General Warns: Imposing Syria No-Fly Zone Will Lead to War with Russia

Top US general warns Syrian “no-fly” zone means war with Russia

by Bill Van Auken - WSWS


24 September 2016 

The enforcement of a “no-fly” zone in Syria would mean a US war with both Syria and Russia, the top US uniformed commander told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spelled out the grave implications of the policy advocated by both predominant sections within the Republican Party as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton amid rising violence in Syria and increasing pressure by Washington on the Russian government to unilaterally agree to grounding its own aircraft as well as those of the Syrian government.

Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly demanded that Russia adhere to what would essentially be a one-sided “no-fly” zone under conditions in which US warplanes would continue carrying out airstrikes. Kerry presented his proposal as a means of reviving and restoring “credibility” to a ceasefire agreement that he and the Russian Foreign Minister negotiated on September 9.

 

Add a comment

Read more ...

From Bach to Slim Shady: The Evolution of Torture Chamber Music

Torture Chamber Music

by David Yearsley  - CounterPunch

 

September 23, 2016 


With the transfer last month to the United Arab Emirates of fifteen prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and with word yesterday that one of two long-term Malaysian detainees may be headed home to continue “de-radicalization” in a maximum security prison there, Obama lurches towards bitter fulfillment of his long-ago campaign pledge to close the notorious prison and torture center. He has 118 days to deal with the last 61 detainees.

In thinking musically about the grim legacy of Guantanamo’s torturous regime the obvious place to start is with the hits—ones that leave no bruises—the CIA used in its “enhanced interrogations.”

Among the weaponized pop deployed was Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” played so relentlessly, reported Binyam Mohamed, who was released in 2009 after seven-years detention, that he could hear other inmates “screaming and smashing their heads against walls.”

 

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

No Kidding: America Losing Its Sense of Humor

You Must Be Kidding! Adventures in an American World of Frustration
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
 
September 22, 2016
 
Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says... well, you can guess from the title!
 
Vivid parental memories of another age instantly flooded back -- of my daughter (now reading such books to her own son) sitting beside me at age five and hitting that repeated line with such mind-blowing, ear-crushing gusto that you knew it spoke to the everyday frustrations of her life, to what made her mad.
 
Three decades later, in an almost unimaginably different America, on picking up that book I suddenly realized that, whenever I follow the news online, on TV, or -- and forgive me for this but I’m 72 and still trapped in another era -- on paper, I have a similarly Nina-esque urge.
 
Only the line I’ve come up with for it is (with a tip of the hat to Steve Kroll) “You must be kidding!”
 
Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Robert Hunziker, Richard Atwell, Janine Bandcroft September 21, 2016

This Week on GR

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


September 21, 2016

 

It's hard to believe, five and a half years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Fukushima prefecture. Harder to believe still is the International Olympics Committee buying prime minister Abe's assertion that Fukushima will be ready to host events at the 2020 games. Or maybe it wasn't the IOC doing the buying?

That in recent years the Olympic Games, both Winter and Summer, has become less associated with sporting excellence and the upper limits of human achievement than with deceit, base corruption, and unparalleled venality - where the purity of amateur athleticism, and ideal of international cooperation, if only on a playing field and for a short while, is entirely transmogrified by a corporatist, win-at-all-cost ethos - is news to no-one; hardly worth mentioning, but what is interesting is the accelerating sense of doom the five-ringed circus has come to forebode.

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Whether the tremendous environmental price of industrial hyper-development, as glimpsed through Beijing's choking smog shroud, the spectres of Sochi's ethnically cleansed original inhabitants, or Rio's erased favelas and emergent Zika contagion, it's almost as though those rings carry a curse. If that's so, nothing seen so far can compare with the horror potential currently lurking just below the surface of the next planned Olympics in Japan.

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He's also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change and has written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Robert Hunziker in the first half.

And; now they've done it! Last week, Capital Regional District directors voted to fund a new sewage treatment plant to be located at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. The controversial issue of how best to handle the region's effluent has livened council meetings, and the local press for years now, but is the CRD greenlighting of the McLouglin Point plant an end to the contentious project, or just another log on the fire?

Richard Atwell is Mayor of Saanich, the region's largest municipality, and represents the sole dissenting vote on the CRD board's "almost unanimous" sewage vote. It was Atwell's advocacy for an alternative sewage plan for the region that led him into politics, and a stunning political upset rookie win against the near two decades-old administration of incumbent mayor, Frank Leonard in 2014.

Richard Atwell and finding a lasting regional pollution solution in the second segment.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio host, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things going on in and around our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Robert Hunziker and the Fukushima disaster past, present, and forever.

 

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/
Add a comment
Read more ...

The Right Kind of Terrorists: Shielding Colombia's Paramilitary Criminals from Justice

Our Terrorists in Colombia: Death Squads as “Freedom Fighters”

by Dan Kovalik  - CounterPunch


September 20, 2016
 
aucA recent article in The New York Times entitled, “The Secret History of Colombia’s Paramilitaries & The U.S. War on Drugs,” contains useful clues as to the U.S.’s true views towards the Colombian death squads and their massive war crimes and human rights abuses. [1]

In short, it reveals a high-level of tolerance of, and condonation by, U.S. policy-makers for the suffering of the Colombian people at the hands of our long-time friends and allies, the right-wing paramilitaries. The gist of the NYT story is that, beginning in 2008, the U.S. has extradited “several dozen” top paramilitary leaders, thereby helping them to evade a transitional justice process which would have held them accountable for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

They have been brought to the U.S. where they have been tried for drug-related offenses only and given cushy sentences of 10 years in prison on average. And, even more incredibly, “for some, there is a special dividend at the end of their incarceration. Though wanted by Colombian authorities, two have won permission to stay in the United States, and their families have joined them. There are more seeking the same haven, and still others are expected to follow suit.”

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

Long Day at Standing Rock: Unreserved Resistance to Dakota Access

Indians and Cowboys: The 2016 Version of an Old Story on a New Planet
by Chip Ward - TomDispatch 
 
September 20, 2016

Ward DownwindCowboys and Indians are at it again. Americans who don’t live in the West may think that the historic clash of Native Americans and pioneering settlers is long past because the Indians were, after all, defeated and now drive cars, watch television, and shop at Walmart. Not so.
 
That classic American narrative is back big time, only the Indians are now the good guys and the cowboys -- well, their rightwing representatives, anyway -- are on the warpath, trying to grab 640 million acres of public lands that they can plunder as if it were yesteryear. Meanwhile, in the Dakotas, America’s Manifest Destiny, that historic push across the Great Plains to the Pacific (murdering and pillaging along the way), seems to be making a return trip to Sioux country in a form that could have planetary consequences.
 
Energy Transfer Partners is now building the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion oil slick of a project. It’s slated to go from the Bakken gas and oil fracking fields in northern North Dakota across 1,100 miles of the rest of the Dakotas and Iowa to a pipeline hub in Illinois. From there, the oil will head for refineries on the Gulf Coast and ultimately, as the emissions from fossil fuels, into the atmosphere to help create future summers so hot no one will forget them.
 
Keep in mind that, according to global warming’s terrible new math, there’s enough carbon in those Bakken fields to roast the planet -- if, that is, the Sioux and tribes allied with them don’t stop the pipeline. This time, in other words, if the cavalry does ride to the rescue, the heroes on horseback will be speaking Lakota. 
 
Read more ...

A Planet of Another Colour: Reflecting on the Loss of Sea Ice

Loss of Planet Reflectivity an Impending Catastrophe

by Robert Hunziker - Pacific Free Press


September 19, 2016
 

 
The planet’s air conditioning system is on the blink, working intermittently, losing its glinting, lustrous white reflectiveness, as it turns deep blue, absorbing 90% of sunlight rather than reflecting it back into outer space. The repercussions of Arctic sea ice loss are immense.“Our planet has actually changed colour,” Peter Wadhams, A Farewell to Ice (Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books, 2016). Loss of Arctic sea ice has such an overriding powerful impact on the planet, it warrants this 206-page book.
 
“It is Man’s first major achievement in reshaping the face of his planet, and it is of course an unintended achievement, with dubious and possibly catastrophic consequences to follow.” (p.3)
 

“There is no period in Earth history that we know about where the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 is as great as it is today.”

 

Professor Peter Wadhams brings fresh insight to the dynamics behind the interrelationship of Arctic sea ice and climate change/global warming. The conclusions by this preeminent ice scientist are sobering.

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

Britons Take to the Streets in Support of Migrant Rights

Refugees Welcome: Thousands March for 'Humanity and Human Rights' in UK

by Jon Queally, staff writer - Common Dreams


September 17, 2016

Amid global crises that have seen people forced from their homelands in unprecedented numbers, citizens call on UK government to open doors to those in need

Pushing back against a tide of xenophobia which has gripped portions of Europe in recent years, thousands marched in central London on Saturday as they demanded the British government do more to help those forced from their homelands amid endless war in the Middle East and economic crises across Africa and beyond.

Under an overall message declaring "Refugees Welcome," many of the estimated 30,000 people marching carried signs reading "We Stand with You"; "No to Islamophobia. No to war."; "Safety is a human right"; and "No Human Being Is Illegal."

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

The House of Saud's Journey to the Islamic Desert

 From religion to politics, Saudi Arabia feeling chill of isolation

by Sharmine Narwani - RT


15 Sep, 2016

At the end of August, a meeting of Muslim clerics and scholars convened in the Chechen capital of Grozny to forge a consensus on the subject of ‘who constitutes a Sunni.’ Sunnism, the 200 or so Sunni clerics from Egypt, South Africa, India, Europe, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Russia warned, “has undergone a dangerous deformation in the wake of efforts by extremists to void its sense in order to take it over and reduce it to their perception.”
 
The Muslim world is currently under a siege of terror, led by a deviant strain that claims religious authority and kills in the name of Islam.
 
So the Grozny participants had gathered, by invitation of the Chechen president, to make “a radical change in order to re-establish the true meaning of Sunnism.”
 
If their final communique was any indicator, the group of distinguished scholars had a very particular message for the Muslim world: Wahhabism - and its associated takfirism - are no longer welcome within the Sunni fold. Specifically, the conference’s closing statement says this:
 

“Ash’arites and the Maturidi are the people of Sunnism and those who belong to the Sunni community, both at the level of the doctrine and of the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, Maliki), as well as Sufis, both in terms of knowledge and moral ethics."

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

Fooled Me Thrice: America Falling for the War Line Again

Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News


September 14, 2016  

A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West’s military intervention to “protect” civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous “regime change” operation.
 

The report from the U.K.’s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the “humanitarian” mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003,
President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military
to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad,
known as “shock and awe.”

The report’s significance is that it shows how little was learned from the Iraq War fiasco in which George W. Bush’s administration hyped and falsified intelligence to justify invading Iraq and killing its leader, Saddam Hussein. In both cases, U.K. leaders tagged along and the West’s mainstream news media mostly served as unprofessional propaganda conduits, not as diligent watchdogs for the public.

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tim Shorrock, Elizabeth Yake, Janine Bandcroft Sept. 14, 2016

This Week on GR

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


September 13, 2016

If you follow the news regularly, you can be forgiven for not knowing much other than Trump's latest harrumph, or Hillary's health scares, but there is still a World out there spinning, independent of America's election cycle. Last week, North Korea again tested the nuclear waters with its second weapon test this year. This time they claim to have detonated a Hydrogen bomb.

With a thumb aimed squarely at Uncle Sam's eye, a Korean Central News Agency release said, "The U.S. will be made to clearly see how the DPRK rises imposingly out of chains of sanctions, blockade and pressure." (The Obama administration recently responded to a series of North Korean missile tests with promises of more sanctions.)

 

We're all left to wonder, "What would/will president Trump do?"

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Tim Shorrock is a journalist, musician, and author of the website, Money Doesn't Talk, It Swears and the book, 'Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.' Tim's upbringing in the Far East especially informs his coverage of Japan and South Korea, and he spent much of the 1980's in Japan, following the financial intrigues of the then-biggest of the Asian Tiger economies. These days he's based in Washington, D.C.

 

Tim Shorrock in the first half.

 

And; living here, at this time, in this still magnificent remnant of creation called British Columbia, the sorrow of what of the wild world here has already been lost, and what is currently risked through unrelenting "resource" extraction may make it easier for we less imaginative, less passionate people to understand Grant Hadwin's last desperate act. The former logger and backwoodsman disappeared after felling, in a mad act of environmental apotheosis, the singularly majestic Golden Spruce, a tree sacred to all who beheld it.

Hadwin's life was immortalized in John Vaillant's book, 'The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed,' and now  in a film inspired by that book, ‘Hadwin's Judgement.’

Elizabeth Yake is one of the producers of the film, who will appear with John Vaillant and Ken Wu and TJ Watts at the fundraiser screening for the Ancient Forest Alliance in Victoria Thursday, September 29th at UVic's Cinecenta theatre.

 

Elizabeth Yake 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 news of good things planned for the streets of our city, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Tim Shorrock and a World still restive, beyond the Beltway politics.

 

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/
Add a comment
Read more ...

Seeing Snowden on the Silver Screen

 Snowden: Best Film of the Year

by David Swanson - War Is a Crime


10 September 2016 

 

Snowden is the most entertaining, informing, and important film you are likely to see this year. It's the true story of an awakening. It traces the path of Edward Snowden's career in the U.S. military, the CIA, the NSA, and at various contractors thereof.

It also traces the path of Edward Snowden's agonizingly slow awakening to the possibility that the U.S. government might sometimes be wrong, corrupt, or criminal. And of course the film takes us through Snowden's courageous and principled act of whistleblowing. We see in the film countless colleagues of Snowden's who knew much of what he knew and did not blow the whistle.

We see a few help him and others appreciate him. But they themselves do nothing. Snowden is one of the exceptions.

 

 

Add a comment
Read more ...

Page 1 of 1208