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…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Aaron Wherry reviews what the last week has told us about the functioning (or absence thereof) of our House of Commons – and points out that the most important problem is one which hasn’t yet surfaced in headlines or memes: (T)he most important sentence delivered last week about the state of our Parliament might’ve been found not on any screen, speaker or widely read page, but on page four of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s quarterly expenditure review: “The Government has refused to release data that is necessary for the PBO to determine whether the (Read more…)
Shorter L. Ian MacDonald: Anybody doubting whether it’s worth going to war in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning had best take a cold, hard look at the dangers of being on the wrong side of history. But of course, anybody demanding a war in in Iraq based on minimal information and questionable reasoning can count on the full and indefinite support of Very Serious People around the globe, no matter how appallingly wrong the decision proves to be.
Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.
- Lana Payne examines the Cons’ economic record and finds it very much wanting: Inequality has deepened under Mr. Harper’s watch, job quality has declined, wages have stagnated, economic growth has been anemic, social protections have been reduced while corporate profits and CEO pay soar.…(E)mployment and labour force participation rates are lower today than they were in 2006, part-time employment is up, corporate taxes are significantly lower (22.1 per cent in 2006, 15 per cent today) business capital investment saw no increase and has been static at 19.1 per cent of (Read more…)
Do the people of Scotland have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Of course they do. Just as the people of Greece had, and have, the right to vote in a referendum as to whether or not to stay in the EU. And do the people of Crimea have […]
Human rights groups says Israel committed war crimes during Gaza conflict, urges the International Criminal Court to facilitate the “prosecution of serious international crimes by both sides.”
The post Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.