Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dance of the Macabre

We are now treated to the spectacle of President Trump  dancing a sword dance with  Saudi  princes after signing  a multi  billion dollar arms deal  with  the Saudi  regime..
We  have indisputable evidence that  the Saudis and Qataris are not only funding training and even  providing  jihadist manpower to  terrorists in  the Middle East  ( including both  Al Qaeda and ISIS), but that  the Saudi  regime is also  the sole source of the Wahhabist  ideology  that drives foolish young men to commit terrorist crimes,  both in the West  and as  jihadist  mercenaries in  the Middle East.
We know also  that  Britain  (remember Lawrence of Arabia) and now the United States, have continued to  prop  up  this brutal  sectarian and misogynist regime on the Arabian  peninsula for the past 100  years,  because it serves their interest  to do  so. Interests that include  oil of course and the sale of superfluous  armaments , but also  the capacity to combat  those states in  the Middle East  who  do  not bow down  to  Western interests;  eg Iraq, Libya, Syria,  and the ultimate prize,  Iran.
Thus, as academic Christopher Davidson  meticulously records in  his 2016 book, “The Shadow Wars”; ongoing U.K.  and U.S.  support for the Saudi regime and its terrorist activities is very  much in  their interests.
For how much longer will  this macabre dance continue?

Gaia and the Joys of Collective Psychosis

In Ukraine we see good Ukraine citizens believing that  ‘slant-eyed’  Russians ( perhaps Mongols from  the 12th century?)  have invaded their peaceful country, and along with a tiny number of Ukrainian traitors, have managed to  fend off the advances of the peace-loving Kiev government army  and  neo-nazi Right Sektor militias to return Eastern Ukraine to the fold. We need no  evidence-  we simply know that this is the case.

In Syria, every  good Sunni  knows that  it was Assad’s government that created ISIS;  where else could it have come from? -in order   that  evil  Shi-ite Persians and Lebanese  Hezbollah  could invade their country.  Clearly Sunni Saudi Arabia and their Wahabbist   crazies had nothing to do  with it!

In America every  good Democrat  knows that  it was only because of Russian intervention and ‘hacking’  that  Donald Trump  won  the election. How else could he have won?

And in the U.K. and in Poland the Russians are coming,  if they  are not already here! Russia’s aging  long range bombers and their sole smoking  aircraft  carrier are ready  at any moment to bring apocalyptic doom to  those good democratic shores..

I  am once again  reminded of my great great  grandfather’s time here in sleepy New Zealand, when  in  the 1890s, a  Russian Empire rust-bucket of a warship  managed to creep  this far south in  the Pacific to  to cause chaos and concern amongst us gentle white folks.  Vast  sums were raised to buy ( from British  armament factories) long range   guns to  install  on every  headland to  forestall  the imminent threat of a Russian  invasion. The Russo-Japanese brief  naval  and land army  altercation of 1904 was to  quickly prove how much  of a threat those Russian  warships  and armed forces actually were..

So-  those are  a few tangible examples of collective pyschosis –  how we as humans can so  easily be swayed into  believing an alternative reality-  because everyone else is believing it too.

However –  much much bigger than  those relatively small  events,  is humankind’s current conviction (since at  least the ‘industrial  revolution’) that  destroying all  of the  living things on this planet is ‘progress’ .  And, decade after decade, each  one of the remaining indigenous cultures have been sucked into  this ‘word-view’  that  we  humans must   produce things  to  make us humans happy and  ‘progress somewhere’ . Every one of the material things that  we produce  comes at  the expense of another living thing…

The evidence is very much out there-  and has been increasingly obvious over the past fifty years,  that  we as humans are  incrementally, and  at an ever faster pace ,  destroying the capacity of this planet to provide a sustainable habitat to not only ourselves, but  to  all of earth’s living things. But  we are still  ‘locked in’  to  ‘progress’  –  destroying  life for another bauble that will inevitably  self-destruct in  a few  months or years…

Perhaps, just perhaps, if we had had a slow motion time-lapse video which had showed   the world’s life steadily being steadily and rapidly drained away over the past 2000  years –  year upon year  –  then just maybe we might have done something about it.  Instead, we talk  about it;  we pretend that our machines of ‘progress’  can  redress the problems,  when the reality is that only other life, other species, can  reverse the  apocalypse-  if we have time.

And  that  – as we  all  know-  is not going to happen. Because human ‘progress’ its believed,   is going to  save us with more technology, more  ‘progress’  (and  more destruction of living things)…

A mammoth global  campaign to  plant and grow trees everywhere –  to revert  all  our feedstock lands to  forest, to plant trees on  every  available inch  of land  that is not absolutely necessary  to provide  humans with  a meagre  vegetable diet;  might permit this planet to  survive as a living entity….but the odds look  very very slim….Trees not only once almost  entirely covered the landmass of our little planet,  they provided a home for a huge biodiversity of other plants  insects and animals that  kept our planet viable  flexible  and   adaptable to  climactic and other  planetary  changes. That capacity to  adapt through  species diversification  is now being squeezed from  this planet.

Lovelock had it right the first time.  Our planet is  indeed a  single living entity –  Gaia -composed of  millions of different living  interlocking entities-  much  the same way as the human organism functions.

We are killing her…


Links

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Japanese_War

https://ourworldindata.org/forest-cover/#very-long-term-perspective-on-deforestation-in-specific-regions

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 Earth is NOT Our Playground

For the past two  hundred years since the British  Industrial  Revolution and the rise of consumerism, the Western  World and now the Eastern  and Third Worlds, have adopted a mantra that  says;  ‘we can  do  anyhing we like to  this world- destroy  other species, the natural  environment as much  as we want  in  our pursuit of profit and  things to  consume’.

A few humans are now coming to the realisation that  this mantra is rapidly and progressively destroying this planet- that  we, and the billions of other species on this planet , are doomed  very  soon, to  annihilation, unless we rapidly reverse this hedonistic view of  life.

In my little ‘green  and clean’  country   of New Zealand alone, we mercilessly kill many many millions of other animals we ‘farm’ each year. Each  of those animals, (as every  pet owner well  knows) , just  like us;  has thoughts, feelings and intense fear as they  approach  their deaths by  humans who must  construct  careful  thought patterns to  ensure they  are not unduly themselves destroyed by  the  pain  and psychopathic cruelty they  are inflicting on  each  animal they  encounter for killing. There are harrowing stories in  the links below of animals coming to  their murderers for  comfort  and reassurance before the moments of their deaths.toadstillinthegrass

There are stories too  of the  enormous psychological damage inflicted on  those butcherers by  their  killings  day  after day. And yet incredibly,  we see educated  ‘authorities’  extolling  diets which  endorse and enthuse over those killings. The  so-called ‘paleo’ diet-  where supposedly our prehistoric ancestors somehow had enough time and energy  to  go  on killing sprees and consume vast  amounts of meat. One has to  wonder which    killing corporation is sponsoring such  a diet?

In reality, we  in our early years, like our  fellow  primates, did kill   a few other animals, but predominantly ate  what   came to us in our  travels,  fruit, grains,  roots in  the ground and some times a lucky kill  of another animal.

We are  not ‘predestined’  to be killers in our genes- despite the animal killing industries best  protestations;  we are essentially omniverous animals- and we can  choose not to inflict  cruelty and death  on our fellow species.

But the killing industry is just  a small  part of what  we humans  are blindly doing to  destroy our planet. It is all  part of a vast  and intensely ignorant ‘understanding’,  that  we as humans,  are superior beings who  consequently have the right  to  do  what  we like on this planet.

Nothing could be further from the truth!. We are in  no way  superior beings- we have unique talents,  as many species do, but they  in no  way  equate to  ‘superiority’- whatever  that might mean.

Even humans should be able to recognise that self-definition of superority using those traits  that  that species excels in,  has rather a large flawed element of self-fulfillment. The inherent stupidity of such  an  argument should be visible to  any human;- sadly , it is not.

This self-fulfilling prejudice means that  humans can,  without a qualm, destroy  countless  individual  and total  fellow-species for any reason  the human brain  can come up  with.   Thus we can  pave over the living and breathing earth, create cancerous  concrete growths we call  cities on top  of  the natural  world, destroy billions of acres of forest to   maintain  monocrops  endlessly and increasingly sprayed with poisons -or ‘genetically engineered’  to  self-destruct  and destroy those species relying on them in the process. We can pave the planet  with increasing  labyrinths of tar  we call  roads  or ‘essential  services’, we can  desperately retrieve  more  and more of the stored earth-bound energy   on this planet  to keep  our so-called ‘civilisation’  running;  but, all  for what?

Global  warming is but one small  symptom of this incredible stupidity. Oh yes, certainly one that  will  kill  millions of humans and many billions more of our fellow species, but nothing in  comparison  with  our ongoing hell-bent ride to  destroy the planet we live on with  every   avail able tool  we have  created  since the Industrial  Revolution.

Do  we really hate ourselves this much?


Links

http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists

PTSD in the Slaughterhouse

http://werewolf.co.nz/2016/02/killing-for-a-living/

https://verdict.justia.com/2014/05/21/dilemma-humane-execution-humane-slaughter

https://www.rebelpress.org.nz/files/cleangreencrueltyfree.pdf

The Mythology of Emotion

Over the millenia  humans have celebrated the power and pleasures of emotions; the  bliss of love, the power of anger and revenge, the  truth  of duty  and many others. And along with that  celebration, has gone the malediction of less favoured emotions;  jealousy, uncontrolled anger, fear and cowardice to name just  a few.

And over the millenia,  emotions of all  kinds have been  seen to be spontaneous uprising s of something deep  within  the psyche of that  person. But what  if all  those feelings were simply productions; simply artefacts of a  sentient  being’s process of thought?.

Many  philosophical  religions like Hindusim, Taosim and Buddhism  have long argued that meditation  aims to reduce the ego  so  that  one can obtain  at  least  a glimpse of the eternal. Rarely is it  stated that  the ego  is in  fact  simply the productions of thoughts. Without thought; simply being,  there is no  ego; but a state of no-thought  that  very  very  few human beings have attained.

Most  consistent meditators know that  as their practice deepens, they become calmer, less ruffled by  the buffets of day  to  day  events, and less prone to  consequent  unfortunate actions. Too  often  this state of calmness is portrayed as some mystical  state of entry  into  spiritual bliss and   enlightenment, rather than   simply a gentle reduction in thought processes, and an  opening for the mind to see how it always directly connects to  the world without  grasping or judging..

What  if, for those of us who  have endured adverse childhood events in  our lives, some negative thought-patterns become entrenched and circular, leading the person  to  view all  future events through  the thought processes of the past? A ‘lens of discontent’ if you like. One can  hypothesise that  if we had mental  health  clinicians who  were skilled in teaching their patients how to  break out of those circular thought processes, to focus instead on the everyday  joys of life in the here and now, many mental  health patients would be able to live fulfilled and even contented lives without psychotropic medication. Those who  were suicidally depressed and hopeless could also  learn those skills, leading to  a huge reduction in  the trauma and further suicides in   countless families and communities around the world.

Of course, being content with  what  one has, being happy simply to be here and now and not need to  buy the next  thing, visit the next  place of the bucket list  or compete with others, would mean   our  acquisitional   global  culture  would start  to  disintegrate. Product  advertising would be laughed at  for the myth  that it is. You  must be sold something you dont recognise you need- capitalism  would largely disappear, and we might begin  to learn to  co-exist  with our fellow species.

The power otoadstillinthegrassf government fear campaigns, ideologies, corporatism  and  divisive religions , will begin to  fade away.

A revolutionary process indeed!

Will  we see the end of love?  While the romanticism of love  would be seen for what  it is;  simply powerful  thoughts, often   drawn automatically  from  deep  within  the childhood thought patterns of the person, our species capacity to love both our own, and  all  other living things, will  be greatly enhanced.

Love therefore will be seen for what it is- a state of mind, rather than  something mysterious and sublime.  The 4000  year old Chinese I Ching, or the Book  of Divinations puts it beautifully:

No matter how close to them he may be, if his center of gravity depends on them, he is inevitably tossed to and fro between joy and sorrow. Rejoicing to high heaven, then sad unto death-this is the fate of those who depend upon an inner accord with other persons whom they love.

Here we have only the statement of the law that this is so. Whether this condition is felt to be an affliction of the supreme happiness of love, is left to the subjective verdict of the person concerned. I Ching; Hexagram Chung Fu ( Inner Truth), six in the third.

The mysteriousness of ‘falling in love’ can be ascribed to  the mysteriousness of our thoughts; their source, the pool of thoughts that  populate our unconscious and dreams, but arising directly from our formative experiences and those who  wielded power over us when we were young impressionable and vulnerable, and the consequent thought patterns that   were  cemented in  place at  that time.

To  be continued…..

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/

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/

The Saudi Created Hell in Yemen

Moon of Alabama in one of his most recent posts notes that  United Arab Emirate and Saudi  troops are  now heavily engaged on  the ground in  Yemen. This, as Moon of Alabama notes, and to  which  I concur, is the start  of the beginning of a military  disaster for Saudi   forces- and in  my belief preludes the  downfall (none too  son) of the Saudi  “monarchy”.

As happened to Egyptian forces when they involved themselves in  the horribly complicated  shifting  factions of the North Yemen Civil War in the 1960s; the commitment of ground troops signals a whole new ball game. One in  which  local Yemen forces have a considerable advantage -knowledge of local ( and in  many cases, very  difficult  mountainous)  terrain.

Wikipedia summarises it well when it says: Yemen is a continuously elevated country, with only the coastal plains being the lowest-lying areas. The range of elevation is from sea level to 3,666 metres (12,028 ft). Jagged peaks and plateaus cover most of Yemen, and the average elevation in the country is about 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). Among the countries in the Arab world, it is the one with the second highest high point, being the 3,666 metres (12,028 ft) high Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb, after Morocco‘s 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) high Jbel Toubkal. The Yemenis used the elevation of their homeland to stay isolated for thousands of years with foreign trade conducted only when the Yemenis wished to go to the coastal areas.

That mountainous terrain  provides cover  for  ambush  and retreat, and just  as the Houthis are already  demonstrating in  their Saudi  attacks; quick  hit and runs can be very  effective in  demoralising and destabilizing   formal  troop placements.

While Moon of Alabama  notes that  Western media are not  reporting on  these military  incursions by  Saudi  and UAE forces, they  are also  minimally  reporting on the, at this stage minor military  successes by  Houthi forces in Saudi Arabia itself.

The ongoing western media reportage of the Houthis as “Iranian backed” carries no  substance,  but is nevertheless a convenient  line in the Saudi  propogated narrative of Shi-ite expansion across the middle east. The reality is the  exact opposite:  extremist Sunni  regimes like the Saudis , Qatar  and UAE are determined to forestall  the ongoing  rise of an  independent and powerful  Iran , by  training arming and funding  uncontrollable groups like Al Qaeda, Al  Nusra and ISIS, and in  the case of Yemen, sending in their own militaries.  As noted in an earlier blog, the Saudi  invasion of Yemen was specifically  designed to ensure the  survival  of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a useful ally to the Saudi dictatorship against  the shi-ites -despite their mutual animosities.

Map of Yemen - Courtesy of Moon of Alabama website www.moonofalabama.org-(unknowm origination)
Courtesy of Moon of Alabama website www.moonofalabama.org-(unknowm origination)

 

The way  forward lies in the destruction from  within  of these Sunni  dictatorships via the extremists they have cultivated,  along with  the resultant backlash from resident shi-ite and other  “deviant” sects within   Arabia as a result of Saudi  repression and brutality.  Their  fragile inept, corrupt  and isolated leadership  groups are  creating the very forces which  will  inevitably  turn on them.  As the United States found with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and its terrorists agents in Syria ;  it is one thing to  fund and help establish  a terrorist group  to  hit your enemies; it is another thing to  control  such terrorist groups  in the long term. In addition, the Saudi  role in  lowering international oil prices may,  in  the longer term, have significant impact on  the stability of that country.

However in  all  of this we must not forget  those who   suffer now because of the political machinations  ( greed and power) . This huge humanitarian  crisis has been directly created by  the Sunni  Gulf states in Yemen. Health  services and food aid are being deliberately withheld from  areas controlled by  the Houthi,  while civilians are being deliberately targeted in  bombing runs, using U.S.  intelligence.  IN all  this seems like a re-run of the kind of brutality used for almost 80  years by the Saudi’s new-found ally,  the  Israelis, in  exterminating and terrorising  Palestinians.

Postscript

The recent  bombing of the one remaining port access for humanitarian aid into Yemen by the Saudi “coalition” is just   one of the  evil and inhumane acts of this brutal  dictatorship that supposedly prides itself on its  adherence to  Muslin doctrines of humanity and respect.

The United States is fully implicated in  these horrendous war crimes by  the Saudi  regime, and will  in  time be held to  account   and indicted for these international  crimes against  humanity.

Nuremburg  Two-here we come!

And, interesting to  note the recent (October 2015) development of an internal  anti-Saudi  movement in   southern Arabia. The rise of Ahrar al-Najran,  a southern Arabian secessionist  movement, is one of a number of new groups that  will  inevitably begin to  eat  away at  the House of Saud   and its Wahhabi   reactionary  muslim sect; and steadily undermine its bigoted and destructive control  of the Arabian peninsula . As we might expect, the house of Saud itself begins to understand its nemesis is near, and the destructive undermining has already begun from within…

The U.K., Israel  and the United States, are left in  a very  difficult position, as their  king-pin for Middle East  control ( aside from  the supposedly “Western” oriented Israeli government)  begins its inevitable slide to  oblivion.  The only option left for them is the devil-incarnate, Iran….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Delphi Declaration and Grexit

Michael Hudson, economist and historian, records the decision of those who  gathered at Delphi in Greece on 22nd June 2015. The Declaration makes it very clear which  way Greeks need to  vote in their referendum in a  weeks time: to  remain  with austerity and the Euro, or to  depart; to decide whether  to  continue down the dead-end street of community’s lives being ruled by  bankers and economists, or to  choose community collaboration, democracy  and consensus politics…

As Steve Keen  makes it very  clear, the Troika’s ambition is nothing less than the overthrow of an elected (Greek ) government by imposing impossible conditions  that have resulted ,  and will  continue to result, in  the total  impoverishment of all Greeks (barring the very  wealthy) . Leaked IMF documents show clearly that  even  the IMF acknowledges that  its proposed austerity measures will leave  Greece with unsustainable debt  by  2030.

And David Stockman argues, Prime Minister Tsipras’ stand against  the Troika may signal  a long overdue  restructuring of the financial markets globally.

Finally;  it may be useful  to  read William Polk’s very  short outline  of the modern  Greek  nation, to  put things into  some perspective along with  Michael Hudson and William Black’s extremely damning  analysis  from the University of Missouri of the financial situation in Greece leading up to   the Greek referendum on  Sunday July 5th  2015.


Postscript

With more than 60% of the Greek  voting populatoin rejecting further EU imposed austerity, more economists and  political  advisors appear to be coming out of the woodwork  to  reject  the insanity  of further sausterity on  a country already  on its knees.

Read  this proclamation from  Professor Thomas Piketty  and others  here

And, subsequent to  the Greek Government’s further  round of capitulation to  the EU, we have Peter Tenebrarum’s likely accurate assessment of where the sudden EU push for Greek Debt Relief is coming from…

And, subsequent to  the draconian and childishly vindictive response by  the German austerity kings and queens on 14th July , we have Larry Elliott’s analysis of why this new round of debt relief is doomed to  fail.  And here is  a precis of the Greek ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’  take on proceedings in Brussels.

In addition, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph notes 15/7/15 , the IMF  ( and almost every  significant ecomomist) is again noting the complete implausability and craziness of the  ongoing austerity process imposed on Greece. The complete incompetence of the Eurozone leadership is revealed to  all.  What may  benefit Germany in the short-term, will  inevitably lead to  its downfall in the long-term. The German government is now  70  years later, once more a pariah state.  Total  childish  foolish arrogance and spitefulness once again  dominates the German political  landscape.

As Chris Hedges at Truthdig makes it clear in  the following powerful  paragraph;  the Greeks are not the only ones whose needs are subsumed to the madness of neoliberalism and the ultimate destruction of this planet as it becomes a commodity.

The Greeks and the U.S. working poor endure the same deprivations because they are being assaulted by the same system—corporate capitalism. There are no internal constraints on corporate capitalism. And the few external constraints that existed have been removed. Corporate capitalism, manipulating the world’s most powerful financial institutions, including the Eurogroup, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve, does what it is designed to do: It turns everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse. In the extraction process, labor unions are broken, regulatory agencies are gutted, laws are written by corporate lobbyists to legalize fraud and empower global monopolies, and public utilities are privatized. Secret trade agreements—which even elected officials who view the documents are not allowed to speak about—empower corporate oligarchs to amass even greater power and accrue even greater profits at the expense of workers. To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible. But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.


Links

Michael Hudson-The Delphi Declaration
http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-delphi-declaration/

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/06/23/delphi-declaration/

http://people.terry.uga.edu/akefalas/delfoi/about.htm

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/no-austerity-tens-thousands-back-syriza-rally-athens

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/29/referendum-greeks-europe-capitalism-greece-eurozone-economic-system

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/anger-aimed-troikas-ruthless-neoliberalism-greece-exit-looms

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/06/29/europes-attack-greek-democracy

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevekeen/2015/06/25/bureaucrazies-versus-democracy/2/

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/good-on-you-alexis-tsipras-part-1/

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-troika-analysis-says-significant-concessions-still-needed

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/01/syriza-cave-in-elites-regime-change  –  Seamus Milne

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1507/S00010/currencies-the-rules-of-the-game-applied-to-germany-and-gre.htm   – Keith Rankin

Greece: Only the ‘No’ Can Save the Euro– J. K Galbraith

http://www.unz.com/mhudson/greece-on-behalf-of-europe/  – Michael  Hudson & William K Black

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/07/angela-merkel-must-act-now-for-greece-germany-and-the-world

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/13/europe-greece-pushed-into-further-peril

Oily Euphemisms and Weasel Words

The courageous ex U.N Special  Rapporteur for Palestine, Richard Falk once again notes  the slick cynicism of those in positions of power in the West  and East who  clothe   the evils of Israeli occupation of Palestine  in  what Richard Falk  beautifully describes as “oily eupehemisms”, but which  in  my homeland we would simply call  “weasel  words”: i.e. cloaking evil  in nice words to  ensure  our privileged place is not compromised.

The  murder, theft, torture   and terror that  Palestinians have had to  ensure at  the hands of an occupation  government that has been  wholeheartedly supported  in their  70 years of genocide by  every  Western government, has been  completely unfettered . However just  as with apartheid South Africa, and  the wholehearted Western  support for   a “good”  white government “battling the darkies”; the reality of the despotism  of  this  undisputed pure and simple   rascism, is finally hitting home to  many in  the West.

Now that the tide is slowing turning, and Western populations are progressively becoming to  realise the enormity of these  human  rights violations  by  “poor little Israel”, we have increasing numbers of those governments now cynically attempting  to  divert the tide of public opinion by recognising   Palestine as an independent state. In its current  geographical  boundaries , which  have  been progressively sliced  and walled away by  the Israeli  occupation every  year, Palestine  is a completely nonviable state entity.

Because of the actions of  the Israeli military  and their government  over  this 70  years of depredation,  a single state solution is now the only answer. A single state where all  its occupants have equal  rights, where lands stolen over the past 70  years are restored, where  Palestinians forcibly  exiled have full  right of return and full  compensation from  those who  have destroyed their livelihoods, homes, orchards  and family members.

Maybe then the oily euphemisms can  be replaced with truth  and honesty.

Postscript

Here, we  have  a most wonderful  example ( were it not so  appalling and disgusting) commentary from  an Israeli apologist supreme, a David P Goldman  who argues , with such  authencity, that  all  those Gazan  women and children murdered by Israeli  soldiers in  their last onslaught  against the ghetto of Gaza, did so because Hamas  forced them to  stand up  and be bombed shot and strafed . Oh those Palestinians brought it on themselves didn’t they  Mr Goldman?

Read the account of “Jerusalem Day ” this year from  Electronic Intifada or see the resulting “Death to  Arabs” march  by  Israeli  children

And for those who  may  doubt the  barbarism of the Israeli  ongoing assault on Palestine and its tiny Gaza enclave-it may be useful  to  read the  testimonials of Israeli  soldiers in their recent  “Protective Edge” or “Stalwart Cliff” assault on Gaza here  at  Breaking the Silence

And, let us never forget, there are many  Jewish  voices internationally  resisting the Zionist  agenda of subjugation of occupied peoples- particularly the Jewish Voices for Peace movement

And a further piece of evidence of the  now desperate  responses from  those attempting to shore up  the  sordid reputation of the Israeli  occupation forces, from  the Israeli  newspaper Haaretz, noting among other points that:  A new website is publicizing the identities of pro-Palestinian student activists to prevent them from getting jobs after they graduate from college. But the website is keeping its own backers’ identity a secret. “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” a female narrator intones in a slick video posted to the website’s YouTube account. Called Canary Mission, the site has posted profiles of dozens of students and recent graduates, alongside those of well-known activists like Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…..