Victoria Street Newz
by Cade LaRenThe end of decade circulation.
The Victoria Street news ends its circulation this year and turns its projects to Megaphone –an alternative grassroots’ paper.
(CKUT Audio here.)
“I was taken to a room and shown the warrant. I was then taken to call a lawyer. I began to phone but then another cop said he would call for me. I had no idea if they called the right number or even left a message. After a few minutes I talked to a legal aid lawyer. I was taken back to the room.”
"While plankton raised on algal carbon is more nutritious, organic carbon from trees washed into lakes is a hugely important food source for freshwater fish, bolstering their diet to ensure good size and strength," he said.
"It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans and the major and often only source of animal protein for low income families across Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines," added Tanentzap.
"While we've only studied boreal regions, these results are likely to bear out globally. Forest loss is damaging aquatic food chains of which many humans are a part."
This is an edited version of a lecture delivered June 3, 2014, at the University of Texas at Austin in the Informal Classes program. Video is online here. For a text of the complete lecture, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“They had anti-aircraft machine guns which they would put on the truck for their attacks. They burned them the day they left,” my friend tells me. He also tells me that the armed insurgents left surprises in creative places for the home-owners. “They left booby-trapped explosives in the houses, all over, even behind paintings on the wall.”
'From the start, the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.'
…terrorists detonated a car bomb parked in Wadi al-Zahab neighborhood. …the explosion killed 7 citizens and injured 55 others, in addition to huge material damage.
“We all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,” resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.“Starting from 2 a.m. everyone I’ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think we’ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we haven’t managed to get out yet,” resident Tatyana told RT.
“It does appear that there is at least a case to be argued that something similar, if not itself white phosphorous, was used overnight. I’ve seen the video, I’ve looked at it closely...[there are] whole signs, whole marks of white phosphorous use. For example, a very bright light burning and multiple burns coming down from the sky. It’s an airburst weapon that has been used, such as a mortar or a manned aircraft,” Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer, Scotland Yard detective, and counter-terrorism intelligence officer who has recently returned from Ukraine, told RT.
“White phosphorous cannot be put out with the use of water” and it will “burn through one’s body to the bone,” Shoebridge added. “If there is going to be large amounts used it can also be a poison – large amounts can be set to contaminate water supply.”
"We are concerned to hear reports that the Ukrainian military forces use incendiary bombs and some other indiscriminate weapons," he said. "These reports should be probed into immediately."
”The whole of Mosul collapsed today. We’ve fled our homes and neighborhoods, and we’re looking for God’s mercy. We are waiting to die.”
– Mahmoud Al Taie, resident of Mosul, Wall Street Journal
”The militants freed thousands of prisoners and took over military bases, police stations, banks and provincial headquarters, before raising the black flag of the jihadi group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria over public buildings. The bodies of soldiers, police officers and civilians lay scattered in the streets.”
“Having consolidated control over Sunni-dominated Nineveh Province, armed gunmen were heading on the main road to Baghdad, Iraqi officials said, and had already taken over parts of Salahuddin Province.”
”Fighters from a breakaway al-Qaeda group are in position to seize Iraqi energy infrastructure after taking control of Mosul in a strike that highlights Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s weakening grip on the country. …A day after guerrillas drove police and soldiers from the nation’s second-biggest city, there were conflicting reports on the situation in Baiji, north of Baghdad and home to Iraq’s biggest refinery.”
“The ISIS is …. no longer merely a terrorist organization. It is a conventional military force that holds terrain and claims to govern some of it. The Mosul campaign was well planned and required years to set conditions…..The operations allowed it to cut off media from the city, limit the Iraqi Security Forces’ activities there, and gain freedom of movement within it….. (The) ISIS laid the groundwork for the seizure of Mosul, its areas of control on the morning of June 10, 2014 EDT, its assessments of its own attacks, and its aspirations to govern a state in Iraq and Syria.”
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Among those who took control of Tikrit were large numbers of former Ba'ath party members. Ba'athists were the cornerstone of Saddam Hussein's regime and have been persecuted ever since. Residents of Tikrit said some insurgents were wearing the drab green military fatigues worn by Saddam's army. "There are no Isis flags in town," said one local woman. "They are playing Saddam and Ba'ath party songs."
…In nearby Samara, where insurgents have been negotiating with Iraqi army officials, car dealer Taher Hassan said militants had turned up on Sunday and quickly taken control of most of the city.
He said: "All the local police forces have pulled out of their bases in the city. … Everyone in Samara is happy with the fighters' management of the city. They have proved to be professional and competent. The fighters themselves did not harm or kill anyone as they swept forward. Any man who hands over his arm is safe, whatever his background. This attitude is giving a huge comfort to people here. We have lived enough years of injustice, revenge and tyranny and we can't stand any more.
Four days ago, Maliki’s military dirty force raided Al-Razaq mosque in the city, brought a few locals whom they picked up from different parts in Samara and killed them in the mosque. What do you think the people feeling would be towards these military forces? We have lived enough years of injustice, revenge and tyranny and we can’t stand any more.”
Abu Riyad, 50 years old, tribal leader in Mosul city: “It seems the fighters have a good security plan for the city. They really know the nature of the city and have not made the same mistakes as the US forces, or Maliki’s forces, when they invaded Mosul. They are protecting all the governmental buildings in the city and have not destroyed or stolen anything. They haven’t harmed a person in the city.
[Isis] fighters have opened and cleared out all the bridges, roads and checkpoints set up by the army. Now, we can move easily. It is so quiet here – not a bullet has been fired so far. Most of the families who fled the city began to head back today. We have suffered a lot under Maliki’s unfair government. …We’ve had enough injustice and corruption and no longer accept Maliki’s army. Since the US invasion until now, an organised ethnic cleansing was taking place here. Maliki’s men would show up on TV revealing their love to peace and security but the reality is completely different. They are all killers, fanatic and sectarians….
Last Thursday, the fighters attacked the right bank of the Tigris river. The army used planes and mortars in the fight, in a crowded residential area. The bombardment cut the power and water supply and sparked panic among the locals. Many civilians were killed.”
Isis has been handing out flyers in the towns it has seized assuring residents who have remained that it is there to protect their interests. The campaign for hearts and minds is gaining some traction, with some residents railing against perceived injustices at the hands of the Shia majority government. But yesterday it said it would introduce sharia law in Mosul and other towns, warning women to stay indoors and threatening to cut off the hands of thieves. "People, you have tried secular regimes ... This is now the era of the Islamic State," it proclaimed.
Karoo, South Africa.
As this sparsely populated region considers introducing shale gas drilling, filmmaker Jolynn Minnaar at first keeps an open mind. After all, the community is impoverished, with very high unemployment and bleak prospects, and could do with a booming industry. Armed with nothing more than her inquisitive nature and a camera, she soon finds herself travelling to America, to the frontline of the fracking industry. What she discovers is a bleak landscape, where powerful energy companies have exploited the land, at a terrible cost to both the environment and the health of the local communities. It's a world where ill families are either desperate to talk, or bound by nondisclosure agreements that allow the companies to control a dangerous mythology. Minaar's journey into America's heart of darkness is an absorbing primer on the fracking industry – and a necessary wake-up call to the rest of the world.
“We estimate that Potash Corporation paid the Moroccan government more than $100 million in 2013 alone for a resource which is stolen from its legitimate owners, the Saharawi people. By doing this, PotashCorp is directly contributing to prolong the sufferings of the Saharawi, and complicates their legitimate efforts to gain independence, as they have right to”, states Erik Hagen, chair of WSRW.
“It is shocking that our Canada Pension Plan invests in PotashCorp and Agrium, helping to perpetuate the illegal exploitation of resources and injustice to the Saharawi.”
Media Release-Communiqué June 12, 2014
Ms. Theresa Wolfwood,
Friends of Western Sahara, Victoria
Tomgram: William Astore, Drafted by the National Security State
On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Brian Williams led off NBC Nightly News this way: “On our broadcast tonight, the salute to the warriors who stormed the beaches here in Normandy...” It’s such a commonplace of our American world, that word “warriors” for those in the U.S. military or, as is said time and again, our “wounded warriors” for those hurt in one of our many wars. This time, however, because it was applied to the vets of World War II, my father’s war, it stopped me in my tracks. For just a moment, I couldn’t help imagining what my father would have said, had anyone called him -- or any of the air commandos in Burma for whom he was “operations officer” -- a warrior. Though he’s been dead now for three decades, I don’t have a moment’s doubt that he would have thought it ridiculous. In World War I, America’s soldiers had been known as “doughboys.” In World War II, they were regularly (and proudly) called “dogfaces” or G.I. (for “government issue”) Joes, and their citizen-soldier likenesses were reflected in the tough but bedraggled figures of Willy and Joe, Bill Mauldin’s much beloved wartime cartoon foot soldiers on the long slog to Berlin.
And that was fitting for a civilian military, a draft military. It was down to earth. It was how you described people who had left civilian life with every intention of returning to it as soon as humanly possible, who thought the military a grim necessity of a terrible moment in history and that war, a terrible but necessary way to go. In those days, warriors would have been an alien term, the sort you associated with, say, Prussians.
My father volunteered just after the attack on Pearl Harbor and wasn’t demobilized until the war ended, but -- I remember it well in the years after -- while he took pride in his service, he maintained a typical and healthy American dislike (to put it politely) for what he called “the regular army” and George Washington would have called a “standing army.” He would have been amazed by the present American way of war and the propaganda universe we now live in when it comes to praising and elevating the U.S. military above the rest of society. He would have found it inconceivable that a president’s wife would go on a popular TV show -- I’m talking about Michelle Obama on "Nashville" -- and mix it up with fictional characters to laud for the umpteenth time America’s warriors and their service to the nation.
In Vietnam, of course, the term still wasn’t warrior, it was “grunt.” The elevation of the American soldier to the heavens of praise and bombast came significantly after the end of the citizen army, particularly with what retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and TomDispatch regular William Astore calls the new Fortress America mindset of the post-9/11 years and the ever more militarized world of constant war that went with it.
If only I could have picked up the phone, called my father, and heard the choice words he would have had for his newly elevated status as an American “warrior,” seven decades after Normandy. But not being able to, on that D-Day anniversary I did the next best thing and called a 90-year-old friend, who was on a ship off one of those blood-soaked beaches as the invasion began. Thinking back those 70 years with a certain pride, he remembered that the thing the foot soldiers of World War II resented most was saluting or saying “sir” to officers. No warriors they -- and no love for an eternal wartime either. Put another way, the farther we’ve come from our last great military victory, symbolized by the events of June 6, 1944, the more elevated the language for describing, or perhaps whitewashing, a new American way of war that, for pure failure, may have few matches. Tom
William J. Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and TomDispatch regular, edits the blog The Contrary Perspective.