True North Humanist Perspective Jan. 18 2013

 

Washington's schizophrenic policy makes war on Islamists

while providing arms and money to eager Islamist 'loyalists'

US covert support to Al Qaeda in Northern Mali while France opens fire

By Tony Cartalucci
Global Research
Canada

15 January 2013 — A deluge of articles has been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. Time’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative. Time claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told Time that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.” (More)

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The power of resurgent radicalism in Idle No More

Fifty years of federal money defusing revolt look to be over

By Murray Dobbin
TheTyee.ca

14 January 2013 — The remarkable Idle No More movement is the biggest and most important national outpouring of grassroots aboriginal anger ever seen in Canada. Not since the late 1960s when Indians (as they then referred to themselves) and Métis confronted governments with demands for justice, has such a dramatic and passionate expression of resistance been seen.

As the movement continues to grow we can only speculate on what its longer term outcome will be. Many movements begin with such spontaneous explosions of pent up anger and frustration. The successful ones find their feet quickly and are able, through collective leadership, to focus their energy and passion on a unifying vision and on some organizational form to press for its realization. Idle No More will be no different.

It is up against formidable odds: not just the normal difficulties of any new movement but a ruthless Harper government which responds only to power and an entrenched aboriginal leadership which is completely dependent on that same government. It is a leadership that long ago made a deal with the neo-colonial devil: you pay us and we will pretend to lead while you pretend to listen. It has been that way for more than 30 years and those entrenched leaders in the national organizations — and many at the band level — will do everything in their power to sustain the status quo, notwithstanding all their radical rhetoric of the past 10 days. (More)

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We take a long, sober look at responsibility for the twin-tower disaster

By Makinde Adeyinka
Global Research
adeyinkamakinde.blogspot.co.uk

'You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, unknown people far from any political game. The reason was quite simple – to force the people to turn to the state for greater security.' — Vincenzo Vinciguerra, Italian neo-fascist activist.

07 January 2013 — The nature, necessity and scope of the miscellany of powers exercised by the state over the nation is in one sense arguably as contentious in the contemporary circumstances of the Western world as it was in the distant pre-democratic medieval past.

In his work Della Ragion di Stato (The Reason of State), which was completed in 1589, the Italian thinker Giovanni Botero argued against the underpinning philosophical amorality espoused by Niccolo Machiavelli in Il Principe (The Prince), a political treatise centred on the ways and methods of the manipulation of the levers of the power by a ruler in an organised state.

The thrust of Machiavelli’s seminal piece was that virtually any action taken by a ruler to preserve and promote the stability and the prosperity of his domain was inherently justifiable. Thus, the employment of violence, murder, deception and cruelty toward achieving these ends were not ignoble in so far as the ends justified the means.

With its implications of a required recourse to illegality and a subtext offering more than a whiff of authoritarianism, this is not a conceptualisation of the modus operandi by which modern Western democratic states are supposed to operate both in terms of their domestic and foreign policy-strategies.

Yet, while the modern state, guided as it is by an ethos encapsulating the rule of law and the respect for human rights, exercises powers which are checked and balanced by a mandated adherence to constitutionality, there are troubling questions and unresolved problems which have been raised by the workings of the intelligence agencies of the executive branch of government. (More)

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Syria: Atrocities committed against

Christians by US supported rebels

By Al Arabiya
Global Research

31 December 2012 — A nun sounded the alarm that the Syrian conflict was becoming sectarian when she said that a Christian man was beheaded by Syrian rebels in the northern town of Ras al-Ayn on the Turkish border, and his body was fed to dogs, a British newspaper reported Monday.

Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix speaking from her sanctuary in Lebanon said the newlywed taxi driver, Andrei Arbashe, was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that the rebels fighting against beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad were behaving like bandits, The Daily Mail reported.

The 38-year-old Arbashe, who was soon to be a father, was found headless by the side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs, Sister Agnes-Miriam, who is mother superior of the Monastery of St James the Mutilated, added.

“His only crime was his brother criticized the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.”

Mid-December, the newly formed Syrian National Coalition obtained wide recognition including from the United States and the European Union. France and British were one of the earliest countries from the Western world that recognized the coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people in November. (More)

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As America mourned the shooting tragedy, cynical

 
What kind of Christianity is that?
 
By Frank Schaeffer
AlterNet
   
December 27, 2012 — All that was needed to make the national tragedy of the killing of 20 children and 6 adults into an anti-God kick in Jesus' teeth fest was for the usual suspects who hate Jesus to step up to defame His Name again. Of course I'm talking about the "Christian" leaders who can be counted on to drag the name of Christ through the mud at every profitable fundraising importunity. Christian leaders say that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the result of our national falling away from fundamentalist Protestant gullibility.

The idiots — religious village idiots that is — are at it again. I thought Dobson was dead but I guess not. He's just retired. He's still alive enough to act like the zombie-for-Jesus'-younger-dumber-brother he is. (I went on his show 3 times back in the day when I too was part of the religious idiots club.) Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association hate host talk-show host, and Franklin-sell-my-soul-to-the-Mormons-because -I-hate-Obama-so-much-Graham (of course), the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was not to be outdone. (More)

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Syrian War: The Prequel

 
 
By Tony Cartalucci
landdestroyer.blogspot.ca

• Muslim Brotherhood is funded by and serves as the primary instrument of US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia

• Lebanon was designated as staging ground to destabilize Syria with sectarian extremists
• Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood anti-Israeli and American sentiments are feigned
• US intelligence knew in advance unleashing sectarian extremists would result in genocide
• Saudis and Americans admit sectarian extremists — the foundation of Al Qaeda — are under their control

10 May 2012 — As previously stated, the Muslim Brotherhood and various "hardline" sectarian political factions sweeping into power in the wake of the US-engineered "Arab Spring," have been feigning anti-Israeli and anti-Western sentiments in an attempt to swell their ranks with followers before ultimately forming a united sectarian-front against Iran.

The creation of a united sectarian-front was noted by geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley who has from the beginning stated that the various possible governments resulting from these engineered revolutions "could then be used to support the fundamental US-UK strategy for the Middle East, which is to assemble a block of Arab and aligned sectarian countries (notably Egypt, Saudis, Gulf states, and Jordan) which, formed into a front with the participation of Israel, would collide with the Iranian Shiite front, including Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and various radical forces." (More)

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The religious, social crisis in America: Political fall out

By Prof. James Petras
Global Research

20 December 2012 — The opening long decade of the 21st century (2000-2012) has been a period of repeated and profound economic and social crises, of serial and prolonged wars and declining living standards for the vast majority of Americans. How have people responded to this crisis? No large scale, long term, socio-political movements have emerged to challenge the bi-partisan dominent classes. For a brief moment the “ Occupy Wall Street ” movement provided a platform to denounce the 1% super-rich but then faded into memory.

Questions arose whether in the midst of prolonged hardship people would turn to religion for solace, escape into spiritual pietism. The question this essay addresses is whether religion has become the ‘opium of the people’ as Karl Marx suggested or whether religious beliefs and institutions are themselves in crisis, losing their spiritual attraction in the face of their inability to resolve the everyday material needs of a growing army of impoverished, low paid, unemployed and contingent workers and a downwardly mobile middle class. In other words are major religions growing and prospering in our time of permanent economic crises and perpetual wars or are they on the downslope part and parcel of the decline of the US Empire? (More)

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Six outrageous incidents

of discrimination against nonbelievers

By Greta Christina
AlterNet

20 December 2012 — Atheists are often seen as crying wolf when they speak about bigotry. But discrimination against atheists around the world is real.  

"Oh, you atheists are always whining about how put-upon you are. You don't experience real discrimination: not like African Americans, or gays, or women, or immigrants. So knock it off with the pity party." (More)

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US Justice Department signals human traffickers

that slavery is legal with a minor sleight-of-hand

14 August 2012 — In the old days, they used to keep slaves in place using chains and whips. These days, it's done through economic intimidation.

Did those responsible for for the largest human trafficking and slavery case in the United States get away without trial punishment?

In September of 2010, six labor recruiters have been accused of luring 400 farm workers to Hawaii from Thailand and mistreating them in what the FBI said is the largest human trafficking case ever charged in U.S. history.

An indictment unsealed in Honolulu at that time charged six people with conspiracy to commit human trafficking, including four employees of Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., a labor recruiting company. Two other recruiters based in Thailand were also charged in the case.

The indictment said Global Horizons brought 400 immigrants in 2004 from Thailand to the islands to work on farms in Hawaii and on the US mainland. Prosecutors said the workers were lured with false promises of high-paying farm jobs but were exploited and forced into labor, often with little or no pay. (More)

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Top Five Crazy Conspiracy Theories Coming from ...

The GOP-Controlled House Committee on Science

From global warming to obesity, these elected officials have some crazy ideas

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

By Laura Gottesdiener
AlterNet

16 January 2013 — In the 50 year history of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, its members have set into legislation some lofty initiatives, such as putting a man on the moon and mapping global atmospheric patterns. These days, however, some committee members have begun to push a new strain of inquiry, one that Jon Stewart would likely classify as the science of b*llsh*t.

Last year, former committee member Todd Akins caused a national scandal when he proposed his medical theory that women’s bodies can “shut down” pregnancy in cases of rape. But his is far from the only ridiculous idea coming from a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Check out five of the most unscientific theories being pushed by committee members.

1. The Earth is 9,000 years old

Georgia’s Republican Congressman Paul Broun is not buying any of this newfangled so-called science about rocks and carbon dating. (More)

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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, TNHP Sustainable Development Editor

Trail, B.C., smelter decision may have ripple effect

Canadian Press

16 December 2012 On a beach in northeast Washington near the Canadian border, Patti Bailey grabs a handful of what looks like sand and rolls the dark grains through her hands.

It's slag, the grainy waste from the Teck Resources lead and zinc smelter in Trail, B.C., about 10 kilometres north of the nearby Canadian border.

"They're little time bombs and they're releasing zinc, copper, arsenic and other metals into the environment," said Bailey, an environmental planner for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

A Washington state judge has ruled that Teck is liable for the costs of cleaning up contamination in the Columbia River south of the border from decades of dumping slag and effluent from the company's Trail operations. (More)

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Berkeley`s Free Speech Movement

'Free expression in all forms are fundamental in democratic societies'

By Stephen Lendman
Mathaba
21 December 2012 — All other freedoms are risked without free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and right to challenge government authority peacefully.

In the 1960s, anti-war and civil rights activism inspired Berkeley's Free Speech Movement (FSM). It began in 1964. UC Berkeley students protested banned on-campus political activity.

They demanded free expression and academic freedom rights. Unprecedented student activism followed.

FSM was a student initiative. Faculty, administration and local government officials joined. UC students earlier protested House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC: 1947 - 1975) anti-communist witch hunts.

Berkeley's 1964 fall term included several dozen students returning from Mississippi's "Freedom Summer." Racially motivated discrimination and violence horrified them.

They bonded with other student activists. Berkeley's activist SLATE (1958 - 1966) was precursor to FSM. Civil rights and International Workers of the World (IWW) leaders supported it. So did Joan Baez and Bettina Aptheker. She later became UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Professor.

Activism is traditional at Berkeley. It began long before FSM. Iconoclasts and free-thinkers challenged hidebound societal notions and practices. (More)
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US law prohibits transfer

of Guantanamo prisoners to America

By Stephen Lendman
Mathaba.Net
 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
 
18 January 2013 January 11, 2013 marks Guantanamo's 11th anniversary. More on that below.

On January 11, 2002, its first 20 prisoners arrived. It's one of many US torture prisons globally.

Most held there are innocent victims. They're not terrorists. They're lawlessly detained. Many remained for years uncharged and untried. Fundamental rights are denied.

Seton Hall University Law Professor Mark Denebeaux analyzed unclassified government data. He got them through FOIA requests.

They revealed what's vital to know. The vast majority of Guantanamo detainees weren't accused of hostile acts. Afghan bounty hunters seized around 95% of them.

They sold them to US forces for $5,000 per claimed Taliban and $25,000 for alleged Al Qaeda members. Evidence of criminality wasn’t sought. (More)

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Book Reviews

WARRIOR NATION

REBRANDING CANADA IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY

Ian McKay and Jamie Swift

Once known for peacekeeping, Canada is becoming a militarized nation whose apostles—the New Warriors—are fighting to shift public opinion. New Warrior zealots seek to transform postwar Canada’s central myth-symbols. Peaceable kingdom. Just society. Multicultural tolerance. Reasoned public debate. Their replacements? A warrior nation. Authoritarian leadership. Permanent political polarization.

The tales cast a vivid light on a story that is crucial to Canada’s future; yet they are also compelling history. Swashbuckling marauder William Stairs, the Royal Military College graduate who helped make the Congo safe for European pillage. Vimy Ridge veteran and Second World War general Tommy Burns, leader of the UN’s first big peacekeeping operation, a soldier who would come to call imperialism “the monster of the age.” Governor General John Buchan, a concentration camp developer and race theorist who is exalted in the Harper government’s new Citizenship Guide. And that uniquely Canadian paradox, Lester Pearson. Warrior Nation is an essential read for those concerned by the relentless effort to conscript Canadian history.

Watch the Warrior Nation video book trailer here!

PRAISE FOR WARRIOR NATION

"Thoroughly researched and surprisingly entertaining." — Globe and Mail

"Warrior Nation tells the story—the whole story. So if you are a peaceable person either by nature or intent, you would do well to listen to Jamie Swift and Ian McKay . . . before the last trumpet sounds."

Farley Mowat, author and veteran

"With our federal government determined to glorify war and eradicate our enduring attachment to Canada as a promoter of peace, this engaging and highly readable book alerts us to what's at stake—the very soul of our nation."

Linda McQuaig, author and journalist

"McKay and Swift offer a fresh and lively account of a deep ambivalence at the core of Canada's performance on the world stage—a handmaiden to empires in the costume of a peacemaker. Here is essential reading."

Ernie Regehr, co-founder of Project Ploughshares

"Warrior Nation is intended to stir controversy, and it will. With compelling prose and abundant evidence . . . Ian McKay and Jamie Swift have written an important work of engaged and impassioned history, and it deserves a wide readership."

A. B. McKillop, Chancellor's Professor and former chair of the history department, Carleton University

"This excellent and timely book offers a much needed corrective to the new warrior scholarship that is becoming so pervasive. It should be on the reading list of anyone who is interested in Canadian politics, international relations, and foreign policy."

Sandra Whitworth, political science, York University

"A welcome remedy to the 'Support Our Troops' yellow ribbon epidemic."

Francis Dupuis-Déri, political science, University of Quebec at Montreal, and anti-war activist and writer.

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