Israel's Stake in Syrian War

The Conflict In Syria Was Always Israel’s War

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News


September 04th, 2017

 

Because Israel has staked first its survival and ultimately its growth into a dominant regional power on the disunity of its neighboring nations, it comes as no surprise that, faced with a winding-down of the Syrian conflict, it is now moving sharply against that development.


Bibi worried podiumAfter years of fomenting the Syrian conflict from the shadows, the U.S. has recently seemed to back away from its push to militarily intervene in the embattled nation, instead choosing to focus its saber-rattling and destabilization efforts on other theaters. The consequence of this has seemingly been the winding down of the long-running conflict, now entering its seventh year.

Buoyed by Russia, Iran and Lebanon, the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake vast swaths of territory, all while surviving and growing stronger over the course of a largely foreign-funded onslaught. As a result, many of the governments that were instrumental in funding and arming the so-called “moderate” opposition have begun to extricate themselves, unwilling to further test the resilience of Assad or the Syrian people.

With some anticipating the long-awaited conclusion of the Syrian conflict, recent threats from Israel’s government to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence seemed to appear out of the blue.

 

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Boxing Kim: The Rest of the Story

What the Media isn’t Telling You About North Korea’s Missile Tests

by Mike Whitney  - CounterPunch


September 4, 2017

Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests.

Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island. The missile landed in the waters beyond the island harming neither people nor property.

The media immediately condemned the test as a “bold and provocative act” that showed the North’s defiance of UN resolutions and “contempt for its neighbors.”

President Trump sharply criticized the missile test saying:

“Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”

 

Photo Stefan Krasowski | CC BY 2.0


What the media failed to mention was that, for the last three weeks, Japan, South Korea and the US have been engaged in large-scale joint-military drills on Hokkaido Island and in South Korea. These needlessly provocative war games are designed to simulate an invasion of North Korea and a “decapitation” operation to remove (Re: Kill) the regime.

 

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Be Appalled: Meet the Pottingers

The Appalling Pottingers

by Craig Murray


6 Sep, 2017

One wealthy family through generations has been a pillar of the British establishment, and at the same time responsible for an astonishing amount of harm. Yet you have probably never heard of the Pottingers.

Their history can almost make you believe in Grand Guginol stories that a capacity for evil can be genetically inherited.

The Bell Pottinger scandal in South Africa, where the PR firm has been found to have deliberately exacerbated racial tension in collusion with corrupt billionaires, is only the latest episode. Here is a glimpse into the astonishing story of the Pottingers.

Purely by chance I have stumbled in three entirely different ways on the activities of the Pottingers in different generations, which is how I can tell this story, and nobody else can.

 

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Nathalie Chambers, Ken Boon, Christina Nikolic Sept. 6, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


September 6, 2017 

In the last days of last winter, long-time Saanich councillor, Vic Derman died. Derman championed the conservation of the municipality's dwindling farm lands and agricultural heritage, and one of those he supported was Madrona Farm in the Blenkinsop Valley.

Nathalie Chambers farms at Madrona, and was the first to declare her intentions to run in the by-election to fill Vic's seat; an election scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd.

Listen Hear.

Chambers is an organic farmer, business owner, progressive community leader, fundraiser, project manager, public speaker on biodiversity and local food security, and author of the book, 'Saving Farmland: The Fight for Real Food'. She earned a diploma in Restoration Ecology at UVic, and has years of experience in community planning, and issues management.

Nathalie Chambers in the first half.

And; the recent change of government in BC has opened the books on the Site-C project, the 9-plus billion dollar mega-project in the province's Peace Country. It's been highly contentious from the start, and the exclusion of the BC Utilities Commission from the assessment process was just one of the project's many bones of contention. Now, the BCUC is back in the picture, and has announced 11 community input sessions to be held across the province as part of its review process, starting Sept. 23, three days after the release of its preliminary report on the proposed dam.

Ken Boon is a Peace River Valley farmer whose family farm was expropriated by BC Hydro for a Site-C connecting highway scheme. He's also president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, and has fought the dam from the beginning.

Ken Boon and the fighting the last dam on the Peace River in the second half.

And; Victoria gardening guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will join us at the bottom of the hour with Left Coast Events highlights for the coming week. But first, Nathalie Chambers and a Saanich election at the crossroads.

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Harvey and the Storms to Come

Harvey: Fierce Climate Change at Work

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch


September 1, 2017

Is Harvey a force of nature or something more?

Clearly, Harvey is a natural disaster of monstrous proportions. Its destructiveness is the hottest topic on TV coast-to-coast and around the world. Still, cynics of climate change say natural disasters, like hurricanes, are normal and nothing more than nature’s way.

The evidence, however, points in another direction; climate change is no longer simply nature doing its thing. It’s lost purity of the force of nature, only nature.

Similar to the record setting massive meltdown of Arctic ice in a flash of geologic time, fierce storms and zany weather patterns are setting all-time records, hyper-speeding nature’s time clock.

In point of fact, bigger/faster all-time records have become the norm, racing ahead of nature, prompting the question: Why is this happening?

 

 

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Junta Nation: Generals Trump Presidency

Let’s Call “Trump’s Generals” What They Are: A Military Junta 

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News


August 27, 2017

 

Trump is fond of boasting about “his” generals. But over the short course of his presidency’s first months, the possession and control have reversed themselves. Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly have banished all opposition and now pour the neo-con agenda straight into Trump’s ear.


WASHINGTONThe U.S., long known for its meddling in the affairs of other nations, also has a long and sordid history of supporting military juntas abroad, many of which it forced into power through bloody coups or behind-the-scenes power grabs. From Greece in the 1960s to Argentina in the 1980s to the current al-Sisi-led junta in Egypt, Washington has actively and repeatedly supported such undemocratic regimes despite casting itself as the world’s greatest promoter of “democracy.”

Finally in 2017, karma appears to have come back to roost, as the current presidential administration has now effectively morphed into what is, by definition, a military junta. Though the military-industrial complex has long directed U.S. foreign policy, in the administration of President Donald Trump a group of military officers has gathered unprecedented power and, for all intents and purposes, rules the country. 

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, William Laurance, Andy Worthington, Christina Nikolic August 30, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - GorillaRadio.com


August 30, 2017

We've all seen the carnage on the roadside - or at least, seen some of it. Every day millions of creatures are killed and maimed through the happenstance of human activity. Astronomical numbers are obliterated by automobiles alone; it is, according to my second guest, a veritable highway holocaust.

William Laurance is a distinguished research professor and Australian Laureate at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, and founder and director of ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers. In addition to his scientific papers, his popular essays appear at, among other places, CounterPunch.org, The Conversation, and bioGraphic.com, where I found his article 'Curbing an Onslaught of 2 Billion Cars.'

 

Listen. Hear.


William Laurance in the first half.

And; if there's a single defining characteristic of this mad time we're careening through it is the ceaselessness of it all. Even in the stillest moments the motor hums on, just behind the wallpaper. But, if the prospect of living at the mercy of a mechanistic society unable to find rest seems daunting, how much worse is it when the machinery resides not inside the walls but within our heads, possessing every waking moment, pervading even our dreams? How much worse yet when, not only do we want the omnipresent noise, but can't live without it?

Andy Worthington is freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker, and singer-songwriter. Co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative) and co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, he has made an annual pilgrimage to America from his native Britain to lobby for that infamous prison’s closure.

Andy’s book titles include: ‘Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, ‘Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion’, and ‘The Battle of the Beanfield.’ He also co-directed (with Polly Nash) the documentary film, ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,’ and spends an inordinate amount of time online, enmeshed in the virtual wires that constitute the modern-World. His latest article, 'Switch Off Your Devices and Have a Week Off: Why Headspace, Silence and Human Interaction is Good for Us' examines the value of another kind of peace.

Andy Worthington and making room for headspace in the second half.

And; Victoria gardening guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will join us at the bottom of the hour with a special Victoria Fringe Festival Left Coast Events feature. But first, William Laurance and curbing the global vehicular onslaught.

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Identity Politics a Wedge Deliberately Being Driven Between Americans

United Nations Issues Rare "Early Warning" - Signals Potential Civil Conflict In America

by "Tyler Durden" - ZeroHedge


Aug 24, 2017

A United Nations Committee tasked with combating racism on a global scale has issued an ultra rare "early warning" for the United States citing "alarming racism" trends.

As StockBoardAsset.com notes, this rare signal often preludes the potential for civil conflict. In the past 10-years, the early warning has been issued in Burundi, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria.

The United Nations Committee on the Eliminations of Racial Discrimination has called on high-level politicians and public officials of the United States to condemn “racist hate speech and crimes in Charlottesville and through the country”.

Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said:

 

We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Heather Lindsay, John LaForge, Christina Nikolic Aug. 23rd, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


August 23, 2017

If anything can take the sting out of waning Summer's shortening days and cooling nights, it's The Fringe. The last week of August always provides a cornucopia of theatre events, all over Victoria, and this year is no different - or, very different if your idea of theatre is playing in Nora's Doll House, or a late summer's evening with Uncle Vanya.

No ills to Ibsen or Anton Chekov, but if you're gonna Fringe, better get ready to tread wider the boards of the living stage.

Heather Lindsay is Executive Director of Intrepid Theatre, Victoria's own bold theatre company, and primary presenter of the Fringe from day one. She's a multiple Leo Award-winning filmmaker and theatre vet, who joined Intrepid in 2012.

Heather Lindsay in the first half.

Listen. Hear.

 

And; while promising Americans to make its "allies" spend as much on armies and munitions as they themselves do, in his first televised speech before the nation this year, president Trump also lauded the especially heroic cast of the soldiery gathered in his background, and the U-S-A's "better than anybody's" conventional and nuclear war-making capabilities. Then he confirmed more war for Afghanistan, that benighted graveyard of presidential promises.

Trump campaigned to end that war, nearly as old now as the century itself, knowing the American people had tired of the Long War. And, that weariness is not confined to the Homeland. In Germany, outside just one of the hundreds of US bases of all sorts, all around the World, near the town of Büchel, a peace camp has shared the summers with the jets screaming overhead, making a protest against them, (and the American nuclear bombs beneath the ground, just beyond the base's fence).

John LaForge is a long-time staffer at Nukewatch, the Wisconsin-based nuclear watchdog and environmental justice group, whose countless articles on the topic have appeared in Nukewatch’s quarterly and at online sites like: New Internationalist, Z Magazine, The Progressive, Earth Island Journal and at CounterPunch.org. He’s also co-editor, with Arianne S. Peterson, of the revised edition of the book, ‘Nuclear Heartland: A Guide to the 450 Land-Based Missiles of the the United States.’ His latest article at CounterPunch.org, 'Peace Camp and War Games at Harvest Time' tells the story of Büchel.

John LaForge and “Büchel is Everywhere,” in the second half.

And; Victoria gardening guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will join us at the bottom of the hour with Left Coast Events highlights for the coming week. But first, Heather Lindsay and setting the table for a veritable Fringe feast!

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Giving Up Our Ghosts to the Machine

Dark Matter: Surrendering Our Secrets to Malevolent Forces

by Chris Floyd  - Empire Burlesque


12 August 2017

 

“And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably stick my head in a guillotine.”

 

(This is my latest column for the print version of CounterPunch, edited slightly.) 
 

Thus quoth the Bard, more than half a century ago. At the time, these lines were an electrifying insight into human nature, lighting up dark corners of the psyche not usually explored in popular music. They were also a jolting reversal of the usual protest song dynamic: a righteous hero denouncing evil from a position of moral purity. Here, at the end of a long, incandescent jeremiad against a sick society, we see the “prophet” suddenly subjecting himself to the harsh judgment he had just rendered. “Yeah, this place is Hieronymus Bosch on stilts — but you should see what’s howling in my head!’

We all have a night mind, we all have thought-dreams which, if exposed, perhaps might not get us guillotined but could well kill the image we present to others — and to ourselves. And this is true even for the most liberated, hip or “woke” among us. (Like Dylan’s own sheepish confession in his memoir, Chronicles, that back in the day he’d harbored a secret liking for Barry Goldwater because the politician reminded him of Tom Mix, the movie cowboy. Now that’s perverse!)

So imagine if there were a magic machine that let us explore our own guillotinable notions — or indeed, to range through the night-mind of the whole human race, encountering lurid thought-dreams beyond our previous imagining. A magic machine where every forbidden thought or fear or desire, even things abhorrent to our own daylight mind, could be approached, encountered, explored — and this in deepest privacy, in the safe confines of our homes, our normal daily reality. Who could resist dipping — or plunging — into such a dream-world? Yes, of course, we speak of the internet.

And these explorations need not be anything aberrant, illegal or immoral in themselves, but simply retrograde to what we think of as our truest, essential self. A gentle kindergarten teacher who finds herself looking with lurid fascination at beheadings on YouTube. A kind and loving social activist who is inexplicably drawn to the revolting racist bile she sees on Reddit. A married, smalltown bank manager who peruses gay porn or transgender websites, idly dreaming of alternative lives that in reality he would never pursue. An obsessive haunted by irrational, humiliating fears who seeks comfort – or exacerbation – down the digital alleyways of half-baked data and feverish need. The permutations are endless. Every dark impulse, every passing fantasy, every perverse or unsettling notion thrown up by the imp of the mind: all of this available, in endless profusion, 24/7, all over the world.

 

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Temporary Worker, Full Time Slave: Canada's Oppressed Labour Force

Temporary Foreign Workers are Victims of Systemic Racism and Government Politics 

by Fil de Presse MNW


August 19, 2017

Amid the escalating anti-immigrant racism and fascism occurring in Quebec, Canada and other parts of the world, we denounce all the injustices and abuses committed through the temporary foreign worker program.

We are workers of the earth and the earth has no borders!

A recent article that appeared in the New York Times on August 14th, 2017 entitled Foreign Farmworkers in Canada Fear Deportation if They Complain highlights systemic issues faced by temporary foreign workers, such as the dangerous conditions under which they live and work, as well as the lack of an adequately government response to complaints of fraud or abuse by employers.

 

10 years of the hypocritical Festival of Cultures

organized by the Municipality of Saint-Remi and

the Guatemalan, Honduran and Mexican consulates.


According to Noe Arteaga, former temporary foreign worker at the company Savoura, this is nothing new for workers who have been coming to work in Canada for decades.


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Seizing the Sunrise: Norway Commandeers Greenpeace Ship in Arctic Protest

The Arctic Sunrise has been seized

by Diego GonzagaGreenpeace US


18 August, 2017
 

The message is clear: 

"Norway, it’s time to choose people over oil."

35 activists from 25 countries are in the Barents Sea demanding an end to Arctic drilling.

Today, activists from the Arctic Sunrise in inflatable boats and kayaks entered the exclusion zone of Statoil’s Korpfjell well, Norway’s northernmost oil-drilling site, and attached a giant globe to the rig Songa Enabler.

 
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