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A Meeting of Criminal Masterminds: Kerry of Arabia

Kerry in Riyadh: A meeting of war criminals
by Bill Van Auken - WSWS

8 May 2015  

US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared side by side with his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh Thursday and praised the monarchical oil regime for its role in the bloody nearly two-month-old war against Yemen, the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.

The Saudi royals were to be commended, he said, for their “initiative to bring about a peaceful resolution through the announcement of their intent to establish a full, five-day, renewable ceasefire and humanitarian pause.”
 
Kerry used the word “intent” advisedly.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
 
Even as he spoke, Saudi warplanes continued to pound Yemeni homes, schools and hospitals into rubble, carrying out at least seven airstrikes Thursday against the port city of Hudaydah and five against the northwestern provincial capital of Sa’ada, a stronghold of Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement that the Saudi regime is determined to crush.
 
Earlier, Saudi warships fired rockets into the town of Hajjah, striking the Maydi Hospital, and more than 100 airstrikes in other areas of the country left scores dead, many of them women and children.
 

America Ups Its Ugly: Flailing Empire Bellowing

Dangerous Flailing and Bellowing of the Beast
by John Chuckman
 
When I think of America’s place in the world today, the image that comes to mind is of a very large animal, perhaps a huge bull elephant or even prehistoric mammoth, which long roamed as the unchallenged king of its domain but has become trapped by its own missteps, as caught in a tar pit or some quicksand, and it is violently flailing about, making a terrifying noises in its effort to free itself and re-establish its authority.

Any observer immediately knows the animal ultimately cannot succeed but certainly is frightened by the noise and crashing that it can sustain for a considerable time.
 
I think that is the pretty accurate metaphor for the situation of the United States today, still a terribly large and powerful society but one finding itself trapped after a long series of its own blunders and errors, a society certain ultimately to become diminished in its prestige and relative power with all the difficulties which that will entail for an arrogant people having a blind faith in their own rightness.
 
America simply cannot accept its mistakes or that it was ever wrong, for Americanism much resembles a fundamentalist religion whose members are incapable of recognizing or admitting they ever followed anything but the divine plan.
 

A Britain Less Great for Cameron's Reelection

UK Election: Tory Victory A Disaster of Britain and the Democratic Process
by Andy Worthington

Some of the worst nights of my life have taken place in early May — Margaret Thatcher’s first election victory on May 3, 1979 (when I was too young to even vote), and the 2010 election, on May 6, 2010, which brought a Tory-led coalition government, led by David Cameron, to power.
 
There were other dreadful nights, on or around May — the Tory victories on June 9, 1983, June 11, 1987 and April 9, 1992 — and after the anti-Tory euphoria of Tony Blair’s victory wore off, following New Labour’s landslide victory on May 1, 1997, the reality of a New Labour Britain was of course a huge disappointment, as the party embarked on its own neo-liberal trajectory, and the country became host to a housing price casino that was a poor substitute for an actual functioning economy — and, in 2003, also became the home of an illegal warmonger.
 
"Roiling, Broiling, Scheming, and Dreaming"
(Right to Left, UK federal politicos, and Boris)
 
As a result, the rest of New Labour’s victories — on June 7, 2001 and May 5, 2005 — were also disappointing, as the party failed to remember what it was supposed to be, and continued, instead, as a general betrayer of its founding values. On those occasions, however, the disappointment in a Labour victory was, pragmatically, offset by slim gratitude that at least the Tories weren’t back in.
 

Crux of the Middle East "Problem"

The Mideast’s S-U-N-N-I Problem
by Sharmine Narwani - RT
This needs to be spelled out: The biggest threat to Middle East stability today is a Sunni one - and it comes not from its largely downtrodden population, but from the epicenter of current Sunni political and religious leadership.
 
The Shiites have their leadership. So too do Arab Christians, the Druze, Kurds and countless other sects, ethnic groups and tribes in the broader Middle East.
 
But who looks after the Sunni masses? What major Sunni leader speaks representatively on behalf of these tens of millions of constituents? Who ensures Sunni access to social mobility gives them a voice at the table and champions their key economic and political grievances?
 

AI Whitewashing Israel's 2014 Gaza Massacre

Amnesty International: Whitewashing Another Massacre
by Paul de Rooij - CounterPunch

Amnesty InternationalAmnesty International has issued four reports on the Massacre in Gaza in 2014 [1]. Given the scale of the destruction and the number of fatalities, any attempt to document the crimes committed should be welcomed.
 
But these reports are problematic, and raise questions about this organization [2], including why they were written at all. It also raises questions about the broader human rights industry that are worth considering.

 

Basic Background


July 2014 marked the onset of the Israeli massacre in Gaza (I will dispense with the Israeli sugar-coated operation names). The Israeli army trained for this attack for several months before finding a pretext to attack Gaza, shattering an existing ceasefire; this was the third such post-“disengagement” (2004) attack, and possibly the worst so far. At least 2,215 were killed and 10,000+ wounded, most of them civilians.
 
The scale of destruction was staggering: tens of thousands of houses rendered uninhabitable; several high-rise buildings struck by huge American-supplied bombs; schools and hospitals targeted; 61 mosques totally destroyed; water purification and sewage treatment plants damaged; Gaza’s main flour mill bombed; all chicken farms ravaged; an incalculable devastation [3].
 

Green Politician Tries to Remove Anti-Apartheid Highway Sign

Dear Mr. Lynn
by Andrew Weaver

Andrew Weaver, M.L.A.
Oak Bay-Gordon Head
Constituency Office:
219 - 3930 Shelbourne Street
Victoria, BC V8P 5P6
Phone: 250 472-8528
Fax: 250 472-6123
e-mail: Andrew.Weaver.MLA@ leg.bc.ca

Province of British Columbia
Legislative Assembly
Legislative Office:
Room 027
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
7 May 2015
 
 
Robert Lynn
Direct Marketing Group
3020 Douglas St
Victoria,
BC
V8T 4N4
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Mr. Lynn, I was contacted today by a constituent who was profoundly troubled by the nature of the advertising displayed on a billboard that I understand your company leases on the Pat Bay Highway between Mount Newton Cross Road and Island View Road.

I share my constituent’s concerns and I attach a picture of the billboard below.

Khadr Granted Bail Release

Former Guantánamo Prisoner Omar Khadr Says He Is “Ready” for Freedom; All Decent People Must Agree
by Andy Worthington
UPDATE: I’m delighted to report that Justice Myra Bielby has granted Omar’s bail. “Mr. Khadr, you are free to go,” she said at the hearing today in the appeals court in Edmonton. The Toronto Star reported that Omar “broke into a big, wide smile when the decision was read. His supporters in the courtroom erupted in cheers.”

As the Guardian described it, however, “Khadr’s legal ordeal is far from over. The government has given notice that it intends to challenge the bail order itself.”

Nevertheless, I believe the government needs to accept that its vindictive demonization of Omar has run its course. On June 25, Omar will go before a parole board, providing another opportunity for him to be granted his freedom.

Omar’s long-established attorney Dennis Edney, with whom he will be living, told reporters, “I intend to drive him straight home,” and added, as the Guardian put it, that “he had squeezed [his] finger and said: ‘We did it.'” His other longtime attorney, Nathan Whitling, said, “Whatever anyone may think of Mr. Khadr, he’s now served his time.”

The updated logo for the Free
Omar Khadr Now campaign

Edney added that “he expects to hold a press conference on Friday so Khadr can address the public for the first time,” as the Guardian described it. “I look forward to Omar Khadr letting the Canadian public see who he really is, to challenge the lies of this government, who have not allowed him to be seen or to speak to you media,” Edney said. He also said, “Mr. Harper is a bigot. Mr. Harper doesn’t like Muslims. He wants to prove he’s tough on crime so who does he pick on? A 15-year-old boy.”

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Canada's Parliament Finds Little to Debate on Broadening Ukraine War

Unanimous Support for Ukrainian War by Parties in Canadian Parliament
 
May 6, 2015  

On April 29, Canada’s House of Commons held a four-hour, ‘take note’ foreign policy discussion concerning the situation in Ukraine. The discussion was hardly a debate, as ‘take note’ sessions in Parliament sometimes become.

No, this was a pat-on-the-back, we’re-all-in-this-together session.

Enclosed is a summary of the non-debate in Parliament, written by a contributor to the Rabble.ca website discussion board called ‘Babble’. The summary has been slightly shortened.
 
Canada’s House of Commons: A yawning
chasm where a debate didn’t happen

Canada has decided to send 200 Canadian Forces troops styled as ‘trainers’ to Ukraine, allegedly to prepare the Ukrainian Armed Forces to defend the U.S.-backed regime of fascists and oligarchs against ‘Russian aggression’. Or so says our national media.

Voting Israel in England's Election

Naming and Shaming – The List Of Israel’s Agents Within British Politics
by Gilad Atzmon
Ahead of Election Day tomorrow, the ultra Zionist www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk published its list of Sabbos Goyim operating within British politics.

“With Polling Day in the General Election this Thursday, here is a list of all the parliamentary candidates who have sent positive replies to the Fairness for Israel Charter,” the Zionist outlet informed its followers.

Our British candidates agree, for example that, “boycotts against Israel in any sphere must be opposed.” The shameless British parliamentary candidates listed below are willing to sacrifice freedom of expression to please their paymasters; agreeing that the “democratic State of Israel is not an ‘apartheid state’ and must not be described as one.”

The Zionist outlet explains; “It is noted that every (Israeli) citizen has the right to vote and discrimination based on race, religion or sexuality is illegal.” 

But We Believe In Israel fails to mention a basic crucial fact: Millions of indigenous Palestinians living within areas controlled by Israel and subject to Israeli oppression are not entitled to be citizens let alone vote. And why? Because they are not ‘racially’ qualified.

This extensive list reveals that British politics is in urgent need of a major overhaul. It must cleanse itself of the corrosive influence of a very dangerous foreign Lobby.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andrea Morison, Ken Boon, David Barsamian, Janine Bandcroft May 6th, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - GorillaRadio.com

 
Despite more than a generation of resistance to the proposed mega-dam in the heart of the Peace River Valley, and the dubious assessment by the government's own Review Panel of the project, BC premier Christy Clark recently announced her party's determination to go ahead with Site-C.

Work has begun, but that does not mean resistance has ended.
 
Next week the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, together with the Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club of BC, Amnesty International, and the Peace Valley Environmental Association will present, at Vancouver's Creekside Community Rec. Centre, an info. and solidarity event designed to inspire pushback here in the south to a project promising severe disruption to the lives of people and wildlife in B.C.'s north.

Listen. Hear.

Andrea Morison is spokesperson for the PVEA, Peace Valley Environmental Association. She holds a Masters of Natural Resource Management degree and has worked in that field in both Ontario and BC for more than 25 years; the last four years of which has been devoted to the PVEA's involvement with the environmental assessment process for Site-C.
 
And Ken Boon is president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, the group that's taken the BC government to the Supreme Court to stop the project.

Andrea Morison and Ken Boon in the first half.

And; next week the University of Victoria's Student Union Building will play host to media pioneer, David Barsamian. For almost thirty years, Barsamian has done with his award-winning, groundbreaking radio program, Alternative Radio what very few have managed to do: make a living producing independent, unembedded, muckraking reportage that not only speaks truth to power, but slaps it upside the head.
 
As his website, AlternativeRadio.org reminds, David is a recipient of: "...[T]he Media Education Award, the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation." He's also been named by The Institute for Alternative Journalism a Top Ten Media Hero, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.
 
In addition to his prolific radio production, David Barsamian has also produced a plethora of books based on his interviews with: Arundhati Roy, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Edward Said, and Noam Chomsky. His latest book is, 'Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire,' another collaboration with professor Chomsky.

David Barsamian and making media in a time of warfare in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Andrea Morison and Ken Boon on Site-C, a dam too damned far.

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/
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Police State America: When the Occupier Comes Marching Home

The Wars Come Home: A Five-Step Guide to the Police Repression of Protest from Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond
 
Last week, as Baltimore braced for renewed protests over the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) prepared for battle. With state-of-the-art surveillance of local teenagers’ Twitter feeds, law enforcement had learned that a group of high school students was planning to march on the Mondawmin Mall. In response, the BPD did what any self-respecting police department in post-9/11 America would do: it declared war on the protesters.

Over the course of 24 hours, which would see economically devastated parts of Baltimore erupt in open rebellion, city and state police would deploy everything from a drone and a “military counter attack vehicle” known as a Bearcat to SWAT teams armed with assault rifles, shotguns loaded with lead pellets, barricade projectiles filled with tear gas, and military-style smoke grenades. 
 
The BPD also came equipped with “Hailstorm” or “Stingray” technology, developed in America’s distant war zones to conduct wireless surveillance of enemy communications. This would allow officers to force cell phones to connect to it, to collect mobile data, and to jam cell signals within a one-mile radius.
 
 

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