Robert Parry: Blind-Eyed Seeing Through Washington's Decline

An Apology and Explanation

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

December 31, 2017  

For readers who have come to see Consortiumnews as a daily news source, I would like to extend my personal apology for our spotty production in recent days.

On Christmas Eve, I suffered a stroke that has affected my eyesight (especially my reading and thus my writing) although apparently not much else.

The doctors have also been working to figure out exactly what happened since I have never had high blood pressure, I never smoked, and my recent physical found nothing out of the ordinary.

Perhaps my personal slogan that “every day’s a work day” had something to do with this.


Journalist Robert Parry

Perhaps, too, the unrelenting ugliness that has become Official Washington and national journalism was a factor. It seems that since I arrived in Washington in 1977 as a correspondent for The Associated Press, the nastiness of American democracy and journalism has gone from bad to worse.


Add a comment
Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Virginia Tilley, Zarefah Baroud, Jan. 4th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

January 4, 2017

Welcome to the first GR of 2018. Or is it 1918? That was the year America was rocked by its first Red Scare. A century later, though media technologies are infinitely more sophisticated, the reptilian appeal to the basest elements of human nature remains as primitive as the limbic brain itself.

The secret to the success of this kind of mass deception is provided by Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels who helpfully said,

"The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."

That principle was eagerly adopted by the second wave of Red Scare McCarthyites after the Second World War, and may sound uncomfortably familiar today, as a third wave of Red Scarists crest.


Listen. Hear.


Dr. Virginia Tilley is Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She's also an essayist and author specializing in the comparative study of ethnic and racial conflict. Tilley's book titles include, 'Seeing Indians: A Study of Race, Nation and Power in El Salvador,' 'The One State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock,' and co-author and editor of 'Beyond Occupation: Apartheid, Colonialism and International Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories'.

Virginia's articles appear at The Nation, Electronic Intifada, and among other places. Her latest piece, 'The New Hysteria on Kremlin Trolls' takes aim at a Pravda-worthy Washington Post rant against internet news rival, CounterPunch.

Virginia Tilley in the first half.

And; 2017, or Year One as U.S. president, Donald Trump may prefer, was by turns a bizarre and watershed year for American politics; and because what happens in the United States doesn't stay just there, reverberations of the Trump Doctrine's inaugural year are still being felt around the World. Nowhere is this more true than in Occupied Palestine, where the announcement of plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and relocate the US Embassy there, has predictably enough spurred a backlash that now threatens a renewed Intifada.

It's ironic, or perhaps karmanic, that the country most keenly affected by US domestic policy, Israel, itself exerts the greatest influence on American life. From the massive transfers of wealth in the form of "aid" and the hugely influential Israel Lobby in Washington, to militarized police training and the construction of president Trump's 'Great Wall' immigration policies, Israel and America are fellow travellers engaged in a true, two-way partnership. It is however, according to my second guest, a toxic relationship bringing hardship and injustice, especially to those, "...already socio-economically disadvantaged and marginalized."

Zarefah Baroud is a freelance social and political commentator whose writing addresses human rights and environmental issues. A Media and Communications student at the University of Washington, her articles can be found at CounterPunch, Scoop, and Foreign Policy Journal among others.

Zarefah Baroud and Reevaluating a Toxic Relationship in the second half. But first, Virginia Tilley and what's old is new again with The New Hysteria on Kremlin Trolls.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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:
Add a comment
Read more ...

Ta’iz, Yemen: Another Rubbled City in the Endless War

Remaining Peaceful Was Their Choice

by Kathy Kelly - VCNV

December 31, 2017

People living now in Yemen’s third largest city, Ta’iz, have endured unimaginable circumstances for the past three years. Civilians fear to go outside lest they be shot by a sniper or step on a land mine.

Both sides of a worsening civil war use Howitzers, Kaytushas, mortars and other missiles to shell the city.

Residents say no neighborhood is safer than another, and human rights groups report appalling violations, including torture of captives. Two days ago, a Saudi-led coalition bomber killed 54 people in a crowded market place. Before the civil war developed, the city was regarded as the official cultural capital of Yemen, a place where authors and academics, artists and poets chose to live.

Ta’iz 2011 image source: https://rajaalthaibani.

Add a comment

Read more ...

Gorilla Radio X-Mas/Year-Ender Show with Chris Cook, Ken Boon, Christina Nikolic December 28th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

December 28, 2017


Welcome to the Year-ender show, wherein you'll enjoy seasonally-themed blatherskite, music, and more.

It's been a pretty strange year past, punctuated with highs and lows that, like the weather, have peaked with extraordinary insistence. I think it's a trend we're going to have to learn to adapt to.

As if to echo, the political climate has too been erratic. In British Columbia, our Spring time election witnessed the bizarre, Mugabe-like siege of the Legislature by the Liberals, taking months as it turned out to prise Christy Clark's death-rip from the reins of power before a Summer swearing in of a government of an entirely new stripe.

Or at least, that's how it was advertised.

But as Autumn turned, so did hopes the NDP would prove itself an alternative to the crony capitalist, BCLiberals. Just two weeks ago, the new premier announced the government would continue the course set by Clark and carry the Site C dam project forward - a project with more strikes against it than an English coal mine.


Listen. Hear.


I hosted quite a few shows about Site C over the last year, (and previous ones too) most frequently speaking with Peace Valley farmer and president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, Ken Boon. I'll talk to Ken again in the second half of the show to get his take on possible next steps in the continued resistance to this disastrous turn of events.

I'll also talk to long-time Victoria-based green business savant and horticulturalist extraordinaire, Christina Nikolic at the bottom of the hour, taking the pulse of the city and environs with the Left Coast Events bulletin for the X-Mas/New Year's week.

But before letting go the scruff of Christmas past; in a recent interview John Horgan, as if to underline for any still thinking the NDP would change the province's political course announced,


"If we’re going to be a government that governs for all British Columbians, we have to set aside our activism and start being better administrators."

Then he began packing a bag for his January trade mission to Asia; where he'll undoubtedly get the opportunity to demonstrate that administrative malleability to Site C contract awardee, CCCI, aka the China Communications Construction Company Ltd.

In the same interview, Horgan also said it wasn't Christmas for him until he'd heard the Pogues song, Fairytale of New York. It seems a fitting companion piece to the beginning of the end of another failed dream of change in BC. Happy Christmas Premier Horgan, this one is for you.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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:


Read more ...

Professing the Crusade: Shedding Light on Come from the Shadows

Professing the Crusade: Shedding Light on Come from the Shadows

by C. L. Cook -

November 23, 2011


[Note: This reissued piece I again rescued from a mysterious 'forced retirement' from my websites. - Ape December 2017]


I recently interviewed Terry Glavin, author of 'Come from the Shadows: the long and lonely struggle for peace in Afghanistan.' The book is a treatise arguing a necessary continuation of the decades-old war the "West" has waged against "Islamists" and "fascists" in Afghanistan.

The link to an audio file of the interview is here, and square brackets indicate the time where a given quote can be accessed. Glavin's segment begins at [35:30].

Glavin is a Canadian, particularly concerned with Canada's continued contribution to 'The Mission' in Afghanistan. He uses that nation's abject suffering at the hands of the Taliban as justification for the largely unrecorded occupation force slaughter of civilians in their thousands through night raids, drone missile attacks, deaths in custody by torture, (at the hands of Afghan police, military, and the internal security apparatus) and summary execution of suspect "militants." His mission, he claims, is to speak for Afghanistan's women, bringing them universal suffrage and equal rights.

Glavin told me the book was likely to be upsetting and confusing for a lot of readers, saying; "there's gonna be a lot of people it's gonna really hurt them a lot; it's gonna sting." [43:10] "Sting," Glavin says, because Canadians have been made "enfeebled in their understanding on Afghanistan," enfeebled because in his view, "voices and the views and the positions of brown people are ignored and overlooked..."


Add a comment
Read more ...

The Mad Folly of John Horgan: BC Premier Defies Reason and the Law to Approve Site C Dam

The Madness of John Horgan

by Ken Boon - Peace Valley Landowner Assoc.

December 23, 2017


 The B.C. NDP government announced last week that it would complete the controversial hydroelectric dam rather than cancel the project.


The province's independent energy regulator concluded in a report last month that the dam is over budget and behind schedule. By approving Site C, Premier John Horgan has guaranteed that every underpaid and overworked Bob Cratchit in B.C. will pay a heavy price for his bad governance and that First Nations will pay the heaviest price of all in the loss of land and sovereignty.

The Ghost of Muskrat Madness can explain the full tragedy just by describing the disastrous problems at a hydro mega-project in Newfoundland.

Horgan said that in the decision of Site C, consent was not required as the decision to build the dam had already been made. I sometimes wonder if these leaders know how silly they sound with the semantics they use. The BC NDP government was making a critical decision on whether to cancel or proceed with the project. They made the motions of sending Ministers Mungall and Fraser to talk to the treaty 8 Nations.

But they didn’t bother talking to or meeting with First Nation in the province on the impact on them in not being able to produce clean energy because of Site C. Billions of dollars in lost investment. They didn’t calculate that in the cost of Site C and the money that would go into education, day care and hospitals from those projects.

Read more ...

Draining Ottawa's Poison Foreign Policy Pustule

Draining Ottawa’s Foreign Policy Swamp

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

December 21st, 2017

Drain the swamp’ was a popular Donald Trump campaign slogan that referred to reducing the influence of Washington lobbyists. While the three words reflect an extreme lack of ecological consciousness — wetlands need to be protected and recreated, not destroyed — the image of politicians slogging their way through lobbyist infected, tangled, dense vegetation and deep oozing mud is a useful one.

Like the US capital, much of Ottawa was also built on mosquitoes’ favourite habitat and both cities today have an ongoing pest problem: blood sucking influence peddlers swarming the countries’ decision makers. That image helps explain why there is little deviation from Canada’s official foreign policy positions even amongst social democratic members of Parliament.

The recently re-established Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CPPFG) offers a window into the dearth of opposition, notably from the NDP, to the foreign policy establishment. Chaired by Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara, CPPFG has nine MPs representing all the parties in the House of Commons except the Conservatives. But, CPPFG isn’t one of 17 official parliamentary associations or groups so it doesn’t receive public financial or administrative support, unlike the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary group.


Add a comment

Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ray Grigg, Douglas Gook, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 21, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L.

December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Jolly Kwanzaa and a very Cosmic Solstice as we enjoy today the great turning of the Sun too! It's normal at this late date to cast an eye back across the year's happenings and accomplishments, and it's been an eventful year here in BC, with a new government brought in - and brought in in such a novel way.

Many on the greener side of the political spectrum hoped the change would bring with it a new way of looking at the way things are done in this province, and my first guest may well be one of those.

Ray Grigg is the author of seven books on Taoism and Zen, and the columnist behind the long-running environmental column, Shades of Green. He recently released The EcoTrilogy, a compendium of sixteen years worth of his weekly column, comprising the books, Ecologos, Ecopathy, and Ecocide.



Listen. Hear.


Ray Grigg in the first half.

And; where British Columbia's ecological record during the sixteen-plus years reign of the BCLiberal party was never great, the last years, culminating as they did with the Mount Polley mine tailings disaster, proved particularly destructive. So, hope for change was especially buoyant when the electorate discharged the Liberals in favour of a coalition government featuring, for the first time in the nation's history, a Green Party component. But those hopes were dealt a cruel blow last week, when John Horgan's New Democratic Party refused to stop the contentious, and ecologically deleterious, Site C dam project.

Douglas Gook is a Quesnel-based ecology activist and farmer who’s focused on Eco forestry alternatives in the woods there and beyond for more than forty years. The Nechako Lakes Green Party of BC candidate is a director of the BC Environmental Network and Spirit Dance Cooperative Community, and leads Forest Protection Allies, one of the many environmental organizations pressuring government to get effective cleanup processes going, and appropriate compensation for those effected three years after the infamous Mt. Polley spill. He's also one of a growing chorus who do not accept the Site C decision as final.

Douglas Gook maintaining the fight against Site C in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin of good things you can get up to around here in the coming week. But first, Ray Grigg and The EcoTrilogy.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon 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:
Add a comment
Read more ...

Taibbi Breathing for Eric Garner

I Can't Breathe: Matt Taibbi's scorching book on the murder of Eric Garner and the system that let the killers get away with it

by Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing

December 15, 2017


Matt Taibbi is one of the best political writers working in the USA today, someone who can use the small, novelistic details of individuals' lives to illuminate the vast, systemic problems that poison our lives and shame our honor; his 2014 book The Divide conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the impunity of corporate criminals and the kafkaesque injustices visited on the poor people they victimize; in I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, Taibbi narrows his focus to the police murder of Eric Garner, a Staten Island fixture and father, and the system that put murderers in uniform in his path.

Taibbi opens the book with a masterful, novelistic account of the racial divide in Staten Island, the brutal impunity of the NYPD, the lives of the people they stalk, humiliate, beat, and frame.

He introduces us to Tomkins Park, the neighborhood where Eric Garner was a fixture, selling untaxed cigarettes he brought in from out of state, and to Garner himself, a complicated, funny, bright, unlucky, likable man whose bad luck and bad choices had put him on that corner, selling smokes to keep his family fed, clothed and sheltered.

As Taibbi unravels the story of Garner, the circumstances that led to him being choked to death by a group of police officers who went on to terrorize Garner's friend for recording a video of the murder and releasing it, who faced no meaningful penalties -- and who, we learn, had long rapsheets for brutal, sadistic policing, he weaves the long history and diverse social and political circumstances that led to that moment.

Add a comment

Read more ...

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ingmar Lee Dec. 14, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

December 14, 2017

It’s been two weeks since the ATB, or Articulated Tanker Barge, Jake Shearer separated from its 10,000 ton tanker load of Alaska-bound crude oil off Hecate Strait along British Columbia’s mid-coast region.

Less than a nautical mile from disaster, the stormy weather very nearly dashing the barge onto Gosling Rocks, where the result would surely have been the long-predicted Exxon Valdez-like ruination of one of the World’s most precious natural marine environments.

Whether by luck, or some divine intervention, that disaster did not take place November 30th, 2017, but the threat remains, and it’s only a matter of time before it does happen.

Listen. Hear.


Ingmar Lee is a long-time, BC-based environmental defender. From the Nanaimo watershed and first-growth valley bottoms of Vancouver Island, to the nuclear plant-threatened coastline of India, and the threatened shores and Sandhill Crane nesting grounds of British Columbia’s mid-coast, Ingmar has advocated for and stood between an increasingly fragile ecosystem and the rapine destructiveness of big business and its government enablers. For this he’s been arrested and charged in the courts, and had his name traduced and character vilified in the corporate and state media. Yet though he persists in defense of the wild world.

Ingmar Lee and the long fight for the embattled natural world in a special end of year Gorilla Radio presentation.


Add a comment

Read more ...

Why Honduras Matters: Revisiting Fifty Years of Oppression

Why the Honduras Crisis Matters to Me

by Rick Sterling - Dissident Voice

December 12th, 2017 


For seven months in 1969 I hitch-hiked around the US, Mexico and Central America with my best friend from high school. Some class-mates from our school in Vancouver Canada saved their money then travelled to Europe or Australia but Ollie and I headed south.

It was an eye-opening experience for two middle class Canadians. We had a lot of learning experiences in the US but today I want to talk about Honduras because it is in crisis as I write this: the Honduran election took place on 26 November yet the results are still in contention.

Will the current right wing government manage to retain power?



Add a comment
Read more ...

"I Have No Choice" Says BC Premier

"I Have No Choice" Says BC Premier

by C. L. Cook - Pacific Free Press

December 11, 2017

Today's is a date that will live in infamy in British Columbia. On the 20th anniversary of the precedent setting Delgamuukw decision on First Nations rights and treaty-making, the New Democratic Party has turned its back on First Nations' objections to a mega project that will submerge the spirit of that decision, washing away those rights as surely as the rising waters of the Peace River.

In announcing the decision to continue the controversial project, NDP leader, John Horgan insisted, "I had no choice." Now, it's clear, voters in BC have no political alternative to the corporate BC Liberals, who initiated Site C, a project not only environmentally, culturally, and politically devastating for the province, but also a white elephant certain to be financially crippling for generations to come.

As disappointing as the NDP volte-face on Site C has been, the tepid objections to it raised by Green Party of BC leader, Andrew Weaver convinces too, any hope British Columbia's polity had to reverse the rapine, business as usual, corporate friendly ideology emanating from Victoria will have to wait at least another generation.

For those voters wishing real change, Horgan's weak invocation of "no choice" today rings with a bitter irony his party will soon learn to its' regret.



Add a comment

Page 13 of 1247