CAATSA and the Silence of the Hounds

US Government Riddle: Why Are So Many Dogs Not Barking? Because the CAATSA Got Their Tongues

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

January 30, 2018

Moscow - As midnight tolled in Washington, DC, and January 29 slid into January 30, the deadline for the US Government to produce a report to the Congress listing Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin slipped by in the darkness. No dog barked.*

Required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), enacted with President Donald Trump’s signature last August, the oligarch report was not produced on time. Nor were three other reports – one on sanctions for Russian sovereign debt issues, one on sanctions for business with the Russian defense sector, and one on the extent to which Russian state banks and state asset holdings have re-nationalized key sectors of the Russian economy, such as banking, insurance, real estate, and ports.

There was no press release from the White House, the US Treasury, or the State Department.


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The Great White Petro-State: Canada's Captured Environmental Regulators

The Big Heist: Ottawa Hands Offshore Regulation to Oil Industry

by Sierra Club Canada Foundation

January 24, 2018

K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - An alliance of twenty Atlantic Canadian and Quebec environmental, Indigenous, and fishery organizations gathered today to express alarm that offshore petroleum boards would be given more power over oceans off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence under the Liberal government’s plan to modify the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The Alliance regards the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland offshore regulatory boards as ‘captured’ unelected bodies, unrepresentative of the public interest, with a mandate to facilitate and promote drilling.

“It’s a clear conflict of interest,” says John Davis, Director of the Clean Ocean Action Committee, a coalition of fish plant operators and fishermen representing over 9,000 jobs in South-Western Nova Scotia.


“To assume that the offshore boards created to promote offshore oil and gas development can somehow fairly assess environmental impacts is the height of folly. It will put renewable resources that have supported my communities for three centuries and our Mi’Kmaq communities for thousands of years at a massive new level of unnecessary risk.”
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Gary R. Allan, Donovan Aikman, Christina Nikolic January 25th, 2018

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

January 25, 2018

We European-descended learn early of the danger lurking in the woods, just beyond the hamlet's edge. Our childhood bedtimes and nursery rhymes are full of foreboding and warnings of big bad wolves that would eat us and grandmother too should we tarry on, or stray from civilization's well-worn path.

The primary propaganda has proven so effective, the great predators haunting kinder's dreams in the Old Country for so long have retreated now to the densest forests, and craggiest, most remote redoubts, barely surviving extinction. But here, on the island-continent the First Peoples call 'Turtle' it's still possible to see the cougar, bear, moose, elk, caribou, eagle, hawk, falcon, and fox, and of course wolf.

Listen. Hear.

In fact, there are so many of the latter on Vancouver Island, the government allows wolves be trapped and killed most days of the year. But apparently predating wolves eight months of the year is insufficient, for British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development now propose extending the wolf-killing here to ten.

Gary R. Allan operates the SWELL Wolf Education Centre, and says it's his hope people will, "see the wolf for what it is: one more magnificent species... deserving of our understanding and acceptance."

Gary R. Allan in the first half.

And; the 2018 edition of the Victoria Film Festival rolls out next week. This year, the festival celebrates its 23rd annual showcasing of Canadian and international features, documentaries, shorts, animated films, and more. Donovan Aikman, long-time head programmer with the Victoria Film Festival, joins us today for a preview.

Donovan Aikman, Bringing Film to Life again in Victoria 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.


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:
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Strange Fusion: Spooks Public and Private Converge on Trump Russia Election Collusion

The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's China Shop

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

January 22, 2018

Moscow - In criminal trials the rule for prosecuting and defending lawyers is the same. Never ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer.

The corollary rule for defending lawyers is – if the answer to your question will incriminate your client, don’t ask it, and hope the prosecutor fails to do his job.

Glenn Simpson, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal, is currently on trial in the US for having fabricated a dossier of allegations of Russian misconduct (bribes, sex, blackmail, hacking) involving President Donald Trump and circulating them to the press; the objective was to damage Trump’s candidacy before the November 2016 election.

Simpson was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017; then the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 8 and again on November 14, 2017.

So far, Simpson’s veracity and business conduct face nothing more than the court of public opinion. He has not yet been charged with criminal or civil offences. That will happen if the evidence materializes that Simpson has been lying.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Steve Gray, Peter Lee, Christina Nikolic January 18th, 2018

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

January 18, 2018

The Deluge, or Great Flood motif is common in cultures around the World. From ancient Mesopotamia to the Maya of Mesoamerica, history recounts again and again a remarkably similar tale of a local hero, warned by a heavenly interlocutor of an imminent, deity-created disaster and bidden to create a boat, raft, or ark to save the people.

The Cheslatta T'En of the Cheslatta T'En Carrier Nation received no such visitation before their lands were subsumed in British Columbia in 1952. They were given ten days to pack up and leave their ten thousand year-old settlement near Kitimat to make way for Alcan's Kenney Dam.

Cast to the winds, the disintegration of the Cheslatta T'En people, described in the documentary film, No Surrender, became an abject lesson in what mega-projects gone wrong look like.

Listen. Hear.

Sixty-six years later, it seems that's a lesson not learnt by BC's lesser political god's who again, with a wave of the hand and flourish of a pen, in the holy name of Mammon (ahem) economic development, will sweep away all that resides in the path of its ambitions along the Peace River.

Construction of the Site C dam was greenlighted for a second time in December by a second government. And, both John Horgan's NDP and his coalition Green Party of Andrew Weaver partner would now have their supporters surrender objections to this project, give up on the First Nations, farmers, and wildlife of the Peace Valley, and accept this project - regarded across the spectrum as an ill-conceived economic millstone  - be hung about their necks and the necks of generations to come.

But, the fight isn't over yet...

Dr. Steve Gray is Chair of the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative. The retired, Victoria-based MD has been involved with Site C opposition for the last three years. Steve and the Solidarity Initiative will host an Accountability and Action Summit on Site C to defend the Peace next week, January 26th and 27th here in Victoria at the First Metropolitan United Church. They say,


"We do not accept the justification offered by Premier Horgan to continue the Site C project and flood the Peace River valley."

Dr. Steve Gray in the first half.

And; forget about Russia, it's the People's Republic of China posing the greatest threat to America and its partners in Western Civilization. That's the narrative, bolstered not only by China's newly bestowed epithet as an adversary of "rules based international order", but by at-large billionaire, political crusader, and international intrigue gadfly, Guo Wengui; better known to readers of the paper of record in his sometime-adopted home base of New York City, as Miles Kwok. This past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy and fascinating article on the man whose mission to "save China" by undermining its corrupt leadership class carries on from his Manhattan exile, one embarrassing leak at a time.

Peter Lee is a freelance journalist writing on East and South Asian affairs as they intersect with US global policy. He blogs at the Asian affairs website, and his China Watch report features on

Peter Lee and keeping up with the Kwok's and the China Witch Hunt 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, Steve Gray and demanding accountability and organizing action to reverse the Site C dam decision.


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:



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Burning a Republic: Watching Donald Fiddle

The World According to Trump: Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
by Alfred W. McCoy - TomDispatch

January 16, 2018

As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts.

Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a deep foreboding for the country’s global future under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

In a year-end jeremiad, for instance, conservative CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria blasted the “Trump administration’s foolish and self-defeating decision to abdicate the United States’ global influence -- something that has taken more than 70 years to build.”

The great “global story of our times,” he continued, is that “the creator, upholder, and enforcer of the existing international system is withdrawing into self-centered isolation,” opening a power vacuum that will be filled by illiberal powers like China, Russia, and Turkey.


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Haiti History: What America Owes That Shi*hole

Haiti and America’s Historic Debt

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

January 12, 2018

(First published on Jan.13, 2010)


From the Archive: President Trump says his “tough” language on immigration, which reportedly included decrying “shithole” nations, didn’t apply to Haiti but he appears to know little of America’s debt to Haiti, which Robert Parry described in 2010.


In 2010, when announcing emergency help for Haiti after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, President Barack Obama noted America’s historic ties to the impoverished Caribbean nation, but few Americans understand how important Haiti’s contribution to U.S. history was.

In modern times, when Haiti does intrude on U.S. consciousness, it’s usually because of some natural disaster or a violent political upheaval, and the U.S. response is often paternalistic, if not tinged with a racist disdain for the country’s predominantly black population and its seemingly endless failure to escape cycles of crushing poverty.

However, more than two centuries ago, Haiti represented one of the most important neighbors of the new American Republic and played a central role in enabling the United States to expand westward. If not for Haiti, the course of U.S. history could have been very different, with the United States possibly never expanding much beyond the Appalachian Mountains.


Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of Haiti’s
slave rebellion against France.


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A Century Later: The Great Class War and Its Enduring Aftermath

World War I: Crime and Punishment

by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch

January 12, 2018  

In 1887, Frederick Engels made a chilling prediction of the war that would come in 1914:

The only war left for Prussia-Germany to wage will be a world war, a world war, moreover of an extent of violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other’s throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts.
The depredations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three to four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism.

This prediction was not the result of second sight. It was a conclusion derived from the premise that “war is the daughter of capitalism,” first proposed by Engels with Marx in The Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848.


“The bourgeoisie is always in a struggle . . . against the bourgeoisie of all foreign states,” they wrote, and this struggle is so bitter as to lead inevitably to an “industrial war of annihilation among nations.”

In his study, The Great Class War, Jacques Pauwels supports this thesis, focusing on those who suffered the most and on those who profited the most. But his study goes further.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Whitney Webb. Christina Nikolic January 11th, 2018

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

January 11, 2018

For Mariano Rajoy the new year begins much as the old one ended. Spain's prime minister, you may recall, played hardball with Catalonian separatists, nullifying the autonomous region's government, while declaring Catalunya president, Carles Puigdemont and his key ministers criminals.

Rajoy set a new election date a few days before Christmas, and with the wicked in-exile Carles out of the equation everything would be bueno! Si?

Well, no. Popular support maintained the separatist coalition, leaving the Madrid Machiavelli in an even tighter corner than before his ill-advised and ham-handed campaign began.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at UVic whose project in progress is, ‘Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.’ Pablo is from Spain's Catalan region and has watched with the rest of the world in astonishment the unravelling of his native land these past months.


Listen. Hear.


Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; Iran has been the focus of America's Middle East policy since the overthrow of tyrant dictator, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. From Carter to Obama, through Reagan and the Bushes, whether the destruction of Beirut, "repatriation" of Kuwait's oil fields, or toppling of Saddam Hussein undermining the Islamic Republic has always been at the heart of the matter.

So far, no US president has dared a direct invasion of Iran, the cost of an outright war even for the globe's military behemoth being unthinkable - but where an overt campaign cannot succeed, perhaps a covert one can.And it is with that in mind, says my second guest, national security actors within the Trump and Netanyahu administrations are targeting Iran, "working in repeat what befell Syria over six years ago – the hijacking of minor protests and their transformation into the cover for a foreign-funded insurgency intent on toppling Iran’s elected government."

Whitney Webb is a South America-based journalist writing about environmental, political, and economic issues in English and Spanish. She’s a staff writer at, and her articles have featured at ZeroHedge, 21st Century Wire, and Pacific Free Press among other places. Her recent work for MintPressNews includes the article, 'Birth of an Insurgency: The US-Israeli “Secret Deal” To Manipulate Protests In Iran'.

Whitney Webb and revolution of another colour, or another colour revolution for Iran? 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, Pablo Ouziel and a worm's turning en España.


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:
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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.


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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:
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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.

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