Monday, October 02, 2023

Canada's Nazi Embarassment is NATO's Too: Hunka-rin Down for the Media Storm


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears

September 29, 2023 


North Bay, Ontario, is a small Canadian city of immigrants from Europe, their upwardly mobile children, and their children’s children.  

It’s the town where Yaroslav Hunka (lead image) lives after he left the  British prisoner of war camp where he and other Ukrainian soldiers of the SS Waffen Grenadier Galician Division were held after the end of fighting in Europe in 1945. North Bay is where his son Martin Hunka was chief financial officer of Redpath Mining, a mine engineering company. By North Bay standards, the Hunka family is better educated and wealthier than most, donating substantial sums of money to the local hospital, universities, and Ukrainian national organisations, and through the Redpath mining company to local politicians.   

North Bay is also where the children of these men demonstrate Hitler salutes and Nazi Party slogans on the local high school football field.  

This is the model of small-town church-going people of modest but respectable means who share the prevailing ideology of their homeland grandparents who were on the side of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Stepan Bandera in the last world war. The smiles remain the same, the stand-up stiff-arm salutes have changed. The minds remain fixed where they were in their grandparents’ ideology – that was the collective fascism of a century ago.* These people continue to believe that for their liberation, the Russian race should be destroyed – “suffocated” is the state policy term used by Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly.  

The churches they attend organised a rally for this goal at the North Bay City Hall featuring statements by the two Hunkas; they were St. Andrew’s United, Trinity United, Emmanuel United Church, and Omond  Memorial United Church. “Nothing has changed,” Yaroslav Hunka said at what the churches called a “peace vigil”. “The same enemy. First Stalin was there and now this idiot. But Ukraine is not by itself like it was before. The whole world knows about Ukraine and the whole world supports Ukraine and that is very important.”

Martin Hunka added: “I think the support in Canada, the support around the world has been fantastic. At least now we have friends, whether that is going to translate into anything concrete on the ground, I think it already is.”  

This is the town where the first Italian to become Speaker of the House of Commons in Ottawa  ran a business and collected election campaign donations. That’s Anthony Rota, the man who invited the two Hunka men to be guests in the Speaker’s Gallery during the speech of Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky on September 22.  Rota and the government’s leader of the House of Commons, Karina Gould, arranged for the two Hunka men to be seated in the front row of the gallery next to the leaders of Canada’s military and internal security forces, General Wayne Eyre, the chief of the Defence Staff, and Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Bryan Larkin, protected by two armed bodyguards.

When Rota spoke to introduce Hunka, he had just read from his script that in December 1941, after World War II had begun, the then-British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill appealed  to the House in Ottawa “to rally for continued support of his country at war. It was a defining moment of history, and one that must never be forgotten.” Hunka and the SS Galicians came next on the same page of Rota’s script. “We have here in the Chamber today Ukrainian-Canadians, Ukrainian-Canadian veteran from the Second World War who fought [for] Ukrainian independence against the Russians, and continues to support the troops today, even at his age of ninety-eight [cheering; applause]…. We thank him for all his service, thank you [cheering; applause].”  

Rota was making an explicit equivalence in Canadian policy for war against Russia between Zelensky, Churchill, and Hunka. Ideologically, this was also the equivalence between Hunka’s service to the Reich, “and what is at stake — Ukraine’s freedom, but also preservation of the rules-based order which is a fundamental part of the future of the democratic world,” Rota wound up.

Rota didn’t write this 7-minute, multi-page 2,500 word speech by himself. In draft, Rota sent it for review and editing by Joly, the foreign minister; by Gould, in charge of the government’s business in the House; and by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. An Access to Information Act (ATIA)  request for the circulation list of the draft speech and for the other preparations for the Zelensky appearance, including the invitation list for the Speaker’s Gallery,  would provide the evidence. No Canadian reporter or publication has attempted to do this, yet.

 Watch the hour-long House ceremony here.  

For Canada’s black voters, underrepresented in the House of Commons, Rota also tried to link Zelensky’s and Hunka’s war against Russia to Nelson Mandela’s speech to the Canadian parliament.   

Every member of the House of Commons, General Eyre and Commissioner Larkin, stood and  applauded Hunka’s wartime killing of Russians. Twice.

Top: the front row of Canadian officials in the Speaker’s Gallery of the House of Commons:  from left to right, unidentified Canadian official; General Wayne Eyre (red ring), chief of Canada’s Defence Staff; Bryan Larkin, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in charge of “specialized policing services”; unidentified Canadian official; Martin Hunka, retired chief financial officer of Redpath Mining, a mine engineering company of North Bay, Ontario; and his father Yaroslav Hunka  of North Bay (red arrow). The two unidentified men not wearing decorations have been identified by a local source as bodyguards for the two ranking officers between them; the vetting by them of those seated next to them, the Hunkas, and those seated behind them, would have gone into considerable detail of their security files – details now denied by every senior official of the government who were on the House floor applauding.  Bottom:

This is the House of Commons floor plan of 2005. There have been renovations, seating changes, and rule variations since then. Number 21 in this diagram is the Speaker’s Gallery where Eyre, Larkin, Martin and Yaroslav Hunka and the bodyguards were seated during Zelensky’s speech on September 22.  In an attempt to explain how the Speaker’s Gallery was filled, the government organ CBC reported   through a former chief of prootocol, Roy Norton,  that in the standard procedure Joly’s ministry would have been consulted on filling the Speaker’s Gallery guest list. Notwithstanding, Norton claimed the government would have had “zero role in inviting Mr Hunka, or for that matter most of the people who sat in the gallery”.  Norton had been a Canadian foreign ministry diplomat for many years, ending up as chief of protocol until 2019.  He was out of government before wartime security measures surrounding the Ukrainian president and Canadian general officers took effect.

The  standing, smiling, cheering, hand-clapping display of September 22 in Ottawa was, sociologically and psychologically speaking,* the same as German communities of the North Bay-kind and German officials of the House of Commons-type displayed throughout the 1930s and 1940s until they were stopped by the Red Army and silenced by Germany’s capitulation in May 1945.  Not that their descendants in North Bay and across Canada have surrendered that German ideology in the seventy-eight years which have elapsed since then. The enthusiasm of the MPs to jump to their feet, shouting and saluting Hunka for killing Russians is evidence plain.

So are the subsequent attempts by the MPs, government ministers, and General Eyre to pin responsibility on Rota and claim ignorance for themselves. Eyre’s spokesman has announced “[the decision to recognize Hunka] was made independently within the Speaker’s office, without the involvement or awareness of people in attendance, including DND/CAF [National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces] members present.”  The implication is that the chief of the Defence Staff twice stood to applaud without knowing who or why, and without understanding what Rota had said.  

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland’s acute nervousness at concealing her role in celebrating Hunka and the Galician division was visible when she was questioned by a reporter six days after the event, on September 28.  Asked whether she supports the reopening of the Deschênes Commission,  the Canadian government investigation of war criminals in 1985-86,   so that “Canadians can know how many veterans who fought with the Nazis are here in our country”,  Freeland fidgeted with her hands for several seconds before evading a direct answer.

“As a government,” she said, “we are going to be very thoughtful about any further steps that need to be taken.”   

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at her press conference on September 28. Source:

A new investigation, if it were held and if the Deschênes Commission files on immigrant Ukrainian participants  in German war crimes were reopened, would identify the German Army, SS and Nazi career of Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Mikhail Chomiak, who was still wanted for his war crimes in Poland in the 1980s.   The first report of Chomiak’s active involvement in the liquidation of the Jewish communities of the Galician region around Lvov, appeared here in January 2017.  At the time Freeland dismissed the evidence as Russian propaganda.

Hunka has identified the British Army and its intelligence units as likely to be holding files on him and other members of the Galician division during their time in British prisoner-of-war camps between 1945 and 1951.  According to Hunka, “on the last day of the war, the Galicia Division broke contact with the CHA in Styria, Austria, and surrendered to the British Army. In the prisoner-of-war camp in Italy, I met many guys from different villages of the Berezhany region. I remember that Yaroslav Babuniak, Stepan Kukuruza, Yaroslav Lototskyi, Lev Bahlay, Volodymyr Bilyk, Ostap Sokolskyi, Lev Babiy, Yaroslav Ivakhiv were there from the Berezhany gymnasium. I think it was God’s will that we should go around the world like the tribe of Israel, tell the world about Ukraine, and forty-five years later come to it with help.”  

A Canadian government press release claims the British government asked Canada to take Ukrainian POWs like Hunka as immigrants.  Hunka himself has not revealed where he met Margaret Edgerton, the English woman he married in 1951, before the two moved to Canada in 1954.

Edgerton’s obituary reveals she was born in Warwickshire, but this does not reveal how she met Hunka “after the Second World War.”   Altogether, nine years of British Army, MI6, and MI5 records on Hunka are so far unmentioned in the Canadian and international reporting of his case.

Published in 2011 in Combatant News, a US-based platform for Ukrainian soldiers who had served the Ukrainian National Army (UNA), Hunka titled this statement “My Generation Memoirs”.  

During two years of interrogations of Hunka and the other Galician veterans in Italy, the British government prepared some for covert operations against the Soviets in the Ukraine, and resettled others in the UK.    “When the 8,500 Ukrainian former soldiers of the Galicia Division were transferred to the UK from Italy in May-June 1947 they were accommodated in prisoner-of-war (POW) camps in various parts of the UK, mainly in the agricultural areas of eastern England and southern Scotland. Occasionally the men were moved between camps. In July 1948 the numbers of men in camps at or near various locations were as follows: Hempton (Norfolk) – 1,682 men, Mildenhall (Suffolk) – 1,401, Allington (Lincolnshire) – 1,319, Moorby (Lincolnshire) – 1,264, Botesdale (Suffolk) – 1,010, Dalkeith (Scotland) – 958, Lockerbie (Scotland) – 463, other locations (including hospitals, where invalids were held) – 300. After the men were released from POW status (August-October 1948) and admitted into the European Voluntary Workers (EVW) scheme, the POW camps in which they were being held were taken over by civilian authorities and redesignated as hostels.”

Another Ukrainian account of British efforts to prevent Hunka and the other Galician veterans from being repatriated to Soviet Ukraine to face war crimes trials is described here.  Because Hunka came from Berezhany, in the Ternopil region, the British classified him as a Polish national rather than a Soviet, and this protected him from deportation to his homeland.

That he and his associates may have participated in the killing of between 4,000 and 8,000 Jews in the area between 1941 and 1943 is suggested in this brief timeline.   Hunka claims that in 1940 when he was a 15-year old high school student in Berezhany, he was one of six Ukrainians in a class of forty; two were Poles; and “the rest [32] were Jewish children of refugees from Poland. We wondered why they ran away in front of such a civilised Western people as the Germans.”

In 1941, when the killing of the Jews of Berezhany was under way, Hunka has written that “I was just 16 years old, and the next two years [1942-43] were the happiest years of my life. I did not imagine that what I experienced in those two years would give me love for my hometown so much that it would be enough for me for the rest of my life. Little did I know then that dreams of those two years, of the company of charming girls, of cheerfully cheerful friends, of fragrant evenings in the luxurious castle park and passages through the city would help me overcome the troubled times of the following years.”

In 1943, Hunka, then 18 years old, reports that “in two weeks, eighty thousand volunteers volunteered for the division, including many students of the Berezhany gymnasium. None of us asked what our reward would be, what our provision would be, or even what our tomorrow would be. We felt our duty to our native land – and left!”   The massacres of several thousand Polish villagers started in the Ternopil region after this mobilisation in 1943, and after the Jews had been wiped out, including all of Hunka’s schoolmates.  The most notorious of the Galician division’s attacks was the destruction of the Polish village and inhabitants of Huta Pieniacka in February 1944.

Hunka’s whereabouts as the Galician units moved through his home region killing Poles was almost certainly recorded by British military interrogators when Hunka was in their POW camp in Italy from 1945 to 1947. The British evidence on Hunka would have been passed to the Canadian immigration authorities if they had requested it at the time Hunka applied to leave the UK for Toronto.

The same evidence, and more, was gathered by the Polish authorities in Warsaw, where the Galician division and individual name files are being opened now at the Institute for National Remembrance (IPN). Soviet military and security files on Hunka are also available in Moscow.

In January 2017 Galicians vandalized the memorials to the villagers of Huta Pieniacka with Ukrainian national and SS graffiti.  

British government propaganda is reporting the Hunka affair as a debate between elderly Jews and nonagenarian Ukrainians arguing over past and disputed history which Rota, government ministers, General Eyre, and every member of the Canadian parliament knew nothing of until now.  This is also the line taken by Gould whose first tweet to protect Hunka and herself claimed:  “Like all MPs, I had no further information than the Speaker provided. Exiting the Chamber I walked by the individual and took a photo. As a descendent of Jewish Holocaust survivors I would ask all parliamentarians to stop politicizing an issue troubling to many, myself included.” What Gould meant was that she and the Jewish community do not want Hunka’s past record to upset the current alliance between the Jews and Ukrainians of Canada to prosecute the war against Russia.

The German Foreign Ministry, headed by Annalena Baerbock, the leading promoter in Berlin of race war against Russia, defended the standing salute for Hunka given by Sabine Sparwasser, German ambassador to Canada, who was in the Speaker’s Gallery near Hunka. According to the ministry spokesman, Sebastian Fischer (right), reading from a prepared statement, Sparwasser had no
idea what she was standing to applaud. “The true identity of Mr. Hunka, namely that he was a volunteer member of the Waffen-SS, was not known to those present, since his participation had not been announced.”  

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) version of what happened in the past claims “the Galicia Division has been accused of committing war crimes, but its members have never been found guilty in a court of law.” This BBC report makes no reference to Poland or to the Polish massacres at all. It depicts public criticism of Hunka as a Jewish community protest, boosted by Moscow.  “While far-right extremism still exists in Ukraine, it is much smaller than what Russian propaganda tries to make people believe…”    


The Polish government investigation of Hunka has begun since the Hunka affair was publicised.  

The mainstream Canadian media are also trying to restrict the public controversy to a debate between Jews and Ukrainians, and direct the ensuing public apologies to the Jewish community. Here, for example, Irwin Сotler, former Canadian justice minister and Liberal Party attorney-general, speaking from Jerusalem, makes the point that in 1948 “it was easier to get into Canada if you were a Nazi than if you were a Jew.” Сotler explained the reason for this was “indifference and inaction by successive Canadian governments. As a result we became a sanctuary for Nazi war criminals and no accountability.”   

Сotler was misrepresenting the record. He knows that before the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the Anglo-American alliance took the same view as the German Reich that the “Judaeo-Bolshevik conspiracy” put Jews and Russians into the same category for targeting as enemies. After 1945 it took time before the same alliance, including Canada, removed Jews from the war targeting. Russians have remained, however.  Сotler is as committed to waging the present war against them as Hunka and everyone else in the Canadian parliament.


[*]  Fascism has been repeatedly defined on this website, and in the author’s books, to mean the state when rule is by force (and the fear of it); when state budgets, parliamentary votes, and oligarch fortunes are frauds upon the taxpayers; and when government propaganda has become so pervasive, no alternative public beliefs are permitted, and subversion is the rule. That’s when the majority of people believe what it is demonstrably not in their interest; and when they encourage the use of state force to suppress everyone who dares to calculate and say otherwise, so that no one can any longer apprehend what is in their interest, or not.  There have been countless experiments by US psychologists to identify the fascist citizen or totalitarian personality, ever since this became a wartime priority in the 1940s. The most telling of these is Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments at Yale in the 1960s. They demonstrated that normal individuals will administer fatal electrocution to others if they are convinced the authority to order them to press the button is legitimate.   With a wave to Hunka, Rota got Canada’s parliament to demonstrate how easy it is to press the button.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan Cassels, Meghan Murphy September 27th, 2023

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

September 27, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded September 27th, 2023.

More than three and a half years later, and we still don’t have definitive answers to that Covid-19 outbreak; the immensity of which touched arguably every person on Earth. How is it possible the source and cause of Covid, the focus of thousands of minds and scores of millions of research dollars, still eludes us? Health authorities may say, science is often complex and not prone to easy answers, and often that’s true, but not always.

Right now in BC, between 15 and 16 more British Columbians will die every day than the actuarial tables predict. Those tables contain the hard data insurers and others use to forecast who and how many will live, and how many die; the better to set your life insurance premiums, among other things. Not entirely simple, but not brain science either. So, surely BC’s health department can tell us what these nearly 7,000 unforeseen annual deaths mean… Shirley?

Alan Cassels has been a drug policy researcher and pharmacy-journalist for 29 years, and he’s the author of four books including the bestseller ‘Selling Sickness’. His many essays have appeared at Victoria’s Focus Magazine, and other places too. His latest topic of inquiry is ‘Why are so many extra BC people dying than usual?’

Alan Cassels in the first half.

And; just as Covid policy and the war in Ukraine have divided Canadians, so too gender identity and definition is creating camps of passionate disagreement, and even violence. And, it’s not only in this country. Throughout Western democracies, where protecting minorities’ rights is a cornerstone of policy, governments and citizens are being forced to face difficult and fundamental issues of what the nature of society is and should look like. In Canada it means the creation of “thought crimes”.

Meghan Murphy is a Mexico-based Canadian writer, and founder of Feminist Current. She is too the host of The Same Drugs podcast. You can also find all her work online at

Meghan will be in Nanaimo October 1st for Vancouver Island Speaks Out: Gender Identity Ideology, Women’s Spaces & Parental Rights.

Meghan Murphy and the hate and loathing of Canada’s gender identity debate in the second half.

But first, Alan Cassels and the “dead” elephant in the post-Covid excess death living room.


Alan Cassels Reading Recommendations:

Tom Jefferson and Carl Henneghan
Paul Alexander
Joel Smalley
Murray Hunter:
Jennifer Brown:
Our World in Data:

Meghan Murphy Social links:


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jeremy Kuzmarov, Dimitri Lascaris September 20, 2023

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

September 20, 2023 

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded September 20th, 2023.

Yesterday, the American president took the podium at the United Nations to perform his annual liturgical duty, repeating the lies and hypocrisies defining his nation. Yes, the United States is – as it wreaks havoc across the planet – really keen for a World where “…our children do not go hungry and everyone has access [to] quality healthcare, where workers are empowered and our environment is protected… where conflicts are resolved peacefully and countries can chart their own course.”

If that doesn’t bring the bile to your mouth, you need to know more about what America does to countries who try charting their own course. Especially if that course includes feeding the hungry, providing healthcare to the sick, and empowering workers.

There are many examples to choose from, including Nicaragua; a nation that has felt the Yankee boot on its neck for very nearly two centuries.
Jeremy Kuzmarov is a journalist and author who also serves as Managing Editor at His book titles include, ‘Obama’s Unending Wars’, and ‘The Russians Are Coming, Again’, written with John Marciano. His latest article at CAM, ‘Biden Has Relaunched Reagan’s Murderous War Against Nicaraguan Democracy–How Many Is He Willing to Kill to Win?‘ examines America’s ongoing campaign against the country that still will not bend a knee to Empire.


Jeremy Kuzmarov in the first half.

And; America’s persistent historical interference in Nicaragua and its more recent machinations in Ukraine differ only in scale. And though the ruination being made out of the latter is fast becoming total, still the NATO alliance and its international collaborators say, “push on”.

Dimitri Lascaris is a Montreal-based activist, journalist, and lawyer. He served as Justice Critic in the Shadow Cabinet of the Green Party of Canada and likewise for the Green Party of Quebec. Dimitri’s interviews for TRNN are at Dimitri’s articles appear at various sites online and at his website,, where I found his latest piece, ‘Ukraine’s Worst Enemies Are Those Who Demand Russia’s Strategic Defeat‘.


Dimitri Lascaris and Ukraine’s ‘friends like these’ in the second half.

But first, Jeremy Kuzmarov and Biden ridin’ the legacy of Reagan in Nicaragua.



Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:


Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ken Stone September 20, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

September 20, 2023 

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded September 20th, 2023


Listen. Hear.

Earlier this year, Britain decided to include depleted uranium shells with its deliveries of their Challenger II tanks gifted to Ukraine. Russia charged the so-called CHARM3 munitions are in effect “dirty bombs” and would decision effectively “nuclearized” the war there.

DU munitions were first used in the Gulf War of 1991, again in the Former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Syria. The deleterious, long-term effects of DU is well documented, yet still contested by NATO and America, who recently announced it too would send depleted uranium weaponry to Ukraine.

Ken Stone is an activist and author working for peace with the Syria Support Movement International and Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War. His book, ‘Defiant Syria: Dispatches from the Second International Tour of Peace to Syria’ is a compilation of his dispatches from the Second International Tour of Peace which visited Syria from April 12-18, 2016.

Ken and the Hamilton Coalition are hosting the webinar, ‘Cluster Bombs & Depleted Uranium Weapons in Ukraine: 2 More Reasons to End the War Now’ today, September 20th.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Dave Lindorff September 13, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

September 13, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded September 13th, 2023.


Listen. Hear.

As the Ukraine front of the West’s war against Russia continues its collapse – by all accounts, save Zelenskyy’s – the battle to defeat the recalcitrant energy giant continues. Not content with attaching bank accounts and confiscating airplanes, agents of the West have taken too to piracy, seizing oil-laden Russian registered tankers on the high seas. But even that age-old tactic of America’s maritime empire and its English predecessor pales beside the backroom buccaneering being employed to wrest from Russia the richest prize, the World’s greatest tanker fleet.

John Helmer is a journalist and author who’s spent decades living in and reporting from Russia. Principle behind the web news site, Dances with Bears, Helmer has too been a professor of political science, sociology, and journalism, and served as advisor to governments at the highest levels.
Among his many book titles are: ‘Skripal in Prison,’ ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia,’ ‘The Jackals’ Wedding: American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH-17’, ‘Australian Fascism: How It Destroyed the Courts’, and his latest, still steaming hot of the presses, ‘SOVCOMPLOT: How Pirates Tried to Capture the Treasure of the Russian Seas, and Were Caught Out’.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; America has been at war with Russia much longer than most people today appreciate. In 1944, though allies in the fight against the Axis Powers, the United States planned, after Hitler’s fall, to turn its super secret super-weapon the A-bomb on its “friend” the Soviet Union, killing tens of millions of its people, and crippling its society. The plan was to send Russia back to the Stone Age.

And the plan may have succeeded but for the Soviet’s miraculous development of its own super weapon, promising any such action against it would provoke a mutual response. Mutually Assured Destruction, the MAD Doctrine, has hung over the heads of us all at varying degrees of imminent catastrophe ever since.

But, how did the Soviets manage their miracle of atomic deterrence?

Dave Lindorff is an Izzy Award-winning investigative journalist, author, founder of the web news site, This Can’t Be, and documentary producer whose now released film, ‘A Compassionate Spy‘ tells the tale of Ted Hall, wunderkind physicist and spy who may well have saved Russia and the World from nuclear conflagration. Dave’s been working on a companion book of sorts for the film titled, ‘Spy for No Country’, due out any day.

Dave Lindorff and Ted Hall saving Russia, saving the World in the second half.

But first, John Helmer and Russia beating too the high seas picaroons.

John Helmer’s Dances with Bears

John on Gorilla Radio

Dave Lindorff’s This Can’t Be Happening

Dave on Gorilla Radio


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Thursday, September 07, 2023

The Eastern Route: Sahel's Refugees Braving the Yemeni/Saudi War to Escape Drought

Prioritizing Human Rights in Relations with Saudi Arabia

by Kathy Kelly -

September 6, 2023

“Rather than assist people afflicted by droughts, impoverishment and intensifying wars, the United States is acting in its own perceived self-interests and entertaining Saudi demands for even more military power.”

There's a refugee trail from the Sahel drought region in Africa, into war-ravaged Yemen, and up through Saudi Arabia towards Iraq and Turkey. It’s known as “the Eastern route,” or sometimes “the Yemeni route.”  The Saudi monarchy, already leading an eight-year starvation and bombardment campaign against Iran-aligned, rebel-governed Yemen, has been massacring Ethiopian (and other African) refugees, allegedly in the thousands, to send a message that drought-stricken Africans should choose to die at home and not risk their lives to die in Yemen. It’s a chilling, cruel message.

U.S. imperial policies in the region, which have propped up the brutal Saudi monarchy, ensure continued bloodshed, hunger, division and destabilization. These degenerate policies undermine desperately needed collaboration in the face of ecological collapse. Rather than assist people afflicted by droughts, impoverishment and intensifying wars, the United States is acting in its own perceived self-interests and entertaining Saudi demands for even more military power. The purpose of wooing Saudi Arabia with military contracts is, apparently, to head off a further economic integration of Saudi Arabia with China and Russia, global rivals of the United States.

Sometime during the week of September 3, two U.S. State department representatives will arrive in Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, to resume negotiations with the Saudi royals. A recent report suggests that the meetings will discuss a NATO-like agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United States, a measure which might then move Saudi Arabia closer toward normalizing relations with Israel. What does Riyadh seek in return? "Riyadh has been seeking a NATO-like mutual security treaty that would obligate the US to come to Saudi Arabia’s defense if the latter is attacked,” according to The Times of Israel. The Saudis also seek to strengthen a US-backed civilian nuclear program in Saudi Arabia and they want assurance about acquiring more advanced weaponry from U.S. military contractors.

At the recent summit of the BRICS+ coalition led by U.S. rival, China, Saudi Arabia was announced as a new member to join in January 2024. Earlier this year China had brokered a resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and its (and the U.S.') chief regional rival, Iran, which has also been invited to join BRICS+ early next year.  The U.S. State Department's Brett McGurk and Barbara Leaf, in their Riyadh  trip, will be working to counter integration of the oil-rich Saudi nation into a coalition of nations the U.S. fears as threats to U.S. unipolar hegemony. Routinely, the United States condemns China and Russia for human rights abuses,  – abuses paling beside the worst of Saudi Arabia's. 

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has bombed, starved, blockaded and tortured Yemeni civilians. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to persecute and execute its own civilians for speaking out about cruel wrongdoings.

Human Rights Watch, in their 73-page report, “‘They Fired on Us Like Rain’: Saudi Arabian Mass Killings of Ethiopian Migrants at the Yemen-Saudi Border,” alleges that Saudi Arabian border guards have fired machine guns and launched mortars at Ethiopians trying to cross into the kingdom from Yemen, likely killing hundreds of the unarmed migrants in recent years. 

This widespread and systematic pattern of attacks featured incidents, the report states, when “Saudi border guards asked migrants what limb to shoot, and then shot them at close range. Saudi border guards also fired explosive weapons at migrants who were attempting to flee back to Yemen.”  

The rights group cited eyewitness reports of attacks by troops and images that showed dead bodies and burial sites on migrant routes, saying the death toll could amount to “possibly thousands”.

Also of interest to the two U.S. envoys should be a report from the Guardian which says the U.S. and German militaries have trained and equipped Saudi border guards.

There is a reason for the massive migrant flight from the Sahel into the killing zone that Saudi Arabia, with its international partners, has made of Yemen: The planet is boiling.

Collaboration is surely needed among all peoples in order to cope with and solve the tragic problems, including horrific human rights abuses, certain to escalate because of intensifying climate catastrophes. But military agreements with Saudi Arabia will increase the readiness of Saudi Arabia to attack weaker countries and persecute its own citizenry. Green lighting development of nuclear technology will exacerbate the environmental assaults caused by war. The United States' policy of confrontation to beat down economic rivals can only worsen these crises.

During years when the United States collaborated with and armed dictators, militaries and paramilitaries in Central and South America, several notable leaders demanded an end to the violence. El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero, now canonized as a saint, spoke up:

“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police, and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.

“No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No one has to comply with an immoral law. It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God, and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”

In a sense, he signed his own death warrant when he signed this statement. On March 24, 1980, Romero was assassinated for his courageous words and deeds.

President Joe Biden would do well to heed this Catholic saint, revise the mandate he gives to diplomats working in Saudi Arabia, and rely on Archbishop Romero’s words: Recover your conscience! Stop the repression, stop the killing.

Rather than normalize militarism and human rights abuses, the United States should seek, always and everywhere, to salvage the planet and respect human rights.

This article first appeared in The Progressive


Kathy Kelly ( is the board president of World BEYOND War ( and a co-coordinator of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal. (


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joe Foy, Ken Stone August 31st, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 31, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 30th, 2023


The rain’s return reminds Fall is coming to Vancouver Island. What remains as unchanged as the changing seasons here though is the continual rapaciousness of industry in the province and the serial iniquity emanating the capital city’s heart, the B.C. Legislature.

Whether Social Credit, New Democrat, Liberal, BCLiberal, NDP matters not a whit to mining, logging, and fishing interests, or changes by a millimeter the plans of the frackers and pipeline layers, suburban sprawl-makers and downtown condo in-fillers; they can always be assured, business will continue as usual.

Joe Foy is the Protected Areas Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. An old-hand, Joe was employee #1 way back when the Committee were known as WC2 – or Western Canada Wilderness Committee – and forty some-odd years later there’s still so much work to be done.


Joe Foy in the first half.

And; as the eyes of the World are focused on Ukraine, and Hawaii, and Africa, and all the places people are harried by natural and manufactured disaster, Israel has been busy going about its project of making the lives of Palestinians impossible in Gaza, hardly survivable in the Occupied Territories, and a daily terror for its neighbour, Syria.

Just yesterday, Israel again sent missiles into Aleppo’s international airport, shutting down its last functional runway. Israel has bombed Syria throughout the Summer – and before – with neither sanction nor censure from Canada and its ‘rule of law’ defending allies.

Ken Stone is with the Syria Support Movement International and Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War. We talked last about the EU’s 7th Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region – an annual event held without Syrian participation – on the first day of Summer past.

Ken Stone and Syria’s long resistance to Empire in the second half.

But first, from felled ancient forests and the Spotted Owl’s imminent extirpation to the fracking pads and pipeline paths across the province, saving what remains with Joe Foy and the Wilderness Committee.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ken Stone (extended) August 30th, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 31, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 30th, 2023


Listen. Hear.

As the eyes of the World are focused on Ukraine, and Hawaii, and Africa, and all the places people are harried by natural and manufactured disaster, Israel has been busy going about its project of making the lives of Palestinians impossible in Gaza, hardly survivable in the Occupied Territories, and a daily terror for its neighbour, Syria.

Just yesterday, Israel again sent missiles into Aleppo’s international airport, shutting down its last functional runway. Israel has bombed Syria throughout the Summer – and before – with neither sanction nor censure from Canada and its ‘rule of law’ defending allies.

Ken Stone is with the Syria Support Movement International and Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War. We talked last about the EU’s 7th Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region – an annual event held without Syrian participation – on the first day of Summer past.

Ken Stone and a long look at Syria’s long resistance to Empire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Rifat Audeh, Molly Murphy August 23rd, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 23, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 23rd, 2023


Listen. Hear.

Last week the 2023 Freedom Flotilla Coalition vessel, Handala ended the first leg of its two-year journey to the besieged Gaza Strip. The Handala follows a string of attempts to open up Gaza to the sea going back to 2009. The most infamous of those was the 2010 convoy, attacked by the Israeli military at a cost of dozens shot and ten lives lost.

Rifat Audeh is a longtime activist for and defender of Palestinian human rights. A Palestinian Canadian, Rifat studied engineering in Canada and Media & Journalism in Great Britain. His articles are published by numerous outlets online, in English and Arabic. Rifat was aboard the flagship vessel, Mavi Marmara when commandos descended, and his multi-award winning documentary film, ‘The Truth: Lost at Sea‘ is the account of the 2010 Freedom Flotilla and Israel’s lethal attack against it.

Rifat Audeh in the first half.

And; the struggle to save what remains of first growth forests on Vancouver Island continues. The 2021/’22 partial blockade of timber company Teal Jones at Fairy Creek in the Cowichan region resumed late last month. And last week, three more defenders joined the twelve hundred arrested last year trying to stop logging there. The arrests bring the issue back into public consciousness, even as the trees continue to fall.

Molly Murphy is a BIPOC activist, journalist, researcher and social justice warrior. She’s one of the 1200 people arrested at the Fairy Creek protests last year, and continues to “fight against the systems of oppression and supporting those who strive to do the same“.

Molly is also a builder, mother of three, and co-author of the Mudgirls Manifesto.

Molly Murphy and standing still for Fairy Creek’s old growth forest in the second half.

But first, Rifat Audeh and keeping the story of Gaza and the martyrs of the Mavi Marmara alive.


Song: Roots

Artist: Carmanah 


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dimitri Lascaris, Joe Emersberger August 16th, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 15, 2023
Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 16th, 2023


Listen. Hear.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla has set sail, bound again for that besieged enclave. Most recently, 2018’s, ‘Just Future for Palestine’ was the fifth attempt to both get embargoed necessities into the Strip, and provide export opportunity for local goods. ‘For the Children of Gaza: a message of hope and solidarity’ is the theme this time around, and organizers say it will,

“challenge the blockade and […] demand an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”

As he did in 2018, Canadian human rights lawyer, activist, journalist, and Ecosocialist champion, Dimitri Lascaris is climbing aboard.

Dimitri Lascaris reporting from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla (2023) in the first half.

And; a snap election call means Ecuadorians will go to the polls again Sunday, August 20th. This past week, presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated, gunned down as he sat in an unarmored car following a political rally. He was not the first politician murdered this month; nor the last. Leader of the leftist political party Citizen Revolution, Pedro Briones was shot and killed in a city park Monday.

Outgoing president, Guillermo Lasso responded to the August 9th killing of Villavicencio by declaring a “60-day national state of emergency, suspending constitutional guarantees nationwide, and mobilizing the military for law enforcement.”

Joe Emersberger is a Canadian-Ecuadorian engineer, journalist, and co-author with Justin Podur of the book, ‘Extraordinary Threat: The US Empire, the Media and 20 Years of Coup Attempts in Venezuela‘.

Emersberger’s many articles focusing on Western media coverage of the Americas can be found at, CounterPunch, Telesur English, and ZCom, among other places.

Joe Emersberger and the tenuous odds of Ecuador’s political system surviving in the second half.

But first, Dimitri Lascaris at sea with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Yves Engler, Ray McGinnis August 9th, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 9th, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 9th, 2023.

Over the weekend, Global Affairs Canada announced it was “suspending development assistance” to Niger due to the overthrow of the government there. Ottawa said,

“Canada reiterates its solidarity with the people of Niger and its support for democracy, peace, inclusive governance and the rule of law.”

Clearly, when it comes to Canadian foreign policy there are coups, and then there are coups. Historically, Ottawa has either stood silently by – or more worryingly – played a major role in fomenting and supporting coups it deemed advantageous around the world, all putting to the lie its high road rhetoric of “support for peace, democracy, and inclusive governance”; nevermind “rule of law”, that murky precept dredged up only when Canadian corporate interests are challenged by natives with the temerity to control sovereign wealth and resources.

Yves Engler is an independent, Montreal-based journalist and author. He’s written twelve books on Canadian foreign policy, and hosts the Canadian Foreign Policy Hour, a weekly examination of the country’s actions in the World.

Yves’ many articles appear across the internet, and at his website,, where his latest piece, ‘Democracy far down list of Canadian interests in Niger‘ provides facts so disturbing to Canada’s international reputation they remain unreported in the nation’s corporate and state media.

Yves Engler in the first half.

And; it’s not only in Canada’s foreign policy where the myth of its democracy-loving ways is confounded by its systematic erasure of those principles. Here at home too Ottawa is waging a determined campaign to roll back the clock on citizens’ rights; back say a thousand years, predating the English Common Law’s foundational habeas corpus legislation. Right now, August 9th, 2023, four men have been held with neither bail nor trial since February of last year.

Ray McGinnis is an author and retired educator-cum reporter after attending the Public Order Emergency Commission hearings in Ottawa last November. His latest article on some of the enduring aftermath of the unprecedented invocation of the Emergencies Act, ‘Coutts Four Denied Bail, in Prison in Canada for over 500 Days without Trial. Are they Political Prisoners?‘ appears at the Substack site, Propaganda in Focus and serves as damning indictment of the Trudeau regime’s disconnect from western traditions of human rights, as understood for more than a millennia.

Ray McGinnis and Canadian jurisprudence’s trip back to a Medieval future in the second half.

But first, Yves Engler and Canada’s dismal democracy record abroad.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:


Saturday, August 05, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Terry Wolfwood, Evan Reif August 2nd, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

August 2, 2023

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 2nd, 2023


This week, Victoria’s Women in Black will convene to again commemorate the hundreds of thousands perished in the twin atrocities visited on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Women too will bear silent vigil for the millions more killed, maimed, and rendered homeless in the 78 years of wars waged since the Atomic bombing of Japan.

Terry Wolfwood is Director and co-founder of the Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation. She’s a writer, poet, photographer, and long-time activist in pursuit of peace, social justice, and women’s rights. Her articles have appeared at Briarpatch, Peace News, Third World Resurgence, and at the Foundation’s site,

Terry has served too as local coordinator for the Women in Black for many years, and traveled numerous times to the refugee camps-cum towns and cities in Palestine and Western Sahara.


Terry Wolfwood in the first half.

And; yes, “war is Hell” but those fighting it are not born demons; some are just made that way – systematically robotized, inured to human compassion, decency, and mercy – “psychologically inoculated” to become ruthless killers on command. And, that moral immunity persists after, and between wars.

Evan Reif is a freelance writer whose articles appear at CovertAction Magazine. The son of a miner and librarian from Western South Dakota, Evan says his father’s union organizing, and their community’s deindustrialization trauma, fostered a “deep interest in left-wing politics” and made him “a staunch anti-fascist“.

Evan’s latest piece at CAM, ‘Lord of the Underworld: Meet the Paratrooper from North Carolina Who Helped Orchestrate the War in Ukraine‘ follows a string of articles on the role of America, and Americans in the tragedy over there.

Evan Reif on Ukraine’s decent to Hell, and the conductors keeping the demonic tune playing in the second half.

But first, Terry Wolfwood remembering the shadows of war past and present.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at:

Hirsohima, 78 Years Ago Today

















My father was inside the building of Iwakuni Technical High School, 
but was surprised by the flash and the blast and went outside. 
I thought there had been an explosion at a nearby factory, but as 
far as I could see, nothing had happened. After a while, he noticed
a "mushroom cloud" rising in the distance, but he didn't quite 
understand what had happened.


Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer July 26th, 2023

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

July 26, 2023 

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded July 26th, 2023.


Listen. Hear.

The escalation of the Ukraine war is quickly morphing, becoming more international in character. Over the weekend, Russia’s President Putin warned Poland against sending troops into western Ukraine, informing the UN’s Security Council he was aware of “plans to establish some sort of so-called Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian unit.”

Poland reacted by denouncing Putin’s speech as a threat, and summoning the Russian ambassador in protest. As both Poland and Lithuania are NATO member countries, the greatest fear must be of this heightened belligerence leading to military engagement that could trigger NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense clause.

John Helmer is a journalist and author who’s spent decades living in and reporting from Russia. Principle behind the web news site, Dances with Bears, Helmer has too been a professor of political science, sociology, and journalism, and served as advisor to governments at the highest levels.
Among his many book titles are: ‘Skripal in Prison,’ ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia,’ ‘The Jackals’ Wedding: American Power, Arab Revolt’, ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH-17’ and his latest, ‘Australian Fascism: How It Destroyed the Courts’.

John’s latest article at Dances with Bears, ‘The Polish Response to Putin’s Challenge‘ reveals Washington’s manipulation of both Polish political jingoism and the country’s upcoming Autumn election.

Today, John Helmer getting to the heart of America’s Ukraine war aims.


Song: Rong Radio

Artist: Benjamin Zephania

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcasting since 1999. Check out the Archive at,, and the GR blog at: