Category Archives: Sustainable World

The Great Acceleration….

Our current epoch has now come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’  for the impacts man has had on our planetary environment. It is also called “The Great Acceleration..”;  being the sixth  event in the life of this  planet  where species loss has become so pervasive and devastating.

A May 2017 study for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America was entitled “Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines”.  The paper notes in conclusion that: “The massive loss of populations is already damaging the services ecosystems provide to (human) civilization…Thus, we emphasize that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short, probably two or three decades at most.. All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life. .” In other words, without the survival of significant complex bio-systems of multiple species, each with sustainable population numbers, humans too are rapidly headed towards extinction.

While  we talk  (and talk) about global  warming, what we also ignore is the combined impacts of  man-made emissions into the atmosphere  with the steady  destruction of the biosphere  through human “progress’  –   the literal cancer of inert dead non-organic edifices being  built  over the top and at the expense  of  the natural  world that make up  humans’  cities and towns  and transportation systems,  agribusiness destroying countless wilderness  areas into  single species ‘dead’  environments, the ongoing deforestation of native habitats, increasing  wildfires, needless human consumption,  acidification and over-fishing of the oceans, human over-population,  meat-production, war,   pollution, global  warming, water-loss ..  the list goes on  and on…  Incrementally, humans are destroying the liveability for all species on the planet at an ever increasing rate, with carbon monoxide production being just one aspect of our ongoing destruction of this planet.

Wikileaks notesAt present, the rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than the “base” or historically typical rate of extinction (in terms of the natural evolution of the planet)[14][15][16] and also the current rate of extinction is, therefore, 10 to 100 times higher than any of the previous mass extinctions in the history of Earth.

What is urgently needed is a recognition of this fact by humans, and an understanding that the model of human’ progress’ we have espoused for the past few thousand years is killing our planet. An understanding that all life- regardless of species, is inherently sacred and our  mutual survival is intertwined, and that  consequently  human ‘needs’  must be balanced against  the rights of other species. One small step to delay or even possibly reverse this destruction,  is the urgent massive scale planting of native vegetation in every possible locality and an end to our model of human  “progress”.


Links

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114.full

Supporting appendix to  Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

Scientists Say Sixth Mass Extinction Is Under Way

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

Brothers in Arms – Saudis and Israelis

On July 10th  2017  the U.K. High  Court rejected a bid by  the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that ‘Britain’s multi-billion-pound arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be halted because they were being used in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law. ‘

The British  High  Court judges claimed that the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about International Humanitarian Law”…..”Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled,” the court said. “

One wonders whether judges can be indicted for perjury? Those judges would have known  full  well  that  their legal  judgement  was a total  and outright lie. The Saudis have in  fact  done everything possible to  exacerbate the suffering  of the Yemen population over the past two years,  with  massive starvation and typhoid outbreaks the consequence of  Saudi bombing of civilian  infrastructure and a blockade of aid and food to Yemen (using British  and U.S. aircraft  ordinance, guidance and coordination) .

One might put this ruling alongside the  eagerness of the U.K. to   continue to  pour millions into  the Israeli  military, which  has for the past 60  years engaged in  a war of not-so- slow motion genocide of the Palestinian  people, for whom  it has  legal  responsibilty as the occupying entity . One has only to  read John Pilger’s account  of the horrendous ordeal  of the Palestinian  people, to be shamed  by  our complicity in  Israeli  war crimes. What  do  these two  delightful  pariah  states have in  common?-  firstly an overweaning desire for  expansion and power; secondly the destruction of the Iranian state,  and thirdly the use of religion to  justify  their  expansionist  goals; with  the Saudis using  their  Wahhabist dogma  to  promote sectarian violence against those who  do  not subscribe to  their bizarre version of  the muslim faith,  while the Zionists use the Jewish  religion as a weapon  against  all  those who  defy  their expansionist  policies and  appropriation of other people’s lands.   As the Boycott,  Divestment Sanctions  (BDS) movement gathers steam  against  the  Israeli  entity, having at least some friends  Israel  can  rely on, may prove rather useful…

It is no  wonder then that  the long-standing secret  alliance between the Saudis and Israel  is now becoming visible, as  political  and moral  pressure  continues to  escalate against  both of them. The Saudi ‘princes’ have continued to  publicly preach  their opposition to  Israeli  occupation of Palestinian  lands , whilst  clandestinely supporting Israel. As the article in Investigaction notes: With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.

As the economic and military  power of Iran continues to grow,  (despite the best efforts of most of the Western world; with sanctions and  attempted coups and assassinations and wars), the  anti-Iran hysteria within  the ruling classes in these two  regimes continues to  escalate. For the Saudis,  Iran , a largely Shi-ite theocracy ( i.e.  decidely more democratic than  the Saudis,  but  with brutal  political  oversight by  its religious governing bodies) is  a complete anathema to  Saudi Wahhabist  Sunni  ideology,  which holds that all  non-Sunni  muslims are in  fact not muslim  at  all.  In addition  Iran’s rapid development of an internal  arms industry (particularly in  missile development) totally unreliant on  Western imports, along with an economic  structure largely  independent  from  the West ( largely as a result of Western  sanctions based on  fraudulent claims of its  development of nuclear weapons) has allowed it to pursue a totally independent foreign policy line-  unlike the Saudis who  remain completely reliant on  U.K.  and U.S.  weaponry  and therefore required to  be  largely compliant  to U.S.  and U.K military   and political  objectives in  the Middle East.

For the Israelis,  Iran  remains the one  major threat   to its goals of a larger and all-powerful  Israel;  the Middle East  country with the largest  military (courtesy  of the United States)  and  a nuclear arsenal . Iran continues to  support fund and train  Hezbollah  in Lebanon,  and to some degree Hamas  in  the Occupied Territories of Palestine itself. Both Hezbollah,  with its devastating victory over the Israeli  Army in  Lebanon in 2006, and to  a smaller degree Hamas, with its ongoing resistance to  Israel’s brutal military incursions into  the West  Bank, have been  a thorn in  the side of Israeli  expansionism, and hence have been deemed ‘terrorist  organisations’  by the West.  Hezbollah  has again  played a significant role  against  Al Qaeda (Al Nusra) and ISIS ( funded and armed by  the Saudis and to  some degree by  Turkey, Qatar   and Israel in  the Syrian  war, with coordination and logistics provided by  British and United States intelligence agencies).  And while Israel  knows that  Iran is not going to  acquire nuclear weapons,  it is fearful  of the increasingly advanced home-grown missile technology  that Iran  posseses which now poses a significant deterrant to Israeli  expansion.

Thus  Israel  and  the Saudi  regimes; both rapidly becoming pariah states,  have  increasingly cosied up to each other, (just  as Israel  did with  apartheid South  Africa in  the 1960s) with Israel  providing overt  support to  the Saudi  war  in Yemen,  along with the British and Americans,  on the premise that somehow/somewhere  the Iranians must  be supporting the Yemenese Houthi forces there.  This most un-holy of alliances will  inevitably be the undoing of both  regimes…


Links

https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi/judicial-review

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-saudi-arms-idUKKBN19V0YR

http://johnpilger.com/articles/palestine-is-still-the-issue

http://wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/wolves-palestine-solidarity/256-wolverhampton-link-to-arms-exports-to-israel

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

 

 

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

The Weirdness of Washington

As Brian Cloughley recently noted

Xenophobia is «the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries» and has become rampant in Great Britain. It is a sad moral weakness but a powerful weapon for propagandists, and much of Britain’s print media excel in using it against the European Union and Russia. It feeds what Orwell called «primitive patriotism».

While the American mainstream media have been amazingly foolish and laughable in their attempt to ‘prove” Trump ‘collusion with Russia” we see similar attempts in the once authentic and honest U.K. newspapers like The Guardian where Trump is somehow accused of doing or saying something that means ( what, exactly, we can never be quite sure) he is in bed with Putin . The innuendo and leading phrasing smack of pure propaganda. And we must ask the question’ why”? What is all this dishonesty for? Who is intended to benefit? Why is presumably deposing Trump (legally or illegally), the right outcome?. Does the media and the Washington ‘elite’ not understand that they are in effect stripping away the last semblances of an American  democratic state by doing so? It appears not. So what will Washington and the United States be left with after Trump has gone?

It would appear we will be faced with a vice president cum President without any political legitimacy whatsoever, along with  the potential for violent responses on the streets from those unwashed masses the “ Basket of Deplorables” that Hillary Clinton so amazingly arrogantly described . Is that what is wanted ?

Clearly that scenario opens the way for a Washington bureaucracy-run White House which can implement even more stringent powers to restrict freedom of expression and movement in the United States…

And why are we seeing this anti-Trump media deluge exposing day after day clearly absurd and spurious charges against him , right across the Western world? Why do all Western populations have to be indoctrinated into believing that Russia is the evil empire controlling the patently brutish Trump? Where are we being led?

The recent American  attack  on Hizbollah  forces supporting the Syrian Arab Army near Al-Tanf, is yet  one more example of U.S.  forces pushing their agression into  countries where they have absolutely no  mandate to do  so-  but also   pushing the limits of credibility and sanity.  The purported U.S.  rationale for these air atacks on  a small  column of Syrian  forces maneouvering to attack  ISIS,  was that  they  were ‘too  close to  American  support forces’ and an American  base illegally stationed ( according to  international  law) on Syrian  soil.  In  another world;  this would be theatre of the  bizarre. But it pushes the margins of  likely  armed attacks on  legimately  stationed Russian forces in Syria.  It is entirely possible that the attack was designed to  push legally stationed  Iranian  and Hezbollah  forces into  a confrontation with the United States,  and thus give ‘credibility’  to  a full-blown U.S.  invasion of  Syria, with  the  likelihood, intended or otherwise, of an  Russian/American  confrontation.

Why is having a war with Russia so important? We know wars reduce democratic freedoms in both antagonists, we know that they shift essential resources from productive enterprise to war machinery, we know that it requires unhesitating patriotic fervour from the masses, we know that if one side wins the war they can impose their wishes on the defeated.. and destroy the opposition’s economic and strategic influence, we know wars can bleed a country dry….

But we also know in this instance that these two antagonists are major nuclear powers…

The United States would have no capacity to completely annihilate a Russian nuclear counter response in an attack on Russia. Russian nuclear subs, unidentified ICBM silos, the destruction of vital U.S. IT infrastructure including nuclear power plants…

The capacity for indefinite destruction of U.S,. economic infrastructure – let alone the population – is immense..

Why go there?

Who is in charge in Washington, and are they sane?

As is clearly demonstrated  in U.S. State Dept  press releases, Washington is  either entirely  divorced from  reality and has absolutely no  knowledge of what is really happening in the Middle East and elsewhere,  or they (and more probably)  are simply lieing to achieve their own political and economic ends..   As  U.S.  influence continues to decrease globally the flailing dying animal becomes more dangerous…


Links

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/17/propaganda-feeds-fear-and-loathing.html

http://time.com/4486437/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-basket-of-deplorables/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/18/trump-strays-white-house-message-mueller-witch-hunt?

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/05/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces-it-now-has-to-make-its-choice.html#more

I will hold my head up high on Anzac Day..

(a letter to  the editor of my local newspaper) 

I will  hold my head up high on Anzac Day ..

When  our little nation  of New Zealand finally acknowledges its complicity in  the deaths of millions of innocent people in  the many  wars it has fought as a proxy for the power and greed of the  United States and the United Kingdom.

When this nation  pays its fair share  of the necessary billions of dollars in  reparations for those lives lost  and injured ,  environments decimated  and  infrastructure  destroyed.

When this nation determines  never again  to go to war unless our own shores and lives are at  risk and we have no other choice.

Then,   and only then, wilI I know our nation is a courageous, fair and honest one

I wait for that day  to  come.


Links

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction

The Rogue State that is the United States of America

As  one more US aircraft  carrier  steams  off to  confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to  recall  that  60  years ago  the United States and its allies (including a very  compliant New Zealand) began  a genocidal  bombing of every  town  and city in  the north of Korea.  Millions of Koreans died. Since that  war ended,  the largest and nuclear superpower in  the world has refused to  sign  a peace treaty  with  North Korea,  has stationed thousands of troops  and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly  threatened to nuke North  Korea,  applied  annual  large scale attack  manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well  as  implementing  sanctions that in  several years since the war,  caused mass starvation in  the north.   Small  wonder that the North  Korean  regime might be considered  paranoid and unstable!
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no  interest  in  the Korean peninsula and its peoples;  its sole rationale for  maintaining the ongoing conflict  with North Korea is to justify  maintaining the extensive military  bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese. China has recently  proposed “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” but  this eminently reasonable offer has been  once again  refused by  the United States because it would reduce the threat to  China.
While the latest  American  President is  also  considered unstable and unreliable, it is  important to  recognise that every American president’s  foreign  policy  since the 1900s   has almost entirely consisted of  a psychopathic policy of violence and war and repeated acts of genocide:-  in  the Philippines,   at  Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  in  Korea, Vietnam and Laos,   in Iraq,   and Libya,  as well  as support for unspeakable acts of murder and  terror in South  America .  Its  full logistical and weaponry  support for the starvation of millions of Yemen ‘s children by  Saudi Arabia  because they do  not share the Saudi regime’s  extremist  and sectarian Wahhabist views,  (ably supported in  this war of terror by  its sycophantic ally, the United Kingdon),  tells you exactly where the United States’ current moral  and ethical  foreign policy stands.
The old fiction of the “Shining City Upon  a Hill”  –  an American beacon of hope, democracy,  liberty and freedom ,  has been ceaselessly trotted out by American  Presidents  over the years and regurgitated by  the American mainstream  media. Now the facade of that  shining city is falling away;-exposing the house of horrors within.
United States  foreign policy  does not recognise the international  rules of war or human rights obligations;   it stands above any necessity for humanity or compassion or  peaceful  solution to  conflicts.  It is in fact,  a rogue state.

Links

The Monster that was Obama

Thankfully the  words of adulation for  ex-president Obama are now dying down and we are instead  now innundated with hate media  (not altogether underserved)  for President Trump.

Obama was above all  things a con-artist. The sweet  honeyed words of the used car  saleman,  masking  sociopathic   intent . A man  who  talked peace and made war. A man  who  preached enviromentalism  and destroyed much  more than he preserved. A man  who  faked humanity while ruthlessly killing  innocents by  drone.

And a man  who  has set  the scene for the  destruction of what little remains of the U.S democratic  process, through  his  persistent undermining of his successor.

By  why  let me drone on?

Please look at this excellent  record of  his legacy by  Samuel Johnson   for yourself,  and decide….


Links

View story at Medium.com

 

Reclaiming the Earth- The Mapuche Dilemma

As the Earth  rapidly approaches the point where  the  trajectory  towards  intense global  warming and  near total species  loss becomes inevitable, we now, more than ever, need the wisdom  of the indigenous peoples’  connection with  nature and acknowledgement of the reality that  the earth is   a living entity;  to  save our planet. It may  already  be too  late- but we need to  try!

Nothing;  despite all  the research  and  incremental  indelible evidence  of  ever-increasing species extinction , has changed our current trajectory  of devastating the planet for a few cheap  baubles. We appear to be locked into  an  insane path of self-destruction which  takes the rest of the planet  with us. Have we reached the ‘tipping-point’? – we will  not know until it is too  late.

That is not to  say  the indigenous peoples like the Mapuche of southern  Chile or Maori  in New Zealand or the other still surviving remnants of indigenous cultures , have  all the answers, or are even  innocent of harming the planet themselves. But they  do have a philosophy  and  wisdom  from  the past which  acknowledges the reality that,  as just  one more species on this planet ,  humans are inextricably linked to  what  we   strangely call “nature’  -ie our fellow living things.  And  that we are also solidly linked to  all the non-sentient elements of this world.

 

Mapuche Shaman’s Drum; Courtesy of the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian http://nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/infinityofnations/patagonia/177322.html

If we are to  survive as a species;  if the planet  is to  survive,  we must  restore this fundamental  core understanding to all humans – without  which we will  most certainly perish- if not within  decades,  then  certainly within  this  new  two centuries.

Our first and immediate step  is to restore power and authority to those cultures who  do in  fact  respect  the earth  and all  its living inhabitants  above  “progress’  and the production of  commodities. The next is to  produce a world wide covenant that  values other species  as equal  to our own and our obligation as a species to  truly become protective guardians of this living planet, given our  unique capacity to  manipulate our environment.

We must let the voice of all  those cultures who  call  us back  to  our roots -to be heard,  respected and  urgently responded to.

The shaman’s drum calls  us back  to  our re-connection with our  world.

 

 

 

 


Links

https://www.rt.com/in-motion/374127-mapuche-demand-release-prisoners/

https://www.google.com/url?hl=en-GB&q=http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Indigenous-Groups-Demand-Freedom-of-Mapuche-Leader-in-Chile-20161212-0024.html&source=gmail&ust=1484889158716000&usg=AFQjCNFxrOXHP7sSOc1tFMtFjA-Ne4bFnQ

http://www.mapuche-nation.org/english/html/news/n-66.htm

Our People Are Unstoppable’: Chile’s Jailed Indigenous Mapuche

 

The Syrian Propaganda War: (Stage Two)

Now that Eastern Aleppo has been  finally retaken by  Syrian government troops and their allies  after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in  the Western press. Rather than applauding the  return to  peace for the millions of civilians  in Western  Aleppo  and a  potential  return to  some normalcy   for the few remaining in Eastern  Alleppo,  we are instead  treated to   ongoing accusations  from ‘rebel’  sources  of massacres; statements that  cannot be verified in  any way because  the reporters  are not on the ground in  Syria, and statements which  are intended to  undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in  each of these mainstream  reports that ‘the war will  go  on regardless’-  one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media  outlets  are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that  Western  governments  and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured  millions of dollars,  not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation  in Syria over the past five years-  but also  poured millions into  a  huge propaganda network designed to  convince the Western  public that  Al Qaeda  in Syria is in  fact moderate and cuddly and that  only the Syrian  government forces do  terrible things.
This is a brutal  war   without question. Both sides have committed atrocities  and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to  be blind to the costs of war.
But  it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing  Western  government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by  Western governments to overthrow Assad;  firstly ,  because the Syrian  government opposes the ongoing  Israeli  occupation of Palestine and the Syrian  Golan  Heights  heights  and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of  Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE  see a secular Syria  under Assad as a threat  to  their support for the  Wahhabist sunni  extremist  doctrine espoused by  Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby  alters their power  play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one,  hope that peace will  prevail over the dogs of war.
Postscript
As of 15th December, mainstream media are  now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining  East  Aleppo  rebels and their families to Idlib province  and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and  pictures of carefully  cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR  agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil  dictator Assad granting amnesty to  the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt  quite add up…? hmmm

Triumphant

There have been  way  too  many commentaries on  the  ‘unexpected’  succession  of Donald Trump  to the White House.

Trump coat of arms Source By Ernstvongriffe - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53057525
Trump coat of arms: Source By Ernstvongriffe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53057525

However  notwithstanding all  those commentaries ,  I will  endeavour to add my own  little spin  on  those events.

Donald Trump’s win  was  ‘unexpected’  for two reasons: 1) the media said it was not going to happen  and 2) the polls said it was not going to happen.  And indeed, Hillary  Clinton  did win more votes in  the  total national  count of the 54% who  decide to  vote, but lost out at  the electoral  college state level.  Both  Trump  and Clinton were voted for by  approximately 27% of the total possible electorate.  But the poll  margins expected, at  the very least,  a 4% margin  for Clinton. Was it because  those responding to the pollsters hid their true intent ; maybe too  ashamed to  say  they  were intending to  vote for someone the media portrayed as a bigot, sexist and buffoon, but who   responded to their anxieties about the future? Or was it that the low voter turnout  dramatically skewed the potential for any accurate recording  of those who  in the end decided to  vote?-  I would suspect  more the latter.

The role  of the media in this campaign has been  astonishing to an outsider.  Not one US mainstream  news agency  supported Trump through his campaign. Even in little old New Zealand the bias  in  reporting pro  Clinton and against  Trump was extraordinarily obvious. One of the more obvious signs of this bias was the  mass media taking up the Clinton   campaign’s farcical claims  that Trump  was in  bed with Putin, the Russians were trying to   fix the election and Wikileaks was an  arm of the Russian secret  police.  Where was the analysis of these absurd allegations ? Did this obvious bias  result in  a backlash  from voters as has been claimed in  some media reports? -I would very much  doubt it-  American citizenry  have been taught to  believe whatever the media says is the truth-why  doubt them now?- however absurd the claim  is.

However I do  think  one outcome of the media Trump-bashing frenzy  has been to instill a high level of fear and anxiety in those parts of the American  population who  see themselves as marginalized: the gay communities, Hispanics to some degree, many  blacks,  as well  as all those who  are fighting for more rights and freedoms  within  the American state system. Are those fears justified?-we shall  have to wait  and see whether Donald puts his  money  where his mouth is! As one reporter noted recently-  ‘all  American presidential  elections are like this; say anything you like  in  the run-up  to the vote, but once elected become a sober and careful  politician’. With  Donald Trump,  that may not necessarily be the case. All indications are that Donald Trump  has an ego  of unbelievable proportions, is not used to taking advice from singular or  multiple sources , is  in fact  both  sexist and racist and likes to make executive decisions at the minutist level.  Will  that make his decisions worse?-  probably not, given the calibre of recent presidential policy  decision -making.  Will  it make those decisions more unpredictable?- most certainly yes. We are in  for uncertain times in  the world.

We are also  in  for a world driven  entirely by  greed:  well, more obviously so at  least. In the past, that greed has been  hidden by  more subtle statements; ‘bringing democracy’,   ‘removing human rights abuses’, ‘responsibility to  protect’,  regime change’,  ‘efficiency’, ‘progress’  etc etc . The removal of environmental  controls for instance, will  simply make evident  what  was already  in  place; a total  unwillingness by  the American  state to  countenance a reduction  in  the consumption of fossil  fuels and the degradation of the environment if it meant profits for the big companies were going to  be reduced.  “Growth’  is what  drives money into  the pockets of the politicians. The environmental   Paris Accord is a political  farce, and every politician knows it.

The other  factor driving unpredictability in  Trump’s decision-making  is that he doesn’t need to be bought by  the highest  bidder;-unlike Hillary and the Clinton Foundation.   As a billionaire, Trump has sufficient  money  that  no-one can influence him   through bribery  and corruption, should he choose not to  go there.  The traditional  methodology for policy   decision-making in  Washington  has now been  removed for four years-  a very  scary  thought to  those who  have been buying privilege and influence in Washington for so many many years!   And particularly scary for those in  the military  and arms industries and certain  foreign states, who  have relied on  extensive lobbying and financial  ‘incentives’  to  ensure ongoing wars wherever they  meet  their interests.

Finally , the role of media and  politicians  in fostering the  post-election anxiety   and street  demonstrations needs to be explored. The casual  statements by  both  Hillary  Clinton and Obama that  Trump needs to ‘be given  a chance”  has the hidden  and not so  subtle or veiled implication  that, once Trump  makes his first  wrong move as President,  then  we can  go  after him  with whatever it takes to  remove him.

The  violent demonstrations on  the streets in   the U. S. as a result of the  presidential  election are unprecedented, and may be a sign of  further clashes between the so-called ‘liberals’  in  the pro-Clinton  camp,  and the bigots and racists  and ‘fearful  white folks’  who  made up  a significant proportion of the pro-Trump vote.

We live in  ‘interesting times’, as the Chinese curse has it….

 

The Self-destruction of Western Societies?

The recent  ‘terrorist’ bombings in European  cities  may need to be  looked at from  a wider  perspective. Is this increasing wave of violence on urban  communities a signal of a deeper malaise?

The ‘terrorists’  who  have perpetrated these attacks  over the past few years ( ie not just  “ISIS’  inspired  killings);  have inevitably be enacted by  dispossessed angry young men   who  predominantly  have no  clear ideology of much  longstanding.  While they  have often attributed the rationale for their attacks to  some formal ideology  like ISIS, I suspect  that   any ideological  excuse would have sufficed for them. The recent killings by  those who  stated their motivations  were in  the name of Allah  and ISIS, were almost all by young men  who  had lacked any consistent  commitment to  Muslim  practice; ie not regularly attending a mosque, and indulged in drinking, drugs , gambling etc.

This indicates that  the rationale for the killing did not come from  idealogical  sources, but rather from their own anger and hurt about their own life experiences.  Undoubtedly however, the  last few years  of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other similar extremist  groups espousing the glories of  the killing of innocents,  have provided a focus  and a ‘rationale’   for that  anger and blood-lust.

This process might be likened to  the Christian  crusades   to  the “Holy Lands” in mediaeval  times, when  Europeans  from  all  walks of life joined  armies  to  supposedly ‘free”  the Holy Lands from  Saracen tyranny, but in  fact used that  license  to indulge in  vast  amounts of rape, pillage and  terror  of  local  populations,   both on their journeys to  Palestine through  Europe and the Middle East , but also  within  Palestine  itself.

What is different this time around however, is that  this is an internal  self-immolation of societies and almost a global  one: predominantly by  young men  who  were born  within European  societies, but at  the same time alienated from them.

What  we see then, is a political  response to these multiple deaths  which labels them as “terrorists’  attacks rather than  an  epidemic of murder/-suicides by  young angry  and hurting men.

Instead of addressing the root causes of that anger;  alienation from  society,  loneliness, poverty,  drugs and perceived inequalities and injustices;  Western  governments have increasingly focussed on more and more draconian responses to  these murders;  an action which   further legitimizes the  imaginary  ideological  fervour of more and more  young men.

As in  the United States, the  political  response is to further  militarise police forces and restrict  human rights and freedoms, and thereby  increase the likelihood of inappropriate and unjust responses by  the ‘authorities’  to  legitimate  community  conflict  situations. It is plain  that such  actions lead only to  community disintegration.

One might therefore  argue that  the actions by  both parties are symptomatic of a global  community in decline; in  a state of self-immolation, as it  unconsciously acknowledges the  multiple absurd paradoxes of our  global consumer society whilst  we inexorably head towards   an unliveable over-heated  and species depleted  planet.