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 Arthur Silber
Angry Arab
Antiwar.com
A Tiny Revolution

OilPrice.com

William Blum/Killing Hope
Baltimore Chronicle
Buzzflash
Magnificent Valor
The Distant Ocean
Horton/Harper's
Informed Comment
Vast Left
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Crooks and Liars
ConsortiumNews
Black Agenda Report
LRB Blog
The Raw Story
James Wolcott
European Tribune
Iraq Vets Against the War
Blues and Dreams
Bright Terrible Spirit

 

 

China Filling Its Tanks: Oil Gluttons Bet on Price Rise

Why China Is Really Dictating the Oil Supply Glut
by Rakesh Upadhyay - Oilprice.com

May 4, 2016

china tankerShip tracking data from Bloomberg shows that 83 supertankers carrying around 166 million barrels of oil are headed to China, which has stockpiled an impressive 787,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of 2016—the highest stockpiling rate since 2014.
 
While the world was speculating about oil prices plunging to $20 and $10 per barrel, China was busy stockpiling its reserves.
 
The chart below shows an increase in imports as crude prices collapsed. Since the beginning of this year, China has imported a record quantity of oil.
 
 

Mandela in Palestine: Statuary and a Shared Failed Legacy

The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
 
May 4, 2016
 
Mandela Ramallah AfrizapI had mixed feelings when I learned that Palestine has erected a statue of Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African anti-Apartheid leader. On the one hand, I was quite pleased that the unmistakable connection between the struggles of Palestinians and South Africans is cemented more than ever before.
 
On the other hand, I dreaded that rich, corrupt Palestinians in Ramallah are utilizing the image of Mandela to acquire badly-needed political capital.
 
Image: Afrizap.com
 
The six-meter bronze statue now stands in its own Nelson Mandela Square in Al-Tireh neighborhood in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority headquarters are based. The PA is known for its endemic political and financial corruption. In some ways, its survival is both essential for the richest Palestinian class and also for the Israeli military Occupation.
 
Thus, it was quite disheartening to witness the travesty of political theater where the likes of PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, who rules with a long-expired mandate, unveiling the statue in a ceremony attended by his ministers and foreign diplomats.
 

Trumping a Hellscape: An American Election in Africa

Donald Trump in South Sudan: What Trumps the Horrors of a Hellscape? The Donald!
by Nick Turse - TomDisptach

May 3, 2016

LEER, South Sudan - I’m sitting in the dark, sweating. The blinding white sun has long since set, but it’s still in the high 90s, which is a relief since it was above 110 earlier. Slumped in a blue plastic chair, I’m thinking back on the day, trying to process everything I saw, the people I spoke with: the woman whose home was burned down, the woman whose teenage daughter was shot and killed, the woman with 10 mouths to feed and no money, the glassy-eyed soldier with the AK-47.

Then there were the scorched ruins: the wrecked houses, the traditional wattle-and-daub tukuls without roofs, the spectral footprints of homes set aflame by armed raiders who swept through in successive waves, the remnants of a town that has ceased to exist.

And, of course, there were the human remains: a field of scattered skulls and femurs and ribs and pelvises and spinal columns.

And I’m sitting here -- spent, sweaty, stinking -- trying to make sense of it all about 10 feet from a sandbagged bunker I’m supposed to jump into if the shooting starts again. “It’s one of the worse places in the world,” someone had assured me before I left South Sudan’s capital, Juba, for this hellscape of burnt-out buildings and unburied bones that goes by the name of Leer.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Roger Annis, Anthony Fenton May 4, 2016

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

May 4, 2016

May is a time for commemorations that begins with: the May Day(s), the ancient pagan ritual for Spring, and marking of Labour solidarity in Europe and America; and of course, tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo remembrance of one of Mexico's successful revolutions. But for the residents of Odessa, Ukraine's third city and most important seaport, May the 2nd is no celebration. It's a date that will live forever in infamy.

Two years ago, during the Western-inspired Maidan uprising, scores of citizen resistors to the Kiev coup were killed, burned alive by the fascist mob as they took shelter in the House of Trade Unions building in Kulikovo Square. Hundreds more were injured.
 
Listen. Hear.

The regime is yet to bring the investigation into the atrocity forward; in fact, after two years, the only ones in prison for what happened on May second are survivors of the attacks.

That failure is emblematic of the hopelessly corrupt and unjust rule of Washington's puppet, Petro Poroshenko; two years into Kiev's war-torn rule of Ukraine the country teeters tenuously on the brink of total disaster.

Roger Annis is a longtime socialist, trade union activist, and prolific essayist in the cause of social justice and peace both in Canada and abroad. He's a contributing editor at the website New Cold War, where he's written extensively on Ukraine, and his articles can also be found at his website, A Socialist in Canada, and at Rabble.ca, and Counterpunch.org.

Roger Annis in the first segment.

And; not to be left behind, Canada too has been busy enabling corrupt and violent regimes murder and maim innocents. As the body count of the House of Saud's relentless onslaught in neigbouring Yemen continues to increase, Ottawa is beavering away to sign as many "defense" contracts as it can muster; possibly before the dammed outrage in the region, and indeed the World, breaks, washing finally away the Saudi regime forever.

Anthony Fenton is an independent researcher, former journalist, author, and PhD candidate studying the political economy of Canada-Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC relations. Anthony co-authored, with Yves Engler, 'Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority,' and his many articles have been featured by the Asia Times Online, The Dominion, Foreign Policy in Focus, Inter Press Service News, Mother Jones, and Upside Down World.

Anthony Fenton and Ottawa arming its friends in the Saudi war zone in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will NOT join us as is usual today; prior commitments demanding her more immediate attention. So, first up, Roger Annis and Kiev's victory two years later.

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/
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Roger Annis, Anthony Fenton May 4, 2016

Pondering from Yonder: A View of the US Election from the Middle East

US Presidential Elections: A View from the Middle East
by Sharmine Narwani - RT

April 30, 2016

Although the era of US global hegemony is coming to a close, the Middle East – more than most regions – is still reeling from the nasty last jabs of that Empire in decline.
 
It is little wonder, then, that the US presidential election season is scrutinized carefully in all corners of the Mideast.
Over here, the debate over the likely victor is less about economic, political and social projects than it is about which candidate is least likely to launch wars against us.
 
Anecdotally, there seems to be a consensus that Hillary Clinton would be the worst for the region, though of course – like in the United States – that perception changes dramatically when the conversation is with regional elites and ‘liberals.’
 

Scrambles for Libya's Oil Spoils

Splitting the Libyan Spoils
by Inside Intelligence with Southern Pulse - Oilprice.com

29th April 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict


Let’s get Libya out of the way first. It should not be necessary to mention this, and in general we find it inadvisable to comment on foreign policy issues brought up by the campaigning of Donald Trump; however, because the U.S. intelligence community has seen fit to respond, we will note only that the Islamic State (ISIS) is not known to be selling Libyan oil. It has not made it that far.

There is also the question of what ISIS would actually do with a major oilfield. It can manage small ones, but does not have the capacity to run a big one.

Right now, their tactic is to threaten the big fields in order to use that as leverage to throw a wrench in unity government negotiations.
 

The Great Shaking Off and the End of Time

End of Time?
by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Palestine Museum of Natural History
 
Palestine Museum of History pmnhBasil Al-Araj is in a Palestinian jail. He is a young Palestinian pharmacist who had worked at a pharmacy in Shufat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem. I knew him because he is from Al-Walaja, a village that was struggling as “Israel” builds a wall around the remaining houses of the village (already 90% of the residents are refugees elsewhere).

Village wells and lands were stolen by the Israeli colonizers starting in 1948 and continuing till today.

Basil had a love of Palestine and a hatred of injustice. Like most young people they searched for ways to act on their convictions. He participated in nonviolent demonstrations at his village but was not satisfied with their outcome.
 
He read my book on “Popular Resistance in Palestine” in Arabic and gave me his feedback. He said he learned much about history of the Palestinian struggle. He said the book’s Arabic could use some editing. He worked briefly as a researcher for the Palestinian museum after he lost his job in Shufat.

He tried other methods of action. He and a few others tried to block the main road near the colony of Maale Adumim. He and I and four others were the six Palestinian Freedom riders arrested in 2011 while demonstrating Israeli apartheid policies [1].

Returning Service: Something for the Server

Something for the Server: Keeping the Burlesque Kicking
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

26 April 2016
 
As long-time readers know, the Empire Burlesque website is a bespoke creation of our remarkable webmaster, Richard Kastelein. He approached me years ago and offered to build a website from scratch and host it on a private server, which would keep it free from government or corporate interference. That’s just what he did, and he has kept it running in high gear for 11 years now. However, as we all know, freedom ain’t never free. The private server costs money to maintain (and defend from attacks), and for all these years this cost has been borne entirely by Rich, who also hosts a number of other important sites on it [including Pacific Free Press].
 
It’s a sacrifice he’s been glad to make — such is the measure of the man — but it is a sacrifice, a financial burden that continually mounts up. So the writers who benefit from all of his hard work and creativity are pitching in to try to ease that burden in a straitened time. In addition to our own contributions, we are inviting readers to show their appreciation for Rich’s work with a small contribution as well.
 
It’s very simple. Just press the button, and any donation will go straight to the server costs.
 

Media Disinformation and America's Wars: A Rabid Right and Co-opted Left

Media Disinformation and America's Wars - Liars vs. Truthers: The “Progressive Left” Has Been Co-opted
by Mark Taliano - Global Research

April 28, 2016
 
Well-documented facts pertaining to the 9/11 wars, all supported by sustainable evidence, have barely made inroads into the collective consciousness of Western media consumers.
 
The War on Syria is no exception. Despite the presence of five years of sustainable evidence that contradicts the Western narratives, people still believe the “official” lies. The consensus of ignorance is sustained by what Michel Chossudovsky describes as an “American Inquisition”.
 
Beneath the protection of this psychological operation, the engineered enemy is Islam, and the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) has become a brand to disguise imperial wars of aggression as “humanitarian”. Thus, huge sums of public monies are diverted from worthwhile, domestic projects such as healthcare schools and roads, to support a criminal Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that is globalizing death, poverty, and destruction as the U.S led empire tries to impose a unilateral model of control over the world.
 

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Art Farquharson, Jack Etkin, Janine Bandcroft Apr. 27, 2016

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

April 26, 2016

With the rolling back of labour rights, deterioration of working conditions, government maintenance of an artificially high unemployment rate, proliferation of guest worker programs, and prolonged wage stagnation we've witnessed over the last few decades, the workers around here, if not the World, have good reason to cry "May Day"
 
But who would answer the call now? As with much of labour history, even that term has been misappropriated, its original meaning and intent being all but erased from public consciousness.
 
Art Farquharson is a fully paid, life-long member of the Working Class. He's laboured in the fields and factories of this nation, and on its highways and high seas too. A proud unionist, Art's held CAW, Unifor, Machinists, Public Service Alliance, IATSE, and Ferry Workers Union union cards.
 
Listen. Hear.

He's also a card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, who never misses a chance to sing, march, or provide guitar accompaniment for pickets, protests, demonstrations, or celebrations of the working people like the Corporate Golden Piggy Awards, and New Year's Day Poor People's Levee Tour.
 
In short, Art says he "comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable," adding, "There is no retirement from being a citizen, [and] can be no rest until all workers the world over have peace and justice."
 
Art Farquharson in the first segment.
 
And; earlier this month, Citizen's Forum, a public access public affairs program produced by volunteers at Victoria's Shaw Cable affiliate, in accordance with the CRTC's mandate to cable operators in return for the market monopolies they enjoy, was axed. Jack Etkin is the long-time, Victoria-based democracy and media activist who hosted and produced the show. He's also behind a number of other media and democracy projects around here, and has been for more than a decade.
 
Jack Etkin on the demise of Citizen's Forum, corporate media, and Canada's frail democracy.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good going on on the streets of our city, and beyond there too, in the coming week. But first, Art Farquharson and bringing the meaning back to May Day.

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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A Twisted Potlatch: Pentagon's Vision of Givin'

The Pentagon’s Twisted Potlatch
by John Feffer - CounterPunch

April 25, 2016

Among the Kwakiutl and several other indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest, the potlatch was a ritual of hospitality. The host would invite guests to a big feast and then distribute gifts. The distribution was a way of demonstrating the host’s status: the more significant the gifts, the more important the host. Think: swag bags for the pre-celebrity era.
 
Although this sophisticated social ritual reflected the host’s generosity and connectedness to the community, the potlatch could sometimes lead to a destructive one-upmanship.
 
“At times these contests would escalate to the point where the distribution of property became inadequate for the expression of a chief’s disregard for wealth and property,” writes anthropologist Neal Keating.
“The next step would be to actually destroy property, often by burning it up. He might burn up his canoes, or his house, or the entire village.”
 
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Brazil's Sharks Circle As South America's 'Pink Tide' Recedes

The impeachment crisis shaking Brazil: An Interview with Ana Saggioro Garcia
by Todd Chretien and Bruno Ruviaro - Socialist Worker.org

April 20, 2016

Rousseff smileOn April 17, Brazil's lower house of Congress voted by a two-thirds majority to impeach President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party (PT, by its initials in Portuguese), forcing her to relinquish office pending further procedures. The presidency now passes to Dilma's (as she is widely known in Brazil) former vice president Michel Temer of the conservative Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), who only resigned from her cabinet last month.
 
Her government will now appeal the decision to the country's Supreme Court, before the final vote proceeds to the Senate in the coming months.
 
The carnival of reaction on display by conservative Congressional deputies during the vote [1] only demonstrates the contempt in which Brazil's elite hold the vast majority of the population. With a GDP in excess of $3 trillion, Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world, approximately five times larger than neighboring Argentina. What happens in Brazil matters for all of Latin America.
 
Faced with a newly ascendant right in Argentina and Venezuela and a worsening continent-wide economic crisis, a decade and a half of center-left and reform-oriented governments known as the "Pink Tide" is rapidly receding.
 

No Good Arabs: Israel's Establishment Palestinians Marginalized

In Israel, an Ugly Tide sweeps over Palestinians
by Jonathan Cook - Dissident Voice

April 25th, 2016

Zuheir BahloulIn Israel’s evermore tribal politics, there is no such thing as a “good” Arab – and the worst failing in a Jew is to be unmasked as an “Arab lover”. Or so was the message last week from Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s so-called peace camp.The shock waves of popular anger at the recent indictment of an Israeli army medic, Elor Azaria, on a charge of “negligent homicide” are being felt across Israel’s political landscape.

Most Israeli Jews bitterly resent the soldier being put on trial, even though Azaria was caught on camera firing a bullet into the head of a badly injured Palestinian, Abdel Fattah Al Sharif.

In the current climate, Herzog and his opposition party Zionist Union have found themselves highly uncomfortable at having in their midst a single non-Jewish legislator.
 

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