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Doug Hoffman Has Taliban Ties

Oct 29, 2009 Laura Flanders
Palin's Pet Doug Hoffman Has Taliban…
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Mar 12, 2009 Dahr Jamail
Fisherman on the Tigris by Dahr Jamal A…
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DON’T NOT STAY THE COURSE

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Iraq Violence Surge Threatens Oil Production Come Back

Violence Threatens to Thwart Iraqi Oil Resurgence
by Nicholas Cunningham - Oilprice.com
A wave of violence has swept parts of Iraq at the start of 2014 as the central government fights back against Al-Qaeda aligned militants in Anbar Province. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) reportedly took control of Ramadi and Fallujah, bombing police headquarters and killing dozens.

On New Year's Day Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent in reinforcements to take back control of Anbar Province's two largest cities. The clashes kick off 2014 in much the same way as 2013 ended – a return to violence in a country that had seen important security gains in recent years.

Over 7,800 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2013, the bloodiest year over the past five. The latest violence occurred in Anbar Province, a region that dogged the U.S. military during its decade-long war. ISIL is also engaged in fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the latest string of events indicates that the violence of the Syrian civil war is spreading deeper into Iraq.

The conflict has yet to affect Iraq's oil fields, and production hit 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, the most since August 2013, according to Bloomberg.
 

Black-Op: Tracking the American Military's Secret Military

America’s Black-Ops Blackout: Unraveling the Secrets of the Military’s Secret Military
by Nick Turse  - TomDispatch
kill anything-1-1 - copyDude, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.” With that, Major Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.

More than a month before, I had called U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with a series of basic questions: In how many countries were U.S. Special Operations Forces deployed in 2013? Are manpower levels set to expand to 72,000 in 2014? Is SOCOM still aiming for growth rates of 3%-5% per year? How many training exercises did the command carry out in 2013? Basic stuff.

And for more than a month, I waited for answers. I called. I left messages. I emailed. I waited some more. I started to get the feeling that Special Operations Command didn’t want me to know what its Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force commandos -- the men who operate in the hottest of hotspots and most remote locales around the world -- were doing.

Then, at the last moment, just before my filing deadline, Special Operations Command got back to me with an answer so incongruous, confusing, and contradictory that I was glad I had given up on SOCOM and tried to figure things out for myself.
 

Why France's Elite Choose an Anti-Semitic Interpretation of Dieudonné's Quenelle

Dieudonné and the Quenelle
by Gilad Atzmon
If the quenelle is loosely defined as an anti establishment salute, one may wonder why Jews are offended by it and regard it as an ‘anti-Semitic’ gesture? Is it because many Jews actually identify with ‘the establishment’? And how do we explain the fact that the French government is happy to compromise the most elementary liberties just to appease the French Jewish Lobby (Crif)?
 
 
 
The truth is devastating - Palestine is here and the French people are the Palestinians Du Jour...
 
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Obsession and Obstinancy Paints Saudis into a No-Win Corner in Syria and Egypt

The Saudi Bull in Arab China Shop
by Nicola Nasser
Obsessed with the “Iran threat,” which leads to its warmongering in Syria, Saudi Arabia is acting like a bull in a china shop, wreaking regional havoc in an already Arab fragile political environment and creating what George Joffe’ of Cambridge University’s Centre of International Studies, on last December 30, called the “second Arab cold war,” the first being the Saudi-led cold war with the Pan-Arab Egypt of Gamal Abdul Nasser since the 1960s.
 
The kingdom stands now almost isolated politically. Its “going it alone” in the Syrian conflict has cornered Saudi Arabia into a self-inflicted foreign policy no-win deadlock, to be at odds with three super powers, including its strategic U.S. ally as well as Russia and China, in addition to regional heavy weights in Iran, Iraq, Egypt and Algeria, all who advocate a political settlement of the conflict.
 
Within the six-member Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), the kingdom navigates no better. It is at loggerheads with Qatar over the latter’s sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and consequently over the two countries’ disagreement over the removal of the MB-led Mohammad Morsi’s presidency.
 

Remembering Sharon

In Memoriam as We Await Ariel Sharon’s Descent into Death
by William A. Cook
“Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's organs are failing and he remains in critical condition Thursday, ...” (CNN.com, 01/02/2014).
For six years, Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of the State of Israel from 2000-2006, has been kept alive, though he has been in a comatose state, unable to talk or communicate naturally. The Times of Israel, the Huffington Post, Haaretz, and Britain’s Guardian have recognized his impending death. Perhaps it is time to bring closure to this man, known as the “butcher of Beirut” for his massacre at the refugee camps in that city, Sabra and Shatila:
“The massacre lasted for three days (16, 17 and 18 of September 1982), approximately 3500-8000 persons, including children, infants, women and elderly were slaughtered and murdered in this horrific and gruesome massacre perpetrated by the Israeli army and its allied criminal militia.” (Global Research)

For six years I tracked the behavior of this man as he deceitfully and artfully managed to control the fumbling President of the United States publicly remarking that Israel controlled the United States and they know it. Two of my books mark that tracking: 'Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy' and 'The Rape of Palestine: Hope Destroyed, Justice Denied.'
 

Remembering Al Qaeda's Real Provenance

Al-Qaeda’s Real Origins Exposed
by Finian Cunningham - Press TV
US top diplomat John Kerry must have taken us for fools. Earlier this week, speaking in Saudi Arabia, he warned that al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq are “the most dangerous players in the region.”

The US secretary of state vowed Washington’s support for the Iraqi government in its fight to regain control of towns in its western province taken over by militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
That’s rich. The government of Syria is battling to root out these same al-Qaeda-linked militants. But in that country, Washington offers no such support. In fact, the priority there for Washington is to sack the government of President Bashar Al-Assad.
 
So, how does Kerry square that contradiction? In Iraq, al-Qaeda is a threat that needs to be defeated, whereas in Syria the very same organization is apparently not a threat, but the Syrian government is.
 

Getting to the Roots of British Columbia's Environmentalist Schism

Getting at the Roots of the Environmentalist Schism: An Open Letter to BC's Environmental Community
by Ingmar Lee
I keep wanting to stop talking about the Environmental Non-Governmental Organization Schism, but it always seems to be relevant.
 
I don't really know what an environmentalist is any more, or if its still relevant at all. Lately, I'm just a tree-hugger - have no problems characterizing myself as that - and that is how my neighbors, outwardly redneckian as they may be, actually are themselves. Like one of my tug-driver buddies working in the logging industry is utterly meticulous about his bilge-water. Marine diesels are always leaking oil and it's easiest to just pump it overboard - takes a special effort not to.
 
I don't believe that corporate funders donate with no strings attached, and I don't think environmental organizations should bind themselves with charitable status. I was against all these groups that got 'intervenor status' and were paid to sit at the National Energy Board's Enbridge hearings. They had to have charitable status to sit there. It was clear at the time that they would be useless at influencing that process, basically just sitting there, collecting a paycheck.
 
Listen to Ingmar Lee talk on this issue on Gorilla Radio here.
 

American Shadow State As Alien Landscape

American Jihad 2014: The New Fundamentalists
by Tom Engelhardt  - TomDispatch
engelhardt united states of fearIn a 1950s civics textbook of mine, I can remember a Martian landing on Main Street, U.S.A., to be instructed in the glories of our political system. You know, our tripartite government, checks and balances, miraculous set of rights, and vibrant democracy. There was, Americans then thought, much to be proud of, and so for that generation of children, many Martians were instructed in the American way of life. These days, I suspect, not so many.
 
Still, I wondered just what lessons might be offered to such a Martian crash-landing in Washington as 2014 begins.
 
Certainly checks, balances, rights, and democracy wouldn’t top any New Year’s list. Since my childhood, in fact, that tripartite government has grown a fourth part, a national security state that is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced. 
 
In recent times, that labyrinthine structure of intelligence agencies morphing into war-fighting outfits, the U.S. military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security, a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual “defense department,” as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists, has never stopped growing. It has won the undying fealty of Congress, embraced the power of the presidency, made itself into a jobs program for the American people, and been largely free to do as it pleased with almost unlimited taxpayer dollars.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Ingmar Lee, Janine Bandcroft January 6, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
che kokoThis week marks the twelfth anniversary for Camp X-Ray at the illegal American military base located at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. On January 11th, 2002, four months after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Gitmo was opened for business.
 
That business, according to my first guest, was to act as an experimental extraordinary rendition facility where methods of torture new and old would be practiced and perfected, and deployed around the world as part of the George W. Bush regime's Global War on Terror.
 
Though "Dubya" Bush is long gone, the camp, and many of its unhappy inhabitants, remain.
 
 
Andy Worthington is a long-time peace and justice advocate for the inmates of Guantánamo. He's a journalist and author whose book titles include: 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,' 'Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion,' 'The Battle of the BeanField,' and his latest is, 'The Guantánamo Files: Stories of 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison.' Worthington is also co-director of the film, 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.'
 
As he has since 2011, Andy Worthington will again be in the U.S. to mark Gitmo's infamous anniversary with a cross-country speaking tour. Starting January 8th and running through the 21st, Andy will visit New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles with Debra Sweet, National Director of the World Can't Wait campaign to close Guantánamo. Andy Worthington in the first half.
 
And; closer to home, our own infamous Harper regime last year allowed that the Enbridge Northern Gateway, and presumably any other project the offshore carbon industries wish developed, will go ahead; this despite the near unanimous opposition of those people living in the proposed path of pipelines, or along the wild and treacherous coast these projects threaten.

Though these projects have few supporters west of the Rockies, and diminishing numbers east of the mountains as well, coordinating a unified front against them has proven difficult. Divisions fostered within First Nations, and environmental groups and organizations is a key component to ensuring the profits flow with the heavy tar, but now moves to push the plan through are too promising a push by opponents to mend their fences.
 
Ingmar Lee is a long-time environmental activist who, from his fights to protect Nanaimo's watershed from pollution masquerading as fertilizer dumped there by forest companies, and lengthy tree-sits to save the iconic Cathedral Grove from the axe, to bearing witness to the controversial Joint Review Panel process that rubber-stamped the Enbridge Northern Gateway scheme, has braved the powers-that-be to try and preserve what remains of this region's wild lands and biodiverse habitats. Ingmar lives within the range of the so-called Great Bear Rainforest, in a coastal community directly in the path of proposed Asia-bound mega-tankers. Ingmar Lee and diagnosing and treating B.C.'s environmentalist schism before it's too late. 
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher 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 town, Victoria and beyond, in the coming week and weeks to come. But first, Andy Worthington on the road, campaigning to close Gitmo.
 
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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Blowing Up Syria's Hospitals and the BBC's Double-Speak

Syria's Hospitals Targeted by NATO-Backed Armed Groups
by Prof. Tim Anderson - Global Research
Since 2011 NATO-backed armed groups have systematically attacked more than two thirds of Syria’s public hospitals, and have murdered, kidnapped or injured more than 300 health workers.
 
The most recent example of this was the destruction of Aleppo’s specialist Al-Kindi hospital.
 
Syria’s Health Minister Dr Sa’ad al Nayef told a visiting Australian solidarity delegation on 22 December that foreign backed terrorists had detonated two truck bombs, completely destroying the hospital. All health workers inside were killed in the blast. Dr Malek Ali, Syria’s Minister for Higher Education told Syria’s SANA news agency that Al-Kindi, was a functioning educational hospital co-managed by his ministry.
 
In an Orwellian revision of events the BBC (21 December) reported the destruction of Al-Kindi with the headline: 'Syria rebels take back strategic hospital in Aleppo'. The introduction claimed the “massive suicide lorry bomb” had managed “to seize back a strategic ruined hospital occupied by Assad loyalists.” Al-Kindi was said to have been “a disused building” and “according to an unconfirmed report, 35 rebels died in the attack”.
 
The BBC double-speak needs a little translation.

Before and After: Commemorating an American Century of Warfare

1914/2014: Centenary of the First World War as Prelude to the Third?
by Francis A. Boyle
morgenthau politics among nations coverI commenced my formal study of International Relations with the late, great Hans Morgenthau in the first week of January 1970 as a 19 year old college sophomore at the University of Chicago by taking his basic introductory course on that subject. At the time, Morgenthau was leading the academic forces of opposition to the detested Vietnam War, which is precisely why I chose to study with him.

During ten years of higher education at the University of Chicago and Harvard, I refused to study with openly pro-Vietnam-War professors as a matter of principle and also on the quite pragmatic ground that they had nothing to teach me.
 
After almost a decade of working personally with him, Morgenthau provided me with enough inspiration, guidance, and knowledge to last now almost half a lifetime.