Six of one

Six of one, or half a dozen of the other. You will have heard the expression. It is widely used, yet the meaning has changed. This reminds me of an old WW2 movie. A sergeant tells the soldier, we kill them, they murder us. It is more than semantics and weirdly enough there is a chance that this was on the back of my mind when I wrote ‘Jump into the deep part’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/12/06/jump-into-the-deep-part/), yet the CBC (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csis-trudeau-china-media-1.6270750) just drove it to the forefront of my mind. You see the article gives us in the article ‘Spy agency warned Trudeau China’s tactics becoming more ‘sophisticated … insidious’’ and here we see “As Canada’s spy agency warns that China’s efforts to distort the news and influence media outlets in Canada “have become normalised,” critics are renewing calls for Ottawa to take a far tougher approach to foreign media interference”. I am not debating the events in Canada, but the field is actually a lot larger. The media with (as I personally see it) unsubstantiated accusations towards the NSO group by the Guardian. Attacks without supporting evidence towards Saudi Arabia, the papers are drenched in that mess and it is not merely ‘foreign media interference’. You see if these people are serious they will take a hard look at media stakeholders, but they will not, will they? 

So as we see “One way foreign states — including the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — try to exert pressure on other countries is through media outlets, say the documents, obtained through an access to information request.” Do they realise that it is not merely ‘foreign states’, in this ‘corporations’ are equally to blame, they all have other goals and they use the same channels, the problem is that the media has become too unreliable, people do not know what or who to believe. In this the CSIS has equally a role to play, and for the most they are all about the safety and security of Canada (as it should be), yet in all this I wrote a few days ago about Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri. So as some might remember “Aljabri gained worldwide attention last year when he filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging he had been the target of a failed assassination plot orchestrated by Mohammed bin Salman”, an assassination attempt? In Canada? So why is the US courts involved? Why is this not set in Canada? Then we get “Sakab Saudi Holding Company, “had no operational business” despite receiving $8 billion US in government funding and was used “almost exclusively” as a vehicle to funnel money to the other companies”. My issue here is not merely whether this is on the up and up, it is happening under the noses (optionally with blessing) of the CSIS, this is an Unites States setting (with $8,000,000,000) and it is happening in Canada. Now, the point is not merely on what the CSIS is doing, because they care for their nation (Canada), yet the media gives us a different view and the Human Rights Watch is joining them with “(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately release the imprisoned children of a former Saudi official following an unfair trial that took place in an apparent effort to coerce him to return to Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today. Omar Al-Jabri, 23, and Sarah Al-Jabri, 21, the children of Saad Al-Jabri, a former top Saudi intelligence official, were arrested in March 2020 and held incommunicado until January 2021.” Yes, the thousands of children of Yemen are casually forgotten (for that moment) but the children of a multimillionaire, in the eyes of the government of Saudi Arabia a traitor and a thief. The man walks into Canada with $385,000,000 and what we get is “he made at least $385M — and says there’s ‘nothing unusual’ about it”, really? Last time most people made a mere few millions, close to every tax agent within 50 miles came calling for a cup of coffee, but then I must have forgotten about the US and their $8,000,000,000 investment opportunity

So I digressed, but it was important. You see, I am not opposing “Chinese-language media outlets operating in Canada and members of the Chinese-Canadian community are primary targets of PRC-directed foreign influenced activities.” But the problem is larger, PRC is a paid engine, and in this that scammers, Iran and a few other players also use it. I do not think that I am telling director David Vigneault anything he does not know, but the stage is that PRC is used by stakeholders, marketeers, media outlets ho need some ‘casual’ link of evidence, the list goes on. The problem is not that China is involved, they probably are. Yet in that same light Russia is optionally using PRC media pages to make China look bad, Iran uses it to set misinformation onto other streams. In this Forbes gave us in April ‘China-Iran $400 Billion Accord: A Power Shift Threatens Western Energy’, we get to see the references towards Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a few other matters, yet what is kept in the dark (not intentionally) is how Iran and Turkey are using PRC for marketing politics, a marketing engine devoted to the ‘headlines only people’. And in that stage there are also the corporations. They merely pursue their need for green (dollar bills), but the ploys they use are larger and taint all parties and in this the global media does close to nothing, because corporations represent advertisement dollars and they are all desperate (like a crack whore for a fix) to get those dollars. A little like the Sony 2012 Q3 advertisements needs, yet now a lot larger and many corporations that are a little shy of the limelight. 

This gives us the one part I do not fully agree with, it is given in “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,”, my issue with this is “may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion”, it is not wrong, but I think it should state “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, need to be more proactive to stop outside influences from state players and corporations who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,” because corporations have everything to gain and they are trying to do just that, on a global scale no less.

As such six of one or half a dozen of the other is not the same, the two elements tend to represent a very different currency. Consider the alternative six apples or half a dozen bananas, that might make more sense. As such I tend to ‘alter’ another expression to make sense: You say tomato, I say potato. My approach to the setting we see here on a global scale.

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