The latest report by a Dutch-led investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner in 2014 casting blame on Russia for the disaster follows the same reprehensible flouting of due process as the Skripal poison affair.
No credible evidence is ever presented. The charges leveled against Russia largely rely on assertion and innuendo. And despite the grave implications for the accused, Russia is not permitted to access the investigation file independently to form an adequate defense against the claims.
This is far from the standard of due legal process. Ironically, by Western governments that claim to be paragons of law and jurisprudence.
It is more akin to an inquisition where guilt is presumed from the outset, and where the prosecution is tilted heavily in favor of the accusers.
When the Saudi Crown Prince gave an interview to the Washington Post, declaring that it was actually the West that encouraged his country to spread Wahhabism to all corners of the world, there was a long silence in almost all the mass media outlets in the West, but also in countries such as Egypt and Indonesia.
Those who read the statement, expected a determined rebuke from Riyadh. It did not come. The sky did not fall. Lightning did not strike the Prince or the Post.
Clearly, not all that the Crown Prince declared appeared on the pages of the Washington Post, but what actually did, would be enough to bring down entire regimes in such places like Indonesia, Malaysia or Brunei.
Or at least it would be enough under ‘normal circumstances’.
That is, if the population there was not already hopelessly and thoroughly indoctrinated and programed, and if the rulers in those countries did not subscribe to, or tolerate, the most aggressive, chauvinistic and ritualistic (as opposed to the intellectual or spiritual) form of the religion.
Reading between the lines, the Saudi Prince suggested that it was actually the West which, while fighting an ‘ideological war’ against the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, handpicked Islam and its ultra-orthodox and radical wing – Wahhabism – as an ally in destroying almost all the progressive, anti-imperialist and egalitarian aspirations in the countries with a Muslim majority.
Repeat after me: Canada is seldom a force for good in the world, Canada is seldom a force for good in the world.
Thomas Walkom’s “Canada should board Korean peace train” is yet another example of how the progressive end of the dominant media has been seduced by Canadian foreign policy mythology.
The leftist Toronto Star columnist offers an astute analysis of what’s driving rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula.
He points out that the two Koreas are moving the process forward and that Pyongyang believes “complete denuclearization” of the Peninsula includes the US forces in the region aiming nuclear weapons at it.
Former Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Lester B. Pearson
May 31st marks the deadline set by Kinder Morgan for British Columbia to guarantee the Texas oil operator's Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The project has been massively controversial in BC, but its political import has made less of an impression on the country east of the Rockies.
Maybe that explains why Justin Trudeau's Liberals have waded into the debate, saying the federal government will underwrite the pipeline should Kinder Morgan follow through with its implicit threat to quit in the face of implacable opposition.
Gerard Di Trolio is a Toronto-based writer specializing in Canadian labour and political issues. He also serves as an editor to the labour website, RankandFile.ca. His recent article, 'The NDP's Oil Problem' appears online at JacobinMag.com and puts that party's would-be environmental ducks in the middle of the tar pond pipeline muck.
Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, lecturer, and author whose book titles include: ‘The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy,’ ‘Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping — The Truth May Hurt,’ ‘The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy,’ ‘Canada in Africa — 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation,’ and his latest, ‘A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation.’
Yves recently wrote an anticipatory article about the NDP convention, 'Burying Canada’s Anti-Palestinian Consensus', and attended to see which way the new NDP's winds would blow on Palestine. He's now joined a growing clamour demanding the party's withdrawal from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group.
Yves Engler in the second half.
And; Victoria-based greentrepreneur and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin, bringing us up to speed with some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Gerard Di Trolio and the NDP's oil problem.
UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.
133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing is astonishing if it is one individual:
The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen.
I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings.
Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being. There are three options here. “Philip Cross” is either a very strange person indeed, or is a false persona disguising a paid operation to control Wikipedia content, or is a real front person for such an operation in his name.
Why does this – to take the official explanation – sad obsessive no friends nutter, matter? Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative, particularly in foreign affairs.
“Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the interests of Israel. This matters because, an ordinary reader who comes across an article questioning (say) the official narrative on the Skripals, is very likely to turn to Wikipedia to get information on the author of the article.
Is it appropriate for NDP Members of Parliament to be working for “greater friendship” with a country that is killing and maiming thousands of non-violent protestors?
Would it have been appropriate for any elected member of the party to be a “friend” with South Africa’s government during the apartheid era?
Victoria area MPs Randall Garrison (left) and Murray Rankin are members of the Canada Israel Interparliamentary Group (previously named Canada-Israel Friendship Group).
Garrison is vice-chair of a group designed to promote “greater friendship” and “cooperation” between the two countries’ parliaments.
The chair of the group is York Centre MP Michael Levitt, a former board member of the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund, who issued a statement blaming “Hamas incitement” for Israeli forces shooting thousands of peaceful protesters, including Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani.
While prospects for a Middle East peace smoulder in the ruins of America's foreign policy Donald Trump is yet hopeful he can match his predecessor, garnering his own Nobel Peace Prize.
Next month, the Trump show is on the road to Singapore and there, with Kim Jong Un as featured performer, the great ringmaster plans to undo the Democratic People's Republic of Korea right before our eyes! Or something like that.
The skeptics though are out in force, none more prominently than those in the Pentagon who, according to my first guest, are doing what they can to make sure peace in the Pacific doesn't break out anytime soon.
Peter Lee is a freelance journalist writing on East and South Asian affairs as they intersect US global policy. He blogs at the Asian affairs website China Matters, and his China Watch report features on Newsbud.com.
And; every time the prospect of an end to the seven years-long nightmare endured by the people of Syria rises the pernicious Bashar al-Assad launches a gas attack against his own citizens. Or so the Western press narrative of events unfolded in that benighted country would have us believe. Others believe these so-called gas attacks, inscrutably committed by Assad when they do his government the most damage, are actually false flag attacks staged to justify retaliation like Donald Trump's recent rocket attacks, and designed to perpetuate the conflict there.
Whitney Webb and a war not allowed to end in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Peter Lee and Trump's pivot to Asia.
“the evasions and obfuscations of these two willing technicians of state terror are chillingly similar”
On May 9, Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s choice for head of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified at her Senate confirmation hearing in Washington, DC. Some senators questioned her about her tenure, in 2002, as CIA station chief in Thailand.
There, the agency ran one of the “black sites” where suspected al-Qaida extremists were interrogated using procedures that included waterboarding. She was also asked about her role in the destruction of videotapes in 2005 that documented the torture of illegally detained suspects.
Her evasive answers to these questions, disconcerting and unsatisfying, are also hauntingly familiar. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped by Israeli spies in Argentina and brought to trial in Jerusalem for his part in the extermination of millions of European Jews during Germany’s Third Reich.
Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem. The glass booth in which Eichmann sat was erected to protect him from assassination. (Photo credit: Israeli Government)
In his interrogation with Israeli police, published as Eichmann Interrogated, DeCopo Books, NY, 1999, Eichmann stated that in the intervening years since the acts in question his own view of them had evolved and before the Senate on May 9, Haspel expressed herself similarly.
Every day several kind souls contact me to tell me I can't understand Syria without knowing about Genie Energy. Actually I was the first radical to spot and publicise it, in February 2013, when I analysed its illegality in international law.
21 Feb, 2013
Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.
“Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented,
“Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets. Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”
“I am grateful to Howard Jonas and IDT for the opportunity to invest in this important initiative,” Lord Rothschild said. “Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner. Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”
For Israel to seek to exploit mineral reserves in the occupied Golan Heights is plainly illegal in international law.
Following a brief hearing in Philadelphia yesterday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker, learning that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office had thus far failed find and turn over, in response to his earlier order, any documents showing a role by former District Attorney Ron Castille regarding the department’s handling of an appeal by then death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, adjourned the hearing until Aug. 30.
The judge acted to give Abu-Jamal’s attorneys time to depose a former DA employee about a still unlocated memo apparently composed by her for then DA Castile concerning Abu-Jamal’s case. Later, Tracey Kavanagh, the attorney from the DA’s office who represented the DA's office at the hearing, stood outside on the sidewalk outside the Criminal Justice Center amidst a scrum of TV cameras and said,
“We haven’t found any evidence so far that Judge Castille played any role as DA in Abu-Jamal’s appeal of his conviction. It was just a run-of-the-mill appeals process.”
If one wanted evidence of how absurd Kavanagh's assertion was — that the appeal of a 1982 murder conviction and death sentence for the slaying of a white police officer by one of the city’s leading African-American journalists, himself a police critic and former member of the city’s Black Panther Party, was anything but a prime political concern for District Attorney Castille, whose office had the responsibility of preventing any challenge to sentence — all one had to do was try to get into the courtroom on Monday.
Though the Western press routinely dismisses Ukrainian resistance to Poroshenko as "pro-Russian", portraying the military conflict in the country as Putin's proxy war of annexation, less mentioned is the role the United States and its European allies played in both the overthrow of the democratically elected Yanukovych government or their continued support of ongoing hostilities there.
Roger Annis is a longtime socialist and trade union activist. He's a prolific essayist, whose website, A Socialist in Canada covers a broad swath of topics and issues from a social justice and peace perspective. He's followed events in Ukraine since 2014, and visited eastern Ukraine and Crimea to see firsthand what the coup has meant for the people there.
Roger Annis in the first half.
And; last weekend, another UN General Assembly declared World Press Freedom Day passed without a word being spoken in that august body in favour of the release of journalist/prisoner, Julian Assange. The co-founder and face of WikiLeaks has missed seven World Press Freedom Days confined on pain of arrest and imprisonment should he venture out the door of Ecuador's London embassy; and though the UN says Britain's promise of imprisonment against him is arbitrary and has no standing in international law, Julian languishes still.
Notably absent too these last years is support from Assange's fourth estate colleagues; perhaps because Julian Assange and WikiLeaks don't fit neatly into traditional media's mold.
Dr. Nozomi Hayase is a columnist, essayist, and author whose writing and activism she says is, "dedicated to liberation of all people". Her articles on free speech, transparency, and the vital role of whistleblowers in global society appear at Counterpunch, CommonDreams, Dissident Voice, and Antiwar.com among other places. Nozomi's new book, 'WikiLeaks, the Global Fourth Estate: History Is Happening', a compendium of her many articles on the topic, is available now online at her website, nozomihayase.com.
Nozomi Hayase and dispelling the distortions of what WikiLeaks is and does in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things going on in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Roger Annis and the papering over of western complicity in Kyiv's war against eastern Ukraine.
As Honduran refugees squeezed between street gangsters and the immovably corrupt government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez hang fire in Tijuana, protests by the little people in the capital reportedly "turned violent" Tuesday. That's the neutral "turn of phrase" the professional western media uses when the monied interests, friends of the bankers and resource barons of El Norte, are challenged by those they rob daily.
The truth is plainer: Social order in Honduras has been brought to the breaking point by the thieves who stole the government, (with the blessing of Canada and the United States) and the failure of the capitalist system - at least as practiced by Hernandez and his cohorts.
And, the evidence of that failure is both bleeding in the streets of Tegucigalpa, and banging on America's doors at Mexican crossings and elsewhere.
Contrast the reportage of the growing riots in Honduras, that followed years of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations, with the recent eruption of "Arab Spring-like" manifestations in neighbouring Nicaragua. There, a leftist government long a thorn in the imperial paw touched off a tax revolt after announcing changes to the state pension plan - changes Sandinista President, Manuel Ortega was quick to reverse, but to listen to the BBC, CBC, and US corporate press, it sounds as though Satan himself has risen in Managua.
Daniel Kovalik is a human rights lawyer, essayist, and author who’s book, ‘The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin’ is still fresh a year after publication. He teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is Senior Associate General Counsel for the United Steel Workers union, and is a long-time peace and justice activist, focused especially on Colombia and Central America, where he serves as an attorney for Colombian plaintiffs in cases alleging corporate human rights violations. Dan is too a co-recipient of a Project Censored Award for chronicling the murder of trade unionists in Colombia.
Dan Kovalik in the first half.
And; while Palestinians continue to press for their rights in the homeland they've watched being stolen for three generations and more, their 'Great March of Return' in it's fifth week now, has highlighted the brutality of the Netanyahu regime. Every Friday hundreds of demonstrators have been injured, many shot in the legs by snipers with high velocity, live rounds. At least fifty are confirmed to have been shot dead. Tomorrow is another Friday, and the desperately determined people of Gaza will again go to the wall, emblem of their suffering, and challenge Israel's conscience.
In cities around the World, others have demonstrated in solidarity for the Palestinian cause. I went down to where the Victoria chapter of CAIA, Canadians Against Israeli Apartheid hold their weekly vigil downtown after the second week of killings and talked to both CAIA and pro-Israel counter-demonstrators.
Gaza and the Great March seen from a great distance in the second half.
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft, and greentrepreneur extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic will be here in studio at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin to bring us up to speed with some of the good things to get up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Dan Kovalik and troubling times bubbling over in Central America.