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Canadian Dimension: Seeds of ISIS terror sown by Western hegemony

Photo by Thierry Ehrmann Syria is a global powder keg. Putin’s intervention in Syria in September led to ISIS blowing up a Russian airliner over the Sinai in November, killing hundreds of passengers. Two weeks… . . . → Read More: Canadian Dimension: Seeds of ISIS terror sown by Western hegemony

Bill Longstaff: Paris—the blowback of imperialism

U.S. President Barack Obama has referred to the atrocities in Paris as attacks “on all of humanity.” He is wrong, of course. The attacks were specifically directed at France, an ex-imperialist European nation that has a long history of colonizing, oppressing and exploiting the Muslim peoples of North Africa and the Middle East, and that continues to interfere in their affairs to this very day.

LeDaro: Are we headed for a third world war?

What is going on in the Middle East has reached a very dangerous cross-road.

The Disaffected Lib: How’s This For a Script? Warning – It’s a Tough Read.

Young men and women, conscripts, manning the ramparts at Festung (fortress) Europa as legions of desperate migrants approach seeking safety. As the steely commander shouts the order the young defenders reluctantly open fire on the horde knowing they have no other choice – the migrants carry among them a highly infectious strain of cholera.

Sounds like utter dystopia, doesn’t it? Well, relax, there is no Festung Europa yet and no infectious horde is marching on Europe yet, but… an outbreak of cholera is now sweeping Iran and experts warn that the impacts of war, climate change and this year’s powerful (Read more…) What does the Liberal win mean for Jewish groups?

The longest election campaign in modern Canadian history delivered more than a surprise Liberal majority – it yielded six new Jewish MPs for the winning party: Michael Levitt in Toronto’s York Centre; Anthony Housefather in Mount Royal, and Jim Carr in Winnipeg South Centre – all ridings with large Jewish populations – as well as […]

Canadian Dimension: Uri Avnery on Israeli Racism

Photo by cyrillelala

Editor’s Note: The sad reality of racism in Israel has been known to many of us for decades–a tragedy for a people which has suffered so much from the racism directed against us. Its first manifestation was in the scorn and discrimination with which Sepahrdic/Mizrachi Jews escaping from Arab countries were treated by Ashkenazi Jews who shaped the Yishuv (the pre-1948 Jewish settlements in Palestine). It has reached monumental proportions in contemporary Israel, yet most Israelis pretend that it is only a reaction to the the insecurity that they feel in relationship to the Palestinians, denying (Read more…) Cultural and religious issues dominate as election day nears

Thank God for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I say that not because trade is an inherently Jewish issue, nor because I know for certain the recently negotiated deal will be good for Canada, especially since its details have yet to be released. Irrespective of its long-term effects, the TPP might be our only hope to […] Munk Debate glosses over Israel – is that a good thing?

Is that all there was? Given how much praise – and criticism – the Harper government’s strong support for Israel has attracted, it’s somewhat surprising that so little was said about the Jewish state in the Sept. 28 Munk Debate on foreign policy in Toronto. The night’s only exchange on Israel, between Prime Minister Stephen […]

Alberta Politics: Lawyers, guns and money: Russia’s intervention in Syria offers a useful teaching moment for Canadians

PHOTOS: A Russian Su-34 bomber releases a bomb near the provisional ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria. (Russian Ministry of Defence photo.) Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian civil war has offered a unique teaching moment for Canadians about the […]

The post Lawyers, guns and money: Russia’s intervention in Syria offers a useful teaching moment for Canadians appeared first on Alberta Politics. Gaffes and ‘anti-Semitism’ on the campaign trail

In the Sept. 17 Globe and Mail leaders’ debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made reference to “old-stock Canadians” in defending his government’s policy on health care for refugees and immigrants, saying it had only denied care to bogus claimants. “We do not offer them a better health-care plan than the ordinary Canadian can receive,” Harper […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: ISIS and Terrorism – A Reality Check

“The responsibility of intellectuals is to speak the truth and expose lies.” – Noam Chomsky “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell According to a February 2015 Gallup poll, Americans consider the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL — and […] A national icon takes his leave

One of the questions I posed in this space a few weeks ago was: who will be the next big-name Jewish MP? With apologies to Joe Oliver, Canada’s first Jewish federal finance minister, what I may subconsciously have been asking is who will be the next Irwin Cotler, now that the 75-year-old Mount Royal Liberal […]

Politics and its Discontents: Robert Fisk

Last evening my wife and I attended a talk given by Robert Fisk, the renowned British journalist who has lived in and covered the Middle East for almost 40 years. The talk was quite dense, given the complexity of the issues and dynamics of that region, and I realized how little we understand about what is really going on there.

I did not take notes, but fortunately an interview with him in The Tyee covers some of his salient points, one of which is the sad devolution of Canada’s international presence: “I was so amazed that [Canada’s Minister of National (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Don’t let the refugees down

Yeah, it’s been a while. But I had to take to my keyboard today because of the refugee crisis that is swamping Europe – since many of them may be headed Canada’s way. And I never thought, a month into the election, that it would become a debating point, but here we are.

I have an interest in this because my father and his brother, my uncle, came to Canada as refugees – in fact, fifty years ago

Alberta Politics: Labour Day 2015: Analyzing Europe’s refugee crisis through the lens of labour rights

PHOTOS: The Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Below: International studies scholar Vijay Prashad; former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal. On Labour Day 2015, the world’s attention is focused on the great migration of desperate human beings streaming into Europe from the economic and military catastrophes of North Africa and the Middle East. The proximate […]

The post Labour Day 2015: Analyzing Europe’s refugee crisis through the lens of labour rights appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Canadian Progressive: Aylan Kurdi’s drowning death exposes Canada’s inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis

A leading Canadian refugee right group says last week’s tragic drowning death of Aylan Kurdi highlights the human costs of the Harper government’s inaction on the Syria’s growing refugee crisis.

The post Aylan Kurdi’s drowning death exposes Canada’s inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: The refugee crisis: Harper Conservatives just can’t spin it both ways

PHOTOS: Refugees from the Syrian civil war clog a road near the Syria-Iraq border. (UNHCR photo.) Below: Saskatchewan Conservative MP Kelly Block’s constituency leaflet; Ms. Block herself; Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. For several years, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played to the worst instincts of a significant portion of its political base […]

The post The refugee crisis: Harper Conservatives just can’t spin it both ways appeared first on Alberta Politics. Israel shouldn’t be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish philanthropist Barry Sherman. Before the Aug. 26 protest, Sherman was viciously attacked on social media, with trolls questioning his motives […]

Alberta Politics: That Conservative foreign policy election plank: shaky, incoherent and quite possibly dangerous

PHOTOS: A screen grab from the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s notorious electioneering video showing the himself and Defence Minister Jason Kenney in Iraqi Kurdistan, with the face of a Canadian special forces soldier blocked out by the CBC – unlike the version that appeared on the PMO’s website. Note the Kurdish flag in the upper […]

The post That Conservative foreign policy election plank: shaky, incoherent and quite possibly dangerous appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Bill Longstaff: Why Britain is culpable for the slaughter of its citizens

British Prime Minister David Cameron is enraged at the massacre on a beach at the Sousse resort in Tunisia last week. And well he should be: thirty of his countrymen and women were slaughtered. He has pledged a “full spectrum” response, whatever that means. But while Mr. Cameron is engaging in his full spectrum response, he should take time to look in the mirror. Britain itself must take a full

Canadian Dimension: US Rebukes Israel While Showering it with Arms and Favors

Photo by Matanya

Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members’ zealotry with Israel’s need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident.

The conundrum was laid out clearly by Tzipi Hotovely, a young political ally of Netanyahu’s recently appointed to oversee the foreign ministry on his behalf.

She called together the country’s chief diplomats last week to cite rabbinical justifications for taking Palestinian land. Her broader message was that Israeli embassies abroad needed to stop worrying about being “smart” and concentrate instead on being “right”. Urging the country’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Harper endangers Canadians at home.

There was some interesting story positioning in the Toronto Star on Monday. The top story on page two was that the federal government will block any attempt to procure bail for prisoner Omar Khadr. The top story on page three was a full width picture of the prime minister being greeted by military personnel at an airbase in Kuwait. Under the picture was the headline: Harper pledges ‘unconditional support’ and a story about his speech to the troops.

What Harper said to the troops was that “By fighting this enemy you are protecting Canadians at home.” Not only was (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: The Palestinian Enclaves Struggle: An Interview with Ilan Pappé

Ilan Pappé • Photo by Meraj Chhaya

Professor Ilan Pappé is the director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. He is the author of fifteen books, among them The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. His newest book, written together with Noam Chomsky, is called On Palestine.

Editors: Professor Pappé, your field is history, but your particular specialism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, is one whose historical issues are still very much live today. What are your views on the renewed violence in Gaza last summer?

Ilan Pappé: The last Israeli attack on Gaza has (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Canada Advances to Top Tier Warmongering. Congratulations All.

Did you hear the news?  Pakistan has inked a deal to buy eight modern Chinese submarines.  Pakistan, yeah.  And the Pakistan navy is looking at developing nuclear warheads for the torpedoes and cruise missiles those subs carry.  What do you think of that?  Does it evoke any sort of visceral reaction in you? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Those familiar with this blog know that I devote some time monitoring arms races underway in many corners of the world but especially in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and, of course, Russia and Eastern Europe.  They’re all little beehives (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Echoes of the Monroe Doctrine in the Middle Est

Pondering American mischief in the Middle East the other day I had a strange feeling this pattern of behaviour had appeared before. And then I realized where … in Latin America.

In 1823, the fledgling United States unilaterally declared the Monroe Doctrine, after president James Monroe. Its objective was to keep the European powers out of Latin America, leaving it to the tender mercies of the