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Adam Strychaluk

The McGill Daily: Lazy Ideology

  At any given moment, I could subscribe myself to any one of the following three statements:       - Racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, and a dozen other unsavoury isms remain far too prevalent in Canadian society.   - A gay black woman living in Mile End should enjoy rights equal to that of a straight white man living in Westmount.   - The West has committed war crimes on six continents, has supported despicable regimes on an equal number, and has more than its fair share of sins to atone for. And yet none of these statements are ones that I would ever be tempted to preface with “As the McGill Daily has recently made apparent to me…” or “The Daily’s editors appear to be the only people on campus who know that…”. The thing is, while the Daily’s entire editorial staff may still be reeling from the realization that the West isn’t all flowers and gumdrops, many of us have been disillusioned of this notion for long enough that it has ceased to dominate every single one of our thought processes. Most of us have long since acknowledged that Canada isn’t some sort of multicultural utopia, that racism is still far too commonplace, and that the peoples of the Middle East and Africa are the victims of callous and corrupt Western statecraft— and we have acknowledged all these things without reaching the conclusion that the playing field ought to be levelled by pulling groups down. A conclusion which, contra-Daily, it is quite possible to hold without somehow hating minorities. I’ve been at McGill for two years now, and though I’ve long since accepted that Daily articles will always be a great deal more difficult to read than they were to write, I still cannot help but find… Read More

Oil War?

In hindsight, oil futures appear to have been flying just a little too close to the sun last summer. Over the past seven months, the global price per barrel benchmark, Brent Crude, has been caught in a prolonged Icarus-like nosedive. Last week, it dropped below $45— a far cry from the $115 plus it was selling for last June. Despite what most Republicans believe, the price of oil is dictated by more than just Hurricanes and Arabs; some of the reasons for the slide more frequently given by the MSM include increased North American production, China’s slowing growth, chronic stagnation in Europe, and a strong U.S. dollar. The last in particular is having a huge effect. In 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement established the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. At the time, the dollar was backed by the American Federal Reserve, which had more gold than any other state on the planet. But as the America’s reserves dwindled away over the next twenty five years, the U.S. dollar gradually become a fiat currency, completely decoupled from any physical store of value. Every fiat currency since the Roman denarius has devaluated to collapse, and, in 1971, Nixon sought to remedy this by signing a series of agreements with Saudi Arabia. In these ‘shock’ deals, Washington agreed to defend, and sell military equipment to, the Saudis— in return for all oil trade being denominated in U.S. dollars. This had the effect of moving the dollar onto a crude oil standard— the end result of which is that, when the American dollar increases- like it’s doing now as the U.S. bounces back from the ’08 recession- the price of a barrel decreases. Though America’s booming economy- and resultantly high dollar- is certainly playing its part in prompting the price drop, even… Read More

En Brera – There is no alternative

Between Tel Aviv and Gaza lies the Israeli city Rehovot. In the winter of 1955, one year before the Suez Canal Crisis, Arab fedayeen killed an Israeli civilian there. It was not the first time a non-combatant had been intentionally murdered by either an Arab or a Jew- it had been thirty five years since the two sides had first fought over the issue of land, and such frivolous courtesies as not-killing-civilians had long since been discarded in the four millennia prior. Yet this murder was special. Papers pulled from the body of one of the perpetrators revealed an affiliation with the Egyptian government. For the first time, the fedayeen could be linked directly to a neighbouring state. Casus Belli. When he hears the news, Moshe Dayan deems that the Green Lines he had helped draw seven years previous have been rendered obsolete. Three nights later, Israeli paratroopers conduct operation Black Arrow and leave nearly forty Egyptian soldiers dead. Conceived by Dayan, sanctioned by Ben-Gurion, and carried out bells-on by Sharon, the raid was executed in such a way as to leave no doubt of its retaliatory nature. Yet despite first appearances, the attack was more than simple retribution. Dayan explained the reasoning behind the retaliation as such:   “We could not prevent every murder of a worker in an orchard or a family in their beds. But it was within our power to set so high a price for [Jewish] blood, a price too high for the Arab community, the Arab army, or the Arab governments to think it worth paying.”   And just like that, Israel had had it’s first formal parley with Deterrence, who had until then been kept busy by the Soviets and Americans. The precedent set, the IDF proceeded over the next half-century-plus to forge… Read More