March 3, 2015


“THRIVE”. An unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world

Thrive: What on earth will it take?
Clear Compass Media USA n.d.

Now available to watch free (or by donation if you are able and inclined) in 20+ languages.


THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.


Duane Elgin, Nassim Haramein, Steven Greer, Jack Kasher, Daniel Sheehan, Adam Trombly, Brian O’Leary, Vandana Shiva, John Gatto, Deepak Chopra, David Icke, Catherine Austin Fitts, G. Edward Griffin, Bill Still, John Perkins, Aqeela Sherrills, Evon Peter, Angel Kyodo Williams, Elisabet Sahtouris, Amy Goodman, and Barbara Marx Hubbard.

THRIVE is worth the 2+ hours of viewing time. Each chapter is worth seeing and points us in the direction towards hope and change.

Posted at: March 3, 2015 - 12:13 pm -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

Climate change dispatches: Antarctica’s retreating ice may re-shape Earth & In the face of national governments’ slow or non-existent action, subnational governments (cities, provinces, states, territories) take the lead to protect their own

Jim comment: How climate change fueled conflict in Syria and threatens the rest of the Middle East. Scientific American published a piece by Mark Fischetti yesterday, “Climate Change Hastened Syria’s Civil War “.

The big melt: Antarctica’s retreating ice may re-shape Earth
Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein Associated Press, The Big Story USA February 27, 2015

CAPE LEGOUPIL, Antarctica (AP) — From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can’t be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) below to re-shape Earth.

Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating.

In the worst case scenario, Antarctica’s melt could push sea levels up 10 feet (3 meters) worldwide in a century or two, recurving heavily populated coastlines.

Parts of Antarctica are melting so rapidly it has become “ground zero of global climate change without a doubt,” said Harvard geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica.

A few years back, scientists figured Antarctica as a whole was in balance, neither gaining nor losing ice. Experts worried more about Greenland; it was easier to get to and more noticeable, but once they got a better look at the bottom of the world, the focus of their fears shifted. Now scientists in two different studies use the words “irreversible” and “unstoppable” to talk about the melting in West Antarctica. Ice is gaining in East Antarctica, where the air and water are cooler, but not nearly as much as it is melting to the west.

“Before Antarctica was much of a wild card,” said University of Washington ice scientist Ian Joughin. “Now I would say it’s less of a wild card and more scary than we thought before.”

Over at NASA, ice scientist Eric Rignot said the melting “is going way faster than anyone had thought. It’s kind of a red flag.”

What’s happening is simple physics. Warm water eats away at the ice from underneath. Then more ice is exposed to the water, and it too melts. Finally, the ice above the water collapses into the water and melts.

Climate change has shifted the wind pattern around the continent, pushing warmer water farther north against and below the western ice sheet and the peninsula. The warm, more northerly water replaces the cooler water that had been there. It’s only a couple degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the water that used to be there, but that makes a huge difference in melting, scientists said.

The world’s fate hangs on the question of how fast the ice melts.

Report: Climate change is impacting California
Alicia Chang Associated Press, The Big Story USA August 8, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century.

That’s just a snapshot of how climate change is affecting California’s natural resources, a report released Thursday found.

“There’s certainly reason for concern,” said Dan Cayan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who contributed to the report.

The findings are an update to a 2009 report that documented how a warming California is impacting the environment, wildlife and people.

Among the known impacts: Butterflies in the Central Valley are emerging from hiding earlier in the spring. Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada have shrunk. Spring runoff from snowmelt has declined, affecting Central Valley farmers and hydroelectric plants that rely on snowmelt to produce power.

The latest 258-page report, which cost $282,000 to produce, was compiled from existing climate studies and released by an arm of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Officials hope it would spur the state and local governments to plan ahead and adapt to a hotter future.

Related: Tackling climate crisis can strengthen democracy and our economy
Max Cameron The British Columbia Canada March 2, 2015

Visit this page for its related links.

Robust scientific consensus tells us human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest point in history. This is changing the atmosphere and oceans, reducing ice and snow, raising sea levels and causing extreme and unpredictable weather.

To minimize widespread, irreversible and catastrophic effects, warming must be kept to within 2 C relative to pre-industrial levels. This might seem like a small number, but ask yourself: would you ignore a 2 C temperature increase in a child? Without new strategies to reduce emissions, we are heading for a 4 C warming over the next century — and higher in Canada. The planet, a complex living system, is developing a potentially fatal fever.

The good news is that feasible policy options are within our grasp. They include cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, investments in renewable energy, green technology and infrastructure, and wiser lifestyle choices. These options are already being adopted in many parts of the country. But change hinges on the deeper problem of governance. Can we solve climate change within our current political systems? Or, as we brace for another federal election campaign in 2015, will Canada persist in the divisive, zero-sum partisan politics that enables climate denial and inaction?

Democratic politicians have short time horizons that make it difficult for them to see beyond election cycles. Competitive elections create incentives for candidates to offer short-term benefits at the expense of the longer-term public good. Hyper-partisanship intensifies these pressures. Candidates also need money, which gives corporations considerable influence. Just as the need to be re-elected can make politicians myopic, the need to maximize shareholder value can compel corporations to pursue short-term profits over longer-term sustainability.

One might conclude that markets and democracy are incompatible with the future of the planet. But some market-oriented democracies are leading the way.

Germany, Sweden and Denmark have invested in renewable energy infrastructure and energy efficiency, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. Ontario has followed the German example, and has phased out coal. Brazil, a leader in ethanol, has also made progress, reducing deforestation in the Amazon. California has introduced cap-and-trade, overcoming substantial business opposition. British Columbia’s well-designed and revenue-neutral carbon tax has set a global standard.

Three critical political lessons emerge from these successes.

Below: California leads by example on climate change in the USA. In Canada, in the face of federal government inaction, provinces are developing their own policies. There’s been “a real shift in where the energy is,” ever since B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec were among a group of subnational governments who met on the sidelines of a climate conference in Lima, Peru, last December, said Glen Murray, Ontario’s minister of environment and climate change.

Feds quietly canvass provinces for climate change measures ahead of Paris talks
Bruce Cheadle The Canadian Press/National Newswatch Canada March 3, 2015

OTTAWA – Canada’s contribution to a major United Nations climate change conference later this year will be heavily dependent on actions by provincial and territorial governments.

Provincial governments confirm Environment Canada has been collecting greenhouse-gas reduction measures from across the country as the federal government works toward an end-of-March deadline to ante up for the summit in Paris.

“Canada is actively preparing its intended nationally determined contribution,” a spokesman for Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a recent email.

“As this is a national contribution, the provinces and territories hold many levers for taking action on emissions, so the minister is seeking feedback from her counterparts on how initiatives in their jurisdictions will factor into Canada’s overall commitment.”

Aglukkaq would not agree to an interview on the subject over the last month and her office provided no additional details.

But with the Conservatives under pressure for refusing to regulate the oil and gas sector — the country’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions — federal-provincial co-operation may be Ottawa’s only way to save face in Paris.

There’s been “a real shift in where the energy is,” ever since B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec were among a group of subnational governments who met on the sidelines of a climate conference in Lima, Peru, last December, said Glen Murray, Ontario’s minister of environment and climate change.

The premiers will meet next month in Quebec City at the invitation of Couillard to discuss climate change and a national energy strategy.

A wider group of sub-nationals, including California and several New England states, will meet in July in Toronto, where they hope participants from across the Americas can agree on an 80-per-cent GHG reduction target from 1990 levels by the year 2050.

“At the national level what we are hoping — and I think minister Aglukkaq has opened up the door to this now — is that those provincial priorities and plans become reflected in Canada’s contribution,” for Paris, Murray said in an interview.

David Heurtel, Quebec’s minister for sustainable development, environment and climate change, said international climate deals can’t be “coming from the top down.”

“What we are hoping, and what we’ve demanded, is that the provincial processes already in place … that these not only be taken into consideration by the federal government but also that we work collectively,” in setting Canada’s contribution for the next global climate treaty, Heurtel said in an interview Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Nova Scotia’s environment ministry put it this way in an email: “With provincial input and co-operation, we hope to see Canada contribute to a global solution to address the impacts associated with climate change.”

The unstated federal role appears not unlike the proposition put forward by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who says he won’t impose a national carbon-pricing scheme but will instead encourage provinces to develop their own policies.

Murray argues the experience of the failed Kyoto and Copenhagen negotiations suggests new voices and new leverage are required for COP21 to make meaningful change.

Posted at: March 3, 2015 - 11:54 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post


A paper government: Canada does not exist & A petition: Request UN election monitors/observers for Canada

Canada does not exist – the paper government
John-Ruiz: Dempsey West Coast Native News British Columbia Canada February 28, 2015

This may come as a surprise to you to hear for the first time that “Canada” does not exist. But after you have read my message, you shall begin to know and understand that “Canada” not only does not exist, you will also learn that “Canada” is only a paper corporation much like Canadian Tire” or other forms of legal fiction (ens legis) or paper entity created by unscrupulous men and women to rule, plunder, exploit and to dominate other people.

Today, “Canada” is a “paper nation” created, controlled and dominated by criminal banksters and lawyers who work for the corporation government. It is certainly not a government of the people as most paper “Canadians” might think of what “Canada” is. It is neither a democratic government simply because the people have been given the privilege of suffrage with regards to some de facto right to vote their favorite politicians into certain
positions within their corporate provincial and federal governments. Being allowed to elect politicians to rule over them does not make anything democratic, if at all. As mere paper corporation, “Canada” is anything but democratic. Neither is it a republic. “Canada” only exists on paper, in maps, legal claims, concessions, treaties, contracts, leases, grants and the list goes on ad infinitum. It does not exist lawfully and in truth.

The Government of Canada is neither a nation nor a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is a government owned and operated by international banksters. The “Government of Canada” comes in many forms: the “Crown”; “Her Majesty the Queen”; “Regina”, are simply some of the many front names used by the legal owner(s) and operators of the said paper corporation.

They have decided that natural law no longer applies to them so they have created their own maritime/admiralty/statute laws which they claim now apply to us human beings. All these laws are paper laws; they only exist on paper. Now they claim they own the world because they claim they have the paperwork to prove it. They hate it when we rip their paper apart.

There is no such thing as “Canada”. Such has been tacitly admitted by its own “Justice Department” by their own failure to produce any cogent evidence that “Canada” and its so-called government are in lawful possession of any lawful authority to exist as a nation. This fact has been admitted by its own “Governor Generals” that the Government of Canada is de facto, meaning, it exists in fact only but it does not exist lawfully. This is a well known fact that is well-supported by history.

The brief history of “Canada” speaks for itself about the plunder, fraud, deception, genocide, slavery, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, germ warfare and all forms of crimes against humanity. They are all criminals. What is a natural thing for criminals to do? Commit crimes of course, such is what they have done to me.

“Canada” is an illegal colony of Great Britain, a dominion, meaning a possession, whose owner is a foreign power. It really doesn’t matter what this foreign power now calls “Canada” these days, the undeniable truth remains that “Canada” is a colony, owned and operated unlawfully, in total violation of the United Nations Convention and International Law. Merely because the powers that be no longer use the words “dominion” or “colony”
can hide the truth that “Canada” is a British colony. Neither does it alter the fact that “Canada” is stolen property.

The British came into North America (Turtle Island) and saw the vast area that yearned to be populated and “governed”. They found the solution to their own British problem, that of over-population, too many people living and competing with each other in one tiny area called the British Isles. So they dumped all their vassals, serfs and slaves over here and changed the name of the place to “Canada” and made it a “dominion” or “colony” in violation of all existing international law. Under color of law, which was based only on paper, they created a paper colony. They stole the nation from under those whose rights are antecedent of any paper law that they created unlawfully to legalize their heinous crimes.

Simply repainting a stolen car does not exonerate the thief who stole the car. Neither does it alter the fact that the car had been stolen from the real owner. This is called “coloring the law”. The British legal system operates within “Canada” under the same colored law.

And as this says
So shall it be,

The disastrous privacy consequences of Bill C-51 Canada February 27, 2015

Visit this page for its embedded link.

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist outlines the dangers to privacy Canadians face with the impending passage of Bill C-51 (Total Information Awareness”: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Bill C-51, Michael Geist blog, 19 February 2015).

In his post, Professor Geist lists three ways the new bill threatens the privacy of Canadians:

First, the bill permits information sharing across government for an incredibly wide range of purposes, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism (“It is, quite simply, the broadest concept of security that we have ever seen codified into law in Canada.”).

Second, the scope of sharing is remarkably broad: 17 government institutions with the prospect of cabinet expansion as well as further disclosure “to any person, for any purpose.”

Third, the oversight over public sector privacy has long been viewed as inadequate. In fact, calls for Privacy Act reform date back over three decades. The notion that the law is equipped to deal with this massive expansion in sharing personal information is simply not credible.

Constitutional argument in ferry funding discrepancy a ‘red herring’
Stephen Hume Vancouver Sun British Columbia Canada March 2, 2015

I asked federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt’s office last week why per-passenger financial support for ferry systems in Atlantic Canada is 350-times what BC Ferries gets.

The short answer was “constitutional obligations.”

Subsidies for ferry services were deal-makers when Atlantic provinces joined Confederation. Support for BC Ferries is governed by an agreement negotiated between Ottawa and then-Premier Bill Bennett in 1977.

Ergo, B.C. residents can’t complain when Ottawa spends more on one ferry carrying 212,000 passengers a year between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine, than it contributes to the entire BC Ferries system serving a coastline of 25,000 kilometres and an archipelago of 40,000 islands.

This narrow interpretation of how Canada should serve its regions reminds us that the law can be an inflexible ass and a refuge for discrimination.

Nearly 1,200 B.C. health care workers issued layoff notices
Wendy McLeod Kelowna Now British Columbia Canada March 3, 2015

Over 1,000 health care workers in Metro Vancouver could be out of work after their jobs were contracted out, that according to the union representing health-care workers in British Columbia.

The Hospital Employees’ Union says layoff notices were issued to nearly 1,200 Lower Mainland health care workers.

HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson can’t say whether or not those given pink slips will be hired back on.

“As it stands, they don’t know if they’ll be hired by a new contractor,” said Pearson. The union is blaming the layoffs on contracting out, saying more needs to be done to protect workers and services in the health care system.

“Contracting out, contract flipping and sales of business will become more and more frequent as B.C.’s privatization of seniors’ care and hospital support services enters its second decade,” said Pearson.

Layoff notices were issued last week.

Related: Request UN election monitors/observers for Canada International December 6, 2014

Visit this page for its suggested links.

(French translation follows English)

Due to repeated and unpunished fraudulent electoral activity, Canadian Citizens no longer trust the legitimacy or integrity of our elections. We, the signees of this petition, therefore formally and urgently request that UN election monitors oversee our upcoming 2015 federal election.

In the days following the May 2nd, 2011 Canadian federal election, faith was shattered and confidence lost in Elections Canada’s ability to ensure a fair, honest and unimpeded electoral process as reports of widespread voter suppression and fraud began to surface.

We, the undersigned, are petitioning:

United Nations Department of Political Affairs Request for Assistance, Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

“With a federal election looming, the stage is set for more voter fraud. But this time there’s very little chance we’ll ever find out about it, due to changes the Conservatives have made in Canada’s election laws.”

Below: About Community Petitions:

Community Petitions is a new web platform that gives people around the world the power to start and win campaigns at the local, national, and international levels.

Community Petitions is a crowd-sourced part of Avaaz, the largest-ever global web movement bringing people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Every week, millions of people from all walks of life and in every country take action through Avaaz on pressing issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.

The Avaaz model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force. With the arrival of Community Petitions, we can all use these online tools to run our own local, national, or international campaigns and all together they add up to create positive change in the world.

Avaaz—meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers. We take action — signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organizing “offline” protests and events — to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform the decisions that affect us all.

Posted at: March 3, 2015 - 11:51 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

Training or active combat? Media barred from photographing Canadian troops leaving for Eastern Europe & Top soldier stepping down at critical time for Canadian Forces

Below: The federal government of Canada has prohibited the media from interviewing or filming Canadian troops leaving on NATO training mission in Eastern Europe; the measure is commonly implemented when soldiers leave for a combat mission.

Training or active combat? Media barred from photographing Canadian troops
Ekaterina Blinova Sputnik International Russia March 3, 2015

Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP

Canada’s federal government has decided to prohibit the media from interviewing and taking photos of Canadian soldiers participating in NATO military drills in Eastern Europe, sparking new controversy.

Correspondents were barred from photographing the faces of the Canadian military contingent leaving Garrison Petawawa for Eastern Europe and were prohibited from mentioning the names of the soldiers. Almost 125 Canadian troops will take part in a three-month NATO military exercise in Poland and Latvia, according to media sources.

Commenting on the ruling, Lieutenant Jean-Francois Carpentier, a spokesman for the military base, cited security issues and qualified the decision as a “force protection measure.” However, the spokesman failed to explain why the ban was imposed in the case of troops not engaged in an active military operation. The Canadian Joint Operations Command has not yet provided journalists with an explanation either.

Remarkably, a strikingly similar ban came into force in October 2014, when Canadian troops were leaving for Iraq in order to take part in a combat mission against the Islamic State. The measure was reinforced later due to the murder of two Canadian soldiers, who were allegedly killed by Islamists.

However, Canada’s National Defense officials did not specify whether the restrictions would apply to all overseas missions, or if they’d been introduced due to some specific threats.

Below: Last month’s news. As the United States and Britain prepare to send advisors to support the Ukrainian military, Canada seriously considers doing the same. But many Canadian lawmakers are leery of becoming further involved in a conflict half-way around the world.

Canada considers sending troops to Ukraine
Sputnik International Russia February 26, 2015

Canadian Defense Minister Jason Kenney announced on Wednesday that Prime Minister Harper’s administration is seriously considering taking part in US-led training missions in Ukraine. Kenney said Canadian efforts would focus primarily on battlefield medical training.

“That’s the kind of technical training that we can offer,” he said, according to the Canadian Press. “We are in discussions and looking at options, and we’re open to – as I’ve been saying for two weeks now – open to participating in training missions.”

He did not rule out the possibility of Canadian advisors also taking part in combat training.

Canada has already provided Ukrainian soldiers with two shipments of non-lethal military gear. They have also provided satellite images which track pro-independence militias’ movement in the east of the country. Any action beyond that must first be approved by the House of Commons.

Related: Top soldier stepping down at critical time for Canadian Forces
Steven Chase Globe and Mail Canada March 3, 2015

Visit this page for its related links.

The government is actively searching for a new top military commander to succeed General Tom Lawson after he asked that his three-year appointment not be extended.

Sources say Ottawa is now talking to prospective candidates to find the next chief of the defence staff.

“Interviews are happening,” a source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

This changing of the guard comes at a critical time for the Canadian Armed Forces, which are grappling with a budget squeeze, difficulties buying new equipment and the challenge of managing a peacetime army that, aside from a detachment of special forces troops in Iraq, is largely out of the fight.

Another challenge for the next chief of the defence staff is the Canadian Army. It’s the largest component of the Canadian Armed Forces and has had to come to terms with a much slower tempo of military life after combat operations in Afghanistan ended in 2010. This drives soldiers to quit.

The Conservative government has put a lot of emphasis on the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq but Canada’s army is largely absent from this effort – mainly waged by the Royal Canadian Air Force – except for rotations of special forces troops in northern Iraq.

“The army is the bulk of the troops and they’re kind of sitting on the sidelines. There are bases of soldiers not being gainfully employed, other than training, and that always creates a leadership challenge,” the military source said.

Posted at: March 3, 2015 - 11:48 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

The Liberal Party of Canada has lost its way

Intro: “Total Information Awareness”: The disastrous privacy consequences of Bill C-51
Michael Geist Michael Geist Canada February 19, 2015

Visit this page for its embedded links.

The House of Commons debate over Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism bill, began yesterday with strong opposition from the NDP, disappointing support from the Liberals, and an effort to politicize seemingly any criticism or analysis from the Conservative government. With the government already serving notice that it will limit debate, the hopes for a non-partisan, in-depth analysis of the anti-terrorism legislation may have already been dashed. This is an incredibly troubling development since the proposed legislation has all the hallmarks of being pulled together quickly with limited analysis. Yet both the Conservatives and Liberals seem content to stick to breezy talking points rather than genuinely work toward a bill that provides Canadians with better safeguards against security threats while also preserving privacy and instituting effective oversight.

Item: The Liberals have lost their way
Duncan Cameron Canada March 3, 2015

Left: Justin Trudeau. Photo: Adam Scott. Visit this page for its embedded links.

In deciding not to oppose the adoption of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorist Act 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada has committed a serious error of judgment.

The Harper Conservatives have laid before the House of Commons legislation that would authorize the detention of Canadian citizens without evidence of committing a crime, but simply because they were thought possible of committing terrorist acts.

Bill C-51 empowers the government to transform CSIS — an intelligence-gathering agency — into a quasi secret police with the power to lock up citizens suspected to have shown support for a cause deemed terrorist by the government.

The bill creates “a new speech-related criminal offence of ‘promoting’ or ‘advocating’ terrorism” according to a CCPA legal primer.

Speaking out in favour of Palestinian Hamas — elected in the past — but deemed to be a terrorist organization by Canada — would be enough to send someone to prison. World leader Nelson Mandela was condemned as a terrorist for opposing apartheid by measures including violence. Singing “Free Mandela” would have been a dangerous act under this law.

The Harper government believes it can prey on natural fears for security, and drive a wedge between itself and the opposition parties. The Liberals do not want to give the Conservatives that advantage.

Showing caution in responding to a massive document that amends a series of other parliamentary acts, the Official Opposition took its time before announcing its decision to oppose Bill C-51. It then went on to filibuster for expanded examination of its provisions in committee.

NDP heavyweights Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow wrote a sharp critique.

Expert analysis by law professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach in five different backgrounders has revealed the worst aspects of the bill.

Former prime ministers and Supreme Court judges presented detailed objections. Over 100 academics signed an open letter calling all MPs to oppose C-51.
The Liberal party has focused on the lack of oversight for the new anti-terrorist powers. It is difficult to imagine what form oversight would take once the powers have been granted. Political scientist Philippe Lagassé asks: would a parliamentary committee be allowed access to state secrets so they could critique the government in public? Hardly. Better not to grant excessive powers to secret agencies in the first place.

One reason the Liberals have not made much of Bill C-51 is that in 2001 a Liberal government brought in Bill C-36, a draconian piece of anti-terrorist legislation cobbled together in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Centre that itself raised serious questions about infringements of human rights.
The Justin Trudeau approach to politics has a lot to recommend it — if you have the charisma and name recognition of a celebrity — which he alone among Canadian politicians has got. The Liberal leader likes to get out and meet people. He draws a crowd, learns something from his conversations, practices his lines, and connects with Liberals on the ground.

Recently the Liberal leader has begun to flesh out his policy positions. The Liberal leader addressed the Canadian Council on Public-Private Partnerships to make his argument for the benefits of infrastructure.

Public sector trade unions such as CUPE and NUPGE have tons of research shooting holes in the P3 approach to building infrastructure.

Trudeau and his advisers preferred to have him speak to a business group about its pet project rather than address the mistakes being made around the world with P3 projects. It seems fair to say the Trudeau Liberal party does not want to get out of step with business leaders even when they are wrong.In deciding not to oppose the adoption of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorist Act 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada has committed a serious error of judgment.

The Harper Conservatives have laid before the House of Commons legislation that would authorize the detention of Canadian citizens without evidence of committing a crime, but simply because they were thought possible of committing terrorist acts.

Bill C-51 empowers the government to transform CSIS — an intelligence-gathering agency — into a quasi secret police with the power to lock up citizens suspected to have shown support for a cause deemed terrorist by the government.

The bill creates “a new speech-related criminal offence of ‘promoting’ or ‘advocating’ terrorism” according to a CCPA legal primer.

Speaking out in favour of Palestinian Hamas — elected in the past — but deemed to be a terrorist organization by Canada — would be enough to send someone to prison. World leader Nelson Mandela was condemned as a terrorist for opposing apartheid by measures including violence. Singing “Free Mandela” would have been a dangerous act under this law.

The Harper government believes it can prey on natural fears for security, and drive a wedge between itself and the opposition parties. The Liberals do not want to give the Conservatives that advantage.

Showing caution in responding to a massive document that amends a series of other parliamentary acts, the Official Opposition took its time before announcing its decision to oppose Bill C-51. It then went on to filibuster for expanded examination of its provisions in committee.

NDP heavyweights Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow wrote a sharp critique.

Expert analysis by law professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach in five different backgrounders has revealed the worst aspects of the bill.

Former prime ministers and Supreme Court judges presented detailed objections. Over 100 academics signed an open letter calling all MPs to oppose C-51.

The Liberal party has focused on the lack of oversight for the new anti-terrorist powers. It is difficult to imagine what form oversight would take once the powers have been granted. Political scientist Philippe Lagassé asks: would a parliamentary committee be allowed access to state secrets so they could critique the government in public? Hardly. Better not to grant excessive powers to secret agencies in the first place.

One reason the Liberals have not made much of Bill C-51 is that in 2001 a Liberal government brought in Bill C-36, a draconian piece of anti-terrorist legislation cobbled together in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Centre that itself raised serious questions about infringements of human rights.

The Justin Trudeau approach to politics has a lot to recommend it — if you have the charisma and name recognition of a celebrity — which he alone among Canadian politicians has got. The Liberal leader likes to get out and meet people. He draws a crowd, learns something from his conversations, practices his lines, and connects with Liberals on the ground.

Recently the Liberal leader has begun to flesh out his policy positions. The Liberal leader addressed the Canadian Council on Public-Private Partnerships to make his argument for the benefits of infrastructure.

Public sector trade unions such as CUPE and NUPGE have tons of research shooting holes in the P3 approach to building infrastructure.

Trudeau and his advisers preferred to have him speak to a business group about its pet project rather than address the mistakes being made around the world with P3 projects. It seems fair to say the Trudeau Liberal party does not want to get out of step with business leaders even when they are wrong.

The Liberal leader made a major speech on the economy to the Montreal Board of Trade last week. An underlying theme in that speech was that the Conservative government is trying to buy votes in the next election by offering income-splitting tax relief, and tax credits for well-off families. Of course political parties try and drum up voter support — that is why they field candidates and contest elections.

In an earlier speech to the Petroleum Club in Calgary, Trudeau pointed to the Conservatives making foreign policy in search of domestic support. Then he did it himself by softening his position on the Canadian military mission to Iraq.

This weekend Trudeau said an extension of the Iraq mission should be considered. This was an operation he had earlier criticized (and had been criticized for opposing) and that had put him offside with Lloyd Axworthy, a former Liberal foreign minister and Bob Rae, the former interim Liberal leader.

This past weekend, Deborah Coyne, former adviser to the Liberal caucus, Liberal candidate against Jack Layton, and Liberal leadership candidate in the race that elected Justin Trudeau, announced she was joining the Green Party as an adviser to Elizabeth May. Coyne wanted to support “principled leadership.”

The personal appeal of Justin Trudeau will not be enough to cover for an unwillingness to stand up and be counted on crucial issues. A Liberal party that lets criminalization of dissent go unopposed needs to be asked how it defines liberalism.

Posted at: March 3, 2015 - 11:45 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

March 2, 2015

The book “The Management of Savagery” by Abu Bakr Naji gives insight into Islamic State’s strategy

The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass by Abu Bakr Naji. Translated by William McCants. Published May 2006.

112-page PDF. Funding for this translation was provided by the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and any use of this material must include a reference to the Institute.

[Translator’’s Note: Numbers in brackets refer to the page number in the original text. My comments in brackets are meant to clarify obscure passages or allusions in the text. Generally, Naji’’s parenthetical statements are set off by em-dashes, as they are in the original text, although sometimes I have put them in parentheses. When rendering some sentences, I have added phrases in parentheses to make them more readable in English. The differences between Naji’’s parenthetical statements and my own additions will be very obvious. Finally, the reader will please excuse any infelicities in my translation of the text. I have not had the time to carefully check it against the Arabic original or to polish the English prose. Any feedback from readers will be most welcome. –– W.M., May 2005]

Introduction (3) Preface: The order that has governed the world since the Sykes-Picot era (5)

The Illusion of power: The centrality of the superpowers as a function of their overwhelming military power and deceptive media halo (7)

First Topic: Definition of ““the management of savagery”” and an overview of its historical precedents (11)

Second Topic: The path for establishing an Islamic state. (15)

Third Topic: The most important principles and policies for implementing the plan of action and achieving, in general, the goals of the stage of ““the power of vexation and exhaustion””; and, in particular, the goals of the stage of ““the management of savagery.”” (by the permission of God) (23)

Section One: Mastery of the art of management (23)

Section Two: Who leads, who manages, and who authorizes the fundamental administrative decisions? (25)

Section Three: Using the time-tested principles of military combat (28) Section Four: Using violence (31) Section Five: Achieving power (34)

Section Six: Properly understanding the rules of the political game of our opponents and their fellow travelers, and striking a balance between confrontation and cooperation in accordance with sharia politics (37)

Section Seven: Polarization (46) Section Eight: The rules of affiliation (50)

Section Nine: Mastering the security dimension: Surveillance and infiltrating adversaries and opponents of every kind (52)

Section Ten: Mastering education within the movement just as it was in the first age of Islam (54)

Fourth Topic: The most important problems and obstacles that we will face, and ways of dealing with them (62)

(1) The problem of the decreasing number of true believers (62)

(2) The problem of the lack of administrative cadres (63)

(3) The problem of loyalty to elements in the preceding administration (65)

(4) The problem of infiltration and spies (67)

(5) The problem of secession or sudden about-face of individuals, groups, or regions who completely change their loyalty (How do we make sense of it and how do we deal with it?) (68)

(6) The problem of excessive zeal and the problems that accompany it (71)

Fifth Topic: Conclusion: Are there other solutions that are easier than this solution? (73)

First Article: The battle of patience (81)

Second Article: The struggle between the human soul and the Sunna of God in missionary activities (86)

Third Article: Our men and enemy soldiers under fire (90)

Fourth Article: Universal laws adhered to by the elect and others (95)

Fifth Article: Our method is a mercy to all beings (101) Sixth Article: Crisis of terms……”benefit” and “harm” as examples (106) Seventh Article: Polarization and wealth (110)

Related audio: “The Management of Savagery” gives insight into ISIS’ strategy
“The Current” CBC Radio One Canada March 2, 2015

The Management of Savagery, written by an al-Qaeda strategist was translated into English by Brookings Institution fellow Will McCants. The book gives insight into tactics being used by extremist groups. Photo: Brookings Institution. Visit this page for its embedded links. You can listen to this interview (22:00) from a pop-up link on the page.

ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and al-Qaeda have all shown themselves to be brutally effective in their campaigns in the name of furthering their view of an extremist Islamic jihad. The resulting violence in places such as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria is brutal and bloody.

To some degree, each of the groups has been using similar tactics but ISIS in particular seems to be following the teachings of a book published a decade ago called The Management of Savagery. The book offers a kind of blueprint for militants committed to building a caliphate.

Will McCants has translated the text into English. He’s a fellow with the Brookings Institution and the director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State. Will McCants was in Washington, DC.

Related commentary: Below: John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency. John regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like three million Vietnamese in their own land because they embraced the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada. John’s writing appears regularly on many Internet sites. He has been translated into at least ten languages and has been regularly translated into Italian and Spanish. Several of his essays have been published in book collections, including two college texts. We received the following submission yesterday afternoon.

ISIS 101
By John Chuckman

What’s really terrifying about this threat

ISIS certainly is not what a great many people think that it is, if you judge what they think by what our corporate press proclaims incessantly.

Judging by what ISIS actually does and whom its acts benefit, its clandestine associates, and the testimony of some witnesses, ISIS is a complex intelligence operation. Its complexity reflects at least in part the fact that it serves the interests of several countries and that it has more than one objective. Its complexity reflects also the large effort to reinforce a false image with disinformation and staged events such as a video of a beheading which could not have been a beheading unless they’ve discovered a bloodless method until now unknown to science.

The subject of ISIS is not without brief glimmers of humor. The image of bands of men, swathed in Arabic robes and bumping their way around the desert in Japanese pick-up trucks with Kalashnikovs raised in the air for every picture has elements of Monty Python. The idea of modern, trained and well-armed military units turning and running from them resembles a war scene in a Laurel and Hardy comedy such as the one with Hardy stuck upside down in a WWI tank turret kicking his legs the whole time Laurel drives towards the German positions managing accidentally to round-up a whole trench-full of prisoners with some wire fencing that becomes snagged on the tank.

Despite the tiresome stupidities we see and hear about it, ISIS unquestionably does kill people and destroy things, that being its purpose, and there is no humor in that.

ISIS appears to have served several tasks so far. First, it frightened Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, out of office in Iraq, a man America and Israel grew very much to dislike owing simply to his good relations with Iran, one of the unintended consequences of America’s invasion of Iraq being expanded Iranian influence in the region. No doubt al-Maliki was terrified not so much by ISIS approaching in their pick-up trucks as he was by his own military’s tendency, as if on cue, to turn and run from ISIS, often leaving weapons behind. The message was clear: you won’t be protected.

Second, America’s highly selective “air war” against ISIS somehow manages to attack infrastructure targets inside Syria with the feeble excuse that they are facilities helping ISIS. We’ve seen what American bombing can do when it’s undertaken seriously, and somehow I have a hard time imaging the men in Japanese pick-ups lasting long when faced with what hit the Taleban in Afghanistan or Gadhafi’s forces in Libya. The air strikes are partly a show for the world – after all, how can America be seen not to be fighting such extremely well-advertised, super-violent terrorists, guys putting out videos regularly from a studio trailer they must haul around with one of their pick-up trucks?  The air strikes’ main purpose appears to be a way of hurting Assad and assisting those fighting Syria’s army without coming into conflict with Russia, as they would with a large, direct campaign. They likely also punish elements of ISIS which have exceeded their brief and serve as a reminder to the rest of what could happen to them if they stray too far from their subsidized purpose once the war comes to an end.

Three, in some of the ground fighting in Iraq where we’ve read of Iraqi units fighting ISIS, the units are often Kurdish, and sometimes the press uses expressions like “Iraqi and Kurdish troops.” But the Kurdish region is still part of Iraq legally, although it has been given a good deal of autonomy by the central government. The Kurdish region of Iraq is the country’s prime oil-producing area, and in the estimation of many observers, an area both the United States and Israel would very much like to see severed from Iraq in the way Kosovo was severed from Serbia after America’s devastating air war there. This would not only permanently assure Iraq’s weakness, it would create a rather grateful and more willing oil supplier.

Where does ISIS get its technical equipment and the know-how to produce videos and run Internet sites? These are not qualities commonly found among fanatical fundamentalists anywhere; indeed most true radical fundamentalists tend to eschew technology. A supply of advice, technical assistance, and equipment comes from somewhere. Where does ISIS get the money for food, gasoline, clothes, ammunition, and Japanese pick-up trucks? And I wonder, did one of those wild-looking jihadi types just show up one day at an Iraqi car dealership and order a fleet of Japanese pick-ups? Were they delivered out on the desert or did a gang of jihadists march in, waving their Kalashnikovs, to drive them away?

The effort to destroy the Syrian government, whether by means of ISIS or anyone else, is warmly and generously supported by Saudi Arabia and its buddy Qatar – another oil-rich, absolute monarchy where political parties are banned – both these counties’ primary interest being the defence of their immensely privileged situations against creeping threats of all progressive developments such as equal human rights or democracy or indeed against revolt led by external forces. The payments we now know the Saudi royal family long made to Osama bin Laden before 9/11 were simply bribes to keep him and his anti-establishment work out of the country. They really didn’t care a lot about what the money bought elsewhere, but since 9/11 and its many Saudi connections – 15 of the perpetrators plus the past financing plus the many members of the royal family and bin Laden family secretly flown out by American officials at the time – the Saudi authorities were genuinely fearful of how America might respond and have become far more responsive to what America wants in the Middle East and now apply their money to such projects. What America wants in the Middle East is, invariably, what Israel wants, so there is now extensive, secret cooperation where once there was complete official hostility.

We have reports from plane-spotters in the region of daily flights of mysterious planes from Israel to Qatar. We have several eye-witness reports and photographs of supply bundles dropped from unknown planes into ISIS territory. Maybe ISIS has its own air force now? We know Turkey has served both as an entry point for countless terrorists into Syria and as a place of retreat and refuge when fighting with the Syrian army becomes too hot for them, the volumes of such activity having been too great to keep secret. We have reports of Turkish supply flights. A Jordanian official recently told a reporter that ISIS members were trained in 2012 by American instructors working at a secret base in Jordan.

If ISIS is what our corporate news pretends that it is – a fanatical Muslim extremist group that sprang suddenly from the desert sands much like Jack’s bean stalk – one blindingly obvious question is, why does it not attack Israel or Israeli interest? Isn’t that what one would expect from such a cast of characters? But it has not done so, undoubtedly because Israel is an important covert benefactor and supplier.

We might equally ask why ISIS has not attacked Saudi Arabia or its interests, for although the Saudi royal family officially professes a strict and conservative form of Islam, Wahhabism, in fact many of them are very worldly people who spend a good deal of time and money at the world’s great pleasure palaces. Perhaps even more damning for a genuine fanatical fundamentalist, the Saudis now often secretly cooperate and make plans with Israel where mutual interests exist.

No, there is something highly suspicious about Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who avoid such interests while managing to brutally kill poor Syrian soldiers just doing their jobs along with the odd foreign journalist or aid worker who may just have seen something they shouldn’t have seen. Of course, we have Edward Snowden himself having described ISIS as an operation intended to protect Israel. Despite the fact that some news sources have said the interview in which this was revealed never took place, my instincts tell me it likely did. Snowden has never refuted it, and the news sources saying it did not are highly suspect on such a subject.

The way ISIS serves Israeli and American interests is by providing a focus point for extremists, attracting them from various parts of the world so that they can be recorded and kept track of. Also the tracks back to the various countries from which they come provide security services with leads to places where there might be some festering problems. In the meantime, ISIS serves the interest of helping to bring down President Assad, a goal dear to the hearts of Israelis. Please remember that black operations, even the ones about which we know, show little consideration for lives or property. Just think of Israel’s attack on an American spy ship in the Mediterranean during the Six Day War, its pilots knowingly shooting up and bombing for two hours the well-marked ship of its ally and benefactor, no explanation worth hearing ever having been offered.

Just read conservative mainline sources (pretty much a redundant pair of adjectives) about the harm Snowden has done: claims of everything from his revelations about American intelligence having served to help ISIS avoid detection (!) to his revelations having set up the United States for another 9/11! You might think intelligent people would be ashamed of making such asinine public statements, but, no, there are almost no limits to trying to discredit those revealing murderous, dark operations.

We’ve had many reports of officials in various countries, including Canada as I write, concerned about the odd individual or small group running off to join ISIS. Now why should that be a concern? A few flaky people going abroad just removes them from your country, something I should have thought was a complete gain from a security point of view. Even if they were ever to return in future, you would know exactly who they are. Where is the basis for serious concern? But the psychological advantages of noise and hype to scare people about obscure dangers and “lone wolves” and “home-grown terrorists” outweigh completely good sense and intelligence.

Finally, there are numerous reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (a nom de guerre, not his real name), the leader of ISIS, is a Western intelligence asset. What little we can learn about him makes that entirely plausible. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, has said that the man is a Mossad agent, a claim supported supposedly by documents revealed by Edward Snowden. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is by all accounts a secretive man who speaks directly with few people, and even his birth place, given as Samarra, Iraq, is not sure. Records of his past, as those from his period of American captivity (always a great opportunity to “turn” someone to serving two interests), are not available. He was once reported killed but is still alive. He is said to have received intensive training from Mossad and the CIA, and some sources give his real name as Simon Elliot (or, Elliot Shimon), but few details can ever be certain in such dark operations.

The truly terrifying aspect of ISIS and other forces fighting with it in Syria is that the United States and Israel have approved and supported such wanton destruction in so beautiful and formerly-peaceful a place as Syria. Millions of lives destroyed and countless historic places damaged as though they were all nothing more than a few pieces moved on a geopolitical chessboard. I think it fair to describe that as the work of psychopaths.

Posted at: March 2, 2015 - 11:33 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

Ukraine’s war. “Russian spring”: The struggle for democratic rights and social justice

Born in the Lugansk Region, Pavel Gubarev is a former businessman. He is now a Novorossian political and public leader. Below, he writes about the genesis of Ukraine and Ukrainians and of Maidan as a bifurcation point of “nation-building”.

“Russian spring”: The struggle for democratic rights and social justice
Pavel Gubarev NOVOROSSIA TODAY Donbas/Novorossiya March 2, 2015

Ukraine is a vast – in European terms – multiethnic country. Situated on the line of the civilizational joint of Western and Russian civilizations, it produced a number of sub ethnic groups and identities, concocted on the basis of admission or rejection of certain cultural and civilizational elements of the neighbouring nations. Before 1939 Ukrainians existed as ethnic minorities of the adjoining states and were often subjected to repressions on religious, ethnic and cultural grounds, and the ultimate unification of the Ukrainian lands took place only in composition of the Ukrainian SSR. At that time the self-appellation “Ukrainians” was not widely known. This ethnonyme became well-known only in the Soviet period of the history of Ukraine.

The territories, in which Ukrainians constituted ethnic minorities, were also included in composition of Ukraine, particularly, Donbas and the Crimean Peninsula. The emergence of Ukrainian statehood, which was formed on the basis of Soviet ideology – the principles of internationalism, equality and social justice coincided with the process of unification of Ukraine. Thus, controversies between the ethnic groups and sub ethnic groups had been muted, and differences in life styles did not have great impact on the lookout of the Ukrainians. The concept of “brotherly nations” implying Russians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians had been developed in Soviet science. Domestic clashes of regional clans did occur, of course; nevertheless, they did not stem from the issue of national identity.

Things changed after the breakdown of the SSSR under the influence of caused by centrifugal tendencies growth of Ukrainian nationalism.

The ideology of independent Ukraine came out to be inherent for the western regions only as well as for Kiev, the city taking its lead from global informational and political trends. In consequences of these processes a new line of controversy between the regions appeared in Ukraine as well as their classification as first-rate and second-rate.

Nationalism, staked against not as much ethnic minorities as against the bearers of the past-time ideology, became the ideology of Ukrainian bureaucracy. At that western regions due to their nationalist and anti-Communist inclinations were declared “cultural elite”, and industrial regions (predominantly Russian and Russian-speaking) – the second-rate citizens. Reforms aimed at granting the regions certain level of independence could have deadened the conflict. However the ideology of the establishment of a “new Ukrainian” hindered it by forcing a single-language-and-unified-identity system onto the population. Ukraine was presented with the example of unified by Bismarck Germany, and the objections concerning the danger of repetition by Ukraine of certain stages of nation establishment Germany underwent were not viewed seriously.

Maidan in Kiev became the final result of more than twenty-year-long process of materialization of the citizen of a “new type”. It was turned into a giant vessel, in which a prototype of the Überukrainian, having implemented the ideals of the Unitarian project, was to be born. The inhabitants of Donbas and the Crimea found this uniform Ukrainian unacceptable as a means of extermination of their regional sub-ethnic and ethnic identity. Anti-fascist rebellion in Donbas was directed against this “Überukrainian”, and not against Ukrainian people, their culture and statehood, and as a consequence of this rebellion new Novorussian identity was born.

Transformation of the Soviet society in the post-Soviet time was carried out under the slogans of democracy and civil rights. Nevertheless, in reality these processes had nothing in common either with people power or with struggle for human rights, and the problem was not only in the loss of fundamental civil rights, which the citizen was provided with in the Soviet society, like the right to labour and social guarantees. In the post-Soviet society the bearers of the “wrong ideology” continued to be persecuted – only “right” and “wrong” ideologies changed places.

Global human rights movement has been displaying weird behaviour in the course of the recent events in Ukraine. Ukrainian and international human rights activists defended the right of the Maidan militants to attack riot police, use combustibles, capture administrative buildings and even equip torture rooms in them. All these actions – to the extent of capture of police stations and plunder of arms rooms – had been presented as peaceful protest, and every attempt of the authorities to administer force caused outrage of the human rights defenders and was viewed as cases of violation of civil rights. Yet, the forces that seized power in Kiev on that very day obtained a carte blanche for all kinds of violence in the South-East. European and American politicians and mass-media that only a day before had been lamenting the use of force against armed with flash bang grenades and traumatic guns “children”, suddenly stopped noticing real war crimes – artillery shelling of schools, hospitals and residential areas of Donbas.

Human rights community has got a long history of ignoring the facts of violation of civil rights justified by statist practicality in Ukraine. It all started with the Language Law, by which the Ukrainian language was declared a single official language in a de-facto bilingual country. At the moment the status of Ukrainian as the official language was merely nominal, as the Constitution of Ukraine and the Language Law guaranteed factual equality of the two languages. The Russian language alongside with Ukrainian should have been used in all spheres of life: in record keeping, education, media and in courts. Nevertheless the Law was ignored in practice. Ukrainian lawmakers with the obstinacy of a maniac cranked out anti-constitutional laws and acts aimed at the limitations of the Russian language sphere of usage, first of all in education and paperwork. This way Ukrainian authorities had forced out of the process of state management the representatives of the industrial regions and at the same time enforced the institute of inequality. The Russian language in Ukraine is the language of the medium class and the language of the workers from the suburbs of the big cities – that is, the language of the most competitive part of masses.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian human rights movement totally ignored the humanitarian and social aspects of the language problem, viewing the struggle of Russian-speaking population for their rights exclusively in the context of irredentism and separatism. Russian irredentism in the Crimea and Donbas was the direct result of this policy. Actualization of the “Novorossiya project” was the response to the long-term discrimination. Notably, Donbas and Novorossiya as a whole remains a multiethnic region. We are absolutely aware of the presence in Novorossiya of a strong Ukrainian component and consider the protection of its rights one of the first-rate tasks in the process of establishment of the new state.

Donbas and greater Novorossiya are traditional working regions, and their history is inseparably connected with the history of working class struggle for social equality and social justice. Existence in composition of independent Ukraine was fraught for industrial Novorossiya not only with discrimination on the language grounds, but predominantly with the collapse of the social state. It was Donbas that became the center of protest activity in reaction to the establishment and consolidation of the institutes of social injustice in post-Soviet Ukraine at the early stages of Ukrainian independence. Rejection of socialist economic model led to real catastrophe for the region, as decline and closure of unprofitable enterprises, plundering and selling for scrap of plants, factories and mines had been unprecedented and they lowered the life standards of the population to the level of those dating back to the predatory capitalism of the 19th century.

As a result the criminal oligarchic model that had formed in Donbas created strong political clans. These clans in the process of their struggle for influence in Kiev acquired a habit of using the people of Donbas as a cover, to speak on their behalf. Local elites intimidated the population of the region by the growth of nationalism in Kiev, presenting themselves as protectors of the people’s interests. Nevertheless, as the events of the last year had shown, oligarchs and politicians from Donetsk failed their electorate. They betrayed their people for the sake of retaining a part of their assets, having surrendered power to radical nationalists without resistance. Consequently, the miners, metallurgists and the unemployed of Donetsk had to defend their rights and freedoms themselves with arms in their hands.

The managerial class demonstrated its inability to defend the people’s interests. Thus, the return of this class to Donbas alongside with the return of the old way of life is senseless in our opinion. Hence, Donbas acquired a unique chance of establishment of a state of a new type – the state based on the principles of social justice and equality.

Posted at: March 2, 2015 - 10:53 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

Is Nemtsov’s murder a replay of Sergey Kirov’s? Putin needs this crime to be solved. He needs to watch his back. The entire Russian nation may be shaken by what happens next

This is a serious crisis for Putin in terms of how he will be perceived by the political and security elite (who never speak to the western press and whose views and fears are almost never reflected in the West) because it is symbolic of control. He needs this crime to be solved. - An unnamed source within Russia, cited by Jack Matlock

Below: Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, he has focused on understanding how the Cold War ended and how the lessons from that experience might be applied to public policy today. Matlock has occasionally joined with other experts to criticize U.S. government policy. One of the books he has written is Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador’s Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1995). Here is a description of the book from Jack Matlock’s website:

As the United States ambassador to Moscow during the Gorbachev period and Ronald Reagan’s full-time go-between with the Soviet leadership, Jack Matlock couldn’t have been in a better position to observe the collapse of the Soviet Union. A career diplomat, fluent in Russian, with a scholarly grasp of Russian history and culture, Matlock served in the USSR for much of his career and knew the men in the Kremlin well. He had traveled widely in the Soviet Union—more widely, perhaps, than most Soviet officials—and had seen firsthand the discontent in the captive republics. Matlock was uniquely placed to anticipate and interpret the process as it unfolded. Yet, even he was surprised by the speed and finality with which the rickety empire gave way.

Though Matlock writes that a definitive version of these events may never be told, it is unlikely that a more intimate and knowledgeable account of the rise and fall of Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet empire will ever be written. A first-rate historian and a powerful writer, Matlock offers new insight into the contrasting policies and personal approaches of President Reagan, who dreamed of changing the Soviet Union, and President Bush, who witnessed a collapse he tried to prevent. Drawing on frequent private meetings, he explains the agenda behind Reagan’s “evil empire” speech and describes how Gorbachev developed his program for reform, and why he failed.

Autopsy on an Empire contains many new revelations—details of the plot to oust Gorbachev in August 1991 (including Bush’s inadvertent impact on the plotters’ timing), accounts of infighting within the politburo, and insight into the true positions of American policy makers. It is a monumental work of observation and scholarship, arising from vast personal experience and more than thirty years of reflection. Matlock is a superb writer, and Autopsy on an Empire will be the classic account of the fall of Soviet communism.

Sergey Kirov was a prominent early Bolshevik leader in the Soviet Union. Kirov rose through the Communist Party ranks to become head of the party organization in Leningrad. On December 1, 1934, Kirov was shot and killed by a gunman at his offices in the Smolny Institute. Some historians place the blame for his assassination at the hands of Joseph Stalin and believe the NKVD organized his execution, but any evidence for this claim remains lacking. Kirov was buried in the Kremlin Wall necropolis in a state funeral, with Stalin personally carrying his coffin.

Is Nemtsov’s murder a replay of Kirov’s?
Jack Matlock NOVOROSSIA TODAY Donbas/Novorossiya March 2, 2015

Responding to the shock of the gang-style execution of Nemtsov in Moscow, Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, speaking at Tufts University yesterday, said that it reminded him of the Kirov assassination, and predicted that the effect on Russian politics might be of comparable magnitude. I did not have the opportunity to question him directly about what precisely he had in mind, but I gathered from his other remarks that he believes the crime was prompted by a struggle for power within the Putin regime. After all, Stalin used the Kirov murder to launch the infamous purges that reached their height in the trials of 1938 and is widely suspected of having arranged the murder himself.

Russian politics for some time has resembled the proverbial dog fight under a rug, despite the image promoted by the regime of a seamless and efficient “vertical of power.” In some important respects, the killing of Nemtsov does not resemble the killing of Kirov. Kirov was one of Stalin’s closest associates and, in effect, his viceroy in Leningrad. Nemtsov was, on the other hand, a prominent and active oppositionist. A direct point-by-point comparison of the two murders would be absurd. Vladimir Putin does not need to arrange the murder of a prominent oppositionist in order to purge elements he considers unreliable in his own government.

Many persons at the Tufts symposium assumed, upon hearing the shocking news, that Putin himself ordered the assassination and did so as a stern warning to other would-be oppositionists. This was a natural reaction for anyone who assumes that Putin exercises the sort of total control of Russia that Stalin once did of the Soviet Union. It identifies a motivation that cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Still, there is something missing in that knee-jerk reaction. Isn’t it a goal of any authoritarian government to persuade the people it governs that it is in complete control? Does not much support of authoritarian governments come from the belief that they provide order and security? One of the reasons the Putin regime has sustained its popularity is that it brought order to the chaos of the 1990s. A contract killing of a prominent person within the shadow of the Kremlin does not comport with the image of a government in complete control.

I have received privately an analysis of the situation by an observer of the Russian scene who was in Moscow last week. I found the observations important and have been given permission to share them here. [Note: Italic section is in the original.]

I do not think Putin was behind this. The reason is that a murder in the center of Moscow literally at the walls of the Kremlin discredits him and the security apparatus. The Kremlin Walls and the Bekhlimishevskaya Tower frame the scene with St. Basil’s to the right. It is simply difficult to imagine a location that could include more symbols of the Russian state. It looks like a frame up. I can’t help remembering how in the 1990′s, one way to get an adversary to capitulate in a fight over a company was to show him his security had been breached. (This is one of the reasons that Yanukovich fled when he did–because he could no longer count on the loyalty of the people providing physical protection.) This may be unfair. After all, road and pedestrian traffic are not checked in the area. Everything is filmed and there are certainly many police nearby, but no one is going to stop you if you bring arms into the area and try to murder someone. How would they know? So it may be unfair, but that’s the way it’s going to be perceived–as a highly symbolic breach of security. It’s hard for me to imagine that there won’t be personnel changes over this.

This is a serious crisis for Putin in terms of how he will be perceived by the political and security elite (who never speak to the western press and whose views and fears are almost never reflected in the West) because it is symbolic of control. He needs this crime to be solved.

State television has been covering the events with a minimum of propaganda. They have been almost complimentary about Nemtsov’s role in Russian history. People all over the political spectrum are clearly shocked. I believe it is significant that a funeral march in the center of the city was allowed quite quickly–after all the trouble the authorities when to to relocate the opposition demonstration to the outskirts of Moscow (note to the Western Mass Media: opposition demonstrations in Moscow are still permitted, including those opposing the Ukraine War–does anyone remember the USSR?).

There’s no way to know who was behind this and we’ll probably never find out (polling shows that 90% of Russians feel that the people behind the murder will never be identified).

1) Conceivably Putin could be in a position analogous to that of Gorbachev, with hardliners pushing policies that he has to go along with when presented with the fact they’ve been done. This could relate to a desire to prosecute the Ukraine war more overtly and crack down more harshly on domestic dissent. I don’t think Putin wants to run a true dictatorship, but there may be people around who think that’s a viable alternative for the country (it isn’t), so it’s just possible this was done by a faction trying to get him to go along with a harder line. This is not a likely explanation–but it’s possible.

2) A slightly more likely scenario is that ultra nationalists (with crime links and some support from inside the state) went after Nemstov (and indirectly Putin) for many of the reasons mentioned in Scenario 1.

3) A third (somewhat less likely but quite possible) scenario is that the the Ukrainian far right went after Nemtsov in hopes Putin would get blamed, western arms and money would come faster, and political disintegration might start in Russia.

No matter what happens, Putin is going to get blamed. Because even if by some miracle they catch the perpetrators (how can they not given all the surveillance mechanisms in place and the fact that Nemtsov himself was presumably being watched closely?) many people will not believe the explanation.

The people who benefit most are those who: a) want to spook/crack down on the democratic opposition; b) worsen the relationship with the West and disrupt moves toward a truce in Ukraine; c) do political damage to Putin. He needs to watch his back.

Maybe you can think of other plausible explanations. If so, please put them on the comment line. So far nothing is absolutely clear about this tragedy except that an able politician and fine man was gunned down in cold blood. The entire nation may be shaken by what happens next.

Posted at: March 2, 2015 - 10:48 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post

March 1, 2015


Murder in Moscow. The investigation is looking into five possible motives behind the high-profile, well-planned assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov

Jim comment: Suddenly last summer, Vladimir Putin, formerly once a decent enough Russian leader (with a few unsettling quirks), turned into a malevolent, almost demonic, force. Congratulations to the Western Axis’ propaganda system for putting over this remarkable metamorphosis. Regarding the following links on the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, two years ago, February 2012, Putin was warning Russians about exactly the kind of false flag we just may have seen happen with the murder of Nemtsov. Putin warned that some within and without Russia were looking to turn someone into an involuntary martyr. In that commentary Putin used the Russian word provocatsiia. The word is often translated as “provocation” which is not incorrect as long as you are aware (I was informed by a Russian-speaking friend) that in Russian “provocation” can mean “false flag”. Friday’s shooting brought Putin’s two-year-old comments back into my mind. Had Putin foreseen and warned about a false flag “sacrifice”?

Nemtsov murder: Russian investigators probing provocation, Charlie Hebdo links
RT Russia Februry 28, 2015

A murder scene of politician Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead on Moskvoretsky bridge. Photo: Iliya Pitalev/RIA Novosti. Visit this page for its related links.

The assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow was well-planned, investigators said. Versions of the crime range from a political provocation to a revenge killing by radical Islamists.

“There is no doubt that this crime was carefully planned. The location and timing of the killing indicated that as well. The investigation found out that Boris Nemtsov was going with his female friend to his apartment, which is located close to the murder scene. The organizers and the executers apparently knew his route,” Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, told journalists.

Markin said the best detectives and forensic experts are involved in the case, which is considered a top priority by law enforcement authorities.

Preliminary results show that the politician was killed from a Makarov pistol. Experts found six 9-mm cartridge cases at the scene, Markov said. The cartridges were produced by several different manufacturers, he added.

At the moment the investigation is focused on questioning the eyewitnesses and studying mobile traffic data in the immediate area of the crime, which may provide an insight into communications of the criminals. Footage from CCTV cameras is also being studied.

The investigation is looking into five possible motives behind the high-profile assassination, Markin said.

“The murder could be a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country. Nemtsov could have been chosen as a sort of ‘sacral sacrifice’ by those who don’t hesitate to use any methods to reach their political goals,” he said.

“There are reports that Nemtsov received threats due to his position over the shooting of Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris,” Markin said, adding that a possible link to the Ukrainian civil war was also being investigated.

“It’s no secret that both sides of that conflict have among their ranks very radical figures who take no orders from any authority,” he said.

Other versions voiced by Markin involve Nemtsov’s business interests and a possible assault related to his personal life.

Later in the day, the car allegedly used in the attack was discovered not far from the scene of the crime. Russian media reported that it had Ingushetian license plates. [Note: The Republic of Ingushetia is a federal subject of Russia located in the North Caucasus region. Ingushetia is one of Russia’s poorest and most restive regions.]

Breaking news: FALSE FLAG IN MOSCOW!
“The Saker” Vineyrd of the Saker USA February 27, 2015

Right: Nemtsov with Viktor Yushchenko. Following the ‘Orange Revolution’ (November 2004 to January 2005), Yushchenko was the third President of Ukraine from 2005 to 2010. Visit this page for its embedded links.

Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in Moscow. He was one of the most charismatic leaders of the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition in Russia (please understand that in the Russian context “liberal” and “democratic” means pro-US or even CIA-run, while “non-system” means too small to even get a single deputy in the Duma). He was shot just a few days before the announced demonstration of the very same “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition scheduled for March 1st.

As I have already explained many times on this blog, the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition in Russia has a popular support somewhere in the range of 5% (max). In other words, it is politically *dead* (for a detailed explanation, please read “From Napoleon to Adolf Hitler to Conchita Wurst”). In the hopes of getting a higher number of people to the streets the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system”opposition allied itself with the ultra-nationalists (usually useful idiots for the CIA) and the homosexual activists (also useful idiots for the CIA). Apparently, this was not enough.

And now, in *perfect* timing, Nemtsov is murdered.

We all know the reaction of the AngloZionists and their propaganda machine. It will be exactly the same as for MH-17: Putin the Murderer!!! Democracy Shot!! Freedom Killed!! etc. etc. etc. etc.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that either this is a fantastically unlikely but always possible case of really bad luck for Putin and Nemtsov was shot by some nutcase or mugged, or this was a absolutely prototypical western false flag: you take a spent politician who has no credibility left with anyone with an IQ over 70, and you turn him into an instant “martyr for freedom, democracy, human right and civilization”.

By the way if, as I believe, this is a false flag, I expect it to be a stunning success in the West and a total flop in Russia: by now, Russians already can smell that kind of setup a mile away and after MH-17 everybody was expecting a false flag. So, if anything, it will only increase the hostility of Russians towards the West and rally them around Putin. In the Empire, however, this will be huge, better than Politkovskaya or Litvinenko combined. A “Nemtsov” prize will be created, a Nemtov statue will be place somewhere (in Warsaw?), the US Congress will pass a “Nemtsov law” and the usual combo package of “democratic hagiography” will be whipped-up.

What worries me most is that the Russian security services did not see this one coming and let it happen. This is a major failure for the FSB which will now have a lot at stake to find out who did it. I expect them to find a fall-guy, a patsy, who will have no provable contacts with any western services and who, ideally, might even have some contacts with the Russian services (like Andrei Lugovoi).

As for the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” – it will probably re-brand the upcoming protests as a “tribute to Nemtsov” thereby getting more people into the streets.

‘Opposition is necessary…but we wouldn’t vote for them,’ most Russians hold
RT Russia February 27, 2015

Visit this page for its related link, “No Solidarity as opposition split over licensed Spring March in Moscow”.

Over half of all Russians agree that an opposition is a necessary part of the political system, but very few agreed with the current demands of opposition politicians or said that they would like to see those people in power one day.

According to the latest research by independent pollster Levada Center, the proportion of Russians who agreed with the statement that an opposition is a necessary part of the political system was 58 percent. At the same time, only 19 percent of respondents said an opposition was necessary to ensure the timely replacement of state authorities.

Some 22 percent of respondents opposed the very existence of opposition movements in the country, saying it only atomizes the community by causing unnecessary conflicts. In addition, most who hold that view see all such efforts as futile – only 15 percent said they thought that opposition activities were obstructing the authorities’ work aimed at solving the problems that stand before the society.

Politicians that are considered ‘non-system opposition’ claimed even fewer supporters – only 3 percent of those polled said they sympathized with persons from the Solidarity Coalition and a further 12 percent said they sympathized with some parts of the Solidarity agenda. It should be noted, that the term ‘non-system’ was used more due to inertia of public perception as most of the personalities behind the coalition – such as Boris Nemtsov or Aleksey Navalny – already have registered political parties and participate in elections.

Levada Deputy Head Aleksey Grazhdankin said in comments to Kommersant that the current state of public mood could be explained by the absence of genuine opposition in the country and the great effort of the authorities to discredit any dissent in the eyes of the broader public. However, he did not delve into defining a ‘real’ opposition and pointing out its differences from projects that currently bear this name in Russian politics.

In the same poll, Levada asked the public about their attitude to the slogans proposed for the forthcoming major opposition event – the ‘Spring March’ scheduled for March 1. The most popular ideas were “passing laws against illegal enrichment of civil servants” with 32 percent of supporters and “ensuring the fairness of elections” with 30 percent. The ‘Stopping the war in Ukraine’ slogan claimed 18 percent of supporters.

Other demands garnered almost negligible support. The call to cancel the alleged censorship in mass media was shared by only 5 percent of Russian citizens, and “decentralization of power” and “release of all political prisoners” claimed 2 percent of supporters each.

However, one of the organizers of the rally, Leonid Volkov, explained the lack of support by the fact that the slogans had been developed on the basis of requests of those who regularly attend protest rallies rather than the broad public.

‘Nemtsov’s death a tragedy for opposition, Russia – and Putin’
RT Russia February 28, 2015

Visit this page for its related link and video.

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov is a tragedy for Russia, its people and Vladimir Putin, says Aleksandra Nerozina, a London-based journalist, adding that, like any other president, Putin needs opposition – or he simply cannot build a democratic society.

RT: There’s been reaction to the killing from around the world – the UK Foreign Office also said earlier it was saddened and appalled by the murder. Tell us more about the reaction in Britain.

Aleksandra Nerozina: The reaction here is quite understandable. It’s a world support for the family member who lost their loved one and a friend. That’s the number one. The second line is base line which has been projected recently quite strongly that somehow it is bad thing for Russia where things like that should be looked from this point of view whatsoever. This is a murder which all Russians are appalled by because it is clearly not something that is savoury by any means.

I can base it on my experience with similar events happening in the past and clearly every time used in accordance not to condemn the situation but rather to put the finger on Russia. Unfortunately it’s an uprising voice of Putin and the Kremlin, which is an absolute nonsense from all points of view. You all remember the famous death of Berezovsky who himself – and I knew him personally well enough – he was saying to me numerous times: “I will never ever be destroyed or killed by the Kremlin.”

t’s nobody’s business at the moment to judge what happened. We have to wait for the investigation to take the place first to see what will actually be found but all the scenarios are possible. What we should abstain from is using this situation to blame Putin and Russia.

What I will say to Russian people who are stronger and who know what is happening exactly. It will unite them even more against such a violent act. Imagine, you have the Kremlin; you have one of the members of the opposition who was absolutely harmless.

Mind me, don’t forget who Putin is. If he wanted to take somebody out, it would have been taken with so many ways without it being such a public display which is quite ridiculous. What is upsetting is that when I look through at what is already the voices raising quietly but sharply, a voice of disappointment, yet again point at Russia for something that Russia is actually upset with the west. I won’t be surprised if some proof will be found with some western counterparts, whether it would be Ukraine involved or CIA, or MI6, MI5. It could be anybody’s game if we play the blame game. We should not be doing that.

We should be waiting for the results. We should wait what is happening exactly rather than speculate in such this absolutely disgusting manner and I want for the world to remember that it’s Russia’s loss, not theirs, and they should be given condolences to Russian people, to Russian president, to support him.

Because, as any other president, Putin needs opposition. And that’s one of the known facts in politics. Every politician requires and needs to have an opposition without which they simply cannot be a democratic society. Nemtsov, however harmless he was, he was an oppositionist with very few votes [for] him – as you know, Russians overwhelmingly support Putin.

And again coming and comparing it to Berezovsky I can only state that Berezovsky at his time – he was saying that he would never be touched because “Putin needs me. He needs that opposition. He needs that devil on the other side for west to pet somebody who will open opposition.”

Good news out of Russia – even the “non-system” opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin
“The Saker” Vineyrd of the Saker USA February 28, 2015

Honestly, I never thought the day would come where I would have anything good to say about the Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition but apparently this day has come today. To my surprise, all the leaders of this opposition have so far made very moderate and reasonable statement and all those which I have heard have apparently dismissed the notion that the Kremlin was behind the murder. Now this might be self-evident for most of us, but for the Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition this is quite a change of tone. Many have even said that this murder was a “provocation” (which in this context means “false flag”!) to destabilize Russia and create a crisis. Even Irina Khakamada, normally a real crackpot, has said that this was either a “provocation” or the action of a small group of extremists.

Maybe they are aware that the Russian public will not “buy” it, maybe MH17 was too clearly a false flag, or maybe they simply had a momentary moment of decency, but as far as I know nobody pointed the finger at Putin (okay, somebody somewhere probably did, I am just not aware of it). Again, this is quite remarkable.

Everybody, pro and anti Kremlin, agree that it is absolutely essential that this crime be solved. Since I personally believe that this was a US/UK organized false flag, I fully expect that somebody will be found and, as we say in Russian, that the “(trail) end will end in the water” meaning that there will be no proof of western involvement. If fact, even if the FSB *does* come across such proof, the Russians will most likely not make it public but use it behind the scenes. As for those who organized it, they also need somebody to get caught because if nobody ever gets caught, then this looks way too professional, but if a small cell of, say, rabid anti-Semitic nationalists, does get caught, then that exculpates all other possible suspects. Considering that the crime happened 200m away from the Kremlin, and that the city center is laced with cameras, I fully expect an arrest in the next 48 hours, a week max.

The bottom line is that in Russia this false flag is already a clear failure, not even the notorious Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition wants to touch this thing. This is very good news indeed. In the West, of course, this is a different story, the AngloZionist will use that to a max, no doubt here at all.

Everything will be done to punish those behind ‘vile’ murder of Nemtsov – Putin
RT Russia February 28, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Boris Nemtsov. Photo: Vladimir Fedorenko/RIA Novosti. This page contains a 48-second audio link, a statement by Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on the Nemtsov murder.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that everything will be done to punish those responsible for the organization and execution of the murder of opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov.

“Everything will be done for the organizers and executors of this vile and cynical murder to receive the punishment they deserve,” the statement on the Russian President’s official website said.

Boris Nemtsov, a veteran opposition figure in Russia, was gunned down in a drive-by attack in central Moscow overnight Friday.

The murder, which happened just away from the Kremlin, triggered worldwide condemnation and calls to bring the killers to justice.

Previously, Putin expressed his condolences to Nemtsov’s mother and said that he shared her grief.

“Please, accept my deepest condolences on this irreparable loss. I sincerely share your grief,” a telegram by the President, posted on the Kremlin’s website, said.

Boris Nemtsov “left his mark in the history of Russia – in its political and public life. He occupied on important positions in the difficult transition period of our country. He stated his point of views in an honest and straight forward manner and always defended his stance,” Putin stressed.

Moscow city authorities meanwhile have given permission to Russian opposition leaders to hold a march to commemorate Nemtsov after they canceled a planned protest rally due to the murder. The Sunday rally will cross the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge where the politician was shot dead.

Nemtsov, 55, gained popularity as a governor to Nizhny Novgorod region, staying in the office from 1991 to 1997. He served as energy minister and deputy prime minister under former President Boris Yeltsin. After 1998 he participated in the creation of several liberal movements and parties, serving as a Member of Parliament. Since 2012, he had co-chaired the liberal party RPR-PARNAS (Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party), being more involved in business than politics.

Reflections on the murder of Boris Nemtsov
Eric Kraus Russia Insider Russia February 28, 2015

The crime is horrific. But there is something a little too convenient for Washington in all of this.

Politically, Mr Nemtsov was a spent force – he had a real following in the 1990s, where he was briefly a major player. Unlike Navalny, who is opportunistic, smart and frankly dangerous, Nemtsov’s following was largely limited to foreign journalists and a small group of Russian liberals.

Had the Kremlin wanted him out of the way there were other ways – especially in Moscow. A car crash. An (induced) heart attack. Poisons. Why do a public hit within sight of St. Basel’s Cathedral on Red Square so as to provide a public feast for the foreign press picture editors?

The timing is equally suspicious. Perfectly timed to draw maximum attention to the upcoming opposition March which had risked falling flat. The March itself is no conceivable threat to Mr Putin – who now enjoys the sort of popularity common to wartime leaders in any country – but it is the best shot the West has, knowing that any political murder in Moscow will be systematically attributed to the Kremlin by the tame Western press – whether of a Putin opponent (Politkovskaya) or a fervent supporter (Paul Klebnikov, Forbes). By some odd coincidence, several of these killings took place immediately before President Putin was to address some particularly high-profile international meeting.

The fact that this horrific murder is most beneficial to the anti-Russian factions does not, of course, prove that Washington was in any way involved. It suggests it – which is a very different matter…

There is another – less conspiratorial – theory. The Kiev regime – openly supported by Mr Nemtsov and his followers – is genuinely very unpopular in Russia. Live television coverage of the savage bombardment of Lugansk and Donetsk has evoked some strong passions. There is a hardline, nationalist faction, and Russia can be a violent place. It is entirely possible that someone decided to take revenge for the people of Novorossiya, answering one barbaric crime with another.

There is only one certainty: this murder will be exploited by the Western press which will largely not even bother to formally attribute it to the Kremlin – but simply do a quick montage – Red Square, Putin opponent lying dead. It’s an easy sell.

We can only hope that the murderers will be found and punished – and that political violence – in Moscow as in Lugansk – will be universally condemned.


Posted at: March 1, 2015 - 1:40 pm -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post


Canada’s proposed anti-terrorism act (C-51), an assessment

Craig Forcese is a law professor teaching national security law at the University of Ottawa and a participant in the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society.

Kent Roach teaches at the University of Toronto law faculty and worked with both the Arar and Air India commissions.

Canada’s proposed anti-terrorism act, an assessesment
Craig Forcese and Kent Roach Canada ongoing

Visit this site for its embedded links.

About the project

We are trying something we have never done before: legal scholarship done in “real time” in a highly politicized environment, in which fundamental decisions about the shape of law are being made.

We are responding to Bill C-51, the government’s controversial anti-terror law proposal.

We will be publishing a book with Irwin Law on this topic as soon as humanly possible, and hopefully before the bill is a “done deal” (assuming it is not, already). Here, our objective is to make available chapters and sections in draft form, as they are prepared. These materials will continue to be edited up until final publication. They are dynamic, working documents. But our hope is that early open-source draft posting will assist those working in this active and developing area.

We cannot deal with every aspect of the bill simultaneously, although you will find our current thinking on many items if you search the web for our opeds, or visit one of us (Forcese) at

We will develop the ideas and conclusions we present. If you disagree with the legal opinions we express, tells us. More generally, we welcome (and very much encourage and need) feedback, critiques, suggestions and observations from other lawyers, legal scholars and other interested persons with expertise to contribute (whether practical, legal, scholarly). We are, in other words, calling for a “crowdsourced” response to Bill C-51. (But please, no rhetoric and conspiracy theories or political commentary. That is not what the project is about.)

Useful Documents

Consolidated CSIS Act (unofficial) with Bill C-44 and Bill C-51 amendments

Irwin Law Books by Roach & Forcese

Recent Posts

Bill C-51 Backgrounder #5: Oversight and Review: Turning Accountability Gaps into Canyons? February 27, 2015
Bill C-51 Backgrounder # 4: The Terrorism Propaganda Provisions February 23, 2015
Bill C-51: Brief Explainer Video February 20, 2015
Bill C-51 Backgrounder # 3: Sharing Information and Lost Lessons from the Maher Arar Experience February 16, 2015
Bill C-51 Backgrounder #2: The Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s Proposed Power to “Reduce” Security Threats through Conduct that May Violate the Law and Charter February 12, 2015

Archive – February 2015

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Related audio: Defending and dissecting Bill C-51
“The House With Even Solomon” CBC Radio One Canada February 28, 2015

You can listen to the entire program (49:59) from a pop-up link on this page or you can choose to listen to selected episodes:

Steven Blaney discusses radicalization and anti-terrorism legislation

In light of recent stories of alleged radicalization of young Canadians, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney talks about the impact Bill C-51 would have had on those cases. Blaney also answers some of the key criticisms of the anti-terrorism bill. (15:16)

Craig Forcese dissects Bill C-51

Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa Craig Forcese is in the middle of an ongoing analysis of the government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation. He highlights a number of legal issues with the bill. (14:26)

Perry Bellegarde on missing and murdered indigenous women, Bill C-51

Was Friday’s national roundtable on missing and murdered indigenous women a success or a failure? The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, says a lot more needs to be done. (7:11)

In House panel – February 28

In House panelists Mark Kennedy and Tasha Kheiriddin tackle the debates over proposed anti-terrorism measures and new end-of-life legislation. (6:28)

Posted at: March 1, 2015 - 11:41 am -- Posted by: Jim Scott -- Permalink: # -- Email This Post