Dominoes Rising: Obama's War Revival

Obama's Domino Theory
by Juan Cole - (Salon)
President Barack Obama may or may not be doing the right thing in Afghanistan, but the rationale he gave for it on Friday is almost certainly wrong. Obama has presented us with a 21st century version of the domino theory. The U.S. is not, contrary to what the president said, mainly fighting "al-Qaida" in Afghanistan. In blaming everything on al-Qaida, Obama broke with his pledge of straight talk to the public and fell back on Bush-style boogeymen and implausible conspiracy theories.

Obama realizes that after seven years, Afghanistan war fatigue has begun to set in with the American people. Some 51 percent of Americans now oppose the Afghanistan war, and 64 percent of Democrats do. The president is therefore escalating in the teeth of substantial domestic opposition, especially from his own party, as voters worry about spending billions more dollars abroad while the U.S. economy is in serious trouble.

He acknowledged that we deserve a "straightforward answer" as to why the U.S. and NATO are still fighting there. "So let me be clear," he said, "Al-Qaida and its allies -- the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks -- are in Pakistan and Afghanistan." But his characterization of what is going on now in Afghanistan, almost eight years after 9/11, was simply not true, and was, indeed, positively misleading. "And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban," he said, "or allows al-Qaida to go unchallenged -- that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can."
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alanna Mitchell, Mark Leiren-Young, J9 Apr. 6, 2009

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week: environmental journalist and author, Alanna Mitchell and her new book, 'Sea Sick: The Global Ocean Crisis'; filmmaker, journalist, script writer, Mark Leiren-Young on his film 'The Green Chain,' his book, "Never Shoot a Stampede Queen,' and more; Street Newz newspaper publisher, broadcaster, journalist, and activist, Janine Bandcroft on Victoria's streetz.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Pacific Free You check out the GR blog at:
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Futuro: Global Crime Wave?

Global Crime Wave? A Syndrome of Crime, Violence, and Repression on the Way
by Michael Klare
In all catastrophes, there are always winners among the host of losers and victims. Bad times, like good ones, generate profits for someone. In the case of the present global economic meltdown, with our world at the brink and up to 50 million people potentially losing their jobs by the end of this year, one winner is likely to be criminal activity and crime syndicates.
From Mexico to Africa, Russia to China, the pool of the desperate and the bribable is expanding exponentially, pointing to a sharp upturn in global crime. As illicit profits rise, so will violence in the turf wars among competing crime syndicates and in the desperate efforts by panicked governments to put a clamp on criminal activity.
Take Mexico, just now in the headlines. In late March, during her first trip there as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was repeatedly asked about the burst of narcotics-related violence in that country, the thousands of deaths that have gone with it, the patent inability of the Mexican military to contain, no less repress, the drug trade, and the possibility that the country might be at risk of becoming a "failed state."
Mexico itself may not be in danger of collapse, she replied diplomatically, but a very real danger threatens both countries from a rise in violent crime along the U.S.-Mexican border. "The criminals and kingpins spreading violence are trying to corrode the foundations of law, order, friendship, and trust between us," she declared at a press conference in Mexico City. To counter this danger, the secretary of state promised a militarized response that reflected the level of danger she imagined -- a significant increase in U.S. anti-narcotics assistance, including the expedited delivery of Black Hawk helicopters.
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Proof in the Pudding: Obama is a Fraud

Utah Student Who Prevented Bush Admin Sell-Off of Public Land Charged for Disrupting Auction
by Democracy Now!
We speak to University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher, who has just been charged with two felonies for disrupting the auction of over 100,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling. DeChristopher was arrested after he posed as a bidder and bought 22,000 acres of land in an attempt to save the property from drilling. He faces up to ten years in prison. [includes rush transcript]

Tim DeChristopher, Environmental activist and University of Utah student. In December, he disrupted an auction of Utah’s pristine wilderness to oil and gas companies.
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B.C.: The Watershed Election

B.C. Watershed Election: Save Our Rivers
by SOS
See this video to discover just one of the major issues at stake in British Columbia's scheduled May 12th provincial election. 
Power and sustainability to and for the people!
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Thoughts On American Socialism

Some Thoughts About Socialism
The Anti-Empire Report
by William Blum (
And so it goes. Corporations, whether financial or not, strive to maximize profit as inevitably as water seeks its own level. We've been trying to "regulate" them since the 19th century. Or is it the 18th? Nothing helps for long. You close one loophole and the slime oozes out of another hole. Wall Street has not only an army of lawyers and accountants, but a horde of mathematicians with advanced degrees searching for the perfect equations to separate people from their money.
After all the stimulus money has come and gone, after all the speeches by our leaders condemning greed and swearing to reforms, after the last congressional hearing deploring the corporate executives to their faces, the boys of Wall Street, shrugging off a few bruises, will resume churning out their assortment of financial entities, documents, and packages that go by names like hedge funds, derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, index funds, credit default swaps, structured investment vehicles, subprime mortgages, and many other pieces of paper with exotic names, for which, it must be kept in mind, there had been no public need or strident demand. Speculation, bonuses, and scotch will flow again, and the boys will be all the wiser, perhaps shaken a bit that they're so reviled, but knowing better now what to flaunt and what to disguise.

This is another reminder that communism or socialism have almost always been given just one chance to work, if that much, while capitalism has been given numerous chances to do so following its perennial fiascos. Ralph Nader has observed: "Capitalism will never fail because socialism will always be there to bail it out."
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A Death in London: G20 Post March Propaganda

Interview with Two Eyewitnesses of G20 Death
by Indymedia UK

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Making Change a Four Letter Word

More to it than meets the I-Pod
by Jayne Lyn Stahl
If you've been following cable news, over the past few days, you're not likely to have missed the Obamas at Buckingham Palace, and constant footage of Michelle Obama's arm around the Queen's waist, an act seen as so egregious it can only be eclipsed by that of George W. Bush rubbing German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's back.

If you've been watching the circus inside the palace, and the bloodshed outside only to be upstaged by the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, you know that the gift du jour the Obamas brought with them for the Queen was an I-Pod and, of course, you also know that she already has one.

England has apparently become our equal not merely when it comes to user-friendly technology, but in terms of its draconian use of law enforcement, and the suspension of civil liberties, to stifle dissent. A member of Parliament was detained during a demonstration, and treated to a lock down equal to everyone else in Trafalgar Square who could be seen having their way with bank windows. Looks like we exported democracy to Great Britain, anyway.
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President Fool: Ignoring the Wise, Rewarding the Ignorant

The Ones Who Got It Right
by Ralph Nader
Why is it that well regarded people working the fields of corporate power and performance who repeatedly predicted the Wall Street bubble and its bursting receive so little media and attention?

Instead, the public is still being exposed to the comments and writings of people like Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, James Glassman (of Dow 36,000 notoriety) while others like Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, and Gary Gensler are newly-appointed at high levels in the Obama Administration.
These men were variously architects, rationalizers and implementers of the massive de-regulation and non-regulation that unleashed the epic forces of greed, speculation and ruination of millions of livelihoods and trillions of dollars other peoples’ money worldwide.

Here are some of the people who got it right—early and often:
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TILMA: Spinning Your Democracy Away

Labour Mobility Spin Sweetens Secret Deregulation and Privatization Agreement
by Ish Theilheimer -
T he federal government is framing as "labour mobility" new secretly-negotiated agreements with the provinces that will open the door to deregulation and privatization of provincial and municipal services.

Changes to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) have been secretly being negotiated with the provinces and the first of them signed last December. The Council of Canadians says the changes will further deregulate provincial policies that protect communities and the environment and threaten public services. A new report called State of Play: Canada's Internal Free Trade Agenda by public interest researcher and lawyer Steve Shrybman challenges the need for these agreements.

Steve Shrybman speaks at the March 31 news conference on Parliament Hill
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Immigration Raids and Mass Detentions Come to Canada

Massive and Unprecedented US-style raids in East Toronto, Leamington, and Bradford/Simcoe County
by No One Is Illegal (NOII)
Dear friends and supporters: This is an URGENT NATIONAL ALERT being sent out by our allies in No One Is
Illegal Toronto. Approximately 100 (exact figures unconfirmed) migrant and non-status workers have been detained in large-scale workplace enforcement actions in Ontario, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area district.

There has been minimal media reporting on these huge-scale operations, a local report on one of the raids in Bradford is available at:

If you are in Toronto, there is an Emergency Action on Sunday April 5th at 11 am, 385 Rexdale Boulevard. Details at:

DETAILS ON THE RAIDS: April 4, 2009 - Executing massive and unprecedented US-style raids in East Toronto, Leamington, and Bradford/Simcoe County, the Canada Border Services Agency has arrested and detained over 100 migrant workers across Southern Ontario, who are now languishing in detention centres. Hundreds of families and friends are wondering right now why their loved ones have not returned from work. The hundreds of thousands of non-status people across Canada have woken up to a horrible day in Kanada.
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Ecocide for Fun and Profit: California's Weekend Gold Rush

Karuk Tribe Battle Against “Recreational Genocide”
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
California's native fish populations are in a state of crisis. Tribes depending on salmon runs cannot harvest enough fish to conduct ceremonies much less feed their members or make a living. Non-native people are affected as well. This year commercial and sport salmon fishing bans will cripple our coastal economies and many species teeter on the brink of extinction. We must act now to protect our fisheries!

Senator Wiggins (D, Santa Rosa) has introduced a bill that will make a dent in the problem by banning the controversial recreational activity known as suction dredge mining. Miners use motorized suction pumps to vacuum up the river bottom (along with small fish, salmon eggs, etc.) run through a sluice to find flakes of gold, and dump the debris back into the river. This practice has a negative impact on fish, negatively alters spawning habitat, and reintroduces mercury deposits that have lain dormant on the river bottom since the last gold rush back into the water column.
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