Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, November 21, 2004

G'night folks! I'll be here all week...

A few things have happened in the past few days so there's a lot to cover. US forces say they have broken the core of the resistance with their successful invasion of Fallujah, forgive me if I'm a little skeptical. Colin Powell resigned from his position and was replaced by National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. It was also announced a little while ago that John Ashcroft will be replaced by the new Attorney General Aberto Gonzales. Though Ashcroft was widely
criticized for his harsh implementation of the Patriot Act, Gonzales is expected to follow the same course.
Here in Canada, a rebellious member of parliament for the governing Liberal party has been kicked out of caucus. Carolyn Parrish has become something of a firebrand in her criticism of the Bush administration calling its members idiots, bastards, and stomping on a Bush doll as part of a comedy sketch. The US criticism wasn't what got her booted from the party, it was her criticism of Prime Minister Paul Martin; and she said she's just fine with being kicked out of the party since it wasn't the same party she joined in her youth. She's found some support in her criticism of Martin in former MP (and former deputy Prime Minister) Sheila Copps who lost the Liberal nomination in her riding to a Martin loyalist.
There's also the imminent APEC meeting in Santiago. Protestors have already gathered as world leaders begin to show up (Bush arrived there today). Anti-globalization protestors gather to speak out against what they supposedly feel are injustices; I'll explain the supposedly in a bit. The participation of G8 member countries in summits and trade talks can arouse legitimate disapproval. The G8 countries as the leading economic and military powers in the world (well, along with China) hold a significant amount of sway over dealings with other countries. And the way they conduct their dealings is generally greatly for their own benefit and at great cost to those in other countries. These generally harmful and unjust dealings can be enforced through several means, predominantly economic and military. Economic sanctions imposed by these countries can have devastating effects on the people of the targeted country, and the effects of military might are more than obvious.
Understanding the extent and effects of these foreign policies, while not impossible or even that difficult, does require a significant investment of time and research. This is something that the majority of anti-globalization protesters don't bother doing. While it's nice that people participate and want to make a difference, but when that participation stops at the rally not a whole lot gets done. I hate to spoil the fun, but a bunch of people parading around the city doesn't actually accomplish very much. Now I'm not saying that they shouldn't have rallies, I just think we could be a little more productive. But I suppose there will always be people who believe holding a placard and chanting some slogans will satisfy their social conscience.
Action without knowledge is futile. Knowledge without action is cowardly


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