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First principle of international relations should be ‘do no harm’

By Yves Engler · September 20, 2018

Many progressives call for Canada to “do more” around the world. The assumption is that this country is a force for good, a healer of humankind. But if we claim to be the “doctors without borders” of international relations, shouldn’t Canada swear to “first do no harm” like MDs before beginning practice? At a minimum shouldn’t the Left judge foreign policy decisions through the lens of the Hippocratic oath?

Libya illustrates the point. That North African nation looks set to miss a United Nations deadline to unify the country. An upsurge of militia violence in Tripoli and political wrangling makes it highly unlikely elections planned for December will take place.

Seven years after the foreign backed war Libya remains divided between two main political factions and hundreds of militias operate in the country of six million. Thousands have died in fighting since 2011.

The instability is not a surprise to Canadian military and political leaders who orchestrated Canada’s war on that country. Eight days before Canadian fighter jets began dropping bombs on Libya in 2011 military intelligence officers told Ottawa decision makers the country would likely descend into a lengthy civil war if foreign countries assisted rebels opposed to Muammar Gadhafi. An internal assessment obtained by the Ottawa Citizen noted, “there is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war… This is particularly probable if opposition forces received military assistance from foreign militaries.”

A year and a half before the war a Canadian intelligence report described eastern Libya as an “epicentre of Islamist extremism” and said “extremist cells” operated in the anti-Gadhafi stronghold. In fact, during the bombing, notes Ottawa Citizen military reporter David Pugliese,Canadian air force members privately joked they were part of “al-Qaida’s  air force”. Lo and behold hardline Jihadists were the major beneficiaries of the war, taking control of significant portions of the country.

A Canadian general oversaw NATO’s 2011 war, seven CF-18s participated in bombing runs and two Royal Canadian Navy vessels patrolled Libya’s coast. Ottawa defied the UN Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians by dispatching ground forces, delivering weaponry to the opposition and bombing in service of regime change. Additionally, Montréal-based private security firm Garda World aided the rebels in contravention of UN resolutions 1970 and 1973.

The NATO bombing campaign was justified based on exaggerations and outright lies about the Gaddafi regime’s human rights violations. Western media and politicians repeated the rebels’ outlandish (and racist) claims that sub-Saharan African mercenaries fuelled by Viagra given by Gaddafi, engaged in mass rape. Amnesty International’s senior crisis response adviser Donatella Rovera, who was in Libya for three months after the start of the uprising and Liesel Gerntholtz, head of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, were unable to find any basis for these claims.

But, seduced by the need to “do something”, the NDP, Stephen Lewis, Walter Dorn and others associated with the Left supported the war on Libya. In my new book Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada I question the “do more” mantra and borrow from healthcare to offer a simple foreign policy principle: First Do No Harm. As in the medical industry, responsible practitioners of foreign policy should be mindful that the “treatments” offered often include “side effects” that can cause serious harm or even kill.

Leftists should err on the side of caution when aligning with official/dominant media policy, particularly when NATO’s war drums are beating. Just because the politicians and dominant media say we have to “do something” doesn’t make it so. Libya and the Sahel region of Africa would almost certainly be better off had a “first do no harm” policy won over the interventionists in 2011.

While a “do more” ethos spans the political divide, a “first do no harm” foreign policy is rooted in international law. The concept of self-determination is a core principle of the UN Charter and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Peoples’ inalienable right to shape their own destiny is based on the truism that they are best situated to run their own affairs.

Alongside the right to self-determination, the UN and Organization of American States prohibit interfering in the internal affairs of another state without consent. Article 2 (7) of the UN Charter states that “nothing should authorize intervention in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”

A military intervention without UN approval is the “supreme international crime”. Created by the UN’s International Law Commission after World War II, the Nuremberg Principles describe aggression as the “supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” In other words, by committing an act of aggression against Libya in 2011 — notably bombing in service of regime change — Ottawa is responsible not only for rights violations it caused directly, but also those that flowed from its role in destabilizing that country and large swaths of Africa’s Sahel region.

If Canada is to truly be the “good doctor” of international relations it will be up to Left foreign policy practitioners to ensure that this country lives up to that part of the Hippocratic oath stating, “First do no harm”.

September 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

9/11 Truth: War on Terror or “War on Democracy”? The Physical Intimidation of Legislatures

By Prof. Graeme McQueen |  Truth and Shadows

Timely and incisive analysis, this is the text of a talk given by Prof. Graeme MacQueen at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, on November 18, 2015. 

***

Good evening. I have two sets of introductory comments.

First, my aim tonight is not to prove each of my assertions with a wealth of evidence but to survey four cases briefly in order to reveal a pattern. If you feel I may be on to something it will be up to you to look at these cases in more detail.

Secondly, as a Canadian addressing other Canadians, I want to note that I am aware of the taboos this talk is violating. I will be making claims, and pointing out patterns, that are unwelcome in mainstream society today in Canada. The taboos are held in place with heavy silence and with ridicule, and they are, in my opinion, crucial to the maintenance of the “War on Terror”.

The taboos are strong in the media, the universities, and in all sectors of government. Since my theme today has to do with legislatures, and since we have just experienced a federal election in Canada, I will give two recent examples from the political arena.

Although the two examples concern the Liberal Party, I am not implying this party is alone in its observance of this taboo. As far as I can discover the taboo is found in all of Canada’s major political parties.

While the election campaign was in full swing there was much searching through the records of all candidates (their social media records, for example) by opposing parties for material that could be used to discredit them. It turned out that two Liberal candidates had at one point in the past expressed skepticism about the official account of 9/11. The discovery of this material immediately created a crisis. Both candidates quickly made formal public statements:

(a) “I want to be extremely clear. I do not question any aspects of what occurred during the tragic events on September 11th, 2001. Let there be no doubt about it.”

Maria Manna, Liberal candidate in British Columbia

(b) “Let’s be crystal clear: I have never and do not question the events which took place on Sept. 11, 2001.”

David Graham, Liberal candidate in Quebec

These are peculiar statements. They do not seem to have been written independently and they verge on the incomprehensible. What, after all, does it mean to say you do not question an event? The verb “question” would normally mean in such a context “to doubt.” But how can we doubt an event?

An event is what it is. Perhaps the writer of these statements is using the verb to mean, “to have questions about.” But surely the candidates are not bragging that they have no questions about the events of that day? Over one-third of Canadians and Americans, as revealed by numerous polls, have serious questions about the events of the day. Why would their representatives have no questions? How could it be a virtue to have no questions? Have the candidates studied these events deeply and resolved all questions? Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which produced the most detailed official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, has admitted that it has been left with questions about these collapses. Perhaps Ms. Manna and Mr. Graham should explain to NIST how they have resolved all the confusions?

Or do these candidates mean they do not have any doubts about the official account of the events of 9/11? This would be a different statement altogether. And in this case, which account are they actually referring to? The Canadian government has no independent account of what happened on that day. A citizen’s petition for an independent investigation was rejected with contempt by Steven Blaney, the Minister of Public Safety under the Conservative government. So, is it the U.S. government’s account that the candidates are affirming? This account, to the extent that there is a single account, is the ultimate responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was charged with investigating the crime. But do Ms. Manna and Mr. Graham even know what the FBI’s position is? Do they know, for example, that the FBI never even charged Osama bin Laden with the crimes of 9/11 because they had insufficient evidence? Do they know that the 9/11 Commission, tasked with writing a public report on the events of 9/11, made extensive use of the weakest of claims—claims made under torture?

Frankly, I do not think these candidates’ assertions have anything to do with evidence or reason. I believe they are best understood as loyalty oaths. I think they mean something like this:

“As far as this founding event in the War on Terror is concerned, we promise to accept as true, without investigation or critical inquiry, whatever Canadian authorities accept as true. If Canadian authorities, without conducting an investigation, have faith in statements made under torture and in unsupported claims made by a foreign intelligence agency, then we will share that faith.”

These loyalty oaths suggest that anyone who raises questions about the claims made by this foreign intelligence agency, and supported by acts that violate international law, will be excluded from the Canadian Parliament. Such people will not be permitted to represent the Canadian people or to help steer this country into the future. What a staggering notion.

The loyalty oaths I have been discussing serve well to introduce today’s talk because my theme is the bullying of legislatures in North America. But I wish to go beyond the sort of bullying indicated in loyalty oaths. I want to look at an even more gross form of bullying, the use of physical threat.

My basic claim is simple: physical intimidation of elected representatives, as suggested in the four instances I will discuss, is a core feature of the War on Terror. And this is a direct attack on representative democracy.

Intimidating the U.S. Congress in the fall of 2001

A. The 9/11 Events:

I begin with the attacks of September 11, 2001, crucial to the War on Terror.

Most of you remember these events and are aware of how shocking they were to the general population in North America. But perhaps you do not all recall the nature of the shock delivered to Congress.

Democrat Tom Daschle, who was Senate Majority Leader on September 11, 2001, recalls being at the Capitol with other members of Congress when the assaults on the Twin Towers took place. He watched them on television like most Americans, as stunned and puzzled as anyone. But his television viewing was interrupted when a guard ran into the room and announced that there was a plane headed toward the Capitol and that an immediate evacuation of the building was necessary. This was, says Daschle, the first time in history the entire U.S. Capitol had been evacuated. There appears to have been no clear protocol. Daschle says it was a scene of “total chaos.” Elected representatives, both senators and members of the House, fled in confusion. Many had difficulty getting reliable information about what was happening and did not know what to do or where to go. This was a frightened and intimidated legislature.

Later in the day, when things in Washington had settled down somewhat, many of those who had fled reassembled on the steps of the Capitol building. A few brief speeches were made, after which, as we can see and hear in precious video footage, members of Congress broke into a singing of God Bless America, followed by emotional embraces.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Democrat, at the podium on the steps of the Capitol, Sept. 11, 2001, just before the singing of God Bless America. He is saying: “We, Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, stand strongly united behind the President and will work together to ensure that the full resources of the government are brought to bear.”

A powerful feeling of unity is evident in the record of this event. Tom Daschle said that he had never in his life experienced the sense of unity he felt on September 11, 2001. Like others on the steps of the Capitol that evening, he seems to have been almost euphoric. We were, he says, one family.

I draw your attention to the emergence of a pattern that is common in societies experiencing danger and that characterizes affected populations in the War on Terror.

First, there is the sense of threat. The population then goes through a phase of intense, felt unity.

Party loyalties and ideological divides are cast aside. There are solemn declarations, there is singing, there is the calling down of blessings on the nation, there is hugging and there are tears.

I am not mocking members of Congress, or any other group that unites under threat. This seems to be an aspect of our nature as human beings. But bear in mind that while these social adjustments may help a society gear up for a response to an attack, they can also leave a population vulnerable to manipulation. At such moments dissent is discouraged and critical thinking is in short supply. Passion and calls for loyalty are the order of the day.

The consequences can be very serious.

Bush (Republican, President) embracing Daschle (Democrat, Senate Majority Leader).

Bush (Republican, President) embracing Daschle (Democrat, Senate Majority Leader).

The photograph of George W. Bush and Tom Daschle, top Republican and top Democrat, embracing shortly after 9/11, tells the story. The act is a symbolic statement of unity, but like many symbolic statements it tells us a tale with very practical implications.

The U.S. Constitution gives to Congress the power to declare war. Aware of the desirability of involving Congress, the White House immediately took advantage of the shock delivered by 9/11 and asked Congress for a bill explicitly allowing the President to use armed force in response to the attacks. Tom Daschle was one of the few people who could have stopped such a bill. The Democrats had a majority in Senate and he, as Senate Majority Leader, could have urged them to vote as a bloc against the bill. But the hug indicates, the sense of being one family, the feeling of unity, was strong. Not only did Daschle not rise to the occasion and oppose such a bill, he immediately offered to put it forward, thus guaranteeing its acceptance.

This extremely dangerous legislation, “Authorization for Use of Military Force, 2001” was proposed to and passed by both House and Senate on September 14, 2001. There was only one vote against the bill—by Barbara Lee, later Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. The bill provided cover for the immediate invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and simultaneous preparations for the invasion of Iraq. It also handed to Bush the power to decide who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Remember: people who want war may purposely create a sense of threat and a feeling of unity. And they will typically do so in order to achieve a particular reaction. This is the triad I am drawing your attention to: Threat, Unity, Reaction.

The reaction may express itself outwardly in foreign policy or inwardly in domestic policy. Frequently, the outward and inward moves are simultaneous. Outwardly, the enraged nation throws itself on the nation or group it decides was responsible for the attack. Inwardly, the population agrees that this is a time for unity, not a time for debate and dissent but for gathering as one people, with the surrender of individual freedoms and civil rights as needed to mobilize for violence.

We do not need to speculate about whether this condition was achieved in the American people on 9/11. A poll was initiated on that very day, in the evening of 9/11. (Washington Post-ABC). According to those who conducted the poll, nearly nine in ten Americans supported military action against whoever was responsible for the attacks and two out of three Americans were willing to surrender civil liberties to fight terrorism.

Now, you may be thinking, what’s the big deal? The threat-unity-response triad makes sense: an attacked group unites and, when united, acts to deal with a serious threat. The triad is compatible with the official story of 9/11 and does not by itself mean that dissenters are right and that the day’s events were an inside operation.

You would be right in thinking that I have said nothing to this point that indicates the official story of 9/11 is false. My preliminary aim has been simply to point to the triad, which becomes visible again and again in the War on Terror—and to emphasize how populations and their elected representatives may, at such times, be vulnerable to manipulation.

Now, if we wish to go further and ask if 9/11 was a fraud we will need to look at the evidence. This is not difficult: fourteen years of research by a wide variety of people has given us plenty of evidence. In today’s talk, however, I am discussing four events, and I have little time to discuss details of 9/11. So let me restrict myself to a few brief comments.

Many of you will know, if you have looked into this issue even superficially, that the destruction of the World Trade Center, and especially of three buildings (WTC 1, 2 and 7), is regarded by many of us as providing the strongest evidence against the official account. I realize that many people “tune out” when building collapses are discussed (inner voice: “What do I know about buildings? My God, I hope they aren’t going to ask me to remember my high school physics!”). But there are very good reasons to pay attention to the destruction of these buildings.

Covert operations are typically characterized not only by lying, but by the laying down of false trails and the creation of pseudo-mysteries and diversion. So complex and contradictory is the evidence encountered that it is very often difficult to prove an event was based on deception even when we feel sure this is the case. When we do get such proof it makes sense to try to persuade people to look at it. The destruction of the WTC buildings is one such instance. In my view the official explanations of their destruction have been proven to be false. If you wish to read an admirable summary of the evidence against the official account of the WTC destruction, I refer you to a recent publication that can be obtained from the website of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. It is entitled, Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7.

As this publication makes clear, the official account of the destruction of these buildings is based on repeated violations of the laws of physics and of basic principles of scientific investigation and thought. In contrast, the hypothesis that the three buildings were brought down by planted explosives and other agents of destruction is robustly supported. Evidence against the official account and in favor of the dissident account is copious, varied, and mutually corroborating.

The North Tower being demolished on 9/11.

But if these three buildings were brought down not by plane strikes but by controlled demolition, through preparations made well before the attacks, this means that the entire official narrative is false and the founding event in the War on Terror is a fraud. Moreover, since discovering that the official account is false is not actually difficult, we must assume that the U.S. government agencies that promote the fraudulent event, including the FBI, are aware of the fraud and have been engaged in a major cover-up. They are, at the very least, accessories after the fact.

Let me sum up my observations and claims to this point:

  1. Observation: there is a taboo in place in Canada (as in the U.S.) that punishes people, including members of Parliament, who raise questions about the FBI account of 9/11.
  2. Observation: a familiar pattern of human history becomes clear to those who study the 9/11 event: threat leads to feelings of unity, and feelings of unity facilitate and shape the reaction: (a) the sacrifice civil rights at home and (b) a willingness to use force against a perceived enemy.
  3. Observation: In the case of the 9/11 event in the U.S. the reaction phase encouraged (a) a willingness at home to surrender traditional rights and freedoms and (b) a willingness to use military force abroad.
  4. Claim: the 9/11 attacks were not carried out by Islamic extremists but were managed from within the U.S. to manipulate the population and to intimidate the U.S. Congress into supporting the reaction desired by the perpetrators.

B. The 2001 Anthrax attacks:

Very shortly after the 9/11 attacks there was a second set of attacks in the U.S. Envelopes containing deadly anthrax spores were sent through the mail.

This set of attacks appeared at the time to be the second punch in a one-two punch attack. After all, the attacks began a mere week after 9/11 and the perpetrators clearly wanted to be seen as the same Muslim extremists who had carried out the first attack.

Here, for example, is the letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle:

Note the date, 9/11, at the top. Note the attempt to look like a Muslim extremist. Most of the U.S. population assumed this was, indeed, a second blow by the same Muslim extremists alleged to have carried out the 9/11 attacks. We know this from a poll carried out in mid-October, 2001.

Anthrax note

What were the effects of the anthrax attacks and who was the perpetrator?

The main effect was to keep up the momentum established by the 9/11 attacks. The external aspect of the reaction to 9/11 was directed toward those thought responsible: this reaction supported the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The first bombs were dropped on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, two days after the first death in the U.S. from anthrax. The anthrax attacks kept al-Qaeda and Afghanistan in the crosshairs.

And as October of 2001 progressed another possible perpetrator appeared on the scene. According to this hypothesis al-Qaeda was providing the foot-soldiers—the people who wrote the letters and mailed them—but the sophisticated anthrax spores had to have been produced by a state, which was collaborating with al-Qaeda in this deadly attack.

The enemy state was said to be Iraq.

The Iraq hypothesis flourished briefly in October and November of 2001 in partnership with the al-Qaeda hypothesis. During that period, as the invasion of Afghanistan proceeded, support was given to preparations for the invasion of Iraq.

But I spoke earlier of a pattern, and the pattern includes not only attack on enemy states but also sacrifice of civil rights at home. Here is where the anthrax attacks scored their biggest victory. Attorney General John Ashcroft had introduced what would later be called the Patriot Act shortly after 9/11 and had made it clear to Congress that he wanted it passed immediately. But there was resistance. Both the population at large and Congress began to recover from the 9/11 attacks, and as they did so their willingness to sacrifice civil rights began to diminish. The anthrax attacks saved the day for Ashcroft by ensuring that both population and Congress remained sufficiently intimidated to accept the Patriot act. The act was passed on October 26, 2001. The connection between its passage and the anthrax attacks is very clear.

There were two powerful Democratic senators whose actions were slowing down passage of the Patriot Act. One was Tom Daschle, whom I have mentioned previously. The second was Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Anthrax letters were sent out to Daschle and Leahy immediately after they resisted a deadline for passage of the bill proposed by Vice-President Dick Cheney.

How odd that al-Qaeda and Iraq would have had a special hatred of Democratic senators who slowed down the Patriot Act!

But, of course, the anthrax letters were not sent by al-Qaeda and Iraq. According to what we have since learned, no Muslim had anything whatsoever to do with the attacks.

If you want to know more about this topic, please read my book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception. Since the publication of that book there have been further developments, including the emergence of a highly placed FBI whistle-blower, that have supported the book’s claims.

What do we know about the perpetrators? Studies of the physical characteristics of the anthrax spores quickly ruled out al-Qaeda and Iraq as sources of these spores and showed that the anthrax came from a highly secure laboratory within the U.S. military-industrial complex. This is not controversial, having been acknowledged by the FBI, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

So the perpetrators were not Muslim extremists but they pretended to be, and whoever they were they had access to the heart of the U.S. intelligence and military community. It is, therefore, clear that the anthrax attacks were an “inside job” and a “false flag operation.”

The true perpetrators are still at large, the FBI having led the public on a multi-year wild goose chase.

As far as the intimidation of Congress is concerned, the process started with 9/11 but was continued by means of the anthrax attacks. Concrete barricades and yellow crime scene tape marked off the Capitol. Congress members were told by the FBI not to wear their Congressional pins publicly or to use their Congressional license plates. They were told they must hide their identities as elected representatives.

When Tom Daschle’s office received an anthrax letter in mid-October the stuff was so sophisticated it contaminated the whole building. The Hart Senate building was closed down for several months while it was cleaned. Some senators remained without computer access and proper office space as the Patriot Act was being pushed through. The anthrax attacks ensured that the passage of the Patriot Act took place in an atmosphere of urgent and ongoing threat to Congress.

Now, note that the lies pushed in October-November of 2001 to frame Afghanistan and Iraq for the anthrax attacks (Iraq as sponsor, al-Qaeda as client) belonged to the same repository of lies that was used over a period of years to justify the 2003 attack on Iraq. The two main deceptions were (a) that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” and (b) that Iraq was a sponsor of al-Qaeda.

The Centre for Public Integrity in the U.S. did a study a few years ago of these two sets of false statements. The study found that during the two years following 9/11 top Bush officials made 935 false statements on these two topics.

When Colin Powell gave his deceptive performance before the UN Security Council just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, holding up his little vial of simulated anthrax, he was still making these two sets of false statements and he was still warning the world that Iraq might attack the U.S. with anthrax.

Intimidating Canadian legislatures, 2013-14

I now turn to a different country and to a time nearer the present. I have two incidents in Canada to discuss, the first situated in 2013 and the second in 2014.

A. The Provincial Legislature of British Columbia:

In 2013 Canadians learned that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had arrested two Muslims for attempting to set off three bombs on the grounds of the British Columbia legislature on Canada Day, July 1.

Image below: The “pressure cooker bombs,” 2013.

The “pressure cooker bombs,” 2013.

This event seemed to have confirmed dramatically the fears on which the War on Terror feeds: Islamic terrorism, as a threat to democracy both symbolic and real, is alive and well in North America.

But let us look more closely at the perpetrators.

The couple arrested, John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, had allegedly self-converted to Islam in 2011. According to Ian Mulgrew, journalist for the Vancouver Sun who attended the lengthy trial, “These new Muslim converts ‘discovered’ Islam in a Lower Mainland camouflage store while on a walkabout in an alcoholic haze.” Nuttall and Korody were not members of a Muslim community; in fact, we have been told that when they began talking about the need for jihad members of the B.C. Muslim community promptly reported them to police.

Mulgrew has described Nuttall and Korody as “impoverished, troubled drug addicts.”

Image below: John Nuttall and Amanda Korody.

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody.

After they were brought to the attention of police Nuttall and Korody “were befriended by an [RCMP] officer pretending to be an Arab businessman with extremist connections. Over the following months, he encouraged their Islamic militance and introduced them to other Mounties acting as jihadis.” Mulgrew refers to this exercise as a “stage-managed operation.” More than 240 members of the RCMP were involved in this exercise.

“Over the following months, the [RCMP] corporal [posing as their Muslim friend] encouraged their extremism, bought Nuttall a suit…paid him for meaningless jobs, gave him money for groceries, all the while pressing him to formulate a viable terrorist plot.”

On the audiotapes of police interactions with Nuttall, the RCMP mole can at one point be heard berating Nuttall for his “poorly researched plan to hijack a Via Rail passenger train in Victoria that no longer exists.” (The remarks are by Canadian Press journalist Geordon Omand.)

The evidence consistently suggests that Nuttall had been indulging in fantasies. His plans were not rooted in the real world. What was the RCMP response on learning this? On the undercover audiotapes the police mole, after criticizing him for his poor research, can be heard saying to Nuttall: “I’m here to make what you have in your head come true.”

In other words, people cannot be arrested in Canada for having violent fantasies, but the RCMP is permitted to turn these fantasies into reality so that an arrest can be made and the victim fed to the ever-hungry War on Terror.

Each of us may have our moment of special anger as we read the records of this case. My moment came when I read about Nuttall having an awakening of conscience in the weeks before the planting of the bombs.

“Until a couple of days ago, I didn’t clue in that people were going to die. I’ve never killed anybody. I’m not a murderer.”

At another point Nuttall says clearly that he needs spiritual counseling.

“I want to know in my heart that I did the right thing—I need some spiritual guidance.”

The RCMP mole, anxious to discourage these signs of an awakening of conscience, replies: “What’s this spiritual guidance going to give you?”

Nuttall says: “This is about my soul were talking about, my wife’s soul.”

“All of us,” intones the costumed RCMP officer, “we have our own destiny… Allah chooses it for us, we don’t choose it for ourselves.”

Here is the essence of entrapment. A citizen shows clear signs of being ready to back away from a not yet committed crime but the police, instead of encouraging this tendency, work to beguile, seduce, and trap the citizen into the commission of this crime.

But there was more. A frightening little videotape was found in which Nuttall and Korody, with faces hidden, exhorted people to carry out jihad and expressed inclinations toward martyrdom.

Image below: Frame from Nuttall-Korody jihad and martyrdom video.

Frame from Nuttall-Korody jihad and martyrdom video.

But who urged the couple to make the video? Who helped at every stage in its creation? Who filmed it? Who even supplied the black banner used as a backdrop? Why, the RCMP. The film was an RCMP production.

Neither the entrapment of this couple, nor even the assistance in making a martyrdom video, involves creativity on the part of the RCMP. Canada’s federal police have for some years been aping the FBI, which has a long record of such operations and has made them central to the War on Terror. Those of you who wish to look into this should read Trevor Aaronson’s book, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism. If you do not have time to read the book, please watch Aaronson’s TED talk on the internet.

In the end, RCMP operatives convinced Nuttall to concentrate on a practical weapon, something he might actually be able to manage. They suggested he build pressure-cooker bombs and gave him advice on how to do it. They assured him they would supply the required explosive substance—to which he had no access.

Then they drove Nuttall around Victoria and found him a nice place to put the bombs—behind the bushes on the grounds of the B.C. legislature.

This case is so outrageous that even mainstream media have carried angry criticism of the RCMP. Journalist Ian Mulgrew has said: “this operation is redolent of a make-work project by the Mounties and the federal justice department to bolster the rhetoric of the prime minister.”

Consider Mulgrew’s statement. Let us give credit where credit is due: he is a mainstream Canadian journalist with the courage to say that the RCMP’s actions in this operation are not real policing at all (he calls them “pretend policing”) but a political act constructed to support the Conservative government’s involvement in the War on Terror. Everything I have seen about the case supports this claim.

The fact is that in Canada today, as in the U.S., federal police and intelligence agencies have politicized both policing and the courts. They have corrupted both sets of institutions. In doing so they are driven by, and in turn are supporting, an aggressive global conflict framework, the War on Terror, that is based on lies and deception.

And let me remind you of one aspect of the 2013 stage production that is often neglected. It involved the Canadian federal police encouraging a threat to a Canadian legislature.

B. The Parliament of Canada:

And now we arrive at the fourth and last case from the annals of the War on Terror to be reviewed today. This is the invasion of the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa on October 22, 2014.

Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette has recalled her experience in her Senate office:

At 2:30 p.m., to cries of “Police,” my assistant opens the office’s main door. He comes face to face with soldiers aiming their machine guns at him and ordering him to put his hands in the air. One by one, our doors are opened and the soldiers point their guns at my other assistants who exit their offices, hands in the air, as if they were criminals… The door we go through is destroyed; glass has exploded all over the floor. The door across the hallway has also been knocked in. Glass litters the hallway. There are more than 50 people crammed into four offices, everyone talking to one another…

I sit near the open window. I’m breathing but stunned: parliamentarians are under the command of the military. Parliament is in the hands of the armed forces.

The persons holding the automatic weapons were almost certainly federal police officers, not members of the armed forces, but for our purposes today the distinction may not be important. Men in camouflage clothing with heavy boots, helmets, and automatic weapons would have been hard for most Canadians to identify. Let us simply say that security forces took control of Parliament. The image fits the theme of this talk very well.

But you are thinking: naturally they took control—an armed gunman was running down the hall shooting!

Yes, but let us look a bit more closely at the affair.

I want to begin by saying I do not pretend to have sorted out the facts of this attack. I am not in a position to say with confidence that the RCMP were complicit. But, in a report I have written on this incident, The October 22, 2014, Ottawa Shooting: Why Canadians Need a Public Inquiry, I do claim that (a) there are very serious unanswered questions about this series of incidents (I list 32 questions), (b) the RCMP have given both misleading and false information to the public and (c) in any serious inquiry the possibility of RCMP complicity would have to be considered.

The RCMP are, of course, the ones in charge of the investigation of the October 22, 2014 events. But this simply illustrates the dilemma faced by citizens in North America. The agencies charged with investigating acts of alleged Islamic terrorism have a proven record of incitement, entrapment and framing. They would, for this reason, be treated as suspects within an uncorrupted system of policing and litigation.

When we look for recognition of this obvious truth in mainstream North America media today we will seldom find it. I saw not a single person interviewed on television or radio, or quoted in mainstream newspapers, in Canada in the days after the October 22, 2014 attacks, who was willing to raise this as a serious possibility.

Drawing on the 2013 Canada Day case, we might ask our question this way: Could the 2014 impoverished drug addict from Vancouver (Zehaf-Bibeau) have been assisted by the RCMP the way the 2013 impoverished drug addict from Vancouver (Nuttall) was assisted? Could the two acts of intimidation of the people’s elected representatives have belonged to the same pattern of police behavior?

Before entering into the critical questioning of the mainstream account of October 22, I draw attention to the triad we have seen before: Threat, Unity, Reaction.

Let us begin with threat. After allegedly shooting Corporal Cirillo at the War Memorial the suspect, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, made it to the Centre Block of Parliament. The Conservative caucus, including Mr. Harper, was assembled behind a door on one side of the central Hall of Honour, while the New Democratic Party was assembled behind a door on the other side. To the astonishment and horror of the MPs, a barrage of shooting broke out in the Hall.

Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove caught the gunfire (second volley) on his Blackberry, and the showing of this video footage gave the public a dramatic sense of what MPs, hunkered down behind poorly barricaded doors off the main hall, heard at that time.

Oct. 22, 2014 (from Wingrove video): just before the 2nd volley of shots in Centre Block.

Oct. 22, 2014 (from Wingrove video): just before the 2nd volley of shots in Centre Block.

Volley one, which had occurred prior to the volley caught on this video, had roughly the same number of shots as volley two.

So MPs certainly felt threatened. The danger was emphasized by the CBC, which said on October 22 that the perpetrator may have fired 30 shots in the Hall of Honour. John Baird, then the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Anderson Cooper’s TV show on October 23 that if Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers had not killed Zehaf-Bibeau a dozen people might have been killed.

It turned out these statements were based on fantasy. The evidence we now have suggests that the suspect, Zehaf-Bibeau, ran into Centre Block with two bullets in his rifle. His firearm was a lever-action hunting rifle—a model first produced in 1894. Zehaf-Bibeau’s goals at that point are not clear, but he fired his two bullets, hitting no one (security guard Samearn Son appears to have been hit in the leg by a ricochet) and at one point he declined to shoot a security guard he was facing at point blank range. In the space between volleys he seems to have loaded one more bullet in his rifle, which he fired—again hitting no one—just before dying in a hail of bullets less than two minutes after entering the building. He did not, therefore, shoot 30 times; he shot three times. And he was in no position to kill a dozen people. Of the roughly 59 shots heard by MPs, 56 were fired by police with semi-automatic 9mm handguns.

While it is important to sort out these facts, it remains true that the feeling of threat experienced by MPs was intense. They heard a huge barrage of shots, could not see what was going on, and felt at risk.

How about the next member of our triad, unity?

We have a remarkable piece of footage from the next day, October 23, fully as striking as the singing of God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol. Kevin Vickers, apparently one of the two men who killed Zehaf-Bibeau, was Sergeant-at-Arms and regularly carried the mace into Parliament. (The mace represents the authority of the Speaker and the right of the House, transmitted to it by the crown, to pass laws.) When Mr. Vickers entered Parliament with the mace on October 23 he was given a prolonged standing ovation by the House, with members of all political parties enthusiastically participating.

In addition to this particular symbolic statement of unity we saw in Canada the embraces familiar to us from the U.S. incidents of the fall of 2001. The Canadian Prime Minister signaled his trans-party solidarity with Mr. Trudeau of the Liberal Party and Mr. Mulcair of the NDP with hugs.

Post-event hugs, October 2014: Harper and Mulcair, Harper and Trudeau.

Post-event hugs, October 2014: Harper and Mulcair, Harper and Trudeau.

So we had threat and we had unity. The third element is reaction, which possesses two components. Internally, citizens and their representatives are all supposed to pull together, sacrificing civil rights or having them sacrificed on their behalf. Externally, they are to fling themselves at the enemy—whoever has been assigned that role.

In Prime Minister Harper’s speech on October 22 he made clear, albeit in genteel and delicate language, that he intended to move ahead on both fronts: to give more power to national security agencies at home while joining with allies in military action abroad.

This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world…this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

The forms this reaction took are well known. Internally we had the passage of a series of bills, including the famous Bill C-51. Externally, we found the victim of the War Memorial shooting, Corporal Cirillo, quickly exploited in Iraq.

So we have the triad found in the War on Terror in its autumn, 2001 manifestation. The presence of death in the October 22 events has guaranteed that the pattern will be deeply inscribed in people’s consciousness. The absence of killing in the B.C. bombers incident is, I am convinced, one of the reasons the incident has had relatively little impact in Canada. In fact, the lengthy court case associated with this incident—still not resolved as this talk is being given—has embarrassed the RCMP at the same time the lack of casualties has left the Canadian population uninterested. The operation cannot be called a success.

Would it not be tempting for police, after such a failure, to mount an operation in which there are deaths to draw people’s attention and where the perpetrator or patsy is killed in the operation so that there will never be a court case?

I am aware that I have to this point offered no evidence that the October 22, 2014 incident was planned or carried out with police complicity. Let me now, therefore, look at selected aspects of the RCMP’s performance and foreknowledge. In my view these are sufficiently peculiar, even if they were the only anomalies encountered, to justify a public inquiry. For other problematic issues in the case my report may be consulted.

I begin with a question: Where did the most blatant security failure occur, which allowed the suspect to make it into a building of Parliament after shooting Mr. Cirillo at the War Memorial? The answer is that the main security failure occurred between the time he emerged from his car in front of the bollards near East Block until the time he entered the doors of Centre Block. This zone was the responsibility of the RCMP. As he stepped onto Parliament Hill he was no longer the responsibility of the Ottawa police, and as he entered Centre Block he became the responsibility of House of Commons security. In between the RCMP was responsible.

Now, during that brief period when he was the responsibility of the RCMP he ran from the bollards along the grass in front of the East Block, his keffiya over the lower part of his face, his long hair flowing, and his Winchester rifle in his hands. He hijacked a black ministerial car in front of East Block. The driver got out and ran away at top speed. The suspect then got into the black car with his rifle and drove straight to Centre Block. On his way he passed two white RCMP vehicles. Neither moved to intercept him, although either one could have done so. Neither seems to have made a serious effort to catch him or intercept him on the rest of his journey to Centre Block, although they followed him to his destination.

Black hijacked car (circled), heading in direction of top of frame, has just driven past two white RCMP vehicles.

Black hijacked car (circled), heading in direction of top of frame, has just driven past two white RCMP vehicles.

I am not interested in blaming the officers in these two cars. The more important issue is the fact that the RCMP has such a thin and permeable line of security, not to mention a communications system that performed very badly. Two cars between the suspect and Parliament, each with one officer, neither of whom seemed to expect anything and neither of whom appeared to have heard the 911 calls from the War Memorial? Neither of whom appears to have been able to warn the House of Commons security, who were, therefore, caught off guard when Zehaf-Bibeau burst through the door?

We now know, thanks to a CBC access to information request, that the RCMP were short by at least 29 persons in their Parliament Hill security at that time. We also know that the extra patrols in the vicinity that the RCMP had mounted in mid-October due to various incidents had been halted two days before the October 22 incident.

Am I being a Monday morning quarterback? Will you object that it is all very well to bemoan this reduction of security in retrospect but that the RCMP could not possibly have known of the danger at the time? Well, I certainly would have thought that the killing of a soldier at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu two days earlier by an apparent “terrorist” would have led to some tightening of security. But, beyond that, there were plenty of signs of danger.

We are now touching on one of the most explosive aspects of the October 22, 2014 case, namely advance warnings. If we turn to the RCMP and ask what was the stated and official position we find it set out very clearly. Commissioner Paulson said without hesitation that there had been “no advance warning.” Is this true? Consider the following list:

(1) October 8, 2014

Warning: potential “knife and gun” attacks inside Canada.

Source: NBC News, crediting US intelligence sources, in turn crediting Canadian authorities. The warning was quickly denied by Canadian authorities.

(2) October 17:

Warning: “heightened state of alert”

Source: Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), which is housed at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) but has several partner organizations, including the RCMP.

(3) October 17:

Warning: “violent act of terrorism”

Source: Privy Council Office (PCO), which advises the Prime Minister.

(4) October 18:

Warning: ISIS considering attacks on uniformed law enforcement persons in Canada

Source: Criminal Intelligence Integrated Unit of the RCMP

(5) October 21:

Warning: [We do not know what is in this report, which the RCMP has refused to release, but it was apparently based on more than the lethal October 20 event in Quebec.]

Source: National Intelligence Coordination Centre, RCMP

(6) September to October, 2014, beginning about a month before the October 22 events

Warning: There was a war-gaming of “an attack in Quebec followed by an attack in another city” (CBC journalist Adrienne Arsenault called it the “precise scenario” that unfolded in October).

Source: Adrienne Arsenault, speaking on The National, CBC television, October 22, 2014. According to her the participants in the war game included CSIS, the RCMP, and the National Security Task Force.

We find, in short, that there were repeated warnings beginning at least a month before October 22 and growing more intense in the five days prior to the attacks. Such warnings are not at all normal in Canada. ITAC’s last similar warning had been issued about four years previously. As to the precision in timing of the warnings, Craig James, an official at the B.C. legislature, said that his office had been told “there may be a problem this week.” How extraordinary. There was, indeed, a problem “this week:” there was a lethal attack on the Monday (October 20) followed by a lethal attack on the Wednesday (October 22).

But the words of Craig James raise another issue: it is not merely the timing that is peculiar but also the institutions warned. With warnings going out to legislatures in Canada, how could the most important legislature at all have been left with no warning? As journalist Michael Smyth of The Province put it: “our provincial politicians [in B.C.] and legislative security staff were well-briefed by the feds here, but the RCMP in Ottawa got taken by surprise? What is wrong with this picture?”

What is more, consider the peculiarity in the October NBC warning. “Knife and gun” attacks inside Canada? Such attacks are very uncommon. Yet both on October 20 and October 22 large knives were found at the crime scene. Is this a coincidence?

Finally, we have the war-games exercise, which was found to be oddly prophetic when an attack in the province of Quebec (October 20) was followed by an attack in a second city (Ottawa, Ontario). It is true that part of the war-game scenario mentioned by Arsenault (a third incident with returnees from Syria) did not manifest itself, but there were certainly efforts, which involved RCMP lies, to tie both October suspects to Syria.

So, what are we to think of Mr. Paulson’s statement about “no advance warning?” Mr. Paulson was lying. Why? There are two main possibilities.

First, he may have been lying to disguise gross RCMP incompetence. To suggest this is to stay within the bounds of acceptable discourse, although even in this case there should be calls for Mr. Paulson’s resignation.

But how does the incompetence theory fit with the fact that the although the PCO document of October 17 explicitly called for maintaining patrols, the RCMP, after the issuing of the PCO document, actually halted a series of patrols they had been making in the vicinity of Parliament Hill? And why would the RCMP, after receiving a series of clear warnings, allow themselves to remain short-staffed on the scene to the tune of at least 29 officers? Moreover, since the PCO warning explicitly called for maintaining excellent communications, how is it that the RCMP neither received nor passed on, in a timely way, effective warnings that would have prevented the suspect’s assault on Centre Block?

The unspeakable possibility—the possibility that is outside the bounds of respectability and will not be mentioned by mainstream media and political representatives–is that Mr. Paulson denied receiving warnings of the attacks because the RCMP were complicit in the attacks.

It is not wise to pretend we know the truth about an incident when we do not. I do not pretend, in this talk or in my written report, to know with certainty whether the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was complicit in the October 22, 2014 attacks in Ottawa. But I do know that, given its history of complicity in establishing “terrorist” threats, as well as the serious anomalies and unanswered questions that stare us in the face when we investigate the October 22 events, the RCMP must be regarded as suspects.

Conclusions:

Let me end this talk by reiterating five points.

  1. There is a pattern, common enough in war and found in the War on Terror: Threat, followed by Unity, followed by Reaction, which has an internal and external dimension.

Whatever the value of this pattern to human survival at various times in our history, it can leave populations open to deception and manipulation.

  1. In the War on Terror deception and manipulation are exactly what we find. There is strong evidence that legislatures of the U.S. and Canada have been subjected to physical intimidation that has facilitated both the internal projects (repressive legislation) and the external projects (invasions and occupation) of the leaders of the War on Terror.
  1. A strong social taboo has been constructed that has hampered awareness of this deception and manipulation. The taboo extends through the population but is especially strong in legislatures, including the Parliament of Canada.
  1. This taboo ensures that our Canadian Parliament, like the U.S. Congress, is unfit to protect citizens from the deceptions and violence of the War on Terror and is even unable to protect itself.
  1. Of the four cases dealt with today, I regard complicity in the physical intimidation of legislatures by state agencies as established in three cases. In the fourth case, the events of October 22, 2014 in Canada, state-sponsored intimidation had not been established, but is a possibility that must be explored through investigation and research—formal and public if possible, but otherwise by members of civil society using all their intelligence and determination.

*

The text was edited by MacQueen for publication in Truth and Shadows. In addition to being a retired professor of Religious Studies and founder of McMaster’s Peace Studies program, MacQueen is the author of  The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy.

Sources

Since this was a public talk rather than an article it included no notes. I directed the audience to websites where they could find more information.

9/11:

Websites important for understanding the destruction of the World Trade Center:

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth:

http://www.ae911truth.org/

(The booklet, Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7 (Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, 2015) can be purchased below:)

http://www.beyondmisinformation.org/#beyond-misinformation

Consensus 9/11: The 9/11 Best Evidence Panel:

http://www.consensus911.org/

The Journal of 9/11 Studies:

http://www.journalof911studies.com/

Anthrax:

There are several good books, but my own explores the relationship of the anthrax attacks to the 9/11 attacks more closely than other books: The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy (Clarity Press, 2014). This book also explores the intimidation of Congress by both sets of attacks.

http://www.claritypress.com/MacQueen.html

The two Canadian cases:

Information about the Nuttall-Korody case was obtained mainly from a series of articles by Vancouver Sun journalist Ian Mulgrew, who attended the couple’s trial and regularly posted articles about it.

Information about the events of October 22, 2014 can be found in my report, The October 22, 2014, Ottawa Shootings: Why Canadians Need a Public Inquiry (fall, 2015). The bibliography in that report includes both primary and secondary sources for those wishing to learn more. The report can be downloaded here:

http://democracyprobe.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/09021508.pdf

A slightly revised version is available here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C6DZU6W

All images in this article are from the author unless otherwise stated.

September 9, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The Tip of the Radiation Disaster Iceberg

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | August 31, 2018

The World Nuclear Association says its goal is “to increase global support for nuclear energy” and it repeatedly claims on its website: “There have only been three major accidents across 16,000 cumulative reactor-years of operation in 32 countries.” The WNA and other nuclear power supporters acknowledge Three Mile Island in 1979 (US), Chernobyl in 1986 (USSR), and Fukushima in 2011 (Japan) as “major” disasters. ¶ But claiming that these radiation gushers were the worst ignores the frightening series of large-scale disasters that have been caused by uranium mining, reactors, nuclear weapons, and radioactive waste. Some of the world’s other major accidental radiation releases indicate that the Big Three are just the tip of the iceberg.

CHALK RIVER (Ontario), Dec. 2, 1952: The first major commercial reactor disaster occurred at this Canadian reactor on the Ottawa River when it caused a loss-of-coolant, a hydrogen explosion and a meltdown, releasing 100,000 curies of radioactivity to the air. In comparison, the official government position is that Three Mile Island released about 15 curies, although radiation monitors failed or went off-scale.

ROCKY FLATS (Colorado), Sept. 11, 1957: This Cold War factory produced plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons 16 miles from Denver. It caused 30 to 44 pounds of breathable plutonium-239 and plutonium-240 to catch fire in what would come to be known as the second largest industrial fire in US history. Filters used to trap the plutonium were destroyed and it escaped through chimneys, contaminating parts of Denver. Nothing was done to warn or protect downwind residents.

WINDSCALE/SELLAFIELD (Britain), Oct. 7, 1957: The worst of many fires burned through one reactor igniting three tons of uranium and dispersed radionuclides over parts of England and northern Europe. The site was hastily renamed Sellafield. Another large radiation leak occurs in 1981and leukemia rates soared to triple the national average.

KYSHTYM/CHELYABINSK-65 (Russia), Sept. 29, 1957: A tank holding 70 to 80 metric tons of highly radioactive liquid waste exploded, contaminating an estimated 250,000 people, and permanently depopulating 30 towns which were leveled and removed from Russian maps. Covered up by Moscow (and the CIA) until 1989, Russia finally revealed that 20 million curies of long-lived isotopes like cesium were released, and the release was later declared a Level 6 disaster on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The long covered-up explosion contaminated up to 10,000 square miles making it the third- or 4th-most serious radiation accident ever recorded.

SANTA SUSANA (Simi Valley, Calif.), July 12, 1959: The meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment just outside Los Angeles caused “the third largest release of iodine-131 in the history of nuclear power,” according to Arjun Makhajani, President of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research. Released radioactive materials were never authoritatively measured because “the monitors went clear off the scale,” according to an employee. The accident was kept secret for 20 years.

CHURCH ROCK (New Mexico), July 16, 1979: Ninety-three million gallons of liquid uranium mine wastes and 1,000 tons of solid wastes spilled onto the Navajo Nation and into Little Puerco River, and nuclear officials called it “the worst incident of radiation contamination in the history of the United States.” The Little Puerco feeds the Little Colorado River, which drains to the Colorado River, which feeds Lake Mead—a source of drinking water for Los Angeles.

TOMSK-7 (Russia), April 7, 1993: In “the worst radiation disaster since Chernobyl,” Russian and foreign experts said a tank of radioactive waste exploded at the Tomsk nuclear weapons complex  and that wind blew its plume of radiation  toward the Yenisei River and 11 Siberian villages, none of which were evacuated.

MONJU (Japan), Dec. 8, 1995: This sodium-cooled “breeder reactor” caused a fire and a large leak of sodium coolant into the Pacific. Liquid sodium coolant catches fire on contact with air and explodes on contact with water. Costly efforts to engineer commercial models have failed. Japan’s Monju experiment was halted in 2018 after over 24 years of false starts, accidents and cover-ups.

TOKAI-MURA (Japan), Sept. 30, 1999: A uranium “criticality” which is an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction caused a “neutron burst” that killed three workers and dispersed neutron radiation throughout the densely populated urban area surrounding the factory.

Not to be slighted, deliberate contamination has also been enormous: Five metric tons of plutonium was dispersed over the earth by nuclear bomb testing, and other nuclear weapons processes; Over 210 billion gallons of radioactive liquids were poured into the ground at the Hanford reactor complex in Washington State; and 16 billion gallons of liquid waste holding 70,000 curies of radioactivity were injected directly into Idaho’s Snake River Aquifer at the Idaho National Lab.

Sources. 

Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth, by Gar Smith (Chelsea Green, 2012)

Mad Science: The Nuclear Power Experiment, by  Joseph Mangano (OR Books 2012)

In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, by Stephanie Cooke (Bloomsbury, 2009)

Criticality Accident at Tokai-mura, by Jinzaburo Takagi (Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, 2000)

Nuclear Wastelands: A Global Guide to Nuclear Weapons Production & Its Health & Environmental Effects, by Arjun Makhijani, et al (MIT Press, 1995)

The Nuclear Power Deception, by Arjun Makhijani & Scott Saleska (Apex Press, 1999)

Nuclear Madness, Revised, by Helen Caldicot (Norton, 1995).

Multiple Exposures: Chronicles of the Radiation Age, by Catherine Caufield  (Harper & Row, 1989).

Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age, by John May (Pantheon, 1989).

Deadly Defense: Military Radioactive Landfills, edited by Dana Coyle, et al (Radioactive Waste Campaign 1988)

No Nukes, by Anna Gyorgy (South End Press, 1979).

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 14 Comments

What is behind glorifying the military?

By Yves Engler · August 29, 2018

Are soldiers more valuable to society than teachers? Are they more essential than the people who drive buses or clean up our waste? Are their jobs that much more dangerous than firefighters, or psychiatric nurses or loggers? Is what they do more honourable than parenting, caring for elders, providing essential social services or reporting the news?

These questions arose when reading that British Columbia is currently holding a six-week public consultation on whether former RCMP members should be permitted access to special veterans license plates. The opposition has complained the consultation is only taking place online while some military veterans have threatened to return their special license if the RCMP are allowed to join their exclusive club. “I am very, very proud to be given that particular plate,” said Lt.-Col. Archie Steacy of the B.C. Veterans Commemorative Association, which is leading opposition to the change. “Having served in the armed forces for a period of 38 years I feel really good when I am driving my car and people stop me to say thank you.”

Granted a monopoly over the poppy symbol nearly a century ago, the Royal Canadian Legion allows provincial governments to use their trademark poppy on licence plates to signify the driver is a veteran. Much to the chagrin of some military veterans, the Legion’s definition of a ‘veteran’ now includes former RCMP.

In the mid-2000s every province adopted a special veterans licence plate. Generally Canadian Forces (CF) members, RCMP officers who served under CF command and anyone who served in a NATO Alliance force are eligible.

But special license plates are only one of the many initiatives that reinforce the military’s special cultural standing. On August 18 MiWay (Mississauga) transit offered military veterans a free ride to attend the Warriors’ Day Parade at the Canadian National Exhibition. In December Sherbrooke, Quebec, joined a long list of cities that offer free parking to veterans. In another automotive- centred militarist promotion, a Ford dealership in Kingston, Ontario, offered a special discount package to former or current soldiers. Its January release stated, “whether you’re a local weather presenter, a plumber or play drums in a weekend cover band, your way of life is possible, in part, due to the brave sacrifice of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

But for men with guns an evil force would prevent you from drumming? Is that really what this is about?

Prioritizing soldiers above reporters, poets, janitors etc., the government set up a program  in 2014 to allow foreign nationals who join the CF to get their citizenship fast tracked. A number of initiatives also benefit students of military families and help soldiers access civilian work. The Canada Company Military Employment Transition Program assists CF members, Reservists and Veterans in obtaining non-military employment. It offers companies/institutions the status of Designated Military Friendly Employer and National Employer Support Awards. Taking this a step further, Barrick Gold hired a Director of Veteran Sourcing and Placement to oversee a Veterans Recruitment Program. According to program Director Joel Watson, “veterans self-select to put service before self, which says much about their individual character, drive and willingness to work together in teams.”

But no special recruitment program for single mothers?

Underlying all these initiatives is the notion that soldiers (or the military in general) have a unique social value, more than teaching assistants, plumbers, daycare workers, hairdressers and single mothers. Or, if danger is the primary criteria, how about those who build houses or feed us?

Over the past half-century tens of times more Canadian construction workers have been killed on the job than soldiers. While 158 Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014, there were 843 agriculture -related fatalities in Canada between 2003 and 2012.

Does the CF do more to enable people to “play drums” than those growing our food? Is the “local weather presenter” more indebted to soldiers than those who build homes? Should the “plumber” be more grateful to troops than teachers?

The problem with glorifying soldiers is that veterans’ organizations generally use their cultural standing to uphold militarism and reactionary politics. Politicians justify weapons purchases by claiming we need to give the troops the best equipment possible and then demand the public “support the troops” they’ve deployed abroad.

Is this really the best we can be?

There is a burning need to rekindle anti-militarist political movements in this country. Next month’s World Beyond War  conference in Toronto offers a good opportunity to start.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Critical voices needed at development studies conference

By Yves Engler · August 8, 2018

Are they critical thinkers or cheerleaders pretending to be independent of the government that funds them? Given the title conference organizers chose — “Is Canada Back: delivering on good intentions?” — one would guess the latter. But, an independent researcher keeps an open mind.

Publicity for the mid-September conference organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) notes: “Inspired by Justin Trudeau’s 2015 proclamation ‘Canada is Back’, we are presenting panels that illustrate or challenge Canada’s role in global leadership. Are we doing all that we could be doing in the world?”

Formulating the question this way seems like a sop to the government that provides their funding. Conference organizers must be aware of the Trudeau government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia’s monarchy, backing for brutal mining companies, NATO deployments, antagonism towards Palestinian rights, efforts to topple the Venezuelan government, failure to end Canada’s ‘low level war’ on Iran, refusal to support nuclear weapons controls, promotion of military spending, etc.

The reality is that while the two conference sponsors are supported by some labour unions, left groups and internationalist-minded young people, they are heavily dependent/tied to Canada’s official foreign policy apparatus.

To understand government influence over the NGO/development studies swamp requires wading through acronym-filled historical waters. An umbrella group representing dozens of major development NGOs, the CCIC was created fifty years ago with financing from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA, now part of Global Affairs Canada). The aid agency expected it to coordinate relations with the growing NGO network and build domestic political support for the aid program. While it has challenged government policy on occasion, the CCIC is highly dependent on government funds. Shortly after it publicly complained the government created a “chill” in the NGO community by adopting “the politics of punishment … towards those whose public views run at cross purposes to the government,” the CCIC’s $1.7 million CIDA grant was cut in 2012. This forced it to lay off two thirds of its staff.

CASID and international development studies programs more generally have received significant support from CIDA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Crown Corporation. In 2015 CASID’s president thanked “IDRC for its support of CASID over the past decade and more.” As part of one contract, IDRC gave CASID $450,000 between 2012 and 2015.

In the mid-1990s IDRC sponsored an initiative to enhance university undergraduate international development programs. This led to the creation of the Canadian Consortium for University Programs in International Development Studies (CCUPIDS), which has as its primary objective to “strengthen the position of International Development Studies.” CIDA also funds CCUPIDS conferences.

CCUPIDS is a branch of CASID, which publishes the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. In the introduction to a journal special issue on Canadian universities and development, editors Leonora Angeles and Peter Boothroyd write:

Thanks mostly to grant funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the International Development Research Council (IDRC), Canadian academics have been able to engage intensively in development work for over three decades.

CIDA and IDRC also directly fund international development studies initiatives. In the late 1960s CIDA sponsored a study with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) to investigate what schools offered development studies courses. According to IDRC: 40 years of ideas, innovation, and impact, “early on, it began funding Canadian area and development studies associations, their conferences, journals, and research — gathering and communication activities.” The Canadian Association of African Studies, Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Canadian Asian Studies Association and Canadian Association of Studies in International Development all “received substantial core funding from IDRC, intermittently in the 1970s and 1980s, and continuously since 1990.”

Significant sums of aid money continue to flow to international development studies programs. The website of the McGill Institute for the Study of International Development lists a dozen contracts worth more than $600,000 from CIDA, as well as $400,000 in contracts from IDRC and Foreign Affairs. An NGO and CIDA training ground, these programs often include internships and volunteer opportunities funded by development aid. The Students for Development Internships is “offered through the AUCC and CIDA, and students are funded to work for up to four months with an NGO anywhere in the world.” Queen’s Global Development Studies exchange program, for instance, received $270,000 from CIDA in 2011.

Individuals who participated in aid agency-funded projects, notably the government-backed Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), spurred or launched international development studies programs. In Canada’s Global Villagers: CUSO in Development, 1961-86 Ruth Compton Brouwer writes:

CUSO staff and RV’s [returned volunteers] contributed substantially to the establishment of university-level courses and programs related to global issues and the centres for international education and development studies. These are now such ordinary features of Canadian universities that it is difficult to conceive of how novel they were when they began in the 1960s.”

Led by CUSO’s former West Africa coordinator Don Simpson, University of Western Ontario opened an office of international education in 1969, which “operated in collaboration with CIDA.” Similarly, “valued friends of CUSO” instigated development studies programming at the universities of Ottawa and Toronto.

Canadian aid also directly shapes international development studies research. Half of the respondents to a 2002 survey of 64 scholars reported that CIDA’s six development priorities influenced their research focus. A professor or student who aligns their pursuits with those of the aid agency or IDRC is more likely to find funding or a fellowship. And IDRC/Global Affairs Canada’s priorities don’t include challenging Canadian foreign policy.

Given the sponsors’ ties to the foreign policy apparatus it is likely that the September conference will offer little more than cheerleading for the Trudeau Liberals’ foreign policy. Still, one can’t be certain and, having been invited by a Facebook friend to attend, I emailed the conference organizers to ask if they would allow me to present a critical look at Trudeau’s foreign policy. Thus far they have not accepted my offer.

If you agree that answering the question “Are we doing all that we could be doing in the world?” requires some critical voices, please email (ac.cicc@stneve) and ask them to allow Yves Engler to speak on Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy at your upcoming conference.

I love a good debate and maybe both sides will learn something new.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bizarro Zionism: Zionists Call Human Rights Supporters Racist

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | August 3, 2018

What to call someone who claims to oppose racism, except for that directed against Palestinians?

Judge someone by what they have done and continue to do. Consider the source. These thoughts ran through my mind as I struggled to write about Bernie Farber’s standing among some Left/liberals.

After Israel recently solidified its apartheid regime, a Facebook friend posted an opinion by illustrious pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim titled “Today, I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli.” While expressing opposition to its recent entrenchment of Jewish supremacism, the story effectively denied the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by claiming, “the founding fathers of the State of Israel who signed the Declaration [of independence] considered the principle of equality as the bedrock of the society they were building.”

More than this sop to colonial history, my leftist Facebook friend’s post piqued my ire because it highlighted that the article came from Farber, who worked at the now defunct Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) between 1984 and 2011. In response to my complaint about citing the former CJC CEO approvingly, Farber wrote, “I will continue to work for mutual understanding and do my best to see all sides. You will of course see what you wish from your one-sided pedestal and be critical of anyone who remains a progressive Zionist which I am.”

From the “pedestal” on which I observe Farber, I see an individual who has repeatedly labelled supporters of Palestinian rights as racist. After the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Ontario) passed a 2009 motion in support of the Palestinian led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement Farber claimed, “anti-semitism is once again amongst us.” For Farber the resolution was “bigoted and discriminatory and anti-Jewish” because only one country was targeted. “The sole target is Jews, is Israel,” he said.

In a 2010 letter to the Toronto Star denouncing Israeli Apartheid Week CJC’s CEO wrote, “Anything that promotes the destruction, demonization and delegitimization of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, is inherently anti-Semitic. To falsely accuse Israel, and by extension the vast majority of the world’s Jews who support the Jewish state, of ‘apartheid,’ is a form of anti-Semitic bullying.”

When the Israeli military killed 1,400 Palestinians (including 345 children) over 22 days in 2008-09 Farber denounced those protesting the slaughter across the country for their purported “vile, disgusting, hateful rhetoric of the kind that should be absolutely frightening to Canadians.” Further stoking anti-Arab/Muslim sentiment, he labeled the protests “uncivil, un-Canadian, that demonize Jews and Israelis.” Farber called on the police to investigate the burning of an Israeli flag and a small number of individuals with signs deemed “pro-Hamas” or comparing Israel’s actions to the Nazis.

In 2003 Farber lobbied for noted Islamophobe and anti-Palestinian activist Daniel Pipes to speak at York University. “It would have set a very, very unacceptable precedent to cancel it because of students who didn’t like or what he had to say,” said the then executive director of CJC Ontario. In 1996 Pipes asserted that Islam “would seem to have nothing functional to offer” and six years earlier said: “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene … All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” The year before speaking at York University Pipes launched Campus Watch, which created “dossiers” on professors and academic institutions viewed as critical of Israel and more recently, wrote a piece titled “How 99 Percent of ‘Palestine Refugees’ Are Fake.”

Farber certainly didn’t support Pipes as a principled defender of free speech. In fact, Farber repeatedly promoted hate speech restrictions and a few years later the CJC pressured the York administration against holding an academic conference entitled Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace. Farber also applauded the Stephen Harper government’s 2009 move to block former British MP George Galloway from speaking in Canada, writing: “George Galloway enables terrorism.”

After Adbusters juxtaposed photos of the World War II Warsaw Ghetto with images of Gaza, Farber penned a National Post op-ed titled “Selling anti-Semitism in the book stores”. It urged people to complain to stores selling the Vancouver-based magazine and a week later Shoppers Drug Mart told Adbusters it would no longer sell its magazine.

Aligning himself with Doug and Rob Ford, in 2010 Farber called on Toronto Pride to ban Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from its parade. In an over-the-top Toronto Star opinion piece he (co)wrote, “you’ve got to hand it to the organizers of Toronto’s annual gay pride parade. With their cowardly volte face in allowing Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) to march, organizers have pulled off the PR nightmare hat-trick: bowing to the bullying of political correctness; violating their own core philosophy by readmitting a group rooted in hate and demonization; and shifting media focus off their main objective.”

As executive director of CJC Ontario Farber joined US Jewish groups’ campaign to suppress the 1998 publication of A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth, which was a rebuttal of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s widely distributed Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. The Norman Finkelstein-led project included an expanded version of an article by Ruth Bettina Birn, chief historian for Canada’s Nazi war crimes unit. Farber claimed that Birn was lending her name to Finkelstein’s “anti-Israel outbursts“, which were “an insult” to Jews. The CJC tried to intimidate the longstanding Nazi hunter through her government employer.

In another attempt to punish those in any way associated with Finkelstein, Farber threatened to take the York Region education board to the human-rights commission if it did not dismiss a Palestinian-Canadian from its race relations committee. Farber was angry that Bader Abu Zahra distributed a review of Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering at a teachers’ conference to discuss including “Holocaust and Anti-racist education in History, English and Social Science courses.”

When former Assembly of First Nations (AFN) head David Ahenakew made anti-Semitic comments in 2002 Farber (correctly) criticized them. But he also used Ahenakew’s abhorrent comments to smear Palestine solidarity activists. Alluding to the September 2002 protest against Benjamin Netanyahu at Concordia University and support for the second Palestinian intifada, Farber claimed Ahenakew “felt comfortable at the time to say what he’s been thinking for a long time.” Farber then used Ahenakew’s anti-Semitic comments to push AFN leaders to support a state stealing indigenous Palestinians’ land. As part of AFN/CJC rapprochement Grand Chief Phil Fontaine participated in a CJC organize tour to Israel.

Farber attacked the United Church of Canada for supporting Palestinian rights and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). “It almost sends shivers down our spine that the United Church of Canada won’t speak out against documents which on their face are anti-Semitic,” said Farber, regarding a number of Palestine solidarity resolutions submitted to its 2009 national meeting. Amidst an aggressive campaign targeting the United Church, the CJC head opined, “that a mainstream Christian faith group would provide funding to create an anti-Zionist, and anti-Jewish group is absolutely astounding.”

Farber has repeatedly denigrated IJV, which supports the Palestinian civil society’s call to put economic and diplomatic pressure on Israel. He called IJV a “small, radical rump group”, “a rump on the edge of Jewish society”, a “fringe group” that spews “vile, anti-Zionist” rhetoric, “a minuscule, fringe group” that backs the “anti-Semitic” claim that Israel practices apartheid, etc.

At the same time that he disparaged IJV, Farber gave political cover to the Jewish Defence League (JDL), which recruited in Jewish high schools and participated in Toronto’s Annual Israel Walk. According to Andy Lehrer, JDL head Meir Weinstein spoke glowingly of Farber. After being asked to do so for years, Farber finally distanced himself and the CJC from the JDL in 2011. Highlighting the tension between those who back its anti-Palestinian posture, but oppose the JDL’s alliances with fascist/white supremacist organizations, Farber denounced the group after it rallied in support of Britain’s extremist English Defence League.

In response to my posting some of the above information on Facebook Farber complained that, “I haven’t worked at the CJC for over 7 years. And you have no idea of my work since then.” While Farber is no longer a leading proponent of the idea that expressing support for Palestinians is “anti-Semitism”, now challenges some of the Islamophobia he previously stoked and is offside with the JDL, it would be a stretch to say he’s broken from his CJC past. In 2015 Farber’s Mosaic Institute co-hosted an event with the Consulate of Israel in Toronto and last year he supported the exclusion of IJV and the United Jewish People’s Order from an Ontario anti-Semitism committee he co-led. In February Farber was a spokesperson for a JSpace Canada press release calling on the NDP convention to oppose a resolution that called for boycotting products from illegal Israeli settlements.

Despite this anti-Palestinian activity, many left/liberals partner with him. Alt weekly Toronto Now regularly publishes Farber’s articles; anti-racist journalist/activist Desmond Cole spoke with him at a recent forum put on by Farber’s Mosaic Institute; Judy Rebick, Sandy Hudson, Jerry Dias and others co-authored an op-ed with Farber calling on “Progressive Voters To Rally Around Andrea Horwath”; A slew of individuals have supported the new Farber-chaired Canadian Anti-Hate Network; the Treyf podcast interviewed him twice last year; the Torontoist quoted him in an article titled “Toronto’s Jewish Left is Alive and Well and Resisting Extremism.”

Of course, one could argue there is nothing wrong with interviewing someone you disagree with, partnering on an issue even if you differ on other subjects or citing a former pro-Israel activist to highlight that country’s eroding support.

But, ask yourself this: Would a pro-union publication give voice to a prominent union-basher? And if that union-basher claimed to have changed, wouldn’t the pro-union publication question him/her about the reasons for the change and their current opinion regarding unions?

It seems to me that supporters of Palestinian rights must, at a minimum, ask Farber similar questions before giving him voice as a “progressive” and “anti-racist”.


Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation . To help organize an event as part of the fall tour for my forthcoming book Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada please get in touch at yvesengler [at] hotmail.com

August 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

The story behind the military’s recruitment of Indigenous youth

By Yves Engler · July 31, 2018

Is the Canadian military a friend and ally of First Nations or an exploiter and repressor?

The military’s immense resources and cultural clout certainly enables it to attract indigenous youth to become soldiers. But First Nations have more reason than most to be wary of the Canadian Forces (CF).

A recent Ipolitics story titled “This is where I need to be’: Indigenous military summer programs ‘fantastic’ for young recruits” detailed the CF’s recruitment of Indigenous youth. The article quoted 19-year old Private Brandon Julian saying, “I love Canada … I want to serve this country.”

The story described the Bold Eagle, Raven and Black Bear leadership and training programs for 18-25-year-olds from reserves. Partnering with the Saskatchewan Indian Veteran’s Association and Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the CF launched Bold Eagle three decades ago. It’s a three or four day “culture camp” conducted by First Nations elders “followed by a military recruit training course.”

Receiving input from its Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group, the CF operates various programs focused on Indigenous youth. CF recruiters participate in National Aboriginal Day events and oversee the Aboriginal Entry Plan, a three-week training. In 1971 the CF introduced the Northern Native Entry Program and the military funded Cadet Corps has long worked with band councils and schools on reserves.

The CF has organized international Indigenous exchanges. In 2015 the military sent twelve members of the Northern Canadian Indigenous Sovereignty Patrol and Surveillance Unit to Australia for a series of trainings and events with the largely aboriginal NORFORCE. Canadian Defence Advisor to Australia Colonel Acton Kilby, Canadian Aboriginal Veterans Association President Richard Blackwolf and former Indigenous NHL player Reggie Leach were part of the delegation.

A number of monuments, usually supported by Veteran Affairs, honour First Nations veterans. In Batoche, Saskatchewan, the Métis Veterans Memorial Monument is dedicated to those who “served alongside other Canadian servicemen and servicewomen in the South African War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and in each of the efforts since then to defend our country and contribute to international peace and security.” For its part, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Ottawa says it was “raised in sacred and everlasting honour of the contributions of all Aboriginal Canadians in war and peacekeeping operations.” Apparently, it’s the only official monument in Ottawa commemorating Indigenous peoples or history.

A growing number of landmarks bear the names of Indigenous soldiers. The third Canadian Ranger patrol group headquarters, a monument at CFB Borden and a Parry Sound statue are dedicated to top World War I indigenous sniper Francis Pegahmagabow. World War II and Korea veteran Tommy Prince has a statue, school, street, drill hall, CF base, two educational scholarships and a cadet corps named in his honour.

The CF, government commissions and Indigenous veterans’ associations, often backed by Veteran Affairs, have also produced much laudatory literature on aboriginal veterans. A dozen books and theses, as well as hundreds of articles, detailing First Nations’ contribution to Canadian/British wars mostly echo the military’s perspective of those conflicts.

But, a critical look at the historical record suggests Canadian militarism has, in fact, been a primary tool of the colonial project to steal Indigenous land and enforce settler control. The CF grew out of the British force that conquered large swaths of this land. The ‘father’ of Canada’s army, Lieutenant-Colonel William D. Otter led a force that attacked Cree and Assiniboine warriors in 1885 near Battleford, Saskatchewan, in the Battle of Cut Knife. Without orders to do so, Otter asked permission to “punish [Cree leader] Poundmaker.” As such, the Montreal Daily Star coined the term “Otterism” as a “synonym for merciless repression.”

During the past century the military has expropriated a great deal of Indigenous land for its bases. The most infamous example is Stoney Point, near Sarnia, Ontario, which after a half century of military occupation led to the Ipperwash Crisis in which the Ontario Provincial Police killed Ojibway protester Dudley George.

From low-flying jets in Labrador to DEW Line waste, First Nations have borne a disproportionate share of the military’s ecological footprint. Brian Lloyd, a former British Army bomb-disposal expert who cleaned up Canadian sites, told the New York Times: “In Canada, the military acted like a giant, using Indian land like stepping stones across the country. You find an Indian nation, and you find range contamination.”

Despite claiming not to spy on Canadians, the CF continues to monitor Indigenous dissent. Between 2010 and mid-2011 the CF’s National Counter-Intelligence Unit produced at least eight reports concerning indigenous organizations. In Policing Indigenous Movements Andrew Crosby and Jeffrey Monaghan document their surveillance of 2012-13 Idle No More protests and the CF’s National Counter-Intelligence Unit also monitored the 2013 Mi’kmaq-led anti-fracking camp in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick.

Does it make sense for Indigenous youth to participate in the repression of their communities?

The CF’s glorification of First Nations military participation should not confuse people about the Canadian Forces’ role in enforcing the imperial order here and abroad.

July 31, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

Trudeau’s broken promise part of build-up to war against Iran

Another Liberal broken promise. Before becoming prime minister, Justin Trudeau promised to re-engage with Iran. His government has failed to do so and is beginning to echo the warmongers in Washington and Tel Aviv.

I would hope that Canada would be able to reopen its mission [in Tehran],” Trudeau told the CBC in June 2015. “I’m fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage [Iran],” he said.

Nearly three years into their mandate the Liberals haven’t restarted diplomatic relations with Iran. Nor has Trudeau removed that country from Canada’s state sponsor of terrorism list (Syria is the only other country on the list).

Numerous Canadian sanctions targeting Iran remain and Ottawa continues to present a yearly UN resolution critical of the human rights situation in Iran. Similarly, Liberal MPs participate in the annual “Iran Accountability Week” on Parliament Hill, which showcases individuals such as Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which helped kill the nuclear deal and is pushing harsh sanctions against any country doing business with Iran.

Dubowitz is a senior research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. In 2015 Global Affairs Canada gave the Munk School’s Digital Public Square $9 million to expand an anti-Iranian initiative, which the Trudeau government appears to have maintained.

Trudeau has continued important components of the Stephen Harper government’s “low-level war against Iran”. One major exception had been on the rhetorical front, but that’s changing. In January foreign minister Chrystia Freeland put out a statement saying, “Canada is deeply troubled by the recent deaths and detentions of protesters in Iran” and two months ago tweeted, “Our government is committed to holding Iran to account for its violations of human and democratic rights.” Last month 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 makes Iran responsible for Israel killing Palestinians peacefully protesting the US Jerusalem embassy move, 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.

The Liberals hardline on Iran coincides with Trump withdrawing from the “p5+1 nuclear deal” with Iran and re-imposing tough new sanctions. Now, Washington is threatening to sanction any country that buys Iranian oil. (If the US succeeds Tehran says it will seek to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.)

The US and Israel recently created a “working group” to foment internal protests in Iran. (Demonstrating once again the hypocrisy of US complaints about other countries interfering in its elections.) According to Axios, “Israel and the United States formed a joint working group a few months ago that is focused on internal efforts to encourage protests within Iran and pressure the country’s government.” In May the Washington Free Beacon reported on a three-page paper discussed by the US National Security Council to spark regime change in Iran.

Three weeks ago Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, called for regime change at a National Council of Resistance of Iran conference in Paris. (Harper also spoke at an event led by the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a cultish group that was previously deemed to be a terrorist organization.) Previously Giuliani said, “we got a president who is tough, who does not listen to the people who are naysayers, and a president who is committed to regime change [in Iran].” (In “Follow The Money: Three Billionaires Paved Way For Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal” Eli Clifton describes the role of arch Zionist donors, notably casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, in shaping US Iran policy.)

In April Trump appointed John Bolton as his national security advisor. An important proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bolton has called for bombing Iran, penning an op-ed in the New York Times headlined “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran”.

By breaking his promise to restart diplomatic relations with Iran Trudeau has enabled US-Israeli hawks. In taking up their rhetoric the Liberal Party is further empowering those hurtling towards a major conflict. Shame.

July 24, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

TRUDEAU TO ADMIT TERRORIST AUXILIARIES INTO CANADA

The Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War | July 23, 2018

The fact that Canada is admitting as refugees at least 250 White Helmets and their family members exposes the involvement of the Trudeau government, like the Harper government before it, in the illegal, US-led, regime-change operation in Syria.

These two federal governments are collectively responsible for setting up and continuing the international coalition that produced the proxy war against Syria, using terrorist mercenaries as its foot soldiers; leading the international regime of brutal economic sanctions against Syria which turned about four million Syrians into refugees – (the international sanctions regime was drawn up in a meeting in Ottawa in June 2013); demonizing the legitimate government of Syria, breaking off diplomatic relations with it, and trying to delegitimize it in international forums; supporting armed rebels against Syria, a member state of the United Nations, by bringing their leaders to Ottawa and giving them funds; overflying Syria on military missions without the express consent of its government; and supporting the propaganda arm of the regime change operation through the White Helmets.

Now that the Syrian government has liberated Deraa, where the western-sponsored regime-change operation began in 2011, the “rebels” and their auxiliaries have had to scramble to find places of refuge. Thus, the Trudeau government has felt obliged to admit as refugees to Canada some of their foreign policy assets, namely the White Helmets.

Who are the White Helmets? The White Helmets claim to be a “fiercely independent” organization of volunteer first responders in Syria helping Syrian civilians injured in the war.

In fact, the White Helmets are a fiercely partisan organization of relatively well-paid employees, set up by British and US intelligence services inside of Turkey (a belligerent in the war against Syria) in 2013. A Madison Avenue public relations firm was contracted to develop the concept of the White Helmets as a humanitarian agency for public consumption in the West – to provide a ‘sugar-coating’ to an ugly and illegal imperial war. John Lemesurier, a former British military intelligence officer and later “military contractor”, was hired to front the organization, which has been funded to the tune of about 150 million dollars by the governments of the USA, UK, France, Holland, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, and Canada, among others. In 2016, Canada donated $4.5 million dollars to the White Helmets. Currently, a Freedom of Information request is seeking to determine if the Canadian government has made repeated donations of $4.5 million in 2017 and 2018. On top of the donations, the Canadian government has organized two cross-Canada publicity tours of White Helmet personnel in recent years in various cities. This past March, a delegation of White Helmets was welcomed to speak to the Canadian parliament’s Human Rights Committee. In addition, the New Democratic Party endorsed the White Helmets for the Nobel Peace Prize, which it failed to win.

The White Helmets are embedded in the Al-Qaeda terrorist network and operate exclusively in terrorist-held areas of Syria. Though it also calls itself the Syrian Civil Defence, the government of Syria created the real Syrian Civil Defence in 1953 and was a founding member of the International Civil Defence Organization.

Once in place inside the terrorist-occupied enclaves inside of Syria, the true role of the White Helmets emerged. The group specialized in making videos of dramatically-staged rescues of children from among the rubble of part of cities which Al-Qaeda (and sometimes other terrorist groups) had managed to seize and occupy. Two notorious staged videos stand out: the staged rescues of Omran Daqneesh in Aleppo and Hassan Diab in Douma. Occasionally, however, the White Helmets joined in recreational video competitions, such as the Mannequin Challenge. The twofold principal purposes of the child-rescue videos was, first, to demonize the Syrian government as a brutal tyranny, even though it was lawfully defending its sovereign territory against foreign invasion, and, secondly, to promote the western regime change operation in Syria as a humanitarian intervention.

Specifically, the White Helmet videos were timed to promote calls by western governments for direct military intervention in Syria by such means as a no-fly zone (similar to the one imposed on Libya in 2011) or a “civilian corridor”. And, on at least two occasions, the tactic worked. In April 2017, the White Helmets staged a false flag chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun which prompted a US missile attack on the Sharyat Air Base in Syria. A recent outstanding example of the propaganda use of such videos was the staging of a fake nerve agent attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 of this year. The incident, though later revealed as a hoax by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), nonetheless resulted in over one hundred missile strikes by the USA, UK, and France on Syria on April 13, 2018.

In addition, the White Helmets’ true role as an auxiliary to terrorism was captured on film on several occasions when they participated in Al-Qaeda summary executions and by Facebook postings by numerous White Helmets on their personal accounts showing themselves moonlighting as armed Al-Qaeda fighters and heaping praise on Al-Qaeda leaders. Contrarily, civilians inside the enclaves in Syrian cities liberated from Al-Qaeda and ISIS told many western reporters that the White Helmets provided no medical help or assistance to them, but rather only to the armed terrorists. Moreover, real Syrian Civil Defence workers testified that many of their comrades were killed by Al-Qaeda fighters and their equipment and vehicles given to the White Helmets.

The rescue of the White Helmet “rescuers” by Israel through the Golan Heights should not come as a surprise because Israel has been a major player in the illegal, failed, regime change operation in Syria. Israel has bombed Syria more than one hundred times during the war. Israel openly supported FSA fighters with arms, intelligence, and funding in southern Syria and routinely transferred wounded terrorists to hospitals inside Israel for medical treatment before returning them to the front. Israeli PM Netanyahu posed for photos in one of those hospitals at the bedside of wounded terrorists last year. Today (July 22, 2018), in a tweet, Netanyahu stated that both President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau personally asked for his help in rescuing the White Helmets from Syria.

Syria is well rid of these White Helmets. But, if Canadians understood who these people really were, they would strongly object to the settling of terrorists in our midst. Last November in the House of Commons, Trudeau asserted that Canadians returning from terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq would not be charged with criminal offences. Rather, he asserted, “We also have methods of de-emphasizing or de-programming people who want to harm our society, and those are some things we have to move forward on.” At the end of the day, then, the Trudeau government in effect embraces terrorist fighters and their auxiliaries.

That the Canadian government is planning to admit White Helmets personnel to Canada as refugees should gravely concern Canadians. These civil defence poseurs are ideologically committed to terrorism, personally connected to Al Qaeda, and have the blood on their hands of many Syrians whose country they helped to invade and occupy. The potential for them to cause harm in Canada is high.

We urge Canadians immediately to contact their MP’s about this matter, to spread the alarm via social media, and to write letters to newspapers. We also urge the Canadian government to do the following:

  1. withdraw from the US-led military coalition in Syria and Iraq;
  2. end Canada’s punishing economic sanctions against Syria;
  3. re-establish diplomatic ties with the Syrian government;
  4. participate in the reconstruction of Syria through payments of reparation.

Published by the Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War

hcsw.ca

hcsw@cogeco.ca

For further info, please contact Ken Stone at 289-382-9008 or at kenstone@cogeco.ca

July 23, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadian and Israeli colonialism versus First Nations

By Yves Engler · July 20, 2018

Ironic: Interesting, strange or funny because of being very different from what you would usually expect.

By allowing the Haudenosaunee to travel to Israel for the World Lacrosse Championships on their own passports Canada undermined its colonial authority. But, Ottawa did so at the behest of those promoting the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.

As indigenous peoples, we have both seen our traditional lands colonized, our people ethnically cleansed and massacred by colonial settlers,” the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel wrote the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Nationals on July 4.

“We are asking you to respect our nonviolent picket line by withdrawing from the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships, denying Israel the opportunity to use the national sport of the Iroquois to cover up its escalating, violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians throughout our ancestral lands.”

While a number of Nationals players expressed support for the Palestinians’ plight, the team rejected the call, possibly fearing a fine or banishment from future tournaments. Also affecting the Iroquois’ decision, whose confederacy crosses the Canada-US border, was the political importance they place on competing internationally.

As “the only First Nations team officially sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally”, playing lacrosse internationally is a way to assert their sovereignty, especially when governments accept their Haudenosaunee passports. As such, Canada often makes it difficult for them to travel on their First Nation passports. The Nationals were forced to withdraw from the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in England for that reason.

Last Monday the Nationals were stopped from flying out of Toronto on their Haudenosaunee passports. But, two days later Ottawa came to an agreement with Tel Aviv after Israeli officials, former justice minister Irwin Cotler, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) intervened out of fear their nonparticipation in the tournament would bolster the Palestinian BDS movement.

According to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada granted the team, though “no other Haudenosaunee passport holders, a one-time exemption to travel to Israel using their Indigenous passports.”

In response, the co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, noted on Twitter,

“Justin Trudeau bends Canada’s refusal to recognize Haudenosaunee passports, but only for Israel.”

Anti-Palestinian groups labeled the Nationals participation in the tournament “a victory for Israel”. “The fact that they are here is a tremendous victory against BDS”, exclaimed former Israeli Knesset Member Dov Lipman, who played a key role in navigating intense diplomatic discussions between Canada and Israel, detailed in a Jerusalem Post story titled “The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team’s incredible journey to Israel.”

Born and raised in the traditional territory of the Piscataway, Lipman immigrated from the US to the Israeli city of Bet Shemesh in 2004. Designated as part of the Palestinian state in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Bet Shemesh was built on the ruins of the Palestinian town of Bayt Nattif, which Israeli forces depopulated of non-Jews in October 1948.

For its part, CIJA announced that they “were pleased to play a role in helping the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team overcome challenges related to their journey to participate in FILacrosse 2018 World Championships in Netanya. The team is now en route to Israel.”

The campaign to get the Nationals to Israel is the latest example of Israel lobby groups’ work to thwart those who associate the plight of First Nations and Palestinians. Over the past fifteen years, Jewish and Christian Zionist groups have brought hundreds of First Nations leaders, educators, students and clergy to Israel.

In 2006 the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) took Assembly of First Nations (AFN) leaders, including Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, to Israel. Two years later the CJC sponsored a delegation of indigenous women to the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre. In 2007 and 2010 former Grand Chief of the AFN and head of the Misipawistik Cree, Ovide Mercredi, participated in tours organized by the explicitly racist and colonial Jewish National Fund.

In 2012 CIJA sponsored an Indigenous Tour to Israel with Cree and Inuit leaders as well as indigenous representatives from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, and Greenland. One participant was the Chief of Norway House Cree Nation, Ron Evans. A former Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Evans called Jews “the true, historic Indigenous people of Israel.”

In 2014 StandWithUs Canada sponsored a trip for Ryan Bellerose, a Metis from northern Alberta, who has become a leading Israel advocate. Bellerose writes articles titled “Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel? Yes” and speaks about the “effective use of the indigenous rights argument in Israel advocacy.”

Despite running into trouble for labeling Palestinians resistance members “sewage” and implying that women in Gaza were “goats” or “sheep”, B’nai Brith hired Bellerose as its advocacy coordinator for western Canada in 2016.

In Manitoba, B’nai Brith is part of a Jewish/Aboriginal/Christian Round Table that has promoted indigenous Christian Zionism. One of its acolytes is leading aboriginal Christian Zionist preacher Raymond McLean, who was profiled in a November Walrus story titled “Inside the Controversial US Evangelical Movement Targeting Indigenous People.”

To highlight Israel’s 60th, the pastor of the First Nations Family Worship Centre in Winnipeg launched World Indigenous Nations for Israel. McLean told Israel birthday revelers in Winnipeg: “We are going to be celebrating all year because the Jewish people got their land back that God had promised them.” McLean, who visited Israel 16 times between 2003 and 2012, said: “I believe that since the Jewish people are God’s chosen people, we have to stand with them.”

McLean explicitly dismisses the connection between settler colonialism in Canada and Israel. But, in doing so he employs a terra nullius/Doctrine of Discovery type argument — which was used to justify settling Turtle Island — to deny Palestinian indigeneity. According to McLean:

There were Arab nomads who lived in the Holy Land prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 who were hired by the new Jewish settlers.

Also, neighboring Arabs from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt sought employment and were hired by the Jews who were settling in their new land after returning from exile after 2,500 years to reclaim their inheritance left by the ancestors. These Arabs became known as Palestinians but were originally Arab nomads and neighbors of Israel who Israel endorsed and recognized as Israeli citizens.”

Israel lobby groups have worked hard to build support among First Nations. By enabling the Nationals to participate in the World Lacrosse Championships they succeeded in gaining indigenous cover for the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.

July 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here comes the Mali mission media manipulation

By Yves Engler · July 17, 2018

For the military, shaping media coverage of deployments is what roasting a marshmallow is to a summer camper’s S’mores; there isn’t one without the other.

Even before beginning a small “peacekeeping” mission, the Canadian forces have an elaborate media strategy.

At the end of June, Chief of the Defence Staff Jonathan Vance brought journalists with him on a visit to Mali. They toured the facilities in Gao where an advance team was preparing for Canada’s UN deployment to the African nation. An Ottawa Citizen headline described Vance’s trip as part of an effort at “selling the public on the Mali mission.”

The tour for journalists was followed by a “technical briefing” on the deployment for media in Ottawa. “No photography, video or audio recording for broadcast purposes” was allowed at last week’s press event, according to the advisory. Reporters were to attribute information to “a senior government” official. But, the rules were different at a concurrent departure ceremony in Trenton. “Canadian Armed Forces personnel deploying to Mali are permitted to give interviews and have their faces shown in imagery,” noted the military’s release.

None of these decisions are haphazard. With the largest PR machine in the country, the military has hundreds of public affairs officers that work on its media strategy. “The Canadian Forces (CF) studies the news media, writes about them in its refereed journals — the Canadian Army Journal and the Canadian Military Journal — learns from them, develops policies for them and trains for them in a systematic way,” explains Bob Bergen, a professor at the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. ”Canadian journalists simply do not access the Canadian Forces in the scholarly fashion that the military studies them. There are no peer-reviewed journals to which they contribute reflections on their success or failure as an industry to cover the 1991 Persian Gulf War or the 1999 Kosovo Air War.”

While the tactics have varied based on technologies, balance of power and type of conflict, the government has pursued extensive information control during international deployments, which are invariably presented as humanitarian even when motivated by geostrategic and corporate interests. There was formal censorship during the First World War, Second World War and the Korean War. In recent air wars the military largely shut the media out while in Afghanistan they brought reporters close.

Air wars lend themselves to censorship since journalists cannot accompany pilots during their missions or easily see what’s happening from afar. “As a result,” Bergen writes, “crews can only be interviewed before or after their missions, and journalists’ reports can be supplemented by cockpit footage of bombings.”

During the bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 the CF blocked journalists from filming or accessing Canadian pilots flying out of Aviano, Italy. They also refused to provide footage of their operations. While they tightly controlled information on the ground, the CF sought to project an air of openness in the aftermath of the Somalia scandal. For 79 days in a row a top general gave a press conference in Ottawa detailing developments in Yugoslavia. But, the generals often misled the public. Asked “whether the Canadians had been targeted, whether they were fired upon and whether they fired in return” during a March 24 sortie in which a Yugoslavian MiG-29 was downed, Ray Henault denied any involvement. The deputy chief of Defence Staff said: “They were not involved in that operation.” But, Canadians actually led the mission and a Canadian barely evaded a Serbian surface-to-air missile. While a Dutch aircraft downed the Yugoslavian MiG-29, a Canadian pilot missed his bombing target, which ought to have raised questions about civilian casualties.

One reason the military cited for restricting information during the bombing campaign was that it could compromise the security of the Armed Forces and their families. Henault said the media couldn’t interview pilots bombing Serbia because “we don’t want any risk of family harassment or something of that nature, which, again, is part of that domestic risk we face.”

During the bombing of Libya in 2011 and Iraq-Syria in 2014-16 reporters who travelled to where Canadian jets flew from were also blocked from interviewing the pilots. Once again, the reason given for restricting media access was protecting pilots and their families.

Since the first Gulf War the military has repeatedly invoked this rationale to restrict information during air wars. But, as Bergen reveals in Balkan Rats and Balkan Bats: The art of managing Canada’s news media during the Kosovo air war, it was based on a rumour that antiwar protesters put body bags on the lawn of a Canadian pilot during the 1991 Gulf War. It likely never happened and, revealingly, the military didn’t invoke fear of domestic retribution to curtail interviews during the more contentious ground war in Afghanistan.

During that war the CF took a completely different tack. The CF embedding (or in-bedding) program brought reporters into the military’s orbit by allowing them to accompany soldiers on patrol and stay on base. When they arrived on base, senior officers were often on hand to meet journalists. Top officers also built a rapport with reporters during meals and other informal settings. Throughout their stay on base, Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) were in constant contact, helping reporters with their work. After a six-month tour in Afghanistan PAO Major Jay Janzen wrote: “By pushing information to the media, the Battalion was also able to exercise some influence over what journalists decided to cover. When an opportunity to cover a mission or event was proactively presented to a reporter, it almost always received coverage.”

In addition to covering stories put forward by the military, “embeds” tended to frame the conflict from the perspective of the troops they accompanied. By eating and sleeping with Canadian soldiers, reporters often developed a psychological attachment, writes Sherry Wasilow, in Hidden Ties that Bind: The Psychological Bonds of Embedding Have Changed the Very Nature of War Reporting.

Embedded journalists’ sympathy towards Canadian soldiers was reinforced by the Afghans they interviewed. Afghans critical of Canadian policy were unlikely to express themselves openly with soldiers nearby. Scott Taylor asked, “what would you say if the Romanian military occupied your town and a Romanian tank and journalist showed up at your door? You love the government they have installed and want these guys to stay! Of course the locals are smiling when a reporter shows up with an armoured vehicle and an armed patrol.”

The military goes to great lengths to shape coverage of its affairs and one should expect stories about Canada’s mission in Mali to be influenced by the armed forces. So, take heed: Consume what they give you carefully, like you would a melted chocolate and marshmallow-coated graham wafer.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment