Canadian Military and the Arctic

by bicyclemark 9 Comments

Hitched a ride with some kind Amsterdam hackers and made it home from Berlin after another wonderful visit. Before leaving I got to spend some more time with both Mitch Altman who brought you the TV-B-Gone, and Emmanuel of 2600. I recorded podcasts with both of them, and during our conversations we did come back to the topic which I raised at the conference, the Arctic Cold War.

Currently I’m looking more into Canada’s role and their plan for the part of the arctic that they claim. What is often referred to as the Northwest Passage, is the route that goes right over Canada and could make for a good connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific, because of the fast melting of the arctic ice. Canada claims that the Northwest Passage is their sovereign territory, despite the fact that part of it is in the arctic which is supposed to be international territory. They also reject claims from nations, such as the US, that say it is an international crossing or an international straight, and can therefore not be considered property of Canada.

Why does this matter so much? As I said in my talk, among the reasons, the destruction of the planet hangs in the balance. Nations like Russia, Canada, and even the US, have mobilized military resources and dedicated money for new military forces to patrol, oversee, and be positioned in the arctic to show some kind of control or claim over territory. Canada itself has carried out excercises and dedicated a military force that, according to the prime minister, will defend Canada’s sovereign territory in the arctic. Note the term – DEFEND!

As I explore Canada’s military statements and websites, there is an odd mix of friendliness and willingness to use the military is this game to gain control of the arctic. I’m gathering a few military videos and statistics on their activities and will put them out in a video entry shortly. But one thing is already clear, there is something very disturbing when nations not only try to claim what is supposed to be international territory that has such great importance to the future of the planet, but when they also use weapons and soldiers in some twisted effort to support that claim by exhibiting a willingness to use deadly force.

Missile Tests Mean…

by bicyclemark 3 Comments

Ok the two-day festivus is over. And just as many people sit down to eat the roast beast (or vegetarian roast-beast), over in Russia they are testing new Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.  Yes, the ICBM, an acronym usually associated with the cold war and the 80’s.

Welcome to the new cold war.  In this version the US acts like Russia is their best friend and presidents look into each others souls and they drive around in pickup-trucks together.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, the US has military contractors who need to build missiles and fear in order to justify their existence and make a profit so you can trade shares in Boeing and help make the CEO’s very wealthy.   The Russian government, on the other hand, has taken control of all the big oil and gas companies and if it gets the arctic claim they will control 1/3 of the world’s hydro-carbon energy.  So Russia tests ICBM’s, launching them by land and from submarines like the year is 1981. The US tries to build missile defences in places like the Czech Republic, Poland, and Greenland, claiming that this is all necessary to protect the world from… Iran.

Then Russia protests and says — Hey, that missile shield seems to be pointed towards us! And the US responds, no no no, that missile shield that goes right up til your border is not a threat to you, you can still launch your ICBM’s at us, no problem. Plus we’re best friends remember?

That is my rendition of the high school play entitled, The Cold War Part Deux.

bm240 John Aravosis on Advocacy and Creating Change

by bicyclemark 7 Comments

Should journalists and activists who seek change in the world inform the public and expect action? Or should they be launching campaigns complete with talking points and strategy? This podcast features a special extended interview with my friend John Aravosis of Americablog.com and it focuses on how you can change a country and at what cost such change can occur.

We Discuss:

  • Informing the public versus manipulating the public
  • The tactics of US conservatives
  • The lack of tactics from US liberals
  • Global Warming
  • Human Rights in China
  • Playing on emotion
  • Passing laws versus changing culture
  • Holidays and Consumerism

 

bm234 Kasparov and The Other Russia

by bicyclemark 4 Comments

Gary Kasparov is known for being a chess master. Now he is challenging the president of Russia for control of the country, calling it a battle to bring democracy back to the nation.  With the help of my guest, Olaf Koens, in Moscow, we look at the details of Kasparov that you may have not known, and beyond that.. the parties that are challenging the Putin backed campaign in the next Russian election. We Discuss:

  • – Who is Kasparov?
  • – His contreversial chess moves
  • – His politics
  • – Other parties aligned or not aligned with him
  • – The threshold
  • – The crazy writer
  • – The Putin candidates
  • – The communist party
  • – The likely outcome
  • – Apathy in Russia, Apathy in Europe