While eastern Canada suffers unseasonable rains, the west enjoys its average warm/hot summer. In the Middle East however, the heat is rising in the geo-political field.
I noticed an article in the local paper (The Province, Friday, August 15, p. A41) concerning Prime Minister Harper and his claim that Russia is returning to a Soviet-era mentality. That may well be true, but it is only because the Americans adopted their own unilateral, interventionist, first-strike, supreme military "full spectrum dominance" ethos that has proven so disastrous around the world, but specifically in military terms in the Middle East.
Harper joins Bush and Rice in their full-on willful ignorance of the facts that the U.S. has invaded more countries in the past half century than any other, that the U.S. unilaterally invaded and occupied Iraq, that the U.S. created the situation in Afghanistan - going way back to the CIA preceding the Russians in 1979 - including the creation of al-Queda and the Taliban to help fight the Russians (interesting case of "unintended consequences", all wars have them), that Georgia attacked Russia first, vainly believing that Israel (who trained and supplied the Georgian military) and the U.S. (who also trained and supplied the Georgian military) would step in to help them.
Of course Russia has to return to "cold war mentality" - it has been the intent of the U.S. all along to isolate and destroy Russia, to lay claim to all the oil and natural gas resources as well as the transportation routes (thus Georgia and Afghanistan) to 'friendly' seaports and countries. That Putin outsmarted the Americans is quite clear if one reads enough about the current geopolitical climate in Central Asia. Russia is not perfect, but it has recovered substantially from the Washington consensus induced rape of resources that nearly destroyed the country economically and socially.
At the same time the American state is declining rapidly in its morality and in its democracy (as well as economically, another partial side-effect of American wars). Bush holds fuller executive power than any other president and the American congress is no longer functioning as a democratic control on the executive; and neither one of the new candidates for the presidency have indicated that their will be significant changes - McCain is Bush renewed and Obama is a change, but only in skin color as all his advisors are old white guys.
For Harper to say that he is deeply troubled "that Russia somehow has a say or control over countries outside of its borders" is absolute garbage.
Look at how the Americans act, always intervening in "countries outside their borders" either through military action, CIA intervention, or through supposed NGOs such as the federally funded National Endowment for Democracy. And then Harper needs to look closer to home, at how Canadian resources under NAFTA have been sold downstream to the Americans (consider the clauses on natural gas and U.S. rights to it even if Canada has to give up some of its needs), and then consider Canadian troops in Afghanistan helping the Americans with their overall plans to secure those resource supplies.
Of course it is all rationalized as being free market (which do not exist, never have, never will) and helping democracy (in a country based very much on tribal conditions and with the will to defeat any occupiers (as all foreign troops are viewed) or to die in the process, especially once civilians start dying as "collateral damage".
Mr. Harper, it is time to simply be quiet and contemplate your own ignorance's or willful follies, whichever they be.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.