Sunday, June 05, 2005

This is something that must be read

It is unusual to break from the excitement of Canadian politics, but I want everyone who can read this -Dipper, Tory, Liberal, Libertarian, independent or whomever - to go to Agitprop's and read this post.

Read it slowly. Take the evening. Take the morning off. Its very powerful.

After you're done, read this piece in the Times of London. And a little more analysis about it from Mark Danner.

Then, after taking a few breathes, listen to what Ralph Nader recommends.

The CalgaryObserver, in his ruminations on "western alienation" wondered why Ontarians seem to dislike Americans, and the American way of doing things (and, he supposes, by extension Albertans). Observer, this is why.

Very slowly, we are moving away from simple rhetoric about fascism taking over the US and witnessing the real thing. My grandfather hit the beaches of Dieppe, Normandy and fought through Holland to fight the kinds of people and governments that do this.

A decade ago, a President lied about getting a blowjob, and the US Congress and the Republican Party was up in arms. They tried to impeach him. Today, a President lies and conspires with his allies to start a preemptive and illegal war, based on faked evidence and phantom WMDs. And the Congress and Republicans are silent. The mainstream US media is silent. Except for Rep John Conyers, almost everyone in the US is ignoring this.

Originally, Hitler faked an invasion of Germany by Poland, using political prisoners dressed as Polish Army regulars. They "took over" a border radio station and began transmitting that Poland was invading Germany. They were all captured and shot, of course, and the next day, German troops marched into Poland.

What we are witnessing here is the modern version. Shall we stand by or shall we act?

I would like everyone who has read this to write to CBC, CTV, CHUM, Sun Media, CanWest-Global and politely ask why they are not covering this story more. Include a copy of the memo. Write you local stations as well. Make enough noise and make them deal with this.

This guy would be proud.

Update:

The Jurist rightly points out that we should also consider these numbers, as well as the ones in the links above. These are conservative estimates.

Also, Edward T. Bear has another indication of the creeping fascism infecting the US government. Not just in the style of the art, but the message being sent.

13 Comments:

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous calgary observer said...

Reply to your comment, reposted from my blog:

Mike,

Even though I had nothing to do with the NEP or Lougheed (I was still too young to even have a passing interest in politics and stuff ;-) ), I'd like to apologize to you from the bottom of my heart.

What you experienced at the Stampede as a boy is not reflective of the average Calgarian or Albertan.

As Canadians, we need to reach out to each other, regardless of the past, and form ties across this great nation of ours.

I know it may not mean much, but, Mike, again, please accept my apologies on behalf of all (decent) Albertans.

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger The Jurist said...

Good post, though I do have a problem with focusing on Agitprop's list. The loss of 1670 American soldiers is indeed a massive tragedy, but how many more Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion without receiving the same attention - who haven't even been definitively counted, let alone named? To have a fair assessment of the debacle that is Iraq, any reader should multiply the time spent scrolling by somewhere between 20 and 50 times.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Mike said...

jurist,

I whole heartedly agree. I'll try to find a link to those types of casualties as well. I guess agitprop's point is to enflame the American public into doing something and the sad truth is, they only care about "thier boys", not Iraqi civillians.

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the lazy, here's the contact page or e-mail address for the outlets you spoke of:

CBC
CTV
CHUM International
Sun Media CNEWS Feedback form
Global viewer relations

It's still a good idea to get in touch with local stations as well. Especially since there's likely a lot less going on locally than federally (especially nowadays) and they may be able to work something like this in much easier. Get the public aware of it which will naturally require the big boys to pick it up once its awareness has been raised. Great post!

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Anon,

Thanks...I was going to get those links to post myself, but, being a father, didn't have time. I'll update in a minute.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger ALW said...

Unsurprisingly, I disagree with what your post is implying.

The number of people who die does not determine if a conflict is right or wrong. You yourself make reference to fighting Hitler. How many died for that? Did that mean it wasn't worth it?

You also need to prove Bush lied. There's a big difference between lying and making a mistake. Naturally if you dislike Bush you'll be inclined to assume he lied. But assuming it doesn't make it so.

And, for the record, I still fully support the liberation of Iraq, even knowing what we know today. Because hindsight is 20/20! The risk of being wrong was simply too great. If I ever had to gamble on Bush or Saddam Hussein lying, I'll take George Bush, period.

Also Mike, if you have a concern about fascism, you should be wary of the current government in this country, not America. The entrenchment of corruption flowing between big business and government (via corporate welfare and between crown corporations) is unprecedented. I'm much more concerned about that. But of course, since the party which would likely replace them (the Tories) are 'scary' to those on the left end of the spectrum, people still support the Liberals on the grounds that "the crooks are better than the right-wingers". And that's really, really sad.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Mike said...

ALW,

No, I'm not surprised. :)

And I'm trying not prove it's either right or wrong by the number of dead. I'm trying to point out the number of people who have died because of the actions of the Bush government and its allies.

Of course, from my perspective, he lied about the reasons for the war. I don't accept the 'mistake' theory. If you are going to kill thousands or millions of people, it had better be for a damn good reason.

In the case of Iraq, the given reasons have turned out to be not only false, but manufactured. Complete Lies. Have you read the Downing Street Memo? We're not talking about intelligence mistakes, we're talking about purposeful fabrication and propoganda, done knowingly in violation of international law. You realize that everyone who ran this war signed the delcaration in the Plan for a New American Century demanding the invasion of Iraq in 1996? Can you say self-fufilling prophesy?

Look, there has been enough doubts about this raised. Was it intelligence errors or a purposeful plan? I think and inquiry, like the 9/11 commission at the least, should investigate. Like I said, if Clinton can be impeached because of a blowjob, Bush should face the same over this. Lets find out the truth.

Bottom line is we were told there was WMDs - including nuclear and biological weapons. But their weren't. The CIA in 2001 was right. Scott Ritter was right. Lots of people warned the US, but they choose to ignore them. Why?

That's what needs to be found out. If its ok to lie to go to war for something a few people think is good, then that is moral relativism. The US didn;t prove its case and as it turns out, for good reason - there was no case to be made. Was Saddam evil? Yes, but so are out "allies" in Saudi Arabia (arguably more so). So is Robert Mugabe. So is North Korea. So is the Janjeweed in Darfur. Where are the Marines for them?

Either we live by the rule of law or we don't.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger ALW said...

I'm trying to point out the number of people who have died because of the actions of the Bush government and its allies.

But are you saying it wasn't worth it? Iraq is free now. In five years (at most) it will be a relatively stable, prosperous place. Surely the promise of freedom is better than living under Saddam's tyranny.

This is something I've never understood about opponents to the war. I realize that obviously you don't support Saddam Hussein. Yet by default that's where you end up when you oppose the only person (Bush) who actually wants to remove him. Even if his motives were all wrong (which I don't think they are, but let's say for argument's sake) isn't the outcome still good?

There was a 'damn good reason'. Saddam was a psychotic dictator who killed way, way more people than the liberation forces ever did. He started several wars, invaded other countries, gassed his own people, tortured thousands. That's a pretty good reason right there.

Nevermind invading in 1996. The job should have been finished in the first Gulf War (a war which never ended, incidentally). And I don't recall the international community, in the time leading up to the war, saying "there are no WMDs". The argument was "we need to find another way", not that Iraq wasn't a problem.

As I said, the mistake argument is legitimate (whether it's true or not, I doubt we'll ever know), because nothing is "certain". Imagine we'd invaded Nazi Germany in 1937. We'd still be debating today *if* Hitler would have been a problem or *if* he would have launched a war, and so on and so on. You can only make decisions based on probabilities, and what you know at the time. And what we knew was this: Bush and Hussein, one claiming one thing, the other claiming the opposite. Based on their records, which one would you be inclined to believe?

We were actually told that they were "developing" WMDs, not that they actually had them yet. Proof of this is just how delicately the US is approaching North Korea. The difference? The North Koreans already have WMDs. Precisely the situation which was avoided by invading Iraq (who, as the David Kay report established, had been bargaining with North Korea to purchase just such weapons right at the time the war commenced...)

Your last point I really don't understand. Are you saying that because we can't deal with all evils, we should therefore deal with none? Are you saying you would have supported the war in Iraq, on the condition that the US also invaded every other oppressive dicatatorship around the world? I doubt it.

I agree that the rule of law is a fundamental foundation for any free society. Which is precisely why places where one man rules instead of laws - like Saddam Hussein's Iraq - are such a big problem. "International law", however, is a misnomer. What does it mean? Even legal scholars cant tell you! The UN isn't a world government with soveriegnty over nation states. This is to say nothing of that fact that the only country ever in the history of the UN to ask permission to go to war has been...the United States. Yet people speak of the Iraq liberation as some kind of 'precedent'. It's hard to set a precedent when it's been set so many times before!...

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Mike said...

The ends do not justify the means.

Saddam was neutered. Condi Rice and Dick Cheny said so themselves before 9/11. He was a bad guy, but there are other ways besides war based on a lie to remove him. But, I suppose they should have firgured that out back in the 80's when they actively supported him.

"There was a 'damn good reason'. Saddam was a psychotic dictator who killed way, way more people than the liberation forces ever did. He started several wars, invaded other countries, gassed his own people, tortured thousands. That's a pretty good reason right there."

So is Robert Mugabe, so is Kim Il Jong, so is King Faud, so are the Presidents of most of the fomer Soviet Republics in Central Asia (like Uzbekistan and Kahzakstan) who are US allies in the "war on terra". Why aren't they being invaded? Why is it alright for the Saudis to publicly behead people and actively support Al Queda? Saddam was bad but the US supported and continues to support far worse. Moral relativism there I think.

"We were actually told that they were "developing" WMDs, not that they actually had them yet. Proof of this is just how delicately the US is approaching North Korea. The difference? The North Koreans already have WMDs. Precisely the situation which was avoided by invading Iraq (who, as the David Kay report established, had been bargaining with North Korea to purchase just such weapons right at the time the war commenced...)"

Sorry, but I watched Colin Powell sit in front of the world and state that Saddam HAD them. He even showed pictures of the mobile labs and satelite photos of their locations. He had'em and was prepared to use'em. Bush himself appeared on TV during the State of the Union and said he was trying to get Uranium for an atomic bomb. At the time he had already been told by one of his ambassadors that this was completely false. A former Iraqi nuclear scientist living in Toronto testified that the whole programme was ended the firt night of the first Gulf War back in 1991. And you know what lesson the Iraq war has taught the rest of the world, in particular Iran? Get a nuke or two and the US won't fuck with you. Thanks, I feel safer already.

"Your last point I really don't understand. Are you saying that because we can't deal with all evils, we should therefore deal with none? Are you saying you would have supported the war in Iraq, on the condition that the US also invaded every other oppressive dicatatorship around the world? I doubt it."

No, I say that going to war is the last resort. In the case of Iraq, the lies piled up in order to ensure that war was the first choice. Did the US ever support the homegrown democratic movemnts, like the one in Iran right now? No. In Saudi? No. When faced with a REAL reason to use force or go to war did they? Did they help in Rawanda? No. Darfur? No.

Lets make no mistake here, I am not above going to war given the right reasons and after having exhausted all other measures. If the world ever gets off it ass and asks for volunteers to go protect the people in Darfur, I'll sign up. I would have done the same in Rawanda or Bosnia.

And I would hardly call Iraq free or even stable. People can't go out at night. They have very little electricity, running water or other infrastructure. there is 50% unemployment, which is itself feeding the insurgency. In may there were more car bombs in one month than in the previous year combined. More civilians are dying daily.

You call that free? Iraq is in misery. It is out from under Saddam,true, but it is not free.

The rule of law simply says that if you have evidence and can convince the world community that going to war is needed (as the US did in the first Gulf War) than you can. What separates us from the like of Saddam is that we "play by the rules". Well, Bush and the American government did not. For what ever reason, they wanted to go to war and manufactured the "evidence" so to get the support of their own people, even if it didn't work on the rest of the world. And then they went to war. They are no better than the dictators and thugs they say they oppose. There are precious few countries that have accepted the doctorine of pre-emptive war as a legitmate foriegn policy and they were defeated in WWII.

Iraq is a shambles, thousands are dying and the US economy is falling apart under under the deficit and debt.

So how's that moral relativism working out for ya?

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger CathiefromCanada said...

Hi, Mike
This is off-topic, but I just booktagged you!

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger John Murney said...

Good for you, Mike.
When I call these people fascists, I am hounded mercilessly and denounced. How refreshing, that I am not along in my observations and deductions.

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this alternative Downing Street Memo site being promoted by a number of progressive US blogs. Daily Kos, one of the most popular liberal/progressive blogging communities, has been covering the memo since it came to light & just yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy posted his own diary entry there. Another excellent overview of how this memo is NOT being covered by the US MSM comes from Billmon at his Whiskey Bar

BTW, I'm not connected with any of the above links - they're just a representative fraction of a great many blogs I regularly read & I simply thought these particular entries might help in your discussion.

 
At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Ian Scott said...

alw, you ought to read some recent "modern" history. Do some research, find out where Saddam got his first WMD's from, and who Iraq was an ally of.

He started at least one war with the support of the USA. He started another war after he claimed that Kuwait was drilling into Iraq's oil fields - and the US ambassador implied to Saddam that how he handled the situation was none of the US's business.

Guess what? The ambassador lied.

These are things that you won't hear often about in the media, but it is public record.

 

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