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What factor is common to Canada, Sweden and Denmark? The snow, perhaps? The cold weather? The social programs? Or maybe smoked salmon?
How about rendition to torture? And how about cooperation with the intelligence authorities of countries which practice torture with total impunity? These may be some of the darkest common factors shared by the three countries, ones that not everyone is aware of.
Chris Hedges' recent book is a passionate call for the "oppressed" of the Empire to revolt against the tyranny of surveillance, financial greed and propagandist journalism.
Oppression, tyranny, greed, propaganda -- these are words that seem to come straight from a communist manifesto or anarchist pamphlet. But Hedges is neither the former nor the latter. Actually, in some of his previous writing, he referred to himself as a socialist.
A few years ago when some Canadian Muslim men, accused of terrorism, challenged the Canadian government through the courts to ask for their legal rights, voices within the intelligence community rose up and insinuated that these men were waging "judicial jihad."
Lord Cromer, the British consul general of Egypt, who was the de facto ruler of that country between 1883 to 1907, wrote in his book, Modern Egypt:
"The position of women in Egypt, and Mohammedan countries generally, is ... a fatal obstacle to the attainment of that elevation of thought and character which should accompany the Western civilisation … The obvious remedy would appear to be to educate women."
Related rabble.ca story:
In the Oxford English Dictionary the definition of the word "fear" reads as follows: "an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm."
Stephen Harper must have learned this definition by heart. The way he uses fear on the Canadian population to pass his proposed new anti-terror legislation is working to perfection, as least so far.
In a speech he recently delivered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the prime minister stirred the spoon of fear in the cauldron of politics with a misleading dose of confusion, the whole wrapped in irrational reasoning to give birth to the following explosive statement:
Reading news coverage about the recent attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left me with many unanswered and uncomfortable questions. A very complex French, European and international event was summarized with simplistic headlines such us: "How remarkable that a humour magazine has led the fight against fanaticism" or "Paris attack illustrates the power of mockery."
In my October rabble column, I spoke about the horrible treatment of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, one of the Guantanamo detainees who was abusively force-fed by his American guards to dissuade him from continuing his two-year-long hunger strike. In that article, I wrote that Abu Wa'el Dhiab was another example of the collateral damage of the War on Terror, and indeed he was, as U.S. officials proved recently.