Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Brian Davey, Jeb Sprague, Janine Bandcroft May 23, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 23, 2019

Isolated from one other by walls made of media-induced divides, rather than considering the issues of the day in nuanced terms political discourse has increasingly become an identitarian, black and white battle between entrenched camps. From sheltered thought silos, it's possible to forgo the difficult task of thinking through problems, choosing instead to hurl abusive missives, (and more substantive missiles) at one another.

Despite this spreading plague of self-satisfied, diametric certitude, there still exists a middle ground. It's shaky, dangerous territory few would choose to make a stand on, but between the derision and scorn suffered from both extremities, it's in the grey zone between our only hope of collective salvation lay.

Brian Davey is an economist who's spent most of his working life in the community and voluntary sector in Nottingham, England, particularly in health promotion, mental health and environmental fields. He is a co-founder of Ecoworks, a community garden and environmental project for people with mental health problems, member of the Feasta Climate Working Group, and former co-ordinator of the Cap and Share Campaign.

Davey is also editor of the Feasta book, 'Sharing for Survival: Restoring the Climate, the Commons and Society', and author of 'Credo: Economic Beliefs in a World in Crisis'. Brian recently posted at FEASTA.org the article, 'Greta Thunberg, PR and the “Climate Emergency”', an attempt to find common ground in the current climate crisis debate.

Brian Davey in the first half.

And; last week, officers of the US Secret Service Uniformed Division assisted US Department of State Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents in extracting from the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, four remaining protesters, barricaded inside. It was the culmination of a six weeks-long stand-off, seeing noisome, and sometimes violent, confrontation between pro-government and counter-government supporters of Juan Guaido, the man recognized by the United States and some of its allies as the legitimate representative of democracy in that country.

Jeb Sprague is an educator, author, essayist and journalist whose articles can be found at the Grayzone Project, and The Canary, among other places. He lectures at the University of Virginia and is author of the books: 'Globalizing the Caribbean: Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class', and 'Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti'. Sprague is also editor of the book, 'Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania', and is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC).

Jeb Sprague and the death of diplomacy in DC in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Brian Davey and finding the middle ground in the middle of a climate emergency.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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  • Written by Ramzy Baroud

Popsi Revolutionaries of a Dying Culture

Madonna’s Fake Revolution: Eurovision, Cultural Hegemony and Resistance

by Ramzy Baroud - Palestine Chronicle

May 21, 2019

Rim Banna, a famous Palestinian singer who translated Palestine’s most moving poetry to song passed away on March 24, 2018, at the age of 51.

Rim captured the struggle for Palestinian freedom in the most dignified and melodious ways. If we could imagine angels singing, they would sound like Rim.

When Rim died, all Palestinians mourned her death. Although a few international outlets carried the news of her passing at a relatively young age, her succumbing to cancer did not receive much coverage or discussion.

Sadly, a Palestinian icon of cultural resistance who had inspired a whole generation, starting with the First Palestinian Intifada in 1987, hardly registered as an event worthy of remembrance and reflection, even among those who purport to champion the Palestinian cause.

Compare Rim to Madonna, an ‘artiste’ who has stood for self-aggrandizing personal fame and money-making. She has championed the most debased moral values, utilizing cheap entertainment while catering to the lowest common denominator to remain relevant in the music world for as long as possible.

While Rim had a cause, Madonna has none. And while Rim symbolized cultural resistance, Madonna symbolizes globalized cultural hegemony - in this case, the imposition of consumerist western cultures on the rest of the world.

Cultural hegemony defines the US and other Western cultures’ relationship to the rest of the world. It is not culture as in the collective intellectual and artistic achievements of these societies, but as a set of ideological and cultural tools used by ruling classes to maintain domination over the disadvantaged, colonized and oppressed.

Madonna, along with Michael Jordan, the Beatles and Coca Cola represent far more than mere performers and fizzy drinks, but also serve as tools used to secure cultural, thus economic and political dominance, as well. The fact that in some cities around the world, especially in the Southern hemisphere, Coca Cola “flows more freely than water” speaks volumes about the economic toll and political dimension of cultural hegemony.

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  • Written by Whitney Webb

Dancing While the Towers Burn: Newly Released FBI Docs and 9/11

Newly Released FBI Docs Shed Light on Apparent Mossad Foreknowledge of 9/11 Attacks

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News 


May 17th, 2019

New information released by the FBI has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the “Dancing Israelis,” at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

 

Four of the Israeli nationals arrested for “puzzling behavior” during the 
September 11 attacks are seen casually posing together in front of the 
Manhattan skyline while the September 11 attacks were in progress. | Photo #1
 

NEW YORK — For nearly two decades, one of the most overlooked and little known arrests made in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks was that of the so-called “High Fivers,” or the “Dancing Israelis.” However, new information released by the FBI on May 7 has brought fresh scrutiny to the possibility that the “Dancing Israelis,” at least two of whom were known Mossad operatives, had prior knowledge of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Shortly after 8:46 a.m. on the day of the attacks, just minutes after the first plane struck the World Trade Center, five men — later revealed to be Israeli nationals — had positioned themselves in the parking lot of the Doric Apartment Complex in Union City, New Jersey, where they were seen taking pictures and filming the attacks while also celebrating the destruction of the towers and “high fiving” each other.

At least one eyewitness interviewed by the FBI had seen the Israelis’ van in the parking lot as early as 8:00 a.m. that day, more than 40 minutes prior to the attack. The story received coverage in U.S. mainstream media at the time but has since been largely forgotten.

The men — Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Yaron Shimuel and Omar Marmari — were subsequently apprehended by law enforcement and claimed to be Israeli tourists on a “working holiday” in the United States where they were employed by a moving company, Urban Moving Systems. Upon his arrest, Sivan Kurzberg told the arresting officer,

“We are Israeli; we are not your problem. Your problems are our problems, The Palestinians are the problem.”

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  • Written by Caitlin Johnstone

What a Long Strange Road It's Been: Reflections of a Rogue Journalist

Reflections on This Weird, Wild Job of Mine

by Caitlin Johnston - Rogue Journalist

May 20, 2019

Sometimes really really famous people share my stuff and a deluge of haters rush in to admonish them for doing so because I am evil. I am still not used to either of these things.

I took a couple of days off for my wedding anniversary and during that time Susan Sarandon shared my last article, demanding to know why we’re not discussing the important fact that a document from the OPCW’s investigation contradicting the official OPCW findings on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria was not shared with the public.

Just as when Roger Waters promoted me on his Twitter account, any time I checked Twitter I saw a bunch of people arguing about whether or not I’m a secret Nazi or a plagiarist or an Assad lover or a racist, all in response to the sharing of an article that questioned a narrative used to support western imperialism. It’s a weird experience.

This whole job has been weird, really, and with some days off I’ve had time to reflect on that. I’ll write a proper article shortly, but I just wanted to tap out a few thoughts on this strange journey I’ve been on while they’re still on my mind.

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  • Written by Christopher Black

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Christopher Black, J Ocean Dennie, Janine Bandcrcoft May 16, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 16, 2019

It's difficult to believe we didn't see this coming. Everywhere Bellum Americana is in force today, the "rule of law" is no more. And, despite Trudeau's, or Chrystia Freeland's repeated invocations, that parrot is neither sleeping, nor getting back on its perch! It is dead: dead as the Magna Carta; dead as the Treaty of Westphalia; dead as the Nuremberg Charter. The sad truth is, we really are, finally, on our own.

Christopher Black is a Toronto-based criminal lawyer specializing in international war crimes cases, and executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress.

Listen. Hear.

Black’s articles on international law, politics and World events appear at New Eastern Outlook among other places, where a perusal of his latest efforts reveals the relentless assault by the empire and its satraps against international jurisprudence and nations in all quarters of the globe.

Christopher Black in the first half.

And; what worth a tree? How much for a forest? The inexorable mastication and digestion of British Columbia 's forests by timber interests and their servants in various governments is an old story - in human terms. For the last century and half, a mere fraction of the lives of the giant cedars routinely ground down for consumer products, nature has been regarded here as resource; merely an instrument to be used to secure the wealth, comfort, and ease of the settler caste. Now though, as with so many other systems, the coastal rainforest ecosystem has reached a tipping-point, one from which once crossed reclamation will never be possible.

J Ocean Dennie is with Friends of the Sooke Hills Wilderness, a grassroots group of concerned citizens advocating for the continued protection of wilderness areas threatened on southern Vancouver Island. His decolonizing advocacy work and environmental activism over the past few years includes: involvement with the Social Environmental Alliance, Indigenous Solidarity Working Group and Fish Farms Out Now!

J Ocean Dennie and stopping the road to ruin in the Sooke Hills Wilderness in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Christopher Black and an international rule of law run amok.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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  • Written by M. C. Forte

American Exceptionalism: A Century of Innocence

American Exceptionalism, American Innocence 

by Maximilian C. Forte - ZeroAnthropology

May 12, 2019 

Review of American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News—from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. By Roberto Sirvent and Danny Haiphong. Foreword by Ajamu Baraka. Afterword by Glen Ford. 256 pages. Published: April 2, 2019. New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN: 9781510742369. Hardcover, $24.99 US; e-Book, $16.99 US.

 

 


We live in a time which sees the US accelerating its accumulation of conflict worldwide: a trade war with China; sanctions and tariffs on “friends” and “enemies” alike; international treaties torn apart; international law dismissed and violated on an almost daily basis; escalating tensions and provocations that almost seem designed with the premeditated intent of precipitating war with Iran, or Venezuela, or North Korea; a new Cold War with Russia; an enhanced embargo against Cuba; and an ongoing, seemingly permanent occupation in Afghanistan.

Yet, in the midst of that, American leaders react with apparent protest at any consequences or responses—others are blamed for the apparent crime of responding to threats and aggression. How does one bring both of these facets—aggression and victimhood—together into one explanation?

As the US expanded and then inserted itself into the domestic affairs of nations in almost every corner of the planet, what role did the ideology of “American exceptionalism” play? How is “American exceptionalism” constructed, learned, and experienced? How are Americans both exceptional and “innocent”? What are the relationships between American exceptionalism, innocence, and racism and class domination? How is “humanitarian intervention” shaped by American exceptionalism and innocence? How do celebrities, Hollywood, the major news media, and sporting events help to cement American exceptionalism? Do “progressive” social movements of the American left depart from exceptionalism? How relevant is American exceptionalism to debates about immigration and borders? What are the solutions to the problem of American exceptionalism? Should the world be a world without America?

These are some of the questions that are resolutely tackled in a newly released book, which is the subject of this review.

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  • Written by Ramzy Baroud

Fascist Mothers of a Brotherly Persuasion

Why Brazil should shun the Israeli model

by Ramzy Baroud - Arab News


May 12, 2019

Newly inaugurated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is set to be the arch-enemy of the environment and of indigenous and disadvantaged communities in his country. He also promises to be a friend of like-minded far-right leaders the world over.

It is, therefore, not surprising to see a special kind of friendship blossoming between Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We need good brothers like Netanyahu,” Bolsonaro said after receiving him ahead of his inauguration in Brasilia on Jan. 1.

Bolsonaro is, “a great ally; a brother,” the Israeli PM replied.


But, while Bolsonaro sees in Netanyahu a role model — for reasons that should worry many Brazilians — the country certainly does not need “brothers” like the Israeli leader.

Netanyahu’s militancy, oppression of the indigenous Palestinian people, his racially motivated targeting of black African immigrants and his persistent violations of international law are not at all what a country like Brazil needs to escape corruption, bring about communal harmony and usher in an era of regional integration and economic prosperity.

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  • Written by Whitney Webb

Monsanto, Bayer & the Vulture of Venezuela

How GMO Seeds and Monsanto/Bayer’s “RoundUp” are Driving US Policy in Venezuela

by Whitney Webb - MintPress News 

via Aletho

May 6, 2019

 

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — As the political crisis in Venezuela has unfolded, much has been said about the Trump administration’s clear interest in the privatization and exploitation of Venezuela’s oil reserves, the largest in the world, by American oil giants like Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Yet the influence of another notorious American company, Monsanto — now a subsidiary of Bayer — has gone largely unmentioned.

While numerous other Latin American nations have become a “free for all” for the biotech company and its affiliates, Venezuela has been one of the few countries to fight Monsanto and other international agrochemical giants and win.

However, since that victory — which was won under Chavista rule — the U.S.-backed Venezuelan opposition has been working to undo it.

"Vulture" Capitalist, Paul Singer
smelling an opportunity

Now, with Juan Guaidó’s parallel government attempting to take power with the backing of the U.S., it is telling that the top political donors of those in the U.S. most fervently pushing regime change in Venezuela have close ties to Monsanto and major financial stakes in Bayer.

In recent months, Monsanto’s most controversial and notorious product — the pesticide glyphosate, branded as Roundup, and linked to cancer in recent U.S. court rulings — has threatened Bayer’s financial future as never before, with a litany of new court cases barking at Bayer’s door. It appears that many of the forces in the U.S. now seeking to overthrow the Venezuelan government are hoping that a new Guaidó-led government will provide Bayer with a fresh, much-needed market for its agrochemicals and transgenic seeds, particularly those products that now face bans in countries all over the world, including once-defoliated and still-poisoned Vietnam.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, T. J. Coles, David Rovics, Janine Bandcroft May 9, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 9, 2019

True to this time of lies, "free" is the name given to the attempt to capture and enslave the people of the World, while the word "trade" serves as a wry misnomer, meant to convince us the artful deals of the masters of capital are both consensual, and somehow mutually beneficial.

Together, 'Free Trade' is a concept Orwell would recognize, and cry laughing at the bitter predictability of.

Dr. T.J. Coles is an Associate Researcher at the Organisation for Propaganda Studies, a columnist for AxisOfLogic.com, and author.

Listen. Hear.

Coles’ articles too appear online at CounterPunch, Truthout and Z Magazine, among other places, and his many book titles include: ‘Real Fake News’, Britain’s Secret Wars’, ‘The Great Brexit Swindle’, ‘Manufacturing Terrorism: When Governments Use Fear to Justify Foreign Wars and Control Society’, and his latest, ‘Privatized Planet: ‘Free Trade’ as a Weapon Against Healthcare, Democracy and the Environment’.

Journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger says, "In this meticulously sourced book, T.J. Coles breaks down the facade of “free trade” and its army of acronyms, spelling out the threat from an extremism that wants your healthcare, wages, pensions and much more. You have been warned."

T.J. Coles in the first half.

And; readers of Marx, Karl not Groucho, remember the term, "Après moi, le déluge!" It was meant by Marx to indicate the contempt in which all capitalists must hold the life of the lowly labourer. How else can captains of industry masticate and disgorge the legions required to maximize profit, and relentlessly grow the economy? But, endless progress demands a certain, strategic short-sightedness, a disregard for the consequences of one's actions. It's a wilful blindness increasingly difficult to maintain today, where King Louis XV's phrase, "After me, the deluge" now belongs to us all and encompasses the whole of the World: "Après nous le déluge!" After US, the flood.

Inveterate American activist and singer/songwriter, David Rovics has for decades toured the World bringing his message of revolution and evolution for and to the masses. He's shared the stage with the greats of the age: Pete Seeger, Anne Feeney, Joan Baez, Chumbawamba, Billy Bragg, Attila the Stockbroker, and countless others. David is too a frequent essayist, and now a regular columnist at Dissident Voice, a podcaster, and Danish barista... Safe to say he's done a lot of things, but now David Rovics is set to enter the least illuminated of all Canada's dark corners, Ottawa, Ontario, (beatless heart of a heartless, beaten nation) for an evening of music, fun, and class struggle.

David Rovics, before the flood in the second half.


And Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, T. J. Coles and Privatized Planet: Free Trade As a Weapon Against Democracy, Healthcare and the Environment.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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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  • Written by Ramzy Baroud

Can Palestine's Internecine Divide Be Bridged?

The Two Narratives of Palestine: The People Are United, the Factions Are Not

by Ramzy Baroud - PalestineChronicle.com


May 8, 2019

The International Conference on Palestine held in Istanbul between April 27-29 brought together many speakers and hundreds of academics, journalists, activists and students from Turkey and all over the world. The Conference was a rare opportunity aimed at articulating a discourse of international solidarity that is both inclusive and forward thinking. There was near consensus that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement must be supported, that Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ must be defeated and that normalization must be shunned. When it came to articulating the objectives of the Palestinian struggle, however, the narrative became indecisive and unclear.

Although none of the speakers made a case for a two-state solution, our call for a one democratic state from Istanbul - or any other place outside Palestine - seemed partially irrelevant. For the one state solution to become the overriding objective of the pro-Palestine movement worldwide, the call has to come from a Palestinian leadership that reflects the true aspirations of the Palestinian people. One speaker after the other called for Palestinian unity, imploring Palestinians for guidance and for articulating a national discourse. Many in the audience concurred with that assessment as well. One audience member even blurted out the cliched question: “Where is the Palestinian Mandela?”

Luckily, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Zwelivelile "Mandla" Mandela, was himself a speaker. He answered forcefully that Mandela was only the face of the movement, which encompassed millions of ordinary men and women, whose struggles and sacrifices ultimately defeated apartheid. Following my speech at the Conference, I met with several freed Palestinian prisoners as part of my research for my forthcoming book on the subject. Some of the freed prisoners identified as Hamas and others as Fatah. Their narrative seemed largely free from the disgraced factional language we are bombarded with in the media, but also liberated from the dry and detached narratives of politics and academia.

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  • Written by David Rovics

Remembering Pete Seeger, Movement Musician

Pete Seeger Was A Movement Musician

by David Rovics - Dissident Voice


May 1st, 2019

If Pete Seeger were still with us, how would he be celebrating his 100th birthday? Probably by chopping wood.

 

On May 3rd, 1919, Pete Seeger was born. Many people in the more musical regions of my social circles are currently celebrating his life, for the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday, had he lived past the age of 94.

Among people I know, so much has already been said about Pete, that I’m hesitant to say any more. But on fairly obsessive reflection around the subject of Pete Seeger myself in recent days, I realize I do have thoughts that might be worth sharing, despite the quantity of verbiage already cluttering the web.

So much has been said and written about him over the course of the past 83 years or so, it’s very easy to blend fact with fiction.

This is perhaps especially true for people who knew him, but only a little.

Does reading a book and having a short conversation with the author give you much more insight into the subject of the book than you would have had without that conversation? Probably not. But it’s been six years since Pete died, and I’m six years older. And I’ll just say up front here that it’s not my deeply intimate familiarity with Pete that makes me feel like I have something to say here — I barely knew the guy. But we had a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances, and most importantly, we shared the same profession — I am, and he was, a musician, among other things, but specifically a musician with deep social movement roots. He was a fish swimming in a sea of social movements throughout his life, and he navigated the waters as best he could, to be a helpful, musical part of those movements.

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  • Written by Tom Engelhardt

Strains of Another Arab Spring

Spring Stirrings and Misgivings: Of Autocrats and Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa

by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch

May 2, 2019  
 
“Al-Shebab,” said my student Jerry early in the fall 2010 semester. “We’re calling our small group al-Shebab. It means ‘The Youth.’” From his name alone, I wouldn’t have guessed his background, but he was proud of his family’s Egyptian roots and had convinced his classmates to give their group an Arabic name.

As usually happens when the semester ends and my dozens of students scatter, Jerry and I lost touch. The following April, however, we ran into each other at a rally organized by students at my university to support the Arab Spring. 
 Like many others around the world, I’d watched transfixed as brave unarmed civilians faced down riot police on the bridges leading to Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
 I’d celebrated on February 11, 2011, when the corrupt and authoritarian Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned as the military took control of that country.

Jerry’s eyes sparkled when he saw me. “Isn’t it amazing?” he shouted. Yes, it was amazing... until it wasn’t.

This spring, eight years later, there has been a new set of popular uprisings in northern Africa, from Algeria to Morocco, to Sudan. Let’s hope they have more lasting success than Egypt’s Arab Spring.