A Western Frame for the Philippine's ISIS Fight

Philippines: Western Media is Distorting Reality - People and Army Unite to Battle ISIS

by Andre Vltchek - 21st Century Wire


July 25, 2017

Vltchek Philippine army

At the beginning of July, I visited Mindanao as one of only a few foreigners allowed inside the besieged city of Marawi and to its surrounding area.

I spoke to local people, to the IDPs [internally displaced persons] – those who managed to escape the city taken over by the jihadists.

I also managed to discuss the situation with the highest commanders of the military in charge of the combat, including General Ramiro Rey and Lt. Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera.

 

Andre Vltchek with military leaders in Marawi, Philippines

I encountered many soldiers, civil servants, and relief workers. My contacts in the capital informed me via text messages that I had been “red-flagged,” clearly, by the pro-US faction in the Philippine military. So before my presence was finally cleared from Manila, I was detained and held in a provisional military base in the city of Saguiaran. Here I was “softly” interrogated by military intelligence. A few steps away, a howitzer was firing artillery toward ISIS positions in Marawi, some 10 kilometers distant.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Marie Aspiazu, Bonny Glambeck, Christina Nikolic July 26, 2017

This Week on GR

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


July 26, 2017

Last month, as Spring's last day gave way to Summer, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast assiduously busied themselves with plans to avoid the mundanities of governance and governments, Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, along with Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould held a twilight press conference to announce, on Parliament's penultimate day, the birth of 'Bill C-59: An Act Respecting National Security Matters'.

And, on Parliament's last sitting day, Justin Trudeau answered opposition party questions about the long-promised undoing of Bill C-51, legislation roundly condemned by social libertarians as invasive to the point of draconian.

The Prime Minister then reminded the ousted Tories of duties incumbent upon leaders; patiently explaining the reasons for the erasure of their contentious, Anti-Terrorism Act of 2015, saying, "Canadians expect their government to do two things: to protect our rights and freedoms and keep our communities safe."

But is that all they expect, and does C-59 fit the billing?

 

Listen. Hear.

 

Marie Aspiazu is the Social Media Specialist at Open Media, a civic engagement organization working to, "keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free." The Vancouver-based Aspiazu has worked within the environmental, conservation, and non-profit sectors, while her articles on those topics have appeared at Rabble, Common Ground, and Alternet.org.

Marie Aspiazu in the first half.

And; twenty years after Clayoquot Summer '93, arguably the peak of environmental activism not only in the Sound, but on Vancouver Island, kayak guides and naturalists Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck shifted oars and founded Clayoquot Action, an organization dedicated to keeping "Clayoquot Sound clean and green for future generations, to preserve the diversity and integrity of the ecosystems, and to maintain and develop community and cultural richness."

While they've been educating and activating people living in and visiting to Clayoquot for a long time, this Summer they launched Clayoquot 2.0, an "all-new weekly, multi-media journey through the visually stunning landscape, wildlife and culture of Clayoquot Sound."

Bonny Glambeck and Clayoquot 2.0 in the second half.

And; Victoria-based horticultural guru, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Marie Aspiazu and Bill C-59; real National Security Act reform, or just an act?"

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Syria: YPG's White Hat Mythology

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

by Stephen Gowans - What's Left


July 11, 2017

A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown nearby, under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus.

The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified.

Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms. Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates. Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab socialist, government, can be found votaries of the enlightenment values Damascus already embraces.

Surely somewhere there exist armed anti-government secular Leftists to rally behind; for it appears that the goal is to find a reason, any reason, no matter how tenuous, to create a nimbus of moral excellence around some group that opposes with arms the government in Damascus; some group that can be made to appear to be non-sectarian, anti-imperialist, socialist, committed to the rights of women and minorities, and pro-Palestinian; in other words, a group just like Syria’s Ba’ath Arab Socialists, except not them.

Stepping forward to fulfill that hope is the PKK, an anarchist guerrilla group demonized as a terrorist organization when operating in Turkey against a US ally, but which goes by the name of the YPG in Syria, where it is the principal component of the lionized “Syrian Democratic Force.” So appealing is the YPG to many Western Leftists that some have gone so far as to volunteer to fight in its units. But is the YPG the great hope it’s believed it to be?

 

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Famine at the Door in Yemen

At Every Door

by Kathy Kelly - Voices for Creative Nonviolence


July 21, 2017

 

"I come and stand at every door
But none shall hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen"   -Nazim Hikmet

 

On July 18, 2017, at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing focused on “The Four Famines: Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan,” Republican Senator Todd Young, a former Marine, asked officials present if ongoing war in Yemen could fail to exacerbate the catastrophe developing there – one of four countries, along with Southern Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia, set to collectively lose 20 million people this year, one third the death toll of WWII, from conflict-driven famine.

Yemen is being bombarded and blockaded, using US-supplied weapons and vehicles, by a local coalition marshaled by U.S. client state Saudi Arabia. Yemen's near-famine conditions, with attendant cholera outbreak, are so dire that in Yemen it is estimated a child dies every 10 minutes of preventable disease.

At the hearing, Senator Young held aloft a photo of a World Food Program warehouse in Yemen, which was destroyed in 2015. Senator Young asked David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, to name the country responsible for the airstrike that destroyed the food warehouse. Mr. Beasley said the Saudi-led coalition blockading Yemen had destroyed the warehouse, along with the relief supplies it contained.

 

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Perpetual War? Precisely!

Empire of Destruction: Precision Warfare? Don’t Make Me Laugh

by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch


July 20, 2017

You remember. It was supposed to be twenty-first-century war, American-style: precise beyond imagining; smart bombs; drones capable of taking out a carefully identified and tracked human being just about anywhere on Earth; special operations raids so pinpoint-accurate that they would represent a triumph of modern military science. Everything “networked.”

It was to be a glorious dream of limited destruction combined with unlimited power and success. In reality, it would prove to be a nightmare of the first order.

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001.

In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization.

 

Let me explain what I mean.

 

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The War Push: Netanyahu and Trump's Foreign Agenda

Netanyahu Pushes Trump Toward Wider Wars

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News


July 18, 2017

 

Exclusive: Russia-gate is empowering Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to strong-arm President Trump into escalating the Syrian war by abandoning a recent cease-fire and challenging Iran and Russia, reports Robert Parry.


A weakened, even desperate President Donald Trump must decide whether to stand up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or to repudiate the Syrian partial ceasefire, which Trump hammered out with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7.

Whether intentionally or not, this crossroads is where the months of Russia-gate hysteria have led the United States, making Trump even more vulnerable to Israeli and neoconservative pressure and making any cooperation with Russia more dangerous for him politically.

 

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Tiring of Injustice

Compassion Fatigue?

by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Palestinenature.org


July 18, 2017

Dear friends

Some days we are overwhelmed (compassion fatigue?) with things to do to respond to the humanitarian catastrophes and the geopolitical challenges we humans face. We care about many things because of mass communication, globalization, and the fact that all struggles are connected (the elites are after all connected in our oppression).

Just this week, here in Palestine we think of those ongoing tragedies that are connected:

 

-The continuing siege and starvation of 2 million people in Gaza (most of them refugees) with no electricity, hardly any water (which can’t be running due to lack of electricity to pump it etc)
-The siege and destruction of Arabs in Jerusalem: Israel took the flimsy excuse of the killing of two of its soldiers in the city to accelerate its long term plan of getting rid of Palestinians in the city to make it a Jewish city. Electronic checkpoints manned by occupation soldiers put for entry of Muslims to their Holy Site is unacceptable to all decent Muslims around the world. Like Jewish colonies and walls in Jerusalem this is also contrary to International law (4th Geneva convention) to alter the status quo of occupied territories. Colonial Jewish settlers are rejoicing at the prospect of unfettered access sans Muslim worshippers into the Muslim Holy site.

-The attack on UNESCO for following International law and not Zionist dreams of conquest. We need to support UNESCO.

-The human misery in Mosul, Iraq following its liberation by the Iraqi army from the US/Israel created Daesh (ISIS).

- The human misery in Syria inflicted by fighting militias (mercenaries) whether backed by Turkey, US, or Israel. The geopolitical game being waged there with players also includes Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. People pay the price.

-The human misery inflicted on Yemen by the Saudi and UAE governments (also backed by the US and Israel).

-The environmental catastrophe (Nakba) that is happening all around us with so little action to fix it as the rich get richer while keeping us busy with the conflicts, tribalism, nationalism etc (the above are examples of distractions while they get richer). Yes, some days it can be overwhelming to deal with these things. Negative vibes start to creep in (dwelling on the challenges, seeing the cup half empty etc). In such days, I am glad to be surrounded by many young volunteers and staff working hard to light candles in this darkness. But I am also inspired by dedication of those who preceded us. I got a chance to visit the cemetery today due to a death in the family and I paid tribute to many of my relatives and many of my heroes from my town while remembering others in distant lands who preceded us to become dust and memories (e.g. Edward Said). It helps us get centered and to see that challenges are also opportunities. That we need incremental work. That this is a marathon not a sprint.That we are only small parts of a large struggle (humility). That the viciousness of attack on us is actually a sign of desperation on behalf of the elites living in their nice villas in Ramallah, Tel Aviv, and Washington DC. That we must go on with optimism of the will.

 

 

Let die? Ft. George Khoury, country director for the OCHA in Yemen: 

 
  
 
Most conflicts inflict similar kinds of hardship and despair on their victims, but even among this chronic suffering, the war in Yemen has its own distinct face. It is the face of a child emaciated by hunger. Does this child or the thousands of Yemeni children fighting off death stand a chance?
To discuss this, Oksana is joined by George Khoury, country director for the OCHA in Yemen:
https://www.rt.com/shows/worlds-apart-oksana-boyko/396459-war-conflict-yemen-victims/

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Tom Secker, Garth Mullins, Janine Bandcroft July 19th, 2017

This Week on GR

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


July 19, 2017

Ubiquitous as camo at a BBQ, the militarization of popular culture is now so prevalent it's near invisible. Nowhere has the war drum beat more incessantly, and arguably more effectively molded public opinion, as at the movies.

Take a look at the mayhem playing this week in your town and the marshal presence is obvious, but the influence of the Pentagon and its A-lister cohorts in the acronym-ed intelligence agencies is by degrees more subtle, going far beyond the war flicks, first-person shooter adaptations, and super hero franchisees.

Listen. Hear.

Tom Secker is a UK-based private researcher, journalist, frequently featured commentator on security and intelligence issues, host of the popular podcast, ClandesTime, and principal behind spyculture.com, "the world’s premier online archive about government involvement in the entertainment industry."

He's also co-author, with Matthew Alford of the newly released book, 'National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood'.

Tom Secker in the first half.

And; in a tale Kafka would shrink from, the case of Canadian teenager, Omar Khadr resurfaced in the Canadian political and media consciousness recently. On it's face, the renewed interest in the fate of the former Guantanamo Bay inmate surrounds the recent settlement of millions in damages due, to be paid by Canada for the abrogation of its responsibility to protect Khadr's rights, and much worse, its collusion with the agents of his torture.

But the apoplexy expressed by, and grandstand political haymaking coming from, the conservative party and their fellow travellers in the press reveals a desperate attempt by the Tories to find purchase against a seemingly Teflon-coated, prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Garth Mullins is a long-time Vancouver-based DTES activist, writer, broadcaster, musician, and trade unionist whose weekly column appears at 24 Hours Vancouver, and a contributor to CBC Radio one’s program 'Ideas'. He's also been at the fore, working with VANDU, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, in responding to the city's overdose crisis.

Garth's recent article in 24 Hours Vancouver takes apart the prominently placed Tory "outrage" against the government's decision to settle rather than fight Khadr further, questioning the motives of both the party and the press.

Garth Mullins on Omar Khadr and Canada, the Torturer's Apprentice in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here with a Left Coast Events update at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with what's good going in and around here in the coming week. But first, Tom Secker, raising a curtain on 'National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood'.

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Finally a Fighter: NDP Candidate Supports Palestinian Rights

NDP Leadership Candidate Niki Ashton Supports Palestinian Rights

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

 

July 14th, 2017


Sometimes silence in politics speaks louder than words.

 

Israel lobby groups’ response (or lack thereof) to NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton’s recent support of Palestinian rights suggests they believe previous criticisms backfired.

Two months ago B’nai B’rith attacked Ashton for attending a rally in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and a subsequent Facebook post commemorating the Nakba, which saw 750,000 Palestinians driven from their homes by Zionist forces in 1947/’48. The self-declared ‘human rights’ organization published a press release titled “B’nai Brith Denounces MP Niki Ashton for Standing in ‘Solidarity’ with Terrorists.” Rather than harming Ashton, the attack solidified support amongst the Left and youth within the party. B’nai B’rith’s smear generated significant media attention, but Ashton refused to back down.

In response the Manitoba MP told the Winnipeg Free Press she felt obligated to “speak out in the face of injustice” and “I have consistently spoken out for peace and justice in the Middle East, including for Palestinians.”

 


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Under Mount Doomsday: Donald and Ducking for Cover in the New Nuclear Age

Preparing for Doomsday: A Shelter-in-Place Mentality Is the New American Normal
by William J. Astore - TomDispatch

July 13, 2017
 

Has there ever been a nation as dedicated to preparing for doomsday as the United States? If that’s a thought that hasn’t crossed your mind, maybe it’s because you didn’t spend part of your life inside Cheyenne Mountain.

That's a tale I’ll get to soon, but first let me mention America’s “doomsday planes.”

Last month, troubling news emerged from U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) that two of those aircraft, also known as E-4B National Airborne Operations Centers, were temporarily disabled by a tornado, leaving only two of them operational. And that, not surprisingly, caught my attention.

Maybe you don’t have the world’s end on your mind, not with Donald Trump’s tweets coming fast and furious, but I do. It’s a kind of occupational hazard for me. As a young officer in the U.S. Air Force in the waning years of the Cold War, the end of the world was very much on my mind. So think of this piece as the manifestation of a disturbing and recurring memory.

In any case, the reason for those doomsday planes is simple enough: in a national emergency, nuclear or otherwise, at least one E-4B will always be airborne, presumably above the fray and the fallout, ensuring what the military calls “command and control connectivity.”

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Good for the Gander: Trump's Son Stands in for Russia Election Tampering Smears

Forgetting the ‘Dirty Dossier’ on Trump

by Robert Parry - Consortium News


July 10, 2017

 

Exclusive: The new Russia-gate furor is over Donald Trump Jr. meeting a Russian who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, but the Clinton team’s Russian cash-for-trash search against Trump Sr. is all but forgotten, writes Robert Parry.


Hillary ExplosionYes, I realize that the editors of The New York Times long ago cast aside any journalistic professionalism to become charter members of the #Resistance against Donald Trump. But the latest frenzy over a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who was dangling the possibility of information about the Democrats receiving money from Russians represents one of the more remarkable moments of the entire Russia-gate hysteria.

Essentially, Trump’s oldest son is being accused of taking a meeting with a foreign national who claimed to have knowledge of potentially illegal activities by Trump’s Democratic rivals, although the promised information apparently turned out to be a dud.

Yet, on Monday, the Times led its newspaper with a story about this meeting – and commentators on MSNBC and elsewhere are labeling Trump Jr. a criminal if not a traitor for hearing out this lawyer.

Yet, no one seems to remember that Hillary Clinton supporters paid large sums of money, reportedly about $1 million, to have ex-British spy Christopher Steele use his Russian connections to dig up dirt on Trump inside Russia, resulting in a salacious dossier that Clinton backers eagerly hawked to the news media.

Also, the two events – Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer and the Clinton camp’s commissioning of Steele’s Russia dossier – both occurred in June 2016, so you might have thought it would be a journalistic imperative to incorporate a reference or two to the dossier. But the closest the Times came to that was noting: “Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.”

That would have been an opportune point to slide in a paragraph about the Steele dossier, but nothing. The Times doesn’t seem to have much historical memory either.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Lefebvre, Bonny Glambeck, Janine Bandcroft July 12th, 2017

This Week on GR

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


July 12, 2017

Lawyer, busker, internet entrepreneur, felon, and philanthropist king; though the life story of my first guest presents biographers an embarrassment of anecdotal riches, ironically, their telling deepens rather than reveals the enigma of the subject. Better then the man tell his own tale.

In his time, John Lefebvre has been and done all those things and more, so when friends urged he record his extraordinary life story he began, but found he "quickly tired of writing sentences that started with "I" and ended with "me"."

But still, there was a story to tell, and to that end comes Lefebvre's debut book, 'All's Well. Where Thou Art Earth and Why', a biography of the human species through a lens that contends, "We are the Universe’s vessels of consciousness, of astonishment and of love."

 

Listen. Hear.

 

John Lefebvre in the first half.

And; twenty years after Clayoquot Summer '93, arguably the peak of environmental activism not only in the Sound, but on Vancouver Island, kayak guides and naturalists Dan Lewis and Bonny Glambeck shifted oars and founded Clayoquot Action, an organization dedicated to keeping "Clayoquot Sound clean and green for future generations, to preserve the diversity and integrity of the ecosystems, and to maintain and develop community and cultural richness." While they've been educating and activating people living in and visiting to Clayoquot for a long time, this Summer they launched Clayoquot 2.0, an "all-new weekly, multi-media journey through the visually stunning landscape, wildlife and culture of Clayoquot Sound."

Bonny Glambeck and Clayoquot 2.0 in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here with a Left Coast Events update at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with what's good going in and around here in the coming week. But first, John Lefebvre and asking not for whom the Zen bell tolls. But first, John Lefebvre and asking not for whom the Zen bell tolls.

 

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.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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