by Ramzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle "What is the Palestinian strategy?" is a question that I have been asked all too often, including on 15 May, the day that millions of Palestinians around the world commemorated the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1947-48.
The question itself doesn’t require much elaboration, as in, "What is the Palestinian strategy to combat Israeli military occupation, siege violence, apartheid and racial discrimination?" The painful reality is well known to many, although few take on the moral responsibility to confront it.
And the posing of the question is telling in itself. It wouldn’t be asked if there was a strategy in place, being implemented, and regularly revisited and modified. The question is a testament to all the failures of past strategies, and the political disintegration of any credible Palestinian leadership, currently represented by Mahmoud Abbas and his circle of wealthy businessmen and "politicians".
But the very idea of formulating a strategy would require urgent prerequisites that are currently lacking. These prerequisites are not only essential, but most critical if Palestinians wish to overcome the current stalemate and surpass the dead-end process that is the so-called "peace process".
Despite the Minsk II treaty signed in February, fighting between all sides within the former Ukraine has continued. Last night, for the third consecutive night, that fighting escalated with heavy artillery targeting the strategic, and psychologically significant, airport at Donetsk among other targets in and around the city.
While Western media has focused on the capture of two Russian soldiers earlier this week, renewing NATO calls for a Russian withdrawal from the conflict, Kiev coup leader, Petro Poroshenko claims the capture is proof his regime's real enemy is Vladimir Putin, saying;
"Can I be absolutely clear with you this is not a fight with Russian-backed separatists, this is a real war with Russia."
Halyna Mokrushyna is a Canadian ex-pat Ukrainian whose articles during the past year about the war in eastern Ukraine can be found at: Counterpunch, Truthout, Truthdig, and New Cold War.org.
Mokrushyna is a former vice-president of the Ottawa branch of the Ukrainian National Federation, and as well as freelancing for the now-defunct Ukrainian service of Radio Canada International, was a regular contributor to Ukrainian radio programming in Ottawa. She holds a Doctorate in Modern Languages from Ukraine, and a Master's degree in communication from Ottawa University, where she is currently working towards a PhD in Sociology. Halyna was in Donetsk as part of a media tour of the eastern part of the country this past April.
Halyna Mokrushyna in the first half.
And; last week hundreds came out in kayaks, row boats, sailboats, on surfboards, and almost anything else that would float as part of the #ShellNo protest of Shell Oil's plans to send a massive offshore drilling platform to the Arctic Ocean. The rig, Polar Pioneer is currently moored in Seattle, (where city council recently passed a motion disinviting its presence) preparing to make its way to the north.
Greenpeace is sending its ship, the Esperanza to Seattle, and on a tour of BC's inside passage to rally opposition to Arctic offshore drilling among First Nations communities along the way. But those communities don't need Greenpeace's encouragement; opposition to the expansion of oil industry shipping is already strong.
Ingmar Lee is a long-time environmental defender who has appeared on Gorilla Radio many times over the last dozen years or so. He currently lives alongside the iconic Great Bear Rainforest on BC's mid-coast, where he has started a campaign to shut down the little-known operations of the Nathan E. Stewart, a 10,000 ton capacity oil tanker plying the waters of the inside passage. His 10,000 Ton Tanker Facebook campaign is growing exponentially with the recent addition of drone footage of the mysterious tanker garnering tens of thousands of views, and climbing.
Ingmar Lee and watching the Nathan E. Stewart in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of some of what's happening on the streets of our city, and beyond there too in the coming week. But first, Halyna Mokrushyna and the World's potentially most dangerous conflict growing hotter in Ukraine.
by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch First they manufacture monstrous lies, and then they tell us that we should be objective!
Is love objective; is passion?
Are dreams defendable, logically and philosophically?
When a house is attacked by brigands, when a village is overran by gangsters, when smoke, fire and cries for help are coming from every corner, should we award ourselves with the luxury of time to calculate, analyze and aim at complete logical, ethical, holistic and objective solutions?
I strongly believe no! We are obliged to fight those who are burning our dwellings, to hit with full force those who are attempting to rape our women, and to confront fire with fire when innocent beings are slaughtered.
When the most powerful and the most destructive force on earth employs all its persuasive might, utilizing everything from the mainstream media to educational facilities, in order to justify its crimes, when it spreads its poisonous propaganda and lies in order to oppress the world and suppress hope, do we step back and begin endless and detailed work on precise and objective narratives? Or do we confront lies and propaganda with our own narrative, supported by our intuition, passion and dreams for a better world?
Canada's actions these days resemble less those of a democratic country than they mirror those of the 20th Century dictatorships. There and then, media supported the government, cheering victory, damning the enemy, while lionizing the Warrior ethos with great martial pageants. Nemesis of course followed.
Canadians have long looked towards America's restless militarism, couching criticism of its neighbour's grosser imperialist adventures saying, "A true friend gives good counsel, rather than flatter, or unblinkingly accept wrong-headed actions." There seems in 2015 little appetite left to defend such quaint democratic sentiments in Ottawa. In fact, there seems little sentiment here to defend democracy at all.
What does remain however is the fervent determination of Canada's state broadcaster, and private media interests, to beaver away protecting, polishing, and above all perpetuating the myth of a demonstrably false dedication to the ideals of democracy.
At the Ithaca, New York stop of The Solutions Grassroots Tour: “A Solar Home Companion” local organizer, Stephanie Redmond, asked a very important question of Josh.
She wanted to know when he was going to join the Seneca Lake Defenders and get arrested protesting fracked-gas storage in salt cavern under Seneca Lake.
A couple of nights later we were in Watkins Glen, our closest tour stop to the proposed gas storage site. We were there with local winemakers, business owners and many others who had joined the campaign to oppose the gas-storage under Seneca Lake.
Raincoast Conservation Foundation has launched a billboard information campaign addressing the inhumane slaughter of wolves that is occurring at the hands of the province of British Columbia.
For at least the next five years, the B.C. government intends to kill hundreds of wolves by means of aerial gunning in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions of the province.
The province is marketing the slaughter as a conservation plan to "save endangered caribou." The provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations recently announced the first phase of the killing has been completed with an initial body count of 84 wolves.
This unscientific, unethical, and unwarranted wolf cull is a consequence of industrial logging and other human activity, which have transformed the caribou's habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover, and security these animals need to survive. Rather than address the real problem, i.e., the destruction of life sustaining caribou habitat, the B.C. government has chosen to scapegoat wolves. The aim of Raincoast's billboard campaign is to bring attention to that deplorable decision.
Highways Now a Death Trap for Humans and Wildlife: New 120 k /hr highways = machine guns; wildlife bridges needed throughout B.C.
by David Ellis - Enderby, BC
Yesterday not far from the Coquihalla summit I saw a black bear dead on the road. If I had hit this bear at 120 km/h I very likely would have been dead too.
Cars and trucks going this fast are like so much machine gun fire to wildlife and unless many more capable and hard working environmental and First Nations campaigners get onto this issue we will lose many smaller populations of deer, elk, bear.
Wildlife Bridges Can Work, if Built
"Three sections of B.C. rural highway will be set at the maximum 120 km/h speed limit, including Highway 5 (the Coquihalla) from Hope to Kamloops, Highway 97C from Aspen Grove to Peachland, and Highway 19 from Parksville to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.Jul 2, 2014"
And snakes such as rattlers in Okanagan, and frogs etc. all need much more consideration in highway and railway conduction. Not to speak of the 1000s of people that will die too, until these local populations of precious wildlife are all gone.
Lax Kw’alaams rejects Billion-dollar LNG deal; Lake Babine signs paltry one
by Damien Gillis - Common Sense Canadian The BC Liberal government and LNG industry suffered a blow this week with a final losing vote amongst Lax Kw’alaams Band members over a billion-dollar package offered to support Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG plant near Prince Rupert.
At the same time, a much smaller, quieter deal was being signed by the elected leadership of the Lake Babine Nation, pertaining to the pipeline that would feed the coastal plant – the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line. On the table in this “Project Agreement” between the 2,440-member band and pipeline contractor TransCanada was a comparatively paltry $3.56 million, plus a piece of a $10 million a year revenue sharing deal to be split amongst a number of First Nations along the pipeline route if it becomes operational.
by Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch In a western capital far away from Gaza and Cairo, I recently shared a pot of tea with an “Egyptian refugee”.
The term is familiar to me, but never have I encountered an Egyptian who refers to himself as such. He stated it as a matter of fact by saying: “As an Egyptian refugee ..” and carried on to talk about the political turmoil in his country.
It made me shudder as I tried to conjure up a possible estimation of Arabs who have been made refugees in recent years. But where does one start the estimation if we are to set aside the Palestinian Nakba in 1948? Or forget the successive waves of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians that followed, and disregard the various exoduses of Lebanese civilians as a result of Israeli invasions and civil war?
Iraq can be the start – the country that served as a foundation of everything Arab. Their culture, history and civilization, which extends to the very beginning of human civilization, ushered in the new Arab exodus.
The American Military Uncontained: Chaos Spread, Casualties Inflicted, Missions Unaccomplished
by William J. Astore - TomDispatch It’s 1990. I’m a young captain in the U.S. Air Force. I’ve just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, something I never thought I’d see, short of a third world war. Right now I’m witnessing the slow death of the Soviet Union, without the accompanying nuclear Armageddon so many feared. Still, I’m slightly nervous as my military gears up for an unexpected new campaign, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, to expel Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein’s military from Kuwait.
It’s a confusing moment. After all, the Soviet Union was forever (until it wasn’t) and Saddam had been a stalwart U.S. friend, his country a bulwark against the Iran of the Ayatollahs. (For anyone who doubts that history, just check out the now-infamous 1983 photo of Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy for President Reagan, all smiles and shaking hands with Saddam in Baghdad.)
Still, whatever my anxieties, the Soviet Union collapsed without a whimper and the campaign against Saddam’s battle-tested forces proved to be a “cakewalk,” with ground combat over in a mere 100 hours.
The Human Rights Act, passed in 1998, which the Tories, idiotically, want to repeal. After last Thursday’s General Election, as the Tories entrench themselves in power, without even the need of Lib Dem stooges to prop them up, we hear that the Cabinet spent a whole minute thumping the table at their first meeting, demonstrating a gracelessness and arrogance that is typical of the bullies, sociopaths and misfits who make up the upper echelons of the party.
Through our broken electoral system, the Tories have convinced themselves they have a mandate for even more of the destruction to the British state than they undertook over the last five years, propped up by the Lib Dems, even though the 50.9% of the seats that they took came with the support of just 24.4% of those eligible to vote.