Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘riots

And the War Rages Ever On

with 9 comments

The war. The one war. The only war. The war that has been raging since at least 1492, when Spanish shock troops first waded ashore in the new world. In some senses a war that has been raging since the crusades in the seventh century. A war that has roots going back to the Greeks and the Romans. However, for our purposes, we’ll start in 1492. The European conquest of the world. While the Europeans fought bloody squabbles among each other the whole time, the last five centuries of world history is pretty much the story of the European conquest of Earth. Gunpowder and greed.

And that’s where we are today. Europe now includes the USA, Europe’s bastard stepchild, and a few others like Japan. The bankers and militarists of these few countries rule the world, and the majority of the world’s governments are little more than armed gangs propped up by western weapons. The good guy/bad guy meme that the USA stands for democracy and human rights is propaganda, pure and simple. The USA only respects democracy when the side the USA supported wins. And of course the USA ignores the most horrendous lack of civil rights or political rights in our allies, so long as they maintain stability for western business interests. And that’s the world we live in, despite the fiction to the contrary maintained by our “leaders” and their compliant media lap dogs.

So understood in that context, the world is a lot less puzzling. For example, it reveals why Wikileaks is so feared by the powers that be. It reveals the depth of the corruption and compliance in the third world. Tunisia being a great example, where Wikileaks brought down the government. I notice that aspect of the situation in Tunisia is getting almost no press, Wikileaks revealing corruption and cronyism in Tunisia’s government was a major impetus that drove Tunisians to the streets. It’s still unclear whether there will be a true revolution in Tunisia, or just a replacement of the people at the top, but even the instability of replacing the figureheads is risky business for the west. And if someone with Tunisia’s actual interests at heart gets into power, it’s a safe bet that the western press will make it very clear that this is an “illegitimate” government, and it will receive neither recognition nor international support.

Another place the colonial war is being blatantly played out today is Lebanon. A UN tribunal is investigating a 2005 assassination in Lebanon. Happens all the time, right? Nope, this is the first time in history that the UN has created a tribunal to investigate and presumably arrest and try citizens of a sovereign nation. Or any nation for that matter. The tribunal is expected to blame the assassination on Hezbollah and Iran. To try and understand how this might be playing out in Lebanon, imagine if the UN formed a tribunal to investigate the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords, and the Tribunal was expected to indict members of the right wing media for inciting the attempt. Well, the UN Tribunal is flying about as well in Lebanon, and has brought down the Lebanese government already. Hopefully it won’t reignite civil war in that unfortunately located country, but anything is possible.

Iran and Hezbollah of course being two powers that do not recognize the Euro-American world order, and insist on retaining their own independence. Or to look at it differently, the leaders of most of the world’s governments are perfectly happy to take money to do American’s bidding. (In some cases to do China or Russia’s bidding.) And all they have to do is maintain order and allow western resource extraction firms to have their say. And of course they get to buy all sorts of fancy western military hardware of they are particularly trustworthy minions. Saudi Arabia being a wonderful case in point. Of course political parties are illegal in Saudi Arabia, and their women are little better off than slaves. Actually, there’s a lot of true slavery  Saudi Arabia, but I  digress.

In any event, the question now is will events in Tunisia cause similar revolts elsewhere? There are certainly other nations with similar “governments” and similar problems, Egypt and Algeria come to mind. On the one hand, I don’t think so, Tunisia didn’t have much of a military for one thing. Time will tell though, and the trend the past decade has been for countries to escape from the western hegemon, and to resist being forced back into the fold so to speak. Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind. The cost of empire does also seem to be increasing with time, so sooner or later the whole house of cards will collapse. This is why I stockpile canned goods.

I know, my outlook is bleak, but it is internally self-consistent. Next week, giant prehistoric child-snatching birds in the Midwest. Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is claimed as Public Domain under US copyright law. It was commissioned by the US government, an the artist has been dead for over a century. It’s a painting titled “Landing of Columbus” painted by John Vanderlyn in 1836/37. Do Columbus and is men look like they are coming in peace? The question is valid whether the painting be historically accurate or not.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by unitedcats

January 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

The Shoe Tossed Round the World.

with 3 comments

I had a post written for today that will have to wait, some of the stuff that’s going on in Pakistan is pretty incredible, and incredible as in “horrible” and “bad” and “this isn’t going to end well.” In fact I think the MSM is so overwhelmed by the extent of the catastrophe that is unfolding in Pakistan that they don’t really know what to say about it. I’m a little overwhelmed myself, especially by the idea of explaining how a tossed shoe might be leading to World War Three right before our eyes. Difficult concepts have  never stopped me before though, so here goes.

OK, the map. The red lines are international boundaries, everything else should be self explanatory. Pakistan is the upside-down-Italy shaped country that dominates the map. Afghanistan is the country to the above and left of it. Iran is the country on the left edge of the map, India on the right edge. Now, India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads since the 1940s, having fought several wars and having a heavily militarized border to this day. They are enemies, primarily because the top part of India visible on the map, the Kashmir region, should have gone to Pakistan when India and Pakistan were divided, but the British pulled a dirty trick and managed to get Kashmir into India. And the people of Kashmir had and have no say in the matter, India has never allowed a referendum to be held. Since if they did, Kashmir might very well vote to join Pakistan.  That in a nutshell is why India and Pakistan are enemies, a situation that has generated several wars, insurgencies, and ongoing terrorism.

Looking at the map, and if you were Pakistan, who would you want running Afghanistan? Someone friendly no doubt, or at the very least, someone who wasn’t going to take sides with India. Well, the Taliban fit that bill nicely, especially since the Taliban is primarily a Pashtun movement, and about half of the Pashtuns live in Pakistan. So lo and behold, Pakistan was the only country in the world that recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government when they ruled Afghanistan. It was all good to them, and freed them up to concentrate on India. So why in the name of God would the government of Pakistan join the USA in their war on the Taliban? Wouldn’t huge numbers of Pakistanis, especially the Pashtuns, want to side with the Taliban? Well, the USA put a lot of pressure on the government of Pakistan to join the USA in their crusade against the Taliban, not to mention paying vast bribes and possibly even the threat of nuclear attack if Pakistan didn’t cooperate. So that’s how Pakistan became our “ally” in the war on the Taliban.

As one might imagine, cajoling and threatening someone to join you in a fight against someone they are friends with might not turn out well. And it hasn’t.  The Taliban used Pashtun areas of Pakistan as a save haven to conduct their Afghanistan insurgency from, the USA responded by launching drone attacks in Pakistan and leaning on the Pakistanis to send their army into the border regions to fight the Taliban. The drone strikes have killed a lot of people, mostly civilians, and the Pakistan army’s efforts in the region have been both ineffective and as with the drone strikes, not exactly winning any popularity contests. Remember, the Pakistanis regard India as their real enemy, and didn’t want to fight the Taliban in the first place, so it’s not like they have been terribly enthusiastic in their war on the Taliban. In fact the situation in Pakistan  is close to a civil war now, since the Pakistani Taliban (something that didn’t even exist before the US attacked Afghanistan) have been launching attacks deep into non-Pashtun areas of Pakistan. It’s also entirely possible, and likely, that many in the Pakistan military and security apparatus are covertly aiding the Taliban.

Now add to this ugly mess the recent rains and flooding, which have been catastrophic by any standards. Millions of people impacted, many homeless, and the Pakistan government, already pushed to the limits, has had a hard time effectively providing aid. So dissatisfaction with the Pakistan government is at an all time high. Can we say “incipient failed state” now? And as a final feather in the cap of the incredible mess Pakistan is in, their president is touring Britain! Is he insane, or just staying somewhere safe because he knows the gig is up at home and he doesn’t want to end up like so many of Pakistan’s  former leaders … prematurely dead? Many Pakistanis are outraged at this, and one of them actually managed to throw a shoe at him at a public rally in England! Well, this was big news in Pakistan, and the government of Pakistan has done their utmost to keep the Pakistani man in the street from finding this out. Yes, newspaper offices are burning in Pakistan to keep Pakistanis from finding out that a shoe was thrown at their president. The fear being that it might spark even more unrest.

Well, obviously people are going to wonder why government troops are burning newspaper offices, suffice it to say that word has gotten out. In other words, a shoe thrown in England has sparked massive riots and protest in Pakistan, further destabilizing an already terribly unstable country. World War One was started by a single assassin’s bullet, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that World War Three was just triggered by a single tossed shoe. If the nuclear armed Pakistani government goes down in flames and some sort of truly Islamic popular government takes power, shades of Iran 1979. God only knows how the USA and/or India might respond to that, best to not even think about.

Tomorrow, a soothing post about how a few thousand guys running around in a muddy cow pasture for an hour  changed the course of world history.

(The above image was taken from Wikipedia and used legally to the best of my knowledge: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License“. I wanted a really simple map that showed the lay of the land so to speak, and that was the best I could find.)

Written by unitedcats

August 9, 2010 at 8:50 am