Monthly News Review: May 2015
In the USA at the beginning of May there were large scale protests over several days in the city of Baltimore. The protests followed the death of black citizen Freddie Gray who died in police custody from what looked like being beaten to death. The protests were large scale and turned violent at times with looting and destruction of property. Baltimore’s population is 60% black, income for the area is significantly lower than the surrounding areas and national average and about 25% of the population is living below the poverty line, 15% of properties are vacant, mostly due to repossession. In addition Baltimore is ranked in the top ten of most dangerous US cites by Forbes. The protests are part of an ongoing movement in the States, ‘Black Lives Matter’, a movement which is protesting the treatment that black citizens receive from US law enforcement. It is now frequent and regular that videos and reports are appearing of extreme police brutality towards its citizens, quite often its black citizens but by no means exclusively. The police are armed with, batons, pepper spray, tazers and firearms yet their first response often seems to shoot to kill. Recent examples of abuse, a black man was shot 8 times in the back after running away from an officer after being stopped for a minor issue, another man was wrestled to the floor and suffocated to death by several officers despite the victim desperately saying his final words ‘I can’t breathe’, another man who suffered a stroke and appeared non responsive at the wheel of the car was pepper sprayed in the face and then dragged from the vehicle whilst in the aftermath of a stroke. Another recent video showed police entering a house with a police dog, the man inside was sitting in his chair with his hands in the air, the dog was barking and the police were pointing their guns, the man didn’t move and without warning the dog jumps on the man and mauls his face. The accounts of incidents like this are stacking up and there is normally a video to accompany them.
The USA is no doubt a dangerous place with so many firearms in circulation, in particular for a police officer. This however is their environment and it is their duty to protect the people and enforce the law. However the performance of a significant proportion of officers seems to be sub standard at best. Most people understand that in any country the police force can attract bullies but the level of abuse by US police officers towards it’s citizens in many instances is shocking, additionally it is rare that police officers are found guilty of any offense and that is if they are charged in the first place. Is this abuse of power a policy being driven at higher levels as part of an agenda, or are we seeing the result of officers with sub standard training being released upon the US public and are unable to deal with what in fairness can be a very difficult environment to operate at times. The police need to be highly trained to handle the myriad of situations they may face appropriately and not just instantly go for the kill at the slightest sign of trouble. Instead it would appear that there are individuals in the US police force who have a violent disposition and have been released upon the general public. On average the police in the USA kill three of its citizens a day, in 2014, 1101 US citizens were killed by police.
There is a great deal of violence in US society amongst its own citizens, the police face genuinely dangerous situations that will sometimes demand a reaction that may lead to a fatality, that has to be understood. The deeper issue here is whats driving the violence and discontent in parts of US society. Perhaps the answer is poverty, poverty it seems is the root cause for much of humanities suffering. That said there are many nations that are in deep poverty and there isn’t the same level of violence as in the US. So is there is more to it, could it be a cocktail of poverty within a very materialistic society in addition to a culture that promotes aggressive territorial behavior through its various media platforms such as music. One thing is for sure, the suffering and hardship combined with the psychological conditioning from society encourages alcoholism, drug taking and a general aggressive and competitive disposition towards your fellow citizens. Amongst other things you could argue, a primary reason for the widespread drug taking is it provides an escape from the daily pain, pain that is caused by the physical hardship and the psychological strain of living in this kind of society. Demand creates supply (sometimes its the other way round), Gangs form to facilitate the illegal supply, the competitive struggle between rival gangs for profit fuels murder and theft and this is the violence we see in parts of US society.
People in poverty are desperate and desperate people do desperate things, things they would never normally do, especially if its drug or alcohol fueled. Balanced and satisfied individuals, on the whole, don’t tend to want degenerate themselves and change their mental state regularly. People who live in poverty also have very little chance to escape, they cant afford to move house to a better area, they cant afford to educate or better themselves, its very difficult to be upwardly mobile financially as you need money to make money. In addition they are targets for those that offer an extremist mindset (rightly or wrongly) such as a religion or extremist political view point. The poor also provide a great recruiting ground for the armed forces in any country. How often do you see the military recruitment officers targeting wealthy families for soldiers who will be on the front line, never is the answer. They know full well they wouldn’t fill the ranks, but those who have nothing, no hope of ever bettering themselves and living in unpleasant surroundings might say, ok I’ll kill and risk dieing if it gets me out of here. In short, people in poverty are desperate, any individual who is desperate has different behavior to one who is content. This must be recognised and their desperation alleviated if societies ills are to be cured. Its not a solution to just create laws and punish.
Eliminate poverty, educate society in the right way and the violence will disappear. This however is contrary to the function of capitalism, capitalism’s nature is to create ever diminishing islands of wealth, the wealth on the island increases as the rich get richer but the island gets smaller as the number of rich gets less and the number of poor increases. The reason for this is that the island of wealth represents the wealthy and powerful, they have the leverage (the money) to increase their wealth which inevitably removes wealth and power from others. The only way to counter this is through regulation of the system, rules that ensure an even playing field and ensure that no one business gets to big, small new businesses can enter the fray and citizens are protected. One problem, what if those that make the rules are working hand in hand with those who have the money and the power. This is where we are now and perhaps have always been, the only reason why we are seeing it more overtly now is that they are confident of getting away with it even if some of the population are aware of it. Is it possible that in the end there will be one company that runs everything, much like it seems to be in the movie Alien when Ripley refers to “the company”? The end result of capitalism might be what the west perceives as communism. (Unfortunately for communism its meaning got twisted and perverted by Stalin so true communism was never realised and all that remains in the meaning of the word is centralised control and power over all individuals). If you don’t believe it just look at the trend over the last 30 years, we have a fraction of the number of big companies now than we did back then, they all get bought out or merge with each other, if the trend continues as its is, then there will only be one enormous company eventually that dominates the majority of the worlds resources. In addition to the greed and psychosis of those at the top that are destroying humanity, it also serves several other purposes for the poor to exist. As previously mentioned they are fertile ground for all kinds of projects one may wish to embark on when they need desperate individuals willing to do anything such as join the army, religion or extremist group, or perhaps just an unwilling victim of some kind who doesn’t have the power to fight back. For most in poverty its just to serve as workers who will work for the bare minimum as they have no alternative, wages are normally the highest cost of any business, it helps profits to keep wages as low as possible. That’s until the factory gets moved overseas and the workers lose their jobs to other workers who can work for even less. Strange how the big business owners often tell you that they are job creators and serve society for the good when they feel forced to justify their position, they just don’t’ tell you the bit for as long as it suits them, then your on the scrap heap.
On the 7th of May there was a general election in the UK to determine which party would form the next government, if there isn’t a clear majority then a coalition government would be formed which was the case in the previous election in 2010 when the conservatives led by David Cameron formed an alliance with the liberal democrats who won the most seats they had ever won with a tally of 57 seats in parliament out of a total of 650 seats. The liberal democrats were led by Nick Clegg during this time. Nick Clegg has the strange privilege of overseeing the greatest gain and loss of the liberal democrats as they were reduced to 8 seats in 2015. One might argue because those that had voted for them in 2010 didn’t in 2015 because they realised how utterly impotent they seemed to be whilst in a coalition government. Whether that’s a fair reflection or not, that’s how it appeared as Nick Clegg seemed to just be this silent shadow that followed David Cameron around and David Cameron got to do whatever he liked even though he was in a coalition government. The biggest mistake the liberal democrats ever did was to get into bed with the conservatives as it could well be the end of the road for them. Like the needy loser in a doomed relationship they got used, chewed up and spat out.
While the lib dems crumble away a new party is on the rise by the name of UK independence party or UKIP. Its leader, Nigel Farage is quite a famous figure in the UK now. He is a Member of the European Parliament where he is roundly detested by all his co members, perhaps this is why…
Not only is Farage detested in the European Parliament, he is a loathed by the British establishment in the UK, they used all the power they had to systematically character assassinate him at every turn in the run up to the 2015 general election where Nigel Farage was attempting to win his first seat as a member of the UK parliament. UKIP is branded as racist and bigoted by the UK media, the justification for this is that UKIP wants to enforce an immigration policy which they can only achieve if the UK leaves the EU. Why does the UK have to leave the EU to achieve this, because as part of the EU you can’t restrict the movement of people within the EU, its in the contract. A neutral observer who lacks the sensitivity of a highly strung politically correct liberal would probably see having an immigration policy as quite sensible, after all most countries do have them and they aren’t branded racist. In any case, the establishment wants to destroy Nigel Farage and UKIP because he threatens to derail their new world order plans with devolution and many people in UK society who have been mentally massaged by the media are also quite vocal about their loathing for the party.
The main opposition party at the 2015 election was the labour party, who were famously led Tony Blair, its quite unlikely there is a more despised man in the world in the last 50 years . Ed Miliband, the current leader never really cut the mustard, if there ever was a case for someone not really looking like a leader it was probably him, yes it’s superficial and you might think this isn’t important but it probably is. In the run up to the election in all the polls it looked like labour might win or at worst be in prime position to form a coalition government but they were trounced by the conservatives. This begs the question, how did the polls get it so wrong?
The big winners of the 2015 election other than the conservatives were the Scottish National Party or Scot Nats (a derogatory sounding term) as can be heard in the media as the character assassination campaign begins on the BBC and other media establishment outlets. The SNP won 56 seats representing pretty much the whole of Scotland. After Scotland voted to stay part of the UK in a referendum in 2014, this is perhaps the reaction to that. There has been claims of vote rigging in that election and many Scots were in disbelief when the no vote came through. Now the SNP are in and another referendum on staying in the UK might be in the works, the Scots are fighting back.
The UK method of electing a government is the system known as first past the post. This system basically means that whoever gets the most votes in a given area wins the seat for that area in parliament, seems fair enough you might say. Scratch beneath the surface though and the plot thickens. Another way of looking at it is this, your vote only counts for something if you vote for the winner. Therefore it encourages people to vote for a party likely to win so they don’t waste their vote and discourages voting for a smaller party even if they represent you better. What does this mean, well it means that its highly unlikely for a small or new party to ever be able to get into government. Therefore its extremely unlikely there will be a change to the status quo. In theory, lets assume you own a private central bank, or are a royal family or elite member of society and have control over the power structures in a nation and you have influence or control over the two major political parties in a country, you don’t lose much sleep at night worrying about some cheeky newcomer getting in a spoiling your neatly managed system when its vote time. Its all wrapped up before the vote has even happened because the voting systems actively discourages any change. The people get their illusionary say in their future and you get to keep control of the country, everybody is happy.
Alternatively there could be a proportional representation system where all votes matter and a party gets the proportion of seats relative to the proportion of votes. Or, you could just change the whole system altogether but that’s another monthly news review.
To illustrate the perverseness of this system take a look at these stats from the UK general election in 2015 using the “first past the post” system…
Conservatives 11,334,576 331
Labour 9,347,304 232
UKIP 3,881,099 1
SNP 1,454,436 56
Lib Dems 2,415,862 8
That’s democracy in action in the UK.
The 8th of May was VE day, or Victory in Europe day, this year was the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war. Services and memorials were held throughout Europe and Russia to commemorate and remember the second world war. Despite world leaders attending these events, it never seems to put them off trying to start new wars.
David Cameron like all politicians presents well in expensive suits and well practiced sound bytes (if that’s what impresses you), but at the core is snake in the grass. That’s probably why he set the election date in the UK a day before the VE day, he probably thought he could hijack the feeling of national pride and channel into an election victory The conservative party won, so maybe it worked.
Al Nakba day was on the 15th May, hardly a day of celebration, unless you support theft and genocide. Its the day that Palestinians remember losing their lands when Jewish militia forced them from their homes to make way for the Israeli state. An estimated 700, 000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from what was Palestine in 1948. Since then Israel has received unabated support from the West, Israel receives more money than any other country in aid from The US, around $3.15 billion per year. Then again what would you expect, the US eliminated the Native American to create it’s state so it’s hardly surprising they have no problem with Israel eliminating the Palestinians.
29th May was the date set for the election of the FIFA president, normally this would not attract much attention outside the football arena. This time however the FBI and the national prosecutor in the US have decided that the FIFA executives are going to get the treatment, why now, we don’t know yet but it happened. As the world policeman, the US have arrested several high ranking FIFA executives some of whom are heads of their regional organisations, including the American Chuck Blazer who has allegedly made a deal with the authorities in return for spilling the beans on all the corrupt FIFA activity. Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, was the key man they wanted to take down, but didn’t arrest. They timed the arrests two days before the election, presumably to derail the election and force Sepp Blatter to withdraw leaving only one candidate, a Jordanian, Prince Ali. Jordan is a country that is world renowned for its football culture so its no surprise a Jordanian Prince is the in the mix for running world football. Prince Ali has the full support of the western controlled football associations. Sepp Blatter resisted the massive international pressure, the elections went ahead and Sepp won a fifth term in office at the spritely age of 79. The same names and faces for the most part have been running FIFA for years, decades even, including the time when the USA got awarded the world cup in 1994. So what brought this sudden urge to rid the world of FIFA corruption when its been to obvious to all its been happening for as long as most can remember. Russia 2018, that’s whats going on. Russia won the bid and is due to host the world cup in 2018. Why is this a problem, the answer to this is certainly worrying. Is it purely a trade war, in that the West don’t want Russia hosting the prestigious tournament raising their profile and earning money, in addition how is it going to affect the sanctions currently in place against Russia. The real concern is if it affects their plans for war, will a 2018 world cup be an undesirable obstacle in their timetable for some aggressive action against Russia. Only time will tell but already there is talk in the media of examining the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 bids and possibly deeming them void if corruption has been found. Its almost certain there was corruption as everything FIFA did was probably corrupt, you probably couldn’t get directions to the loo in a FIFA office without bribing someone. In short it would have been impossible to win a world cup without some back handers, either now, then or twenty years ago. If we compare FIFA to another industry, say the arms industry, it’s common knowledge that entertainment, backhanders and bribes are all standard practice on the big international deals, its just the way we do business you will hear them say. Perhaps tomorrow we will see the FBI raid Lockheed Martin or British Aerospace? Within days after the election win Sepp Blatter stepped down, perhaps this was his intention from when the arrests happened, he just wanted to make sure that the West’s Jordanian puppet didn’t get into power as the sole remaining candidate. Now there will be a new election with new candidates and who knows whats going to happen next.
The tragedies of Syria and Iraq continue with IS making some advances, in Iraq they gained the city of Ramadi and in Syria they took Palmyra. in Iraq the government forces are on the counter offensive and Ramadi is now under seige and is likely to be taken back in the coming days or weeks. The Iraqi government forces are also laying seige to Tikrit. On the whole in Iraq the momentum is with the government forces, there are setbacks like Ramadi but for those supporting the Iraqi government and its allies they are looking strong. Iraqi officals have complained about the lack of effectiveness of US airstikes, they have said that out of 10 air sorties 8 planes will return to base without firing any weapons. In addition they claim that the US does not co ordinate with the ground forces in Iraq and also appear to be ignoring what they would consider obvious targets. One has to wonder how it can be possible that a terrorist group with no anti air weaponry can advance across a desert and take a city with the US Air Force supposedly targeting them from above.
In Syria the government troops have had to make a strategic withdrawal from Palmyra after sleeper cells in the city became active whilst IS were besieging the city and the internal security of the city was compromised. The government forces took up defensive lines outside of the city and will advance to retake the city at an appropriate time according to the government. Meanwhile there has been great success in the Lebanon Syria border region where Al Nusra front has had strongholds in the mountains. Hezbollah alongside the SAA have made great advances and are well on the way to securing the whole border region and eliminating the terrorist threat in that area.
In Yemen the Houthis are bowing to no one and are making cross border attacks on Saudi Arabian soil, they have killed some Saudi forces and captured personnel and hardware. Meanwhile the Saudis have continued their air strikes damaging civilian infrastructure as well as military targets. Clearly there are many casualties in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world.
The political Joke of the century has finally come to an end, Tony Blair has resigned as Middle East peace envoy after taking the post in 2007. After starting a war on Iraq based on a lie about weapons of mass destruction, which subsequently saw a million Iraqis die, you might think that a bit of a blemish on the CV when applying for a peace envoy position but it didn’t put off the US, EU, Russia and the UN. In addition to that, even after the Iraq war supposedly ended, a 1000 Iraqis were dieing every month from terrorist attacks, and if that wasn’t enough for you, Iraq was the birth place of IS when the western powers were in charge there. So lets look at Big Tones peace achievements whilst in office:
3 x Full scale Israeli assaults on Gaza, cast lead, pillar of defense, protective edge
Full scale war in Syria, an invasion of foreign Islamic militants disguised as a civil war backed by the west and its regional allies.
Full scale war on Yemen by Saudi Arabia.
Full scale war on Libya by the west resulting in the murder of its leader and the country falling into ruin and becoming a haven for Islamic Militants.
Full scale war in Iraq between the new government and Islamic Militants
Ongoing repression and brutalization of the shia population in Bahrain by the western backed ruling family.
Relative to the utter carnage that goes on around Israel its been pretty peaceful inside Israel on the whole, not to mention the success of the ever expanding Israeli borders as they continue to take land from the Palestinian West Bank and build Israeli only settlements. Therefore its mission accomplished no doubt for Tony Blair.