No answers yet concerning 2.7 million litre spill on Lubicon Lake Nation territory

BY KRYSTALLINE KRAUS

Lubicon First Nation community members are still awaiting answers regarding the short and long term impacts of a 2.7 million litre oil and gas condensate spill on their traditional territory.

Murphy Oil Company Limited did send representations into the community but Chief Bernard Ominayak and the Lubicon Council are still no closer to securing answers.

The spill is equivalent (by volume) to 68 twin-tanker oil trucks dumping their loads. It is unknown for how long the three-inch pipe had been leaking.

Chief Ominayak is also concerned that his community was not alerted to the oil spill until 11 days later. He is also urging the company to draft an emergency response plan for the community in case of spills, as one does not currently exist.

“It is critical that Murphy Oil address creating an integrated emergency response plan, as we have done with other resource companies in the area, so we can alert our people as soon as these incidents occur when they are on the land exercising our Aboriginal rights,” said Chief Ominayak.

The spill of oil and gas condensate occurred on March 1, 2015, at its Seal Lake heavy oil site in Northern Alberta.

At first, Murphy Oil reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator a spill no bigger than about ninety-four barrels, but later had to recant as the spill turned out to be much bigger though accurate numbers have still not been disclosed.

The lack of information is not the fault of the Lubicon First Nation who have been attempting to reach out to Murphy Oil to determine the true extent of the spill so they can take care of their community.

Chief Ominayak has said that the health, safety and environment protection is the priority since the spill.

Lubicon Lake First Nation has an extremely small population, not even a hundred, and the Nation has been embroiled in the land claim dispute with the Government of Canada for decades.

A 2011 survey of the area found the on-reserve and Crown land population of 274 living on their traditional territory. The community of Little Buffalo is about forty-four kilometres by road from the spill site.

One of the major issues in the extraction industry’s presence in the territory and the outstanding health and environmental concerns these cause.

The oil, gas, and lumber industry on Lubicon traditional territory has caused damaging repercussions on the natural environment, the Lubicon culture and people, according to a 2008 Amnesty International report.

Condensate is a natural gas product which contains benzene which is toxic. Condensate is usually mixed with the sticky substance bitumen to make it flow through the pipelines.

The community relies on hunting and fishing on their traditional territory to augment their diet.

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Expanding Harper’s new war in Iraq is an immoral misadventure by any measure

Expanding Harper's new war in Iraq is an immoral misadventure by any measure

Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson has been reciting his talking points to justify extending and expanding the token Canadian military mission to the middle east: the Islamic State is “committing acts of genocide.” Canada’s expanded mission to Iraq and Syria will “strip ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] of its power to …launch terrorists operations in Canada”. Extending our mission is a matter of “moral clarity.” We need to learn the lessons of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

All need cross-examination. Learning from the past is an uncommonly sensible idea from this government. What are the lessons of past Western interventions?

Afghanistan. Today’s mess began several decades ago when the U.S. — understanding almost nothing about the country — began arming local militias against the Soviet Union. Among those armed was Osama Bin Laden along with various competing warlords guilty of unspeakable atrocities, who soon turned on the U.S. and each other. Out of this recklessness sprung al-Qaeda, the Taliban, 9/11 and the appalling protracted international conflict that followed. Canada was there for a dozen years. Today the country remains mired in misogyny, corruption, instability, heroin and violence.

Iran. Decades earlier, understanding little about the country beyond its oil riches, the U.S. and U.K. overthrew an elected government and substituted the harsh authoritarianism of the Shah. The eventual consequence was the Khomeini revolution and rule by the mullahs. We may complacently remember Argo; Iranians remember the coup and may never again trust the West.

Iraq. In 2003, George W. Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq on the basis of several different lies and no serious understanding. Saddam Hussein was overthrown; the country fell apart. Regional, ethnic and religious conflicts became the order of the day. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. The winners have been the Islamic State and Iran. Today the country remains ungovernable, chaotic, on the verge of dissolution.

Libya. As a kind of Arab Spring broke out, the West intervened against Moammar Gadhafi, an erstwhile ally. Understanding little about the complexities of the country, Western countries enabled his capture and murder. Who took over? A cacophony of competing gangs and militias. What happened to Gadhafi’s vast arsenal? It’s been redistributed across upper Africa and the Middle East, probably some to the Islamic State itself. The country is in turmoil, anarchy, wracked by violence.

Now add Syria, at least as complex, thorny and impenetrable as any of the others.

Lesson learned? We’re living them. They’re in the headlines every day. The consequences expected of military intrusions are rarely achieved. On the contrary: overwhelmingly, when the west has intervened in foreign lands with little understanding of local conditions and no strategy or plan beyond military force — we should add here Vietnam and Cambodia, though they aren’t Muslim like all the others — the result has been increased violence and chaos there and increased danger to ourselves as shown by al-Qaeda, 9/11 and the Islamic State.

Mr. Nicholson speaks of moral clarity. He’s right. Canada’s mission involves collaboration with war criminals, mass murderers, ethnic cleansers and deadly fanatics of various kinds. How else to describe the rulers of Syria and Iran, our tacit allies against IS? Or the Iraqi militias — also allies — described by the United Nations as guilty of war crimes and perhaps crimes against humanity? Or Kurd fighters from an organization listed as terrorist by NATO? We’re already tight with Saudi Arabia, which can teach IS lessons about serious beheadings.

The truth is many of our allies are hardly better than IS itself. That’s what’s morally clear. We throw around accusations of genocide against ISIS when we ourselves collaborate with war criminals and terrorists. Is it moral to send our troops into Syria when we haven’t been invited by its government, a clear violation of international law despite the government’s flimsy rationalizations? (Ask Putin about the Ukraine.)

Is it moral to pretend the expanded mission is risk-free, as Jason Kenney shockingly does? Ask the family of the late Sgt. Andrew Doiron.

If IS is the genocidal menace the government is now claiming, is it moral to send only a token force? Shouldn’t we be sending the entire Canadian armed forces? Allied air strikes, including the few by Canada, will by themselves never finish off IS. It needs boots on Iraqi and Syrian soil — but not our boots, that’s for sure. Thank goodness Iranian soldiers are already there.

Finally, exactly how will our intervention — or any western intervention — “strip ISIL of its power to …launch terrorists operations in Canada,” as Mr. Nicholson and his government claim? We can say for sure that sending a few of our soldiers into a war zone directly threatens the health of some Canadians. It’s less clear how it keeps a single Canadian in Canada safer. IS is in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Pakistan, Nigeria. After all our efforts, al-Qaeda thrives as well. Is the aim of our mission to kill every last one of them? And if we don’t, exactly how are we making us safer at home?

The Harper Government has not offered a single credible answer to any of these questions. So what are the lessons learned? That extending and expanding Canada’s mission is nothing but dangerous political posturing. That would make it an immoral adventure by any measure.

Jaw-Dropping US Hypocrisy on Display re Saudi Aggression vs. Russian “Aggression”

Washington has for months been screaming about Russian “aggression” against post-US-backed coup Ukraine.  The screams are never accompanied by any clear evidence (perhaps highlighting why the screaming is so important), which the governments of Germany and other European countries recentlyannounced is for good reason: the claims are merely more of Washington’s characteristic, self-serving distortions.

Condemnation of Russian “aggression” was already a case study in US-American hypocrisy, as the US is the country that has carried out, and is continuing, the worst case of aggression of the century, the invasion of Iraq, which, as part of its ongoing, wider war for hegemony over the Middle East, has slaughtered somewhere on the order of 1 to 2 or more million people in the last ten years, according to a new study by the Nobel-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility.  (This is in addition to the approximately ten thousand of its “own” people the US has slaughtered domestically in the last ten or so years.)

Really?

Adding to this, the US is now openly coordinating another act of naked aggression committed by a tandem force of two US-collaborator countries competing for the title of world’s worst domestic dictatorship: Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Amazingly (though typically), the US and its media partners, such as NBC, are trying to spin the Saudi invasion as a Saudi “proxy” war…  It isn’t.  The Saudis are not using proxies.  They themselves are doing it…  openly, as terrorist states backed by the US are often wont to do.  If it is a proxy war in any way, it is a US proxy war, since the Saudis are using US planes and being coordinated by the United States, making them, arguably, US proxies.

All of this serves to continue to underline, for the X-thousandth time, the cornerstone operating principle of the United States: We can do anything, and places we want to conquer can do nothing (the principle of any unreasonable person or group with a lust for power over others).

Part of this principle involves ignoring that, while the Saudis are “desperate to portray this [their invasion of Yemen] as a counter to Iran”, and that is supposed to be the excuse for the aggression (legally, excuses for aggression are irrelevant and to be ignored), Russia would not be allowed to use “countering the US/NATO expansion” as a reason for supporting Ukrainian anti-coup democrats.  That would be violating the US principle: you are not allowed to counter the terrorism of the US or its collaborators, such as the freedom-loving Saudi “royal” dictatorship.  Thus Russian can have no involvement with eastern Ukrainian democrats, while the US can organize a terrorist army to destroy Syria, as it continues to do.

Also of continued note here is that Saudi Arabia is a semi-nuclear state: it has a deal to order nukes at any time from Pakistan (which the US openly helped go nuclear in the early 90s), and the Saudi Ambassador today announced that Saudi Arabia will not rule out making nukes, and will never negotiate about making nukes.  (The idea that the US cares about Islamic fundamentalist states having nukes was debunked long ago, as noted above re Pakistan.)  The US-backed Saudi example stands in contrast to Iran, which invades no one, loudly disavows nuclear weapons, has no nuclear weapons, is not pursuing them (according to the US’s own spies), and is the most inspected country in the world.  Millions of Iranians have been killed with US support since 1953, and Iran remains under harsh US-led threat and siege (sanction), with its civilian nuclear program as the pretext.  The international community supports Iran’s right to a nuclear program.

Also see Antiwar.com’s “No Proxy War: Saudi Invasion of Yemen just Flat Out Aggression“.

A researcher from the above-cited Physician’s for Social Responsibility body-count study notes: “A politically useful option for U.S. political elites has been to attribute the on-going violence to internecine conflicts of various types, including historical religious animosities, as if the resurgence and brutality of such conflicts is unrelated to the destabilization cause by decades of outside military intervention,” they write. “As such, under-reporting of the human toll attributed to ongoing Western interventions, whether deliberate of through self-censorship, has been key to removing the ‘fingerprints’ of responsibility.”

Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)

Americans’ lack of worldliness clouds their views on everything from economics to sex to religion.

To hear the far-right ideologues of Fox News and AM talk radio tell it, life in Europe is hell on Earth. Taxes are high, sexual promiscuity prevails, universal healthcare doesn’t work, and millions of people don’t even speak English as their primary language! Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S.’ economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves. And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over the reality. And that lack of worldliness clouds many Americans’ views on everything from economics to sex to religion.

Here are nine things Americans can learn from the rest of the world.

1. Universal Healthcare Is Great for Free Enterprise and Great for Small Businesses

The modern-day Republican Party would have us believe that those who promote universal healthcare are anti-free enterprise or hostile to small businesses. But truth be told, universal healthcare is great for entrepreneurs, small businesses and the self-employed in France, Germany and other developed countries where healthcare is considered a right. The U.S.’ troubled healthcare system has a long history of punishing entrepreneurs with sky-high premiums when they start their own businesses. Prior to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, many small business owners couldn’t even obtain individual health insurance plans if they had a preexisting condition such as heart disease or diabetes—and even with the ACA’s reforms, the high cost of health insurance is still daunting to small business owners. But many Americans fail to realize that healthcare reform is not only a humanitarian issue, it is also vitally important to small businesses and the self-employed.

In 2009, the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a study on small businesses around the world and found that “by every measure of small-business employment, the United States has among the world’s smallest small-business sectors.” People in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Belgium and other European countries are more likely to be self-employed—and the study concluded that universal healthcare is a key factor. According to CEPR’s study, “High healthcare costs discourage small business formation since start-ups in other countries can tap into government-funded healthcare systems.”

2. Comprehensive Sex Education Decreases Sexual Problems

For decades, social conservatives in the U.S. have insisted that comprehensive sex education promotes unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But in fact, comprehensive sex education (as opposed to the abstinence-only programs that are common in the American Bible Belt) decreases sexual problems, and the data bears that out in no uncertain terms. Public schools in the Netherlands have aggressive sex education programs that America’s Christian Right would despise. Yet in 2009, the Netherlands had (according to the United Nations) a teen birth rate of only 5.3 per 1,000 compared to 39.1 per 1,000 in the U.S. That same year, the U.S. had three times as many adults living with HIV or AIDS as the Netherlands.

Switzerland, France, Germany and many other European countries also have intensive sex-ed programs and much lower teen pregnancy rates than the U.S. Still, far-right politicians in the U.S. can’t get it through their heads that inadequate sex education and insufficient sexual knowledge actually promote teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases instead of decreasing them.

3. American Exceptionalism Is Absolute Nonsense in 2015

No matter how severe the U.S.’ decline becomes, neocons and the Tea Party continue to espouse their belief in “American exceptionalism.” But in many respects, the U.S. of 2015 is far from exceptional. The U.S. is not exceptional when it comes to civil liberties (no country in the world incarcerates, per capita, more of its people than the U.S.) or healthcare (WHO ranks the U.S. #37 in terms of healthcare). Nor is the U.S. a leader in terms of life expectancy: according to the WHO, overall life expectancy in the U.S. in 2013 was 79 compared to 83 in Switzerland and Japan, 82 in Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and Canada and 81 in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Austria and Finland.

4. Adequate Mass Transit Is a Huge Convenience

When it comes to mass transit, Europe and Japan are way ahead of the U.S.; in only a handful of American cities is it easy to function without a car. New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC are among the U.S.’ more mass transit-oriented cities, but overall, the U.S. remains a car culture—and public transportation is painfully limited in a long list of U.S. cities. Many Americans fail to realize that mass transit has numerous advantages, including less air pollution, less congestion, fewer DUIs and all the aerobic exercise that goes with living in a pedestrian-friendly environment.

5. The Bible Was Not Written by Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers

Christianity in its various forms can be found all over the developed world. But the U.S., more than anywhere, is where one finds a far-right version of white Protestant fundamentalism that idolizes the ultra-rich, demonizes the poor and equates extreme wealth with morality and poverty with moral failings. The problem with hating the poor in the name of Christianity is that the Bible is full of quotes that are much more in line with Franklin Delano Roosevelt than Ayn Rand—like “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25) and “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

6. Learning a Second or Third Language Is a Plus, Not a Character Flaw

In the Netherlands or the Scandinavian countries, becoming proficient in two or three foreign languages is viewed as a sign of intellect and sophistication. But xenophobia runs so deep among many neocons, Republicans and Tea Party wingnuts that any use of a language other than English terrifies them. Barack Obama, during his 2008 campaign, was bombarded with hateful responses from Republicans when he recommended that Americans study foreign languages from an early age. And in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, Newt Gingrich’s campaign ran an ad in South Carolina attacking Mitt Romney for being proficient in French.

In February, an eighth-grade girl who was studying Latin in Vermont received equally clueless responses when she wrote to a state senator suggesting that Vermont adopt a Latin motto in addition to its English-language motto (not as a replacement). The wingnuts went ballistic, posting on the Facebook page of a local television station that if the girl wanted to speak Latin, she should move to Latin America.

7. Union Membership Benefits the Economy

In 2014, a Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions while 71% favored anti-union “right to work” laws. Union membership is way down in the U.S.: only 6.6% of private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, belonged to unions in 2014 compared to roughly 35% in the mid-1950s. The U.S.’ overall unionization rate (factoring in both public-sector and private-sector workers) is 11.1%, which is quite a contrast to parts of Europe, where overall union rates range from 74% in Finland and 70% in Sweden to 35% in Italy, 19% in Spain and 18% in Germany. That is not to say unionization has not been decreasing in Europe, but overall, one finds a more pro-labor, pro-working class outlook in Europe. The fact that 47% of Americans, in that Gallup poll, consider themselves anti-union is troubling. Too many Americans naively believe that the 1% have their best interests at heart, and they fail to realize that when unions are strong and their members earn decent wages, that money goes back into the economy.

8. Paid Maternity Leave Is the Norm in Most Developed Countries

The U.S. continues to lag behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to maternity leave. Paid maternity leave is strictly voluntary in the U.S., where, according to the organization Moms Rising, 51% of new mothers have no paid maternity leave at all. But government-mandated maternity leave is the norm in other developed countries, including the Netherlands (112 days at 100% pay), Italy (140 days at 80% pay), Switzerland (98 days at 80% pay) and Germany (98 days at 100% pay).

9. Distrust of Oligarchy Is a Positive

In February, the Emnid Polling Institute in Germany released the results of a poll that addressed economic and political conditions in that country: over 60% of the Germans surveyed believed that large corporations had too much influence on elections. ThE survey demonstrated that most Germans have a healthy distrust of crony capitalists and oligarchs who take much more than they give. Meanwhile, in the U.S., various polls show a growing distrust of oligarchy on the part of many Americans but with less vehemence than in the German Emnid poll. A 2012 poll by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that while 62% of American voters opposed the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, only 46% strongly opposed it. And in a 2012 poll by the Corporate Reform Coalition, most Americans agreed that there was too much corporate money in U.S. politics—although only 51% strongly agreed.

Is Your Memory Shaky? Might Not Be Your Age, But All That Sugar Ruining Your Liver

A quarter of the U.S. population suffers from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by dietary sugar.

We know foods like donuts and soda can make you fat, but the effects of sugar on the liver and brain are less well-known. Dietary sugar can fry your liver in much the same way alcohol can. This in turn can hurt your brain, leaving you with dementia-like symptoms decades too soon.

Most people associate liver disease with alcohol abuse or hepatitis. But another type, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which barely existed three decades ago, has quickly become the most common liver disease in America. NAFLD isn’t caused by booze or a nasty virus, but dietary sugar, which causes a buildup of fat in your liver. Overweight people are likely candidates for NAFLD. Memory loss and diminished cognitive function are often the first symptoms, as the liver loses its ability to filter toxins that compromise the brain.

According to the American Liver Foundation, at least a quarter of the U.S. population now suffers from NAFLD, and that number is expected to swell to 40 percent by 2030, apace with an accompanying swelling of the American body, thanks to the insatiable American sweet tooth and the corporate interests that feed it. A study published March 25 further solidified the connection between sugar and NAFLD, finding that even moderate amounts of sugary drinkswill stimulate the production of enzymes that deposit fat in the liver.

These are sour times at the Sugar Association, a DC-based trade group with a mission that appears increasingly impossible: “to promote the consumption of sugar through sound scientific principles.”

Alas for Big Sugar, it’s becoming ever more difficult to use even the most convoluted scientific principles to promote sugar consumption, much less defend it.

The Sugar Association once touted sugar as “a sensible approach to weight control,” something we now know is roughly the polar opposite of the truth. In addition to non-alcohol fatty liver disease, sugar promotes a variety of other ailments, including heart disease, tooth decay, and diabetes. Meanwhile, new research is mounting that suggests sugar is behind Alzheimer’s disease, which has been dubbed Type 3 Diabetes, aka diabetes of the brain.

The case against sugar has grown steadily but quietly in the last four decades, in the shadow of dietary fat, which has widely been blamed for these ailments. Meanwhile, the Sugar Association has engaged in tactics reminiscent of the tobacco industry during the height of its denial, including the funding of sugar-friendly research, the installation of sugar-friendly (and sugar-funded) scientists on government advisory panels, and even threats to scientists and politicians who question the place of sugar in a healthy diet.

The Sugar Association’s general response to the circling wagons of anti-sugar has been to claim a lack of consensus and inconclusive results. But despite these efforts, as with tobacco, this cat is proving too big for the bag.

In February, the recommendations of USDA’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) were published. They include several significant sugar-related proposals, including a sugar tax. The recommendations take specific aim at added sugars, suggesting they be labeled as such, and kept below 10 percent of total caloric intake.

Identifying added sugar would distinguish it from sugar that’s naturally in a food product. For example, a six-ounce container of plain yogurt has 7 grams of the sugar lactose, while a pomegranate yogurt has 19 grams of sugar, including 12 grams of added sugar, explains Robert Lustig, a specialist in pediatric obesity, in a March 20 op-ed in the LA Times.

The yogurt example hits home to me. My dad is diabetic, and used to eat sweetened yogurt daily. My son would eat sweetened yogurt every day, if left to his own devices.

Added sugar is another way of saying “Big Sugar’s bottom line,” and on March 24 the Sugar Association requested that the added sugar recommendations be removed. In a bitter irony, its letter to DGAC complained that the committee, “selected science to support its predetermined conclusions.”

In his op-ed, Lustig compared Big Sugar to a wild animal that has been cornered, and will fight with everything it has. But as with tobacco, the evidence against it is just too damning.

“Sugar starts to fry your liver at about 35 pounds per year, just like alcohol would at the same dosage. This is because fructose — the sweet molecule of sugar — is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol.” Americans, Lustig notes, consume an average of 100 pounds of sugar per year. “That is why children now get the diseases of alcohol consumption — type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease — without ever drinking alcohol.”

Big Sugar’s last chance, he says, is intra-agency dysfunction. “There are 51 separate agencies in charge of our food supply. That suits the food industry just fine. Their strategy is to divide and conquer.It’s time for us to unite to tame this wild animal before it can sicken another generation of children. “

While this power struggle runs its course, we have a choice between limiting sugar consumption, or dealing with its consequences by pumping children full of insulin, lipo-sucking excess fat from teens, and swapping out the livers of absent-minded middle-agers.

While the dust settles and sugar consumption and labeling guidelines are inevitably restructured, you don’t have to wait for any final word from government agencies. You can use your common sense, though willpower might be more of an issue.

Sugar craving is widely considered an addiction that’s complicated by the fact that eating sugar is entangled with the healthy, necessary act of eating. Butresearch at MIT, published in January, suggests that compulsive sugar consumption follows a different neural pathway than healthy eating.

These findings open the door to more research into dealing with sugar addiction. Meanwhile, it’s encouraging that your brain’s sweet tooth can be retrained, before your memory deteriorates to the point that you forget where you stashed the gummy bears.

US General Recommends ”Shielding” Terrorists In Syria

Brandon Turbeville

In what should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Syrian crisis, the top US commander in the Middle East, General Lloyd Austin, has apparently recommended that the US military “shield” the new death squad terrorists being trained by the United States who are soon to be deployed across the country.

Gen. Austin told Congress on Thursday that he was currently waiting on the White House’s response to his recommendation.

The US has been supporting terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the crisis in late 2010 by a variety of means, most notably military, political, and financial. However, the US recently announced that it is going to openly train several thousand jihadist fighters to be deployed against the Syrian government.

Thus, it is very likely that it will be out of this new batch of terrorists that the United States, if Austin’s recommendations are accepted, will use as justification to begin engaging Assad’s forces.

The U.S. Administration had been crowing for some time about a plan to train about 5,000 fighters per year for three years to fight against Assad in Syria and its February 19 agreement seems to be the public culmination of that specific plan. This assault on the Syrian government is, of course, being presented as an attempt to fight ISIS.

The U.S. military also stated that it has plans to send over 400 troops as well as Special Operations personnel to train these death squad fighters.

If Austin’s recommendations are accepted by the White House and the US military becomes committed to “shielding” death squad fighters in Syria, then a direct clash between US military personnel and the Syrian Arab Army will undoubtedly take place in the very near future.

Clearly, Syria will not be able to withstand attack after attack by Western-backed jihadists without defending itself simply because of American agreements to “shield” their terrorist proxies. On the other hand, if Syria defends itself against the jihadists and subsequently against the US forces protecting them, it will risk bringing the US into direct combat against the SAA and providing the imperialists with the justification for larger-scale military action.

Neither of these situations can produce anything but a catastrophic loss for the Syrian government and the culmination of a plan set in motion by the US, NATO, and the GCC at least four years ago.

At the very least, the US and NATO should not be allowed to realize this plan unopposed.

State Senator: “My home isn’t threatened by ISIS. My home is threatened by police”

By Gavin Seim

It’s not about race, it’s about justice. Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers talks about police abuse on our streets. Other members are now calling for his resignation. He said “My home isn’t threatened by ISIS. My home is threatened by police.”