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"Jihadists" Vow to Destroy Lebanon

Jul 11, 2014 Dr. Franklin Lamb
Jihadists in Lebanon by Franklin Lamb -…
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Our Submissive Void and the Rape of Gaza

Jul 12, 2014 John Pilger
On Israel, Ukraine and Truth by John…
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Whither Academe?

Dec 14, 2010 Media Lens
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Black Out and Speak Out

May 07, 2012 Press Release
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4th Unwanted: Obama Continues Bush War on Constitution

Aug 12, 2010 Tom Burghardt
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Havoc the Kingdon: Unemployment and Poverty in the Land of the Saud's

Havoc in the Kingdom
by Nicola Nasser - CounterPunch
Survival is the key word to understand the Saudi dynasty’s latest external and internal policies. These are designed to pre-empt change but paradoxically they are creating more enemies in a changing world order marked by turbulent regional geopolitics and growing internal demands for change.
 
The seventy-year old strategic oil for security US-Saudi alliance seemed about to crack on its 69th anniversary ahead of the summit meeting of US President Barak Obama and king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in March.
 
With the US now committed to pivoting east and possibly on track to become an oil exporter by 2017, American and Saudi policies are no longer identical.
 

Life During War Time: Morning Conversations with a Damascene Woman

Morning Conversation with a Sunni Damascene Woman
by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza
bartlett damascus hotel 04-14We’re sitting in the cafe of the ancient home-hotel I’m staying in for a ridiculously cheap price. I’m surround by arches, wooden beams, wrought iron decor, vast ceilings and windows, daylight and call-to-prayer and church bells filtering in. Fairouz graces the space, her lilting voice a morning ritual.
 
the lovely, but empty of tourists, hotel I’m staying in, in the old city of Damascus 

If it weren’t for the sordid reality of the various attacks on areas throughout Syria by so-called “rebels”…. pause, another round of mortar attacks just now…it would be paradise.

As it is, the people I’ve been meeting the last ten days have been as lovely and gracious as the Palestinians I’ve met over the years in occupied Palestine. And similarly, they are living under a siege… sanctions on the state which are one of the reasons life has gotten so expensive here (other reasons being “rebels” taking over factories, particularly in the north, I’m told, taking over petrol stations, taking over medicine factories…), but in spite of the higher cost of living for these people whose salaries don’t now suffice (despite free education and health care here), they are generous, as the Palestinians under occupation.
 

Ukraine: Phony Fliers and Other NATO Lies

Flyers Telling Jews To Register Are Not From the Donetsk People's Republic - Moscow Does Not Negotiate For the Donetsk People's Republic
by Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency - Boston IndyMedia
On Thursday the Russian Federation, U.S., EU, and the U.S. imposed coup government of Kiev agreed on terms for the surrender of the anti-coup uprising in eastern Ukraine. The agreement between these powers demands the workers of eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms and abandon seized buildings. Supposedly representing the working class of eastern Ukraine was the Russian capitalist state, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking for Russia.

Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People's Republic, responded to this absurdity saying, "Lavrov did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation."

Despite the lies in the corporate media of Russian intervention, fact is, what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a working class uprising against the pro-IMF and chauvinistic coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February. This working class uprising in eastern Ukraine has seized at least 10 cities. It has also won soldiers to their side that were sent to crush the uprising. Despite western hopes, it is also not surrendering, despite what Moscow says.
 
In addition, reports in the western corporate media that the Donetsk People's Republic is telling Jews to register as Jews with the People's Republic authorities are false.
 

NATO's Burning Pants: Lies as Policy Points

Dear NATO: Are Your Lying About Russia or Simply Incompetent?
by Walter C. Uhler
natoOn 14 April 2014 NATO issued a “fact sheet” titled, “Russia’s Accusations – setting the record straight.” In the course of setting the record straight, the NATO fact sheet made the following false assertion: “Russian officials claim that US and German officials promised in 1990 that NATO would not expand into Eastern and Central Europe, build military infrastructure near Russia’s borders or permanently deploy troops there.”
 
No such pledge was made, and no evidence to back up Russia’s claims has ever been produced.” (My emphasis.)
 
We know that this assertion by NATO is false, thanks to a 26 November 2009 article in Der Spiegel that claimed: 
“On Feb. 10, 1990, between 4 and 6:30 p.m., [German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich] Genscher spoke with [Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard] Shevardnadze. And, according to the German record of the conversation, which was only recently declassified, Genscher said:
‘We are aware that NATO membership for a unified Germany raises complicated questions. For us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.’
And because the conversation revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly:
‘As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.’”
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The Good News on Climate Change - There's Time to Turn Things Around

UN Panel: Renewables, Not Nukes, Can Solve Climate Crisis
by Harvey Wasserman - Solartopia
The authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has left zero doubt that we humans are wrecking our climate. It also effectively says the problem can be solved, and that renewable energy is the way to do it, and that nuclear power is not.
 
The United Nations’ IPCC is the world’s most respected authority on climate. This IPCC report was four years in the making. It embraces several hundred climate scientists and more than a thousand computerized scenarios of what might be happening to global weather patterns.
 
The panel’s work has definitively discredited the corporate contention that human-made carbon emissions are not affecting climate change. To avoid total catastrophe, says the IPCC, we must reduce the industrial spew of global warming gasses by 40-70 percent of 2010 levels.
 
Though the warning is dire, the report offers three pieces of good news.
 

The War Coming Home: Another Take on the Ft. Hood Incident

How America’s Wars Came Home With the Troops:

Up Close, Personal, and Bloody

by Ann Jones  - TomDispatch
ann jones they were soldiers coverAfter an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded. When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet. This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.” He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition. Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger. Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.

The media coverage that followed Lopez’s rampage was, of course, 24/7 and there was much discussion of PTSD, the all-purpose (if little understood) label now used to explain just about anything unpleasant that happens to or is caused by current or former military men and women. Amid the barrage of coverage, however, something was missing: evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the "homeland” as the troops return.
 
In that context, Lopez’s killings, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide. It’s a story with a body count that should not be ignored.

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First Nations First in Opposition to BC's Fracked Gas Dreams

BC LNG Faces Growing First Nations Opposition
by Damien Gillis - Common Sense Canadian
One of the biggest myths pervading BC’s energy dialogue goes something like this: While First Nations stand united against the proposed Enbridge pipeline, they overwhelmingly embrace Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
 
Sure, Premier Christy Clark can tick off a list of aboriginal allies in her effort to build at least five among a dozen terminals proposed for Kitimat and Prince Rupert. Just last week, she announced with great fanfare LNG revenue sharing agreements with two coastal nations - Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams.
 
But a growing group of hereditary leaders, grassroots members and their allies, even some elected governments, are rising up in opposition – from the fracking fields of northeast BC that would supply the industry, to the various proposed pipeline routes across the province, to the coastal communities that would house the hulking terminals.
 

Boxing Putin In: America's Ukraine Gambit and the Eurasia Pivot

Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap?
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
“Russia … is now recognized as the center of the global ‘mutiny’ against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful .. approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the US and EU…. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging.” – Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities, CounterPunch
Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup’s leaders.
 
Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country.
 
Putin’s main interest in Ukraine is commercial. 66 percent of the natural gas that Russia exports to the EU transits Ukraine. The money that Russia makes from gas sales helps to strengthen the Russian economy and raise standards of living. It also helps to make Russian oligarchs richer, the same as it does in the West.
 
The people in Europe like the arrangement because they are able to heat their homes and businesses market-based prices. In other words, it is a good deal for both parties, buyer and seller. This is how the free market is supposed to work. The reason it doesn’t work that way presently is because the United States threw a spanner in the gears when it deposed Yanukovych.
 
Now no one knows when things will return to normal.
 

The Skyline Bowl Parking Lot

“Bart Is Dead: Long Live The Liberal Bloggers”
by Mike Palecek
He asked, “What makes a man a writer?”
“Well,” I said, “it’s simple. “You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.”  ― Charles Bukowski
 
You never know what you’ll do until you do what you do when it’s cold.

So I’m sitting in the parking lot in the afternoon.

The Skyline Bowl parking lot.

I was going to kill myself, but then I didn’t.

And so now I’ve got some extra time on my hands.

Like when The Cold War ended and you’re thinking, oops, I should have studied … something.

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Obama's Mainstream Torture Regime

Torture is Mainstream Now
by David Swanson  - War Is A Crime
As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it's not hard to see why that would be the case.
 
Fifteen years ago, it was possible to pretend the U.S. government opposed torture. Then it became widely known that the government tortured. And it was believed (with whatever accuracy) that officials had tried to keep the torturing secret. Next it became clear that nobody would be punished, that in fact top officials responsible for torture would be permitted to openly defend what they had done as good and noble.
 
The idea was spread around that the torture was stopping, but the cynical could imagine it must be continuing in secret, the partisan could suppose the halt was only temporary, the trusting could assume torture would be brought back as needed, and the attentive could be and have been aware that the government has gone right on torturing to this day with no end in sight.
 
Anyone who bases their morality on what their government does (or how Hollywood supports it) might be predicted to have moved in the direction of supporting torture.
 

Africom Fox: A Sly Little War for Africa

AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly: U.S. Officials Talk Candidly (Just Not to Reporters) about Bases, Winning Hearts and Minds, and the “War” in Africa
kill anything-1-1 - copyWhat the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things -- especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa. For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has maintained a veil of secrecy about much of the command’s activities and mission locations, consistently downplaying the size, scale, and scope of its efforts. 
 
At a recent Pentagon press conference, AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez adhered to the typical mantra, assuring the assembled reporters that the United States “has little forward presence” on that continent.

Just days earlier, however, the men building the Pentagon’s presence there were telling a very different story -- but they weren’t speaking with the media. They were speaking to representatives of some of the biggest military engineering firms on the planet.
 
They were planning for the future and the talk was of war.