Saturday, January 18, 2020

Fourth and Long: Putin Punts Medvedev's Political Promise


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears 

January 16, 2020

In law courts, justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. In politics, too. The problem with what President Vladimir Putin (lead image, right) announced in his Federal Assembly address this week, and what he did immediately after, is that things don’t look the way he says they should.

Moscow - The difference was written on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s face. He thinks Putin has destroyed the political forces of the candidate with the best chance of winning the presidential election of 2024 — himself. The businessmen and government officials who have depended on Medvedev are acknowledging this realization on the telephone.

Heads or Tails, with Canadian National Media Truth Always Loses

The ‘Lying’ Mainstream Press and Media in Canada

by Robin Mathews - AHT

Part One

January 18, 2020

More and more… reasonably informed Canadians believe ‘the Main Stream Press and Media’ constitutes a ‘lie factory’, a ‘manipulator of public response’ in the service of real power in the country. Canada’s MSPM, that is, exists to help ‘the Deep State’. To help the Corporatocracy. To help the Imperial Master. To help the people Stephen Harper’s group governed for … and the same people the Justin Trudeau group governs for with, perhaps, a little more ‘panache’... and cover-up.

Image: Andrew Coyne, the Canadian columnist with the National Post. 

Germany Declines Iraqi Invitation to Leave

German government to continue military operations in the Middle East

by Johannes Stern - WSWS

18 January 2020

It is only appropriate that our defence minister is currently in Iraq to make our own assessment there, to hold talks and make it clear in Erbil and Baghdad: We stand by our commitments.”

The German grand coalition government, consisting of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, intends to continue its military operations and participation in the US offensive in the Middle East in the aftermath of Washington’s January 3 drone missile assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, a clear violation of international law.

Back to Africa: Germany Hosts European Conference on Africa's Future

The Libya conference and the new scramble for Africa 

by Johannes Stern - WSWS

18 January 2020

A major international conference on Libya will convene in Berlin on Sunday. At the invitation of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, heads of state and top officials of the leading imperialist powers in Europe and the US will come together to determine the fate of the resource-rich country and ultimately the entire continent. 

Also in attendance will be representatives of Russia, China and the most important regional powers, including Egypt, Algeria and Turkey, together with the leaders of the opposing factions in Libya’s civil war, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Gen. Khalifa Haftar, and representatives of the African Union.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Breaking the Internet: Social Media Cracks Down on Free Flow of Info

After US killing of Iran’s Soleimani, narrative control on social media is getting worse

by Eva Bartlett - RT

January 17, 2020

Twitter has been on a narrative-control rampage, removing or censoring legitimate accounts that are critical of US-led wars, propaganda and lies. Facebook and Instagram have increased their Big Brother policing, too.

Attempts by American-based social media behemoths to silence or censor voices critical of the establishment-approved narrative is nothing new, but this trend seems to have intensified lately.

Dost They Protest Too Much? A Media Disappearing of France's Profoundly Disaffected Populace

In France’s Longest Protests Since 1968, Striking Workers Continue the Fight Against Neoliberalism

by Alan Macleod  - MintPress News

January 17th, 2020

From bus drivers to ballet dancers, workers from across France have taken to the streets in opposition to President Emmanual Macron’s attempts to reshape the country into a U.S.-style neoliberal state.

Nationwide protests against the government of Emanuel Macron entered their seventh continuous week today in France, as between 187,000 (a government estimate) and 250,000 people (the unions’ count) took to the streets to oppose Macron’s plans to radically alter the country’s pension plan, seen by many as the crown jewel in France’s substantial welfare state.

A China/Saudi Arabia Arrangement & the Continued Dominance of the American Petrodollar

The Worrisome Deal: China and Saudi Arabia 

by Matthew Hatfield  - Harvard Political Review

December 18, 2018

Since arriving at the Oval Office, the Trump administration has worked to tackle the United States’ massive trade deficit by pursuing aggressive tactics, especially towards China. Aimed at revising previously established trade deals and establishing tariffs, is tactics reinforce his pompous beat that “countries have been taking advantage of the United States for many years and this is the president that has stopped it.”

Image Credit: Milad Mosapoor/Wikimedia Commons

Amidst this trade turmoil, China has taken steps to negotiate a potential economic deal that could harm United States’ economic, social, and political supremacy. The deal regards increased Chinese influence over oil and the petrodollar, a term conceived in the 1970s to describe surplus US dollars oil importers receive, which are then used to invest in US markets and other developing nations.

Most importantly, the petrodollar creates a strong pillar for the United States’ economy as it ensures that nearly all barrels of oil sold on the world marketplace are bought using US dollars, a situation which keeps the U.S. dollar relevant in the world market. Recent conversations between Saudi Arabia and China have dealt with lifting the dollar off oil and replacing it with China’s national currency, the yuan. This motion directly threatens the petrodollar influence on the world and could lift the roof off steady inflation in the United States, create unsupported national deficits, and stir economic turmoil in the United States.

[For complete article, please see source at HPR here.]

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Burying the Lead: British Justice Sidelines Sergei Skripal Evidence from Poisoning Investigation


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


January 16, 2020

In a ruling issued by the Wiltshire county coroner David Ridley (lead image) this week, the British Government allegations of a Russian assassination plot against Sergei Skripal by the nerve agent Novichok were repeated and accepted — without the qualification that they have not yet been tested and proven in the coroner’s court.

Moscow - Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked in the centre of Salisbury on March 4, 2018. Without mentioning them as material witnesses in his investigation, Ridley has decided that the death of Dawn Sturgess in Amesbury, near Salisbury, four months later, was an “unpredictable misfortune”.

“On the face of the evidence I have seen,” Ridley said of Sturgess’s death in Salisbury District Hospital on July 8, 2018, 
[she] appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and her death may well have arisen as a result of ‘collateral damage’, a phrase that I apologise in using but I am unable to express it any other meaningful way.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

An Assassination More Premeditated Than Preemptive: Soleimani Killing Planned Months in Advance

Assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani planned months in advance

by Bill Van Auken - WSWS

14 January 2020

The assassination of General Qassem Suleimani, regarded as the second most powerful figure in the government of Iran, was planned more than six months before he and nine others were murdered in a January 3 US drone missile strike at Baghdad’s international airport, NBC News reported Monday.

 “... Democrats have been parroting Iranian talking points and almost 
taking the side of terrorists and those who were out to kill the Americans.
- White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham 

The revelation of these longstanding plans to kill the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds force and a key architect of Iranian policy in the Middle East has exposed as deliberate lies the claims of the Trump administration that the assassination was carried out in response to some “imminent” threat to US lives and facilities in the region.

Something Left to See: Before Moving On, Disturbing Anomolies in Ukraine PS752 Shootdown Video Questioned

Iran Jet Disaster Setup

by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich/Finian Cunningham - Sputnik

January 13, 2020

The 19-second video published by the New York Times last week showing the moment an Iranian missile hit a passenger jet has prompted much social media skepticism. Questions arise about the improbable timing and circumstances of recording the precise moment when the plane was hit.

The newspaper ran the splash story on January 9, the day after a Ukrainian airliner was brought down near Tehran. It was headlined: ‘Video Shows Ukrainian Plane Being Hit Over Iran’. All 176 people on board were killed. Two days later, the Iranian military admitted that one of its air defense units had fired at the plane in the mistaken belief that it was an incoming enemy cruise missile.

A “smoking gun” was how NY Times’ journalist Christiaan Triebert described the video in a tweet. Triebert works in the visual investigations team at the paper.

In the same tweet, he thanked – “a very big shout out” – to an Iranian national by the name of Nariman Gharib “who provided it [the video] to the NY Times, and the videographer, who would like to remain anonymous”.

Cleric's Clarion Call for "Million Man March" Against US Occupation in Baghdad

Sadr Calls for “Million Man March’ as US Refuses to Leave Iraq

by 21wire 

January 15, 2020

Following the Trump Administration’s double-assassination of both Iraq’s and Iran’s leading military commanders, the US immediately faced calls from the Iraqi Parliament to remove its 5,000 troops and personnel from the country. 

Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to hold unified demonstrations. 
Al Jazeera [File: Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters]

In typical colonial fashion, the Trump Administration then threatened Baghdad with economic sanctions for daring to act independently by asking US forces to leave their country – and finally freeing itself from a 17 year-long US military occupation. Of course, it wasn’t going to end there.

When the Storm Fades the Story Persists: Canadian Doc Rocks Cineplexes

Canadian climate change film sells out Cineplexes

by When the Storm Fades

January 15, 2020

Theatrical release of award-winning film is set to transform the life of one family.

When The Storm Fades is a microbudget film starring a cast of Canadian comedians and Filipinos who survived one of the strongest storms in history. On January 20th, 2020 it’s playing at Cineplex theatres in 15 cities across Canada - for one night only.

The screenings in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Nanaimo have already sold out, forcing Cineplex to move them to larger cinemas due to popular demand.

The Fogs of War: Separating the Political from the Military


by John Helmer - Dances with Bears 


January 14th, 2020

Political fog and the fog of war are different. The first is a way of believing first, seeing afterwards. The second is what happens when the weapons of camouflage and deception combine with confusion and fear to make seeing clearly impossible.

Follow last week’s events as they happened in Damascus, Istanbul and Tehran.

Free Fire: Israel's Rules of Engagement in Wild West Bank Shooting Gallery

Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank

by Ramzy Baroud -

January 15, 2020

A seemingly ordinary news story, published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on January 7, shed light on a long-forgotten, yet crucial, subject: Israel’s so-called “firing zones” in the West Bank.

“Israel has impounded the only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in the West Bank,” according to Haaretz.

The Palestinian community that was denied its only access to medical services is Masafer Yatta, a tiny Palestinian village located in the South Hebron hills.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Matthew J.L. Ehret, Christopher Black, Janine Bandcroft January 16, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

January 16, 2020

The New Year took up where the old decade left off, with American belligerence, bluster, and criminality leading to the death of innocents and the promise of its endless, burgeoning wars seeming even more intractable.

By now most have heard of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, killed at an airport by a US drone missile attack in Iraq as he was met by Iraqi high officials. There were immediate repercussions of the unprovoked bombing: an Iranian missile attack against the airfield that launched the US drone, and the later collateral consequence of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down moments after departing Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport January 7th with all aboard killed.

What further calamities come from the dragon's teeth Trump has sown in Iran we'll have to wait to see.

         Listen. Hear.

Matthew J. L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer, author, and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. His book titles include: ‘The Time Has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road: A Blueprint for the 21st Century’, ‘The British Roots of the Deep State Exposed: A New Trans Pacific Alliance May Now Take Shape’, and in three volumes, ‘The Untold History of Canada’. Ehret’s articles also appear at, among other places: Asia Times, The Duran, ZeroHedge, and Strategic Culture Foundation where his recent piece, 'Trump Steps Back from the Edge. Neocons Rage Accordingly' appears.

Matthew Ehret in the first half.

And; when asked if the United States bore any responsibility in the downing of Ukraine Flight 752, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters,

"This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on deescalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing." 

A surprising comment for both what it says about recent events in Iran, and the Prime Minister's understanding of the situation.

Christopher Black is a Toronto-based criminal lawyer specializing in international war crimes cases. He’s also an executive member of the Canadian Peace Congress. Black’s articles on international law, politics and World events appear at New Eastern Outlook among other places, and reveal the relentless chicanery of nations risking a third global war. His new novel, Beneath the Clouds is freshly out and is, "a story of how people, acting collectively, can defeat tyranny."

Christopher Black on international law and the unrestrained criminality of Empire 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 to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Matthew Ehret and what Trump's tentative steps back from the brink of a new war against Iran may portend.

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 Assassin Republic: Soleimani Latest in Long Line of Political Murders

American Murder

by Paul Edwards - CounterPunch

January 15, 2020

Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means”, but American Presidents have modified his apothegm. No one knows when it was first judged–How to put it? Not legal, no; not moral, no, surely not. Conceiveable..? Permissible..?–politically safe, for a nation to assassinate a human being, a foreign enemy. There is no record of that meeting of our government’s most powerful men–only such a group could plan so radical an action–when one of them first dared to say, “Suppose we kill him?”

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

Those souls shocked and wounded by our latest murder, need to know that meeting was not recent: didn’t happen under the Suppurating Pustule that infects the White House today, nor the charming Grand Bullshitter who preceded him, nor the aphasic buffoon before him. It was a century ago. There’s no dating it to a particular hit but it was certainly held before our deviously arranged murder of Sandino in Nicaragua in 1934.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

What Trump's Hit Squad Doctrine Means for Global Foreign Policy

The assassination of Qassem Suleimani and the criminalization of US state policy 

by Andre Damon - WSWS

13 January 2020

On Sunday, the New York Times published a detailed account, based on high-level sources within the US government, of the Trump administration’s decision to murder Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani on January 3, 2020.

Suleimani (right) more than a major military figure in Iran.

The Times report makes clear that, far from being a spur-of-the-minute decision by Trump, the murder of Suleimani had broad support within the executive branch and the intelligence agencies, which had planned this crime for the past 18 months. The account implicates former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel in advocating and plotting the murder.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Killers by Remote Control: Drone Assassination and the Presidencies

How the President Became a Drone Operator: From Obama to Trump, the Escalation of Drone Warfare

by Allegra Harpootlian - TomDispatch

January 12, 2020

We’re only a few days into the new decade and it’s somehow already a bigger dumpster fire than the last. On January 2nd, President Trump decided to order what one expert called “the most important decapitation strike America has ever launched." This one took out not some nameless terrorist in a distant land or a group of civilians who happened to get in the way, but Major General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the mastermind of its military operations across the Middle East.

Among the thousands of ignored American drone strikes since the 9/11 attacks, this was not one of them. In the wake of the assassination, we’ve seen: the Iraqi parliament vote to expel American forces from their country; all the Democratic presidential candidates make statements condemning the strike; thousands of protestors around the world take to the streets; and both chambers of Congress introduce resolutions aimed at curbing the president’s expanding war powers. Even though there is still so much we don’t know, one thing is for sure. Everything we thought we knew about drone warfare -- and America’s wars more broadly -- is about to be thrown out the window.

Making Peace Impossible in Ukraine

Peace For The Donbass: A Distant Hope

by Christopher Black - NEO

December 16, 2019

The Normandy Four talks held in Paris December 11 between Russia, Germany, France and the Kiev regime of Ukraine produced not much except more of the same: vague commitments to seek peace, agreements on prisoner exchange and gas supplies, but little else.

Ukraine's Zelensky caught in middle.

Russia remains committed to the Minsk Agreements of 2015 and the road to a peaceful resolution of the conflict set out in those agreements but faces weak support from Germany and France; which as parts of NATO have a deep interest in keeping the conflict boiling, to harass Russia and give NATO pretext for moving troops there. There is even weaker support from the new Kiev leader, Zelensky, (above) whose commitment to peace is doubtful in the first place and who, in the second place, faces difficulties in the face of strong opposition in Kiev and from the US whose officials met with him the day before; no doubt warning him not to agree to anything substantive the US does not like.