Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Harper's Bizarre

This missive is not about the women's rag. For sure, I have no problem with the magazine. The title refers to Canada's Prime Minister, Steve (gave him some male enhancement) Harper. At issue is this: his government's misguided position on Ukraine. They've got it wrong; right from the get-go. In case the Canadian Conservatives missed the headline (the real story) Ukraine is in this current abyss as a failed state because of an illegal coup d'état that was hatched during February of this year.

And it was a murderous one. So bad was the original slaughter that the international media should have called out the Maidan Square Protestors and their backers for what they really are: criminal usurpers, hell-bent on violently removing the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych.  And the illegal occupiers did just that and more: 80 + innocent peaceful citizens and police were murdered during the 'demonstrations' in Kiev.

The international media's response: nothing short of tepid. The illegal 'junta' as Russia correctly called the gangsters, got a media free pass. That's not surprising. Many of the mainstream news outlets have already jumped on the IMF/EU/NATO/U.S. State Department lead band wagon of dirty tricks and double speak. All the while knowing the heinous 'end game' is to encircle Russia. Make that China too. And to accomplish that goal the chosen tool, excuse me, useful stooge is Ukraine. Smack-dab in the plotter's midst is cheerleader Harper. Real soon, he was quick to join the G8--minus RF-- chorus in demonizing Russian President, Vladimir Putin (many ex-KGB references, Hitler comparisons). Truth is there is no shortage to the steady stream of Harper's bellicose and at times, belligerent anti-Russia rhetoric. And he did all that to please his big boss: U.S. President Obama. Not what you expect to hear from Canada's leading 'statesman'; if you can call him that.

The aforementioned is especially true if you consider and poll the country's citizenry. Ask any Canadian about foreign affairs. Any number would be quick to point out that Canada excels and takes pride in their international peace-keeping missions. In every town, ordinary 'Joes' relish the role. Without question, Canadians today are quick to mobilize and respond in kind to any international crisis: be it a natural disaster or political turmoil in volatile regions. Any ex-serviceman Canadian will cite Cyprus; alternatively, the Golan Heights in the Middle East come to mind. More recent examples of Canadians as rapid first responders are Haiti, Japan and the Philippines. The list goes on...

So what part of that proud heritage doesn't Harper get? He's an educated man. Moreover, Harper studied economics; even calls himself one. You'd think somewhere along the road he picked up a map on Asia; and maybe even perused Russian history. If he had done that, Harper should have learned that Ukraine is really Russia proper. It always has been, for centuries. Some experts even consider Ukraine the cradle of Mother Russia. And there is a preponderance of evidence to support the Russian historicity. Over half of Ukraine's citizens speak Russian as their native tongue. Sure, that figure holds true more in the East than the western half but those citizens claiming 'Russia first' was much higher to the south. In Crimea, the Russian speakers topped out around 75 per cent.

And those Crimeans, knew where their best interests lay.  This year in March they overwhelmingly voted to join the Russian Federation. Harper though rejected the democratic process. He could not accept the fact that the Crimean peninsula went over to Russia: fair and square. Voter turnout was large and free of threats or intimidation. The entire process, start to finish was observed by a wide and disparate body of international observers and journalists alike. Moreover, those facts put to flight the Western media's constant howling that Crimea seceded as a result of a Russian military invasion. The latter claim is pure poppycock; more desperation on the part of the interventionists. The truth hurts. The coup managers prefer denial; they hide behind their much obfuscation; Harper too...


It turns out that Prime Minister Harper is not alone in his ignorance about Ukraine and its history. He has company; although, it comes in the form of strange bedfellows. The Canadian media have never been supportive of the Harper Conservatives. Many news organizations there are left leaning; so, no surprise. More disconcerting is the conspicuous absence of a voice for reason in news circles. The mainstream media instead should be appalled; courageous enough to bleat down the ongoing insanity. They should call out the real perpetrators, those authorities who commit heinous crimes, almost daily in Ukraine; however, nary a critical word; not since the earlier days. More disturbing is that as the situation in Ukraine deteriorated further and having already spiraled out of control all the while the Kiev junta's incessant demands on the Eastern Pro-Russians pushed the country in the throes of a Civil War, combined, the Canadian media said nothing. Even now, they remain stone cold silent...

As a corollary, many if not most Canadians are ignorant of what's really happening in Ukraine. And when they do catch a fleeting glimpse it comes as dis-information; media spun.  Nothing reported would lead one to conclude that Kiev's waging a plenary slaughter on its own defenseless citizens in the East. To reveal that would be uncivilized. Keep things sanitized! Those are the media's operative words when it comes to reporting on East Ukraine. Now juxtapose that with their reporting from Kiev. Hitherto, the media fawn all over the ruling junta. And there is no shortage of plaudits that they will spout in praising the Western friendly albeit illegal Ukraine government. Sigh...

There's more to the real story. The smug and newly 'elected' President, Portly Poroschenko (in battle fatigues his resemblance is more akin to Elmer Fudd, rather than as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces) has vowed, even sworn to annihilate those opposing him and his proxy government in the Kiev. Fresh from coronation, what does the candy man oligarch turned emperor do first? Why he, invokes the 'terrorist' label. And he then declares war on his own people. No doubt his hard-line stance against the Pro-Russian militia fighters in East Ukraine is born of self-aggrandizement. To wit, his genocide inspired solution to the country's problems stemming from the East is never criticized nor challenged by the West; not even in the U.N!

Sadly, Canadians don't learn any of those events. And why would they? For sure, they're not given a chance. Who needs to know facts? Instead, their media feeds them a fluff based dumbed-down daily diet, 24/7. All that Canadians ever hear from the major 'news' networks is glib talk: What new folly did Toronto's embattled Mayor Rob Ford commit now? Would Justin Bieber's latest clash with U.S. Law Officers get him deported? Since February, while more knowledgeable experts warned that Ukraine in crisis possibly was a global flash point that could trigger a wider, thermal nuclear conflict, the Canadian media chose a much more benign tack: to opine ad nauseam daily and with grave concern about the need to locate the final resting place of flight MLH370.  Oh Brother...

As much as I would like to think that Canada's official hostile and aggressive position towards Russia regarding Ukraine will change to a more conciliatory, rational and civil approach, I don't hold out much hope. Harper so far, has eschewed earnest debate through honest in person dialogue with all parties, including Russia. And he shows no signs of extricating himself from his current preference: punitive economic sanctions, followed by a steady barrage of guns, cannons, and guided missiles to settle old and new political scores. The fact is: Harper's up for re-election. The national polls will open in less than a year. No doubt, Harper will toe the party line. That really means following in lock-step the expanding/shifty line already drawn (a.k.a. Asia Pivot) by the U.S. led NATO, IMF and EU backed alliance against Russia from all sides; not just from Ukraine.

More worrisome are Harper's challengers. One stands out, not as a leader but for his populism. His candidacy tops the polls. Right now though he's confined to the shadows (for his own protection; already, he's made too many major gaffes). Still, the media try incessantly to promote him as Canada's 'chosen one'. Sound familiar? He like they is a liberal. And when the same media asked in February about the situation in Ukraine, his response was all too telling though laughable: "Putin's angry because they lost in hockey at the Sochi Olympics." Harper may well be ignorant on Ukraine and foreign affairs in general, but his possible replacement is out of touch. A 4th grader would have proffered better.

There's hope... Concerned Canadians who are interested in world events have been drawn to overseas news organizations. Many in droves already have flocked to sites like Moscow Times, Pravda and Der Spiegel. At least there they can read objectively; learn from the erudite writings of true statesmen like Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov or Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin. And to use a hockey analogy, the likes of which would skate circles around any one of their Canadian counterparts; especially when it comes to comporting themselves with dignity, and always seeking and encouraging dialogue through honest debate inclusive to all parties. Make that 'ditto' vis-a-vis the Americans, Brits and Euros. No contest...

Russia respects and knows full well that peace can only result from high diplomacy; not through hounding for war. And I thank God that the Russian view is diametrically opposed to the U.S. hegemonic push; one that increasingly looks more and more demonic. Are you sceptical?  World news headlines are far too ubiquitous; and they are all too identical. Anywhere on the globe, whenever the U.S. Military/Industrial/Bankster complex ventures afield, lost lives, spilled blood, strewn guts and destruction on a massive scale, are found in its wake. Moreover, this worldwide calamity is spawned from the hubris called American 'Exceptionalism'; that trend line began decades before and shows no signs of abating soon. Left unbridled, and with no signs of letup on the horizon from the American led Western interventionist forces, the current Ukraine crisis portends reaching even the scale of the Mutha of All Inventions: WWW III.

Canadians though need not stand idle; stop being spectators to the slaughter of the innocents. They should expect more from their Head of State. Much more... They should express their ire, anywhere, anytime they please. And then they should protest; and demand that Prime Minister Harper stop this folly of his regarding Ukraine: ever increasing punitive sanctions against Russia, vilifying Putin, even offering arms to the illegitimate, criminal and nefarious Kiev 'government'. More important, they need to petition Harper: Apprise him that he should respect democracy and human rights, around the globe. In turn, Harper needs to stand down. And accept reality: the Russian speakers in East Ukraine have spoken; loud and clear they voted to join Russia. Just like their compatriots in Crimea, they too read the 'writing on the wall'. They are better off in Russia. At least there they will have a future. And their children will too.

Now if Harper stopped his meddling while pirouetting around the international stage the whole time uttering threats in the presence of his handlers, and control group, he just might rouse from his stupor; and sober maybe he'd see the lights. Russia is a great country; it always has been, and no doubt it will continue to prosper. Borrowing a line from his own cadre's cache of clever sayings, I add this caveat: He needs to thaw, maybe chill his cold war rhetoric, really fast. If Harper doesn't both probably he and the West just may find themselves on the wrong side of history. War, especially global is not a pretty picture. Ukraine looks like a conduit. More and more...



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