Le Deluge: Apres Moi, America

The World After Me: Eternal “Wartime” in America
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
 
July 25, 2016 
 
I recently dug my mother’s childhood photo album out of the depths of my bedroom closet. When I opened it, I found that the glue she had used as a girl to paste her life in place had given way, and on many pages the photos were now in a jumble.
 
My mother was born early in the last century. Today, for most of that ancient collection of photos and memorabilia -- drawings (undoubtedly hers), a Caruthers School of Piano program, a Camp Weewan-Eeta brochure, a Hyde Park High School junior prom “senior ticket,” and photos of unknown boys, girls, and adults -- there’s no one left to tell me who was who or what was what.
 
In some of them, I can still recognize my mother’s youthful face, and that of her brother who died so long ago but remains quite recognizable (even so many decades before I knew him). 
 
As for the rest -- the girl in what looks like a gym outfit doing a headstand, all those young women lined up on a beach in what must then have been risqué bathing suits, the boy kneeling with his arms outstretched toward my perhaps nine-year-old mother -- they’ve all been swept away by the tides of time. And so it goes, of course.
 
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A Lesson in Demagoguery: Trump Schools RNC

Lessons from the Trump-a-Thon

by Walter Brasch  - Wanderings


July 24, 2016

The four day Trump-a-thon, sometimes noted as the Republican National Convention, ended this week in Cleveland, with the Republican party still divided and Donald Trump’s ego inflated larger than a Macy’s parade balloon.
 

 Trump was all over the convention hall, the hotels, and in the media, chatting, arguing, scowling, and boasting. It was Trump’s convention, and he knew it. Trump had begun his run for the nomination with a simple but powerful campaign theme, “Make America Great Again,” refusing to accept the reality that most countries see the United States as the world’s most powerful country and its president is one of the world’s most respected leaders.

 

Slipping into the campaign, promoted by the Tea Party wing, is a plea to “Take Our Country Back.” Back to what? To the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunts of the 1950s? To the worst recession since the Great Depression that had begun in 1929? To the race riots of the late 1960s?

 

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NATO Not Really Afraid of the Big Bad Bear: Stoking Fear for the Ever War

Fake threats and engineered fears

by Mark Taliano - American Herald Tribune


July 16 ,2016

 

Recently, General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, admitted that,

 

"It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression, because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing."

Decoded, this means that intelligence reports indicate that Russia is not a threat to the West. Since Russian aggression is not a threat, then increased NATO deployments to encircle Russia are a threat --- to Russia. Decoded again: We are the bad guys, Russia is not.

But this hasn’t stopped Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, from confirming, according to CBC news, that

“Canada will send a battle group of soldiers to Latvia by early 2017 as part of a NATO plan to counter fears of Russian aggression in eastern Europe.”
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A Wormed Apple: Rise of the Drone Assassins

The Trojan Drone: An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised as Technological Advance
by Rebecca Gordon - TomDispatch
 
July 17, 2016   
 
Think of it as the Trojan Drone, the ultimate techno-weapon of American warfare in these years, a single remotely operated plane sent to take out a single key figure. It's a shiny video game for grown ups -- a Mortal Kombat or Call of Duty where the animated enemies bleed real blood.
 
Just like the giant wooden horse the Greeks convinced the Trojans to bring inside their gates, however, the drone carries something deadly in its belly: a new and illegal military strategy disguised as an impressive piece of technology.
 
The technical advances embodied in drone technology distract us from a more fundamental change in military strategy.
 
However it is achieved -- whether through conventional air strikes, cruise missiles fired from ships, or by drone -- the United States has now embraced extrajudicial executions on foreign soil.
 
Successive administrations have implemented this momentous change with little public discussion. And most of the discussion we’ve had has focused more on the new instrument (drone technology) than on its purpose (assassination). It’s a case of the means justifying the end. The drones work so well that it must be all right to kill people with them. 
 
 
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Being Truly Rid of ISIS

From Nice to the Middle East: The Only Way to Challenge ISIS

by Ramzy Baroud  - Dissident Voice


July 20th, 2016

 

saddam20statueI visited Iraq in 1999. At the time, there were no so-called ‘jihadis’ espousing the principles of ‘jihadism’, whatever the interpretation may be. On the outskirts of Baghdad was a military training camp, not for al-Qaeda, but for Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian militant exile group that worked, with foreign funding and arms, to overthrow the Iranian Republic.

At the time, the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein used the exiled organization to settle scores with his rivals in Tehran, just as they, too, espoused anti-Iraqi government militias to achieve the exact same purpose. Iraq was hardly peaceful then. But most of the bombs that exploded in that country were American. In fact, when Iraqis spoke of ‘terrorism’, they only referred to Al-Irhab al-Amriki – American terrorism. Suicide bombings were hardly a daily occurrence; in fact, never an occurrence at all, anywhere in Iraq.

As soon as the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 followed by Iraq in 2003, all hell broke loose.

 

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Winning the War on Binarity: A World of Choices to Be Made

Binarity

by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance


Jul 21, 2016

Abdullah Issa (photo left) was a Palestinian child living in Syria (family of refugees after the ethnic cleansing of 1948 by Israel). He was captured and accused of helping the Syrian government. He had injuries and was thought to be also treated for thallasemia.
 
Pictures show the bandaged boy of perhaps 10 or 11 years old with a catheter in his arm.
 
His captives had him in the back of a pick-up truck (perhaps having taken him from his hospital bed). As he pleaded with them they ignored him and directed their message to the camera against Syrian government then slit the throat of this child. The killer militia shouted Allahu Akbar as the boy was mercilessly murdered.
 
This group is funded and/or supported by the governments of the US, Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. They were considered by those four governments as “moderate rebels”.
 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dan Kovalik, Roger Annis July 20th, 2016

This Week on GR

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


July 20th, 2016

 
Colombia human rights observors had grounds for guarded optimism back in 2006 when the infamous AUC, a link-up of paramilitary privateers responsible for some of the worst atrocities visited upon the mainly rural peasant population during that nation's decades-long civil war was disbanded, and some of its key leaders extradited to the United States.
 
But reports of AUC successor, Autodefensas Gatinastas attacks against residents of El Bagre, in the Department of Antioquia are rekindling fears of a return to the worst of the bad old days in the Colombian countryside.Daniel Kovalik teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union.
 
 
He's is too a long-time peace and justice activist, focusing on the movements for peace and justice in Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Kovalik is also co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.

 

Dan Kovalik in the first half.

 

And; what a difference a new government makes! Long weary of Stephen Harper's bellicose policies at home and abroad, Canadians gave him and his "New Government of Canada" a one-way ticket to a shrinking ice floe; but was Canada sold secondhand tires when electing Justin Trudeau's Liberals?

So far, on Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Africa, Liberal foreign policy looks a lot like a Conservative retread. Meanwhile, the inking of a free trade deal with Ukraine's coup government, and a whole-hearted endorsement of NATO's over-the-top Moscow-baiting at its recent confab in Warsaw has some of us wondering, "How true are those Grits?"

Roger Annis is a longtime socialist, trade union activist. A prolific essayist in the cause of social justice and peace both in Canada and abroad, his writing can be found at the website New Cold War, where he's written extensively on Ukraine, and at CounterPunch.org, and his website, A Socialist in Canada. Roger's latest article, 'Canada's Liberal Gov't Joins NATO's War Escalation in Eastern Europe' should be a call to arms for all progressives left in the Great White North.

 

Roger Annis and wither Canada's hope for change under Trudeau Two in the second half.

 

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will NOT join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of the good goings on scheduled for the coming week in and around our town, as other business calls her away.

So first, Dan Kovalik and Paramilitary Rampage in Colombia: The Case of El Bagre, Antioquia.

 

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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Embracing the Security State Narrative: Noted Critic Fails in the Last

"Close Your Heart to Pity": A Security State Critic Embraces Total War

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque


July 18, 2016

William Arkin has long been an outstanding investigator of the “National Security State,” bringing to light many of its sinister operations. But he seems to have looked into the abyss too long, for now, in a recent article in Cryptome, he is offering a counsel of despair that reflects the worst and most extreme stances of the National Security State toward terrorism, while completely overlooking that same State’s role — still continuing today — in fostering, funding and arming Islamic extremism.

We have not even begun to address this “root cause” of violent Islamic extremism in its modern, organized form.

Arkin undoubtedly knows this history. He knows how an international jihad army was shaped, funded and armed by the United States and Saudi Arabia in order to create so much terror and chaos in Afghanistan that the Soviet Union would be forced to intervene to save the secular government there.

 

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Sucking Germany in to Its Next World War

German Militarism on Display at NATO Summit

by Johannes Stern - WSWS


13 July 2016

 
At the 2014 Munich Security Conference, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declared that Germany was “too big merely to comment on world affairs from the side-lines,” and that “Germany must be ready for earlier, more decisive and more substantive engagement in the foreign and security policy sphere.”
 
Last weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw revealed the aggressiveness with which the German government has been pursuing this goal in the subsequent two years. In a statement prior to the summit, German chancellor Angela Merkel provided an overview of German imperialism’s plans for rearmament and war.
 
Along with a massive increase to the defence budget, the chancellor announced stepped-up engagement of the German army and NATO in Iraq, Syria, Libya, the Mediterranean Sea, Afghanistan, and eastern Europe.
 
Merkel praised these additional interventions, declaring, “The Bundeswehr’s whole posture now reflects Germany’s global responsibility.” At the end of her statement, to the applause of parliamentary deputies, she declared “a warm thank you to the soldiers…who are serving in many of these deployments and thus guarantee our security.”
 
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Canada All In on NATO World War Plans

Canada's Liberal Gov't Joins NATO's War Escalation in Eastern Europe

by Roger Annis - New Cold War.org 

 

July 15, 2016

 

Canadians who hoped the federal election last October 19 would usher in change to the aggressive foreign policy of the defeated Conservative government are wondering what happened to their wishes.

The transition in imperialist foreign policy from the Harper Conservatives to the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals has been utterly seamless, if not predictable.

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Kyiv
July 11, 2016 (PMO photo by Adam Scotti)

 

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Burned: You Can Call Him "Hillary's Man"

Don’t Call Him “Bernie” Anymore: the Sanders Sell-Out and the Clinton Wars to Come

by Gary Leupp - CounterPunch


July 14, 2016

The worst disservice Sanders has done to his supporters, other than to lead them on a wild goose chase for real change, is to virtually ignore his rival’s vaunted “experience.”
 
He need not have mentioned Hillary Clinton’s Senate record, since there was nothing there; her stint as law-maker was merely intended to position her for a run for the presidency, according to the family plan.
 
But there was a lot in her record as Secretary of State.
 

 

Crush Rush | Shutterstock.com

 

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The "Sons" of Colombia's AUC: Rampaging the Peasantry and the Case of El Bagre, Antioquia

Paramilitaries Continue Rampage in Colombia: the Case of El Bagre, Antioquia 

by Dan Kovalik  - CounterPunch

 

July 13, 2016 

 

The peasant residents of El Bagre, Colombia, in the Department of Antioquia, have been brutalized this year by the paramilitary group known as the Autodefensas Gatinastas, a successor group to the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (“AUC”) – the paramilitary umbrella group which was designated as a “terrorist organization” by the U.S. State Department, and which feigned a demobilization back in 2006.

Thus, according to reports coming out of Colombia, at least 17 peasants have been brutally murdered in the first half of this year by the paramilitaries. As Contagio Radio explains, these victims were “killed, dismembered, [and] thrown into rivers or buried in mass graves.” As a result of these assaults, peasants have set up a humanitarian refuge within El Bagre for the now hundreds of peasants displaced by this violence. I first learned of the this crisis from messages on the Twitter account of former Colombian Senator, Piedad Cordoba, who has been one of the lone voices calling for international attention to the situation in El Bagre, Antioquia.

The Department of Antioquia is ground zero for paramilitarism in Colombia, and its former Governor, and later Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, one of the key intellectual authors of the paramilitaries. As one AUC leader explained, Uribe “was our commander . . . . He never fired a gun; but he led, he contributed, he was our man at the top. . . . The massacres, the disappearances, the creation of an [AUC] group: he is responsible.” Indeed, for years there have been credible allegations that Uribe was responsible for the formation of an AUC bloc while governor of Antioquia department from 1995 to 1997, and that he used the AUC to coerce millions of voters into electing him President in 2002.

But again, this is not news to the U.S. government which has been quite aware of Uribe’s paramilitary ties for years. Thus, as Colombia Reports points out:

 

In 2004, a declassified US Intelligence Report, originally written in 1991, stated that Uribe had “worked for the Medellin Cartel,” run by notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who the report described as a “close personal friend.”

In 2007, another US intelligence report – leaked to the Los Angeles Times – alleged that Uribe instructed General Mario Montoya, a local army commander who was later promoted to become the army’s top commander, to lead a controversial counter-insurgency push in the city of Medellin in which AUC forces played a major role. At least 14 people were killed in “Operation Orion” and dozens were forcibly disappeared.

 

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