Tuesday, March 10, 2015

War and Racism - The Timeless Strategy of Tyrants like Harper. . . .

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.

10 comments:

Owen Gray said...

It's been depressing, Kirby, to see how easily Harper has been able to con Canadians.

Lorne said...

I fear that your sober assessment of things is only too accurate, Kirby. Like you and Owen, I have grown very pessimistic, given the gullibility and/or indifference of my fellow Canadians to what is being done in our name. But the good fight has to continue. To do anything less is to cede victory to the tyrant.

doconnor said...

I fear you are falling into the same trap when you dismiss a popular revolution as an "illegal coup". Just because it was supported by the US doesn't make it bad. I fear you are falling for Russian propaganda because it fits your preconceptions.

Would you dismiss the revolutions that over through the Eastern European "Communist" regimes as illegal coups?

Kirby Evans said...

I think not doconner. It is a subject I know a lot about. To compare it to the revolutions against the Soviet regime suggest you are deeply deeply deeply misinformed.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Kirby, Harpers is a calculated tyranny with the goal of turning Canada into a dictatorship and he it's dictator. How many times in history have dictators been stopped before they took full control over their country? Very few. It is very disturbing to see so much apathy to Harpers authoritarian agenda.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's curious how Harper & Co. have gone so bellicose even as he cuts defence spending to just 1% GDP at the same time as all branches of the military face crippling equipment shortages. The navy has not been so feeble since well prior to WWII. Our CF-18s are getting very long in the tooth. Much of the army's kit is worn out from a decade in Afghanistan.

You're right. It's abjectly depressing.

doconnor said...

I don't know. There is a difference, if only of degrees, between implementing policies and making statements to improve one's chances of winning the next election and ruling through a reign of terror.

Harper is no Kim Jong-un. He isn't even a Putin.

Feel free to enlighten me on the Ukraine.

Kirby Evans said...

I have no illusions about the fascism of Putin (but neither do I have any illusions about Western fascism either). However, I don't let my negative feelings about Russia, which is a country largely run by a large organized crime ring, cloud my judgement about what happened in the Ukraine. We can argue ad nauseam about what has happened regarding Russian vs Western relations over the past twenty years. I would say that the West, as it has done so many times else where, gradually drove Russia toward fascism by failing utterly to treat its problems and geo-political concerns seriously. The West is equally responsible for the rise of Putin as Russian's are themselves. The West's recalcitrance continually drives Russian opinion toward Putin's agenda. The West has done this countless other time and I have been in situ more than once to see it. You might disagree with this and we could argue and discuss. However, there is no argument about what happened in Ukraine. Yanukovych was a duly elected president who was overthrown in a Western supported coup (the kind of coup that the West has supported countless times like that in Chile or Guatemala). You may not like it but Yanukovych was arguably a more legitimate President than our own Prime Minister. You might support the coup, but a coup it was, and a huge number to international lawyers and representatives in the UN have correctly characterized it as such. Now, again we can argue about the degree to which this coup should bother Russia but given Ukraine's support for HItler and the loses that Russia suffered during the war, it should come as no surprise that Russian's are made significantly nervous by a coup that involved a shocking number of extreme rightwing nationalists. A similar coup took place in Egypt, overthrowing a democratically elected government that the West largely didn't like, and almost no leader in the West called it a coup. But, again, a coup it was. Pure and simple. If these exact same events took place against a government that was a Western ally, we would never hear the end of the Harpercons telling us it was a terrible coup.

Of course, fascism is a matter of degrees, but that is not, in itself, an insight. I direct you to Bertram Gross's book (written as far back as 1980) "Friendly Fascism" in which he illustrates by degrees how Western countries gradually fall into a new form of (difficult to recognize) kind of fascism. It is the proverbial frog in the heating water. Just because it is happening slowly and is difficult to quantify year by year, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Of course Harper isn't Kim Jong-un. That is the whole point. If he were it wouldn't work. Instead he is gradually making the various arms of the State into arms of the Conservative Party, and at the same time changing the systems of oversight so that he is de facto legalizing election fraud. Harper is essentially doing what Yelstin did in Russia during the 90s - gradually weakening the democratic process and strengthening the power of the government and police to do the bidding of the government unchecked.

janfromthebruce said...

excellent post Kirby.

the salamander said...

.. the political end is nigh for Private Stephen Harper..
In a stroke of brilliance he will leave a pudding head behind, to ascend as leader of the Base.. ruler of the toxic PMO, inheritor of the tattered Senate.. and quite likely as either PM of a scandalized minority goverment or leader of the official opposition.

Harper himself will take his tiny retinue of Ray Novak & likely Jenni Byrne, off to London, then Geneva. He will affect Roosevelt style spectacles and begin wha he thinks is a tastful amount of receding hair helmet.. ah yes, he will bring his wig manager along.

Harper has used his majority as a personal diving board to some vague notion that he is or will be a 'statesman' .. Think of that for a second or two. Harper is kind of like a Mitt Romney without the fabulous wealth, but got elected to ruin a country inch by inch.

The mainstream media is already taking bites out of the Harper Party.. and it is going to get worse. The conceit of the entire cabal is staggering.. matched only by their ignorance. Look at how that cabinet shuffle is working out. The In/Out buffoon Blaney is frightening the population. Inexperienced Jason Kenny is now tweeting and blathering via Facebook on combat and the mystical Front.. while continuing to pretend he's still in charge of Immigration.

the times they are a changin .. and the black swans continue to follow Stephen Harper.. He can't cover up everything or plug all the leaks or stop the defections. The plague ship HMS Harper is pinned against a lee shore.. and the coming election will be his greatest charade