Deplorable Wars and the Criminals Waging Them

Illegality, Ignorance, and Imperialism (and the Need for Revolution)

by Gary Leupp - Dissident Voice

October 13th, 2016


The Illegality of the U.S. War on Iraq 


One overlooked lesson of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is that international law–even the most fundamental one embodied in Article 2 of the UN Charter prohibiting use of force in international relations–can be violated with impunity, without legal ramifications or sanctions. Even Henry Kissinger–that embodiment of vicious amorality and imperialist aggression–noted in 2002 that the planned invasion would upset the structure of international relations existing since the Treaty of Westphalia 1648.

Fallujah 2003

Never mind, it happened anyway. The U.S.-led assault on Iraq, in a war based entirely on lies–about Iraq’s 9/11 complicity; mobile chemical weapons labs; al-Qaeda training camps; a nuclear weapons program that could produce “a mushroom cloud over New York”; aluminum tube imports to abet that mythical effort; Saddam-backed al-Qaeda Kurds in Iraq producing chemical weapons; Saddam’s maintenance of a missile fleet on 45-minute standby to attack British military bases in Cyprus, as well as Israel, Greece and Turkey; imports of uranium from Niger, a meeting in Baghdad between Saddam and Mohammad Atta, meetings between Iraqi officials with al-Qaeda in Prague and elsewhere, etc.–was obviously criminal.


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Clinton's Double-Sided Stance on Syria

WikiLeaks: The two faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria 

by Sharmine Narwani - RT

October 14, 2106

People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July. In a CNN poll that same month, only 30 percent of Americans believed Clinton to be “honest and trustworthy.”


If voters don’t know what to make of Clinton or how to read her, the blame may lie directly with the candidate herself. In an April 2013 speech made public by WikiLeaks last week, Clinton confided:


“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

That last ‘public vs. private’ comment quickly made the media rounds, and confirmed – for her critics - Clinton’s deliberate duplicity on a number of policy positions.WikiLeaks has provided an opportunity to delve into some of these, so let’s take a look at one very prominent feature of Clinton’s foreign policy agenda: Syria, a country that stands at the center of a potential global confrontation today.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Patrick Henningsen, James Corbett, Janine Bandcroft Oct. 12th, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -


October 12, 2016

che kokoIf the pundits are to be believed, Hillary Clinton is on the threshold of successfully fulfilling her marathon presidential campaign. Decades in the waging, Clinton's dogged pursuit of the Oval Office has possessed both a near-maniacal intensity, and ruthless determination, the depraved depths of which is perhaps best illustrated by her gleeful performance while Secretary of State to the news of Libyan president Muammar Qaddafy's gruesome undoing. And, just as Libya's fall was a step in Hillary's upward progress towards power, the successful destruction of Bashar al-Assad and Syria is the essential prerogative to maintain it.

For those in Hillary's America hoping for a change in foreign policy it means sore disappointment, but for those in Syria and the other far-flung fronts of the forever war her election is much more dire.
Listen. Hear.

Patrick Henningsen is a freelance journalist, co-founder of the online news site, 21st Century wire and host of its consciousness expanding radio program Sunday Wire. Launched during the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, 21 Century Wire's geopolitical analyses and commentaries are an essential counterweight to a skewed media monolith. Patrick's reports are too featured online and on-screen at RT and Al Jazeera.

Patrick Henningsen in the first half.

And; Tom Waites was right when he sang, “It’s a sad and beautiful World”, but he might have included the descriptors “big and baffling” too. As little people, we Lilliputians have small chance of grasping how the great tapestry is woven together. Certainly, the meagre threads offered us by corporate-interested media aren’t sufficient to patch together a coherent picture, so how then can we hope to come to understanding our lives in these modern times?

James Corbett is the author of The Corbett Report, a web-based newsite the Japan-based Canadian expat describes as “an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics.” Since its inception in 2007, he’s produced thousands of hours of audio and video, uploading regular podcasts, and recording several, regular online video series for his site, and collaborating with GRTV, and His editorials also appear at the weekly e-newsletter, The International Forecaster. Corbett’s Youtube videos have garnered millions of views, none more notably than his satirical deconstruction of the official World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks in 2001, ‘9/11: A Conspiracy Theory.’ He recently looked back on 9/11, producing a series of video featuring some of the players behind the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks,‘9/11 Suspects.’

James Corbett and dealing with the "day that changed everything," fifteen years later in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Patrick Henningsen and riding the 21st Century media maelstrom.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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Donald Throws Haymakers, Hillary Takes a Standing Eight in Debate II

Sex, lies, videotape...and hacked emails: Debate #2 Lost by Hillary Clinton on Points

by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening

October 10, 2016

The “town-meeting”-formatted “debate” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Sunday night was, as could have been expected, a disappointing affair, with the two moderators generally avoiding any real challenge to the lies and distortions of the two candidates and declining to push them into critical areas that have been ignored throughout this fall’s presidential campaign -- like climate change, an increasingly dangerous conflict between nuclear powers that could trigger a likely nuclear world war, and the worsening income gap in the US which, let’s face it, neither candidate has a program or even a desire to combat.

On balance though, while both candidates were awful, I would say the night went worse for Clinton. Trump’s challenge in this second outing, coming right after the release of an 11-year-old video in which he boasted of assaulting women, was firstly to defuse that damaging revelation, and secondly to avoid losing his cool and making outrageous extemporaneous statements that would worsen his standing as a sober “leader.”

He largely met both challenges, apologizing for his lewd boasting and his obnoxious and abusive behavior as described in the video, which he dismissed as “locker-room talk” that he wasn’t proud of, and sticking for the most part to criticisms of Clinton’s actual actions (and inaction) and to her words. His performance probably was adequate to at least staunch the stream of defections of Republican candidates and Republican voters from his campaign and support base.

Clinton meanwhile, had the challenge of trying to get the public to trust her. In this she failed miserably.


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What China's Rise Means for the Rest of the World

What Does the Rise of China Mean for the Rest of the World?

Interview with China Rising author Jeff Brown


by Kim Petersen - Dissident Voice

September 14th, 2016

Punto Press, a small press dedicated to progressive titles, has published China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations by Jeff J. Brown. The book is an effort to educate fellow Westerners about the realities of China and demolish the multiple layers of western disinformation and propaganda that demonize this nation with a 5000-year history. Brown has gravitas to write such a book. First, he is fluent in Mandarin (as well as learning Portuguese, Arabic, and French). Second, he has lived 13 years in China, currently in Shenzhen, and has also traveled to most of its regions.This served as a foundation for a political travelog Brown wrote, 44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass.


In addition to his years of having lived in China, Brown’s having grown up in Oklahoma and having graduated from Oklahoma State University has provided him an ringside seat from which to compare and analyze the imperialist war-making United States and the anti-imperialist rise of China, now in concert with Russia, described in rich, colloquial detail (e.g., Brown refers to the Chinese government as Baba Beijing; a colloquialism that I’d translate to as Big Daddy Beijing) in China Rising.


 I carried out an email interview with Jeff Brown to illuminate western media fabrications about China and to examine US political and military machinations against the next preeminent economic power, a socialist nation whose rise can be viewed as an ominous signal portending capitalism’s demise, or at least its competitive equal.


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Path to the Presidency Littered with Lies and Money

Path to the White House is Paved by Billions of Dollars

by Walter

October 10, 2016

With a month left before the November general election, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are trash-talking each other in a financial race to the White House. According to the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, Clinton has raised about $516.8 million for her campaign. Total spending by outside groups and SuperPacs supporting her was an additional $31.7 million; the total spent opposing her was about $40.2 million. Trump has raised about $205.9 million. About 45 percent of his income is from individual contributors; one-third is from Trump himself.

Total spending by outside groups and superPACs supporting Trump is about $69 million; opposition spending is about $139.7 million. Both Clinton and Trump are spending heavy on TV ads. Clinton and pro-Clinton outside groups have spent about $190 million, and Trump and pro-Trump outside groups have spent about $50 million, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics.

However, Trump has mitigated the difference by a barrage of Tweets to 12 million followers, and by constant calls to TV stations.


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Stop the Press! (Please) - Hypocrisy and the Grey Lady

The New York Times Suddenly Embraces International Law To Condemn Russia

by Matt Peppe - Just the Facts

October 5, 2016 

As the Syrian Arab Army dug in for a fight against the self-declared Islamic State on September 17, they were struck by an air raid that killed 62 soldiers and injured 100 more. The culprit was a foreign military that has never been attacked by, and has not declared war on, Syria. Two weeks later, that same nation’s military killed 22 soldiers in a strike inside Somalia, another country which it had never been attacked by nor declared war on. The very next day the New York Times published a stinging editorial decrying flagrant violations of international law by an “outlaw nation.”

The Times, of course, was not referring to the perpetrator of both attacks: the United States government. Each act was a clear violation of Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter prohibiting the use of force against another nation and demanding respect for its sovereignty. But the “supreme international crime” of aggression did not merit mention in the Times, who saw something far more sinister than carrying out illegal massacres across countries and continents in the actions of “Vladimir Putin’s Outlaw State.”


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Dan Kovalik, Janine Bandcroft October 5, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

October 5, 2016

Last week, the Joint Investigation Team, an internationally composed body looking into the downing over Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 more than two years ago released some of their findings, enough to implicate, they say, Russia in the crime. The western press immediately repeated the findings, and its accusations fully, while doing little digging of its own into either the rigor of the JIT's methods, or resilience of its facts.

The media's curious incuriousness surrounding the Dutch-led panel's probity, considering the scope of the story and its possible ramifications for international relations between Russia and the west at this most sensitive historical moment, may be the most telling part of the tragic mystery behind flight MH17.


Listen. Hear.

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist; the only one, his site, Dances with Bears informs “to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties” since 1989. He’s a former political science professor who's served as an advisor to the governments of Greece, the United States, and in Asia who regularly lectures on Russian topics in China, Europe, and the US. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’ among others.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; there was dancing in the streets last week when a long-sought peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, (the leftists guerrilla organization engaged in a multi-generational insurgency) was announced, but Sunday the music stopped as it became apparent the national referendum called to ratify the deal failed to pass. Why the vote failed, and what happens next are the questions burning the wires across Colombia now.

Daniel Kovalik teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union. Kovalik is just back from Colombia where he witnessed the peace plebiscite. Dan's also a long-time peace and justice activist, specializing in that in Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Kovalik is also co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.

Dan Kovalik and failing peace in Colombia 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 news of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and MH17, a prejudiced verdict verified and delivered two years after the fact.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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Western Media Push Urges More War for Peace in Syria

Overthrowing the Syrian Government: a Joint Criminal Enterprise

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch

October 4, 2016  

Everyone claims to want to end the war in Syria and restore peace to the Middle East. Well, almost everyone.

“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York told the New York Times in June 2013.


Photo by Jordi Bernabeu Farrús | CC By 2.0


“Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here.”

Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, stressed the same points in August 2016:

“The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.”
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Is Hillary Putin's Real Candidate?

Castroturf: Crude Red-Baiting Hides True Trump Danger  

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

30 September 2016  

For many years, the iron-clad American embargo of Cuba was decried by liberals and progressives as counterproductive and inhumane. People who broke the embargo or tried to get around it -- like Ry Cooder with the wonderful Buena Vista Social Club project -- were hailed as heroes by liberals.
But now it's being treated by those same liberals (and the media) as some kind of sacred principle that should never have been breached in any way -- because Donald Trump once spent some money there, indirectly exploring business opportunities at a time when there was much talk in Washington (among liberal circles & the Clinton Administration) of normalizing relations. (Of course, Trump, huckstering hypocrite that he is, was also publicly denouncing normalization at the same time he was seeing if he could profit from it.)

Now the Clinton camp says Trump was going "against the national interest" by even remotely dealing with Cuba.


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OPEC Floors Oil Price (Or Does It?)

OPEC Has Just Put A Floor Under Oil Prices

Inside Opportunities with Martin Tillier - Oil

September 30, 2016

The stunning news of a tentative OPEC agreement out of Algiers caught just about every trader flat-footed.

Speculative short positions in oil had been growing, and oil markets and oil stocks rallied spectacularly on the news to rip the guts out of any trader who’d bet on nothing happening at this meeting, as had been the case the four previous times.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first things first: I wouldn’t be fading this move – OPEC is back.


Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC)

Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo (R)
We haven’t been short names in the energy space, quite the opposite – but we had been looking for a retreat in some U.S. shale names for the opportunity to add to core positions. That opportunity is gone. The OPEC agreement, despite its many, many holes, puts a floor under oil I don’t think will ever again be breached.


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Beating the Spread: Hillary Ropes a Dope, Trump Still Standing

The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate

by Ted Rall - CounterPunch

September 28, 2016


trump debate 1He won the debate.

I know it runs counter to conventional wisdom – that’s so rare for me! – but I award the first 2016 presidential debate to Donald Trump. This isn’t to say that I disagree with what the mainstream men and women of the pundit class said they witnessed. Like them, I watched a well-prepared Clinton outmaneuver a political amateur who showed up to class after a night of partying following a year of refusing to crack open a book. Trump rambled, repeated himself, interrupted and bullied. He conflated NATO and the EU. He even unleashed a fat joke.

All things being equal, I would agree with the corporate media consensus that Hillary won. But that’s the thing – things are far from equal.

Hillary Clinton is a pro. She should have wiped the floor with Trump. Instead, she delivered a performance on the line between a B+ and an A-. Trump gets closer to a C-. That’s much closer than it ought to have been. As they say in sports, Trump beat the spread.


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