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A Mad Unanimity: US Groupthink on Russia

The Crazy US ‘Group Think’ on Russia
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
Has anyone in Official Washington thought through the latest foreign policy “group think,” the plan to destabilize nuclear-armed Russia? All the “smart” people, including the New York Times editors, are rubbing their hands with glee over the financial crisis being imposed on Russia because of the Ukraine crisis, but no one, it seems, is looking down the road.
This reckless strategy appears to be another neocon-driven “regime change” scheme, this time focused on Moscow with the goal to take down Russian President Vladimir Putin and presumably replace him with some U.S. puppet, a Russian-speaking Ahmed Chalabi perhaps. Since the neocons have never faced accountability for the Iraq disaster – when the conniving Chalabi was their man – they are still free to dream about a replay in Russia.
However, as catastrophic as the Iraq War was especially for Iraqis, the new neocon goal of Russian “regime change” is far more dangerous. If one looks at the chaos that has followed neocon (and “liberal interventionist”) schemes to overthrow governments in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere, what might the risks be if such political disorder was created in Russia?

Bailing In to Your Bank Account

Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives
by Ellen Brown - ICH
The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.
Senator Elizabeth Warren charged Citigroup last week with “holding government funding hostage to ram through its government bailout provision.” At issue was a section in the omnibus budget bill repealing the Lincoln Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which protected depositor funds by requiring the largest banks to push out a portion of their derivatives business into non-FDIC-insured subsidiaries.
Warren and Representative Maxine Waters came close to killing the spending bill because of this provision. But the tide turned, according to Waters, when not only Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, but President Obama himself lobbied lawmakers to vote for the bill.

Recognition No Guarantee to End US Subversion of Cuba

US Recognition of Cuba after 54 Years of Hostility and War Does not Mean an End to US Subversion
by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

There is a lot of congratulating of President Obama going on among people on the left in the US over the announced agreement reached between the White House and Raul Castro to end America’s half-century isolation of the only Communist nation in the Americas.

But the congratulations are premature and naive.

Whatever the reasons for the announcement that the US and Cuba are swapping some long-held prisoners and are going to exchange embassies (The US closed its embassy in Havana in 1962), the reality is that this will not end Washington’s obsession with overthrowing the socialist government installed in 1959 by Fidel Castro’s successful anti-imperialist armed rebellion.

Not only does having an American embassy in your country not mean your country will be left alone by the imperialist Washington -- it means that in the heart of your national capital, you will have a diplomatically protected headquarters for agents working for the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and a host of other Washington three-letter spy outfits.


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Web of Debt: Jamaica Caught in The Trap

Jamaica and the Politics of Debt Trap
by Jeb Sprague - TeleSur
Debt is a drain on Jamaica, and also functions to block any potential efforts to structurally transform the nation or to ramp up social investment.
With a population of just under three million, the nation of Jamaica remains ensnared in debt. The debt trap is most apparent when looked at from the state’s interest payments as a percentage of the government’s non-grant revenue, which currently amounts to 40%. Jamaica’s continual caving in to the IMF has meant severe austerity measures, freezing of wages, cutting of spending, and it has left the country with the highest debt interest burden worldwide.

A drain on the country, it also functions to block any potential efforts to structurally transform the nation or to ramp up social investment.

Israel's Overlooked Role in Syria Conflict Emerges

Israeli Role in Syrian Conflict Brought into the Open
by Nicola Nasser - Palestine Chronicle
syria possible warOvertly, the Israeli superpower of the Middle East has been keen to posture as having no role whatsoever in the four-year old devastating conflict in Syria, where all major regional and international powers are politically and militarily deeply involved and settling scores by Syrian blood.
In his geopolitical weekly analysis, entitled “The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East,” on November 25 Stratfor’s George Friedman raised eyebrows when he reviewed the effects which the terrorist group had on all regional powers, but seemed unaware of the existence of the Israeli regional superpower.
It was an instructive omission that says a lot about the no more discreet role Israel is playing to maintain what the Israeli commentator Amos Harel described as the “stable instability” in Syria and the region, from the Israeli perspective of course.
Friedman in fact was reflecting a similar official omission by the US administration. When President Barak Obama appealed for a “broad international coalition” to fight the Islamic State (IS), Israel — the strongest military power in the region and the well – positioned logistically to fight it — was not asked to join. The Obama administration explained later that Israel’s contribution would reflect negatively on the Arab partners in the coalition.

Science in the Service of Corporate Despoliation: Science World, BC Liberals, and the LNG Road Show

Environmental groups demand an end to BC government - Science World partnership on LNG
by Wilderness Committee


BC's respected science learning centre at risk of being co-opted by industry

 VANCOUVER The Wilderness Committee, Council of Canadians, allied environmental groups and concerned citizens have signed on to an open letter demanding that the BC government end its partnership with Science World involving ongoing promotional workshops about liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Despite clear evidence of the expected climate impacts associated with BC's planned LNG export industry, the provincial government continues to claim a leadership role on climate. Should just five of the dozen or so proposed LNG terminals be constructed, it would double the annual carbon footprint of the entire province of BC.

"We cannot ignore the conclusions of climate scientists anymore – climate change has arrived and must be confronted," said Eoin Madden, the Wilderness Committee's Climate Campaigner.

 "Burning fossil fuels is what got us into this mess, and creating a massive new fossil fuel industry and promoting it as 'clean' misleads young people."


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Eric de Place, Andrea Morison, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 17th, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
Perhaps its the same force of gravity powering the flow of bitumen from the height of the Rockies, across the hills and dales of British Columbia, crossing its streams, dissecting its wildlife corridors, and concentrating down to the harbours of the great Pacific coast that concentrates too in the lower mainland, and at the provincial Legislature in Victoria, the basest, lyingest, most con-jobbering, shit-hoarding, crap-peddling, self-serving shysters?

Maybe, after witnessing the likes of Gordon Campbell and his crew of privateers undermine the province for profit with the likes of Enron/Arthur Andersen progeny Accenture, we should not be surprised at the depths of depravity our so-called government is willing to sink in the service of corporate profit. Maybe.

Last year, Kinder Morgan applied to build a new pipeline across the province to deliver Tar Sands bitumen to Vancouver, and the sons of Enron's former Liquid Pipelines got the "Good to go!"
Last week, the Seattle-based nonprofit research and communications center think tank, the Sightline Institute released a report on their findings on the doings of Kinder Morgan, and it should be enough to give even the BC Liberals pause — but will it?
Eric de Place is policy director, researcher, writer, speaker, and policy analyst for Sightline. He specialized in Sightline’s work on climate and energy policy, and is known as a leading expert on Northwest strategies to cut carbon pollution. He's also a contributor to the Sightline report, 'Energy Giant Kinder Morgan’s History of Pollution, Law-Breaking, Cover-ups.'
Eric de Place in the first half.
And; it's hung Damoclesian-like over the heads of the residents of the Peace River Valley for decades: Proposed many times, but always turned around, the Site C mega-dam took a big step towards placing its watery footprint over a great swathe of north-central BC yesterday. Defying First Nations, environmentalists, energy experts, and even the recommendations of the government's own Joint Review Panel, the Clark government gave the project a thumbs up, (and flipped a middle finger to the people of the Peace).
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. 
Andrea Morison and the damning of the Peace River Valley 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 some of what's good to do in and around our fair city, and beyond there too, for the coming week. But first, Eric de Place and getting to know Kinder Morgan.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: And now heard at Simon Fraser University's . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Organized Criminals, or Global Gestapo: Discerning the CIA's Role in the World

Imperialism and the Politics of Torture
by James Petras
The US Senate Report documenting CIA torture of alleged terrorist suspects raises a number of fundamental questions about the nature and operations of the State, the relationship and the responsibility of the Executive Branch and Congress to the vast secret police networks which span the globe – including the United States.
The Senate Report’s revelations of CIA torture of suspects following the 9/11 bombing is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Report omits the history and wider scope of violent activity in which the CIA has been and continues to be involved. CIA organized large scale deathsquad activities and extreme torture in Vietnam (Phoenix Project); multiple assassinations of political leaders in the Congo, Chile, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the Middle East, Central America and elsewhere; the kidnapping and disappearance of suspected activists in Iraq and Afghanistan; massive drug-running and narco-trafficking in the “Golden Triangle” in Southeast Asia and Central America (the Iran-Contra war).

Scalia's Supreme Clowning

Making a Joke of the Supreme Court
by Dave Lindorff - CounterPunch

Sometimes you really don’t need to write much to do an article on something. Writing about the inanity of Justice Antonin Scalia, the ethics-challenged, lard-bottomed, right-wing anchor of the Supreme Court, is one of those times.
Scalia just weighed in on the CIA torture issue in an interview for a Swiss broadcast network, saying that he didn’t think there was anything in the US Constitution that would prohibit torture under all circumstances, and positing a situation — a suspect with knowledge about a hidden nuke to be detonated in Los Angeles — that he suggested would make torture an acceptable tactic.
First of all, if Scalia can say “I don’t know what article of the Constitution” would “contravene” harsh treatment of suspected terrorists, he is either terminally ignorant, or has figured out some talmudic-like gymnastic reasoning to allow him to argue that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment doesn’t apply to torture.

Perhaps he thinks that punishment can only refer to what is meted out to a person after conviction, but as he surely knows, for literally centuries the court has been clear that the treatment of suspects is also covered by that ban.

The CBC Nato Nexus

NATO's General Breedlove about the long war
by Jim Miles - Palestine Chronicle
Evan Solomon, of CBC’s The House, recently had an interview with NATO’s current leading figure, four star General Philip Mark Breedlove, the seventeenth Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
It was a fairly benign interview with no hard questions posed to the most powerful person in Europe.

Unimpressed with Solomon's biased
leading language and intent. 

The answers were much more rational than someone from the Republican right domestically may have provided, but they demonstrate the understandable bias of the ‘western’ views vis a vis NATO, ISIS, and Russia/Ukraine.

Breedlove does not come across as someone who is itching for a fight with Russia, nor for the aerial bombing of Syria, perhaps cognizant of his audience which may not be quite as patriotically or geopolitically committed to having NATO contain and dismantle Russia and Syria.

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The Coming War for Kaliningrad

Is Kaliningrad NATO’s Real Target?
by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch
Rick Rozoff’s vitally informative site, Stop NATO, just forwarded a Stars and Stripes report on “NATO’s largest training exercise since the end of the Cold War”.

The forces that took part in the exercise, called “Trident Lance”, mostly came from the Joint Multinational Training Center in Grafenwöhr, Germany. Command elements from Poland, Greece and Turkey also took part, while U.S. Army in Europe provided a hefty logistical contribution, the Army newspaper said.

NATO land forces commander Lt. Gen. John Nicholson said that the exercise showed that NATO’s Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) has finally reached full operational capacity.

Ready to go!

To go where?

“One aim of the exercise, Trident Lance, was to test how well a fully operational LANDCOM — which is charged with improving the effectiveness and reaction time of the alliance’s land forces — could respond to an international crisis. In this case, the scenario dealt with the hypothetical invasion of NATO member Estonia,” Stars and Stripes reported.

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