Pacific Free Press

Opinion

  • Written by Christopher Black

What Desecularizing Hagia Sofia Means

Hagia Sophia: Religion As Politics

by Christopher Black - NEO


July 24, 2020

Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in the face of a rising secular nationalism in the late 1800s, that culminated in the Young Turk movement, tried to restore the influence of the Ottoman Empire among Islamic nations and the Empire’s many peoples by stressing the importance of Islam and the Ottoman Caliphate, of the role of the Ottomans as the protectors of Islam and, in the modern world, a bulwark against western colonialism.

Over a hundred years after he left power, after the Empire was broken up by the western powers after the First World War, after the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, kicked the British, French, Greeks and Italians out of Anatolia and Constantinople and established Turkey as a secular democratic state in 1923, President Erdogan has adopted the mantle of Abdul Hamid, and his claim to be the defender of Islam, as a means of shoring up his own weakening support in Turkey, and as a means of raising the prestige of Turkey among Islamic nations and the world.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ariel Nasr, Will Tell, Janine Bandcroft July 2nd, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


July 2, 2020

Welcome to Gorilla Radio’s continuing efforts, NOT broadcast live from CFUV Radio in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but emanating live-to-tape via Skype from our home-based studios on this date, June 17th, 2020.

In 2001 a great tragedy befell Afghanistan; but, as bad as hosting the inauguration of America’s Global War on Terror was for Afghans, it was merely the continuation of decades of suffering conflicts of other people’s making.

Nearly twenty years after Operation Enduring Freedom’s first B-52 bombing sortie the fighting rages still; and though its name has since changed, the price those mired within The Long War pay endures. Yet, Afghanistan is more than a proxy battlefield for superpowers; made of more than just its most recent history.

Ariel Nasr is a celebrated documentary filmmaker, earning more than a dozen awards and nominations, (including an Oscar nod and Canadian Screen Award prize) for his film work; work encompassing writing, directing, and producing across platforms and crossing continents.

Listen. Hear.


Nasr’s credits include, ‘The Boxing Girls of Kabul’, Good Morning Kandahar, the interactive, ‘Kabul Portraits’ project, and his latest, the feature-length documentary release, ‘The Forbidden Reel,’ a "story of Afghanistan’s fearless and visionary moviemakers…"

Ariel Nasr in the first half.

And; as the tidal wave that has been the Covid-19 lockdown ebbs, around the World the financial and social damage wrought in its wake is beginning to be revealed. While Wall Street rockets, the biggest and strongest buffeted best by government bailouts, workers are finding promises made at the height of crisis are now quietly being broken. And like the pandemic itself, the pattern of feeding piles of public funds to corporations while pleading poor mouth to the starving knows no borders.

Will Tell is an expat living in rural southern India who says, as well as reneging on promises of financial aid to small business, the Indian government has, "NOT delivered on its promise to subsidise the ‘day labourers’. This includes taxi drivers, rickshaw drivers […and] self-employed skilled tradesmen […] either in the form of money […] or in delivery of staples [like] rice, dahl, cooking oil, [and] sugar."

Will Tell and India racing to aid the powerful, whilst the rest are left to the Covid tsunami’s rip tide in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor and Green Vegan Grandma Youtuber, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with this week’s Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Ariel Nasr and preserving a nation’s culture, frame by frame.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.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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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Arnold August, Ross Crockford, Janine Bandcroft June 25th, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


June 25, 2020

Welcome again to Gorilla Radio’s continuing efforts, NOT broadcast live from CFUV Radio in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but emanating live-to-tape via Skype from our home-based … studios on this date, June 1st, 2020.

A World on fire; as our southern neighbour’s cities roil, the citizenry outraged again by the great gulf between the professed and practiced ethos of America, can Canadians afford smug superiority?

There is too racism and injustice at the heart and in the marrow of our society. The great difference is only one of scope and news coverage.

Though Canada still enjoys a reputation as a good and fair country, the Trudeau government’s embrace of neo-liberal internationalism has both diminished the country’s independence and necessitated increasingly brutal domestic policies, especially where global capital is threatened by indigenous resistance.

 

Listen. Hear.


Arnold August is a Canadian journalist, lecturer and author whose titles include: ‘Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections’, ‘Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion’ and, ‘Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond’. His essays appear at websites in Latin America, Europe, North America and the Middle East, and at the Orinoco Tribune, where I found his recent article, ‘Trudeau in Pre-, Current and Post-Covid-19: Colonialism at Home, Imperialism Abroad – Need for Change’.

Arnold August in the first half.

And; while midwest Machiavelli, Rahm Emanuel is credited with saying, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” it’s a concept as old as politics; and a nonpartisan one too. Donald Trump’s political hero, (no, the other one) Winston Churchill also expressed the value of leveraging crises to do, as Emanuel helpfully reminds, “things that you think you could not do before.” Our Covid-19 moment is just such an opportunity, and not just for Chicago operators, or D.C. pols.

From every crevice it seems, snake-oil salesmen and politicians of all stripes are breaking cover to get things done while everyone is looking the other way. And even here in Victoria – or near here anyway. The City of Langford has decided to ditch for the lockdown duration the encumbrance of public hearings, at least where it comes to trivialities like tax and spend, and development issues. That’s right. Due to social distancing concerns, council members are good for now with phoning in their proxies in the form of voice-tallied aye ayes for Mayor Young’s boundless building ambitions.

Ross Crockford is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, civic activist and co-founder of the watchdog website, JohnsonStreetBridge.org. He’s the recipient of a Western Magazine Award for business writing, the Jack Webster Award of Distinction for investigative reporting, and is a National Magazine Awardee for sports writing. Ross’ book, ‘Victoria: The Unknown City’ is THE alt. guidebook to both the seemly and less so sides of town both past and present, and he is too a regular contributor to Victoria’s finest publication, Focus Magazine where his latest article, ‘Is public input on developments a potential casualty of COVID-19?’ appears.

Ross Crockford and local democracy as Coronavirus victim in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor and ‘Green Vegan Grandma’ YouTuber, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around Victoria in the coming week. But first, Arnold August and observing Canada under Covid: A Flagrant Fusion of Colonialism and Imperialism.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.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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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan MacLeod, John Helmer, Janine Bandcroft June 18, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

June 18, 2020

Welcome to Gorilla Radio’s continuing efforts, NOT broadcast live from CFUV Radio in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but emanating live-to-tape via Skype from our home-based … studios on this date, April 25th, 2020.

 

The latest attempt by lamentable Keystone coupster, Juan Guaido to crown himself King of Caracas cracked up on the rocks of a Venezuelan beach, where his army, a motley collection of hapless foreign mercenaries and disgruntled Venezuelan nationals was taken into custody by a combination of police and local fishermen.

The entire latter day Bay of Pigs fiasco would have been laughable but for the eight men killed, and the potential mayhem those men had hoped to unleash on the already crisis-stricken country.

All that was made clear when the contract Guaido had taken out on elected president, Nicolas Maduro was made public by his accomplices at Silvercorp USA, the outfit hired and disgruntled by Juan’s failure to make good on payment promised.

 

Listen. Hear.


Dr. Alan MacLeod is an educator, essayist, and author whose research interests include media theory, propaganda, social media and South American politics. He’s a staff writer at Mintpress News, a contributor to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and author of the book, ‘Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting’. His recent article at the Grayzone is, ‘Guaidó’s mercenary hit contract on Venezuela’s Maduro mirrors official US bounty, authorizes death squad killings‘.

Alan MacLeod in the first half.

And; if I’m to follow to its logical conclusion the advice of the World Health Organization and, (quote) “limit [my] worry and agitation by lessening the time I spend watching or listening to media coverage I perceive as upsetting…” I’d be forced to in good conscience close shop too, putting an end to twenty-one years of Gorilla Radio’s dedication to (quote) “increasing agitation by presenting media designed to be upsetting”. And that I refuse to do; allowing the virus victory is not an option on my watch, as the grating saying goes.

So in this I take departure of the WHO, thank you. And, it appears I’m not alone in finding fault with they and their medical minions: The United States of America too is out of sorts with the UN agency, as is its ally, Australia the two leading a chorus of boos for the WHO’s failure to affix “proper” blame in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. All proving that, even in a World where everything is changed, some songs remain the same.

John Helmer’s a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. He’s also one of the most widely read Russia specialists in the business world for his news-breaking stories on Russian base and precious metals, diamonds, mining, shipping, insurance, food trade, and business policy. Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright), the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’, and his latest, the two-plus year chronicle of the bizarre and completely unprecedented case of a Russian father and daughter disappeared by the British state for “their own protection”, ‘Skripal in Prison’. His recent article, ‘SKRIPAL SHOWDOWN, NOVICHOK PAYDAY — LONDON LAWYER THREAT TO CALL SERGEI AND YULIA SKRIPAL TO TESTIFY IN OPEN COURT FOR THE FIRST TIME’ continues presenting the upsetting facts behind the official Skripal fiction.

John Helmer and no men being islands in the Covid-19 stream in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Alan MacLeod and the latest sad chapter in the sorry life of Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s little coupster that couldn’t.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.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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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Yves Engler, Patricio Zamorano, Janine Bandcroft June 11th, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


June 11, 2020

Welcome back to GR, where we are NOT reporting live from the CFUV studios in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but instead are recording live to tape via Skype on this day, May 21st, 2020.

 

Canada’s prime minister has little to show for his time in office. Over six years, the Liberal party, that began it’s mandate with such sunny prospects, has both failed to fulfill its soaring rhetoric, and revealed itself as little more than a pale reflection of its opposition in the Parliament. Through everything though, Justin Trudeau has kept a vigilant eye on his personal legacy, and for him that glory lay on a larger stage than his parochial, peripheral Canadian homeland.


No, Justin’s destiny is global, and the first step in that direction is conquering the World, in the body of the United Nations Security Council. But, Justin has a small problem. The people unhappy with the country’s human rights and foreign policy record are using Canada’s shameless lobbying and self-promotion to get on the council as opportunity to highlight all the reasons it should be considered unfit for the job.

Listen. Hear.


Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, essayist, and author whose articles appear at The Palestine Chronicle, Pacific Free Press, and at his site, YvesEngler.com among other places. Yves is also a key organizer with Disruption Network Canada, which has mobilized activists to challenge politicians through peaceful, direct action.The latest of Engler’s eleven books, ‘HOU$E of MIRRORS: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy‘ questions the Liberals’ progressive pretense, while challenging the persistent national delusion that Canadians are “a benevolent force in the world” despite ample evidence to the contrary. Yves is also signatory to ForeignPolicy.ca’s international petition calling for refusal of Canada’s petition to join the UNSC.

Yves Engler in the first half.

And; In the wee hours of May 3rd, a flotilla of lightly armed commandos raced across the Caribbean, headed for landings carefully chosen as beachheads for the invasion and liberation of Venezuela. Their mission though immediately foundered, with eight men being killed outright, and most of the rest captured immediately by local authorities aided by local citizens.

Patricio Zamorano is an academic, political scientist, journalist and television and radio commentator on U.S. foreign and domestic policy.He’s co-Director and Senior Editor at COHA, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, where I found his recent article, ‘Guaidó and the Failed Military Operation against Venezuela: A Story of Betrayal and Financial Corruption.'”

Patricio Zamorano and the men who would be behind Juan Guaido’s throne in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with this week’s Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things – both real and virtual – to ge gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Yves Engler and counting the reasons Canada’s ambition at the UN should be thwarted.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.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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