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Understanding the "New Realities" on the World Stage

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Dion: Getting the “Joe Clark" Treatment

Is Stephane Dion Getting the “Joe Clark Treatment?”
by Richard Sharp
The Conservatives have vilified Stephane Dion’s leadership for over a year now, everything from repeated and vile attack ads to ongoing, talking-point slurs from the chosen few who are allowed to speak to the media. 
Most pundits in the mainstream media have succumbed to this smear job, even many of Canada’s most seasoned political commentators.   

"Not so!", I’m certain their response; "Mr. Dion earned our displeasure." But let’s look at the facts.

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Winter Soldiers Speak on Iraq/Afghanistan: Lawless and Illegal

US/IRAQ: Rules of Engagement "Thrown Out the Window"
by Dahr Jamail
Garret Reppenhagen received integral training about the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Engagement during his deployment in Kosovo. But in Iraq, "Much of this was thrown out the window," he says.

"The men I served with are professionals," Reppenhagen told the audience at a panel of U.S. veterans speaking of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, "They went to Iraq to defend the U.S. But we found rapidly we were killing Iraqis in horrible ways. But we had to in order to remain safe ourselves. The war is the atrocity."

The event, which has drawn international media attention, was organised by Iraq Veterans Against the War. It aims to show that their stories of wrongdoing in both countries were not isolated incidents limited to a few "bad apples", as the Pentagon claims, but were everyday occurrences.

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Policed or Police State?

The Reality of Life in a Police State
by Scott Horton
With two extraordinary infomercials, MTV asks its viewers to think seriously about what happens in a police state. Is the prospect so unthinkable? Watch these scenes and reflect on it a bit.

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Ominous Upshot: Iran Hawks Rising

Suddenly, a Dangerous Turn
by Robert Parry
Two seemingly disconnected events have created a suddenly dangerous turn regarding the future of U.S. wars in the Middle East.

One was the abrupt resignation of the person who has been the biggest obstacle to a U.S. military strike against Iran, Admiral William Fallon, the chief of Central Command which oversees U.S. military operations in the volatile region.

The second is the ugly direction that the Democratic presidential competition has taken, with Hillary Clinton’s campaign intensifying its harsh rhetoric against Barack Obama, reducing the likelihood that he can win the presidency – and thus raising the odds that the next president will be either John McCain or Sen. Clinton, both hawks on Iran.

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Childhood's End: Killing Still Iraq's Kids

Childhood Is Dying
by Dahr Jamail and Ahmed Ali
Iraq's children have been more gravely affected by the U.S. occupation than any other segment of the population. The United Nations estimated that half a million Iraqi children died during more than 12 years of economic sanctions that preceded the U.S. invasion of March 2003, primarily as a result of malnutrition and disease.
But childhood malnutrition in Iraq has increased 9 percent since then, according to an Oxfam International report released last July.

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One State or Two? Neither

The Issue is Zionism
by Jonathan Cook
If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most intractable, much the same can be said of the parallel debate about whether its resolution can best be achieved by a single state embracing the two peoples living there or by a division of the land into two separate states, one for Jews and the other for Palestinans.

The philosopher Michael Neumann has dedicated two articles, in 2007 and earlier this week, for CounterPunch discrediting the one-state idea as impractical and therefore as worthless of consideration. In response, Kathy Christison has mounted a robust defence, neatly exposing the twists and turns of Neumann’s logic. I will not trouble to cover the same ground.

I want instead to address Neumann’s central argument: that it is at least possible to imagine a consensus emerging behind two states, whereas Israelis will never accept a single state. That argument, the rallying cry of most two-staters, paints the one-state crowd as inveterate dreamers and time-wasters.

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Alberta: Taking Toxic Nuclear

Ontario's Bruce Power talks of nuke plant for northern Alberta
Nuclear power could cut oil sands emissions
by CBC News
Bruce Power, a private nuclear utility that generates about a fifth of Ontario's electricity, said Thursday it has taken a step that could lead to construction of Western Canada's first nuclear plant.

Bruce said it filed an application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for clearance to prepare a possible site in Alberta's Peace River district.

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An Acceptable Form of Torture

by Ed Kinane
It's frightening that at this time and in this nation torture must be discussed as if it were a legitimate issue.  What's next -- the pros and cons of child molestation?

Even hawkish guys like John McCain and retired General Colin Powell say torture is immoral and counterproductive.
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Free Speech Outlawed in Langford

Free Speech Outlawed in Langford?
by Bear Mountain Tree Sit
Jennifer Andison believed she had the right to express a political opinion in Langford, even if it supported the protest against the Bear Mountain Interchange.

She found out otherwise on Monday, when bylaw enforcement officer Deborah Juch showed up at her door and threatened her with a fine.

"I had a small fabric sign which I hung to dry over my porch railing for a couple of hours on March 8, and two small 8 by 11 inch notices posted on my own tree. The bylaw officer came and told me to cease and desist or I would face a $100 fine," Andison says.

"Apparently, I am being singled out for my political views. The city clearly does not want people reading the interchange facts I have collected on the website. There are dozens of signs advertising everything from piano lessons to landscaping all over Langford, even stuck up on Canada Post boxes. These signs are left alone. Mine are being taken down."

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Anti-War but Pro-Troops?

Can We Be Anti-War but Pro-Troops?
by Mickey Z.
For some, the phrase "support our troops" is merely a euphemism for: support the policies that put the troops there in the first place. For others—including many activists—the mantra is a safe way to avoid taking an unqualified, uncompromising stand against this war (and all war).
Many who identify themselves as “anti-war” still vigorously defend the troops…no questions asked.
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Maher Arar and the Nine-Eleven Myth

Maher Arar and the 9/11 Myth
by Peter Zaza
I went to the University of Victoria last night to see a panel discussion called, 'Civil Liberties and National Security: The Maher Arar Panel.'

This panel was comprised of Maher Arar, his wife Dr.Monia Mazigh, (who has a PhD in financial economics and ran for the NDP in the 2004 federal elections in the riding of Ottawa South) and thirdly, Stephen Toope who is the Arar Commission fact-finder, human rights law scholar and UBC President. 
The panel discussion was moderated by UVic Law Dean Andrew Petter - just in case the assembled guests were to break out into a rousing contest involving Indian leg wrestling, or possible declaration of a thumb-war. 

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