O Canada! Where did our home and native land go? We used to be peacekeepers and reliably unbiased mediators; now we are neo-imperialist interloping warmongers, a dependable, if small, wing of the ever-covert and increasingly confused aims of long term US-UK foreign policy, which has no connection to come-and-go governments, being something hatched in the back-rooms of the deep state’s permanent and most un-democratic tyranny. It is surely time for the citizens of fading Western powers to admit our lives and taxes are part of a system which does not remotely resemble a democracy. Significant decisions are taken with no reference to the public will, and with, if any, no acceptable explanation. Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, whose soft, warm, reassuring voice increasingly resembles that of disgraced talk-show host and violent sexual sadist Jian Gomeshi, has exerted an unprecedented control over the media amounting to censorship and a violation of our Charter of Rights regarding free speech. No one gets to ask him probing and relevant questions. A gag-order silences nearly all politicians in his party, as well as such people as scientists – most of who work for the government or rely on federal funding. Environmental and social concerns take a remote back-seat to allegedly lower taxes and statistical legerdemain about the health of our economy. We are so easily fooled by appearances. As far as I know, the only politician here to have seen through Harper’s carefully stage-managed façade was ex-Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, who recounted a blunt conversation with the Prime Minister where Harper told him, “Don’t fuck with my country.” Williams described him, when met in private, as “a nasty man” – much as Gomeshi’s staff and female acquaintances characterized the seemingly mellow and liberal talk-show yacker.
Having just waded through the slough of tax-time, I wonder why more Canadians are not questioning the cost to us of our ill-advised involvement in frosty-war ventures like the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, the meddling in someone else’s civil war in Syria, and the intervention to protect Iraqi oil-fields from their erstwhile owners and an element of fanatical Sunni Islamists – a situation created by the illegal US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003. We can overlook the catastrophe in Afghanistan, which western forces have now shrugged off, achieving less than nothing for the years and expense of their involvement – an outcome anyone with a cursory knowledge of history could and did predict.
It is hard to say what is worse: a public broadcaster ultimately controlled and under-funded by a corrupt and deceiving government, or a massive media complex owned by and beholden to vast multi-national corporations deeply involved in big oil and the arms business. Both entail a warping, distorting and withholding of facts and context relating to any sensitive situation. For example: today we hear of ISIS ‘militants’ slaughtering 300-odd members of a ‘minority sect’ referred to as Yezidis. No broadcast I am aware of saw fit to explain just how minor a ‘sect’ the Yezidis really are – in anyone’s context. Having spent some time with Yezidis in Iraq, I can tell the reader that, in everyday parlance, they actually worship Satan, represented in their few temples by the idol of a gigantic snake. In reality they are an intriguing remnant of Gnostic cults which maintained that, after being expelled from heaven, Lucifer or Satan created the world in order to prevent himself from falling through all eternity. Ergo, the Devil is Lord of this world and the true God. Who has not experienced moments in their life when this thesis has not seemed persuasive? Either way, would it hurt the media to explain that Yezidis are not exactly a ‘minority sect’ of Islam? Similarly, would it hurt to explain the historical background to the ostensibly Shia-Sunni conflicts in Iraq and Syria? If we had a free media the truth would hurt no one, besides informing citizens about the squandering of their tax dollars and pounds on ventures of dubious merit and impossible resolution. But it would hurt the deep state back-room warmongers, whose motives would be seriously called into question. I have dealt with these issues in my two books on Iraq – The Demonic Comedy and A War Against Truth – yet am well aware that more and more people are unable to read books and need their news in a bite-sized form to which genuine information cannot conform. Most have trouble enough grasping the concept of two major Islamic factions, the Sunni and the Shia, which bear little resemblance to Protestant and Catholic divisions, let alone the existence of more minor branches on the tree of Islam, such as the Aluwites, the Ismailis, the Sufis, and so on. The advantage of being old is that much history is within personal memory. When I was a teenager Islam had no association with terrorism and appeared to be an attractive and exotic religion inextricably related to The Arabian Nights and other spoils from the colonial period. What changed? Well, as I keep saying, the Wahhabite sect – essentially an Islamic heresy – began to exert its influence over the faith on a global scale. This is the religion of Saudi Arabia, concocted in the 18th century, and a perversion that reduces orthodox Islam to a prison code, banning music, dancing, singing, and regarding women as chattels, as well as condemning other forms of Islam, especially the Shia and Sufis, to the status of non-Islamic. Like Saudi royalty, the Wahhabite priesthood is hereditary and shares equally in the Kingdom’s oil wealth. What the princes did with their loot is well known; what the clerics did with their billions is not. In fact they established free schools all over the so-called Third World, from Africa, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Philippines and beyond. In these free schools – hard to turn down by impoverished nations – is taught the pernicious Wahhabite doctrine, including a vehement anti-Shia bias and the proselytising of a holy war called ‘Jihad’ – something previously interpreted as the inner struggle between our higher and lower selves, but now distorted to represent a literal war against all unbelievers. A thousand years ago Islam was the world’s great civilizing influence, advancing science and classical learning in an empire stretching from Spain to China; but the Crusades ended all that, and Islam’s subsequent history has been one of steady decline. All highly militant or fanatical movements, from Al-Quaeda to Al-Shebab, are both funded and inspired by Saudi Wahhabi sources. This is a fact. Anyone sincerely interested in ending this minor reign of terror would merely have to trace the money behind various movements and web-sites back to their Saudi sources. It was very telling when the mother of the boy responsible for murdering an honour guard at Ottawa’s war memorial said that her son wanted to go to Saudi Arabia to ‘study Islam’. Again, the media failed to pick up on the fact that anyone wishing to study orthodox Islam would go to Al-Ahram in Cairo, not Saudi Arabia, where all one could ‘study’ would be the Wahhabite heresy. To me, it proved that the web-site or sites behind the radicalising of this boy were expounding Wahhabism, not Islam. It seemed to beg for a close examination of such sites and an attempt to trace them back to their origins. None came, of course. Saudi Arabia seems to possess an immunity from condemnation and prosecution. Sealed off within its own time-warped bubble, the Kingdom issues no tourist visas, stifles all dissent, and, in general, makes other notorious tyrannies, like North Korea, seem positively Utopian. Why the protective cloak? Obviously, the answer is bound up with oil and a knee-bending obsequiousness to western interests. The regal or princely half of the story is an open book – Saudi Ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, is so close to the Bush family that he’s affectionately known as ‘Bandar Bush’, and the only foreign country EVER visited by George W. in a private capacity was Saudi Arabia (no tourists allowed) – but the other half, the equally oil-rich Wahhabi priesthood is unknown. No one can name the presiding Imam or High Priest; and no one seems willing to explore the global reach of Wahhabi indoctrination or its funding of exclusively Sunni-oriented terror cells. The Iraqi ‘insurgency’ – said to be some 30,000 strong, yet largely consisting of disaffected Sunnis ousted from power after the fall of Saddam’s Sunni tyranny – could be eradicated in a week, if the will to do it were there. The reason it is not there is because no one, least of all the Saudis, wants to see a Shia power block extending from Iran through Iraq to Syria (still controlled by the Aluwite Shia minority headed by the Assad dynasty).
The only conclusion one can draw from the current situation is that western interests are in maintaining a controlled destabilising Sunni element which will guarantee the kind of foggy chaos in which the US and UK prefer to operate, and which justifies an ongoing western military presence to ensure the safety of the fabulously rich (and still not fully explored) Iraqi oil fields, widely thought to exceed the rapidly dwindling trove of black gold in Saudi Arabia. Anyone who believes these nefarious neo-imperial ventures are not entirely about oil is an idiot.
Little wonder Harper’s day-long visit to Iraq swiftly took him to Kurdistan, where he bravely stood not ten kilometres from the so-called ‘front-line’: the Kurdish Peshmurga warriors are the only reliable soldiers in this manufactured struggle. They too suffered under Saddam – although it was Winston Churchill who advocated the first gas attack against them. Much like the Armenians, the Kurds have long awaited a homeland of their own, thus can be relied upon to hang onto it no matter what the cost. Those who once suggested a division of Iraq into three states – Kurdish, Sunni and Shia – were clearly forgetting that such a division would leave the Kurds and the southern Shia with all the oil, and a central Sunni homeland with…well, dates (37 varieties and the best dates on earth notwithstanding). The idea was no more viable than that of an Iraqi democracy, stemming from the same ignorance of internal ethnic and religious divisions.
There are many things no journalist is not allowed to ask Stephen Harper, but the most disturbing of them is surely the question of his close affiliation with the neo-conservative philosophy of Leo Strauss, who can be said to have founded the ideology during his tenure at the University of Chicago, where most leading lights in the neo-con movement – including Paul Wolfowitz, among other less well-known but immensely powerful back-room figures – were gathered. These people formed the American Enterprise Institute, principal advocate of the Iraq invasion, and strangely silent since the debacle they had sponsored became self-evident. Other leading neo-cons gravitated to Calgary, Harper’s home turf, and he was known to attend quasi-covert gatherings there that included several obvious journalists and media moguls. Those who have waded through Leo Strauss’s turgid tomes will have noticed that his political philosophy closely resembles fascism. Hardly surprising since he was a significant figure in the early German Nazi movement (before the overt emphasis on anti-Semitism), and his sponsor for US citizenship was Carl Schmidt, who crafted Hitler’s judiciary. The Holocaust was not envisaged in this early period, and the more alarming rants in Mein Kampf were edited out. We now forget that fascism had a wide appeal at one point, and even early Zionists like Jabotinski were great admirers of Mussolini. The broad tenets of fascism are clear in Strauss’s work, just as they reveal themselves in Harper’s thinking and mode of governance. Lie to the people (they are fools who deserve no more); control the message and the media; conceal the decision-making process; appear to be concerned about the things most people are concerned with: taxes, the economy, security. Keep up a level of fear, and the suggestion of an enemy within – the most frightened populations have the strongest governments. Concoct incidents to generate fear if necessary. Make sure there is a need for greater and greater policing and security (be certain to broadcast all violent crimes, and make citizens believe criminal threats are increasing, particularly if they are not). It is all in Strauss, and it is all evident in the Harper governments actions; yet no one, to my knowledge, has ever questioned him about his neo-con connections or his adherence to Straussian ideology. Behind that mellow reassuring voice is “a nasty man”, many of whose hirelings have come to loathe him, and who has led this country far away from its cherished ideals, making us just another rapacious and hated western power. He has done this by subverting our democracy with complete disregard for our Constitution and the parliamentary process – to the point where the system is effectively broken, perhaps beyond repair. His achievement was only possible through an appeal to our basest instincts of self-interest; yet there is more to Canadian life than this – or I would hope so. It is surely time to rid ourselves of this would-be tyrant, and possibly even the entire system that has allowed such dark elements to take control of our nation and our lives. “Those willing to sacrifice freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security.”
With love as always, Paul William Roberts.