Category Archives: Opinion

Why progressives should stop fighting for the “Deep State” and take advantage of DJ Trump’s chaos

Glenn Greenwald as usual hit it on the head. There is a war right now between the “Deep State,” as defined by Canadian academic and former ambassador Peter Dale Scott, and the Trump administration. For all of his odiousness DJ Trump is not responsible for the most minute portion of the human misery handed out by the American Deep State in the last 60 years. The Deep State is what progressives really mean when the say the “system”. This is the mechanism of power wielded by the real stakeholders in our society. Journalist Mike Lofgren: puts it very succinctly in a recent article,

The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street.” Mike Lofgren.

Since the election of Donald Trump, an event completely unexpected by the Deep State or anyone else, the socially progressive forces and the Deep State have common cause. The public home of American alternative political thought now days are mainly late night comedy news shows. They have been wall to wall in orgasmic reaction to every Trump tweet. They have been whoa fully short on analyzing the very real systemic flaws this shows in their political structure. The bankrupt political process that put DJ Trump there, the concentration of power in the Presidents office that makes him so, so dangerous.  After watching the “Daily ” and “Colbert” shows religiously during the Iraq invasion it is stunning to me to see them routinely quote anonymous intelligence sources to bolster claims that Vladimir Putin put Trump in power. Aren’t these the same people that swore Saddam had nukes. The same theme is repeated ad hominid  across the “left wing” American echo chamber. With the same people that ten years ago marched against C.I.A black sites, now quoting C.I.A without a shred of evidence. This is somewhat understandable in the American context because they are desperately trying to look away from the fact DJ Trump represents exactly who they really are. A massive amount of their population fully supports his xenophobic narcissistic rhetoric. The alliance of the left with the C.I.A. is still terribly disturbing, and truly puzzling.

I am surprised by the fact that this seemingly isn’t apparent to progressive forces in Canada. Never in our lives has the executive branch and the other branches of the American Government been in open conflict. It’s incredible to watch Attorney’s General  at the Federal and State level go to court against core White House policy. For the first time since the 1947 National Security act created it the C.I.A. doesn’t have the confidence of the President. In fact the intelligence machine has repeatedly threatened his administration. For the first time in my life some of the people behind the curtain are coming into the light. Why not use the opportunity to try and highlight the colossal damage the American intelligence community has done and continues to do. For the first time in 20 years the US administration isn’t pushing globalization and exploitative trade deals down our throat. This is an amazing opportunity to highlight the misery globalization has caused Why would we not take advantage of this. Instead of reflexively condemning every vapid tweet, and while continuing to fight directly against his inhuman immigration and dangerous resource extraction policies. Why not take advantage of the chaos to point out the fact that the U.S. is the greatest danger to the peace of the world, and human existence in general.

At the very least we should recognize that whatever DJ Trump is he isn’t part of the plan. He truly doesn’t seem to represent the usual ruling powers. So while for sure we’ve all got a four year shit sandwich to eat lets at least take full advantage of the opening it gives us to actually makes some systemic change, because the whole system is broken worldwide. DJ Trumps little circus is not the disease, its the symptom.

A letter to my American cousins

Cover Photo; Cori Marshall.

The experts say that the best time to intervene and help a family member become a better person is when they are in existential crisis. I consider Americans to be my cousins since my paternal grandfather Walter Ray came from Oklahoma to homestead in Alberta. So in that spirit here it goes.

Firstly though, I’d like to ask a quick favor. I ask politely because I’m Canadian after all. Can you please officially stop referring to your Presidents as “The leader of the free world”? I’m afraid to tell you that none of us has ever viewed your presidents as our leaders. But to refer to Mr. “grab em by the pussy” Trump in this way is so ridiculous even you must see it. And FYI we probably wont accept any of you moving here, most especially Lena Dunham. Thx so much.

It has been confusing to watch your spectacular reaction to the election of Donald J. Trump. Spectacular, because terror is not at all hyperbolic in describing the reaction of much of your population, the part notably that considers itself progressive and perhaps the 41.6% of you that didn’t vote. trump-protestFrom the apocalyptic countenances of newscasters and late night hosts, to the nightly protests apparently rallying against the results of your fellow citizens democratic will. Meanwhile Michael Moore seems to be screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-1-41-47-pmcalling for some sort of revolution to prevent Trump, the legally elected president, from taking office.

Confusing, because all of the things you seem so frightened that Donald Trump will do already are. I don’t think its Donald Trump himself that is causing your  massive existential crisis. It is I think because in him you catch an uncomfortable glimpse of yourselves. Like Dorian Grey you have finally been forced to stare into your own portrait. A likeness that illuminates in brutal detail the mortal sins that you have hidden from yourselves for so long. Donald J. Trump serves as the most accurate portrait of what America is and has always been. Like the mythical cousin who is gifted and capable of incredible things but hobbled until now by their inability to control elements of their basic makeup that are narcissistic, deceitful and violent. And you are as a group capable of some amazing heights. The heights of your science and arts are as bright as the sun but your dark side is more than enough to extinguish all the stars in the heavens.

The portrait in front of you has been painted with the blood of millions whose lives your nation state has destroyed since its violent, much storied birth. By many us-agressionestimates as many as 20 million lives since the the end of the second world war. But take heart, for in self-knowledge lies real change you can believe in, not just its rhetorical echo. You have just shown that you can elect anyone you want to control your government. So keep hope in the fact that if you take this opportunity to face some very bitter facts perhaps four years from now you can put someone truly visionary in that office. Someone who understands the interconnections of us all, and the immorality of war as a means of national policy. Someone who will create a society for you that puts the wealth of your nation in the service of its people rather than the 1% and your arms industry. Indeed, you have just proven that you as a people have the power to take your destiny back from the false Pepsi/Coke dichotomy of your recent politics. In short, you have the ability to create something so much greater than the fictitious construct you currently view yourselves and the world through.

You seem to be afraid that Donald Trump will make America more violent and less tolerant. Yet you presently live in a country where in large parts anyopen-carry-tools-292x300  basement-dwelling, mad-at -the-world teenager can open-carry a loaded assault rifle into a family restaurant. The only way the management of the restaurant could refuse this individual service is if he were gay and it conflicted with their religious beliefs.

You are afraid Donald Trump would make America less egalitarian. It never was. You were taught, mostly by fanciful Hollywood myths not your third-world education system, that America’s founding fathers created a utopian society after casting off their British overlords. In reality,they were a group of wealthy landowners and merchants. They utilized indentured servants, poor whites paying off their passage from Europe with years of serfdom, and slaves brought in chains from Africa to grow their wealth. Your founding fathers were aristocrats who simply wanted to keep getting rich without paying the British crown for the privilege.  “No taxation without representation” has more in common with Donald Trump’s calling for massive tax cuts for rich individuals and corporations than it ever did with a popular grassroots movement. After your revolution the only people considered citizens and therefore granted the right to vote were white, landowning, men. Your founding fathers would have been on the same page as Donald Trump pretty much.

rocker
“The way to make money is when blood is running in the streets.” J.D. Rockerfeller
  They were abusive  capitalists living in a world apart from their fellow citizens. Engaged in the business of the day agriculture and textiles. They ruthlessly exploited their laborers  to the point of provoking  Shays Rebellion and other uprisings. Later responses by your ruling political class to a desire by you, the citizen, for a bigger share include the Ludlow massacre.

lynching

Which leads us to the well documented fact that your entire nation was built on the backs of black slaves that you treated worse than animals This was absolutely acceptable to you at the time. You truly believed in your moral superiority and a special destiny that placed you above other inferior  races. You fought a long bloody civil war at least partly over slavery. But despite any progress you have made on this issue. Mostly through the incredible bravery of African Americans themselves. This is still obviously true for many of you today.

 Yet you still seem afraid that it is Trump who will ruthlessly persecute minorities. Odd. In truth  as your history progressed into the era you fondly refer to as the “old west” your story took a decidedly genocidal turn. The indigenous population that helped you the strange pale strangers survive their first few winters in North America. The Natives who taught you the type of warfare that would win your independence and fought beside you against the British.  You supposedly just  genocideremembered some of this on Thanksgiving. What you fail to remember is that your repayment was inhuman in its ferocity.  In settling the “empty’ west some estimate that over 80% of the indigenous population died, some 40 million humans. This is notstanding-rock simply part of your past as the militarized response to Native Americans at standing rock clearly shows.

 The genocide of the Native peoples of North America is unparalleled in human history but being an industrious bunch you also managed to occupy and seize most of Texas , and California from  Mexico after provoking war with Spain. You invaded Mexico twice afterward in 1914 and 1916 at the behest of American Oil interests.  You cringe at Trumps wall but there has long been a series of barriers along the Rio Grande. Many armed US citizens rove this imposed border  threatening to shoot those coming across. All of this is normal to you. You and your nation have always tried to keep Mexicans fleeing economic problems in large part caused caused by repeated American intervention from entering territory that was theirs to begin with. And now to that we can add the humiliation of their currency dropping 12% in one afternoon because of  Trump’s apparently rhetorical statements.

This is a good place to stop and discuss your fear of Trump’s effect on your “free press”. Firstly your mainstream media is in no way unbiased or “free”. Your media has always been owned by a small number of people who used it to advance their interests.  Though he never uttered the famous quote “just give me the pictures and ill give you a war.” Randolph Hearst, who virtually owned US media at the time used his press empire to push media-2for the Spanish American war through the Cuban ruse. This pattern remains to this day. Your media is owned by a very small number individuals and is still capable of sending you to war on false pretenses as any of your thousands of maimed perhaps homeless Iraqi vets can confirm.

Let us my wayward relative now proceed into the 20th century where you seem to believe you have been such a force for good . You started the century forcing your good on the Philippines. Your largess was best summed up by General Bell of the US Army who marked  Christmas  1901 with this cheerful message.

jolomassacre1906
Philippines Massacred by US Army

“All able bodied men will be killed or captured. … These people need a thrashing to teach them some good common sense; and they should have it for the good of all concerned.”.

You news is full of Trump’s conflicts of interest. You seem afraid  that he will use the power of your nation to advance corporate interests. Much of your fabled American wealth was built by your corporations brutally exploiting peoples from China to Cuba and Africa backed by your foreign service, intelligence agencies, and military. The 1800’s were spent asserting your Monroe Doctrine’s claim to the riches of South America and the world.  One of your US Marine Generals of the era put it quite accurately;

smedly-quote

Your media’s condemnation of Fidel Castro as a dictator and in some cases celebration of his death has been striking this week.  They mysteriously fail to mention that he came to power to rid Cuba of generations of domination by American corporations and gangsters. You brutalized Cuba’s people and left them starving peasants on their own land. Many of Fidel’s most repressive edicts were directly caused by the U.S.’s immediate and prolonged efforts to topple his government and return his people to servitude.. Thesescreen-shot-2016-12-02-at-1-12-45-pm efforts include sabotage, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and countless attempts to kill Castro himself. In relation to Cuba you should have a good look at “Operation Northwoods“.  As you read about the lengths your government and military where willing to go to justify a US invasion of Cuba keep your more recent history in mind.

To get a grasp on the modern era you need to stop watching “Saving private Ryan” and look into the links between some of your largest corporations Ford, IBM and the rise of Nazi Germany. Look into the fact that future U.S. senator Prescott Bush had his business ibmthe  Union Bank of New York seized under the trading with the enemy act for financing Fritz Thyssen the man who put Hitler in power.  You need to ask why Gen. Butler quoted above above was approached by some of your richest industrialists to form an army to take power in the United States in the 1930’s. You need to ask questions about what the effect of thousands of ex Nazi officers filling the ranks of your newly minted CIA and many other branches of your government after the war had on your governance.  When your leaders say you need to fear Iran you should  research operation “Ajax“. None of this is sweaty basement conspiracy theory there are academic papers on all of it. Finally you need to look up the definition of fascism and then compare it to a realistic view of your political system. There are some similarities you may find disturbing.

I wont bother belaboring the actions you have all been alive for, and at the end of the day did nothing to stop.The attack on Libya resulting in the dystopian wasteland it is today. The brutal, illegal and unnecessary invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The latter of which led directly to an age of ISIS beheading videos. You need to care less about about the marriage of Brad and Angelina and more about role your National Endowment for Democracy played in the Arab spring that led to the war in Syria.

You are not the good guy. You never have been. It is you, not Iran or Russia that is the major threat to the peace of the world. At home you, the American citizen, throughout U.S history have suffered greatly and continuously from poverty, sickness, lack of education, lack of real social mobility. Lets face it despite the myths most rich people get there like Trump, they inherit it. You lack the most basic social programs, healthcare, childcare and many more that are taken for granted in all the other industrially developed countries of the world that you continuously profess to lead. All while outspending the rest of the world combined on arms as well as spending 1,728,125,548073* just in the last 15 years on foreign wars. The power to make a better destiny for yourselves and your children is obviously in your hands. For the first time in your history, take it and show the world not what you are, but what you can be.

*that number grows by 8.36 million every hour of every day. National Priorities Project  https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/war/

Turkish coup, A well planned job possibly with ties to US intelligence.

The last few Hours have seen a stunning coup in Turkey. This wasn’t a surprise to everyone this was expertly planned and executed. The chief of staff is under arrest and internet and phones have been cut.  President Erdogan is in hiding and martial law has been declared all within a scant few hours.

The amount of planning an operation like this would take under the noses of their own Government and NATO allies is staggering but it is obvious that it was backed throughout the military from its resourcing  and It also isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Erdogan’s dreams of a return to Ottoman greatness, or his recent  rapprochement with Russia, have displeased some in the western power elite so that this incredibly well oiled coup may not be completely homegrown. It is worth noting that Fethullah Gülen the prime suspect behind the coup lives in self imposed exile in the United States. Many have reported that he has strong links to American Central Intelligence. Nuri Gundes a former high ranking Turkish intelligence officer has made this claim repeatedly. If true it is reminiscent of Libya’s Khalifa Haftar, an ex CIA asset who helped turn Libya into the paradise it is today

What this means for Turkey’s ongoing struggle with the Kurds and its role in Syria and NATO remains to be seen. Canadian troops are currently training the Kurdish forces in Iraq in the fight against ISIS. This is seen as a grave threat by many in the Turkish military as the Kurds claimed homeland would cut a large chunk out of southern Turkey.

for more read

 

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Canadian Forces Still in Combat.but for Whom?

 

 

Stay tuned

 

 

 

 

 

Why Canada should consider retiring its Armed Forces, forever.

 

Candians advance on Vimy Ridge
Canadians advance on Vimy Ridge

There have been 98 Easters since 1917.  The day now generally starts with the gleeful cry of children content to hunt for the chocolate eggs apparently laid by a rabbit, one assumes after a drunken night of debauchery with an avian or reptilian companion. But on that day 98 years ago the morning began with an artillery barrage so massive it shook the ground  violently enough to throw pack mules from their feet. Just after dawn along the 3 miles of Canadian troops shivering drunk in the predawn hours. Thinking quite possibly of the agonies of that man on a Galilee hilltop 1917 years before.
Many of them would have recognized him as their God.
Then the sound of whistles and coarse male voices would have competed with soul chilling  screeching howl of the massive artillery shells rending the air at supersonic speeds above their heads. They would have felt the thunderous detonations pounding the soles of their boots. They would have somehow pushed themselves through the blinding terror they felt and climbed the blood covered trench ladders, packed tight as lemmings and facing similar odds of survival. As the first twenty thousand young Canadians spasmodically clawed their way into the killing fields of no mans land the assault on Vimy ridge began. 3,598 would not live the day.

4 members of my family served in this war, including Maj General Sir

Mgen. Sam Steele before departing for France
Mgen. Sam Steele before departing for France

Sam Steele who commanded the 2nd Canadian division as it sailed for France from Halifax harbor.
The war to end all wars.
Problem is, it wasn’t.

My father Larry and my uncle William joined the Canadian Forces on September 10th, 1939. It had taken them a few days to travel down from their farm home in Rochfort Bridge to the recruiting centers in Edmonton. My uncle being the

My Uncles Grave
My Uncles Grave

smarter of the 2 fought with the RCAF in the battle of Britain. My Father returned an empty shell. I recall him, dead these many years, mainly from his lack of presence.

One of my fathers friends during my childhood was Bob Blacklock.

2 PPCLI advances on Kapyong Ridge
2 PPCLI advances on Kapyong Ridge

Bobby’s twin brother had been killed fighting near him with the Second Battalion Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) as they desperately held off 3000 Chinese troops for 3 days and nights on the cold windswept Kapyong Ridge in Korea.

Canadian Forces participated in Gulf War 1 in 1991, Canadian pilots bombing Iraqi positions and our ground troops managing prisoners.

The author as a 25 year old peacekeeper in Yugoslavia
The author as a 25 year old peacekeeper in Yugoslavia

In my turn I deployed with the Second Battalion P.P.C.L.I to Yugoslavia on Rotation 2 of the euphemistically named Operation Harmony into the middle of a very hot and merciless civil war. My unit engaged in the largest land battle since Korea to halt ethnic cleansing in an area known as the Medak pocket.

Many of the men whom I was so very privileged to have served with went on to spend most of ten long years fighting the nail-hard Taliban in the apocalyptic desolation of Afghanistan.

Just before this Easter by a vote of 142 to 129, Canada went to war again. This time with an enemy that by all reports our American cousins brought into being with their drive for globe imperial dominance, and then both supplied and trained with our NATO partners.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same action again and again and expecting a different outcome.
So perhaps it is time for our society to re-examine its relationship with institutionalized state violence. “Et decorum est pro patria mori” is the fundamentally flawed holdover of more primal times and neither this nation, nor the rest of our race can continue to accept the morality, legality, or indeed utility of allowing organized slaughter on a mass scale. Pretending it’s not an insane, primal rending of flesh because the participants wear matching outfits is increasingly not the path to the future.

What I know for a fact is that most of the soldiers who have actually done the dark deeds under this country’s banner, who have borne the horror and scars of this nation’s wars, have, in the most terrible of moments, been driven on by the ever luminous but faint hope of peace. The iron determination that their sons and their daughters would never have to bear the stench of blood, urine and fear known to every soldier since the beginning of human conflict. That somehow the sacrifice they make will improve the human condition.

I know this because I have read it in the journals of my ancestors, I heard it from my father in the few times he talked of his time bobbing in a boat off the coast of Normandy. I know it from the lips of old men recalling fearfully their journey through the ultimate act of human degradation in reverend tones in the dark recess of legion halls. I know because I have been both a shaking boy in a trench wanting to be safe home with mother and in the next instant been the cold brutal executioner of my fellow man to advance my nation’s cause.

But what has been gained by all this blood and sacrifice? Virtually nothing. Instead of lasting peace we are confronted by a world sliding toward yet another global conflict. Like the ones before, it seems to be driven mainly by the politics of competing global empires and the profits of arms dealers. Some critics will fall inevitably on the notion of the “just war” as exemplified by WW1 and 2. But was it? A huge body of writing and great movements were started in the interwar period 1919-1939 to hold the arms manufacturers to account for their role in starting the conflict. Much of this has been suppressed and forgotten. But parliamentary committees were struck in both the US (The Nye Committee) and Britain to investigate corporate responsibility for the war. They came to naught because many of the same interests managed to help start WW2. Increasingly we see evidence of the early Nazi party being backed by industrial interests in Britain and the US. Names like Ford, Standard Oil, and IBM backed the Nazi war machine and continued to do business with it throughout the war. IBM and Ford even successfully sued the US government for bombing their factories in Germany during the war.

Our efforts in the first Gulf War certainly did not lead to peace and stability in Iraq. Thankfully in a rare moment of sanity we refused participation in the sequel brought to us by Cheney-Bush productions.

Our war in Afghanistan was questionable in it’s legality. The nation state of Afghanistan attacked no one and under international law and treaties to which Canada is a signatory the only legal justification for war is defense against or retaliation for an attack against us, or our allies by a nation state. The assertion that some individuals who may reside in that nation state bore responsibility does not meet the bar. After 10 years of our soldiers fighting and dying there, Afghanistan is sliding inexorably back toward chaos.

In 30 years of peacekeeping efforts what did we really accomplish? The Sinai, our first mission continues to be a battle ground, Cyprus remains divided and to say our efforts in Yugoslavia were even mildly successful is ridiculous.

Many would certainly write me off as a fool for suggesting that a nation state such as ours could exist without the means to defend itself and its interests. But we are not capable of defending ourselves with our Armed Forces. Our only natural enemy, the United States could overwhelm us. On the greater world stage any clash between our alliance system and China or Russia is most likely to end in victory for no one and death for all.

Certainly it would be a great risk to put up the colours of our regiments forever in the hall of the dead. But did not the men and women who served this country so ably take those risks upon themselves in the pursuit of a peaceful and just world.  A world not driven incessantly by the greed of weapons manufacturers and corporate interests.

I have always believed that to live in peaceful community and to strive for an end to war is the greatest and perhaps only real act of remembrance for those young Canadians obscenely butchered in this century’s wars. It is I think time that we at least begin the conversation about our real place in the world, to retake a position of moral leadership that turns it’s back on war as an instrument of national policy. And to exert our influence on others to follow suit and in so doing make truly meaningful the sacrifices of our ancestors. We have always been known in war for our reckless courage, let us be known for it in peace. Let us live up to the words written by a Canadian at the end of the second war to end all wars;

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

John Humphrey,  Canada

Arrested while managing the CUTV livestream team at the Anti-police brutality march 15,2013
Arrested while managing the CUTV livestream team at the anti-police brutality March 15,2013

About William Ray I am a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists. I am a ten year Veteran of the Canadian Forces. I was with the 2nd Battalion PPCLI in Croatia in 1993 when they where awarded the Governor General of Canada and the Secretary General of the United Nations commendations for bravery for halting ethnic cleansing in the Medak pocket. I started with community radio and writing articles. In 2009 I began working with CUTV Montreal. During the student strikes and subsequent social unrest I helped manage the Livestream ground teams. I am also a co-founder of 99media.org and The founder of 3RTV, both citizen media groups. I also collaborated with Michelle Moore on the documentary film Déception Durable which was selected for the 2014 Montréal International Film Festival, and Films That Matter in Calgary, and the FReDD festival in France on resource extraction in Quebec.