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Bill Longstaff: The legitimate anger of the jihadis

As the season of wallowing in warrior worship wanes, we might think upon those warriors we love to hate—the young Muslim men from around the globe migrating (or trying to migrate) to the Middle East to fight for ISIS.

Their motivation is much discussed. Some, alienated from their society, seem driven by nothing more than a desperate search for meaning in their lives. The mentally-unbalanced,

Canadian Dimension: Otherwise Occupied / The genius of Israeli evil: It poses as concern

Photo by W. Hagens

Israeli evil is not at all banal. Abundant in inventions and innovations as well as in age-old techniques, it trickles like water and bursts out from hidden places. But unlike floods, it does not reach an end, and it affects some while being invisible, undetectable and non-existent for others. The genius of Israeli evil is in its ability to disguise itself as compassion and concern (thus providing Bernard-Henri Lévy and Elie Wiesel with yet another opportunity to praise the Jewish state in widely-read essays).

Take, for example, the inventive technique of Israeli agriculture: two to five (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Democracy inches along in Tunisia

The Arab spring, one of the most encouraging events from a democratic perspective in recent years, has unfortunately mostly failed. Egypt, the most important Arab country, and the country where democrats’ hopes where highest, has lapsed back into an increasingly oppressive military dictatorship. But one country, the one where it all started, continues to follow a democratic path.

Tunisia

drive-by planet: ‘Terrorism threat’ hyped to fuel Harper government’s reactionary right-wing agenda

Following the Ottawa shooting both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star ran headlines that signaled the nation was under assault. The Globe went with the single word “Attacked” superimposed on a silhouette of parliament, with a solitary red-and-white Canadian flag fluttering against the background gloom. The Star went with “Under Siege” with the sub-heading “Terror grips Ottawa and the nation.”

The message of ‘nation-under-threat’ contained in these headlines and images was also apparent in the rhetoric of the Harper government that framed the Ottawa shooting incident as a terrorist attack… an attack on the very heart of (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Religious Child Abuse

Our imperial conquests in the Middle East are, of course, busily blowing up in our face. The new normal is a murderous state of higgledy-piggledy brought on by us wiping out the quasi-stable societies that had kept the peace (of sorts). Because nothing says we love peace like bombing the shit of a country we now have religious extremists attempting to establish a new Caliphate in the ruins of our bastion of democratic freedom imperial conquest.

So anyhow, once you cripple the umbrella of supports (infrastructure and otherwise) that keep a civil secular society running it comes as (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Principled Abstention: Why Liberal MP Irwin Cotler Abstained From Iraq War Vote

Did Liberal MP Irwin Cotler rebel against party leader Justin Trudeau when he abstained from Tuesday’s House of Commons vote on Harper’s decision to drag Canada into an unwinnable military campaign in Iraq?

The post Principled Abstention: Why Liberal MP Irwin Cotler Abstained From Iraq War Vote appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dead Wild Roses: Some Recent History in the Middle East – ISIS and US.

Fascinating reading about some of the circular nature of events that are playing out in the Middle East as of late. This excerpt from the Counterpunch article titled Once More, Into the Quagmire.

 

The Middle East Needs Our Military Might

One can hear, in the reverberating noise of mainstream justifications, a series of claims. Among them is the idea that the Middle East is united in opposition to ISIS. Indeed it is, if you confine your poll to the rotten monarchies of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Adding Jordan to (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ten Questions about the Harper Government’s embrace of war with ISIS-ISIL-IS

Ready, Aye, Ready! Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird whips up the War Party in the House of Commons. Below: Stephen Harper, the prime minister, and Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn.

Stephen Harper, John Baird, Laurie Hawn and the rest of the boys yesterday finally got the war in Iraq they’ve been pining for since 2003.

“We should have been there shoulder to shoulder with our allies,” Prime Minister Harper, who was still the leader of the opposition, complained back in April 2003. At the time, the United States had just invaded Iraq to punish it for having nothing to do (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau “cannot and will not” support Harper’s Iraq war motion

Responding to Harper’s Iraq war motion, introduced Friday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said his party “cannot and will not support this Prime Minister’s motion.”

The post Trudeau “cannot and will not” support Harper’s Iraq war motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Responds To Harper’s Iraq War Motion

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May agrees with Harper that “Canada cannot stand on the sidelines,” but warns that “bombings have never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist terrorist threat.”

The post Elizabeth May Responds To Harper’s Iraq War Motion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Closer You Look …

The closer one looks at the ISIS thing, the more it starts looking like a sectarian war in the Middle East.  Yesterday in the Globe and Mail, Robert Fowler very nicely articulated the problem with short term solutions to the mess in Iraq, and today I spotted a really interesting read describing some of the reasons behind the apparent lack of response from several Arab states, in particular Saudi Arabia.

As is typical of these situations in the region, it is starting to become apparent that for all of its bloodiness, ISIS is simply another sectarian feud spilling out (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Speech Announces Canada’s Air Strikes Against ISIS

Here’s an unedited text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech in the House of Commons on Friday, announcing Canada’s air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

The post Harper Speech Announces Canada’s Air Strikes Against ISIS appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Who is "part of the problem," Mr. Cameron?

Recently British PM David Cameron, even while encouraging Iran to help deal with ISIS, couldn’t resist taking a shot at the country. In his UN speech, he stated superciliously that Iran can be “part of the solution, not part of the problem.” Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, took umbrage, declaring the remark “wrong and unacceptable.” A spokeswoman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Marzieh Afkham,

Politics and its Discontents: Cheap Rhetoric Versus Practical Questions

With regard to the ISIS threat, here is what Prime Minister Harper had to say in the House: “These are necessary actions, they are noble actions” …. “When we think that something is necessary and noble, we don’t sit back and say that only other people should do it. The Canadian way is that you do your part.”

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, on the other hand, asked a series of questions on the matter, including the length of the planned mission, the exit strategy and the exact demands of the United States for a Canadian military contribution.

While Harper is (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq

American officials say Canada offered further military help to fight the Islamic State in Iraq – not the other way around as Harper told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The post Harper Lied About U.S. Requesting Canada’s Military Help In Iraq appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Israeli spy veterans refuse to “harm innocent Palestinians”

34 Israeli intelligence veterans who have served in Unit 8200 write to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explaining why they refuse to serve and “harm innocent Palestinians.”

The post Israeli spy veterans refuse to “harm innocent Palestinians” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch

Human rights groups says Israel committed war crimes during Gaza conflict, urges the International Criminal Court to facilitate the “prosecution of serious international crimes by both sides.”

The post Israel committed war crimes in Gaza: Human Rights Watch appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: ISIS, IS or ISIL … Whatever It’s Called This Week

It comes as no surprise that Harper is in a great hurry to commit Canada to a shooting war in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria.

Make no mistake, “military advisors” is a euphemism.  Harper is committing troops to a shooting war that frankly we have no business involving ourselves in.

I remember saying back in 2002 that invading Afghanistan or Iraq was a fatal mistake.  It was a mistake on two basic levels.

First, direct military intervention in the Middle East has never been an effective strategy.  While military intervention has made Israel happy, and has no doubt done wonders for lining the pockets (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension | Articles: Israelis, stop swimming in our shit

Palestinians in Gaza are starting to wake up from the shell-shock of Israel’s 51-day Ramadan Massacre, which left over 2,131 Palestinians killed (of which more than 500 were children), over 10,000 injured (more than half of whom are estimated to be permanently handicapped), and scores of homes and businesses demolished. Reality is bleaker than ever before. Nothing of the underlying reasons why Gaza exploded into a bloodbath has changed; Israeli and Egyptian closures of Gaza’s borders remain in place. However, one product is making its way freely across the border into Israel. Actually, this product flows undetected by the almighty (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper Nobel Peace Prize nomination “a disgrace and insult”

A fast-growing online petition on Change.org is calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to reject Prime Minister’s Stephen Harper’s pending nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his unequivocal support of Israel.

The post Harper Nobel Peace Prize nomination “a disgrace and insult” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: Driving Round Pegs Into Square Holes – Why We Keep Screwing Up in the Middle East

Since 1918 with the defeat of the Kaiser’s Germany triggered the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the West has established a reputation for screwing up in the Middle East.  It can be said to have begun with the French and British carving up the place to suit their interests, drawing straight lines where none existed before, corralling often hostile ethnic groups into artificial countries with names like Iraq, Iran and Syria.

For all of that, we’ve never screwed up quite on the scale as our adventures in the Middle East/South Asia in the 21st century.

At the start of this (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Israel & Gaza: Tectonic shift in past 24 hours

Israel’s embattled prime minister

The Egypt-brokered truce agreement just struck has resulted in two shifts in the underlying political forces in that area. The first shift is a de facto recognition by Israel of the pan-Palestinian government that Abbas had set in place, as Zvi Bar’elwrites in Haaretz:

But this is just a preliminary agreement. The important agreement will come in another month, when both sides return to Cairo to negotiate over core issues like a port and airport, prisoner releases and Gaza’s reconstruction. Over the coming month, the cease-fire’s stability will be tested, and that is the innovation (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: In Drought News

Central America continues to reel under severe, multi-year drought.  Guatemala has declared a state of emergency in 16 of the country’s 22-provinces.  Experts believe the impact on agriculture could soon leave hundreds of thousands of families without food.

As America’s west coast and southwest continue to be plagued by drought, an article at Treehugger examines how Americans might look to Canadian waters to ease their pain.  The article revives a long-forgotten idea to dam James Bay and divert the excess freshwater via canal to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. Presumably the diverted James Bay water would then be drawn into (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video)

With short film, Gazonto, Canadian filmmaker and activist John Greyson reimagines Toronto as Gaza being bombed by Israel during the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The post Gazonto: Imagining Toronto Being Bombed Like Gaza (Video) appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.