The past few months have been for me some of the most depressing, politically speaking, that I have ever experienced. I can't say that I was surprised by any means that Harper and his Cabal decided that, in the face of abject failure in almost every realm of their political and economic agenda, war was their adopted reelection strategy. Let's face it after ten years of outrageous political corruption and a fundamentally failed economic approach, the HarperCons had little else to go on. War has always been the go to strategy of tyrants and demagogues. Harper has come to personify all of the things that he once claimed to despise politically and economically, except for the favourite fall-back strategy of rightwingers everywhere - war and violence. Harper and his Conmen have always been big advocates of war and violence. While condemning any violent or military effort of any state or group with whom they don't sympathize, they praise the same types of violence if it is committed by an ally. They have always blindly supported the illegal violent expansionism and de facto 'state-terrorism' of Israel, while condemning even the mildest efforts of the Palestinians to defend themselves. With the US, they spend years trying to isolate Russia, never once treating Russia's geo-political concerns in Eastern Europe seriously, and then supported an illegal coup in Ukraine without missing a heartbeat. They bend over backward to please the tyrannical Chinese government, which is arguably (in raw numbers) the most violent and oppressive regime in the world toward its own people. They are glad to throw the constitution in the trash and eliminate almost all of our rights after the death of two white men, but systematic violence and the disappearance of over a thousand aboriginal women goes almost unnoticed. It is clear that the Harper regime embraces violence whenever it is committed in their perceived interest, but condemns it whenever it is it isn't.
All of this doesn't surprise me because I have been a careful observer of tyrants. I suppose that I haven't even been surprised by Harper's adoption of that other favourite strategy of fascists and demagogues - racial scapegoating. A central part of the continuous war strategy of tyrants has always been demonizing the 'other,' and that 'other' is often a racalized group. And the demonization of Islam has been a strategy of Western leaders for over a thousand years. It is entirely predictable that Harper and the Conmen would use 'scary' images of so-called Jihadists to raise money and attempt to scare the Canadian people into supporting them. Like all tyrants Harper likes and has now come to rely on the violence of the 'other' to feed the fear of the people, so he can then try to place himself in the role of the strong, saviour of the nation.
But as cynical and jaded as I am, it has still come as a sad surprise to me how easy and quick it has been to con Canadians into buying the strategy of war and racism. It should be obvious to anyone who even vaguely pays attention that the Western strategy in the Middle East has never been to promote democracy and good governance, but rather to create chaos and give rise to group such as ISIS specifically so that they can promote an extension of the strategy of permanent war. It is a typical provocateur approach that tyrants have engaged in for centuries; promote chaos and war so that you can use that chaos and war to extend and maintain your own military and domestic power. But despite living with the memory of the war in Indochina, and the incredible mess that the war in Iraq wrought, people are once again eating up this strategy like kittens at a bowl of cream. This, I must say, has surprised me and sadden be beyond measure. The great Bertram Russell wrote in his autobiography that before the First World War he thought that money was the thing people loved the most, and after the war he realized that killing others was what they liked above all else. I am beginning to agree with him.