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The Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq

What a Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq
by C. L. Cook - Pacific Free Press
Fresh from the NATO confab in Wacanadian special operations regimentles, Stephen Harper announced Canadian troops will be sent to Iraq, ostensibly to aid in the fight against ISIS.

Days before 9/11's 13th anniversary, and nearly eleven and a half years after George W. Bush's declaration of "mission accomplished" in America's war against Saddam Hussein, Canada will finally, (officially) have 'boots on the ground' in that benighted nation.

Candidates for the Canadian Special 
Operations Regiment train in Kamloops, B.C.
 (Lt(N) Meghan Marsaw/Combat Camera)

It's a move resisted in bygone days by former prime minister, Jean Chretien, and opposed vociferously then by his Liberal party and the left-leaning New Democrats. But, why is the official opposition, and the unofficial government-in-waiting now on board with the PM; and, what will Canadian Forces be doing when they get over there?

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Playing Alice at the Post: WaPo Through the Looking Glass on Ukraine Reportage

Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
If you wonder how the world could stumble into World War III – much as it did into World War I a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire U.S. political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats vs. black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.
The original lie behind Official Washington’s latest “group think” was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis in Ukraine as part of some diabolical scheme to reclaim the territory of the defunct Soviet Union, including Estonia and other Baltic states. Though not a shred of U.S. intelligence supported this scenario, all the “smart people” of Washington just “knew” it to be true.
Yet, the once-acknowledged – though soon forgotten – reality was that the crisis was provoked last year by the European Union proposing an association agreement with Ukraine while U.S. neocons and other hawkish politicos and pundits envisioned using the Ukraine gambit as a way to undermine Putin inside Russia.

Zero Sums: Perpetual War and Wall Street

The Zero-Sum Game of Perpetual War
by Bill Blunden - CounterPunch
blunden beholdReaders with a morbid sense of curiosity can visit a web site called NukeMap that allows visitors to witness the devastation caused by nuclear weapons of varying yields on a city of their choosing[i]. Herman Kahn, who was an armchair theorist from RAND during the Cold War, insisted that nuclear war was winnable[ii]. But a few hours with NukeMap will disprove Kahn’s folly and the baleful smiley face that he tried to slap over human extinction.
Against this backdrop it’s no wonder that recent developments in the Ukraine have been known to cause night terrors. Your author can vouch for this. Last week there was an earthquake in the Bay Area and at the outset I woke up mistaking it for a shock wave from sub-megaton warhead hitting Silicon Valley.
One could posit that what’s happening in Eastern Europe offers a look-see into the nature of the groups that are calling the shots in the United States.

A Disaster in the First Person: Mt. Polley As Seen from Ground Zero

The Mount Polley mine disaster
by Rod Marining - Common Ground
Marining PolleyOn BC Day, a holiday meant to celebrate beautiful BC, we were all having a beautiful time at the family cabin at Quesnel Lake, with hot sun, blue skies and a pristine lake.

That night, I slept on my new boat docked in front of the cabin and was awakened at 3:00 AM by a continuous roar – like a 747 jet was flying towards the town of Likely.
I thought the sound odd and then noticed the boat was rocking when just a minute before Quesnel Lake had been as smooth as glass. I knew that Polley Mine was only a few miles away, but I just returned to bed puzzled by the strange, distant noise.

Gotham's Black Hole: Death and Torment at Rikers Island

New reports of inmate deaths from beatings at New York’s Rikers Island prison
by Philip Guelpa - WSWS
1 September 2014
Two recently revealed incidents at the Rikers Island prison in New York City confirm that the horrific conditions, already documented in a number of previous reports, at the city’s largest prison are the result of systematic, institutionalized brutality, not isolated aberrations.
In one incident, documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that inmate Angel Ramirez, 50 years old, was beaten to death by prison guards using night sticks (police batons) in July of 2011. Ramirez was reportedly suffering hallucinations during withdrawal from alcohol and heroin, and had earlier been denied his prescribed medication. In this impaired state, he attempted to hit an officer, but missed. Several officers then took him out of view of surveillance cameras and inflicted a severe beating, resulting in Ramirez’s death.
The news account states, based on information provided by the family’s lawyer, that Ramirez “died of numerous blunt-impact injuries that included a ruptured spleen, shattered ribs and a stomach filled with blood.” This contradicts the statements of the officers, who were interviewed eight months later, that the inmate was struck only once, and only in self-defense.

Expeditionary Force Formed, New NATO Terror Initiative Announced

UK announces new NATO military force, declares terror alert
by Robert Stevens - WSWS
NATO Fogg Cameron 14Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting this week’s NATO summit in Wales, is to announce that the imperialist alliance will create a new joint expeditionary force (JEF) of at least 10,000 troops for rapid deployment in crisis situations.

Previewing the plan Friday evening, the Financial Times reported that the new force is being created “to bolster NATO’s power in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

The FT said, “The force will incorporate air and naval units as well as ground troops and will be led by British commanders, with other participating nations contributing a range of specialist troops and units. Countries involved at present include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part.”

The “model for the new JEF will be Britain’s expeditionary force with France, which has been years in the making and is due to be fully operational by 2016.”

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Chance Meetings and What's Coming Next to Ukraine

Two Chance Meetings While Traveling in Europe: It's all about Ukraine
by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening
On a trip to Europe for a two-week stay in Finland, my wife and I at one point found ourselves seated next to a congenial 30-something guy, dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. He said he was US Army major.
Initially, our conversation revolved around his little kids, and his complaint about how often he was sent out on “short assignments” in Europe far away from home. He also mentioned being somewhat hard of hearing after having been sent out on 250 missions in Iraq as a soldier in the cavalry, where he had been the gunner on a stryker armored vehicle. (He explained that he couldn’t wear ear protectors despite the constant loud roar of the heavy vehicle’s engine, “because you have to hear when you’re taking fire, and also to be able to communicate with the other guys inside the vehicle.”)
He was voluble, but discreet when it came to his current Army role, saying only that he had been reassigned from cavalry to “international relations,” which he later explained meant “handling relations” between US military forces and various countries’ militaries in the “European Theater.” He said he had become particularly busy since the beginning of the “Ukraine crisis,” but wouldn’t go into detail about what he was busy doing.
One could make an educated guess.

Cause and Effect: Remembering the Real Motives for 9/11

That Much Petroleum is That Much Bullshit: China Won the Oil War, and the Shale Oil Revolution is About to Shrivel Up
by Nicholas C Arguimbau - CounterCurrents
karsaiIn January, 2011, this writer published a four-part article in Countercurrents and elsewhere entitled, "The War: Did We Sacrifice A Million Lives And A $Trillion Cash Just To Hand Our Jobs To China?" It was long (around 40 pages), and I must admit a little confusing, because the information was so stunning that I had a difficult time understanding what I was reading.
The gist of the article was that Big Oil had asked Congress in 1998 to remove the Taliban so as to allow the building of a pipeline that would let Mideastern oil go to "the right markets." 
"The right markets"? Guess. The US and Europe, of course. 
Wrong. India and China. Those, it was explained, were "the right markets" because the oil market was stagnating in the US and Europe and actively growing in India and China. Hardly, it would seem, something for the US to go to war for. But, then, Wall Street is the government.
We went to war against the Taliban in 2001 shortly after the US officials who negotiated with the Taliban for permission to let the pipeline be built told them, according to two well-respected French journalists, "You can have a carpet of gold [if you allow the pipeline] or a carpet of bombs [if you don't]." Really? Yes. That's a 13-year-old story.

What Does Russia Think of NATO?

So, I Asked the Russian Ambassador What He Thinks of NATO
by David Swanson - War Is a Crime
The Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, spoke at the University of Virginia on Tuesday evening, in an event organized by the Center for Politics, which no doubt has video of the proceedings. Kislyak was once ambassador to Belgium and to NATO.

Kislyak spoke to a packed auditorium and took, I think, well over an hour of questions. He spoke frankly, and the questions he was asked by students, professors, and other participants were polite and for the most part far more intelligent than he would have been asked on, for example, Meet the Press.

He told the audience that Russia had known there were no WMDs in Iraq, and had known that attacking Iraq would bring "great difficulties" to that country. "And look what is happening today," he said. He made the same comment about Libya. He spoke of the U.S. and Russia working together to successfully remove chemical weapons from the Syrian government.
But he warned against attacking Syria now.

America's Chicken Hawks Take Flight Again

America’s War Hawks Back in Flight
by Danny Schechter - Consortium News
Sound the bugle! Get the press to march along; we are going to war. Again! Enemies R ‘Us!

 For a long time with the killing of bin Laden, a jihadi fatigue had set in. With the apparent shriveling up of the Al Qaeda menace, America’s threat-defining and -refining machinery was somewhat adrift. What had been so simple turned too complex to fuse into one sound-bite.

Former CIA official Thomas Fingar, now at Stanford University, describes his own frustration in finding out what U.S. policy priorities should be in national intelligence. He asked his colleagues to share the threats they worried about. He was soon inundated.

“When I was given responsibility for the process known as the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, almost 2,300 issues had been assigned priorities higher than zero,” he explained. “My first instruction was, ‘Reduce the number’.”

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"Smart" World Conspiring to Create "Dumb" People

Gadgets Turning Me Into an Idiot!
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch
I feel challenged, at times dumb. I am constantly behind. And that is where the multi-nationals want me to be. That is how they want me to feel: a total retard, a failure.
Computers are evolving; smart phones, cameras and recorders are changing their operation systems. They are designed that way: a few months or years and into the garbage with them! Apple, ‘BB’, Canon and other manufacturers are making sure that everything changes with lightening speed, from the shape of batteries, to the size of plugs. Is your SIM now a ‘nano’ size? Or is it full size, or something in between?
And how do you download footage from your camera? Oh, you need new software, possibly new cables?
Whenever I buy a new phone, new camera or new computer, I have to spend several weeks or months trying to understand their complex manuals. And these days, many manuals are not even printed – they have to be studied online. And then, once I at least master some basics, it is time to get the next generation of the equipment, to throw the old, obsolete one into the garbage, without fully mastering it.
The way new-era-gadgets are designed is that after just 1-3 years they become obsolete: applications cannot be run or downloaded and everything becomes incompatible. Entire systems demand a periodical overhaul, but even overhauls have time limitation, at some point they cease to ‘be allowed’. And so, eventually, new equipment has to be purchased, and, that happens with increasing frequency.
We all know that this is how the ‘market’ works, that this is how ruthless, self-serving ‘entrepreneurship’ is shagging us. We are all bitching about it, but there seems to be nothing that can be done. We have simply become slaves of those vicious, greedy and twisted capitalist companies. We know that they only care about their profits and nothing about the advancement of society and humanity. They are clearly and determinedly robbing creative people, of both time and resources.