Saturday, December 21, 2019

Taking All the Right Lessons from Corbyn Defeat, (and getting it all wrong)

Corporate Media Find All the Wrong Lessons for US Left in Corbyn’s Defeat 

 by Alan MacLeod - FAIR

December 21, 2019

Conservative leader Boris Johnson swept to power in the UK’s December 12 elections, winning 365 of a possible 650 seats. Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn announced his resignation, after a bitterly disappointing night for his party.

Across the spectrum, corporate media all came to the same conclusion regarding the election: Corbyn’s loss spells the end for the US left and a “crushing defeat” (New York, 12/13/19) of the discredited policies of socialism. The press was filled with variations on the same reflexive warning to the Democrats: Don’t go left.

Andre Vltchek's World: Fragments Through a Lens Darkly

I Never Saw a World So Fragmented!

by Andre Vltchek - Dissident Voice

December 19th, 2019

It is amazing how easily, without resistance, the Western empire is managing to destroy “rebellious” countries that are standing in its way.

I work in all corners of the planet, wherever Kafkaesque “conflicts” get ignited by Washington, London or Paris.

What I see and describe are not only those horrors which are taking place all around me; horrors that are ruining human lives, destroying villages, cities and entire countries. What I try to grasp is that on the television screens and on the pages of newspapers and the internet, the monstrous crimes against humanity somehow get covered (described), but the information becomes twisted and manipulated to such an extent that readers and viewers in all parts of the world end up knowing close to nothing about their own suffering, and/or of the suffering of the other.

Assange Testimony at Westminster Magistrates Court December 20, 2019

People Speak Outside Westminster Magistrates' Court in Support of Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange - Video

by Sputnik

December 20, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Nils Melzer Redux, Janine Bandcroft December 19, 2019

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

December 19, 2019

Last week, Britain followed America's lead in electing an ultra-conservative, faux populist based on the single premise of, if not making Britain Great again, at least carrying through with the years-old promise to take the country out of the European Union.

The great mystery to those looking from outside the country is why?

Why, following the divisive and ill-defined scheme dreamt up by the David Cameron Tories of yore, did the people of that green and pleasant land, rather than punishing the authors, and bungling executors of the disastrous Brexit debacle, decide instead to reward them with massive electoral success?

And for Britons, the greater question now is, what's going to happen next?

Listen. Hear.

Andy Worthington is an investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. A recognized authority on the American prison at Guantánamo Bay and the “war on terror”, Andy is co-founder of the Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker campaigns, both dedicated to bringing justice for inmates of that terrible place past and present.

The London-based Worthington is also a singer, songwriter, founding member of the band, The Four Fathers, and urban photographer whose State of London series is a seven plus years-long daily chronicle of that great city. In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues, and is the narrator of the newly released documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about "the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents."

Andy Worthington in the first half.

And; it's that time of the year again: Winter has set in, and the short, dark days of the northern hemisphere are beginning to grow old. And so, we hurry home through the cold, seeking comfort in the warm embrace of family and friends, and bask in the solace afforded by the hearth. So, to honour that sentiment, a small hiatus from the usual format to acknowledge our collective desire for a peaceful World and support of those sacrificing so much for it in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Andy Worthington and the Day After for Britain.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

"The Most Powerful, Refined [Arrogant] Propaganda System in the World"

The Arrogance Of BBC News

by Media Lens - Alerts

19th December 2019

When we started Media Lens in 2001, we had a rather naïve expectation that journalists might: a) want to respond rationally to reasoned criticism; and b) have privileged access to unparalleled journalistic resources, experts and arguments that would enable journalists to respond with serious points to our challenges. In particular, we imagined that BBC journalists and editors – being funded from the public licence fee – might actually feel obliged to respond.

We were quickly disabused of such notions. Reasoned debate with journalists employed by the misleadingly-termed ‘mainstream’ media is as rare as a newspaper editorial in support of Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to last week’s General Election. The dearth of such media debate – in fact, the arrogant and condescending dismissal of vital truths – has been highlighted as never before by recent pronouncements from senior figures in BBC News.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Where Labour Went Wrong

Where Did Labour Go Wrong? 

by Kenneth Surin - CounterPunch

December 18, 2019 

The scale of the Tory victory in the UK general election last week is known to all who read a half-decent newspaper or news site—the biggest Tory win since Mrs Thatcher’s success in 1987, and the biggest Labour loss since 1935.

Photograph Source: Garry Knight – CC BY 2.0

As a member of the Labour party I of course found the loss shattering. It is no consolation that although Corbyn’s Labour obtained 2 million fewer votes than in 2017, he still gained more votes than the 3 previous Labour leaders in their elections: Ed Miliband (2015), Gordon Brown (2010), and Tony Blair (2005, but not 1997 and 2002).

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Britain Buys Boris (Toxic No Deal Brexit & All)

Boris Johnson’s Election Victory: A Truly Depressing Day for Britain, But Now He ‘Owns’ the Toxic Brexit Nightmare

by Andy Worthington


The only positive message that can be taken from the otherwise almost insanely depressing outcome of Thursday’s General Election — in which the Tories, under Boris Johnson, a lying and thoroughly untrustworthy philandering narcissist, secured an outright majority — is that Johnson now ‘owns’ Brexit, the toxic destroyer of the UK, and both he — and the fawning mainstream media that was so shockingly biased in his favour throughout the election campaign — will be unable to blame Britain’s slow, agonising and inevitable collapse on anyone other than themselves. 

Boris Johnson in a bike helmet during his eight useless years as London’s Mayor. Now, absurdly, promoted to Prime Minister of the UK, he is intent on turning the British economy into a car crash via his enthusiasm for a no deal Brexit. 

Keeping Truth in the Dark: Media Shading Coup Plotters and OAS

Reuters Shields OAS Over False Claims That Sparked Bolivia Coup

by Joe Emersberger - FAIR

December 17, 2019

Organization of American States (OAS) election monitors published a “final report” on December 4—22 days later than promised—on Bolivia’s October 20 presidential election, won by President Evo Morales. The tardy release of the final report contrasted sharply with the way the OAS rushed to impugn the election the day after it took place.

Only three days after the election, the OAS published a preliminary report that reiterated its negative assessment. On November 10, it then issued a press release saying the election should be annulled. In these statements, the OAS claimed that the change in Morales’ lead in the last 16% of the vote count was “drastic,” “inexplicable” and “hard to explain.”

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Nuclear Phoenix: Canada's Candu Attitude Makes a Comeback

Nuclear Power’s Phoenix Moment in Canada and Abroad

by Matthew Ehret - Canadian Patriot

December 14, 2019

Like the phoenix of ancient mythology, Canada’s nuclear sector- long thought dead for decades, has experienced a revitalization both at home and abroad in recent weeks.

First on December 1st, the Premiers of three provinces (Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan) announced a joint Memorandum of Understanding to build Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in order to both tackle fossil fuel emissions, as well as deal with the crisis of “green energy” which is both hugely costly, unreliable and incapable sustaining any heavy agro-industrial policy. While Ontario ended its use of coal in 2014, 15% of New Brunswick’s energy stems from coal while in Saskatchewan that number is 30%.

All three premiers have made the point that other provinces are welcome to join the coalition, although no others have yet signed on.

Man in the Box: Extradition Process Denies Assange Vital Access to Lawyers, Evidence

Julian Assange denied access to lawyers and vital evidence in US extradition case

by Thomas Scripps - WSWS

14 December 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared via videolink at Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday for a brief administrative hearing. The half-hour proceedings confirm that the fundamental legal rights of the world-famous investigative journalist are being trampled in what amounts to an extraordinary rendition.

Assange last appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on October 21 and is being held on remand at Belmarsh maximum security prison, pending US extradition hearings due to begin next February. Assange has been charged under the US Espionage Act and faces a 175-year prison term for exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chilean Government Violates Human Rights, Using Deadly Force Against Demonstrators Charges UN Body

UN human rights report cites ‘multiple root causes’ of deadly Chile protests

by UN News

December 13, 2019
During the recent mass protests which led Chile to declare a state of emergency, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report published on Friday that international human rights norms had been violated by both police and army personnel, which should be prosecuted.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
In a new report, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that demonstrations in Chile were deeply rooted in grievances related to inequality and non-discriminatory access to human rights.
The 30-page report based on research during the first three weeks of November, extensively details multiple allegations, including torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police against people held in detention. The leader of the UN mission, Imma Guerras-Delgado, told journalists in Geneva, that the overall management of demonstrations by the police “was carried out in a fundamentally repressive manner.” 

Paying the Price of Silence in the Face of Human Degradation

Pay the price for speaking out, rather than the price for keeping silent!

Keynote Address by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, University of Geneva, 10 December 2019

December 10, 2019

Today, we celebrate Human Rights Day. On this day, 71 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this historically unique and extraordinarily powerful instrument, which arose from the ashes of World War II, recognizing that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”. Epitomizing a new world order based on human rights and dignity, its article 5 proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

Dear friends and colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, hardly any norm of international law commands as much consensus and authority as the prohibition of torture. It is universally recognized as absolute, non-derogable and peremptory. It protects all human beings without discrimination and in all situations without exception, it cannot be restricted even in war and other situations of public emergency, it cannot be abolished even by treaty, and any contradicting legislative, administrative or judicial act is not only inherently unlawful, but originally void. States must prevent torture throughout their jurisdiction, may not transfer anyone to another jurisdiction where they may be exposed to torture, and may not use any information obtained through torture in any jurisdiction. In criminal law, violations of the prohibition of torture invariably figure among the gravest offences, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, and must always be investigated and prosecuted as a matter of universal jurisdiction.

This, in a nutshell, is the international law on torture.

WikiLeaks' ABC's of War Propaganda: Douma, Syria - April 2018

OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 3

by WikiLeaks

14 December, 2019

Today WikiLeaks releases more documents showing internal disagreement within the OPCW about how facts were misrepresented in a redacted version of a report on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.

Amongst these is a memorandum written in protest by one of the scientists sent on a fact finding mission (FFM) to investigate the attack. It is dated 14 March 2019 and is addressed to Fernando Arias, Director General of the organisation. This was exactly two weeks after the organisation published its final report on the Douma investigation.

WikiLeaks is also releasing the original preliminary report for the first time along with the redacted version (that was released by the OPCW) for comparison. Additionally, we are publishing a detailed comparison of the original interim report with the redacted interim report and the final report along with relevant comments from a member of the original fact finding mission.

These documents should help clarify the series of changes that the report went through, which skewed the facts and introduced bias according to statements made by the members of the FFM.