Monthly Archives: January 2014

US-NATO bloc controls Iceland’s air space

From the day of the Anti-NATO protests in Reykjavík. Police unleash tear gas against the people. On the west side of the House of the Althing. March 30th 1949 | Arnaldur Grétarsson & family, rights-holder to these photographs.

From the day of the Anti-NATO protests in Reykjavík. Police unleash tear gas against the people. On the west side of the House of the Althing. March 30th 1949 | Arnaldur Grétarsson & family, rights-holder to these photographs.

On May 10, 1940 Britain invaded neutral and sovereign Iceland, then in a union with Denmark which had been brutally invaded by Hitlerite Germany. The British occupation force of 25,000 troops was bolstered by troops from Canada, which in turn occupied Greenland, a source of minerals for the U.S.-owned Inco nickel monopoly. Iceland subsequently agreed in July 1941 to a tripartite treaty under which U.S. Marines – reaching as many as 50,000 – deployed to relieve the British garrison in Iceland on the condition that all military forces be withdrawn from Iceland immediately upon the conclusion of the war in Europe. The contribution of the Icelandic people, especially its fishermen, to the anti-fascist struggle, was second to none. On VE Day, thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors went berserk in Reykjavík until pacified by Icelandic police and civilians. And, in fact, U.S. forces stayed until 2006 – at the military base Naval Station Keflavik. Continue reading

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Voltaire: He did not put a sufficient number of his fellow creatures to death

voltaire-3(Voltaire, from Candide) – “YOU are acquainted with England,” said Candide; “are they as great fools in that country as in France?”

“Yes, but in a different manner,” answered Martin. “You know that these two nations are at war about a few acres of barren land in the neighbourhood of Canada, and that they have expended much greater sums in the contest than all Canada is worth. To say exactly whether there are a greater number fit to be inhabitants of a madhouse in the one country than the other, exceeds the limits of my imperfect capacity; I know in general that the people we are going to visit are of a very dark and gloomy disposition.” Continue reading

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Ontario: Wynne’s no-win whammy

January 26, 2014 marked one year since Kathleen Wynne was selected as premier by 1,115 delegates to the Ontario Liberal Party’s leadership convention. Many of these were Liberal MPs, MPPs, failed candidates and party “insiders.” They were not elected as delegates but entitled to attend the convention according to provisions in the party constitution. Continue reading

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Pete Seeger takes on the US House Un-American Activities Committee

During the Cold War era, the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities interrogated more than 3,000 government officials, labour union leaders, teachers, journalists, entertainers, and others. They wanted to terrorize and purge Communists, former Communists, and so-called “fellow travelers” who refused to renounce their past and inform on associates from positions of influence within American society. Among the Committee’s targets were performers at events held in support of suspect organizations. Continue reading

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Syria: The US ambassador speaketh, the agents obey

The imperial pro-consul gives his party instructions on what to do at Geneva 2.

Robert S. Ford arrived in Damascus as the US Ambassador to Syria on January 27, 2011. Ford played a central role in laying the groundwork for the development of an armed insurgency directed against as the government of Bashar al Assad which began 2 months later. He was one of the main organizers of the Syrian Opposition. Ford was instrumental in starting the war in Syria and founding the Free Syrian Army, of which several leaders have resigned. Ford was a protégé of John Negroponte, who organized death squads in El Salvador in the 1970s and in Iraq while ambassador there in 2004-05.

al-Manar (Jan. 19) – THE US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford ordered the foreign-backed opposition figures to take part in the international peace conference Geneva 2, noting that there are many changes in the Saudi policy regarding the Syrian crisis.

Quoting an official in the executive committee in the so-called “Syrian National Coalition” (SNC), Nidal Hamade said that Ford had called for an urgent meeting for the SNC figures in Istanbul, Turkey noting that the US envoy had threatened to cut funds for anyone who will not attend the meeting. Continue reading

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How the Canadian government is betraying veterans

An informative backgrounder from the Public Service Alliance of Canada, October 2, 2013 

THE federal government is betraying Canada’s veterans. After putting their lives on the line on behalf of all Canadians, many veterans – especially those living with serious injuries, disabilities and mental health challenges like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – rely on Veterans Affairs for support. The Canadian government promised to take care of them from the day they enlisted until the day they die. But drastic cuts to Veterans Affairs staff and services in the 2012 budget mean that veterans are not getting the care they need and deserve. Continue reading

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Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (14): MIT study finds Syrian government not responsible for Ghouta chemical attacks

New MIT study finds Syrian government not responsible for Ghouta chemical attacks (Youtube video)

THE U.S. disinformation that a chemical attack near Damascus in August was carried out by the government has been challenged by a team of highly respected American experts. Washington immediately blamed President Assad, but a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which arguably has one of the world’s top engineering schools, found that the rocket could not have been fired from government-controlled areas.

For more on the study, see “Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (12): UN Report confirms Syrian chemical weapons fired from rebel-held territory,” January 21, 2014

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.3

What the workers had to say

Workers’ Forum and Forum Ouvrier journalists spoke with participants throughout the postal workers’ demonstration in Ottawa on January 26. Here is what they had to say. Continue reading

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.2

2. Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Prince George – reports & photos

Postal workers and their allies took up the call to mark the opening of the federal Parliament with vigorous actions across the country.

Halifax

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Protests across Canada as Parliament opens.1

1. Mass action in Ottawa to defend the Post Office

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Ottawa, January 26, 2014

Ottawa, January 26, 2014

TML Daily (Jan. 28) – ACROSS the country from January 25 to 27, postal workers and their supporters held actions to express their outrage against plan of the Harper government and Canada Post to wreck the post office. Continue reading

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Veterans protest again

Another view of the large rally in Sydney, Cape Breton on Nov. 9, 2013 demanding that government provide public service.

Another view of the large rally in Sydney, Cape Breton on Nov. 9, 2013 demanding that government provide public service.

On the opening of the parliament, veterans across the country are continuing to mobilize to stop the closure of the nine Veterans Affairs offices by the Harper government that they rely on for face-to-face services. One veteran, who said he was a longtime Conservative, promised that he and thousands of other veterans will mobilize politically across Canada to hold the Harper dictatorship to account. Continue reading

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Stephen Harper’s Mideast adventurism

Canada’s role in the service of U.S. imperialism

By NATHAN J FREEMAN

2007.06.10.TOPalDemo-03TML Weekly Information Project (Jan. 25) – THIS ARTICLE examines Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recently-completed Mideast tour January 20-25, 2014. Harper led an unprecedented entourage of more than 200 Canadian business and religious leaders, media representatives, failed Conservative Party candidates, current MPs and senators, with a phalanx of a half-dozen members of Harper’s current cabinet bringing up the rear. The latter included Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird; Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney; Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis; Minister of Industry James Moore; Minister of International Trade Ed Fast; and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver.[1] Continue reading

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Ukraine: Contending oligarchs and their imperialist masters feed the rise of neo-Nazism

TML Weekly Information Project (Jan. 25) – RECENT EVENTS IN UKRAINE have evoked misleading comments from the Harper dictatorship, their U.S. masters, and the European Union (EU) along the lines that the main problem is that the Ukraine is turning further away from “democratic Europe” and more toward “autocratic Russia.”

The catalyzing event for the current turmoil is that at the end of November, Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych rejected a pending trade agreement with the EU, calling for closer ties with Russia. The EU treaty would have allowed European monopolies to grab Ukraine’s crucial energy markets. German monopolies already supply Ukraine with natural gas via pipelines through Poland and Hungary and will open up Slovakian pipelines by next year, which would break Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas. Instead of signing with the EU, Yanukovych went to Moscow on December 17 and signed several agreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin that will reduce by a third the cost of Russian gas sold to Ukraine. Russia has also agreed to lend $15 billion to Ukraine on easy terms. Continue reading

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Commemoration of those murdered by the Nazis and disinformation about the suffering of the Jews

1945.01.27.AuschwitzLiberation-09crOn Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27the day in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated prisoners from the Nazis’ Auschwitz prison camp, the peace- and justice-loving people of the world join all those whose families suffered so greatly under the Holocaust, a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by the Hitlerite Nazis and their allies, the Italian fascists and Japanese militarists. Continue reading

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Keep the Post Office public!

Postal workers face the challenge of Harper government’s attacks

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By LOUIS LANG*

TML Daily (Jan. 24) – POSTAL WORKERS are continuing their fight against the “Five Point Action Plan” announced by Canada Post in December 2013 one day after the adjournment of the House of Commons. The plan consists of the elimination of home delivery, a drastic increase in the cost of postal services, accelerated privatization of retail outlets and further attacks on the wages, working conditions and benefits of postal workers. Continue reading

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Parliament opens on Monday: Harper Out, Now!

Actions by postal workers to oppose the Harper dictatorship’s nation-wrecking

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Background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine

Ukraina-Umland-Tiagnipeg 1 200x150The monopoly media in Canada is playing its usual filthy role by spreading disinformation about the forces in motion in the Ukraine with their “analysis” that the battle is over “democracy” and “Euro-Atlantic values” or “Euro-Atlantic inspiration.” Nor is the situation as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. For the information of readers, we are reproducing three informative articles on the German policy of subversion and intervention in the Ukraine, including its direct sponsorship of openly fascist and neo-nazi forces (Svoboda Party) under the twin banners of so-called Ukrainian nationalism and anti-communism. The USA is also directly involved, as this photo reveals. Continue reading

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Ukraine: The untold story

BRIAN DENNY examines the far-right connections of Ukraine’s pro-EU faction

rtuc (Jan.23) –UKRAINE’s refusal to sign an EU association agreement, the ensuing protests and the attempt to oust the government in a failed no-confidence vote all have their origins in a grand geopolitical battle being waged between Germany and Russia.

Germany is using the European Union to bring pressure to bear to integrate Ukraine into Berlin’s political and economic sphere. Continue reading

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Britain has invaded nine out of ten countries in the world

“The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British.” So are Mali, Chad and Belarus next then? (In fact, since early 2013, Britain has been intervening militarily on the side of the French, who are using airlift supplied by Canada and the USA to intervene in Mali.) In this connection, it is sobering to reflect that leading British politicians openly justify or even celebrate the crimes of colonialism. Tony Blair infamously stated that the British Empire was a “remarkable achievement.” Gordon Brown declared that Britain should stop apologising for colonialism, although nobody has been able to find any evidence of such an apology. David Cameron prefers to speak about colonialism in terms of the great “benefits” that Britain gave to the world in the 19th century and declares that overall, Britain’s “contribution” was a “good one.” The crimes of British colonialism in India alone resulted in the deaths of over 20 million from famine alone.

Stephen Harper,For his part, Stephen Harper, echoing the Cameron approach, shamelessly hails the “benign” “benefits” of the British Empire, sponsors lavish royal visits and restores “royal” to the navy and air force. It is unfashionable, Mr. Harper acknowledges, to speak of colonial legacies as anything other than oppressive, although there is no evidence of any Tory official speaking against British oppression: “But in the Canadian context, the actions of the British Empire were largely benign and occasionally brilliant.” Speaking as a colonialist, British magnanimity, he acclaimed, ensured the survival of French culture;  Québec is an oppressed nation without the right of self-determination but with a culture that is Québecois and not French, which is a language. British approaches to the aboriginal population, “while far from perfect, were some of the fairest and most generous of the period.” The Beothuk and Mi’kmaq will be pleased. So far as the native peoples are concerned, of course, the “approaches” were genocide. which was “far from perfect”: apart from the Beothuk, the First Nations actually survived, a testament to their resistance.

21 of the 22 countries that have not been invaded by Britain

21 of the 22 countries that have not been invaded by Britain

Jasper Copping, The Telegraph (Nov. 4, 2012 ) – EVERY SCHOOLBOY used to know that at the height of the empire, almost a quarter of the atlas was coloured pink, showing the extent of British rule.

But that oft recited fact dramatically understates the remarkable global reach achieved by this country.

A new study has found that at various times the British have invaded almost 90 per cent of the countries around the globe. Continue reading

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A despicable legacy within an unworthy cause – The death of Ariel Sharon

By NATHAN J FREEMAN

AFTER spending eight years in a coma, Israeli general and former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on January 11, 2014. The very large numbers of people who suffered greatly under his aegis recall his brutal legacy with continued demands for justice. Meanwhile the world of darkest reaction has invented the term “warrior-statesman” to praise the man who will, in fact, go down in history as the murderer he was. Besides other crimes, Sharon is best known to the world’s people as the Butcher of Beirut for his role in enabling the slaughter of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp during September 16 to 18, 1982. Continue reading

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This day in 1924: 90th anniversary of the death of V.I. Lenin

As long as the struggle to create a new society exists, the name and work of V.I. Lenin will have a place of honour

V.I. LENIN, a revolutionary and the greatest Marxist theoretician of the twentieth century, died 90 years ago on January 21, 1924, when a bullet, lodged in his neck by an opportunist when he was only 54, deprived him of the opportunity to complete his work. Even though he died during the very early stages of socialist revolution and construction, he had nonetheless accomplished great feats: he had established the state of the workers and peasants in Russia, as well as laid down the ideological and organizational lines for the development of the revolution and socialism. Continue reading

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Rallies against attacks on public post office and postal services

National Day of Action to Save Our Post Office and Stop Attacks on All Public Services

110613-CornerBrookCUPWRotatingStrike-04The Conservatives are planning to end home mail delivery and to destroy our public post office. Cuts to the public services we need and cuts to good jobs in our community? No way!

The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council is working closely with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to help build a solidarity campaign in the city. Our goal is to stop the cuts to home mail delivery, to fire Canada Post’s management, and to modernize the post office through new services like postal banking. Continue reading

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Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (13): On the role of the dogs of war – think tanks, ‘experts’ and media

An analysis of the U.S. military industry ties of ‘experts’ and think tanks who ‘debated’ intervention against Syria

grim reaperThe following report documents the military industry ties of 22 U.S. media commentators and seven major think tanks that participated in media warmongering and disinformation on Syria. They are deliberately paraded as neutral, independent, non-partisan and “third party experts” to confuse the people and put them out of action. These conclusions are not unique to the USA. The disinformation of these media commentators are also widely broadcast in Canada. Stephen Hadley and numerous other individuals and organizations cited in this report are the same high-profile touts of U.S. imperialist strategy invited to present at the annual Halifax International Security Forum aka Halifax War Conference, which increasingly dictates the policy of the Canadian state. Furthermore, a 2001 study of role of Canadian “experts” and think tanks in advocating the “war on terror” in the Canadian media by Shunpiking Magazine revealed a similar modus operandi. – Tony Seed) (download pdf of report)

Public Accountability Initiative (Oct. 11, 2013) – DURING the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.” Continue reading

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Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (12): UN Report confirms Syrian chemical weapons fired from rebel-held territory

But U.S. is still calling for regime change

Washington’s Blog (Jan. 17) – THE HEAD of the UN weapons inspectors said that the American case for Syrian government firing chemical weapons was weak, because the rockets can only go two miles … but government-held territory is much further away.

Similarly, Matthew Schofield of McClatchy reported on January 15th:

“A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.” Continue reading

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Disinformation on gas attacks in Syria (11): Whose sarin? Whose rebels? Whose cherries?

A comment by Tony Seed on the revelations by Seymour Hersh of the duplicity of the Obama (and Harper) regimes and nonsense about the “intelligence community”

Barak_W_Bush_by_Aheney(Dec. 12, 2013) – MONTHS after the mysterious gas attacks on 21 August in Ghouta near Damascus, Syria, an article about the perfidious role of the Obama government appeared in the London Review of Books last Sunday December 8th. It is reproduced below. The American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh discloses that the White House directly “cherry picked” intelligence and fabricated facts outlined in the so-called “dossier” of the Obama regime to blame the government of Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons as part of its warmongering against Syria. Continue reading

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Event: Heroes & Villains

Palestinian Resistance, Stephen Harper & the Middle East

Join the discussion of the Palestinian national cause and the role of Canada-Israel relations at JustUs Coffeehouse, 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, on Thursday, January 30 at 6 pm. Discussion led by Dr. Ismail Zayid, president of the Canada Palestine Association and Gary Zatzman, co-editor of the Dossier on Palestine. 

The people of Canada and Quebec in their hundreds of thousands have repeatedly opposed the pro-Zionist course of Canadian governments led by Stephen Harper.

For the last 9 months, under the guise of seeking a peace accord with the Palestinian National Authority with the Washington authority as “honest broker”, the Tel Aviv authority has announced and opened tenders on plans to construct thousands more settlement units throughout the occupied West Bank in batches of hundreds at a time. As part of this, thousands of dunums of Palestinian-owned land become annexed, entirely illegally, to the State of Israel. Continue reading

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CIA and Hollywood; a ‘national resource’

spyLA Times (Jan. 10) – “THE CIA has long had a special relationship with the entertainment industry, devoting considerable attention to fostering relationships with Hollywood movers and shakers – studio executives, producers, directors, big-name actors,” John Rizzo, the former acting CIA general counsel, wrote in his new book, “Company Man: Thirty Years of Crisis and Controversy in the CIA.”

People might assume that since Hollywood leans to the political left, the CIA’s relationships “would be with the sort of conservative picket of Hollywood,” Rizzo said in an interview. “Well, that’s not true.  People one would normally associated with liberal causes have assisted CIA.” Continue reading

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Feverish expansion of the special forces of Obama’s outlaw state

An investigation by American journalist-author NICK TURSE* reveals that the secret military of the United States now operates in over half the nations on the planet, including the United States and Canada. It is expanding rapidly, despite claims aiming to minimize and downplay the extent of its global reach; simultaneously, the promotion of the Obama doctrine of drone warfare is unfettered. This is the reliance of U.S. imperialism on drones to conduct targeted assassinations, coupled with use of black ops (including so-called Information Warfare) to foment civil wars, mayhem and chaos. Politically, this is a desperate hope born out of anarchy that the U.S. can prevail over its rivals, including both competitors amongst the imperialist powers and against developing nations’ intent on making a way for themselves and against the peoples of the world fighting for their right to be. The drone war doctrine gives Obama a new false narrative – that the U.S. is no longer engaged in any wars, and hence its special forces are allegedly being cut back. – TS

US special ops map
US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013 (key below). Click here to see a larger image.

Key to the Map of US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013

  • Red: Special Ops Forces deployed in 2013
  • Blue: Special Ops Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the US or a third country during 2013.
  • Purple: Special Ops Forces deployed in 2012
  • Yellow: Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the US or a third country during 2012.

Tomdispatch (Jan. 7) – “DUDE, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.” With that, Major Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.

More than a month before, I had called US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with a series of basic questions: In how many countries were US Special Operations Forces deployed in 2013? Are manpower levels set to expand to 72,000 in 2014? Is SOCOM still aiming for growth rates of 3%-5% per year? How many training exercises did the command carry out in 2013? Basic stuff. Continue reading

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Sighting. This is what democracy looks like

Bilbao, Spain: Huge turn out to protest in support of Basque political prisoners after the Spanish Government banned demonstrations.

Bilbao, Spain: Huge turn out to protest in support of Basque political prisoners after the Spanish Government banned demonstrations.

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‘Secrets for sale’ and the Snowden affair: The Greenwald-Omidyar-NSA connection

Greenwald, SnowdenDespite what Time Magazine would have us believe, there is no doubt that the most influential newsmaker of the year has been Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA subcontractor who at the age of 29 became the unlikely center of global attention with his release of documents allegedly detailing the inner workings of various NSA spying programs.

Of the many intriguing aspects of this story, by far one of the most frustrating is that, other than a few interviews and press conferences, almost everything we know about Snowden, his motivations, and the documents themselves come from intermediaries who have found themselves in the position of spokespeople on the case. Continue reading

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