Washington's Unified March to Folly

Washington’s New Lock-Step March of Folly

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News

October 22, 2016

Confident in a Hillary Clinton victory, Washington’s foreign policy elite is readying plans for more warfare in Syria and more confrontations with nuclear-armed Russia, an across-the-spectrum “group think” that risks life on the planet
As polls show Hillary Clinton closing in on victory, Official Washington’s neoconservative (and liberal-hawk) foreign policy establishment is rubbing its hands in anticipation of more war and more strife, including a U.S. military escalation in Syria, a take-down of Iran, and a showdown with nuclear-armed Russia.

Former Sec't of State Clinton at Atlantic Council event, 2013. (Photo: Atlantic Council)

What is perhaps most alarming about this new “group think” is that there doesn’t appear to be any significant resistance to the expectation that President Hillary Clinton will unleash these neocon/liberal-hawk forces of intervention that President Barack Obama has somewhat restrained.


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White Helmets, Dark Lies

The White Helmet Controversy

by Rick Sterling - Dissident Voice

October 20th, 2016

Unknown to most people, the White Helmets brand was conceived and directed by a marketing company named “The Syria Campaign” based in New York. They have managed to fool millions of people.

Walt Disney might have made a great movie about this: unarmed volunteers fearlessly rescuing survivors in the midst of war without regard to religion or politics.

Like most other “true life” Disney movies, it is 10% reality, 90% fiction.


White Helmets Phenom 

Due to its success, Western countries are dedicating ever larger amounts of funding. The White Helmets were the 17 October TIME magazine cover story. Nikolas Kristof at the NY Times has gushed over them for years. They recently won a 2016 Right Livelihood Award. Netflix has recently released a special ‘documentary’ movie about the White Helmets. With impeccable timing, the mainstream media acclaim reached a crescendo with both the UK Guardian and The Independent calling on the Nobel Committee to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the White Helmets.

It’s not just establishment that has gushed over the White Helmets. CODEPINK recommended the Netflix movie and DemocracyNow! ran a puff piece interview with the infomercial directors. The Intercept published an uncritical promotion of the White Helmets and their dubious leader. (CODEPINK received a lot of criticism and later issued a correction.)


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Life and Death in Leer: Worst Place on Earth

The Worst Place on Earth: Death and Life in the Lost Town of Leer
by Nick Turse - TomDispatch
October 20, 2016

 LEER, South Sudan - There it is again. That sickening smell. I’m standing on the threshold of a ghost of a home. Its footprint is all that’s left. In the ruins sits a bulbous little silver teakettle -- metal, softly rounded, charred but otherwise perfect, save for two punctures. Something tore through it and ruined it, just as something tore through this home and ruined it, just as something tore through this town and left it a dusty, wasted ruin.

This, truth be told, is no longer a town, not even a razed one. It’s a killing field, a place where human remains lie unburied, whose residents have long since fled, while its few remaining inhabitants are mostly refugees from similarly ravaged villages.

The world is awash in killing fields, sites of slaughter where armed men have laid waste to the innocent, the defenseless, the unlucky; locales where women and children, old and young men have been suffocated, had their skulls shattered, been left gut-shot and gasping. Or sometimes they’re just the unhallowed grounds where the battered and broken bodies of such unfortunates are dumped without ceremony or prayer or even a moment of solemn reflection. Over the last century, these blood-soaked sites have sprouted across the globe: Cambodia, the Philippines, the Koreas, South Africa, Mexico, Lebanon, Rwanda, Bosnia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria -- on and on, year after year, country after country.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ken Boon, Ingmar Lee, Janine Bandcroft October 19th, 2016

This Week on GR

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


October 19, 2016


che koko


A year into Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party mandate, Canadians who cheered the departure of Stephen Harper's Conservatives thinking the country had turned a corner on aggressive foreign policy abroad, regressive social policies at home, and an obstructionist environmental philosophy drawn straight from the American Bible belt, have little to be happy about on any of those fronts.

War and rumour of it is the Canadian Forces mantra, while little has been done to address the skyrocketing real estate costs fueling homelessness and economic diaspora in all the country's major cities.

But on the environment, and especially where First Nations concerns dove-tail with ecologically threatening mega-projects, like the proposed Site-C dam, the Liberal failure to perform is doubly disappointing.


Listen. Hear.


Ken Boon is a Peace Valley farmer standing to lose his livelihood should Site C be built. He’s also the president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, and one of six protesters slapped with a BC Hydro lawsuit for, “intentional interference with economic relations by unlawful means.”


Ken Boon in the first half.


And; last week the Nathan E Stewart foundered on rocks in Seaforth Channel and sank. The pusher-tug, well known to locals of British Columbia's mid-coast for its bi-weekly transits through the province's Inside Passage, was headed south with its 10,000 ton oil tanker barge when it ran aground, and though the tanker was "empty" the tug itself began disgorging its 200,000 litres of diesel into the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Ingmar Lee is a long-time ecology defender and resident of the mid-coast. He is the author of the Facebook action site, 10,000 Ton Tanker, from where he has campaigned to have the Nathan E Stewart refused passage.


Ingmar Lee and a perfectly predictable disaster 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 newz of some of the good things going on on our city's streets, and beyond, planned for the coming week. But first, Ken Boon and Justin Trudeau's Site-C dam nation.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Surfing and not Drowning: Cresting the Trump Wave

Learning to Claim Our Victories, Or Why Fighting for Justice Is Like Surfing
by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch 
October 16, 2016
In these dismal days of climate change, imperial decline, endless war, and in my city, a hapless football team, I seem to be experiencing a strange and unaccustomed emotion: hope. How can that be?
Maybe it’s because, like my poor San Francisco 49ers who have been “rebuilding” for the last two decades, I’m fortunate enough to be able to play the long game.
But what exactly is making me feel hopeful at the moment? For one thing, we seem to have finally reached Peak Trump, and the reason why is important. 
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"Totally Predictable": Local Outrage Over Oil Spill in the Heart of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest Coast

 The Wreck of the Nathan E Stewart

by Ingmar Lee  - 10,000 Ton Tanker

October 14, 2016


Pacific Pilotage Authourity CEO, Captain Kevin Obermeyer, -who is the "buck-stops-here" senior person responsible for all shipping on the west coast of Canada, -and who answers only to the Federal Transport Minister, Marc Garneau tells me he is "sickened" by yesterdays disaster, and would have "bet a years salary" that this could never have happened.

(I should have shook hands on that bet a few years ago...)



What remains of the Nathan E Stewart
in Seaforth Channel


Hello all, as is clear from the highly sanitized CBC coverage of the wreckage of the Texas- based tanker near here, the interview I did with them yesterday is being censored from broadcast.

Regrettably, our national, tax-payer-funded broadcaster continues to be controlled by Big Oil, and is being managed by the skeleton crew of corporate-lackey stenographers who survived the voracious cuts orchestrated by the HarperKon regime. I anticipated that my comments would be restricted, so therefore I recorded an unedited copy of my CBC interview. You can watch it here:





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May Day for England: Tackling Theresa's "Stupidity and Arrogance"

Britain’s Ongoing Brexit Woes: Nero Had Nothing on Deluded Theresa May and Her Inadequate Ministers

by Andy Worthington

October 15, 2016

Nearly four months on from the EU referendum, and Britain is in meltdown — and yet the Tory government and its unelected leader, Theresa May, continue to behave as though nothing is wrong, while what springs to my mind is the Emperor Nero, fiddling while Rome burned.

You can see how delusional the Tory leadership’s state of mind is from a few facts from last week: the pound slumping in value to a 168-year low, and the Treasury — yes, the economic heart of the government itself — pointing out that “Britain will lose up to £66 billion a year if it pursues the so-called ‘hard Brexit’ option of leaving the single market and EU customs union,” as the Independent described it, adding, “Government figures suggest the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) could fall by as much as 9.5 per cent if it leaves the EU and reverts to World Trade Organisation rules.”

I examined the folly of the “hard Brexit” option — and the alarming racism evident at the Conservative Party conference — in an article last week, Theresa May and the Conservative Party’s Alarming White Fascist Aspirations. The good news — a straw to cling to in a hurricane of wilful ignorance and blind optimism — is that MPs from across the political spectrum have finally woken up to the need to tackle May and her ministers for their stupidity and their arrogance.


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When Propaganda Isn't Enough: Western Move to Shut Down Russian Media

West is Gunning for Russian Media Ban

by Finian Cunningham - SCF


October 13, 2016

It would be monumental, but Western states seem to be moving, ineluctably, towards banning Russian news media channels from satellite platforms and the internet. That outcome – albeit with enormous ethical and political implications – seems to be a logical conclusion of the increasingly frenzied transatlantic campaign to demonize Russia.

Washington, London and Paris appear to be coordinating an unprecedented media onslaught that is vilifying Russia for almost every conceivable malfeasance, from alleged war crimes in Syria to threatening the security of Europe, to shooting down civilian airliners, to subverting American presidential elections.

And that’s only a sample. British foreign secretary Boris Johnson declared this week that Russia is in danger of becoming a «pariah state». Ironically, that fate has less to do with Russia’s actual conduct and more to do with the desired objective driving Western policy towards Moscow – to isolate and portray Russia as an international reprobate.


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Deplorable Wars and the Criminals Waging Them

Illegality, Ignorance, and Imperialism (and the Need for Revolution)

by Gary Leupp - Dissident Voice

October 13th, 2016


The Illegality of the U.S. War on Iraq 


One overlooked lesson of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is that international law–even the most fundamental one embodied in Article 2 of the UN Charter prohibiting use of force in international relations–can be violated with impunity, without legal ramifications or sanctions. Even Henry Kissinger–that embodiment of vicious amorality and imperialist aggression–noted in 2002 that the planned invasion would upset the structure of international relations existing since the Treaty of Westphalia 1648.

Fallujah 2003

Never mind, it happened anyway. The U.S.-led assault on Iraq, in a war based entirely on lies–about Iraq’s 9/11 complicity; mobile chemical weapons labs; al-Qaeda training camps; a nuclear weapons program that could produce “a mushroom cloud over New York”; aluminum tube imports to abet that mythical effort; Saddam-backed al-Qaeda Kurds in Iraq producing chemical weapons; Saddam’s maintenance of a missile fleet on 45-minute standby to attack British military bases in Cyprus, as well as Israel, Greece and Turkey; imports of uranium from Niger, a meeting in Baghdad between Saddam and Mohammad Atta, meetings between Iraqi officials with al-Qaeda in Prague and elsewhere, etc.–was obviously criminal.


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Clinton's Double-Sided Stance on Syria

WikiLeaks: The two faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria 

by Sharmine Narwani - RT

October 14, 2106

People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July. In a CNN poll that same month, only 30 percent of Americans believed Clinton to be “honest and trustworthy.”


If voters don’t know what to make of Clinton or how to read her, the blame may lie directly with the candidate herself. In an April 2013 speech made public by WikiLeaks last week, Clinton confided:


“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

That last ‘public vs. private’ comment quickly made the media rounds, and confirmed – for her critics - Clinton’s deliberate duplicity on a number of policy positions.WikiLeaks has provided an opportunity to delve into some of these, so let’s take a look at one very prominent feature of Clinton’s foreign policy agenda: Syria, a country that stands at the center of a potential global confrontation today.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Patrick Henningsen, James Corbett, Janine Bandcroft Oct. 12th, 2016

This Week on GR

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


October 12, 2016

che kokoIf the pundits are to be believed, Hillary Clinton is on the threshold of successfully fulfilling her marathon presidential campaign. Decades in the waging, Clinton's dogged pursuit of the Oval Office has possessed both a near-maniacal intensity, and ruthless determination, the depraved depths of which is perhaps best illustrated by her gleeful performance while Secretary of State to the news of Libyan president Muammar Qaddafy's gruesome undoing. And, just as Libya's fall was a step in Hillary's upward progress towards power, the successful destruction of Bashar al-Assad and Syria is the essential prerogative to maintain it.

For those in Hillary's America hoping for a change in foreign policy it means sore disappointment, but for those in Syria and the other far-flung fronts of the forever war her election is much more dire.
Listen. Hear.

Patrick Henningsen is a freelance journalist, co-founder of the online news site, 21st Century wire and host of its consciousness expanding radio program Sunday Wire. Launched during the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, 21 Century Wire's geopolitical analyses and commentaries are an essential counterweight to a skewed media monolith. Patrick's reports are too featured online and on-screen at RT and Al Jazeera.

Patrick Henningsen in the first half.

And; Tom Waites was right when he sang, “It’s a sad and beautiful World”, but he might have included the descriptors “big and baffling” too. As little people, we Lilliputians have small chance of grasping how the great tapestry is woven together. Certainly, the meagre threads offered us by corporate-interested media aren’t sufficient to patch together a coherent picture, so how then can we hope to come to understanding our lives in these modern times?

James Corbett is the author of The Corbett Report, a web-based newsite the Japan-based Canadian expat describes as “an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics.” Since its inception in 2007, he’s produced thousands of hours of audio and video, uploading regular podcasts, and recording several, regular online video series for his site, and collaborating with GRTV, and BoilingFrogsPost.com. His editorials also appear at the weekly e-newsletter, The International Forecaster. Corbett’s Youtube videos have garnered millions of views, none more notably than his satirical deconstruction of the official World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks in 2001, ‘9/11: A Conspiracy Theory.’ He recently looked back on 9/11, producing a series of video featuring some of the players behind the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks,‘9/11 Suspects.’

James Corbett and dealing with the "day that changed everything," fifteen years later in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us newz of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Patrick Henningsen and riding the 21st Century media maelstrom.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Donald Throws Haymakers, Hillary Takes a Standing Eight in Debate II

Sex, lies, videotape...and hacked emails: Debate #2 Lost by Hillary Clinton on Points

by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening

October 10, 2016

The “town-meeting”-formatted “debate” between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Sunday night was, as could have been expected, a disappointing affair, with the two moderators generally avoiding any real challenge to the lies and distortions of the two candidates and declining to push them into critical areas that have been ignored throughout this fall’s presidential campaign -- like climate change, an increasingly dangerous conflict between nuclear powers that could trigger a likely nuclear world war, and the worsening income gap in the US which, let’s face it, neither candidate has a program or even a desire to combat.

On balance though, while both candidates were awful, I would say the night went worse for Clinton. Trump’s challenge in this second outing, coming right after the release of an 11-year-old video in which he boasted of assaulting women, was firstly to defuse that damaging revelation, and secondly to avoid losing his cool and making outrageous extemporaneous statements that would worsen his standing as a sober “leader.”

He largely met both challenges, apologizing for his lewd boasting and his obnoxious and abusive behavior as described in the video, which he dismissed as “locker-room talk” that he wasn’t proud of, and sticking for the most part to criticisms of Clinton’s actual actions (and inaction) and to her words. His performance probably was adequate to at least staunch the stream of defections of Republican candidates and Republican voters from his campaign and support base.

Clinton meanwhile, had the challenge of trying to get the public to trust her. In this she failed miserably.


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