Tag Archives: China

The Old Familiar Madness

Everywhere you look there’s a strongman rising on the bitter tide of angry men

✎  Wayne K. Spear | March 22, 2018 • Politics

CHINA is returning to Mao and Russia is returning to Stalin and the President of the United States is jealous. Where is his Stalin, his Mao, the Father Figure he’ll restore to his glory, his Kim il-Don? Where is the Dear Great Leader, the Father to Keep America Great, Again. Everywhere you look there’s a strongman rising on the bitter tide of angry men. Yes, I mean men. You can walk a mile from here into the filth and chaos, the raw animal stench, of Chinatown, and buy virility enhancers made of the balls of endangered species. We men, with our fragile masculinity and our narcissism, had no problem killing off the last rhinoceros to drink and fuck with a little more stamina. Bodies are for buying and selling, life is cheap, we’ll blow up the world if it makes our dicks a little longer, and that’s all the truth you need to know.

There’s a mass-murderer in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, grinding a generation of children into dust, and he has the help of Putin and Erdogan and the Ayatollahs and all the others. The others, the men who dream of ultimate power. There isn’t a chance in hell Trump will stop them. He admires the murderers, wants to be a murderer, knows he’s the anointed, the man who can kill on Fifth Avenue and not lose voters. Evil has been set loose on the world, and for the foreseeable future we are all doomed, there isn’t a thing you can do about it now. The monster is loose, and we want it to be loose, and we want to see some goddamn explosions!

There is a great wave of violence coming, a real blood-letting, a gratification of our primal war-lust, the irrepressible desire of our species to kill with impunity, and to go on killing until the human will collapses. Don’t be fooled by the editorial pages and the other scoundrels, the other liars and cowards—we’re not doing politics anymore, we’re preparing for tribal warfare. We, the human species, every last one of us will be drawn into it, in the end. The old order won’t surrender, and the new won’t prevail without a fight. No one knows what the world will look like in one hundred years, but whatever it is, it’s going to require war.

It’s the old familiar madness, the deeply repressed barbarism that takes over, from time to time. Sure, we seem civilized, our orderly streets filled with shoppers, the calm commerce of a modern city. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and no one, absolutely no one, is screaming for blood. The Filipino nannies go by, pushing strollers that bear the children of educated upper-middle white women. The children who will inherit the world, the children on whose behalf others will kill and die, the children who for now are innocent, not that it makes a goddamn difference.

Apophis, David Bowie, RePOOPulate, Omar Hammami, Piers Morgan, Crown-First Nations, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Saudi Arabia

Podcast 026 | Week of 13.01.2013

Daniel Novisedlak

Photo: Daniel Novisedlak

Download entire podcast (320 kbps mp3).

One Empty Chair and Many Empty Words

THERE ARE A few rules to which I’ve held myself as a professional speech writer. Do your homework, know and respect your audience and the protocols governing the occasion, and always prefer the plain truth that will not please your audience over nice-sounding and gratifying words that aren’t so. Or, as I’ve had occasion to summarize: it’s better to deliver bad news that you can guarantee than it is good news that you are confident you can’t.

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The Conservative Party’s courting of China is shameful

I KNOW FROM experience the most efficient way to start a fist-fight in some circles is to use, without irony, the word evil. As in the phrase Axis of Evil. On this principle, George W. Bush was mocked for years by lefties who noted condescendingly (though correctly) that the President’s eyes were just a bit too close together for the nation’s good. One afternoon in the mid 90s, the man who would memorably link Iran, Iraq and North Korea — Bush Jr’s speechwriter, David Frum — passed in front of my car while I was at a red light. I confess repressing an urge to step on the gas. Some years on, however, I’ve a greater respect for Mr. Frum, and in part it’s due to the fact that I think there really is such a thing as evil, perhaps even in axis form.

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The Keystone Kops and the Kase for Ethical Oil

I WAS AT the infamous Portage and Main intersection of Winnipeg when I learned yesterday of US President Barack Obama’s disingenuous move to decline the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. Standing in the open air of that corner on a January morning, my only resolve was to get out of the elements and into some environment under the influence of burning fossil fuel. A current project of our species however must be to find alternatives not only to the organic muck, but this other muck of the propagandist in which we are all now thickly coated.

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As Tibet Burns

I‘LL WAGER that you weren’t informed of it by the media, but it happens that yesterday was the Global Day of Action undertaken by the International Campaign for Tibet. I was on Parliament Hill in Ottawa when a large crowd assembled and marched down Elgin Street in a desperate effort to raise awareness here in Canada of China’s official policy of slow-motion genocide.

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John Baird Raises His Red Lantern

It appears (to me at least) that the Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, is learning about the world and its localized histories in public and in real-time. On the first of June, he admitted as much to Canadian Press journalist Bruce Cheadle, saying he was “hazy on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Continue reading John Baird Raises His Red Lantern

An Unwelcome Birthday Gift For Kim Jong Il

It seems to me that Kim Jong Il’s birthday is a good day to reflect upon the fact that the regimes of North Korea and China are this world’s most depraved and dangerous abominations. The former constitutes “the world’s greatest ongoing atrocity,” and the latter, which appears to compete for that honour, has an ever-growing sphere of influence reflecting its ambition to become the leading world power. So the question ought to be asked, What do you suppose are the prospects if the “international community” continues to shrink from the firmness of commitment that these times require? Before you answer, consider the following.

Continue reading An Unwelcome Birthday Gift For Kim Jong Il

CSIS: Getting It Right, Through Accident

Some days ago, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Richard Fadden, said in what he presumed to be a sealed audience that “There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two provinces there are ministers of the Crown who we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government.” For this remark he has been called before a Parliamentary committee established just for this purpose, and has further been widely condemned by media for his supposed crimes of “casting traitorous aspersions” and McCarthyism.

It is doubtless apparent to all that Fadden referred covertly to the influence of China. (The closest he came to saying so was his use of the word “Asia.”) His failed use of code suggests that either he believed an effective veil was unnecessary or that he simply isn’t very good at it. It is also curious that he reposed in the assumption his words would never drift on the open air. What sort of “Spymaster,” as he has been frequently called, fumbles in such a manner? Only the sort of spymaster one finds across the bloated, complacent, self-serving, and incompetent bureaucracies of the “intelligence community” as constituted both here and in the United States.

In case we need the reminder, the mess in which things now are has been further detailed by John C. Major’s Final Report, “Air India Flight 182: A Canadian Tragedy.” Among Major’s findings are the following:

  • CSIS surveillance was ineffective. Surveillants were unable to distinguish one traditionally attired Sikh from another. When a CSIS surveillance team observed experiments involving a test explosion conducted by Sikh extremists in the woods in Duncan B.C. in June 1985 (the Duncan Blast), the loud sound heard was misinterpreted as a gunshot. No photograph was taken of the unknown third person present (Mr. X.) because surveillants had not brought a camera.
  • CSIS failed to include important information, such as the Duncan Blast, in the threat assessments it provided to the RCMP and Transport Canada.
  • The RCMP wasted resources creating a threat assessment structure parallel to CSIS’. The RCMP structure was itself ineffective – it failed to identify, report, and share threat information.
  • CSIS often failed to disclose promptly to the RCMP information relevant to the criminal investigation, particularly information from human sources, or it disclosed information without sufficient detail or in a manner that prevented the RCMP from using the information.
  • CSIS was mesmerized by the mantra that “CSIS doesn’t collect evidence,” and used it to justify the destruction of raw material and information. CSIS erased the tapes that caught coded conversations possibly related to the planning of the bombing, and CSIS investigators destroyed their notes that recorded the information CSIS sources provided in relation to the Air India bombing. Both of these actions compromised the prosecution’s evidentiary position at trial.
  • CSIS delayed disclosure of necessary information for the prosecution of Interjit Singh Reyat by adopting a legalistic and technical approach in responding to requests from prosecutor James Jardine.
  • The RCMP never made a written request that the Parmar tapes be preserved, though it was aware of their existence, and also never made a verbal request specific to the Parmar tapes until months into the investigation, when the early tapes were already erased. CSIS only ceased ongoing erasure in 1986, following a request by the Department of Justice in connection with the civil litigation.
  • The families were not kept informed about the investigation by the Government, and often learned about new developments through the media. The RCMP only began to liaise with the families directly after 1995. CSIS refused to participate.

… and on and on. It’s perhaps far worse in the United States, where the security establishment eats money and defecates requests for more, but no one is quite able to say. Such is the badness. In the meanwhile, the security industry conducts a farcical public relations campaign which has everything to do with managing public perception and little to do with security.

Even before anyone had come around to the word China, the Chinese were protesting a bit too much. The irony here is that all informed persons know China indeed aggressively promotes its interests internationally. What else would you expect of the world’s next global empire? The Confucius Institutes, the espionage, the busloads and busloads of planted Chinese patriots in my neighbourhood — during the recent visit to Ottawa of President Hu Jintao — the all-expenses-paid trips and the endless visits of VIPs: it’s all part of business for the world’s Communist behemoth.

But if you choose to be so naïve as to suppose the world isn’t roughly as Fadden says it is, at least fire the arrows into the proper targets. For this is one of the very few occasions on which a legitimate concern has been brought (even if by accident) to timely attention, by an agency more often having drawn attention for its appalling failures. To the degree that these recent statements are being ridiculed, dismissed, and savaged, the failure to see the worth of these statements is a public failure. You’ve been warned, in other words.

June Fourth Thoughts

I confess that on this particular June 4th I’m pleased to see Tony Hayward having quite an unpleasant time of it. If only somehow we could spread the malaise more broadly, across the globe’s Unaccountables. We know too well however, from historical memory, that he’ll one day “have his life back.” Like the clichéd African dictator who retires afterward to the French countryside – with only the Swiss bank accounts to remind him of home – Mr. Hayward will do fine, whilst the masses will be left to the business of living in the dirty wake of the mess that enriched him. That’s how it is in our age of Winner Take All.

Africa comes to mind for two reasons. One: it is this continent, and not the North American, which may lay claim to the world’s worst disasters of the crude variety. As Anene Ejikeme points out in today’s New York Times, “Experts estimate that some 13 million barrels of oil have been spilt in the Niger Delta since oil exploration began in 1958. This is the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez every year for 50 years.” Two: Africa is quietly being re-colonized and “re-Apartheided” (if I may coin an awkward term) by a dictatorship which on June 4 is recollected around the world for its Tiananmen massacre.

Neither examples one or two has received the attention in the West that British Petroleum now receives, but they are more useful indications than the Macondo spill of perils our species will face in the future. China has shown beyond any doubt that it has no regard for human life, that it cares nothing for the environment, and that it intends to flood territories it finds useful, from Tibet to Zimbabwe, with Han Chinese. As its appetite and boldness for acquiring both greater Lebensraum and resources increases, China (the world’s leading exporter of goods, the possessor of the largest foreign currency reserves, and the country with the most severe wealth polarization) will export ever more weapons, and it will back more and worse dictators throughout the world. In short it will export its totalitarian version of market socialism, its racism, and its contempt generally for human life.

In any war zone or dictatorship into which one may have looked in recent years, whether Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, or Nigeria, the participation of China can be discerned. In Darfur, the Janjaweed militia kill with China-supplied AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers. In Equatorial Guinea, the Chinese government lavished a new capital upon long-standing dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, whose regime competes with Robert Mugabe’s for the title of Africa’s most corrupt. In Zimbabwe, it is Chi­na’s weapons and military equipment which have enabled Mugabe to crush his opponents.

True, you may say. But what about the Russian and British and American weapons? Well, we rightly denounce these and look with indignation upon the history of colonialism. How depressing it is, then, to contemplate the very likely prospect of a vigorous expansion of this project in the present century. The country best poised to dominate our planet for the foreseeable future is backward and wicked in every respect. Reactionary, barbaric, and obstinate on every issue of present concern, China is the land of vetoes, denials, obfuscations, and crackdowns, and so its approaching global rule promises disaster for the causes of human rights and social progress — as indeed it does for the very notion of progress itself.