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Weary US Mid-East Policy Challenges Relevancy

Remaking the Middle East: How the US Grew Tired and Less Relevant
by Ramzy Baroud -
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is often perceived as one of the ‘good ones’ - the less hawkish of top American officials, who does not simply promote and defend his country’s military adventurism but reaches out to others, beyond polarizing rhetoric.
His unremitting efforts culminated partly in the Iran nuclear framework agreement in April, followed by a final deal, a few months later. Now, he is reportedly hard at work again to find some sort of consensus on a way out of the Syria war, a multi-party conflict that has killed over 300,000 people.
His admirers see him as the diplomatic executor of a malleable and friendly US foreign policy agenda under President Obama. In reality, this perception is misleading; not that Kerry is the warmonger as were George W. Bush’s top staff, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

Terror Play: Tahoe Mines in Guatemala

State of Fear and Terror Deliberately Created to Force Tahoe Resources’ Mine on Guatemalan Communities – Report
by MiningWatch Canada

Wednesday, November 11, 2015  

(Ottawa) A new report reveals the dramatic extent of the militarized security strategy that Canadian-US mining company Tahoe Resources developed to quash community opposition to its Escobal project in southeastern Guatemala.

In ‘Under Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala’, Guatemalan investigative journalist Luis Solano untangles the web of relationships and tactics that led to the militarization of farming communities in the area of the company’s operations.

“From the outset, Tahoe Resources hired a US security and defence contractor that boasts experience with corporations working in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan to develop a security plan that treated peaceful protest and community leaders as if they were armed insurgents,” remarks Solano.
“Working hand in hand with a military government in Guatemala and other strategic players at the local and national level, a state of fear and terror was created at the local level to divide and weaken broad opposition to this company’s mine project.”
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Terror Play: Tahoe Mines in Guatemala

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Swanson, Ezili Dantò, Janine Bandcroft Nov. 11, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

Twitter's recent teapot tempest in Canada over a petition to rename Calgary airport after Stephen Harper illuminates a point pertinent to the comin' round again Remembrance Day pageantry. As with the proposed christening of 'Stephen Harper International,' shouldn't we put a proper end to first, and wait some respectful period of time after, to be sure what's passing is indeed past before rushing to ribbon-cutting ceremonies and military parades, or consigning historical dates and plaques?

If Armistice, now Remembrance and/or Veterans Day is meant to mark the end of war, and that great accomplishment via the War to End All Wars, isn't it premature, or just plain rude, to begin the celebration without the guest of honour?

It seems to me, getting out to celebrate the end of War while there's still so much of it around is more than bad manners; it begs bad luck.
David Swanson is a most active peace and political justice activist, journalist, radio host, and author whose book titles include: 'War No More: The Case for Abolition,' 'When the World Outlawed War,' 'War Is a Lie,' and 'The Military Industrial Complex at 50,' among others. He's director of, campaign coordinator for, and blogs at and He too hosts Talk Nation Radio, and is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
David Swanson in the first segment.
And; Haiti held its first round presidential and parliamentary elections in late October, and as with everything political in Haiti, there's much more going on there than meets the media eye here. Ezili Dantò is a New York City-based human rights attorney dedicated to "correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti." She's a performance poet, founder of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, and runs the website, listserve, and eyewitness project, FreeHaitiMovement, and the on-line journal, Haitian Perspectives, and author of 'Vodun Woman: A Performance Poetry Collection,' and the 'Kenbe La' books.

Ezili Dantò and who the West chosen for Haiti's future this time 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 newz from our city's streets in the coming weeks, and beyond there too. But first, David Swanson and Armistice Day at 97.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Swanson, Ezili Dantò, Janine Bandcroft Nov. 11, 2015

Remembrance Lapse: Canada's Colonial Past Off the November 11th Program

Remembrance Day Should Also Confront Canada's Colonial Past
by Yves Engler -

"Trudeau unveils most diverse cabinet in Canada's history," was how one media outlet described the new Liberal cabinet. It includes a Muslim woman, four Sikhs, an Indigenous woman, two differently abled individuals and an equal number of women and men.  Half even refused any reference to God at Wednesday's swearing in ceremony.

But in one respect there was no diversity at all.

Every singleperson wore a Remembrance Day poppy. Even Justin Trudeau's young kids were made to publicly commemorate Canadians (and allies) who died at war. 

Nevada's Nuclear Fire: When It Rains, It Burns

Exploding Radioactive Waste Warning: Keep It Above Ground
by John LaForge - CounterPunch

Early on Sunday Oct. 25, an underground fire caused an explosion in a low-level nuclear waste site in the desert 10 miles from Beatty, Nevada, and 115 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The explosion and fire followed flash flooding that shut down Beatty’s escape routes: US 95 and State Highway 373. The 80-acre dumping ground, closed since 1992, is run by — get this — “US Ecology.”
The private dump consists of 22 trenches up to 800 feet long and 50 feet deep, and its older trenches have radioactive waste within three feet of the surface, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Certain types of radioactive material are known to catch fire when in contact with water, so the flooding that struck prior to the explosion may have been its cause. Unfortunately authorities don’t know what sorts of radioactive isotopes are buried in the trenches there. Nor does anyone know either how the fire started or how much radioactive waste burned.

The Gravitas Bomber: Kissinger and America's Explosive Diplomacy

Kissinger, the Bombardier: How Diplomacy by Air Power Became an All-American Tradition
by Greg Grandin  - TomDispatch

In April 2014, ESPN published a photograph of an unlikely duo: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Yankees-Red Sox season opener.

In fleece jackets on a crisp spring day, they were visibly enjoying each other’s company, looking for all the world like a twenty-first-century geopolitical version of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The subtext of their banter, however, wasn’t about sex, but death.

As a journalist, Power had made her name as a defender of human rights, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.

Having served on the National Security Council before moving on to the U.N., she was considered an influential “liberal hawk” of the Obama era. She was also a leading light among a set of policymakers and intellectuals who believe that American diplomacy should be driven not just by national security and economic concerns but by humanitarian ideals, especially the advancement of democracy and the defense of human rights.

The United States, Power long held, has a responsibility to protect the world’s most vulnerable people. In 2011 she played a crucial role in convincing President Obama to send in American air power to prevent troops loyal to Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi from massacring civilians. That campaign led to his death, the violent overthrow of his regime, and in the end, a failed state and growing stronghold for ISIS and other terror groups. In contrast, Kissinger is identified with a school of “political realism,” which holds that American power should service American interests, even if that means sacrificing the human rights of others.

Iraq Lays Mother of All Liars to Rest: Chalabi's War Legacy

America’s Chalabi Legacy of Lies
by Robert Parry - Consortium News

November 4, 2015

Government officials who pushed the Iraq War in 2002-2003 are fond of claiming that they were simply deceived by “bad intelligence,” but the process was not that simple. In reality, there was a mutually reinforcing scheme to flood the U.S. intelligence community with false data and then to pressure the analysts not to show professional skepticism.

In other words, in the capital of the most powerful nation on earth, a system had evolved that was immune to the normal rules of evidence and respect for reality. Propaganda had become the name of the game, a dangerous process that remains in force to this day.
President George W. Bush
announcing the start of his
invasion of Iraq March 19, 2003.

Regarding the Iraq War case, one of the principal culprits fueling this disinformation machine was Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, who died on Nov. 3 at the age of 71 from a heart attack. Chalabi, head of the U.S./neocon-backed Iraqi National Congress (INC), not only pumped intentionally false data into this process but later congratulated his organization as “heroes in error” for rationalizing the invasion of Iraq.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Christopher Ketcham, Janine Bandcroft November 4th, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

As spies go, the 600,000 cubic foot, eye-in-the-sky blimp floating at 16,000 feet outside Washington, D.C. is hardly discreet, but until it went rogue, breaking its tether and hieing for the coast, most Americans knew nothing about it, or its mission. Similarly, despite the ubiquitous presence of law enforcers of every description ceaselessly broadcast into the living rooms of the nation, few understand how and upon who their force is fully exercised.
Dave Lindorff is an award-winning, long-time print journalist, and founder of the web news site, This Can't Be Happening. His recent articles about the wayward spy in the sky, and of West Palm Beach, musician, Corey Jones' recent fatal encounter with an undercover policeman while waiting for a tow on the side of a Florida highway are illustrative of both the misuse and increased use of secret policing in America.
Dave Lindorff in the first half.
And; in a recent CounterPunch article, Brooklyn-based freelance writer, Christopher Ketcham quotes biologist E.O. Wilson's dire assessment for life as we've known it on good old Planet Earth. Wilson predicts, "Extinction is now proceeding thousands of times faster than the production of new species," which means, "Between 30 and 50 percent of all known species are expected to go extinct by 2050, if current trends hold." Consider that the next time you see a still wild animal cavorting across the sky, or lying dead on the side of the road.
Ketcham's work has appeared in most of America's finer magazines: Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, National Geographic, and Hustler among others. He was selected as a Livingston Awards finalist for his coverage of the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2002, and published 'Notes from 9/11 Poems and Stories' based on his observation of that attack's aftermath. His article revealing the plundering of the public lands of the American West by the livestock industry featured on the cover of Harper’s February issue this year.
Christopher Ketcham and 'Extinction, the New Environmentalism, and the Cancer in the Wilderness' 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 news of what's happening on our city's streets in the coming week, and beyond there too. But first, Dave Lindorff and as above, so below; keeping an unblinking eye on America.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dave Lindorff, Christopher Ketcham, Janine Bandcroft November 4th, 2015

Erdoğan’s AKP Surprises with Fourth Term Majority Win

Erdoğan’s AKP wins surprise fourth term amid escalating violence in Turkey
by Halil Celik and Alex Lantier  -

2 November 2015
According to initial returns, Sunday’s snap election in Turkey was won by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, giving it a solid parliamentary majority. The AKP had lost its majority in the June 7 election, which resulted in a hung parliament.
According to official figures, with 99 percent of the vote counted, the AKP obtained 49.4 percent of the vote and a comfortable majority of at least 316 seats in Turkey’s 550-seat parliament. Voter turnout was 87.3 percent, up from 85.8 percent in June.
With 25.4 percent of the vote and approximately 134 seats, the Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) failed to make expected gains over its result in the June elections. The CHP, long the Turkish bourgeoisie’s preferred party of rule, came in first in only six of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

On His Release from Guantánamo: Shaker Aamer Speaks

Shaker Aamer’s Statement on His Release from Guantánamo 
by Andy Worthington

At lunchtime on October 30, 2015, a plane carrying Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, back to the UK as a free man, to be reunited with his family after nearly 14 years without charge or trial in US custody, landed at Biggin Hill airfield. Soon after, Shaker was whisked away by his UK lawyers to receive medical care and to be reunited with his family, and, I am led to believe, he is doing remarking well considering his long ordeal.

The following statement was issued by his UK lawyers and I’m delighted to post it below. It reveals the eloquence, generosity and concern for others that has been a hallmark of Shaker’s words from Guantánamo over the years.

All his many supporters should take heart from the fact that he says, “I feel obliged to every individual who fought for justice not just for me but to bring an end to Guantánamo,” adding, “Without knowing of their fight I might have given up more than once; I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.”


Will Packing Out Grizzly Kill Policy Curb Trophy Hunt?

'Pack It Out' Plan for Grizzly Hunt Doesn't Work

October 31, 2015  

Trophy hunting of grizzly bears is opposed by 90 per cent of British Columbians, including scientists, environmentalists, First Nations and most hunters. Although the provincial government has steadfastly defended the hunt, a new policy is being proposed as a potential solution, one that has the backing of trophy hunters.

It smells fishier than a grizzly’s breath in the fall.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver’s private member’s bill would require hunters to “pack out” the meat of killed grizzlies. Grizzly bears are one of the few so-called big-game animals in B.C. for which no such requirements exist.

Depending on which argument is tabled, this new policy could somehow eliminate the “trophy” element from the hunt or reduce grizzly hunting. We disagree with both of these claims.

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