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@CBCNews BUSTED re #NATO vs #Ukraine vs #Russia! #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

We regret to inform our fellow Canadians and the rest of the World that our publicly funded broadcaster has seemingly and purposely selectively edited 2 (two) articles today with regards to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. This should be of great concern to everyone considering the implications and are calling on the RCMP to immediately conduct an investigation into this matter of National security. In addition, we would like the CBC Ombudsman, CRTC and any independent body to also launch an investigation so that those responsible may be immediately be held accountable.

This war-mongering propaganda campaign MUST stop and someone needs to be behind bars. This is not limited to those within the CBC, but also those that may be involved from the PMO as well as the Harper Regime’s Conservative Party of Canada along with any/all Opposition Members that may have knowledge of this travesty. Not only is this detrimental to the freedom of our press corp, but it is extremely damaging to our economy and the psychological well being of our citizenry.

Propaganda + Cold Wars + Free Trade = Trade Wars = Economic Wars = Currency Wars = Energy Wars = Real Hot Wars

This war against “We the People” of Canada MUST stop and we are issuing a cease and desist ultimatum. If the Opposition cannot stand by us, than they can and must stand down. We are NOT going to war for a bunch of neocon/neolib corporate globalists nor are we willing to pay the costs associated with this war you seek to start in our name. You may feel free to send your sons and daughters to fight your imaginary boogeyman and you may feel free to pay the financial costs as well, period.

Below you will find copypasta’s of what we have uncovered thus far along with a brief summary of each. Please note that these articles from the AP are really nothing more than Associated Propaganda and we have noticed and been tracking the selective editing of the AP articles published via the CBC for quite some time. These are not simply “updates”, they are narrative adjustments meant to cause confusion and conflict between viewers, readers, social media users, other independent researchers, bloggers and media the access them at different times of the day/night.

Article 1

UPDATED
Ukraine conflict: Shelling in rebel-held city kills 4
Fighting between government and pro-Russian separatists inches ever closer to the city centre

The Associated Press Posted: Aug 07, 2014 7:17 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 10:17 AM ET

Sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighbourhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city centre. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kyiv government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes in Kyiv

Clashes erupted in central Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favoured pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilian casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around four kilometres from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighbourhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

‘New quality and quantity of arms’

Neighbours of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

http://i.cbc.ca/1.2729868.1407409768!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_300/ukraine.jpg  Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv's Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

http://i.cbc.ca/1.2729868.1407409768!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_300/ukraine.jpg
Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

Special forces detain an activist during a clash in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

As the rebels struggle to push back Kyiv’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims.

The Ukrainian army strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-conflict-shelling-in-rebel-held-city-kills-4-1.2729866

Article 1 EDITED

Article 1 was “updated” and the title as well as the “wording” associated with the url was changed. In addition this update actually swapped out some images and also removed the image of the crackdown at Maidan in Kiev that is included in the above version. It may also be noteworth that there were only 8 comments when we first reviewed the article above and only 11 when we relocated it, as it was removed from the main World News page and noticed the edits and updates.

UPDATED
Ukraine conflict: Russia must ‘step back from the brink,’ NATO chief says
Shelling in rebel-held city kills 4

The Associated Press
Posted: Aug 07, 2014 7:17 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 11:26 AM ET

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday called on Russia to pull its troops back from the border with Ukraine and “step back from the brink.”

Rasmussen, speaking in Kyiv after NATO said on Wednesday that Russia had amassed 20,000 troops near the border and could be planning a ground invasion of its neighbour, said Russia “should not use peace-keeping as an excuse for war-making.”

The downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17 was a tragic consequence of Russia’s “reckless” policy of supporting the separatists and seeking to de-stabilize Ukraine, he said.

Meanwhile, sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

UKRAINE-CRISIS/KIEV

A protester sits in front of burning barricades during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The latest violence in the country’s east has killed at least four and wounded ten. (Konstantin Chernichkin/Reuters)

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighbourhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city centre. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kyiv government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes in Kyiv

Clashes erupted in central Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favoured pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilian casualties.

‘The hospital became a nightmare … We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.’ – Dmitry Kozhur, patient at Vishnevskiy Hospital

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around four kilometres from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighbourhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

‘New quality and quantity of arms’

Neighbours of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

UKRAINE-CRISIS/
A Ukrainian serviceman uses a pair of binoculars as he guards a checkpoint in the Donetsk region. A mortar hit a large hospital in Donetsk Thursday. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

As the rebels struggle to push back Kyiv’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims.

© The Associated Press, 2014

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-conflict-russia-must-step-back-from-the-brink-nato-chief-says-1.2729866

Alternative AP article

It is also worth noting that the article below was edited as well midway through the day. This is proof positive that this “story” is being consistently spun in order to confuse the citizens. Propaganda 101 states that it is not wise to edit article in such a way, not only does this cause doubt to how independent the “free press” is, but it discredits any and all reports from said “free” press.

Updated: 9:50 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | Posted: 9:49 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
Shelling in rebel-held Ukrainian city kills 4

By YURAS KARMANAU

The Associated Press

DONETSK, Ukraine —

Sustained shelling in the main rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, officials said, as government forces pressed forward in their campaign to rout the separatists.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital in Donetsk on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighborhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city center. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers, a claim the Russian government has repeatedly denied.

The West has also accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Clashes erupted in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favored pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilians casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around 4 kilometers (less than 3 miles) from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighborhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

Neighbors of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

As the rebels struggle to push back Kiev’s forces, fears of Russian intervention have grown. Western leaders have accused Russia of massing troops on the border with Ukraine and supplying rebels with weapons..

“We’ve noted with concern a new quality and quantity of arms and equipment flowing across the border from Russia into Ukraine, reports of shelling across the border as well as further attacks by illegal armed groups on targets in eastern Ukraine,” said Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Russia has always denied such claims

The Ukrainian army strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

In Kiev, demonstrators confronted city workers clearing a main square of long-standing barricades in a standoff that turned violent. A group of men set light to fuel-drenched tires and remonstrated with armed men from a pro-government battalion charged with protecting clean-up workers.

Dark plumes of acrid smoke from burning rubber rose above Independence Square as workers in high-visibility vests worked fast to dismantle barricades surrounding the main stage.

The square and surrounding streets were the site of huge winter protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster. Despite the election in May of a successor — 48-year old billionaire confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko — many said they would continue to squat on the square to ensure the new authorities lived up to their promise to usher in an era of transparent and accountable rule.

Many Kiev residents have fumed over the months-long sit-in, however, complaining that it severely disrupts traffic and blights the city’s main thoroughfare.

City authorities have been negotiating with the protesters to clear the square since a new mayor was elected, but have met strong resistance from the several hundred demonstrators still camped out there.

While many barricades were removed Thursday, numerous tents remain in place.

___

Peter Leonard reported from Kiev. Juergen Baetz contributed to this report from Brussels.

Copyright The Associated Press

source url: http://www.wftv.com/news/ap/top-news/3-killed-5-injured-in-east-ukraine-fighting/ngxGF/

Alternative AP article EDITED

The text and title of this version of the AP article was also changed and adjusted to the false propaganda narrative.

Updated: 2:04 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | Posted: 2:03 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
NATO pledges support to conflict-wracked Ukraine

By PETER LEONARD

The Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine —

NATO’s chief defied mounting Russian belligerence Thursday with a pledge to provide assistance to Ukraine, which is battling to quash an insurgency being waged by pro-Russia rebels in the country’s east.

The show of support from Anders Fogh Rasmussen comes as government troops increasingly focus their push to claw back rebel-held territory on the stronghold of Donetsk. Ukraine appears to be ratcheting up the urgency of its onslaught against the backdrop of an alleged escalation of Russian troop presence on the border.

“In response to Russia’s aggression, NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions,” Rasmussen said during a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

In a sign of sagging morale among rebel forces, separatist authorities issued a desperate plea for assistance Thursday, complaining in a statement that a “critical situation has developed with the militia’s food, uniform and ammunition supplies.”

In Donetsk, sustained shelling struck residential buildings and a hospital, killing at least four people and wounding 10 others, local officials said.

Mortar fire struck the Vishnevskiy Hospital on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding five others, Donetsk city council spokesman Maxim Rovensky told The Associated Press.

“There was a sudden explosion,” witness Dr. Anna Kravtsova said. “A mortar round flew through the window.”

The shelling, which destroyed an array of equipment in the dentistry unit, also hit three nearby apartment buildings.

It followed a night of shelling in another neighborhood as the fighting between the government and pro-Russian separatists is inching ever closer to the city center. The mayor’s office said in a statement posted on its website that three people had been killed, five wounded and several residential buildings destroyed during those attacks.

The government denies it uses artillery against residential areas, but that claim has come under substantial strain in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been fighting the Kiev government since April. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Moscow of backing the mutiny with weapons and soldiers. The West accused Russia of most likely providing the insurgents with surface-to-air missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over rebel-held territory on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied all those charges.

More recently, Moscow has drawn accusations it is attempting to sow more instability with an intimidating show of force by dispatching what NATO estimates is 20,000 troops to Ukraine’s eastern border. That deployment has led many to speculate Russia may pursue an incursion under the guise of restoring stability to eastern Ukraine.

“I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making,” Rasmussen said.

While stopping short of committing to direct assistance in Ukraine’s ongoing conflict, Rasmussen said that NATO would intensify its cooperation with Ukraine on defense planning and reform.

Hours before Rasmussen’s arrival, clashes erupted in central Kiev as city authorities sought to clear away the remnants of a tent colony erected by demonstrators involved in the street uprising against pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych. At the time, protesters were angry about endemic corruption and wanted closer ties with the European Union.

In scenes reminiscent of that revolt, which climaxed with Yanukovych’s ouster in February, demonstrators set alight tires in their face-off against a volunteer battalion overseeing the clean-up operation.

In eastern Ukraine, government troops have made tentative progress in their strategy to retake Donetsk and other towns and cities. Armed forces have refrained from pitched urban battles, and instead favored pushing back their opponents with artillery fire. It has led to a growing number of civilians casualties.

Vishnevskiy Hospital, one of the city’s larger medical treatment facilities, is around 4 kilometers (less than 3 miles) from the main square. It has been used to provide treatment to civilian victims of the ongoing conflict.

“The hospital became a nightmare. This is absurd,” said 37-year old patient Dmitry Kozhur. “We came here to keep living, but now we are risking death.”

Kozhur said he now wants to join the 300,000 people that the mayor’s office says have already abandoned the once 1 million-person strong city.

As AP reporters were leaving the hospital, they heard the sound of four rounds of artillery being fired from a nearby neighborhood under rebel control. Although it wasn’t immediately possible to confirm the sequence of events, it appeared that the shells that hit the hospital may have been a response to rebel fire.

Neighbors of a house struck by rockets Wednesday said their homes were also near a position used by rebel artillery forces.

The Ukrainian military’s strategy has focused on driving a wedge between Donetsk and the other main stronghold of Luhansk. Efforts to seal off the border with Russia have been thwarted as border troops come under sustained and heavy rocket fire. Ukraine says a lot of those attacks have been carried out by Russian troops, which Moscow also fervently denies.

___

Karmanau reported from Donetsk, Ukraine. Juergen Baetz contributed to this report from Brussels.

Copyright The Associated Press

source url: http://www.wftv.com/news/ap/international/3-killed-5-injured-in-east-ukraine-fighting/ngxGF/

Article 2

Below are two versions of another article published and edited today by the CBC that have seemingly been scrubbed to avoid mentioning the violent crackdown in Kiev today as well as title and url “wording” changes like Article 1 above. Since it was a little more subtle, other than adding irrelevant Harper Regime Minister photo-op vote pandering dribblings, and done behind the scenes within the slideshow scripts, we’ll present both for further review of the text portion. Of special concern is the image swaps (where the text 1 of 13 is located in the article) which are explained further down. The most noteworthy is image 1, the removal of the violent crackdown in Kiev. Please note that this article is a combo of files from the AP (Associated Propaganda) as well as Reuters in cahoots with The Canadian Press.

Russia bans food imports from Canada, other countries for 1 year
Ban covers meat, fish, milk, fruit, vegetables from Canada, the U.S., EU

The Canadian Press Posted: Aug 07, 2014 5:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 9:53 AM ET

Russia is responding to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the ban covers Canada, the U.S. the European Union, Australia, Norway and covers:

Meat.
Fish.
Milk and milk products.
Fruit and vegetables.

The move announced Thursday was taken on orders from President Vladimir Putin in response to sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine. The ban will cost Western farmers billions of dollars but also isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.

Russia’s sanctions will mostly affect Canada’s pork industry. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and most of them were frozen pork.

Canada on Wednesday slapped new sanctions and travel bans on several top Russian and Ukrainian politicians and groups with ties to Putin’s government. Those sanctions, imposed in co-ordination with the U.S. and the EU, came amid reports Russia is massing thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has frequently said Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and provocative military activity in eastern Ukraine is a “grave concern” to Canada and the world.

Harper said Canada is prepared to take further actions if Putin’s government continues its military aggression.

Russian economy already showing effects

The announcement saw Russian bond yields rise to their highest levels in years and Moscow’s already reeling share prices extend a sell-off.

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov acknowledged that the measures would cause a short-term spike in inflation, but said he did not see a danger in the medium or long term. He said Russia would compensate with more imports of products from other suppliers such as Brazilian meat and New Zealand cheese.

Russia Sanctions

A woman shops at a supermarket in downtown Moscow on Thursday. Russia’s new sanctions were made in response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the crisis in Ukraine. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs — most of it from the West — particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow. In 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled $15.8 billion US, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture says food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion.

Medvedev argued that the ban would give Russian farmers, who have struggled to compete with Western products, a good chance to increase their market share.

But experts said that local producers will find it hard to fill the gap left by the ban, as the nation’s agricultural sector has continued to suffer from poor efficiency and shortage of funds.

While the government claimed it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes, analysts predicted that it will further speed up inflation.

Moscow will be hit hard

The damage to consumers inflicted by the ban will be felt particularly hard in big cities like Moscow, where imported food fills an estimated 60-70 per cent of the market.

Russians have relished imported food since the fall of the Soviet Union, when year-round supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables arrived and ubiquitous cheap American frozen chicken quarters became known as “Bush’s legs” after the then president.

Medvedev said Russia is also considering banning Western carriers from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia — a move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight time. He said a decision on that hasn’t been made yet.

Protesters hold a Molotov cocktail during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv on Thursday. Tensions flared in the square, the scene of street protests that toppled a Moscow-backed president in February, when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents.

1 of 13

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars, Medvedev said, but added that the government will realistically assess its own production potential.

Medvedev made it clear that Russia hopes that the sanctions will make the West revise its policy and stop trying to pressure Russia with sanctions.

“We didn’t want such developments, and I sincerely hope that our partners will put a pragmatic economic approach above bad policy considerations,” he said, adding that the ban could be lifted earlier if the West shows a “constructive approach.”

If the West doesn’t change course, Russia may follow up by introducing restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels, cars and other industrial products, Medvedev warned, but added that the government will move carefully.

“The government understands how important such co-operation is, and naturally, we have a realistic assessment of our own capacities,” he said.

EU Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent voiced regret about the ban. He said the commission still has to assess the potential impact, and reserves “the right to take action as appropriate.”

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
© The Canadian Press, 2014

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-bans-food-imports-from-canada-other-countries-for-1-year-1.2729821

Article 2 EDITED

This article was a little more subtly edited as the day progressed. While we are still sifting through the text, the most noteworthy edit was to the slideshow (13 of 13) contained towards the end. The first 2 images were swapped out, one was related to the violent crackdown in Kiev and the other was of the situation in the hospital (see below for the urls and captions).

Russia sanctions show Putin’s ‘short-sighted desperation,’ Canada says
Ban covers meat, fish, milk, fruit, vegetables from Canada, the U.S., EU

CBC News Posted: Aug 07, 2014 5:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 07, 2014 2:56 PM ET

Canada will not be intimidated by Russia’s ban on its food imports, Industry Minister James Moore said Thursday, warning that the sanctions will hurt Russian consumers more than Canadians.

“We will certainly look at the impact of these sanctions on the Canadian economy, but they will in no way cause us to have any hesitation in the principled position we’ve taken in opposing [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s regime,” Moore said during a news conference in Montreal.

Russia responded Thursday to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the ban includes Canada, the U.S. the European Union, Australia, Norway and others. Banned items include:

Meat.
Fish.
Milk and dairy products.
Fruit and vegetables.

Moore said the sanctions show the importance of expanding free trade, including the Harper government’s drive toward a free-trade deal with the European Union.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made similar comments in a statement Thursday, criticizing Putin’s “short-sighted desperation.”

“Our government will continue to put Canada’s national interests first, but we cannot allow business interests alone to dictate our foreign policy,” Ritz said.

Industry Minister James Moore

Industry Minister James Moore said Canada won’t back down in the face of sanctions from Russia. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Russia’s move was taken on orders from Putin in response to sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine. The ban will cost farmers in North America, Europe and Australia billions of dollars but also isolates Russian consumers from world trade to a degree unseen since Soviet days.

Canada had on Wednesday slapped new sanctions and travel bans on several top Russian and Ukrainian politicians and groups with ties to Putin’s government. Those sanctions, imposed in co-ordination with the U.S. and the EU, came amid reports Russia is massing thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has frequently said Russia’s occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and provocative military activity in eastern Ukraine is a “grave concern” to Canada and the world.

Russia’s sanctions will mostly affect Canada’s pork industry. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, though Jim Laws of the Canadian Meat Council said that number dropped to $260 million last year.

Laws told CBC News Network pork producers will start to feel the effects right away, with up to 1,000 container loads of pork on ships bound for Russia.

Laws was optimistic that much of the meat could be re-directed to other countries or back to Canada, but said that the redirection alone would cost the industry “quite a bit of money.”

“We’re fortunate that we have many markets for pork around the world. Last year, we sold some $3.2 billion worth of pork to over 120 different countries. Russia, however, was the fourth most important market” behind U.S., Japan and China, he said.

Geoff Irvine, head of the Lobster Council of Canada, said the Russian sanctions are “not good for Canada.”

“For lobster, Russia is a small but potentially good market. The biggest impact on seafood in Canada will be on northern shrimp, and maybe cheaper fish like Pacific hake and herring.”

Russia depends heavily on imports

Russian stock indexes initially fell by about 1.5 per cent on the news before recovering most of the losses a few hours later.

Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov acknowledged that the measures would cause a short-term spike in inflation, but said he did not see a danger in the medium or long term. He said Russia would compensate with more imports of products from other suppliers such as Brazilian meat and New Zealand cheese.

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs — most of it from the West — particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow. In 2013, the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled $15.8 billion US, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture says food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion.

Russia Sanctions

A woman shops at a supermarket in downtown Moscow on Thursday. Russia’s new sanctions were made in response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the crisis in Ukraine. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

Medvedev argued that the ban would give Russian farmers, who have struggled to compete with Western products, a good chance to increase their market share.
But experts said that local producers will find it hard to fill the gap left by the ban, as the nation’s agricultural sector has continued to suffer from poor efficiency and shortage of funds.

While the government claimed it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes, analysts predicted that it will further speed up inflation.

Chris Weafer, an analyst at Macro Advisory in Moscow, said the ban will likely speed up inflation and further cloud an already grim economic outlook. “Along with higher interest rates, higher food costs will mean that households have less money to spend and that will depress the economy,” he said.

Market watchers said consumers in the expensive food segment will suffer the most, losing access to goods like French cheeses and Parma ham, but others will also eventually feel the brunt as food variety will shrink and inflationary pressures increase. With retail chains stocked up for months ahead, the ban will take time to hurt, however.

The measure led to sardonic comments across Russian online media and liberal blogs, bringing reminiscences of empty store shelves during the Soviet times, but there was no immediate indication of consumers trying to stock up.

Moscow will be hit hard

The damage to consumers inflicted by the ban will be felt particularly hard in big cities like Moscow, where imported food fills an estimated 60-70 per cent of the market.

Russians have relished imported food since the fall of the Soviet Union, when year-round supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables arrived and ubiquitous cheap American frozen chicken quarters became known as “Bush’s legs” after the then president.

Medvedev said Russia is also considering banning Western carriers from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia — a move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight time. He said a decision on that hasn’t been made yet.

A Ukrainian army sapper shows reporters an IED that pro-Russian separatists allegedly left behind during their retreat at a checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian village of Nikishyne on Aug. 1.

13 of 13

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars, Medvedev said, but added that the government will realistically assess its own production potential.

Medvedev made it clear that Russia hopes that the sanctions will make the West revise its policy and stop trying to pressure Russia with sanctions.

“We didn’t want such developments, and I sincerely hope that our partners will put a pragmatic economic approach above bad policy considerations,” he said, adding that the ban could be lifted earlier if the West shows a “constructive approach.”

EU Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent voiced regret about the ban. He said the commission still has to assess the potential impact, and reserves “the right to take action as appropriate.”

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

source url: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-sanctions-show-putin-s-short-sighted-desperation-canada-says-1.2729821

Article 2 Slideshow Images

Below are the original images that were in the slideshow. oddly enough they implicate the Kiev Regime. the first is from the violent crackdown that seems to be covered under a media blackout, while the second implicated the Kiev Regime’s ongoing aerial assault, bombardment and onslaught against Ukrainians in Donetsk.

Protesters hold a Molotov cocktail during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv on Thursday. Tensions flared in the square, the scene of street protests that toppled a Moscow-backed president in February, when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents

Local residents cry and hug each other as they sit in a hospital basement being used as a bomb shelter after shelling, in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Aug. 7. Fighting in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk claimed more civilian casualties, bringing new calls from Russian nationalists for President Vladimir Putin to send in the army

People emerge the morning of Aug. 6 to inspect the rubble of damaged buildings following what was described as a airstrike by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on Wednesday. NATO says it fears Russia is poised to invade under the pretext of humanitarian aid

A Ukrainian soldier mans a checkpoint in the eastern city of Debaltseve on Aug. 6. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday slapped a one-year ban and restriction on food and agricultural product imports from nations that have imposed sanctions on Russia over its defiant stance on Ukraine

People emerge the morning of Aug. 6 to inspect the rubble of damaged buildings following what was described as a airstrike by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk on Wednesday. NATO says it fears Russia is poised to invade under the pretext of humanitarian aid

Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a checkpoint in the settlement of Yasynuvata, outside Donetsk, on Aug. 5. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an emailed statement that the treaty organization was concerned Moscow could use the pretext of peacekeeping as an excuse to send troops into eastern Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, second from left, meets with heads of security and force services in Kyiv on Aug. 6. Kyiv denies launching an artillery barrage and air raids against residential neighbourhoods in Donestsk and accuses the rebels of firing at civilian areas, claims that Human Rights Watch and others have questioned

A man removes debris from a ruined building on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk on Aug. 6

Ukrainian servicemen on board an armoured vehicle patrol the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk on Aug. 5. Airstrikes and artillery fire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops in the region have brought the shadow of war closer than ever to the urban core of some of the east’s larger cities

Ukrainian servicemen fire artillery rounds against pro-Russian separatists near Pervomaisk, in the Luhansk region, on Aug. 2

A Ukrainian army sapper shows reporters an IED that pro-Russian separatists allegedly left behind during their retreat at a checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian village of Nikishyne on Aug. 1

Article 2 Image Swaps

Below are the 2 new replacements for images 1 and 2 that were edited midway through the day.

Boys play a game of war in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk on Aug. 7, 2014. Russia responded Thursday to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year. The ban includes food stuffs like milk, fish, meat and vegetables.

Smoke billows from the flaming debris of a crashed Ukrainian fighter jet near the village of Zhdanivka, some 40 km northeast of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, on Thursday. The the Sukhoi warplane was blasted out of the air while flying low over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, An AFP crew reported, with the parachute of at least one pilot opening up in the clear blue sky.

Suspiciously Missing image

The image below seems to be intended as a thumbnail related to the violent crackdown against protesters in Kiev as it is also located in the alternative Associated propaganda article presented above.

 

We welcome any and all contributions to this summary so that we may present these findings to a much wider audience as well as various local, national and international media, NGO’s, public officials and law enforcement agencies at hom,e and abroad. It is our understanding that spreading propaganda that results in terrorist activities, recruitment, harm and/or death against innocent civilians is a serious violation of local, State, Provincial, National, Federal and International laws, depending on the jurisdictions.
 


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Gun-control groups, opposition question inclusion of firearms advocate in recent arms-trade talks

Gun-control groups, opposition question inclusion of firearms advocate in recent arms-trade talks

By Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News March 9, 2013

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar has accused the Harper government of letting the gun lobby dictate Canada’s position at global arms negotiations.

Photograph by: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press , Postmedia News

OTTAWA — Gun-control advocates and opposition parties want to know why the Harper government has consistently included a prominent firearms advocate in Canadian delegations at international arms-control talks in recent years.

They believe Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) president Steve Torino’s presence alongside Canadian diplomats is tied to what they say are Canadian efforts to weaken a new Arms Trade Treaty being negotiated at the United Nations.

Torino, whose organization represents 15,000 gun owners across the country, also co-chaired a government-appointed advisory panel that recommended making it easier to obtain and own handguns and assault rifles in Canada last year — a recommendation Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly rejected.

The gun-control advocates, who favour a tougher international arms treaty, can attend arms-trade talks as observers, and usually do alongside many other firearms advocacy organizations.

But unlike Torino, they have not been included in any official delegation since 2009.

“When Canada goes to the negotiating table, it’s doing it exclusively from the perspective of Canadian firearms owners,” said Kenneth Epps of arms-control group Project Ploughshares.

Epps believes that is why Canadian diplomats have been instructed by the Harper government to “play a low-key, minimal role” at arms treaty talks, as revealed in documents obtained by Postmedia News, and why their main objective is to safeguard Canadian gun owners’ rights.

This included proposing sporting and hunting weapons be excluded from the arms treaty in 2011 — a proposal that was publicly scorned by such countries as Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria and ultimately defeated.

Rick Roth, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird,  would only say that the delegation’s make-up rests with the minister, and that Torino is there to “advise the Government of Canada on any potential implications of an Arms Trade Treaty for Canadian firearms owners.”

CSSA spokesman Tony Bernardo said Torino, whose expenses are covered by taxpayers when he serves as a member of Canada’s delegation, participates as an “accredited expert,” and that he does not represent the firearms association or Canadian gun lobby.

A CSSA newsletter to members stated in November that “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, CSSA President Steve Torino (who serves on Canada’s UN delegation) and the rest of the Conservative caucus have our backs as they alone hold back the crushing tide of UN intervention.”

But Bernardo maintained Torino simply provides advice from his experience as an importer and exporter of guns to ensure the new Arms Trade Treaty doesn’t unduly impact Canadian gun owners.

“He’s a firearms dealer,” Bernardo said. “He’s not representing CSSA. Not even close.

“When he was on the delegation in the past, his job was to be a reference to the Canadian government on the legitimate trade of firearms.”

Bernardo said Torino was not available for an interview.

Epps said prior to 2006, gun-control groups and firearms advocates were both invited to sit on Canadian delegations, which helped provide balanced advice to the government as it formulated its position.

Documents obtained by the CBC last year showed Foreign Affairs officials recommended against including Torino on the Canadian delegation to the June 2011 round of Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.

A briefing note for a separate arms-control conference last year and obtained by Postmedia News shows he was added “on the instructions” of Baird’s office.

Torino’s affiliation with the Canadian Shooting Sports Association is listed in the briefing note, but a line has been drawn through it.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar accused the Harper government Friday of letting the gun lobby dictate Canada’s position at global arms negotiations.

“It is a funny way of actually supporting the negotiations when first the Conservatives instruct our diplomats to drag their feet on the treaty, then they appoint Steve Torino to be the only civil society representative on Canada’s delegation,” he said in the House of Commons.

“This is the same person who recommended removing restrictions on hand guns and assault rifles in Canada.”

Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia worried Torino’s presence and the Harper government’s position on the Arms Trade Treaty are specifically designed to curry political favour with domestic gun owners.

“The government is cultivating its political base,” he told Postmedia News. “It doesn’t want these people to turn their backs on it.”

Diplomats from around the world will gather in New York from March 18-28 in an effort to finalize the Arms Trade Treaty, which would establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms, and likely establish a reporting framework as well.

While Canada will send a delegation, the government would not say Friday whether Torino would be a member.

lberthiaume@postmedia.com

Twitter:/leeberthiaume

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

A cache of 75 firearms and other weapons seized by Canadian border guards at the Coutts, Alta., crossing in 2012.

Photograph by: Postmedia News, handout , Postmedia News

http://www.leaderpost.com/news/national/Protecting+Canadian+owners+concern+arms+talks+documents/8053999/story.html

continue reading source: http://www.canada.com/news/control+groups+opposition+question+inclusion+firearms+advocate+recent+arms+trade+talks/8070955/story.html


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Trans-Pacific Partnership: A few questions

By Jim Stanford
June 20, 2012

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The Harper government currently lists 18 different sets of free trade negotiations “in play.” (See my recent post on this.) The government recently announced (from the G20 meetings in Mexico): Canada has been invited to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. The TPP negotiations were initiated several years ago by a number of smaller Pacific countries. The Obama government jumped on board in 2009, arguing that it could be a “new kind” of trade deal, one that supposedly embodies more “humane” founding principles (side deals on labour and environment, and all that claptrap). This is window dressing, of course; it’s clear that (with a couple of exceptions noted below) this deal will be very much founded on the NAFTA template: investor rights and mobility, protections for intellectual property, and disciplines on state interventions. Mexico has also now been invited to join the talks. Reporters already breathlessly refer to this invitation as a big “prize,” like we’re being admitted to an elite club.

Let’s take a breath and ask a few concrete questions about the whole TPP process:

N.B.: In writing the first version of this post I forgot that Canada already has a FTA with Peru, as well as with the U.S., Mexico and Chile. I have corrected the discussion below accordingly; thanks to Scott Sinclair for pointing this out. Check out the Council of Canadians’ comprehensive brief on TPP from February.

Who’s involved?

They refer to this as a “blockbuster” pact, but that’s really stretching it. There are 10 other countries (other than Canada) in the talks. We already have FTA relationships with four of them (U.S., Mexico, Chile and Peru), so there will be no significant change there. What about the other six? Australia, Brunei (???), New Zealand, Malyasia, Vietnam and Singapore.

What’s our current trade pattern?

Our combined trade with those six potential new free trade partners is small and highly unbalanced. 2011 merchandise exports to the six of them were worth a total of $4.2 billion (under 1 per cent of Canada’s total exports). Our imports equalled $7.4 billion. Trade deficit is $3 billion. Among those six new partners, our biggest trade deficit is with Malaysia; with Australia, we enjoy almost exactly balanced trade.

What will we sell them?

Our trade with the six new TPP partners reflects the same quantitative and qualitative imbalances as our trade with almost everyone in the world (other than the U.S., with whom our trade is much more favourable on both grounds). Quantitatively, we import much more than we export. Qualitatively, we export resources while importing value-added manufactures. Based on past experience, free trade can only accelerate this deindustrializing trend: we will sell them more stuff dug out from the ground under our feet, and we will buy more value-added manufactures.

What about the Southeast Asian connection?

The qualitative imbalance in the composition of our TPP trade is most acute with the three Asian “tigers” represented in the group (Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam). With those three countries alone, Canada incurs a $4-billion manufacturing trade deficit. That would get much bigger under a free trade deal, since all three of those countries are pursuing aggressive export-led trade strategies in the Asian tradition (premised on generating domestic demand and employment through the maintenance of large, ongoing trade surpluses). Free trade with Malaysia and Vietnam (two countries with dynamic export sectors, low wages and iffy labour freedoms) would certainly pose real challenges to Canadian labour standards — accentuating the pressure that is being felt across tradable industries by the continuing migration of investment to Mexico.

Will Canada be a full negotiating partner?

Media reports based on leaked material indicate that Canada and Mexico may in essence be “second-class citizens” in the negotiations. We have been “invited” to participate, but may not have the right to either alter draft text that has already been agreed to, nor to veto future clauses. That means we may have to basically take or leave what the others negotiate. This opens some dangerous scenarios, where Canada accepts inferior or damaging provisions (like the abolition of supply management in agriculture) under pressure of being booted out of the talks altogether.

Will the TPP have a Chapter 11?

It is interesting that some of the TPP partners are presently led by left-wing governments (including Australia, Peru and Vietnam), which will not be amenable to some of the traditional neoliberal provisions of trade agreements. Australia refused to accept a NAFTA-style Chapter 11 (investor-state dispute settlement provision) in its FTA with the U.S., and is unlikely to accept one here. Some other provisions regarding pure national treatment or other protections for investors might be non-starters with some of those governments. It will be interesting to see how those tensions play out. At the WTO stage, a similar difference in approach between northern neoliberals and southern “structuralists” (led by Brazil) have led to a complete stalemate in trade liberalization.

Would anyone notice?

The TPP talks fit into the Harper government’s overall push to cement as many free trade deals as possible, no matter how marginal the trade flows involved, while it enjoys the authority of a majority government. Expect proponents of the TPP to argue vociferously that Canada can’t afford to be left on the sidelines as this trans-Pacific pact is assembled. But in practice joining a TPP would make no measurable difference to Canada’s export potential; only 1 per cent of our exports is affected, and we’ve already seen from other FTAs (especially those with developing countries which follow the export-led model) that free trade has no measurable positive impact on our exports (and may in fact slow down our exports). It will certainly lead to faster import penetration and continuing downward pressure on Canadian labour markets (especially in our relations with the three Asian tigers in the group). Which raises the final question…

Why is the government doing this?

It fits with the political optics of “being seen to be busy” on the economic portfolio, and with the general ideological strategy associated with “free trade.” It will give the government an excuse to end supply management in agriculture (something they want to do anyway, as evidenced by their actions with the Wheat Board). It will give corporations an opportunity to tighten up rules (including intellectual property) above and beyond what’s already written into the NAFTA.

Jim Stanford is an economist with CAW. This article was first posted on The Progressive Economics Forum.

continue reading source: http://rabble.ca/print/columnists/2012/06/trans-pacific-partnership-few-questions

Tags/Categories:

NAFTA, free trade, Harper government, trade agreements, exports, imports, FTA, Trans Pacific Partnership, tpp

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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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Power, Propaganda and Conscience in The War On Terror

by John Pilger
UWA Extension Summer School Lecture
Winthrop Hall, The University of Western Australia, 12 January 2004

In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism.

I am a reporter, who values bearing witness. That is to say, I place paramount importance in the evidence of what I see, and hear, and sense to be the truth, or as close to the truth as possible. By comparing this evidence with the statements, and actions of those with power, I believe it’s possible to assess fairly how our world is controlled and divided, and manipulated – and how language and debate are distorted and a false consciousness developed.

When we speak of this in regard to totalitarian societies and dictatorships, we call it brainwashing: the conquest of minds. It’s a notion we almost never apply to our own societies. Let me give you an example. During the height of the cold war, a group of Soviet journalists were taken on an official tour of the United States. They watched TV; they read the newspapers; they listened to debates in Congress. To their astonishment, everything they heard was more or less the same. The news was the same. The opinions were the same, more or less. “How do you do it?” they asked their hosts. “In our country, to achieve this, we throw people in prison; we tear out their fingernails. Here, there’s none of that? What’s your secret?”

The secret is that the question is almost never raised. Or if it is raised, it’s more than likely dismissed as coming from the margins: from voices far outside the boundaries of what I would call our ‘metropolitan conversation’, whose terms of reference, and limits, are fixed by the media at one level, and by the discourse or silence of scholarship at another level. Behind both is a presiding corporate and political power.

A dozen years ago, I reported from East Timor, which was then occupied by the Indonesian dictatorship of General Suharto. I had to go there under cover, as reporters were not welcome – my informants were brave, ordinary people who confirmed, with their evidence and experience, that genocide had taken place in their country. I brought out meticulously hand-written documents, evidence that whole communities had been slaughtered – all of which we now know to be true.

We also know that vital material backing for a crime proportionally greater than the killing in Cambodia under Pol Pot had come from the West: principally the United States, Britain and Australia. On my return to London, and then to this country, I encountered a very different version. The media version was that General Suharto was a benign leader, who ran a sound economy and was a close ally. Indeed, prime minister Keating was said to regard him as a father figure.

…This episode is a metaphor for what I’d like to touch upon tonight.

For 15 years, a silence was maintained by the Australian government, the Australian media and Australian academics on the great crime and tragedy of East Timor. Moreover, this was an extension of the silence about the true circumstances of Suharto’s bloody ascent to power in the mid-sixties. It was not unlike the official silence in the Soviet Union on the bloody invasion of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

…During the 1990s, whole societies were laid out for autopsy and identified as “failed states” and “rogue states,” requiring “humanitarian intervention.” Other euphemisms became fashionable – “good governance” and “third way” were adopted by the liberal realist school, which handed out labels to its heroes. Bill Clinton, the president who destroyed the last of the Roosevelt reforms, was labelled “left of centre.”

Noble words like democracy, freedom, independence, reform were emptied of their meaning and taken into the service of the World Bank, the IMF and that amorphous thing called “The West” – in other words, imperialism.

Of course, imperialism was the word the realists dared not write or speak, almost as if it had been struck from the dictionary. And yet imperialism was the ideology behind their euphemisms. And need I remind you of the fate of people under imperialism. Throughout 20th century imperialism, the authorities of Britain, Belgium and France gassed, bombed and massacred indigenous populations from Sudan to Iraq, Nigeria to Palestine, India to Malaya, Algeria to the Congo. And yet imperialism only got its bad name when Hitler decided he, too, was an imperialist.

So, after the war, new concepts had to be invented, indeed a whole lexicon and discourse created, as the new imperial superpower, the United States, didn’t wish to be associated with the bad old days of European power. The American cult of anti-communism filled this void most effectively; however, when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed and the cold war was over, a new threat had to be found.

At first, there was the “war on drugs” – and the Bogeyman Theory of History is still popular. But neither can compare with the “war on terror” which arrived with September 11, 2001. Last year, I reported the “war on terror” from Afghanistan. Like East Timor, events I witnessed bore almost no relation to the way they were represented in free societies, especially Australia.

The American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was reported as a liberation. But the evidence on the ground is that, for 95 per cent of the people, there is no liberation. The Taliban have been merely exchanged for a group of American funded warlords, rapists, murderers and war criminals – terrorists by any measure: the very people whom President Carter secretly armed and the CIA trained for almost 20 years.

One of the most powerful warlords is General Rashid Dostum. General Dostum was visited by Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, who came to express his gratitude. He called the general a “thoughtful” man and congratulated him on his part in the war on terror. This is the same General Dostum in whose custody 4,000 prisoners died terrible deaths just over two years ago – the allegations are that wounded men were left to suffocate and bleed to death in containers. Mary Robinson, when she was the UN’s senior humanitarian representative, called for an inquiry; but there was none for this kind of acceptable terrorism. The general is the face of the new Afghanistan you don’t see in the media.

…Like the Suharto dictatorship, these warlords are our official friends, whereas the Taliban were our official enemies. The distinction is important, because the victims of our official friends are worthy of our care and concern, whereas the victims of our official enemies are not. That is the principle upon which totalitarian regimes run their domestic propaganda. And that, basically, is how western democracies, like Australia, run theirs.

The difference is that in totalitarian societies, people take for granted that their governments lie to them: that their journalists are mere functionaries, that their academics are quiet and complicit. So people in these countries adjust accordingly. They learn to read between the lines. They rely on a flourishing underground. Their writers and playwrights write coded works, as in Poland and Czechoslovakia during the cold war.

A Czech friend, a novelist, told me; “You in the West are disadvantaged. You have your myths about freedom of information, but you have yet to acquire the skill of deciphering: of reading between the lines. One day, you will need it.”

That day has come. The so-called war on terror is the greatest threat to all of us since the most dangerous years of the cold war. Rapacious, imperial America has found its new “red scare.” Every day now, officially manipulated fear and paranoia are exported to our shores – air marshals, finger printing, a directive on how many people can queue for the toilet on a Qantas jet flying to Los Angeles.

The totalitarian impulses that have long existed in America are now in full cry. Go back to the 1950s, the McCarthy years, and the echoes today are all too familiar – the hysteria; the assault on the Bill of Rights; a war based on lies and deception. Just as in the 1950s, the virus has spread to America’s intellectual satellites, notably Australia.

Last week, the Howard government announced it would implement US-style immigration procedures, fingerprinting people when they arrived. The Sydney Morning Herald reported this as government measures to “tighten its anti-terrorism net.” No challenge there; no scepticism. News as propaganda.

How convenient it all is. The White Australia Policy is back as “homeland security” – yet another American term that institutionalises both paranoia and its bed-fellow, racism. Put simply, we are being brainwashed to believe that Al-Qaida, or any such group, is the real threat. And it isn’t. By a simple mathematical comparison of American terror and Al-Qaida terror, the latter is a lethal flea. In my lifetime, the United States has supported and trained and directed terrorists in Latin America, Africa, Asia. The toll of their victims is in the millions.

In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism.

This is not to say that the threat from al-Qaida is not real – It is very real now, thanks to American and British actions in Iraq, and the almost infantile support given by the Howard government. But the most pervasive, clear and present danger is that of which we are told nothing.

It is the danger posed by “our” governments – a danger suppressed by propaganda that casts “the West” as always benign: capable of misjudgment and blunder, yes, but never of high crime. The judgement at Nuremberg takes another view. This is what the judgement says; and remember, these words are the basis for almost 60 years of international law: “To initiate a war of aggression, it is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”

In other words, there is no difference, in the principle of the law, between the action of the German regime in the late 1930s and the Americans in 2003. Fuelled by religious fanaticism, a corrupt Americanism and corporate greed, the Bush cabal is pursuing what the military historian Anatol Lieven calls “the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to divert discontent into nationalism.” Bush’s America, he warns, “has become a menace to itself and to mankind.”

…Today, the United States is currently training a gestapo of 10,000 agents, commanded by the most ruthless, senior elements of Saddam Hussein’s secret police. The aim is to run the new puppet regime behind a pseudo-democratic façade – and to defeat the resistance. That information is vital to us, because the fate of the resistance in Iraq is vital to all our futures. For if the resistance fails, the Bush cabal will almost certainly attack another country – possibly North Korea, which is nuclear armed.

…In the nineteenth century, Australia had a press more fiercely independent than most countries. In 1880, in New South Wales alone, there were 143 independent titles, many of them with a campaigning style and editors who believed it was their duty to be the voice of the people. Today, of twelve principal newspapers in the capital cities, one man, Rupert Murdoch, controls seven. Of the ten Sunday newspapers, Murdoch has seven. In Adelaide and Brisbane, he has effectively a complete monopoly. He controls almost 70 per cent of capital city circulation. Perth has only one newspaper.

Sydney, the largest city, is dominated by Murdoch and by the Sydney Morning Herald, whose current editor in chief Mark Scott told a marketing conference in 2002 that journalism no longer needed smart and clever people. “They are not the answer,” he said. The answer is people who can execute corporate strategy. In other words, mediocre minds, obedient minds.

The great American journalist Martha Gellhorn once stood up at a press conference and said: “Listen, we’re only real journalists when we’re not doing as we’re told. How else can we ever keep the record straight?” The late Alex Carey, the great Australian social scientist who pioneered the study of corporatism and propaganda, wrote that the three most significant political developments of the twentieth century were, “the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

Carey was describing the propaganda of 20th century imperialism, which is the propaganda of the corporate state. And contrary to myth, the state has not withered away; indeed, it has never been stronger. General Suharto was a corporate man – good for business. So his crimes were irrelevant, and the massacres of his own people and of the East Timorese were consigned to an Orwellian black hole. So effective is this historical censorship by omission that Suharto is currently being rehabilitated. In The Australian last October, Owen Harries described the Suharto period as a “golden era” and urged Australia to once again embrace the genocidal military of Indonesia.

…If Australia is the microcosm, consider the destruction of free speech in the United States, which constitutionally has the freest press in the world. In 1983, the principal media in America was owned by fifty corporations. In 2002, this had fallen to just nine companies. Today, Murdoch’s Fox Television and four other conglomerates are on the verge of controlling 90 per cent of the terrestrial and cable audience. Even on the Internet, the leading twenty websites are now owned by Fox, Disney, AOL, Time Warner, Viacom and other giants. Just fourteen companies attract 60 per cent of all the time Americans spend online. And these companies control, or influence most of the world’s visual media, the principal source of information for most people.

“We are beginning to learn,” wrote Edward Said in his book Culture and Imperialism, “that de-colonisation was not the termination of imperial relationships but merely the extending of a geo-political web that has been spinning since the Renaissance. The new media have the media to penetrate more deeply into a receiving culture than any previous manifestation of Western technology.” Compared with a century ago, when “European culture was associated with a white man’s presence, we now have in addition an international media presence that insinuates itself over a fantastically wide range.”

He was referring not only to news. Right across the media, children are remorsely targeted by big business propaganda, commonly known as advertising. In the United States, some 30,000 commercial messages are targeted at children every year. The chief executive of one leading advertising company explained: “They aren’t children so much as evolving consumers.” Public relations is the twin of advertising. In the last twenty years, the whole concept of PR has changed dramatically and is now an enormous propaganda industry. In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that pre-packaged PR now accounts for half of the content of some major newspapers. The idea of “embedding” journalists with the US military during the invasion of Iraq came from public relations experts in the Pentagon, whose current strategic-planning literature describes journalism as part of psychological operations, or “psyops.” Journalism as psyops.

The aim, says the Pentagon, is to achieve “information dominance” – which, in turn, is part of “full spectrum dominance” – the stated policy of the United States to control land, sea, space and information. They make no secret of it. It’s in the public domain.

Those journalists who go their own way, those like Martha Gellhorn and Robert Fisk, beware. The independent Arab TV organisation, Al-Jazeera, was bombed by the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the invasion of Iraq, more journalists were killed than ever before – by the Americans. The message could not be clearer. The aim, eventually, is that there’ll be no distinction between information control and media. That’s to say: you won’t know the difference.

That alone is worthy of reflection by journalists: those who still believe, like Martha Gellhorn, that their duty is to keep the record straight. The choice is actually quite simple: they are truth-tellers, or, in the words of Edward Herman, they merely “normalise the unthinkable.”

….I can almost hear a few of you saying, “OK, then what should we do?”

As Noam Chomsky recently pointed out, you almost never hear that question in the so-called developing world, where most of humanity struggles to live day by day. There, they’ll tell you what they are doing.

We have none of the life-and-death problems faced by, say, intellectuals in Turkey or campesinos in Brazil or Aboriginal people in our own third world. Perhaps too many of us believe that if we take action, then the solution will happen almost overnight. It will be easy and fast. Alas, it doesn’t work that way.

If you want to take direct action – and I believe we don’t have a choice now: such is the danger facing all of us – then it means hard work, dedication, commitment, just like those people in countries on the front line, who ought to be our inspiration. The people of Bolivia recently reclaimed their country from water and gas multinationals, and threw out the president who abused their trust. The people of Venezuela have, time and again, defended their democratically elected president against a ferocious campaign by an American-backed elite and the media it controls. In Brazil and Argentina, popular movements have made extraordinary progress – so much so that Latin America is no longer the vassal continent of Washington.

Even in Colombia, into which the United States has poured a fortune in order to shore up a vicious oligarchy, ordinary people – trade unionists, peasants, young people have fought back.

These are epic struggles you don’t read much about here. Then there’s what we call the anti-globalisation movement. Oh, I detest that word, because it’s much more than that. It’s is a remarkable response to poverty and injustice and war. It’s more diverse, more enterprising, more internationalist and more tolerant of difference than anything in the past, and it’s growing faster than ever.

In fact, it is now the democratic opposition in many countries. That is the very good news. For in spite of the propaganda campaign I have outlined, never in my lifetime have people all over the world demonstrated greater awareness of the political forces ranged against them and the possibilities of countering them. The notion of a representative democracy controlled from below where the representatives are not only elected but can be called truly to account, is as relevant today as it was when first put into practice in the Paris Commune 133 years ago. As for voting, yes, that’s a hard won gain. But the Chartists, who probably invented voting as we know it today, made clear that it was gain only when there was a clear, democratic choice. And there’s no clear, democratic choice now. We live in a single-ideology state in which two almost identical factions compete for our attention while promoting the fiction of their difference.

The writer Arundhati Roy described the outpouring of anti-war anger last year as “the most spectacular display of public morality the world has ever seen.” That was just a beginning and a cause for optimism.

Why? Because I think a great many people are beginning to listen to that quality of humanity that is the antidote to rampant power and its bedfellow: racism. It’s called conscience. We all have it, and some are always moved to act upon it. Franz Kafka wrote: “You can hold back from the suffering of the world, you have free permission to do so and it is in accordance with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering that you could have avoided.”

No doubt there are those who believe they can remain aloof – acclaimed writers who write only style, successful academics who remain quiet, respected jurists who retreat into arcane law and famous journalists who protest: “No one has ever told me what to say.” George Orwell wrote: “Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks the whip. But the really well-trained dog is the one that turns somersaults when there is no whip.”

For those members of our small, privileged and powerful elite, I recommend the words of Flaubert. “I have always tried to live in an ivory tower,” he said, “but a tide of shit is beating its walls, threatening to undermine it.” For the rest of us, I offer these words of Mahatma Gandhi: “First, they ignore,” he said. “Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

Quotable quotes…

“…The so-called war on terror is the greatest threat to all of us since the most dangerous years of the cold war. Rapacious, imperial America has found its new “red scare.” Every day now, officially manipulated fear and paranoia are exported to our shores – air marshals, finger printing, a directive on how many people can queue for the toilet on a Qantas jet flying to Los Angeles. The totalitarian impulses that have long existed in America are now in full cry. Go back to the 1950s, the McCarthy years, and the echoes today are all too familiar – the hysteria; the assault on the Bill of Rights; a war based on lies and deception. Just as in the 1950s, the virus has spread to America’s intellectual satellites, notably Australia…”

“…we are being brainwashed to believe that Al-Qaida, or any such group, is the real threat. And it isn’t. By a simple mathematical comparison of American terror and Al-Qaida terror, the latter is a lethal flea. In my lifetime, the United States has supported and trained and directed terrorists in Latin America, Africa, Asia. The toll of their victims is in the millions…”

“…In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism…”

“…The judgement at Nuremberg…says… “To initiate a war of aggression, it is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” In other words, there is no difference, in the principle of the law, between the action of the German regime in the late 1930s and the Americans in 2003. Fuelled by religious fanaticism, a corrupt Americanism and corporate greed, the Bush cabal is pursuing what the military historian Anatol Lieven calls “the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to divert discontent into nationalism.” Bush’s America, he warns, “has become a menace to itself and to mankind’…”

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism’s highest award, that of “Journalist of the Year,” for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia.


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