- Peter MacKay’s “atrocities across the Middle East.”
The history of North America is instructive.
The policies of the expanding United States and Canada involved a combination of empirical (the British empire and the new American empire) grabs for the wealth and resources of the ‘new’ world combined with a concerted effort of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the native populations. Along with this a policy of encouraging colonial settler populations to settle in the new world served as a means to control those resources and populations. In the U.S. outright genocide was a military government policy along with resettlement. Canada took the gentler route of ethnic cleansing, coercing the First Nations into accepting their lies and promises without a military solution.
The end result is the successful capture by the empires of this ‘new’ world, and the successful displacement of the native populations and the reasonably successful attempted destruction of their culture. The native people were dealt with through ‘negotiations’ that resulted in treaties that were abrogated, ignored, and denied. In some areas, particularly B.C., no treaties were made except for the northeast prairie corner and a few segments of land in what is now Victoria.
In both the U.S. and Canada, reservations were granted to the native people, supposedly on generous terms by white determinations. Even then, these reservations were eliminated or altered so that good land was traded for poor lands, and many had cut-offs, with railways, roadways, power lines and gas lines transecting their supposed lands. Across Canada, the government and the churches conspired to destroy native culture by abducting children from their homes and families, forcing them to attend schools where many died and all were abused in one manner or another. They were denied their language and their culture, both components of ethnic cleansing.
This regime has been supported by laws, the Indian Act of 1876 and its many amendments, that essentially prevents the native populations from developing their own institutions of governance, health, and education. These antiquated laws serve the government, not the native populations, and should be considered an element of repression and ongoing racial bias towards the First Nations of Canada.
This imperial colonialist-settler mindset is still very much alive and well within the Canada and the U.S. For the U.S., its global imperial outreach views the world as its resource pool and has not hesitated to use military force and economic coercion to harvest that wealth to the homeland. Canada at first followed the British empire - and still does - and both are sycophantic unthinking supporters of the U.S. empire.
Israel as a colonial settler state.
The current state of Israel, supported unequivocally by Canada and the U.S. is a similar colonial settler state, representing the ‘empire’ of the west - mostly the EU, the U.S., and Canada.
The Zionist philosophy has from the start been one of recognizing that there was a Palestinian population living in the region and that it was likely to be hostile to Jewish settlements in Palestine. This occurred well before the Second World War with settlements - the kibuttz of popular knowledge - being set up mainly in coastal regions of Palestine. The events of the Second World War provided a huge impetus towards the military take over of Palestinian land. The holocaust helped create an atmosphere of sympathy towards the Jewish settlers, moving to an ‘empty’ land (another similarity of the settlers in North America, who generally considered the ‘new’ world ‘empty’) as well as providing the Jewish military brigades, the Haganah (with its underground fighting force the Palmach) and the Irgun, with extensive military training and experience. Before the British left Palestine, both these groups were considered to be terrorist organizations.
With the false promise of the UN Partition Plan in 1947, objected to by the Palestinians as it gave away most of their land to the much smaller Jewish population, the Israeli forces set in motion their military actions of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Well before their declaration of independence, they began destroying and moving Palestinian residents from their villages in 1947. When the British mandate ended in 1948, the Israelis declared their independence and began a second wave of military actions, this time compounded by the ineffective intervention of much weaker Arab army units.
Since then the settler-colonialist mentality has been in full force. The Palestinians live under different rules of law, in both the West Bank and the pre 1967 Israeli boundaries. In the West Bank, the Palestinians live under military law, subject to change at moments notice and a soldier’s whim. After 1967, with the success of the pre-emptive war against Egyptian forces that expanded into assaults on Jordanian held West Bank and the Golan Heights of Syria, the military rule and settler colonialization of the West Bank and Gaza came into full force.
Land annexations and expropriations using antiquated laws and newly created military zone laws slowly crept over the West Bank and Gaza. The settler-colonialist elements were and are aided by many supportive grants from the government of Israel, which in turn is supported by many western countries, notably the U.S. and Canada, with both military and economic aid. Combinations of land take-overs, military rules, imprisonment, torture, and assassination of Palestinians are used to control the population.
A defence “wall” is under construction, claiming the best agricultural land, annexing the best water resources, and effectively making it impossible for the Palestinians to have a contiguous state of any kind. Separate roads for the Israeli settlers and hundreds of permanent and temporary checkpoints carve up the landscape even more, and guard the settlers from the Palestinians - but in reality also create a fear factor that the Israeli government uses to control its own population from going into the West Bank to see what conditions are actually like.
The “peace negotiations”, the “road maps to peace” have all been subterfuges under which the Israeli government has simply stalled for time while the settlements have continued building unabated. The “Palestine Papers” as revealed by al-Jazeera demonstrate that the Palestinians bent over back ward, much too far according to most, in order to secure a land settlement for two states.
Using the same tactics as the empires of the ‘new’ world, the Israelis are creating their own zone of control over the resources and people of the region. With their military strength (but not necessarily military prowess) they dominate the region acting both as puppets of U.S. interests and even more so as manipulators of U.S. interests.
With Canadian support….
In August 2005 Ariel Sharon made a great show of removing settlers from Gaza, the action serving more for his own political purposes - i.e. ongoing settlements in the West Bank - than as an actual motion for Palestinian self rule. Since that time, Gaza has been under complete control of Israeli forces, with the military in absolute command of the borders, the airways, and the coast. Through ongoing military aggravations by Israeli forces, and the tightening of all elements of control after the aborted democratic election of Hamas to lead the Palestinian people, Gaza has deteriorated to the status of a the world’s largest concentration camp.
Canada has a strong pro-Zionist perspective, going back to its British imperial roots and its Christian Zionist traditions. Since the Conservative party rose to power in 2006, Canada has offered full support of all Israeli actions and full support for all U.S. military actions. Canada was one of the first countries to deny the democratic election of the Hamas government in 2006. It was the first to support Israel’s “Cast Lead” assault on the Gaza population in 2008-09 which killed over fifteen hundred Palestinians as a “proportional” response to a border attack on two Israeli military personnel.
Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives has defined “Islamicism” - an invented term - as the main source of security concerns for Canada. With the recent acceleration of the conflict in Gaza, Harper has returned to his tried and true statement that Israel should be allowed to defend itself against “terrorist” attacks. With the real history of the region available from many sources, the real terrorists are the many combined forces of the western nations, including Israel.
Peter Mackay speaks at the Fourth Annual Security Forum
I find it hard to listen to Peter Mackay, as I feel a distinct nausea while listening to him speak the platitudes and inanities of Conservative ideology. Among the phrases he used at his introductory statements to the Fourth Annual Security Forum in Canada, the one that stood out the most was his reference to the “atrocities across the Middle East.”
He left that undefined, leaving it up to his wilfully/genuinely ignorant audience to interpret it as being the terrorists of Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other anti-western insurgents throughout the region.
He avoids, as do most western politicians - the history of western imperial forces in the region. The main atrocities have occurred where there has been U.S. interference and influence, as the empire attempts to control the land and resources of the region, as well as building containment bases and forces against Chinese and Russian influence. The U.S. history of interventions in the region followed World War II as the British gradually were forced back from their empire.
A secretive deal was arranged with the Saudis to maintain western control of oil resources. To this day, the Saudis are essentially allied to Israel and the U.S. At the same time Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regimes in the region, and is known to export the Wahabbi Sunni brand of Islam. The U.S. and the U.K. arranged the covert actions that resulted in the coup against the democratically elected Mossadegh government of Iran in 1953 - whereas U.S. history conveniently uses the hostage taking incident of 1979-81 as the beginning of their history against Iran, avoiding both the coup and the atrocities of the Shah’s regime.
The U.S. originally supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan, the “Freedom fighters” of Reagan renown, who later morphed in part into al-Qaeda and the Taliban, both backed by Pakistan, another authoritarian regime supported by the U.S. After the false flag 9/11 attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan when by their own accounts they should have invaded either or both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the true sources of the al-Qaeda and Taliban networks. An illegal attack on Iraq followed very quickly, concerned about the oil resources of the country and its attempts to price it in currencies other than the dollar.
More recently, the U.S. stood aside while the Arab Spring unfolded, not sure which way to manipulate actions. They supported the “no fly zone” in Libya, which turned into a full on air assault against the Gadaffi regime, greatly aided by Canada, leaving behind a country beset with many internal militias and power struggles (but at least the oil is flowing westward priced with U.S. dollars). They have supported the rebellion in Syria, indirectly through their cohorts in Saudi Arabia and that other paragon of democracy, Bahrain. Once again, the U.S. is using proxy mujahideen warriors to topple a government hostile to their control.
The double standards of the U.S., and of Canadian support for U.S. actions, as well as its own glorified military actions in the region is where the true “atrocities” are being determined.
Peter Mackay, Stephen Harper, and their cohort of Conservatives have accepted the lies and double standards concerning events in the Middle East as part of their support for U.S. imperial interests in the region. They are following on a long tradition of racial hatred, ethnic cleansing, and genocide that lead the settlement of the ‘new’ world as the British and U.S. empires struggled for control of the land and its resources. This mindset will be denied of course, but it is very evident in the manner in which imperial forces are acting in the Middle East, creating many atrocities against humanity.