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Trudeau toes imperial line on Iran

By Yves Engler · January 19, 2020

While the current Liberal government claims to be progressive and in favour of a rules-based international order, promotion of democracy and world peace, its actions regarding Iran demonstrate that the primary drivers of Canadian foreign policy remain US Empire geo-political interests and the rich and powerful.

(This previous article argues this has long been the case.)

While Israeli nationalists and Conservatives demand new measures targeting Iran, the reality is ordinary Canadians will not benefit from war with the 18thmost populous country in the world. The families of Iranian Canadians will certainly not benefit.

Despite election promises to the contrary, Justin Trudeau’s government has continued important components of the previous Conservative government’s ‘low-level war’ against Iran.

Ottawa has no diplomatic relations with Iran, maintains a series of sanctions on the country and lists Tehran as a state sponsor of terrorism. Canadian troops are also stationed on Iran’s border partly to counter its influence and Canada recently gifted $28 million worth of Iranian assets in this country to Americans who lost family members to purported Hamas and Hezbollah attacks decades ago.

The Liberals repeatedly promised to restart diplomatic relations with Iran. Before becoming prime minister Trudeau told the CBC, “I would hope that Canada would be able to reopen its mission [in Tehran].” In May 2016 foreign minister Stéphane Dion said, “Canada’s severing of ties with Iran had no positive consequences for anyone: not for Canadians, not for the people of Iran, not for Israel, and not for global security.” Five months later Trudeau added, “Canada must return to Iran to play a useful role in that region of the world.”

While the Liberals have dialed down the Harper government’s most bombastic rhetoric against Tehran, they have not restarted diplomatic relations or removed that country from Canada’s state sponsor of terrorism list.

The Trudeau government has criticized Iranian human rights abuses while mostly ignoring more flagrant rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies. In January 2018 foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada is deeply troubled by the recent deaths and detentions of protesters in Iran” and four months later tweeted, “our government is committed to holding Iran to account for its violations of human and democratic rights.” Two months ago Global Affairs stated, “Iran must ensure that its people enjoy the rights and freedoms they deserve.”

In June 2018 Liberal parliamentarians supported a Conservative MP’s private member’s motion that “strongly condemns the current regime in Iran for its ongoing sponsorship of terrorism around the world, including instigating violent attacks on the Gaza border.” In effect, the resolution claimed Iran was responsible for Israel killing Palestinians peacefully protesting the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem, siege of Gaza and historic theft of their land. The motion also called on Canada to “immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions with the Islamic Republic of Iran to restore diplomatic relations” and to make the highly provocative move of listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity. A demand B’nai B’rith and the Conservative party have restated in recent days.

Ottawa has continued to present a yearly UN resolution critical of the human rights situation in Iran. In response to Canada targeting it, Iran’s Deputy Representative to the UN, Eshaq Al-e Habib, said in November 2019, “how can a supporter of apartheid in Palestine pose itself as a human rights defender in Iran?”

Similarly, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development participates in the annual “Iran Accountability Week” on Parliament Hill, which showcases individuals such as Foundation for the Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz, who helped kill the Iran nuclear deal and pushed harsh sanctions against any country doing business with Iran. Dubowitz was a senior research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. In 2015 Global Affairs gave the Munk School’s Digital Public Square $9 million to expand an anti-Iranian initiative.

While they ostensibly backed the “p5+1 nuclear deal” with Iran, the Liberals’ promoted a one-sided view of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the US, France, Germany, Russia and China. Canada put up more than $10 million for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor and verify Iran’s implementation of its commitments under the JCPOA. Iran has consistently been in compliance with JCPOA’s strict rules regarding its uranium enrichment. Nonetheless, the Donald Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed tough new sanctions on other countries’ companies doing business with Iran.

For their part, the Western European signatories to the agreement have largely failed to stand-up to US pressure by creating the space for their companies to do business with Iran and three days ago the UK, Germany and France delivered a further blow to an agreement on life support. In a January 14 release titled “Canada supports diplomatic efforts established for Iran to return to full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” Global Affairs expressed “support” for the UK, Germany and France “activating the Dispute Resolution Mechanism” under the JCPOA and “urged Iran to immediately restore its full commitments to the JCPOA.” But, this position amounts to calling on Iran to abide by a deal it receives no benefits from as its economy is crippled by sanctions.

The Liberals also legitimated the illegal US sanctions on Iran when they arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou,at the Vancouver airport 13 months ago.The US claimed Meng’s company defied its illegal sanctions against Iran. But, between when the US judicial system sought her detention and the Trump administration requested Ottawa detain her, Meng traveled to six countries with US extradition treaties. Only Canada arrested her.

At the military level Ottawa also aligned with the US-Saudi-Israeli axis stoking conflict with Iran. An April 2016 Global Affairs memo authorizing Light Armoured Vehicle export permits to the House of Saud noted, “Canada appreciates Saudi Arabia’s role as a regional leader promoting regional stability, as well as countering the threat posed by Iranian regional expansionism.” At the November 2019 Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Al Meinzinger, participated in a panel titled “Watch out Iran!” A year earlier Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance told a parliamentary committee that Iran was “an interested party and, in some cases, a malign agent in Iraq.”

Five hundred Canadian troops are in Iraq partly to counter Iranian influence. Specifically, the Canadian-led NATO Mission Iraq is designed to weaken the influence of the Iranian aligned Popular Mobilization Forces, Shia militias that helped defeat ISIS.

In the fall Canada seized and sold $28 million worth of Iranian properties in Ottawa and Toronto to compensate individuals in the US who had family members killed in a 2002 Hamas bombing in Israel and others who were held hostage by Hezbollah in 1986 and 1991. The Supreme Court of Canada and federal government sanctioned the seizure under the 2012 Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which lifts immunity for countries labeled “state sponsors of terrorism” to allow individuals to claim their non-diplomatic assets.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi called the seizure “illegal” and in “direct contradiction with international law” while a spokesperson for Iran’s Guardian Council, Abbasali Kadkhodaei, accused Canada of “economic terrorism”. A senior member of Iran’s parliament said the country’s military should confiscate Canadian shipments crossing the Strait of Hormuz.

In a right side up world, the Iranian asset sale would lead to various more legitimate seizures. Relatives of the Lebanese-Canadian el-Akhras family Israel wiped out, including four children aged 1 to 8, in 2006 were certainly at least as worthy of Canadian government-backed compensation. Ditto for Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener, a Canadian soldier part of a UN mission, killed by an Israeli fighter jet in Lebanon in 2006. Or Palestinian Canadian Ismail Zayid, who was driven from a West Bank village demolished to make way for the Jewish National Fund’s Canada Park.

There are hundreds of Canadians and countless individuals elsewhere who have been victimized by Israeli, Canadian and US-backed terror more deserving of compensation than the Americans paid with Iranian assets for what Hamas and Hezbollah purportedly did decades ago. Should Israeli, US and Canadian government assets be seized to pay them?

The Trudeau government failed to speak against the asset seizure. It could have undercut this obscenity by delisting Iran as a “state sponsor of terror” or repealing Harper’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. But, it didn’t even keep its promise to restart diplomatic relations with Iran. As such, the Liberals have empowered US-Israeli hawks hurtling towards a major conflict.

While there is much to dislike about the government in Tehran, progressive-minded, peace-loving Canadians should reject Ottawa’s aggressive anti-Iranian policies.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is It an Act of War to Designate Iran’s IRGC as a Terrorist Organization?

The Israel Lobby’s Relationship to Trudeau, Trump and NATO

By Prof. Anthony Hall | American Herald Tribune | January 19, 2020

The Israel Lobby in Canada is demanding that the government of Justin Trudeau follow the lead of Netanyahu and Trump, the notorious duo of anti-Iranian warmongers. Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, has been leading the drive to have Canadian law brought into conformity with US and Israeli prototypes of post-9/11 terrorist designations.

At a press conference on January 13 in Canada’s Parliament, the Canadian branch of the US and Israeli-based ADL, demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) be designated as a terrorist organization. Canada has already designated the Quds division of the IRCG as a terrorist group. Iranian General Qassem Suleimani was the leader of the Quds force until he was assassinated on January 2 of this year.

Mr. Mostryn presented the Canadian government with something of an ultimatum with the following comment. “We are asking for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist group in Canada within the next 30 days. No further delays will be accepted by Canadians on this important public safety issue.”

There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates that Mr. Mostyn does not speak for all Jews in Canada or even for most of them. Certainly, this well paid functionary of the Israel Lobby does not speak for all Canadians when it comes to the issue of Canada’s relations with Iran. After the assassination of General Suleimani, Canadians have added cause to be skeptical about adopting the extravagant language and principles of the Israel Lobby as elevated to pre-eminence following 9/11.

After January 2, Canadian citizens and members of the global community generally are coming to understand better the lethal booby traps attached to pinning the status of “terrorist” on individuals and organizations without any due process whatsoever. The post-9/11 adoption of the principles of pre-emptive warfare promotes the ethos of shoot to kill first, worry later (if at all) about proof, justification and adherence to the older principles of international law. This ethos of kill first, deal with proof later, has essentially eliminated the legal principle that people, whether they be princes or paupers, are innocent until proven guilty.

The Displacement of Well-Founded Principles of International Law with the Pseudo-Laws of the Global War on Terror

The kind of agenda that Mr. Mostyn wants to import into Canada from Israel and the United States undermines the integrity and enforceability of international law. The United Nations and the International Criminal Court at the Hague are basically sidelined as credible organizations. The result is that officials effectively lack the capacity to command accountability from war criminals at the highest level.

The still-misrepresented events of 9/11 ushered in many transformations dramatically for the worse in the global community. These transformations include the negation of much of the juridical inheritance emanating from centuries of evolutionary progress in the community of nations. For the time being this juridical inheritance has been pretty much swept into the garbage bin leaving the world a much more dangerous place. Atrocities like the Israeli treatment of indigenous Palestinians or the extrajudicial Baghdad drone strikes of 2 January 2020 epitomize the subordination of the rule of law to the law of the jungle.

Benjamin Netanyahu has continued the longstanding Israeli practice of trying to push the United States and its supposed allies into invading Iran in order to conduct regime change. That priority was emphasized immediately after 9/11 when the Canadian Zionist neocon, David Frum, wrote the words of a pivotal speech for US President George Bush. Frum had Bush refer to Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” David Frum’ sister, now a Canadian Senator, has continued her brother’s preoccupation. She has long been working with Michael Mostyn and Benjamin Netanyahu “in advocating for the listing of the IRGC in its entirety as a terrorist organization.”

Setting Up NATO Soldiers and Iranian Soldiers to Kill Each Other to Advance Israel’s Expansionary Ambitions

The decades-old Israeli push to pressure the United States and its “allies” into war with Iran was renewed in April of 2019. As reported in The Times of Israel, just days before an Israeli general election, Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Donald Trump for increasing his chances of being re-elected. Netanyahu’s thank you was for Trump’s political decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. In a Hebrew language tweet Netanyahu thanked Trump for “acceding to another one of my important requests.”

As Tamar Pileggi reported in The Times of Israel

Trump said his administration’s “unprecedented” designation “recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”…. Since taking office, Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

There is cause to be suspicious about the deadline announced for the Trudeau government’s ratification of the B’nai Brith Canada’s demand. To designate the whole armed forces of a foreign country as a “terrorist organization” is basically to declare war on the host country of that military organization. How is it in Canada’s interests or in the interests of the United States for that matter to give way to Israeli pressure pushing North America into a war with Iran?

The issue of time comes up because of recent announcements from the White House that Trump and Pompeo want to see NATO troops, including those of Canada, take over from US troops in Iraq. Trump needs this concession from NATO countries to meet an election promise. He has to have some symbolic bringing of US soldiers home from the Middle East prior to the US presidential election later this year.

Is it the goal of the Israel Lobby to push Canada and other NATO countries into a war posture with Iran after Trump bragged about assassinating “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world.” At the bidding of Trump, the NATO countries are pushed to enter a Middle East after it has been transformed by the criminal drone strike on the Iranian people’s most popular and beloved war hero?

Indeed, the admiration of General Suleimani, a real foe, not a pretend foe, of the Daesh proxy army is not limited to Iran, to the Muslim world or the Middle East. I can think of no military figure in the Western world that commands anything like the degree of respectful recognition that General Suleimani earned even from some that consider themselves enemies of the polities that the Quds force fought to help.

Is the issuing of the 30-day time limit by B’nai Brith Canada based on insider knowledge? Does the Israel Lobby in Canada know that there will soon be an influx of Canadian soldiers to replace US soldiers in Iraq? After the events of January 2, these US soldiers in Iraq and throughout the Middle East have had targets painted on their back by the war mongering of their Israeli-puppet Commander In Chief in the White House.

Is the rush to get the Canadian government to accept the terrorist designation part of a plan to encourage young NATO soldiers to kill young Iranian soldiers if they encounter one another in Iraq? Are we witnessing a plan to assemble NATO fighting forces in Iraq with the view that they would then be in a more strategic position to invade neighboring Iran?


Anthony James Hall has been Editor In Chief of the American Herald Tribune since its inception. Between 1990 and 2018 Dr. Hall was Professor of Globalization Studies and Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge where he is now Professor Emeritus. The focus of Dr. Hall’s teaching, research, and community service came to highlight the conditions of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in imperial globalization since 1492.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The ‘Lying’ Mainstream Press and Media in Canada

Part one

By Robin Mathews | American Herald Tribune | 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.

Stark proof of Canadians’ dark and suspicious belief about the MSPM was provided in the first election Justin Trudeau won … and after. The Globe and Mail beat the drums to keep the corrupt Conservative Party of Stephen Harper in power … fighting up to the last hour. And … now … that one of Harper’s worst, rabbit-skinned hatchet-men, makers of ugly, anti-democracy legislation is running for leader, you may be sure no one in the Mainstream Press and Media (MSPM) will review his ugly past doings. Not even Andrew Coyne, star commentator for the Globe and Mail who – in a large recent advertisement tells readers “I can just write what I really think”.

What Canadians face with the likes of Andrew Coyne … and all the rest, I allege … is not only (as we will see) ‘fudging’ of stories to protect the Corporate Rich, but outright failure to surface and deal with “facts”, “news”, “information” Canadians have a right to have (and need to have) in order to act positively for the country.

How is it (for instance) that (unreported/uncommented upon) Canadian publishing that flowered in the post 1968 period to become a major economic and cultural activity (as it should be) in Canada ….  is now DESTROYED, without as much as a mournful sigh from the (sold out) representatives of the MSPM, let alone full dress reporting to Canadians of the facts.

Today, fewer than 5% of non-fiction books that Canadians buy are produced by Canadian publishers! Canada’s whole book trade is – for all intents and purposes – a branch activity of foreign (mostly Imperial U.S.) publishers.  “We will tell Canadians what they may read.” (and who will profit from it.) Think about that ….  (Where is Andrew Coyne?)

WHY, for instance, is there no genuinely fact-informed argument for Canada to get out of NATO.  NATO is an arm of U.S. Imperial Policy: period. Why… in addition … do we hear nothing – ever – about Canada’s despicable and repressive role (over decades) in Haiti? Silence. Why does no reasonably intelligent and informed commentator cut through the wholesale truckload of lies about the voracious, calculated, perverse U.S. assault on Venezuela [and any other Central and South American country that seeks real democracy and independence]. And especially … why is there no attack on Canada’s sad and shameful backing of the U.S. in every vicious act against those countries? Why does no “mainstream” Canadian newsdealer ever even mention that the extermination of Palestinians is being pursued … a slow and steady program is being pursued…?

Andrew Coyne writes (“what (he) really thinks”) – a column in support of NATO, (Jan 11, 2020, p.02) ringing all the False Bells, accepting U.S. hegemony, liking it, taking for granted an unbrokenly divided world. He chooses, of course, to forget the ‘non U.N.- approved’ murderous “NATO” actions in the old Yugoslavia; to forget Canada’s shameful part in the wholesale murder and relentless destruction of the country with the highest standard of living in Africa, Libya … in the erasure and gruesome murder of the leader of that country moving his people to decent life. Twelve hundred Libyan students were studying in Canada when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered … to the public gloating joy of Hilary Clinton and (may we assume?) Andrew Coyne …?

Why is there never news about the failure of the Bank of Canada to restore its special lending powers to make possible necessary infrastructure, low-cost housing, hospital and educational building … and more? That policy paid for the Second World War, the building, after it, in Canada … and much more… without significant debt! ! It was trashed by Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1974 at the instancing of the Bank of International Settlements. (For the meaning of that name read: the U.S. hegemony over all Western nations/NATO nations after the 1944 meetings to lay out power distribution in the after-war-world, held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.)

Why is there almost never informed, inclusive, critical comment about ANY of the shared (or unshared) Defence, Policing, Private Corporation Activities, Environmental Actions, Foreign Aid, and Military Hardware sales where Canada and the U.S.A. impinge on one another  Canadians are kept almost completely ignorant of major matters concerning … Canada.

Especially … why are Canadians kept in the dark (purposefully) about the gigantic subject of large Canadian corporations acting abroad … and, indeed, about any profit-seeking activity … whether the Pirate-Looting by cell-phone-plus suppliers in Canada or the untenable treatment of workers and the bribery of corrupt others in foreign locations around the globe…?  Where is the MSPM??

Andrew Coyne writes about a foreign-acting Canadian corporation, SNC Lavelin (Dec. 21, 2019, p. 02,”SNC’s GUILTY PLEA…”) on tip-toe (so-to-speak), missing, many would say, the point absolutely.  But why not? As he says in the his big ad: “I can just write what I really think….” Or, perhaps, it would be better to say “I can just write what the wealthy owners of my job really think….”

We will look at Andrew Coyne’s efforts to “think” (in Part Two of The Lying Mainstream Press and Media in Canada) and see if we can show the strange, guileful, warm, charming, slippery, open-hearted process of completely misleading Canadians … by its Mainstream Press and Media (which includes the Castrated Broadcasting Corporation).

Before leaving Part One… think about the fact that the Castrated Broadcasting Corporation NEVER touches Palestinian Extermination; Haiti; Sell-out of Canadian publishing; “the NATO Question”; the “takeover” (by the Bank of International Settlements) of the Bank of Canada; Canada’s shameful me-too foreign policy in the suppression and devastation by the U.S.A. of Central and South American countries and people; or the behaviour of Canadian Corporations overseas …. Think about … that… and add your own contribution to the list of endless failures “achieved” by Canada’s Mainstream Press and Media.

January 18, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Canada citizens fighting for Israel given warm reception by embassy

MEMO | January 17, 2020

The Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv hosted a party yesterday for its citizens serving in the Israeli army.

It was organised by Ambassador Deborah Lyons, who told The Jerusalem Post that she wanted to show the appreciation and care felt by the embassy for the “lone soldiers” who left their homes to serve in the Israeli army.

“Lone soldiers” are Jewish citizens of a foreign country serving in the Israeli army. As many as 6,000 such soldiers with dual citizenship are said to be in the programme.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin calls them “true Zionists,” while Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog has described them as “a true example of what Zionism is all about.”

Lyons told the Post that she had been wanting to hold a reception for Canadians serving in the Israeli army “for a very long time.” Three years in fact, since she was posted in Tel Aviv.

“Canadian lone soldiers are a particularly special group. I know some of the parents of these kids and I wanted to reach out and let them know that their Canadian family of the embassy is here if they want to talk hockey and a home cooked meal,” she said.

Canada’s Defence Attaché Col. Rick Thompson told the Post “the ambassador thought it would be a nice gesture to reach out to Canadian lone soldiers and make some social connections and talk hockey … If you get homesick, we embassy staff are connected to the wider Canadian community.”

There is a high risk of depression amongst “lone soldiers.” Young Diaspora Jews, according to a report in Haaretz, account for only 2 per cent of soldiers serving in the Israeli army, but in the past year the suicide rate among them has been disproportionately high.

Their recruitment has also been a cause of controversy. An Al Jazeera report found that radical organisations in Europe were recruiting western citizens to serve in the Israeli army where many of these foreign fighters took part in the 2014 Gaza war.

In the UK there have been calls for British citizens who volunteer for the Israeli army to be prosecuted like others who fight for foreign forces.

January 17, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Remembering the Earthquake in Haiti Ten Years On

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2020

Peacekeeping - MINUSTAH

Ten years ago Sunday an earthquake devastated Haiti. In a few minutes of violent shaking hundreds of thousands perished in Port-au-Prince and surrounding regions and many more were permanently scarred.

It’s important to commemorate this horrifying tragedy. But this solemn occasion is also a good moment to reflect on Canada’s role in undermining the beleaguered nation’s capacity to prepare/respond/overcome natural disasters.

Asked my thoughts on Canada’s role in Haiti the day after the quake, I told reporter Paul Koring that so long as the power dynamics in the country did not shift there would be little change: “Cynically, it feels like a ‘pity time for the Haitians’ but I doubt much will really change,” says Yves Engler, a left-wing activist from Montreal who blames the United States, along with Canada, for decades of self-interested meddling in Haitian affairs. “We bear some responsibility … because our policies have undermined Haiti’s capacity to deal with natural disasters.”

Unfortunately, Canada’s response was worse than I could have imagined. Immediately after the quake decision makers in Ottawa were more concerned with controlling Haiti than assisting victims. To police Haiti’s traumatized and suffering population, 2,050 Canadian troops were deployed alongside 12,000 US soldiers (8,000 UN soldiers were already there). Though Ottawa rapidly deployed 2,050 troops they ignored calls to dispatch this country’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Teams, which are trained to “locate trapped persons in collapsed structures.”

According to internal government documents the Canadian Press examined a year after the disaster, officials in Ottawa feared a post-earthquake power vacuum could lead to a “popular uprising.” One briefing note marked “secret” explained: “Political fragility has increased, the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.” Six years earlier the US, France and Canada ousted the elected president.

Canada and the US’ indifference/contempt towards Haitian sovereignty was also on display in the reconstruction effort. Thirteen days after the quake Canada organized a high profile Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti for major international donors. Two months later Canada co-chaired the New York International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti. At these conferences Haitian officials played a tertiary role in the discussions. Subsequently, the US, France and Canada demanded the Haitian parliament pass an 18-month long state of emergency law that effectively gave up government control over the reconstruction. They held up money to ensure international control of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, authorized to spend billions of dollars in reconstruction money.

Most of the money that was distributed went to foreign aid workers who received relatively extravagant salaries/living costs or to expensive contracts gobbled up by Western/Haitian elite owned companies. According to an Associated Press assessment of the aid the US delivered in the two months after the quake, one cent on the dollar went to the Haitian government (thirty-three cents went to the US military). Canadian aid patterns were similar. Author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster Jonathan Katz writes, “Canada disbursed $657 million from the quake to September 2012 ‘for Haiti,’ but only about 2% went to the Haitian government.”

Other investigations found equally startling numbers. Having raised $500 million for Haiti and publicly boasted about its housing efforts, the US Red Cross built only six permanent homes in the country.

Not viewing the René Preval government as fully compliant, the US, France and Canada pushed for elections months after the earthquake. (Six weeks before the quake, according to a cable released by Wikileaks, Canadian and EU officials complained that Préval “emasculated” the country’s right-wing. In response, they proposed to “purchase radio airtime for opposition politicians to plug their candidacies” or they may “cease to be much of a meaningful force in the next government.”) After the first round of the presidential election the US and Canada pushed Préval party’s candidate out of the runoff in favor of third place candidate, Michel Martelly. A six-person Organization of American States (OAS) mission, including a Canadian representative, concluded that Martelly deserved to be in the second round. But, in analyzing the OAS methodology, the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, determined that “the Mission did not establish any legal, statistical, or other logical basis for its conclusions.” Nevertheless, Ottawa and Washington pushed the Haitian government to accept the OAS’s recommendations. Foreign minister Lawrence Cannon said he “strongly urges the Provisional Electoral Council to accept and implement the [OAS] report’s recommendations and to proceed with the next steps of the electoral process accordingly.”

A supporter of the 1991 and 2004 coups against Aristide, Martelly was a teenaged member of the Duvalier dictatorship’s Ton Ton Macoutes death squad. He is a central figure in the multi-billion dollar Petrocaribe corruption scandal that has spurred massive protests and strikes against illegitimate, repressive and corrupt president Jovenel Moïse. A disciple of Martelly, Moïse is president today because he has the backing of the US, Canada and other members of the so-called “Core Group”.

There was an outpouring of empathy and solidarity from ordinary Canadians after the earthquake. But officials in Ottawa saw the disaster as a political crisis to manage and an opportunity to expand their economic and political influence over Haiti.

On the tenth anniversary of this solemn occasion it is important to reflect not only on this tragedy but to understand what has been done by Canada’s government in our name and to learn from it so we can stop politicians from their ongoing strangulation of this beleaguered nation.

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s Justin again

Climate Discussion Nexus | January 8, 2020

There are many reasons to think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should not have gone to Costa Rica for a leisurely two-week Christmas break. Is there nowhere suitable in Canada? Might not some international crisis require his attention? But from the point of view of this newsletter the big question is the hypocrisy concerning his carbon footprint. At least the annoying Greta Thunberg takes sailboats, albeit with people flying hither and yon to make it happen. Trudeau traveled by private jet, or possibly two as on his election campaign, while even British PM Boris Johnson flew commercial to St. Lucia. Evidently the rest of us can eat cake.

While the details of the PM’s vacations are not made public for obvious security reasons (though he seems to have been sighted in Santa Teresa, a “quintessential surf town”) odds are he’s at a fancy resort and possibly, as in the Bahamas trip, there will be jet skis for his security detail and other carbon-unfriendly features like, well, his security detail, who probably didn’t paddle-board down to join him.

If it were an isolated incident it might be considered an isolated incident. But how about the fact that Canada sent 156 people to the latest UN climate-fest in Madrid? (After sending 283 to Paris in 2015.) It’s not to get things done. Everybody knows that, as Richard Nixon said, the real work at international conferences is done ahead of time to avoid embarrassing failure. And in this era of the Interwebs and cheap long-distance phone calls, whatever must be done last-minute can be done by 100 people in their offices back home as easily, or indeed more easily, than in hotel rooms.

As for what sort of hotels they were staying in, well, as with the PM in Costa Rica, not the kind you and I stay in. Because this conference was a junket. And a hypocritical one even by the standards of junkets. According to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, the emissions for 156 flights to Madrid and back would be about 165 tonnes, more than 40 average Canadian households emit in a year. And for what?

How can you ask? Among those in attendance was Senator Rosa Galvez, “Vice-Chair of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas and Vice President (North America) of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change” who explained that “This was the first year that ParlAmericas’ International Secretariat has participated in the annual UN climate change conference as an official observer organization. Through the participation of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas at COP 25, we were able to engage on the most pressing issue humanity faces today.” And no amount is too high for an observer you never heard of with a 19-word title in an outfit you never heard of to engage.

Certainly Sen. Galvez couldn’t be asked to engage on climate from dreary old Ottawa. Just as obviously Elizabeth May had to crisscross the country during the election, attending events in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Saanich in the space of a single 24-hour period because otherwise her party might only have won a handful of seats. Whereas for you to heat your house or drive to work is a reckless extravagance.

In exposing the hypocrisy of delegates in Madrid munching away at Burger King, on real meat, while claiming the rest of us needed to stop eating it, Craig Rucker of CFACT also noted that those in attendance included Harrison Ford, who “bragged not long ago that he’s ‘so passionate about flying’ that he would often hop in one of his planes and ‘fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.’” Ford now claims to have given up meat. But not his private planes, of which he owns roughly 10.

The smell of cake is unmistakable, as with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and now-vegan Al Gore, both of whom frequently use private planes of which Gates owns at least one. Their work is so important that they just have to do stuff you mustn’t. “I am investing in climate change very broadly and substantial amounts of money,” says Gates, while one of Gore’s people charged with fending off pesky proles intones that “He recognizes how important these everyday choices are, while spending most of his time working to catalyze a global effort to change laws and policies.” Now go away, and no questions about his energy-gobbling mansion complete with heated outdoor pool.

January 10, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Canada says some troops in Iraq to be moved temporarily to Kuwait for safety

MEMO | January 7, 2020

Some of Canada’s 500 military personnel based in Iraq will be temporarily moved to Kuwait for safety reasons, the country’s top military official said on Tuesday, due to fears of possible retaliation thereafter a US drone strike on Iran’s top military commander, reports Reuters.

General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defense staff, said in a letter to military families that “the news coming out of the Middle East is alarming for many of you.”

“Some of our people will be moved temporarily from Iraq to Kuwait,” he added. Simply put, we are doing this to ensure their safety and security.”

Some of the Canadian troops are taking part in a NATO mission while others are running Operation Impact, a Canadian initiative to train soldiers in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait. In all, some 800 Canadian troops are in the Middle East.

Earlier in the day, NATO said it was moving some of its trainers out of Iraq, without giving details.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday and the two men “emphasized the importance of de-escalating tensions and the need to support security and stability in Iraq,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

READ ALSO:

NATO suspends training activities in Iraq after Soleimani killing

January 7, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Canada Wants to Be an ‘Asset of Israel’ at the UN Security Council

Deputy PM of Canada, Christya Freeland (L), and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Supplied)
By Hanna Kawas | Palestine Chronicle | December 30, 2019

Canadian activists have compiled a study of Canada’s 2019 voting record at the United Nations on resolutions that document and censure Israeli violations of international law.

There was much fanfare made about Canada’s orphan “yes” vote at the UN General Assembly this year on “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” resolution. But in the broader context of the other 17 resolutions calling out Israel’s war crimes, that Canada either voted against (15) or abstained on (2), this lone vote can only be seen as deceptive and hypocritical.

Justin Trudeau, explaining his government’s vote to Canadian Zionists, stated:

“The government felt that it was important to reiterate its commitment to a two-states-for-two-peoples solution at a time when its prospects appear increasingly under threat”.

However, if the Trudeau government was really committed to a “two-states-for-two-peoples solution”, it is inconceivable that at the same time they also voted against:

  1. A resolution to support the work of the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” that affirms the UN “has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects”;
  2. The “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” resolution that calls “on Member States not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regards to Jerusalem”;
  3. “The Syrian Golan” resolution that “Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions”;
  4. “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” resolution;
  5. The resolution that condemns the “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” and reaffirms the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”; and
  6. The resolution concerning “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” that expresses “grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel”.

And finally, why would Canada vote against a resolution to uphold the rights of “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”, unless it supports Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and the “Greater Israel Project”?!

Some observers have speculated that Canada’s lone vote was motivated by Trudeau’s desire to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council. Over a year ago, then Foreign and now Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland was quoted as follows during a visit to Israel:

“She also mentioned Canada’s current bid for one of 10 non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for 2021-2022, which she hoped would allow Canada to serve as an ‘asset for Israel and… strengthen our collaboration’.”

So, this is what Canada plans to do if it gets sufficient votes for a seat, be an “asset for Israel”?

Canada is relying on the votes, and possible lobbying, of some Arab reactionary regimes to get the backing required for the Security Council seat; one example is Jordan.

Just last month during a visit, “Jordan’s King Abdullah II told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Middle Eastern kingdom supports Canada’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council”. This was according to Jordan’s ambassador to Canada, Majed Alqatarneh, who also said Jordan “believes it is important that Canada have a seat on the Security Council”.

Canada also seems to be counting on the support of certain diplomatic circles from the US; former U.S. ambassador to Ottawa, Bruce Heyman stated:

“For me, today, when the U.N. General Assembly is all together, a Canadian seat on the U.N. Security Council is more important than ever”.

We tell Mr. Trudeau that instead of your objective of getting a seat at the UN Security Council, you may end up with a seat in front of the ICC. If the “two-states-for-two-peoples solution… prospects appear increasingly under threat”, it is because of Canada’s (and others) unconditional support for Israeli occupation, war crimes, and apartheid.

– Hanna Kawas is Chairperson of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine. Visit: http://www.cpavancouver.org.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Media ignores explosives revelations about chemical weapons in Syria

By Yves Engler · December 22, 2019

The Canadian media gets a failing grade when it comes to its coverage of chemical weapons in Syria.

Among the basic principles of reporting, as taught in every journalism school, are: Constantly strive for the truth; Give voice to all sides of a story; When new information comes to light about a story you reported, a correction must be issued or a follow-up produced.

But the Canadian media has ignored explosives revelations from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It’s a stark example of their complicity with belligerent Canadian foreign policy in Syria.

In May 2019 a member of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission in Syria, Ian Henderson, released a document claiming the management of the organization misled the public about the purported chemical attack in Douma in April 2018. It showed that the organization suppressed an assessment that contradicted the claim that a gas cylinder fell from the air. In November another OPCW whistleblower added to the Henderson revelations, saying that his conclusion that the incident was “a non chemical-related event” was twisted to imply the opposite. Last week WikiLeaks released a series of internal documents demonstrating that the team who wrote the OPCW’s report on Douma didn’t go to Syria. One memo noted that 20 OPCW inspectors felt the report released “did not reflect the views of the team members that deployed to [Syria].”

I couldn’t find a single report about the whistleblowers/leaks in any major Canadian media outlet. They also ignored explicit suppression of the leaks.

Journalist Tareq Haddad resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason.” Haddad wrote a long article explaining his resignation, which detailed how an editor who previously worked at the European Council on Foreign Relations blocked it.

There is an important Canadian angle to this story. Twenty-four hours after the alleged April 7, 2018, chemical attack foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland put out a statement claiming, “it is clear to Canada that chemical weapons were used and that they were used by the Assad regime.” Five days later Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported cruise missile strikes on a Syrian military base stating, “Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people.”

Canadian officials have pushed for the organization to blame Bashar al-Assad’s government for chemical attacks since Syria joined the OPCW and had its declared chemical weapon stockpile destroyed in 2013–14. Canada’s special envoy to the OPCW, Sabine Nolke, has repeatedly accused Assad’s forces of employing chemical weapons. Instead of expressing concern over political manipulation of evidence, Nolke criticized the leak.In a statement after Henderson’s position was made public she noted, “Canada remains steadfast in its confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] and its methods. However, Mr. Chair, we are unsettled with the leak of official confidential documents from the Technical Secretariat.”

Amidst efforts to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapons use, Canadian officials lauded the OPCW and plowed tens of millions of dollars into the organization. A June 2017 Global Affairs release boasted that “Canada and the United States are the largest national contributors to the JIM [OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism for Attributing Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria].” The statement added that Canada “is the largest voluntary cash contributor to the organization, having provided nearly $25 million since 2012 to help destroy chemical weapons in Libya and Syria and to support special missions and contingency operations related to chemical weapons use, investigation, verification and monitoring in Syria.” Two months after the Douma incident Freeland announced a $7.5 million contribution to the OPCW in a statement heavily focused on Syria.In August Governor General Julie Payette even traveled to The Hague to push OPCW Director-General, Fernando Arias, on Syria. After a “meeting focused on OPCW activities in Syria”, Payette highlighted Canada’s “$23 million in voluntary funds for Syria-related activities.”

Ottawa backed the group that produced the (probably staged) video purporting to show chemical weapons use in Douma. The Liberals backed the White Helmets diplomatically and financially. In a release about the purported attack in Douma Freeland expressed Canada’s “admiration for … the White Helmets”, later calling them “heroes.” Representatives of the White Helmet repeatedly came to Ottawa to meet government officials and Canadian officials helped members of the group escape Syria via Israel in July 2018. Alongside tens of millions of dollars from the US, British, Dutch, German and French governments, Global Affairs announced “$12  million for groups in Syria, such as the White Helmets, that are saving lives by providing communities with emergency response services and removing explosives.”

Credited with rescuing people from bombed out buildings, the White Helmets fostered opposition to Assad and promoted western intervention. Founded by former British army officer James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets operated almost entirely in areas of Syria occupied by the Saudi Arabia–Washington backed Al Nusra/Al Qaeda insurgents and other rebels. They criticized the Syrian government and disseminated images of its purported violence while largely ignoring civilians targeted by the opposition. Their members were repeatedly photographed with Al Qaeda-linked Jihadists and reportedly enabled their executions.

The White Helmets helped establish an early warning system for airstrikes that benefited opposition insurgents. Framed as a way to save civilians, the ‘Sentry’ system tracked and validated information about potential airstrikes.

Canada funded the Hala Systems’ air warning, which was set up by former Syria focused US diplomat John Jaeger. It’s unclear how much Canadian money was put into the initiative but in September 2018 Global Affairs boasted that “Canada is the largest contributor to the ‘Sentry’ project.”

Ottawa is dedicated to a particular depiction of the Syrian war and clearly so is the dominant media. Committed to a highly simplistic account of a messy and multilayered conflict, they’ve suppressed evidence suggesting that an important international organization has doctored evidence to align with a narrative used to justify military strikes.

Journalists are supposed to seek the truth, not simply what their government says. In fact, according to what is taught in J-school, journalists have a special responsibility to question what their government claims to be true.

No journalism program in Canada teaches that governments should always be believed, especially on military and foreign affairs. But that is how the dominant media has acted in the case of Syrian chemical weapons.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Goldman Sachs operative Carney slithers from BoE to UN climate con job

Tallbloke’s Talkshop | December 20, 2019

Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada’s top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and climate finance.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement while speaking to reporters in Madrid on Sunday, adding the move will take effect next year.

Carney, who spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs, is now moving into the role the company , with it’s huge Green Portfolio Investments, wants him to be in.

Boris Johnson has wisely banned ministers from attending Davos this year.

December 21, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 2 Comments

Czech think tank funded by NATO govts calls for EU BLANKET BAN on Russian outlets like RT

‘European values’?

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | December 17, 2019

A pro-NATO Czech think tank has another piece of unsolicited advice for Western governments. Now they should refuse to give access or interviews to Russian media, who are ”not real journalists”, according to the ”wise censor”.

At first blush, the ‘Kremlin Watch Strategy’ paper published last week by the Prague-based ‘European Values Center for Security Policy’ sounds like another self-serving attempt to cash in on the anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped many a Western capital for the past several years.

There are some two dozen mentions of “funding,” mostly in the context of urging the European Union to spend more money on “independent” NGOs – such as themselves, obviously – to battle “hostile Russian interference” the authors see under every bed. There is even a proposal for every EU government to conduct its own version of the Mueller probe – which famously found zero evidence of “collusion” between US President Donald Trump and Russia, and its evidence of Russian “meddling” amounted to unsubstantiated assertions from indictments, as its lawyers had to admit in court.

So far, so laughable, right? Except the NGO argues that all European countries should:

“stop legitimising Russian disinformation tools posing as “journalistic platforms”. Communication channels effectively run by the Russian government, be it RT, Sputnik, or Russian state-run TV channels, do not represent journalism, they merely pretend to.”

Since ‘Russians’ are not free media, argues ‘European Values,’ the EU countries should “ban them from press conferences and not give access that is granted only to journalists, which they are not.”

This is not the first time that EV has tried to urge a ban and boycott of “Russian” outlets. In fact, it first emerged from obscurity in 2017, when it compiled an (error-riddled) blacklist of 2,327 “useful idiots” who had appeared on RT, in an effort to intimidate others.

A mere month later, the same outfit sponsored something called the “Prague Declaration,” which was signed by a who’s who of the most prominent Russiagate conspiracy-pushers, along with someone named “Bumfrey McDoogle.”

While it is tempting to dismiss the call for censorship on account that it originates from a low-rent Czech think-tank with an embarrassing history, doing so might be premature. EV gets much of its funding from NATO governments – Dutch, British, German and American, as of 2018. Indeed, they openly admit that London has been “a clear European leader in responding” to the so-called Russin threat, mobilizing the EU “response” and funding “much of the European civil society.”

Could it be mere coincidence that EV’s “new” censorship proposal sounds much like the one formerly peddled by the Institute for Statecraft, a sock-puppet project of the British government that was “burned” at the end of last year, following public exposure??

Far more sinister is that this “recommendation” has already been implemented to some extent. The US government withdrew RT America’s credentials in 2017, after forcing the outlet to register as a “foreign agent.” French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to talk to or accredit RT or Sputnik. The British government canceled RT’s credentials to a press freedom conference in July this year.

In February, Canada refused Sputnik credentials to report from the Lima Group meeting on Venezuela, devoted to US-backed regime change in Caracas. RT Spanish has been taken off air in Ecuador, after reporting on anti-austerity protests – and soon thereafter in Bolivia, by the US-backed unelected government that had violently ousted elected president Evo Morales to praise from Washington.

Last month, Ukrainian activists tried to shout down RT’s head of communications Anna Belkina as she spoke about freedom of the press in Strasbourg. Just like EV, they chanted “propaganda, not journalism.”

Once is a coincidence. Twice is happenstance. This many times is enemy action. Which raises the question of whether free speech really is a “liberal European” value – or do ‘European Values’ and their paymasters actually believe these values only apply to them, and not Others?

December 17, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | 3 Comments

Award-Winning Journalist Vanessa Beeley Faces “Deplatforming” at Six Canadian Venues

By Michael Welch | Global Research | December 12, 2019

Vanessa Beeley, the award-winning journalist who has gained notoriety for her on the ground reporting on the Syrian conflict has faced opposition in her efforts to speak to Canadian audiences at the invitation of local anti war activists.

According to Ken Stone of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, a lead organizer of Beeley’s cross-Canada speaking tour, six venues have so far backed away from hosting the UK journalist’s talks. These include Palestine House in Mississauga, the Steelworkers Hall in Toronto, St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, the University of Montreal, the University of Winnipeg, and the Millenium Library, also in Winnipeg.

Stone explains that the withdrawal from agreements at each venue to host Beeley were preceded by the circulation of at least two hit pieces on the journalist upon her arrival in Canada – one by La Presse in Quebec and one by the Huffington Post. Stone explained that the decision to cancel in each case was precipitated by the circulation of these articles by unknown actors.

Says Stone,

“There wasn’t an organized effort, but there were people in individual cities where she was speaking who took it upon themselves to circulate these articles behind the scenes – shadowy figures who tried their very best to scare the managers of various venues into cancelling, and they did so six times.”

The proper name of the tour is ‘Canada’s Dirty War on Syria: The White Helmets and the Regime Change War billionaires.’ Ms. Beeley was intent on presenting her research into Canada’s role in undermining the government of President Bachar Al Assad. Beeley’s message directly contradicts mainstream reporting on the conflict, particularly her research into the White Helmets, which she and other independent journalists classify as a propaganda construct providing public relations cover for regime change efforts and continued economic sanctions that are decimating the country.

The justification for one venue after another cancelling is not clear, as none have officially provided any explanation. According to Stone, however, there were two venues on the tour that allowed the Beeley presentation to take place in spite of this unexpected opposition. One was the New Vision Church in Hamilton. The other was the Knox Metropolitan United Church in Regina. Both Ministers highlighted concerns from a complainant about ‘hate speech’ being directed toward the White Helmets, and the prospect of traumatizing vulnerable Syrian refugees.

Organizers explained to the Ministers that the talks were not about hate speech but rather about highlighting the findings of an independent journalist and war correspondent ‘whose research methods are very thorough’ about the true nature of the Syrian conflict and the role of the White Helmets.

According to an email, forwarded to this author, from the pastor at the Hamilton venue, there was concern expressed about Beeley engaging in ‘hate speech’ toward the White Helmets. According to the pastor at the Regina venue, the letter he received essentially echoed the common, mainstream media reinforced perception that the White Helmets are heroes, that Syrian civilians are fleeing a despotic Syrian regime, and that Beeley is spreading “lies for war criminal Bashar Assad.”

Stone added, “one of the people who spoke to both Ministers about the ‘traumatization’ turned out to be traced back to an address in the state of Washington, USA. She was claiming that she was going to be traumatized by Vanessa speaking 4000 miles away!”

Full disclosure: this author was active in trying to secure a venue for Vanessa Beeley at the University of Winnipeg. The deplatforming in this case was a little more complicated. I had apparently used an improper process to secure the space on campus initially. However, when the event coordinator on campus got hold of me and explained the problems with the process, she directed me to find a venue elsewhere. When I asked about the prospects for booking the space by following the proper procedure, and paying the appropriate fees, I was told the event would likely not go ahead owing to problems the President’s Office had with the content.

In spite of multiple attempts to get more details over several days, the university has yet to provide an explanation of precisely what they found objectionable about the ‘content.’

A second venue, the Millennium Library in downtown Winnipeg was secured through friendly staff six days in advance of the event date. However, on Tuesday (Human Rights Day as it turns out) two days before the event was to take place, I received a call from a higher up – the Manager of Library Services. He had expressed regret but that after lengthy deliberations he had with other team members, he determined that the event would violate their guidelines and that he was exercising his right under the contractual agreement to cancel the booking.

No official explanation was offered beyond this although when pressed, this individual did indicate an ‘opinion’ on his part that after reviewing the speaker’s content, the content of the presentation could be construed as hate speech. Overtures to have this manager meet with myself and other organizers to assuage concerns about the event, were rejected. He said his decision was final. He did relent to sending a written explanation of his reasons for cancelling the booking:

“We considered our room usage Regulations and Conditions of use, event content, and community interests in this decision.”

Further correspondence was forwarded to me through a third party about the event planned for the University of Winnipeg from another member of the campus community. The concerns could be summarized as follows:

  • Ms. Beeley is promoting ‘harmful’ theories in defence of President Assad.
  • She is promoting ‘anti-semitic’ and harmful messaging against the White Helmets, ‘a group that provides vital humanitarian search and rescue operations in areas of Syria subject to intense bombing.’
  • the content could be ‘traumatizing’ to the Syrian refugee population at the university.

About a day later, a representative of the university’s student executive had private messaged the organizers through the Winnipeg facebook event page expressing concern about the event. This person echoed the points above. The individual’s facebook page, however, reveals a clear effort to deplatform Vanessa Beeley.

Excerpts (emphasis added)

PLEASE SHARE

“Vanessa Beeley has been called “The Syria conflict’s goddess of propaganda.”

As part of a Canadian speaking tour hosted by the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, Vanessa Beeley was supposed to speak at the University of Winnipeg tomorrow, December 12th. But, following pressure and advocacy from the community, the University of Winnipeg cancelled the event. The venue changed to the Millennium library and again after community pressure, they cancelled it. The Hamilton Coalition dropped the event and it looks like its been now picked up by Peace Alliance Winnipeg. All of this has happened within the last 3 days.

Among countless other things;

1) Beeley supports Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, who is responsible for: the murder of more than 400,000 Syrians, over 5.7 million Syrians fleeing the country, and over 6.1 million internally displaced.

2) Beeley has said that the White Helmets, a humanitarian organization with thousands of volunteers who risk their lives rescuing victims of the conflict, are a terrorist organization. The White Helmets were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

3) Beeley believes that the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, which killed 12 and injured 11, was an event staged by the French government.

4) Beeley legitimized an airstrike on Douma, Syria that killed 70 Syrians, stating it was a “legitimate strike on #Douma terrorist nest”.

Beeley’s talk is scheduled for 7:00pm tomorrow at the Winnipeg Chilean Association, 892 Burrows Avenue. Emails have already been sent to the groups involved in organizing tomorrow’s lecture to urge them to cancel the lecture, but since there’s just 24 hours until the lecture, please share this post to make sure that Peace Alliance Winnipeg WILL NOT give Beeley the platform to share lies, conspiracy theories, hateful rhetorics and propaganda.

Vanessa Beeley is apparently by no means unique or distinct in experiencing this kind of character assassination. A September 2019 article for Mint Press News, authored by Alexander Rubinstein, detailed how three prominent journalists: Rania Khalek, Anya Parampil and Max Blumenthal, were seeing their work suppressed at the hands of so-called journalists with suspicious links to think tanks and media institutions. To quote the Mint Press article (emphasis added):

The tactics employed to silence these reporters have included death and rape threats, spurious lawsuits, threatening phone calls, pressure campaigns to have them fired, and persistent harassment against any institutions publishing their work or hosting their talks, books, or documentary tours.

This article, and Vanessa Beeley’s own reporting reveals that there is a sophisticated network of entities aligned with think tanks and media institutions who have been actively involved in this campaign to contain the Syria narrative. Individuals like Chris York of the Huffington Post UK, the link to whose article is being shared by Winnipeg based agitators, has been a leading critic of Beeley’s since January of 2017.

According to Beeley, York’s series of articles discrediting her work typically relied on familiar tropes about being ‘Russia-centric’ and ‘Assadist’. These were quickly followed by Olivia Solon’s hit piece for the Guardian, and articles in a similar vein by The UK’s Times newspaper, former Guardian correspondent, Brian Whitaker, Bellingcat, the BBC, journalist Nafeez Ahmed, academic Idrees Ahmad, and a 48-page report from the White Helmet PR agency, Syria Campaign.

While the campaign to discredit Beeley and others trying to expose the reality behind the Syrian conflict seems daunting, Ken Stone of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War sees a silver lining behind the dark cloud of suppression of dissent. He believes that the forces of empire are effectively on the ropes.

“They are unable to manufacture consent for their foreign policy and their regime change wars and so the only resort they have left is to try and silence the opposition… Even the idea of local citizens in a community being able to rent a hall and bring in a speaker by invitation and open it to the public. What does that say about our Charter Rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly? Nonetheless, despite all that, we had, so far six successful meetings for Vanessa.”

More details at the event’s facebook page.

December 15, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 5 Comments