This is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans’ Day in the States. If you’ve never seen the Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge, it is an enormous, beautiful, monument that pays tribute to the courage of the Canadian and allied soldiers who died there 100 years ago in and around deep trenches fighting the Imperial German Army. I visited it in 2009 and took the above photo. Then, it was about “never again.” Now we have politicians using Vimy to glorify Canada’s coming of age. Having “come of age,” Canadian troops are part of a super-aggressive NATO in – wait for it – Latvia. Latvia, for Pete’s sake! ‘Nuff said here. I digress.
Anyway, this post is about a song I wrote in 1983, when I learned that the Russians had so many ICBM missiles pointed at them so close that a Russian human could never respond to an American first strike in time to retaliate.
Vulnerable because of this proximity, Russia was forced to develop a computerized “launch on warning” system that would virtually, for them, take the decision out of human hands. Very scary…
So, to “save the world” like Arlo Guthrie, I wrote this country blues song called Radiatin’ A-bomb Blues and started contacting publishers. In those days we mailed them cassettes…
In 1984 this light-hearted song was pitched by Mark Altman of Morning Music to Doc Watson for his Sugar Hill blues project, but it was heard too late to be considered. I performed it also live on the CBC’s Metro Morning radio program and was interviewed by its host Joe Coté, one of my all-time favourite CBC Radio people.
Then by 1991, the Cold War over, the Doomsday Clock had been moved back to 17 minutes before midnight.
I stopped singing this song, and look whats happened since!
Its now two and one half minutes to midnight, just 30 measly seconds farther than the closest it’s ever been!
So here is my 1983 song, which I sang again on Thursday. I asked the audience to sing the chorus with me and they DID. One of my listeners reminded me that Arlo said “If you want to end war and stuff, you gotta sing LOUD.”
So it would be lovely if, while you’re listening to my song you can sing along as loud on the chorus as you can:
I love going back to my 1960 giant, two-volume edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. I picked it up at an auction in 1972. We were mainly there to get inexpensive furnishings for our apartment in Toronto, having just moved here from Cheshire, U.K. Check out the hand-drawn illustration that shows fascism’s Latin root to mean bundle!
Italy seemed to coin the term, fascism; it first appeared with the arrival of Mussolini’s fascisti on the world scene in 1919. A crazy fact: for Mussolini, fascism was a good word. Nazi Germany and Franco’s Falangists were later included in this list of despicable regimes. In 2017 we carelessly throw the word around at anyone we do not like.
Fascism’s Common features in 1960:
One party dictatorship
Forcible suppression of the opposition (unions, other groups)
Private, centralized control of the means of production
Liberal use of wars
By presenting the above list of six characteristics, Webster’s definition made “fascism” a very specific term.
I think that France’s Front National (FN), led by Marine Le Pen qualifies for only two of the above six: nationalism and, particularly hateful for someone like me, married to a black woman, racism.
The FN does not propose forcible suppression of, for example, trade unions. In fact, it seems to be in favour of the little citizen with, until recently, a fervent, detestable preference for little white citizens.
Not many governments on this planet today, including France, could claim national control/ownership of their own means of production.
It increasingly appears that the US, facing eventual economic decline, is desperate to consolidate its One Superpower Forever role, no matter what misery has to be inflicted on the rest of the world to do it.
Trade Deals, such as the TPP, with Investor-State Dispute Settlement Agreements (ISDS agreements) that allow corporations to sue governments, are one aspect of the American hegemony’s struggle. These have been encountering some difficulty in being ratified. And Donald Trump has threatened to tear up NAFTA, a trade agreement that already favours the U.S.A. over Canada. NAFTA’s ISDS agreement section is Chapter 11. Google that to see that the U.S.A. has never lost one of these dispute settlements.
World-Wide Military Goals:
There are three main military aspects to the ugly struggle to stay on top:
NATO: This European military tool, NATO, disguised as an international alliance of willing, like-minded states.
Levant: In their exploitation of the Levant the US partners with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and jihadists it arms.
Its Pivot to Asia, which I will not address here.
Uncle Sam seems to me to be preparing for all-out war to consolidate its hold on the planet. I shall discuss NATO first.
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.
The following two paragraphs are quoted from a New York Times tribute to George F. Kennan on March 18, 2005. Kennan, who died at 101 in 2005, was a major architect of the Cold War. He was no friend of Russia and was hard-nosed about waging political warfare with the USSR, but had a healthy respect for the importance of avoiding unnecessary, stupid conflict with that powerful political adversary.
“In February 1997, Mr. Kennan wrote on The New York Times’s Op-Ed page that the Clinton administration’s decision to back an enlargement of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to bring it to the borders of Russia was a terrible mistake. He wrote that
expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era.
Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking,” he wrote. His views, shared by a broad range of policy experts, did not prevail.”
That was waaayyy back in 1997. What we see now is the U.S. and the E.U. playing serious “chicken” games with/against each other and Vladimir Putin in a dangerously destabilizing game of craps for the Ukraine. Forcing a bear into a corner is never a smart move.
A Ukrainian-Canadian monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who arrived at the scene while the MH17 plane’s wreckage was still smoking and stayed to help organize, described evidence of seeming machine gun fire and none of a ground-to-air missile attack.
He did so in a CBC interview with Susan Ormiston aired July 29. Ormiston asked him directly about evidence of a missile attack. Michael Bociurkiw’s response lasts from 6:01 t0 6:40 in this 8-minute video. I quote his response verbatim:
There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pock marked. It almost looks like machine gun fire – very very strong machine gun fire that has left these unique marks that we haven’t seen anywhere else. We’ve also been asked for example, have we seen any examples of missile – well, no we haven’t. That’s the answer. And even if it was there we don’t have those trained eyes to pick that up…
Judging by the way the video was edited, Ormiston’s crew were interested in continuing to present this horrible tragedy in a way that would cause public outrage and continue to fuel the fires of hatred of Putin’s Russia. Shoes, childrens’ books, toys, notes-to-self, travel guides etc. etc…. This they probably succeeded in achieving.
Ironically, however, the video also shows – in the short statement by Michael Bociurkiw on “machine gun” evidence – that there may be some truth to the theory that MH17 was brought down by one or two Ukrainian fighter jets.
Here’s a YouTube link to an old song of mine: Radiatin’ A-Bomb Blues – a crazy upbeat sort of blues piece that expresses the potential result of a really scary cold-war period we went through in the late 1980’s when the nuclear Doomsday Clock got perilously close to midnight, due to a game of nuclear chicken being played out between the, then two, nuclear superpowers.
Russia – closely surrounded by American nuclear missiles pointed at its major targets – astutely realized that no merely human Russian premier could decide quickly enough whether it was under attack in time to launch a counter-attack. So its boffins invented a computer-driven system that would quickly analyze radar results and launch a huge retaliatory strike at US and NATO targets if this non-human apparatus decided it was warranted. This system was dubbed “launch on warning.” Human judgement became a non-factor.
Pretty wacko scary on both sides, I thought, so I wrote the above song and immediately felt a whole lot better 😉
I will also post this on my My Songspage. Finding appropriate pictures to accompany my songs is the main holdup to posting the rest of them. I’m too parsimonious to opt for the WordPress upgrade.
Any suggestions on how to easily find photos that aren’t encumbered by restrictions on use?