OPEN BOUQUET (September - October)
By William Markiewicz
(As other short items may follow, I've decided to group them together.)
Do You Really Want Peace? (10/29)
Very simple: get out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, out of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, and peace will come in a matter of weeks. Why? Because cold blooded warriors longing for any form of war are in the minority. Emotional hot blooded terrorists may be countless but they need constant stimulation for their rage. Once the sources of rage disappear, they will automatically go toward peace.
Who Are Their Role Models? (10/25)
Historians of the future will wonder from whom Bush-Blair-Harper & Co. took the archaic idea of invading others in order to improve them: Crusaders? Colonialists? Napoleon? Stalin? Hitler? Napoleon seems to me the most appropriate role model, even if I suspect that old fashioned colonialism is their real motivation. The difference is that the old fashioned colonialists preached racial superiority, a lingo adopted by Nazism. The neo-colonialists avoid such rough language; they just want to transmit the blessings of democracy to those who survive their heavy handed lesson. Napoleon, the inheritor of the French Revolution, introduced to absolutist Europe something that approaches today's democracy. We still don't congratulate him for using the sword to carry more enlightened ideas abroad. As we don't force the sick to heal in our countries, we have no right to impose our improving ways on somebody who hasn’t asked for them. We display a humiliating patronizing attitude. They have the right and duty to proudly refuse our heavy handed 'niceties.'
A TV program showed Afghan children surrounded by uniformed invaders in a school built by those invaders. The villagers probably didn't want to submit their children to this display, but they may not have had a choice; they risked being arrested as terrorists or their sympathisers!...
Preaching in the Desert (10/16)
Religion should belong to people. To the state belongs building security inside and strong borders outside, not reigning over peoples’ souls. Regimes based on ideology and creeds have to be oppressive.
The only way to stop sectarian massacres in Iraq is to transform it into a secular country. The distribution of national riches should be ensured to citizens, not to creeds, but the mission to achieve this belongs to the locals, not to foreign invaders.
Too busy killing each other, Iraqis somehow don’t give priority to the presence of the invaders. American losses are negligible compared to inter-Iraqi slaughter. So, Americans are not particularly in a hurry to leave as long as the slaughter lasts and the Iraqi oil flows. Americans would leave right now if they could take the oil fields with them.
Theology Up to My Ears (10/15)
Vagabond received two emails with religious content. One of them, though well written, doesn't qualify to be published because the return email was false, which equals spam. I don't understand the motive for it. Still, it provoked the thoughts I present below:
I don't understand or agree with religious rules that require women to cover their bodies and faces while the sun and the air are so healthy. Women have to be sacrificed to be isolated from men's lust? It’s a too big and unjust sacrifice by one side. God must be ingenious enough to protect women in a less cruel way. Why be deprived of alcohol or pork? All God's creations must be of equal purity and everything must have potential for good or bad, expressed rather in 'how much' than in 'what'. Why are tobacco and coffee ok? Why do punishments have to be so cruel and countless, why do they outnumber the rewards? Why does God manifest himself through chosen individuals, why do we have to believe them before believing in Him? If God wants to be known, why not directly, why believe in emissaries who always end up fighting each other in his name?
Forgotten Shadows (10/10)
I refer to 'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors,' the catchy title of the book by Ukrainian Mikhail Kociubinski. 'Forgotten shadows,' for me, are those who either contributed to the present overall political/military disaster, or who failed to exploit their potential to improve things. I’ve written about them on various occasions. Here I bind them together to underline their role; this reminder may be useful
So, I recall the "shadows": 1. Nobody remembers the name of the one who killed Rabin and destroyed the road to peace in the Middle East that already existed in spirit. 2. Those who influenced the invasion of Yugoslavia, brutally interrupting peaceful negotiations among the interested parties. 3. Those who crushed Fikret Abdic, 'the Rabin of Yugoslavia,' the only one capable of mobilising Serbs, Croats, Muslims toward peace. 4. Shadowy because forgotten, Bush and Sharon’s cornering Palestinians by imposing pre-conditions on peace negotiations ("first peace, then negotiations") which brought 9/11 in response.
The consequent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the world's terror development. The stupidity and brutal rage of the Neo-klingons have successfully destroyed the flourishing Global Village concept with its neo-humanism, freedoms and peace.
Cry Wolf (10/09)
If Switzerland decided to build nuclear weapons, nobody would be very alarmed. It’s true that North Korea and Iran don’t have Switzerland’s pacific reputation but it’s also true that neither North Korea nor Iran has an imperialistic past. Yes, Iran threatened Israel’s existence but on the one hand Israel has declared that fortunately it can defend itself and on the other hand, no country will risk its own destruction for gratuitous glory. Even if it succeeded in destroying Israel, Iran would gain nothing from it. And whom could nuclear North Korea attack? Poor in natural resources Japan? Small countries with nukes can do nothing but ensure their own safety facing nuclear giants. Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait but it was in the context of traditional territorial disputes. All this “cry wolf” screaming comes from those really dangerous giants who want to maintain their imperialistic status as watchmen of world order.
I Smell a Skunk (10/07)
"Get tough with Pakistan: Nato"
(National Post, Oct.6.06)
Preparing for war with Pakistan, etc? - Asia is big. It wont bring them good luck.
When You Invest in Bad Business You Lose Assets and Pride (9/26)
Pakistan’s President Musharraf criticised Canadians over their 'exaggerated' sensitivity concerning the number of their corpses in Afghanistan. There is a Spanish proverb, I hope I write it correctly: “detraz de cuernos, palos.” Loosely translated: “After being cuckolded you’re whipped.”
What Happened to the News? (9/14)
I love action, I love movement. This is my preferred way to receive the news, watching snapshots by dynamic reporters. Besides news, I like to watch certain documentaries: animals, musical programs … Many of my favorite programs have ceased to exist. For instance, Discovery channel has switched to technology which is certainly an interesting topic but it ends by repeating itself. There’s no comparing the mechanical to the living world, at least for me. For politics, my preferred channel was CBC Newsworld. Now the news programs like Newsworld have switched to feature programs exploring the utmost details for the full length. They have become much more magazine than calendar of events. For anybody who wants to be in contact with the world it’s a great loss. You don’t replace hotspot reportage with a sort of National Enquirer or Reader's Digest. So, the shootings in Montreal take the whole program. The forest fires take up a whole program. When dead soldiers are brought home, the mourning ceremony is broadcast second by second. The world ceases to exist in all its jumping pace of living reality. This kind of program shows a claustrophobic universe, a tunnel of uniformity with no windows to happenings and nobody reacts as far as I know. Is it because the public is really like this, preferring the local to the universal, or never reacting spontaneously on its own? I just wonder. Give local importance its due but don’t eliminate the rest of the world, please. For all kinds of reasons, many of us want to know what’s going on. Leave at least twenty minutes per hour for the rest of the world, especially when something happens there.
Supremacy of War (9/04)
“Israel Plans for War with Iran and Syria”
(From antiwar.com, September 3)
I’ve never seen a tiny society with such a lack of vision for the day after tomorrow. What do they expect? To destroy Syria and Iran?
Rabin and Arafat were good partners for peace negotiations. After Rabin’s death, due to the complex situation that developed, peace with Israel stopped being a priority for Arafat. Now, if a new Rabin appeared in Israel, new Arafats might appear on the opposite side.
Breach of Canadian Humanitarian Tradition (9/04)
“Four Canadians, 200 Rebels killed (in) Afghanistan Offensive”
(From antiwar.com, September 3)
At the beginning of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan we were told it would be a humanitarian action. Now the brutal truth surfaces. The NDP leader proposes negotiation with the Taliban, saying not everything can be resolved with weapons. His critics state, “You can’t negotiate with the Taliban because they are fanatics.” If they are fanatics, it is in their own country. Afghanistan is no longer the headquarters of Al Qaeda which is all over the world. The Pashtun are fighting now against Genghis Khan’s heritage (the Northern Alliance) more for national than for religious or global motives. All the Northern Alliance cares about is to destroy the Pashtuns; they use Nato for this purpose, as Nato uses them.
One Karma (9/01)
My friend renounced civilization and for ten years lived isolated from humans, buried in Northern Canada’s bush. He learned how to kill deer with a bow and arrow. He lived as a solitary primitive man from days to years in total silence. He lived a pristine life in wisdom. Then, brutally, he was chased away by a bunch of aboriginal kids who discovered him by chance when they came upon a dismembered deer hanging from the tree branches. They alerted the elders to chase the intruder away. So, the rest of his life he had to end as an urban bum. Where is the justice? Why did he have to escape society to remain himself? Personality disorders? Lack of education? Lack of skills which allow one to live in society? Mystery concerning the asocial characters. The Parisian clochards are in this category but others, less noticed , share these characteristics.
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© Copyright 2006 William Markiewicz