Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Respecting “Rules of War” in Societal Battles: Science, Sex and Hate Speech

By Denis Rancourt | Dissident Voice | November 8, 2016

Summary: I argue that in the many societal battles that serve to repair continually arising unjust features of the societal hierarchy, individuals must respect two fundamental “rules of war”: (1) Not to violate the natural right of individual self-determination (control over one’s body and mind) and (2) not to violate the natural right of individual free expression (control over one’s expression and attempts to have societal influence by expression). This centrally includes not allowing the state and its institutions to violate the said rights. My main example is drawn from the current society-wide battle around sexual identity and the language of sexual identity.

In a recent TV-Ontario debate1, Dr. Nicholas Matte of the University of Toronto emphatically stated: “Cis normativity is basically that everyone assumes that there is male and female […] It’s not my view, I just know that for over 50 years scientists have shown that that’s not true.” The debate is one where the university is trying to suppress another professor’s right of free expression. In this case, the professor (Jordan Peterson) wants to express and debate on campus that he will not be forced to use gender-neutral pronouns.

Dr. Matte has not responded to my written request for clarification about the alleged scientific consensus that there is no male and female in the human species. I read Dr. Matte’s 2014 PhD thesis2 to seek clarification, and then I did my own examination of the scientific literature about sex differences in humans, including influential books and essays about the “fluidity” of sex and gender.

Leaving questions of self-identity aside, which are largely cultural, it appears that the idea that there is no binary male/female sex divide in humans is simply a vast overstatement of the fact that many other things also occur in the genital and metabolic physiology of a minority of individuals.

Irrespective of the genetic, metabolic, biological and environmental circumstances in which a minority of individuals cannot unambiguously be attributed with a physiological sex that is unambiguously either male or female, there is without a doubt a male/female binary in humans, across time (history) and space (locality), where the male or female sexes correspond to distinct sets or groupings of physiological differences.

Variability in the said physiological differences, and border uncertainty about which physiological attributes contribute to resolving sex, are not valid reasons to deny that there is a clear male/female bimodal distribution of a (variable) set of (variable) physiological attributes, fundamentally linked to natural reproduction.

That environmental factors — including culture and the violence or authoritativeness of the local social dominance hierarchy — affect both natural reproduction and the said set of sex-differentiating physiological attributes does nothing to invalidate the sex binary in human society.

Widespread male/female division is consistent with the reproductive function being distributed in the human species, or at least having the intrinsic possibility of being distributed. Such distribution across classes occurs and is hormonally driven, in societies and cultures in which the dominance hierarchy does not strictly interfere with reproduction in classes of individuals.

Likewise, admitting that, in a distant (dystopic?) future, social hierarchy could result in classes or large populations that are deprived of natural reproduction, or could result in dominance-hierarchy stress dramatically affecting biological expression of sex3, does nothing to invalidate the conclusion of the reality of a dominant male/female binary in present societies. Glimpses of that distant future are visible in present Western societies, such as the fertility problems related to delayed child-bearing, the economic and cultural pressures away from reproduction and family focus and towards models of individual liberation and institutional child-rearing, etc., but these glimpses do not allow one to extrapolate towards an imminent sexless society.

One cannot deny the societal battle for institutional and political territory between traditional “family value” folks and the folks who wish to thrive in a more societally engineered and politically correct “just” environment where natural reproduction and family economic organization take a second place to individual liberation free from criticism and worldview threats. However, denying the reality of the male/female binary does nothing to help anyone see more clearly in the said societal battle.

Individuals must have both self-determination and free expression rights. Despite all the legalistic hubris, these rights are not contradictory. Both self-determination and free expression are methods for shaping society in the inevitable battles that must occur. They are not “values”. Neither right should be suppressed as part of a machination intended to seek advantage, for a given side in a given battle.

All sides should recognize the two fundamental rights of self-determination and free expression as nonnegotiable and not in opposition, and as necessary for the constant adjustments and struggles in society. There needs to be this “rule of war”. Otherwise, both clarity and sanity are lost, and all players become more vulnerable to hierarchical oppression. There is no right not to be offended. There are natural rights of participation, self-determination, and free expression.

Attempting to deny opponents their fundamental right of self-determination (self-definition, body ownership, beliefs, and control over one’s entire person) or of free expression (not hierarchical power but individual free expression, motivated by a desire to influence society or simply to express whatever thought or emotion) is no way to have a decent and healthy societal conflict. In common language, such tactics of denying rights are “fucked up”. The said tactics are societally pathological and always serve those elements in society seeking steeper and broader hierarchical domination, even at the risk of approaching or increasing totalitarianism. The said tactics are both induced by and a positive feedback towards totalitarianism.

Individual expression of disapproval for personal choices or preferences or beliefs, however offensive or vehement, is not suppression of the individual right of self-determination. Only actual (institutional or mob) physical oppression is oppression. Apartheid and segregation laws are oppression. Economic barriers are oppression. Institutionalized exploitative class structures are oppression. Class targeting enforced by the “justice” system against personal consumer or other choices is oppression. Individual expression seeking influence is not oppression. Attempts to make unorthodox life choices are not oppression. Political organizing around common beliefs or desires is not oppression. Oppression occurs when a societal structure uses effective physical force (withdrawal of resources or freedoms) to obtain compliance against individual rights.

The “hate speech” screaming and criminalizing must stop. And the hysteric phobias about individual choices, beliefs, and politics, must be prevented from materializing into state suppression. Already materialized oppressive structures must be dismantled. Our “rules of war”, as individuals in the always changing society, must include both self-determination and free expression, and these rules must be protected beyond all else, as though we were protecting humanity itself. Otherwise, Western states show little restraint in violating these rights4.

To be specific, the exaggerations a la Matte are politically motivated. I think the new “justice warriors” are fighting for territory within academia. What better way than to represent oppressed groups? How dare anyone question the keepers of the new territories, given the enormous suffering that the appropriated victims have endured throughout history (The Holocaust Industry model is a proven method).5 Anyone who questions the new priests is a racist, sexist, etc. Political correctness, like “critical race theory”, is born from the new breed of academics who expressly use oppressed groups as their dominant raison d’être, rather than expressly allege “truth seeking”. Consequently, there is no place or utility for outside criticism. Resulting rampant and predictable intellectual insecurity among followers leads to shrill accusations of “hate”, in place of debate.

The campus battles have little to do with actually alleviating oppression of the lower classes, and much to do with the classic manoeuvres to gain professional status and disciplinal territory. Virtually all academics are service intellectuals that act as overseers, collaborators, and house negroes6,7. This includes the most strident institutional defenders of social justice, who train society’s social justice cadre. That cadre includes foundation-funded Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizations. In the words of Black Panther Elaine Brown, in speaking about BLM tactics: “This to me is a plantation mentality. It smacks of ‘master, if you would just treat me right’. And it has nothing to do with self-determination, empowerment and a sense of justice, or anything else.”8

Are Elaine Brown’s words hate speech? Would they be hate speech if spoken by a white academic? Is Elaine Brown racist? Would she be racist if she was white? We must all reject the harmful notion that state-enforced speech control is acceptable, and we must all reject state-condoned forceful violations against individual self-determination. The way forward is to organize and argue, without ever allowing the state to forcefully violate fundamental freedoms of our opponents or anyone.

If I had my way, no public washrooms would segregate the sexes, starting in schools. People should live together and not be segregated by the state. Agree or disagree but don’t ask the state to remove the rights of those who are different or have different opinions and seek societal influence.

  1. Genders, Rights and Freedom of Speech”, The Agenda, TV-Ontario, 2016-10-26.
  2. Nicholas Matte, Historicizing Liberal American Transnormativities: Medicine, Media, Activism, 1960-1990. 2014 PhD thesis, University of Toronto.
  3. Stress from dominance hierarchy is the dominant determinant of individual health, and is known to cause large metabolic responses. See, for example: Robert M. Sapolsky, “The Influence of Social Hierarchy on Primate Health”, Science, 29 Apr 2005: Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 648-652. DOI: 10.1126/science.1106477
  4. One example for Canada is documented in this report: Denis G. Rancourt, “Canadian defamation law is noncompliant with international law”, report for the Ontario Civil Liberties Association, 2016-02-01
  5. The exploitation of suffering to shut down criticism or to extract personal or institutional gain is a common machination among management classes. One example is authoritatively documented in Norman G. Finkelstein’s 2000 book: The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering.
  6. I defined “service intellectual” in my 2006 essay: “Gradual Change is not Progress
  7. I describe the central role of collaborators in maintaining social dominance hierarchies in my 2013 book: Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism
  8. Black Lives Matter has a plantation mentality’ — Black Panther Elaine Brown on the degradation of black liberation. Tom Slater, Deputy Editor. Spiked: 2016-10-19.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. While he was at the University of Ottawa, he supported student activism and opposed the influence of the Israel lobby on that institution, which fired him for a false pretext in 2009.

November 9, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Who owns the ‘school’ that studies Canadian foreign policy?

By Yves Engler | October 30, 2016

Next week the Fraser Institute’s newly established Peter Munk Centre for Free Enterprise will offer a day long “Introduction to Economic Reasoning” seminar for Grade 10-12 students in Scarborough. Launched in June with $5 million from the founder of Barrick Gold, the Centre for Free Enterprise cements Munk’s position as leading contributor to right-wing ideas. But, the ideologue’s biggest contribution has been to a venerable public institution.

The Munk School of Global Affairs reveals much about the state of foreign-policy debate in this country. Among 35 million Canadians, the University of Toronto would be hard pressed to find a less credible source of support for the study of international affairs.

Peter Munk is a right wing ideologue and mining magnate with an important personal stake in a particular foreign policy. The Munk founded Barrick Gold has benefited from Canadian diplomatic support, export financing and development aid.

With its projects spurring ecological devastation, communal conflict and dozens of deaths on six continents, the Toronto company has led the charge against moves to withhold diplomatic and financial support to Canadian companies found responsible for significant abuses abroad. After An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas Corporations in Developing Countries was narrowly defeated in 2010 Munk wrote a letter in the Toronto Star “celebrating those MPs who had the courage” to side with Canada’s massive mining industry lobby and vote against bill C 300.

Munk espouses far-right political views. In 1997 he praised dictator Augusto Pinochet for “transforming Chile from a wealth-destroying socialist state to a capital-friendly model that is being copied around the world” while two years later the Canadian Jewish News reported on a donation Munk made to an Israeli university and a speech in which he “suggested that Israel’s survival is dependent on maintaining its technological superiority over the Arabs.” In 2007 he compared Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to Hitler and later dismissed criticism of Barrick’s security force in Papua New Guinea by claiming “gang rape is a cultural habit” in that country. He responded to a 2014 Economist question about whether “Indigenous groups appear to have a lot more say and power in resource development these days” by saying “globally it’s a real problem. It’s a major, major problem.”

An initial $6.4 million contract to rename the International Studies Department the Munk Centre for International Studies stipulated the Centre would receive advice from Barrick’s international advisory board, which included US President George Bush and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. (When asked why he appointed Mulroney to Barrick’s board, Munk told Peter C. Newman: “He has great contacts. He knows every dictator in the world on a first name basis.”) The 1997 agreement empowered Munk to stop payments if dissatisfied with the Centre. Happy with its direction, Munk contributed $5 million more in 2006 and $35 million to launch the Munk School of Global Affairs in 2010. That deal committed the U of T to pony up $39 million from its endowment while the Ontario and federal governments chipped in $50 million (as well as a $16 million tax credit to Peter Munk for his $35 million donation).

Flush with resources, the School is highly influential. It co-sponsors an award for the world’s best non-fiction book on foreign affairs, Canadian Forces College workshops, annual lecture with Washington’s National Endowment for Democracy and Toronto International Film Festival speakers series. The School also co-sponsors the Munk Debates, which held the first-ever Canadian foreign policy leaders debate during the 2015 federal election.

The School’s Munk Fellowship in Global Journalism awards twenty fellowships for a year-long program run in partnership with the Globe and Mail, CBC News, Toronto Star, Postmedia and Thomson Reuters. The School has significant ties to the Globe and Mail with former editors-in-chief John Stackhouse and William Thorsell both senior fellows at the School.

While executive director at the Munk Centre in 2007, Marketa Evans helped spawn the Devonshire Initiative, a project for NGOs and mining companies to discuss corporate social responsibility and development issues. Named after the street where the School is located, the Devonshire Initiative undermined a government–civil society Roundtable that called for withholding government financial and political support to resource companies found responsible for major abuses abroad. Evans would later be appointed Canada’s inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility counselor, a post the Harper Conservatives set up to alleviate pressure to restrict government support for companies found responsible for international abuses.

The School supported the Harper Conservatives’ low-level war against Iran. After severing diplomatic ties and designating Iran a state sponsor of terrorism in 2012, Foreign Affairs ploughed $250,000 into the Munk School’s Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran. The aim of the initiative was to foment opposition to the regime and help connect dissidents inside and outside Iran. Expanding the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, Foreign Affairs gave the Munk School $9 million in 2015 to establish the Digital Public Square project to undermine online censorship within enemy states.

Canada’s most influential global studies program is the brainchild of a mining magnate with a significant personal stake in a particular foreign policy. And the school has been shaped in his hard right image.


Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Environmentalism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Western media propaganda threatens peace and prolongs the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine

By Roger Annis | New Cold War | Sept 2, 2016

Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence.

Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from Moscow

On August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.

The ruling elites in Sweden and Finland have been quietly pushing for NATO membership for years. In May, the Swedish government pushed through the Riksdag a proposal for a ‘cooperation agreement’ with NATO, allowing it freer access to Swedish territory for transit and training. Finland already has such an agreement in place. In July, government leaders of the two countries proudly joined the NATO summit dinner in Warsaw.

But as a Reuters report at the time of the Warsaw summit explained, “An SvD/SIFO opinion poll showed 49 per cent of Swedes opposed joining NATO, with 33 in favor. Most Finns are against entering, and a government report said in April any such move would trigger a crisis with Russia.”

A Swedish news outlet reported on the same poll results:

In the survey of 1000 Swedes carried out by pollsters SIFO for newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in June, 49 per cent said they did not want Sweden to join NATO, 33 per cent said yes, and 18 said they were undecided.

The results suggest public opinion has changed since the last SIFO survey on the topic in September of 2015. In that poll, 41 per cent said they were in favour of Sweden seeking NATO membership, 39 per cent said they were against, and 20 per cent were undecided.

At the time, the 2015 figures appeared to demonstrate a significant shift in public opinion in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country, but SIFO’s most-recent round of results indicates that shift was short-lived.

The Times article by Neil MacFarquharaug began, “With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The source of the “confusion”? The Times headline reads, ‘A powerful Russian weapon: The spread of false stories’. The article says there is “a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The Times writer declares a case of Russian dezinformatsiya in action. So powerful is the dezinformatsiya that it can seemingly bamboozle two of the wealthiest and most-educated populations in the world and make them act against their best interests, or at least the best advice of the New York Times, that being to join NATO.

As to the exact source of the public tripwire that Swedish government leaders have encountered, the dezinformatsiya conspiracy fades into the mists of the northern boreal forest. The Times explains, “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts, and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect…”

Could public attitudes in Finland and Sweden towards NATO have anything to do with the historic ambivalence of Swedes and Finns to imperialist war alliances and their preference for peace over war? Apparently, the New York Times can’t climb out of its Russia conspiracy rut long enough to investigate.

According to the Global Peace Index as well as the  Global Peace Index (produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace), Finland and Sweden score in the top 15 countries of the world in various measures of being peaceful, non-violent places to live. Could it be that the people in Sweden and Finland would like to keep things that way?

Meanwhile, here is the New York Times article’s own dezinformatsiya, in the form of a long list of alleged Russian propaganda initiatives that prove what a dastardly enemy it is:

  • “Disinformation most famously succeeded in early 2014 with the initial obfuscation about deploying Russian forces to seize Crimea.”
  • “… the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the [Malaysian Airlines Flight 17] plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”
  • “… the Kremlin’s English-language news outlets heavily favored the campaign for [Britain] to leave the European Union, despite their claims of objectivity.”
  • “Moscow’s targeting of the West with disinformation dates to a Cold War program the Soviets called ‘active measures’.”
  • “[The Russian state-owned television channel] RT often seems obsessed with the United States, portraying life there as hellish.”
  • “The weaponization of information is not some project devised by a Kremlin policy expert but is an integral part of Russian military doctrine…”

Reuters can’t write a truthful article

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency published a report, also on August 28, purporting to look at the prospects for peace in Ukraine. The article is headlined, ‘Germany, Poland and France call for more efforts to end Ukraine crisis‘. Only ten brief paragraphs long, hardly a one in the article is untouched by distortions aimed at casting the best possible light on the right-wing, ultranationalist government in Kyiv and its civil war in the east of the country. Let’s read the ten paragraphs from start to finish:

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland agreed on Sunday there should be greater international efforts to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

He said there had not been sufficient progress in implementing the Minsk ceasefire agreement. “Western officials were talking with Russia and Ukraine to encourage them to implement measures already agreed in the Minsk process, including communal elections,” he said.

“Fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Western news-speak for “We don’t’ wish to name the protagonist in the conflict in eastern Ukraine because it happens to be our friend and ally. And what’s more, we are hoping that you don’t notice that it is the army of Ukraine that has invaded and occupied parts of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, not the other way around.”

Reuters cites Germany’s foreign minister in saying “Russia and Ukraine” should implement the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarus capital of Minsk). But Minsk-2 is an agreement to end a conflict between two parties in Ukraine–the governing regime in Kyiv, and the people’s republics in Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk). The agreement spells out the precise measures to be taken on both sides, including a cessation of military hostilities, comprehensive prisoner exchanges, recognition by Kyiv of autonomy for Donetsk and Lugansk, to be followed by the holding of elections there, and so on. What does all this have to do with Russia, apart from the obvious facilitation role which Russia (and other regional powers) could fulfill? Is Russia supposed to take over Ukraine so that Minsk-2 may be implemented? How well would that go over in Berlin and Washington?

Why not “Germany and Ukraine” or “France and Ukraine” to be encouraged to implement Minsk? After all, Germany and France are among the four members of the ‘Normandy Four’ group constituted to facilitate a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and under whose facilitation Minsk-2 was arrived at in the first place.

“We have to work for a de-escalation of the situation,” [Steinmeier] told reporters after a meeting with his counterparts aimed at reinvigorating the Weimar Triangle [Germany-France-Poland] trilateral group.

Steinmeier said the group also wanted to reassure Europeans about the continued importance and relevance of the European Union after the June 23 vote by Britain to exit the bloc.

“The Weimar Triangle can plan an important role … It is a format where we can discuss progress or the lack of progress on issues such as the Normandy format aimed at ending the Ukraine conflict,” Steinmeier said.

The Normandy group comprises Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

So what, exactly, have Germany and France been doing to “de-escalate” the conflict in Ukraine? Have they called on Ukraine to pull its heavy weaponry out of the ceasefire zone and cease its criminal, daily shelling of towns and cities in Donbass, in total violation of Minsk-2? No. Have they called out Ukraine for refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and thereby blocking the holding of elections as required by Minsk-2? No. How about Ukraine’s failure to conduct prisoner exchanges; have Germany and France scolded Ukraine for that? No. So why is Reuters misleading its readers about Germany and France’s failure to work to “de-escalate” the conflict?

The misleading is even worse, because not only have Germany and France failed to aid in de-escalating the conflict, they are constantly adding fuel to the fire. Recently, they led the European Union in extending EU economic sanctions against Russia, including Crimea. They are silent about the provocative action of the United States, Britain and Canada in providing military training and equipping of the Ukrainian army and paramilitary irregulars, which is then applied to the illegal and criminal war against the citizens of Donbass.

Germany and France are members of the NATO alliance whose lead member, the United States, recently constructed provocative and dangerous missile bases in Romania and Poland. These bases have been built as the U.S. undertakes a massive, trillion dollars-plus upgrade of its nuclear weapons. This includes designing new delivery systems that undo the current status quo of nuclear stand-off and greatly increase the possibility of accidental unleashing of nuclear weapons.

Why can’t Reuters provide its readers with important background information of the conflict in Ukraine instead of printing bland phrases that convey exactly the opposite impression of what is really taking place?

The leaders of Russia, Germany and France have agreed to meet to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sept. 4-5 in China on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Kremlin said last week.

A recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, and fresh tension in Crimea have raised concern that a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

“Recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Reuters-speak for that which not must be spoken: in recent months, Ukraine has greatly increased its criminal shelling of the people of Donbass. What’s more, Ukraine conducts an ongoing military occupation of Donetsk and Lugansk territory and it calls the self-defense forces of Donbass “terrorists”, thus showing it has absolutely no intention of reaching a political settlement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week he did not rule out introducing martial law and a new wave of military mobilization if the separatist conflict worsened.

“Separatist conflict” is Kyiv-speak/Reuters-speak for obscuring and confusing the source of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is the refusal of Kyiv to grant the slightest decentralization of power in the highly-centralized Ukrainian constitutional setup whereby regions of Donbass could achieve a desired autonomy.

Of course, as a result of Ukraine’s prolonged and cruel war against the people of Donbass, it is highly likely that if given the chance, they would vote to secede from Ukraine to either join Russia or constitute their own independent republics. But that hardly makes them criminals or “terrorists”. As a matter of fact, that would be an entirely lawful act, consistent with international law, such as it is, and consistent with recent political experience in such countries as Canada (Quebec) and the United Kingdom (Scotland).

Propaganda disguised as news or policy is the modus operandi of Western media outlets in reporting on Ukraine. It’s a major contributor to making the conflict there so intractable because it lessens the pressure that would otherwise operate on the ultra-nationalist regime in Kyiv that it cease its civil war course.

Postscript:

On September 1, the Globe and Mail national daily in Canada published  a propaganda opinion piece by Aurel Braun, a professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto and a centre associate of the Davis Center, Harvard University. The commentary is titled ‘The West can’t let Putin decide Ukraine’s future‘ and the text begins:

Last week’s celebrations of 25 years of independence in Ukraine were bittersweet. Domestic problems aside, fighting escalated in eastern Ukraine with Moscow-controlled separatist rebels, Crimea remained firmly in Russia’s grip as the Kremlin increased its military presence there, Russian forces massed on Ukraine’s border and the Putin government provocatively accusing the Kiev government of seeking to invade Crimea. A worried President Petro Poroshenko warned just days before that he could not exclude the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There are two things of note in the commentary. One, the author says Ukraine would be “impossible to govern” if it were to adopt a federal system, ie a devolution of powers from Ukraine’s extremely centralized governing system to its 25 oblasts (regions). This will come as news to the people of many (most?) countries of the world that have a form of federal division of powers, including Canada, The United States… and Russia!

Two, the author describes present-day Ukraine as suffering “decades of failure to institute fundamental economic reforms, it needs to address endemic and damaging corruption, and Ukrainian political parties must learn the art of political compromise and be vigilant against various forms of extremism.” So how can these apparently intractable problems be cured? Why, ‘blame Russia!’

With such uninformed but university-level discourse, it is no wonder that most of the comments by readers posted to the Globe article absolutely mock its ludicrous assertions (and thereby mock the Globe editors for choosing to publish it). Here are a few examples of the withering comments directed at the editors of the Globe:

* Russia is this and Russia is that… The author of this piece of shameless propaganda thinks that we all have a very short memory span and cannot think by ourselves…

* Yet another wretched screed in the endless stream of Russia-baiting, Putin-bashing media commentaries in western media. Cannot the Globe and Mail find some knowledgeable persons from time to time to write something more or less objective and sensible about these and other troublesome international issues?…

* Ridiculous article and the University of Toronto should be ashamed that they have hired someone who is more of a government propagandist than a ‘student’ of foreign events…

* Is this guy really a professor? …

* … The author would do well to stop citing people who’ve lied through their teeth since the [2014] coup – the criminal act which sparked the avoidable crisis. We should all stop listening to people like [Aurel] Braun, who are well-known for doing the same.

* Ah yes, Aurel Braun, the man who destroyed Rights & Democracy (and whose actions possibly contributed to the death of its former director) in order to protect Israeli policy from criticism, is well-known for his anti-Russian bias and willingness to lie to enable conflict…

Final word in yet another chapter of Globe and Mail pro-Kyiv propaganda to another Globe commenter: “… If Western people and governments truly want to see the Ukrainian people begin to prosper, they will stop using that country as a chess piece in the Big Game. Work to ease tensions with Russia in this area, not exacerbate them.”

Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver BC. He is an editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. He can be reached at rogerannis@hotmail.com.

 

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment