Billion a Year to Subsidize Climate Disaster

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/11/11/g20-countries-spending-88-billion-year-subsidize-climate-disaster

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/09/30/planet-brink-human-activity-killing-planets-life-supporting-systems

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability: Intergovernmental Panel  on Climate Change (IPCC)

http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

Shifts in the Climate Change Debate: Hope and Suspicion: Richard Falk

Risky  Business

Biodiversity, Climate Change Solutions Inextricably Linked


IPCC Report: The Scientists Have Done Their Bit, Now It Is Up To Us

Global Warming: Why is IPCC Report So Certain About the Influence of Humans?

IPCC Summary Underscores Urgency of Emissions Reductions, Science Group Says

IPCC Report: Urgent Action Needed to Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change, says Friends of the Earth

‘Severe… Pervasive… Irreversible”: IPCC’s Devastating Climate Change Conclusions
The New IPCC Report, Main Conclusions and the Story Left Untold

IPCC Report Makes Case for Clean Energy Economy

Human Influence on Climate Clear, IPCC Report Says


Postscript