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Alberta Politics: If Donald Trump won’t knuckle under, could he face an American ‘Colour Revolution’?

PHOTOS: One of many anti-Trump rallies in the United States in the past few days (from Facebook). Below: U.S. President Elect Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, U.S. Senator John McCain and Julius Caesar. It would be an irony if the troubles the United States has visited on much of the earth were now . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: If Donald Trump won’t knuckle under, could he face an American ‘Colour Revolution’?

Cowichan Conversations: The Democrats Turned Their Backs On Their Traditional Base-Many Of Whom Voted for Trump.

The numbness is beginning to wear off following the strangest election campaign in modern history. I do not choose to write off all Trump voters as misogynists, racists, and the like.

Sure there were some,

Read more…

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Gwynne Dyer at University of Regina

I’ve been to two other Gwynne Dyer lectures at the U of R, and each time they are very interesting presentations of what has happened in the world. There is also a little predicting going on, so if you’re curious what could happen, settle in, and listen to it all.

 

. . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Gwynne Dyer at University of Regina

Cowichan Conversations: Washington Hits Back at Putin’s Humiliation

By Finian Cunningham Information Clearing House

The Obama administration is now accusing Russia of cyber-crime and trying to disrupt the US presidential election. The claim is so far-fetched, it is hardly credible. More credible is

Read more…

Cowichan Conversations: US Led Rogue Air Strike Kills Scores Of Syrians-Aided Islamic Victory

Here is Robert Parry’s take on the arrogance, lawlessness and criminality of the USA as they show their absolute disregard for human life.

This rogue mission killed scores of Syrian troops. Of course, they

Read more…

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: US Led Rogue Air Strike Kills Scores Of Syrians-Aided Islamic Victory

Alberta Politics: Part II: If there’s no Russian threat in the Baltics, why is Canada so enthusiastic about a new Cold War there?

PHOTOS: The memorial to the Soviet soldiers who died conquering the city of Berlin in 1945, the last time a major world power seriously underestimated and misjudged the Russians. Below: NATO’s top soldier, Czech General Petr Pavel and the U.S. Army . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Part II: If there’s no Russian threat in the Baltics, why is Canada so enthusiastic about a new Cold War there?

Alberta Politics: Part I: What will NATO get up to in the north now that the chill is off between Russia and Turkey in the south?

PHOTOS: NATO pilots salute back in the day, when you could make a case there was actually a reason for the military alliance to exist. Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. MUNICH, Germany Relations between… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Part I: What will NATO get up to in the north now that the chill is off between Russia and Turkey in the south?

Alberta Politics: News Satire: U.S. will not tolerate foreigners acting like Americans, officials say

ILLUSTRATIONS: A map showing some of the countries in which the United States has interfered in the political process (grabbed from Geology.com). Below: U.S. CIA Director John O. Brennan, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candid… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: News Satire: U.S. will not tolerate foreigners acting like Americans, officials say

Alberta Politics: New York Times coverage of Russian hacking deserves another Pulitzer – for fiction!

PHOTOS: Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who the New York Times blames for everything. (Photo from Kremlin.ru.) Below: Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton; former Nixon speechwriter Patrick J. Buchanan; Republican Party presi… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: New York Times coverage of Russian hacking deserves another Pulitzer – for fiction!

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 29: Donald Trump’s Lying Circus

OK, let’s recap the week at the Republican National Convention. Be prepared, this makes for depressing reading. The week began with Antonio Sabato, a former underwear model, little known actor, and failed Dancing with the Stars competitor, addressing the convention. Why Antonio Sabato, no one is sure why. But after his speech, he told ABC […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 29: Donald Trump’s Lying Circus

Alberta Politics: Ottawa won’t say if former Ukrainian prime minister is now a Canadian citizen, as Russian media report

PHOTOS: Former Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and former Canadian PM Stephen Harper in their July 13, 2015, news conference announcing a Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. (Screen shot of CBC broadcast.) Below: Former Conservative immigra… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Ottawa won’t say if former Ukrainian prime minister is now a Canadian citizen, as Russian media report

Alberta Politics: The tragedies we ignore: Recent Wildrose gaffe won’t end right’s bogus equivalencies in Canadian political discourse

PHOTOS: The Famine Memorial in Dublin. The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and ’50s is ignored in current Canadian political discourse while the Ukrainian Famine of the 1930s is frequently evoked. Both are real historical events with ideological roo… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: The tragedies we ignore: Recent Wildrose gaffe won’t end right’s bogus equivalencies in Canadian political discourse

Alberta Politics: A timely reminder on this historic day: The hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

PHOTOS: Canadians soldiers storm ashore at Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, 72 years ago today. Below: The late University of Victoria Professor Reginald H. Roy, author of 1944: The Canadians in Normandy. It’s now been two years since I wrote this piece o… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: A timely reminder on this historic day: The hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

Alberta Politics: Victory Day in Moscow: some thoughts about the wisdom of messing with Russia

PHOTOS: A scene for last year’s May 9 Victory Day Parade in Moscow. The red banner visible in the centre is one of the Soviet victory flags hoisted over the Reichstag in Berlin in May 1945. Below: My military history professor, Reginald H. Roy and Br… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Victory Day in Moscow: some thoughts about the wisdom of messing with Russia

ezra winton: Fighting Fascism by way of Understanding the Fascists

One of the common criticisms of advocacy films like Bully that I’ve heard and share is that the filmmakers narrowly focus on victims without ever exploring those who perpetrate. These films help along the equivocal knee-jerk reaction to oppression when we have a two-dimensional villain to point to: kids today! But why do kids bully and what are their lives like? Answering, or at least interrogating, these questions would move us in a direction to better understand the complexities of bullying and would likely elicit a more nuanced, thoughtful reaction…read more . . . → Read More: ezra winton: Fighting Fascism by way of Understanding the Fascists

Alberta Politics: Questions without answers: Why are our U.S. allies so ambivalent about ISIS, and what does it mean for Canada?

PHOTOS: U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner. (Screen grab from C-SPAN.) Below: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Conservative interim Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. For all we know, Syrian President Bashar a… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Questions without answers: Why are our U.S. allies so ambivalent about ISIS, and what does it mean for Canada?

Bill Longstaff: Stalin returns (and he is Putin)

Sometimes the perversity of people seems to know no bounds. A fine example of this is illustrated in a recent article in Foreign Policy which discusses the rehabilitation of Stalin in Russia. Yes, it boggles the mind, but one of the greatest monsters … . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Stalin returns (and he is Putin)

Mind Bending Politics: China Defends Its Woody Which Could Kick Off WW3

It takes 3 continents at war to declare another global war, and with recent developments over the past week it looks as though we may be heading in that direction. Europe is fighting a proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, NATO is fighting in the middle east, and now China is flexing its military might in the Asia Pacific Region installing surface-to-air missile systems in and around a disputed island in the South China Sea called Woody Island. . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: China Defends Its Woody Which Could Kick Off WW3

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Syria and Western Involvement

In response to the following editorial on the mess that is Syria:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/by-giving-up-on-syria-us-hands-kingmaker-role-to-putin/article28747502/

I wrote the following:

I will politely disagree with a couple of points at the end:

the U.S. is also undermining its own role and influence, not to mention the reputation of all those associated with its ramshackle coalition against IS.

US (and Western) credibility in the Middle East has been dubious to non-existent since Bush II decided to invade both Afghanistan and then Iraq. Our own country’s decade of “loudspeaker support for Israel” wasn’t exactly helpful either. Fundamentally Western interventions in the region have repeatedly created the adversaries we find ourselves facing a decade later. In Afghanistan during the 1980s, western powers funded the Mujahideen, which ultimately gave rise to the Taliban and then al Qaeda. The shadows of war in Iraq (in particular), the unwillingness to call out Israel’s use of white phosphorous against the Palestinians, and the heavy-handed way the Americans conducted themselves in both Iraq and Afghanistan gave rise to ISIS.

The second point that the article alludes to, but quietly sidesteps is the reality that Russia in general has long standing social, cultural and economic ties with the Persian Gulf region in particular, and the Middle East in general. Russia has always been a more natural ally for the Arab states than the western european powers. There are long (as in centuries old) standing ties and connections at all levels. I might personally think Putin is a rather nasty piece of work, but in terms of credibility and understanding of the region, Russia has long had a far more subtle, nuanced understanding than Western powers. 

I’ve argued this before, and I will continue to do so. Western interests in the region are purely trade related. We would do well to focus on those issues, and step out of direct military intervention. Provocations from the likes of ISIS are like a teenager trying to poke an adult into giving a reaction. If we react, they win – their propaganda machine makes huge gains from the heavy handed interventions we’ve used in the past. It’s much harder for them to use the Russian interventions in the same way simply because of the connections into Russia that go back centuries. The Western powers represent the “unknown”, and thus easily demonized, factors. To date, ISIS’ provocations amount to rendering unstable the puppet government that Bush II set up in Iraq and capitalizing on the “Arab Spring” destabilization of Syria.

Putin will be a pain to deal with, but in some ways, Russian leadership represents the bridge between western interests and Arab interests from a diplomatic perspective. Russia has strong cross-cultural connections with both regions. It is perhaps time to work with Russia, and use that to develop a trade-centred approach to the region instead of trying to intervene militarily in the geopolitical mess.


. . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Syria and Western Involvement

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Syria and Western Involvement

In response to the following editorial on the mess that is Syria: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/by-giving-up-on-syria-us-hands-kingmaker-role-to-putin/article28747502/I wrote the following:I will politely disagree with a couple of points at th… . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Syria and Western Involvement

Bill Longstaff: On Putin the poisoner

According to a report by former British High Court judge Robert Owen, the 2006 murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London was carried out by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and probably approved by President Vladimir Putin. Putin h… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: On Putin the poisoner

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Well, I did it. And I’m sure you’re thrilled. When I started writing this blog, I vowed to write a weekly review of events as I saw them. I did it mostly as a personal challenge, a way to instil a little discipline in my undisciplined life, and to boost my memory of the events […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

PHOTOS: Cameras try to follow a nearly invisible Rachel Notley through the crowd at an Edmonton hotel on May 5, 2015, moments after she had been declared the winner of the Alberta election. No one could quite believe that the NDP had just won a majorit… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

Bill Longstaff: Putin’s Christian crusader

After 9/11, the Americans declared war on terrorism. Now Russia has gone them one better. According to the Very Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, prominent spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, “The fight with terrorism is a holy battle, a… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Putin’s Christian crusader

Alberta Politics: Reassessing NATO: Canada shouldn’t let itself be ‘Article Fived’ into a war by Turkey’s Islamist president

PHOTOS: A bunch of NATO political bureaucrats try to look busy in this file photo. Recognize anyone? Below: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Does it benefit Canada in … . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Reassessing NATO: Canada shouldn’t let itself be ‘Article Fived’ into a war by Turkey’s Islamist president