Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Crapaganda, torture and a Department of Peace

The incomparable Bill Blum in his latest Anti-Empire report has blasted the last U.S. administration's use of torture and the present administration's unwillingness to do anything about it.

Bless you, Mr. Blum.

"When George W. Bush said 'The United States does not torture', everyone now knows it was crapaganda. And when Barack Obama, a month into his presidency, said "The United States does not torture', it likewise had all the credibility of a 19th century treaty between the US government and the American Indians...."

"...[I] could really feel sorry for Barack Obama — for his administration is plagued and handicapped by a major recession not of his making — if he had a vision that was thus being thwarted. But he has no vision — not any kind of systemic remaking of the economy, producing a more equitable and more honest society; nor a world at peace, beginning with ending America's perennial wars; no vision of the fantastic things that could be done with the trillions of dollars that would be saved by putting an end to war without end; nor a vision of a world totally rid of torture; nor an America with national health insurance; nor an environment free of capitalist subversion; nor a campaign to control world population ... he just looks for what will offend the fewest people. He's a "whatever works" kind of guy. And he wants to be president. But what we need and crave is a leader of vision."

Our only alternative to the objectional Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of this country seems to be someone else with no particular stand on anything.

Linda McQuaig has a few suggestions for him. He'd win in a landslide if he actually adopted these policies and carried them out. It's what Canadians want, after all.

But I'm a "dreamer...nothing but a dreamer...".

A peace plank for Ignatieff

"...[P]rime Minister Stephen Harper stands for many things, mostly unpleasant, like trashing struggling artists and allowing unlicensed gun owners to roam the nation. But Ignatieff has avoided positioning himself, excepting of course his earlier endorsement of the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- for which the freshly crowned Liberal leader has been trying to elegantly extricate his foot from his mouth for some time."

"...[W]hy has one sector -- the war sector -- been given a commitment of 20 years of spending increases, while so many other vital sectors will be facing cuts, Ignatieff could ask daily in the Commons."

"And he'd have Canadians onside. A poll commissioned by the finance department before last year's budget showed that Canadians ranked increased military spending as their very last spending priority among 18 possible options. (This explains why Harper chose to announce his "Canada First Defence Strategy" plan on a government website during the slow-news time slot of 4 a.m.)"

"...[A] decision by Ignatieff to challenge the Conservative drift toward militarism would do the country -- and the world -- a service, while also making him seem less of an empty vessel."

No comments:

Post a Comment