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"Policing" Prepares for a World of Urban Jungles

Gaza, Ukraine and US preparations for urban warfare
by Bill Van Auken - WSWS
For more than a month, the world has watched in horror as the Israeli military has pounded the densely populated and impoverished territory of Gaza with bombs, missiles and shells, while deploying tens of thousands of troops against a trapped population.

This sustained onslaught has killed nearly 2,000, wounded over 10,000 more and left nearly half a million people displaced by the massive destruction of homes and basic infrastructure.

While receiving far less media coverage, similar atrocities are unfolding in eastern Ukraine, where the US-backed Kiev regime has launched its military, with key support from autonomous fascist militias, in a savage siege of the major cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
 
"Policing" the G20 - Toronto 2010
 
The death toll there has doubled in the last two weeks, pegged by Wednesday’s exceedingly conservative United Nations estimate at 2,086, with at least 5,000 more confirmed wounded.

Military Police: America's Homegrown Counterinsurgency

To Terrify and Occupy: How the Excessive Militarization of the Police is Turning Cops Into Counterinsurgents
by Matthew Harwood  - TomDispatch
Ferguson Para ForceJason Westcott was afraid.
 
One night last fall, he discovered via Facebook that a friend of a friend was planning with some co-conspirators to break in to his home. They were intent on stealing Wescott's handgun and a couple of TV sets. According to the Facebook message, the suspect was planning on “burning” Westcott, who promptly called the Tampa Bay police and reported the plot.
 
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the investigating officers responding to Westcott’s call had a simple message for him: “If anyone breaks into this house, grab your gun and shoot to kill.”
 
Ferguson, Missouri's Men in "Blue"
 
Around 7:30 pm on May 27th, the intruders arrived. Westcott followed the officers’ advice, grabbed his gun to defend his home, and died pointing it at the intruders. They used a semiautomatic shotgun and handgun to shoot down the 29-year-old motorcycle mechanic. He was hit three times, once in the arm and twice in his side, and pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
 
The intruders, however, weren’t small-time crooks looking to make a small score. Rather they were members of the Tampa Bay Police Department’s SWAT team, which was executing a search warrant on suspicion that Westcott and his partner were marijuana dealers. They had been tipped off by a confidential informant, whom they drove to Westcott’s home four times between February and May to purchase small amounts of marijuana, at $20-$60 a pop. The informer notified police that he saw two handguns in the home, which was why the Tampa Bay police deployed a SWAT team to execute the search warrant.
 
In the end, the same police department that told Westcott to protect his home with defensive force killed him when he did. After searching his small rental, the cops indeed found weed, two dollars' worth, and one legal handgun -- the one he was clutching when the bullets ripped into him.
 
Welcome to a new era of American policing, where cops increasingly see themselves as soldiers occupying enemy territory, often with the help of Uncle Sam’s armory, and where even nonviolent crimes are met with overwhelming force and brutality.
 

Likely Disaster: Surveying the Mount Polley Mine Tailings Spill

Photos: I Went to the Mount Polley Mine Spill Site
by Carol Linnitt - DeSmog Blog Canada
It’s Monday, August 11th, and both my gumboots are dangerously sinking into the muck I’m trying to cross.
 
I took far too bold a step towards a sturdy log ahead as I’m trying to cross a sludge river left behind in the wake of the Mount Polly mine tailings pond breach.
 
Now I’m balanced precariously, one boot in front, one behind, and trying not to topple into the muck beneath that could contain high levels of arsenic, mercury, zinc, lead and selenium – all toxins and heavy metals stored in the breached tailings pond fed by the Imperial Metals gold and copper mine near Likely B.C.
 
It has been one week since the waste pond wall breached, sending an estimated 10 million cubic metres (or 10 billion litres) of waste water and 4.5 million cubic metres of sandy sludge into the Hazeltine Creek that feeds Quesnel Lake. (For comparison, the Kalamazoo oil spill in Michigan totaled an estimated 3.3 million litres).
 
It’s at the convergence of the Hazeltine and Quesnel Lake that I now find myself, arms outstretched to maintain my balance, and sinking.
 

Backing Putin: American Petro Dollar to Russia's Rescue

My Money’s on Putin
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
“History shows that the United States has benefited politically and economically from wars in Europe. The huge outflow of capital from Europe following the First and Second World Wars, transformed the U.S. into a superpower … Today, faced with economic decline, the US is trying to precipitate another European war to achieve the same objective.”

– Sergey Glazyev, Russian politician and economist

“The discovery of the world’s largest, known gas reserves in the Persian Gulf, shared by Qatar and Iran, and new assessments which found 70 percent more gas in the Levantine in 2007, are key to understanding the dynamics of the conflicts we see today. After a completion of the PARS pipeline, from Iran, through Iraq and Syria to the Eastern Mediterranean coast, the European Union would receive more than an estimated 45 percent of the gas it consumes over the next 100 – 120 years from Russian and Iranian sources. Under non-conflict circumstances, this would warrant an increased integration of the European, Russian and Iranian energy sectors and national economies.”

– Christof Lehmann, Interview with Route Magazine

The United States failed operation in Syria, has led to an intensification of Washington’s proxy war in Ukraine. What the Obama administration hoped to achieve in Syria through its support of so called “moderate” Islamic militants was to topple the regime of Bashar al Assad, replace him with a US-backed puppet, and prevent the construction of the critical Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline.

That plan hasn’t succeeded nor will it in the near future, which means that the plan for the prospective pipeline will eventually go forward.

Why is that a problem?


It’s a problem because–according to Dr. Lehmann–”Together with the Russian gas… the EU would be able to cover some 50 percent of its requirements for natural gas via Iranian and Russian sources.” As the primary suppliers of critical resources to Europe, Moscow and Tehran would grow stronger both economically and politically which would significantly undermine the influence of the US and its allies in the region, particularly Qatar and Israel. This is why opponents of the pipeline developed a plan to sabotage the project by fomenting a civil war in Syria.

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Will BC's "Polluter Pay" Laws Hold for Mount Polley Tailings Disaster Cleanup Costs?

Mount Polley Bankruptcy Could Leave BC Public Footing Cleanup Bill
by Peter Ewart - Common Sense Canadian
The clean-up costs for the massive tailing pond spill at Imperial Metals’ Polley Mountain mine have been estimated by some to range between $50 and $500 million. In addition, legal action will undoubtedly be launched by individuals, businesses, and First Nations in the region which could result in hundreds of millions more in costs.
 
Resident Rod Marining surveys the damage.

And then there are law firms launching suits on behalf of Imperial stockholders who have suffered huge stock losses when the company’s stock plunged over 40%. Whatever the final amount, the issue comes down to – Who is going to pay?

On August 8, BC Environment Minister Mary Polak said: “We have a polluter-pay model in British Columbia and we expect the company will be the one paying for the cleanup and recovery” and that she has “heard commitments that [the company] is ready, willing and able to continue to fund what they need to”.

However, comments from Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch suggest that the situation may be a lot more dicey than this optimistic statement from the Minister.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jon Elmer, Mickey Z., Janine Bandcroft August 13, 2014

 
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
Little is new, and everything has changed in Palestine. Though a creaking cease-fire is being observed, Israel's latest crime against conscience is proving an atrocity too far, as a dumb-struck world witnesses the predictable humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.
 
As exiled Gazan journalist and author, Ramzy Baroud observes:
 
"Since Israel besieged Gaza with Egypt’s help and coordination, life for Gazans has become largely about mere survival. The strip has been turned into a massive ground for an Israeli experiment     concerned with population control. Gazans were not allowed to venture out, fish, or farm, and those who got even close to some arbitrary “buffer zone,” determined by the Israeli army within Gaza’s own borders, were shot and often killed."
 
 
And yet, there are still none in Canada's House of Commons, the place where justice is debated and laws drawn up, willing to take a stand for pity's sake and denounce and condemn unreservedly Israel's actions. Nary a one.
 
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance photojournalist who has lived in and reported from Occupied Palestine on and off for more than a decade. Jon's work has appeared at myriad sites on the internet, including; Inter Press News Service, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Progressive, and Al Jazeera English, and at his web site JonElmer.ca.   
 
Jon Elmer in the first half.
 
And; It's difficult not to agree, the violence happening "over there" is terrible. "But," you may say, "those people have been fighting forever, and violence is normal for them." You may be a peaceful soul, and believe your life has little or nothing to do with the horror and upheaval we see going on all around us. My second guest says, "Pacifist, don't flatter yourself!"
 
Mickey Z. is a New York City born and bred activist, author, lecturer and martial artist who has the only-one-in-the-world distinction of having appeared in both a political anthology alongside Noam Chomsky, and featured in a Billy Banks karate film. Mickey Z.'s book titles include: 'Darker Shade of Green,' 'Self-Defense for Radicals: A to Z Guide for Subversive Struggle,' 'CPR for Dummies,' 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism,' 'The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda,' and his latest, 'Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism.'
 
Mickey Z., occupied with activism 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 newz of the coming week from our city's streets and beyond. But first, Jon Elmer and an acceptable genocide in Gaza.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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It's Not Even an Old War: Cold War II

Cold War Two
by William BlumThe Anti-Empire Report #131
blum deadly exportDuring Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World).
 
Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.
 
E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:
 
Dear Editor,
Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”

Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.
– William Blum

I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years.
 

Schooling Obama: A Primer on Barbarism for the President

‘Mr. Obama, what is barbaric?’
by Dr. Rania Masri
Yesterday [August 1], the Obama administration said that the capture of an invading Israeli soldier by the Palestinian Resistance was – and I quote - a “barbaric action.”
 
It seems President Obama and his administration consider the abduction of an invading soldier from an occupying army to be ‘barbaric’ but the massacre of more than 1600 Palestinians in their neighborhoods, in their homes, in their schools, in their hospitals, in their playgrounds, on their beaches is not barbaric.
 
 
 

Paper of Record Discovers Ukrainian Neo-Nazis (at last)

NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War
by Robert Parry  - Consortium News
The New York Times reported almost in passing on Sunday that the Ukrainian government’s offensive against ethnic Russian rebels in the east has unleashed far-right paramilitary militias that have even raised a neo-Nazi banner over the conquered town of Marinka, just west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

Far-right militia members demonstrating outside 
Ukrainian parliament in Kiev in March 2014. 
(Screen shot from RT video via YouTube video) 

That might seem like a big story – a U.S.-backed military operation, which has inflicted thousands of mostly civilian casualties, is being spearheaded by neo-Nazis. But the consistent pattern of the mainstream U.S. news media has been – since the start of the Ukraine crisis – to white-out the role of Ukraine’s brown-shirts.

Only occasionally is the word “neo-Nazi” mentioned and usually in the context of dismissing this inconvenient truth as “Russian propaganda.” Yet the reality has been that neo-Nazis played a key role in the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February as well as in the subsequent coup regime holding power in Kiev and now in the eastern offensive.

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Acting for Humanity, Acting for Gaza

Act For Gaza
by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance
GazaChild - Pop ResistA rocket fell near us Tuesday in Beit Sahour. From the way it broke-up, we think it was one of the "iron dome" missiles that missed its mark (this happens to some 70-80% of missiles that are supposed to intercept Palestinian home-made rockets from Gaza).

The owner of the house said of the significant damage: "we are with Gaza and continue to be". Wars bring out the worse in people and the best in people. Israeli devastation of Gaza is facing against heroism of resilience and resistance of Palestinians and an awakening of conscience of millions.

Child lost his eyesight after Israeli shelling.
The father was killed a week later!

Every hour we hear stories and listen to dignified resilient voices from Gaza in the face of incredible devastation. Medics who continue to operate even as their colleagues and relatives are killed. Remaining family members who lost everything but promise to rebuild and fight back until freedom. Municipal workers trying to avert a catastrophe and keep bombed sewage and water lines open and separate. Neighbors helping each other. Resistance fighters coming back from the front lines to help dig for civilian corpses buried under the rubble. A child consoling her little brother after all their family has been wiped out. People taking care of each other and giving all of us lessons in how we can keep our humanity.

Tyrant: Horror of a Past Revisited

Tyranny: The Horror of a Past Revisited
by C. L. Cook - PacificFreePress.com
jack bootGod knows, tyrants and their tyrannies have plagued humanity from before the beginning. While the Creator may recall they and their deeds in toto, we mortals tend to remember only the capital "T" tyrants, placing their names like warning posts along civilization's metaphorical seashore: Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, and of course the highest high tide hazard notice of them all, Adolf Hitler.

Add to these the myriad lesser tyrants of history and it becomes quickly apparent; our story is a quagmire of corruption, cruelty, repression, exploitation, bias, and prejudice, the source of which being the intransigent persistence of the strong to subjugate the weak through violence and perpetual injustice. This assault against equity is as evident in our daily lives, in our homes, workplaces, and communities, as it is writ large within the pages of the great tomes of history.

Rising and falling with the relentless regularity of the sea, it is against the constant tide of tyranny a dike is built; a great wall erected called the Law. Sheltered behind this, the many "little people" can determine a just course for society, and plan for the long journey of nation-building free of the fear the Big Men of history, captains of disaster all, will come a-crashing down on them as so often before.