Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Gauntlet for Minister Garneau: We're Not Asking for a Tanker Moratorium

Here is the simple DEMAND

by Ingmar Lee - 10,000 Ton Tanker

October 28, 2016

We demand that the American petroleum tanker traffic which serves Alaska be barred from travelling via the BC Inside Passage, (which includes the Salish Sea, Johnstone Strait, Hecate Strait and any of the narrow passages east of Hecate Strait. )

Instead this traffic should travel offshore, just like all the other tanker traffic must do.

Politically, -there would be no loss of political capital to any politician who accepts this demand. Any politician enacting this demand would be a hero. This traffic offers zero benefit of any sort to anyone in BC

Economically -there would be no significant cost difference between doing 1 or 2 trips up the coast in a large, offshore-capable tanker vs more than 50 complicated trips up and down the rock-strewn channels of the BC Inside Passage. Especially considering the (I'm told) $40,000,000 and counting cost of the Seaforth Channel spill

Ecologically - any spill at sea is catastrophic, but inshore spills are exponentially worse, and clearly, as we have seen with this comparatively small spill, are absolutely impossible to clean up

Safety - 20 miles offshore, mechanical problems, or even asleep at the helm allows for a lot of lead time prior to disaster, - inshore, any minor problems can lead to disaster in seconds.

Finally, we wish no inconvenience to our Alaska neighbours. The offshore voyage is only slightly longer, and shipments would be much less risky. Having reached a safe, deepwater port in Alaska, the product could be lightered off the ship as per usual.

(Alaskan readers, please picture, say a Canadian tug/tanker business exploiting the Alaska Inside Passage without any benefit whatsoever to Alaskans, to understand just how offensive this traffic is to British Columbians.)

This DEMAND is SIMPLE, easy to explain, easily gathers support from diverse elements of society, is easy to rally behind. The traffic is totally unnecessary, offers no benefit to anyone other than the businesses that run it, and there is a SIMPLE solution.

Friends, please avoid getting ensnared in the "mitigation" discussion and arguments. For example: "...if only the clean-up company had not been 20 hours late..." "...if only there had been adequate clean-up equipment and trained personnel stationed nearby..." "...if only the containment booms had not broken..."

The facts are clear, nothing at all, no amount of equipment, no amount of "assets" on scene, no amount of trained personnel, no amount of hard work, no amount of money being shovelled out by the truckload, no amount of grovelling corporate media coverage can clean up petroleum product spilled at sea. When compared with the ongoing, inconceivably more horrific petroleum catastrophes at sea, this was a comparatively small spill of relatively refined product.

And Canada's "World Class" Oil Spill Response Service, which threw every single piece of equipment, personnel and expertise to be found on this coast at the Seaforth Channel spill, is utterly hopeless, useless, incompetent and cannot demonstrate any semblance of clean up.

War with China?

The Coming War with China

by John Pilger

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Coming Climate Refugee Wave

The Political Era of Climate Refugees

by Robert Hunziker

October 28, 2016

Los Angeles - Global warming/climate change is one of the most potent agents of political and economic change in history. Its impact is like Atilla the Hun in modern times, who back in the day struck terror into the hearts of the Roman Empire.

As of recent, Europe has been inundated with refugees from Middle Eastern wars as well as refugees from ecosystem collapse all across the southern Mediterranean region. The refugee impact is felt far and wide, including Brexit and a concomitant rise of xenophobia throughout the West whilst altering politics towards antagonism, hatred, and malevolence. The world is turning mad, and madness turns to madman leaders, like Attila the Hun. In point of fact, world history is filled with examples of madmen leading countries, ultimately to demise. They prey upon foreign threats of change to lifestyle and work to motivate people. Climate change is providing plenty of material to work with by displacing millions.

Yet, the massive European immigrant problem of today is only a small taste of what the future holds as millions upon millions of people become climate refugees. It’s an open question whether politics turn evermore ugly hate-filled as the world boils over with too much heat, too much sea, too much desertification, too much drought, too much friction.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development committed to America’s first ever grant for climate refugees, allocating $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles in southeastern Louisiana out of total grants of $1 billion for 13 states to build levees, dams, and drainage systems to fight back against anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

Isle de Jean Charles is the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community of climate refugees. In the 1950s the isle was 11 miles long by 5 miles wide. Today, it is a quarter/mile wide by 2 miles long. The community must move to higher ground.

According to Marine Franck of the UN’s refugee agency, “One person is displaced every second by a natural disaster. The numbers are huge,” (Amy Lieberman, Where Will the Climate Refugees Go? Aljazeera, Dec. 22, 2015).

Climate refugees are becoming a worldwide phenomenon of epic proportions, e.g., 200,000 Bangladeshis become homeless every year due to erosion. Globally, “desertification—climate change-triggered degradation of land ecosystems—might, in a decade, create 50 million refugees, the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD), a global initiative led by 30 different research groups, warned in a new study….” (Avaneesh Pandey, Land Degradation, Desertification Might Create 50 Million Climate Refuges Within A Decade, International Business Times, Sept. 15, 2015).

The operative question is: Where will 50 million refugees go over the next 10 years? Will they roam the countryside, similar to bands of medieval wanderers that raided castle fortifications? Back in the day, they learned to scale walls, which only serve to entice outsiders, knowing something of value must be stored inside.

Rampant drought is believed to have played a role in Syria’s civil war. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims unprecedented drought in Syria between 2007-2010 triggered an exodus of 1.5 million farmers to cities in search of food and work, a contributing factor to the civil war as these restless able-bodied met a mean-spirited, heartless fate.

“Climatologists say Syria is a grim preview of what could be in store for the larger Middle East, the Mediterranean and other parts of the world… The Fertile Crescent—the birthplace of agriculture some 12,000 years ago--- is drying out” (John Wendle, The Ominous Story of Syria’s Climate Refugees, Scientific American, Dec. 17, 2015).

When interviewed, Syrian refugees in a Turkish camp spoke of the horrendous drought conditions that fueled social turmoil leading to civil war.

According to Dr. James Hansen (Columbia University), heat waves and drought conditions worldwide are more than three standard deviations outside of the norm, or looked at another way, 50 years ago such anomalies only covered 0.02% of land area. Now, because of global warming, the anomalies cover 10% or an increase of 50 times in 50 years. This exponential growth will ultimately serve to pressure massive movements of climate refugees, likely fostering pockets of war zones spreading like infectious diseases.

In China, which is now 20% desert, spreading at the rate of 1,300 square miles annually, three deserts are merging into one vast sea of sand. Recently, because of creeping desertification, the Chinese government relocated 30,000 people referred to as “ecological migrants,” (Josh Haner, et al, Living in China’s Expanding Deserts, New York Times, October 23, 2016).

In America, climate refugees are on the move, but they are not yet smack dab in the public eye. In Newtok, Alaska, the highest point in town, the school building, will be under water in 2017. Climate change is not just hotter temperatures for the residents of Alaska, it is happening under their feet as shoreline erosion is forcing the entire community to move inland. “In Alaska alone, climate change flooding and shoreline erosion already affects more than 180 villages,” (Victoria Herrmann, America’s Climate Refugee Crisis Has Already Begun, The LA Times, January 25, 2016).
In the years to come, thousands upon thousands from along America’s most fragile shorelines will embark on a great migration inland. In the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island’s shoreline recedes by 14 feet per year. On Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, the Quinault Nation relies upon a 2,000-foot seawall to hold water until they move uphill. In North Carolina’s Outer Bank with its 50,000 permanent residents, portions of the island complex are down to 25% original width. Miami Beach is physically raising roadways because of persistent high water.

As it happens, America’s climate refugee problem is only starting, but it is very real and likely a political tinderbox as Americans register sourpuss displeasure with any kind of migrant behavior evidenced by support for political candidates like Donald Trump, who uses the hopelessness of the forlorn as political fodder, eerily similar to Attila the Hun’s rise to power. On a purely political basis, immigrant finger-pointing pays off in votes for candidates who offer solutions to the invasion of  “others” that threaten constituent jobs and lifestyle.

Germany provides a window to how migrant issues influence politics. “A year after German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s doors to tens of thousands of refugees… she’s fighting for her political life. Her popularity has sunk to a five-year low. The far right is ascendant,” (Paul Hockenos, The Political Price of Merkel’s Migrant Policy, The Atlantic, Sept. 14, 2016).

Meanwhile, Austria militarized its borders

People Up In Arms is how migrants are met at some foreign shores. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he will tour European capitals to recruit allies for his “war against Brussels” and the Union’s pro-migrant policies as “people in Brussels are ‘plotting to move and settle these aliens among us as soon as possible,” (Viktor Orbán’s Speech: War Against the World, Hungarian, March 16, 2016).
“Where will 50 million climate refugees go over the next 10 years” is a fair question to ponder, but what if the scientists that predict rising seas and devastating droughts are too conservative, and what if global warming is already way ahead of the science, as some scientists believe true, will 200 or 500 million climate refugees seek shelter and food, or how about one billion?

The politics surrounding the climate refugee issues too often come to surface dressed in warriors’ garb

“When the Pentagon begins to think about what might happen, that’s a clear indication that we have to start taking something seriously,” is the forewarning mentioned in the award-winning documentary Climate Refugees (2010) (watch the trailer here:

Never before in American political history has an election carried as much weight for the prospects for the climate as the current presidential election in America. The issue of climate change front and center is a non-issue, a dead issue. However, Trump will reverse any and all progress made by the federal government, including disruption of the Paris Agreement of 2015, if at all possible. That message would be a devastating blow to worldwide efforts to control climate change.

Meanwhile, the climate refugee conundrum will turn very ugly much more quickly.

Meeting Dale R Lindsey: The Coming Threat to BC's West Coast Ecology

Meeting Dale R Lindsey: The Coming Threat to BC's West Coast Ecology

by Ingmar Lee - 10,000 Ton Tanker

October 28, 2016

Please share this far and wide. People need to understand that even as the Nathan E Stewart disaster continues to unfold, it is business as usual for the use of the BC Inside Passage as a petroleum conduit for Alaska-bound tankers...

Friends, here is bad news.

Over the past few days I have been submitting questions to Pacific Pilotage Authority CEO, Captain Kevin Obermeyer. This morning I asked the Captain about the American ATB tug/tanker unit, the "Dale R Lindsey," which is a "pusher tug" similar to the Nathan E Stewart, and which also pushes a 10,000 deadweight ton petroleum tanker barge. As you can see by my previous post, the "Dale R Lindsey" transited from Alaska southbound through the BC Inside Passage and is currently about to pass through Seymour Narrows and into the Salish Sea.

Here's a glimpse into what's behind Alaska-based 'Petromarine Services" new ATB pusher-tug that will now threaten this coast. To understand what's coming, check out the video of the launching of the "Dale R. Lindsey" -and then weep...

I asked Obermeyer if the passage of the "Dale R Lindsey" through the BC Inside Passage now signalled the resumption of regular American petroleum shipments up the BC Inside Passage to Alaska. His answer, I regret, is yes.

Once the "Dale R Lindsey" loads up with 10,000 deadweight tons of petroleum product, it may then immediately head back north, through the Salish Sea, but when it passes through Seymour Narrows, the American Captain must now saunter up to the wheelhouse and be on the bridge while the vessel passes through the Narrows. After than he may leave the wheelhouse, and return below. Then the ATB tanker will continue all the way (barring any accident) through Johnstone Strait. After passing through Queen Charlotte Sound, the "Dale R Lindsey" is now required to proceed directly into Hecate Strait. It will not have the option of entering the comparatively calmer waters of Fitzhugh Channel Even in the event of a storm.

Over the past year, the Nathan E Stewart has, for the most part chosen to take the Hecate Strait route, (I have been told by a reliable source that this was because they preferred not to be met and accompanied by myself while passing Bella Bella!) however, whenever it was stormy, the Nathan E Stewart and other tug/tanker vessels would take the Fitzhugh, Johnson Channel and Return Passage route, presumably, I believe, because these vessels are unseaworthy, dangerous and uncomfortable in rough seas. Now they no longer have that option. Don't get me wrong, I hate that these vessels were skulking around avoiding Bella Bella, and sneaking through these narrow channels during storms, but it is much more dangerous now that travelling by Hecate Strait is their only option.

Having passed by the Goose Islands, as you can read in the PPA press release I posted earlier, with the new regulations, amazingly, the Captain of the loaded ATB tanker "Dale R Lindsey" will have to saunter back up to the wheelhouse again as the vessel passes about 25 miles abeam of Bella Bella. After passing Bella Bella, he may then return to his bunk, presumably leaving the wheelhouse to a single, solitary helmsperson. Continuing on northwards, if a storm is too severe, the Captain of the "Dale R Lindsay" will have the option to enter Laredo Sound, and travel via Laredo, and Principe Channels and on to Alaska.

Friends, in my opinion the Pacific Pilotage Authourity's new requirements for petroleum tankers traversing the full length of the BC Inside Passage DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve the safe protection of this coast. Instead, they make this ugly, nasty business EVEN MORE RISKY.

Additionally it is a DREADFUL INSULT that this disgusting, filthy business is being allowed to resume, even before the horrific Nathan E Stewart disaster has even begun to be resolved.

Furthermore, -not that I believe that a requirement of having Canadian Pilots would make any difference at all to the risk these tankers present,- furthermore CANADIAN PILOTS ARE NOT REQUIRED to be aboard these American tankers.

And finally, I am sorry to inform you, turns out it is not true that the Texas-based Kirby Corporation has been barred from BC waters pending the investigation of the Nathan E Stewart disaster, as have been previously celebrated on this page. In fact, the Kirby Corporation continues to operate its much, much larger ATB tankers that push enormous loads of petroleum product through the Salish Sea between the Kinder Morgan Westridge terminal in Burnaby, and the gigantic Tesoro crude refinery at Anacortes. They have simply carried on plying their business as though the Nathan E Stewart catastrophe never happened.

So, so sorry friends, to be the bearer of this BAD, BAD NEWS...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Duterte V. America

It’s ON! Between Duterte and America

by Peter Lee - China Matters

October 27, 2016 

I’ve written a couple pieces of the smoking hot issue in Pivotland, Philippine president Duterte’s swerve toward a pro-PRC foreign policy, and what the U.S. and pro-American sector of the Manila elite are going to do about it.

The first piece, Reports of death of US-Philippine alliance may be exaggerated, addresses the fact that Duterte’s freedom of movement is constrained by the need to keep the Philippine military happy, and notes that ex-prez and retired general Fidel Ramos, who facilitated Duterte’ sentrance on the national political stage, is signaling dissatisfaction with Duterte.

The second piece, Duterte Plays the ‘Mamasapano’ Card, covers a Duterte counter-attack: a threat to relitigate the death of 44Philippine National Police commandos at Mamasapano in Mindanao, a 2014 special ops fiasco conducted under the aegis of the United States which a) exposes ex-president Aquino to serious legal jeopardy b) posits that the US alliance is doing a better job of killing Filipinos than the PRC can ever hope to do.

The US seems to be embedded in a colonial mindset when it comes to the Philippines, something along the lines of “we’ve been selflessly looking after the Philippines for a century, and that thug Duterte won’t be allowed to screw that up during his brief (maybe curtailed) presidency.”

It takes a pretty superficial view of Philippine history,one that accepts the US self-definition as the Philippines’ security savior while ignoring the distortions and shortcomings of the colonial and neo-colonial relationship. 

For me this tunnel vision was typified by the US media crowing over the formal delivery of a refurbished C-130 transport to the Philippine government by outgoing ambo Philip Goldberg. Message: here’s the US making provisions for Philippine defense at the same time Duterte’s selling out the country to China.

To me, the inadvertent message was 1) here’s the US blindly stroking the pivot fetish while Duterte tries to solve the Mindanao insurgency that has cost at least 400,000 lives over the last century, win his drug war,and find a place for the Philippines in Asia that doesn’t give primacy to the US preoccupation confronting the PRC and 2) the U.S., in my opinion, pretty much has a policy of keeping the Philippines flat on its behind as an independent military force by trickling out second-hand gear to the Philippine military while the sweet stuff is dangled in front of it during US joint military maneuvers and port calls.

But the United States is trying to find political leverage wherever it can and the Western media will, I’m sure, put its shoulder to the wheel to help out.

Philip Goldberg sat down for a 45-minute exit interview with Rappler. As befitting Rappler’s origins in the Soros/Omidyar network of pro-US globalization advocacy, the interview was a stream of softballs about what to do about Duterte’s disregard of the awesomeness of the American relationship, an awesomeness that is acknowledged by virtually all Filipinos who inexplicably (and, if the US has anything to do about it, temporarily) at the same time give Duterte approval ratings of over 80%.

It’s worth watching if you have the patience. Goldberg is a smooth cat, and the Rappler tongue bath gives you no inkling of the fact that he intimately familiar with the wet work of end-arounding national governments to cultivate secessionist movements, you know, like what he did in Bolivia (declared persona non grata as a result) and Kosovo, and like that thing in Duterte’s home province of Mindanao, which in my opinion probably the main reason why Duterte wanted him out of the Philippines.

Goldberg also discretely plays the economic threat card,concern-trolling that anti-US attitudes will dismay “foreign investors”.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in subsequent weeks. As far as I can tell,the biggest U.S. factor in the domestic Philippine economy is the call-center industry. I doubt US corporations are interested in actually pulling their operations out and subjecting them to the English-language mercies of India, but certainly a call from the State Department or White House would convince them of the wisdom of at least making the threat.

And I also wonder if expected President Hillary Clinton will find it necessary to drop the hammer on Duterte, in order to demonstrate to a rather dubious Asia that there is no alternative to loyalty to the pivot.
I expect the next few months, in other words, to be very interesting.

A Study in Hypocrisy: Canada's Foreign Policy and Academia

Canada’s Foreign Policy and Academia

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

October 26th, 2016

Should social scientists seek the truth regardless of whose toes may be stepped on and cite, up front, possible conflicts of interest regarding matters they study?

All academic disciplines claim independence of thought and transparency are principles that guide good research. So, what to make of a Canadian foreign policy discussion dominated by individuals with ties to the decision-making structures they study?

The highly regarded Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) is a prime example. The oldest global affairs school in Canada, Carleton University’s graduate program was established in 1965 with $400,000 ($5 million today) from long-time Senator Norman Paterson, a grain-shipping magnate.

During World War II his company provided vessels for Atlantic convoys and Paterson was a major player within the Liberal Party.

Twice under-secretary of External Affairs and leading architect of post-World War II Canadian foreign policy, Norman Robertson was the school’s first director. Unhappy in a diplomatic post in Geneva, External Affairs colleagues secured Robertson the NPSIA position. During his time at Carleton, Robertson continued to be paid as a “Senior Advisor” to External Affairs, overseeing a major review of a department concerned about growing criticism that it was acting as a U.S. “errand boy” in Vietnam.

The initial chair of Strategic Studies at NPSIA was a former deputy minister of Veterans Affairs and Canada’s principal disarmament negotiator between 1960 and 1968. Lieutenant-General Eedson L. M. Burns left government to take up the Carleton post.

Three months after stepping down as prime minister in 1968 Lester Pearson began teaching a seminar on Canadian foreign policy at NPSIA. In a foreword to Freedom and Change: Essays in Honour of Lester B. Pearson, Senator Norman Paterson wrote, “the idea of creating a School of International Affairs in Canada and thoughts on how Lester Pearson might spend part of his time after retiring from public life became intimately bound together in my mind.”

After Pearson died in 1972 his friends raised funds to establish the Lester B. Pearson Chair of International Affairs at NPSIA. A former Canadian ambassador to Egypt and the USSR, as well as secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Arnold Cantwell Smith, was the first Lester B. Pearson chair.

The close association between NPSIA and Global Affairs continues. Former Canadian ambassador to the UN, president of the Security Council and director of the government-created Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, William Barton gave $3 million to establish a chair at NPSIA in 2008.

The NPSIA faculty includes numerous former Canadian diplomats, including ambassador to Washington Derek Burney, long-time diplomat Colin Robertson and former ambassador to Jordan, Egypt and Israel Michael Dougall Bell. A former director of DND’s Directorate of History, Norman Hillmer, security analyst Stephanie Carvin and special advisor to the external minister Gerald Wright are also faculty members.

NPSIA is but one example of the foreign-policy government apparatus’s influence in academia. Into the late 1960s individuals who’d worked in the military’s historical sections dominated academic posts in military history and associated fields while current or former DND and Global Affairs historians remain influential within academia. DND has also instigated a handful of “security studies” programs and its Security Defence Forum funds more than a dozen of these university initiatives. Similarly, the Canadian International Development Agency spawned and financed various “development studies” programs.

Is it any wonder that critical discussion of Canadian foreign policy is rare? Canadians deserve better from the institutions they rely upon to tell them the truth.

Yves Engler is the author of Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation. Read other articles by Yves.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Eric Draitser, Ingmar Lee, Janine Bandcroft October 26, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

October 26, 2016

If watching, listening, or reading media, especially in the era of forever electioneering, feels like being caught in the middle of a Three Stooges slap fest, then I have good news for you: There is at least one alternative to getting your ears boxed, eyes poked, and gut punched every time you attempt to become informed. is a venerable first comer in online news aggregating that has not only weathered the myriad alt. news imitators that followed its last-century D.C. newsletter beginnings, but is too still standing amid the overwhelming corporatization of internet news on both sides of the political spectrum.

Listen. Hear.

But, as with all bearers of bad news, its survival is precarious. Right now, Counterpunch is appealing to its millions of readers and listeners to pony up and keep this vital service viable.

Eric Draitser is a New York City-based independent geopolitical analyst whose articles and interviews can be found at his site, and at He's also the host of CounterPunch Radio.

Eric Draitser in the first half.

And; last week Denny Island-based ecology observer, Ingmar Lee reported on the sinking of the Kirby Corporation oil tanker tug, Nathan E Stewart about 20 kilometers north of Bella Bella. Almost two weeks later, the Nathan E Stewart sits yet at the bottom of the Seaforth Channel, its fuel tanks emptying into the environment.

Ingmar Lee and updating the predictable environmental disaster after the fact in the second half.

And, Victoria Street Newz publiser emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good goings on planned for our streets and beyond in the coming week. But first, Eric Draitser and keeping up the fight at

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

What a Question! America's Undeclared War on Syria

Is the US Headed Towards War in Syria? 


October 26, 2016

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is concerned about Clinton's foreign policy record and the fact that many of her advisors resemble those who served in the first George W. Bush administration.

Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making."

Following the Story: How to Cover (Up) An Oil Spill

What's the CBC Coverage Frame?

by Ingmar Lee

Denny Island - What is the coverage frame that CBC and the corporate media is putting out?

"...crews placed a 2nd boom around the tug..." "...crews pumped off another 10,000 gallons..." "... WCMRC delivered another barge load of absorbent pads..." "...Kirby kicked in $250,000..." "...everybody's working together..."

The coverage is ALL focused on the bogus "clean-up," and if errors are mentioned, then they are to do with WCMRC lag time in arriving on scene, or how heavy seas and weather are breaking up the booms, -or the heroic actions of people out on the beaches with the frame that, if only WCMRC had been right there, had seaworthy booms right on scene immediately, then all would have been well.

They are deliberately spinning the Big Oil line that spills at sea CAN be cleaned up, mitigation IS possible, if only our "world class" response regime functioned properly..

What is NOT at all being mentioned by CBC, or even questioned, is:

WHY THE FUCK IS THIS IDIOTIC, DANGEROUS, INSANE TRAFFIC HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE, and why the fuck are the powers that be CURRENTLY maneuvering to get the very next shipments, once again, flowing up the BC Inside Passage?!?


Because Big Oil is watching this scene very, very intently. It is essential, -imperative- right now that the general Canadian public believe that mitigation is possible, that clean up can be done, that we have the technology, that we have the skill, the knowledge, the wherewithal to handle petroleum spills at sea.


Because the Justin Trudeau regime is at the brink of announcing that they are greenlighting the Kinder Morgan ASSAULT on this coast.

There will be a fight. A BIG fight. They are desperate to keep the numbers of people involved in that fight to a minimum. They need people to BUY their frame. Selling the Big Oil frame to the gullible people of Canada is the job of the CBC and Corporate Media. It is what they are paid to do.


The 600 ft., 37,000 deadweight ton Oil/Chemical tanker "Navig8 Aronaldo" is currently doing weird loop-de-loops around the north end of Vancouver Island, and appears to be headed up through Hecate Strait to Kitimat.. I'm not used to seeing oil tankers of this size go by here. Wanna bet there's no Canadian pilot on this latest giant bag of oil?! Good thing we've got Western Canada's "World Class" marine disaster response service, and every single piece of equipment they own right here on scene...

Also meanwhile... 

The tugboat "Gene Dunlap" can be seen entering Fitzhugh Channel, on its way to the Nathan E Stewart wreck towing an even more gigantic crane than the one that's already here...

Contextualizing European Support re: Israel

European Support

by Mazin Qumsiyeh -

October 26, 2016

European support of “Israel” and Palestine come up a lot in our discussions with politicians and even common people here in Spain.

Most of the time it is obvious that European elites feel that they are being fair by giving a lot of political and financial aid to “Israel” and some aid to the Palestinian authority. I try to give them some context by explaining that this is like aiding and abetting Nazi Germany while also helping the Vichy government in France under Nazi occupation. Or if this is too harsh an analogy, it is like supporting
apartheid South Africa while also supporting chief Buthalesi (king of the Zululand).

It is blunt but at least it opens up a discussion to explain about colonialism. 193 countries are members of the UN, more than 70% of them live in a post-colonial era (ie. Have been European colonies at one point or another).

The post-colonial countries are stabilized under one of three scenarios:

  • a) The Algerian model (liberation and removal of colonizers, many of them generations in the colonized country), 
  • b) the Australian model (genocide leaving so few natives), 
  • c) the South and Central American model (most countries in the world: integration and coexistence in one country)

There is no fourth model that is sustainable.

Israel like South Africa tried containment in enclaves (bantusanization, people warehousing). It is failing and Israel and its imperialist allies are trying desperately to keep the mirage alive of “wanting peace” and “two-states for two people”. That mirage is merely intended to lengthen the time frame so that more billions can be pocketed. This is the most profitable occupation in human history and Israel makes tens of billions of dollars annually (if not over 100 billion) from the occupation.

Israel’s economy has been structured to profit from the conflict and currently over half of government revenue is dependent on three streams of income all of them would be threatened if there is peace;

  • a) weapons/security related exports (tested on the guinea pigs of Gaza every three years), 
  • b) foreign aid ($40 billion package of military aid just given to Israel by “Nobel peace prize” winner Obama as a parting gift of his presidency, and 
  • c) nearly $12 billion from us (captive Palestinians). Some 70% of European humanitarian aid to Palestinians ends up in Israeli pockets.

We spoke to various groups in areas ranging from environmental conservation to human rights. I publicized my book on “Sharing the Land of Canaan” which is published in Spanish. We met with politicians and with poor people. We met with a research association in San Sebastian with 1700 members and over 100 researchers working on everything from forensic anthropology to mushrooms to insects to environmental impact studies to birds. Like other similar important institutions (including ours of the Palestine Institute of
Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University), they suffer from shortage of funds, shortage of government support, and from the neo-liberal models of an economy emphasizing more on consumerism and
less on environmental conservation.

We must keep trying though to convince people that the neo-liberal socio-economic system is not sustainable and that we residents of this one blue planet face a challenge that we never faced before with the potential of massive extinctions of species, massive disruptions, hundreds of millions of environmental refugees, and much more.

We must act TOGETHER urgently to address these challenges. The elites instead want us to fight each other based on sects (Jews, Shia’, Sunni, Christian, Kurds etc). That way they can milk us for a few more billions and some of them think they will be dead before the world ends!

But almost every minute I am here I am thinking of home. I appreciate our volunteers and museum staff taking care of things admirably including the educational and general maintenance activities. School children and university students come to our Palestine Museum of Natural History at Bethlehem University to grow and get empowered.

While what I am doing here is important, our work in Palestine is far more important and I cannot wait to go back. Just yesterday, the racist apartheid regime demolished a building in Silwan housing 30 people. I thought of that as I noted the forecast that rains are on the way. I also think of the work accumulating. Next week is a busy week for us

Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
HumanRights newsletter

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Calling on the Left to Leave Interventionism

Syria and the Left: Time to Break the Silence

by Eric Draitser - CounterPunch

October 20, 2016

The cold, hard reality of the war in Syria is that the violence, bloodshed, and chaos continues unabated while the Left, such as it is, continues on in a state of schizophrenic madness. Different points of view, conflicting ideological tendencies, and a misunderstanding of the reality of the conflict are all relevant issues to be interrogated, with civility and reasoned debate in short supply. But those issues are not the urgent task of this article; the Left does need to seriously self-reflect though about just how it responds to crises of imperialism and issues of war and peace.
Photo: Kurdishstruggle | CC BY 2.0

However, what is urgently needed at this moment is a clear and unequivocal position on the future of this war, and the lives of all Syrians – political allegiances notwithstanding – as the escalation of the war approaches. There is little doubt that Hillary Clinton will win the crown of ringmaster of the political circus that is the US election. And, as she eases her freshly osculated behind into the leather captain’s chair in the Oval Office, it is only a matter of time before she ratchets up US military involvement in Syria, with a full US war, and attempted regime change, becoming all but a certainty.

And where will the Left be then? This question is not merely rhetorical as the Left has found itself in the usual circular firing squad predicament over the war in Syria. And though the issue continues to be debated, what should be beyond dispute is what the position on intervention into the war should be.

And as I brace for the predictable barrage of hate mail and name-calling from both sides of this debate – I’m mostly inured to that sort of thing after years of it – I want to make one point that should be obvious, and yet has become somehow controversial: opposing the war is the duty of all true anti-war activists.

But what does it mean to oppose the war? Does it mean that we should be opposing just Russian and Syrian bombs being dropped? Does it mean that only US-Saudi-Turkey-Israeli supplied weapons are doing the killing? Sadly, these too are not rhetorical questions as so many on the Left, including many self-described anti-imperialists, have positioned themselves as hawks in a war that has utterly devastated the country. It seems that many, myself included up to a point, have gotten so enveloped in the embrace of partisanship in this war that we have forgotten that our responsibility is to the people of Syria and to peace and justice.

Some on the pro-Assad side of the argument will correctly note that the role of the anti-war activist in the West is, above all, to oppose the imperialism of the West itself. And indeed, that is a primary responsibility. Others on the Left will argue that the responsibility of activists is to support liberation struggles of fellow revolutionaries. And while the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria has been sidelined by a hodgepodge of Saudi and Qatari-financed jihadists – the uprising began as a response to the Syrian government’s neoliberal policies and brutality, among other things – this cannot be taken to mean that countless innocent men, women, and children have not been maimed and killed by Syrian and Russian weapons, jets, and fighters.

Be that as it may, the question now before us is this: where do you stand on direct US intervention?

In the long and convoluted history of this war there have been precious few moments of clear and unmistakable moral judgment. If anything, the portrait of the war in Syria is colored in shades of gray, with little black and white to be found.

If you’re supportive of the anti-Assad forces, then it’s quite likely you’ve chosen to ignore the mountains of evidence that there is no “revolution” in Syria but rather a vicious contra-style war being fomented by US-NATO and its toadies in the Gulf, Turkey, and Israel. If you’re supportive of Assad then it’s a certainty that you’ve chosen to ignore or downplay the horrific violence of the bombings, the brutality of the torture chambers, and other unspeakable atrocities (I admit that I have often strayed too far into the latter) out of a desire to uphold the nominally anti-imperialist position.

And where has this left Syria? Where has it brought the Left? We’re no closer to an end to this horrific war, nor are we any closer to a resolution to the cancerous spread of terrorism in the region. Maybe just a few more US-supplied weapons and US-funded fighters will do the trick? Maybe a few more Russian and Syrian bombs will solve the crisis? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, neither one of those has brought Syria any closer to peace. And isn’t that what we’re allegedly supposed to be upholding?

And how about the refugees? I’ve seen the fascist talking points spouted by many fake “anti-imperialists” who with one breath proclaim their commitment to peace and justice, and with another demonize and scapegoat Syrian refugees whose politics don’t align with the pro-Assad position. Words like “traitors,” “cowards,” and “terrorists,” are shamefully applied to ordinary Syrians fleeing to Europe and elsewhere in hopes of saving their families. Indeed, it is precisely this narrative that is at the core of the white supremacist, fascist ideology that underlies a significant amount of the support base for Assad and his allies (see David Duke, David Icke, Alexander Dugin, Brother Nathanel, Alex Jones, Mimi al-Laham, Ken O’Keefe, and on and on and on). I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true, and too many of the pro-Assad camp have willfully ignored this fundamental point.

On the other side though, the unwillingness of the “Syrian revolution” camp to face up to the fact that they have unwittingly made themselves into the left flank of US interventionism and imperialism is cause for public shaming as well. Were this the 1980s one wonders whether they’d be saying the same things about the “revolutionary” contras in Central America who, like the so-called rebels in Syria, were also backed with US weapons, money, and training. How about the mujahideen in Afghanistan? Has the collective memory of the Left gotten so short? And what about those foreign fighters fleeing Syria? Are they revolutionaries when they go back to Libya and engage in human trafficking for profit? Or to Chechnya to smuggle Afghan heroin? Or to Saudi Arabia or anywhere else?

Undoubtedly there are people on both sides of this debate who, if they’re still reading (doubtful), are frothing at the mouth with rage as they prepare to send their hate mail or attack this article and me on social media. All of that is perfectly fine by me as my feelings are of little consequence in this war that has killed hundreds of thousands, and displaced millions.

But the conversation I’m hoping to spur here is not about the past, but about the future.

And so I put out the call, here and now, to all people of the Left and all those who wrap themselves in the shroud of revolution and anti-imperialism: where do you stand on intervention?

To the anti-Assad camp, I ask: What will you be doing when Hillary’s fire burns and cauldron bubbles? Will you continue to ignore the material reality of this war in favor of the chimera of a revolution betrayed? Put simply: will you be supporting US imperialism in the name of the “revolution”?

To the pro-Assad Syria fetishists, I ask: Will you continue to pretend that the only crimes and atrocities being committed are those veiled behind Old Glory? Are you comfortable in the knowledge that this war will continue on indefinitely so long as all outside actors continue to use Syria as merely a square on their respective geopolitical chessboards? Will you continue to delude yourselves by refusing to accept the plainly obvious truth that no state or group has the best interests of Syrians at heart? Will you allow yourselves to be the useful idiots of carefully calculated political maneuvering?

I ask these questions as someone who took a firmly pro-Assad position from the very beginning, someone who felt (as I, and many others, still do) that Syria, like Libya, was a victim of US-NATO-GCC-Israel imperialism and that, as such, it should be defended. And while I still uphold that resistance, I also have enough humility to know that, in doing so, I abandoned other core beliefs such as defense of ALL oppressed people, including the ones with politics I reject.

I ask these questions as someone who takes the very notion of anti-imperialism seriously, and who is dismayed by the disgusting cooptation of that word by fascists, chauvinists, white supremacists, and neocolonial degenerates who use it for political expediency. This cannot be allowed to stand.

The direct US war in Syria is coming. Russia’s war in Syria is already active. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel have been fomenting war in Syria from the beginning, all in support of the Empire’s strategic goals. And hundreds of thousands of bodies have been buried in the sand and soil.

How many more bodies are we comfortable burying? How much longer before peace is once again on the table? How many more years before we realize that this war will never end on a battlefield?

Either way, I’ll see anyone who wants to join me on the front lines of protest when the Queen of Chaos launches her war. That’s where I’ve been many times before, and will be for years to come.

And that’s where the Left ought to be.

Eric Draitser is the founder of and host of CounterPunch Radio. He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at
More articles by:Eric Draitser

Lelu's Voice I Am - Stand with Lax U'u'la against LNG/Petronas!

Lelu's Voice I Am - Stand with Lax U'u'la against LNG/Petronas!

Here's the Lelu Island fundraiser we are co-hosting this Tuesday evening to raise money for the camp they are building on the frontline (Stop Pacific NorthWest LNG/Petronas on Lelu Island

Please come out and support the cause!

Entry is by donation.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Sense and Insensibility: Hypocrisy of America's "War Crimes" Charges

US, Allies Massacre at Will, Yet Condemn Russia

by Finian Cunningham  - Information Clearing House via  Sputnik 

Oct. 23, 2016

We really have entered a macabre twilight zone when US-led warplanes are massacring civilians in several countries – and yet Washington and its allies condemn others for war crimes.

Of course, governments that act criminally cannot be expected to be honest. But what about nominally independent organizations like the United Nations and Western media? The collective deception is damning of systematic complicity.

What makes it more disturbing is that if criminality can be so capriciously covered-up by institutions that are relied upon for law and accountability then the world really is in a dangerous, dark place.

The latest atrocity involved US coalition aircraft reportedly killing 15 women and injuring 50 others when they hit a funeral procession near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday.

American-led coalition warplanes, including from Britain, France, and Turkey, are bombing Iraq, supposedly to help defeat the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group.

Shamefully, the Western news media, which have been blaring allegations of war crimes against Russia over its military operations in Syria, were largely silent on the massacre near Kirkuk.

Only days before that barbarity, there were several other mass atrocities committed by American allies elsewhere in the Middle East.

In Syria, two F-16 fighter jets belonging to NATO member Belgium killed six civilians in the village of Hassadjek, near Aleppo.

Within hours of that murderous assault, warplanes from Turkey, another NATO member, were responsible for killing some 150 Syrian civilians in multiple air raids also in Aleppo countryside, according to Syrian state media.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, the US-backed Saudi air bombardment continued its slaughter of innocents despite cynically declaring a non-entity ceasefire earlier in the week. Three farmers were killed in Saudi air strikes in Saada province – almost a week after American and Saudi warplanes massacred 140 people attending a funeral ceremony in the capital Sanaa. Another grotesque “anti-terror” operation.

Washington and its allies are now openly bombing sovereign countries without any legal mandate. As such, these actions constitute the crime of aggression – the most grave violation of international law. This is a redux of 1930s fascist banditry by Western states who haughtily pontificate to Russia.

In Syria, the US-led coalition including Britain and France have been carrying out air strikes on that country for over two years, killing hundreds of civilians – all in the name of “fighting terrorism”. Three months ago, in late July, US and French warplanes murdered over 100 civilians, including women and children, in and around the town of Manbij, near Aleppo, in wave after wave of bombings.

Occasionally, the Western news media do give reports on such crimes. But, generally, their duty is to minimize, by describing such incidents as unfortunate “collateral damage”, if not to willfully cover-up, as in the latest atrocity near Kirkuk.

Nevertheless, the entire hideous Western charade is gradually being exposed.

In Syria, for nearly six years the Arab country has been almost completely destroyed by a US-led covert war for regime change. To achieve this illicit objective, Washington and its NATO and regional allies funded, armed and directed a proxy army of the most vile terror groups.

When Russia and Iran intervened last year to help their Syrian ally against this international criminal conspiracy, the country was brought back from the brink of devastation. The terrorist proxy army supported by Washington, London, Paris, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has been routed from hundreds of towns and villages.

Syria is being liberated from a scourge unleashed in March 2011 by US-led insurgents under the guise of a “pro-democracy uprising”. That narrative has always been absurd for anyone with critical thinking. Head-chopping jihadists for democracy? Sword-wielding Saudi and Qatari despots advocating pluralist elections?

Besides, Syria already had a relatively robust democracy under President Bashar al Assad. Before the US-led war for regime change, Syria enjoyed a reputation for religious freedom, peaceful coexistence and benign social development.

The Western media, in the service of promoting their governments’ geopolitical agenda, have grossly distorted events in Syria. Instead of investigating a Western-backed criminal subversion involving state-sponsorship of terrorism, the media have violated honest, independent journalism with outright lies and fabrications. The Western public have been told that Washington and its allies are bombing a (sovereign) country to “defeat terrorism” when in fact any genuine, critical inquiry shows the opposite to be the case.

In the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian army supported by Russia is liberating tens of thousands of civilians who have been held under siege, against their will, by the West’s terror proxies since 2012.

Western media coverage on Aleppo is a diabolical sham. The US, British and French governments, as well as other Europeans, are jumping up and down with accusations of war crimes against Russia and its Syrian ally.

Scarcely any evidence is presented to substantiate these unhinged Western claims of what is happening in Aleppo. Virtually all the information that the West relies on for its allegations is sourced from Western and Saudi-funded organizations such as the so-called White Helmets and Aleppo Media Center, both of whom are embedded with proscribed terror groups like Jabhat al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham.

The Western capacity for denial is astounding. The vast majority of Aleppo residents – some 1.6 million people – are living willingly under the protection of the Syrian army. Yet the Western media never report this. Rather they focus on a minority district besieged by terrorists whom they lionize as “heroic rebels”.

Even when verifiable live broadcasts in Aleppo, set up at the humanitarian aid corridors established by Russian and Syrian authorities, demonstrate beyond doubt that the truces are flagrantly violated by the Western-beloved “rebels”, still the myth-making continues. During three days of humanitarian pause to help vacate civilians, the militants were seen shelling neutral transport arrangements and of holding people as human shields.

However, Western media vaguely and mendaciously report on “lack of security” hampering aid delivery.

Washington and its European allies, primarily Britain and France, as well as UN chiefs Ban Ki-Moon and Staffan de Mistura, the special envoy to Syria, are a disgrace. So too are the Western corporate news media who have lied all the way to conceal the real criminals in Syria.

In this mayhem and madness, it might seem perhaps counterintuitive to be optimistic. But good reason for optimism is that Western governments and their servile media are exposing themselves for the criminals and liars that they are.

The rogue-state behavior of Washington and its allies has become so rampant it is no longer possible to hide.

The public anger and disdain for this murdering cabal is fueled not only by what they see in Syria and the region. People all around the world are making the connection that US-led warmongering and dirty wars are rooted in the same murdering and plundering capitalist system that is killing their own societies and communities.

People are realizing more than ever that the high and mighty Western leaders who presume to sit as judges casting condemnations on others are actually the lowest, most despicable criminals.

Pacific Pilotage Authority Responds to Oil Tanker Spill Off Great Bear Rainforest

The Pacific Pilotage Authority CEO, Captain Obermeyer, has issued a press release today.

by Ingmar Lee -

October 24, 2016

Now, apparently, two persons are required to be on the bridge of these tankers at all times. (It is hard to believe, but I guess until now, it was acceptable to the PPA that only one person was required on the bridge of a large petroleum tanker navigating the Inside Passage)

(photo: April Bencze - Heiltsuk Nation)

The only thing that has, or appears to be changing, is that PENDING APPROVAL of "Industry Stakeholders" the American tankers will need to travel north of Vancouver Island, loaded, via Hecate Straits ONLY, (did they ask the Haida Nation?) although weather permitting, the tankers WILL BE PERMITTED to enter Laredo and/or Principe Channels if they wish.

There is some confusion in the press release, because although it states that Grenville Channel, Princess Royal Channel, Finlayson Channel, Seaforth Channel, Lama Pass and Fitzhugh Channel are NOW OFF LIMITS TO AMERICAN TANKERS, (yay!) nevertheless, then it goes on to state that "when passing Bella Bella, a Master is required to be on the bridge."

Frankly, this nonsense falls far short of what needs to be done, which is to get this whole rotten business OFFSHORE.

What happens when there are HUGE STORMS in the southern half of Hecate Straits?? According to this release, all safe refuge for these inherently unseaworthy river boats will be off limits. So will they just crack up on Calvert Island, or the Goose Islands, or Haida Gwaii?!?

As they pass by off the Goose Islands, will the Master then need to come up on the bridge because they are abeam, albeit 20 miles off, Bella Bella?!?

Frankly, this changes almost nothing. Not happy at all.

(sorry about posting photos of the release, 
-it has not been posted to the PPA website, 
and Faceplant won't link PDF's)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Nathan E Stewart Aftermath: Heiltsuk Tribal Council Fundraising to Clean Up Oil Spill

Support Heiltsuk Efforts in Diesel Spill

by Heiltsuk Tribal Council

October 23, 2016
In the wee hours of October 13th, the Nathan E. Stewart, a tug and US-based diesel barge, ran aground just north of Bella Bella.

While the barge has been secured and towed to safety, the tug sank late on the morning of the 13th. Of the 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board, less than 7,000 gallons were pumped before the tug went down. Subsequent efforts to recover fuel from the sunken tug are ongoing.

See video here.

Community members have been on scene from dawn to dusk every day to lay boom and assist with cleanup efforts. The lag in early response and difficulties with coordination and weather have created ripple effects resulting in ongoing complications with fuel recovery.

Heiltsuk have been vocal about marine shipping issues and the hazards posed by vessels of this nature. Community members have made it clear that a spill was inevitable - it was only a matter of time.

Tragically, the community has been proven right.

The Heiltsuk are now conducting our own investigation into the diesel spill.

Your contributions will help cover costs the Kirby Corporation does not.

Your donation will go toward helping us conduct cultural impact interviews, traditional food harvest interviews, and help us obtain video and photo documentation to find out what went wrong.

Your thoughts, prayers, and moral support are equally valued and appreciated.

The decision to open a new fundraising page is a response to your requests that we reopen a space for further donations.