In its coverage of a video that purported to show a Syrian boy braving sniper fire in the course of rescuing a young girl, the Daily Mail lauded the spectacle as an act of heroism. The accompanying article claimed the video was believed to have been shot in Yabroud, a countryside town 50 miles from Damascus.
The Daily Telegraph also published the same story under the title: Watch: Syrian ‘hero boy’ appears to brave sniper fire to rescue terrified girl in dramatic video.
Both the Mail and Telegraph cited dubious claims in an effort to provide the story with a (Read more…)
Sixteen million people died as a result of Word War One. Of these, as many as 64,990 were Canadian. One of them, a Manitoban named Sidney Halliday, was recently identified as being among the remains of five dead Canadians located in Hallu, France in 2006-07.
One suspects the efforts of our Department of National Defence (sic) to notify family members is motivated more by the Harper government’s campaign to glorify war and militarism than it is to offer condolences or compassion to Mr. Halliday’s surviving descendants.
This November 11th, let us remember Mr. Halliday and the millions who perished (Read more…)
A German journalist explains how the CIA misused him to manipulate people, to push war.
“Non official cover”
Ancient years ago, about 6, CBC journalists could be heard explaining to crowds how bloggers might one day be eating their lunch, but for the time being the responsible journalism was being done by the Main Stream Media.
Then an armed gunman shot a soldier at the War Memorial before charging into Parliament with a rifle. Peter Mansbridge reported there were “reports” of a shooter at the nearby Rideau Centre. People hunkered down at the Chateau Laurier hotel on the other side of the Canal. In hindsight these were reasonable precautions given erroneous or exaggerated reports of there being another (Read more…)
Saskatchewan’s lovable radio host asks: “What are you thinking and feeling about 1) our Canada today b) yesterday on the “Hill” and c) the cowardice and evil in our midst. Is Canada different today? How do we deal with terrorism and radicals?”
1) Worried the attack will be used as an excuse to make it harder to visit our public buildings. b?) You mean 2)? c) OK, we’ll stick with letters now. The cowardice and evil is refusing to deal with our fossil fuel additions, and going to war to secure a source in the Middle East. How (Read more…)
A sad day of note in Canadian political history, as Parliament Hill was under gunfire today. A soldier was also shot at the nearby War Memorial.
Putting the day’s events into perspective though, are Canadians less safe today because of our political leader’s choice to take us to war in Iraq against ISIS? Possibly. That threat shouldn’t mean a single change to our daily lives though, since we don’t alter our behaviour to avoid the much more deadly threat of being killed by a home-grown drunk driver.
Please Canada – be safe but don't let this change us the way (Read more…)
In April 2014, the government that had come into power two months earlier in Ukraine launched what it termed an “anti-terrorist operation” against the people of Eastern Ukraine.
The easterners were opposed to the government’s plans for economic association with Western Europe and were demanding a greater voice in central government decisions.
That political conflict, NATO’s backing of Kyiv against Moscow, and the large-scale humanitarian crisis created by the war have shaken the political foundations of Europe and ushered in a new Cold War.
Roger Annis is a Vancouver-based writer who attended an antiwar conference in Yalta, Crimea on July (Read more…)
Interesting article on Stop the War coalition site this week entitled Yes it’s true, the United States really is the greatest country in the world – but in what?
The article includes stats and links to demonstrate that when it comes to “violence and preparations for violence” the USA is indeed the undisputed global leader.
In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent (Read more…)
Before long the Middle East will look like a parking lot for Western jet fighters. The place will be awash in Hornets and Super Hornets, F-16s, F-22s, Eurofighters and Rafales and Tornados. They’ll be flying about over Syria and Iraq searching for something, anything to bomb into rubble and pulp.
Nobody thinks that airstrikes are going to win this “conflict” with IS or ISIS or ISIL or whatever they happen to be called this week or next. We’ll run out of targets first. Then what?
The job unfinished, we will probably succumb to “mission creep.” Airpower didn’t do the (Read more…)
When the government terrorizes the citizens, they are the enemy.
Not all allies have decided that international cachet means flying combat jets. Many are contributing humanitarian aid, an option often derided by Harper’s Conservatives as sending over some blankets.
Germany’s Angela Merkel is one who has chosen blankets over bombs and no one is suggesting that Germany’s global voice will be diminished.
Go to war or be a free rider? “That is small thinking, facile, divisive and unworthy,’’ said Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray.
When called upon to act, said Justice Minister Peter MacKay, we respond.
But surely, when called (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Ezra Klein discusses how a corporate focus on buybacks and dividends rather than actually investing capital leads to less opportunities for workers. Nora Loreto offers her take on precarious work in Canada. And Lynne Fernandez and Kirsten Bernas make the case for a living wage in Manitoba and elsewhere.
- Paul Krugman writes that if the Republicans manage to take both houses of Congress, we can expect them to turn voodoo economics into the default means of evaluating policy choices.
- Murray Mandryk crunches some numbers and finds that the main effect (Read more…)
I haven’t seen anybody else question the most self-congratulatory aspect of Stephen Harper’s position on a new Iraq war, and at least a few commentators seem to have been willing to swallow it whole. So let’s address the question of which leader has the most obvious political reason to position himself the way he has: I urge all Members to consider and support the motion we have presented. I do this, Mr. Speaker, in recognizing that, in a democracy, especially one approaching an election…there is rarely political upside in supporting any kind of military action, and little political risk in (Read more…)
Responding to Harper’s Iraq war motion, introduced Friday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said his party “cannot and will not support this Prime Minister’s motion.”
The post Trudeau “cannot and will not” support Harper’s Iraq war motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May agrees with Harper that “Canada cannot stand on the sidelines,” but warns that “bombings have never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist terrorist threat.”
The post Elizabeth May Responds To Harper’s Iraq War Motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
I found it ironic today that there are people viewing staying out of Iraq as being on the “wrong side of history”. I couldn’t think of a more perfect example of a battle fought in folly, than Canadian troops going to fight ISIS in Iraq with bombers.
Eleven years ago I was in an evening classroom learning about computer graphics when Bush and Cheney started the second Iraq War with “shock and awe” bombings. The ensuing destruction of that country left the Americans floundering for money at home, and Iraq awash in political instability and weapons. With the Americans weary (Read more…)
The closer one looks at the ISIS thing, the more it starts looking like a sectarian war in the Middle East. Yesterday in the Globe and Mail, Robert Fowler very nicely articulated the problem with short term solutions to the mess in Iraq, and today I spotted a really interesting read describing some of the reasons behind the apparent lack of response from several Arab states, in particular Saudi Arabia.
As is typical of these situations in the region, it is starting to become apparent that for all of its bloodiness, ISIS is simply another sectarian feud spilling out (Read more…)
Having earlier dealt with Stephen Harper’s attempt to justify war by building up hatred and hype toward ISIS, I’ll note the other main rationale on offer from the Cons – which can generally be described as government by wrong answer to a rhetorical question: If Canada wants to keep its voice in the world…and we should since so many of our challenges are global…being a free rider means you are not taken seriously.…And when our allies recognize and respond to a threat, that would also harm us, we Canadians do not stand on the sidelines. We do our part.
On Saturday, October 4, 2014, thousands of people around the world are expected to protest the burgeoning use of drones for surveillance and extrajudicial killings.
The post #GlobalNoDrones: First global day of action against surveillance and killer drones appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Yesterday, in response to a picture I posted quoting Herman Goering on the ease with which people can be manipulated into war, Scotian, a frequent commentator, responded to the picture, offering his analysis of the Canadian reaction to ISIS. I offer you his comments, always insightful, for your consideration:
Sadly, I am forced to agree.
However I was rather pleasantly surprised to see Trudeau and the Libs not at the last join with Harper on the combat side, I rather had expected to see that. Indeed, in the last couple of days Trudeau has been sounding a lot more sensible (Read more…)
Here’s an unedited text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech in the House of Commons on Friday, announcing Canada’s air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.
The post Harper Speech Announces Canada’s Air Strikes Against ISIS appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
ISIS is known for atrocity. They’re murderous swine, real butchers. But, as CBC’s Neil Macdonald reminds us there’s a world full of their type, real pros, and we don’t give a damn.
Back in July, Barack Obama signed an executive order punishing anyone responsible for some of the hideous excesses of the Congolese civil war. Hardly anyone noticed Obama’s order. But for the record, the people it targets have reportedly committed: mass rape (of men and women, by rebels and government soldiers) often in front of communities and families, or forcing people to rape each other, as a weapon of (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Funny How We Choose Who We’ll Fight and Who We’ll Ignore
Assorted content to end your week.
- Following up on yesterday’s column, Michael Harris offers his take on how Stephen Harper refuses to accept anything short of war as an option: Stephen Harper talks as if this is yet another of those good-versus-evil fables he is always passing off to the public as deep analysis and sound policy.
More honest and experienced minds make a more rational case. In the United Kingdom, the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove said that politicians are merely taking advantage of a distortion towards Islamic extremism. That distortion was branded on the (Read more…)
Here, on how leaders who stand up to hysterical calls to abandon peace and human rights in the name of fleeting threats tend to be vindicated by history – and how Thomas Mulcair is carrying on the NDP’s legacy on that front even in the face of criticism from Very Serious People.
For further reading…- The two prime examples of media attempts to strong-arm Mulcair into writing a blank cheque for war in Iraq (based a combination of threat hype and a general affinity for hippie-punching) come from John Ivison and L. Ian MacDonald.- Meanwhile, Janyce (Read more…)
In the absolutist world of Stephen Harper, there are those who wear white hats and those who wear black. No berets (especially berets!) of middling colours are recognized. So when he declares that Canada will not stand on the sidelines on this possibly endless battle against ISIS, King Stephen is positing an absolutist scenario, one that sees military action as the only way to make a meaningful contribution.
It is a blinkered perspective with which not all agree.
Writing in The Globe, a professor of political science, Michael Bell, offers the following observations and reminders: Western “boots on (Read more…)