Cruise Missile Diplomacy: Syria Strike Has Little to Do with 'Gas Attack' or Assad

Cruise Missile Attacks: A New Step in Washington’s Long Class War on Syria

by Stephen Gowans  - What's Left

April 8, 2017

Washington has added a new dimension to its long war on Syria: direct military intervention.

Since the mid 1950s, the United States has tried to purge Damascus of an Arab nationalist leadership which has zealously guarded Syria’s freedom from US domination and follows an Arab socialist development path which is at odds with the global free enterprise project advanced by Washington on behalf of its Wall Street patron.

Until now, Washington has refrained from directly attacking Syrian forces, though it has intervened manu militari in Syria to hold the Islamic State in check so that the militant group remains strong enough to weaken Syrian forces but not so strong that it captures the Syrian state. [1]

This limited Islamic State-directed US intervention in Syria has involved both airstrikes and an estimated 1,000 boots on the ground. [2]

However, the principal modus operandi of Washington’s long war on Syria has been war waged through proxies, both Israel, which annexed Syria’s Golan Heights and has carried out innumerable small-scale attacks since, and Islamist guerrillas, who, from the 1960s, have waged a jihad against what they view as Syria’s heretical government. [3]

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Tea and Mortar Shells: Easter in War-Besieged Syria

DAMASCUS: Easter Week in a City Under Fire

by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire 

April 14, 2017 


Though old as history itself, thou art fresh as the breath of spring, blooming as thine own rose bud, and fragrant as thine own orange flower, Damascus, pearl of the East.”
Mark Twain “The Innocents Abroad”  

DAMASCUSThe first thing you notice while driving over Mount Lebanon is how close Beirut and Damascus are, and yet their respective situations could not be further apart.

Last month, the war on Syria entered its sixth year.

However, thirty years ago, Lebanon was where Syria finds itself today – embroiled in a painful and protracted not-so-civil ‘civil war,’ with numerous regional and global powers angling for influence, each pressing for their own agenda.

Entering the Syrian capital on the Damascus Road
(Photo: Patrick Henningsen)

There’s a noticeable difference once you pass from Lebanon into Syria – the highway is paved and smooth, concrete bollards are neatly arranged, and there are no manhole ditches to avoid in the middle of the road. Images of Bashar and his father Hafiz are prominently displayed along the Damascus Road.

As one would expect in a country at war, checkpoints are numerous and security is extremely tight along the rural highways, as well as in the city. Still, life goes on in the capital. Couples are walking, mothers are shopping, children playing and the restaurants are serving.


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Wikileak Attack: Are You Now DemocracyNow! (Or Have You Ever Been) Progressive?

Journalistic Integrity: Allan Nairn vs. Julian Assange

by Andrew Stewart - CounterPunch

April 13, 2017

I’ve been really upset since the inauguration and trying to cope with the emotions I am encountering daily. It is pretty obvious that a successful meme has been implanted in the progressive mindset that will have as much impact as the claim Ralph Nader gave the 2000 election to Bush.

By this I mean that people are extremely pissed off at me for having backed the Green Party and Jill Stein and seem to say with almost a psychic vitriol that it is somehow my fault that Trump got elected. Didn’t you throw your vote away on the Greens? Didn’t you say awful things about Hillary?

This was carried to the extreme degree by Allan Nairn on Democracy Now on April 10, 2017 with a piece headlined Did WikiLeaks Inform Voters or Aid Trump’s Right-Wing Revolution?


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Praising Canada's "Sepoys"

New trend of praising Indigenous soldiers at Vimy Ridge ironic tribute to Canada's colonial past

by Yves Engler -

April 13, 2017

In recent days, the Canadian Forces, banks, politicians, sports TV networks, private foundations, the news media, etc. have all promoted the idea that the centennial of Canadian troops capturing some high ground in France during a minor battle in the First World War somehow represented the "birth" of Canada.

Amidst an orgy of martial patriotism that is finally over, there was a sad irony.

The notion that the battle of Vimy Ridge “created our country” is bizarre enough but the celebration of First Nations participation in this episode of Canadian imperialism pushed the exercise into the realm of the absurd.


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The Olympic Radiance at Fukushima

Fukushima’s Upcoming Olympics

by Robert Hunziker - Pacific Free Press

April 12, 2017

Los Angeles - Japan will hold soccer and baseball events in Fukushima Prefecture for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is not a spoof.

Effective March 2017, the Japan Football Association displaces Tokyo Electric Power Company’s emergency operations center at J-Village, the national soccer training center before the nuclear meltdown occurred.

To naysayers that say this is a joke, the answer is ‘no this is not a joke’. It is absolutely true Olympic events will be held in Fukushima Prefecture, thereby casting aside any and all concerns about the ongoing nuclear meltdown; after all that’s history. Or, is it?


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Putin's Stalin Gambit

Rue, Ruse, or Rule: President Putin's Options Facing the US Military Junta

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

April 12, 2017

Moscow - How to rule a country which is a target of war by the mad figurehead of a military junta in another country?

This is not a historical question about Joseph Stalin’s options in August 1939, before he and Adolph Hitler decided on the time-buying ruse known as the German–Soviet Non-aggression Pact. Nor is this a current question about Bashar al-Assad and Syria, nor about Kim Jong-un and North Korea.

It’s the question President Vladimir Putin is obliged to ask about Russia’s options facing a US regime in which, as the Kremlin now acknowledges, a military junta has installed itself behind President Donald Trump.


“We have seen this all before”, Putin declared yesterday.



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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Stephen Gowans, Susanne Lawson, Christina Nikolic April 12th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 12, 2017

The corporate and State news narrative on Donald Trump's cruise missile salvo remains unchanged nearly a week after the fact. This despite the logical inconsistency of an Assad government poison gas attack, ample reasons to doubt sources of the charge, and growing evidence from within intelligence ranks, and online news outlets questioning the facts as presented.

Regardless of what happened in Khan Shaykun on April 4th, it certainly isn't clear enough now to serve as the casus belli for those wanting a broader American involvement in the six years Syrian conflict.

Stephen Gowans is an Ottawa-based writer, political analyst, and author whose book, 'Washington's Long War on Syria' provides the much needed context behind what we see presented on our nightly newscasts here and his recent article, 'Cruise Missile Attacks: A New Step in Washington’s Long Class War on Syria' appears at his website, What's Left.


Listen. Hear.

Stephen Gowans in the first half.

And; after a century and a half of intensive logging, and massive increase in the human population, very little remains of Vancouver Island's primordial forests. While for years, First Nations and environmental groups have called for the end of both clearcut and old-growth logging, and many still do, now it's municipalities and loggers calling for an end to the practice where some First Nations and enviros are condoning it. Meanwhile, the last of the giant trees are daily being taken down and trucked out of Clayoquot Sound.

It harks back to a still raw rift in B.C.'s environmental movement, one my next guest characterizes succinctly, saying back then,


"Vancouver Island was the sacrifice zone, when the Great Bear Rainforest was established, a compromise made in the same way these groups (Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and others) sat down and gave away so much of Clayoquot."

Susanne Lawson is a long-time resident of the island’s wild west coast. The Wickaninnish Island-based artist, environmental activist, and former co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network has been at the heart of the battles to save Meares Island and Clayoquot Sound from clear-cut logging, fish farming, and a mining industry determined to level mountains if needs be to get at the gold they believe lies beneath the forests of the international recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Susanne reminds, the ecological threat posed by continuing to cut down what remains of the old-growth rainforest is greater than ever, saying, "This logging and removal of the blue print of the forest that was inherited by all should be considered a crime against the planet and future generations."

Susanne Lawson and threats old and new in and around Clayoquot in the second half.

And; passionate educator, horticultural innovator, and intrepid green business entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here with the Left Coast News and Events update at the bottom of the hour. But first, Steve Gowan and looking down the long length of Washington's war against Syria.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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America's Other Gulf War: Navy Havoc in Alaska

War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!): The U.S. Navy's Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska
by Dahr Jamail - TomDispatch

April 9, 2017

 [This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]


It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war -- if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon.

This May, the Navy will again sail its warships into the Gulf of Alaska. There, they will engage in military maneuvers and possibly drop bombs, launch torpedoes and missiles, and engage in activities that stand a significant chance of poisoning those once-pristine waters, while it prepares for future battles elsewhere on the planet.

Think of it as a war against wildlife, an assault on the environment and local coastal communities.

And call it irony or call it American life in 2017, but the U.S. military's Alaska Command has branded Emily Stolarcyk "a troublemaker" for insistently pointing this out. In a state where such a phrase is the equivalent of an obscenity, some have bluntly called her "anti-military." The office of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has termed her a "rabble-rouser," while a Kodiak Assembly member labeled some of what she’s been saying about the Navy "just silly."


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Will Don and Vlad Make It Up?

The Impending Clash Between the U.S. and Russia

by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

April 7, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s missile attack on the Shayrat Airfield in Western Syria was a poorly planned display of imperial muscle-flexing that had the exact opposite effect of what was intended.

While the attack undoubtedly lifted the morale of the jihadists who have been rampaging across the country for the last six years, it had no military or strategic value at all. The damage to the airfield was very slight and there is no reason to believe it will impact the Syrian Army’s progress on the ground.

The attack did however kill four Syrian servicemen which means the US troops in Syria can no longer be considered part of an international coalition fighting terrorism.

The US is now a hostile force that represents an existential threat to the sovereign government. Is that the change that Trump wanted? As of Friday, Russia has frozen all military cooperation with the United States.


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Trump's Change of Heart: Will America Follow Donald's False Flag into Syria?

Trump’s War Whoop: a Gulf of Tonkin Moment?

by Mike Whitney  - CounterPunch

April 6, 2017

An attack on an ammunition dump that contained chemical weapons has touched off a massive propaganda blitz aimed at drawing the United States deeper into Syria’s six year-long war.

The incident which took place in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, killed an estimated 72 people and left several hundred others severely ill. According to Russia Today:

 Photo by Jake Cunningham | CC BY 2.0


“The warehouse (that was bombed) was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas…The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there… Both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.” (RT)
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Lying in Ambush: White Helmets Break Media Surface with New Unchallenged Allegations

Reviving the ‘Chemical Weapons’ Lie: New US-UK Calls for Regime Change, Military Attack Against Syria

by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire

April 4, 2017

Here it comes again. As the enemies of peace continue to pressure a new US President into deeper war commitments overseas, and as Washington’s Deep State works relentlessly opposing Russian moves in Syria at every turn, the war drums have started again – beating harder than ever now, clamouring for a new US-led attack on Syria.

This morning we saw the familiar theme emerge, and just in time to provide a convenient backdrop to this week’s Brussels’ ‘Peace Talks’ and conference on “Syria’s Future”. The US-led ‘Coalition’ prepares to make its end-run into Syria to ‘Retake Raqqa,’ and impose its Safe Zones in order to partition Syria, more media demonization of the Syrian government appears to be needed by the West.

On cue, the multi-billion dollar US and UK media machines sprung into overdrive this morning over reports based primarily from their own ‘activist’ media outlets.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dahr Jamail, Helen Caldicott, Janine Bandcroft April 6, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 5, 2017

Unprecedented seems too trite a term to describe Washington's new normal. Last week, perched atop the steps of the Environmental Protection Agency, and flanked by a phalanx of coal workers, President Trump signed the death warrant of Obama's Clean Power Plan.

In an apparent continuation of his unheard of grudge match with the former president, Trump claimed to be taking "historic steps" to "cancel job-killing regulations." But, Trump's executive order is actually more than petty spite, or even populist grandstanding, it's actually just one part of a larger plan determined to annihilate all Obama administration efforts to curb carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, reports from media fringe outfits like the World Meteorlogical Organization announce, after consecutive years of highest-ever mean temperatures, and record low Arctic ice levels, Planet Earth has entered "truly uncharted territory."

Listen. Hear.

Dahr Jamail is a journalist and author whose books, 'The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and, 'Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq,' chronicle his intrepid dispatches from America's war zones, where he spent more than a year in Iraq, as well as filing reports from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over a 10 year's span. The Martha Gellhorn Investigative Journalism awardee currently serves as staff reporter at, where his monthly column Climate Disruption Dispatches accompanies his regular articles.

Dahr's third book, 'The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible' is co-authored with Truthout editor, William Rivers Pitt, and his latest is the soon to be released, 'The End of Ice'.

Dahr Jamail in the first half.

And; while climate disruption, terrorism, war, and rumours of it compete for space in our nightmares, the preeminent global horror is being overlooked. 'Sleepwalking to Armageddon' is pioneering antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott's latest attempt to bring some semblance of sanity to the political stage. In the book, she assembles contributions from the world’s leading nuclear scientists and thought leaders to "assess the political and scientific dimensions of the threat of nuclear war today."

Dr. Helen Caldicott is a physician, author, and lecturer who has for more than thirty years studied, written, and campaigned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their derivatives, delivering impassioned speeches and making imprecations to both the politicians and power-brokers overseeing the precarious atomic tinderbox.

Dr. Caldicott’s book titles include: ‘If You Love This Planet,’ ‘Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer,’The New Nuclear Danger,’ ‘Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonour,’ and ‘If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth.’

Dr. Helen Caldicott on rousing a somnambulant polity in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour, in a rare in-studio appearance to bring us up to speed with a Left Coast Events update of some of the good things planned in the coming week around here, and beyond too. But first, Dahr Jamail and the Trump denialists going into overdrive, as climate change accelerates 170 times faster than predicted.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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