Burning a Republic: Watching Donald Fiddle

The World According to Trump: Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
by Alfred W. McCoy - TomDispatch

January 16, 2018

As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts.

Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a deep foreboding for the country’s global future under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

In a year-end jeremiad, for instance, conservative CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria blasted the “Trump administration’s foolish and self-defeating decision to abdicate the United States’ global influence -- something that has taken more than 70 years to build.”

The great “global story of our times,” he continued, is that “the creator, upholder, and enforcer of the existing international system is withdrawing into self-centered isolation,” opening a power vacuum that will be filled by illiberal powers like China, Russia, and Turkey.


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Haiti History: What America Owes That Shi*hole

Haiti and America’s Historic Debt

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

January 12, 2018

(First published on Jan.13, 2010)


From the Archive: President Trump says his “tough” language on immigration, which reportedly included decrying “shithole” nations, didn’t apply to Haiti but he appears to know little of America’s debt to Haiti, which Robert Parry described in 2010.


In 2010, when announcing emergency help for Haiti after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, President Barack Obama noted America’s historic ties to the impoverished Caribbean nation, but few Americans understand how important Haiti’s contribution to U.S. history was.

In modern times, when Haiti does intrude on U.S. consciousness, it’s usually because of some natural disaster or a violent political upheaval, and the U.S. response is often paternalistic, if not tinged with a racist disdain for the country’s predominantly black population and its seemingly endless failure to escape cycles of crushing poverty.

However, more than two centuries ago, Haiti represented one of the most important neighbors of the new American Republic and played a central role in enabling the United States to expand westward. If not for Haiti, the course of U.S. history could have been very different, with the United States possibly never expanding much beyond the Appalachian Mountains.


Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of Haiti’s
slave rebellion against France.


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A Century Later: The Great Class War and Its Enduring Aftermath

World War I: Crime and Punishment

by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch

January 12, 2018  

In 1887, Frederick Engels made a chilling prediction of the war that would come in 1914:

The only war left for Prussia-Germany to wage will be a world war, a world war, moreover of an extent of violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other’s throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts.
The depredations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three to four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism.

This prediction was not the result of second sight. It was a conclusion derived from the premise that “war is the daughter of capitalism,” first proposed by Engels with Marx in The Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848.


“The bourgeoisie is always in a struggle . . . against the bourgeoisie of all foreign states,” they wrote, and this struggle is so bitter as to lead inevitably to an “industrial war of annihilation among nations.”

In his study, The Great Class War, Jacques Pauwels supports this thesis, focusing on those who suffered the most and on those who profited the most. But his study goes further.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Whitney Webb. Christina Nikolic January 11th, 2018

This Week on GR

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

January 11, 2018

For Mariano Rajoy the new year begins much as the old one ended. Spain's prime minister, you may recall, played hardball with Catalonian separatists, nullifying the autonomous region's government, while declaring Catalunya president, Carles Puigdemont and his key ministers criminals.

Rajoy set a new election date a few days before Christmas, and with the wicked in-exile Carles out of the equation everything would be bueno! Si?

Well, no. Popular support maintained the separatist coalition, leaving the Madrid Machiavelli in an even tighter corner than before his ill-advised and ham-handed campaign began.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’ Pablo is from Spain's Catalan region and has watched with the rest of the world in astonishment the unravelling of his native land these past months.


Listen. Hear.


Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; Iran has been the focus of America's Middle East policy since the overthrow of tyrant dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. From Carter to Obama, through Reagan and the Bushes, whether the destruction of Beirut, "repatriation" of Kuwait's oil fields, or toppling of Saddam Hussein undermining the Islamic Republic has always been at the heart of the matter.

So far, no US president has dared a direct invasion of Iran, the cost of an outright war even for the globe's military behemoth being unthinkable - but where an overt campaign cannot succeed, perhaps a covert one can.And it is with that in mind, says my second guest, national security actors within the Trump and Netanyahu administrations are targeting Iran, "working in lockstep...to repeat what befell Syria over six years ago – the hijacking of minor protests and their transformation into the cover for a foreign-funded insurgency intent on toppling Iran’s elected government."

Whitney Webb is a South America-based journalist writing about environmental, political, and economic issues in English and Spanish. She’s a staff writer at MintPressNews.com, and her articles have featured at ZeroHedge, 21st Century Wire, and Pacific Free Press among other places. Her recent work for MintPressNews includes the article, 'Birth of an Insurgency: The US-Israeli “Secret Deal” To Manipulate Protests In Iran'.

Whitney Webb and revolution of another colour, or another colour revolution for Iran? in the second half.

And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Pablo Ouziel and a worm's turning en España.


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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Robert Parry: Blind-Eyed Seeing Through Washington's Decline

An Apology and Explanation

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

December 31, 2017  

For readers who have come to see Consortiumnews as a daily news source, I would like to extend my personal apology for our spotty production in recent days.

On Christmas Eve, I suffered a stroke that has affected my eyesight (especially my reading and thus my writing) although apparently not much else.

The doctors have also been working to figure out exactly what happened since I have never had high blood pressure, I never smoked, and my recent physical found nothing out of the ordinary.

Perhaps my personal slogan that “every day’s a work day” had something to do with this.


Journalist Robert Parry

Perhaps, too, the unrelenting ugliness that has become Official Washington and national journalism was a factor. It seems that since I arrived in Washington in 1977 as a correspondent for The Associated Press, the nastiness of American democracy and journalism has gone from bad to worse.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Virginia Tilley, Zarefah Baroud, Jan. 4th, 2017

This Week on GR

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

January 4, 2017

Welcome to the first GR of 2018. Or is it 1918? That was the year America was rocked by its first Red Scare. A century later, though media technologies are infinitely more sophisticated, the reptilian appeal to the basest elements of human nature remains as primitive as the limbic brain itself.

The secret to the success of this kind of mass deception is provided by Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels who helpfully said,

"The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."

That principle was eagerly adopted by the second wave of Red Scare McCarthyites after the Second World War, and may sound uncomfortably familiar today, as a third wave of Red Scarists crest.


Listen. Hear.


Dr. Virginia Tilley is Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She's also an essayist and author specializing in the comparative study of ethnic and racial conflict. Tilley's book titles include, 'Seeing Indians: A Study of Race, Nation and Power in El Salvador,' 'The One State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock,' and co-author and editor of 'Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism and International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories'.

Virginia's articles appear at The Nation, Electronic Intifada, and CounterPunch.org among other places. Her latest piece, 'The New Hysteria on Kremlin Trolls' takes aim at a Pravda-worthy Washington Post rant against internet news rival, CounterPunch.

Virginia Tilley in the first half.

And; 2017, or Year One as U.S. president, Donald Trump may prefer, was by turns a bizarre and watershed year for American politics; and because what happens in the United States doesn't stay just there, reverberations of the Trump Doctrine's inaugural year are still being felt around the World. Nowhere is this more true than in Occupied Palestine, where the announcement of plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and relocate the US Embassy there, has predictably enough spurred a backlash that now threatens a renewed Intifada.

It's ironic, or perhaps karmanic, that the country most keenly affected by US domestic policy, Israel, itself exerts the greatest influence on American life. From the massive transfers of wealth in the form of "aid" and the hugely influential Israel Lobby in Washington, to militarized police training and the construction of president Trump's 'Great Wall' immigration policies, Israel and America are fellow travellers engaged in a true, two-way partnership. It is however, according to my second guest, a toxic relationship bringing hardship and injustice, especially to those, "...already socio-economically disadvantaged and marginalized."

Zarefah Baroud is a freelance social and political commentator whose writing addresses human rights and environmental issues. A Media and Communications student at the University of Washington, her articles can be found at CounterPunch, Scoop, and Foreign Policy Journal among others.

Zarefah Baroud and Reevaluating a Toxic Relationship in the second half. But first, Virginia Tilley and what's old is new again with The New Hysteria on Kremlin Trolls.


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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Ta’iz, Yemen: Another Rubbled City in the Endless War

Remaining Peaceful Was Their Choice

by Kathy Kelly - VCNV

December 31, 2017

People living now in Yemen’s third largest city, Ta’iz, have endured unimaginable circumstances for the past three years. Civilians fear to go outside lest they be shot by a sniper or step on a land mine.

Both sides of a worsening civil war use Howitzers, Kaytushas, mortars and other missiles to shell the city.

Residents say no neighborhood is safer than another, and human rights groups report appalling violations, including torture of captives. Two days ago, a Saudi-led coalition bomber killed 54 people in a crowded market place. Before the civil war developed, the city was regarded as the official cultural capital of Yemen, a place where authors and academics, artists and poets chose to live.

Ta’iz 2011 image source: https://rajaalthaibani.

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Gorilla Radio X-Mas/Year-Ender Show with Chris Cook, Ken Boon, Christina Nikolic December 28th, 2017

This Week on GR

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

December 28, 2017


Welcome to the Year-ender show, wherein you'll enjoy seasonally-themed blatherskite, music, and more.

It's been a pretty strange year past, punctuated with highs and lows that, like the weather, have peaked with extraordinary insistence. I think it's a trend we're going to have to learn to adapt to.

As if to echo, the political climate has too been erratic. In British Columbia, our Spring time election witnessed the bizarre, Mugabe-like siege of the Legislature by the Liberals, taking months as it turned out to prise Christy Clark's death-rip from the reins of power before a Summer swearing in of a government of an entirely new stripe.

Or at least, that's how it was advertised.

But as Autumn turned, so did hopes the NDP would prove itself an alternative to the crony capitalist, BCLiberals. Just two weeks ago, the new premier announced the government would continue the course set by Clark and carry the Site C dam project forward - a project with more strikes against it than an English coal mine.


Listen. Hear.


I hosted quite a few shows about Site C over the last year, (and previous ones too) most frequently speaking with Peace Valley farmer and president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, Ken Boon. I'll talk to Ken again in the second half of the show to get his take on possible next steps in the continued resistance to this disastrous turn of events.

I'll also talk to long-time Victoria-based green business savant and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic at the bottom of the hour, taking the pulse of the city and environs with the Left Coast Events bulletin for the X-Mas/New Year's week.

But before letting go the scruff of Christmas past; in a recent interview John Horgan, as if to underline for any still thinking the NDP would change the province's political course announced,


"If we’re going to be a government that governs for all British Columbians, we have to set aside our activism and start being better administrators."

Then he began packing a bag for his January trade mission to Asia; where he'll undoubtedly get the opportunity to demonstrate that administrative malleability to Site C contract awardee, CCCI, aka the China Communications Construction Company Ltd.

In the same interview, Horgan also said it wasn't Christmas for him until he'd heard the Pogues song, Fairytale of New York. It seems a fitting companion piece to the beginning of the end of another failed dream of change in BC. Happy Christmas Premier Horgan, this one is for you.


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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Professing the Crusade: Shedding Light on Come from the Shadows

Professing the Crusade: Shedding Light on Come from the Shadows

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

November 23, 2011


[Note: This reissued piece I again rescued from a mysterious 'forced retirement' from my websites. - Ape December 2017]


I recently interviewed Terry Glavin, author of 'Come from the Shadows: the long and lonely struggle for peace in Afghanistan.' The book is a treatise arguing a necessary continuation of the decades-old war the "West" has waged against "Islamists" and "fascists" in Afghanistan.

The link to an audio file of the interview is here, and square brackets indicate the time where a given quote can be accessed. Glavin's segment begins at [35:30].

Glavin is a Canadian, particularly concerned with Canada's continued contribution to 'The Mission' in Afghanistan. He uses that nation's abject suffering at the hands of the Taliban as justification for the largely unrecorded occupation force slaughter of civilians in their thousands through night raids, drone missile attacks, deaths in custody by torture, (at the hands of Afghan police, military, and the internal security apparatus) and summary execution of suspect "militants." His mission, he claims, is to speak for Afghanistan's women, bringing them universal suffrage and equal rights.

Glavin told me the book was likely to be upsetting and confusing for a lot of readers, saying; "there's gonna be a lot of people it's gonna really hurt them a lot; it's gonna sting." [43:10] "Sting," Glavin says, because Canadians have been made "enfeebled in their understanding on Afghanistan," enfeebled because in his view, "voices and the views and the positions of brown people are ignored and overlooked..."


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The Mad Folly of John Horgan: BC Premier Defies Reason and the Law to Approve Site C Dam

The Madness of John Horgan

by Ken Boon - Peace Valley Landowner Assoc.

December 23, 2017


 The B.C. NDP government announced last week that it would complete the controversial hydroelectric dam rather than cancel the project.


The province's independent energy regulator concluded in a report last month that the dam is over budget and behind schedule. By approving Site C, Premier John Horgan has guaranteed that every underpaid and overworked Bob Cratchit in B.C. will pay a heavy price for his bad governance and that First Nations will pay the heaviest price of all in the loss of land and sovereignty.

The Ghost of Muskrat Madness can explain the full tragedy just by describing the disastrous problems at a hydro mega-project in Newfoundland.

Horgan said that in the decision of Site C, consent was not required as the decision to build the dam had already been made. I sometimes wonder if these leaders know how silly they sound with the semantics they use. The BC NDP government was making a critical decision on whether to cancel or proceed with the project. They made the motions of sending Ministers Mungall and Fraser to talk to the treaty 8 Nations.

But they didn’t bother talking to or meeting with First Nation in the province on the impact on them in not being able to produce clean energy because of Site C. Billions of dollars in lost investment. They didn’t calculate that in the cost of Site C and the money that would go into education, day care and hospitals from those projects.

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Draining Ottawa's Poison Foreign Policy Pustule

Draining Ottawa’s Foreign Policy Swamp

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

December 21st, 2017

Drain the swamp’ was a popular Donald Trump campaign slogan that referred to reducing the influence of Washington lobbyists. While the three words reflect an extreme lack of ecological consciousness — wetlands need to be protected and recreated, not destroyed — the image of politicians slogging their way through lobbyist infected, tangled, dense vegetation and deep oozing mud is a useful one.

Like the US capital, much of Ottawa was also built on mosquitoes’ favourite habitat and both cities today have an ongoing pest problem: blood sucking influence peddlers swarming the countries’ decision makers. That image helps explain why there is little deviation from Canada’s official foreign policy positions even amongst social democratic members of Parliament.

The recently re-established Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CPPFG) offers a window into the dearth of opposition, notably from the NDP, to the foreign policy establishment. Chaired by Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara, CPPFG has nine MPs representing all the parties in the House of Commons except the Conservatives. But, CPPFG isn’t one of 17 official parliamentary associations or groups so it doesn’t receive public financial or administrative support, unlike the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary group.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ray Grigg, Douglas Gook, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 21, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. CookGorilla-Radio.com

December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Jolly Kwanzaa and a very Cosmic Solstice as we enjoy today the great turning of the Sun too! It's normal at this late date to cast an eye back across the year's happenings and accomplishments, and it's been an eventful year here in BC, with a new government brought in - and brought in in such a novel way.

Many on the greener side of the political spectrum hoped the change would bring with it a new way of looking at the way things are done in this province, and my first guest may well be one of those.

Ray Grigg is the author of seven books on Taoism and Zen, and the columnist behind the long-running environmental column, Shades of Green. He recently released The EcoTrilogy, a compendium of sixteen years worth of his weekly column, comprising the books, Ecologos, Ecopathy, and Ecocide.



Listen. Hear.


Ray Grigg in the first half.

And; where British Columbia's ecological record during the sixteen-plus years reign of the BCLiberal party was never great, the last years, culminating as they did with the Mount Polley mine tailings disaster, proved particularly destructive. So, hope for change was especially buoyant when the electorate discharged the Liberals in favour of a coalition government featuring, for the first time in the nation's history, a Green Party component. But those hopes were dealt a cruel blow last week, when John Horgan's New Democratic Party refused to stop the contentious, and ecologically deleterious, Site C dam project.

Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist and farmer who’s focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. The Nechako Lakes Green Party of BC candidate is a director of the BC Environmental Network and Spirit Dance Cooperative Community, and leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected three years after the infamous Mt. Polley spill. He's also one of a growing chorus who do not accept the Site C decision as final.

Douglas Gook maintaining the fight against Site C in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin of good things you can get up to around here in the coming week. But first, Ray Grigg and The EcoTrilogy.


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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