June 29, 2006

 

Next thing you know we'll be talking about their "hearts"!!



Click on the picture for a larger image.

June 27, 2006

 

"Palestinian lives are nothing, Israeli lives everything"



From a letter by a Naftali Lavie in today's Toronto Star:

"As someone who has served in an Israeli tank unit near Kerem Shalom, I have nothing but sympathy for the bereaved families of Lieut. Hanan Barak and Sgt. Pavel Slutsker, killed in a daring Palestinian commando raid in which Corp. Gilad Shalit was taken captive. But some perspective and some context are necessary.

"This tank base was one of the locations from which Israel has been relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip for several weeks. Further, just one day earlier, on Saturday, Israeli commandos had raided Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, and captured two brothers, Mustafa and Osama Mu'ammar. All of this is well-known, but did not make it to the front page. Can it be that Palestinian lives are nothing, Israeli lives everything?"


I am in a state far beyond anger and indignation. I think I can best describe it as emotional paralysis. Israeli monsters inflict whatever horrific suffering on the completely defenceless Palestinians that they feel like -- with complete impunity, without anyone, least of all the emasculated Arab governments, raising so much as a peep.

June 23, 2006

 

Dubya in Vienna

Speaking of swarms of locusts, here is Dubya's own armoured stretch limousine, flown in specially for his Vienna visit. It was a part of a convoy of sixty vehicles that hauled him around town.



And here is the man himself, disgracing himself as usual, this time after being told some truths about what the rest of the world thinks of him.



And here is the welcoming committee.


June 19, 2006

 

A Swarm of Locusts

Have you noticed the strange disconnect between the environment movement and the animal rights movement? Neither side seems even to be aware of the other one, despite the fact that (a) animal life on this planet desperately needs the environment to be protected, to put a halt to the mass extinctions that are now all but inevitable; and (b) what is the "environment" that the environmentalists try to protect? Are animals, plants, and the planet's overall biodiversity not integral and inalienable parts of that "environment"?

Yet the environmentalist's sole focus seems to be on how climate change, pollution, and so on, will affect the planet's human population. Their proposed solutions are entirely focussed on trying to reduce or reverse the harm to human communities. One incredibly thoughtless form of this, for instance, is the holy of holies of the environmental movement, namely, alternative sources of energy, such as biofuel, solar energy, and so on. Presumably, vast areas of the planet are to be covered by biofuel-producing forests, by windfarms, and so on. No concern is being shown for the environmental destruction and havoc that such massive schemes would cause.

The animal rights movement, on the other side, seem more concerned about cute and cuddly animals than the other non-so-cuddly ones. The massive extinctions going on at this very moment among fish populations, for instance, seem to be of little concern to them.

Both groups, as with nearly all other activists working within the current socio-economic system, seem entirely obsessed with helping that very system (that very destructive system) to survive and thrive. The environmentalists want to enable the destructive current lifestyles to continue into the far future, albeit in modified forms. And the animal rights movement shows little concern for the systemic causes of the destruction affecting not just cute and cuddly animals, but all animals. They simply want to be able to go on enjoying cute and cuddly animals far into the future.

One of the most disturbing theories I have heard of has to do with the reason for the great diversity of animal life in Africa as opposed to the relative lack of diversity on the other continents. Because human life originated and evolved in Africa, the animals of that continent had the time and opportunity to adapt themselves to this new species. They learned to beware of the ruthless homo sapiens. Avoidance of this dangerous species became a part of the instinctual equipment of African animals.

Tens of thousands of years ago, the animal populations of the other continents were just as diverse as those of Africa. Around 70,000 years ago, a small population of humans left Africa and gradually multiplied and spread itself throughout the rest of the world. Everywhere they went, they destroyed for the sake of destroying, they killed for the sake of killing. The animal populations of Asia, Europe and the Americas were entirely unprepared for this new pestilence.

We are still nothing but a swarm of locusts.

June 14, 2006

 

And now for something completely different...

International Philosophy

June 08, 2006

 

An Un-Diplomatic Diplomacy: Tehran 1 - Washington 0

Washington’s war-mongers currently find themselves in a highly discredited position vis-à-vis Iran. Washington's lies have come back to haunt it. For months it has been beating the drums of war and “regime change,” proclaiming its holy mission to democratize an already democratic government (while its long-standing Mid-East friends and allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as its new friend Libya, continued to suffer extreme forms of political repression that countenance no opposition).

In the case of Iran, though, Washington was a perfectionist. Iran’s imperfect democracy had to go, and presumably be replaced by a dictatorship mindful of US interests. In reality, Washington was fearful that Iran’s independent political behaviour was setting a bad example for the rest of the Third World.

Washington took advantage of a manufactured nuclear crisis to cloak the nature of its actual concern. The United States, by far the most dangerous country in the world, with more invasions of foreign countries staining its history than one cares to think about, was concerned that Iran, one of the most peaceful countries in the world (it has not invaded a single country in over 250 years) was a danger to world peace. The irony is mind-boggling.

This week, the entire house of cards began to tumble down on the warmongers’ heads. There is nary a mention of “regime change” anymore. Suddenly, Washington finds no difficulty in dealing with the (imperfect) Iranian government, and has, in fact, offered to supply US nuclear know-how in exchange for Iran’s acceptance of highly watered-down conditions. Suddenly, Iran is no longer a nuclear threat, even though nothing has changed on the ground.

Washington, having begun from a position where “all options were on the table,” to quote Condi’s favourite threat, now has nothing left on the table! It has been stripped bare of the last shred of credibility it may still have possessed.

Still, the game’s loser will no doubt try to pretend to have won the game. Washington’s “subtle diplomacy” will be eulogized all around, as if there had been anything subtle about its threats to rain down nuclear missiles on an essentially defenceless nation.

In reality, the prize for diplomatic subtlety should unquestionably go to the government of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Tehran’s honest dealing finally forced Washington to abandon its sham “diplomacy.” It may not be an exaggeration to say that Tehran has founded a new kind of diplomacy, that is, a diplomacy of telling the whole truth and remaining steadfastly attached to one’s principles, as opposed to what diplomacy has come to mean –- telling advantageous lies. It is also a diplomacy based on peaceful intentions, as opposed to the usual kind of diplomacy, where the threat of initiating warfare in case things do not proceed to one’s liking is always retained in the background.

The metaphor of “carrots and stick” has been used to describe the diplomatic game plan of the Big Six Powers in relation to Iran. In the end, though, Bush, Hugo Chavez’s donkey, finds himself eating the carrots while beating himself over the head with the stick.

June 05, 2006

 

Those were the days...


It's so good to be an obedient servant of Washington. The tyrannical Shah of Iran, who recognized no master except Washington, was literally the American nuclear industry's poster boy. This is an ad the nuclear industry ran in the 1970s to promote nuclear energy in the US.


With thanks to Rostam Pourzal

June 04, 2006

 

Lest We Forget

Once baby killers, always baby killers.

The American Massacre at My Lai, Vietnam, 1968

The American Massacre at Haditha, Iraq, 2006

In case you have been wondering whether anyone will be punished for the Haditha massacre (and the other massacres in Iraq), I would remind you that out of the 26 military personnel originally charged for the far larger massacre at My Lai, only one man, Lt. William Calley, was ever "punished." His punishment? Three and a half years of house arrest!

"Sometimes things happen that shouldn't happen!"


June 03, 2006

 

Big Box Mart

Capitalism in action

June 02, 2006

 

US "soldiers" in Iraq to get ethics training!!

As part of the damage-control plan following the revelation of the Haditha massacres, US "soldiers" (who are usually referred to by an epithet in this blog) are to get ethics training. A natural question to ask is: Shouldn't they have received ethics training three years ago? Shouldn't they have received ethics training prior to being sent to Iraq? Shouldn't they have been told long ago that their job was not to kill every "towel-head" that entered the sights of their accursed guns?

Today, as if the US military didn't have enough of a job on its hands with Haditha's damage control, evidence of another massacre has surfaced, this time at the town of Ishaqi, which proves, if any proof were needed, the futility of trying to teach ethics to individuals who don't already know it is wrong to shoot small children.

I have often cursed the media for their supine attitude. In my last post, I wondered why reporters don't ask themselves this logical question: If an atrocity has been revealed only on the basis of an accidental disclosure, doesn't that mean there have likely been a lot of other similar atrocities?

Now I pose another question. What sort of sense is there in having Americans try to impose peace and democracy in the world? The United States is a nation whose ruling class counts on a "morality" of "might is right" to preserve its own power and its empire, and counts on forcing children to grow up to worship guns and killing so they will make docile and willing cannon fodder for its wars. If any nation needs to be saved from itself and the tyranny and immorality of its ruling class, surely that nation is the United States of America.

Update: Iraq rejects US probe clearing troops of killings

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