Monday, February 6, 2012

Uncomfortable parallels

While a mere teenager when Richard Nixon was elected to a second term, Stephen Harper had found a mentor. A few decades later, empowered by a majority in parliament, the now Canadian Prime Minister is putting early inspirations into action.

Nixon spent his early years working as an ardent anti-communist and red-baiter. However, when the unprincipled politician sensed an opportunity for personal aggrandizement, he organized an eight-day television extravaganza in China, calling his visit, "The week that changed the world." Of course, it was little more than America's acceptance of the 23-year old outcome of the Chinese civil war.

Harper too spent his early years in politics looking for reds under beds, railing frequently against socialism, taxation, medicare and offences to fundamentalist social values. After Rob Anders called Nelson Mandela "a communist and terrorist," Harper said the Calgary MP was a true conservative and faithful supporter.

However, when China came looking to spread billions among Canadian energy magnates — the patrons providing financial muscle to Harper throughout his political career — Canada's Conservative leader was keen to facilitate Chinese efforts. Suddenly, sending North America's natural resources to fuel the already massive Asian economy became a Canadian priority. When dealing with energy exports, Harper reworked an old Mackenzie King line so that it came out, "Not necessarily pro-communist but pro-communist if necessary."

In part of another parallel, Nixon kept American soldiers in southeast Asia to conduct warfare that had little value or purpose for U.S. citizens. Years later, Harper behaved similarly, stationing young Canadians in Afghanistan to kill and be killed until his government ended combat action there after losing interest in the war, despite a record number of Afghan civilian deaths in 2011. Injured taxpayers along with families of dead and wounded Canadians are left to wonder if this war is not worth fighting now, was it ever worth fighting.

When bothered by opponents, Nixon's administration promised in writing to “use the available federal machinery” to make trouble for “our political enemies.” By that, the White House meant the Internal Revenue Service, which had a unit of special service staff that had been investigating critics of Nixon and his policies.

Writing about recent actions and warnings to environmentalists and other dissidents by the Harper Government, Rafe Mair disclosed an analogous threat to him by the Conservative Party of Canada. Mair recalled the situation in Enbridge, Harper and Consequences for Speaking Out:
"Did Prime Minister Harper threaten Tides Canada with “consequences” if they didn’t stop funding supporting campaigns - specifically that of ForestEthics - against the Enbridge Pipeline project?

"ForestEthics says so, which is enough to have all Canadians, no matter what their stance on this issue or others, demand the Prime Minister make it clear that all Canadians, subject to the Criminal Code of Canada, have a constitutional right to say what they please on all issues, big and small – without consequences.

"I have had experience with this. Back in 1992, when the Mulroney government was shoving the Charlottetown Accord at us, I was one of a very few people in the media that was opposed and said so with a passion.

"One day my “mole” in the Conservative caucus – and at the same time a national media person – told me that Mulroney was going to retaliate against me by having me face a tax audit. I went on the air the following morning and reported this on the hope that this would discourage such a threat. Whether it worked or not I cannot say – I can say that no such audit was ordered."
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11 comments:

  1. Canada is following the USA's lead and descending into a world of corn-pone Fascist politics, where might is right and "all hail the almighty dollar."

    This is the world where the poor are treated as serfs, begging for a few scraps that are allowed them. The ill and infirm are treated as burdens and the sooner they depart this earth the better. The middle class are treated as rubes, fresh off the back of a turnip truck; rubes for the taking.

    It is the elite or 1% class that has it free in this country, they can afford the education for their children; they are creating wealth dynasties, by intermarrying, just like the feudal lords of old; they control government and it's most hideous and malignant bureaucracy, including the police.

    Canada is fast becoming a failed state, where a small number of uber-wealthy family combines, control an ever more cynical population, who are growing weary under the burden of government taxation, which largely subsidizes the elite minority.

    Revolution is but a short step away.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Herr Harper - the Canadian modern day "DICK-TATOR" in every sense of the word. Threats and intimidation abound - huge prisons planned for those that dare question his words !
    This modern Dick-Tator is starting to resemble many other leaders in recent European history from the 1930's and 1940's.

    However, this "Dick-tator" is being told what to do by China !!! Chinese money is influencing Canadian Conservative policy making for Canada -the last communist country of consequence, in the world.

    Oh, how hypocritical Harper has become - not to mention his arrogance and contempt for the people of Canada !

    Change is around the corner - CSIS Fadden had it right when he warned the country of political leaders going astray !

    Thank you

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  3. It's a very strange brew that is simmering. The U.S. delayed the Keystone pipeline. Harper threatened the U.S. he would sell the dirty tar oil to China. The U.S....took caterpillar out of Canada, leaving Canadians without jobs. Caterpillar demanded the workers take a 50% wage cut, even though caterpillar made excellent profits.

    The U.S. has tension with both China and Iran. Harper very badly wanted to attack Iran. Both Russia and China support Iran. Russia said, it would be a bad mistake to attack Iran.

    China is crowding the South China sea. Philippines have other islands rich in resources. China seems to want those resources. The Philippines have asked the U.S. to arm them, so they can protect their island resources against China.

    Which master will Harper follow, the U.S. or China? We know Harper went to China, to solidify the dirty tar sands oil deal.

    Campbell gave China some of our mills, along with our raw logs. China owns mines in BC. China is sending their people to school to learn English, they get the coal mining jobs. BC is building LNG tanks for China to pick up the gas. Fadden of CSIS, was right about China encroaching into BC, we are owned by China.

    The Port of Prince Rupert was expanded, to take the huge freighters from China. The freight is loaded on the CNR. There is a rail yard expanded to store the goods from China. A huge chunk of the tar sands is also owned by China. Now Harper is going to force the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers into BC.

    Harper is serving BC and Alberta to China, on a silver platter. It seems, Harper has chosen China as our new master, instead of the U.S.

    The U.S. may pull many of their company's out of Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's maddening. The worst of it is that you could see it coming a mile away. A disaster in slow motion. For a while you try to tell yourself, "Nah, I'm just being paranoid - surely it will never happen here!" Nobody really wants to believe what's happening to our country.

    Who the dickens votes for these people anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  5. If only Harper was smart enough to see - China has Canada by the balls - literally. No matter which way the sqirm, China can apply pressure and get the results it wants !!!

    So Harper and the right wing extremists are smart eh !!!! Will this teach big corporations a lesson ?? !

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on the crew of bankers and oil men travelling with the PM to China, Harper and friends intend to drop their drawers and say, "Fondle us, please."

      Delete
  6. It's a dangerous game that Harper is engaging us all in. Allowing China to own a large part of our natural resources and giving Canadian sovereignity the finger. We no longer control what happens within our borders and if we try, expect violent results against Canadians.

    Corporations do not care. They do not learn lessons. They are simply interested in profit and more profit. Voters who choose Harper Conservatives are not the caring, sharing type but known as the self-interested voter. Puppy kickers. Their bottom line is of utmost importance. Beware of those that preach free market, especially the religious ones.

    Do not attempt to view this as anything other than black and white, us or them, left or right, rich or poor as it is a class war and we all need to start fighting for this country and get off the fucking couch.

    BTW Norman, I really did not need that image in my head right while I was eating my lunch. Harper's picture is enough to make me sick to my stomach.


    islandcynic

    ReplyDelete
  7. i sometimes find humour the best way to analysis a problem. This works for the Cons. Check out this site, not quite this issue but close.

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorial-cartoon/2012-02-05-editorial-cartoon

    ReplyDelete
  8. BC already is Little China. The Chinese come into Vancouver in absolute hoards. They are buying Vancouver right out, and they are still coming. They even want their history taught in our schools because they said, there are so many of them. They even want, Mandarin immersion schools.

    Campbell sent our BC mills to China, along with our raw logs. China owns some of our mines. They will also be coming into Douglas Channel, to pick up our natural gas. This is a mistake of the F.N. people, to allow gas pipelines, and tankers, into kitimat. No gas pipeline leaks, no Enbridge pipeline leaks. No gas tanker spills, no Chinese dirty oil tanker spills. This will set a precedence. Harper can use that precedence to force the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tankers into BC. Don't think for one minute, that Harper won't do this, because he will. Harper is a dictator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another parallel: Nixon had tapes on his enemies. Harper had tapes on at least Ignatieff.

    ReplyDelete

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