I am sitting in my living room looking at the photos of my family on the piano and listening to the US election results come in on CBC radio on my iPad. One of my children and one of my grandchildren live in the US.
I have long been critical of the first-past-the-post electoral process and what happened on November 8th in the US reminds me vividly and viscerally how poor and unpredictable that antiquated system is and how farcical what we on both sides of the border call “democracy” has become.
However, my immediate, personal concern is about how vulnerable and scary things in neighbourhoods and on Main Street USA may become for the possibility of random acts of violent hostility caused by primitive emotions produced to no small degree by the shabby rhetoric and vaudeville displayed by both sides in this shameful, cynical contest.
Julian Assange has done courageous service in exposing how those controlling the world’s overwhelming superpower really have nothing but disdain for its average citizen and zero appreciation for those killed or maimed in the unfortunate places that they choose to manipulate. If I were a Syrian, Libyan, Afghan, Honduran, Salvadoran or any or any other tragic victim of decades of American hegemony, I might have been indifferent to this outcome.
But having two vulnerable, much-loved family members across the border…
Things predictably unpredictable are coming too quickly to a head.
On June 16, 2016 Maciej Cegłowski, one of four panelists on a seminar called The Moral Economy of Tech, startled his SASE audience of social economists with his ten minute contribution. It is worth taking the few minutes it takes to read. He reveals the scary extent to which our institutions gather a dangerous, gargantuan, indigestible amount of data on virtually every citizen.
Border customs agents are (Egad!) discussing asking travellers routinely for their social media links.
Cegłowski calls for a rethink of this invasive activity that governments and corporations do “just because we can” and muses about what could happen if extrajudicial murder by military or police drones were to become as commonplace in the First World as it is in an increasing number of US-strategic, Third World, places. And what place isn’t “strategic” for Barrack and Hillary these days?
One “tongue in cheek” photo to highlight America’s relentless military expansion:
The above courtesy of russia-insider.com
Cegłowski points out that many of these drone hits are simply based on circumstantial data collection from cell phone contact lists or social media interchanges that create some imprecise “probability” that a target, guilty or innocent, is in a house or a car or at a wedding:
Get into the wrong person’s car in Yemen, and you lose your life.
He concludes with this frightening statement about data collected for data’s sake:
What we’ve done as technologists is leave a loaded gun lying around, in the hopes that no one will ever pick it up and use it.
I’m getting tired of passing on this stuff like Jeremiah.
February 8, 2015: This post, begun almost seven months ago on August 13, 2014, has recently expanded because MH17 didn’t happen in a vacuum. Over the past 6-7 months since MH17 went down a mystery story has evolved for me. To properly illuminate and present this story, it was necessary to examine the events that led up to MH17 and ultimately spawned its horror.
Good Stuff’s Been Added:
At the top: this new. zippy outline
At the very bottom: A brief timeline listing the dramatic and violent events of the Euromaidan protests that culminated with, essentially, a coup d’état, forcing the elected government of Ukraine to resign, President Viktor Yanukovich to flee on February 21, Crimea to accede to Russia after a 90% referendum vote in March, and Donetsk and Lugansk to proclaim themselves independent peoples republics on April 7, 2014. I will build more data on these events as my seven-month study evolves.
Aware of the tragedy of MH17 and curious about the narrow, one-note Blame Russia Chorus my once-precious CBC and all Western media were singing, I first turned my focused and serious attention to the Ukraine in early August. My attention grew into this “research project.” I check social media daily and post a brief, descriptive comment that describes the gist of the article or event discussed in the embedded link. I try to limit new additions to new stuff that sheds more light.
The post’s scope has broadened from being mainly about MH17 to include the whole Ukraine-USA -EU-Russia situation that has been going on for over 15 months. MH17 would not have happened if the Ukraine hadn’t been destabilized eight months previously and, soon after, “blown up” politically by the USA and Europe in concert and competition with/against each other. It was a slam dunk that Russia would never allow its one warm water port in Crimea to be put in jeopardy by the creeping expansion of NATO and possible absorption of Ukraine into the E.U.
Ukraine is a big prize that American neocons and oligarchs from several nations have had in their sights for some years. For the USA, running the Ukraine is a way to encroach upon and destabilize Russia. Ukraine does also possess some natural gas and much prime farmland. The USA maneuvers have forced Russia’s hand in Crimea and caused, some say, as many as 50000 deaths.
Russia is a major key to the success of the combined nations of Eurasia. Look at a globe for just a moment and see the huge, contiguous, East-West land mass that is Eurasia. Then compare it to the Americas – a much smaller, climatically diverse, North-South land mass with a very long skinny part in the middle – and a relatively small fraction of the world’s population.
Europe’s Gambit Excites Affluent, Educated Western Ukrainians:
In 2013 Europe started to woo the incredibly corrupt, economic mess of Ukraine into economic association. A small amount of money was offered that President Viktor Yanukovich (no doubt with some mathematical coaching from Vladimir Putin) eventually figured out was not enough to be much help. Then the spectre of IMF austerity measures must have occurred to Yanukovich and he decided (15 months ago on November 21, 2013) to postpone signing the EU offer. At this point many well-to-do, pro-Europe Ukrainians in the western cities of Lvov and Kiev started peaceful protests, marching pleasantly behind huge, starry, EU flags. Babies, children and fashionable outfits were welcome.
Dissent in the East and Increasingly Violent Protests in Kiev’s “Euromaidan Square”:
Soon those humbler Ukrainians who did not like the rapprochement with Europe started turning out. Clashes occurred that eventually became extremely violent. The low point in Kiev was February 18, 2014, following three months of large protests that involved frequent violence upon protesters and some upon the police. The violence came at times from police, hotheads from both sides, Right Sector thugs, Svoboda Party Nazis and foreign “specialists,” the latter financed by powerful interests that include the USA and Ukrainian oligarchs. On February 18 over 100 people died. Snipers shot at and killed protestors and police. It is suspected by many that the snipers were foreign “specialists” hired to escalate the violence to such depths that Viktor Yanukovich would have to step down. On March 5 the Guardian wrote that a telephone conversation had been leaked in which EU High Commissioner, Catharine Ashton, was informed by the pro-West Estonian Foreign Minister that bullets found in police and in anti-Yanukovich protesters came from the same guns. This lends credibility to the above suspicion that the snipers, who quickly vanished, were indeed foreign “specialists.”
American Involvement – Opportunism or Deliberate “Mischief?”
Yanukovich declared February 22 and 23 as days of mourning – and fled. Was the USA foxily waiting for the stingy Europe-Ukraine deal to sour? Was the CIA criminally involved in the ousting of Yanukovich? In early February, two weeks or more before the one hundred died, Hillary Clinton had already begun pulling strings to handpick the Ukraine’s new president and cabinet. Clinton used the poetic Victoria Nuland. You will remember Nuland’s “Fuck the EU!” comment on the telephone to Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to the Ukraine. That gem was uploaded onto YouTube on Feb. 6. Nuland even went across the pond to hand out cookies to the Euromaidan revellers, whose pyrrhic victory has led to enormous financial woes, the loss of Crimea and horrific violence in Donetsk and Lugansk. The USA has spent billions preparing the Ukraine for this historic moment.
When one looks to attribute responsibility in a political crisis, the question, “Who benefits?” often provides clues. From the list of beneficiaries, Europe and the Ukraine can quickly be removed. Russia has been victimized without proof. The media have tried to humiliate Vladimir Putin using fiery headlines and put Russia under severe, crippling sanctions. Putin is a formidable leader of a large nuclear power. No, the spoils (good word for this), as of February 8, 2015, go to the USA. The neocons and oligarchs who control Obama want Putin gone. Their aim has been to put a weak puppet in charge of a shamed Russia, allow the oligarchs back in, and own, or neuter, Russia.
Then they will turn their eyes on, or “pivot to” Asia.
The Nuclear Clock Is Ticking; Experienced Hawks Are Critical:
The dangerous, high-stakes, neocon Ukraine/Russia plan could start WW III. The nuclear clock has recently been advanced to 3 minutes before midnight. We are back in the 1980’s, folks. Henry Kissinger has recently called the destabilization of the Ukraine “foolish.” Back in 1997, when Clinton started expanding NATO into former USSR satellites, George F. Kennan wrote in the New York Times that
expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American Policy in the entire post-cold war era.
MH17 Tragedy, some short questions with long answers:
On Purpose? Is it a false flag attempt, possibly with CIA help, involving a Ukrainian Buk missile, Ukrainian Air Traffic Control and/or Ukrainian fighter jets with the intent of enabling lethal sanctions to discredit, humble and remove a demonized Putin?
An accident? Is it a Buk missile error by the pro-Russia rebels, by a careless Ukrainian Buk unit or by a renegade, billionaire-financed unofficial army, such as the Nazi-oriented Azov Battalion?
Just some of the things that make this look really fishy:
the only proper evidence yet presented (Rostov radar evidence) points to the presence of Ukrainian fighter planes near MH17 when it went down. This evidence has not yet been proven false.
the USA reacted with immediate, categorical statements that Russia was guilty. Very quickly this changed to mere word-tricks and innuendo for the last six months.
the USA has never provided the satellite evidence it claims it has. If It pointed at Russia, they would be burying us repeatedly in it. So it probably points at the Ukraine.
Russia’s statement that an experimental satellite operated by the USA was in place over the area at the time when MH17 went down has not been denied by the USA
The Ukraine, early on, interfered with the ability of experts to view the site, forbidding people to go (“too dangerous”) and shelling the area with 2-metre deep holes for good measure
the Western media have presented none of the many alternatives to the “pro-Russian rebel” story
the Dutch investigations appear to be designed to prolong the crisis and thereby the sanctions
the Ukraine, admitted by the Dutch JIT to be possibly involved, has a veto over what the investigation(s) eventually publish. Ludicrous!
the Western media are stepping up the attacks on Putin – at least three CBC stories in the past week: Feb. 1 to 6, 2015!
the West has relied on websites like bellingcat.com and correct!v.org that collect suspect social media posts and weave very tangled webs of so-called proof whose stories keep changing. Correct!v.org is financed by millions of Euros that came from a fund started by a German billionaire. Both these investigative sites started in July 2014. Coincidence?
Ukraine security immediately confiscated all air traffic control recordings and has not released them.
Pro-Russia rebels properly presented, intact, the black boxes to Malaysian officials, who hastily handed them over to the “trustworthy” Brits. Still secret almost 7 months later!
Ukraine videos attempting to show pro-Rebel soldiers stealing from and disrespecting the victims were proven later to be falsely presented when the whole videos found were presented in context by Russian media. Damage to public opinion conveniently done, Western MSM ignored this.
Comments on signs of “very strong machine gun fire” and “no missile evidence noticed by me” made by Canadian-Ukrainian OSCE spokesperson, Michael Bociurkiw, a first responder. It was a precious minute and a half when aired on a CBC interview with Susan Ormiston in late July. I guess the kaka hit the fan at some point; to my knowledge, though parts of that program have been aired again, I have not seen this tiny, important segment.
There is intense competition between:
the current geopolitical primate, the United States (with Israel, Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Australia (the “West”) and
the emerging power base: the huge and geographically contiguous supercontinent of Eurasia that has been recently flexing its muscles in the areas of finance and in how oil will be traded. Eurasia has developed an increasing politico-economic involvement in resource-rich Africa. As scarcities appear, Africa will be something to war over. Again, the poor will suffer. In places like Nigeria there is already desperation over the stuff that comes with the ‘Black gold.”
For my detailed list of findings and links simply, as I said before, go HERE.