Saturday, June 24, 2006

From Your Pocket to War: Canada's Burgeoning Military Complex

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Well hurrah! Canada is to, if Mr. Harper gets his way, dole out an approximated 15 billion dollars next week to "beef up" the country's military. Though the Canadian Forces has seen annual budget increases through three administrations over the last few years, it's still many tax dollars short of attaining its goals. What, harried tax-payer, are those goals? Well you may ask.

From Your Pocket to War:
Canada's Burgeoning Military Complex

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
June 24, 2006

It costs money to kill people. Think of it: There are bullets and bombs, rifles and airplanes; soldiers, sailors, and spooks to be paid. Then, those good boys and girls, our good boys and girls, needing feeding, clothing, toilet papering, etc. But, then you have to get those masters of democracy to the killing fields; far-flung locales most of those picking up the tab have never heard of, and certainly couldn't afford to holiday in.

But there's more, much more to be paid to get a good killing spree off the ground. And, this week, Canada's new prime minister, Bush apparatchik, Stephen Harper promised to provide the moolah required to wipe out the Mullahs. Hee hee, it's off to glory we go.

Already in the hole for more than a reputed four billion supporting the occupation of Afghanistan, and military geniuses like Canada's Numero Uno at defence, Rick Hillier opining a decade, or more "in-country" commitment required to bring at last freedom and democracy to the too dumb to form a society on their own Afghanis, Stephen's 15 billion dollars would appear just a down payment on the full cost of this misguided adventure in Central Asia. But the costs are to be greater by magnitudes less easily measured than through pure accountancy.

Some of you older Canucks may recall travelling the world in your youth. You may remember encountering American backpackers in Europe, who would affix little Maple Leaf insignia to their gear in hopes of "passing" as Canadians. They would abandon their citizenship for safety, knowing "their" government's policies abroad were so repugnant to so many around the world, it better to play Peter and deny affiliation, three times before the cock crows. What little emblems will the young intrepid denizens of the Great White North eager to see the wider world affix their backpacks, as they must now because Stephen Harper, and his previously corrupted predecessors, acquiesced Canadian sovereignty, adopting whole the horrible precepts and repugnant realities of the foreign policy of the United States?

Don't Shoot! I'm Irish, eh?

Lucky charms will not save those daring a venture. You see, we're seen in the lands of those oppressed as a polyglot too: The West, a bunch of rich, white, Christian men; a maniacal uber mensch that would have the Prophet dragged through the dirt and the mud, His adherents put to sword and flame; man, woman, and child together smote, while not even the animals, the lands and waters spared the scorched earth crusaders. And who, looking at the annuls of atrocity these last terrible years has writ, could disagree?

Like they are presented to we, we too look to them as a polyglot singularity; as if there are no secular "Muslims;" as if there exist no Agnostics east of Constantinople. Here, we perceive they a homogenous blob, religious fanatics, unreasonably threatening we that would take their hand and lead them from their dismal darkness of ignorance to the shining New Jerusalem on the hill: The Free Market.

Hallelujah! Amen.

Well Stephen, more bullets and bombs, and the means of their deliverance will not accomplish your stated tenets. What "Canada" is promising is a mere reflection of the disaster, in all terms, of America. And you, gentle tax-payer can go quiet into your good night knowing you are contributing to the Great Project, promising to pay the piper for this abortion of humanity, guaranteed to continue for generations to come.

Before I vomit at the thought of what's become of us, a shout out to the CBC, and their conspirators in the corporate media, for all your diligent work assisting the mass murders abroad.

Didn't they hang 'Tokyo Rose?'

Sleep well fellow Canadians, knowing your labours are put to such good use.

Chris Cook
is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and host of Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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Hatred: Encountering Demons Past

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - In more dramatic terms: It was that scene from "Marathon Man," where the infamous Nazi 'Angel of Death' is encountered by an unlikely survivor, four decades after their first acquaintance in the infamous death camps: "Zale!" But the meeting with my own (much smaller) "Angel" came today on the pleasant porch of a pub, perched above the bustle of Victoria's Bastion Square Market.

Hatred: Encountering Demons Past

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
June 24, 2006

The object of my distant Hatred? Ken McCulloch, former principal of my elementary school days, Fairburn elementary, School District 61 (or was it 64?).

There he sat in all his corpulence, a retiree with a beer-belly and rakish goatee, giving forth on the distressing "tattoo craze." His wife, and the couple accompanying them, (apparently from Fort St. John, British Columbia) waffled agreement through their onion rings, rejoining the like of: "What I don't get is the earrings. Men "earringed!"

"It's the other places; it's so unsanitary!" pipes in wifey.

And, they all harrumph in concurrence.

There was a time, a long time, where I wondered what I'd do the next time my path crossed with the motherfucker principal, scourge of more than one innocent in those halcyon prep school years? I recall well how he jabbed me in the nose those long days past, (Separated septum there Ken; it's bothered ever since).

"It must make them unemployable," blats Ken.

"Oh yeah," bleat the eaters.

"Well," Ken offers, "then I don't understand why we give them welfare!"

Friend D., a fellow student terrorized by this moron in school for no apparent reason other than his five older brothers graduated Fairburn. D. was a small guy, people picked on him because his protectors had promoted to Junior High. The principle seemed to take relish in tormenting him.

Everybody could see it.

Years later, D. has changed. He's a "tattooed" monster of six feet and two hundred plus pounds, bouncing at bars for a living. He picked up some martial arts and "inside" training along the way.

He told me a story of his first encounter after the fact with Old Ken. Seems Kenny was drunk, shooting his mouth off, getting close to fist work. Bouncer D. took him outside to reacquaint himself.

But today, seeing this putrid specimen; what he's made of his existence seems punishment enough.

Hatred past.

Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gorilla Radio for Monday, June 19th, 2006

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - This week: Catherine Whelan Costen, president of the Canadian Action Party on the assault against Canadian sovereignty. British journalist and activist, William Bowles on the warmaker's myths and propaganda.

And Janine Bandcroft bringing us up to speed on local events.

Chris Cook
hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday,
5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable,
and on the internet at:

Gorilla Radio for Monday,
June 19th 2006

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
June 18, 2006

Despite heading a minority government, Stephen Harper has forwarded an agenda as radical as George W. Bush’s. In fact, it’s an identical agenda: More wars; more repressive laws at home; abandonment of environmental commitments; evisceration of public oversight; and, of course tax-cuts for the rich, while services for the poor are curtailed.

How do the Conservatives get away with a program certain to shake a stronger administration?

Because the opposition has so far refused to oppose. Catherine Whelan Costen is the president of the Canadian Action Party, an upstart that clings to the quaint notion, ‘Canada should be run for the benefit of Canadians.’

Catherine Whelan Costen in the first half.

And; the propaganda mills have been working overtime in these last days leading to a wider war against the Muslim world. Last month, the National Post kicked things off with a bald-faced invented account spread across the front page alleging Iran wished to stitch the Star of David on every Jew in the country.

Two weeks ago, it was a terror plot in Toronto, hatched by handful of teenagers. Last week, the destruction of Abu Musab Zarqawi, reputed leader of the shadowy, al-Qaida in Iraq.

But who really was the corpse pictured on the world’s front pages, and does it matter?

William Bowles is a Brighton-based journalist and activist, whose web news site, Investigating New Imperialism featured an analysis of Zarqawi, and his relevance to the Iraqi resistance.

William Bowles in the second half.

And; Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with all that’s good to do in and around Victoria this coming week. But first, Catherine Whelan Costen, and Canadians taking action to save this country.

G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community,
and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the corporate media.

Some past guests include: M. Junaid Alam, Joel Bakan, Maude Barlow, David Barsamian, William Blum, Luciana Bohne, Vincent Bugliosi, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Diane Christian, Juan Cole, David Cromwell, Murray Dobbin, Jon Elmer, Reese Erlich, Anthony Fenton, Jim Fetzer, Laura Flanders, Chris Floyd, Connie Fogal, Susan George, Stan Goff, Robert Greenwald, Denis Halliday, Chris Hedges, Sander Hicks, Julia Butterfly Hill, Robert Jensen, Dahr Jamail, Diana Johnstone, Kathy Kelly, Naomi Klein, Anthony Lappe, Frances Moore Lappe, Jeff Leys, Dave Lindorff, Jim Lobe, Jennifer Loewenstein, Wayne Madsen, Stephen Marshall, Linda McQuaig, George Monbiot, Loretta Napoleoni, John Nichols, Kurt Nimmo, Greg Palast, Mike Palecek, Michael Parenti, Robert Parry, Kevin Pina, William Rivers Pitt, Justin Podur, Jack Random, Sheldon Rampton, Paul Craig Roberts, Paul de Rooij, John Ross, Danny Schechter, Vandana Shiva, Norman Solomon, Steven Staples, Starhawk, Grant Wakefield, Paul Watson, Bernard Weiner, Mickey Z., Dave Zirin, and many others.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Harper Denies Puppetry

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - It's official: Despite carbon copy policies that could have been lifted straight from the White House mimeograph machine on issues like Afghanistan, Kyoto, Immigration, and "Homeland" security, a wooden Stephen Harper declares his rugged individuality, saying; “I am not a puppet.”

© 2006 Gnat

Harper Denies Puppetry

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
June 16, 2006

The C.B.C. is reporting on-line comments made by PM Harper during a taped interview. Without context, it's difficult to discern; but, if the C.B.C. is to be believed, Stephen Harper has done what neither of his Liberal predecessors, Paul Martin and Jean Chretien dared do: Harper has defined the reason for "Canada's" involvement in Afghanistan these past four and more years. Sunday (June 18, 2006) on State broadcaster, C.B.C., the prime minister will finally reveal to Canadians why he, and his predecessor governments continue to spend the nation's blood and treasure on the war and occupation in Afghanistan.

First Offerings

It's a divided notion: How best to defend meritorious personal attacks without lying?

One school would have the subject of derision reiterate the opponent's point, then demolish it; the other school maintains: a stolid silence should surround any criticism. Stephen Harper decided to take the first route, initiating himself the single-most resonate criticism of he and his administration: Many Canadians think Harper's Conservatives are an embarrassing replication of American ideologies, (Republican ones at that), and believe he is to America what Jaruzelski was to the former Soviet Union.

Judging by the transcripts of the Sunday interview, released on-line yesterday, it will doubtless prove a painful performance to witness. Harper's ineptitude before the camera aside, he’ll inform those with the stomach to watch of his bold independence, Canada’s unique role in the world, and for the ‘War on Terror.’ He’ll tell the nation they are “naïve,” and ostrich-like, their collective heads buried in the sands of delusion. He’ll expound wince-making denials of his, and thus Canada’s, subservience to George W. Bush and the U.S.A. Thusly, he utters; "I see from time to time that the Liberals and members of the Bloc say that I am George Bush's puppet and other things like that. Even if I think that people don't always agree with me, they understand that I'm nobody's puppet."

Calling George a “Nobody”

Being one of those naïve Canadians, (eyes-shut, too dim to appreciative the importance of ‘The Mission’ currently killing Afghan men, women, and children, and “our” Canadian soldiers), I do not understand Stephen’s “no strings on me” claims. If it steps like a goose, then it’s goose-stepping. And, I don’t think Stephen should go around insulting the President of the United States of America [sic] like that; imagine, calling the POTUS a “nobody!” Who does he think he is, Carolyn Parrish?

Stephen goes on to explain exactly why Canada has spent billions on the Afghan adventure, and promises to pay more, and more for it, saying: "That’s the reason why we've been in Afghanistan for several years. We are there because of the deaths of about 30 Canadians in the World Trade Centre."

Well, now I know.

The reasoning behind the sacrifice of those "about" sixteen Canadians officially registered killed, and the many more injured since 9/11 doing duty manning the walls of the occupation in Kabul and Kandahar is just a billion(s) dollar revenge campaign, prosecuted for a crime never fully investigated?

What Does Harper Know?

Does Stephen Harper know more than America’s much vaunted Federal Bureau of Investigation knows about 9/11? The FBI was recently asked why Osama bin Laden’s biggest crime does not appear on his rap sheet posting on the infamous “Most Wanted List.’ You’d think, after the Commander in Chief’s “Dead or Alive” television bravura, and all that’s followed, the G-Men would have the wherewithal to add a line to Osama’s other alleged misdeeds. But, no.

The biggest single criminal act in history, (the atomic destruction of Nagasaki, or Hiroshima aside; the pollution of Iraq, Yugoslavia, and America, with depleted uranium discounted), and not a peep from the Feds!

A Curious Decision

Despite the statements of the Great Decider, and the countless accusations made in the media, the FBI’s legal department chose not to include the 9/11 charges because, they say, they don’t believe they have the evidence to justify such an allegation. So, what does Stephen and George, and Tony, and Mr. Howard, and past PM’s of Canada know that the FBI doesn’t?

If Harper’s word be true, for the 9/11 atrocity, attributed to al-Qaida, whose reputed leader was believed to be granted sanctuary in their country, the peoples of Afghanistan are to endure a perpetual perdition; a forever war; punishment for a crime never tried, based on allegations so thin the FBI can’t even manufacture a case to prove.

And, for those “about” thirty Canadians who perished beneath the rubble of the free-falling World Trade Center Towers, a reported sixteen more have died, and many more been injured in far-off Afghanistan. To pay tribute to the fallen heroes of September 11th, 2001, Canadians will fork over billions to the military-industrial complex, eviscerate civil law, and commit to killing and capturing “suspects,” the living to be delivered into the living Hells with which the world has lately become so sickeningly familiar.

No Parrots Here

Though, like his pal George, he disdains recognition of the dead soldiers returning this vendetta overseas, Stephen Harper would have more kill and die to sate his blood-lusting revenge. Though, like his pal George, he disdains the press, and would have them cowed as their American colleagues, Stephen Harper tells Canadians “I like journalists. It’s maybe the journalists who don’t like me?” Though, like his pal George, he is attacking the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, (please see: Constitution) and running roughshod over international treaties and conventions, Stephen Harper would bring democracy to Afghanistan. Though, like his pal, George, he would adopt ‘Mandatory Minimum’ sentencing to the country’s judiciary, making long-term criminals out of pot smokers, Stephen Harper proclaims from his bully pulpit the need for law and order.

No Stephen, nobody thinks you’re a puppet; but, more believe it time to cut the strings you would pull to make a Kanada of Canada; more daily believe it time to send you and your fellow non-marionettes, they who would have us merely a paler Amerika, south.

Chris Cook is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.


Zarqawi the scourge defeated, Osama not wanted for 9/11?
By Jerry Mazza - Online Journal Associate Editor

'I'm nobody's puppet,' Harper says
Last Updated Fri, 16 Jun 2006 13:13:08 EDT
CBC News

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