Demonstrate against Canadian participation in the 3rd Iraq war  SATURDAY Oct. 25 2:30 PM, US CONSULATE, Toronto


The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Collectif Échec à la guerre are calling for a weekend of protest actions, on 25-26 October, against Canadian participation in the third Iraq war.

These protests will take place on the 12th anniversary of the first mobilizations in Canada and the US – in the Fall of 2002 – to oppose the preparation of the US invasion and the war of occupation in Iraq that would last from 2003 to 2011.

We invite the people of Quebec and Canada to protest:

Small black square Against a new illegal war that contributes to dismantling the existing world order and that threatens « world peace and security » while pretending to defend them;
Small black square Against the security and humanitarian pretexts invoked by the new coalition : the protection of Iraq’s population has nothing to do with the real motives of this war, which will cause them more suffering and further deteriorate their living conditions;
Small black square Against a Canadian foreign policy centred on intensifying conflicts and war;
Small black square Against the hijacking of huge amounts of public resources to make war, promote the military industry, glorify the army and Canada’s military past, while for many years « austerity measures » have cut education, healthcare, public services, the promotion of women’s rights, the protection of the environment, international cooperation, etc.

Together, let’s take to the streets to demand:

Small black square The immediate end of Canadian participation in this new aggression coalition which has been set up for the strategic interests of the US empire and its allies;
Small black square A freeze on all major procurement projects of the Canadian military;
Small black square The organization of a broad public debate on Canadian foreign policy, the role of the army, the military industry and the arms trade;
Small black square That the Canadian government immediately cease deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq war resisters and create, once and for all, a provision that would allow them to remain in Canada.


Here’s the GO schedule for Saturday:
12:29 leave Hamilton GO Centre (Hunter and James) Bus 18
12:36 King&Dundurn
12:46 arrive at Aldershot GO to transfer to train
3:01 train departs Aldershot
13:07 Burlington GO
13:14 Appleby GO – Doug boards the accessibility car (middle of the train where the ramps and conductor are)
14:10 Union Station ~ 20 minute walk to US Consulate

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Firing close to Canada Parliament building, one soldier shot at

Ottawa: A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa and a shooter was seen running towards the nearby parliament buildings, where more shots were fired, according to media and eyewitness reports on Wednesday.

The buildings were put on lockdown as police and tactical teams converged on the area. The wounded soldier was taken into an ambulance where medical personnel could be seen giving him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

The shooting comes two days after an Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot and killed by police.

Firing close to Canada Parliament building, one soldier shot at

The buildings were put in lockdown as police and tactical teams converged on the area.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was safe and has left the parliament buildings, his office said in an email.

A construction worker on the scene told Reuters he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man dressed in black with a scarf over his face running towards parliament with a gun.

The man stopped a black car at gunpoint and hijacked it, construction worker Scott Walsh told Reuters. The driver got out safely, then the man drove the car to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway.

The gunman rushed past a woman with a child in a stroller, who ran away screaming. He did not attack the woman or child, Walsh said.

Centre Block is the main building at Parliament Hill, a sprawling complex of buildings and open space in downtown Ottawa. It contains the House of Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of some members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.

A Globe and Mail reporter in Centre Block on Parliament Hill tweeted that the building was under lockdown after “at least one shooter burst in and opened fire



There has been a shooting in the Canadian Parliament buildings.Added:  also at the War Memorial diagonally across the street from the Parliament Buildings (as if the shooter went from the War Memorial to the Parliament Buildings).

Addedtweet (Peggy Nash, MP):

“Very frightening here in ctr block. So many shots. I’m safe but not sure what’s happening.”

Tweet (Jordan Press):

“Hill witness tells me he saw a man pull up in a car by War Memorial on Elgin Street, open fire w/ long rifle.

This reporting by Twitter of a crime as it continues is kind of exciting.

Addedtweet (Seb FoxAllen):

“Oh no. RT : Here is a photo from our office window of situation at war memorial.

Added: tweet (Tony Clement):

“Shots fired during caucus meeting. at least 30 shots. MPs piled out. I’m safe with 2 colleagues but we’re still at risk…”

Added: tweet (Elizabeth May MP):

“Reports that shooter has been shot inside Centre Block. Multiple shots inside Centre Block.

Added: YouTube: “Footage from Globe reporter captures exchange of gun fire in Parliament Hill building”


Via In Gaza


[via Nizar Abboud youtube account]

**Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari has for years been speaking the truth of Syria’s fight against the zionist-nato-turkey-gulf terrorist coalition.

Note: Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, hence Syria, re-affirms “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and building an independent state from it’s whole territory with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of refugees to return to their lands, their homes (as per ’48 resolution 194). This is a NON NEGOTIABLE right, this is a right that will never disappear… Syria condemns the ‘israeli’ violence against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. This is a yet another new chapter in the overall plot, the overall aggression against the Palestinian people. ‘israel’s’ continuation of such acts of aggression has exacerbated tension in the region. They have reached an unprecedented level, one which will have very heavy consequences which of course will not be limited to the region alone.”

Dr. al-Jaafari noted the training camps for terrorists, who are sent across Syrian borders…violations of the Council… “the very same states which back terrorism in my country are also working to protect ‘israel’ …covering up its crimes…The United States has not just used the right of veto 61 times to protect ‘israel’ and to prolong its occupation of our territories which suffer under its occupation… no, the United States have even disregarded Security Council resolutions  in the past, to forge illegal alliances, targeting the sovereignty of a great many members states of this organization … illegitimate alliances forged by the united states and the united kingdom outside the confines of the council, have resulted in nothing more than violence, destruction, anarchy and terrorism throughout the world…”


“Syria’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations has called on the world body to punish “the terrorist coalition of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel”.

At a UN Security Council session on Tuesday, Bashar al-Jaafari said the coalition has been seeking to destroy Syria by fanning the flames of terrorism and shedding the blood of Syrian people.

…The Syrian envoy to the UN further voiced support for the Palestinian people, saying the terrorist coalition aims to destroy any solution for the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state….”

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Talal Arslan: Lebanon’s Political Crisis and the War on Syria

بلا حصانة _ النائب طلال ارسلان | otv 21 10 2014

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A Review of Schlomo Sand’s How I Stopped Being a Jew

by Kevin Barrett

What does it mean to be a Jew?


Unproblematically, it can mean professing the Jewish religion and participating in its rites, symbols, and discourses. In this sense, being a Jew simply means adhering to Judaism, just as being a Muslim or Christian or Buddhist means adhering to Islam, Christianity, or Buddhism.

Yet there are many self-styled Jews who do not profess the religion of Judaism – or any religion. What can this possibly mean?

Two great Israeli-born thinkers – Gilad Atzmon and Schlomo Sand – have summoned up the courage to think seriously and systematically about Jewish identity and its associated identity politics. And they have arrived at essentially the same conclusion: “Jewishness” without Judaism is both vacuous and pernicious.

Interestingly, neither Atzmon nor Sand has solved the problem in the obvious way: by returning to the religion of Judaism. Instead, both have chosen to embrace secular humanist, universalist values and identities. Atzmon has left Israel while retaining a certain ambivalent connection to Jewish identity; whereas Sand has resigned from Jewish identity while retaining an ambivalent identification with Israel.

Like Atzmon’s The Wandering Who?, Sand’s How I Stopped Being a Jew evinces horror at what Jewishness means in Israel today: “…first and foremost, being a privileged citizen who enjoys prerogatives refused to those who are not Jews, and particularly to those who are Arabs…In the State of Israel in the early twenty-first century, does it not appear that being a Jew corresponds to being a white in the United States in the 1950s or a French person in Algeria before 1962? Does not the status of Jews in Israel resemble that of Afrikaners in South Africa before 1994? And is it possible that it might soon resemble the status of the Aryan in Germany in the 1930s?”

While renouncing Jewishness, Sand still considers himself an Israeli – a seeming contradiction, since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State. What he means is that he speaks the main Israeli national language (which, he points out, should not be called Hebrew) and participates in a distinctive Israeli culture…but wishes to see that language and culture become non-exclusivist, non-racist, and de-coupled from any particular religion. Though he doesn’t say so, this would require ending the Jewish State and making Israel (or Israel-Palestine) a state for all its rightful citizens – including any of the ethnically-cleansed Palestinians who wish to return and be compensated for their losses and suffering.

How I Stopped Being a Jew carries the argument of Sand’s earlier book The Invention of the Jewish People to its logical conclusion. If the whole notion of “the Jewish people” is mythical, vacuous, and (at least today) pernicious, non-religious people from Jewish backgrounds ought to relinquish their Jewish identities.

Like Atzmon, Sand is thinking through one manifestation of a larger problem: How relatively benign traditional religious identities are, in the modern world, mutating into vicious, potentially genocidal tribal and nationalistic shibboleths. German Christians may not have always been Christ-like, but when they changed from Christians into Germans and then Aryan Nazis, their collective behavior took a turn for the worse. Likewise, young, relatively non-religious people from Muslim backgrounds behave badly when they become “Islamic State” nationalists, just as Jews turned genocidal when they lost their religion and began worshiping the false god of Zionism. (One might even say that the tragedy of “Jewish State” is being farcically re-enacted in the antics of its “Islamic State” imitators.)

Sand vaunts, and inhabits, a secular postmodern world in which each individual carries many overlapping identities, all of which pertain to the life of this world while ignoring traditional teachings about the next world, the source and meaning of life, and so on. Personally I find this unsatisfying, since I have had constant and occasionally powerful religious experiences throughout my life, and have been forced to turn to traditional teachings to make sense of them. It seems to me that people are doomed to be always grasping for absolutes, and if there is no living religious tradition to structure and enhance that quest, it will turn sour and wither into idolatries of one kind or another. Nationalism, even the relatively benign liberal-humanist version Sand likes, cannot help but become the object of false worship and the incubator of hatreds against those outside the sacred national boundaries. The experience of the liberal-humanist USA – whose guiding Enlightenment philosophy seems on the surface so different from Israel’s racist ethnocracy – is a case in point.

Though I have followed a very different path from Sand – I resigned from secular humanism and embraced Islam, while he has resigned from Judaism in favor of secular humanism – I can identify with his courage in deconstructing an empty, unsatisfying, oppressive identity and daring to step outside of it. Sand is an erudite, rigorous thinker and a generous spirit, and I wish him well…and hope his fellow Israelis (and self-styled secular Jews all over the world) pay heed to this beautiful and important book.



By Gilad Atzmon


A few days ago, I came across a disturbing article on Buzzfeed. The headline read; “U.S. Journalist Regrets Attending Conspiracy Conference In Tehran.” According to Buzzfeed, Gareth Porter, a respected journalist and critic of the Jewish lobby and Israel, reported that he would have never have attended the  “conference in Tehran if he had known the real views of his fellow attendees.”


But the report didn’t stop there. In an attempt to justify his position, Porter proceeded to breach the ethics of journalism — he published an email correspondence with a top Iranian official without requesting permission to do so. Porter didn’t even bother to correct the spelling and typos of the Iranian official.

Porter purported to speak on behalf of other activists and writers, again, without obtaining their consent. And as if all this was not sufficient, Porter went on to smear other activists and condemned their elementary exercise of freedom of speech.

But the entire story is not all bad. While most non-ethical conspirators operate in a clandestine manner, Porter exposed his methods. For some reason he provided a precious glimpse into the entire spectrum of ugly tactics that are employed to keep the gates sealed.  It is not a secret that instead of choosing to be a guardian of the truth, the contemporary progressive operates as a guardian of the discourse, or, more accurately, ‘the progressive discourse.’

The Buzzfeed article is a very sad piece. It conveys an image of a weak human being desperate to save his reputation. In order to do so he tries every trick he knows. Sadly, he achieves the opposite.  In his attempt to smear Mark Glenn, the man behind The Ugly Truth Radio Network, Porter quotes Glenn out of context. He fails to comply with even the minimum journalistic standard of fairness and provide a URL reference for his quotation.  One would expect this from Dershowitz, but not from a ‘progressive dissident’.

Mark Glenn

The crucial question not answered by his article, is who is Porter trying to appease? Why does he defame Mark Glenn who didn’t even attend the conference? Is it possible that veteran progressive journalist Porter is breaching every journalist ethic just to convey the image that he is committed to Jewish primary interests?

I wonder what made Porter, who isn’t a novice, perform in such an unprofessional, non-journalistic and non-ethical manner. I initially thought that he was under some horrendous Zionist pressure. I decided to approach Porter and find out whether he could offer some explanations.  I was hoping to hear that his computer was hacked, that his HD was stolen, that he doesn’t know how all that information leaked to Buzzfeed, but I soon realised that my expectations were far too lofty.

GarethPorterPic300 copy 2

Gilad Atzmon: Hello Gareth, Gilad Atzmon here. Any chance we could have a short chat followed by an interview?

Gareth Porter: For Whatsupic? (a new anti Zionist outlet that reported on Porter’s fiasco earlier this week)

Gilad Atzmon: Not at all, I was actually very disturbed by Whatsupic’s article. I wanted to hear your take first…

Gareth Porter: It’s very simple. I said it all in my email to Buzzfeed, which is all in the story. I won’t be associated with people who re openly anti-Jewish, as distinct from anti-Zionist. Mark Glenn was clearly the former.–

–I guess that by now it is clear that Buzzfeed’s agents didn’t break into the Porter house in the middle of the night or hack his computer from afar. Porter voluntarily sent the information to Buzzfeed, defaming some thinkers, with the hope of disowning his own journey to Iran.—  

Porter continues: I was told by a participant in the conference that three French guys displayed cartoons that made fun of the holocaust, which I found unacceptable. And the Italian who I heard speak put a paper on the table that said Judaism is the enemy.

Gilad Atzmon:  I assume that you are familiar with my take on the topic. I am not anti Jew or anti Judaism, but I am certainly anti Jewishness, which I define as different forms of celebration of Jewish exceptionalism.

Gareth Porter: I’m not really familiar with it but that wouldn’t cover what was said by Glenn or Prof. Moffa or the Frenchmen right?

Gilad Atzmon:  Of course, however, you have to remember that Israel is the Jewish State, it is supported by the Jewish Lobby, and you are very critical of the Jewish lobby, as far as I am aware. Hence it is necessary to find out once and for all what Jewishness stands for, don’t you agree?

Gareth Porter: How is this related to what I have explained?

Gilad Atzmon: Simple, if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and it decorates its airplanes with Jewish symbols, shouldn’t the rest of us ask, once and for all, what is Jewishness?

Gareth Porter: Why is that necessary to take (such) a stand against the Israeli state and its policies?  I suggest that it isn’t. Plenty of people, including Jews and non-Jews have been doing so for a long time.

Again what does this have to do with your question to me?

–I guess that by now Porter has expressly admitted that he opposes any attempt to understand the meaning of Jewishness as it relates to the Jewish State. In addition, he has expressed his opposition to the most precious American value, freedom of expression. One would expect an American dissident writer to be the first to defend the first amendment rather than attempting to suppress free speech.  Porter produced a deeply flawed and embarrassingly bad argument. The fact that many activists or even scholars (both Jews and gentiles) avoid touching the ‘J’ word doesn’t, by itself, mean that the ‘J’ issue should be dismissed. It only means that many of our leading scholars and activists are probably too scared to ask the core question to do with the State that defines itself as the Jewish one–

Gilad Atzmon: Ok, so you believe that the fact that Israel claims to adhere to Jewish principles is something that we should ignore in our analysis of its politics. Am I correct?

Gareth Porter: I don’t want to get into this more deeply. You know as well as I do that plenty of people have argued from before the beginning of Israel against the project on the basis of “Jewish principles.”

–This is actually not true at all, those secular Jews who opposed Israel and the Zionist project in the name of universal principles, employed non-Jewish principles (such as Martin Buber, and Israeli Communists). The Jews who opposed Israel and Zionism in the name of Judaism (such as the Torah Jews) did so in the name of Talmudic teachings that have nothing to do with ethics, universalism or any morally oriented  principled thought. I assume that Porter is clueless as far as ‘Jewish principles’ are concerned and seemingly this is not going to change because he clearly attempts to silence every discussion on the topic– 

Gilad Atzmon: I will explain it all. If Jewishness becomes the ‘issue,’ then some people (such as Mark Glenn) may as well look for answers in Judaism, others may look into ethnicity, some would look into culture. After all, no one stopped Max Weber from looking into the core of Protestant religion and its impact on capitalism.

Gareth Porter:  I don’t have time to continue. I’ve got two pieces to finish. Look I’m not knocking anybody who wants to explore questions of what it means to be Jewish. But I’ve explained why I said (and) what I did showed that.

Gilad Atzmon:  Ok, final question, you shared with the public emails from a top Iranian official, did you obtain the right to do so? 

Gareth Porter: I reject the premise of your question. These were not personal e-mails. They related to matters of public interest about which I was subject to a smear campaign by right-wing extremists.

Gilad Atzmon: I guess that the answer is NO then…  Thanks so much for your time.

All that remains is for us is to roll our eyes the toward the heavens in dismay and ask, ‘how did this happen to us?’ How did it happen to Porter? How did this defeatist culture win over true dissent? I have been sad in the last few days, witnessing a journalist of Porter’s abilities compromising journalistic principles in a desperate attempt to appease the Jewish media, the same power he so profoundly criticised in the past. But at least this failure explains why progressive dissent has achieved nothing. We are dealing with a weak operation on the verge of controlled opposition

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Libya: Security mayhem a living hell for Benghazi residents

A vehicle drives in a deserted road as smoke billows during clashes between soldiers and Islamists who control Benghazi, the country’s second biggest city, on October 15, 2014. (Photo: AFP)
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Benghazi – Since October 15, the fighting that has been taking place on the outskirts of the city and in some of its districts, following calls made on social media sites and by some commanders affiliated to General Khalifa Haftar, has made it impossible for the residents to carry out about their normal lives.
Clashes have intensified between Haftar’s forces and the 21st and 204th brigades in the city on the one hand, and the forces of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries on the other. Some citizens in the city complied with calls made by the leaders of the so-called Operation Dignity, with some closing down main roads and establishing checkpoints manned by both civilians and militants.
The clashes are the most violent yet since the start of Operation Dignity in May. Movement in the city has been paralyzed, and crossing from one part of Benghazi to another is now increasingly difficult because of the checkpoints, forcing people to travel longer distances to reach their destinations.

So far, the fighting on the outskirts of the city has killed 73 people, and displaced a number of residents further inside Benghazi or outside the city.

So far, the fighting on the outskirts of the city has killed 73 people, and displaced a number of residents further inside Benghazi or outside the city. In the meantime, healthcare services have been hit hard by these clashes, as it has become difficult for hospital staff to reach their workplace.
In this regard, a doctor at al-Hawari Hospital, the second largest hospital in the city, said his staff were not coming to work out of fear for their lives. The doctor said there was a large number of injured patients at the hospital, and confirmed that some shells had fallen on the building, but without causing any injuries so far.
The doctor pointed out that patients themselves sometimes find it difficult to reach the hospital, saying that no party was working on securing it. Although the doctor said there were no shortages in medicines, he said the hospital could face difficulties when ordering drugs or tests from outside the hospital.
In the same vein, some parents have told their daughters working at hospitals in the city not to go to work because of the security situation. This has also affected the healthcare sector, especially since the proportion of women working in healthcare is relatively large.
For its part, the media office of the Red Crescent in Benghazi confirmed that its personnel are attempting to deliver aid and recover bodies from affected areas, adding that an operations room it runs was working around the clock in coordination with the parties to the conflict. The source pointed out that the Red Crescent’s capacity to cope was reduced because of the absence of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in the city, pointing out that this delayed the arrival of aid usually allocated by the international organization for conflict zones.
Meanwhile, grocers are talking about skyrocketing prices, citing the security situation and the difficulty of restocking their supplies, amid shortages in a number of goods.
Information on the security situation in the city remains scarce. Clashes have spread to different locations, but there is a lack of credible reports to help keep residents apprised of the situation, as no reporters are present on the ground near the fighting and rumors are spreading.
On the other hand, the interim Libyan government headed by Abdullah al-Thani issued a statement announcing it had ordered the army to advance toward the capital Tripoli and liberate it from the armed groups known as Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn).
In the statement, the Thani-led government said that the army forces under the command of the General Staff would enter Tripoli to liberate government installations and buildings that had been seized by the unlawful armed groups. The interim government called on “the youths of the city of Tripoli” to assist the army to liberate themselves and their regions from the rogue faction, as the statement described it.
And in the city of Ubari (southern Libya), 7 people were killed and 23 were injured in renewed fighting between Toubou tribes and the Tuareg, ending a cease-fire from September. The director of medical affairs at the Murzuq Hospital (also southern Libya) Mohammed Ali said, late on Monday evening, that 7 casualties and 23 injuries from the Toubou tribe had arrived at the General Hospital, following armed clashes with the Tuareg. Mohammed Ali said there was a severe shortage in medical personnel in the hospital and that medicines had run out, pointing out that the majority of fractures were the result of bullets, while the majority of casualties had died on the way from Ubari to Murzuq due to the lack of paramedics at the scene.
News agencies reported that battles continued to rage in Ubari until late on Monday, amid the complete disruption in communications and power supply in large parts of the city. The news agencies also quoted witnesses as saying that Tuareg militants burned down a number of homes belonging to members of the Toubou tribe in Ubari.

Arabi also said … that if the fighting continues for another 48 hours, Ubari would become a disaster zone.

The director of the Libyan Red Crescent in Ubari, Amod al-Arabi, called on both sides to implement an immediate ceasefire and provide safe passage for any trapped civilians, calling on all government institutions and NGOs to provide medical relief and emergency food aid to the citizens there. Arabi also said that that the current situation in the city was catastrophic, saying that if the fighting continues for another 48 hours, Ubari would become a disaster zone.
In turn, commander of operations in the Third Force of the Libyan army, Mohammad al-Zarrat, claimed that militants from the Toubou tribe in Chad were brought in as mercenaries to the south, saying that this further destabilizes the situation in southern Libya.
(Anatolia, AFP, Reuters)
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

ليبيا ، بين فك الاطلسي والافتراس الخليجي 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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