Ottawa terror attack triggers massive police-military mobilization

Keith Jones

The Canadian state has enacted its National Anti-Terrorism Plan, which involves the coordinated mobilization of all sections of the national-security apparatus, including the military, in response to the shooting Wednesday morning of a soldier at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa and storming of the national parliament building by a gunman.

The soldier, 24 year-old Canadian Armed Forces Reservist Nathan Cirillo, succumbed to his injuries.

Soon after, security forces shot and killed a man armed with a rifle in what is being described as a wild shootout in the Hall of Honour. The hall, which is both a ceremonial hall and main corridor, accesses the rooms where the ruling Conservatives and Official Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) were holding their weekly parliamentary caucus meetings. When the shooting erupted, both Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were at their respective party meetings.

Police-intelligence sources have identified the dead gunman as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He was reportedly under surveillance by Canada’s national security agencies and had had his passport confiscated to prevent him from traveling to the Middle East to link up with Islamist militia groups.

In the aftermath of the Parliament Hill attack, police mounted a massive security operation, saying they believed there had been multiple attackers. The media cited unconfirmed reports of multiple shooters and shots being fired at locations other than the War Memorial and Hall of Honour. From the parliament buildings, the police rapidly expanded a security perimeter, placing offices, shops and schools under lockdown, closing off streets to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and deploying heavily-armed SWAT teams.

Canada’s Harper visits Kiev to laud coup, threaten Russia

Keith Jones

Stephen Harper is doing the rhetorical heavy lifting for the
West on Russia, Vladimir Putin and Crimea

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Kiev for six hours Saturday to demonstrate the Canadian elite’s strong support for the fascist-spearheaded coup that ousted Ukraine’s elected president.

At a joint press conference with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the interim prime minister installed as a result of last month’s coup, Harper repeatedly denounced and threatened Russia.

He hypocritically painted Russia as an aggressor, when it was the US and Germany that engineered the overthrow of Ukraine’s president, and he lauded those now wielding state power in the Ukraine for their “restraint.” In fact, Ukraine’s new government has mounted one provocation after another, including declaring the country to be at war and creating a new National Guard so as to give official sanction to the fascist militia that spearheaded the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Harper vowed that the western imperialist powers will not restore normal relations with Russia until it withdraws from Crimea—a strategic peninsula that was historically part of Russia and whose majority Russian-speaking population recently voted overwhelming to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

US expands its drone war on Pakistan

Keith Jones

Photo: At least eight persons were killed and several others injured in US drone attack on a seminary here on early Thursday morning. According to District Police Office (DPO) Iftikhar Ahmed, an unmanned US drone fired three missiles on a seminary near Degree College in tehsil Tal of Hangu district in Khyber. (Daily Mail)

A US drone strike on a seminary in the Hangu district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province killed at least six people Thursday, including several civilians.

The three-missile attack was only the second-ever US drone strike in Pakistan outside the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The previous such strike occurred in 2008.

Thursday’s attack came just one day after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s chief foreign policy advisor, Sartaj Aziz, had told a parliamentary committee that Washington had pledged that it would not mount further drone strikes while Islamabad was holding peace negotiations with the Pakistan-based allies of the Afghan Taliban.

Canada to expand support for French imperialism’s war on Mali

Louis Girard and Keith Jones

Unbeknownst to the vast majority of the Canadian people, the Canadian government and armed forces are deeply implicated in the French invasion of Mali and in the growing imperialist intervention in West Africa of which it is part.

Knowing that there is no enthusiasm in the Canadian populace for the country’s participation in yet another imperialist war, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has been at pains to present the role of Canada’s military in the war in Mali as limited and unexpected.

This is a subterfuge. Discussion in government circles of a Canadian role in an imperialist-orchestrated military intervention in Mali has been underway since at least last spring. Furthermore, Canadian special forces were providing training to Mali’s army for at least a year prior to a February 2012 military coup that was triggered by the loss of much of the country’s north to an ethnic Tuareg rebel army. A December 3, 2011 Postmedia report cites Brigadier-General Denis Thompson of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command as saying the “deployment of Canadian special ops to Mali is expected to be an ongoing mission, with small teams moving in and out of the country whenever it is determined that Malian forces need such training.”

Canada’s military has also developed an increasing presence in other states in the region, with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) assisting in the training of African forces that are now being readied for combat in Mali.

Quebec police mount mass arrests in bid to break student strike

Keith Jones

The government’s criminalization of the student strike and its blanket attack on the right to demonstrate has galvanized opposition to the government.

After Tuesday’s 150,000-strong demonstration supporting Quebec’s striking students and opposing the provincial Liberal government’s draconian Bill 78, the state has intensified its campaign of repression.

Police arrested almost 700 protesters in Montreal and Quebec City Wednesday evening.

Quebec City Police arrested 176 people for demonstrating in violation of the sweeping new restrictions Bill 78 places on protests. Passed in less than 24 hours late last week, Bill 78 makes all demonstrations–whatever their cause—illegal unless organizers submit to the police in writing more than eight hours in advance the demonstration itinerary and duration, and abide by any changes demanded by the police.

In Montreal most of the arrests came when riot police suddenly turned on a peaceful three-hour protest, allegedly because demonstrators did not follow police instructions as to where they should proceed next. Having “kettled”—penned in and squeezed—the protesters, the police arrested all present, some 450 people. “The swift police action squeezed the mob together tighter and tighter as the officers advanced and some people begged to be let out,” reported the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “One photographer was seen to be pushed to the ground and a piece of equipment was heard breaking.”

Those arrested in Montreal were not charged under Bill 78, which carries a minimum $1,000 fine for a first offense, but under a municipal bylaw imposing less drastic penalties.

Quebec: Huge protest supports striking students, denounces Bill 78

Keith Jones

"No to austerity for the people to finance the prosperity of
the rich," reads the middle of the three hand-made placards
in the foreground of this photo

More than 100,000 people took to the streets of Montreal yesterday to mark the 100th day since the beginning of the Quebec student strike and to denounce the Quebec Liberal government’s Bill 78.

Adopted in less than 24 hours late last week, Bill 78 criminalizes the student strike by outlawing picket lines anywhere in the vicinity of the province’s universities and CEGEPs (pre-university and technical colleges) and by threatening teachers with criminal prosecution and massive fines if they make any accommodations to striking students or fail to perform all of their normal functions.

Bill 78 also places sweeping restrictions on the right to demonstrate anywhere—and over any issue—in Canada’s second most populous province. Any demonstration of more than 50 people is illegal unless demonstration organizers submit to police in writing more than eight hours in advance the route and duration of the protest and abide by any changes requested by the police. Demonstration organizers are also legally compelled to assist the authorities in ensuring that protesters do not transgress the police-prescribed protest route.

The same day the Liberals rammed Bill 78 through the National Assembly, Montreal’s municipal government, meeting in special session, adopted its own emergency bylaw compelling police authorization for demonstration-routes and making it illegal to wear any form of face covering—including face-paint, a nijab, or a scarf—while participating in a demonstration.

Quebec’s corporate elite has strongly supported Bill 78, just as it has the government’s insistence that its plan to raise university tuitions by 82 percent over the next seven years is non-negotiable.

The huge turnout for Tuesday’s demonstration is testimony to the widespread support for the students and recognition that Bill 78 constitutes a sweeping attack on the democratic rights of all.

Pakistani, NATO forces clash amid rising US-Pakistani tensions

Keith Jones

Two Pakistani soldiers were injured Tuesday when Pakistani ground troops were fired on by NATO helicopters that had crossed into Pakistani airspace over North Waziristan. NATO denied that its helicopters entered into Pakistan, but did concede that they fired into North Waziristan after coming under attack.

The Pakistani army said it has lodged a “strong protest” with NATO, while making clear that it stood by the troops’ action to oppose this latest violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

Yesterday’s border clash came amid the deepest crisis in US-Pakistani relations since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. At the time, Washington threatened to bomb Pakistan “back into the Stone Age” if it did not break relations with the Taliban regime in Kabul and provide logistical support for the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The current crisis was provoked by the unilateral May 2 raid the US mounted in Abbottabad, deep inside Pakistan, to assassinate Osama bin Laden. The operation included plans to attack Pakistan’s military if it tried to oppose this violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

Pakistan: CIA drone kills 25 on eve of mass protest against US missile strikes

Keith Jones

Pakistani protesters belonging to United Citizen Action shout anti-
US slogans during a protest in Multan on April 22, 2011 against the
US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal areas. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A US predator drone strike killed 25 people in the village of Spinwam in North Waziristan yesterday. According to a Pakistani government official, the dead included at least five children and four women.

In response to mounting public outrage, Pakistan’s government has repeatedly denounced the US drone strikes in recent months, calling them “unhelpful” and urging that they be discontinued or at least massively scaled back. But the Obama administration and the Pentagon have brushed these complaints aside, publicly insisted that the missile strikes are a pivotal part of the AfPak War, and continued to mount such strikes at a rate of well over one per week.

While Washington postures as the foremost proponent of international law, it claims the right to violate Pakistani sovereignty at will, so as to carry out summary executions with callous disregard for civilian life.

Yesterday’s missile strike came on the eve of a two-day mass sit-in against the drone attacks that its organizers claim will mobilize hundreds of thousands of people. Protesters—including persons who have been displaced by the drone strikes and the counterinsurgency war that the Pakistani military has mounted against anti-US militias in the tribal areas of Pakistan’s majority-Pashtun northwest— are to take to the streets of Peshawar, with the stated aimed of disrupting NATO shipments to Afghanistan.

Claiming it fears violence, Pakistan’s government has announced that the US-NATO supply shipments will be suspended for the duration of the protest

The capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (the former North West Frontier Provinces), Peshawar serves as the administrative center for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)—the site of virtually all the US drone attacks.

Peshawar is also the gateway to the Khyber Pass, a vital supply line for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. While the US has gone to great lengths in recent years to develop alternate supply routes, the bulk of the food and fuel that supports the almost 150,000 US-NATO forces in Afghanistan still goes through Pakistan.

Health topic page on womens health Womens health our team of physicians Womens health breast cancer lumps heart disease Womens health information covers breast Cancer heart pregnancy womens cosmetic concerns Sexual health and mature women related conditions Facts on womens health female anatomy Womens general health and wellness The female reproductive system female hormones Diseases more common in women The mature woman post menopause Womens health dedicated to the best healthcare
buy viagra online