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Europeans Die … Again… As European Leaders FAIL … Again … To Confront Fascism

July 20th, 2014 · 23 Comments

Vladimir Putin is a fascist … make no mistake about that.

Anyone who follows goings-on in post-Soviet Russia knows very well there is no real democracy under Putin: opposition leaders have been arrested jailed, forced to flee the country; opposition protestors are banned, arrested, beaten; and journalists who try to tell the truth about what is going on have been shut down,  arrested, beaten and even killed.

This is classical fascist rule … and Putin is responsible for it … 100%.

And in true European fascist tradition. Putin has promised his people glory and Russian expansion … and, let’s be frank, he HAS delivered: in Chechnya; in Georgia; in Crimea; and, so far, in Eastern Ukraine.

How has Europe reacted?

Just as they did in the 1930s:  when fascist Germany took over the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia (saying they HAD TO protect ethnic Germans there … just like Russia moved troops into Osetia in 2008 ); or when fascist Germany annexed Austria in 1938 (just as Russia annexed Crimea last year); and in 1939, Germany demanded annexation of Danzig, Poland, which the fascists regarded as ethnically German territory (just as Putin has described eastern Ukraine.)

European leaders back then talked a lot, urged restraint, looked the other way … and DID nothing!

They really did not want to give up their comforts, affect their economies or risk physical confrontation or conflict  to confront the spreading German fascism.

And we all know where that refusal… their APPEASEMENT policy ….and failure to stand up to fascism EARLY led!

Until the United States, Canada, Britain stepped in to save their asses.

The same thing is happening today:  there is absolutely no doubt that Putin’s ultimate goal is an EXPANDED Russian empire … and in true fascist form, he couldn’t care less if tens of thousands of people die to achieve a Greater Rossiya.

And if he succeeds in Eastern Ukraine, his next target (literally) will be Moldova.

Putin believes if he can achieve the goal of Greater Rossiya, incorporating tens of thousands of additional square kilometres into Russian control,  he will go down in Russian history as a Great Leader, a Great Hero, a Great Achiever.

And once more, European leaders have FAILED miserably to stand up to the latest manifestation of  fascism in their midst … thereby encouraging Putin to continue towards his goal.

It is THEY, not Putin, who are ultimately responsible for what happened to Malaysian Air Flight 017.

European leaders, for more years now, have looked the other way and done ALMOST NOTHING as Putin’s expansionist agenda  has been carried out.

One more, they did not want to  give up their comforts, affect their economies or risk physical confrontation or conflict to confront the spreading fascism.

How ironic that  …. led by German reluctance to act against this latest fascism  … the European Union’s sanctions against Putin have been so weak as to be barely noticeable in Russia.

It has been APPEASEMENT all over again …with the same results as in the past: Europeans are dying at the hands of fascism.

And once again,  the Europeans left it to the United States, Canada and Britain to take the lead in going after Putin’s fascism and imposing greater sanctions on Putin’s cronies and Russian financial institutions.

Even in that regard, the sanctions have been far too weak, in my view,  to make Putin pull back from his expansionist aggression: but what could/should WE really do if European nations themselves won’t step up to protect their own interests, their own PEOPLE or national security!

Had the European nations STOOD UP to Putin when they should have, the Russians would NOT have moved so much military equipment and so many military personnel into ANOTHER COUNTRY … Ukraine.

Had the European nations IMPOSED meaningful sanctions, the Russian people would be feeling some of the pain and discomfort their fascist government has inflicted on others and Putin’s popularity … like other fascist leaders before him …would NOT still be at 80% with his people.

Putin will NOT stop until the Russian people themselves start to feel the hurt.

Tougher sanctions MUST be imposed on Russia NOW … even if Europeans must suffer disruptions and discomfort to stop the march of Putin’s fascism.

Until they do that, the blood of MH 017  … and past and future victims of continued Russian aggression  … will be splattered on every Euro note!

Harv Oberfeld

→ 23 CommentsTags: International · Media

NPA’s New Standard Bearer: Kirk Who?

July 17th, 2014 · 23 Comments

Kirk LaPointe faces some serious challenges … not the least of which is finding Vancouver voters who even know who he is.

LaPointe this week became the Non Partisan Association’s candidate for Mayor of Vancouver.

Mayor?

Not even the NPAs website lists any neighborhood work, any activism about civic causes, any issues he has spoken out about …pro or con (bike lanes, parks, developments, transit, environment, education) … or any townhall, planning or consultation meetings he has attended,  spoke out at or expressed any public interest in … ever.

Mayor?

The NPA points out LaPointe did serve seven years as a volunteer coach for girls’ softball and is past President of the Vancouver Minor Softball Association.

Mayor?

Well, as anyone who reads this blog knows, I have been very critical of Vision over the past few years, even though I did vote for them and Gregor Robertson as Mayor back in 2008.

We voted for change and a more responsive, more responsible and more transparent city government : what we got was a far left wing dictatorship that I OFTEN feel disrespects whole neighborhoods, the consultative process, minority rights, motorists and has made a mockery of transparency … while overspending MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of taxpayers’ dollars  on pet projects that benefit relatively few or have failed miserably.

Recent news reports have pointed out that, under Vision, the city’s NET DEBT has soared to $205 MILLION …up from $101 MILLION in 2006 … more than double!

And yet, Vision council has announced a new  $1.08 BILLION Capital Plan ….focussing (again) on: new child care spaces, more affordable housing, more cycling and more  pedestrian improvements, and more “greening” issues.

This continues a trend Vision began in 2011 …shifting capital expenditures to social programs and away from those mundane things, like roads,  transit, water and sewers infrastructure.

May sound great to some … but it just puts off the HUGE TAX INCREASES  we ALL (home owners, businesses, renters)  will have to pay when those “ordinary” things start to fail BIG TIME down the road.

I make no apologies: I want a new Mayor  and Council with a new (forgive me) vision.

LaPointe?

Few Vancouver voters know him, but I do somewhat, from our mutual reporting days (decades actually) both in Vancouver and in Ottawa, but frankly that doesn’t help.

I never found him particularly friendly; can’t remember any great stories he broke; and, I don’t recall him ever asking any memorable questions. And if he made any politicians or bureaucrats uncomfortable with his tenacity, I never heard, witnessed … or read … about it.

Mayor?

It will depend on POLICIES, PROGRAMS, PROMISES.

I guess that’s the way it should be when it comes to assessing prospective leaders and parties: what they plan to do …and how much do we trust they will keep any promises.  Personality should not be the determining factor.

Sure, politicians don’t fulfill all  their plans and promises… but at least it gives the voters a sense of  which road … or bike path … the parties are heading down ideologically.

And in Vancouver’s next civic election, THAT will be the MOST IMPORTANT choice voters will face.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 23 CommentsTags: British Columbia