Thursday, May 12, 2005
he True North Strong and Free? Well, the strong part seems to have gone by the wayside quite some time ago, and now it seems like the free part is increasingly under question. Is my country still a free democracy, ruled by the will of the sovereign Canadian people, or has it already fallen to a Mafia-like clique which claims divine right to rule us for our own good?
I haven't been quite ready to accept the second possibility, even after the disgusting revelations at the Gomery Inquiry into Liberal Party influence peddling and bribery. Until yesterday.
We are supposed to have a functioning "parliamentary democracy", in which governments govern with the support of parliament. Without having majority support in Parliament, a government -- any government -- must either resign or call a new election. That's the way it has always worked in the past, and there have been many governments which have been unable to serve close to their full term (a five year maximum). Any vote in the House of Commons which is explicitly about confidence in the sitting government, must be won by the governing party (or coalition) -- otherwise it's election time again. Such a vote indeed did take place in the Commons this week, which Paul Martin's Liberal-led coalition lost 153 - 150. Close, but no cigar, Paul. You've lost the confidence of Parliament -- either you must allow your opposition to attempt to form a governing coalition if they're able, or you call an election. It's that simple.
But it's not that simple for The Libranos (credit for that one goes, I believe, to the marvelous Kate of small dead animals). For you see, only the Librano family actually truly represent Canadian values, and so little things like parliamentary rules and tradition need not apply to them. And the current Don (does Don Dithers work?) of the Libranos, our esteemed 21st century leader, simply pretended not to hear the voice of Parliament, saying that it wasn't really an actual non-confidence motion, it was simply a budget measure (forgetting for the moment I guess, that governments always fall when losing their budget vote). And so Don Dithers plans to simply ignore the matter, and continue as if it hadn't happened.
Rather bad timing it was, that this happened hot on the heels of the revelation by one of the witnesses before Judge Gomery's Commission, that he had been contacted prior to his testimony by a former Librano enforcer... erh, uh I mean cabinet minister named Gagliano, who offered him advice about what he planned to tell the inquiry. Just friendly uncle-to-nephew type advice about what sorts of bad things might happen to him, like loss of friends and such, should he mis-speak for the public record. The fellow had also enjoyed the advice of an anonymous caller along the same lines, and said that these incidents made him to feel he was being threatened prior to his testimony. Did he feel under threat to his phyical well being and safety, a reporter asked? He was too frightened to answer that question openly.
Many of the writers I've listed under "Can Con" (which as every Canadian musician, artist or writer knows, stands for "Canadian content", which is mandated and managed in our media for our own good), have been covering these issues very well, and I'm still getting caught up on the latest dirt. Another aspect is the "Oil for Food" scam at the United Nations, and connections therein to the Libranos and cronies during the rule of Don "Streetfighter" Chretien. Yes, that corruption, bribery and influence peddling scandal, the one you don't hear much about on the "news", the one that absolutely dwarfs any other known scandal since the earth cooled.
Speaking of which, it's delicious today to hear that the absolutely vile George Galloway (recently and inexplicably elected to the British Parliament), has now been named (along with Charles Pascua, a former French Interior minister) in connection with receiving something like 20 million barrels of oil (vouchers) from his good friend Saddam Hussein, in one small part of that very same massive UNSCAM project. When Galloway was flapping his gums upon winning his consituency over that nice lady from Labour, talking big about "war criminals", and the "Iraqi resistance" as being the only legitimate voice of Iraqi people, and which they wholeheartedly support against the imperialist oppressors (and so on and so forth), I thought to myself, "Galloway, you're going to get yours. It didn't happen today, but it will." The leader of the "RESPECT" party (HA!) had so much "respect" for the millions of victims of Saddam's sadistic regime of fear, that he openly praised the dictator as a great man whom he admired. Saddam's then vice-president has evidently now told investigators that the oil was given to Galloway in return for his tireless promotion of Saddam's government. He performed a service for Saddam, he (if it's eventually proven that he received the vouchers, which he denies) got paid: he was a paid publicity agent for the Regime of Fear.
There are also Canadian connections to the UNSCAM project -- Maurice Strong, Power Corp, Saddam's money laundering bank BNP Paribas, relatives of Don Chretien who stood to become (much more) rich if the dictator was not toppled (which goes some way to explain why the previous Librano government thumbed its nose so resolutely against the action taken by our cousins the United States, Britain and Australia, among the others of the coalition which did bring him down). I wish Canadian journalists would sink their teeth into these matters with the same tenacity we see every day by American, British and Australian reporters -- most of whom continue to be antagonistic to the freshly re-elected leaders of all three countries. Don Dithers aka Paul Martin has tried to present himself as something fresh and new, without taint from the past. Yet, even ignoring the past, he has shown himself to be no kind of idealistic and forward looking leader for the new age.
I leave you with an account of his visit to Sri Lanka (which by the way, is still waiting to see the first bit of money we promised them for tsunami relief, over four months ago), an account which I find shocking to say the least. There seems to have been an arrogance going on which is frankly disturbing, and I'm ashamed that the Sri Lankan victims had to witness it. You won't see this on CBC, although the CBC was there. Documentary film maker Garth Pritchard was also there, and captured the event for posterity. Canada Free Press has made an edited edition of the video available along with the above report. I haven't viewed it (warning, the video file available from the story at the first link is about 25 meg), but the account is maddening enough. Bodyguards shoving priests around, knocking a Sri Lankan mourner to the ground without apology, and Martin himself seemingly more interested in selling a Canadian brand of bottled water (with another Maurice Strong connection, no less) than any sort of genuine humanitarian concern. Canadian compassion on display, thanks Paul. When the Canadian padre called for a moment of silence for the 13,000 tsunami victims just laid to rest, Don Dithers gave it 15 seconds before blurting out, "OK, let's go! This bottle of Canadian water, c'est excellent."
Well, this brand of Canadian leader, ce n'est pas excellent. You can take Jack Layton (leader of my formerly beloved New Democrats who was there as well, and also loved the delicious water), who has been propping up your Librano gang, and get back out there on the hustings to beg for another chance. Hopefully the people will put you all back in opposition for a few years, where you might learn some humility.
"PROTECTING THE PEACE, AND MY COUNTRY"
omewhere close to 400 people have been murdered by the so-called "Iraqi resistance" over the past 2 weeks, almost 70 of them yesterday alone. It's been a terribly violent period for innocent citizens of the country, and especially for the young men wanting to sign up for duty in the new police and military services. Yet still they come, and as this article in the May 9 edition of the Arabic newspaper "Alsharq Alawsat" (translated once again by Haider Ajina and published by Arthur Chrenkoff) seems to indicate, more and more of them are now Arab Sunnis. Coupled with the apparent relocation of "resistance" home bases from the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah into the desolate area close to the Syrian border (and now being squeezed by US Marines in Operation Matador -- see Belmont Club here and here for some good analysis of that), it seems quite possible that we are seeing in this massive upsurge of indiscriminate slaughter by Moore's Minutemen, the final lashing out of a cornered beast. The "resistance" is finally losing it's last tenuous base of support:
Iraqi Arab Sunnis head towards Army enlisting posts in spite of explosionsA few of the new recruits were quoted, giving their reasons for joining Iraq's defence forces:
After the Iraqi government confirmed the appointment of a Sunni in the position of defense minister. Iraqi Arab Sunnis started heading for the army enlisting centers to join the new Iraqi Army. This was evident by the long lines and large crowds of young men outside these centers in the largely Sunni area of Baghdad. This is the main reason for the increase in the terrorist activities in and around these centers. [...]
Ahmend Mahmud, age 30, from Aathamiah came to the enlisting office to join the new Iraqi military. "I came because I desire to join in protecting the peace and my country," he said. Adnan Hussein from Meqdadieh who was in the old Army said; "Since the fall of the old regime I had no employment to feed my kids, thus I decided to join the new military, which pays a decent wage, and I heard a number of (Sunni) religious leaders call for us to join the new army". Luaai Ahmed from Aathamiah said, "I voluntarily enlisted in the new military because I wanted to and upon advise from my relatives".These guys are part of the future of Iraq; the hostage-taking head loppers and vicious murderers that comprise what George Galloway and his ilk still pathetically call "freedom fighters", are reaching the end of their shelf life. And they know it.
I really agree with something I read yesterday on normblog, which was a blog interview with one of my new favourites, that nice lady, the neo-neocon. Asked if she had any political heroes, she answered, "Presently, any ordinary Iraqi policeman..."
But if it still seems from the popular headlines and news bites that "another massive bomb blast" and "more carnage in Baghdad today" are the only representative events of that country, Arthur put up Part 27 of his bi-weekly "Good news from Iraq" series. If "Good news from Iraq" sounds like an oxymoron to you, because you're pretty sure that the evening news clips are an accurate and representative sample of what all is happening there, and you're just so sorry for all those people cowering in their homes under oppressive occupation while they wait to see if they'll be randomly blown to pieces that day, perhaps it's time to check out Arthur's bi-weekly series. Betcha can't read the whole thing!
Oh, one more great little piece from Chrenkoff before I go. He posted it last week, but I do want to pass it on. On the recent capture of a senior al Qaeda figure named Abu Farraj al-Libbi in Pakistan recently (by a wonderful poetic justice, trapped by Pakistani agents shrouded in women's burqas!), Arthur found a before and after picture of the bin Laden group's number three man (he's said to have taken that position after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, also included in this rogues gallery). But the dedicated Chrenkoff didn't stop there, and dug up several other "before and after" pics, which demonstrate pretty graphically that pissing off America and hiding in caves or Karachi slums can be rather bad for one's health. And grooming habits. And general well-being, besides a lot of other stuff.