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Collateral America: What it Really Means to Go to War

Collateral Damage: What It Really Means When America Goes to War
by Chris Hedges
Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in "atrocity producing situations."
Being surrounded by a hostile population makes simple acts, such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke, dangerous.
The fear and stress push troops to view everyone around them as the enemy.
The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find.
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Canada's House Votes: Asylum!

MPs Vote asylum to U.S. Deserters, Tories Say No
OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW/ - The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together today to adopt a recommendation which, if implemented, would make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada.

The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties.
The [minority-governing] Conservatives voted against the motion.

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Hard Core Capitalist Indonesia

Hard Core Capitalist Indonesia        
by Andre Vltchek
During the Cold War, Eastern block countries used to be bombarded by radio broadcasts glorifying free-market economic system and consumerism.
The message from the Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and BBC World Service had been clear:
  • "no matter where, capitalism brings home great services, variety of goods, consumer protection, lower prices and desire to serve the clients. In short: "customer is always king and he is always right!"
Propaganda broadcasts forgot to mention that there is Indonesia - a country almost as populous as the Soviet Union before its decomposition - a country staunchly "pro-market" (and "against the people") where customers have to pay more money for goods and services than in the West, while often receiving worse service than in PRC or Cuba.

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The Movie-Made War World of George W. Bush

Presidential Bloodlust: The Movie-Made War World of George W. Bush
by Tom Engelhardt
Here's a memory for you. I was probably five or six and sitting with my father in a movie house off New York's Times Square -- one of the slightly seedy theaters of that dawn of the 1950's moment that tended to show double or triple feature B-westerns or war movies.
We were catching some old oater which, as I recall, began with a stagecoach careening dramatically down the main street of a cow town. A wounded man is slumped in the driver's seat, the horses running wild. Suddenly -- perhaps from the town's newspaper office -- a cowboy dressed in white and in a white Stetson rushes out, leaps on the team of horses, stops the stagecoach, and says to the driver: "Sam, Sam, who dun it to ya?" (or the equivalent). At just that moment, the camera catches a man, dressed all in black in a black hat -- and undoubtedly mustachioed -- skulking into the saloon.

My dad promptly turns to me and whispers: "He's the one. He did it."

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World Wildlife Fund Prolonging Rainforest Decline

WWF Rainforest Protection Goals Prolong Ecological Decline
by Environment Internet 
This week the Democratic Republic of Congo announced new protections for 10% of their rainforest, moving towards Brazil's goal of 15% preservation of the Amazon.
WWF and other environmental groups hailed 85% industrial destruction and diminishment of the rest of world's remaining large forest ecosystems as good news. At the UN biodiversity talks in Bonn, WWF organized non-binding national pledges to end deforestation, ignoring biological simplification caused by industrial forestry.
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Papa John Explains it All: McCain to Obama on Iraq

Papa John Explains it All to the Prodigal Son: McCain to Obama on Iraq
by Jack Random
Like the overwrought parent who needs an afternoon nap, Papa John McCain, the would be president, commander and emperor of a new Middle East christened in the blood of soldiers, wants to take poor little Barrack Obama under his expansive, hawk-like wing in order to explain it all:  

Why the Iraq War is a grand and glorious mission, why it is worth hundreds or thousands more American lives, why billions and trillions of American dollars are better spent in Baghdad than New Orleans, on munitions rather than infrastructure, on mercenaries rather than teachers and nurses, on apartheid barriers rather than health care, clean energy, emergency preparedness, mass transit or a myriad of other pressing needs.
  • "It's been 871 days since he was there and I'm confident that when he goes he will then change his position on the conflict in Iraq."
- John McCain in Nevada, May 29, 2008

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"Point of No Return" an Interview with Andre Vltchek

"Point of No Return" an Interview with Andre Vltchek
by Lila Rajiva
"Point of No Return," by Andre Vltchek, is a novel full of international intrigue which shows the world through the eyes of a war correspondent who visits places that are rarely covered by the mainstream media.

Andre Vltchek is a Czech-born American writer who has written for Der Spiegel, Asahi Shimbun, the Guardian, and many other international papers. He is also chief editor of Asiana Press Agency, a new up and coming news outlet offering in-depth coverage of social, economic, political and environmental issues in South Asia, Asia Pacific and Oceania.

Andre has reported on the violence of the neo-liberal order from all over the globe, but especially from Indonesia, about which he has made a ground-breaking documentary: Terlena: Breaking of a Nation. He is also the author of several works of non-fiction and fiction in Czech and in English, the latest of which is "Point of No Return," a colorful tale about an international reporter whose determined effort to distance himself from the horrors he covers is shattered first by a woman and then by the events of 9-11 — the "point of no return" of the title. On the 'net, Vltchek's progressive writings can be found on ZNet and at the Oakland Institute.

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Palestinian Odyssey – Sixty Years Adrift

Palestinian Odyssey – Sixty Years Adrift
by Genevieve Cora Fraser

He was my taxi driver

In East Jerusalem

So proud of his wife and children

His home

“Everyone knows me

Write to me

From America

Just my name and East Jerusalem

Will do”

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Rovics, Mandeep Dhillon, J9 for Mon. June 2, 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: Folk singer-songwriter extraordinaire, David Rovics reprises; from No One Is Illegal, Mandeep Dhillon on Canada's proposed Bill C-50; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed on local good goings-on.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, 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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Wall Street's "Immoral Hazard"

Immoral Hazard
by Stephen Lendman
So says Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of Boston-based investment firm Grantham, Mayo and Van Otterloo, now known as GMO. Some call him the philosopher king of Wall Street because of his highly insightful views on markets and the economy, usually with a longer-term perspective.
In a profession of touts, fast-buck and scam artists, Grantham's commentaries are notably refreshing. They're detailed, scholarly, sober, clear and especially important at a time of unparalleled excesses, great economic uncertainty, voices ranging from gloom and doom to blue skies and all clear ahead, so who knows what to believe. Few people sort things out better than he, and whether right or wrong, he makes consummate sense and should be taken seriously.

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A Case of Misplaced Blind Faith

The Critical Journey From Apathy to Empathy: A Case of Misplaced Blind Faith (Part one here)
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
These famous words from the 1776 Declaration of Independence sound good in theory but in actuality, at the time they were written, the evident truth was that only a select few humans were deemed “equal.”

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator  with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Equality did not include black slaves, most certainly was not bestowed upon the “heathen, savage, Indians” and did not include women or other minorities. Perhaps more accurately, the “self-evident” matter of equality for all human beings was a decision made by a small minority of European immigrants to this new land.

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