Ukraine: Kerry Endorses Fake Jewish Flyer

Obama Endorses a Forgery
by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch
On Friday, April 18, President Obama voiced his righteous indignation over anti-Semitic fliers pasted on synagogue walls in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The fliers, calling on all Jews to register or face expulsion, had appeared the day before and were instantly denounced by Donetsk leaders as a gross provocation and a forgery.

The next day, however, Obama “expressed his disgust quite bluntly”. At least, that is what his hawkish national security advisor, Susan Rice, told the public. “I think we all found word of those pamphlets to be utterly sickening, and they have no place in the 21st century,” she declared.

This presidential reaction occurred 24 hours after the pamphlet in question had been thoroughly denounced as a fake, not only by the Donetsk leader, Denis Pushilin, who said his signature on the document had been forged, but by local Jewish community leaders and even by The New Republic, which cannot be accused of indifference to anti-Semitism.

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Stephen Harper on Ukraine: Useful Idiot, or Just Idiocy?

Harper on Russia: America's Useful Idiot?
by Murray Dobbin -
Stephen Harper's acutely embarrassing behaviour regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- demonizing Vladimir Putin and upping the rhetoric -- must be welcomed in the U.S. which created the crisis in the first place and apparently believes it still has something to gain by isolating Russia. But it is not clear that Harper even realizes -- or cares -- what the larger game is.

And that game may include a Russia-driven shift in global currency allegiance that could devastate the economies of the U.S. and Canada.
The generals surrounding him in the ridiculous war-room setting where he announced Canada was sending six fighter jets to bolster NATO's military build-up in eastern Europe looked very uncomfortable. Who likes being used as a prop for a faltering politician? The setting was a bad case of over-acting -- as if we were joining the Allies in another world war rather than engaging in what one expert called "incremental posturing."
Is Harper just a useful idiot to the U.S. -- ranting and raving about Russian expansionism and imperialism so that the U.S. position looks more reasonable by comparison?

Vermont Leads Food Labelling Fight

Monsanto and Big Food Losing the GMO and 'Natural' Food Fight
by Ronnie Cummins  - Organic Consumers Association
After 20 years of battling Monsanto and corporate agribusiness, food and farm activists in Vermont, backed by a growing Movement across the country, are on the verge of a monumental victory—mandatory labels on genetically engineered foods and a ban on the routine industry practice of labeling GMO-tainted foods as “natural.”

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed H.112 by a vote of 28-2, following up on the passage of a similar bill in the Vermont House last year. The legislation, which requires all GMO foods sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016, will now pass through a House/Senate conference committee before landing on Governor Peter Shumlin’s desk, for final approval.

Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as “natural” or “all natural”; while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago;

"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."
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Digesting the System and Singing Praise to Power

Supper Time: Singing the Praises of Power
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
In any power structure, at any level, it's not enough -- it's never enough -- that you simply acquiesce to it, or grudgingly accept it, or silently go along with it, or even openly compromise with it. No, you must also sing its praises. It's never sufficient just to obey the system of power; you must love it, you must laud it -- and you must do this sincerely.
This is what power always demands. You must acknowledge that the system is essentially good, doing essentially good things. Of course, it might veer from its essential goodness now and then: mistakes are made, good intentions can go awry, and yes, sometimes bad people can abuse the system and do bad things. But that's when bold voices are needed to step up and spark debate, instigate reforms and return the system to its true moral equilibrium once more.
However, a lack of proper enthusiasm, a failure to appreciate the essential goodness of the system, can leave you under a cloud of suspicion: What are you, some kind of radical? A wrecker? Are you ungrateful, spiteful, envious? Some kind of purist, prig, holier-than-thou? You think you're above the rest of us, who love the system and work so hard to make it better?

Breaking Damascus: Dispatch 2014/04/21

Brief Updates from Damascus - 2014/04/21
by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza
This morning I heard the familiar shelling sounds of mortar being fired by “rebels” from the Jobar region (usually, sometime from other east-of -Damascus “rebel”-infiltrated areas) upon the city.

Later, scanning the news I read that one civilian was killed and at least two others injured in the at least seven mortar attacks near Dar al-Salam school and al-Zablatani area (not far from where I am staying, less than 1 km from here). The school is in an area not far from where the Peace Delegation stayed a week ago. Damascenes are living under daily attacks by these unguided but lethal mortars.
Later, I talk with a man from Aleppo. When I asked him about the situation there, he replies, “there’s little food, we’re besieged,” he says, making the same hand-motion of being locked in I make when talking about Gaza.

I ask from who. “The ‘rebels’,” he says.

He isn’t jovial like the people I’ve been seeing here in Damascus, who are further removed from the atrocities of the “rebels”.

I ask if I can conduct a formal interview with him. Shakes his head, “they’d cut my head off it I did.”

Ask if he knows people who’ve been decapitated by the “rebels.”

Shakes his head yes, “ay, nam.” Yes.

Capitol Crimes: Danger of Knowing Too Much in Today's Washington

Too Big to Jail? Why Kidnapping, Torture, Assassination, and Perjury Are No Longer Crimes in Washington
How the mighty have fallen. Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars.
Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history -- the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program. 
A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. 
It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S. district judge who told him that his “criminal act” was "a very serious one" and had been “committed by a national security expert who lost his moral compass." It was a remarkable ending for a man who nearly reached the heights of Pentagon power, was almost appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had the president’s ear.
In fact, Gen. James Cartwright has not gone to jail and the above paragraph remains -- as yet -- a grim Washington fairy tale.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Terry Wolfwood, Jon Elmer, Janine Bandcroft Apr. 21, 2014

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
che kokoTucked into the Northwest corner of the African continent, a desperate struggle for national recognition continues, largely overlooked by the outside world.

The people of the Western Sahara, the Saharawi, have suffered annexation, colonization, and occupation at the hands of a variety of malefactors, and their decades-long privation continues today.

As with other oppressed populations, the Saharawi have the misfortune of living on lands coveted by both their neighbours and marauding trans-national corporations, whose insatiable desire for mineral wealth has condemned the people to multi-generational exile.
Theresa Wolfwood is Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation, and is a writer, photographer, and long-time activist who has traveled from the highlands of Mexico to the gates of Gaza and beyond in pursuit of peace, social justice, and women's rights. Wolfwood has written for Briarpatch, Peace News, and Third World Resurgence among others, and is local coordinator for Victoria's Women in Black.
Terry is recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Western Sahara and will be presenting an illustrated talk relating her experiences at the Algerian refugee camps of the Saharawi.

'Beyond the Veil of Sand: The Life of the Saharawi People in Exile and Under Occupation' is this month's feature at Cafe Simpatico, taking place this Friday, April 25th at 1923 Fernwood Road, in the heart of the Fernwood community.
Terry Wolfwood in the first half.
And; Passover in Palestine means even less passing over Israeli checkpoints. The added restriction of the holidays means most to Gaza's captured population, dependent on the passage of goods and vital fuel supplies from Israel. With the hostile coup regime in Egypt tightening the Rafah crossing, and the tunnel economy in tatters, Gaza is more completely at the mercy of Israel than ever.
Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance journalist and photojournalist specializing in the Middle East, and on Canadian foreign and military policy. Elmer has lived in and reported from Occupied Palestine for the better part of the last decade, while reporting too from more than a dozen countries from Nepal and Western Sahara, to the Basque country, and here in Canada. His articles and photographs are featured at the Journal of Palestine Studies, Le Monde diplomatique, The Progressive, and Al Jazeera English among others, and at his web site Jon is also a contributor, with Anthony Fenton, to the book, 'Empire's Ally: Canada in Afghanistan.'

Jon Elmer and high holidays in the Holy Land in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher 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 to do in and around Victoria in the coming week. But first, Terry Wolfwood behind Western Sahara's Veil of Sand.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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CBC ZunZuneo Coverage Merely a Platform for US Conservative Think Tanks Agitprop

Response to Anti-Cuba CBC Interview Regarding ZunZuneo Scandal
emily parkerDear CBC and “Q”; I am writing to respond to Piya Chattopadhyay's interview on “Q” with Emily Parker, a recent foreign policy adviser to the US Department of State.

The interview was regarding the newly uncovered scandal of ZunZuneo, the US government's secret project to create a Twitter-like service in Cuba with the aim of provoking dissent and overthrowing the Cuban government.

The unconcealed attempt by both interviewer and interviewee to redirect all of the blame against the Cuban government skillfully managed to miss all of the facts of the case.
Was Ms. Parker really the most informed and objective opinion CBC and “Q” could find on this subject? Why not interview any of the 3 authors who wrote the extensively researched Associated Press article which broke the ZunZuneo story in the first place? Why interview a paid foreign policy adviser to the US government instead?
Given the massive bias, it's obvious why the most fundamental question regarding the ZunZuneo scandal was never asked or answered. What moral, legal, or political right does the US government have to fund secret programs with the specific aim of overthrowing another country's government?
It is also not surprising that the 53 year old US travel and trade blockade of Cuba was never mentioned either.

The Neo-York Times' Nazi Fifth Column

Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative
by Robert Parry Consortium News
nicholasdkristofAfter the Feb. 22 coup in Ukraine – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias – European and U.S. diplomats pushed for a quick formation of a new government out of fear that otherwise these far-right ultra-nationalists would be left in total control, one of those diplomats told me.

"Bear hunter" New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof

The comment again underscores the inconvenient truth of what happened in Ukraine: neo-Nazis were at the forefront of the Kiev coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych, a reality that the U.S. government and news media have been relentlessly trying to cover up.

Although real-time reports from the scene in February chronicled armed and organized militias associated with the neo-Nazi Svoboda party and the Right Sektor attacking police with firebombs and light weapons, that information soon became a threat to the Western propaganda theme that Yanukovych fled simply because peaceful protesters occupied the Maidan square.

So, the more troubling history soon disappeared into the memory hole, dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” The focus of the biased U.S. news media is now on the anti-Kiev militants in the Russian-ethnic areas of eastern Ukraine who have rejected the authority of the coup regime and are insisting on regional autonomy.

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Using Jews to Ignite Ukraine: Paper Kindling for War Propaganda

Paper Kindling for War Propaganda: Using Jews to Ignite Ukraine
by C. L. Cook - Pacific Free Press
canwestgobbles2The newspaper clipping pinned to my wall bears the date: Friday, May 19, 2006. It's yellowed headline, in 20 point caps says: 'IRAN EYES BADGES FOR JEWS.' Though the version on my wall emanated from Canada's National Post newspaper, variations of the copy appeared across the country the same day, and indeed featured on Israel-friendly covers around the world.

Beneath the headline is a large, black and white photograph of a man and woman standing shoulder to shoulder in winter dress and looking directly into the camera. Behind them a snow-blown and deserted city street. The streetscape is generic; it could be any city in America, Europe, or almost anywhere, but the pale piece of cloth in the shape of the Star of David sewn over the heart on each of the pair's overcoats stamps indelibly the time.   

The hatted man's expression is not blank, or impassive so much as fixedly determined to remain inscrutable. His moustache is trimmed, his scarf and coat expensive, but worn. The woman's hair is tied in a scarf, her coat second-hand and looking more like a man's, perhaps once belonging to the man she stands beside now. Her hands are in her pockets, her shoulders slightly stooped as if by the cold, her head tilting a little to the right, towards her partner in the picture. Her eyes betray a lively intelligence, her subtle, crooked smile a mischievous humour. Below the couple, the caption reads:

"A Jewish couple wear stars in the Budapest ghetto, 1944. The Nazis required the stars be worn to distinguish Jews from non-Semites. Now, the government of Iran is formulating a law to require non-Muslims to wear distinctive colours: yellow for Jews, red for Christians."

The article and its evocative accompanying photo were printed at the height of a concerted media campaign to expand America's wars in western Asia to Iran. The drum beat for that expansive carnage hasn't faltered so much as modulated in pitch ever since. That the article's main contention was false, proven a fabrication cut, as they say, from whole cloth, mattered little when revealed a couple days after the sensational "news" spread across media platforms around the globe. The news cycle just moved along.

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Havoc the Kingdon: Unemployment and Poverty in the Land of the Saud's

Havoc in the Kingdom
by Nicola Nasser - CounterPunch
Survival is the key word to understand the Saudi dynasty’s latest external and internal policies. These are designed to pre-empt change but paradoxically they are creating more enemies in a changing world order marked by turbulent regional geopolitics and growing internal demands for change.
The seventy-year old strategic oil for security US-Saudi alliance seemed about to crack on its 69th anniversary ahead of the summit meeting of US President Barak Obama and king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in March.
With the US now committed to pivoting east and possibly on track to become an oil exporter by 2017, American and Saudi policies are no longer identical.

Life During War Time: Morning Conversations with a Damascene Woman

Morning Conversation with a Sunni Damascene Woman
by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza
bartlett damascus hotel 04-14We’re sitting in the cafe of the ancient home-hotel I’m staying in for a ridiculously cheap price. I’m surround by arches, wooden beams, wrought iron decor, vast ceilings and windows, daylight and call-to-prayer and church bells filtering in. Fairouz graces the space, her lilting voice a morning ritual.
the lovely, but empty of tourists, hotel I’m staying in, in the old city of Damascus 

If it weren’t for the sordid reality of the various attacks on areas throughout Syria by so-called “rebels”…. pause, another round of mortar attacks just now…it would be paradise.

As it is, the people I’ve been meeting the last ten days have been as lovely and gracious as the Palestinians I’ve met over the years in occupied Palestine. And similarly, they are living under a siege… sanctions on the state which are one of the reasons life has gotten so expensive here (other reasons being “rebels” taking over factories, particularly in the north, I’m told, taking over petrol stations, taking over medicine factories…), but in spite of the higher cost of living for these people whose salaries don’t now suffice (despite free education and health care here), they are generous, as the Palestinians under occupation.

Ukraine: Phony Fliers and Other NATO Lies

Flyers Telling Jews To Register Are Not From the Donetsk People's Republic - Moscow Does Not Negotiate For the Donetsk People's Republic
by Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency - Boston IndyMedia
On Thursday the Russian Federation, U.S., EU, and the U.S. imposed coup government of Kiev agreed on terms for the surrender of the anti-coup uprising in eastern Ukraine. The agreement between these powers demands the workers of eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms and abandon seized buildings. Supposedly representing the working class of eastern Ukraine was the Russian capitalist state, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking for Russia.

Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People's Republic, responded to this absurdity saying, "Lavrov did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation."

Despite the lies in the corporate media of Russian intervention, fact is, what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a working class uprising against the pro-IMF and chauvinistic coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February. This working class uprising in eastern Ukraine has seized at least 10 cities. It has also won soldiers to their side that were sent to crush the uprising. Despite western hopes, it is also not surrendering, despite what Moscow says.
In addition, reports in the western corporate media that the Donetsk People's Republic is telling Jews to register as Jews with the People's Republic authorities are false.