By Jim Miles
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper was elected to a minority government in 2006. Since then he has done his best to set up what could be considered a Republican government for the state of Canada. Except that Canada is not a state of the United States (just a weak willed wimpy ally) nor are there any Republican parties in Canada. Stephen Harper however is as close as it gets.
One of the signs is the economy. The current conservative government has applauded itself many times for the stability of the Canadian banking system in face of the world economic decline. Fortunately for Canada, Harper has only had a minority government, otherwise deregulation as per the U.S. style of handling its finances could have been introduced well before the bubble burst. Canada only looks good because the conservatives did not have the power to implement its U.S. model of finance liberalization.
Harper followed the U.S. lead in giving out large sums of money for infrastructure projects, many of which had already been announced ahead of the budget, many of which had already been finished (if the many road signs bragging about moving Canada forward by building infrastructure are any indication), and most of the money made its way into corporate pockets rather than the pockets of the average consumer. I would hazard to surmise that the deficit thus created serves the same purpose as that in the U.S. and Greece: to help limit or eliminate government pension funds and funding of health and welfare structures. We will be told that with the current huge deficit that we should all tighten our belts and the government must do the same, yet the poor corporations receive nothing but government largesse following the same track as our U.S. neighbours.
Harper has two degrees in economics, a sign in my mind for certain that he does not know what he is talking about, as economists generally are versed only in idealistic theories within falsely created models and falsely contrived mathematics of market perfection.
Another sign is the environment. Harper and his colleagues have been extremely weak on environmental issues, preferring not to use the principle of scientific uncertainty, but the deniers principle of no action without absolute proof. Even with the current BP disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, the Harper government has recently put forward a law that allows corporations drilling in the Arctic to not have to drill a secondary ‘rescue’ well in case of an accident as was in the books up until now. Imagine an oil spill as deep as the Gulf of Mexico but under winter pack ice and howling blizzards….
The Real Right Turn…Israel
All that I can live with as the finance system will follow its own irrational convolutions and unexpected turns and twist whether Canadian banks are more or less highly regulated. I can also live with the environmental disaster of a massive oil leak in the Arctic as mother nature will soon straighten us all out on that account.
What I cannot abide by is the Harper government’s unequivocal support given to Israel and its occupation of Palestine, its denial of the democratic election of Hamas, its support of the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, and its support of Israeli war crimes in Gaza and its subsequent dismissal of the Goldstone report. The Palestinian voice is being eliminated in Canada as the government and media pay fawning attention to Mr. Netanyahu’s current visit in order to “reaffirm our countries’ strong relationship.”
Harper denied funding support to the Palestinians after the most democratic elections that have ever been held in the Middle East in recent times, decrying them as terrorists’ who do not deserve our support. He denies or ignores how the ‘terrorists’ in South Africa and Ireland were incorporated into the peaceful functioning of government, and how the Afghani government is wisely asking to contact and incorporate the Taliban in talks, along with the U.S. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has demonstrated a clear pragmatic trend as it has successfully entered the public arena as a political power.
To accept that the military actions in Lebanon and Gaza are defensive retaliations is to live in a world of denial as to the reality of Israeli military goals that are part and parcel of the whole historical Israeli/Zionist ideal of ethnically cleansing Palestine of its indigenous population. Harper’s fundamentalist religious background, although never exposed to the Canadian public, are well in line with similar views in the U.S. of the imminent return of Jesus and the coming apocalypse, views that tie in well with supporting the Israeli control of Palestine.
Here We Go again – Netanyahu in Canada
Netanyahu visited Canada in 2002, just as the U.S. was priming the pump for the illegal invasion of Iraq under many false pretences. Now the U.S. is priming the pump for another illegal attack this time on Iran – after many years of illegal threats of attack – because of its refusal to do as the U.S. wishes in relation to its nuclear industry and because Israel needs an enemy to focus the world’s attention on in order to keep alive the myth of a people suffering under the threat of elimination by the surrounding Arabs and Muslim terrorists.
Within that there is no recognition of Israel’s overwhelming military power and its several hundred atomic/thermonuclear weapons that could incinerate most of the Middle East. Nor is there recognition that Iran is working within the intent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT), unlike the U.S. itself which has only paid lip service to reducing its nuclear armaments, and has helped India and Pakistan create and augment there systems, both outside the NPT. Nor is there recognition that the U.S. has given billions of dollars and military weaponry to the Israelis over its entire existence, partly in short-sighted support of the Jewish vote in key areas of the U.S. electoral ridings, but also in its hegemonic quest to contain Russia, China, and the energy resources of the Middle East.
Here we go again against another ‘belligerent’ nation not obeying the commands of the U.S. and its compatriot in arms Israel. The rhetoric against Iran continues to mount, as the U.S. really only sees one end game – the military. Israel continues its obfuscation on all issues that oppose its eventual goal of the complete take-over of Palestinian territory, hiding behind the smoke screen of terrorism, Iranian nuclear weapons, and the media denial of Israeli international crimes against the Palestinians and Lebanese. Harper’s fundamentalist beliefs make Netanyahu’s visit a natural follow up to the verbal support provided by the Canadian government.
Netanyahu in Canada,
“is looking to Canada for validation and confirmation regarding the threat posed by Iran,” said Moshe Ronen, chairman of the Canada-Israel Committee. “He wants and needs Canada to articulate a view that Iran represents the most dangerous threat to global security and that the international community cannot allow itself to be distracted from addressing the threat it represents.”
Iran is a minimal threat to global security. It is years away from making a nuclear weapon, is years away from having a delivery system, is decades away from having enough force to even consider doing anything with such a weapon, other than to have it serve as a deterrent against other countries threats and aggressions, ranging from Pakistan through Iraq and on to Israel and the U.S. Iran has never attacked another country, although its foolish prolongation of the war with Iraq gained no sympathy. Iran has been the subject of ongoing U.S., Soviet, and British manipulation throughout the last century.
Little wonder Iran is seeking a nuclear back up that might help thwart anymore interference in its affairs. For all the ‘devilish’ rhetoric from the ayatollah’s (not too dissimilar to the rhetoric from the U.S.) Iran has been very pragmatic in its relations with other countries including Israel and the U.S. (aiding them both and receiving aid from both during critical times in the Iran-Iraq war and the current ‘war on terror’) It is no more a threat than Canada is. I would argue that Canada is more of a threat as its support of Israeli and U.S. actions in the Middle East make it complicit of the same war crimes that they perpetuate.
Yes, we are being distracted – distracted from the horrible record of Israeli international crimes in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and perhaps soon in Iran. The international community – except for Canada seemingly, oh yeah, I forgot the OECD, okay the community and not the elites – are less and less distracted from the international crimes perpetrated by Israel on the Palestinian people. That is the real threat to Israel, that it is finally being seen for the non-democratic militarized society that it is, without respect for other people and other religions (including ironically Harper’s Christianity).
Iran is the Distraction – Israel is the Issue
The real threat is Israeli military power and occupation of the Palestinian homeland and its overwhelming military predominance. The real threat is the U.S. drive to hegemonic power, not as boldly stated with the neocons, but still alive and well in U.S. security endeavours, and the U.S. desire to be the unilateral boss of the world. The real threat is the U.S. unequivocal support of Israel in order to gain a few votes and keep the military industry alive and well. The real threat is not Iran and Netanyahu well knows that. The real threat is the world discovering belatedly the true intentions of the Zionists and their desire for an ethnically clean homeland, and the willingness to get there using any means possible.
Netanyahu knows well that he can control the U.S. political scene and is now working on controlling the Canadian political scene. The next few days will see how well he can do that within the Canadian government and media.
– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.