Category Archives: Afghanistan

#Harper’s War(s): #Harpernomics, #C51 and the #NATO Cruz Missile! #cdnpoli #pnpcbc #ctvpp

Much can be gleaned about the rise and tightening grip of the far-right globally if one dares to look outside the box that is framed by the media conglomerates. The repetition that the “media” is somehow a soapbox for the “left” has run it’s coarse as is evident with the rise of the far-right phenomenon that finds the media on board, full steam ahead. At best the media may be a few steps away from the ultra-far right but it is closer to the far-right than ever and is certainly going along to get along. One question may be, are they willingly going along or have they been secretely legislated?.

This mashup summary will be a somewhat long rant that will pose some seriously neglected questions, expose some uncomfortable gaps and potential connections and exploit some rather historical similarities. This summary may be updated but more than likely will branch off into further research. If anything it should prompt many to delve deeper into any of the issues that are connected.

We intend to additionally explore if we are actually in an “official” state of war that has been secretly declared. Is it possible for a War Measures Act to be secretly or subversively implemented? If so, how do we actually know if this is the case and who the “enemy” is? Or is this where “Harper’s Enemies Lists” somehow fits in? This may explain the virtually one-sided presentations across the various conflict zones and hot spots that emanate from the same handful of global conglomerates. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger glacier.

How can an ideological war between the ultra-far-right and the far-right politically or a cultural/tribal/civil war pitting nationalists vs ultra-nationalists militarily, be fought simultaneously at home and abroad?

How far to the “right” must one travel and give up personally to acquire perceived safety and security provided by the oppressive Harper Regime over real life freedom and liberty in the pursuit of prosperity provided by democracy and credible market based capitalism?

How much further to the “right” will the Liberal Party creep and how far will the NDP choose to follow behind?

We only ponder this because some circles are harder to square than others. The further to the right you travel, you’ll notice that moar war and less freedom are on the agenda while the less war factions simply go along to get along for the most part.

We are also beginning to contemplate how the destabilization in Ukraine and Iraq are not being used as some sort of “incentive” to members within the E.U. with regards to expediting and completing the pending cross-Atlantic Free Trade Agreements. Cutting of access to Eurasian markets under the cover of sanctions against Russia seems like a good strategy as is the display of how quickly organized violence against any State can be launched. Add that with the secret TPP and it gets much clearer but we might have to ask Nigel Wright since he has his fingerprints all over the place. The Duffy scandal forces one to consider how much access and influence really had and how he used it to further his own financial portfolio.

How do all of these tie in with the SPP and Bill C-51?

Who are Harper’s advisors anyway and who advises them?

Are these the same type of ideological “foreign policy” advisors that the G.W. Bush Iraq team “employed” to cherry pick reams of intel for a needle in a haystack, pie in the sky, unsubstantiated documents/clauses to fabricate the conditions that justify immediate and massive military intervention?

“We the People” are certainly being groomed for a war of unimaginable scale and consequences, but it will be very, very good for some global investors. The “Police State” conditions are being arranged via the Trojan Horse Bill C-51 to “legally” stifle any/all anti-war and/or anti-austerity protests. There will be no Ottawa Maidan, period. If we were to boil it down to it’s murky base, we would notice that all of the current conflict zones that require liberation are concentrated along various pipelines, energy, transportation, shipping and rail corridors. When the long dust settles, new borders will be redrawn to consolidate and secure trade routes. The real problem is that no State can control what it’s oligarchs invest in or how they invest it, move it, offshore it or divest it. Another thing that is certain is that professional mercenary alliances and the black market only serve those that provide the necessities of war and are loyal only to those that can provide them financing and armaments.

The key fact is that through the various narratives being weaved about Bill C-51, it is a massive Trojan Horse with the anti-war movements in it’s sights. All of the others that will be caught up in this dragnet operation that fall on the “left” side of the political spectrum will be either considered a “bonus” or as acceptable collateral damage and cannon fodder. Keep in mind that fear, intimidation and propaganda plague all cultures/regions and are utilized by multiple overlapping players with their own ultimate agendas. while violent persecution attempts to solve dissent abroad, the “West” achieves this control of dissent easily by way of economic persecution. In either case, the “life” of the individual involved is lost, one by loss of blood, the other by loss of assets/income/credibility/career.

One of the key provisions of Bill C-51 that needs to be examined is the “language” about the censoring of the interwebz of “terrorist” propaganda. If we harken back to WWI and ponder the implications of how propaganda and censorship are used to sell wars and interventions, we need to ask ourselves one fundamentally important question, who decides this opaque definition. Then we need to ask ourselves, where, why and how opaque definition based declarations are decided. The logical follow up question would be who has the most to benefit from the proceeds of the declaration?

If we look at the deteriorating situation in Ukraine from beyond the lens of the AP/Reuters reports, we see a nation that is spiraling into chaos and various oligarchs have their own loyal “volunteer” battalions. Many estimates put these far-right extremist “anti-Russia” mercenary groups at approx 17, each with it’s own vision, mandate and source of funding. The same might be presumably said for the “pro-Russian” side as well. These would be players that are being employed to either secure business interests or expand land claims.

Some other interesting points to ponder may be related to the bursting of the Commodities Super Cycle during a highly concentrated, uncertain, oversupplied and illiquid global market based upon unsustainable debt.

Have we reached peak energy?

How low can the price of oil/energy go before the serviceable-debt bubble pops?

Are these wars being waged to assure that the flow of energy profitability increases in an otherwise oversupplied market?

Since no Central bank or amount of austerity can ever balance the costs of misguided military interventions and the effects of previous omnibus budgets yet to be felt, let’s review a small segment of what has transpired since debt based Harpernomics has replaced surplus based economics.

Even with the massive downloading of costs onto the Provinces without balancing the tax system and revenue sharing, the Federal Debt has exceeded $600 Billion, with debt servicing alone growing daily at a steady clip. Since those costs are immediately download to the Municipalities/etc. the costs to service existing debts becomes an issue that rapidly prevents proper infrastructure maintenance and upgrade investments.

Since Harpernomics has replaced economics with selective inflation based shell-game budgetary tricks to acquire a magical surplus of everything just before an election, the fact remains that job creation continues to lag far behind the amount necessary to accommodate new entries into the work force, wages are stagnant at best and according to the Harpernomicists themselves, the average hours worked per week is in a steady decline and is projected to continue the trend downward.

Will the drop in oil and commodities afford the Harper Regime the “right” to encourage wage reductions throughout the energy sector like they did to the non-outsourced manufacturing sector?

At what point does using a sliding scale for the hours worked considered “full time” for job numbers presented by the Harpernomicists become a purely mythical and unreliable set of digits to an actual number?

Other than the Harper Loyalists, Harpernomicists and apologists, who actually thinks that misguided war waging is free?

Even though the Harper Regime cannot provide a final figure for the Afghanistan intervention, the costs estimates thus far range between $20-30 billion CDN + uncountable collateral damages. The results of the intervention, other than the huge short term gains by military contractors, are far from conclusive. No matter how hard anyone tries or how many times it is invaded and/or occupied it, Afghanistan is going to be whatever it wants to be based upon their own best interests within boundaries on a map that they had no voice in drawing. In the overall case of the invasion, on paper it looked all good and noble and just, but not far under the surface the truth existed. The entire process was manipulated and intelligence was distorted so that one of the more sinister and nefarious minority groups were given authority over the majority. Surely a group will accept “aid” to gain their own syndicate a competitive advantage but there will always be shifting of the balance of power between tribal alliances as power is gained. This is not the first rodeo of this kind for Afghans and they know that any “foreign” presence will be short  sights and short lived in the big picture and have pretty much decided where the boundaries lie between themselves.  The greatly under-reported violence that we see now in Afghanistan is the end result of external military intervention and occupation that allowed certain tribes to immediately fill the vacuum and consolidate “legal” authority by force. Not only that but, the blowback from the flourishing Poppy boom and trade is already being felt globally and the negative effects will be long lasting across the board.

In much the same way the Afghanistan costs were budgeted, contrary to the initial “estimates” provided by the Harper Regime, the Libya intervention Harpernomiced out several times higher at approx. 1/2 billion + uncountable collateral damages that has resulted in a completely insecure failed state embroiled in a civil/tribal war intermixed with various mercenary groups seeking weapons and training. The fact that there were no attempts by Canada or other NATO Allies to secure cooperation with the remnants of the Libyan Military to secure the armories and military facilities is highly suspicious at best. Has anyone pondered the thought that maybe John Baird was communicating about Libya/Syria with Hillary Clinton via her unsecured private email server? What happens if those communications get leaked?

Who is ultimately paying for this high, long-term debt-servicing-cost agenda?

What is the motivation, and what are the true long term costs in blood, currency value and purchasing power, behind the fascinating objective of creating an “invisible” self-perpetuating unsustainable debt burden?

How can Harper promise that 2 wars, in Ukraine and Syria/Iraq, can be fought and funded on the backside of lower oil revenues, stagnant at best wages, massive looming job losses, deflationary housing market pressures and lower tax revenues.

As the debates surrounding war and electioneering take center stage, Bill C-51 and the “delayed” budget simmer away. One affects our assets and the other affects our liberties bad both are being looted by the pro-war insiders. This brings us to a rather oddly timing of the NATO meeting, the U.S. Presidential campaign bid that was declared by Canada’s own export, far-right winger Ted Cruz and the devious election tactics used by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to court, fear-monger and rally the farther-right elements to assure his grip on power. These “faces” present the sell-siders of apocalyptic evangelical wars in their respective domains and propose, foster and initiate discontent within and interventions abroad to protect opaque “national” interests. Ultimately, since Cruz has zero chance just based upon the amount of cash he has, we conclude that he is simply strategic investment in the global game of consensual election engineering and a political pawn that posed no threat to the U.S. status quo. His entry is a pre-election campaign aimed at intended to influence and engage Canadians to bolster far-right support for the Harper Party in the short term from beyond the realm and jurisdiction of Election Canada. Since Cruz is staunchly anti-Obama, pay attention to which slogans and taking points get highlighted, accentuated and repeated by whom, on this side of the border. Then pay closer attention to how the media in the U.S. respond to hostile rhetoric from the anti-Obama/pro-Bibi Harper Loyalists. Then pay attention to how the Liberals respond.

This combination sets the stage for Harper’s  sell-side that supports NATO’s expansion into sovereign Syrian territory against “darker” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire with the bonus prize of additional Ukraine territory to train “lighter” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire that will eventually become a battle hardened menace to the E.U. and the West. Fear not, Harper’s Bill C-51 will protect us.

Is widespread war and discontent the Harper Regime’s reverse Soylent Green Solution for youth unemployment and lack of opportunity?

Are these strategic regions being justifiably destabilized in order to profitably reduce the stockpiles of Cold War era armaments and battle-harden the next generation of unaccountable and subcontract-able mercenary units?

What about the Yemen powder keg that is exploding and what about the current and ongoing collateral damages, dislocations and refugee crisis?

In one instance, international law isn’t relevant as Harper Loyalists proclaim that they are defending the autonomy of “Kurdistan” against a threatening “darker” ultra-far-right terrorist threat emanating from Syria that has no legal standing. One that, oddly enough, is fully armed with American equipment, hardware and armaments and has secured funding from several regional players with varied agendas. We need to remember that “Kurdistan” is a province within Iraq in what amounts to a breakaway region that has been planning and forming an independent State since at least 1991. It is rather obvious that the Sykes-Picot concept over and the position and/or agenda of the Kurds and that of the Iraq Government in Baghdad are not necessarily in sync. Their ultimate vision is the combination of the greater Kurdish regions that span across Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq or maybe the recreation of Assyria. This which would provide “space” for the Kurds to consolidate authority as well as provide regional protection for the remaining Christians and other targeted minorities. The only way for that to unfold would be if the primary players decided to seriously negotiate satisfactory representative regional agreements that settles the power/land dispute between the Sunni and Shiite populations in Iraq and Syria, below Kurdistan. These primary players would have to coordinate with Baghdad and Damascus and consider splitting off Sunni chunks into an independent state that lies between Syria and Iraq. With the hidden civil war in Iraq bubbling over and the chaos in Syria putting more pressure on the border, this seems like the most plausible end-goal as this strategically concentrated and central swath would be able to control the flow of resources and mercenaries between all of the surrounding nations and let the Sunni/Shiite and Islamaphobia battles ensue.

In another instance, in a quasi-mixed role reversal as far as international law is concerned, the autonomy of “Novorossiya” within the Ukraine is being denied to it’s inhabitants while they are being attacked by far-right mercenary groups funded international and regional players with diverging, converging and overlapping interests. Another odd twist with regards to interpretations and reinterpretations of international laws is in the way Crimean autonomy post 1991 has been interpreted

In a coinciding instance in Syria itself, much like the propaganda campaign to bomb freedom into Libya, an actual far-right terrorist threat was detected from a very small and problematic region and was identified as emanating from the same roots as the armed insurrection in Libya. In these cases, the media portrays these known terrorists as peaceful liberators and gives them a free pass to do their dirty deeds without question.

Then we have the Yemen civil war being reignited in what is a very strange play with regards to the loose application regarding international law, violating sovereignty and crossing borders. In this case, unlike Ukraine, the President that fled to safety abroad is given authority over the security situation. In some ways it almost seems as if there are some interesting energy power alliances behind the scenes that may be trying to isolate the House of Saud by drawing them into a trap in Syria or is the House of Saud is pursuing more calculated and nefarious deeds by isolating it’s own allies into convoluted quagmires with it’s adversaries and enemies.

Maybe Gaddafi was right, over the years he repeatedly told all of the Arab leaders that eventually they will all be deposed and replaced eventually, just like Saddam. It is probable that some of those leaders realized this threat existed, or quickly became aware with the prophetic demise of Gaddafi, and have been engaged in developing solid contingency plans for the stability of the most vital economic regions while destabilizing others in-between the regional economic hubs. This situation has the potential to close vital sea traffic between the Red Sea and Arabian Sea and if it accelerates quickly may well put the traffic thru the Persian Gulf at risk/mercy of counter measures since port and seaway blockades are typically dealt with with military means.

All of this will of coarse, allow the price of oil to rise. the problem is that the overall fuel savings did not provide any real measurable “spending the savings” injection into the economy. The price of fuel and energy went way up too fast and for far too long that it was a drain on the overall disposable income of everyone all along. We can now see what a negative effect the post economic crisis energy boom was really having. Considering actual inflation for necessities, Canadians have not seen any measurable savings in the retail, supply chain or transportation sectors due to the reduction in fuel costs, we know that any increases at the pumps, scales or meters will be felt hard by everyday Canadians.

The odd denominator is that even if we were still able to ignore the armed foreign factions, the peaceful anti-regime factions that were caught in the crossfire were all declared terrorists by some and/or liberators by others. Either way, with complete disregard to civilian casualties entire villages and communities are being bombed into ruins by their own government forces vs foreign funded mercenaries that are both engaged in scorched earth policies. Whomever keeps fighting for the most piles of rubble the longest, wins and eventual gains access to various economic aid and stimulus packages with the high interest portion of the debt shifted off as a Government obligation and the next to zero interest portion to the private interests

These facts along countless fronts and lines in-between sides and within context “paints” pretty much anyone and everyone as a hostile target, enemy and/or terrorist threat. It’s only a matter of time before someone/something of importance is downed and the tragedy and chaos that follows. It’s only a matter of time until some politico spouts off the wrong thing that lights the fuse.

Does any of this sound familiar? What about the “geographical” turf being disputed? Look at the “lines” and former boundaries of nations and empires after the tumultuous 1800’s that were drawn on paper pre-WWI. Look for connections to the competing oligarchs, moguls, robber-barons and profiteers that supported the pro-war expansionist parties and lobbies, some of the links still exist today.  and then follow whomever eventually held/holds the war debts of the winners and losers for more insight.

As in the past, the financial structure will be recalculated based upon the final holdings of the competing oligarchs and the division of power that will have afforded themselves. With these “rights” they will reserve the “right” to redraw secure trade routes, “lines” and boundaries in order to forcibly open new markets for some and close them to others. As far as Iraq is concerned, Harper advocated, without question, the deceptive 2003 strategy and subsequent invasion and destabilization of Iraq. Harper Loyalists and apologists ideologically accepted the potential for collateral damage and to this day are committed to pursing an opaque end goal of Middle East liberation and democratization, by hook or by crook. The plan is several years behind and like ll government projects, grossly over-budget and rife with corruption.

Has anyone considered that the “national” interests in Libya that Harper sent the Military to protect were none other than those of Canada’s former spy watchdog, Arthur Porter and other SNC Lavelin insiders? The timing of it all behind the backdrop of the “Arab Spring” that followed the financial “crisis” is rather intriguing. War provides a very effective duck, dust and cover opportunity for those with the inside power to wage war to their own benefit. It is also rather revealing how deep the plot(s) really are and how many of Harper’s current and past advisers and insiders have run amuck or gone rogue.

Moving back a bit to Ted Cruz and the upcoming Harper campaign, let’s ponder a few facts/fictions. The first point is that, in case anyone has not noticed, the far-right Ted Cruz will never win, period, but his “views” on Iraq/Syria, NATO and Ukraine will provide a nice background for Harper’s campaign with it’s shared agenda of instigating hostilities and division and discrediting honest questions, dialog and diplomatic/political compromise. His entry will serve to rally and kettle the far-right fringe groups into more manageable small subgroups that can/will be pigeonholed within the current North American Conservative/Republican base. They will, at least in the short term, be given maximum exposure followed by a carefully controlled rhetoric that mimics the views of the far-right in Canada. This is important because these are the far-right fringe groups that have felt betrayed by the Harper Regime. This propaganda tactic cements them into the Conservative caucus and this empowerment and coverage gives the formerly fractured fringe groups a vast illusion that they will ultimately benefit if victory is achieved, which will further radicalize them. This of coarse, will only radicalize and encourage other far-right-wing anti-elements to thrive. This sets the stage for the able, mobile and nimble enemy of the future to be created and fostered in much the same way as how, what was framed initially as an al Qaeda offshoot, IS/ISIL/ISIS has mystically conquered the Middle East. Strip out the foreign fighters and interventionists and one might be surprised that “We the People” know how to live side by side for the most part and what our regional and national interests are based upon facts on the ground, not dreaming and pondering of right-wing thinktanks.

To truly this perspective one must, at least partially, appreciate how intricate these apparatuses are linked, since this pro-war vs anti-war propaganda phenomenon has often been repeated. One only needs to look back to the pre-WWI era though the various national lenses, media presentations and political rhetoric compared to the rush into the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires and fiasco in Libya. Keep in mind that the declared military campaign was to be “over by Christmas” and lasted years beyond and effectively set the stage for the Stock Market Crash and WWII that set the stage for the Cold War, etc. Since most publications are/were heavily censored depending upon the “official” states of war in each of these cases, one does need to differentiate between the sell-side war players, the active-side war players and the instigating, agitating warmongering and escalation sided players. Combine those sides together and the un-holy trio radicalizes into an axis with the powers of the Wall Street insider syndicates behind them.

Is it possible to acquire a true cost vs benefit to overall society analysis that is not based upon the ideological zero-sum economy that transforms sovereign state wealth into publicly subsidized debt and then concentrates the usury proceeds to the upper percentile? When one considers the above it seems as if the governments of “sovereign on paper” Nations are really nothing more than fronts for various financial criminal cabals and those that require capital.

Until next time, we’ll leave you with the following press release that pretty much sums up the state of the “independent” and “free” press…

News Release Article from  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Statement by Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC, on journalistic independence

March 25, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

One of the pillars of Canada’s broadcasting system—and, in fact, of our country’s democracy—is that journalists are able to report news stories independently and without undue editorial interference. This principle, along with other fundamental journalistic values, is enshrined in the Code of Ethics that was developed by RTDNA Canada (The Association of Electronic Journalists).

Further to section 2(3) of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC has been entrusted by Canadians, through Parliament, to defend the principles of fair comment, freedom of expression and journalistic independence.

That a regulated company does not like one of the CRTC’s rulings is one thing. The allegation, however, that the largest communication company in Canada is manipulating news coverage is disturbing. Holding a radio or television licence is a privilege that comes with important obligations that are in the public interest, especially in regards to high-quality news coverage and reporting.

An informed citizenry cannot be sacrificed for a company’s commercial interests. Canadians can only wonder how many times corporate interests may have been placed ahead of the fair and balanced news reporting they expect from their broadcasting system.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics is administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Canada’s private broadcasters, including CTV, are members of this independent body and must adhere to its codes of conduct. Complaints about this matter should be directed to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for investigation.

We expect Canada’s broadcasters to live up to their responsibilities and adhere to a high standard in their news and information programs.

– 30 –

Contacts

Follow us on Twitter: @CRTCeng

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crtceng

Media relations:
Tel.: 819-997-9403; Fax: 819-997-4245

General inquiries:
Tel.: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423; Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free No.: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD – Toll-free No.: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Ask a question or make a complaint

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

source: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=955409


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#Harper’s War(s): Ten + Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force #cdnpoli #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

With the hyper-accelerations and unprecedented fear-mongering campaign being waged upon “We the People” of Canada and our “Allies” with regards to the “terrorist” threat posed by IS/ISIL/ISIS. With the recent tragic friendly-fire death of a Canadian soldier, the reports that an Agent employed by a Canadian intelligence organization was involved in the delivery of the 3 U.K. schoolgirls into Syria and the media blackout by the Canadian media conglomerates regarding the very important Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing titled “The President’s Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts” (AUMF), we feel it is necessary to republish an open letter by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich Members of Congress detailing 10 reasons to vote against the use of military force.

The reason this is of utmost importance is that the Harper Regime is hell-bent on furthering our military intervention and has thus far been less than transparent, actually rather deceptive and opaque, regarding our role in Iraq/Syria and beyond while the U.S. is proposing an initial 3 year open ended commitment. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s proposed resolution authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State contains no geographic limitations. The proposal allows attacks on “associated persons or forces” or any “closely related successor entity” to IS/ISIL/ISIS that is at war with the United States or its partners.

Yes, this is the very same Dennis Kucinich that announced the raising of the Al Qaeda flag over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya back in November 2011 after the “successful liberation” of Libya by NATO air power. Oddly enough, the Canadian military predicted Libya would descend into civil war and Top Pentagon officials distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya as well.

We may also presume why John Baird has decided to “quit” the game of geo-poltics, maybe there was too much blood on his hands and realized that the fix is in within the Harper Regime. Now this is extremely problematic considering the rush by the war-mongering Harper Regime to ram Bill C-51 through and the implications of these combined issues. Within a few days we have several “Allies” that are publicly stating views that counter the narrative of not only the Harper Regime, but our so called “free and independent” media conglomerates. Unlike the coordinated one-sided Ukraine/Russia propaganda campaign, this poses such an interesting and convoluted conundrum that even the AP and Reuters can’t seem to deliver a straight storyline. This is presumably, much like the dueling Israel/Iran narrative, due to the fact that their dueling narratives reach a much broader audience on both sides of the false left/right paradigm with the single solid connection that there are a small group of fear-mongering war-profiteering NeoCons within both “official” political Parties, whether they may be Liberal/Democrats or Conservative/Republicans. Below this open letter, we will embed the above mentioned video uploaded by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich along with another article titled “How Governments Twist Terrorism” since there seems to be no clear “definition” being presented by the Harper Regime with regards to Bill C-51 and the Harper Regime members of the Committee seem to have a serious problem asking questions of the witnesses and instead are presenting monologs to the witnesses.


Ten Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force

Dear Colleague,

I was honored to serve in Congress for 16 years. During that time I provided information and helped to create debates over U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other nations, defending the Article I, Section 8 responsibilities of Congress on matters of war and peace. Those of you who know me are aware that I avoid partisanship. I have challenged Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

Congress rightfully lacks confidence in this administration, given its bungling of a war against Libya and its general mishandling of international policy.

Why would Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, be so ready to give up its constitutional power to this president with an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which represents a wholesale appropriation of war power?

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

I present some thoughts for your consideration as you enter into a momentous, new debate over the authorization of military force, this time against the Islamic State.

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

Here are 10 reasons why Congress should not grant the president authority to use military force against the Islamic State, based on fact, consequences and the U.S. Constitution:

  1.  ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland.

Writing in The American Conservative, Senior Editor Daniel Larison points out that the U.S. is taking on an unnecessary risk:

“… the U.S. mistakenly volunteers to address a regional security problem that poses no real threat to America, [while] its regional partners do as little as they can get away with, and in some cases stop doing even that in order to get the U.S. to take additional risks on their behalf.”

If the U.S. enters the fray, of course, regional partners will let us do the fighting.

There is no credible information available that indicates ISIS is a direct threat to the U.S. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “Lawmakers Told Islamic State Isn’t Terror Threat on U.S. Soil,” Congress has already been advised by U.S. counterterrorism officials that ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland. Additionally, no new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been produced alleging ISIS is a direct threat to America. However, an all-out U.S. war against ISIS could expose America to unnecessary threats, without any national security benefits.

  1. The AUMF disingenuously calls for a “limited” war, while it is written to guarantee a permanent war, thus nullifying the power of the people’s representatives in Congress.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution were vitally concerned with the separation of powers, especially when it came to war. The power to declare war is vested in the Congress, in Article I, Section 8. The AUMF is written to enable the administration to conduct war, unilaterally, against any group, anywhere, at any time, over a period of three years, which opposing combatants will ignore.

If the administration succeeds in gaining approval for this particular AUMF, it will not have to return to Congress for approval as it takes its war from nation to nation. This is clearly contrary to the intent of the founders. It weakens Congress’ constitutional power (checks and balances) and undermines the Constitution.

  1. The AUMF is a blank check and a fiscal black hole.

Since the AUMF sets the stage for a worldwide conflict, the cost of action will run into the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars, particularly if ground troops are involved in a war with religious overtones that go back 14 centuries. This war will inevitably require an emergency wartime supplemental appropriation and massive borrowing, adding to the $16 trillion U.S. deficit and weakening the U.S. economy internally while providing great wealth to war profiteers who are already draining America’s wealth.

  1. Regional armies appear to be rising to their own defense; U.S. presence will escalate war.

At this very moment ISIS is finally under pressure from Iraqi forces and pro-government militias, without U.S. boots on the ground. Additionally, ISIS is said to be experiencing internal pressures and conflicts. The Washington Post points out: “The Islamic State is battling major offensives waged on at least three fronts — by Kurds in northern Syria, Kurds in northern Iraq and the combined force of Iraqi army and Shiite militia fighters advancing on the central Iraqi city of Tikrit.”

“…the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An [U.S.] invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide … they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims.” — Graeme Wood in the Atlantic Magazine, March 2015.

ISIS desperately needs to draw the U.S. in, to provide a rallying cry “against the foreign invader.” Why should America put our troops in harm’s way to provide this terrorist organization with new life, especially since armies in the region are stepping up to take the fight to ISIS?

In the AUMF, the president wants language that provides for U.S. ground forces to have “flexibility.” Read: “Boots on the ground!” If Congress passes the AUMF, it will have no say in the conduct of this war, except for appropriations.

  1. The U.S. could get drawn into a worldwide religious war.

President Obama says, “We are not at war against Islam.” Congressional approval of the president’s request for the AUMF against the Islamic State will change that quickly. The AUMF will become a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS. How else will it be interpreted abroad, other than America at war with Islam? The U.S. could blunder into a complex, multidimensional conflict with explicit religious overtones, no matter what the president says.

ISIS wants to draw the U.S. into a religious war, to secure its role as the self-proclaimed defender of Islam against crusading foreign invaders.

Jihadis, anticipating a great war for Islam, have streamed into the region from all over the world to join ISIS ranks. An estimated 20,000 fighters from 90 nations have converged to fight alongside ISIS.

“This is a fight the Islamic State should be denied. And yet we should have learned that it is a bad idea to get into a ground war with people whose idea of victory is martyrdom.” — Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2015.

  1. ISIS and Al Qaeda are divided. US re-entry into war could unite them.

ISIS and Al Qaeda are in a deep rift. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri differ on strategy, tactics, methods, religious interpretations and on Baghdadi’s establishment of a caliphate.

An all-out U.S. military attack against ISIS will force Al Qaeda into an alliance it does not want, to join ISIS in a “fight against Western invaders,” creating a united front much stronger and more deadly to America and her allies.

  1. A Solution: Follow ISIS’ money, and shut it down.

Where is ISIS getting its money? Up to 100,000 ISIS fighters are funded by Gulf State donors, identified in the past as being from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Fully equipping and providing for one modern combat-ready soldier can cost $850,000 to $1,000,000 a year. ISIS’ army could be gaining $85 billion to $100 billion a year from various sources. We can either commit the U.S. military to another war, and the U.S. to further risk of impending attacks through the genesis of a new crusade, or we can fight this threat with intelligent power and high technology.

The administration must identify the specific sources of ISIS’ money, the individuals, the nations and the means of transfer, and shut them all down. It must sanction countries and individuals, tie up their bank accounts and commercial activities, freeze their assets and cancel their credit cards. Send platoons of accountants from the Treasury Department and the IRS into the fray, not platoons of U.S. soldiers. The U.S. must track oil sales, sales of antiquities and other valuables. Anyone involved in any transactions of any kind with ISIS must be identified and sanctioned.

  1. Solution: Cyber response.

The U.S. has the ability to identify and disrupt terror networks using digital technology. The CIA, in a major reorganization, has just created a fifth directorate, the Directorate of Digital Innovation, in recognition that intelligent power means using the most technologically advanced tools available. For its part, the NSA, which has admitted gaps, is also strengthening its information collecting. If, as Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” in the 21st century we  have other means to avoid a “boots on the ground” shooting war.

  1. Endless wars enable Washington to ignore a domestic agenda.

It has been said that others attack us in order to destroy the way we live. Since 9/11, our own government has been responsible for shredding the Constitution through wars of choice and the imposition of a national security state with a permanent state of emergency.

The U.S. now spends about $1 trillion a year to “defend” America using lethal means. Yet the more money we spend, the greater the peril. Why? Meanwhile, at home, America’s middle class is falling apart, wages and benefits have dropped, retirement savings have vanished and Wall Street and war profiteers clean up. Americans, punished through unwarranted, massive surveillance, have forfeited constitutional rights and civil liberties. The right to privacy, which is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, has been destroyed in the name of security.

  1. The time has come for the U.S. to review the effects of interventionism.

ISIS grew out of U.S. interventions. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have disintegrated into chaos and violence. The price tag has been extraordinary in loss of human life and the cost of trillions of dollars. Bad judgments, misinformation and even lies have caused our nation to intervene, inspiring radical elements, stoking the fires of nationalism and engendering religious conflict. A great price has been paid and continues to be paid by our troops and their families.

This is the time for Congress and the administration to rethink the failed national security strategy, the failed doctrine of intervention, the failed “right to protect” doctrine and the abominable intrusion into the private lives of Americans.

Congress must refuse to give up its constitutional power under Article I, Section 8 and hold the executive branch in check on matters of war. It should defeat the AUMF and stop the administration from spreading war around the world.

Congress has a new opportunity to get control of runaway spending and keep America strong without wasting resources. In my early years in Congress, I was shocked to learn, from the inspector general to the Department of Defense, that DOD had over $1 trillion in accounts that could not be reconciled. According to the GAO, the Army “lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch units.” The Constitution, Article I, Section 9, requires an accounting. With the national security budget at $1 trillion annually, and trillions spent for wars of choice, and a trillion unaccounted for, and countless billions in cost overruns, the question is who is defending the taxpayers?

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force provides a new opportunity for a much-needed debate over the direction of America, our priorities and the best way to protect our nation from harm. Thank you for considering my views.

Respectfully,

Dennis Kucinich
Member of Congress 1997 – 2013

source: http://www.kucinich.com/?_escaped_fragment_=10-Reasons-to-Vote-Against-the-Use-of-Military-Force/c1z12/5500a8330cf27b8ab26b528e
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/open-letter-to-members-congress-about-authorization-to-use-military-force/


Uploaded on Nov 2, 2011

Hi, Congressman Dennis Kucinich here. I just got off the phone with a very well-known talk show host from Cleveland, Mike Trivisonno, who told me about calls that he is getting from people who are concerned that there is an Al Qaeda flag flying over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya. It was put there by the same group that we helped to oust the Gaddafi regime.

What is going on in America? On the one hand, we have soldiers dying in Afghanistan fighting Al Qaeda. On the other hand, we just helped a group of people take over Libya and the Al Qaeda flag is flying over their capital city headquarters.

What are we doing? It is time for America to get its story and its priorities straight about what we stand for as a nation. Its time to get out of all these wars and all of these conflicts where we think we can play both sides against the middle and it usually ends up with U.S. soldiers getting killed.

Its time to bring our troops home and take care of things here at home. As we approach Veteran’s Day 2011, we should really honor those who serve by having a foreign policy that is straight. That speaks directly to the concerns of the American people. That is mindful of the fact that we can’t tell the whole world what to do and we have an obligation to get our own house in order here at home and put people back to work.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FQzhWy0VI


How Governments Twist Terrorism
By Philip Giraldi | March 12, 2015

States craft terror definitions and designations to absolve themselves and satisfy their constituencies.

The Washington Post reports that “terrorism trend lines are ‘worse than at any other point in history.’” But what is terrorism? It has frequently been pointed out that “terrorism” is a tactic, not an actual physical adversary, but it is less often noted that a simple definition of what constitutes terrorism is hardly universally accepted, while the designation itself is essentially political. The glib assertion that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter fails to capture the distinction’s consequences as the terror label itself increasingly comes with a number of legal and practical liabilities attached. Describing an organization as terroristic in order to discredit it has itself become a tactic, and one that sometimes has only limited connections to what the group in question actually believes or does.

The bone of contention in defining terrorism is where to draw the line in terms of the use of violence in furtherance of a political objective. In practice, it is generally accepted that state players who employ violence do so within a social framework that confers legitimacy, while nonstate players who use political violence are ipso facto terrorists, or at least susceptible to being tagged with that label, which confers upon them both illegitimacy and a particularly abhorrent criminality. But some on the receiving end of such a Manichean distinction object, noting that the laws defining terror are themselves drawn up by the governments and international organizations, which inevitably give themselves a pass in terms of their own potential liability. They would argue that established regimes will inevitably conspire to label their enemies terrorists to marginalize both resistance movements and internal dissent in such a way as to diminish the credibility of the groups that are so targeted. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently been doing precisely that, and one might reasonably argue that government use of violence is often in practice indistinguishable from the actions of nonstate players.

Some common dictionary definitions of terrorism include engaging in “the systematic use of terror,” surely an indication of the inscrutability of an issue when the word must be used to define itself. The United Nations has been unsuccessfully negotiating a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism since 2002 that would define terror as causing death or serious injury or destroying or damaging public or private property “to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”   The United States Federal criminal code uses similar language, as does the Patriot Act, with the key elements being the use of violence or physical destruction to “intimidate or coerce” a civilian population or an existing government.

Governments are aware of what can be accomplished by invoking the word “terrorism.” The diplomacy-averse United States frequently hides behind the label, as it is prohibited by law from negotiating with groups so-labeled, and thereby avoids having to confront the possible legitimacy of what they represent. And it also justifies a uniformly violent response, which is invariably described as self-defense.

Fourteen years ago the “global war on terror” was used to justify wholesale American intervention in predominantly Muslim countries. A number of European countries, including France and Britain, have followed the example of the two Patriot Acts by introducing antiterrorism legislation that provides special police and intelligence service authorities that limit normal legal protections in terrorism cases. The broadly written laws have largely rendered the authorities immune from either regulation or prosecution, and governments in the West have generally been reluctant to allow any third-party inquiries into the related behavior of military and police forces. In the United States the state secret privilege, originally intended to prohibit the exposure of classified information in court, has been used to completely derail judicial proceedings relating to offenses allegedly committed by the government in terrorism cases.

And critics of the essentially hypocritical double standard used in defining terrorism certainly have a point. One might reasonably argue that the use of drones, in which “signature” targets are killed because they match a profile, fits comfortably within the definition of terrorism. During 2003-4, American Army and Marine forces in Fallujah sometimes shelled and bombed targets in the city indiscriminately and were certainly responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths. The Israeli Defense Forces killed thousands of civilians in two incursions into Gaza as well as several attacks on Lebanon. There was no declaration of war to justify the use of armed force in either case, and independent observers noted that many of the civilian casualties could have been avoided, normally a defining factor that makes an incident terror. Both Israel and the United States turned the tables on the situation by referring to their opponents and victims as “terrorists.” There has been no accountability for the deaths because it was two governments that carried out the killing.

In a world seemingly obsessed with terrorism it was inevitable that something like an anti-terrorism industry would grow dramatically. Every television and radio network has its own stable of pundits who pontificate on every violent incident, and there also are well-compensated freelancers, who describe themselves as experts, such as Evan Kohlmann and Steve Emerson. Emerson recently had to apologize after claiming that Birmingham, England had a number of no-go areas controlled by local Muslim extremists.

It should be no surprise that lawyers have now also gotten into the game. In 1996 Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which allows victims of terrorism to file civil suits in federal and state courts against sponsors or supporters of terrorism. Once you have a group or individual labeled as terrorist, or providing assistance to terrorists, there are a number of options you can pursue. The burgeoning antiterrorism industry appears to be in some ways linked to the increasing employment of Lawfare, which uses the legal system to wage war by alternative means, making it possible to obtain a favorable judgment and damages from the assets of a recognized terrorist organization. Such litigation benefits from favorable legislation in the United States that makes terrorism a worldwide crime subject to U.S. judicial review.

Recent court cases have involved both states that allegedly sponsor terrorism or actual organizations that are now parts of governments that either currently or at one time were perceived to be terrorists. Many of the groups targeted are enemies of Israel, and the Israeli Lawfare center Shurat HaDin is most active in pursuing such litigation. In a recent case in New York City, the Palestinian Authority was successfully sued by a group of Israelis and Americans over terrorist attacks that took place in Israel in 2002-4. If the appeal fails, the Palestinian Authority will be required to pay $1 billion in damages and will be bankrupted, with negative consequences for the United States, which has been seeking to create a viable government on the West Bank.

The U.S. Department of State identifies four countries as state sponsors of terrorism, making them prime targets for sanctions and other legal action. They are Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. Cuba is an anomaly as it has not threatened anyone in decades but remains on the list due to the deep passions within America’s politically powerful Cuban Lobby. Sudan likewise should not be so designated, as even the U.S. government admits that it is cooperative on terrorism issues.

This leaves Syria and Iran, both of which are regarded as state sponsors of terrorism even though both are themselves victims of terrorist attacks carried out by groups supported by the United States. They are on the list because they harbor or cooperate with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. All three groups consider themselves to be resistance movements against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, but Israel regards all three as terrorists, a view shared by the United States on the state department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. That viewpoint is not necessarily shared by many European governments, which regard the organizations as having evolved into legitimate political parties. There are also thousands of individuals and groups considered to be terroristic or criminal, collected by the U.S. Department of Justice on its Special Designated Nationals List. Individuals and organizations on the list have their assets blocked and are subject to other punitive action by the United States government.

Being designated by the Department of the Treasury or state does not necessarily mean that someone or some organization was actually involved in terrorism. The Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity, was declared a terrorist organization in 2001. Its officers were convicted and imprisoned in a 2008 trial because the Treasury Department determined ex post facto that it had given money to Hamas before that group was itself named as a terrorist organization.

Inclusion on the State or Treasury lists can mean that there is solid evidence of wrongdoing, but it can also represent mere insinuations or a strong desire to see a group singled out for punishment. In any event, once a group or person is designated for a list, it is difficult to get off. Organizations that have not engaged in terrorist activity for many years remain on the list while other groups that are active escape censure. Recently, the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that killed six Americans in the 1970s, was removed from the list under political pressure from Congress and the media. Again, Israel was involved. MEK is an enemy of the current government in Tehran and is itself an important component of the Israeli intelligence effort against Iran, having been involved in the fabrication of information suggesting that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program as well as participating in the assassinations of Tehran’s scientists.

So what terrorism actually consists of very much depends on one’s perspective, rendering the word itself largely meaningless. But those who are listed as terrorists experience real consequences even accepting that the designation is both selectively applied and politicized. The United States and Israel in particular use the terrorism label to demonize opponents, drum up fear, and generate popular support for security policies that might otherwise be unpalatable. They also justify their own behavior by asserting that they occupy the moral high ground in the defense of the world against terror, a claim that certainly should be regarded with considerable skepticism.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-governments-twist-terrorism/

 

 


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What is the #Harper Delegation to #Ukraine hiding from #cdnpoli? #CPC #GPC #NDP #LPC

We would like to probe and issue that will most surely have dire consequences regarding the escalating situation in Ukraine. For this summary article we will purposely exclude the propaganda that is being repeated by virtually all of the msm outlets and conglomerates as they are readily available elsewhere and more than likely already embedded into your subconscious via the unrelenting narrative. Instead we will take this opportunity to explore the darker information that has been hidden in plain sight all along.

We believe that this seemingly purposeful commission is the most troubling aspect of the Regime’s delegation that is completely outta touch with reality as the history and run up to WW1 and WW2 has shown us, it only takes one useful idiot and some carefully crafted propaganda to spark a war of epic proportions and collapse the entire global economy as well as millions of lives that are lost, displaced and impoverished for generations. Typically politicians are usually self-serving dupes serving the interests of globalist investors that hide behind the scenes as advisers.

It is also worth noting that, as far as we are concerned, the entire Harper Party along with the Opposition Party’s and all of the msm conglomerates are either intentionally and/or conveniently following the narratives from “both” sides, ignoring and/or simply ignorant of the facts on the ground as well as history and/or willingly complicit and/or being truly opportunistic capitalists by purposely suggesting that this is a battle between the “democratic” EU and the “repressive” Kremlin in this violent uprising. More simply the msm keeps reporting this as a battle being waged by Putin’s Russia to prevent Ukraine’s “integration” into the EU. If so, the Right Sector that is controlling the ground in Ukraine is having none of that as they are against any integration into either side of the equation.

Below are 5 points to ponder and as you review the information below and keep in mind that the leader of the Right Sector was also fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan at the same time that Osama bin Laden’s Muhajahadeen, predecessors to the modern day al Qaeda, were fighting the Soviets. This would seem rather important considering the seemingly never-ending and long lasting implications that the multi-trillion dollar “War on Terror” has brought forth, not to mention the countless lives and casualties of innocent civilians caught in the chaos and destruction as well as the thousands upon thousands of affected Military personnel that thought they were fighting for our collective freedom.

  • Why is the Harper Regime playing partisan games with the Ukraine issues and what are they hiding besides the neo-nazi fascist Svoboda Party and the paramilitary Right Sector’s involvement?
  • Is this simply another attempt at pandering for votes like the 9 figure pilgrimage to Israel or is something more sinister at play?
  • Why is the focus of the msm being shifted to Crimea exclusively, with daytime images, propaganda and video being repeated, and away from the radically right-wing controlled Maidan in Kiev, with nighttime images and video being repeated?
  • Why is there such an absence of any reporting from any of the other regions in a rather large and diverse country?
  • Will these unseen events eventually lead to perpetual civil wars that will spill across all borders in all nations or simply be isolated with Ukraine?

Below are several interviews that should be read, re-read and shared to really understand some of the underlying powers structures now that the Ukraine vacuum has been created. Keep in mind that this is essentially the “militia” that now controls the security services for all intents and purposes…

Interview with Dmytro Yarosh, Leader of Right Sector

7 Feb 2014

YaroshUkrains’ka Pravda, 4 February 2014, 15:59

Dmytro Yarosh, Leader of Right Sector: When 80% of the Country Does Not Support the Regime, There Can’t be a Civil War

An Interview by Mustafa Nayyem and Oksana Kovalenko (Translated from Ukrainian by William Risch)

Dmytro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, has been the least well-known figure over the past two months. Just two weeks ago, only a narrow circle of people involved with organizing the Euromaidan even knew about the very existence of the Sector and Yarosh. Today, it’s impossible not to describe events in Kyiv without mentioning Right Sector.

On January 19, after events on Hrushevskyi Street started, world media exploded with fiery scenes of young guys with Molotov cocktails and masks over their faces. Right Sector’s actions tore the term “peaceful protest” to pieces, but at the same time, Right Sector forced the regime to listen to the Maidan and repeal the January 16 laws.

The headquarters of this still informal group is on the fifth floor of the Trade Unions’ Building. Photography is forbidden in the hallway, numerous matresses are spread on the floor, next to which, besides wood and metal sticks, lay textbooks – most of Right Sector’s members are young guys of university age.

We met Dmytro Yarosh in one of the floor’s offices – two by three meters – where Right Sector press conferences usually take place. Here, too, is the fully-equipped office for the sector’s leader. Three guys with walkie-talkies, dressed in camouflage, with masks over their heads, man the office’s “reception room.”

THEY CALL ME A HAWK IN TRIDENT

What is your personal story, and what have you done with your life?

I am leader of the all-Ukrainian organization, Stepan Bandera Trident. I have been involved in public life for the past 25 years. I’m from Dniprodzerzhyns’k, in the Dnipropetrovs’k Oblast’ (Region). I raised the first blue-and-yellow flag in April 1989 in Dniprodzerzhyns’k.

I was one of the founders of the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Rukh). I was a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union; in 1989 I received recommendations (to join it) from Levko Luk’ianenko and Stepan Khmara in Moscow, on the Arbat, where we picketed then for the renewal of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s activities. Since 1994, as a founder of the Stepan Bandera Trident, I have had various positions in it: first as leader of Trident’s city structure, then as leader of its oblast’ structure, then its regional one, and so on.

I was commander of the organization from 1996 to 1999, then I was chief inspector of Trident, then I became commander of the organization again, then I passed on my duties as chief commander to my successor, Andriy Stempits’kyi. I’ve actually spent a lifetime in this. I have been trained as an instructor of Ukrainian language and literature, and in 2001, I finished the Drohobych Pedagogical University in the Philological Faculty.

How did Right Sector emerge?

There was a big protest in Kyiv on November 24-25 because of the decision to cancel the Eurointegration program. In general, Trident is not an active supporter of any integration processes, but we announced that we would create Right Sector as a platform for coordinating the actions of various revolutionary-oriented groups, because to a considerable degree, from the very beginning, we were perfectly aware that we couldn’t live in the system of state structures that has existed up to now.

Right Sector fully emerged after the events of November 30, when we went out to protest on Mykhailivs’kyi Square.

It was there that we started training and getting our defenses ready. Then we were at the Maidan all the time, and we entered the Maidan’s self-defense force. Other organizations that entered Right Sector were Trident, UNA-UNSO (Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense), and Carpathian Sich from the Subcarpathians.

Have you conducted training before?

Yes, for 20 years. We already have a lot of generations who have been changed by it. My kids were small at one time, and now my daughter is 20 years old, and she’s spent her whole life in Trident.

Trident is an organization with narrow operations, like an order of knights. We have three specific tasks: propagandizing the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism as interpreted by Stepan Bandera; raising up Ukrainian youth in a spirit of patriotism; and national defense activity, that is, defending the honor and dignity of the Ukrainian nation in all forms by all methods and means available.

In general, Ukrainian nationalism and Banderites are not narrow-minded plebs with sadistic tendencies; these are intellectuals, people who write, who publish, who are involved not just in using force. Trident is an organization that produces certain ideas.

We are not a political party. In Trident, we’re even forbidden from taking state jobs.

Serhiy Kvit, President of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, is among Trident’s well-known members. He’s my good friend and comrade. At one time, he was a sotnyk in our organization. There’s also Petro Ivanyshyn, a doctor of philology, head of an academic department at the Drohobych Pedagogical University, who was also a sotnyk.

Where exactly do these training sessions take place?

At camps throughout Ukraine: Dnipropetrovs’k, Dniprodzerzhyns’k, Kryvyi Rih, Pavlohrad, Nikopol’ and so on. Guys get together, and they have their plan of activities for a month, for half a year, for a year. They go through training and lessons. They conduct various events aimed at the de-communization and decolonization of Ukraine.

I think you’ve heard about events from 2011, when our mobile group blew up the head of Stalin’s bust in Zaporizhzhia; that was a rather notorious thing.

We never made PR out of it. We simply do what is for our nation’s good, for our state’s good. Those of us who can do it close down drug dealerships and help law-enforcement organs (if you can call them that, because it seems to me that the police are the most active drug dealers).

Was what happened on January 19 on Hrushevs’kyi Street something planned in advance?

No, of course not. We were always on the front lines those two months. The dictatorship laws that were passed January 16 were the stimulous for these events. We couldn’t live under state rules like those. On January 19, Automaidan activists drove up, and they wanted to go to the Supreme Rada and picket it. Right Sector came up there in organized fashion when hundreds of people were already there.

We tried to talk with the police and get them to agree to let us through. They responded rather aggressively. And what happened next, you know – we committed active deeds, and our guys defended the people. And I think that what happened was very good, because if it hadn’t been for those events on the nineteenth, I don’t think the regime would have made concessions and negotiate with the opposition.

How many of your people are at the Maidan?

Around 1,500 people, along with a mobilization reserve from Kyiv. But right now, affiliates are emerging all over Ukraine. They are organizing on their own, they call themselves Right Sector, and we are working to coordinate their activities as much as possible.

How many people in general can you mobilize across the country?

I think that for now, we can already mobilize 4,000 – 5,000 people.

How do you finance your organization?

I am not involved in that issue, but it’s all financed by people. We even opened up bank cards, but they were blocked right away. And after January 19 – there’s just been a flood of help. We need everything, because we’ve been here for two months already. People bring packs of money. We keep a complete account, everything is transparent, and guys buy equipment with the money.

Tell us about your organization’s structure.

The structure will be completely finalized after these events. Right now, Right Sector is a completely orderly organization; it’s not at all an extremist one, or a radical one; in general, I don’t like the word “radical.” Right now there is a unit on the Maidan, there are units in the oblasts, and there are spontaneous groups that have emerged. We invite leaders, we talk with them, we look to see if these are decent people, and then we make decisions about them. Right now we have started coordinating our actions with those of Afghan War veterans, too. They haven’t officially entered Right Sector, but we now coordinate our activities with them completely, because I don’t bring guys together just like that.

How do you make decisions?

There are strategic decisions, there are emergency ones, and there are tactical ones. People themselves make them at all levels. Regarding strategic matters, we discuss this or that problem with a leadership group of up to 12 people, including me, and we make a decision. And all the commanders decide all the other things. For example, we have Iranian – he makes a decision in his group whether or not to send people to the barricades.

Iranian? Is he from Iran?

No, that’s just his pseudonym. All the guys have pseudonyms for obvious reasons, because we live in such a state system. For example, since 1994, I have had the code name Hawk (Iastrub) in Trident. And we have one Pylypach and one Letun. Everyone chooses his own name, just like in the Cossack Sich.

AFTER JANUARY 19, NOT A SINGLE OPPOSITION LEADER CAME UP TO SEE OUR GUYS

Do you coordinate your activities with opposition forces?

First of all, we have relations with Andriy Parubiy as Maidan commander and de-facto leader of Self Defense (Samooborona), which we formally belong to as the 23rd hundredth (sotnia), though we have over 1,500 people.

But if you talk about the entire opposition, for the most part, we have no relations with them at all. They don’t recognize our existence. It seems to me that this is a big mistake of the opposition, that they don’t consider the forces of the Afghan veterans, Right Sector, or even Self Defense.

It seems to me that even Andriy Parubiy doesn’t have such an easy time coordinating actions with the trio of opposition leaders. Because I see some of the remarks that they make there. Andriy says one thing, while the leaders say something slightly different.

For example, I’m surprised that after January 19, opposition leaders didn’t come upstairs and thank the guys. Approach people, talk with them. These are live people, and they’re good, too.

Yesterday, a television crew came by, and the cameraman said, “I was surprised. One guy was reading a textbook on materials’ resistance, while the other was fluent in English and was speaking with some foreigner. You have such great guys!”

Well, it’s true. They’re the flower of the nation. These are people who right now are sacrificing their lives and their freedom for the sake of the Fatherland. This is something else, but politicians close their eyes to it.

Though there was Vitaliy Klychko – I met with him twice, and we had absolutely normal conversations. However, the opposition often fulfills part of our demands, because they are perfectly aware of our presence, and they see that Right Sector is a certain factor to be reckoned with on the Maidan.

But didn’t you try to contact them for the sake of coordinating activities?

We had no direct contacts. I had the impression from the very start of the peaceful Maidan that they operated very much on impulse, not on a system of actions thought through. They didn’t even set up a unified headquarters. From the very beginning, we called for unity at the Maidan so that there would be no divisions between politicians, Civic Sector, and Right Sector. In all interviews I’ve had, I’ve stressed that the uprising must be unified, and that I don’t want to provoke responses from the opposition.

But everything has its limits. When the country faced a real threat of war, great distrust of opposition leaders surfaced on the Maidan. They just talked for two months. Even though they had been given a mandate – “Take it, decide things!” – they couldn’t do anything. On January 19, we went on the offensive, and they started doing something. Well, we’ll keep putting pressure on them.

As far as we understand, the Freedom (Svoboda) Party is closest to you in ideological views…

Yes. We have a lot of common positions when it comes to ideological questions, but there are big differences. For instance, I don’t understand certain racist things they share, I absolutely don’t accept them. A Belarusian died for Ukraine, and an Armenian from Dnipropetrovs’k died for Ukraine. They are much greater comrades of mine than any, sorry, Communist cattle like Symonenko, who play for Russia but are ethnic Ukrainians.

Stepan Bandera once advocated three ways of dealing with non-Ukrainians. It’s very simple. You deal with them as comrades – and this is for those who fight with you for Ukraine, regardless of their nationality. You deal with them in a tolerant way – for those who live on the land and do not oppose our struggle; thus, we treat them normally, Ukraine has a place for all. The third way of dealing with them is in a hostile way – and this is for those who oppose the Ukrainian people’s national liberation struggle. And this is in any state; any people takes exactly these positions.

Social nationalism is very complicated for me, because it is my belief that nationalism does not require anything extra; it is enough. Oleh (Tiahnybok – Ukrains’ka Pravda), too, has lately tried to go the way of traditional nationalism. Thank God. Although there isn’t much of a point talking about ideological discussions during a revolution. Finally, our guys stand at the barricades just like guys from Svoboda. This unites us.

People from the regime say that during negotiations, opposition leaders claimed that people were ready to leave administrative buildings if those arrested and prosecuted were released. Is this true?

I think the regime lied. I think that the opposition didn’t say any such thing. Before the amnesty law was voted on, we made clear our position, and it was like the same thing the opposition had said. That is, if the regime made a compromise and passed the law for a so-called amnesty drafted by the opposition, then Right Sector was ready to withdraw its fighters from Hrushevs’kyi Street and unblock the street. This would be a reasonable compromise.

This doesn’t cancel out our political demands. We must change the country at another level. The Maidan is only a Sich (a Cossack military and administrative center – WR), a training ground, but it’s not about constant fighting.

Your opponents would reply that you were the first ones to open fire and go on an all-out offensive…

No, no, no! Excuse me, Berkut special forces beat children on the Maidan on November 30, 2013. For two months, people stood at the Maidan and took no action. Then came the regime’s usual provocation – passing the laws of January 16. They started beating activists, kidnapping people. Look what they’ve done with the Automaidan.

They were the very ones who provoked this situation, and people went on the attack, because people couldn’t take it anymore. How much longer could you stand there and dance on the Maidan? We’re not sheep, Ukrainians must have some pride, and they showed that Ukrainians do have pride.

What do you think, why did Right Sector have to show up for this, why didn’t the opposition do it?

Because Right Sector is the Maidan’s most revolutionary structure. Let me emphasize: revolutionary, and not radical. Revolution is reason, a plan, action. When the people are in an uproar, you can’t avoid using this situation for the people’s own benefit. The opposition, unfortunately, is incapable of doing this, maybe because their seats in parliament are very soft and they can’t take decisive steps. We can take such a step.

Have you spoken with the opposition about this?

I’m telling you, we have no contact with them. I’ll stress it again – I am for unifying the opposition movement, the one involved in protests and in the general uprising. Thus, any explanation I give will wind up being used against me. They’ll start yelling that I’m a provocateur. If you want my honest opinion, I don’t care what they say about me. Our difference is that I’m not interested in political ratings.

Right now, representatives of opposition parties are taking part in negotiations with the regime. What do you think, can these people take responsibility for the Maidan’s actions and give some guarantees on its behalf?

That’s the problem; the Maidan doesn’t control the negotiations process. The levels of trust opposition leaders had at the beginning and now are completely different.

We demand that not only opposition leaders be in the negotiations, but also representatives from the Maidan. At least as observers. Then you can offer some guarantees and at least articulate here, to people on the Maidan, that we have this agreement reached between the regime and the opposition, and it should be carried out.

Because otherwise, there’s the impression that they agree on one thing, and then they change something among themselves, and then the result turns out to be completely different.

Our goal now is to force the opposition to go back to negotiations with specific demands and achieve a certain compromise. But this absolutely must happen with Maidan representatives.

Those Afghan veterans or Andriy Parubiy as self-defense commander can be in the negotiating group. If they invite me, I’ll go. We see nothing awful in this. We can argue our position and compel both the regime and the opposition to make an agreement, so that there will be no bloodshed, and so that the state will take different actions. I’m ready to go negotiate for this.

Let’s make this simpler. Imagine that you are in negotiations, and Viktor Yanukovych is sitting across from you. What arguments would you use to convince him to change his actions?

I would seek a compromise. I would put pressure on him, though I know he wouldn’t like that very much. I’m not sure that Yanukovych is getting reliable information. It seems to me that he has some inadequate understanding of the situation. For example, I think he doesn’t understand that 80% of the people right now do not trust the regime. I think that his advisors are giving him slightly different figures and are showing him different scenarios from the real ones.

First, I’d start out by saying that he can’t fight his own people. No one yet has defeated his own people. I would explain that those things that law enforcement are doing is a real war against Ukrainians. Second, and this is very important – I would try to explain to him that those thousands of self-defense forces that have already been formed will not give Berkut or riot police an easy time clearing the Maidan and pass through it in parade fashion.

They don’t understand that the Maidan is a phenomenon with its own army, with its own medical services, with its own structures, and that it’s already a certain state. And they won’t be able to take it over without shedding a lot of blood.

It’s already impossible to drive it away with clubs. They’ll have to use weapons, real ones, not like the ones they use on Hrushevs’kyi Street. And they’ll really get it from us, that I can guarantee Viktor Yanukovych.

All right, but what do you want? So you tell Viktor Fedorovych (Yanukvoych) that the situation is like this. What next?

A precondition for any negotiations must be the freeing of all those arrested. These people aren’t terrorists and they aren’t extremists. I think you even know some of those people. They are absolutely normal, decent people who got fed up. People should be freed. Any talk about normalizing the situation can only happen after this.

Second, the regime should stop using force. In the regions, above all. Stop kidnapping activists. This is terror against one’s own people.

They must immediately start investigating crimes that have taken place on the streets. Berkut special forces couldn’t have been shooting without the knowledge of the Minister of Internal Affairs. It’s a military structure; there has to be discipline there, a clear sense of subordination. If they were provocations, then we need to find out who was doing the shooting. Give people information, don’t be silent, don’t close your eyes to what has been going on.

Yanukovych indeed has fulfilled several of our demands regarding the government’s resignation and the repeal of the laws of January 16. But changing an existing office to another that has the prefix “v.o.” (“acting” – translator) doesn’t solve any problems.

We need to form a compromise government that could be made up of people who are not leaders of political parties, but professionals. Moreover, all those odious figures – all the Zakharchenkos, the Tabachnyks, and other politicians like them – should be replaced. This is the first step they would need to make, and it would remove the tensions immediately.

Who do you see heading the Cabinet of Ministers?

I can’t say, because I’m not an expert at forming governments. Politicians should talk about that.

But when you don’t have your own proposals, you take away all responsibility from yourself and remove yourself from political developments.

For 25 years, I’ve avoided public politics. That’s not a problem for me. Although now, we are looking into the possibility that, if there will be peace, Right Sector will grow into a political organization. All the guys have said this. For God’s sake! We can always get involved in politics. For me, they’re the flower of the nation, and they can’t be cannon fodder people use and then forget. But it’s still too early to talk about anything specific. Right Sector today can’t be narrowed down to some political matters.

But that’s exactly what it looks like right now – you’re being used: you’re standing at the barricades, while they offer government posts to Arseniy Iatseniuk and Vitaliy Klychko.

The fact is that the life of the state and the life of our people aren’t limited to a sole Cabinet of Ministers. Let them take those positions. If they invite us to help, we will. We’ll take over law enforcement, and we’ll bring order in the state. But I doubt that we’ll get even just one office.

WE WILL HAVE OUR OWN CANDIDATE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

What will you propose to Viktor Yanukovych if the revolution is victorious?

It depends on him. Some time ago, we gave him 24 hours to leave the country, and no one would touch him. Today, if he made a smart decision, we could even grant him safety in his own state. Just so there would be no war, so there would be no bloodshed. Let him stay in Mezhyhir’ia, take care of his ostriches, and no one would bother him there. But that has to be his decision.

Do you see yourself in some office?

Right now, no. I have a really good office right now – I’m leader of Trident. It’s easier for me to speak in front of members in formation, not onstage.

But that’s not an office that can change the country. What would you do in a time of peace?

If you want peace, get ready for war. We started Right Sector, and Right Sector has changed the country a little. During peace, I would continue being involved in Trident. Like I’d been doing for the last twenty years.

You understand, Trident is not a structure that has an unequivocal goal of setting up some armed conflict. No. Any kind of normal state must have state paramilitary structures that prepare youth for service in the army, which gives it a chance to mobilize a certain personnel reserve for defending the people’s interest in times of foreign or domestic peril. It’s a normal thing in most civilized countries of the world. Trident will always be relevant. Even if we have the best president and the best government.

Do you have any information regarding who’s kidnapping people?

Unfortunately, we don’t. We are trying to dig this information up, but we’ve had no luck so far. We ask the regime to activate law enforcement, its Security Service (Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU – WR), so that all investigation teams are employed in this search. Finally, [the SBU] is not as compromised in all these events as the MVS (Ministry of Internal Affairs) is. But there’s been nothing so far.

So you sincerely trust regime structures to investigate this issue?

I’m not certain that the regime is guilty of these crimes. I don’t rule out foreign special services being responsible for this. For example, the FSB (Federal Security Service). Russia always makes use of instability in Ukraine. As soon as there is instability in Ukraine, they come over here and deal with certain issues they have. Putin has said more than once that Ukraine is not a state. And I am more than convinced that up to the present, there have been plans for splitting Ukraine up into two or three, or five, or six zones of influence.

But Right Sector and its activities have been called a destabilizing factor.

It seems to me that it’s the opposite – over the last few months Right Sector has shown that it is a stabilizing factor. If it hadn’t been for Right Sector, there wouldn’t have been any negotiations, radical moods would have increased, and they would have exploded in regions as partisan warfare. Why doesn’t anyone think about that?

As for now, the situation anyway is under control, and it it is now at some negotiating stage. If they don’t reach an agreement, the risk of partisan warfare in Ukraine will sharply increase. We know Ukrainians have a very glorious tradition of waging partisan warfare. They’ve fought for decades. Only will this be useful for the state?

But aren’t you afraid that a partisan war could grow into a civil war?

There can be no civil war. When 80% of the people do not support the regime, it will be a struggle between society, the people, and the regime. And these two things make great differences between a civil war and what we are talking about. This will be a national liberation war. But we’d rather not have one. We have a state, we have a foundation for developing nation building and state building.

But a lot of people in eastern Ukraine sincerely believe that Banderites and nationalists are gathered here, and they are really convinced that they must fight this. What should we do with these people?

According to the information I have, this is a very small percentage of people. I myself am from the Dnipropetrovs’k Oblast’, and I completely understand the situation. These are mostly people working for hire. You saw the events near the Dnipropetrovs’k Oblast’ Administration building. There, local (Party of) Regions deputy Stupak for a year and a half got scumbags together and formed fight clubs and guard structures that, together with the police, out of “conviction” defend the Oblast’ Administration.

Did you see at least one normal citizen among those defenders of the administration building who went out there voluntarily? Or in the Crimea itself, they’ve set up units of hatted Cossacks, chauvinists, who form Black Hundreds and defend the regime. But where are the masses of people? Besides that, Crimean Tatars are completely on the side of the Euromaidan. So none of this is simple.

If you’d speak with people in the East, they’d say the same thing about the Maidan: that there is a very small percentage of sincere supporters, and that the majority are hired nationalists. Both you and they have very similar rhetoric, which in the end is very unlikely to produce a compromise.

Let’s consider some examples. The Party of Regions tried to set up an Anti-Maidan by bringing in people from all over Ukraine. Who actually has been standing there? It’s either really asocial elements or state employees and recipients of state aid who simply were forced to come. I spoke with a whole bunch of such people, and when I yelled out, “Get out, crook!” (Zeka het’!), they waved and laughed. It’s a myth that there’s some social support for Yanukovych and his regime.

The soccer ultras all over Ukraine, the ones who supported the Maidan, are clear examples of this. These are people with real ideas, from Luhans’k Zoria, Simferopil’ Tavriia, Zaporizhzhia Metalurh, Dnipropetrovs’k Dnipro, Kharkiv Metalist, and so on. How many times did Dopa and Hepa (Mykhailo Dobkin, governor of the Kharkiv Oblast’, and Hennadiy Kernes, mayor of Kharkiv – WR) try to gather those hired thugs and send them here to Kyiv, and they haven’t been able to do it. What support can you talk about? This idea about a split in the country is a big lie. There is no split. Yanukovych, bless his heart, united the country.

All the time there’s been this call made at the Maidan to the three opposition leaders to make a decision on a single candidate. Do you support this call?

It doesn’t seem that relevant because you more often hear calls to make decisions with Maidan leaders. The leaders of the resistance which is going on. The importance of presidential elections for people has gone down to second or third place.

During presidential elections – early or regularly scheduled ones – what will be your strategy: will you support someone, or will you run on your own?

We don’t rule out Right Sector nominating its own candidate for elections. But it’s still too early to talk about this.

So you sincerely believe that a candidate from Right Sector has a chance at winning across the country?

If you took at reality, there is always a chance for it. Right Sector became an all-Ukrainian phenomenon in a few weeks. It’s Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovs’k, Donets’k, the Crimea. On the other hand, presidential elections can bring quite a bit of attention to our ideas of revolutionary changes for the state.

Aren’t you afraid that your electoral campaign could divide up the opposition’s electorate and lead to you being blamed for causing a split?

Listen, let this process finish, and then we’ll see what’s going on and how things are going. Fairy tales about fragmenting one’s forces, which they tell each other, is some kind of child’s play. They all know that they’re running as three separate candidates, thus breaking up forces from the very beginning.

Either you sit down and make a real agreement and fulfill what you’d agreed to do, or each should play his own game. For us, at this stage, it’s not that important to take part in presidential elections. We need peace.

The fact is that there are people who talk a lot and do little, while there are people who act and demonstrate with their sweat and blood that they can change things, that they can act, that they can achieve a result.

Right Sector is a platform for guys who have demonstrated their ability to change something, to sacrifice the gifts they have received to achieve something higher. Politicians in recent years have not demonstrated this. I don’t see them having demonstrated this kind of sacrifice, the desire and the ability to sacrifice.

So who for you is the leader of the resistance?

There is no one for now. I made an announcement that I was ready to bear responsibility for all those things that happened. This doesn’t mean that I have some presidential ambitions. I simply see that there needs to be complete coordination and control over the situation. Let politicians settle those issues for themselves. If one of them is ready to do it, then let him do it, and we will sincerely support him. But I don’t see anyone doing this.

RIGHT SECTOR DOESN’T FIGHT WITH FAMILIES

Are you aware of the fact that if you are defeated, or even if there is a compromise between the regime and the opposition, a jail cell might be waiting for you?

Yes, of course. I’ve been ready for it for the past 25 years. What can you do? That’s life. I go there but for the grace of God. What will be, will be. If there will be a criminal case, then there will be a criminal case. I am ready to fight for Ukraine. Let them try to put me in jail. Finally, we’ve yet to see who will imprison whom.

Have you been given a police summons?

No. I live here, what do I need a summons for? They don’t deliver them to the Maidan, and guys don’t let cops enter the fifth floor.

But something could happen before you’re even arrested. You could face the fate of Ihor Lutsenko or Dmytro Bulatov…

I know in whose name I’m waging this struggle. Of course, I don’t want that, I’m a living human being, and I have the instinct of self-preservation. But guys are protecting me, they go around with me, and they wear armored flak jackets.

Do you go outside the Maidan in general?

I’m rarely outside it. I won’t tell you where I go.

What is happening with your family right now?

I last saw my family for Christmas. They’re in Ukraine, but I’ve temporarily changed their residence. The fact is that all information about our addresses has been posted on the Internet, and about our families, so there is a certain danger.

But there’s also the very same information on the Internet about Berkut forces, for instance. Can you give guarantees to all law enforcement and regime officials that nothing threatens their families?

I can guarantee that Right Sector in no way will touch any child, or any family, of any law enforcement personnel, from any structure. Right Sector doesn’t fight women and children. We are not beasts from Berkut who beat up journalists and medical personnel. So you don’t have to worry – no one will be taking any actions like those. I can vouch for Right Sector.

But you still set an ultimatum… you have this demand for the Fourth (of February): either you release everyone, or there will be… Can you say what this is about? Why exactly the Fourth?

The Fourth of February is the next session of parliament. We demand that the Supreme Rada produce a document announcing the unconditional and complete freeing and rehabilitation of people arrested. And this is no amnesty, because there were no crimes committed.

We also demand the regime end any use of force – this would be kidnappings, burning cars, and so on. I think that they will listen to us. I am 90 percent certain that they will listen to us.

Otherwise, we are on the edge of a bloody conflict. I don’t rule out that people who are standing on the Maidan will conduct a very serious mobilization and go to the government offices district. And they will take it – and I am more than convinced of this – though it will be with blood, with great losses. Because we’ve been left with a pathological situation. Then all of them will be taken out: both the regime guards and Yanukovych. That’s why it’s better for them to reach an agreement with us.

Do you understand that even what you just said now can be used against you?

Yes, of course. It’s a revolution. There are two sides of the barricades – it’s a basic fact. Right now everything is being used either against us or against them.

Do you select in some way people who come to you? Do they go through some selection process?

Without a doubt. We are signing up volunteers all the time, especially during some active campaigns. Regarding criteria, you need to talk directly to the commanders. They work with people. I know exactly that they don’t take in people who are under age. Because they run in packs at age 15-16.

Do you issue people weapons (that is, ones that are not firearms)?

They show up on their own with either some baseball bats or with some sticks. We don’t equip them with them. As for the money that we get from people, we use that to buy all kinds of little shields, helmets, shields, a very big arsenal of all that stuff. They get all the necessary equipment, and then they have lessons with them.

If a person is in poor physical health, then he or she gets other work – in the kitchen, in the medical station, and so on. Our girls are great, simply great; they’ve done so much good already. They even took away the wounded during fighting, and they help us here all the time.

Regarding firearms, you called on people to bring them to the Maidan. Why have you done that?

When the MVS issued an order allowing use of firearms against people, I called on people who had legally registered firearms to join us, to create a group for supporting us with firearms in case they came to the Maidan and started shooting. I think that you can only return fire, because there are no other alternatives. But that’s only if they open fire first.

Has this unit been created?

That’s a secret, sorry.

Who has all the information that is now at Right Sector? There is a person who knows everything.

No one knows everything. The political leadership has the information.

How do you coordinate your actions? It’s not a secret that all telephone conversations are listened in on, how do you do it?

Regarding messengers and go-betweens, all the guys have walkie-talkies, but they also monitor them, and we know that. I get the impression that they have listening devices installed in all the buildings around us. Operational vehicles are in place and so on. By the way, I don’t regard guys sitting in them as enemies or something like that. They’re doing their job, and they have to do it.

Moreover, I am more than convinced that in law enforcement structures, attitudes toward the regime, the opposition, and the Maidan are very, very ambiguous. Some of them hate us, but that’s a small percentage. Others are sympathetic toward us, because we also have been conducting certain negotiations with law enforcement personnel. Guys come to us and talk. The regime is falling apart. You just need to put enough pressure on it so that they take those political steps.

There are two barricades on Hrushevs’kyi Street. Do you talk at all with Berkut forces? Do you bring them warm tea or coffee? I know that there used to be such initiatives.

I don’t know if we bring them right now. Earlier, when they blocked us in at the Maidan itself, we gave them food. I was against this, not because these cops, these guys, are not friends. They’re also Ukrainians, they simply are on the other side of the barricades. They serve the enemy. But it’s not worth doing. The more they are driven crazy by not getting enough food and so on, the less chances there are that they will go on the offensive and on the attack, and begin beating people like they’ve done several times. Thus, out of purely pragmatic reasons, I don’t think that we should bring them sandwiches or coffee.

source: http://seansrussiablog.org/2014/02/07/interview-dmytro-yarosh-leader-right-sector/


Exclusive: Leader of Far-Right Ukrainian Militant Group Talks Revolution With TIME

Simon Shuster / Kiev @shustry
Feb. 4, 2014

Dmitro Yarosh, the leader of Pravy Sektor, a coalition of ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine, stands with some of his fighters at the scene of the worst clashes last month between the group's fighters and police in Kiev.
Dmitro Yarosh, the leader of Pravy Sektor, a coalition of ultra-nationalist groups in Ukraine, stands with some of his fighters at the scene of the worst clashes last month between the group’s fighters and police in Kiev. Maxim Dondyuk

In his first interview with foreign media, Dmitro Yarosh, leader of the far-right militant group Pravy Sektor, says he and his antigovernment cohorts in Kiev are ready for armed struggle

Take the smell of an army barracks, add a bit of char and gasoline, and you’d have a rough idea of the air on the fifth floor of the House of Trade Unions, the headquarters of the revolution in Ukraine. When protesters first occupied the building in December, their leaders divvied up its floors among the political parties and activists involved in the revolt. Since then, the only floor off-limits to journalists has been the fifth, which houses the militant arm of the revolution, Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), the coalition of right-wing radicals that grew out of the uprising. They had good reason to avoid publicity. After their violent clashes with police last month, their members could face years in prison if the ruling government survives the revolt.

But on Sunday night, their leader Dmitro Yarosh agreed to give his first interview to a foreign media outlet. It was not so much an act of vanity as a political coming-out. He has clearly grown tired of being the movement’s anonymous enforcer. In recent days, as a negotiated end to the crisis has started coming into view, the need for a military wing of the revolution has diminished. And so has the trust in its upper ranks. The mainstream opposition leaders, like the former world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, have faced growing pressure to distance themselves from Pravy Sektor, which the U.S. State Department has condemned for “inflaming conditions on the streets.” Increasingly marginalized, the group has grown much more assertive and, in some ways, has started going rogue.

In his interview with TIME, Yarosh, whose militant brand of nationalism rejects all foreign influence over Ukrainian affairs, revealed for the first time that Pravy Sektor has amassed a lethal arsenal of weapons. He declined to say exactly how many guns they have. “It is enough,” he says, “to defend all of Ukraine from the internal occupiers” — by which he means the ruling government — and to carry on the revolution if negotiations with that government break down.

But so far, those negotiations have been making significant strides toward resolving the crisis. On Tuesday, the parliament began debating a sweeping reform of the constitution, while allies of President Viktor Yanukovych suggested for the first time that he is ready to consider early elections. Both moves would mark a major breakthrough. But Yarosh, watching from the sidelines, has begun to doubt whether the negotiators have the interests of his men at heart. “This whole peaceful song and dance, the standing around, the negotiations, none of it has brought real change.” Dozens of his men, he says, remain behind bars after their street battles against police two weeks ago.

With that in mind, Yarosh and another militant faction began a parallel set of negotiations over the weekend. On Monday, they claimed to be in direct talks with Ukraine’s police forces to secure the release of jailed protesters, including members of Pravy Sektor. Mainstream opposition leaders said they had not authorized any such talks. At the same time, Yarosh has demanded a seat at the negotiating table with the President. Once again, he was flatly denied. His ideology, it seems, is just too toxic to let him in the room.

But neither can Klitschko and his fellow politicians easily sever their ties with Pravy Sektor. The group serves some of the uprising’s most essential functions. Its fighters control the barricades around the protest camp in the center of Ukraine’s capital, and when riot police have tried to tear it down, they have been on the front lines beating them back with clubs, rocks, Molotov cocktails and even a few catapults, in the mold of siege engines of the Middle Ages. Around the country, its fighters have helped seize government headquarters in more than a dozen cities. “Pravy Sektor has proved its loyalty to the ideals of freedom,” Yarosh says. “Now we needed to present this movement as a source of leadership.”

In any kind of fair election, that would be nearly impossible. Pravy Sektor’s ideology borders on fascism, and it enjoys support only from Ukraine’s most hard-line nationalists, a group too small to secure them a place in parliament. But taking part in the democratic process is not part of Yarosh’s strategy. “We are not politicians,” he says in his office, a pack of Lucky Strikes and a walkie-talkie on the table in front of him, while a sentry in a black ski mask and bulletproof vest stands by the door. “We are soldiers of the national revolution.” His entire adult life has been spent waiting for such a revolution to “steer the country in a new direction, one that would make it truly strong, not dependent on either the West or the East.”

Through all his years in the nationalist movement, Yarosh, a 42-year-old father of three, says he has never had any form of occupation apart from his activism. The son of two factory workers, he was born and raised in a provincial town in eastern Ukraine, and became involved in the nationalist underground in the late 1980s, just as the Soviet Union was disintegrating. Nearly all of the satellite states of the USSR, from the Baltics to Central Asia, were then pushing to break away from Moscow’s control, and in 1988, Yarosh joined one of the more radical groups fighting for an independent Ukraine.

The following autumn, months after the Soviet Union pulled its troops out of Afghanistan, Yarosh was drafted into the Red Army, a common form of punishment for political activists at the time. He was stationed briefly in Belarus before being transferred to Siberia, where he served as a guard at strategic missile sites. The Soviet doctrines of unity between Russia and Ukraine did little to soften his views. “If anything, the army made me more convinced that my path is correct,” he says. When Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Yarosh went on hunger strike to demand a transfer to the newly established Ukrainian army. His commanding officers ignored him.

In 1994, a few years after he was discharged and returned to Ukraine, he joined a right-wing organization called Trizub (Trident), and slowly climbed its ranks before assuming leadership in 2005. Along with several other far-right groups, Trizub formed the core of Pravy Sektor when the current uprising broke out in Ukraine two months ago. Its main adversary has always been Russia, although it also has little patience for Western influence on Ukraine. “For all the years of Ukraine’s independence, Russia has pursued a systematic, targeted policy of subjugation toward Ukraine,” Yarosh says. “So of course we will prepare for a conflict with them,” he adds, especially after Russia’s recent invasion of another one of its former satellites, Georgia. “If they stick their faces here like they did in Georgia in 2008, they’ll get it in the teeth.”

So far, his jabs at the leaders of the opposition in Ukraine have not been quite as pointed. He has accused them of vanity and ineffectiveness, but he has also observed the truce they called a week and a half ago to allow their negotiations to proceed. “Not a single Molotov cocktail has gone flying since then,” he says proudly. “A truce is a truce. They want to negotiate, let them negotiate.” But as Yarosh realizes, he and his men have staked a great deal on the outcome of these talks.

If the ruling government holds on to power, Pravy Sektor could be forced to take the blame for the violence that left dozens of police officers in the hospital two weeks ago. “All those criminal charges are already waiting in the prosecutor’s office,” he says. On the other hand, if the opposition forms a new government, they are not likely to carve out a place for Yarosh and his men in the halls of power. So it is no surprise that he has begun to show some political initiative.

For the past two decades, he has been waiting and preparing for the start of the “national revolution,” and now that he finds himself at the head of its armed division, he does not seem ready to let it pass peacefully away, at least not on anyone else’s terms. “People have gotten in touch with us from around the country, saying, ‘Guys, don’t let us down. Take us to victory, to independence, if the other leaders are incapable of that,’” Yarosh says. “So if the time has come for an active struggle, I am ready to carry it to the end. I am not afraid of that responsibility. I see no reason to hide my face.”

source: http://time.com/4493/ukraine-dmitri-yarosh-kiev/


Dmitry Yarosh, the Man Who Claims Victory in the Ukrainian Revolution, Speaks

By / March 12, 2014 4:33 PM EDT

3.12_Ukraine
A leader of a once obscure right wing group is now at the center of a geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Newsweek spoke with Dmirtry Yarosh, 42, a leader of the once obscure right wing group that is now at the  center of a geopolitical standoff between Russia and the United States

Q: Is it true that you have been training Right Sector forces for over 20 years?

A: I was training paramilitary troops for almost 25 years. Although we just came out of the revolution, my guys are continuing military training all across Ukraine, ready to cleanse the country of the occupiers.

Q: How many are you?

A: I cannot give you the exact number, as our structure and divisions are constantly growing all over Ukraine, but over 10,000 people for sure. We have certain preconditions for our recruits: patriotism and other criteria for proper behavior.

Q: Are you aware that a Moscow court is trying you for calling for terrorist actions against Russia?

A: That is Putin’s idea. He is a political corpse.

Q: Do you have many war veterans in your ranks? Are your forces a part of Ukraine’s army?

A: As soon as Russia declared the war we recruited retired officers, generals of the interior ministry and security agencies. We are coordinating our actions with the council of the National Security and Defense, as well as with the army’s General Headquarters. We are currently negotiating to put our forces on a proper legal footing.

Q: If the Crimea population decides to become a part of Russia at the referendum on Saturday, what will be Right Sector’s reaction?

A: Right Sector, together with all other Ukrainian citizens, are ready to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity by all possible means. In case the Kremlin decides to attack us, they will have a major partisan war on  Ukraine territory.

Q: Do you think Ukraine has enough forces to defend itself?

A: I am realistic about the pitiful conditions of our military forces, including Right Sector. Our army is many hundreds of times weaker than Russia’s army so it’s important for Ukraine to do everything to resolve the crisis through negotiations.

Q: Why do you call your organization paramilitary? are you armed just with Kalashnikov’s or do you also have more serious weapons?

A: As in any army, we have specialists trained to shoot S-300 missiles. In case of a partisan war, there  will be shooting from every house.

Q: Do you realize that the majority of Russians including cultural and intellectual leaders support Putin’s actions in Crimea because they see you as a leader of a fascist, radical movement? Are you ready to become the reason for the end of years of Russian-Ukrainian friendship?

A: Unfortunately, Russia is largely brainwashed. Ukrainian nationalists have nothing to do with fascism. The powerful Russian propaganda machine knows what it’s doing. The beliefs of Right Sector are against chauvinism. We base our views on nationalist ideas. The proof is that 40 per cent of our members speak Russian; Jews and other nationals feel comfortable in our forces.

Q: What then makes your movement “Right”?

A: We believe Ukraine deserves to have its own national state. That is what makes our movement “Right.”

Q: Was your book “Nation and Revolution” — where you defined your movement’s enemies as the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Church — a prediction of “the liberating war” of the Ukrainian nation?

A: The book is a collection of my articles that was criticized when it first came out. But now we see that it predicted many events that have now happened. I would advise Russian citizens to start their struggle against Putin’s fascist regime. That would be the best guarantee of friendship between Russian and the Ukrainian people. So long as Putin is in power, Russian imperialism will always be putting improper pressure upon Ukraine.

Q: Why do you refer to the Russian president, who enjoys high popularity ratings, as a “fascist”?

A: Putin built up his power by fascistic methods. He ignored the constitutional rights of Russian citizens. In Russia, police beat up those taking part in mass protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg. That smells of fascist methods to me. They arrest protesters carrying anti-war signs. That is fascism.

Q: It is broadly believed in Ukraine that the revolution would not have happened without Right Sector. What kind of revolution was it?

A: We had a nationalist revolution to create a state where Ukrainian people would be the master of their own destiny in their own land. Until now, we have had an occupying regime. We’ll do everything to give our people full freedom, justice and a share of the nation’s wealth.

Q: Your men are all over the center of Kiev. Why do you and your men wear black uniforms?

A: This is not an official uniform. We bought uniforms sold to security guards. I have taken professional advice about strengthening our security. We have been given information that some Russian forces are interested in kidnapping, arresting or liquidating me.

Q: Who  is it that is shooting on the Maidan every night?

A: That is not my people. My men never use their weapons unless there is a specific need.

Q: You are running for president. What special attributes do you have that qualify you to be a politician? Do you think you have a chance to win the presidential election?

A: I graduated from university, specializing in Ukrainian language and literature. I never intended to be a politician. But since January 19 this year, I have been responsible for all the events. We have seen two miracles happen already: politicians have not betrayed the revolutionary spirit of the Maidan; and we won the revolution. I expect one more miracle  to take place at the presidential election.

Q: Did your movement support Chechen insurgencies in Russia?

A: We supported the first Chechen war against Russian empire. We sent a delegation to Chechnya. We helped treat the Chechen wounded here. And we publish Chechen books.

Q: Did you really call for Islamic insurgencies to support Ukraine in the war against Russia? Did any of your men meet with the Chechen insurgency leader Doku Umarov?

A: I didn’t say that. I am not sure. When we were helping Chechnia, Doku Umarov was just an ordinary field commander. We are not supporters of the Islamist war against defenseless women and children.

Q: Yesterday, Ukraine’s former president Victor Yanukovych said the new leadership is going to raise Bandera flag that is considered fascist in Russia.  Is that true?

A:  We stood under red and black flags throughout the revolution. Red Ukrainian blood spilled on the black Ukrainian earth –  that flag is the symbol of the national revolution. I am convinced that this flag will bring us freedom.

Q: Who finances you? Do you think the West is going to support Ukraine?

A: As a matter of principle l do not take money from oligarchs as we do not want to be dependent. We received some US dollars from the Ukrainian Diaspora. Otherwise the entire country supports the Right Sector.

I am sure that if Russians bombed Kiev — and we believe there is 50/50 chance that will happen — NATO will not come to fight for Ukraine. Europe has betrayed Ukraine many times. We are not counting on them. We can only count on our own forces and our ingenuity.

source: http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/03/28/exclusive-dmitry-yarosh-man-who-launched-ukrainian.html


In Ukraine, New Government Must Reassure Jewish Community

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director, Anti-Defamation League
Posted: 02/28/2014 2:35 pm EST Updated: 02/28/2014 2:59 pm EST

The Ukrainian Jewish community is nervous. The ultra-nationalist Svoboda party, with its history of anti-Semitism and platform of ethnic nationalism, won more than 10 percent of the vote in October 2012, shared the political leadership of the Maidan revolution over the past months, and just this week received three ministries in the new Ukrainian government.

While Svoboda’s leaders have refrained recently from making anti-Semitic statements, it is troubling that Oleksandr Sych, Svoboda’s chief ideologue, was named vice prime minister. Sych’s speeches over the years have focused on promoting Ukrainian nationalism, which he says is exemplified by Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 1930s and 1940s. Bandera was at times aligned with the Nazis during World War II and was complicit in mass killings of Jews and Poles by Ukrainian partisans.

Sych has also said that Ukrainian nationalism is threatened both by “the Communist Russian regime and liberal Europe.” How ironic that he was brought to power by a revolution sparked by former President Viktor Yanukovych’s sudden refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

Interestingly, the armed nationalist groups that fought on the Maidan against government troops and police have made important gestures toward the Jewish community this week.

Dmitro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, met with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their movement rejects anti-Semitism and xenophobia and will not tolerate it. He said their goals were a democratic Ukraine, transparent government, ending corruption, and equal opportunity for all ethnic groups.

The day before, Ukrainian Jewish journalist Eleonora Groisman interviewed Sergei Mischenko, the leader of “Spilna Sprava,” and told him that Ukraine’s Jews were worried about the nationalists. Mischenko responded that Jews will not have any problems and shouldn’t worry. He went on to say, “On the Maidan there were Jews with us who served in the Israeli Defense Forces. We got along excellently and fought shoulder to shoulder.”

In November 2013, not long before the anti-Yanukovych protests began, ADL honored Metropolitan Archbishop Andrei Sheptytsky, a spiritual leader of Ukrainian Catholics who headed the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1900 until his death in 1944. Metropolitan Sheptytsky was posthumously awarded ADL’s Jan Karski Courage to Care Award for his undaunted heroism in saving Jews from the Holocaust.

After lauding Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s actions, I said:

I want to make one last point, regarding the situation today in Ukraine. There is a strong and growing Ukrainian nationalist movement. It faces a choice of role models: the Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, who declared an independent Ukrainian state on June 30, 1941 in Lviv, when the Nazis drove out the Soviet army, and the next day began murdering Jews. Or it can be inspired by the Ukrainian nationalist Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, who wrote on July 1, the day after the state was declared, that the new government should exercise – quote — “wise, just leadership and measures that would take into consideration the needs and welfare of all citizens who inhabit our land, without regard to what faith, nationality, or social stratum they belong.” The Ukrainian nationalism of Andrei Sheptytsky, one of compassion, even love, for his Jewish neighbors, is one that Jews around the world can embrace and support. And we ask all who are inspired by the Metropolitan’s actions and words to help oppose the destructive Banderite strain.

Will Vice Prime Minister Sych renounce Bandera and embrace Europe? Will Svoboda accept Jews as full-fledged Ukrainians and follow the welcome assurances of the armed nationalists? Or will the promises of Right Sector and Spilna Sprava be overtaken by the ethnic nationalism of Svoboda?

Meanwhile, security is being upgraded at Jewish institutions. Over the past several weeks, two Jews in Kiev were violently attacked and Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in Zaporozhe. Some Jewish leaders have even raised the possibility of a mass exodus from Ukraine.

The future of the Ukrainian Jewish community could depend on the choices made by Svoboda and the actions of Ukraine’s democratic leaders.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, together with UDAR leader Vitaliy Klichko, brought Svoboda into the opposition coalition in 2012. Now, having brought Svoboda into the government, it is up to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to ensure that anti-Semitism is not tolerated and that democratic norms are adhered to. By sending that message to the people of Ukraine now, the prime minister will reassure the Jewish community and set an admirable example.

Guiding Ukraine’s nationalists to adopt the path of Metropolitan Sheptytsky will be a major test of Ukraine’s democratic development and an important step forward for the country. If achieved, the future of Ukraine’s Jewish community may be bright, not bleak.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/abraham-h-foxman/in-ukraine-new-government_b_4875833.html


It is also worth noting that after exploring the various groups/boards/sites it seems that Svoboda element has been overlooked and not mentioned much in the msm because they, along with the “modern” NeoNazi factions while still being fervently anti-Semetic and anti minority, have seemingly allied and self identified themselves with the “modern” far-right Zionist, NeoCon and Wahhabi/Salafist factions as they admire their ultra Nationalistic ideologies and violent strategies…


Ukraine: “Right Sector” Leader Dmitry Yarosh Meets with Israeli Ambassador, Pledges Allegiance to the Jewish Race

Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer

February 28, 2014

"We exist only to serve you, oh Chosen Ones, oh Masters of Earth." -Pravy Sektor leader Dmitry Yarosh to the Jews

“We exist only to serve you, oh Chosen Ones, oh Masters of Earth.” -Pravy Sektor leader Dmitry Yarosh to the Jews

From the beginning of the Ukrainian revolution late last year, I have taken a staunchly pro-Russian, anti-coup position.  Throughout the course of events, it has become more and more undeniable that the entire situation was one created and managed by subversive Jews, for the purpose of weakening Russia by tricking the Ukraine into joining the European Union.

However, many nationalist activists remained supportive of the revolution, promoting it on the internet as a positive thing, even after it was discovered that Vitali Klitschko, the most prominent leader of Maidan, is a Jew, that the American Jew Victoria Nuland was playing a role in planning the operation, and that IDF agents were responsible for managing much of the terrorism against the elected government of the Ukraine.

The average age of the revolutionary footsoldiers of Pravy Sektor is about 17. I would never blame these boys for not knowing any better.

The average age of the revolutionary footsoldiers of Pravy Sektor is about 17. I would never blame these boys for not knowing any better, as they likely did not have access to the information we have had access to.

Though it was discouraging to me to see so many who consider themselves supportive of the nationalist cause voicing their support for this Jewish power-grab, I understood that people were excited to see nationalist symbols among the protestors, and thus made the decision to indulge in a fantasy about a “National Socialist Revolution” in the Ukraine.

This week, that fantasy can be seen clearly for what it is, as Dmitro Yarosh, the leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) has met with the Israeli ambassador to the Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and pledged his allegiance to the Jewish race.

Abe Foxman: Pravy Sektor fanboy
Abe Foxman: Pravy Sektor fanboy

As Abe Foxman writes in the Huffington Post:

Dmitro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, met with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their movement rejects anti-Semitism and xenophobia and will not tolerate it. He said their goals were a democratic Ukraine, transparent government, ending corruption, and equal opportunity for all ethnic groups.

Abe closes with this:

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, together with UDAR leader Vitaliy Klichko, brought Svoboda into the opposition coalition in 2012. Now, having brought Svoboda into the government, it is up to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to ensure that anti-Semitism is not tolerated and that democratic norms are adhered to. By sending that message to the people of Ukraine now, the prime minister will reassure the Jewish community and set an admirable example.

Guiding Ukraine’s nationalists to adopt the path of Metropolitan Sheptytsky will be a major test of Ukraine’s democratic development and an important step forward for the country. If achieved, the future of Ukraine’s Jewish community may be bright, not bleak.

The Israeli embassy in the Ukraine released a press statement on the meeting:

February 26, 2014 the Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, met with the leadership of the “Right sector” movement, including its figurehead, Dmitry Yarosh.

The leaders of the movement informed the Ambassador about their position on the future of Ukraine, and stressed that they follow a tolerant policy on national issues.

Dmitry Yarosh also stressed that all hateful rhetoric, especially anti-Semitism, was not only condemned by “the Right Sector,” but that they would continue to fight it through all legitimate legal means. The aim of the movement is to build a democratic Ukraine, establish government transparency, combat corruption and provide equal opportunities for all nations and peoples; they intend to unify the people and build a state ruled by the people.

The parties agreed to establish a hotline to prevent provocations and coordination issues that arise.

The leaders of the movement stressed that any manifestation of chauvinism and xenophobia would be punished.

So there you have it.  It turns out I was in fact more correct than even I had understood, having previously allowed that the leaders of Pravy Sektor could have themselves been confused.  Well, when you meet with Israelis and pledge to defend the Jews and punish anyone who dares question them, you aren’t confused – you are a shill.

Though it is possible that the boys out fighting on the streets will stand up and oppose their leaders pledging their lives to the defense of the Jewish people, I see it as highly unlikely.  No, this is all going to go exactly how the Jews planned it – the Ukraine will enter the EU, take on massive debt, and eventually be totally destroyed.

What We Can Learn

Hopefully, after the debacle of reckless support being irresponsibly thrown behind this Jewish operation by various sectors of the activist community, no doubt ending with a lot of people feeling very foolish, we can learn something for the future.

The most obvious thing to note here is that it is not only possible, but highly probable, that a group wearing nationalist symbols is being managed by Jews.  They understand that the most effective way to neutralize the opposition is to become the opposition.  As such, when a group claiming to be nationalist is engaging in behaviors which are inconsistent with the symbols they wear, their actions should be considered more relevant than what they are wearing.

When the actions conflict with the t-shirts, you have a duty to judge the actions over the t-shirts.

Remember this: When the actions conflict with the t-shirts, you have a duty to judge the actions over the t-shirts.

The bottom line is that serious opposition will not endorse Jewish revolution, in the way that both Svoboda and Pravy Sektor did when they refused to question the Jews who were managing the revolution.  We should also note that when you see Jews openly endorsing an allegedly nationalist organization, as they did with the alleged nationalists in the Ukraine, you should assume that they know something that you don’t know.

Thankfully, the fact that so many in the internet activist scene supported this Jewish coup did not have any effect on its outcome.  The Jews would have won here whether or not you supported them, or condemned them as I did.  However, it will not be long before your support does matter, and if you decide to support an openly Jewish-driven revolution, the consequences will be dire.

If we truly wish to stand in opposition to the Jewish parasite, we must be wise as serpents, and not fall into the traps they lay.

source: http://www.dailystormer.com/ukraine-right-sector-leader-dmitry-yarosh-meets-with-israeli-ambassador-pledges-allegiance-to-the-jewish-race/


Here is a follow up to the original post/interview above courtesy The Saker…

Meet the (real) new authorities in the Ukraine, example #1
Published on Feb 25, 2014

Forget Klitchko, Iatseniuk, Tiagnibok or Tymoshenko. Though they all have some degree of popular support, what they don’t have is power. The real authorities in the Ukraine is the so-called “Right Sector”, their leader, Dmytro Yarosh, and his brownshirts. This video shows the reaction of one of these gentlemen, a certain Alexander Muzychka aka “Sashko Bilyi”, a veteran of the war against Russia in Chechnia, addressing a meeting the administration of the Roven region in the northeast of the Ukraine. Mr Muzychka, upon being informed that the new (official) authorities in Kiev have decided to collect unregistered weapons, addressed the meeting with the following words:

Who of you wants to take my assault-rifle away?
Who of you wants to take my pistol?
Who wants to take away my pistol, my assault-rifle or my knives?
If somebody wants to take them, let him come near and try!

Needless to say, none of the politicians in the room said a single word.

This is the new regime in the Ukraine. And this is not going to change any time soon. The Ukrainian military is a joke and exists only on paper. The Ukrainian police has almost totally vanished and the only force which now has a monopoly on violence are the neo-Nazis.

The US and EU can really be proud of themselves. This is indeed a stunning success for “democracy”.

The Saker

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7FH2kgjtfU


Here is a follow up to the above video re: Alexander Muzychko

A Nazi leader Alexander Muzychko humiliates a public prosecutor (Rivne, Ukraine)
Published on Feb 27, 2014

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5vSCGSvf3U


Ok, at some point the topic needs a perspective that will never be spoken of nor seen by the vast majority. This is the point of our exploration into this ugly situation that is unfolding and hidden in plain sight. Surely the source, content and details will be offensive to most but please consider reviewing the following few comments courtesy the white supremacists at Stormfront message boards. Be sure to inform your elected politicos on all 3 sides, especially the Regime loyalists, that we know more than they do and sooner or later they will be brought to account considering the Right Sector does not intend to allow EU integration either…

New heroes of Ukraine. Nationalists in Ukraine uprising. Right Sector.

“Right sector – against the regime and integration”

Thread for collecting best interviews, articles, videos and anything else that explains: who are nationalists fighting on the frontlines of Ukraine Uprising, what are their organizations, ideologies, goals and motivations. Who are their leaders, heroes and martyrs. Why do they fight to the death?

Топик для сбора правдивой информации о героях Украинского Правого сопротивления. Кто их герои и лидеры, какова идеология ключевых организаций, какие причины заставляют их бороться насмерть против Хануковича?
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Essential read: WhiteNationalism.com TOO White History
White-friendly movies to promote (imdb etc); Black inventions myths

Dog “racism” – not obliged to follow the white-lies of the human world, the world of canines offers obvious parallels. Study rates dog breeds by intelligence. Insurers profile “aggressive breeds”. Note: “[..] less genetic difference between dogs, wolves and coyotes than there is between the ethnic groups of the human species […]”.
Academic anti-racism? Charlatans and wishful thinkers.”I have used Boas’s study to fight what I guess could be considered racist approaches to anthropology,” said Dr. David Thomas, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. “I have to say I am shocked at the findings [of it being wrong].”

Diversity is: no cohesion, no trust, no consensus, no freedom, invasive statism, dystopia, entropy. Some of the most tyrannical, repressive and unfree societies were/are some of the most “diverse”.

source: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1025158/


While “our” elected leaders, especially the Regime’s hand selected delegation as well as those from the rest of the “western” world might like to point in only one direction, EU integration as opposed to closer ties to the Kremlin, when placing blame for the violence and seem to be fixated on the events that spawned from WW1 and WW2…

re: New heroes of Ukraine. Nationalists in Ukraine uprising. Right Sector.
Copying from the big Ukrainian thread

Published on Feb 21, 2014

The Great Ukrainian Reconquista: What is the Right Sector fighting for?

We, the warriors and commanders of the Right Sector are actively fighting the regime, remembering the heroism of King Svyatoslav the Courageous of Kyiv, King Danylo of Galicia, of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the warriors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army; implementing the right of a people to rise against injustice; and aware of our responsibilities before the dead and injured heroes of the Maidan.

For the right of every Ukrainian to human dignity…

For a fair criminal trial of Berkut and other dogs of the occupational system…

Against the humiliation and impoverishment of the Ukrainian people…

Against the war of the government with its own people…

For responsible voters and politicians…

For the election of judges…

Against corrupt and marginal democracy…

Against degeneracy and totalitarian liberalism…

For traditional folk morality and family values…

For Ukrainian families having many children…

For a spiritually and physically healthy youth…

Against a culture of consumerism and eroticism…

Against any form of “integration” on terms dictated from outside of Ukraine…

For unity and worldwide greatness of the Ukrainian nation…

For a great Ukrainian and European Reconquista… Everything is only beginning! From our Maidan, the rebirth of Kyivan-Rus/Ukraine commences, the rebirth of Europe commences.

Glory to Ukraine!

Glory to our heroes!

source: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t414368/


Sorry friends, but sometimes we need to look directly into their eyes to see what lies within their minds in order to fully understand their ultimate intentions…

The Ukraine riots should be called the 2nd Jewish war on Ukraine
The 2nd Jewish war on Ukraine

I wrote an article for discussion on the blatantly Jewish origins of these riots in Ukraine. It is self-evident, it cannot be denied, Russia has even stated that it was caused by ‘international’ influences, it is quite literally the 2nd Jewish War on Ukraine!

Quote:
The majority of protests occurred after the Ukrainian government refused to ratify or participate in the discussion of legislation from November the 21st 2013, that would have moved Ukraine into further trade deals and political union with the collapsing European Union… As outlined in an article the day the trade deal between the EU and Ukraine was de-facto rejected: The Jewish ‘community’ or kabal in Ukraine was staunchly in favour of joining the EU in order to subject the Ukrainian people to another phased Holodomor…Jewish supremacists in Ukraine, including the various unofficial chief Rabbi’s of Ukraine called for Ukraine to enter the EU, this call was not adhered to and subsequently many Jewish-supremacists inside Ukraine and through the United states took it upon themselves to instigate, fund and organise mass-riots and demonstrations against the pro-Ukrainian independent President and government of Ukraine…

Quote:
Like Syria this conflict has been instigated by foreigners allegedly by 100% percent, primarily as a result of subversion organised by Jewish-activists, Jewish front-groups and Jewish political figures on an international level

Read the full article…

If anyone has anything else that they believe needs to be said on the riots, just state such, I might edit the article with more information as time goes on, or write another one, if there is enough of a demand for more coverage.
__________________
Nationalist Ásatrú News
Nationalist News – Ásatrú Inspiration

All encompassing professional news service and more: economics, demographics, criminology, racial realism, exposing the causes, promoting and providing the infrastructure for the courageous solutions, -telling the straight truth-.

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1019607/


Here is the “Read the full article” referenced above…

Article author: Nationalist Ásatrú News / Published: 23rd Æfterra Jéola 2014 / 23rd day After Yule 2264.RE

The 2nd Jewish war on Ukraine

(UPDATED -1800hrs- 23/1/2014)


In-between 10,000-40,000 anti-government protestors, demonstrators and rioters led by Jewish protest leaders and organizer’s have led continual protests in Kiev through Wednesday night and today especially that have caused the confirmed death of in-between 2* and 5 Ukrainian people and has left thousands injured and with hundreds of serious injuries including severe burns and fractured bones many thousands of protestors have been hurt, who following the vile orders of often-times Jewish organizers have led these nieve protestors into violent confrontations with riot police and military drafted riot police.

Dozens of state police have also been critically or seriously burned and injured, with over 80 police officers having been hospitalized and over 200 injured and millions of pounds equivalent has been lost in the loss of national productivity, property damage and the enormous policing costs primarily in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev. The majority of the rioting occured and is still occuring (albeit at lower concentrations) around Maidan square and Europe square in Kiev.

*The two confirmed deaths were as a result of bullet wounds, the Kiev police issued a statement that they were not carrying any metal bullet (as opposed to rubber bullet) ammunition. The opposition leaders are now split as to whether violence is the way forward, with some calling for more violent protests, Jewish opposition leaders such as Vitali Klitschko (not even a Ukrainian, but is a Jew from Kyrgyztan) was calling instead for a nation-wide general strike.

Like Syria this conflict has been instigated by foreigners allegedly by 100% percent, primarily as a result of subversion organised by Jewish-activists, Jewish front-groups and Jewish political figures on an international level

Why are there protests in Ukraine?

The majority of protests occurred after the Ukrainian government refused to ratify or participate in the discussion of legislation from November the 21st 2013, that would have moved Ukraine into further trade deals and political union with the collapsing European Union.

As I outlined in an article the day the trade deal between the EU and Ukraine was de-facto rejected: The Jewish ‘community’ or kabal in Ukraine was staunchly in favour of joining the EU in order to subject the Ukrainian people to another phased Holodomor.

Although this might sound like an outlandish statement to make, the EU, through the free movement of people, coupled with the Jewish ambition for the EU to accept Turkey as an EU member state would, undeniably and inevitably result in the comparative demographic genocide of the Ukrainian and all European people if it were to continue unabated.

Jewish supremacists in Ukraine, including the various unofficial chief Rabbi’s of Ukraine called for Ukraine to enter the EU, this call was not adhered to and subsequently many Jewish-supremacists inside Ukraine and through the United states took it upon themselves to instigate, fund and organise mass-riots and demonstrations against the pro-Ukrainian independent President and government of Ukraine.

The protests had also been occurring before the rejection of the EU trade deals, this was primarily once again as a result of Jewish-supremacist instigation as Ukraine was moving towards further alliances and trade deals with Russia. There is a culture of anti-Russian sentiment inside Ukraine from the general population, as many Ukrainians still remember and lived through the end years of the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus some have been fooled into thinking alliances and trade deals with Russia would be a return to the Soviet Union days.


This is the opposite of the truth (and thus it is no surprise that we find Jewish supremacists promoting the opposite of the truth), as “The EU is the new Communism” (in this video Farage also promises Racial nationalist’s unstoppable return to power that even he cannot stop) and it is being increasingly acknowledged as such in Western Europe.

The Ukrainian government has already accused the EU and American efforts of attempting to subvert Ukraine. It is evident that the protests in Ukraine started literally minutes after EU integration talks ceased.

This fact alone proves that there is an epidemic of systematic anti-Ukrainian (and ultimately anti-white, as shown via the above argument) motivation behind the organizers of the recent protests, which have taken advantage of nieve and uninformed protestors and has, as all Jewish-supremacist revolutions or attempted revolutions do, resulted in the death of numerous Europeans already as of the time of publication of this article.

The fact that the Ukrainian public do not widely speak English has made it harder for them to be made aware of the horrific nature of the EU as revealed in our cultural discussions and in France, Scandinavia and Greece.

This has subsequently made it easier for Jewish-supremacists to play both sides of the political debate in Ukraine, stirring up fears of Russia (and Putin) by using anti-Russian and then anti-Soviet arguments at the same time, in front of different audiences, to create widespread anti-government sentiment over numerous sides of the political spectrum and debate within Ukraine. Although the silent majority (the small middle class and educated folk especially) of Ukrainians are still in support of Ukrainian independence from the EU, but as in all Jewish-supremacist revolutions or cultural upheaval attempts, the silent majority are always sidelined, for the interests of Jews themselves.

The Ukrainian anti-government protestors need to realize they are mistakenly on the side of communism, Jewish-supremacists and Globalist forces by demonstrating against their own freedom as a sovereign nation. Ukrainians need to wake up to the sheer idiocy of protesting against their own freedom, in the name of ‘freedom to be in the EU’.

This predicament of small proportions of Ukraine fighting against their own interests whilst thinking they are standing up for them, is akin to all the Jewish-supremacist manipulations, such as arguing for diversity which means less diversity (white genocide and multi-cultural nothingness) or arguing for equality, which actually means less equality (with more money going to Jewish bankers and the gab between the rich Jewish bankers and everyone else increasing until serfdom).

The anti-Ukrainian government protests and the recent ‘ultimatum’ for new elections is akin to the US pressure exerted on Russia, after Putin’s 1st successful re-election last election cycle, where democratic legitimacy means nothing to do with democratic legitimacy but whether that democratic government fully supports the Jewish-supremacist geo-political objectives or not.

The anti-Ukrainian protests are thus an attempt, to try to deny Russia a key geo-political, economic and military ally in Ukraine, in a wider, well-established anti-white effort to surround, isolate and attempt to destroy Russia on behalf of Jewish financial and racial interests who still hate the Russian people (as European people) for their defiance and destruction of communism in the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Some intelligent and well-informed Ukrainians have instead protested and surrounded the US embassy in Kiev, against the US (via Jewish-supremacists based in the US administration through figure-heads such as Kerry, McCain and Schumer*) subversion in Ukraine.

Several Nationalists in Ukraine have also used the protests as sufficient cover in order to engage in protesting at Jews and Jewish Synagogues, having correctly identified the cause of the current anti-Ukrainian disturbances. Some Nationalists have also taken part in demonstrations albeit for entirely different reasons. There are numerous pictures of well-equiped nationalists taking part in the riot in very small numbers.


The symbol on the shield there is quite evidently an Odin rune, the symbol of the Nordic and Germanic God Odin, the religion of our ancestors is popular throughout nationalist circles even in non-Northern European nations such as Ukraine and Russia and such persons as expected are on the frontlines, using the protest as cover for their own operations and to satiate their anger at the Ukrainian regime for its anti-protest laws and rampant corruption from Christian and Jewish political leaders. (Right) Look closely, that is a German Flecktarn jacket, popular with nationalists, and I can bet only nationalists are as well prepared and armoured as that person there.

The semi-nationalist and anti-interventionist policies of Vladimir Putin, is another reason why Ukraine is being pressured, via internal subversion to move away from Russia, because Russia (and China) are the only major powers who pose a colossal threat to Jewish-supremacist globalist ambitions.

These Jewish ‘opposition leaders’ (much like the foreign backed opposition leaders of Syria*) have made the ludicrous assertion that President Viktor Yanukovych has to call early elections within 24 hours from today (23/1/2014) or face massive protests.

*The same divide and rule (through internal subversion and the creation of factions) tactic resulting in the creation of “provisional” or opposition leaders or factions in countries opposed to Jewish-supremacist geo-political and racial objectives is blatantly clear.

Although it seems that many political factions are attempting to seize the moment, created by Jewish-international subversion, ironically even nationalists, as the above picture demonstrates are seeking to make an impact in their own way. It is likely that the Jewish international media may use pictures such as this to attempt to blame the whole protest on Nationalists, when it is a well-established fact that in previous Ukrianian riots it is Jewish thugs (or often-times Christian) and Jewish communists who are always the violent criminals in such events, nationalists are out on patrol to prevent the Jewish thugs from completely controlling the direction and messages of the protests, this is evident from the protestors denounciation of the so-called opposition leader of Yatsenyuk and others.

“You, Mr. President, have the opportunity to resolve this issue. Early elections will change the situation without bloodshed and we will do everything to achieve that,”

One of many opposition leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk in front of 40,000 people, whom he turned up to claim to represent.

The allegedly racially Jewish and evidently pro-Jewish opposition leader (one of many) Yatsenyuk has openly sought to escalate the violence and urge nieve Ukrainians to literally kill themselves in the face of Ukrainian police for Jewish interests by stating that:

“tomorrow we will go forward together* And if it’s a bullet in the forehead, then it’s a bullet in the forehead, but in an honest, fair and brave way”

*”Forward together” being an age old Jewish-communist phrase, but it will not be Jewish-subversives taking bullets to the forehead but European Ukrainians who will be killed for the sake of these Jewish-subversives and pro-EU (pro-white genocide) subversives like Yatsenyuk.


The Russian state Duma has also issued a unanimous statement warning western powers from continuing their incitement of the Ukrainian crisis, although in reality these Western powers, are almost entirely Jewish-supremacists, and their Communist and Socialist slave-followers in the EU commission.

‘On aggravation of the situation in Ukraine’

“In essence, there are attempts to forcefully overthrow the legitimate power institutes in the country… It is regrettable that all these events are provoked and used by representatives of the political opposition who cynically call themselves supporters of democracy… The State Duma again warns that the external pressure on Ukraine and artificially imposing the geopolitical choice of EU association are unacceptable,”

-Russian MPs of the Duma, by unanimous declaration.

The Duma, also ‘expressed readiness to boost the cooperation with the Ukrainian parliament – the Vekhovna Rada – in order to further develop the partnership between nations’ -according to RT.

This statement in this context, could be an indication of Russian willingness to intervene in Ukraine if the protests reach any serious military proportions, in what is obviously a Russian declaration of intent to stand by the true interests of Ukraine and its elected democracy.

It is reported that Military-grade Armoured Personnel Carriers are now on several streets of Ukraine with further mobilization inevitable, in what is evidently an increase in the response to the violent Jewish-supremacist-instigated protests.

*When looking someone up on Wikipedia go straight to the ‘Early life and education’ section and that will allow you to see whether someone is publically Jewish or not in a few seconds, subsequently this normally tells you all you need to know about their ideology, racial interests and motivations.

The Ukrainian people should remember the Holodomor and the majority-Jewish perpetrators who designed, created and then staffed the Soviet government responsible for the genocide of over 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s and realise that allegedly the very same ethnic culprits who were behind the Holodomor are rallying against their nation once again, turning neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend, in a war that only benefits and can only benefit Jewish interests through what would be the destruction of Ukraine under the EU and the further attempts to isolate Russia.

Jewish-Supremacists have declared that Ukraine should be forced along with their agenda, to its own destruction long-term or be reduced to civil-war in the short-term, this is what malign Jewish-subversion looks like in reality in the videos below, behind the facade of media control and PR, this day the smell of burning flesh and ruined lives fills the air of our nations.”

Keep positive, Keep practical, Keep persevering.

source: http://nationalistasatrunews.com/complete-chronological-archive/the-2nd-jewish-war-on-ukraine.html


Here is a couple of short Right Sector propaganda videos…

Right Sector. The Great Ukrainian Reconquista (English subtitles)
Published on Feb 21, 2014
Rostyslav Ivanyk

The Great Ukrainian Reconquista: What is the Right Sector fighting for?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Inu_-0dcSU

Right sector. Ukrainian Revolution 2014
combat907
Published on Feb 12, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJmHIXVK95Y

Since the association to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was mentioned by Dmytro Yarosh in the interview, this video may offer some more insight that may be rather important…

Greek Catholic (Uniate) Clergyman in Ukraine calls to kick out Blacks, Jews and Russians
Andre Fomine
Published on Feb 24, 2014

A Sunday sermon by Rev. Mikhaylo Arsenych delivered in 2010:

“Today we are really ready for a revolution.
Would the fighters of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army tolerate Tabachnik and Yanukovych today?
The only effective methods of combat are assassination and terror!
The right way to communicate with the enemies is to fire at them!
Our message to them is the message of death by hanging. We’ll send all communists to the gallows-tree in our forest!
The message is our cry for vengence — take your weapon and chase all fear!
It is not a good time to be afraid!
We have been waiting for 20 years!
The situation will get better only if each of us makes a contribution to the construction of our national state.
We must first knock down the old house, and then build the new one.
We must rebuild our political regime and create a new sovereign state.
Only then will we live in our own country – in a country that takes care of our needs.
We want to be masters in our own house and decide for ourselves.
We want to be sure that our children will go to Ukrainian school.
We want to be sure that no Chinese, Negro, Jew or Muscovite will try to come and grab our land tomorrow!
Our success depends on each of us. We shouldn’t waver, we must keep covered todays political regime. The ground will be burning under their feet, like our torches are burning today!
Our hand must be firm! Glory to the Ukraine!”

ANALYSIS: http://orientalreview.org/2014/02/24/the-ukraine-neo-nazi-criminal-state-looming-in-the-centre-of-europe/

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5EXdbzIDEk


While we choose to not post additional links, there are literally dozens upon dozens of rather graphic and gruesome videos and hundreds of self-fulfilling articles posted by the militants themselves that have not been shown nor discussed via the msm conglomerates. We suggest that everyone begin to question everything you see and hear from the various politicians, analysts, think tanks and their profiteering propaganda outlets.

Keep in mind that while we hope we are incorrect, just like the “War on Terror” they are all selling the illusion of spreading peace, prosperity and democracy.

Before jumping to conclusions or on any bandwagons and remember that the People of Ukraine may not be aware of what lies ahead and what lies ahead will not be good considering it has all been based on lies and deception by modern day snake-oil salesman.


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

Contact us if you would like to contribute to our collaborative efforts or would like to share/submit articles, data or additional content, feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media outlets or email us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca


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#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #Censored? #cdnpoli #pnpcbc

Is this a case of subversive censorship and/or social media manipulation by the Harper Regime targeting our Veterans? Please invest a few minutes to review, share and provide some feedback below. This is follow-up to “#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #cdnpoli via #pnpcbc Part 1” of the the must see and share Breaking News press conference that aired during CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

A missing comment was brought to our attention yesterday evening by one of our Vet’s that posted the comment so we began our quest for clues and to rectify the situation. We replied to the inquiry then retrieved the missing comment from our archives and posted it along with a short statement. When we followed up this morning something was definitely amiss and this “issue” may be more troubling than originally thought as it now seems as if the comments are being displayed differently depending on “who” is viewing them and whether or not the user is logged in.

This summary contains 6 screenshots of the same video that was previously uploaded to our channel from a few vantage points. Two of the screengrabs were taken when logged into the channel, one is from the channel summary page and the other is from the video page itself. The third screengrab is from the vantage point of a non-logged in user and the other two are from different users vantage points.

#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #cdnpoli via #pnpcbc Part 1 Screengrabs

Below is the comment in question that may, or may not, be visible:

leckie411

Weeks before my retirement my friend from 3 RCR Petawawa, Cpl Mathew Cossette committed suicide related to mental health issues. 3 days after my retirement another friend from the same unit, WO Mike McNeil committed suicide and I find myself at times overwhelmed by this loss.

These were some of Canada’s best and I was privileged to witness them at their best. This overall view toward the troops by our federal gov’t is what I will remember upon my retirement.

Today I was offered an option to cash out on the pension that I earned and I must say that the offer was a slap in the face to add to these recent current events. I was stunned that my pension was held back by three weeks from previously committed finalization and then a very poor used car sales pitch was offered. I would be willing to discuss this in detail with anyone that would like to hear about this.

As I connect the dots, it appears that the federal gov’t is forcing austerity measures on DND to pay for the F-35’s that we have not heard about in a very long time


#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #cdnpoli via #pnpcbc Playlist

Below we have provided a web-accessible video playlist regarding the issue regarding the disrespected Veterans who were in Ottawa to fight ongoing service cuts by the Harper Government and lobby against the closing of their regional offices. After waiting all day, Canada’s Veterans left an emotional meeting feeling betrayed Tuesday, after being cut short and virtually ignored by Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFwi-Ew7-XzKRB4I4cxRA6W


Related:


It is worth noting that the closeted Minster of Foreign Endeavours John Baird, just returned from a pilgrimage to Silicon Valley to meet with the “experts” at g**gle and tw*tter to seek help and discuss how the Regime can best use social media to manipulate propaganda globally.

Baird seeks help from Google, Twitter on how diplomats can promote agenda on social media
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 7, 2014 12:41PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 7, 2014 3:21PM EST

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is encouraging Canadian diplomats to experiment with social media to promote democratic freedom and trade across the globe.

The plan could represent a loosening of the communications leash the Harper government has placed on foreign diplomats as part of its centralized communications strategy.

Baird announced the initiative Friday in northern California as he visited the Silicon Valley headquarters of Internet search giant Google and of Twitter, where he is seeking advice on how to better use social media tools to advance Canadian foreign policy.

“Diplomacy may never live up to the Silicon Valley mantra of ‘move fast and break things,’ for various reasons. But in the environment of instant communication and social media, we do have to move faster and not be afraid to try new things or to make mistakes,” Baird said.

Baird encouraged diplomats to take risks on social media to reach “civic actors” who can bring about political change in their countries.

“It basically is a message to all of our diplomats, a word of encouragement to be innovative, even if it means there are risks,” said a senior government official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

After coming to power in 2006, the Conservative government imposed strict communication controls on is diplomats, including ambassadors and high commissioners, requiring them to clear major public events through the Privy Council Office in Ottawa.

The Canadian Press reported this week that bureaucrats at Industry Canada must run each proposed tweet through a 12-step protocol, and seek the approval of the minister’s office.

However, the senior government official said diplomats abroad would have more local control, saying, “each mission is ultimately responsible for their own Twitter/Facebook and other social media tools.”

Canada has lagged far behind its two closest allies, the United States and Britain, in digital diplomacy so Friday’s announcement was a welcome development, said Roland Paris, director of the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Paris said in a blog post that the Americans and British have accepted that their diplomats need the freedom to communicate, and make mistakes, because that’s “the price of getting their voices heard in new media, which are increasingly shaping and driving events.”

It remains to be seen whether Baird gives Canadian diplomats the leeway they need to be effective digital diplomats, he said.

“Relations between Canada’s foreign service and the minister’s office have been strained for years. Neither side fully trusts, respects, or even understands the other. In this climate, Baird’s avowed willingness to let Canadian diplomats take chances and make mistakes will need to be demonstrated, not just stated,” said Paris.

Paris said it is not clear whether “the youthful apparatchiks in the Prime Minister’s Office who control the government’s communications will look kindly on such experiments, regardless of what Baird might want in his department.”

Baird said the Internet is an incredible tool that is “creating space for open dialogue, giving voice to the voiceless and expanding human rights” and he says Canadian foreign service needs to embrace it.

“The fast and free exchange of information is changing the nature of diplomacy and foreign affairs, just as it is changing industries,” the minister said.

“The closed world of demarches, summits and diplomatic dinners is no longer sufficient to project our values and interests.”

The government has already launched initiatives in missions in Tunisia, Ukraine and Egypt but wants to expand, officials say.

The initiative builds on an earlier democracy-building partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto that helps ordinary Iranians share information over the Internet that their government deems off limits.

Baird said social media and “big-data analytics” can allow diplomats to engage in directly with key actors, while social-media mapping exercises by the Foreign Affairs Department “have helped us to reach out to civic actors who seek to bring about positive social and political change in the countries they live in.”

A Foreign Affairs document, obtained by The Canadian Press, says the department has launched 60 new Twitter and 50 new Facebook accounts since June 2013. Most are in embassies and some are in being used by the department’s new Office of Religious Freedom to broadcast Canadian positions in places such as Ukraine and Egypt.

Foreign Affairs is also using YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and Foursquare, it says.

In particular, LinkedIn has been used more in recent years by Canadian trade commissioners in foreign missions “to improve their ability to connect Canadian businesses with potential partners in foreign markets.”

The new social-media strategy also appears to dovetail with another major foreign policy announcement last November.

Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that “economic diplomacy” would be the central focus for Canada’s foreign service.

The initiative is part of Canada’s broader strategy to improve trade and investment performance in emerging markets.

The government and the Bank of Canada have identified that as essential to the country’s prosperity.

source: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/baird-seeks-help-from-google-twitter-on-how-diplomats-can-promote-agenda-on-social-media-1.1675460


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

Contact us if you would like to contribute to our collaborative efforts or would like to share/submit articles, data or additional content, feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media outlets or email us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca


This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #cdnpoli via #pnpcbc

This Must See and Share Breaking News Press Conference aired during CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon on Tuesday, January 28, 2014. This is a web-accessible follow-up to the issue regarding the disrespected Veterans who were in Ottawa to fight ongoing service cuts by the Harper Government and lobby against the closing of their regional offices. After waiting all day, Canada’s Veterans left an emotional meeting feeling betrayed Tuesday, after being cut short and virtually ignored by Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ II: #Fantino vs #Canada’s #Veterans #cdnpoli via #pnpcbc Playlist


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFwi-Ew7-XzKRB4I4cxRA6W


Points to Ponder:

  1. What are the provisions that will be allocated towards assuring the accessibility of reliable, high-speed internet access for Disabled Veterans that are required in order to access services?
  2. What are the provisions that will be allocated towards providing education, computers, assistive technologies, equipment and devices for Disabled Veterans that require such considerations?
  3. What are the provisions that will be allocated towards providing competent computer and web-literacy training for Disabled Veterans that are not familiar with “social media” and/or the internet?

Bonus Pondering:

  • What are the provisions that will be allocated to those Disabled Veterans that will also be losing Canada Post’s door to-door postal delivery services?

Related:

Further Research:

‘Sorry isn’t good enough’: Veterans call Fantino’s apology a performance as Tories accuse unions of stoking anger
Canadian Press and Aileen Donnelly | January 29, 2014 | Last Updated: Jan 29 8:24 PM ET
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/29/sorry-isnt-good-enough-veterans-call-fantinos-apology-a-performance-as-tories-accuse-unions-of-stoking-anger/


Julian Fantino’s blundering career is past its best before date
Wayne K. Spear | January 30, 2014 | Last Updated: Jan 30 12:33 PM ET
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/01/30/wayne-k-spear-julian-fantinos-blundering-career-is-past-its-best-before-date/


Veterans fighting service cuts felt disrespected at Fantino meeting Federal government closing 9 Veterans Affairs offices across the country
CBC News Posted: Jan 28, 2014 9:46 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 29, 2014 8:11 AM ET
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-fighting-service-cuts-felt-disrespected-at-fantino-meeting-1.2513837


Veterans get brush-off from Fantino over regional office closures
Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS Published January 29, 2014 – 7:54am Last Updated January 29, 2014 – 7:58am
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1182862-veterans-get-brush-off-from-fantino-over-regional-office-closures


Laurie Hawn Says Angry Veterans Being Manipulated By Media, Opposition Parties And Unions – There’s Bound To Be A Few Veterans Upset About How They Are Treated, He Adds
Posted by: David Pugliese January 29, 2014. 3:56 pm
http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2014/01/29/laurie-hawn-says-angry-veterans-being-manipulated-by-media-oppositions-and-unions-theres-bound-to-be-a-few-veterans-upset-with-how-they-are-treated-he-adds/


A different kind of war
Diane Crocker Published on January 28, 2014
http://www.ganderbeacon.ca/News/Local/2014-01-28/article-3592755/A-different-kind-of-war/1


After veteran’s death, gov’t demands $581 benefits repayment
CTVNews.ca Staff Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:03PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:14PM EST

After veterans death, govt demands $581 benefits repayment
After veteran’s death, gov’t demands $581 benefits repayment

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/after-veteran-s-death-gov-t-demands-581-benefits-repayment-1.1660614


Veterans vow to occupy Sydney office in protest of Veterans Affairs closures
CTV Atlantic Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 7:21PM AST
http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/veterans-vow-to-occupy-sydney-office-in-protest-of-veterans-affairs-closures-1.1660157


Military veterans in Ottawa to fight service cuts
By Wojtek Gwiazda | english@rcinet.ca Tuesday 28 January, 2014
http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2014/01/28/military-veterans-in-ottawa-to-fight-service-cuts/


Ex-soldiers protest impending veterans affairs office closures
By Terry Pedwell The Canadian Press January 28, 2014 3:10 pm
http://globalnews.ca/news/1111545/on-the-hill-veterans-to-denounce-closures/


‘I would like to call for Mr. Fantino’s resignation’
Published on January 28, 2014
http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2014-01-28/article-3594471/I-would-like-to-call-for-Mr.-Fantinos-resignation/1

Veterans say Fantino treated them with disrespect in meeting over VA office closures
CTVNews.ca Staff Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014 5:52AM EST Last Updated Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:39PM EST
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/veterans-say-fantino-treated-them-with-disrespect-in-meeting-over-va-office-closures-1.1658981


Ottawa has responsibility to give vets their due: Editorial The latest battle between Ottawa and Canadian veterans reflects the feds’ skewed understanding of their moral responsibility to those who have fought for this country.
Published on Sun Jan 26 2014
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/01/26/ottawa_has_responsibility_to_give_vets_their_due_editorial.html


Julian Fantino asks for clarity on Canada’s obligation to vets
The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 19, 2013 2:29 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013 6:42 PM ET
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/julian-fantino-asks-for-clarity-on-canada-s-obligation-to-vets-1.2432320


Vets angry as federal lawyers argue Ottawa has no social obligation to soldiers
by Murray Brewster and Dene Moore, The Canadian Press on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:36pm
http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/07/30/vets-angry-as-federal-lawyers-argue-ottawa-has-no-social-obligation-to-soldiers/


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#Harper’s ‘Pigs at the Trough’ #CPC vs #Canada’s #Veterans via #pnpcbc #cdnpoli

Must see and share! Retired Colonel Pat Stogran, Ex-veteran affairs ombudsman, discusses 3 recent deaths with Rosemary Barton on CBC’s Power and Politics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4USj1puLE4

Further Research:

Rick Hillier calls for public inquiry in wake of soldier suicides: Former chief of defence staff worried there could be more suicides during the holidays By Kristen Everson, CBC News Posted: Dec 14, 2013 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 14, 2013 7:21 PM ET
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rick-hillier-calls-for-public-inquiry-in-wake-of-soldier-suicides-1.2463941

In Committee from the Senate of Canada – Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs – December 11, 2013 – Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent returns to the committee to answer questions about his report on the New Veterans Charter. Senators had begun their discussion on his report at the previous meeting last week. The ombudsman’s report provides recommendations to fix current weaknesses in the Charter. Deputy ombudsman Gary Walbourne also responds to questions.

http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/in-committee-from-the-senate-of-canada/episodes/29000946/

Our vets deserve better Re: Deaths of three Afghan vets raise new concerns, Nov. 30. By Shaun Fynes, Ottawa Citizen November 30, 2013 5:40 PM
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/story_print.html?id=9230884&sponsor=dumpharper

Mental health care needs among soldiers expected to increase: military psychiatrist
CTVNews.ca Staff Published Friday, November 29, 2013 6:23PM EST Last Updated Friday, November 29, 2013 10:42PM EST
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/mental-health-care-needs-among-soldiers-expected-to-increase-military-psychiatrist-1.1567519

Three soldier deaths leave more questions than answers
Department of National Defence probes possible suicides in Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta

CBC News Posted: Nov 29, 2013 5:41 PM CT Last Updated: Nov 29, 2013 6:55 PM CT
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/three-soldier-deaths-leave-more-questions-than-answers-1.2445864

Death of three Afghan veterans highlights military’s failure to conclude investigations into 70 suicides Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News November 28, 2013
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/story_print.html?id=9225053&sponsor=dumpharper

Embattled ombudsman Pat Stogran makes his last stand for Canada’s veterans By David Pugliese, Postmedia News November 7, 2010
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/story_print.html?id=3790825&sponsor=dumpharper

Dialled In: Pat Stogran says ‘Pig at the trough’ Conservatives see no return in more than token support for veterans By Matt Gurney Published 28/09/10 Last Updated: 28/09/10
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/09/28/dialled-in-pig-at-the-trough-conservatives-see-no-political-return-in-more-than-token-support-for-veterans/

‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’: Stogran By Dave Stewart Published on August 20, 2010
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/?controllerName=article&page=1&contextId=1686132&siteId=204&action=changeRating&bizClass=article&bizId=1686132&rateValue=

Veterans wanted dead, not alive, ombudsman charges
By Allan Woods Ottawa Bureau Published on Wed Aug 18 2010 – Col. Pat Stogran accuses government of nickel-and-diming Canadian veterans wounded serving their country.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2010/08/18/veterans_wanted_dead_not_alive_ombudsman_charges.html

The wounds of war: physical, psychological injuries legacy of Afghan battle. The retired colonel said he’s heard desperate stories from veterans “who feel cheated by the country they served.” By Dene Moore The Canadian Press, July 3, 2010
http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/07/03/the-wounds-of-war-physical-psychological-injuries-legacy-of-afghan-battle.phtml

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Canada, I Fought For You and You Let Me Down

Just after the seventh anniversary of “the incident,” I write this piece to share with you the ordeal of a veteran trying to get his pension; this is my story:

On September 4, 2006 I, along with 60 other soldiers, was accidently strafed by an American A-10 Warthog during Operation Medusa. During that hazy morning, poor communication with the ground forces and those in the air, improper guidance (the airplane was told to “look for the fire” while the man on the ground was unaware that the Canadian position behind him had just lit a fire), and a trigger-happy pilot changed my life forever. While eating my breakfast, without warning I was tossed into the air like a rag doll, landing face-first on top of a rocky mountain. I lost consciousness immediately. Upon waking, to my horror, my right arm was flopping uncontrollably. “My worst nightmare is coming true,” I thought to myself, “I have lost my right arm. Why else would it be flopping around like a fish out of water?” Fortunately, when I went to grab it, I realized that it was still attached to my body; I checked my other appendages, and when I discovered they were all attached, I let out a huge sigh of relief. That is when the blood began to pour onto my face.

I do not know if I had been bleeding previously while I conducted my extremity check, but I do know this: once I sighed in relief, a fountain of thick, dark, red blood began to run over my face. My initial instinct was to try and catch the blood, save it, if you will. It was only after I had both of my hands overflowing that I realized my folly and I dropped the coagulating blood onto the dusty ground. I can still see the scabbing mess and sand mixing together. I knew I was injured, and though I was unaware of how badly, the sight of all that blood told me to get help. The injury to my head was so severe that I could not lift it, let alone my body, so I dragged myself, my face on the ground scraping against the jagged rocks as I tried to seek medical assistance. When I reached Master Corporal Jeff Rainey I heard him ask people around me how one “treats a penetrating head injury?” He gingerly placed a military issued field dressing over my open wound – although I was unaware, my skull had been blown open and my brain was exposed – and offered me words of support. The good Master Corporal would soon go down from shock due to his own injuries, and my care and life were placed in the hands of Private Greg Bird. As he too offered me words of support, I came to the realization that I was going to die.

In that moment, lying on that mountain in the arms of Private Bird, I made a decision that haunts me to this day. As I lay there bleeding to death, waiting for a military medical evacuation, I gave up. The most precious gift one is given, I turned my back on. I made my peace with God, stopped caring, and began to send telepathic messages to my loved ones back in Canada. It was at this time that two of my friends from Windsor, Ont., Corporals Jerry Day and Mike Farrah, carried me on a stretcher to a casualty collection point. Corporal Day would later tell me that he could see the yellow liquid from my brain pouring out of my ears and head. Literally caked in my blood, both men kissed my face, thinking that it was the last time they would see me alive.

From the collection point, I was airlifted to Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar where I underwent a first surgery to clean up the damage the 30 mm, electrically charged, explosive, uranium-based bullet had done. Go to YouTube and search the devastation that the A-10 Warthog rains upon its victims. In just one second, 180 rounds – bullets the size of an average man’s forearm – spew death and destruction, and have the capacity to cut through metal like butter. Now imagine what the A-10 can do to humans who get in its way. My injuries from the friendly fire were so severe that when my aunt spoke to the doctor about to perform surgery on me in Afghanistan and asked him my chances of pulling through, he told her my odds of survival were 50:50.

From Kandahar I was flown to Landstuhl, Germany where I had a second surgery; a week after that I was in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Overall I would have 5% of my brain removed. A piece of uranium, about the size of a water bottle cap, was too deep to retrieve and is still buried in my head. If I could describe the pain of the swelling and the headaches that morphine often could not mask I would, but I fear my writing ability could never give the pain I endured the justice it deserves. To feel your heart beat in your skull, each pulse a staggering blow — some 60 plus times per minute – is something that I would never wish upon even my worst enemies. The injury robbed me of some of the most basic functions, the daily things most of us take for granted: reading, writing, walking, and talking. My speech was slurred, I needed a walker to move ten feet, and I was terrified — “what if they did not come back,” I thought. “I am 22 years old and now I could very well be handicapped.” The only positives I can take from this experience were my will to recover and my family; without these two, I do not know how I could have improved.

Thankfully, through rigorous occupational and physical therapies, I was able to regain these basic life skills; however, there are lingering effects. My short-term memory is all but gone, thus my long-term memory is severely lacking. Conversations are had twice, appointments are forgotten, names are never remembered, bills are not paid, days are lost, and plans are made on top of other plans. I do not remember to take out food to thaw, I leave laundry in the washing machine for days, and reading articles for school is a nightmare. I need to write down lists and put appointments in my phone — if an event is not marked down then forget about me being there. In May, I met 12 new people at one time and it was only after over a week of constant contact that I was able to remember all of their names.

But that is not all of the negative side effects my injury has caused me. I also fatigue when I mentally exert myself, with high levels of concentration akin to running a marathon. If I have to focus for longer than two hours, I need eight to recover. When I get tired I am miserable and useless, the fatigue forcing me to lie down. When I push myself too far, I shut down and cannot focus. I was going to start this letter last night after working for eight hours, but was too tired to even begin. The fatigue really handicaps my ability to push myself, and if I do not take those necessary breaks I become angry and irritable — friends and family don’t want to be around me, they do not understand what it is like to be so tired that falling asleep is the only way for me to be normal again. No amount of coffee, Red Bull, or other pick me ups will help. When I push myself too far I know I have to stop and rest. Reading for hours with no break is like climbing a mountain for me. Climbing a mountain would not be a problem, but reading a book about climbing mountains is another story.

My temper is another point of contention, and was sparked with “the incident” in 2006. The frustration of my injury was hard to cope with and thus I took it out on those around me. I have alienated family, lost relationships, and made enemies out of friends. Learning to cope and seeking help has led to a recent diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Having both a head injury and PTSD has been a trial in itself, but coming to terms with it was a journey that I had to take, one that I am glad I do not have to go through again. The two play off each other in a symbiotic relationship: I fatigue, therefore I am angry, and once I am too tired to fight the PTSD, it comes out.

For a soldier, the battle does not end once you leave the warzone. I will be fighting the effects of my injuries from “the incident” for the rest of my life, and that is why I am writing this piece. Over the past seven years I have been fighting another battle, one for a pension that befits the injury and the effects that the terrible day in Afghanistan left me with. I have sought the help of my MP, doctors, the media, the military ombudsmen, and Veterans Affairs, but they have all left me no further ahead than when I started, and with the startling conclusion that 5% of a soldier’s brain is worth a mere $22,000.

After my injury, the paperwork was endless, and I was warned by fellow veterans to stay on top of it, because “you don’t want to fall between the cracks in this system.” At the time, however, I was more worried about recovering — walking and talking — than paperwork surrounding my pension. But as I began to recover and seek the financial compensation I believed I was due, I realized that I was nearing the edge of a crater. In Windsor, Ont., a border town that might as well be a thousand miles outside of Canada, soldiers are forgotten. The desolate outpost that is Windsor Veterans Affairs has been deemed obsolete, and thanks to budget cuts all the veterans that depend on its services will be forced to travel over an hour and a half away to London by 2014. In 2006, I submitted four claims of CF 98s (military forms that soldiers fill out when injured) to Windsor Veterans Affairs for injuries sustained that fateful day. In addition to the head injury and the PTSD, I was also shot in the back and buttocks.

From here they said they wanted to wait until I was “fully recovered” or deemed militarily fit for duty before making a decision on how much to compensate me. Although I had taken the necessary steps and submitted the proper paperwork, the process would have to begin once again when I was medically fit. The more time that went by, the further down the cracks I fell. I then had an appointment to get assessed by a doctor, where he did little better than a physical and saw me for all of five minutes. The months dragged on, and eventually Veterans Affairs came to the decision that I have spent years refuting.

Before I go any further I feel that an explanation about the compensation, appeal, and assessment process is due. According to the “meat chart” of the Canadian Forces, there are pre-determined monetary amounts that the military will pay for the loss of a body part — an arm or a leg will earn the highest amount, an award of $250,000. Unfortunately for me, the brain — arguably the most vital organ in the human body — is not on this “meat chart” and therefore, is not worth anything. Further, Canadian soldiers can request unlimited reassessments of their injuries, but can appeal a decision only once. This information was not made available to me until just recently and I was going to use my only appeal without being told that it would make more sense to get a reassessment. This is one of many examples of the ineptitude of Veteran Affairs Canada.

The pension system is undeniably flawed. In 2002 the Liberal government realized that they could save millions of dollars by doing away with monthly compensation payments and instead giving lump-sum payments to veterans of more recent engagements. However, each injury is assessed at a percentage of the maximum allowable reimbursement: $250,000. My injury remains listed at 10 percent. For some reason, I received $22,000, rather than $25,000, which is 10 percent of $250,000. I don’t understand the math Veterans Affairs uses.

Since the changes made by the Liberal government, the new Conservative government have pointed out that the current pension system is a Liberal mandate for which they are not responsible. However, they have yet to do anything to change this system and have only muddied the waters further by refusing to reform the clearly flawed Veterans organization. Veterans Affairs is headquartered out of the way in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and is in complete shambles. When I got my original settlement in 2008 I was given a cheque — no explanation, no break down, just a cheque. $22,000 was all I got; a slap to the face, 10 percent of the money to retire on. In comparison, there are clerks in the military — those who sit behind a desk doing paperwork — who received 13 percent of the $250,000 for the carpal tunnel syndrome in their wrists.

To say I was angered by the decision of Veterans Affairs is an understatement. Betrayed, hurt, and horrified are even better ways to describe my reaction. I had done everything the Canadian Forces had asked of me. I constantly defended the honour of the Forces while at home, and fought fiercely overseas. And yet, when it came time to repay me for my personal service, I received nothing. I immediately rejected the offer from Veterans Affairs and awaited a reply about what I had to do from there. But as I waited, I continued to fall further down the cracks; my story was no longer newsworthy, and I was forgotten just like all the soldiers had warned me I might be. In 2010 I decided to contact the military ombudsman who told me that there was nothing he could do, and that I should contact Veterans Affairs.

I did just that and again I said that I wanted to appeal my decision. They said that I could choose from a list of military-approved legal representation, but my lawyer would not be covered because they did not want to pay the gas mileage for him to travel to and from London. Furthermore, they said that they would contact me with the date and time for my appeal, but nothing happened. When I called back, Veterans Affairs produced more excuses, saying they had no idea I had wanted an appeal, or that my file was being held because I had not signed a release; in essence, I felt I was getting the run around. It was incompetence on a level of criminal negligence. My aunt says it best: “As a small business owner, if I ran my company like the military I would be in jail.”

From here I contacted my Federal MP, the Honorable Jeff Watson, who, like everyone before him, admitted he knew little or nothing about the quagmire that is Veterans Affairs. He was of little use and the only thing that I took out of the meeting I had with him was that a Canadian soldier only gets to appeal his decision once but a refugee coming into Canada has multiple appeals to delay deportation. He also welcomed the idea of me going to the press, and so I approached the Windsor Star and asked them for help to share my story. Unfortunately, I was unhappy with the Star’s story and felt that its portrayal of me made my situation worse.

I did not think I could feel any lower, and finally it seemed fate would step in. My diagnosis with PTSD brought me to my case-manager Colleen, who put me in contact with Randy, a former Veterans Affairs employee who the Windsor Legion hired to help soldiers get their claims. Finally after six years of going in circles it felt like I was getting somewhere. I was being noticed and I was no longer falling between the cracks. I was then informed that before I appealed I was to ask for a reassessment because I could ask for as many of those as I wanted; I was told I should look at using my only appeal as a last ditch effort. This piece of information had not been made available to me in any way by Veterans Affairs. Throughout this journey they have said that they understand and are trying to help me, but as the seventh anniversary has passed, it does not feel like I am any further ahead than I was when the process began.

After my reassessment I felt better about my chances of being fairly assessed, but in February of 2013 I was informed that my reassessment came back with no change. I could not believe it — after years of trying to tell doctors, neurologists, Veterans Affairs officials, and anyone who would listen of the fatigue, short-term memory loss, and PTSD that plagues me, this was the result.

I was devastated. But it was only on August 12, 2013, that I reached my final level of exasperation. I received a phone call from a woman working on my case asking me about what I was appealing. She explained that Veterans Affairs had classified my injury under Table 20.58 for soldiers suffering from headaches — not penetrating head injuries, but headaches. A soldier afflicted with chronic migraines is in the same category as I am. The woman informed me that I am at the second highest level (a nine) and that she could move my pension up one level (to a thirteen) — which is the highest it can go — and would increase my pension by another 5 percent. Apparently to Veterans Affairs, getting shot in the head in Afghanistan is the same as working in an office and suffering from headaches, a detail they have kept from me over the past seven years. When I explained what I had been through to her, as I have done in this piece — the missing 5 percent of my brain, the surgeries, the lost faculties, the pain and suffering, the memory loss, and the fatigue — she informed me that she would do some research, because there is currently no standard monetary compensation for soldiers with brain injuries.

I am now at my wits’ end and this is what I want: no more Conservative gestures, no more moral outrages from the public that last less than a week, and an end to watching 90-year-old men who fought in Dieppe, Normandy, and Korea suffering through over 60 years of grief. My medals are in a sandwich bag at the bottom of my underwear drawer, and I now tell all prospective military recruits to explore all other options. The big green machine will eat you alive. I write this piece from the Mariana Trench because I have fallen as far between the cracks as one can possibly go. And I am not an isolated case; there are hundreds of soldiers like me. I want my brains in a jar and you can keep the comical pension you offer. I want to remember again, I want to write a little over give pages and not need a nap. I want dramatic changes to the Veterans Affairs office.

There have been shining lights amongst all the bad. My family, friends, Colleen, and Randy have all been there for me and for that I say: I give up. I am waving the white flag, beaten, battered, and heartbroken.

Canada, I fought for you and you let me down. There is nothing more I can do, and now I need to put my focus on the people I love. Lesson learned…hopefully I remember it.

Canada, I Fought For You and You Let Me Down

Bruce Moncur
Former Reservist
Posted: 11/10/2013 10:03 pm
continue reading source: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/bruce-moncur/remembrance-day-veterans_b_4220830.html


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Is Canadian Democracy Just School Yard Stuff?

I thought the Boss said we were some kind of a beacon of Democracy or something to that effect?

Dear Steve Harper:

Many of us thought that the hallmarks of Democracy were openness and transparency, but you’ve shown us how silly we are Steve, committees disappearing behind closed doors for in camera meetings, omnibus bills that have grown so large that we really only need to have you folk in Ottawa for a couple of weeks to vote on it then take the rest of the session off.

Does that sound familiar? It should, it’s pretty much what you had to say after a Liberal omnibus bill a few years ago. It seems you want everyone else to be transparent but not when it comes to government. Or at least Your government…

Every time people try to find out what’s going on with Canada there are brick walls thrown up in their faces. The treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, the cost of the F 35 jets that may or may not ever come to fruition, the list goes on, and on, and on…

Certainly not open or transparent by any stretch of the imagination.

But I guess the real irony is when you send your MPs to far off places to ensure they have open and fair elections, but when someone takes your people to task over Robocalls and voter suppression, well they clam up, drag their feet, and generally make asses of themselves.

From what I gather, no one in the Party speaks without clearance from the PMO. Funny thing, we don’t get to vote on who is in the PMO do we?

And no one gets to ask questions without clearance from the PMO either?

It certainly looks like that. You can correct me if I’m mistaken, but I heard that the Press Pool decided to give up one of their valued questions to a foreign correspondent from China, a fellow named Li Xue Jiang. When Mr. Li stepped up to ask his question, your staff pulled the microphone away from him and when he had the temerity to try and grab the microphone back he was promptly wrestled away by four of your security detail.

Thoughtfully, the Globe and Mail has the video here.

Way to show those commies how the leader of an open and democratic society handles inconvenient questions. That’s sarcasm; I know it doesn’t always carry well in writing.

You want us to believe that you are in the “big leagues” internationally, but you’re not. This is just school yard stuff being played out by someone who should know better. Don’t like the question? Don’t let the Chinese guy ask it. (And have your minions drag him away) Too hot in Ottawa? Just yell “Prorogue”! That’s the parliamentary equivalent of picking up the ball and running away isn’t it?

We’re used to it here. We’ve seen how you have acted for the last seven years. Now you’ve gone and shown the world your management skills.

By the way Steve, yelling “Prorogue” from Whitehorse, in the middle of the summer break is pretty much like yelling “I’m telling my mom” and running away.

School yard stuff, and the saddest part is how many people don’t care.

Laters, BC

Baird downplayed PM’s comments on threat of ‘Islamist terrorism’ during international trip: documents

Baird downplayed PM’s comments on threat of ‘Islamist terrorism’ during international trip: documents

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News March 7, 2013
Baird downplayed PM’s comments on threat of ‘Islamist terrorism’ during international trip: documents

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in the Mideast in 2012.

Photograph by: Mohammad Hannon/The Associated Press , Postmedia News

OTTAWA — When Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned in September 2011 that “Islamist terrorism” is the greatest threat facing Canada, it generated headlines across the country.

It seems Canadians weren’t the only ones who took notice — newly released documents show the comments also stoked international anger.

In fact, the reaction was so strong that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was forced to back-pedal during a meeting with one of the Muslim world’s most important leaders last year.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said the incident should serve as a warning to the Conservatives to be more careful with their words in the future.

“It’s about responsible diplomacy,” Dewar said. “Particularly when we’re trying to work with moderates in North Africa and the Middle East.”

“When you’re making these comments, you’re speaking to the whole world, including people you’re trying to work with,” he said. “I hope there’s more caution and carefulness taken when we’re talking about global threats and that we don’t just use language that frankly is irresponsible.”

Harper’s comments were made on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, in which he told the CBC the “major threat” to Canada is “Islamicism.”

“When people think of Islamic terrorism, they think of Afghanistan and maybe of some place in the Middle East,” Harper said. “But the truth is, that threat exists all over the world.”

The comments prompted immediate condemnation from analysts and Muslim groups in Canada, who accused the Harper Conservatives of bigotry and vilifying Islam and all those who practice the religion.

Those sentiments were apparently shared by Muslim countries as well.

In February 2012, Baird travelled to Tunisia to attend an international conference on Syria.

One of his meetings on the sidelines of that summit was with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation.

The OIC consists of 57 Muslim countries and purports to stand for the interests of and present a single voice for the Muslim world.

A note prepared for the meeting warned Baird that Ihsanoglu would likely raise the prime minister’s comments, which “were misconstrued in the region (the Middle East and North Africa).”

If the comments did come up, Baird was advised to downplay them.

“By Islamist extremists, we mean those who distort the name of a religion to advance their political objectives through violence,” Baird was to say.

“Canada does not equate Islamist extremism with Islam the religion,” Baird was to add.

“Canada also recognizes that Islamist extremism is not the only terrorist threat to Canada and that Canada is not the only country being targeted by would-be terrorists.”

Baird was to conclude by saying that Canada was working with communities in Canada and partners around the world, including some OIC countries, to prevent and counter terrorist threats.

It’s not the first time Canada’s relationship with the Muslim world has been strained: the Harper government’s support for Israel was seen as a prime reason Muslim countries refused to support Canada’s UN Security Council bid in 2010.

The Harper government also has been accused of ignoring mainstream Muslim communities, or excluding them from federal government activities such as consultation in the lead-up to establishing a new Office of Religious Freedoms.

Amin Elshorbagy, national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said that has resulted in concern among Muslims in Canada, as well as changes in how Canada is viewed abroad.

 “I can tell you that people’s feelings in Muslim countries towards Canada have started to be cautious because Canada chooses now to take certain stands and positions on the international platform that are quite different from the traditional Canadian principles,” he said. “So of course that is noticed.”

It appears that while the Harper government continues to talk about the threat posed by terrorism, it no longer refers specifically to Islamic terrorism.

lberthiaume(at)postmedia.com

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continue reading source: http://www.canada.com/news/Baird+downplayed+comments+threat+Islamist+terrorism+during+international+trip+documents/8065437/story.html


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The end of the New World Order

The upheavals of the early 21st century have changed our world. Now, in the aftermath of failed wars and economic disasters, pressure for a social alternative can only grow

By
The Guardian
Friday 19 October 2012 18.00 BST

lehman-new-world-order
Culture shock … the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.

The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington’s neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato’s eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia‘s response as an act of “aggression” that “must not go unanswered”. Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia’s “invasion of a sovereign state” to be “unacceptable in the 21st century”.

As the fighting ended, Bush warned Russia not to recognise South Ossetia’s independence. Russia did exactly that, while US warships were reduced to sailing around the Black Sea. The conflict marked an international turning point. The US’s bluff had been called, its military sway undermined by the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. After two decades during which it bestrode the world like a colossus, the years of uncontested US power were over.

Three weeks later, a second, still more far-reaching event threatened the heart of the US-dominated global financial system. On 15 September, the credit crisis finally erupted in the collapse of America’s fourth-largest investment bank. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers engulfed the western world in its deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

The first decade of the 21st century shook the international order, turning the received wisdom of the global elites on its head – and 2008 was its watershed. With the end of the cold war, the great political and economic questions had all been settled, we were told. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism had triumphed. Socialism had been consigned to history. Political controversy would now be confined to culture wars and tax-and-spend trade-offs.

In 1990, George Bush Senior had inaugurated a New World Order, based on uncontested US military supremacy and western economic dominance. This was to be a unipolar world without rivals. Regional powers would bend the knee to the new worldwide imperium. History itself, it was said, had come to an end.

But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed.

It was the reaction of the US to 9/11 that broke the sense of invincibility of the world’s first truly global empire. The Bush administration’s wildly miscalculated response turned the atrocities in New York and Washington into the most successful terror attack in history.

Not only did Bush’s war fail on its own terms, spawning terrorists across the world, while its campaign of killings, torture and kidnapping discredited Western claims to be guardians of human rights. But the US-British invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the inability of the global behemoth to impose its will on subject peoples prepared to fight back. That became a strategic defeat for the US and its closest allies.

This passing of the unipolar moment was the first of four decisive changes that transformed the world – in some crucial ways for the better. The second was the fallout from the crash of 2008 and the crisis of the western-dominated capitalist order it unleashed, speeding up relative US decline.

This was a crisis made in America and deepened by the vast cost of its multiple wars. And its most devastating impact was on those economies whose elites had bought most enthusiastically into the neoliberal orthodoxy of deregulated financial markets and unfettered corporate power.

A voracious model of capitalism forced down the throats of the world as the only way to run a modern economy, at a cost of ballooning inequality and environmental degradation, had been discredited – and only rescued from collapse by the greatest state intervention in history. The baleful twins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism had been tried and tested to destruction.

The failure of both accelerated the rise of China, the third epoch-making change of the early 21st century. Not only did the country’s dramatic growth take hundreds of millions out of poverty, but its state-driven investment model rode out the west’s slump, making a mockery of market orthodoxy and creating a new centre of global power. That increased the freedom of manoeuvre for smaller states.

China’s rise widened the space for the tide of progressive change that swept Latin America – the fourth global advance. Across the continent, socialist and social-democratic governments were propelled to power, attacking economic and racial injustice, building regional independence and taking back resources from corporate control. Two decades after we had been assured there could be no alternatives to neoliberal capitalism, Latin Americans were creating them.

These momentous changes came, of course, with huge costs and qualifications. The US will remain the overwhelmingly dominant military power for the foreseeable future; its partial defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for in death and destruction on a colossal scale; and multipolarity brings its own risks of conflict. The neoliberal model was discredited, but governments tried to refloat it through savage austerity programmes. China’s success was bought at a high price in inequality, civil rights and environmental destruction. And Latin America’s US-backed elites remained determined to reverse the social gains, as they succeeded in doing by violent coup in Honduras in 2009. Such contradictions also beset the revolutionary upheaval that engulfed the Arab world in 2010-11, sparking another shift of global proportions.

By then, Bush’s war on terror had become such an embarrassment that the US government had to change its name to “overseas contingency operations”. Iraq was almost universally acknowledged to have been a disaster, Afghanistan a doomed undertaking. But such chastened realism couldn’t be further from how these campaigns were regarded in the western mainstream when they were first unleashed.

To return to what was routinely said by British and US politicians and their tame pundits in the aftermath of 9/11 is to be transported into a parallel universe of toxic fantasy. Every effort was made to discredit those who rejected the case for invasion and occupation – and would before long be comprehensively vindicated.

Michael Gove, now a Tory cabinet minister, poured vitriol on the Guardian for publishing a full debate on the attacks, denouncing it as a “Prada-Meinhof gang” of “fifth columnists”. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun damned those warning against war as “anti-American propagandists of the fascist left”. When the Taliban regime was overthrown, Blair issued a triumphant condemnation of those (myself included) who had opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and war on terror. We had, he declared, “proved to be wrong”.

A decade later, few could still doubt that it was Blair’s government that had “proved to be wrong”, with catastrophic consequences. The US and its allies would fail to subdue Afghanistan, critics predicted. The war on terror would itself spread terrorism. Ripping up civil rights would have dire consequences – and an occupation of Iraq would be a blood-drenched disaster.

The war party’s “experts”, such as the former “viceroy of Bosnia” Paddy Ashdown, derided warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a “long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign” as “fanciful”. More than 10 years on, armed resistance was stronger than ever and the war had become the longest in American history.

It was a similar story in Iraq – though opposition had by then been given voice by millions on the streets. Those who stood against the invasion were still accused of being “appeasers”. US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted the war would last six days. Most of the Anglo-American media expected resistance to collapse in short order. They were entirely wrong.

A new colonial-style occupation of Iraq would, I wrote in the first week of invasion, “face determined guerrilla resistance long after Saddam Hussein has gone” and the occupiers “be driven out”. British troops did indeed face unrelenting attacks until they were forced out in 2009, as did US regular troops until they were withdrawn in 2011.

But it wasn’t just on the war on terror that opponents of the New World Order were shown to be right and its cheerleaders to be talking calamitous nonsense. For 30 years, the west’s elites insisted that only deregulated markets, privatisation and low taxes on the wealthy could deliver growth and prosperity.

Long before 2008, the “free market” model had been under fierce attack: neoliberalism was handing power to unaccountable banks and corporations, anti-corporate globalisation campaigners argued, fuelling poverty and social injustice and eviscerating democracy – and was both economically and ecologically unsustainable.

In contrast to New Labour politicians who claimed “boom and bust” to be a thing of the past, critics dismissed the idea that the capitalist trade cycle could be abolished as absurd. Deregulation, financialisation and the reckless promotion of debt-fuelled speculation would, in fact, lead to crisis.

The large majority of economists who predicted that the neoliberal model was heading for breakdown were, of course, on the left. So while in Britain the main political parties all backed “light-touch regulation” of finance, its opponents had long argued that City liberalisation threatened the wider economy.

Critics warned that privatising public services would cost more, drive down pay and conditions and fuel corruption. Which is exactly what happened. And in the European Union, where corporate privilege and market orthodoxy were embedded into treaty, the result was ruinous. The combination of liberalised banking with an undemocratic, lopsided and deflationary currency union that critics (on both left and right in this case) had always argued risked breaking apart was a disaster waiting to happen. The crash then provided the trigger.

The case against neoliberal capitalism had been overwhelmingly made on the left, as had opposition to the US-led wars of invasion and occupation. But it was strikingly slow to capitalise on its vindication over the central controversies of the era. Hardly surprising, perhaps, given the loss of confidence that flowed from the left’s 20th-century defeats – including in its own social alternatives.

But driving home the lessons of these disasters was essential if they were not to be repeated. Even after Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror was pursued in civilian-slaughtering drone attacks from Pakistan to Somalia. The western powers played the decisive role in the overthrow of the Libyan regime – acting in the name of protecting civilians, who then died in their thousands in a Nato-escalated civil war, while conflict-wracked Syria was threatened with intervention and Iran with all-out attack.

And while neoliberalism had been discredited, western governments used the crisis to try to entrench it. Not only were jobs, pay and benefits cut as never before, but privatisation was extended still further. Being right was, of course, never going to be enough. What was needed was political and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.

Revulsion against a discredited elite and its failed social and economic project steadily deepened after 2008. As the burden of the crisis was loaded on to the majority, the spread of protests, strikes and electoral upheavals demonstrated that pressure for real change had only just begun. Rejection of corporate power and greed had become the common sense of the age.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm described the crash of 2008 as a “sort of right-wing equivalent to the fall of the Berlin wall”. It was commonly objected that after the implosion of communism and traditional social democracy, the left had no systemic alternative to offer. But no model ever came pre-cooked. All of them, from Soviet power and the Keynesian welfare state to Thatcherite-Reaganite neoliberalism, grew out of ideologically driven improvisation in specific historical circumstances.

The same would be true in the aftermath of the crisis of the neoliberal order, as the need to reconstruct a broken economy on a more democratic, egalitarian and rational basis began to dictate the shape of a sustainable alternative. Both the economic and ecological crisis demanded social ownership, public intervention and a shift of wealth and power. Real life was pushing in the direction of progressive solutions.

The upheavals of the first years of the 21st century opened up the possibility of a new kind of global order, and of genuine social and economic change. As communists learned in 1989, and the champions of capitalism discovered 20 years later, nothing is ever settled.

This is an edited extract from The Revenge of History: the Battle for the 21st Century by Seumas Milne, published by Verso. Buy it for £16 at guardianbookshop.co.uk

continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/new-world-order

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A Canadian foreign-aid insider explains our $1.5-billion Afghan sinkhole

By Jonathan Kay
Oct 13, 2012 2:33 PM ET

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images

This morning, the front page of the National Post featured Tom Blackwell’s story about previously unreleased documents that assess Canada’s ambitious aid effort in Afghanistan. “Audits of the Canadian International Development Agency’s huge involvement in Kandahar and elsewhere in Afghanistan depict a well-meaning drive for results the government could boast about — a push that faced ‘intractable’ security problems, political pressures and the ‘vaguely envisaged’ challenge of building a new nation,” Blackwell writes.

“All the projects have failed. None of them have been successful,” notes Nipa Banerjee, who headed CIDA’s Afghanistan operations from 2003 to 2006. “I think we went into Kandahar to increase our international profile … rather than thinking about the interests of the people of Kandahar. It was too much politicized and militarized and securitized, and as a result we ended up with failure.”

It’s a sad story of wasted taxpayer money, and unfulfilled promises. Yet it is hardly unique. If anything, in fact, the whole Afghan aid fiasco is a fitting symbol of the existential problem that has burdened CIDA (which is now overseen by the Minister of International Cooperation) since its creation in the late 1960s.

continue reading: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/10/13/jonathan-kay-a-canadian-foreign-aid-insider-explains-our-1-5-billion-afghan-sinkhole/


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Salafism and Arab Democratization

Salafism and Arab Democratization

By Kamran Bokhari
Vice President of Middle Eastern & South Asian Affairs
October 2, 2012 | 0900 GMT

The outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2011 brought significant attention to groups — known as Islamists — seeking to establish Islamic states in countries once ruled by secular autocrats. The bulk of this attention went to already established political groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which caused consternation in the West when its Freedom and Justice Party won control of both Egypt’s parliament and its presidency.

Much less attention was paid to the Brotherhood’s principal Islamist competitors, members of the ultraconservative Salafist movement, despite their second-place finish in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. This changed in late September when certain Salafists played a key role in the unrest in reaction to an anti-Islamic video posted on the Internet.

Since then, Salafism has become the subject of much public discourse — though as is often the case with unfamiliar subjects, questions are vastly more numerous than answers. This is compounded by the rapidity of its rise from a relatively minor, apolitical movement to an influential Islamist phenomenon.

Origins and Goals of Salafism

Modern Salafism is based on an austere reinterpretation of Islam, calling for Muslims to return to the original teachings outlined in the Koran and the practices of the Prophet Mohammed as understood by the earliest generation, i.e., the Companions of the Prophet. From the Salafist perspective, non-Islamic thought has contaminated the message of “true” Islam for centuries, and this excess must be jettisoned from the Islamic way of life.

Salafists are a minority among the global Muslim population and even among Islamists. Unlike members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists do not belong to a singular organization. Instead, the movement comprises a diffuse agglomeration of neighborhood preachers, societal groups and — only very recently — political parties, none of which are necessarily united in ideology.

In many ways, Salafism can be seen as a rejection of the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. For most of the movement’s existence, it shunned politics — and thus Islamism — in favor of a focus on personal morality and individual piety, arguing that an Islamic state could not exist without Muslims first returning to the tenets of “true” Islam. This means Salafism also was at odds with the concept of jihadism — itself a violent offshoot of Salafism — as practiced by groups such as al Qaeda that sought to use force to manifest their Islamist ideology.

The Salafist movement could also afford to stay away from political activism in large part because it had a political backer in the government of Saudi Arabia. While many Salafists didn’t agree with some of Riyadh’s policies, its historical role as the birthplace of Salafism and role as the patron underwriting the global spread of Salafist thought kept the movement within the Saudi orbit.

This remained the case until the 1991 Gulf War, in which Saudi Arabia was forced to allow some 500,000 U.S. troops into the kingdom to protect itself from Baathist Iraq, after the latter’s brief occupation of Kuwait. The move caused an uproar over the religious legitimacy of allowing non-Muslim soldiers on what many consider to be holy grounds, and it also gave way to a wider debate about the political state of affairs of the Saudi kingdom. Prominent scholars began publicly calling for reform, which led to Salafists in general engaging in political discourse and, eventually, to the concept of Salafism as an Islamist philosophy.

Nevertheless, Salafists would not become a political force for another two decades, simply because it takes time for an apolitical religious movement to develop a political philosophy. At the same time, the Saudi leadership was rallying the country’s religious establishment to contain these newly politicized Salafists. The 9/11 attacks and subsequent U.S. actions against jihadism further advanced Salafist thought as the sect tried to hold on to its core values amid U.S.-led international pressure for reform, distinguish itself from jihadists and come up with a viable political alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Arab Spring

By the end of the 2000s, Salafism had spread across the Arab world, most notably to Egypt and Tunisia, expanding both the number of its adherents and its institutional scope, which now included social organizations engaged in charity, relief and community work. They stopped short of formal political groups, largely because of the autocratic regimes under which they lived, but they quietly developed the infrastructure for such groups. It was under these circumstances that the Salafists found themselves at the beginning of the Arab Spring.

The case of Egypt’s Salafists is the most telling. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, they were caught unprepared when the popular agitation largely led by liberal youth groups broke out and began to consume decades-old secular autocratic regimes. While they eventually were able to overshadow the largely non-Islamist forces that played a key role in forcing the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak, they lacked the political machine that the Brotherhood had developed over the course of some 80 years. The result was the rise of various Salafist forces haphazardly trying to assert themselves in a post-authoritarian Egypt.

Several Egyptian Salafist groups applied for licenses to form political parties. Two prominent parties — al-Nour and al-Asala — emerged along with a host of individuals, such as Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who ran as an independent candidate for president. The two Salafist parties banded together with the newly formed political wing of the former jihadist group Gamaa al-Islamiya — the Building and Development Party — to form the Islamist Bloc. The alliance was able to garner more than a quarter of ballots cast in the parliamentary polls late last year, coming in second place behind the Brotherhood.

What was most important about these Salafists participating in mainstream politics is that they embraced the electoral process after decades of having denounced democracy as un-Islamic. In other words, they ultimately adopted the approach of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they had hitherto vehemently rejected. This transformation has been more a rushed affair stemming from expediency rather than a natural ideological evolution.

There is an expectation that radical forces joining the political mainstream could, over time, lead to their de-radicalization. That may be true in the case of states with strong democratic systems, but in most Arab countries — which are just now beginning their journey away from authoritarianism — the Salafist embrace of electoral politics is likely to delay and perhaps even disrupt the democratization process and destabilize Egypt and by extension the region.

Much of this chaos will stem from the fact that the move to accept democratic politics has led to further fragmentation of the Salafist landscape. Many Salafists still are not comfortable with democracy, and those who have cautiously adopted it are divided into many factions. The result is that no one Salafist entity can speak for the bulk of the sect.

What Lies Ahead

Clearly, the Salafists are bereft of any tradition of civil dissent. That said, they have exhibited a strong sense of urgency to exercise their nascent freedom and engage in political activism. The outcome of this was the rioting that took place in reaction to the anti-Islamic film.

The Salafists are not just suffering from arrested political development; they face an intellectual discrepancy. On one hand, they wish to be part of the new democratic order and a mainstream player. On the other, they subscribe to a radical agenda that dictates the imposition of their stern interpretation of Islamic law across the Arab and Muslim world.

Their envisioned order is not just a problem for secularists, Christians, Jews and other minorities but also for more moderate Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood lost its monopoly on Islamism close to four decades ago but back then it didn’t matter because the Brotherhood was an opposition movement. Now that the group has won political power in Egypt, the Salafists represent a threat to its political interests.

Some of the more politically savvy Salafists, especially the political parties, are willing to work with the Muslim Brotherhood toward the common goals of furthering the democratic transition and containing radical and militant tendencies. Ultimately, however, they seek to exploit the Brotherhood’s pragmatism in order to undermine the mainstream Islamist movement’s support among religious voters. Additionally, the Salafists are also trying to make use of their role as mediators between the Brotherhood-led government and the jihadists active in the Sinai region to enhance their bargaining power and lessen the Brotherhood’s.

Salafists — whether they operate through legal means or through raw street power — can be expected to create problems for Egypt’s new government led by President Mohammed Morsi, especially when it comes to foreign policy matters. A prime example is the recent case of the film-related violence, during which Morsi had a difficult time balancing the need to placate the masses at home and maintain a working relationship with the United States, upon which Egypt relies for its economic well-being. While the anger over the film is a passing phenomenon, the underlying dynamic persists.

There is also no shortage of issues for right-wing Islamists to exploit. U.S. imperatives in the region will continue to place the Morsi government in a tight spot and provide reasons for the Salafists to oppose Cairo’s policies. Even more volatile than the dealings between the Morsi administration and Washington will be Israeli-Egyptian relations.

So far, Morsi has managed to avoid dealing too directly with Israel. But the Egyptian president and the Brotherhood cannot avoid this for too long. They know that they will face situations where they could be caught between the need to maintain peaceful relations with Israel and deal with Salafists taking advantage of the widespread anti-Israeli sentiment among Egyptians. This is one of the reasons Morsi and his associates have been speaking of revising the peace treaty with Israel, which is an attempt to manage the inevitable backlash on the home front.

Egypt’s difficulties are particularly pronounced given the country’s status as the leader of the Arab world, but Salafists of various stripes are slowly emerging as political stakeholders across the region, especially in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Democratization by its very nature is a messy affair in any context, but in the case of the Arab spring, Salafist entities can be expected to complicate political transitions and undermine stability and security in the Middle East.

The major challenge to stability in the Arab world thus lies only partially in the transition to democracy from autocracy. Greater than that is the challenge mainstream Islamists face from a complex and divided Salafist movement.

Salafism and Arab Democratization is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

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By cutting ties with Iran, we just shot ourself in the foot

By Doug Saunders
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, September 08 2012

The boxy red-brick building on Metcalfe Street looks more like a medium-security prison than an embassy, and its air of menace extends beyond its architectural design and impenetrable gates.

Iranian Canadians have long believed that Tehran’s outpost in Ottawa is used to spy on their activities, in less than subtle ways, and occasionally to send intimidating messages to expats.

That sort of subterfuge, if it got out of hand, might have been a good reason to expel Iran’s ambassador to Canada. Likewise, the torture killing of Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi in 2003 and its subsequent cover-up were good reasons to withdraw Canada’s ambassador from Tehran.

But those were not the sorts of reasons given by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Friday when he tried to explain the extraordinary step he had just taken of cutting diplomatic relations with Iran, closing Canada’s embassy in Tehran and expelling Iran’s diplomatic staff from Ottawa.

Instead, Mr. Baird said, at some length, that Canada simply does not like Iran. The Islamic Republic supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in his brutal crackdown against rebels. It continues to be dishonest with the International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear programs. It backs dangerous organizations, including terrorist groups, in Lebanon and Afghanistan. Its loudmouth president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, often rails against Israel and Jews and doesn’t treat leaders and diplomats with respect.

Mr. Baird even went so far as to claim that the current government of Iran is “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.” Even if that were true, it would not be a reason to sever diplomatic ties – in fact, it would be a very good reason to maintain them.

Closing an embassy is rarely done even in moments of hostility. By its very nature, it prevents the possibility of further relations with the country in question, good or bad, influential or ineffective. Messages of protest, off-record moves to quell an eruption, clandestine efforts to build relations with reformists within the regime – all of these options are no longer possible. Once you’ve pulled the plug, you’re out of the game.

Libya’s embassy in Ottawa was more menacing than Iran’s has ever been – it employed goons in Moammar Gadhafi’s intelligence agency to infiltrate visiting students, follow them daily, and sometimes threaten to kill their families.

Even after Libyan embassies in other countries had fallen to anti-Gadhafi rebels last year, the Ottawa mission remained firmly loyal to the dictator. Yet, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t order it closed until August of 2011, after Canada and its NATO partners had been at war with Libya for months. Up to that point, it made sense to maintain the embassy: It was a vital channel to the regime.

Iran is a deeply troubled country controlled by a religious dictatorship and an elected president who have little respect for international agreements. Yet, these are matters of diplomacy, negotiation and sanctions – and Iran’s leadership is factional and fragmented and very likely rejected by a majority of the public, so has genuine potential for movement.

There’s no imminent risk. U.S. intelligence agencies and Israel’s military chief, Benny Gantz, have said recently they believe Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. There’s no suggestion of any Iranian military attack against any other country at the moment. The Iranian menace is all politics and potential.

The crucial milestone in Iran is not the acquisition of nuclear weapons – which, even if they began pursuing them, would be years away. It’s the June 14, 2013, presidential election – which could repeat the crackdowns, reprisals and fraud of the 2009 vote, but also have real potential for leadership change. (Mr. Ahmadinejad, facing a term limit, will not be running.)

Sanctions have the power to sway that vote. So do diplomatic acts. Canada has now abandoned such possibilities.

“This is the first time in decades that a Canadian prime minister, Liberal or Conservative, appears to be advocating approaches that reduce diplomatic opportunities for peace during an international crisis,” Canada’s last full ambassador to Tehran, John Mundy, wrote on this page this year when Stephen Harper began talking about abandoning negotiations. We now have another unfortunate first. The Prime Minister ought to listen to his diplomats.

source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/by-cutting-ties-with-iran-we-just-shot-ourself-in-the-foot/article4527936/


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Cameron and Obama ended the neocon era. But the era of Assad goes on

David Cameron and Barack Obama buried the neocons in Washington. But the west will pay a price for the quiet life

By
The Guardian
Wednesday 14 March 2012 21.20 GMT

Barack Obama welcomes David Cameron
Barack Obama welcomes David Cameron during an official arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House in Washington today. Photograph: Mark Wilson / POOL/EPA

It is as easy to be distracted by the outward glamour of a prime ministerial visit to Washington as it is to fail to discern its occasional real inner substance. Both things apply in the case of David Cameron’s White House talks with Barack Obama. On one level they were the very embodiment of the self-indulgent vacuity of which Simon Jenkins wrote here. On another, they marked the end of a chapter in modern history.

On Wednesday in the White House they buried the neocons. Or, to put it rather more carefully, since neoconservatism has been through many contrasting incarnations and the term is widely misused, Cameron and Obama marked the imminent close of the phase of US-UK foreign policy that began after 9/11 with the coming together of American imperial power and British support for the active promotion of democracy and liberal institutions, particularly in the Muslim world.

Of course, like most attempts to draw a line in the sand of history, this one is approximate and inconclusive in many ways. The Afghanistan campaign which, along with the jihadist threat, is one of the few constants of the past decade, is not over yet. There will still be nearly 70,000 US troops in Afghanistan at the turn of this year and 9,000 British until late next, with an “enduring commitment” beyond that. The interventionist reflex, the wish to nurture liberal institutions as a counterweight to jihadism, and the sheer ability to act with greater military effectiveness than most rivals will all continue to shape US and UK foreign policy in the Muslim world and elsewhere for as far ahead as the eye can see.

Meanwhile, for all the buddiness of the US visit and the Churchillian rhetoric of their Washington Post op-ed piece this week, the two leaders do not march in lockstep anyway. Obama put it with utter clarity in Wednesday’s White House press conference. Britain and America are different economies in different places. The one nation is an indisputable first-rank world power. The other is a leading second-rank one that cannot act unilaterally even if it wanted to. The US is bound into the Middle East, in particular in relations with Israel, in ways that do not apply to Britain to the same degree. Cameron was more committed to intervention in Libya and is keener on intervention in Syria than Obama.

Yet, even when all these and many other provisos are taken into account, Wednesday was still the end of an era. Over Afghanistan – despite all the talk about the upcoming Nato summit, the handover to Afghan security forces and Obama’s claim that there will be “no steep cliff” of rapid pullout at the end of 2014 – the aim is withdrawal. Recent killings of Brits and by Americans and Wednesday’s audacious attack inside Camp Bastion are all harbingers of that. “People get weary,” said Obama, in a moment of frankness. The pullout will happen because the voters have lost the will to fight.

The similar surface noise over Iran and Syria also conceals a deeper current, a long withdrawing roar of disengagement. Cameron and Obama dwelt less on Iran and Syria than they did on Afghanistan. That’s partly because there is less they can do there, even the Americans, certainly the British. The Washington Post joint article emphasised that there is time and space to pursue a diplomatic solution in Iran, buttressed by stronger sanctions. There is not an iota of ambiguity in the toughness of the language, but the unspoken reality is that Obama would do almost anything to avoid getting trapped into a military strike against Iran. That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. But it does mean that he thinks, rightly, that it would be a mark of failure if it did.

In Syria the limits of engagement are even more stark. At the White House press conference, Obama spoke about aid to the opposition, about pressure on the regime, about mobilising the nations and tightening the sanctions. Cameron threatened the Assad dynasty with the international criminal court. It all sounds like action, and it is all useful incremental stuff. But it is action at a distance, with strict limits. It is not intervention, because the international order has a collective interest in inaction and because the costs – not least the political costs at home – are deemed too high.

All this is, in very large part, the politics of where we are now. Faced with all three of these grim situations at once – a decade-long losing struggle against a feudal patriarchal narco-state, the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of a paranoid revolutionary theocracy, and the readiness of a corrupt Arab socialist autocrat to kill his own people for the sake of the revolution – it is hardly surprising that Obama and Cameron hold back. Who’s to blame them for doing so? The historic failure in Iraq leaves them little choice. But so does the fragility of the global economy. Even if the US and the UK were faced with only one of the three problems, Iraq and the recession would make them think twice.

A large part of all of us breathes a huge sigh of relief at this. The post-George Bush era finally beckons. Withdrawal from Afghanistan means no more pointless deaths of young soldiers, no more massacres, insults and acts of desecration against Afghans – at least by Americans. Western nations think in instant gratification terms and short timescales and this has all gone on too long. The west has had enough of fear and shame and hard times, of making enemies out of strangers and realising that getting people to change their ways is harder than it first seemed. People get weary, just like Obama said.

Another part of us, though, ought to reflect on what is being lost by this overwhelming collective disengagement. The disengagement is happening because the mistakes – crimes if you prefer – of the past have created a collective war-weariness that has now become a collective war-wariness. It is natural to want the conflict to end.

Who wouldn’t? It’s not wrong to want a quiet life, but how right is it when it comes at a price that someone else will inevitably have to pay? That wasn’t acceptable to earlier generations who scorned non-intervention in Spain or Abyssinia. Obama and Cameron closed the door on the George Bush era on Wednesday, to the general relief of the world. But the era of Mullah Omar, Ayatollah Khamenei and Bashar al-Assad goes on, posing questions that will one day have to be answered.

• Follow Comment is free on Twitter @commentisfree

continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/14/cameron-obama-ended-neocon-era

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An Historical Timeline – TORTURE FILE

“If you know your history, then you would know where you’re coming from.  Then you wouldn’t have to ask me, who in the hell do I think I am.” – Bob Marley


2007

April 27

Prof. Michael Byers (Canada Research Chair in Global Politics & International Law, University of British Columbia)  and  Prof. William A. Schaba (Irish Centre for Human Rights) sent a letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The letter, asks the Prosecutor to investigate whether Canada’s two most senior military officials committed war crimes by allowing unlawful transfers to take place, and by not stopping them when credible reports of torture surfaced.


2008

December 17

Canadian Soldiers Complicit in Rape of Afghan Children” is published by peaceculture.org, calling for the ICC to probe allegations that some Canadian officers serving in Afghanistan told subordinates to ‘look the other way’ when Afghan soldiers and local interpreters sodomized young boys…

“It’s common knowledge that young boys are used in this way in Afghanistan,” said Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch. “It’s the great dichotomy of Afghanistan. Homosexuality is treated as a cardinal sin, but it’s still common for men to have sex with boys.”  Moreover, Adams said he wasn’t surprised that some Canadian soldiers say they were told to ‘ignore’ cases of abuse. “I think (Western soldiers) look the other way about a number of things, like opium production and warlordism. They are looking the other way on almost everything.”

“I think it’s safe to say that they had other worries, like how they were staying alive,” said retired Canadian major-general Lewis MacKenzie.


2009

September 9 

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced that the ICC had received “allegations from many different sources”, and that he has launched a preliminary examination.  If he finds grounds, a full investigation into war crimes committed by NATO soldiers and insurgents in Afghanistan would be required. Law experts say there is a very real chance Canadian officials could be charged with war crimes.

November 18

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA_XSKSEZSI
Richard Covin testifies to a Special Committee of Parliament in respect of obstruction, intimidation and contempt on the part of Harper’s government, and confirms the commission of widespread war crimes by parties within the government, including the armed forces.

November 19

“Clearly the reality is there is no credible evidence, none, zero, to suggest that a Taliban prisoner transferred from Canadian Forces was ever abused.”
– Peter MacKay (Question Period, Nov. 19, 2009).

November 22

“Not a single Taliban soldier turned over by Canadian forces can be proved to have been abused. That is the crux* of the issue.” – Peter MacKay *
“Crux simplex”, a simple wooden torture stake, according to the classic Greek word “stavros” (“σταυρός”), by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), De Cruce Libri Tres, Adwerp, 1629, p. 19.
 

November 26

The Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan presents its THIRD REPORT. (That the Committee believes a serious breach of privilege has occurred and members’ rights have been violated, that the Government of Canada, particularly the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, have intimidated a witness of this Committee, and obstructed and interfered with the Committee’s work and with the papers requested by the Committee – therefore the Committee reported the breach to the House for consideration).

December 9

Harper’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk finally, and for the first time, reveals to reporters that such torture had, in fact, occurred in Afghanistan. (Harper’s ministers say they were aware of neither Natynczyk’s torture reports, nor indeed any of the widespread reports that Afghan authorities were abusing detainees).

December 11

Liberals / NDP / BLOQ MPs pass a motion (votes: 145-143)  in the House Commons that orders Harper’s minority government to release thousands of pages of unedited documents in order that Parliament can examine whether Afghan prisoners detained by Canadian forces were subject to torture when handed over to local authorities, and what the government knew about the issue.

December 16

Embassymag.ca publishes “Could Canadians be charged with war crimes?”

December 30

Harper’s PR officials announce to Canadians that he has shut Parliament down until March by issuing the following angry “ALERT”:

From: Alerte-Info-Alert <Alerte-Info-Alert@pmo-cpm.gc.ca>  | To: Alerte-Info-Alert <Alerte-Info-Alert@pmo-cpm.gc.ca> | Sent: Wed Dec 30 13:25:11 2009 |

Subject: New Throne Speech / Nouveau discours du Trأ´ne
| Today, the Prime Minister announced that the next phase of our Economic Action Plan will be launched, following the Olympic Games, with a Throne Speech on March 3 and a Budget on March 4.

| This is the 105th time in Canada’s history that a new Throne Speech will launch a new session of an existing Parliament.

| The economy remains Canadians’ top priority and our top priority. The three economic themes of the new session will be: (1) completing implementation of the Economic Action Plan, (2) returning the federal budget to balance once the economy has recovered and (3) building the economy of the future.

| Ms Hoeppner’s bill to repeal the long-gun registry will be unaffected by the launch of a new session. We will reintroduce in their original form the consumer safety law (Bill C-6) and the anti-drug-crime law (Bill C-15) that the Ignatieff Liberals gutted.

| We will seek Opposition agreement to proceed expeditiously with other Government legislation — particularly laws urgently needed to fight crime — that the Ignatieff Liberals have blocked and obstructed.


2010

January 5

Harper tells the CBC that  torture is not on Canadians‘ “radar”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6oZ7r9h5gs

January 9

Canadian voters start ICC letter writing campaign re: war crimes investigation.

January 10

OURCANADA.TK website is launched



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Tougher foreign policy vital to Canada: Baird

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News
December 28, 2011

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird knows some of his government’s positions on the world stage are unpopular. Supporting Israel and walking away from the Kyoto accord earlier this month are two examples.

Baird won’t apologize for either.

“We don’t develop foreign policy to be popular around the world,” he says in a recent interview with Postmedia News. “Sometimes you’re alone saying something, and then a number of years later, it’s conventional wisdom.”

The refusal to concede on issues of importance to the government is one of the clearest marks that Canada’s approach to world affairs has undergone a dramatic change since the Conservatives first came to power nearly six years ago,

Gone is the so-called “soft power” and “human security agenda” of the previous Liberal government, symbolized by consensus building at the United Nations and diplomatic initiatives like peacekeeping.

In its place is a clear pursuit of interests linked to an uncompromising projection of values backed up by a strong military.

The government’s top concern, says Baird, is Canadian economic prosperity.

“It is a lens through which we view almost anything,” he says. “Foreign policy has become even more important to the economy. It’s really essential.”

The Foreign Affairs Department budget has increased by about $700 million since 2006 to $2.8 billion. Where it has resulted in more feet on the ground, those have largely been trade commissioners in trade offices opened in China, India, Brazil and other economic hotspots.

At the same time, Baird is quick to list the number of free trade and foreign investment agreements being pursued by the government. Perhaps not by coincidence, when Canada’s embassy in Tripoli, Libya reopened in September, the first officials deployed were trade officers, not political and human rights experts.

But nothing is bigger than the United States, and Baird identifies the recent Canada-U.S. border security agreement as the best example of “traditional diplomacy” from the last year.

“It took a solid, personal relationship at the top between the prime minister and the president in order to initiate something, successfully see its conclusion and announce it,” Baird says.

The same is true with the mission in Libya, he adds.

“I think Libya’s a big success because of strong leadership on behalf of the prime minister,” Baird says, though he also praises Gen. Charles Bouchard, the Canadian commander who oversaw the NATO operation.

In fact, the foreign affairs minister describes Libya as Canada’s biggest diplomatic accomplishment in the past year.

“No doubt the diplomatic work, the coalition-building and the military success in Libya was a big one for Canada,” he says. “How many thousands, tens of thousands, of civilian lives were saved? It’s just a remarkable accomplishment. (Moammar) Gadhafi was just the worst of the worst.”

The Canadian military has emerged as a major player in Canadian foreign policy in recent years, bolstered by the fact the Defence Department budget has increased nearly $5.6 billion to $20.3 billion since the Conservative government came into power. This has included the purchase of new aircraft, ships and armoured vehicles, as well as heavy combat roles in Afghanistan and Libya.

Critics have lamented what they say is the Conservative government’s prioritizing of military power over Canada’s traditional strength, diplomacy.

Sitting in his 10th-floor office at Foreign Affairs headquarters, known in Ottawa circles as Fort Pearson, Baird says the government is simply undoing years of damage wreaked by Liberal governments in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“The military was gutted for 13 years,” he says. “Hollowed out. Even the man the Liberals appointed to be chief of defence staff (Rick Hillier) called it a ‘decade of darkness.’ That didn’t happen here at DFAIT.”

But while the government is preparing to spend billions on new F-35 fighter jets, Baird refuses to rule out the closure of Canadian embassies abroad through budget cuts next year.

“I’m confident within the department we can achieve our mandate,” he says. “If spending is unsustainable, that’s the biggest threat to the public service, that’s the biggest threat to the department.”

Baird’s appointment to the Foreign Affairs portfolio in May came as a surprise to many. Known for his bombastic style in the House of Commons, many wondered whether he would be able to make the transition to becoming Canada’s top diplomat.

Baird says the biggest lesson he’s learned is that nothing matters more in Foreign Affairs than personal relationships.

“When we have an issue, whether it’s in the United States, whether it’s in Turkey, being able to pick up the phone and talk to my counterpart directly about it,” he says.

The country’s failure to land a UN Security Council seat in October 2010, ultimately losing to Portugal, has called into question whether the Conservative government has squandered the goodwill built up over the decades by previous Canadian governments.

Baird initially tries to blame North Korea and Iran, but eventually acknowledges some of the unpopular positions taken by Canada in recent years were a factor in turning away countries in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world.

When asked how he reconciles the importance of strong relationships with the fact a number of positions adopted by the government are unpopular with the international community, Baird indicates those who are most critical of Canada’s stances aren’t likely to be friends anyway.

“We’ve taken a tough stand on human rights in some parts of the world, and that makes some people feel very uncomfortable,” he says. “If you’re a government which doesn’t respect human rights, you’re probably not keen on Canada talking about the rights of women, the rights of religious minorities, the rights of gays and lesbians.”

In recent weeks, Canada has been called out by many nations, including European allies, for abandoning the Kyoto Protocol.

Baird says only a few countries have brought the issue up with him personally, adding that the government is simply leading where other nations will eventually follow.

He says this is exactly what happened with Canadian calls several years ago for all major emitters to be included in whatever climate change agreement is negotiated after Kyoto.

“People may not have liked our position on climate change in 2007, but they’ve adopted it almost wholly across much of the world today,” he said

original source: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Tougher+foreign+policy+vital+Canada+Baird/5916863/story.html


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WikiLeaks releases U.S. cables outlining Canadian foreign policy in Latin America

WikiLeaks releases U.S. cables outlining Canadian foreign policy in Latin America

 

It turns out that he was inspired by former Australian prime minister John Howard’s approach to foreign policy.

This month, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released a bunch of U.S. diplomatic cables relating to this part of the world.

A “confidential” cable from the U.S. embassy in Ottawa to the U.S. State Department on April 15, 2009 explains Howard’s influence on Harper’s approach.

 

“Upon taking office for the first time in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a sharper focus for Canada’s foreign policy priorities, notably highlighting relations with the U.S., Afghanistan, emerging markets in Asia, and the Western Hemisphere,” the cable states. “He came to this decision, in part, after extended discussions with Australian then-Prime Minister John Howard, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s (DFAIT) Director General for Latin America and the Caribbean James Lambert. Harper had long been favorably impressed by Australia’s ability to exert outsized influence with the U.S. in particular—and other powers as well—by emphasizing its relations in its own neighborhood, observed Lambert, who added that PM Harper hoped to gain similar benefits for Canada by increased attention to Latin America and the Caribbean. When forming his second government after the October 2008 election, PM Harper also created the new position of Minister of State for the Americas, naming former journalist and new Conservative MP Peter Kent. While Kent has traveled frequently throughout the hemisphere, he does not have actual staff or exercise ministerial oversight of Brazil and Cuba policy in particular, as he had originally been promised, according to DFAIT contacts.

 

In a 2003 speech to Parliament, Harper copied parts of a Howard speech supporting the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Harper’s repetition of Howard’s words created a brief controversy in the 2008 federal-election campaign.

The recently released WikiLeaks cable also describes efforts by a former foreign-affairs minister, Stockwell Day, to promote freer trade with Latin American countries. Deals were reached with Peru and Colombia. Here’s what the cable says:

 

“The government has submitted the implementing legislation for both FTAs to Parliament, but concerns over alleged abuses and killings of labor activists in Colombia have made the Colombia FTA in particular somewhat of a difficult sell in some quarters of Parliament, according to DFAIT’s Major. “It was a painful but deliberate choice for the Prime Minister,” she said, adding that Harper was committed to supporting President Uribe despite potential domestic political costs. Harper and Uribe had struck up a good friendship, she said, and the Prime Minister wished to support someone he viewed as courageous and trying to change his country for the better. Canada was also continuing negotiations with the Central American Four partners. The parties met again for talks in late February and will have a second round in April 27 to 30 in Managua. Both sides having been trying to agree to terms since 2001. The talks had stalled for several years beginning in 2004, but resumed in 2006.

 

The cable also states that Canada has concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Mexico. Here’s part of what was written:

 

“Canada has become increasingly concerned about the security situation in Mexico, according to several Canadian interlocutors. DFAIT contacts have noted that National Security Advisor Marie-Lucie Morin was pushing the government to aid Mexican President Calderon in a more public way (refs c-e). An inter-agency Canadian team met with counterparts in Qc-e). An inter-agency Canadian team met with counterparts in Mexico City on March 12 and 13 to see how Canada might better support President Calderon’s efforts to reform the police, corrections, and judicial sectors. The visit also reflected the reinvigorated bilateral security policy consultations that began again in December 2007.”

 

Meanwhile, the memo cites a Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade official saying that Canada appreciated U.S. efforts to “de-escalate public disagreements with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, believing that the skillful handling of Chavez over the past several years had muted hemispheric criticism of U.S. policy in other areas, especially with regard to Cuba”.

 

“Internationally, Chavez’s tentative ‘alliance’ with Iran was increasingly ‘worrying’ to Canada, according to Lambert, since it has the potential to divert global attention from human rights and civil liberties,” the cable states. “Nonetheless, with Venezuela as its third largest export market, Canada had no choice but to stay engaged with Caracas, despite increasing concerns for the investment climate in Venezuela.”

 

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

continue reading source:  http://www.straight.com/news/wikileaks-releases-us-cables-outlining-canadian-foreign-policy-latin-america


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Top 10 Conservative Party scandals

by Daniela Syrovy & Greg Bolton

All governments have their controversies. Remember the Liberal’s infamous “sponsorship scandal?” The Mulroney-Schreiber “Airbus scandal?”

For a government that came in promising to clean up corruption, the current Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, have sure had their share of controversies. Here are 10 of the Harper Government’s biggest missteps so far. (It should be noted that it was harder than we originally anticipated to keep the list to just 10.)

1) Who: The Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office that directly serves Mr. Harper.
What: Replaced the words ”Government of Canada” with ”Harper Government” in an attempt to re-brand. Directive was sent to a variety of public servants with regards to all federal communication.
Result: Liberals have their panties in a knot and the rest of Canada thinks Harper is one step closer to declaring a dictatorship.
Lessons learned: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Leave the re-branding to ad agencies. (credit: Canadian Press)

2) Who: Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence.
What: Canada transferred Afghan detainees to the Afghan National Army and allegedly knew about the abuse these detainees were receiving. Some believe Canada not only turned a blind eye to it but intentionally handed over prisoners to torturers.
Result: Whirlwind of bad press for the Conservatives, including the accusation that Canada should be tried for war crimes. The House of Commons is in showdown mode as opposition MP’s want access to documents pertaining to the detainees in question and to Canada’s treatment and tracking of prisoners in Afghanistan.
Lessons Learned: (Alleged) war crimes don’t pay. (credit: Canadian Press)

3) Who: National Resources Minister Lisa Raitt
What: In a private conversation between Raitt and her aide Jasmine MacDonnell, Rait described the issue of medical isotope shortage as a ”sexy” story and a chance to shine in the political limelight.
Result: Busted for being a cold-hearted player. Raitt’s aide, who accidently leaked the casual recording, resigned, while Raitt eventually apologized and offered her resignation. Harper refused it.
Lessons Learned: Get a better aide. Keep the word ”sexy” as far away from your politics as possible. (credit: Canadian Press)

4) Who: Immigration Minister Jason Kenny
What: Kenney’s now former director of multicultural affairs, Kasra Nejatian send a fundraising letter to Conservative riding associations on government letterhead seeking assistance for a $378,000 ad campaign meant to attract immigrant voters. An excellent example of partisan fundraising; Kenney used government staff and resources to try and get the Conservatives what they need.
Result: Kenney apologized but claimed it was his employee’s mistake. Nejatian resigned.
Lessons Learned: It’s never a good idea to blur the lines between your Ministerial duties and courting immigrant voters. For maximum efficacy and minimum risk, just make a pandering, empty appearance at random ethnic festivals instead. (credit: Canadian Press)

5) Who: Herr Harper Himself
What: The PMO is working on a plan code named the Shoe Store Project that would see government build a new media centre solely controlled by the government. Easier control of the media and the message the public get is the primary goal. The centre is meant to replace the 47-year-old National Press Theatre, a venue where conferences are moderated by the non-partisan Parliamentary Press Gallery association – a group of broadcasters, newspapers and other media outlets. The new media centre would be managed and moderated by hand-picked individuals answerable only to the Harper government, instead of to the press gallery. Estimated cost of the project is $2 million.
Result: We have yet to see if the new media centre sees the light of day. In the meantime, media outlets are expressing their concern that dictatorship is slowing edging out democracy.
Lesson Learned: Don’t f*&k with the media! (credit: Canadian Press)

6) Who: Quebec MP (and former Minister for Foreign Affairs) Maxime Bernier
What: In 2008, left highly confidential and sensitive NATO briefing notes at the apartment of then-girlfriend Julie Couillard, who was later discovered to have had ties to such unsavoury criminal organizations as the Hell’s Angels.
Result: SO. TOTALLY. FIRED! At least from his cabinet position. But he’s still an MP.
Lessons learned: For Harper: don’t trust NATO secrets with a self-absorbed jackass who does his best thinking with his ”Little Minister.” For Bernier: put your head down and behave for a bit, and you can actually keep your job, even though you don’t deserve it. Yay! (credit: Canadian Press)

7) Who: Former Cabinet Minister Helena Guergis
What: In the interest of fairness to the scandal-plagued, disgraced Guergis, it must be noted that in some cases, the exact details of her disgrace are still under investigation. But over a period of 24 months or so, she and/or her husband Rahim Jaffer were surrounded by a never-ending torrent of rumours of corruption, cocaine binges, three-way sex with prostitutes, alleged financial irregularities and a well-publicized hissy fit at the Charlottetown airport. Today, they might be known as Team Sheen.
Result: Fired, then thrown under the bus by Harper and his crew.
Lessons learned: Presumably, Harper was forced to upbraid his entire party with one of his infamous tactical directive memos. It probably read something like this: ”Hey guys! Seriously, no more blow, whores, and graft! This goes especially for cabinet ministers I appointed to multiple positions. Just good honest government for a bit, k? Tanx!” (credit: Canadian Press)

8) Who: Former Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda
What: When an official document recommended the renewal of government funding for Kairos, a left-leaning international aid organization, Oda attempted to overturn it by simply adding the word ”not” to the document, effectively inverting the meaning of the recommendation. Also known in non-governmental circles as ”lying.” She also claimed, initially, not to have done it at all – another whopper.
Results: The Government seems to be riding this one out, despite a symphonic swell of calls for her resignation, including one from National Post columnist Lorne Gunter – although most of his blistering column is about how much less corrupt the Harper government is than, well, let’s say, any Liberal government ever.
Lessons learned: Good soldiers go far. Oda’s scandal has helped deflect from concurrent Conservative, scandals, especially its stonewalling of parties seeking detailed budget breakdowns. Both issues, ultimately, placed the Conservatives in contempt of Parliament. (credit: Canadian Press)

9) Who: Harper Chief of Staff Nigel Wright
What: According to 2008 documents related to the so-called ”in-and-out scandal,” Wright was the secretary of the Conservative Fund of Canada at the time of the alleged improprieties in the distribution of campaign funds for Conservative campaign advertising – the ”In and Out” scandal (which, by the way, despite the name, appears to have absolutely nothing to do with Maxime Bernier and/or Helena Guergis).
Results: Developing. In typical fashion, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is calling for Wright’s resignation, despite the nagging fact that Wright has yet to be implicated. Or, as Harper put it in a typically scintillating, heartfelt speech: ”the individual in question has not been charged with anything yet.”
Lessons learned: We’ll see what happens, but one thing we know already is that being Harper’s chief of staff is probably not all that much fun (credit: Canadian Press)

10) Who: Stephen Harper
What: After cutting $45 million in arts and culture funding back in 2008, Mr. Harper casually suggested that ”ordinary people” don’t care about arts funding. A Facebook group claiming the contrary was quickly started and went viral, gathering nearly 60,000 fans.
Results: Harper softened his stance a bit, then performed ”A Little Help From My Friends” at just the sort of gala he had derided earlier. Not a scandal, exactly, but a great example of Harper’s enduring love for the double-standard.
Lessons learned: Harper is not an ”ordinary” Canadian, and we’re supposed to do what he says, not what he does. Any questions? Direct them to The Canadian, er, the ”Harper Government.” (credit: Canadian Press)

source: http://news.sympatico.ca/OpEd/Coffee-Talk/conservative-scandals

Daniela Syrovy is a communications professional and writer who has worked for the Toronto International Film Festival, Alliance Atlantis and CTVGlobeMedia. She runs a boutique PR firm in Toronto and once owned a fast food diner called Big Burger. She contributes to sweetspot.ca and shedoesthecity.com, and divides her time between Toronto and the West Indies.

Sameer Vasta is a storyteller, web junkie, hugger extraordinaire, and communications strategist that has helped organizations like the Government of Ontario, The World Bank, and the AKDN create compelling narrative around their work. He performs poetry in the street and gives, arguably, the best hugs in the country. Ask him for one next time you’re in Toronto.


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Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer

Canada wanted Afghan prisoners tortured: lawyer

Unredacted documents show officials hoped to gather intelligence, expert says

Last Updated: Friday, March 5, 2010 | 11:44 PM ET

CBC News
University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran says Canadian officials intentionally handed over Afghan detainees to be tortured in order to gather intelligence.University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran says Canadian officials intentionally handed over Afghan detainees to be tortured in order to gather intelligence. (CBC)

Federal government documents on Afghan detainees suggest that Canadian officials intended some prisoners to be tortured in order to gather intelligence, according to a legal expert.If the allegation is true, such actions would constitute a war crime, said University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who has been digging deep into the issue and told CBC News he has seen uncensored versions of government documents released last year.

“If these documents were released [in full], what they will show is that Canada partnered deliberately with the torturers in Afghanistan for the interrogation of detainees,” he said.

“There would be a question of rendition and a question of war crimes on the part of certain Canadian officials. That’s what’s in these documents, and that’s why the government is covering up as hard as it can.”

Detainee abuse became the subject of national debate last year after heavily redacted versions of the documents were made public after Attaran filed an access to information request. They revealed the Canadian military was not monitoring detainees who had been transferred from Canadian to Afghan custody. It was later alleged that some of those detainees were being mistreated.

Diplomat Richard Colvin says he warned top Canadian officials as early as 2006 that Afghan detainees handed over to Afghans were subsequently being tortured. Diplomat Richard Colvin says he warned top Canadian officials as early as 2006 that Afghan detainees handed over to Afghans were subsequently being tortured. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)Until now, the controversy has centred on whether the government turned a blind eye to abuse of Afghan detainees.

However, Attaran said the full versions of the documents show that Canada went even further in intentionally handing over prisoners to torturers.

“And it wasn’t accidental; it was done for a reason,” he said. “It was done so that they could be interrogated using harsher methods.”

The government maintains that nothing improper happened.

“The Canadian Forces have conducted themselves with the highest performance of all countries,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons Thursday.

But many facets of the issue remain top secret, such as the role of Canada’s elite Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2. There have been hints that JTF2 might be handling so-called high-value prisoners.

“High-value targets would be detained under a completely different mechanism that involved special forces and targeted, intelligence-driven operations,” Richard Colvin, a former senior diplomat with Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, told a parliamentary committee last November.

Colvin claimed that all detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials. He also said that his concerns were ignored by top government officials and that the government might have tried to cover up the issue.

Opposition parties have been trying to get the Conservative government to release the uncensored versions of the documents pertaining to the handling of Afghan detainees.

Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci has been asked to review whether documents pertaining to the transfer of Afghan detainees can be released to Parliament. </p>
<p>Retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci has been asked to review whether documents pertaining to the transfer of Afghan detainees can be released to Parliament. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)The Conservatives insist that releasing uncensored files on the issue would damage national security. On Friday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson asked former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci to review whether there would be “injurious” effects if some Afghan detainee documents were made public.

Nicholson did not give full details on Iacobucci’s assignment or a timetable for when the review might be completed.

However, opposition parties said Parliament is entitled to those documents regardless of what Iacobucci decides.

“Parliament is supreme,” said Ontario NDP MP Paul Dewar. “What this is, is a skate around Parliament.”

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh said the government still has many questions to answer on the subject of detainees.

“Who knew what and when, and who allowed the continuing saga of Afghan detainees being sent to a potential risk of torture?” Dosanjh said.

It’s not clear whether the government will make Iacobucci’s advice public. Moreover, he is not a sitting judge and can’t legally rule or force the government to do anything.

continue reading source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/03/05/afghan-attaran005.html


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Bush, Gog and Magog

Bush, Gog and Magog

Just when you thought it couldn’t get crazier, a well-sourced story claims Bush invaded Iraq because of Bible prophecies

Here’s a story we should all be ashamed of missing: George W Bush attempted to sell the invasion of Iraq to Jacques Chirac using biblical prophecy.

In the winter of 2003, when George Bush and Tony Blair were frantically gathering support for their planned invasion, Professor Thomas Römer, an Old Testament expert at the university of Lausanne, was rung up by the Protestant Federation of France. They asked him to supply them with a summary of the legends surrounding Gog and Magog and as the conversation progressed, he realised that this had originally come, from the highest reaches of the French government.

President Jacques Chirac wanted to know what the hell President Bush had been on about in their last conversation. Bush had then said that when he looked at the Middle East, he saw “Gog and Magog at work” and the biblical prophecies unfolding. But who the hell were Gog and Magog? Neither Chirac nor his office had any idea. But they knew Bush was an evangelical Christian, so they asked the French Federation of Protestants, who in turn asked Professor Römer.

He explained that Gog and Magog were, to use theological jargon, crazy talk. They appear twice in the Old Testament, once as a name, and once in a truly strange prophecy in the book of Ezekiel:

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Who are all these people? The best opinion is that like all Bible prophecy, it is a mixture of wish-fulfilment and contemporary (iron age) politics. Some of it at least seems to refer to the turmoil brought about by Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC (unlike Bush, Alexander actually conquered Afghanistan). But they have been for the last two hundred years the subject of increasingly excited evangelical fanfic, especially in America; in the 70s and 80s, Gog was meant to be Russia. Ronald Reagan seems to have believed that.

But with Reagan, the prophecy appreciation part of his brain functioned quite independently of the part that started wars (there’s nothing in the Old Testament about Nicaragua or even Grenada). Bush seems to have taken the threat of Gog and Magog to Israel quite literally, and, if this story can be believed, to have launched a war to stop them.

Can it be believed? We have calls out to Professor Römer and to the Protestant Federation of France. I’ll report back if or when they get back to us. But Römer story was published in the Lausanne University magazine in 2007, and looks perfectly credible there. It was repeated independently in a French book of interviews with Chirac this spring. I’m certainly inclined to believe it myself: it makes as much sense as anything else about Bush’s policy in Iraq.

There is one last twist to the story. The prophecy concludes in a way that should make even George W Bush flinch: having set his hooks in Gog, Magog, Meschech, Tubal, old Gomer, Togarmah and all, and dragged them to attack Israel, what does God do to defend his chosen people? First he gets mad:

My fury shall come up in my face.

And then he gets even:

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Is that really what a true defender of Israel would wish to happen there? If there was anyone who suffered such things as a result of Bush’s war, it was the poor Iraqis. Tricky stuff, the word of the lord.

original source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/aug/10/religion-george-bush