Attorneys for a Canadian man who spent a decade detained by the United States military at Guantanamo Bay say details in the Obama administration’s recently released “drone memo” exonerates their client of war crimes.
Omar Khadr was only 15 years old when he was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and taken to the Bagram Air Base, then Guantanamo, where he later pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war — according to military prosecutors, Khadr tossed a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer.
After being transferred to Canadian custody in 2012, Khadr said he pleaded guilty to war crimes because he was “left with a hopeless choice” of either accepting the charges or risk facing “continued abuse and torture” at the hands of his Gitmo jailers.
But in a recent court filing [PDF], lawyers for Khadr, now 27, say a just-published US Department of Justice memorandum contains information that directly challenges the American government’s case against their client.
Khadr’s attorneys wrote this week that the secret “drone memo” released by the White House last month — the DOJ document that the government relied on to justify the 2010 drone strike in Yemen that killed American citizen and suspected AL-Qaeda member Anwar Al-Awlaki — suggests prosecutors had no place to charge the Canadian teenager with murder in violation of the laws of war after he allegedly killed an American soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan.
The DOJ memo itself was a penned by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in response to the question of whether Central Intelligence Agency officers — who are not members of the US military — can be blamed for war crimes by launching drone strikes. The memo was written in July 2010, and justified the strike that later that year killed Al-Awlaki.
According to a footnote within the memo, released June 24 of this year due to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, “lethal activities conducted in accordance with the laws of war, and undertaken in the course of lawfully authorized hostilities, do not violate the laws of war by virtue of the fact that they are carried out in part by government actors who are not entitled to the combatant’s privilege.”
“That completely blows away one of the major prongs of the government’s theory in all these Guantanamo cases,” Sam Morison, Khadr’s Pentagon-based lawyer, told The Canadian Press during an interview on Wednesday this week.
Although Khadr was charged with violating the “US common law of war” that dates back centuries, his attorneys say the memo concerning CIA drone strikes suggest such legislation simply doesn’t exist.
“The whole purpose…was to evaluate whether the CIA agents were violating the law,” Morison said. “The only reasonable interpretation of that analysis is that there is no such thing (as the common law of war).”
On Monday this week, Morrison and the rest of Khadr’s legal counsel, filed a motion in Guantanamo’s appeals court asking that the conviction against their client be vacated.
“The Americans made up serious charges that they knew were false,” Dennis Edney, a Canadian based lawyer for Khadr, told the Toronto Star this week. “It’s a complete violation of everything we understand about justice.”
Should Khadr’s attorneys succeed, then a number of cases pertaining to current or former Guantanamo detainees accused of war crimes could be called into question. According to Human Rights Watch, however, only six of the 149 detainees at Gitmo face any formal charges — fewer than the number of prisoners who have died while held there in military custody.
The Canadian media is awash with hysteria about what it calls a potential Iranian-sponsored terror attack in Ottawa.
Unsurprisingly, the hype is rooted in baseless innuendo typical of neocon warmongers who act as loudspeakers for the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.
The neoconservative National Post, which is for all intents and purposes an Israeli propaganda organ, published a scurrilous piece on June 16 quoting from alarmist Canadian intelligence reports which state that Iran and Hezbollah (Lebanon’s national resistance movement) may be planning to strike Ottawa.
What evidence do these intelligence analysts proffer to support their slanderous assertions about Iran and Hezbollah? Absolutely none.
The National Post admitted the documents “do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region.”
So they claim there is a “threat” but cannot even specify what that threat is or in what form it may manifest?
“[I]n the past,” the dubious intelligence report continued, “Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally.”
This Zionist rhetoric looks as if it could have been written by Stephen Harper’s “good friend” Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
Despite feeble Zionist disinformation, Iran has not sponsored any international terror attacks. The bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994, which took the lives of 85 people, is still unsolved. The Zionists immediately pinned the blame for the atrocity on their Iranian and Lebanese foes, offering not one particle of proof. Argentinian researcher Adrian Salbuchi contends that the attack was a false flag operation engineered by the Israeli secret services to swing public opinion against its enemies.
When in late 2013 Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez announced that she would launch a new joint Iranian-Argentinian probe into the 1994 attack, the Zionists went berserk and their mouthpieces in Ottawa and Washington condemned the move to have a real investigation into what happened, for obvious reasons.
Canada’s intelligence services function as a political tool of the neoconservative, pro-Zionist regime in Ottawa led by the rabid Likudnik Harper. As such, their reports about Iran, Hezbollah and anything else related to the Middle East, Arabs and “terrorism” cannot be considered to be anything but propaganda and misdirection designed to serve Israel’s geopolitical agenda.
In his book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid,” Canadian foreign policy expert Yves Engler documented the close ties between Canada’s spy agency CSIS and Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The two spook organizations work together closely, sharing intelligence and conducting joint espionage operations targeting Arabs in Canada and abroad. Mossad has often used forged Canadian passports on covert missions (even attempted assassinations), and CSIS has looked the other way.
What may lie behind this latest dose of Iranophobic poison emanating from Ottawa? The National Post says that the Canadian intelligence documents it based its story around are from late 2013, so why promote it now?
Well, a number of events that have unfolded over the past few weeks may explain it.
On June 13 three Israeli teens were allegedly kidnapped from an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnapping are murky. Strangely, nobody has taken credit for the kidnapping nor has anyone demanded a ransom. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the militant Palestinian resistance group Hamas is to blame for the abduction and vowed swift action against it Monday,” reported a June 16 Globe and Mail article.
If Hamas was behind the capture of the three Israelis, surely they would have demanded a prisoner exchange as thousands of Palestinians are unjustly held as political prisoners in Israeli jails. But they have not done this, and as the Globe noted, Hamas has nothing to gain from such a reckless move at this critical juncture when they have just recently formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu called the new Hamas-PA unity government “bad for Israel.”
The only beneficiary of the kidnapping, it seems, is Israel.
Political analyst Kevin Barrett noted in a recent article on Veterans Today that this kidnapping incident may have been staged by Israel as a political stunt to undermine the new Palestinian unity government and to justify a crackdown on Hamas. “How dare the Palestinians unify against us,” the Zionist occupiers are saying to themselves.
Israel’s military chief of staff Benny Gantz has pledged a “broad operation” against Hamas. “Our aim is to find the three boys, bring them home and hurt Hamas as much as possible,” he said. Using the kidnapping incident as a pretext, Israel has arrested more than 160 Palestinians and conducted several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials are now lusting to re-arrest all 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, reported the Globe.
“Israeli political leaders on the right,” the Globe article continued, “have demanded all sorts of punitive action be taken against Hamas [as a result of the unsolved kidnapping]: some advocate expelling the group’s leaders to Gaza; others want to annex parts of the West Bank… Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted at a return to the practice of targeted killings – assassinations – of Hamas leaders.”
To back up his false flag hypothesis, Kevin Barrett cited a revealing June 15 Haaretz article headlined, “Mossad chief’s chillingly prescient kidnap prophecy.” In the article Israeli journalist Barak Ravid disclosed that, “Ten days ago, at a security cabinet meeting, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo outlined a scenario spookily similar to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens missing since Thursday night.”
The security meeting in question “dealt with the report of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner exchanges and on the Habayit Hayehudi bill that prohibits granting pardons to terrorists.”
Pardo and his colleagues tried to convince Israeli ministers not to pass the bill, arguing that it would “limit the government’s room for maneuver in future abduction cases, would keep its hands tied, and prevent it from considering other solutions for dealing with a potential crisis.”
“What will you do if in a week three 14-year-old girls will be kidnapped from one of the settlements?” Pardo asked. “Will you say there is a law, and we don’t release terrorists?”
As Haaretz inadvertently demonstrated, Zionists have quite a talent for predicting and foreshadowing future events. In 1979, the founder of Israel’s spy agencies, Isser Harel, predicted 9/11 with amazing precision, telling an Evangelical Zionist named Michael Evans over dinner that “Islamic fundamentalists” would eventually strike New York City’s “tallest building.”
Zionist neocons of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think-tank spoke of a “New Pearl Harbour” that would facilitate their militarist foreign policy objectives exactly one year before the planes hit the twin towers in New York in 2001.
Israeli dirty tricks of this nature are nothing new. Shortly after 9/11, the Israelis were caught red-handed establishing a fake al-Qaeda cell in Gaza. Ariel ‘the butcher’ Sharon attempted to use the existence of the counterfeit “terror cell” as a pretext to bomb the beleaguered coastal enclave. “Israel ‘faked al-Qaeda presence’,” noted a Dec. 2002 BBC headline, which unveiled Israel’s deception.
A Sept. 10, 2001, Washington Times report also shed light on Israel’s penchant for ruthlessness and deception. Reporting on the content of a US Army study on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Times article quoted the study’s authors who stated that Israel is “known to disregard international law to accomplish mission.” The US Army analysts were even more blunt in their assessment of Israel’s Mossad, characterizing the rogue agency as a “ruthless and cunning” wildcard that is “[capable of targeting] U.S. forces” and making it “look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”
Knowing Israel’s sordid history of false flags and dirty tricks, one would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility that the “kidnapping” scandal that has unfolded over the past few days is yet another Machiavellian stage-play designed to derail Palestine’s unity government and expedite Israel’s expansionist aims.
With Syria and Iraq being overrun by bloodthirsty Western-backed mercenaries and brutes, Israel sees an opportunity to push forward with its imperialist schemes to neutralize Palestinian resistance to the occupation.
Ottawa’s ratcheting up of anti-Iranian hysteria at this conspicuous time can only be seen as a gesture of support for Tel Aviv’s campaign of terror in Gaza and the West Bank, deflecting international attention from the Israeli cuckoo in the nest.
Since 2010, I have been Press TV’s Canadian correspondent based in Calgary, Alberta. I have been forced by the actions and statements of Canada’s ruling neoconservatives to hone in on the role Zionists and the organized Jewish community play in Canadian society.
Canada’s current government has shifted this country from being a comparatively benign and peaceful nation to being a warmongering de facto colony of Israel. I believe the evidence suggests this didn’t just happen by accident; the Zionization of Canada was a carefully planned, well-oiled operation.
If I was wrong in my analyses of the interface between Canada’s government and pro-Israel forces, I believe I would have been invited on one of the many Zionist-controlled media organs here, debated by some high-IQ Zionist intellectual and exposed as erroneous and foolish. I believe it is because we at Press TV are accurate in our analyses of Canadian power and politics that a segment of the organized Jewish community has decided to turn to coercion.
I would like to make available an email I received from the Jewish Defense League, a group described in an FBI report entitled “Terrorism 2000/2001” as a “violent extremist organization:”
In the middle of the last century, Jews had no right or means of response when they were demonised, persecuted and attacked by your ideological soulmates. Today, the world is a very different place. When we are attacked by hate-filled antisemites like you, we respond with all the resources at our disposal, and with extreme prejudice.
You clearly enjoy indulging your pathological hatred of Jews, but there are three things that you should remember: The code that we live by is ‘never again’; our loathing of those who incite hatred against Jews is stronger than their hatred of us; we didn’t choose you as an enemy, you chose us.”
There are several fallacies committed in this unpleasant email. Firstly, I am not a “hate-filled anti-Semite.” I define Anti-Semitism as an “irrational hatred of all Jews generically.” You have to dislike all Jews and irrationally so to qualify as an Anti-Semite in my book. I merely oppose the actions, arguments and assumptions of those Jews who are oppressors, warmongers, apologists for Israel and proponents of a Zionist exeptionalist police state, etc. Some Jews agree with me, some almost agree with me and others evidently hate me. Either way, criticizing those in power, regardless of their ethnicity, is a natural right which I embrace zealously.
Unlike the JDL, who claim they intend to act with “extreme prejudice” against me, I’m guided by post-judice insofar as my conclusions are derived from an analysis of the factual record. My analyses are rational, logical and evidence based. Evidence emerged of Israeli involvement in 9/11 and then I deduced that Israel conducts false-flag terrorism against the US. The evidence came first, then my conclusion.
Equally misguided is to characterize my alleged “hatred of Jews” as “pathological.” The usage of psychoanalytic verbiage to quash criticism of Jews is the product of Sigmund Freud and members of the Frankfurt School, Jewish thinkers who popularized their ethnocentric doctrines in the first half of the 20th Century. By describing my criticism of certain Jews as “pathological,” the writer of the email exempts himself from addressing the content of my criticisms. If my criticisms are the product of a psychopathology, then they have no relation to the real world and thus need not be addressed. How convenient.
Some academicians and law experts have advised me to take this threatening email to the authorities here in Canada. However, I am intuitively averse to having the state decide which emails are good and which are bad. I’d rather engage in debate and dialogue with my interlocutors. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Canada’s current regime would ever prosecute Jewish ethnic activists like the members of the JDL. That would be in contravention of the Jewish-exceptionalist ideology that seemingly governs this country at the present time.
The Canadian state has defenestrated the values of British Common Law that once guided Canadian society (such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, adversarial argumentation, habeas corpus and freedom of movement) in favor of the eliminationist ideology of Jewish exceptionalism. Critics of Jews find themselves arrested for “hate speech” or “inciting genocide” and non-Canadian citizens are barred from the country or deported.
For example, it has now been demonstrated that Canada’s ruling neoconservatives barred pro-Palestinian peace activist and parliamentarian George Galloway from Canada in 2009 at the behest of the JDL. This is one reason I don’t fear the JDL per se; there was a time when they had no political clout and thus had to actively engage in their own thuggery and aggression toward those whose perspectives they sought to suppress. Now they have Canada’s MPs and politicized police forces at their disposal to do their dirty work for them. If Mr. Galloway had turned up at the Canadian border in mid-2009, the police would have arrested and incarcerated the six-times-elected British MP, based on lobbying efforts by the JDL. In this epoch, the JDL can sit back and let Israel’s client regime in Ottawa do all the work.
The extent of the Zionization of Canada is revealed by the very presence of the JDL in this country. The militant organization is reportedly proscribed in the US and in many EU countries. In spite of this, periodically Meir Weinstein, leader of the JDL in Canada, pops up on our TV screens as if he is a moderate Canadian political pundit. Quite what the members of the JDL contribute to Canadian society other than aggressive censoriousness and ethnic tension is unclear.
In 1995 German ethnic-activist and historian Ernst Zundel had his house firebombed by Zionist terrorists who disagreed with his historical conclusions. A group called the Jewish Armed Resistance Movement claimed responsibility for the attack but the Toronto Star later claimed that the group had ties to the JDL. Instead of locking up those aggressors who arrogated to themselves the right to revoke Mr. Zundel’s freedom of speech and destroy his property, the police incarcerated Zundel under so-called anti-terrorism legislation, which was later found to be unconstitutional.
Another falsehood in the email is the claim that “we didn’t choose you as an enemy, you chose us.” I grew up in a philo-Semitic household with holidays to Israel and visits to Auschwitz (and I’m not even Jewish!). It was primarily Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians and proven involvement in false flag attacks on Western countries that spurred me to voice criticism of certain Jews. Within recent days, Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has confirmed that Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in June 1967. Is he a “pathological” “antisemite” too?
So, to repeat, my conclusions are post-judicial not prejudicial (I actually pre-judged Jews favorably). The Zionists want to use countries like Britain, Canada and the US as playthings to advance Israeli geopolitical goals, expending the blood and treasure of us stupid goyim rather than that of Jews. Certain Zionist fanatics in my view declared war on my historically philo-Semitic people not vice-versa.
I’m keen to engage in dialogue with my detractors. It seems because I have the moral high ground and evidence on my side that some Zionists are now resorting to coercion to silence me.
In my view, the pen is mightier than the sword. The JDL should take a leaf out of my book instead of trying to eliminate anybody who criticizes them and their fellow Zionist ideologues.
The exhibit is an opportunity for Canadians to view imagery that captures the humanity of a real situation (Public ART/Facebook)
The woman behind the exhibit is artist Rehab Nazzal, a Canadian citizen born in Jenin, an historic town located in Palestine in a territory under occupation since 1967. Nazzal’s exhibit of 1700 photographic images along with four short videos, were collected by her over the fourteen years. Segments of these images depict life in the experience of occupation.
Nazzal’s premise of this collection is based on the idea that people leave traces of their existence and the traces in this case are part of the collective memory of occupied Palestine. Not being the first time this collection has been exhibited, it was also featured in Toronto at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival 2013.
Stumbling across the exhibit at Ottawa’s City Hall in the Karsh-Masson Gallery, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada felt that such an exhibit should prohibited. The Ambassador operating outside of his mission, met with Mayor Jim Watson and Deputy City Manager Steven Kanellakos of the City of Ottawa, to demand closure of the exhibit, stating it “glorified terrorism”. Somehow in the unidentified 1700 images and four videos, the Ambassador was able to single out seven individuals he described as terrorists.
The 4th Geneva Convention that Israel and Canada are signatories as well as the Hague Regulations, provides that people under occupation have the right to resist their occupiers. Palestinians are in a situation where they are resisting occupation. The Israeli government and their representatives dispute this occupation in spite of the presence of its military. Terrorism terminology by Israel has become so common and so pervasive that many inside and outside of Israel perceive Palestinians as terrorists – a racist generalization that is pejorative and isolating.
Nazzal’s work reveals human cost of military violence and war, and it is not a call for more human loss, contrary to the Ambassador’s allegations. It is a catalog of Palestinian history, creativity and expression for Forgotten Survivors; a lament for their homeland; and sadness for those who have died in a long hopeless conflict. Her work is a strong counter-narrative articulated creatively using visual vocabulary, transforming the oppressive tools of Israel and its discriminatory policies into elements of hope and life. Her political art communicates messages of dignity and liberation and has undoubtedly inspired many, not just Arabs but non-Arabs as well. The strong media attention certainly indicates that her message is worthy of consideration and appreciation.
Not satisfied with the responses from the Canadian public and City of Ottawa, the Ambassador has escalated his inflammatory language including allegations of “blood libel” and descriptors such as “child murderers”. Is this the role of a foreign diplomat to Canada? His call on Jewish groups to demand action is of great concern. Individuals who have yet to see the exhibit but have read the Ambassador’s false and inflammatory statements, are responding through promotion of these false allegations in blogs, emails to City Hall and online comments. Canadians are being presented with a bias that perpetuates this terrorism label.
The Israeli suppression of the Palestinian narrative appears to now be officially part of the Canadian art and political stream of understanding. It has no place nor is it appropriate. Instead of approaching the situation as an ethnic denial of people, that would appear racist to Canadians, the Ambassador of Israel instead invokes falsely the understandably reactionary term – terrorist.
Censorship of art, especially political art has a history associated with oppressive regimes. Artists in Canada of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures have the full right to artistic expression as granted by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore uncensored artists are able to explore difficult themes; which is a victory for democracy and freedom of expression.
Realizing that Mayor Watson and his staff have stood by the Charter, the Ambassador requested that Mayor Watson review the process of selecting future art exhibitions at the Karsh-Masson Gallery. This is also censorship. Does this mean future exhibitions could be at risk? That the City of Ottawa should influence the selection panel of professional artists? Do we want elected politicians interfering with these processes, and especially at the behest of a foreign country and its diplomatic body?
The situation is of concern to Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and other ethnic minority artists who may not be featured by galleries across Canada due to the fear of facing the public wrath of Jewish groups and/or the Israeli government. As Canadians, we don’t want to be controlled in how our art is expressed.
We know from the history of others, that when governments and special interest groups control the message of art, that in many cases, target groups who are censored are in danger of future marginalization. In Europe in the 1930’s a number of countries excelled in this practice further legitimizing their hateful actions against minorities, including Roma and Jews. For some countries this was the beginning of their marginalization process against an ethnic minority. Canada must uphold its values for this reason as our laws and freedoms are for everybody, and not to be denied for a specified group, especially under pressure from an outside country.
The exhibit created by Nazzal is an opportunity for Canadians to view imagery that captures the humanity of a real situation. People are not exploited in their suffering or celebrations, they are living an experience that is untold by the media and has been for as much as four decades.
To be Palestinian is not anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli. In actuality it is a culture that is centuries old in its cuisine, dance, literature, art, architecture, music, costume and other elements we all embrace in our own.
Canada, a country of hundreds of cultures, cannot be part and parcel of this type of denial, and should not be afraid in embracing its citizens. Removing this show would set a precedence that would allow one group at odds with another group to demand censorship in the Canadian milieu. Influencing selection committees of art galleries, are creating the environment of fearing to present a Palestinian artist would also be an act of censorship and stifling our right to the freedom of expression. This is not a Canada we want.
- Rana Abdulla is a Canadian professional accountant, living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Shawn Robinson is a Canadian artist in graphic design and creative writing. She lives in Ottawa.
For full version of these videos, please contact: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
You are missed
© 2012, Rehab Nazzal
A Canadian proposal that calls for a nuclear waste storage facility less than a mile away from the Great Lakes is coming under heavy fire from Michigan lawmakers and environmental groups, who are now attempting to stop the project.
Under a plan crafted by energy supplier Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the company would construct a “deep geologic repository” (DGR), which would feature waste storage sites more than 2,200 feet underground to store nearly 53 million gallons of both low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste. The location of the proposed site, however – in Kincardine, Ontario, just three-quarters of a mile away from Lake Huron – has drawn criticism from numerous groups who fear potential contamination.
The fact that Lake Huron is connected to all the other Great Lakes via waterways has also drawn concern, since the five bodies of water make up the largest collection of freshwater lakes on the Earth and provide drinking supplies to tens of millions of Americans and Canadians.
According to the Detroit News, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have continued criticizing the plan, and are now proposing legislation that calls on the federal government to get involved. In addition to requesting that President Obama stake out a position on the issue, state Senate and House members are asking Secretary of State John Kerry to officially ask the International Joint Commission – established to mediate disputes over the Great Lakes – to rule on the matter.
The legislation would also “stop the importation of radioactive waste into Michigan from Canada.”
“Building a nuclear waste dump less than a mile from one of the largest freshwater sources in the world is a reckless act that should be universally opposed,” Michigan Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township) said in a statement Monday, as quoted by the Huffington Post.
While lawmakers continue to get involved in the situation – Michigan’s Senators in Washington have also urged the State Department to bring the IJC into the debate – environmental groups have come out against the plan.
“Burying nuclear waste a quarter-mile from the Great Lakes is a shockingly bad idea — it poses a serious threat to people, fish, wildlife, and the lakes themselves,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, in a statement to the Detroit News.
Notably, the proposed plan has garnered the support of most Kincardine residents and other neighboring communities, many of whom have jobs within the nuclear industry.
For its part, OPG has maintained that its facility would be a safe place to store radioactive material such as rags, mop heads, paper towels, clothing, and more. According to the Associated Press, the low-level material the company plans to bury beneath the earth would decay in 300 years, while the intermediate-level material – described as “resins, filters, and used reactor components” – would take more than 100,000 years to decay.
Despite the company’s confidence, however, one former OPG scientist recently looked at the plan and came away unconvinced, saying the radioactivity of the materials that would be buried has been “seriously underestimated.” Dr. Frank Greening wrote to the Canadian panel charged with reviewing the proposal, arguing the material is sometimes 100 times more radioactive than estimated. In some cases, the material is 600 times more radioactive.
“My first feeling was, look, you messed up the most basic first step in establishing the safety of this facility, namely, how much radioactive waste they’re going to be putting in the ground, you admit you got that wrong, but now you’re telling me that everything else is okay,” Greening told Michigan Radio, according to Huffington Post. “You can’t just fluff off this error as one error. It raises too many questions about all your other numbers. And I’m sorry, I now have lost faith in what you’re doing.”
Asked about Greening’s findings, OPG spokesman Neal Kelly told the Toronto Star the facility would still be safe even if the evidence bears out.
“Some of his points are valid, and were already under review within OPG for future revisions to the waste inventory,” he said, adding the DGR’s design is “very, very conservative… The safety case would still be strong, even if these factors were to bear out.”
CBC Fifth Estate’s 1991 documentary titled “Canada Park; Park with No Peace”
In the context of a Canadian popular imagination still permeated by myths about heroic voyageurs, intrepid Mounties, and an inexorable yet ostensibly “peaceful” and “lawful” acquisition of other peoples’ lands, James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains is a vital intervention. Described by historian Elizabeth A. Fenn as a “tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of Indigenous peoples,” Daschuk’s study of Indigenous health and disease on the Canadian Prairies draws on decades of research to recount Canada’s policies of forced starvation and ethnic cleansing. More broadly, it’s a good introduction to the history of Canadian expansion into the northwest and the nature and evolution of Canadian Indian policy in the 19th century.
Research for Clearing the Plains began some 20 years ago as part of Daschuk’s doctoral program in history at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of D.N. Sprague. Sprague was himself a scholar of Canadian and Métis history, perhaps best known for his lengthy feud with Tom Flanagan over interpretations about Louis Riel, presumptions of government “benevolence,” and the causes of Métis dispossession in the Red River valley. Like Sprague’s own work, Canada and the Métis (1988), Clearing the Plains finds little evidence of Dominion “benevolence” in its annexation of the Canadian northwest or in its post-Confederation dealings with First Nations.
However, Daschuk’s is also a work of environmental and epidemiological history. As such, he argues that human agency, greed, and colonial power are “only half of the story.” In his view, the field of biology is equally important to understanding Indigenous history, not just in present-day Canada but also throughout the hemisphere. Much of what follows is an attempt to strike a balance between these two sides of causation, with Daschuk see-sawing between a portrait of epidemic disease as an inexorable, objective, even organic force, and a counter-portrait that emphasizes the social determinants and policy-induced nature of compromised immunity, disease outbreaks, and death.
The historical scope of Clearing the Plains is sweeping. The book opens with an assessment of pre-European health and well-being on the northern Great Plains, then concentrates on the impact of the fur trade era and nascent European settlement, and ends with the post-Confederation treaty era and the “nadir of indigenous health” in the wake of the Northwest Resistance of 1885. Throughout the book, Daschuk emphasizes the relationships between Indigenous health, outbreaks of epidemic diseases, and environmental factors, as well as settlement expansion, settler ideology, and most crucially, Indian policy. In this regard, Clearing the Plains joins a growing body of historical work examining the social determinants of health and, in particular, the relationship between Indigenous health and Canadian policy.
Overall, Daschuk’s book is important less for unearthing new and surprising historical facts than for expanding upon, reinterpreting, and publicizing them. For example, one of the central theses of Clearing the Plains is that famine was a deliberate policy weapon used to coerce “unco-operative Indians” onto reserves and remove them from lands coveted by white settlers. This isn’t a revelation for anyone familiar with existing scholarship. In his influential 1983 article, “Canada’s Subjugation of the Plains Cree,” John Tobias persuasively demonstrated that starvation was a weapon used to impose the reservation system, bring “recalcitrant” leaders such as Big Bear to heel, and force the Cree to capitulate to treaty terms. Clearing the Plains not only expands on such themes, bringing to light further evidence and examples, but its publication has made them accessible to a much wider public.
Daschuk’s interpretive framework sheds the congratulatory and smug self-image that still dominates in much Canadian historical writing. He is unafraid, for example, to label the settler-colonial process in southern Saskatchewan “ethnic cleansing,” and elsewhere he has described the foundation of modern Canada as resting upon the twin truths of “ethnic cleansing and genocide.” Those wanting a crash course in Prairie colonial history would do well to read Daschuk’s book alongside Sarah Carter’s Aboriginal People and Colonizers of Western Canada to 1900 (University of Toronto Press, 1999). Both books are carefully empirical but rooted in a deep commitment to social justice. Together, they serve as excellent points of departure for further research into colonial policy in the Canadian Prairie provinces.
Canada has sent six fighter jets to Romania as part of its contribution to NATO’s military presence in Eastern and Central Europe.
The six CF-18 fighter jets were deployed from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Quebec on Tuesday.
Canada’s Defense Minister Rob Nicholson, who was present for the aircrafts takeoff, told the pilots and their support staff that they were being sent in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
“Soon you will join our allies as part of Canada’s contribution to NATO’s efforts to reassure our allies in Central and Eastern Europe,” Nicholson said. “The work will be key in supporting international efforts to find a solution that respects the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people.”
Meanwhile, Denmark has also sent four warplanes to the region.
On April 28, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu expressed concern about what he described as an unparalleled increase in US and NATO military activity along Russia’s borders.
The planes, along with support staff, will be stationed in Romania, and will take part in NATO air patrols of the Baltic region and training activities. The air patrols operate on a rotational schedule, and the six Canadian CF-18s will be rotating in.
According to reports, some 150 US troops have been deployed in western Estonia and another 450 are presently stationed in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Tensions between Moscow and the Western-backed interim government in Kiev heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and rejoined Russia following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining the Russian Federation.
This Wednesday evening there is to be a “Public Information Session and Discussion” (pdf) about TISA: the Trade in Services Agreement. If, like me, you’ve never heard of this, you might think it’s a new initiative. But it turns out that it’s been under way for more than a year: the previous USTR, Ron Kirk, informed Congress about it back in January 2013 (pdf). Aside from the occasional laconic press release from the USTR, a page put together by the Australian government, and a rather poorly-publicized consultation by the European Commission last year, there has been almost no public information about this agreement. A cynic might even think they were trying to keep it quiet.
Perhaps the best introduction to TISA comes from the Public Services International (PSI) organization, a global trade union federation representing 20 million people working in public services in 150 countries. Last year, it released a naturally skeptical brief on the proposed agreement (pdf):
At the beginning of 2012, about 20 WTO members (the EU counted as one) calling themselves “The Really Good Friends of Services” (RGF) launched secret unofficial talks towards drafting a treaty that would further liberalize trade and investment in services, and expand “regulatory disciplines” on all services sectors, including many public services. The “disciplines,” or treaty rules, would provide all foreign providers access to domestic markets at “no less favorable” conditions as domestic suppliers and would restrict governments’ ability to regulate, purchase and provide services. This would essentially change the regulation of many public and privatized or commercial services from serving the public interest to serving the profit interests of private, foreign corporations.
The Australian government’s TISA page fills in some details:
The TiSA negotiations will cover all services sectors. In addition to improved market access commitments, the negotiations also provide an opportunity to develop new disciplines (or trade rules) in areas where there has been significant developments since the WTO Uruguay Round negotiations. There negotiations will cover financial services; ICT services (including telecommunications and e-commerce); professional services; maritime transport services; air transport services, competitive delivery services; energy services; temporary entry of business persons; government procurement; and new rules on domestic regulation to ensure regulatory settings do not operate as a barrier to trade in services.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because very similar language is used to describe TAFTA/TTIP, which aims to liberalize trade and investment, to provide foreign investors with access to domestic markets on the same terms as local suppliers, to limit a government’s ability to regulate there by removing “non-tariff barriers” — described above as “regulatory settings” — and to use corporate sovereignty provisions to enforce investors’ rights.
Those similarities suggest TISA is part of a larger plan that includes not just TAFTA/TTIP, but TPP too, and which aims to cement the dominance of the US and EU in world trade against a background of Asia’s growing power. Indeed, it’s striking how membership of TISA coincides almost exactly with that of TTIP added to TPP:
The 23 TiSA parties currently comprise: Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union (representing its 28 Member States), Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Switzerland,, Turkey and the United States.
Once more, the rising economies of the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa — are all absent, and the clear intent, as with TTIP and TPP, is to impose the West’s terms on them. That’s explicitly recognized by one of the chief proponents of TISA, the European Services Forum:
the possible future agreement would for the time being fall short of the participation of some of the leading emerging economies, notably Brazil, China, India and the ASEAN countries. It is not desirable that all those countries would reap the benefits of the possible future agreement without in turn having to contribute to it and to be bound by its rules.
The Australian government’s page reveals that there have already been five rounds of negotiations — all held behind closed doors, of course, just as with TTIP and TPP. The Public Information Session taking place in Geneva this week seems to mark the start of a new phase in those negotiations, at least allowing some token transparency. Perhaps this has been provoked by the growing public anger over the secrecy surrounding TPP and TAFTA/TTIP, and fears that the longer TISA was kept out of the limelight, the worse the reaction would be when people found out about it.It seems appropriate, then, that the unexpected unveiling of this new global agreement should be greeted not only by an updated and more in-depth critique from the PSI — “TISA versus Public Services” — but also the first anti-TISA day of protest. Somehow, I don’t think it will be the last.
What would you do if the Canadian university you attended was planning to enter into a partnership with a university in another country whose persecution of your people meant you couldn’t speak out publicly – in Canada – for fear of reprisals against you and your family?
What if, further, the proposed partnership included course delivery for a degree in public safety management inside a country conducting a nearly 50-year-long occupation in contravention of international law? An occupation in which basic freedoms – of movement, speech, and self-determination – were denied your people, and in which security forces routinely imprisoned, shot, and killed civilians, including university students and children, with near total impunity.
Strange as it may sound, this is the reality facing Palestinian students at the University of Regina today. As part of a new MBA program in public safety management geared toward police service professionals, the Faculty of Business Administration is considering a partnership that would see students take optional courses at Israel’s Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
An open letter to administrators from University of Regina faculty highlights the kind of instruction on offer in the Policing and Homeland Security Studies program in the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University: “faculty expertise in this program includes ‘Policing terrorism, Political violence and protest policing, Minorities and law enforcement, Terrorism and crime, and Terror and society.’”
An article in the student newspaper The Carillon in late January alerted students to the proposed collaboration.
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of complications when returning to Palestine, a University of Regina alumnus and Regina resident says, “It’s a shame that the Board [of Governors] or the administration within the Faculty of Business kept it so low key. An educational institution is supposed to keep open channels of communication.”
According to the alumnus, “It says a lot about the nature of this co-operation [with Hebrew University] or even of the nature of this Faculty of Business. Maybe they know that this is bad publicity for them.”
Palestinians line up at an Israeli checkpoint near Bethlehem. Photo: Flickr/delayed gratification
The president and the dean
Following a 2012 trip to Israel as part of a delegation of Canadian academics, University President Vianne Timmons praised the work of Israeli academics in the fields of justice and police studies. “Israel is a leader in innovation,” she told the Canadian Jewish News.
President Timmons has declined interview requests regarding the potential MBA arrangement with Hebrew University, directing inquiries to the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, Andrew Gaudes.
When asked what Palestinian students on campus thought of the proposed partnership, Gaudes said in an interview, “I don’t know of any Palestinian students here on our campus.”
Asked if Palestinian students would be able to participate in courses delivered at Hebrew University, or if they could face unique travel restrictions, Gaudes said he had not looked into the matter: “There’s no point in me looking at something that’s not relevant to the program.”
But this rings hollow for Palestinian students. The Palestinian alumnus as well as a current Palestinian graduate student in the Faculty of Business Administration say that as Palestinians with dual (Palestinian-Canadian) citizenship they cannot enter Israel, nor can their Palestinian family and friends in the West Bank enter East Jerusalem, where Hebrew University is situated.
“They might approve [the visas] here, but that’s not what matters,” says the alumnus, stressing that it’s not Hebrew University but the Israeli military that has final say on travel and entry permits.
The current MBA student adds that millions of displaced Palestinians around the world are denied entry to their homeland. “So how is Dean Gaudes going to get them the visas to enter? It doesn’t make any sense,” she says.
Noting President Timmons’ remarks following her official visit to Israel in 2012, I asked the Dean which university administrators were behind the proposed partnership with Hebrew University. He said that the entire process was internal to the Faculty of Business. This account is not convincing for some.
The alumnus, who travels home to the West Bank annually, says, “The Faculty of Business does not make decisions for the university. [The President] knows exactly what’s going on.” He’s also skeptical of the Dean’s position that course content is the only consideration in such an arrangement.
“I’m taking courses in project management,” he says, “where they teach us that before entering into procurement agreements, it’s best practice to look at the firm’s history, to look at their policies, to look at their culture. You don’t just look at what you’re going to be getting from them, you look at everything in the background of that institution or corporation you’re going into a contract with. That’s important. If you’re skipping that step, you’re entering blindly.”
He points out that earlier this month, just days after my interview with the Dean, Israeli security forces stormed the campus of al-Quds Open University in the West Bank, firing at least 70 rounds of tear gas at students.
No ethics, no problem
When I sat down with the Dean in his office, I drew his attention to a recently published Amnesty International report called “Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank.” The report states, “Israel’s security forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing scores of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity.”
I asked Gaudes how he reconciled this information with selecting an Israeli institution as an appropriate place for his students to learn public safety management and policing.
After an initial pause, Gaudes said he hoped that students from the program who “become mid to senior managers in the area of public safety” would be “more mindful of the impacts [of their decisions] at the ground level.” Referring to the Amnesty report, he said, “My hope is that if we’re educating managers [who] make decisions that can lead towards that possible outcome, they think twice.”
The irony of Gaudes’ remarks about mindfulness and the implications of decisions “at the ground level” is not lost on students. When reminded that undergraduates in the Faculty of Business must take courses in ethics and decision-making, Gaudes reiterated that his only consideration at this stage is the course content Hebrew University offers.
“It’s shocking that he would make that comment,” says the Palestinian alumnus.
“I’m worried about the content of what’s going to be delivered,” he says. “And not just the content. If it’s being conducted, where’s this research going to be put to test? Where’s it going to go? In decision-making in Canada or is it going to influence decision-making in Israel? That’s a big thing.”
It’s a chilling question for Palestinian students. “To me the content of what Hebrew University wants to do makes me think of a guinea pig experiment,” continues the University of Regina graduate. “From a Palestinian perspective, I look at myself right now as a guinea pig, because the policies that come out of Israeli universities inform the decision-making within the army. It serves the army that’s enforcing the occupation.”
Palestinian children stand in the rubble of a school in Gaza destroyed by Israeli shelling. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA images
It is also of concern to Indigenous activists here in Canada, who are key targets of policing and surveillance operations. The website of the Office of the President at the University of Regina proudly incorporates Indigenization into the university’s mandate and vision. Yet, policies to impose Israeli curriculum on Palestinian students in East Jerusalem have resonances with Canada’s residential school system.
It’s part of an attempt “to slowly erase Palestinian identity,” says the former student. I asked the Dean how the partnership with Hebrew University would fit with the university’s commitment to Indigenization. He seemed confused by the question, before saying that he didn’t know.
The university’s reputation
The MBA student, meanwhile, is surprised by the Dean’s apparent lack of concern about the Faculty’s reputation and credibility. “I’ve been here a long time,” she says, “and all the instructors come into the class in the Faculty of Business Administration and say ‘we have to link all the courses together. What you learn in organizational behavior has to be linked to human resources, ethics has to be linked to statistics.’”
There is a sense of betrayal in her remarks: “Now if I’m sitting in the classroom and someone is standing in front of me lecturing from the Faculty of Business Administration about ethics? I would stand up and say that’s hypocrisy. You guys are teaching one thing and you’re doing something else. They will lose credibility with their students. It’s going to affect them really badly. I can’t believe they didn’t consider ethics in this way.”
Andrew Stevens, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Business Administration and a signatory of the open letter from faculty, has expressed similar concerns: “a partnership with Hebrew University, especially in the area of public safety and policing, could do damage to our reputation.”
The MBA student says that had she known such a partnership might become reality, she never would have enrolled in the Faculty of Business at the University of Regina. She is likely not alone in this view, especially as the international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel continues to build momentum on campuses worldwide.
Even in the U.S., where pro-Israel sentiment and propaganda is pervasive, the American Studies Association recently voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
“The academic institutions and the [Israeli] army are interconnected and they influence one another. You cannot separate them,” says the MBA student, before underlining her central point: “The Faculty of Business Administration is actually supporting the occupation if it goes ahead with the partnership with Hebrew University.”
There has been no final decision on the proposed partnership, and it is not too late for administrators at the University of Regina to find more appropriate, more inclusive, and more respectable institutional partners abroad.
Join concerned students and faculty at the University of Regina t in calling for this partnership to be abandoned, please write to:
Dean Andrew Gaudes: Andrew DOT Gaudes AT uregina.ca
Associate Dean Ron Camp: Ronald DOT Camp AT uregina.ca
President Vianne Timmons: the DOT president AT uregina.ca
The Zionist ruling clique of Canada, through their front-man Stephen Harper, is seeking to beef up the already-existing Orwellian “hate propaganda” law which has been primarily used to curtail criticism of Zionists and Israel.
The conspicuous change is buried in the Harper government’s proposed cyberbullying law, Bill C-13.
The existing law in Canada’s criminal code makes it illegal to “promote hatred” (whatever that means) of people “distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation,” explained The Chronicle Herald, but Bill C-13 intends to expand that category to include age, sex, mental or physical disability, and most disturbingly, “national origin.” In other words, you cannot criticize anyone for any reason at all!
This means, say, if you condemn Israelis for their inhumane treatment of Palestinians, you could find yourself in court facing down the self-appointed thought police and commissars of political correctness.
The … law against “hate speech” is illegitimate and ridiculous to begin with. The idea of allowing a government to legislate against opinions and feelings is patently absurd – it is pulled right out of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984.
British Columbia native Arthur Topham has felt the wrath of Canada’s censorious establishment. In November 2012, at the instigation of the Zionist society of B’nai B’rith, Topham was charged with a ‘hate crime’ for publishing anti-Zionist articles on his website Radical Press.
One of the items on Topham’s site that made the Zionists convulse and contort with unrestrained anger and rage was a satire called Israel Must Perish. The text was nothing more than a spoof of a 1941 book authored by a Zionist … named Theodore Kaufman entitled Germany Must Perish! In that text Kaufman called for “a final solution” of German extinction. Topham merely substituted the words “German,” “Germany” and “Nazi” with “Israel,” “Jew” and “Zionist” throughout the text. Despite writing a clearly-worded preface explaining the satirical nature of the text, Topham was arrested by the RCMP and now faces the possibility of spending up to two years behind bars for violating Zionist sensibilities.
Many will recall the sad saga of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zundel. In the mid-1980s Zundel was charged with “spreading false news” after he published a book, Did Six Million Really Die?, which questioned some aspects of the official “holocaust” story. In the ensuing show trial, Zundel and his team of revisionist historians as well as his indefatigable defence lawyer Douglas Christie brought the holocaust lobby to its knees with facts and information refuting many claims made by Zionists about Germany’s WW2 concentration camps.
Over the span of three decades, Zundel was dragged from courtroom to courtroom, from jail cell to jail cell, merely for expressing a viewpoint deemed verboten by the … Zionist establishment – the self-appointed architects of public discourse, the self-declared arbiters of truth and morality, the self-proclaimed “chosen people” whose faults are unseen and whose character is unimpeachable.
Zundel, a self-described pacifist with no criminal record, was physically assaulted on numerous occasions by Jewish Defence League thugs. His Toronto home, which also housed his publishing and graphic arts businesses, was bombed and torched by Zionist terrorists. He received death threats on a daily basis from members of the “chosen race of God,” but the Toronto Police did almost nothing to prevent any of it and was entirely uninterested in pursuing the criminals and thugs responsible for the campaign of terror against Zundel and his associates.
Zundel’s story is a testament to the power and control of Jewish extremists in Canada, whose agenda is anything but altruistic and whose disposition is more racist than the Klan.
In the “New World Order” being imposed on us by self-interested, ethnocentric megalomaniacs, no man has the right to explore, investigate and come to his own conclusions about history — that is the sole responsibility of the tyrannical monarchs of the NWO, who tell us what and how to think; free thought be damned.
Brandon Martinez is a freelance writer and journalist from Canada whose area of expertise is foreign policy, international affairs and 20th and 21st century history. His writing is focused on issues such as Zionism, Israel-Palestine, American and Canadian foreign policy, war, terrorism and deception in media and politics. Readers can contact him at email@example.com.