How ISIS Serves US Interests in Syria

Will America Partition Syria?

by Sharmine Narwani  - The American Conservative

May 11, 2017


U.S. strategy seems to be shifting toward creating a buffer state between Iran and Israel.


BEIRUTGiven the rhetoric of most U.S. policymakers, one might conclude that the conflict in Syria is about establishing freedom and democracy in the Levantine state. But no genuine aspiration for democracy ever came from a line-up of allies that includes countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, and Turkey.

Seen from the Middle East, American intervention here appears to be aimed at putting the last genuinely independent Arab state under Washington’s sphere of influence—and cutting off a key Iranian ally in the region.

Today, after six years of regime-change operations that failed to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and install a compliant regime in Damascus, the west’s strategy seems to be shifting toward partitioning Syria. Specifically, the new U.S. policy would seek to sever the unimpeded geographic line between Iran and Israel by creating a buffer entity that runs through Iraq and Syria.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andre Vltchek, Christina Nikolic May 10th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

May 10, 2017

When thinking of war, pictures of soldiers marching, bombs falling, and missiles launching may spring to mind. Less frequently imagined are the destinations of those departed soldiers, dropped bombs, and sent missiles and what they do upon arrival there. More rarely contemplated still, by those who do consider the ramifications of the whens and wheres of wars happened and happening, is the long aftermath suffered.

Whose mental picture includes the endless agonies of wounds that cannot be healed; who conjures in the mind's eye a portrait of the lives and lands irrevocably torn asunder?

Andre Vltchek is an itinerant philosopher, novelist, filmmaker, investigative journalist, poet, playwright, and photographer He is a revolutionary internationalist globetrotter, who fights perpetually the Western Imperialist ethos, and the corrupt regimes it imposes around World.


Listen. Hear.

There are very few war and conflict zones Andre has not covered, or dark corners where economic violence and gross injustice occur he has not dared venture into.

Vltchek's numerous book titles include: 'Western Terror: From Potosi to Baghdad', 'Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear', 'Exile' (with Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and Rossie Indira), 'Oceania – Neocolonialism, Nukes & Bones', 'The World Order and Revolution! - Essays from the Resistance' (co-written with Christopher Black and Peter Koenig), 'Liberation Lit' (edited with Tony Christini), and his latest, 'Exposing Lies of the Empire', 'Fighting Against Western Imperialism', and 'On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare' (written with Noam Chomsky).

Andre recently conducted a lengthy interview with trauma surgeon, Dr. Ghassan "Gus" Abu Sitta in Beirut about frontline medicine and his upcoming presentation to the 48th Middle East Medical Assembly, 'Conflict Medicine and the Ecology of War'.

Andre Vltchek in both segments today.

 And; horticultural guru and intrepid green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will join us at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events update, bringing us up to speed with some of the good things planned in and around our town for the coming week. But first, Andre Vltchek and the Ecology of War.


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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Quitting Weaver: Questions Dog Green Leader

Green Party campaign manager quit over Andrew Weaver’s bullying, bad policies

by Damien Gillis  - Common Sense Canadian

May 8, 2017

On the eve of his candidate’s kick-off event, Green Party campaign manager Troy Grant reached his breaking point with Andrew Weaver, causing him to resign. “I can’t support the BC Green Party because of Andrew Weaver,” Grant now admits.

Here’s why.

Troy Grant is a Vancouver Island resident and environmental activist who, up until a couple of months ago, was running the campaign of Green Party candidate Lia Versavel. As part of his early groundwork on the campaign, Grant reached out to Common Sense Canadian lead columnist Rafe Mair, a man whose opinions Grant says he has always respected.

Andrew Weaver attacks BCNDP Leader John
Horgan during the televised leaders’ debate

Intrigued by what he heard about Versavel, Rafe proceeded to interview her, resulting in this relatively glowing review. Rafe being Rafe, though, couldn’t sign off on the piece without one caveat: his disdain for party leader Andrew Weaver’s ongoing support of IPPs (private power projects). After all, Rafe and this publication have been highly critical of IPPs going back to the Gordon Campbell era, when Weaver stumped for the BC Liberals as a UVic climate scientist.


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Recognizing Oliver Stone: Documentarian Garners Gary Webb Press Freedom Award

Oliver Stone Honored with Press Freedom Award

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News

May 4, 2017

Though most people know Oliver Stone as a famous screenwriter and movie director, he has also lent his talents and resources to a number of documentary films that embrace the core journalistic idea that there are usually two sides – if not more – to a story.

In doing so, Stone has taken on controversial subjects, both in challenging conventional history as with Showtime’s “Untold History of the United States” and daring to treat foreign leaders – who were undergoing demonization by the U.S. government and media – as complex figures who deserve to have their say as well.

Not surprisingly, Stone has faced intense criticism for deviating from mainstream U.S. groupthinks, which seek to portray international adversaries as cardboard villains deserving only of American hatred and bombs.

But Stone learned as a decorated young soldier in the Vietnam War how that propaganda process can lead to unspeakable horrors, including the unnecessary deaths of millions of people and the devastation of entire nations and regions.


Director Oliver Stone

The Vietnam War – and the U.S. government’s lies that justified it – taught Stone a powerful lesson that is as true now as it was then, that a healthy democracy should encourage a diversity of viewpoints, appreciate all sides of a conflict, and have the courage to engage in serious self-criticism, not simply assume that what the authorities are saying is true.

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Lie of the Land: Are Liberals Good for BC Economy?

Why the BC Liberal economic record is actually worse than the NDP’s in 90’s

by Damien Gillis - Common Sense Canadian

May 5, 2017

Many people are ready for a change in Victoria. Christy Clark is one of the least popular candidates for premier in BC history and, after 16 years of scandal-filled rule, her Liberal Party has tried British Columbians’ patience to the extreme. Yet every day on social media, I run across a familiar refrain:

“Better than going back to the NDP’s lost decade.”

Clearly, that narrative is so deeply embedded that it threatens to keep the NDP out of government yet again. But memory, science now teaches us, is unreliable.

It can play tricks on us. In order to make an informed decision on May 9, voters need to know the hard facts about BC’s economic history – a straight up comparison between the two credible options in this election.


Courtesy of Norm Farrell/In-sights

A serious examination of the best available data on key metrics reveals that British Columbians have far more to fear from another four years of the Christy Clark Liberals running our economy than they do taking a chance on John Horgan and the NDP.


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Rise of the Algorithms: New York Times Welcomes New Internet News Overlords

NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News

May 2, 2017

Just days after sporting First Amendment pins at the White House Correspondents Dinner – to celebrate freedom of the press – the mainstream U.S. media is back to celebrating a very different idea: how to use algorithms to purge the Internet of what is deemed “fake news,” i.e. what the mainstream judges to be “misinformation.”

The New York Times, one of the top promoters of this new Orwellian model for censorship, devoted two-thirds of a page in its Tuesday editions to a laudatory piece about high-tech entrepreneurs refining artificial intelligence that can hunt down and eradicate supposedly “fake news.”

New York Times building in New York City. 
(Photo from Wikipedia)

To justify this draconian strategy, the Times cited only a “fake news” report claiming that the French establishment’s preferred presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron had received funding from Saudi Arabia, a bogus story published by a Web site that mimicked the appearance of the newspaper Le Soir and was traced back to a Delaware phone number.

Yet, while such intentionally fabricated articles as well as baseless conspiracy theories are a bane of the Internet – and do deserve hearty condemnation – the Times gives no thought to the potential downside of having a select group of mainstream journalistic entities feeding their judgment about what is true and what is not into some algorithms that would then scrub the Internet of contrary items.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jamie Swift, Ariel Martz-Oberlander, Janine Bandcroft May 3rd, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

May 3, 2017

Irregardless of the fireworks and red serge cavalry, the story of Canada's creation is a total yawner. The essence of this year's, and every July 1st, celebration is the marking of the day a foreign queen in a faraway capital signed into law the articles of our Confederation.

No "Into the breach, boys" heroics, or tales of gallantry done to share with grandchildren yet unborn; merely a mannered, polite ceremony, presumably with tea and cut sandwiches to follow; and Bob's your uncle.

For nearly all of our 150 years that's been good enough. Some of us even take a measure of pride our beginnings are a genteel, dare we say more civilized, affair than that of our flamboyant cousins south.

Listen. Hear.


But, in this new and bloodied century, where the prosecution of warmaking is more perpetual profession than momentous event, circumscribed by neither remorse nor temporality, the warrior ethos requires vigorous reaffirmation, and there our placid foundational trumpet is wanting steel.

Happily, as it happens, Canada's 2017 sesquicentennial coincides with the hundred year anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Just the blood and guts grist needed to render from the horror and gore of trench warfare a narrative of glory and progress for an overly effete nation; or so our marshal myth-makers would have it. But are Canadians ready to accept militarism as national mantle?

Jamie Swift is an award-winning journalist, activist, educator, and author whose body of work is focused largely on issues of social justice, economy, environment, globalization, and politics. Among his other book titles, he co-authored, with Ian McKay, 'Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety' and teamed up again with McKay for the recently released, 'The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War'. The Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Public Service Journalism awardee is also the keynote speaker for the inaugural, 'Provincial Peace and Disarmament Summit', to be held here at the University of Victoria May 12-13.

Jamie Swift in the first half.

And; with less than a week before the provincial poll, which issues are you focused on? Though it's difficult to narrow down to just a few the missteps of the current government, there is a single exemplar of all that is wrong with the BCLiberals, regardless of your political bent. Whether fiscal conservative, Libertarian, enviro, anarcho-communist, social democrat, political agnostic, or miscellaneous the Site C Dam project has something to outrage you. And, the folks at Just the Dam Facts argue, there's a lot more than just one disastrous thing about this white elephant everyone can oppose.

Ariel Martz-Oberlander is with Just the Dam Facts, and she joins us in the second segment.

And, CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do planned in and around our town for the coming week. But first, Jamie Swift and The Vimy Trap, a ridge too far.


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:


G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.


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Think War Think Tank: Canadian Global Affairs Institute's Militarist Agenda

Canadian Global Affairs Institute: A Think Tank Driving Militarist Foreign Policy

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

April 29th, 2017

A registered “charity” with buckets of donations from arms manufacturers and other corporate sources is aggressively trying to push Canadian foreign policy further towards militarism and the use of violence.

And the right wing Canadian Global Affairs Institute seems to be growing in influence, or at least media prominence.

Since last month’s federal budget senior CGAI analyst David Perry has been quoted throughout the media arguing for increased military spending.


I’m stunned this budget is actually taking money away from the military and pretending to give it back several decades in the future,” Perry told CBC.


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Who Can You Trust in a Post-Truth World?

The Existential Question of Whom to Trust

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News

April 30, 2017

The looming threat of World War III, a potential extermination event for the human species, is made more likely because the world’s public can’t count on supposedly objective experts to ascertain and evaluate facts. Instead, careerism is the order of the day among journalists, intelligence analysts and international monitors – meaning that almost no one who might normally be relied on to tell the truth can be trusted.

 Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations 
on Feb. 5. 2003, citing satellite photos which supposedly proved 
that Iraq had WMD, but the evidence proved bogus. CIA 
Director George Tenet is behind Powell to the left.

The dangerous reality is that this careerism, which often is expressed by a smug certainty about whatever the prevailing groupthink is, pervades not just the political world, where lies seem to be the common currency, but also the worlds of journalism, intelligence and international oversight, including United Nations agencies that are often granted greater credibility because they are perceived as less beholden to specific governments but in reality have become deeply corrupted, too.

In other words, many professionals who are counted on for digging out the facts and speaking truth to power have sold themselves to those same powerful interests in order to keep high-paying jobs and to not get tossed out onto the street. Many of these self-aggrandizing professionals – caught up in the many accouterments of success – don’t even seem to recognize how far they’ve drifted from principled professionalism.

A good example was Saturday night’s spectacle of national journalists preening in their tuxedos and gowns at the White House Correspondents Dinner, sporting First Amendment pins as if they were some brave victims of persecution. They seemed oblivious to how removed they are from Middle America and how unlikely any of them would risk their careers by challenging one of the Establishment’s favored groupthinks. Instead, these national journalists take easy shots at President Trump’s buffoonish behavior and his serial falsehoods — and count themselves as endangered heroes for the effort.


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Conflict Medicine

Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”

by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch

April 28, 2017 

Dr. Gus Abu-Sitta is the head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the AUB Medical Center in Lebanon. He specializes in reconstructive surgery.

What it means in this part of the world is clear: they bring you people from the war zones, torn to pieces, missing faces, burned beyond recognition, and you have to try to give them their life back.

Dr. Abu-Sitta is also a thinker. A Palestinian born in Kuwait, he studied and lived in the UK, and worked in various war zones of the Middle East, as well as in Asia, before accepting his present position at the AUB Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Monbiot Proves Propagandist (again) on Syria "Chemical Attack"

A disavowal of George Monbiot’s witch-hunt 

by Jonathan Cook

28 April 2017  

George Monbiot is again on one of his intermittent witch-hunts against “the left” – on this occasion, against anyone questioning whether the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in Idlib earlier this month.

In a post on his website, called simply “Disavowal”, he dismisses those who have raised doubts about the official western narrative – such as MIT weapons expert Ted Postol; former UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Scott Ritter; and former US military and government insider Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell when he was secretary of state – as a “few contrarians”.

I remember a time when Monbiot was a contrarian himself, on the environment and climate change.

Then, he would have proudly embraced such a denunciation as proof of his independence and critical thinking. Now it is a weapon to use against his critics.



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Starving Prisoners of Palestine

Prisoners Show the Way

by Mazin Qumsiyeh -

April 27, 2017

Today all of Palestine is on strike in solidarity with the fasting prisoners and tomorrow is a day of indignation, demonstrations, and confrontations with the occupiers.

Bethlehem is a ghost town and all shops and public transportation are closed and Israeli helicopters are in the skies. 

[Volunteers came to museum and we are taking a group on tour of the wall and impact of settlements on the environment because this is not work but resistance].

Tomorrow is a day of demonstrations and confrontations. In this message I just want to reflect on why this is very important.

Every day we encounter greedy people focused on their own needs and unhealthy desires. How many cheated us? How many come around us because they have some material interest?


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