Western Hypocrisy on Afghanistan

As Hollywood has noted, and later U. S. records confirm, the predecessors to the Taliban, the U.S. funded and armed brutal Afghan Mujahideen or jihadist freedom fighters were instrumental in securing the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s , who were supporting the communist secular Afghan government in Kabul. A government it should be noted, who fully supported the rights of Afghan women to be educated, to work and live a life equal to men.

After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,

As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.

The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001

If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?

The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.

It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)

This was simply one more racist colonial invasion; putting more money into the pockets of U.S. war profiteers.

See below, John Pilger’s video ‘Breaking the Silence’ from 10 years ago in Afghanistan

http://johnpilger.com/videos/breaking-the-silence-truth-and-lies-in-the-war-on-terror

As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.

Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.

Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?

As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions. 

We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.

New Zealand’s ex-prime minister Helen Clark’s commentary on the resurgence of the Taliban might be interpreted as disingenuous, were it not for the fact that she is a United Nations employee and knows full well the extent of the indiscriminate murder, torture and destruction, let alone the phenomenal levels of corruption by NGOs supposedly ‘re-building Afghanistan’ committed by the occupying powers in their 20 year presence in Afghanistan.

We might also note the opium and heroin rat lines from the Afghan poppy
fields which miraculously came into full bloom (Afghanistan  now supplies by  far the largest  share of opium in  the world), after the American occupation
and which will now , once again, be shut down by the Taliban. Mysteriously drug trafficking explodes in volume in those areas where Western intelligence
operatives, and particularly the CIA, are heavily involved: Colombia,
Afghanistan, Laos….

The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..

While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.

The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..

Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..

“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.”
– Booker T. Washington

That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and  other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.

It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.

And it should also be remembered that the Taliban’s astonishing victory in the past week has been at minimal cost of human life and suffering; a victory, as Pepe Escobar notes, contrived by ” lots of persuasion, tribal deals, zero columns of tanks (and) minimal loss of blood”.

It is  time now for the new Afghan  government to  demand reparations from all those Western  occupation governments for the deaths,  torture,  trauma and misery;  and land and property losses of the last 20  years.

Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…

Postscript

As Richard Falks  and others note, what follows next in Afghanistan  will  depend not only on how the Taliban keep  their promises of greater tolerance , but also  on  the United States and its Western  occupying allies respond to the Taliban in power.  To  date Western media is hyping up  the threat  and supposed savagery of the Taliban  to extraordinary  degrees  (my local  New Zealand  TV news channel  interspersed commentary of the Taliban  with video of ISIS troops marching in uniform) and the  U.S.  withholding of Afghan federal  reserve money  and aid by  other Western countries . Without the  Western aid that  Afghanistan infrastructure has come to  rely on  over the last 20  years,  severe hardship  and starvation will  be the lot of Afghans already  brutalised by  this pointless war.

It is now likely that  further Western brutal  adventures, such  as the Afghan occupation , will not be viable options , as China particularly expands its  somewhat  more benign influence in  the region.

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Links

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/16/20-years-invasion-afghanistan-unnecessary-post-imperial-fantasy

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/126081418/utterly-surreal-and-devastating-former-pm-helen-clark-shellshocked-to-be-back-where-we-were-in-afghanistan-as-taliban-take-over

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/16/diplomacy-not-bombs-anti-war-voices-say-afghanistan-shows-need-stop-any-further?

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/the-islamic-emirate-of-afghanistan-back-with-a-bang/

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/08/16/afghanistan-history-taliban-collapse-504977

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/afghanistan-taliban-press-conference-notes.html#more

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/08/16/hollywoods-dangerous-afghan-illusion-2/

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/and-now?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/17/the-u-s-government-lied-for-two-decades-about-afghanistan/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/16/what-the-classroom-didnt-teach-me-about-the-american-empire/

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/we-failed-afghanistan-not-the-other?

https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/corruption-in-conflict/lessons.html

As Kabul Is Retaken, Papers Look Back in Erasure

https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/

https://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_report_into_shoring_up_Afghan_war_support_in_Western_Europe,_11_Mar_2010

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232167.shtml

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232142.shtml

https://richardfalk.org/2021/08/23/everything-went-wrong-in-afghanistan/

John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/wests-meddling-has-caused-calamity-afghanistan

Britain (presumably) Keen to Start Nuclear War

The British destroyer HMS Defender was recently instructed by the British government to sail within the Crimean 12 kilometer marine boundary. Russian airforce and marine forces responded strongly to this intrusion into the disputed maritime space.

The BBC noted While Moscow claims the peninsula and its waters are Russian territory, the UK says HMS Defender was passing through Ukrainian waters in a commonly used and internationally recognised transit route.

However, this statement from the UK is simply lies. The ‘Defenders’ passage off the coast of Crimea is not in any way ‘recognised transit route’ to anywhere. This was pure and simple provocation by the British.

As Craig Murray (an expert in maritime rulings) notes: There is certainly a right to pass to the Ukrainian port of Odessa – but that in now (sic) way requires passing close to Crimea. This is therefore not “innocent passage”.

That provocation intent is confirmed by the BBC reporter aboard the ‘Defender’ notes;  (Defender) Weapons systems on board the Royal Navy destroyer had already been loaded.

Perhaps they had hoped to provoke a shooting war with Russian forces just prior to the Nato military ‘Sea Breeze’ exercise in the Black Sea the following week? From a Russian perspective this surely looks like an attempt by NATO to completely surround Russia and attack its borders.

As the History website notes, Crimea had been part of Russia for 200 years until 1954, when it was gifted to the Soviet Republic of the Ukraine by the then Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev. This was to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the historic decision by Ukraine to unify with tsarist Russia. At that time, it would have been impossible to foresee that the Soviet Union would collapse and split into separate republics, that the borders would have to be renegotiated and that Ukraine would again be an independent country.

More importantly, Sevastopol had been Russia’s only ‘warm water’ (not shut in by ice over winter) naval base since 1783, when Catherine the Great ‘acquired’ it from the Turks.

And once the Ukrainian 2014 Maidan coup leaders made their decisions to designate Ukrainian Russian speaking citizens second class citizens by making the Ukrainian language the only official language of the Ukraine, the Russian speaking Crimean split from Ukraine was inevitable. That split has however never been recognised by Western powers or Ukraine.

The British report that the Russians did not fire ‘at’ HMS Defender is indeed true, but simply semantics ; warning shots are just that-not fired at the aggressor, but fired just far enough away to demonstrate that the defender will fire directly at the aggressor if they continue to approach.

What the British government was hoping to achieve by this deliberate provocation is hard to know. The action was purely and simply adolescent and stupid and could very easily have lead to a hot war, and potentially a nuclear exchange.

Britannia -despite Boris Johnson’s wish to be some kind of Churchill, no longer rules the waves. As Craig Murray notes, this gunboat diplomacy by Britain is lunacy.

One wonders what would happen should a heavily armed Russian destroyer with weapon systems activated, stroll across Britain’s maritime borders near the Portsmouth Naval Base, or perhaps the illegally occupied Chagos Islands and the huge American military base there at Diego Garcia?; accidentally of course.

British promises to conduct more ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises near Russian Crimea military bases that defend Russia’s southern flank…..

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Links

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/06/these-uppity-brits-need-a-slap-like-lesson.html#comments

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/23/russian-ship-fired-warning-shots-at-royal-navy-destroyer-hms-defender-moscow-says

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57583363.amp

The United Nations & ‘Human Rights’

The recent article in the Guardian which notes that the world has the “worst cascade of human rights setbacks in our lifetimes’, focuses on a rather selective set of human rights abuses. While no-one in the West at least, can argue that Russia is a ‘selective’ democracy and the Chinese Communist Party (while supported by the vast majority of mainland Chinese) rules the country with a strong and often repressive hand, those excesses pale into insignificance when we look at the human rights abuses perpetrated by many Western states across the globe.

Wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen (let alone their unconditional support for Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian people), by the West are indisputably gross human rights transgressions which require the U.N. to demand , on behalf of those populations, compensation from the aggressor. The U.N. is silent….

And let us not forget the Guantanamo Bay torture centre, nor the genocide against indigenous populations by Canada, the United States and Australia.

While Uighur ‘re-education’ camps, which significantly impact on some Uighurs’ human rights, certainly exist in Xinyang (China says these are to reduce the risk of Uighur Muslim extremism and terrorism promoted by Turkey, the Saudis and Western intelligence groups); current evidence tends to suggest that statements about genocide are a fabrication by those very groups.

The Uighur genocide stories can perhaps be likened to the U.S. state political propaganda theatre of American POWs captured by the Koreans and Vietnamese in the United States’ genocidal colonial wars against those two countries. No solid evidence exists of genocide of Uighurs, but we can make up a really good story with ‘anecdotal evidence’ and ‘statistics’ and newspaper headlines …..

In response to U.N. criticisms of Navalny’s political party in Russia being forcibly disbanded, and Hong Kong protesters and their Western funded protests militantly arguing for separatism from mainland China, we may yet have to see how Western countries respond to foreign countries funding political parties advocating separatism and sanctions of their own countrymen, on their own patch….

Indeed the continuing and increasing use of sanctions by Western countries against those countries they wish to destabilise is surely another key example of breaches of human rights of those populations. Cutting off access to food, energy and medical supplies and ‘withholding’ ( i.e stealing) money in state bank accounts from countries like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba are blatant abuses of those populations ‘ human rights.

As Telesure notes about Nicaragua: Human Rights Watch… has been notorious for taking a pro-State Department line on Latin America and even contains former State Department personnel on its board of directors. The former (the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation ) , meanwhile, is led by an anti-government partisan who supports imperialist sanctions on her own country. As The Canary reported in December 2018, Jagger has not only expressed support for the crippling US sanctions already in place but even called for the European Union, Canada, and other Latin American nations to issue their own set of sanctions as well.

And perhaps we could look at the multiple and gross human rights violations committed by the West’s ‘colonial’ troops in Africa in the past decade, or the ongoing catastrophe in South and Central America caused by the United States’ brutal Monroe Doctrine tactics.

Western led statements supporting greater freedom and democracy in Russia and China and other autocratic states that don’t kneel to Western business interests, should indeed be a wonderful ideal and a catalyst for freedom for all, were it not for that fact that those very Western governments- particularly the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and some other Western European countries, are also the countries that have waged savage wars across the third world to promote their own ‘interests’ ( i.e. money).

For some unknown reason, those countless wars of aggression by Western and predominantly ‘white’ countries; along with indiscriminant sanctions, torture, drone murders and the promotion of extremism in other countries, do not appear on the list by the U.N. advocate for human rights- one might wonder why that is?

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Links

https://www.qiaocollective.com/en/education/xinjiang

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/06/21/new-evidence-reveals-that-senator-john-mccain-and-other-high-ranking-vietnam-war-pows-may-have-lied-to-the-american-public-about-being-tortured-in-order-to-bolster-support-for-an-imperialist-war-that/

https://www.rt.com/news/527292-us-seizes-iran-presstv-websites/

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/06/22/660640/Yemen-Saudi-aggression-Saudi-Arabia-United-Nations-Children-Antonio-Guterres

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/What-Media-Dont-Want-To-Tell-About-Arrests-in-Nicaragua-20210619-0011.html?

This is what Israel Stands For…

As a result of the backlash against Israel from Western media and human rights organisations as a result of the recent bombing and shelling of Gaza, Israeli supporters are going into overdrive in the United States, Germany, the U.K. and elsewhere to portray any criticism of Israel’s apartheid system against the Palestinians as antisemitisim.

One assumes that ‘antisemitism’ in this case applies to supporting the 70 odd year Palestinian struggle for the return of their homeland – and an end to the murder, brutality, dispossession and terror inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli state and its settler shock troops.

Even now we are told by mainstream media that the continuation of the bombing and shelling of the Israeli prison that is Gaza, is “in response” to incendiary balloons send from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli is just a little disproportionate as Activist Post notes: It is, unfortunately, always the case that no matter what Israel does, even when Hamas does not fire rockets, the story always starts with “but the Palestinians”. To say that a valid response to a balloon with a flaming object being sent to land and perhaps start a fire in lands stolen from Palestinians in Gaza, is an F-16 dropping tons of explosives on one of the most densely populated civilian areas on earth (half of which are children) is a tad ridiculous to say the least. That is kind of like your neighbor flicking a cigarette in your back garden and so you decide to blow up his home with a ton of C-4.

Strangely we are never told what Hamas and its allies in Gaza are ‘responding to’ from the Israeli side- 70 years of a savage brutality that occurs each and every day for Palestinians purposely trapped in that hell by the Israeli regime, where the majority of Israelis (just like ‘white’ South Africans before them) have incorporated sickening personal and systemic racism against Palestinians into their ‘culture’,in an attempt to absolve themselves of the crimes of the Israeli state machine and its settler terrorist groups.

Here is what Israeli stands for……

Or perhaps here at Electronic Intifada….

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israeli-mob-chants-genocide-jerusalem

Or perhaps you might like to read about the daily endless accounts of murder, brutality, theft and savagery conducted by everyday Israelis and their state machine against Palestinians, in a weekly report of the countless Palestinian sufferings every day at the hands of Israelis, by the International Middle East Media Center

THIS is what our so reasonable and democratic allies in the Western world continue to unconditionally support……

This ‘unconditional support’ by the West for Israel’s long-term barbarity is not an accident or simply ignorance of the realities in Palestine. These are deliberate policies of support for the slow genocide of the Palestinian people, because it suits “our interests’.

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Links

https://imemc.org

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/tamara-nassar/israeli-mob-chants-genocide-jerusalem

https://www.btselem.org/publications/fulltext/202101_this_is_apartheid

A Submission to my local Council on Environment Change

The Council’s 10 Year Plan’s ‘climate change’   position  is remarkable in its minimalism, absence  of vision and  lack  of understanding of the enormous impacts  climate change and biodiversity loss will do to the way we survive in our district  and around this country and the globe.  

All  previous measurements of CO2 levels in the past  indicate that while we are predominantly in  a latency  period as  oceans  continue to  absorb most CO2,  we are heading for long term  considerable  temperature and sea level  rises  for many millennium.

We cannot stop these changes occurring to our world, even if we were to  make good on our global  promises and reduce carbon  dioxide emissions substantially right now , but we can  take action now  to  somewhat mitigate the  extreme risks that climate change will bring to  both  humans, and other species that  we depend upon for our survival- both the known and the currently unknown species.

Additionally, there is now considerable evidence that the loss of species diversity globally is likely to significantly reduce  survivability risks for humans in the medium  to  long term. Retaining and restoring as much biodiversity in  our communities as possible is therefore just  as  vital as attempting to reduce the impact  of global heating.

Growing more trees that live for centuries is one of the key opportunities to reduce the impacts of rising levels of CO2, reduce species loss, provide some protection from intense weather events, enhance human wellbeing, and provide shade in summer and warmth in winter. 

BELOW ARE Just some of the key changes required :

  1. Develop  a  well-funded programme  to  develop  a local  nursery to grow native plants indigenous to  this locality, for both  Council  planting regimes,  and also  for property owners and community agencies.
  • Provide an educational resource (online and in person) on how to plant and grow more native vegetation and its importance to our communities and the planet.
  • Ensure all   available areas in the surrounding hills are replanted in native trees (not pines, which dry out the atmosphere and ground). This will not only create more habitat for native birds, insects and other biota, but also, once the trees are established, help restore rainfall levels in summer to what they were prior to settlement, and somewhat mediate temperature fluctuations.
  • Plant native plant corridors from the hills to the coast to ensure long term viability of native wildlife.
  • Ensure all existing non-pine tree’d areas are maintained and extended on public and private lands..
  • Plant all available park and reserve areas with native trees. There are far too many grass areas in our district with no trees, which serve no use, other than to employ lawn mowers and produce more CO2.
  • Ensure streams that have been buried in culverts are re-opened to the air, and the water margins planted in native plants.
  • Provide incentives for businesses to plant trees on their properties- e.g. rates rebates.
  • Provide stronger guidance  and enforcement of  local  agricultural  businesses  about their use of toxic pesticides,  artificial  fertilizers, and the considerable current threat  to  human  welfare of groundwater contaminated with fertilizer runoff, particularly nitrates.
  1. Financial and other encouragement for local food producers to become organic growers.
  1. Develop a project alongside other local councils and the NZ Transport Agency to develop a low emission public rapid light transit system using electric public vehicles.
  1. Council needs to be encouraging businesses and services to be truly sustainable and to use organic sources wherever possible whilst discouraging businesses that damage the remainder of our living environment through fines and regulation.
  1. Council needs to establish a bio-impact measure for all goods and services within its catchment. Ie a simple graded scale that measures a business’ impact on climate change and species loss, so that consumers can start to make more informed choices about the products they  consume.
  1. Long term planning for ocean level rises, which will progressively increase; particularly road access to our coastal towns.

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Postscript

My Council’s response below to anyone who made a submission to them on climate change… As can be clearly seen, there is no recognition that traditional cost/benefit analysis processes do not work when it comes to nature, and no recognition of the gravity of the environmental crises that have started to impact us, and will increasingly do so.

Nor is there any recognition of the other equally disastrous impacts of environmental damage; particularly species loss.

This planning strategy of burying one’s head in the sand is an option pursued by many local and central governments across the world…

Climate Change

We are experiencing more frequent weather extremes and effects, including floods, droughts and fires as a consequence of our changing climate. We have a large coastline, inhabited by thousands of residents. Adding to the complexity, much of our public infrastructure is built near the coast. Where to spend our time, effort, and funds to best prepare the <x> community for the likely effects of climate change and mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions is a key decision we needed to make. We asked you which of two spending options you preferred for Council to take to respond to climate change.

We decided to proceed with an affordable level of investment spread over the next 10 years. Once we have measured Council’s baseline emissions, we will investigate methods to reduce our emissions. The <x> Climate Action Plan is designed to be a living document. Suggestions from submitters and new knowledge (e.g. results from our emissions measurements) can be incorporated into a review of the Action Plan. The financial implications can then be worked through in further detail and consideration given to including them in future Annual or Long Term Plans.

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References

https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/cities-and-biodiversity-.html

http://www.fao.org/3/w2598e/w2598e06.htm

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1072292

The Capitol Invasion

What  are we to  make, from  across the sea, of Trump  supporters   invading the U.S.  Capitol  building while Congress members  were voting to  install Joe Biden  as the next president of the United States?

Is this ‘insurrection’?-  a new civil  war?  a ‘revolution’?…

In the mind-numbing complexities and anomalies  that  is American ‘democracy’, this new episode  in the  rapidly foreclosing Trump era  appear as a comedy  of errors, by  all  parties.

A historic opportunity by  Joe Biden  and the Democrats to  bring together the nation after 4 years of Trumpism,  has been  completely given  away-  to  childish  bi-partisanship,  which has the potential  to  further divide a fractured declining nation.  Trump’s devotees-  many of whom  are frightened at  their loss of incomes, law and order,  their loss of status,  the confusing messages of the U.S.  ‘Woke’  culture and many more  pressures, are not going to  go  away. If they  are now  no longer able to  attach  themselves to  a political  forum that  supposedly supports their frustrations, as Trump  pretended to do,  they  will find other  routes  to  assert  their concerns-  perhaps in  more damaging ways.

The deletion of Trump’s historic postings  and the removal  of his capacity to  post in  the future, was a concerted effort by  the major social  media  outlets. Twitter CEO Jack  Dorsey commented that  the ban is a failure of ours to promote healthy conversation’. While I am  very  clear that  I personally find Trump’s rants and raving  inappropriate,  often  judgmental, rascist  and dangerous,  and that  he is guilty of war crimes in Yemen  and Syria  among other places ( along with  numerous other American  presidents) ,  I don’t believe I (or anyone else) has the ability to  judge what  is ‘healthy conversation’  for all  others;  assuming that  such  a thing as a ‘healthy conversation’ could ever be defined. For a social  media tycoon to  make such  a global  statement is both  dangerous and indicative of the quality of intellect  in  such  ‘high  places’.

And it is unsurprising that  most Republican  voters feel  that  this  presidential  election was stolen  from them  given 1) the vast  capacity for manipulating the electoral  system in the United States;  2)four years of hype and paranoia from  mainstream media that  Trump  won  the last election because the Russians  somehow  manipulated  voters and the voting system; 3) the global  mainstream media’s consistent campaign to  deride and demean Trump  in  any possible way ( not hard to  do  of course). and 4) the bizarre second impeachment process, simply designed to  kick  Trump and his supporters while he is down.

What  the United States desperately needs now  is a government that  understands its  role is to support the  dispossessed,  the poor, the sick and  the unemployed, to  live a  fair and pleasant lifestyle. There is after all, more than  enough  to  go  round in  the United States-  even  now.  But instead we see   the remaining U.S.  health  and income support infrastructures steadily  being whittled away-  the rich  getting richer,   the poor without hope  and the U.S.  electoral  system  dominated by  what  are  euphemistically called ‘corporate donations’.. The dichotomy between  the  empty promises of those in  power   and those who  need a better life there,  are growing ever wider. That  widening chasm  leads to  social  destruction.

It is baffling why American  society is so  willing to  ascribe to  conspiracy  theories -whether it be Joseph  McCarthy  and the internal communist  threat, the Russians, the Chinese,  or some other nation Americans have been  taught to  fear, or now, ‘insurrection’  from  white supremacists.

Farcical , if it were not deeply disturbing,  are Nancy  Pelosi (Speaker of the House at  Congress) and Hilary  Clinton (ex Secretary  of State)  stating publicly their view that  Vladimir Putin  orchestrated the Capitol  invasion. Either  (hopefully)  they  are simply attempting to  manipulate public opinion to  think  that  somehow Putin is behind all  of this,  or more disturbingly ,  they  actually believe their nonsensical  and delusional statements.

While the invasion of the Capital  building is certainly to  be deplored,  the response  from  Democrat congresspeople and lawyers has been  extraordinary and hugely counterproductive to  building truth  and reconciliation in the United States. It is hoped that  the parallels noted by  Eric Rasmussen in  his article about  the Reichstag Fire of 1933  and the Capital  building riot will  turn  out to  be simply coincidence, but they  are disturbing.

Is it their lack  of  education about the wider world and American history?; the efficacy  of American mainstream media  to  lie  with advertising and political  brainwashing?; their centuries long addiction to  violence? the insistence on show and appearance as more important than  truth and justice?- or perhaps a mix of all  those issues….Whatever the  primary  causes,  Americans are  in  for a rough  ride until  they come to  terms with their country’s contradictions, and learn the truth  about what  their  country  really has stood for.


Links

9/11 Was the Prelude. 1/6 Is the Holy Grail

Trump Impeached Amid Efforts to Silence Him

America’s Battle Over the Nature and Direction of Change Itself

Stop the Steal takeover exposes fragility of U.S. empire

Lee Camp: America Condemns One Violent Mob While Celebrating Another

No One Is Listening: A Country Divided Against Itself

https://www.unz.com/article/are-we-all-domestic-terrorists/

No matter Impeachment 2.0, Trumpism haunts America

DOJ Now Says There Was No Plot to Kill Elected Officials

How Billionaires Transfer Blame to Others

The Anti Sino-Russian Agenda

Over the last few months  (May,  June, July 2020) we have seen  increasing numbers of media articles lambasting the Chinese and Russian  governments for  various supposed or presumed crimes.  In almost every  case of these articles –  little or nothing has been presented to  argue an alternative view of this anti-Sino-Russian agenda ( which  one would suppose to be one of the virtues of a ‘free”  press).

We are told that  the Chinese or Russians are ‘highly likely’  to  have done this or that,  often  purely based on  ‘opensource’  material- i.e.  online authors  with  a variety of axes to  grind about Russia or China, and who  invariably use speculation , innuendo  or simply falsehoods, to  explain  their prejudices and  their sponsors.

Along with other U.K. media, The Guardian, once a British left-wing newspaper,  now continually trots out anti-Russian propaganda,  with the latest most absurd article being its  allegation that  Russian hackers had stolen   information about a COVID-19  vaccine  from  Oxford University. The newspaper reports failed to mention  however that  the Russian  government had in  fact previously purchased the  vaccine  information, so  was somewhat  unlikely to  have also  stolen it.

The  fictions  about Russian involvement in the tawdry Skripal affair and the subsequent death of Dawn Sturgess  have been meticulously pulled apart by  Craig Murray and others and shown to  not only be implausible,  but impossible. However as Craig Murray  reminds us,  simply to  argue that  the Russian’s were highly unlikely to have  been  responsible for what  happened to  Sturgess or the Skripals,  does not mean  that  the Russian  government,  like most large  state agencies around the world-  does not engage in  illegal  international  activities.

It should be clear however that  the ongoing farcical  campaign  against  President Putin by  the Western press, relates less to  any real  international  Russian activities that  breach  “international  norms”-and rather more to  do  with  the annoying habit of the Putin  administration  of  blocking ongoing foreign access to  Russia’s state assets,  which  under President Yeltsin were  appropriated by  so-called Russian  oligarchs and siphoned off through  bank accounts managed via the City of London. Now in  dire economic circumstances because of Brexit and COVID-9  lockdown, the British  government is desperate to  regain  access to  that  little gold-mine.

Similarly with  the U.S.  economy in  free-fall,  the Americans are desperate to halt the rise of China. China is fast becoming  a world leader on the economic and technological  innovation front, and with   largely comprehensive and safe response to  COVID19,  appears to have weathered much of the resultant economic storm  from lockdown. In  contrast,  both  the U.S. and the U.K.  have demonstrated staggering levels of stupidity and incompetence in  their response to  the virus, which  will  mean ongoing risks to  their economies for  years to  come.

The United States response  therefore, to issues like the Russian  Nordstream2 pipelines to  Europe and their determination to bring down Huawei’s  technological  leadership  in 5G  or the attempt to  undermine China’s Belt and Road   are simply  part of the U.S.’s  intent to  ensure the U.S.  retain its  global  economic leadership  for as long as it can so  that American big business can continue to  exploit its more vulnerable partners, while its internal  infrastructure crumbles.

Along with  attacks on  Russian  and Chinese  economic initiatives,  we see ongoing American  and U.K.  attacks on  Chinese and Russian  vulnerabilities. In  China those attacks focus on  the Uighur separatist  and  jihadist concerns  ( funded and trained in Syria by  the Turks,  the Saudis and Western  intelligence ‘interests”)  and the subsequent  Chinese government crackdown on  the Uighur population, and also  on  the Chinese response to   sometimes violent demonstrations by   young Chinese people in Hong Kong – which  again  have been  supported in  their battle for a fictitious  Free Hong Kong (something that  their former British  colonial  overseers only appeared to promote in the last few years of the colony  once it become clear that  HK was going to be returned to  Chinese government rule) The waving of American and British   flags, singing the Star Spangled Banner  and  the calls for the “Han  Chinese’  to  stay  out of HK by Chinese Han HK  protesters, only highlighted the absurdity of the issues they  were demanding. Hong Kong could not survive  a year  without their economic lifeline to  the mainland.

There is no  doubt that  the Chinese government will  be ruthless in  its crackdown on  dissent,  but we should not forget how ruthless both the Americans and the British have been in  their exploitation of “the coloured races’  over the last 100  years; From  the use of Hong Kong to  funnel  opium  to  addicts on  the mainland right up  to  the Japanese invasion of HK  in 1941 ( which  was only stopped because the Japanese did not have access to   the  British controlled opium  producers ),   the atom  bombs over Nagasaki  and Hiroshima,  the Korean genocide  where millions of North  Korean civilians  were exterminated  as American  and British  ( and other ‘allies’ )  bombed every town  and city in North Korea, to   the millions dead in  Vietnam  Cambodia and Laos:  Libya,  Syria, Iraq, Yemen … the list  of barbarity  is endless.

In Russia we saw U.K  and U.S.  media  creating fictitious articles about the little green (Russian) military men in Eastern Ukraine,  and Russian  tanks rolling over the border into  Ukraine , while extolling the virtues of those ‘patriotic’ Ukrainians of dubious lineage,  along with the constant analogies to Putin as  Hitler as Russia assumed peaceful control  of the Crimea ( for several  hundred years  populated almost entirely by  Russians) .

As the British and U.S.  begin  their rapid slide to long term  economic  depression, we shall  undoubtedly see more  strident and likely more ridiculous claims surface about the Russians and the Chinese. However as the Russia/ Brexit  media response has shown in  recent times;  it works!  Many of the British  and American  public are indeed  gullible and uneducated  enough to  believe anything that their government throws at  them. Yes, of course the Russians made Brexit  a reality by  putting a few articles in Russia Today  and Sputnik supporting the British  exit from the European  Europe!!

But,  through  all of this,  we should note that  these competing nations appear oblivious to  the rapidly developing climate  catastrophe,  now   aligned with  catastrophic species loss.  War  and human deprivation  are key drivers of the degradation of our environment;  alongside the insane drive for our global  populations to  ‘consume’  more inanimate things whilst destroying our living world.

Sadly ,  real   human  statemanship, intelligence   and vision simply does  not exist  in our time of greatest need.


Links

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/21/china-detaining-millions-uyghurs-problems-claims-us-ngo-researcher/

 

 

Justice & the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Field of sunflowers
Field of sunflowers

On 11th  June 2020, the United States reacted  with outrage that  the International  Criminal  Court (ICC) intends to  investigate the United States and Israel  for crimes against humanity. How dare they?  Surely the exceptional  nation and its closest  ally have every  right to  conduct  mass-murder and  torture with impunity?

ASP President O-Gon Kwon described it thus:These measures are unprecedented. They undermine our common endeavor to fight impunity and to ensure accountability for mass atrocities. I deeply regret measures targeting Court officials, staff and their families.

While the ICC has rightly been  accused in  the past  of prosecuting third world  ( dark  skinned) countries since its implementation in  2001, (as you can  clearly  see from  this list  of people indicted by  the ICC)  whilst ignoring the far greater human  rights abuses of first  world countries , its current chief prosecutor now apparently has some balls,  and is prepared  to  incur the wrath of the “greatest  nation on  earth’  to  bring to  court  the gargantuan  levels of   international  crimes by  the United States.

By  2012, U.S. Congress had threatened that it would use military force to rescue any US citizens that were somehow called to account by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and has signed agreements with more than 100 governments pledging them not to hand over US citizens to the ICC.   U.S. Secretary of State, Texan,  Mike Pompeo ;  the epitome of the “exceptional  nation”  in  all  its bravado,  bullying and sheer brutality ,  has also recently threatened the families of ICC justices with  ‘consequences’  should any  indictments proceed.

Impact  of sanctions

Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam,  Libya,  Yemen,  Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea,   Palestine, and hundred other little hidden  wars were American  troops are engaged in  “counter-terrorism” and ‘black sites’ of torture.

Only when it becomes the international  norm  that  any war fought by an  aggressor shall  require full  reparations to  the victim state,  will  wars be finally deemed not to be financially advantageous. That  day  is coming;  the United States should be aware that  its leaders are likely to  be prosecuted and condemned  for the litany of war  crimes they have committed since the most heinous of all-  their merciless slaughter of Koreans  in the Korean War,  and that  the reparations for their  endless wars will  be in  the many  trillions of dollars.

The United States  and its allies will  one day soon, no  longer be able to  inflict  its  savagery on the world.


Links

https://www.icc-cpi.int

https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1527

https://news.yahoo.com/international-criminal-court-goes-too-223130026.html?

https://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/the-international-criminal-court/us-opposition-to-the-icc.html

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

Back to the Old ‘Normal’?

 

The Importance of an Education
           The Importance of an Education

As the  world’s populations witness the ongoing farce  and unnecessary  deaths  that is the U.K. and U.S.  responses to  the pandemic; they  see two countries whose rulers are totally incompetent,   bombastic,  entirely ego-centred and without a clue in  the world. Their  egotistical  traits and their greed has directly resulted in  thousands more human  deaths than ever needed to  occur in this pandemic.

The entire Washington system-  Democrat  or Republican  is now hell-bent on  demonising China. China,  the cause ( supposedly deliberately  if we were to  believe that thug and inveterate liar, U.S.  Secretary  of State Pompeo), of the  COVID-19  global  pandemic. One  of the more brilliant (crazed) theories   by  the Washington swamp  is that   information  to  the world on  pandemic and the  epidemic epicentre in Wuhan  China was delayed so  that  China could corner the market  on COVID-19  masks and PPE equipment!

They  see  those two regimes, The U.S.  and The U.K.,  whose only apparent interest  is maintaining  their disintegrating economies (and subduing  countries who  do  not toe the U.S.  line on  all  matters) while their  health  systems  teeter on  the verge of collapse,  in  contrast  to  those ‘authoritarian” and other  more democratic governments, who have prioritised the safety and health of all  their populations.

No  wonder then,  that there is a desperate need  for the United States to  try  and re-assert itself as   ‘world leader’ and master of the universe in  the face of  governments who share proved demonstrably more agile,  smarter and  more  compassionate to  the needs of their populations. The bully-boy of the globe is under threat:  from  within  and without. Secretary of State Pompeo   therefore exemplifies perfectly what  America stands for-  and what  it has always stood for: greed, violence and lies.  The new trade alliance with  the U.K.  one of the desperate last gasp  attempts to  maintain  some hegemony in  the world .

In places like New Zealand and other countries high on  the ‘bucket list’  for wealthy  people to  visit , overseas tourism has slumped dramatically since the pandemic. Tourism  operators and regulators are now  calling for   big media campaigns to  artificially promote local  tourism. It does beg the question as to  why  our society  has to  rely on manipulated  media -driven purposeless consumption to  survive.

Tourism  is one of the primary  human  activities which  are rapidly degrading our planet till  it is no longer live-able for us or any other known  species. Its reliance on  massive air traffic flows  and consequent  very  high CO2 production  through long-haul  jet plane engines,  its reliance on  building non-organic  infrastructure like  roads,  hotels,  tracks through  nature and many other acts of ‘progress’, in  natural  environments  and   consequent human  traffic,  which  rapidly degrade  the lives of other species we are so  desperate to  see,  are just  two  of the massively environmentally destructive activities of tourism  that global  human  populations  has been  sold as a ‘must-have’  over the past 30  years.

It has to  stop. It will  stop,  but surely better it is  that  we plan now for job transfers to  essential and  non-environmentally destructive activities, before we face  a new inevitable  likely larger shock  to  our  crazy  economic system, and consequently even  more   massive human  dislocation, trauma and death . Unemployment  deals a savage blow to  people’s sense of hope and a bright future;  let alone the impact  it can have on  access to  food and  health  services . We know that global environmental  collapse, and consequent complete economic collapse, is going to  happen unless we shift our  focus to  providing just  the essentials for human  beings and stop  destroying our world for nothing.

New cycle lanes or more public transport in  our urban  environments are lovely things to have while we  speed  ever more rapidly to    environmental  disaster – but they  don’t go  anywhere near the  need for change required to  turn  our economic system around into  something  sustainable  that  values all  living things.

Our bizarre and psychotic  magical belief in  the ‘invisible  hand ‘  of capitalism  over the past 100  years  to create wealth  and happiness for all humans ( but not other species we rely on  in this world for our survival)has created this  appallingly stupid and callous human centric world system we live in;  where other species become ‘products’  for our consumption;  where the  living and  beautiful natural environment that  surrounds us  is simply there for us to  make ‘productive’  by poisoning it with pesticides and fertilizers, or sealing it over with concrete and tar; where we do  not think  for a moment about the massive destruction of the lives of other species we destroy every  day in  our quest  for ‘progress’- all those animals who  we now know for certain   have fears and thoughts and emotions and who  we so  callously and cruelly inflict  pain  and loss on every  day.

We do  not need this ‘progress’ that  the  media and  business have propagandized  into  our hearts and minds for so  long :  we can  in  fact  live more productive and contented lives being more attuned to  the living world of which  we are inextricably part of-  but we have to  change now!


Relevant Links

Human Crises & Saving the Planet-New Antarctica

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/01/city-leaders-aim-to-shape-green-recovery-from-coronavirus-crisis

Why It’s Wrong (and Racist) to Blame Covid-19 on Chinese ‘Wet Markets’

Conserving Politics or Conserving Nature?

The Plot to Blame China for COVID-19

COVID-19: Complicit in Millions of Deaths Since 1945, UK Govt Won’t Face Justice Over Virus

COVID-19: Donald Trump’s Caligula Moment

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/get-ready-for-the-next-game-changer-the-digital-yuan/

https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-mary-shelleys-the-last-man-is-a-prophecy-of-life-in-a-global-pandemic-136963

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-three-misconceptions-about-how-animals-transmit-diseases-debunked-134485

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/11/c_139048008.htm

That ‘Deal of the Century’

Jared Kushner,  Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who  has read 25 books on the Palestinian issue, has just released the Trump regime’s  bizarre ‘Deal of the Century’, or in U.S. doublespeak, ‘Peace to Prosperity: a Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian  and Israeli  people’.

As Craig Murray   notes in his summary  of the proposal, the Kushner plan, and the responses to  it from Western  governments, underscore the  long-term hypocrisy  of Western  nations and particularly the United States ( as the ‘honest’  broker)  in pretending to  support the much  brutalized Palestinian people into  believing there could ever be such  a thing as a  viable ‘two  state  solution”.

Mountains & Cliffs
Mountains & Cliffs

If it were not for the fact  that  successive Israeli governments since 1948, have terrorized, stolen, destroyed houses, lands and property,  tortured and imprisoned many thousands of  Palestinians  (including many children)  for the crime of wanting to  retain  their own  homes and lands, then  this could almost be some stupid farce;  a joke by  puerile amateurs who  know nothing of history,  and certainly nothing about human  rights or even compassion.

If you have the stomach  for it,  read the daily litany of extreme abuse, racism  and terror inflicted by  Israeli  army soldiers and “settlers”  on  the Palestinian  people  at  https://imemc.org/

The news outlet  IPSNews, notes: The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as “more like Swiss cheese– with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians”.

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/
The Ever Shrinking “Palestine” https://www.palestinecampaign.org/

As we, and increasing members of the  politic have  demonstrated with  facts over the years, a two  state solution was never going to  be a viable option for Palestinians whilst  the Israeli  regime continued to  steal  lands from  an  embattled Palestinian people .

There is now only one solution;  and that  is a single state entity which  recognizes all  peoples in  the lands of what  is now Israel/Gaza and the West  Bank  as having equal  rights:  which  recognises the right of return of   those millions of Palestinians  dispossessed of their lands  and liberty since 1948 by  the Israeli  machine, and which  provides appropriate compensation for those losses….

 


Links

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

Non-Condemnatory International Reaction to Trump’s Bantustan Lite Palestine Plan Shows the “Two State” Solution Was Always a Lie

Who Made the Palestinian Authority a ‘Police State?’

THE ANGRY ARAB: Trump ‘Solves’ the Arab-Israeli Conflict


Relevant NewAntarctica Links

Christmas 2017 & The Dishonest Broker