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If It didn't Exist...Inventing ISIS

What if the so-called Islamic State (IS) didn’t exist?
by Ramzy Baroud - Middle East Eye
In order to answer this question, one has to liberate the argument from its geopolitical and ideological confines.

Flexible language 

 

Many in the media (Western, Arab, etc) use the reference “Islamist” to brand any movement at all whether it be political, militant or even charity-focused. If it is dominated by men with beards or women with headscarves that make references to the Holy Koran and Islam as the motivator behind their ideas, violent tactics or even good deeds, then the word “Islamist” is the language of choice.

According to this overbearing logic, a Malaysia-based charity can be as ‘Islamist’ as the militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria. When the term “Islamist” was first introduced to the debate on Islam and politics, it carried mostly intellectual connotations. Even some “Islamists” used it in reference to their political thought. Now, it can be moulded to mean many things.

This is not the only convenient term that is being tossed around so deliberately in the discourse pertaining to Islam and politics. Many are already familiar with how the term “terrorism” manifested itself in the myriad of ways that fit any country’s national or foreign policy agenda - from the US’ George W. Bush to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. In fact, some of these leaders accused one another of practising, encouraging or engendering terrorism while positioning themselves as the crusaders against terror. The American version of the “war on terror” gained much attention and bad repute because it was highly destructive. But many other governments launched their own wars to various degrees of violent outcomes.

The flexibility of the usage of language very much stands at the heart of this story, including that of IS. We are told the group is mostly made of foreign jihadists. This could have much truth to it, but this notion cannot be accepted without much contention.
 

Remembering Our Commons Heritage

The Wisdom of the Commons
by Ray Grigg - Shades of Green
Heather Menzies explains in the Preface to her remarkable book, Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good: A Memoir & Manifesto, how her creative life as an academic and promotional speaker was brought to a halt by a painful awareness of the local and global ecological disasters unfolding around her. “I'd identified the impasse of an overheated and dysfunctional global economy on a collision course with an increasingly distressed planet,” she writes, “yet had no alternative to offer.”
 
That alternative slowly became apparent to her, initially at Idle No More rallies where First Nations chiefs were speaking of “our sacred covenant with Creation” and “our sacred responsibility” to the land. It was their powerful sense of belonging that called Menzies to explore her ancestral roots in Scotland and to search for the meaning of the single word “Tullicro”, the only clue she had to her history.
 
This word led Menzies to discover and explore her family's origin in the Tullicro Commons of the Tay River Valley in the Highlands of Scotland, a place that nourished many generations of her forebears until the 19th century.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Scott Renyard, Jon Elmer, Janine Bandcroft October 1st, 2014

 
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
Yesterday, the World Wildlife Fund's biennial Living Planet Report reported: "World populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010." Imagine; within most of our lifetimes, half of the world's non-human inhabitants are no more, primarily due to anthropogenic activities. And yet, human desires are demanding ever more from the natural world even as our designs on nature diminish it.

Nowhere perhaps is that incongruity more palpable than right here in British Columbia where the majestic Pacific ocean's coming to shore is met by deforestation, industrialization, over-population, and the introduction of foreign species into an ecosystem unprepared to cope.
 
 
Scott Renyard is a filmmaking scientist whose screen credits include more than a 100 film and television projects; projects that have seen him wear many hats, including: writer, director, and producer; as he did for the award-winning documentary, 'Who Killed Miracle?' Long-time Victoria residents may remember the controversial death of the orphaned Orca "adopted" by the now defunct Sealand of the Pacific aquarium in Oak Bay.
 
Renyard's latest film, 'The Pristine Coast' debuted last week at Vancouver's International Film Festival. In it, Scott chronicles marine biologist, Alexandra Morton's epic undertaking to document the effects of Atlantic Salmon fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago and her efforts to protect the migration routes of wild Pacific Salmon all over the province.
 
Scott Renyard in the first half.
 
And; Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations' General Assembly this week. Just weeks after causing the deaths of more than 2100 Palestinian civilians, and destroying much of the Gaza Strip, an unrepentant Netanyahu lectured the Assembly on the need to further isolate and sanction Iran, a nation that has attacked no-one; ever. As the news circus moves on to other hotspots, the fate of captured Gaza and the Occupied West Bank is again overshadowed and forgotten.
 
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance photographer and journalist who has lived in and filed reports from Occupied Palestine on and off for the better part of the last dozen years. He has too reported on indigenous movements in the Basque country, Western Sahara, and right here in Canada. Jon's work has appeared at myriad sites on the internet, including; Inter Press News Service, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Progressive, and Al Jazeera English, and at his web site JonElmer.ca.
 
Jon Elmer and staying with the Palestinian story in the second half.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz from the streets of the city and beyond. But first, Scott Renyard and defending British Columbia's pristine coast.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. And now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.ca . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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What BC's "World Class" LNG Deals Look Like Behind Closed Doors

“World-Class” BC LNG brings Third World deals with likes of Petronas
by Kevin Logan - The Common Sense Canadian
It’s possible that the majority of British Columbians would agree with developing our natural gas resources – even for export – if our own energy security was guaranteed, the economic benefits accrued to British Columbians and we did it all in such a way that we are able to maintain our international reputation as an environmental leader and awe-inspiring tourist destination.

However, contrary to the BC Liberal election campaign rhetoric, the government’s LNG development model offers none of this and with the Malaysian state-owned behemoth Petronas as their lead proponent, it’s guaranteed we will reach none of these objectives.

Most of Petronas CEO Abbas and BC Premier Clark’s
discussions have been behind closed doors

‘World-Class’ rhetoric ushers in Third World-style deals


Christy Clark has made of lot of claims to maintain her hold on BCs most powerful office, chief among them has been the bold but baseless proclamation that her government will erase BC’s fast burgeoning debt and fill a 100 Billion-dollar “Prosperity Fund” by developing our resources in nothing less than “world-class” fashion.
 
However, while such soundbites may win election campaigns in the developed world, the facts prove that the Clark government’s public narrative is thoroughly divorced from the Third World-style backroom reality that has been driving the BC Liberal LNG negotiation style.
 
But we have been calling them out for years.
 

How Do You Like Us So Far? Judging America's Nascent 21st Century Security State

Failure Is Success: How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century
by Tom Engelhardt  - TomDispatch
What are the odds? You put about $68 billion annually into a maze of 17 major intelligence outfits. You build them glorious headquarters. You create a global surveillance state for the ages. You listen in on your citizenry and gather their communications in staggering quantities. Your employees even morph into avatars and enter video-game landscapes, lest any Americans betray a penchant for evil deeds while in entertainment mode. You collect information on visits to porn sites just in case, one day, blackmail might be useful. You pass around naked photos of them just for... well, the salacious hell of it.
 
Your employees even use aspects of the system you’ve created to stalk former lovers and, within your arcane world, that act of "spycraft" gains its own name: LOVEINT.

You listen in on foreign leaders and politicians across the planet. You bring on board hundreds of thousands of crony corporate employees, creating the sinews of an intelligence-corporate complex of the first order. You break into the “backdoors” of the data centers of major Internet outfits to collect user accounts. You create new outfits within outfits, including an ever-expanding secret military and intelligence crew embedded inside the military itself (and not counted among those 17 agencies). Your leaders lie to Congress and the American people without, as far as we can tell, a flicker of self-doubt. Your acts are subject to secret courts, which only hear your versions of events and regularly rubberstamp them -- and whose judgments and substantial body of lawmaking are far too secret for Americans to know about.

You have put extraordinary effort into ensuring that information about your world and the millions of documents you produce doesn’t make it into our world. You even have the legal ability to gag American organizations and citizens who might speak out on subjects that would displease you (and they can’t say that their mouths have been shut). You undoubtedly spy on Congress. You hack into congressional computer systems. And if whistleblowers inside your world try to tell the American public anything unauthorized about what you’re doing, you prosecute them under the Espionage Act, as if they were spies for a foreign power (which, in a sense, they are, since you treat the American people as if they were a foreign population). You do everything to wreck their lives and -- should one escape your grasp -- you hunt him implacably to the ends of the Earth.

As for your top officials, when their moment is past, the revolving door is theirs to spin through into a lucrative mirror life in the intelligence-corporate complex.
 

Reviewing Klein's 'This Changes Everything'

Extracting ourselves from the extractivist mindset
by Robert Jensen - Resilience
Klein This Changes EverythingNaomi Klein has written a brave book that not only confronts the calamity of climate destabilization but also examines the deep roots of the crisis in the perverse logic of capitalism and the dehumanizing values of the “extractivist” high-energy/high-technology world.
 
Klein’s courage comes not in her reporting on the science and politics—there we get the exhaustive research and intellectual rigor that are her trademark—but in her simple plea that we not only think about all this and commit to act, but feel it as well. Taking climate change seriously is not only about data and analysis but about anguish, and Klein is refreshingly candid about her own struggles with the grief that’s inevitable when we face the truth.
 
On the political front, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate takes on conservative climate-change deniers and the liberal climate-change minimizers. While both groups will no doubt accuse her of being alarmist, my only quibble runs in the opposite direction—Klein is too upbeat in her assessment of what is possible. But reasonable people can disagree on these hunches about where we’re heading. We’ll get to that after the science, economics, and social critique that are so urgently needed, and in those matters we are in good hands with This Changes Everything. The book, and a companion film directed by Avi Lewis planned for a 2015 release, http://thischangeseverything.org/ should set the framework for an honest conversation about climate and culture, ecology and economics.
 

American Economic and Military Dominance in the 21st Century

US Global Power in the 21st Century: Military or Economic Imperialism?
by James Petras - ICH
Despite vast amounts of imperial data to the contrary, the great majority of writers on imperialism continue to describe and analyze US imperialism strictly in economic terms, as an expansion of “capital accumulation”, “accumulation on a world scale”.
 
In fact the major and minor US imperial wars have more to do with “capital dis-accumulation”, in the sense that trillion dollar flows have gone out from the US, hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from resource sites have been undermined, markets for exports have been severely weakened and exploitable productive labor has been uprooted. At the same time US imperialist state ‘dis-accumulates capital’, multi-national corporations, especially in the extractive sector are expanding, “accumulating capital” throughout Latin America.
 
This new configuration of power, the conflicting and complementary nature of 21st century US imperialism, requires that we anchor our analysis in the real, existing behavior of imperial state and extractive capitalist policymakers.
 

Celebrating American Wilderness, Celebrating the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act

The Wilderness Act Turns 50: Celebrating the Great Laws of 1964
Let us now praise famous laws and the year that begat them: 1964.
 
The first thing to know about 1964 was that, although it occurred in the 1960s, it wasn’t part of “the Sixties.” The bellbottoms, flower power, LSD, and craziness came later, beginning about 1967 and extending into the early 1970s. Trust me: I was there, and I don’t remember much; so by the dictum variously attributed to Grace Slick, Dennis Hopper, and others (that if you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t part of them), I must really have been there.
 
1964 was a revolutionary year. It was a time when Congress actually addressed the people’s business, and it gave us at least three great laws.
 
One was the monumental Civil Rights Act, which aspired to complete the tragic and sanguinary work of the Civil War and achieve the promise of the Thirteenth Amendment.
 
The least known of the three was the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, which, by drawing on revenue from offshore oil and gas leases, provided the means for the federal and state purchase of all kinds of recreational and wild lands, from inner-city parks and playgrounds to habitat for grizzly bears and mountain lions. President Johnson signed that bill into law on September 3, 1964, 50 years ago this month, mere moments after the more famous ceremony that went with his signing of the Wilderness Act.
 

Opening PolleyGate: Imperial Metals Scandal Flood Looms

PolleyGate: What Did They Know, And When Did They Know It?
by BC Tap Water Alliance
Vancouver - This morning, the Vancouver Sun reported critical information from a 2010 inspection report about a “tension crack” in the Mount Polley mine’s Tailings dam, which was identified to be near to the source of the breach of the August 4, 2014 disaster.

Eager to know more about a pressing matter that has drawn international attention and triggered widespread interest and concern about the deregulated mining industry and its practices, the government refused to release subsequent annual inspection reports from 2011 to 2013 about the Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) to the Vancouver Sun, information which was to have been submitted by Imperial Metals mining company to the Williams Lake public library and other stakeholders.

According to New Democratic Party Environment critic Spenser Herbert, the government has also refused to release public documents to the Opposition Party about the Mount Polley disaster, meant to stall any public issuance until January 2014.
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ISIS as Damascene Horse: Escalating the Wars in Iraq and Syria

The Escalating US War In Iraq And Syria
by Peter Symonds  - WSWS.org
The real scope and purpose of Washington’s escalating war in the Middle East is rapidly coming into relief as the Pentagon boosts its military forces in Iraq, more European allies commit warplanes and the media drumbeat grows for the US to directly target the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Since unleashing its bombing inside Syria on Tuesday, the US and its Gulf State allies have continued air raids on a daily basis, hitting targets associated not only with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) but the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front and the small, obscure Khorasan group.
 
After the initial, intense wave of air strikes, war planes attacked 12 small ISIS-controlled oil installations on Wednesday and conducted a further 10 strikes in Syria and Iraq on Thursday and Friday. To date, the US and its military partners have launched 43 strikes in Syria, and more than 200 inside Iraq since President Obama gave the green light on August 7.
 

Pirates and Political Strongmen: Obama Embracing Africa's New Heart of Darkness

Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea: In the Face of Rising Maritime Insecurity, AFRICOM Claims Success and Obama Embraces a Strongman
by Nick Turse  - Tom Dispatch
The Gulf of Guinea is the most insecure waterway, globally,” says Loic Moudouma. And he should know. Trained at the U.S. Naval War College, the lead maritime security expert of the Economic Community of Central African States, and a Gabonese Navy commander, his focus has been piracy and maritime crime in the region for the better part of a decade.

Moudouma is hardly alone in his assessment.

From 2012 to 2013, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence found a 25% jump in incidents, including vessels being fired upon, boarded, and hijacked, in the Gulf of Guinea, a vast maritime zone that curves along the west coast of Africa from Gabon to Liberia. Kidnappings are up, too.
 
Earlier this year, Stephen Starr, writing for the CTC Sentinel, the official publication of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, asserted that, in 2014, the number of attacks would rise again.