Europe, Canada and US,

Trump's latest TV ad says it all, even before you listen. The caption is: Paid for by Donald J Trump, Inc., Approved by Donald Trump. It's almost as if he's running his campaign as a send-up of the other hopefuls, beholden to lobbyists and the mainstream media. The only one with name recognition is Jeb Bush, and that, only because his brother was president (disastrously) eight years ago. Think of Trump as The Joker in the film "The Dark Knight" (2008): “I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.”

He electrifies audiences, much as fascist scalawags Hitler or Mussolini did when Germans and Italians felt hopeless in the face of economic disaster. But where Nazism is defined as "a form of socialism featuring racism and expansionism", Trump is no Nazi. It is precisely because he is not a Nazi (and hence easy game for the mainstream) that the US imperial elite are so incensed by him and his sudden, immense popularity. He is neither a socialist nor an expansionist. In as much as he has a coherent philosophy, it is libertarian and isolationist. He wants good relations with Russia, and cooperation on fighting al-Qaeda's latest incarnation. "Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?"

Alternative to the Bush-Obama project

Ex-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the defeated ogre, licking his wounds, finds little comfort from his hawkish "best friend", despite his love for Israeli birds for whom he helped raise more than ten million Canadian dollars to build a bird sanctuary in the Promised Land. This was in preference to Canadian birds, who along with almost all other Canadians, had their funding slashed.

He did this with the help of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an innocuous sounding organization, one which operates worldwide, but one which was founded to 'disappear' Palestinians and their homes, building bland pine forests (though not indigenous, they grow quickly and help us forget), where villagers once grew olives and tended sheep.

His JNF friends decided to honour him by naming the park, the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre. The new Harperland is near the Golan Heights, on land confiscated from 30,000 Bedouin in 1948. Lake Hula was vital, not only to the Bedouin, but to Nature, as a wetland. But as part of the plan to "make the desert bloom", the lake was drained, creating a dust bowl, and the new kibbutz soon abandoned. (I'm not kidding.)

In the ogre's favour, Harperland at least tries to provide migrant birds with refuge, if not the original occupants. In a slick promo JNF video advertising the park and lauding Harper as the new messiah (I'm still not kidding),  DJ Schneeweiss, Toronto's Israel consul general enthuses, "The birds know no borders."

Canada's yuletide welcome of 10,000 Syrian refugees (target 25,000 by February) continues to draw criticism. Originally, the criticism was from the Conservatives, arguing that a hasty infusion of thousands of Syrians would represent a security risk. One of the Paris bombers was reportedly carrying a Syrian passport. It turned out that the passport was a forgery (common practice among desperate immigrants everywhere), and all the alleged bombers were European citizens.

Nonetheless, Canada decided to limit Syrians to families, single women and children. This sounds like a human rights violation: discrimination against single men, on the pretext that they could be terrorists. Not fair, but understandable, given the Paris bombings and the need to be seen to act carefully. There are lots of women and children and married men still alive there to fill the quota.

But some vigilant and politically correct Canadians are raising a stink. Gay spokesmen have protested the exclusion of gay men from the list of preferred refugees. "We know, firsthand, from those types of countries, LGBT refugees are very vulnerable to violence and persecution," said Pride Winnipeg's Jeff Myall.
The constitutionally guaranteed rights of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada are not an inconvenience but rather a sacred obligation. Our futures are inextricably intertwined. When I say that we must complete the unfinished work of Confederation, I mean that Canada needs a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Aboriginal communities.

Not a month into his reign, and Justin's problems are rushing to meet him. The ogre was not only on Parliament Hill, but on a much higher mountain top, one that stretches around the globe, creating a very complex geopolitical map.

The French suicide bombing killing 129 on November 13 was immediately called "terrorist" and was indeed nasty, but is really a revenge match in the Great Games series in which France has been one of the stars. The latest chapter in that saga began, appropriately, at a football match between Crusaders France and Germany, ratcheting up the global temperature in the West. A kind of political global warming, which deniers insist is caused by a few nasties who must be ruthlessly killed, even if it means killing thousands of innocents.

This has been the traditional policy of the ogres on high, who are dull but have lots of very nasty weapons, and only disdain for their native peoples, never understanding why they get the odd firecracker under their seats. They have been terrorizing the world for centuries, so it's hardly surprising that the victims should go for revenge, however lamentable this may be.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here