Wednesday, September 29, 2010

War, what is it good for!

Close-jen-grievesImage via Wikipedia
If you don't support war, then you must be a terrorist! This attitude has prevailed for a long time in the US and logically that same mantra has bled into the Canadian psyche.  These day's it seems, with the authorities that be, any protests against war is seen as an act of aggression towards the state and these individuals are labelled as a terrorist threat.  Any dissent or questioning should be squashed!

But why would people be against war?, to me the answers can be simple and complex. The simple and obvious answer is the human suffering that occurs, the more complex answer has many aspects to it. One, of many aspects, of why I'm against war is that most wars are about control of resources or strategic occupation, such as Iraq. In this particular instance one can't overlook the fact that the US put Saddam in power and supported him even with knowledge of his crimes against humanity. The invasion of Iraq was clearly not for the citizens, and 911 was used as an excuse to attack, with the added incentive of fraudulent claims of weapons of mass destruction. The west had the legal prerogative during the Gulf War to get rid of Saddam but did not do so, and instead an illegal attack was perpetrated in 2002

Now Afghanistan is somewhat more justified, but when you look at it's history you see how previous wars led to the Taliban taking power and terrorist operations occurring there. It began with the Soviet Unions long history of supporitng Afghans governments and sales of arms to them. Then in 1978 a pro communist coup takes over the government. A conservative Muslim and anti-communist insurgency group, the Mujaheddin started to become prominent in rural areas and prompted the Afghan government request of Soviet support and troops. The Soviet Afghan war ensues and soon afterwards the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia provide funds and weapons to the Mujaheddin. Eventually the US trains them and supplies them with ground to air anti-aircraft missiles. The conflict soon ends with the Soviet's withdrawing and the signing of a peace accord between the Soviet's, US and Pakistan.

But afterwards the US, after supplying arms and training to defeat the Soviet's, does not stick around and help rebuild this war torn country. So basically they used them to fight the Soviet's, and once that was completed they just left. I don't know about you but I'd be left with a bitter taste in my mouth. This leaves a weakened government in Afghanistan and eventually the Taliban, seeing an opportunity, take over. Also seeing an opportunity is Osama Bin Laden, the war torn poor and disenfranchised are ripe for stirring up anti-west sentiment and is prime grounds for terrorist recruitment. Eventually this and other similar actions by the west leads up to 911!

So if the right thing had of been done from the start, and the US stuck around in Afghanistan and helped rebuild the country they helped destroy, I'm 100% sure 911 wouldn't have happened. But the US's intent was not to intervene in the Soviet-Afghan war on humanitarian grounds, it was about taking away perceived Soviet advantage and expansion, It was strategic. The Afghan people were just collateral damage in the cold war games of the major powers.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all the major powers have an economy based in arms manufacturing and sales, this includes the US, UK, France, China and Russia, and continues to this day. And they love to sell to just about anybody, and more often than not both sides in 100's of conflicts occurring around the world get arms from these major powers. And what a coincidence all these major powers hold veto seats in the UN. One draws the obvious conclusion that vetoing UN resolutions to intervene in wars is good for business. Maybe these are the real terrorist's?

I believe we need to help bring a stable political situation to Afghanistan and are now forced to do so, but if we never look at how situations come to be, then how will we ever learn not to repeat history. War should be an absolute last resort by all mean humanly possible if at all. Rarely is it ever justified!

Take time to consider the other (person), then you can walk towards the path of peace.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rude and crude, eschewed |

Minister of the Economic Development Agency of...Image via Wikipedia
Our current representation is not working in Canada and our Parliament system should work more like that of Britain, Australia and Europe where coalition governments are the norm and are a better reflection of the citizenry's will. This idea in Canada that a 38% representation of the current government is a mandate to govern is absurd, especially when the majority of Canadians, 62%, that voted did so for the opposition parties. These absurd circumstances are due to our current first-past-the-post voting system, we need to change it to proportional representation. Proportional representation would better reflect the votes of Canadians in the House of Parliament. This would help limit or eliminate the current adversarial and attack type campaigns and parliamentary sessions that are currently occurring. In my opinion one big obstacle to this is our proximity to the US, the only democratic nation to have a two party system. We don't have their system, so why are we trying to emulate it! We are constantly inundated, through media & entertainment, with American ideas. It's not hard to see our current PM's affinity for that system, the divide and conquer model. In the end the US system polarizes people and leads to a very poisoned political atmosphere, much like we are starting to see ever since the right is only represented by one party. Instead of the current state of affairs we could have a political system that is based on co-operation and civility, more like it used to be. I want to be Canadian, not American, am I the only one?
Rude and crude, eschewed
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

G8/G20 Communique: The re-arrest of Alex Hundert – Why the police should be charged with obstruction of justice |

SecurityImage via Wikipedia
Alex Hundert was participating as a panelist at a University speaking engagement and is arrested for violating his bail, which states he can't participate in public demonstrations. Last time I checked a public demonstration involves a public exhibition of the attitude of a group of persons toward an issue, or other matter, made by picketing, parading, etc..,. I do not believe the police are really that stupid that they cannot distinguish a speaking engagement in a university lecture hall with that of a public demonstration? I think you have to pass certain criteria to become a police officer, and I believe a relative level of brain activity is one of them. So that being said why else would they arrest him? I would have to agree with the author of this article that the police, agents of the government, are obstructing justice, silencing any dissenting voices and are slandering these outspoken individuals as criminals/terrorists. Once you can malign them as such in the public eye, then dismissing anything they have to say is seen as justified. What better way to silence any criticism.

G8/G20 Communique: The re-arrest of Alex Hundert – Why the police should be charged with obstruction of justice
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where are we going?

Enjoy CapitalismImage by @boetter via Flickr
I've just started reading Margret Atwood's book "Oryx & Crake". Basically it's a fictional story that takes place in the near future and deals with a post apocalyptic world with glimpses into the past showing how things came to be. Through global warming, super bugs and genetic manipulation mankind has brought about the collapse of modern civilization and entered into a dark age.

It reminds me of a creative writing assignment I had in grade school in the early 80's, at the time there was talk of the hole developing in the ozone and continued talk of global warming. So I decided to write about a possible future where the ozone is almost completely depleted on earth and the temperature has greatly increased. In it one can only go outside if they take extraordinary precautions to protect themselves from the sun. Now this was a fictional story about one possible future if we didn't take action to resolve this issue. Thankfully action was taken on one front, that of banning CFC's which were the leading cause of ozone depletion. Now it won't be till approximately 2065 before the ozone returns to the same size as 1980 levels, even though progress is slow the actions were necessary and will pay off.

But I digress, what I'm really trying to get across is that we need to entertain these possible futures, and amazing writers such as Atwood are doing that. The intent is not to scare but to acknowledge that this is a possible future if we continue doing some of the things that we are doing.

Part of what these stories deal with is the old idea that man shall have dominance over all the creatures of earth. This idea comes from Genesis 1 where god proclaims to man "fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth". Sadly this thought remains with us today and we most see it being exercised by corporations, governments and society when natural resources are harvested and the genetic code is manipulated. Now these acts are not necessarily a bad thing, if done properly and with a certain level of respect, humbleness and caution. But more often than not this is not the case, it's done with blatant disregard of known negative consequences or just blindly pushing forward in the name of capitalism and progress. The proclamation outlined in Genesis 1 has brought out an arrogance within our societies, this idea that we must subdue nature and twist it to our will instead of living in harmony. It's as if we are at war with nature. It’s as if we have a psychotic relationship with it, we are of nature, it is what sustains us, destroy it and we are sealing our own fate! Until this shift in thinking occurs within society around the world we will only see further degradation of our earth and thus our own degradation. The examples are glaring and all around us if you choose to see it, from the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, to collapsed fisheries, record levels of extinction, more severe weather more often, drought, flooding and human suffering. Any government and/or economic system should serve us and our environment, instead of what is and has been occurring, we and nature are serving capitalism!

Don't get me wrong about religion, it can and does have positive messages about how to treat one another fairly and good advice on how to live, but as well with in it some very dangerous ideas dwell. This can also be applied to science, some great discoveries are contained with in it, but also some very dangerous things. This is especially true in this day in age where corporations are using science for their own purposes, it is being perverted by their inherently selfish wants and needs, more and more Universities are funded by them and research is being compromised. Genetic manipulation of our food crops and the human genome is occurring with out full knowledge of the consequences. Most is occurring with corporate profits in mind and governments are happy to oblige. Genes are the very essence of all life on earth and should be handled with the up most respect and caution, not by trying to fit it into voodoo capitalist economic models. True science is about discovery for the sake of knowledge and better understanding, it's true intent is not for profit.

All this to say, we need to explore all the possibilities and consequences of these new discoveries. We need to use all our human qualities, common sense, ethics, imagination, intuition, memory and reason to proceed forward in the right way. We cannot regress to old ideologies that have resulted in the destruction of the environment, war and human suffering! We need to expand our consciousness to include the other, and from this perspective I believe we can do the right thing to make this a better world.



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