The horrific death toll of African and Middle Eastern refugees and migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe is a damning indictment of all the major imperialist powers, and most particularly the United States.
The American president, Barack Obama, and his former secretary of state, Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, have blood up to their elbows. They set the present catastrophe in motion through brutal wars for regime change waged under the hypocritical and discredited banner of “human rights.”
At least three more boats packed with refugees from North Africa and the Middle East were reported to be in distress in the Mediterranean on Monday, with a minimum of 23 more people said to have drowned.
This adds to the many hundreds of people, perhaps 1,400, who have lost their lives over the past week in a desperate bid to escape military violence by the US and its European allies, civil wars stoked by Washington and the European Union, and pervasive poverty exacerbated by the machinations of imperialism in the region.
The mainstream U.S. news media is lambasting the Europeans for failing to stop the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea as desperate Libyans flee their war-torn country in overloaded boats that are sinking as hundreds drown.
But the MSM forgets how this Libyan crisis began, including its own key role along with that of “liberal interventionists” such as Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power.
Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.
In 2011, it was all the rage in Official Washington to boast about the noble “responsibility to protect” the people of eastern Libya who supposedly were threatened with extermination by the “mad man” Muammar Gaddafi. We also were told endlessly that, back in 1988, Gaddafi’s agents had blown Pan Am 103 out of the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The R2Pers, led by then-National Security Council aide Power with the backing of Secretary of State Clinton, convinced President Barack Obama that a “humanitarian intervention” was needed to prevent Gaddafi from slaughtering people whom he claimed were Islamic terrorists.
As this U.S.-orchestrated bombing campaign was about to begin in late March 2011, Power told a New York City audience that the failure to act would have been “extremely chilling, deadly and indeed a stain on our collective conscience.” Power was credited with steeling Obama’s spine to press ahead with the military operation.
Happy Earth Day! Hard to believe, but it's been five Earth Days since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, rupturing the pipeline to millions of gallons of sub-seabed oil. The subsequent fouling of the Gulf of Mexico killed unknowable numbers of creatures across the biome, and virtually destroyed a way of life for those in the region making their living from the sea. Even today, years after the fact, the region still bears the scars of the "spill", as do the thousands who worked cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon's aftermath.
Dahr Jamail is an Olympic peninsula-based freelance journalist and author, whose book titles include: 'The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,' 'Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Iraq,' and the contributed chapter, "Killing the Intellectual Class" for the anthology, 'Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered.'
Jamail is also a Truthout staff reporter, and his latest book, 'The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible' is co-written with Truthout founding editor, William Rivers Pitt.
Among Dahr’s many journalism awards are: the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards. His work has appeared at Truthout, The Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, Le Monde, and the Inter Press Service, among many others, and at his website, DahrJamail.net.
In 2010, Dahr applied the same rigorous determination to reveal the truth of the Iraq War to the global environmental crisis, focusing on anthropogenic climate disruption, including the emblematic Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Dahr Jamail in the first half.
And; from the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern Pacific, to the Beaufort Sea, and Hibernia, North America is ringed from coast to coast to coast with offshore oil interests determined to have their way come Hell or deep water. The latest target of Big Oil's interest is Baffin Bay's Davis Strait, where the Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. has received the blessing of Canada's National Energy Board, or NEB, to begin seismic testing for oil and gas believed to lay beneath the ocean bottom there. But there is a small problem; the Inuit community of Clyde River is opposed to Petroleum Geo-Services' plan to deploy high-decibel sound blasting equipment in their fishing grounds. They believe the testing will harm the wildlife they depend on for their livelihood, and they've taken the NEB to Canada's courts to prove it. For its part, the NEB says it initiated, quote:
"[A] lengthy, detailed, open process that was well designed to share and gather information to hear and take into account the concerns put forward by the applicants."
Hearings began Monday in Toronto.
Nader Hasan is lead attorney for the plaintiffs of Clyde River. Hasan specializes in constitutional and human rights cases brought against government and police and has acted for victims of police abuse, the wrongfully convicted and asylum seekers. A partner with the prestigious Toronto law firm, Ruby Shiller Chan Hasan, Nader also maintains an active appellate practice. He's also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the U. of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where he teaches on crime and punishment, and lectures on civil liberties issues. An associate editor of the Canadian Rights Reporter, Nader Hasan is also co-author, with Clayton Ruby and Gerald Chan of the book 'Sentencing,' and co-authored with Chan a forthcoming book on privacy rights and digital technology.
Nader Hasan and the village of Clyde River taking a stand against the petro-giants in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus Janine Bandcroft has been called away on a vital mission, and won't be joining us at the bottom of the hour. So first up, Dahr Jamail on Earth Days past, and those to come.
On Sunday evening, CBS’s “60 Minutes” presented what was pitched as a thorough examination of the infamous sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21, 2013, with anchor Scott Pelley asserting that “none of what we found will be omitted here.”
But the segment – while filled with emotional scenes of dead and dying Syrians – made little effort to determine who was responsible.
Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News anchor
Pelley’s team stuck to the conventional wisdom from the rush-to-judgment “white paper” that the White House issued on Aug. 30, 2013, just nine days after the incident, blaming the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. But Pelley ignored contrary evidence that has emerged in the 20 months since the attack, including what I’ve been told are dissenting views among U.S. intelligence analysts.
Globally, water demand is threatening to dangerously outpace supply, while in the US, dry states such as Texas and California are suffering from shortages and the future forebodes more suffering. For the North American shale boom, the lack of water is suffocating.
Amid this doom and gloom, a water revolution emerges, led by energy industry figures who realized the endless potential of tapping into new water sources and processing them with advanced desalination technology that, for the first time ever, is economically feasible.
The water revolution is here, according to Stanley Weiner, CEO of STW Resources-a Texas-based company that has the exclusive North American license for Dutch-developed next generation Salttech desalination technology.
The military whistleblower’s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster.
Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig — despite Chelsea Manning’s effort to save their lives.
Let me explain.
The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the “mud” — the cement used to cap the well — blew out. The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked — shocked! — at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea.
Watching the news off an on throughout the day provides a glimpse of the spin that the mainstream media (MSM - mainly CBC) put on the situation in Ukraine.
The first broadcast I heard contained some interesting comments. It indicated that “fighting erupted” along the theoretical truce line. If any reader had been paying attention to news other than on the MSM, they would know that the Kiev forces never stopped shelling the Novorussia side of the line. The ‘eruption’ of fighting, also as seen on other than MSM news indicated that it was most probably testing forays or training forays by the Ukrainian/Kiev side.
The “heavy shelling” reported would have had to come from the Kiev forces, as according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) the Novorussian side had pulled back their heavy artillery while the Kiev forces had not.
A more serious error, but one that suits the Russia as bad guy image was the reporting of the truce as being between Ukraine and Russia. This is absolutely not the case as the truce was signed between Kiev and the Donetsk and Luhansk leaders. The Russians were ‘facilitators’ to the efforts by the Germans, as the latter were becoming aware of the serious setbacks to the Kiev forces from the Novorussian forces.
It is true that the rebels are backed by Russia, but in context, the Kiev forces are backed by both U.S. political will and funding, and U.S. equipment.
One of Latin America’s most acclaimed writers, Eduardo Galeano, died on Monday at age 74 in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Uruguayan novelist and journalist made headlines when Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave President Obama a copy of his classic work, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."
Since its publication in 1971, "Open Veins" has sold more than a million copies worldwide, despite being banned by the military governments in Chile, Argentina and his native country of Uruguay. While in exile after the Uruguayan military junta seized power in a 1973 coup, Galeano began work on his classic trilogy "Memory of Fire," which rewrites five centuries of North and South American history.
We live in a time when compassionate rhetoric is used as a weapon of state-corporate control. The rhetoric focuses on ethical concerns such as racial, gender and same-sex equality, but is disconnected from any kind of coherent ethical worldview. Corporate commentators are thereby freed to laud these moral principles, even as they ignore high crimes of state-corporate power.
Thus, it was deemed 'historic', even 'epoch-making', by our corporate culture that Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States. And it certainly was a triumph for racial equality.
But the moral significance was hailed by a media commentariat that proceeded to gaze with blank indifference at the ethical trailblazer's bombing of seven countries, his deep involvement in four ongoing, full-scale wars, his devastation of Libya, and his abject failure to address the apocalyptic threat of climate change.
Once there was a Canadian Wheat Board that was truly Canadian-owned and based, and whose job was to market the grain of Canadian farmers, especially in the West.
Since coming to power in 2006, the Harper government has waged an all-out war on the Wheat Board as a public enterprise, purging its farmer directors and replacing them with government appointees, overturning legislation in place for decades, refusing to recognize the vote of its farmer members, and putting the organization on the road to complete privatization.
Well, the Harper government has finally got its way. The announcement has been made. As of July 2015, the Canadian Wheat Board will now be majority owned by a giant privately-owned company, G3 Global Grain Group.
Harvard professor Joseph Nye, a former senior Pentagon functionary, is one of the longest serving and most influential advisers to US empire building officials. Nye has recently re-affirmed the primacy of the US as a world power in his latest book, Is the American Century Over? And his article, ‘The American Century will survive the Rise of China’ (Financial Times, 3/26/15, p. 7).
These publications are in line with his earlier book, Bound to Lead, and his longstanding view that the US is not a declining world power, that it retains ‘supremacy’ even in the face of China’s rise to global power.
Nye’s views of US world supremacy have served to encourage Washington to wage multiple wars ; his sanguine view of US economic power has allowed policy-makers to ignore fundamental weaknesses in the US economy and to overestimate US power, based on what he dubs, ‘soft’ and ‘military’ power.
In tackling Professor Nye’s work, we are not dealing with a ‘detached academic in the ivory tower’ – we are taking on a high level political influential, a hardline military hawk, whose views are reflected in the forging of strategic decisions and whose arguments serve to justify major government policies.
First, we will proceed through a critical analysis of his theoretical assumptions, historical arguments and conceptual framework. In the second part of this essay, we will consider the political consequences, which have flowed from his analysis and prescriptions. In the conclusion, we shall propose an alternative, more realistic, analysis of US global power, one more attuned to the real international position of the US in the world today.