Sunday, April 15, 2007
It looks as though the Irvings have now found an even cheaper way to advertize for paper carriers in the downtown and southend ereas in Saint John.
Some people might be angry with me after this little blog then so be it.
The T.J. Burke issue really hit a nerve with me.
I told someone Saturday morning that this was all F@ . . . Bullsh@t!!!
< Excuse my language! >
I just couldn’t believe the Irvings would scoop so low to degrade a politician?
Now, I guess the story is that T.J. Burke had a fist fight in a bar. < No big surprise! > I had my share of fights in the bar in my lifetime. It's no big deal!!!
He pleaded guilty and that was that!
It was a minor offence and he moved on.
There’s another politician that I blogged on a few occasions < Many didn’t agree that I should blog it > and it was about Carl White.
He’s a councillor for the City of Saint John and the only case worker of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission in the Southern part of the Province.
I had a very strong case against Gulf Operators < Irving Company > This very racist company had a supervisor name Brian Grant.
He told his employees - If I owned this Empire? There would be no Niggers or Frogs working here. Why do the States have the Niggers and Canada have the Frogs? They had first choice!!!..ha.ha.ha...
I’m not sure but I believe this is pure RACISM!!!!
This very racial atmosphere lasted for months.
After my fall in with the Racists Management?
I decided to put a complaint with Carl White.
I won’t go into the details of the whole story.
Anyway, I was supposed to have the verdict from Carl White on a Friday but he wasn’t at work so I called the guy over his house.
Guess what? He hung up on me and told me not to phone his house again.
Well? Especially him at the time being the Deputy Mayor?
A black guy who supports Racism? Sorry but something is very fishy here?
Ok . . . I began asking around about Carl White and I soon found out there were more people from the Black Population who couldn’t stand the guy.
Then one day, I was told that he was convicted in a court of law.
The story is that he stole from Stresscom < Irving company >
So? A convicted thief as a politician and to make it worst? He’s the only individual who takes cases of human rights Cases in the Southern Part of the Province.
There has never been a Human Rights Complaint accepted against the Irvings!!! I wonder why? < I’ll let you make your own judgement >
Would you be comfortable having a convict thief serving as a Civil Servant and a politician?
How come the Irvings don’t cover Carl White?
Because he’s black????? Give me a break!
Just for the record? I’m not a big fan of T.J.Burke. I had my confrontations with the Native MLA and I believe that we have both learned to debate and move on.
The bottom line of this blog?
If the Irvings wish to act like the National Enquirer?
They should treat all politcians equally!!!!
Why did the Irvings go after T.J.Burke????
The Irvings used this section to go against their enemies
The sad part is that New Brunswickers are not allow to write back!
The Irving papers are moving towards the style of the National Enquirer and this is very scary stuff!!!!!!
There are considered to be four great failings of canadian government policy in Afghanistan . The first is the lack of attention to development; the second, Canada’s agreement to hand over insurgents to a country that openly practices torture (the US); the third, the government’s light stance toward Pakistan where insurgents routinely run for safety and training; and finally, the country’s endorsement of the countrys so-called ‘democracy’.
Relatively little development aid has been forthcoming and most of the ‘rebuiding’ effort has been in weapons and security. Crucial Afghan structures are regularly left unattended while the military’s official task of roaming throughout rural Afghanistan looking for Taliban and opium is conducted. This has left development up to non government organizations and former diplomats such as Rory Stewart, whose Turquoise Mountain Project attempts to provide jobs and a renewed sense of purpose to the Afghan people. Their tiny budget and success stories show just how much COULD be possible, if our attacking countries were more concerned with the Afghan people.
The press makes a big deal whenever ANY development is accomplished, to the point of celebrating individual schools. Of course there were always schools, and people quickly forget that the Taliban was not ‘ruler of the country’ but simply the more powerful sect in many of the populated areas. There were numerous areas of Afghanistan where they had no authority and schools were common.
Yet the popular media often even distorts the development itself. Much was made of the fact that increased funds were offered by Harper last spring in the laudible aim of building more wells in Kabul
Yet not mentioned was the fact that most of this water was intended for military use, and it was even being sold by the Canadian military to other forces in the country.
Second, is the policy of handing over 'suspected' insurgents to american forces without due regard to their ultimate safety. We know that the US has openly declared it uses torture and denies basic human rights. Not only at Guantanamo Bay, but last year it was discovered the CIA was using european airports as stopovers while delivering captured insurgents to countries friendly to the US where even more brutal torture is actively encouraged. What is also not mentioned is the general effect this witchhunt has on Afghanistan, where a person can simply point at somebody they don't like and have them 'disappeared'. Basic computer skills now mean that 'evidence' can quickly and easily be fabricated, and the consequences deadly.
That canadian soldiers who hand over such people to the US could very well later be charged with a war crime is not something that is often mentioned by those who 'support our troops' because it is never mentioned in the popular media. Virtually never is it acknowledged in the media that several air force pilots cannot travel safely in europe because any number of countries would arrest them and try them for crimes in the former Yugoslavia where air attacks destroyed numerous civilian structures including a chinese embassy. While the government officials who gleefully endorsed NATO's bombing can safely travel with impunity, once again it is the soldiers who 'just followed orders' who must pay the cost.
Another basic reality seldom mentioned is that while the US openly refused to sign and abide by the terms of the International Criminal Court, Canada is a signatory to that court, leading to a situation where in the future an american soldier guilty of odious acts in Afghanistan would walk away scot free, while a canadian soldier who was 'just following orders' and did something relatively minor could be tried by the international criminal court. If this were mentioned, perhaps some of those people who claim to be 'supporting the troops' would think twice about what exactly that means. People should be reminded that germans who did no more than guard prisoners or blow up infrastructure like dams and dykes which didn't even result in any injuries were summarily executed for 'crimes against humanity'. While it may be comforting to stand on the sidelines and say ‘that probably won’t happen’, as they say, ‘talking is easy, living is hard’.
Third is the Canadian government’s overt friendliness with the Pakistan government. While much is made of Afghani ‘democracy’, it is seldom mentioned that our main ally in the region, Pakistan, is essentially a military dictatorship and has been for quite some time. On occasion an election will be held, but if a trace of democracy opens up the country is quickly taken over again by the military. It is as corrupt a military as any other military dictatorship, and the abuses and atrocities that were carried out by the Taliban are easily found in Pakistan as well.
This is of central importance because Taliban and ‘actual’ terrorists easily find sanctuary in Pakistan, where US and Canadian military cannot follow. Essentially this operates as a home base, the ‘training ground’ that the Taliban used to be charged with fostering. Of course other home bases exist in that other ‘friendly’ Islamic republic of Saudi Arabia, a country which very much IS the ‘islamic-fascist’ state that many commentors claim we must go to war to get rid of (except in those cases).
Canada’s friendliness with Pakistan extends far further than simply tolerating them. Like China and Indonesia, Canadian companies openly operate within, and often encourage terrorism that helps their industry. And as usual, the Canadian government serves to accommodate its largest companies.
In this, the current government simply follows the policy of the former liberal government. So for example, the Canadian Investment Development Agency (CIDA), has heavily invested in Pakistan’s ‘Petroluem House’, in a story covered virtually nowhere in Canadian press, and isn’t even mentioned at the CIDA website (but is at Asiatimes). Canada’s corporate interests preclude any heavy handedness in dealing with suspected terrorists in Pakistan or the sanctuary they offer terrorists. Once again, it comes down to oil-and soldiers and Afghani's are the ones who suffer.
Finally, like in Pakistan, the Canadian government has a ‘hands off’ policy when it comes to internal Afghani matters. This is odd, considering that one of the frequently stated reasons for overthrowing the Taliban was its barbarity and disregard for human rights. Yet the atrocities continue to mount in the new government and previously banned tribal customs that essentially amount to human slavery are once again becoming more common, just as they were before the Taliban came into power, making many commentors claim that current NATO policies eerily mirror previous soviet policy. One interview with an Afghani government worker voiced the opinion succinctly that ‘at least the soviets built dams and bridges’.
The government itself can be described with no other words but a joke. In every political system it can easily be seen how manipulation and irregularities can make the claim ‘democratic’ seem far fetched. Much is made in the media about the ‘democratic elections’ and much is discussed as to how Afghani’s braved murder to run, and even to vote in order to engage in democracy. This is not unusual, it seems almost a given that people prefer democracy over the option, yet then we have problems with what exactly is meant by ‘democracy’, and are people being cheated with what WE think is democracy.’
In Afghanistan, people have no effective power over policy. Strangely enough, that beacon of US democracy, namely direct democracy, is never sought in cases where the US is building democracy in foreign lands. Canadian media had many grandiose articles about the contribution that Canada made to Afghanistans constitution. To the people there, however, this was not an accolade but an insult. As Canadians are well aware, Canadian democracy means putting an X next to a ballot and hoping for the best, then repeating the function in four years, typically choosing amongst parties that have very few dissimilarities in an archaic electoral system that essentially ensures that dissent is moot. In Canada, at least people can lobby and protest, yet in Afghanistan such actions can have you labelled a terrorist.
So Elections Canada gave Afghanistan its blessing for a ‘legitimate election’, missing one large caveat-that most of the people running were criminals. The parallel in Canada would be if we opened up our jails to all organized crime members and had our election with only them and a few others running. While the ‘form’ may be democratic, meaning we get to vote, the substance is far from democracy. This led to the current situation where 60% of the ‘People’s House’ is made up of the warlord’s that people supported the Taliban in order to overthrow.
That Afghanistan is a ‘democracy’ is an even more ludicrous proposition on closer inspection. Like Canada, Afghanistan has basically three levels of government with similar names. However, only the federal politicians are voted for. At the provincial level this would be the equivalent of having federal politicians ‘nominate’ who our provincial and municipal leaders are.
Even more problematic is that at the provincial level the constitution doesn’t even set out what that level of government is supposed to do. Unlike Canada, where provincial and federal jurisdictions are stated clearly (although frequently debated) nobody has any idea what provincial representatives are even supposed to do.
To make matters even worse, the situation deteriorates even further at the municipal level where no representatives exist at all. This has led to a reversal to tribalism, where once again we see grotesque violations of human rights, in particular when it comes to women. Those who use singular examples to identify Taliban barbarity would do well to find reliable sources on what is currently going on.
What this ultimately leads to is a largely centralized and completely illegitimate decision making body which makes any claim to democracy seem absurd. What this should necessitate is even more involvement by the UN and allied governments in ensuring that democracy means what the people of Afghanistan actually want. However, in the current climate, even voicing such dissent can have a person ‘disappeared’. Recently, the country’s only online newspaper was removed, even making claims of a semi-independent press absurd.
Currently, what gets out are military press releases and government party lines, which once again has eerie similarities to how the soviets operated. Stories are dumbed down to the point of ‘us good-them bad’ and critical analysis is rarely heard. The key difference is that in the soviet union people people knew full well what the party line was, however, because media ownership is tentatively separate from government, many in north America are under the impression that, as one media claim, reports are ‘fair and balanced’.
The ultimate tragedy in this is that policy, meaning what is actually done, is overlooked. This somewhat makes sense, since once again the reality is that even if Canadians pay close attention to what is do and isn’t, and what COULD be done and isn’t, they have no power over those who make the ultimate decisions anyway. The 'solutions' to those problems are clear. When you do something wrong-stop doing it. If it is REALLY wrong, then usually doing the opposite is the case. In the case of Afghanistan, the easiest thing to do is simply ask them, which is why in the mainstream media we almost never hear the voices most affected-Afghanis.
Currently, in order to survive Afghans have had to turn completely to opium. Yet here the added complexity has military barred from looking at who are considered the main trafficers of opium, Afghan officials and even the CIA, and looking for the poor individuals growing them out of desperation and survival.
Development, of course, means more than putting up KFC's and McDonald's stores. It is a basic moral imperative that if you destroy something, you are responsible for rebuilding it. Rebuilding Afghanistan does not involve hunting down terrorists. As Rory Stewart claims in his book "THe places in Between", when you are fighting terrorists, if you don't have the average citizens on your side, it is hopeless. Canada's current policy is to ignore Afghans and hunt down Taliban. That is the wrong policy, the correct one is to ACTUALLY do what governments claim they are doing in soundbytes, which is protect Afghan infrastructure and rebuild the country with Afghani's best interests in mind. That is not hard to do, as virtually all commentors who spend time in Afghanistan claim Afghani's are thrifty, kind, determined people. However, as many commentators claim, since the US and Canada themselves aren't run with their citizens best interests in mind, we can't expect that their actions in Afghanistan will be based on the best interests of Afghans.