Return to simplicity

Understand that all your emotions are directly related to what you think. Think angry thoughts and you feel angry, think happy thoughts and you feel happy….

Is this real? No, these are just thoughts fashioned from the accumulation of your life’s experience since you were born. The way you think about something is completely conditioned by all the previous experiences and thoughts and messages you have had.

So who are you really behind all that?

That, is your mission in life to find out! – and thinking about it won’t get you there!)

Formalised religions won’t get you there either- their doctrines and writings  are simply accumulations of someone else’s thought patterns – they are no closer to the truth than you are now. The more they tell you their path is the only path, the more you know they have no path at all.

flower budsThe truth is within you-behind that veil of thoughts where, even now, your being absorbs and is part of everything around you in a complete and total way. Where simply being in the here and now is total truth.

Does that mean you lose your senses to get to the truth? No, you are simply able to recognise your thoughts for what they are: your mind racing off once again on another wild goose chase to nowhere- let it run!

All those plans, those bucket lists, those important futures you need to work on – throw them away: let the world come to you when it needs to; and be open to its requests. Acceptance is peace; and takes discipline and openness.

So how do ‘you’ get there?- to this place of peace and truth   where simply being is pure joy?

Find the meditation tool that ‘feels’ right for you and stick to it. Meditate regularly every day. Meditation teaches the mind to focus, to gently and progressively still the incessant thoughts that chase each other around your brain.

It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen at all if you don’t discipline yourself to stick to it regularly. This is not about thinking yourself into a quiet space- that’s impossible, and you will tie your head up in knots trying to achieve that. This is simply gently bringing your thoughts back to that one thought you have agreed upon, over and over and over again, until you find that still place… (in another year or two or…?)

You’re using a thought to catch your thoughts!

And don’t pretend when you sit there, that you can keep that one thought while your mind rambles everywhere else- it doesn’t happen: you’re either in that one thought space, or you’re not. Simple as that!

Go to it!

The Beginning of the End of ‘Progress’ ?

The Baltic Dry  Index,  which  measures the price of shipping  dry  goods globally, has dropped to  its lowest  known point in  the past few days at 402. Other indicators too are pointing to  a rapid downturn in export shipping volumes.

ClipboarBDI12-1-16

On its own,  the BDI low  index may  reflect  nothing more than  an oversupply of shipping ,  but taken  with other data  measures, indications are that international   trade is slowing at a rapid rate globally.

If this is the case, then  we are likely to see a further deterioration in commodity prices, particularly oil prices, as demand slumps, an increase in  unemployment in  the industrial  sectors globally and an increasing shrinkage in  consumer spending.

And naturally, that  decrease i   trade globally is simply because people are buying less! Here’s a neat  little Bloomberg graph  which  shows  the trend for retail  sales in the United States.. People simply seem to be buying less ‘stuff’

Because the human world’s current survival  culture is predicated on  continuous growth  in  production of things, such  a reversal  will have significant implications for poverty, hopelessness and hunger in  the short to medium term.  It will  require no  less than  a massive restructuring of what  it means to be human  on this planet, for us all  to  get  to  a state of sustainable equilibrium, and to  finally recognise our equality with  the other species we co-habit the world with.

On the bright side, the  elimination of ‘growth’ or even a reversal  in growth, will  be a significant bonus to the world’s environment.  marsThe diminishing need to  use more coal  and gas, to  mine more  minerals, to  build more cities, dwellings  and transport networks and  consume more generally, will  mean less of what  is left of our natural  environment will  become despoiled.

As the ‘Geography of Transport Systems ‘ notes succinctly, there are many factors which influence the BDI price; lowering  oil prices for ships ( bunker oil), too  many ships in the market and lastly and likely most significantly, lowering demand for  bulk  goods. OIl process are approximately 40% of the price and there certainly has been  a glut in   bulk tankers, but we also  know bulk  commodity prices  ( iron ore, copper etc etc) have dropped precipitously due to   much  reduced demand from  primarily China. But a drop of this magnitude foretells something much  bigger in  the wind…


 

Postscript

And here’s the BDI at 29th January …

BalticDry29-1-16

And even  Bloomberg might be coming to  a similar consensus as of 29th  January…

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-01-28/shipping-news-says-world-economy-is-toast

 

 

Links

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/07/can-economic-growth-last/

http://www.global-briefing.org/2012/07/the-steady-state-economy-life-after-growth/

http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue57/Trainer57.pdf

http://robertdfeinman.com/society/no_growth.html

http://www.americanshipper.com/Main/News/Drewry_Container_shipping_companies_to_lose_5b_in_62624.aspx?source=MostPopul

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/more-bad-news-for-ocean-trade-116011300352_1.htmlar

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-11/nothing-moving-baltic-dry-crashes-insiders-warn-commerce-has-come-halt

http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/baltic-sea-index-hits-all-time-low-as-shipping-crisis-deepens/

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article53707.html

Flash: Major News about ISIS : The Angry Arab

ISIS has just announced that it will be joining the Saudi-led coalition against terrorism.

Saudi King officially welcomed ISIS and said that it will add expertise and ideological purity to the fight against terrorism.

John Kerry is said to be delighted with the expansion of the Saudi coalition.
http://angryarab.blogspot.co.nz/2015/12/flash-major-news-about-isis.html

I like it! :-)

Postscript:

The following  news item (admittedly from  the House of Saud’s and Wahhabism’s arch  enemy , Iran) tells you a little about the absurdity of this  Saudi  coalition against  terrorism here


Links

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-root-of-jihadi-terrorism-saudi-arabia-and-the-wahhabi-perversion-of-islam/

The Tautology of Species Superiority

Over and over again, for the past 100  years or more, we have been taught that  homo  sapiens are superior to  all  other species on this planet based on ‘scientific’ analysis. A recent  piece of research  by Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, Ph.D.,Associate professor and a researcher at Bio-Clim-Land Centre of Excellence in Tomsk, Russia, once again  scientifically refutes this self-fulfilling assumption;  by  refusing to  accept  the completely scientifically invalid, but highly respected method of using ones own definitions  to  prove what  we believe to be the truth.

In Dr Gatti’s research, he substituted  visual  self- recognition of a dog  in  a mirror, with  various dog scents . Humans’  visual  senses are one of our prime methods of relating to  the world; and in very specific  ways and using particular light frequencies and environments.  Dogs’ prime sense mode however,  is scent,  and (surprise, surprise) in Dr Gatti’s research, they appear exceedingly good at self-recognition when  that sense mode is used. Homo sapiens deem  self-recognition to  be one of the key signs of ‘intelligence’.

By both  defining what  we as humans mean  as ‘intelligent’  and by  using self-fulfilling processes, (tautological  arguments and methods), we conveniently maintain the fiction that  we are superior beings. Our strength  as a species is also  our (and this planet’s)  potential  downfall. Our capacity to  communicate  and learn  new skills from  other members of our primate species has allowed us to  effectively manipulate our environment (with no  recognition of the long-term  damage to other species or the planet’s wellbeing). That  capacity to learn from fellow species members effectively means; as Himmler well  knew, that  sufficient repetition is enough for each of us to believe any  situation is in fact the ‘right’ situation.  Hence exploitation of the planet, killing of our own  and other species, paving over our world with large blocks of concrete and tar  are all ‘normal’ things to  do. How could they be not? – we do  them and everyone acquiesces, so  they must  be right.

The reality of our self-willed blindness  is ironically plain  to  see.  Just yesterday  in Paris, we were confronted with the supposed  leaders of humanity coming up  with  yet  one more real  solution to climate change: a commitment to  not allow our planet to  raise its temperature by more than  2 degrees.  Every  leader spoke with a straight face and apparently believed what  they  were saying.

In reality, such  a commitment is impossible;- we are inexorably heading towards  climate change temperatures far in  excess of 2 degrees, even if we stop  using any more  carbon right now – today. In addition, every  speaker talked about  reducing climate change through ‘sustainable progress’ – in reality,  humankind’s definition of ‘progress’ is  the production of more things for more humans to  consume using lots of  energy  to  do  so; -‘sustainable progress’ is an  oxymoron- it’s ‘logic’  makes no  sense – we cannot keep  ‘progressing’ and live in  a sustainable world. The only solution to  climate change  is a steady  state  civilization- and that means no  more consuming,  except that which  can be used over and over again.

But no politician  in their right mind would ever mention  such  a proposition. They would never be voted in again  or receive any more donations from the ‘progressive’ corporations that fund their political campaigns. We are therefore as humans,  locked into  a process that inevitably leads to ecological  disaster.  Just maybe we will have a sufficiently large warning shock  before the final  collapse, to start turning this oil tanker around- just maybe…

But,  I am not relying on homo sapiens’  ‘intelligence’  to save this planet. Our ‘intelligence’ continues to  blind us that  we are in fact equal  partners on  this planet  with all  the other species that inhabit it. Without them, we die.


Links

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/325722-dogs-research-science-self-consciousness/

Syrian Blowback?

The attacks by  Islamist extremists  in Paris on 13th and 14th   November  are one of a long series of terrorist attacks in France. The characteristics of those supposedly involved are interesting:  young males in  their late 20s, association with  drug-dealings, one whose  recent  employment was  destroyed by  a Police decision to  shut down his part-owned café because of suspected drug-peddling, poverty and refugees- yet not a strong connection to  an Islamic tradition  of the extremist  Wahhabist  sect  that  espouses asceticism and the  hatred of other non Sunni sects.

As with  many other  civilian  targeted  terrorists attacks around the world , they occurred the same day  as a   major Paris medical response drill to a terrorist attack; coincidence? -probably…

We need to  acknowledge  that  Western intelligence  services, particularly those governments heavily involved in  destabilising Syria -eg France, have turned a blind eye to   young men   going to  Syria to fight in  the extremist  Takfiri    groups against  the Assad government regime there. Small  wonder then  that  France’s intelligence agencies were fully aware of the main perpetrators of the Paris attacks , and did nothing.

Despite  some attempts, particularly by  American mainstream  media, to portray  those joining ISIS and the other Al Qaeda offshoots in Syria as dedicated to  Islamic values and a return  to  a ‘golden age’ of a caliphate; the reality appears very  different.  These are predominantly  angry  young men, dispossessed,  poor with  few prospects to make money  or a career in  the West, lured by  promises of glory, violence and a new world where they  are the rulers of destiny.  Western Intelligence and Gulf State governments’ cynical manipulation of these dispossessed, has resulted in  the catastrophe  that  is the Middle East.  Over the past few years, the United States’ half-hearted attempts to   destroy  ISIS with  limited bombing runs  and a focus on destroying extremist leaders’ rather than  extremist  infrastructure, has led ISIS and the other Al  Qaeda affiliates in Syria and Iraq, to believe they  are impervious to  Western threats of force.

The recent  extremely intensive  aerial  bombardment by   Russian  air-force  and  missiles of  terrorist infrastructure in Syria,  has  changed the strategic balance. No  more is it likely, as the Americans would have it, are we in  for a ‘long war’ against  ISIS.  The militant groups are fast  approaching the point where  keeping  large concentrations of  militants  on  the ground and thereby  ‘holding ground’, will be impossible. A resort to guerrilla tactics is therefore likely, but with  vastly less impact  on the Syrian population and landscape.

Small  wonder the that  France and the other colonialist  governments in  the West  are concerned about the impacts of Russian attacks in  Syria. Where else do  the militants go;  but home?  We are likely therefore to  see many more attacks  in the West by  disenfranchised Muslim youth, skilled in  the use of explosives and  weapons, in the months to  come.

Postscript

The shooting down  of a  Russian SU24 bomber  close to  the Syrian/Turkish  border  by  a Turkish  Airforce  F16 on November 24th, has been downplayed in most media as something that is kind of unfortunate and will  ‘blow over’.

The reality is somewhat  different. This is the first  time that  a state agency (the Ankara Erdogan government) has explicitly  supported its ISIS and Al Qaeda allies, along with  the Turkmen mujaheddin  allied with  Al  Qaeda: a state agency  that has apparently ‘pretended’ to  support the war  against  ISIS and now shows its colours- hence the ‘stab in the back ‘ statement by  President Putin

The   shooting down   in what  appears to  be Syrian airspace is a serious violation , along with the not unexpected violation of the Geneva Conventions by  the Turkmen ‘insurgents’ killing the parachuting ejected pilots in  the air.  NATO, while urging  caution in the Russian  response, clearly does not wish  to  see itself allied with  such  reckless actions by  President Erdogan of Turkey, and has indicated its belief that  the shootdown occurred in  Syrian air-space.

The ramifications of this act are enormous, and will  likely lead to  significant internal  rumblings by  the Turkish military  against  this further slide of  the Erdogan  government towards   Islamic extremism within  and without Turkey. There are also  clear lines of accountability to  senior Turkish politicians benefiting from  the sale of ISIS oil .

While the Russian government has requested the immediate discontinuation of Russian  tourists visiting Turkey, the trade  sanctions responses to  Turkey  are likely to be severe  in an already  vulnerable Turkish  economy. The ongoing deployment of S300  and S400  anti-air batteries by  the Syrians and Russians, along with the deployment of fighter air cover for Russian bombers is likely to  result in a shootdown of Turkish fighters if Erdogan is not restrained. How will  NATO respond?  Whatever happens, the  long term   outcomes of this reckless  action spell  disaster for Turkey.

See the interesting and informative article by  Gareth  Porter on his interpretation of Turkey’s recent actions in Syria here


Links

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/11/30/the-real-reason-for-turkeys-shoot-down-of-the-russian-jet/

http://atimes.com/2015/12/is-the-west-turning-syria-into-a-new-afghanistan-in-the-mediterranean/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/12/putin-announces-war-on-tayyeep-bin-ardogan-over-fighter-shoot-down-and-bosphorus-blockade.html#more

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/12/03/more-coming-out-on-isis-kingpin-bilal-erdogan/

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2015/12/09/elephant-room-terrorism-and-us-gulf-states-alliance

http://thesaker.is/erdogan-the-trojan-horse-of-terror/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06s0qy9

Where next for Syria?

The recent  announcement  by  the Obama administration that it will  send 50  U.S.  military  advisers into  Syria  apparently adds another layer of complexity to  an already  viciously complex and violent  war in Syria, however in this analysis I will  argue that this U.S.  announcement simply attempts to  legitimise  what  already  exists on the ground.

Some media have portrayed this  “civil war’  as a sectarian one. However  the sectarianism is a one-side affair in this instance. Those who play  the  sectarian  card are invariably those of an extremist Sunni  Wahhabi   and takfiri persuasion – ie they  wish to  ensure that  Syria becomes  a completely  Sunni wahhabi dominated society where other  Syrian religions and Muslim sects  are either eliminated or marginally tolerated. Those who  fund and support these  extremist doctrines  are primarily those in the Gulf dictatorships- the Saudi and Qatar governments,  and the increasingly  sectarian  government of Turkish  president Erdogan (particularly after his  most suspiciously positive and unexpected electorate  win  a few days ago).

In part this takfiri  response can be explained as a fear of Shi-ite Iran, and to  a smaller degree, Shi-ite Iraq,  reasserting their  influence  and non Western-government alignment in  the Middle East. In part it  also symbolises the  hold that  the bigots of the Wahhabi sect have over the Gulf regimes.  In tandem  with this approach we have the United States ( and the U.K.  France and Italy)  actively supporting these extremist regimes in  the vain  hope that  destabilisation and balkanisation of the Middle East  will  serve their economic interests ( more weapons sales) and preserve the increasingly fragile Israeli  occupying power in Palestine.  The United States has been actively supporting destabilisation of the Syrian Assad government  since at  least  2004, with  supposedly non-lethal military  hardware and  ‘advisors’ to  what  are described by  the U.S.  as  “moderate’ anti-Assad groups, on  the ground in Syria.

The resultant avalanche  of Syrian  refugees into  Eastern  Europe and beyond, is  perhaps an unanticipated  impact  on already  vulnerable  European economies. However, in  all  of this, the U.S. remains largely immune to  the horrendous human impacts  and geopolitical  disaster its support for extremism has incurred across the Middle East and now, to a  vastly smaller degree, to Europe.

On the other “side” we have the SAA, the Syrian government army; which  despite the hype from  the opposition, is largely composed of non-Allawite  and non-Shi-ite  troops, but is increasingly supported by  Shi-ite Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and  Iranian “advisers” from  their irregular army,  the IRGC, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.  The decision of Russia to  escalate its support for the Assad regime; (it has had a naval  base at  Tartus on the Syrian  coast for many years, and provided some military  resources and advisors to  the SAA  since the start  of the war) and begin  bombing  all  of the groups opposing the SAA, has shifted the military  balance on  the ground significantly in  favour of the Assad government. The fiction that  the Russians are in  fact only bombing the ‘nice guys’ opposing the Assad regime, belies the fact  that all  of  the opposition groups’ key aim is to  topple the secular Assad government and establish  a Sunni Wahhabi state  or caliphate . While the opposition groups  fight amongst  each  other  for dominance, and disagree on  the level  of intolerance and extremism   required to  achieve this goal, they also  increasingly collaborate on  the ground  in  the face of  threats of potential  extinction by  the resurgent Assad government forces and their allies.

As Wikipedia notes here, the number of factions fighting in Syria is  already  in the  forties  and the “civil war” environment  is growing increasingly complex day  by  day. What  the proportion of  foreign fighters  (whether mercenaries or jihadists) in the anti-Assad camp is  impossible to  verify  at  this point;  but  the reports of deaths caused by  the recent SAA resurgence,  indicate a substantial  proportion are non-Syrian.

As the U.S. knows well, a victory  for the anti-Assad (anti-Syrian  government) forces, will  result  in the total  breakdown of Syrian  infrastructure,  the destruction of Damascus,  the creation of a multitude of states within  states in Syria and Iraq, a bloodbath  for those remaining non-Sunni   sects  in Syria and a greater avalanche of refugees into  Europe. One can  only assume that this  is what  the United States and its Western  allies want.

Yet, when  we look  at  mainstream  Western media,  the Russian intervention is portrayed as  being caused by Putin’s megalomania,  Russian attempts to  reinstate themselves as  a global  power  or  an  attempt to  re-live the old glories of the Soviet empire , rather than  a fearful  response to  Western  destabilisation. Russia  Iran  and Hizbollah  are only too  familiar with   the ongoing destabilisation of their countries by  Western intelligence agencies and their proxies, to  not see  the export of Wahhabi extremism  to  Syria as a serious threat  to their own  long-term viability.

The announcement by  Obama of 50 U.S. “Special Forces” troops to  be deployed to  Syria, is therefore simply smoke and mirrors. In all  likelihood, those same 50  special  forces have been on the ground  (along with other Western  intelligence officers and  advisors from  the Gulf states, for at  least  the past 5 years in Syria; advising, training and channelling weapons to  their “moderate” jihadists. The announcement is an  attempt to  somehow legitimise the status quo, when in fact those men  are operating illegally inside a sovereign  state with  the sole  purpose of destabilising that state.

The other often mentioned U.S. response of a  ‘no-fly zone’ in Syria, is another rather transparent attempt to  ensure that  the Syrian air-force and helicopters cannot  engage the jihadists;  with the inevitable outcome being  a  full  collapse of the Damascus government and infrastructure and a massive increase in  human suffering and refugees..

The recent flurry  of diplomatic manoeuvering in Vienna between some, but not all of the key players, reflects in  part the concerns in Washington about the impacts of the recent active bombing of ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria by  the Russian airforce, and the consequent  apparently significant  military  successes on the ground by  the SAA and its  allies.


 

Links

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n21/patrick-cockburn/too-weak-too-strong

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/11/08/the-sham-syrian-peace-conference/

Israel: In the death throes of a racist dream: Susan Abulhawa, Middle East Eye

A haunting and wrenching account of the brutal  rascist occupation of Palestine by  an Israeli entity embued with  that  sense of “exceptionalism” which is the downfall  of all  empires.  http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/seeing-other-israeli-side-803375093


Links

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/obama-backs-israel-5-more-palestinians-are-killed

http://www.countthekids.org/

The Russian Move: Syria

The recent decision by  Russia to  intensity its military  support to  the Syrian government in Damascus, highlights some interesting issues for Eastern  governments.

It comes at a time when the Syrian refugee influx via Turkey is reaching a peak  in Eastern European states and Germany/Austria with strident calls from  mainstream  Western  media  arguing the case for more arming of the anti-Assad  terrorist groups in Syria and naturally , a no-fly that can only benefit…. guess who?.

Interestingly, Turkish  President Erdogan, has now done an abrupt about-face in  declaring that President  Assad of Syria should now be part of the transition process in Syria; something that  Erdgan had opposed for  more than 4 years previously.  Is this, as Moon of Alabama proposes, because of the  potential threat of Russian  forces taking out his  Turkish  supplied terrorists in Syria and re-caslibrating the ?  I  have my doubts.  Erdogan is a wily political  player,and used to  navigating the whirlpool of political players in  the Middle East.  Is the Russian move , as Mike Whitney suggests, an attempt to  pre-empt the installation of  a Turkey  based  no-fly zone by  the United States, in Syria , which  would once and for all  eliminate any Syrian government threats to the jihadist  groups  fighting Assad?

However it  would appear  that  some Western  governments and intelligence agencies are perceiving a real  threat  to  the  destabilisation agenda they  have pursued since at  least  2011 in Syria, as a result of a shift in western public  opinion.

How to  rationalize  support for anti-Assad  military  groups who  are clearly  Wahhabist terrorists whilst maintaining a philosophical  stance that  Assad must  go  and is the root of the refugee problem and pretending that  you are fighting terrorism  globally? The information on the the vast  majority of groups opposing  the Ba’ath secular government and military   in Damascus is clear; their need and wish  is, like all  good salafists, to  exterminate those  sects of Islam which  doe  not fit with their  mediaeval  view of  what  Islam  should be- ie Sunni and Sharia.

Let me be clear,  Western  governments are actively supporting this genocidal   and mythical  view of the Middle East. In reality the Ba’ath  military  is largely Sunni  in composition, with elements of Christian and other Muslim sects, as well  as of course many secular Syrians. And useful  to note  perhaps, that the Iraqi equivalent Ba’ath  party of Saddam Hussein  was supposedly Sunni  in character. That is not to  say  that  Assad’s Ba’athist government is not a brutal one;  but in  comparison with the Saudis, with the salafists and other extremists in the Middle East, it is benign; and supported by  the vast  majority of Syrians  as the only alternative to  the vicious  brutal  alternative of chaos  that  Western governments are hoping for in Syria. But, one would never imagine that in your wildest  dreams, that  is the true state of affairs  by  reading Western mainstream media.

The weight of alternative press reports  which  articulate  the threat  from  Western  governments of  further direct  intervention in Syria to  complete their mission of balkanising the  region and  installing   tribal and  extremist  religious groups in Syria  and elsewhere in the middle east is becoming  hard for western public opinion to  ignore.

The apparently unexpected move by  the Russians to  bolster their  military  support and risk   boots on  the ground and potentially another  debacle like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This move  is in many respects,  a  mirror of that Soviet-Afghan war, with the Gulf States and the Americans, as before , supporting Al  Qaeda and its affiliates, and Russia supporting a secular dictatorship in the form of President Assad and the Ba-ath Party.  Has the Russian  military  learnt its lessons from  the Afghan  war and the wars of Chechnya?- time will  tell.

We have yet  to  see how Israel  will  respond to  this new front opening up  across the occupied Golan  Heights. Its dreams of a slow annexation of Syrian  territory beyond the Golan  Heights, and the  splitting of that  rump state into  splintered largely powerless  enclaves, with the active assistance of the United States , have now been  significantly compromised.

The difference this time around, may be the guerrilla fighting  skills of Hizbollah  and  Iran’s Revolutionary  Brigades.

Postscript

The flurry  of  both   mainstream western  media and  Obama’s superlatively  hypocritical    and;  speaking bluntly,  speech  of  unadulterated  lies; at  the U.N. , expressing concern that  Russia was adding “fuel  to  the fire”  by its Syrian  air-strikes, and that  (bizzarely) chaos might ensue in Syria as a result of Russia actually wanting to   get  rid of the terrorists in Syria. Their messages  are   stretching the  cloth  of credulity to  breaking point, even  for those of  the Western public who  accept everything their politicians tell them.  We are, I believe, seeing the end-game in Western public’s placid acceptance of the   reality  and rationality of the “War  on Terror”.

Mainstream  media are now contorting themselves into  indecent positions to  “prove” that  Russia is not targeting ISIS, but is instead only targeting those “moderate”  anti-Assad groups. Despite the acknowledgement by  Western intelligence agencies that   secular moderate groups fighting the Assad government  are practically non-existent in Syria, we are led to  believe that  Russia is  deliberately leaving the ‘evil ones’,  ISIS, alone and targeting the “good guys”, Al Nusra and  other similar   Al Qaeda affiliate groups, funded and trained by  the US and the Gulf States. Given that all  those groups are fighting to bring down the Assad government  and the Assad military is by  far the greatest opponent of all of those groups; including ISIS ;  one might almost be forgiven  for thinking that the  US wants ISIS to  succeed and roll into  Damascus to bring its rein  of terror to  all  suitably non Sunni  members of that  population.

One is also  intrigued with  Brown  Moses ( or should that  be ‘Brown Nose’?) under his new pseudonym, Bellingcat ,  “proving”  that   the video  and pics of Russian  attacks  were deliberately being  edited by  the Russians to  ensure their “true” target  areas were not identified-again  the meme  that  the real  terrorists were in  fact not being targeted,  but instead targeting   some of the mythical   moderates on the ground.

And again   further  hype from  ” unidentified State Dept officials that   four of the 26 Russian cruise missiles fired from  the Caspian  Sea at Syrian  rebels had in  fact crashed in  Iran with loss of life. The Pentagon  appears considerably concerned  about these new previously unknown  Russian cruise missiles, because they  have much  longer trajectory  than  supposed and can be fired from  far smaller  ships  than the American  ones can, and are hence more mobile.

The decision by  the Obama administration to  supposedly pull  out of direct  involvement with  the  jihadist  groups in Syria  is more likely to  reflect  a concern that  Russian,Syrian, Iranian and Hizbollah groups may very  shortly, if not already, be killing Western intelligence operatives on  the ground in Syria, rather than  any  back-down of intent to overthrow Assad.

Also  expect  an  intensification of ‘independent’ human right s organizations  demanding  that  Assad  (and now the Russians) be tried for war crimes . This war is a tragedy and an  avoidable one, and  the civilian death  toll has been   immense and calamitous.However expecting the Assad government to  have precision guided ammunitions (only available to  the U.S. and its western  allies and Russia and China) rather than  ‘dumb’ bombs and barrel  bombs, does not a war crime make.

More incredibly, the Pentagon is clearly wishing desperately for Russian losses  in fighting  the rebels in Syria and that  they  will “begin to lose in Syria”. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Konashenkov also “lashed out” at a fresh statement from Pentagon head Ashton Carter, who predicted Russian losses in its Syrian operation.

Moscow’s air operation in Syria “will have consequences primarily for Russia itself,” Carter said at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Such  provocative, foolish  and dangerous  statements  amount to  a  direct threat  to  use the United State’s proxy terrorists in Chechnya and other  Russian   muslim populated districts, in retaliation for the Russian  attacks on the United State’s ‘friendly terrorists’ in Syria. Carter added, “I expect that in the next few days the Russians will begin to lose in Syria.”. Should such  attacks come in the next few weeks on  Russian soil, Russia will be in  doubt of their source; with the added bonus of more certainly enlisting the help  of China in this war  against   the West’s terrorists; also  vulnerable to  American  involvement in  Uighur  attacks inside China.

We are seeing a desperate attempt  on multiple fronts to  discredit the Russian  war efforts  in Syria by  Western  powers .  One has to wonder why  do they  wish  ISIS and their favourite ‘moderate’ jihadist  to be  marching into  Damascus? – how important is it to  curry  favour with  Wahhabists in  power in the Arabian peninsula?. As  Gareth Porter notes, or  just maybe its simply a matter of propping up  the US and UK “defence”  Industries for a little longer…?


Links

http://journal-neo.org/2015/09/24/us-blockade-of-syria-a-war-crime/

http://journal-neo.org/2015/09/24/on-russia-israel-clash-over-syria/

https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/russian-elite-units-on-the-land-of-zabadani-homs-hama-and-aleppo/

http://www.todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkeys-erdogan-says-assad-may-be-part-of-syria-transition-process_399907.html

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/09/30/obamas-ludicrous-barrel-bomb-theme/

http://fff.org/2015/10/02/the-chaos-of-the-war-on-terrorism-spreads-to-syria/

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/cia-interventions-in-syria-a-partial-timeline/

http://journal-neo.org/2015/09/23/the-secret-isis-safe-havens-nobody-wants-you-to-know-about/

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/ahrar-al-sham-s-apocalyptic-vision-syria-and-beyond-455405201

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/10/16/obama-wont-admit-the-real-targets-of-russian-airstrikes/

Jeremy Corbyn and ‘The Red Flag’

The recent election by  the British Labour Party  members of a new  person to head the party, may  foreshadow a new groundswell  of public opinion  to  negate the years of right-wing propaganda  that has  enveloped many Western  party structures in the past few decades. The Labour Parties and Social Democrats of Europe had become bought enterprises- vehicles for corporate business to make shady deals, rather  than political parties representing those who have been disadvantaged, and the factory  working class.

While the gap  between  rich  and poor across the Western  world has widened significantly  (none more so in my own  country  of New Zealand), as a result of these neo-con or “New Labour”  business policies, we have also  seen  a marked decline in  the industrial  bases  of all of those countries ( save Germany), with   industrial  output outsourced, or simply acquired by  businesses predominantly in China. That decline in western industrial production has resulted in a marked decline in the numbers of the “working class” (ie factory workers). Instead, the service industries (primarily tourism, the hospitality industry, and the provision of support to the disadvantaged) have blossomed, but the collective power of their respective trade unions, has not.  Thus the collective capacity to negotiate or confront the widening economic gap, has dwindled as the need has become greater.

Along with increasing disparity; perhaps even because of it, we have seen the power of media manipulators who represent the rich, consolidated. The media empires  controlled by  people like  Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg ,Ted Turner, and more recently the Qatari ruling dictatorship  via Al Jazeera,  now have the capacity to bombard the public day and night using multiple media. That barrage of media is unremittingly designed to favour the perspectives of the rich. While western democracies still retain some capacity to deliver independent and non-partisan news; that capacity is a minute proportion compared to the deluge of “news” delivered by the media moguls.   Thus the mogul’s news is seen by  the general  public  as “mainstream”, “orthodox” and not “radical”, and somehow because of that, the real legitimate news.

So, returning to Jeremy Corbyn: will he be able to withstand the certain onslaught of “mainstream” media condemning him as a ‘radical’, ‘communist’, ‘anti-semitic’, ‘terrorist’, ’crazy’, ‘neolithic’, ‘out-of-touch –with –reality’, ‘has-been’ politician. That  war has already  begun  in the U.K. media. See the Daily Mail’s most recent   diatribe  here . Or the U.K. Conservative Party’s  somewhat  bizarre atempt  at  scaremongering  below.

And will Mr Corbyn stick to his promises should be come to power in Britain? Or will he, like the Syriza Party in Greece, fold under the intense pressures of other more “business-friendly” governments?  If he can indeed keep to  his political  promises, and be elected  as Prime Minster of England in the UKs general election of Thursday 7 May 2020, and not be pulled to  pieces by  the mainstream media  dogs in the interim, he will  have done our international  democratic landscape a great  service; and potentially as service to  our environment and an end to senseless wars (senseless other than to line the pockets of politicians, war manufacturers and international  re-development agencies) . May he be one of the first  markers of a return  to true democratic pluralism rather than  oligarchy, along with  the  demoralised  Syrizas of Greece, the Podemos of Spain  and the other radical  truly left-wing groups re-forming all  over Europe.

I note with pleasure Mr Corbyn’s first political gesture on his election:- the singing of “The International” (completely tunelessly),  in a London pub before his foray out to greet his fellow celebrants of his victory outside Parliament.

The International (The Red Flag) (first chorus)
The people’s flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold.

So raise the scarlet standard high,
Beneath its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Flag#cite_note-5“>[5]

However, this return to representation of the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the impoverished must be matched by  a new understanding of the urgent  need of our species to  co-exist  with all  the others on this planet. The old   fight over the means of production (capitalism versus socialism/communism) must be replaced by one which  questions at  every  turn, our need to  produce and “grow” countries’  economies. A sustainable world for all the remaining species on  this planet , along with an end to  all  wars, is an incredibly urgent goal  for humanity at  this late, late hour.


Links

http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/09/14/gordon-campbell-on-corbyn-trump-and-outsider-politics/

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2015/09/epic-challenges-facing-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/15/leftwing-evangelical-christianity-corbyn

The Exodus: the Refugee Crisis

The swirl  of humanity across the globe has been  a constant since ancient times.

In my little corner of the world, the traversings and re-travsersings of the Polynesians across the wide Pacific,  travelling thousands of miles in their double hulled canoes  , was a constant  over hundreds of years , settling both inhabited and uninhabited islands .

In Eurasia and across Africa, the flow of humanity has ocurred for millennia. Our species has been wanderers from  our first  arrival  on this planet  as a specific  primate species, as the International Organisation for Migration website attests.

Having said that, we know that  wars  and natural  disasters create the necessity for families to  flee  to  safer ground, and safer countries. In addition the gross discrepancies in  living standards between  various populations across the globe creates a drive for those who  consider themselves disadvantaged to   travel  to more prosperous environments.

None of this would be unremarkable -indeed it is an obvious response for any human to    move to  a better place- we are indeed nomads on this planet. What  makes it remarkable at  this moment are the obvious drivers behind the disasters  and impoverished societies of those immigrants;  and the fact  that most of those drivers are created by  the very  countries the immigrants want to migrate to!

The devastation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria – to name just  a few of the countries bombarded by  Western countries; predominantly the U.S.,  U.K., France , Italy, and to  some degree Germany,  with  a few tag-alongs from  other Western  European and  non-European western governments elsewhere, is the most significant cause for the huge influx of  refugees and migrants from  the Middle East  into  Europe. The  decision by  the West to  support  the anti-government groups   in Syria prolonged  what would likely have been  a short but brutal war by  the Syrian dictatorship against  a few western oriented  groups   and many more  salafist sunni  extremist groups. The decision by  the U.S., the U.K. France and its proxies in Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar  and Turkey (not to  mention Israel)  to  actively fund arm and train  these  terrorist  groups, has created a life of hell  for much of the Syrian  population. unfortunately for the population of Yemen, the sea and land blockades by Saudi  forces  and their “allies” means those desperate Yemen peoples have no chance of escape from  the  war hell imposed by  the Gulf dictatorships.

It is likely that,  just  as in Iraq and Libya  the creation of totally destabilized  middle east territories with  no  central  governing structure  and ripe for total  exploitation, was exactly the intent of these Western  governments. Now the chickens have come home to roost. While we know Western  “intelligence” agencies are in  fact  far from being “intelligent”, we can  anticipate that, even they,   after first  seeing the catastrophe that Iraq has become as a result of Western  sanctions and military  intervention,  would understand the implications of repeating that exact same  process  in Libya and Syria.  It is a supremely beautiful but vicious  irony that  those impoverished and desperate people from those brutalized countries  are  now “invading” the West . Well, that is what  mainstream  media would have us believe.  Recent reports query  for instance why suddenly, previously safe  refugees in Turkey  are now fleeing that country  to  Europe.

What  would seem  a just   response therefore, would be for those countries involved in  the defilement  of Middle Eastern countries  through  war and economic rapacity, to   take a commensurate  number of refugees into  their countries based on  their military  input into the ravagement  of those destroyed  environments. The United States will  of course have to  take many millions of refugees, as will  the U.K; followed next by  France, the Gulf dictatorships and Israel  and some of the other  western counties like Canada , Australia and New Zealand.

http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/map-world-refugees/

The BBC link here, gives a more detailed graphical  analysis of the  source, the routes and European destinations of refugees.

In addition,  those  western  corporations and their complicit governments  that  have despoiled the vulnerable economies and environments of Africa ad other developing countries around the globe , will  make corresponding redress to  those countries in the tangible  form of infrastructure development,  re-development of  sustainable agriculture  and  the return  of environments to their former natural states as directed by  the populations of those  developing countries.

Too much to  ask?-


 

Links

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/28/migrants-refugees-and-asylum-seekers-whats-the-difference

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/09/selective-demonization/

http://syrianrefugees.eu/

http://levantreport.com/2015/09/09/guest-analysis-by-steven-chovanec-the-refugee-crisis-isnt-the-real-problem/