Paddle Now Newsletter No 44.

Human Rights & Justice: the Julian Assange case is usually taken and tolerated as being just another example of great- power willingness  to ignore the rights of individuals when it comes to raisons d’état.

I have no intention to go into the detail of this long-prolonged attempt by the USA to terrify the Fourth Estate into subservience (in which, at least in the western world, it is proving highly successful.)

What the case exemplifies is the continued onward march of fascism in so much of the western world – most particularly the USA and UK. Facism 3 minute read It should be noted that the second item on the list of the early warning signs of fascism, published by Washington’s Holocaust Museum, is ‘Disdain for Human Rights.’

 (It is alarming how well the cap fits so may of the so called ‘western democracies ‘– starting with Israel! )

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism

2. Disdain for human rights

3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause

4. Rampant sexism

5. Controlled mass media

6. Obsession with national security

7. Religion and government intertwined

8. Corporate power protected

9. Labor power suppressed

10. Disdain for intellectual and the arts

11. Obsession with crime and punishment

12. Rampant cronyism and corruption.

It is important not to equate fascism with state failure. Fascist Germany, Italy and Japan were all highly successful states, greatly beloved by the majority of their citizens. That is, until the problems of greedy and megalomaniac leadership that are built into fascist systems, brought about their disastrous failures.

The problem with fascist sates is not that they make miserable the lives of the majority of their citizens (which they don’t.) The citizenry are generally bemused by a demagogue and supportive of the surge in national pride that comes with the package. The disaster of fascist states is the problem they present to their neighbours.

 At a time when the world most desperately needs multinational cooperation and empathetic understanding between nations, fascist states are constructed to provide just the opposite. Xenophobia, clique formation and the urge to score advantage over neighbours characterise the new international order that is emerging.

Since the UK threw off the constraints to its foreign policy imposed by membership of the EU, there are signs that it is accelerating towards fascism.

Perhaps one of the most obvious of these signs is its willingness to make its proud tradition of an independent judiciary subservient to the demands of its America partner in regards to the Julian Assange case.

It is a long story that anyone with time and patience can follow in details if they read the reports of Craig Murray. Craig has attended the Old Bailey hearings and championed Julian, while the media have almost universally cold-shouldered his just cause (which, if ultimately lost, will be to their own great detriment. ) (Google ’Craig Murray Assange.’)

The latest iteration of the case is that the key witness, on whom the notoriously biased British Judge ostensibly relied most heavily in reaching her outrageous(and almost certainly government instructed) judgement, has confessed that his testimony was a pack of lies – earned from the FBI by a plea- bargain on his conviction for sex-offending.

Over the last several weeks, this news, which should have invalidated the whole case and though now starting to creep out, was initially and eerily expunged from all major western media outlets. (See Human Rights below.)

No doubt, the British government will now ignore it.

World Governance

UK liberated  Following Blinken’s example in Afghanistan (below) Boris Johnson (more than 30,000 new Covid cases in UK yesterday) has declared victory against Covid. Now, expect the propaganda bemused British (with 60%+ of UK media owned by just four pro-Johnson billionaires) to supinely join Johnson’s increasingly autocratic government in moving on to the next challenge. This will probably involve patriotic tub-thumping over China’s threat to Taiwan, or Russia’s unreasonable reaction to Ukraine’s threat to reoccupy Crimea. With the bonds of EU foreign policy-makers shattered, Prometheus is unbound. Experts are forecasting up to 200,000 new Covid cases per day in UK by end of August. 4 minute read

Peace & Conciliation

Afghanistan liberated The answer is to declare victory and move on! Pure self-delusion to believe that the Taliban, with their views so hardened by twenty years of occupation, are in the least interested in surrendering the victory they have so determinedly sought.  3 minute read.

Damascus  Usually Campbell raves on about the evil intentions of China –It would appear he has been visiting Damascus – despite the scorn in which he holds the Syrian government. Other than ‘the keeping up with the doolally Jones argument’ it is hard to argue NZ could not better spent this purposeless budget on education and other urgently required social purposes. 4 minute read.

Human Rights & Justice

Polisario  You don’t have to go far to find human rights being abused – in this instance with US support. 3 minute read.

Blindfolds    “Bit by bit the belief that the press has a moral obligation to suppress newsworthy stories if there’s a possibility that they could benefit undesirable parties foreign or domestic became the prevailing orthodoxy in mainstream news circles. By mid-2018 we were seeing things like BBC reporter Annita McVeigh admonishing a guest for voicing skepticism about Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s culpability in the Douma incident on the grounds that “we’re in an information war with Russia.” It’s now simply taken as a given that managing narratives is part of the job.”  The more it contradicts the government line; the less likely it to get printed. All westerners’ beliefs are now open to manipulation according to the wishes of those in power. 6 minute read.

Environment & Climate Change

Canada’s gain?  Many Canadians are anticipating much benefit from global warming. According to Berthold Brecht: ‘He who laughs has not yet the heard the bad news.” 4 minute read.

2 thoughts on “Paddle Now Newsletter No 44.

  1. Gillian Pollock says:

    For Millenia humans have strived for power and wealth in the form of land or possessions etc in order to attain respect and ‘security’. This is why religion, social hierachies, elitism flourished. The history of England and indeed the world is a continuous orgy of going out and conquering. Amongst all people there was little tolerance for anyone who was different.
    This is the first time in history we are talking about tolerance and fairness for all and this needs to be understood before we can be expect change.
    The English did to Maori at Patehaka what Maori did to the Moriori and to each other. Life in NZ before Colonisation was not sweet. There is no black and white in history, most of us are grey.
    I hope the new history curriculum will show all humanity with all its warts and the big conversation must be how to change our values and how to really love each other.

  2. Laurie Ross says:

    I highly recommend reading ‘On Why We Should Abolish the Military’ by Gordon Campbell (referred to as ‘Damascus moment’). He presents the most comprehensive case that justify this position. NZ does not need to continue being complicit in the US warfare mentality, nor enemisation of China. He explains how NZ Defence is not served by massive billion dollar spending on military hardware and then provides alternative legitimate protection measures. NZ should be inspired by Costa Rica’s successful abolition of armed forces and non-military approach to defence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *