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Breaking Headlines: NYT Retracts Russian Troop "Scoop"

NYT Retracts Russian-Photo Scoop
by Robert Parry - Consortium News
NYTimes phony photos retractTwo days after the New York Times led its editions with a one-sided article about photos supposedly proving that Russian special forces were behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Times published what you might call a modified, limited retraction.

Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Buried deep inside the Wednesday editions (page 9 in my paper), the article by Michael R. Gordon and Andrew E. Kramer – two of the three authors from the earlier story – has this curious beginning:

“A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.”

In the old days of journalism, we used to apply the scrutiny before we published a story on the front page or on any other page, especially if it had implications toward war or peace, whether people would live or die. However, in this case – fitting with the anti-Russian bias that has pervaded the mainstream U.S. press corps – the scrutiny was set aside long enough for this powerful propaganda theme to be put in play and to sweep across the media landscape.

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Murderous Lessons: Death by Violence Take-Away for America's Internecine Inner City Wars

Apt Pupils: Chicago Violence Reflects the Lessons of the Elite
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
I wrote here Monday of an Easter weekend full of death in Yemen, ordered up hot and steaming by the progressive American president and his assassins. But death was feasting elsewhere too -- in the president's hometown of Chicago, as the Guardian reports:
 
A senior Chicago police officer said that parts of the city are being overwhelmed by gun violence, after a weekend in which nine people were shot dead and at least 36 – including six children – were wounded.
Ronald Holt, the commander of the Chicago police department’s special activities division, said that the city was witnessing “fratricide” among young men who had come to believe “that the only way to resolve a conflict is to get a gun and go shoot to kill”.
 
“To tackle gun violence where it is overwhelming communities with the extraordinary loss of lives at an alarming pace, we must deal with it as a social disease and health issue,” Holt, whose 17-year-old son Blair was shot dead on a bus in 2007, told the Guardian in an email.
 
His remarks came as Chicago suffered its bloodiest weekend of the year. Dozens of residents were shot in a series of separate incidents. On the city’s south side, five children aged between 11 and 15 were shot while walking home from a park on Sunday evening.
 
This outburst of violence and hopelessness is the "strange fruit" of the implacable, relentless hatred that American society has always felt toward its black citizens. Since the end of slavery -- which was only achieved by a Civil War that killed more than 600,000 people (in contrast to the peaceful end of serfdom, in the same period, achieved by the 'barbaric' Russians) -- African-Americans have been subjected to an unforgiving barrage of legal blockades and economic terrorism to keep them broken down, broken apart, struggling for crumbs of survival in the midst of affluence and opportunity for others.
 

The Idea of Israel: Pappe Review of a Distorted History

Reviewing 'The Idea of Israel - A History of Power and Knowledge' by Ilan Pappe
by Jim Miles - Palestine Chronicle
This is a powerfully written unsettling work that relates the story of Israel from the perspective of how ideas are changed and manipulated for the benefit of the state. Unfortunately the majority of citizens of most countries are susceptible to the ideation/ideology of the mainstream of political thought as it is supported by the mainstream press. In the case of Israel, image and ideation, its narrative and ideology, are of paramount importance for the survival of the state beyond its military strength and relatively successful integration into the globalized corporate governed world.
 
For a brief decade, generally within the 1990s, the Israeli narrative, its foundational ideas, were challenged by a small group of academics known as the new historians. In a factual sense they brought forward many details about the story of Israel - using newly released and openly available IDF archives - that contradicted the narrative preferred by the Israeli government and its supporters.
 
They were successful at opening up a dialogue about the 1948 Nakba/war of independence, the post 1967 settlement plans, and for both dates, the knowledge of expulsions, massacres, and ethnic cleansing. But that success had limited reach within Israel, as the new historians were an academic minority, and only in infrequent media presentations - stage, theatre and film in particular - was there any other real arena of success.
 
It did create some significant stirrings abroad, but the main feature in other countries, again apart from a few vocal academics, was a broad base of apathy and disinterest, cultivated by a corporate controlled media supporting - again, the corporate governed globalized world.
 

Life in Syria: Insights on Bab Touma Mortar Attacks

More Insights into

More Insights into Bab Touma Mortar Attacks

by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza

by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza
Two days ago, one of the stream of mortars being fired upon various areas of Damascus hit Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) square, killing 2 and injuring at least 23, according to Sana news.

Bab Touma itself is one of the eight gates leading into Damascus’ Old City. It also happens to be a busy area, filled with market stalls, vendors, pedestrians, and shops. And in terms of the greater area, while I haven’t been hurt by the mortars, I’ve heard many in the old city in the past few days, and many have landed within 500 metres or less (20-30 metres) of places I’m staying or have been in Damascus.
 
A falafel shop was damaged in this latest Bab Touma mortar attack, and many shops surrounding the open area where the shell landed were damaged to varying degrees. A shoe store I visited last night in the area wasn’t too badly damaged; the windows had their original layer of thin plastic on them, which kept the closest window from spraying glass into the room where employees were working. I chatted with the owner, an Armenian, about the attack.
 

Ukraine: Kerry Endorses Fake Jewish Flyer

Obama Endorses a Forgery
by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch
On Friday, April 18, President Obama voiced his righteous indignation over anti-Semitic fliers pasted on synagogue walls in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The fliers, calling on all Jews to register or face expulsion, had appeared the day before and were instantly denounced by Donetsk leaders as a gross provocation and a forgery.

The next day, however, Obama “expressed his disgust quite bluntly”. At least, that is what his hawkish national security advisor, Susan Rice, told the public. “I think we all found word of those pamphlets to be utterly sickening, and they have no place in the 21st century,” she declared.

This presidential reaction occurred 24 hours after the pamphlet in question had been thoroughly denounced as a fake, not only by the Donetsk leader, Denis Pushilin, who said his signature on the document had been forged, but by local Jewish community leaders and even by The New Republic, which cannot be accused of indifference to anti-Semitism.

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Stephen Harper on Ukraine: Useful Idiot, or Just Idiocy?

Harper on Russia: America's Useful Idiot?
by Murray Dobbin - Rabble.ca
Stephen Harper's acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric -- must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes -- or cares -- what the larger game is.

And that game may include a Russia-driven shift in global currency allegiance that could devastate the economies of the U.S. and Canada.
 
The generals surrounding him in the ridiculous war-room setting where he announced Canada was sending six fighter jets to bolster NATO's military build-up in eastern Europe looked very uncomfortable. Who likes being used as a prop for a faltering politician? The setting was a bad case of over-acting -- as if we were joining the Allies in another world war rather than engaging in what one expert called "incremental posturing."
 
Is Harper just a useful idiot to the U.S. -- ranting and raving about Russian expansionism and imperialism so that the U.S. position looks more reasonable by comparison?
 

Vermont Leads Food Labelling Fight

Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and 'Natural' Food Fight
by Ronnie Cummins  - Organic Consumers Association
After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country, are on the verge of a monumental victory—mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods and a ban on the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed H.112 by a vote of 28-2, following up on the passage of a similar bill in the Vermont House last year. The legislation, which requires all GMO foods sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016, will now pass through a House/Senate conference committee before landing on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk, for final approval.

Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as “natural” or “all natural”; while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago;

"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."
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Digesting the System and Singing Praise to Power

Supper Time: Singing the Praises of Power
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
In any power structure, at any level, it's not enough -- it's never enough -- that you simply acquiesce to it, or grudgingly accept it, or silently go along with it, or even openly compromise with it. No, you must also sing its praises. It's never sufficient just to obey the system of power; you must love it, you must laud it -- and you must do this sincerely.
 
This is what power always demands. You must acknowledge that the system is essentially good, doing essentially good things. Of course, it might veer from its essential goodness now and then: mistakes are made, good intentions can go awry, and yes, sometimes bad people can abuse the system and do bad things. But that's when bold voices are needed to step up and spark debate, instigate reforms and return the system to its true moral equilibrium once more.
 
However, a lack of proper enthusiasm, a failure to appreciate the essential goodness of the system, can leave you under a cloud of suspicion: What are you, some kind of radical? A wrecker? Are you ungrateful, spiteful, envious? Some kind of purist, prig, holier-than-thou? You think you're above the rest of us, who love the system and work so hard to make it better?
 

Breaking Damascus: Dispatch 2014/04/21

Brief Updates from Damascus - 2014/04/21
by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza
This morning I heard the familiar shelling sounds of mortar being fired by “rebels” from the Jobar region (usually, sometime from other east-of -Damascus “rebel”-infiltrated areas) upon the city.

Later, scanning the news I read that one civilian was killed and at least two others injured in the at least seven mortar attacks near Dar al-Salam school and al-Zablatani area (not far from where I am staying, less than 1 km from here). The school is in an area not far from where the Peace Delegation stayed a week ago. Damascenes are living under daily attacks by these unguided but lethal mortars.
 
Later, I talk with a man from Aleppo. When I asked him about the situation there, he replies, “there’s little food, we’re besieged,” he says, making the same hand-motion of being locked in I make when talking about Gaza.

I ask from who. “The ‘rebels’,” he says.

He isn’t jovial like the people I’ve been seeing here in Damascus, who are further removed from the atrocities of the “rebels”.

I ask if I can conduct a formal interview with him. Shakes his head, “they’d cut my head off it I did.”

Ask if he knows people who’ve been decapitated by the “rebels.”

Shakes his head yes, “ay, nam.” Yes.
 

Capitol Crimes: Danger of Knowing Too Much in Today's Washington

Too Big to Jail? Why Kidnapping, Torture, Assassination, and Perjury Are No Longer Crimes in Washington
How the mighty have fallen. Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars.
 
Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history -- the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program. 
 
A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. 
 
It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S. district judge who told him that his “criminal act” was "a very serious one" and had been “committed by a national security expert who lost his moral compass." It was a remarkable ending for a man who nearly reached the heights of Pentagon power, was almost appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had the president’s ear.
 
In fact, Gen. James Cartwright has not gone to jail and the above paragraph remains -- as yet -- a grim Washington fairy tale.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Terry Wolfwood, Jon Elmer, Janine Bandcroft Apr. 21, 2014

 
This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
che kokoTucked into the Northwest corner of the African continent, a desperate struggle for national recognition continues, largely overlooked by the outside world.

The people of the Western Sahara, the Saharawi, have suffered annexation, colonization, and occupation at the hands of a variety of malefactors, and their decades-long privation continues today.

As with other oppressed populations, the Saharawi have the misfortune of living on lands coveted by both their neighbours and marauding trans-national corporations, whose insatiable desire for mineral wealth has condemned the people to multi-generational exile.
 
Theresa Wolfwood is Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, and is a writer, photographer, and long-time activist who has traveled from the highlands of Mexico to the gates of Gaza and beyond in pursuit of peace, social justice, and women's rights. Wolfwood has written for Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence among others, and is local coordinator for Victoria's Women in Black.
 
 
Terry is recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Western Sahara and will be presenting an illustrated talk relating her experiences at the Algerian refugee camps of the Saharawi.

'Beyond the Veil of Sand: The Life of the Saharawi People in Exile and Under Occupation' is this month's feature at Cafe Simpatico, taking place this Friday, April 25th at 1923 Fernwood Road, in the heart of the Fernwood community.
 
Terry Wolfwood in the first half.
 
And; Passover in Palestine means even less passing over Israeli checkpoints. The added restriction of the holidays means most to Gaza's captured population, dependent on the passage of goods and vital fuel supplies from Israel. With the hostile coup regime in Egypt tightening the Rafah crossing, and the tunnel economy in tatters, Gaza is more completely at the mercy of Israel than ever.
 
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance journalist and photojournalist specializing in the Middle East, and on Canadian foreign and military policy. Elmer has lived in and reported from Occupied Palestine for the better part of the last decade, while reporting too from more than a dozen countries from Nepal and Western Sahara, to the Basque country, and here in Canada. His articles and photographs are featured at the Journal of Palestine Studies, Le Monde diplomatique, The Progressive, and Al Jazeera English among others, and at his web site JonElmer.ca. Jon is also a contributor, with Anthony Fenton, to the book, 'Empire's Ally: Canada in Afghanistan.'

Jon Elmer and high holidays in the Holy Land in the second half.
 
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 Victoria in the coming week. But first, Terry Wolfwood behind Western Sahara's Veil of Sand.


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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CBC ZunZuneo Coverage Merely a Platform for US Conservative Think Tanks Agitprop

Response to Anti-Cuba CBC Interview Regarding ZunZuneo Scandal
by VCSC
emily parkerDear CBC and “Q”; I am writing to respond to Piya Chattopadhyay's interview on “Q” with Emily Parker, a recent foreign policy adviser to the US Department of State.

The interview was regarding the newly uncovered scandal of ZunZuneo, the US government's secret project to create a Twitter-like service in Cuba with the aim of provoking dissent and overthrowing the Cuban government.

The unconcealed attempt by both interviewer and interviewee to redirect all of the blame against the Cuban government skillfully managed to miss all of the facts of the case.
 
Was Ms. Parker really the most informed and objective opinion CBC and “Q” could find on this subject? Why not interview any of the 3 authors who wrote the extensively researched Associated Press article which broke the ZunZuneo story in the first place? Why interview a paid foreign policy adviser to the US government instead?
 
Given the massive bias, it's obvious why the most fundamental question regarding the ZunZuneo scandal was never asked or answered. What moral, legal, or political right does the US government have to fund secret programs with the specific aim of overthrowing another country's government?
 
It is also not surprising that the 53 year old US travel and trade blockade of Cuba was never mentioned either.
 

The Neo-York Times' Nazi Fifth Column

Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative
by Robert Parry Consortium News
nicholasdkristofAfter the Feb. 22 coup in Ukraine – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias – European and U.S. diplomats pushed for a quick formation of a new government out of fear that otherwise these far-right ultra-nationalists would be left in total control, one of those diplomats told me.

"Bear hunter" New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof

The comment again underscores the inconvenient truth of what happened in Ukraine: neo-Nazis were at the forefront of the Kiev coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych, a reality that the U.S. government and news media have been relentlessly trying to cover up.

Although real-time reports from the scene in February chronicled armed and organized militias associated with the neo-Nazi Svoboda party and the Right Sektor attacking police with firebombs and light weapons, that information soon became a threat to the Western propaganda theme that Yanukovych fled simply because peaceful protesters occupied the Maidan square.

So, the more troubling history soon disappeared into the memory hole, dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” The focus of the biased U.S. news media is now on the anti-Kiev militants in the Russian-ethnic areas of eastern Ukraine who have rejected the authority of the coup regime and are insisting on regional autonomy.

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