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

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

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

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

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


Ten Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force

Dear Colleague,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Solution: Cyber response.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully,

Dennis Kucinich
Member of Congress 1997 – 2013

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


Uploaded on Nov 2, 2011

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


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#Harper’s War(s): #Canada vs #C51 vs #CSIS vs #RCMP – #cdnpoli #pnpcbc

In our previous brief summary,  The Rise of the #NeoBolsheviks aka #NeoCons, we touched upon the various similarities between the Harper Regime and the Bolsheviks counter-revolution that violently seized power in Russia in 1917. For this brief summary we will pose a few questions and issues that seem to be missing from the current discourse, dissemination, conversation, reporting and debate about Bill C-51.

When will the Opposition and those opposed to the Orwellian and dystopian Bill C-51 mobilize in mass protests and how long will they remain committed?

Before we delve into the content, or lack thereof, we feel it is necessary to question the “Bread and Circuses” methods that are being utilized to “frame and mandate” the debate via the MSM and social media. The easiest way to present this is by utilizing our own CBC News coverage. At a later date we hop to present a summary that compiles the result of our in-depth analysis into how the CBC News and especially CBC’s Power and Politics, and to a lesser degree the Exchange, are nothing more than well organized and scripted “Limited Hangouts” that are engaging in a full spectrum “Gaslighting” operation against the citizenry that is being guided directly via the PMO. Not only are the hosts actively engaged but the supporting staff and reporters, guests, panelists, lobbyists and free-lance journalists are as well. This does nothing but cast a broad cloud of suspicion and call into question their own ethics and legitimacy. This harms our economy, society, peace, safety and security more than anything and everything else combined.

The short and simple overview is that the primary mandate is one that completely reinforces the PMO scripts and message about the geo-political and economic environment with a shrewd blend of “Yellow Journalism” and a tightly “Controlled Opposition” counter narrative when necessary, if at all. To observe this one only needs to inspect the language that is crafted within their coverage and articles and how “Sockpuppets” and carefully placed commentary divert the comments sections and social media discussions.

For the above to be addressed, we propose a few remedies that may open the debate and conversion. In our opinion, the collective Opposition and concerned backbenchers must, on behalf of all Canadians, demand a formal, immediate, open and transparent inquiry into how the PMO is utilizing tax-payer resources to contaminate and gaslight discussion and comment threads.

  1. Who are those being employed and who is actually accountable for the scripts and narrative?
  2. What are the costs vs benefits and implications vs opposition associated with these activities and what amount of resources are being utilized?
  3. When will there be an initial investigation and/or formal inquiry.
  4. Where are the message control operatives operating from, where are they being deployed?
  5. Why is there no public and/or Parliamentary scrutiny and/or oversight and why has this issue been allowed to fly under the radar for so long?
  6. How much is this actually costing, how can these practices be acceptable to anyone that is not in power and how will the results of any investigation be presented?

Moving forward to the Bill C-51 “Bread and Circuses” debate, keeping in mind that this is directly related and overlaps several narratives that converge the economy and security amongst others. These narratives are in full view and converging rather rapidly. We need to point out that this is by design and being controlled by a relatively small few that have the controlling stake within the Harper Regime itself, the segment that is completely protected from the implications and/or ramifications of Bill C-51 for various reasons.

Bill C-51, like all of the previous Omnibus Bills, many of which we have still not felt the ramifications of, is an extremely opaque, ill-conceived, bloated and convoluted piece of oppression. Just observe the smugness, arrogance, and self-absurdness of the Harper Regime and their Loyalists.

  1. Who ultimately controls the fear-mongering narrative surrounding Bill C-51 and who ultimately benefits other than the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists?
  2. What measures are in place to assure the legality the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists?
  3. When will the illegal terror propaganda being disseminated and propagated, fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists be investigated and prosecuted?
  4. Where are the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists being organized and are they legal?
  5. Why are the scripts, talking points, narrative and spin by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists surrounding Bill C-51 being endlessly regurgitated and why have the Opposition not formed, fostered, nutured and/or encouraged protests?
  6. How are the the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 being addressed and countered?

To move forward a bit, we also need to open the debate about expanding the powers of CSIS, especially intervention strategies, when they conflict with the RCMP and/or contaminate and/or corrupt active investigations by other law enforcement agencies. We know there are serious flaws with the U.S. with regards to the conflicting agendas of the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. When one or more agencies are directing resources in what amounts to turf wars, which take precedence and who reimburses the resources that were wasted.

We already have serious backlogs and deficiencies within our own systems and entities. The most troubling stem from the lack of adequate funding, manpower and resources across the board. These deficiencies have bogged down investigation, burdened the courts and crated an extremely insecure environment. Considering the lack of security within the various Government controlled Ministerial databases and web portals, one must ponder how these can be adequately addressed without proper funding and oversight. In short, the entire “system” is insecure and that places all Canadians at risk.

  1. Who will assure that the activities and expanded powers being proposed do not encourage a “spy vs spy” scenario playing out and who will assure the integrity of the investigations?
  2. What provision will be utilized to assure that there are absolutely no conflicts of interest between CSIS interventions and RCMP investigations along with covert foreign intelligence operatives/agencies operations and what steps are being taken to assure that the expansive inter-Ministerial data sharing system is secured and invulnerable to exploits and back door attacks?
  3. When will the public be allowed to address their concerns about the ramifications of entrapment and dragnet surveillance?
  4. Where are the provisions that address the activities of foreign intelligence operatives and agencies that are actively conducting their own independent operations in Canada?
  5. Why is the Harper Regime entitled to be given a blank check free pass to directly and indirectly seize complete control of Canada and the lives of Canadians at home and abroad?
  6. How can CSIS and the RCMP assure Canadians that rogue agents within their own ranks or the ranks of Government are identified and eliminated as potential threats to our collective safety and security?

In addition to the above questions and concerns we need to be very mindful of the potential long term effects regarding Bill C-51 especially the budgetary implications. We presume that, based upon the previous failed budgets, that none of the programs and/or operations will be allocated adequately. This presumption is based upon several key components and the inadequate funding that are associated with the unbroken string of failed budgets by the Harper Regime and taking into consideration that the across the board austerity cuts have yet to actually fully be realized nor have they borne any positive results.

We realize that Bill C-51 is the most opaque, broad sweeping, dangerous and un-democratic Trojan Horse legislation ever proposed by the Harper Regime. We also realize that the language about “economic” security is even more opaque. What we take great issue with is the way in which the likes of the oppressive Regimes of Egypt, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are glorified as proponents of liberty, freedom, democracy, peace, safety, security and prosperity with regards to the funding of ongoing terrorist activities in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa, while other less oppressive regimes are demonized, targeted and sanctioned.

Contrary to the published punditry, we realize that while the Harper Regime insists that the provisions contained within Bill C-51 is not a treat to legitimate forms of dissent and/or protests, past experiences and practices employing agent provocateurs by policing agents at the Montebello SPP Summit in 2007, the kettling, arrests and mass detention of “legal” protesters at the Toronto G8/G20 while suspected agent provocateurs went unattained, the various attacks and anti-protest legislation passed nationwide, but specifically against Quebec students and the storm trooping of the Occupy protests.

In other words, since the foreign funded bloodless coup d’état by Stephen Harper and his Reform/Alliance cabal over the past decade that brought them to power, virtually all forms of opposition, legitimate dissent and legal protests have either been co-opted, infiltrated by agent provocateurs, faced threats and intimidation, been financially sanctioned, silenced, censored, slandered and discredited.

Most of all and probably of utmost importance, protests to the actions and inactions of the Harper Regime have been either declared illegal, disallowed and/or severely limited by way of legislation and/or by-laws.

If we were to foresee “who” Bill C-51 is targeting. Based upon the militarism and foreign adventurism trend by the Harper Regime and their failed attempts to become actively involved and deploy forces into the 2003 GW Bush fraudulent WMD War upon Iraq that was blocked by “We the People”, anti-war advocates, activists and protesters are the intended targets. All of the others that are already on Harper’s Hit List are just gravy on the potatoes and frosting on the cake.

Now, keeping in mind that the Harper Regime actually sent officials to stand by those protesters at the Ukrainian Maidan and supported, advocated and encouraged the overthrow of an corrupt albeit elected Regime, not to mention their active involvement into the affairs of Libya and Syria, both of which are mired in foreign funded civil wars, that directly fostered the foreign funded “barbaric terrorists” of today, the only real questions that remain are really simple:

  1. Who benefits from the Harper Regime’s opaque agenda and mandate?
  2. What is the true agenda the Harper Regime’s Loyalist and supporters?
  3. Where is this mass suppression and surveillance data accumulation by the the Harper Regime ultimately headed?
  4. When will the will of “We the People” be heard and acknowledged by the Harper Regime?
  5. Why does the Harper Regime fear and refuse to address questions and concerns?
  6. How far will the Harper Regime go in their quest of full spectrum domination of Canada and Canadians?

Wake up, smell the coffee and face the cold hard facts, this may well be the last time Canadians will ever be able to protest anything that is not sanctioned by the Regime that controls the Parliament and Government of the day.

 

 


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Israel Navy Seizes New Gaza Flotilla Boat Stops Pro-Palestinian Activists From Breaking Blockade

Stops Pro-Palestinian Activists From Breaking Blockade

Breaking News: By Reuters
Published October 20, 2012

The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday to prevent it breaching its blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said.

She said no one was hurt when marines boarded the SV Estelle, a three-mast schooner, and that it was rerouted to Israel’s southern port of Ashdod after it ignored orders to turn away from the Hamas-governed Palestinian enclave.

The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said earlier on Saturday.

Shipboard activists could not immediately be reached for comment.

Citing a need to stem arms smuggling to Hamas and other Palestinian militants, Israel maintains a tight naval blockade of Gaza. Israel and neighbouring Egypt also limit overland traffic to and from the territory.

Palestinians describe the curbs as collective punishment for Gaza’s 1.6 million residents and their supporters abroad have mounted several attempts to break the blockade by sea. Most were stopped by Israel, and in one May 2010 incident its marines killed nine Turkish activists in clashes aboard their ship.

An inquiry into that incident commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon found that Israel’s Gaza blockade was legal but faulted the navy for excessive force.

continue reading source: http://forward.com/articles/164639/israel-navy-seizes-new-gaza-flotilla-boat/


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Canadian in custody as Israeli navy seizes pro-Palestinian activist boat

By Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
Saturday, October 20, 2012

 

A pro-Palestinian ship named Estelle is escorted to Ashdod port in southern Israel after it was seized by Israeli navy October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement and goodwill items such as children's books, a mission spokesman said on Saturday.
A pro-Palestinian ship named Estelle is escorted to Ashdod port in southern Israel after it was seized by Israeli navy October 20, 2012. The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship on the Mediterranean high seas on Saturday to prevent it breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said. The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said on Saturday. Photographed by: Amir Cohen, Reuters

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops commandeered a Gaza-bound ship on Saturday as the vessel tried to break through Israel’s blockade of the seaside strip ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas group.

European lawmakers and other pro-Palestinian activists aboard — including one former Canadian MP — did not resist, and the Finnish-flagged vessel was perted to an Israeli port.

The trip by the ship, Estelle, marked the latest challenge to the air, land and sea embargo of Gaza that Israel imposed after Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

Israeli officials say they need to enforce the blockade to prevent weapons smuggling. Meanwhile, Hamas called for more attempts to break the sea blockade.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising the military for enforcing the blockade, said there “is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and accused the activists of trying to “to provoke and slander Israel’s name.”

“If human rights were really important to these activists they would have sailed for Syria. We will continue to protect our borders,” he said.

Six Israeli naval vessels stopped the Estelle when it was about 30 nautical miles from Gaza. Masked soldiers boarded the ship and ordered it to sail to Israel’s Ashdod port, said a spokeswoman for the activists.

The vessel arrived at port Saturday night and was to be inspected to see what was on board, the Israeli military said. Israel’s Interior Ministry said the activists on the ship would be questioned by immigration officials and deported to their home countries within 72 hours.

The Swedish-owned Estelle left Naples, Italy, on Oct. 7 with about 30 people from eight countries, including Israeli activists, lawmakers from Norway, Sweden, Greece and Spain, and 79-year-old former NDP MP Jim Manly.

“We are committed to non-violence. We are committed to raising the illegal siege of Gaza. We think that it is important for the Canadian government to stand up for our rights,” Manly said in a pre-recorded video statement which was to be released if the ship was intercepted.

The retired politician also said he hoped Canadians would contact the government to highlight the activists’ innocence.

“Ask them urgently to insist with the Israeli government that it respect our human rights, our legal rights.”

continue reading source: http://www.vancouversun.com/mobile/news/top-stories/Canadian+custody+Israeli+navy+seizes+Palestinian+activist+boat/7422690/story.html


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Salafism and Arab Democratization

Salafism and Arab Democratization

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

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

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

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

Origins and Goals of Salafism

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Arab Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Lies Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Harper and Putin talk tough on trade, Mideast, but warm up over hockey

Mark MacKinnon
Vladivostok, Russia — The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 08 2012, 7:49 AM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Sep. 08 2012, 4:08 PM EDT

‘There’s lots of things that Mr. Putin and our government do not necessarily agree on, but our conversations are extremely frank on these issues,’ Canadian Prime Minister says.

At least there was hockey to talk about.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Russian President Vladimir Putin reminisced briefly but warmly about the epochal hockey series 40 years ago between Canada and the Soviet Union during a bilateral meeting Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit.

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It was the only time the two leaders found common ground during a meeting marked by disagreements about policy toward Iran and Syria, as well as the unimpressive Canada-Russia trade relationship.

The meeting – the first tête-à-tête between Mr. Putin and Mr. Harper since 2007 – began awkwardly with Mr. Putin running more than an hour late because of a packed schedule of other bilateral meetings. Mr. Harper then made Mr. Putin wait several minutes before finally entering the meeting room to stiff smiles and handshakes.

continue reading: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/harper-and-putin-talk-tough-on-trade-mideast-but-warm-up-over-hockey/article4529251/

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