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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,

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We Pivot: What “We Pivot” Is All About

In one minute in the Twitter, I saw 3 core elements of why We Pivot exists: dumping carbon energy, fighting … [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

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

Left Over: BDS is no BS – They Call the State “Pariah”

Jewish groups condemn Green Party for supporting Israeli boycott policy Leader Elizabeth May ‘disappointed’ by party’s vote at its national convention The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 08, 2016 10:09 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 08, 2016 10:09 AM ET World … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: BDS is no BS – They Call the State “Pariah”

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: 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?

Dead Wild Roses: 6 Minutes for Syria – A Look into the Crisis

Our corporate news media is very good at keeping inconvenient facts away from the public eye. A six minute video, by definition, cannot provide many startling revelations, but rather a starting point to become informed and hopefully take action. File… . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: 6 Minutes for Syria – A Look into the Crisis

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US Intervention In Syria: The Next Iraq

Here is a very brief synopsis of the US role in Syria. We will, for the sake of brevity, leave aside for the moment the obvious and documented facts of the US arming and supporting of the very terrorist groups they claim to be fighting; as well as th… . . . → Read More: Writings of J. Todd Ring: US Intervention In Syria: The Next Iraq

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

Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigns

Luke Savage is right to point out that Canada’s permanent campaign has merely taken on a different dynamic under the Trudeau Libs, rather than actually coming to an end with the Harper Cons losing power:Again, branding is the key here. As a part of its… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On permanent campaigns

Politics and its Discontents: Heartbreaking And Shameful

Given our membership in the species, all of us should feel deep shame over the actions of our fellow humans:The town has been under attack for years by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, yet the rebel fighters in Moadamiyeh won’t give up; so the w… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Heartbreaking And Shameful

Alberta Politics: Short-term jobs and profits notwithstanding, Canada’s interests are not served by Saudi armoured vehicle sale

PHOTOS: A Canadian LAV III similar to the armoured vehicles to be sold by General Dynamics Land Systems (Canada) of London, Ont., to the Saudi National Guard. Below: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, former MI6 head Sir Ri… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Short-term jobs and profits notwithstanding, Canada’s interests are not served by Saudi armoured vehicle sale

Politics and its Discontents: The Latest Atrocity Out Of Syria

How can a government treat its people like this? The question, sadly, is a rhetorical one, and the scenes that follow are hard to watch, yet another reminder of the terrible things human are capable of inflicting upon one another.Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Latest Atrocity Out Of Syria

Cowichan Conversations: Calling all Knitters and Crochet People

Sharon Jackson-City of Duncan Councillor In early November a group in Montreal had started a Facebook page called “25,000 tuques” in order to mobilize Canadians to knit head gear for the 25,000 women, children, Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Calling all Knitters and Crochet People

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

A. Picazo: #RefugeesWelcome

This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on November 27, 2015. “This is not a federal project, this is not even a government project, it’s a national project for all Canadians,” declared John McCallum, minister of immigration, refugees a… . . . → Read More: A. Picazo: #RefugeesWelcome

cartoon life: max solves the middle east crisis

Okay, not really. The Middle East crisis is a pretty big crisis and I can’t solve it. But — We’ve been avenging ourselves on Middle Eastern countries for 911 and fighting a “war on terror” now for 14 years. Did we win yet? Has terror stopped? Does anyone feel safer?     I’ve given […] […] . . . → Read More: cartoon life: max solves the middle east crisis

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

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Not all immigrants created equal in Canada…and that needs to change

Originally posted in the Common Sense Canadian By Rafe Mair Before starting, let me state that there is no excusing the massacre in Paris, nor 9/11. When it comes to death of innocent civilians Read more… . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Not all immigrants created equal in Canada…and that needs to change

Left Over: This Former Refugee Takes an Unsentimental Journey…

Senator Mobina Jaffer talks about the realities of refugee camps Jaffer tells Stephen Quinn about what she saw in her latest trip to the Middle East By On The Coast, CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2015 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: This Former Refugee Takes an Unsentimental Journey…

Dead Wild Roses: No Room at the Inn

Sham, 1 year oldRoszke/Horgos. In the very front, just alongside the border between Serbia and Hungary by the 4-meter-high iron gate, Sham is laying in his mother’s arms. Just a few decimeters behind them is the Europe they so desperately are trying to reach. Only one day before, the last refugees were allowed . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: No Room at the Inn

Alberta Politics: Brad Wall’s call to block refugees from Syria is just more of the same old conservative wedge politics

PHOTOS: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (CBC Photo). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and B.C. Premier Christy Clark. Bottom: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is either demonized or ignored by Western mainstream media. In light of the inevitably angry and emotional response to the Paris terror attacks on Friday the 13th, for . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Brad Wall’s call to block refugees from Syria is just more of the same old conservative wedge politics

Politics and its Discontents: On Keeping Perspective

With the cacophony of voices calling for Canada to continue to “Bomb, Baby, Bomb.” and Canadian miscreants retaliating against Muslims by setting fires to mosques, it is crucial for voices of reason to be heard above the din of destructive rhetoric and behaviour that is emerging in the wake of the Paris massacre. Now . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: On Keeping Perspective