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Progressive Decline: Lining Up to Serve Hillary

Progressives Line Up to Defend Clinton Corruption
by Chris Floyd - CounterPunch

It’s amusing to see how our staunch progressives — who believe so deeply in a level playing field and fair play, who railed so vociferously against crony capitalism back in Bush-Time — are now twisting themselves in knots to dismiss the stories about that long-festering font of corruption, the Clinton Foundation.

Suddenly, what was once evil and corrosive — peddling elite insider influence for private profit — is just old hat, no big deal, business as usual.

Indeed, Digby, the very avatar of “anguished support” (Tarzie’s deeply apt description of our progressives’ blind self-tethering to a party whose leaders — like the Clintons, like Obama — are so servile to Big Money and war profiteering that they make Dick Nixon look like Diogenes), points us to an “excellent piece” by the ever-overexcited Charles Pierce, esquire (sorry, I mean Charles Pierce of Esquire), which sounds this very theme.

Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Progressive Decline: Lining Up to Serve Hillary

Europe's Anemic Efforts to Censure Ultimately Entrenching Israeli Occupation

Europe’s feeble efforts to ‘punish’ Israel
by Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad.

Some 16 European foreign ministers sent a letter to the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, calling for the EU to label clearly Israeli settlement products to alert shoppers to their true provenance.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s former finance minister who is widely regarded as a moderate, angrily phoned Mogherini to warn that major European states were calling for a “de facto boycott of Israel”. He described the letter as “a stain” on the EU, adding that Israel’s economy could face “disaster”.

EU foreign ministers were no less persuaded of the punitive nature of their proposal. Labelling settlement goods would, they wrote, be “an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy” and vital to preserving the two-state solution.

In truth, however, the letter simply continues Europe’s feeble and muddle-headed policy in the face of Israel’s intensifying efforts to entrench the occupation.

Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Europe's Anemic Efforts to Censure Ultimately Entrenching Israeli Occupation

Dispatches from Ukraine's War Zone

From the War Zone of Eastern Ukraine
by Roger Annis - New Cold War


April 21, 2015  

I have just returned from participating in a four-day reporting tour to the city of Donetsk and the countryside that lies between Donetsk and the Russian city of Rostov to the south and east. I was part of a media tour group organized by Europa Objektiv, an initiative of citizens in Russia and Germany working to provide information about the war in eastern Ukraine to writers and journalists.

Residents of ‘October’ district of
Donetsk city still enduring ongoing
shelling by Ukraine army,
April 16, 2015 (Roger Annis)

Our tour group consisted of writers and filmmakers from Canada, the United States, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. We learned a great deal about the political, economic and social situation in the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

For me, perhaps the most important part of the tour was the insight gained into the political aspirations of the leading social and political forces of the movement for political autonomy of these regions. The most difficult part was seeing the very harsh conditions which people living close to the ceasefire demarcation line with Ukrainian armed forces are suffering.

I will be writing a series of articles about the visit in the coming days and weeks in Counterpunch. One place where they will all be compiled and easily accessible is on my author page on the website which I help to edit: The New Cold War; Ukraine and beyond.

The following is an overview of what I will try to bring to readers. 

 

Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Dispatches from Ukraine's War Zone

US-Saudi Line on Yemen Slaughter "Untenable"

US-Backed Criminal Slaughter in Yemen Revealed
by Finian Cunningham - SCF

Former UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has given an undiplomatic assessment of the crisis in that country, in which he rhetorically explodes Saudi myths «justifying» the US-backed aerial bombing campaign. The Moroccan diplomat told media at the weekend that the ongoing conflict was a direct result of Houthi rebels having been excluded from the political process last year.
 
Furthermore, Benomar went on to say unequivocally that during his tenure as UN envoy in Yemen he saw no evidence of Iranian involvement stirring the country’s strife.
 
That testimony debunks the Western media-contrived whitewash of the continuing Saudi slaughter in Yemen – a slaughter that is being aided and abetted, politically and militarily, by Washington.
 
Benomar resigned from his diplomatic post last week after three years of being charged with facilitating political talks between Yemeni rebels and the US, Saudi-backed regime of now-ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
 
 
 

Abandoning Palestine and Betraying the Palestinian Diaspora

Stuck in Area A: How we were duped into disowning the Palestinians
by Ramzy Baroud - PalestineChronicle.com
Are you surprised that there has been little mobilisation to help Yarmouk, the Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, which is overrun by militants, and besieged by the Syrian army? Palestinians – and Syrians - there are killed in a myriad of ways, including starvation. As we stand and watch in horror and confusion, they are quickly buried under the mounting pressure of Facebook news feeds or Twitter’s endless tweets.
 
I am not surprised. Even before Palestinian refugees found themselves embroiled in Syria’s conflict, I appealed to all parties involved, including the Palestinian leaderships (alas, there are several) to spare the refugees the burden of war, and for Palestinians to set their differences aside to avoid a repeat of Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq.
 

Empire's Role in the Mediterranean Refugee Disasters

Blood on their hands: Libya’s boat refugees and “humanitarian” imperialism
by Johannes Stern and Bill Van Auken - WSWS
 
21 April 2015
 
The horrific death toll of African and Middle Eastern refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe is a damning indictment of all the major imperialist powers, and most particularly the United States.
 
The American president, Barack Obama, and his former secretary of state, Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, have blood up to their elbows. They set the present catastrophe in motion through brutal wars for regime change waged under the hypocritical and discredited banner of “human rights.”
 
At least three more boats packed with refugees from North Africa and the Middle East were reported to be in distress in the Mediterranean on Monday, with a minimum of 23 more people said to have drowned.
 
This adds to the many hundreds of people, perhaps 1,400, who have lost their lives over the past week in a desperate bid to escape military violence by the US and its European allies, civil wars stoked by Washington and the European Union, and pervasive poverty exacerbated by the machinations of imperialism in the region.
 

Creating Exodus: The American Hand in the Great Refugee Crisis

The US Hand in Libya’s Tragedy
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
 
April 21, 2015

The mainstream U.S. news media is lambasting the Europeans for failing to stop the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea as desperate Libyans flee their war-torn country in overloaded boats that are sinking as hundreds drown.
 
But the MSM forgets how this Libyan crisis began, including its own key role along with that of “liberal interventionists” such as Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly
before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

In 2011, it was all the rage in Official Washington to boast about the noble “responsibility to protect” the people of eastern Libya who supposedly were threatened with extermination by the “mad man” Muammar Gaddafi. We also were told endlessly that, back in 1988, Gaddafi’s agents had blown Pan Am 103 out of the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The R2Pers, led by then-National Security Council aide Power with the backing of Secretary of State Clinton, convinced President Barack Obama that a “humanitarian intervention” was needed to prevent Gaddafi from slaughtering people whom he claimed were Islamic terrorists.

As this U.S.-orchestrated bombing campaign was about to begin in late March 2011, Power told a New York City audience that the failure to act would have been “extremely chilling, deadly and indeed a stain on our collective conscience.” Power was credited with steeling Obama’s spine to press ahead with the military operation.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dahr Jamail, Nader Hasan April 22, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

 
Happy Earth Day! Hard to believe, but it's been five Earth Days since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, rupturing the pipeline to millions of gallons of sub-seabed oil. The subsequent fouling of the Gulf of Mexico killed unknowable numbers of creatures across the biome, and virtually destroyed a way of life for those in the region making their living from the sea. Even today, years after the fact, the region still bears the scars of the "spill", as do the thousands who worked cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon's aftermath.
 
Dahr Jamail is an Olympic peninsula-based freelance journalist and author, whose book titles include: 'The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,' 'Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Iraq,' and the contributed chapter, "Killing the Intellectual Class" for the anthology, 'Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered.'

Listen. Hear.
 
Jamail is also a Truthout staff reporter, and his latest book, 'The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible' is co-written with Truthout founding editor, William Rivers Pitt.

Among Dahr’s many journalism awards are: the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards. His work has appeared at Truthout, The Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, Le Monde, and the Inter Press Service, among many others, and at his website, DahrJamail.net.
 
In 2010, Dahr applied the same rigorous determination to reveal the truth of the Iraq War to the global environmental crisis, focusing on anthropogenic climate disruption, including the emblematic Deepwater Horizon disaster.
 
Dahr Jamail in the first half.
 
And; from the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern Pacific, to the Beaufort Sea, and Hibernia, North America is ringed from coast to coast to coast with offshore oil interests determined to have their way come Hell or deep water. The latest target of Big Oil's interest is Baffin Bay's Davis Strait, where the Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. has received the blessing of Canada's National Energy Board, or NEB, to begin seismic testing for oil and gas believed to lay beneath the ocean bottom there. But there is a small problem; the Inuit community of Clyde River is opposed to Petroleum Geo-Services' plan to deploy high-decibel sound blasting equipment in their fishing grounds. They believe the testing will harm the wildlife they depend on for their livelihood, and they've taken the NEB to Canada's courts to prove it. For its part, the NEB says it initiated, quote:
 
"[A] lengthy, detailed, open process that was well designed to share and gather information to hear and take into account the concerns put forward by the applicants."
 
Hearings began Monday in Toronto.
 
Nader Hasan is lead attorney for the plaintiffs of Clyde River. Hasan specializes in constitutional and human rights cases brought against government and police and has acted for victims of police abuse, the wrongfully convicted and asylum seekers. A partner with the prestigious Toronto law firm, Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan, Nader also maintains an active appellate practice. He's also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the U. of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where he teaches on crime and punishment, and lectures on civil liberties issues. An associate editor of the Canadian Rights Reporter, Nader Hasan is also co-author, with Clayton Ruby and Gerald Chan of the book 'Sentencing,' and co-authored with Chan a forthcoming book on privacy rights and digital technology.
 
Nader Hasan and the village of Clyde River taking a stand against the petro-giants in the second half.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus Janine Bandcroft has been called away on a vital mission, and won't be joining us at the bottom of the hour. So first up, Dahr Jamail on Earth Days past, and those to come.

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.uvic.ca, and now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.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/

60 Minutes' Persistent Reality Avoidance on Syria and Iraq

A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

April 20, 2015

On Sunday evening, CBS’s “60 Minutes” presented what was pitched as a thorough examination of the infamous sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21, 2013, with anchor Scott Pelley asserting that “none of what we found will be omitted here.”

But the segment – while filled with emotional scenes of dead and dying Syrians – made little effort to determine who was responsible.
 
Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor

Pelley’s team stuck to the conventional wisdom from the rush-to-judgment “white paper” that the White House issued on Aug. 30, 2013, just nine days after the incident, blaming the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. But Pelley ignored contrary evidence that has emerged in the 20 months since the attack, including what I’ve been told are dissenting views among U.S. intelligence analysts.
 

Oil and Water Mix: Industry Moves to Secure Supply Lines

The Game-Changing Water Revolution: Interview with Stanley Weiner
by James Stafford - Oilprice.com
 
DroughtSwimmingHole
Globally, water demand is threatening to dangerously outpace supply, while in the US, dry states such as Texas and California are suffering from shortages and the future forebodes more suffering. For the North American shale boom, the lack of water is suffocating.

Amid this doom and gloom, a water revolution emerges, led by energy industry figures who realized the endless potential of tapping into new water sources and processing them with advanced desalination technology that, for the first time ever, is economically feasible.
 
The water revolution is here, according to Stanley Weiner, CEO of STW Resources-a Texas-based company that has the exclusive North American license for Dutch-developed next generation Salttech desalination technology.
 
 

How Chelsea Manning Tried, and Failed, to Save the Deepwater Horizon

Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater Horizon Killings
by Greg Palast - Truthdig
 
The military whistleblower’s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster.

Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig — despite Chelsea Manning’s effort to save their lives.

Let me explain.

The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the “mud” — the cement used to cap the well — blew out. The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked — shocked! — at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea.

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