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For Whom the Bell Does Toll: Paying the Price for the Neocons

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
victoria-nulandWhether the tragedy is four boys getting blown apart while playing on a beach in Gaza or nearly 300 killed from a suspected missile strike on a Malaysian Airliner over Ukraine or the thousands upon thousands of other innocent victims slaughtered in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other recent war zones, the underlying lesson is that the havoc encouraged by America’s neocons results in horrendous loss of human life.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, 
who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

While clearly other players share in this blame, including the soldiers on the ground and the politicians lacking the courage to compromise, the principal culprits in the bloodshed of the past dozen years have been the neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies who can’t seem to stop stirring up trouble in the name of “democracy” and “human rights.”

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Gaza: Tony Blair Carries Water in Phony Egyptian Ceasefire Offer

How US and Blair Plotted ‘Ceasefire’ Scam
by Jonathan Cook
We now have confirmation from the Israeli daily Haaretz of what we should have suspected: that the idea for the so-called Egyptian “ceasefire proposal” was actually hatched in Washington, the messenger boy was arch-war criminal Tony Blair, and the terms were drafted by Israel.
 
The intention was either to corner Hamas into surrendering – and thereby keep the savage blockade of Gaza in place – or force Hamas to reject the proposal and confirm the Israeli narrative that it is a terrorist organisation with which Israel cannot make peace.
 
According to Haaretz, Blair secretly initiated his “ceasefire” activity after “coordinating” with US Secretary of State John Kerry. On Saturday he headed off to Cairo to meet with the US-backed Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to persuade him to put his name to the proposal.
 
Immediately afterwards, he travelled to Israel to meet Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday afternoon. Sisi and Netanyahu were then supposed to thrash out the details. When they failed to do so, Blair intervened again on behalf of the Americans and the pair spoke by phone on Saturday evening.
 

Throwing Oil on the Fires: Fighting On In a Burning World

The Fatal Bargain: Oil and Blood in a Burning World
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
Israel’s disproportionate and increasingly pernicious role in American politics and policies is well-known. But Washington’s decades-long collusion of corruption with the repressive, retrograde regime of Saudi Arabia has if anything been even more disastrous for the world.
 
Historians of the next millennium will look back on the fatal bargain that humanity has made with fossil fuels as one of the great wrong turnings in the history of homo sapiens. By the end of this century it will have burned or drowned vast portions of the planet and plunged billions of people into ruin and suffering.
 
The benefits that arose from our oil-based civilization cannot be denied — yes, I too am glad that an ambulance can get me quickly to the hospital or fly me across the ocean to see my children — but the cost of these benefits has been immense, and there is far worse to come in the years ahead … not least for those same beloved children.
 

Getting the Border Picture in Security State America

Border Wars in the Homeland: "Stop Stepping on the Pictures"
by Todd Miller  - TomDispatch
Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the U.S. borderlands in the post-9/11 era.

Tumbling out of that purse came Gutierrez’s life: photos of her kids, business cards, credit cards, and other papers, all now open to the official scrutiny of the Department of Homeland Security. There were also photographs of her husband, Jose Gutierrez Guzman, whom CBP agents beat so badly in 2011 that he suffered permanent brain damage. The supervisory agent, whose name badge on his blue uniform read “Gomez,” now began to trample on her life, quite literally, with his black boots.

“Please stop stepping on the pictures,” Shena asked him.

A U.S. citizen, unlike her husband, she had been returning from a 48-hour vigil against Border Patrol violence in Mexico and was wearing a shirt that said “Stop Border Patrol Brutality” when she was aggressively questioned and cuffed at the CBP’s “port of entry” in Nogales on that hot day in May. She had no doubt that Gomez was stepping all over the contents of her purse in response to her shirt, the evidence of her activism. 
 

Blind-Eye on Israel: America's Moral Conscience vs Party Loyalties

Obama, Israel and Liberal Capitulation
by Joshua Frank - CounterPunch
We’ve been waiting now for nearly seven years to uncover that progressive streak hidden deep in the heart of President Barack Obama. But one drone strike after another, one dead child piled upon another and any glimmer of hope that Obama would put the breaks on US extremism has finally come to an end.
 
Not only has Obama refused to alter the bloody foreign policy of his predecessors, he has vowed to continue its most extreme elements. In no other instance has this been more true than with the case of Israel and Palestine.
 
This reality has likely come as a surprise to many who placed their aspirations in our first black president, a man who at one point early in his career believed Palestinians had a right to not only exist, but to reside in their own country.

Yet, time and again President Obama has put his foot down when the global community was ready to honor a Palestinian state, as he did at the UN Security Council in 2011 and again when the US vetoed a UN resolution that would have condemned Israel’s illegal settlement building. Now, as bombs fall on innocent Palestinians, Obama reasserts the US role in defending Israel.
 

War Broadens in Ukraine

It’s war in eastern Ukraine as Kyiv gov’t bombards cities and towns
by Roger Annis - A Socialist in Canada
annis Aftermth-of-Ukraine-govt-attack-on-Kramatorks-photo-Ukraine-govtMOSCOW, Russia, July 14, 2014Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko is trying to make good on his announcement on July 11 that his army or the fascist militias fighting alongside it will kill “dozens and hundreds” of people in the east of the country for every Ukraine soldier dying in the war his regime is waging there.

Since his pronouncement, his armed forces have been bombarding cities and towns in southeast Ukraine. Fighter aircraft, tanks and other armoured vehicles are engaged.
 
Aftermath of Ukraine gov’t attack on 
Kramatorsk - photo Ukraine gov’t 


The heaviest shelling in recent days has been directed at the city of Luhansk and surrounding villages. A leader of the self-defense forces there, Igor Strelkov, told RIA Novosti (quoted in Russia Today) there is fierce fighting in the suburbs of Luhansk, which is located not far from the Russian border. “The enemy has thrown in about 70 tanks consisting of two compact armored groups. There is unconfirmed information that a helicopter with a SWAT team landed in the city,” he said.

Strelkov says some 30 civilians have been killed by shelling and fighting in the last several days.

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Another Massacre of Innocents: Israel's Serial Criminality Rolls Along

Massacre of the Innocents: Slaughter in the Gaza Ghetto
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
The horror of Israel’s latest slaughter in Gaza speaks for itself — despite the mountainous flow of media sludge designed to obscure the reality of the aggression.
 
Even the New York Times has been forced to print a few stories about the high number of civilian deaths being caused by the Israeli assault on the “Warsaw Ghetto” they have made of Gaza, noting the hospitals and mosques and private homes where dozens of innocent people have been blown to pieces by Israel’s weaponry (much of it American-made).
 
Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Robert Wintner, Scott Harris, Janine Bandcroft Jul 14, 2014

 
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
 
The creatures of our oceans are under attack like never before by the rapaciousness and stupidity of the planet's largest predator, We humans.

And, it's not just the large fish floating on the brink of extinction. While it's true, the Blue Fin Tuna, Sharks, Sword and Sailfishes, and all of the Whale and Porpoise species, waver on the edge of viable survival, the small reef inhabitants of the worlds seas, fish you may find familiar sights at your doctor's or dentist's office, too face an uncertain future.

The negative effects driving the extinctions are many, but central to them all is the human penchant to love the wild things of this earth to death.
 
I wrote that introduction four years ago, and the situation in the World's oceans, and especially on its diminishing reefs, is worse now than then.
 
 
Robert Wintner is an environmental defender, author, and the wildly successful entrepreneur behind Hawaii's Snorkel Bob's reef outfitter company. He is also the engine behind the Snorkel Bob foundation, whose myriad charitable projects help to bring the appreciation of the oceans and all its inhabitants to humans who would otherwise remain ignorant of the workings of the Planet's single-most essential biosphere.

Some of Robert Wintner's book titles include: 'In a Sweet Magnolia Time', 'Toucan Whisper, Toucan Sing', 'The Modern Outlaws', and his latest, 'Dark Hobby: Some Fishes I Have Known.' Snorkel Bob is also the author of the popular 'Snorkel Bob's Underwater and Get Down Guide to Oahu', and it's companion 'Get Down Guide to Maui', and he's compiled several books of short stories. He is also vice-president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and skipper for its recently launched 'Operation Reef Defense.'
 
Robert Wintner in the first half.
 
And; nothing accommodates the despoliation of the land, air, and waters of our fragile blue home in space more than the ascendancy of corporate power. In every sphere of our lives we are connected in a web of interests we know little about, the strands of that web all inexorably connected to one corporation, or more probably a matrix of interlocked trans-national corporations. Nowhere is the power of this system more evident than in the so-called alphabet soup of "free trade" agreements.
 
Most Canadians remember well the "national debate" over the FTA that culminated in the election of Brian Mulroney, but knowing the profound effect that agreement and subsequent agreements has had on the nature and character of our nation is a more nebulous proposition. Those citizens entirely in the dark about these dealings can be forgiven somewhat given the super secrecy with which meetings between the corporadoes and "our" representatives are conducted.
 
Scott Harris is Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians, the organization formed specifically to battle that original Free Trade Agreement, and kept busy on myriad campaigns to preserve Canadian democracy from the encroachment of corporate power ever since.
 
Scott Harris and facing the next of the corporate Hydra's heads, the Trans Pacific Partnership 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 up to speed with what's good going on, and otherwise, on Victoria's streets and beyond in the coming week. But first, Robert Wintner and the dark business behind the "dark hobby" of live fish collecting.

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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A Zombie World Order and Its Dead-Eyed Acolytes

The Mindlessness of a Manifesto - “A world order is imposed by superior power.”
by William A Cook  - ICH
“A liberal world order, like any world order, is something that is imposed, and as much as we in the West might wish it to be imposed by superior virtue, it is generally imposed by superior power.”'Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire: What Our Tired Country Still Owes the World'  Robert Kagan, Brookings Institute, May 26, 2014
This sentence from Kagan’s Neo-Conservative Manifesto reads like so much flotsam in a cesspool of scattered feces. It emanates from a mindless, bloated root chakra that has abandoned all except instinctive self-survival.
It is deficient in understanding and wisdom, a mind surviving in an isolated tribe, a being guided only by fear of everlasting victimhood. How does one read this flotsam?
We don’t need to read it, we are witnessing its last throes today in Gaza as the consequences of neo-conservative “superior power” unfurls before the world once again and the desperation of neo-conservative idiocy splashes over the screen for the world to witness. What is it that we witness?
 
Israel garbed in the armor of the American flag, fielding America’s weapons of mass destruction, protected by the investment of the American taxpayer in the “iron dome,” and marching with the impunity that comes from America’s veto of censure, reveals to the world two nations that willingly impose their “superior power” on a defenseless people displaying in the enormity of their invasion unleashed evil without compassion, without mercy, without sense, a mindless act of uncivil barbarity no different than that displayed by the Mongols or Visigoths of ancient days.
 
Kagan’s is a simple sentence, “A world order is imposed by superior power.” It does not advance by justice, it mocks justice; it does not consider morality, it laughs at morality; it does not reflect rights of people anywhere, just its rights; it is the rule of those who can and who do not care to care for any but self; it is ruled by a pathological fear engendered by victimhood because they know their own power rests on the destruction of others and hence on the fear that they will infect their victims with the same loathsome mentality that guides them.

Our Submissive Void and the Rape of Gaza

On Israel, Ukraine and Truth
by John Pilger - CounterPunch
Picasso - Homme a lepee
 
The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”
 
Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.
 
As advanced societies are de-politicised, the changes are both subtle and spectacular. In everyday discourse, political language is turned on its head, as Orwell prophesised in 1984. “Democracy” is now a rhetorical device. Peace is “perpetual war”. “Global” is imperial. The once hopeful concept of “reform” now means regression, even destruction. “Austerity” is the imposition of extreme capitalism on the poor and the gift of socialism for the rich: an ingenious system under which the majority service the debts of the few.
 
 
Pablo Picasso - Homme a l'epee
 
In the arts, hostility to political truth-telling is an article of bourgeois faith. “Picasso’s red period,” says an Observer headline, “and why politics don’t make good art.” Consider this in a newspaper that promoted the bloodbath in Iraq as a liberal crusade. Picasso’s lifelong opposition to fascism is a footnote, just as Orwell’s radicalism has faded from the prize that appropriated his name.
 

"Jihadists" Vow to Destroy Lebanon

Jihadists in Lebanon
by Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch
Bedawi Palestinian camp, North Lebanon - Perhaps, but for a number of reasons, some suggested below, it’s not a happy picture and won’t be a walk in the park.
 
The long tentacles of the DAASH (IS) recent “victories” in Syria and Iraq have not taken long to start to move around Lebanon. The gauntlets for Lebanon to avoid all-out war and the possibilities for its partial dismemberment or its substantial subjection to elements of extreme Islamism are many.
 
Some evidence.
 
One ISIS leader, Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari recently declared the expansion of the IS to include Lebanon. He declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria and Iraq. Soon, Lebanon will ignite” Meanwhile, Lebanon’s branch of al-Nusra Front posted on its Twitter feed its fourth official statement to date, titled “Urgent appeal to Sunnis in Lebanon.” The statement declared, “Our war will no longer be confined to Syria. Soon, Lebanon will ignite. Iran’s party [i.e. Hezbollah] and all its bases and strongholds are a legitimate target for us wherever they may be found.”