Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mission Creep in Syria

Mission Creep in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Syria is Obama's war. Imported IS and other takfiri terrorists are US proxy foot soldiers.

Assad's government is the target, regime change Washington's longstanding objective. On May 25, AP headlined "Turkey, US to provide air protection to Syrian rebels."

They're not rebels. They terrorists. They're not moderates. They're extremists.

AP said Washington and Ankara "agreed in 'principle' to provide air protection to Syrian rebels being trained and equipped to fight Islamic State militants, once they enter Syrian territory for battle" - according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Fact: US special forces train, fund, arm and direct IS and other takfiri terrorists in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to continue waging war on Assad's government.

Cavusoglu said "(t)hey have to be supported by air. (Without air support), what is the point?"

In February, both countries agreed to train and arm around 15,000 anti-Assad fighters at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

So far, plans don't include a no-fly zone and/or safe zone in Syrian territory. Details on how Washington intends providing air support aren't known.

Obama's game plan may be Libya 2.0 - terror-bombing a country into submission combined with ground forces committing mass murder and other atrocities. 

All options remain open, Obama said earlier. Will US terror-bombing of Syria's military follow? Will Damascus be targeted? Will efforts be made to kill Assad?

A potential major escalation looms. So far, US officials remain silent about what may be planned.

AP reported "US officials (saying Washington's) aim is to train 5,000 (anti-Assad fighters) a year for three years" at sites in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Cavusoglu lied saying "the fight against (IS) is prioritized." You don't eliminate your own foot soldiers. 

Plans call for toppling Assad - perhaps murdering him the way Washington disposed of Gaddafi, Saddam and other leaders it wanted eliminated.

Bloody US proxy war on Syria rages in its fifth year. Nearly half the population is displaced.

IS terrorists control large parts of Syrian territory. It appears just a matter of time before conflict reaches Damascus.

If US-terror-bombing targets Assad's forces, expect Syria to become another Libya with endless conflict, chaos, turmoil and human misery throughout the country under dystopian conditions.

America's killing machine operates this way against one country after another on the bogus pretext of protecting national security, humanitarian intervention and spreading democracy worldwide.

US mission creep apparently intends greater war on Syria than already. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said if so-called rebels "are contested by regime forces, we would have some responsibility to help them" - code language perhaps for full-scale US naked aggression against Syria posing no threat to America or its neighbors.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Netanyahu's Sham Settlement Bloc Boundaries Proposal

Netanyahu's Sham Settlement Bloc Boundaries Proposal

by Stephen Lendman

Reports indicate Netanyahu proposed establishing boundaries on settlement blocs - on the one hand to justify continuing illegal construction on stolen Palestinian land.

On the other, for Israel to annex under any peace agreement. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the proposal was always Netanyahu's position - so "nobody should be surprised."

"(E)veryone in the Likud knows if there will ever be a partner for peace, it is clear there will be territorial concessions" - code language for grand theft with Palestinians having no say whatever over what's rightfully theirs.

Israel already controls over 60% of West Bank land and much of East Jerusalem. Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called Netanyahu's proposal "dangerous and precedential."
It contradicts government guidelines for Jews to have all Judea and Samaria, he said.

Netanyahu's proposal is little more than a PR stunt. He publicly rejected peace talks as a waste of time. He fundamentally opposes Palestinian statehood. He wants unlimited settlement construction.

He consistently says one thing and does another when it comes to issues of Palestinian rights. He affords them none at all.

His proposal was duplicitous grandstanding to enlist international support for policies on his watch demanding universal condemnation.

Last summer's Gaza war revealed his true position. Palestinian rights don't matter - nor fundamental international law.

Israel under Netanyahu and likeminded extremists is increasingly being recognized as an outlaw pariah state.
A previous article called him a hate-mongering racist, mass murderer and serial liar.

He heads a repressive fascist regime. He deplores peace and stability. Persecuting Palestinians and denying them fundamental rights is longstanding Israeli policy - worse than ever under Netanyahu. He exceeds Sharonian evil.

Senior Palestinian Authority officials rejected his PR stunt. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said:

"It's a request to continue illegal settlement construction with Palestinian consent. This looks like one state and two systems rather than two sovereign and democratic states."

"If Mr. Netanyahu wants to have meaningful negotiations ending the occupation that began in 1967, he should recognize a Palestinian State on the 1967 border and honor Israel's obligations including a halt of settlement construction and the release of the Palestinian prisoners."

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi blasted Netanyahu calling his scheme a "disingenuous and manipulative exercise of political and legal deception."

"All settlements are illegal and in flagrant contravention of international law and consensus, and any efforts to annex and to legalize the settlement blocs is a blatant attempt to steal more Palestinian land and to legitimize Israel's ongoing system of apartheid, land theft and expansion."

Talks with Israel should be based on international law with a binding timetable for ending occupation and removing settlements, she stressed. Nothing less is acceptable.

In nearly 50 years of occupation, Israel never negotiated in good faith. Why expect a new leaf under the most ruthless regime in its history.

Israel steals Palestinian land regularly for exclusive Jewish development. Entire Palestinian villages are destroyed to ethnically cleanse Arabs.

Homes are lawlessly bulldozed. Families are uprooted. When Israel wants Palestinian land, it steals it. 

On May 26, Haaretz reported one example, saying "Israel Defense Forces' Civil Administration transferred hundreds of meters of private (Palestinian) land…to the West Bank settlement of Shim'a.

The Samsaras family lost their property. Their High Court petition to halt construction was rejected. Justice Anat Baron said work in the area stopped so there was no need for court intervention.

A Final Comment

While Netanyahu pretended to turn a new leaf, his security force thugs critically injured a 10-year-old Palestinian boy.

Fishermen and farmers were attacked. Palestinian communities were terrorized. Gaza remains repressively besieged for political, not security reasons.

Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Aziz Dweik was sentenced to one year in prison and a 6,000 shekel fine for belonging to the wrong political party.

Children continue being tortured during interrogations for the alleged crime of stone-throwing.

Noor Muhammad Hilmi Hamamrah is one of countless victims. His mouth was forced open. Interrogators began prying off his braces. He was threatened with having all his teeth ripped out if he didn't confess to throwing stones at Israeli cars.

On May 26, the Al Haq human rights group said Palestinian land annexation is increasing. Settlements are expanding. Settlers attack Palestinians with impunity - on average multiple times weekly. 

Abuses on Netanyahu's watch are horrific. The only new leaf he'll turn is making them worse than ever.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

China's Military Strategy

China's Military Strategy

by Stephen Lendman

On May 26, China's official press agency Xinhua headlined "China rolls out military roadmap of 'active defense' strategy," saying:

An official white paper issued by the State Council Information Office titled "China's Military Strategy" pledged "closer international security cooperation."

It stressed "the principles of defense, self-defense and post-emptive strike." It said China isn't aggressive. It will "counterattack" if attacked.

Focus will be placed on "winning informationized local wars." International security cooperation will be stressed "in areas crucially related to overseas interests."

Four "critical security domains" were highlighted - "ocean, outer space, cyberspace and nuclear force."

China's navy will defend offshore and "open seas" waters. Cybersecurity will be prioritized.

Beijing opposes weaponizing space. It "vowed to secure its space assets." It pledged no nuclear arms race with other countries.

It stressed a commitment to world peace and stability. It won't "pursue military expansion."

It fundamentally opposes hegemonism and power politics in all forms. It faces multiple complex security threats - including "illegal, military presence on China's territory, and outside parties involving themselves in South China Sea affairs," a clear reference to US regional meddling.

Beijing considers US South China Sea surveillance flights unacceptable provocations. The Pentagon admits flying its most advanced P-8A-Poseidon spy plane regularly in the area - monitoring Beijing activities primarily.

A May 25 state-run Global Times editorial bluntly warned:

"If the United States' bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea."

"China will have no choice but to engage" in response to US provocations. Beijing's waters are its own. Its message says it won't tolerate US intervention where it doesn't belong.

China is concerned about America's increasing Asia/Pacific presence as well as Japan's intent on "overhauling its military and security policies" cooperatively with Washington.

"(A)nti-China forces have never given up their attempt to instigate a color revolution" against Beijing, the white paper said. The risk of potential conflict is real.

Hawkish US senators want a comprehensive anti-China strategy adopted. In a letter to Defense Secretary Carter, they said "longstanding interests of the United States, as well as our allies and partners, stand at considerable risk."

They want Beijing challenged in its own part of the world - perhaps belligerently. On the one hand, they slam China's legitimate military presence in its own territory.

On the other, they ignore menacing US bases, nuclear-armed navy and tens of thousands of US combat troops close to China's borders - a direct threat to its security.

Last week, US Pacific Command (PACOM) hosted military officials from 22 Asia/Pacific countries in Hawaii. China notably was excluded.

A symposium discussed amphibious military strategies, tactics and capabilities. A US marines amphibious assault demonstration was featured.

Washington aims to integrate amphibious operations with Pacific area nations and ally them against China's growing regional strength and influence.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Washington may expand military patrols in Pacific rim waters - including around China's Spratly Archipelago land reclamation project involving construction of artificial islands atop coral reefs.

US Pacific fleet commander Admiral Harry Harris accused Beijing of building a "great wall of sand" in disputed waters.

He claimed "the scope and pace of building man-made islands raises serious questions about Chinese intentions."

The area involved is 1.5 square miles. "How China proceeds will be a key indicator of whether the region is heading towards confrontation or cooperation." Harris said.

America's belligerent presence risks the former. Apparently nothing was learned from lost Korean and Southeast Asian wars.

China justifiably claims the right to build in its own territorial waters - "indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and adjacent waters," it says. 

Washington has no right to meddle in a part of the world not its own. China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said America should avoid "risky and provocative approaches to maintain regional peace and stability."

She stressed China will defend its territorial sovereignty. Unauthorized intrusions will be challenged.

Longstanding US overreach may lead to direct confrontation with China. The risk of potential conflict is real.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sham Yemen Peace Conference Postponed

Sham Yemen Peace Conference Postponed

by Stephen Lendman

Riyadh's 3-day May 17 - 19 so-called peace conference was little more than a thinly veiled PR stunt. It featured photo-ops. 

It was entirely one-sided. Nothing was accomplished. Pro-Western/Saudi supporters alone showed up.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for another conference in Geneva - to begin May 28.

Over the weekend it was "indefinitely postponed." Houthis refused to accept one-sided Security Council Resolution 2216 provisions.

It supports aggression, they said. It calls for their unconditional surrender by demanding they withdraw from areas held, lay down their arms, cease their liberating struggle, recognize the illegitimate ousted Hadi regime and refrain from nonexistent provocations against neighboring states.

It mandated other unacceptable one-sided terms. It imposed an arms embargo on Houthis alone. It fueled conflict by ignoring their free-flow to US/Saudi-supported forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for "a UN-brokered process of political settlement via an inclusive national dialogue" with no outside interference.

Saudi terror-bombing and shelling continue. Scores die daily. Many others are injured. Civilians by far suffer most.

Oxfam said over two-thirds of Yemen's 24 million people have no access to clean water and sanitation - making them vulnerable to diseases and death.

Oxfam's Grace Ommer said the numbers affected are "equivalent to the populations of Berlin, London, Paris and Rome combined…"

Millions of Yemenis are "rotting under heaps of garbage in the streets, broken sewage pipes and without clean water for the 7th consecutive week" - a disaster worsening daily.

Ommer called for an immediate halt in fighting to allow rebuilding of water infrastructure.

Yemeni authorities in 11 cities urgently requested humanitarian organizations provide fuel for pumps to supply water.

Ommer warned of a serious disease outbreak if water and sanitation issued aren't quickly addressed.

Over half the population lack enough food and nutrition to survive. An epidemic of food insecurity worsens daily.

Full-blown humanitarian crisis conditions exist. US-orchestrated/Saudi-led terror bombing heads toward its third month.

Fars News estimates nearly 4,000 killed, many thousands more wounded. Freedom House Foundation indicates most casualties are civilian men, women and children.

Vital infrastructure as well as thousands of residential buildings and public facilities have been damaged or destroyed.

Yemeni mosques, monuments and historical sites are targeted. Last Thursday, Saudi warplanes destroyed the Dhamar regional museum.  Artifacts in it dated back thousands of years - an invaluable treasure lost. 

Western media headline likely Islamic State fighters destroying Palmyra, Syria treasures - at the same time ignoring Dhamar.

Yemen is Obama's war, planned months before Saudi-led terror bombing began. The nation is being systematically ravaged and destroyed - raped by US imperialism.

Western, Israeli and Arab leaders support what demands universal condemnation and accountability.

Millions of Yemeni lives are at risk. Bodies keep piling up in streets and under rubble of destroyed structures.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's earlier four-point peace proposal to end fighting was ignored. It called for:

  • warring parties agreeing to halt fighting;

  • providing desperately needed humanitarian aid;

  • initiating intra-Yemeni dialogue; and

  • establishing unity governance with all parties participating.

Yemenis should resolve their own issues, Zarif stressed, free from outside interference. International law prohibits intervening in the internal affairs of other countries.

It forbids attacking another country except in self-defense and only if Security Council members authorize it.

No such authorization exists. US/Saudi et al war on Yemen is naked aggression by any standard. Nothing in prospect suggests resolving things quickly or equitably.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Netanyahu Appoints Right-Wing Extremist to Head Israel's Diplomatic Corps

Netanyahu Appoints Right-Wing Extremist to Head Israel's Diplomatic Corps

by Stephen Lendman

Nissim Ben Shitrit is out as Israeli Foreign Ministry director-general. Netanyahu thanked him for his services. Dore Gold replaces him. He heads the neocon Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

He's a longtime Netanyahu confidant. He earlier advised him on foreign policy. They share the same over-the-top racist, hawkish ideology.

Gold is a former Israeli UN envoy, Sharon advisor, and sham peace process negotiator and advisor, among other dubious credentials.

From 1985 - 1996, he was a Dayan Center for Near East Studies senior research associate and Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies US foreign and defense policy project director.

In 1991, he was a sham Madrid Peace Conference advisor. In 1996-97, he was Netanyahu's foreign policy advisor in his first term as prime minister.

From 1997- 1999, he was Israel's UN envoy. In 1998, he was a Wye River sham peace negotiator.

From 2002 - 2004, he was a Sharon advisor. Since 2000, he's been Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president.

In 2013, he again served as a Netanyahu's advisor on Israel's relations with Washington, the UN and Iran policy. Since January 2014, he was an hourly consultant until Netanyahu announced early elections.

He's a former neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar despite living in Jerusalem at the time - paid $96,000 a year from 2001 - 2004. AEI didn't list him as a scholar. Perhaps he remains covertly affiliated.

He's militantly pro-war, pro-Jewish supremacy, anti-Palestinian statehood, anti-Iran. 

In a recent article, he lied claiming Tehran "is clearly exploiting its nuclear talks with the West to establish its hegemonic position and erect a new regional order from Yemen to Kurdistan."

He calls it "completely unrealistic to propose negotiations to reach a full-blown final status agreement with the Palestinians" - given what's ongoing in the region. 

He once said if Palestinians declared statehood within June 1967 borders, "Israel would have to respond forcefully and immediately annex vital areas like IDF security zones, settlement blocs, and points of national-religious significance to the Jewish people."

"For now, Israel will have to take measured steps to deter Abbas from going further down the path of unilateralism." 

Former Saudi ambassador to Washington/Riyadh intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan once called him "simply hatred's scribe."

In past testimony before Congress, he lied claiming Israel faces a diplomatic assault able to undo its West Bank defenses providing security since June 1967.

He said Oslo "envisioned a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with borders to be decided by the parties themselves and not imposed by" other nations or "unilateral acts."

Washington doesn't expect Israel to withdraw from all territory it occupied in June 1967, he maintained.

He claimed Israel is being asked to make unprecedented concessions risking its security and future at a time "the entire Middle East is engulfed in flames."

Congressional support was predictable. Big Lies and Israeli ruthlessness don't weaken it. One rogue state supports another.

In acknowledging his new appointment, Gold said "I am aware of the various significant challenges facing Israel in this time, and my duty to protect the country's interests."

Gold's book titled "The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West and the Future of the Holy City" became a 2007 New York Times bestseller. With enough promotion, even rubbish, hate-mongering and outrageous Big Lies sell.

Among other extremist views, Gold argues for Jerusalem to stay united under Israeli sovereignty based on the Jewish people's historical rights - invented ones to deny Palestinians their legitimate historic and cultural ones.

Jerusalem was always a Jewish city, Gold claims - contrary to historical facts. He absurdly says its holy sites would be endangered under any authority besides Israel's.

In his new capacity, he'll help advance Israel's imperial agenda - including its extremist ideology couched in diplomatic rhetoric.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Venezuelan/Palestinian Relations: Based on Brotherhood, Solidarity and Mutual Support

Venezuelan/Palestine Relations: Based on Brotherhood, Solidarity and Mutual Support

by Stephen Lendman

Hugo Chavez recognized Palestinian self-determination saying "I address these words to the United Nations General Assembly…to ratify, in this day and in this setting, Venezuela's full support of the recognition of the Palestinian state: of Palestine's right to become a free, sovereign and independent state."

Chavez was the first head of state to condemn Israel's 2006 aggression against Lebanon.

He publicly accused Israel of "going mad and inflicting on the people of Palestine and Lebanon the same thing they have criticized, and with reason: the holocaust."

"But this is a new holocaust," he said, with the help of America - a rogue state responsible for regional genocide.

After Israel's 2008-09 naked aggression on Gaza, Chavez severed diplomatic ties with Israel, condemning its lawlessness.

On April 27, 2009, then Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (current Venezuelan president) established formal diplomatic relations with Palestine.

Chavez condemned Israeli genocide saying "(t)he question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They're doing it openly."

At the same time, he affirmed "the right of Israel to live, like those in every other country. They all have the same rights, and that includes the future Palestinian state. But Israel must respect this principle of self-determination for Palestinians."

In June 2010, Chavez accused Israel of "financing the Venezuelan opposition. There are even groups of Israeli terrorists, of the Mossad, who are after me trying to kill me."

He called Israel a "terrorist and murderous state. I take this opportunity to condemn again from the bottom of my soul and my guts the state of Israel: Cursed be, state of Israel! Cursed is cursed, terrorists and assassins."

Israel is "the assassin arm of the United States. (O)ne day the genocidal state of Israel will be put in its place."

Last week, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said "(f)ollowing instructions from President Nicolas Maduro, we will raise our representation in the heroic Palestinian states to embassy level."

The announcement followed Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki's Caracas visit last week.

At the time, 18 bilateral agreements were signed in areas of education, trade, energy, agriculture, health, defense and security.

Maduro expressed support for Palestine saying it "will forever count on all the solidarity of the people of the liberators, the people of Venezuela."

"The project of the Palestinian people does not exclude anyone. It doesn't feel superior to anyone. It doesn't make concentration camps for anyone. (It's) about living and coexisting in peace."

Maduro offered to work for greater Caribbean support for Palestine. 

Al-Maliki said "(w)e are marking a very important path in the bilateral relations between Venezuela and Palestine, a relation based not only on political support between both countries, but on exchange of the Revolution."

He was granted the honorary title of "illustrious citizen" of Caracas and given symbolic keys to the city.

Rodriguez and Al-Maliki signed an agreement designating Caracas and East Jerusalem sister cities.

Since 2013, Venezuela supplied Palestine with cheap oil. During Israel's summer 2014 naked aggression on Gaza, Maduro "vigorously condemn(ed) the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people."

In January, Palestinian ambassador to Venezuela Linda Sabeh Ali called the Bolivarian nation "a free land of liberators." 

"We dream of a free country like this," she said. She expressed gratitude to its government for supporting the Palestinian people.

She highlighted the importance of close bilateral cooperation in vital areas of mutual interest - including letting around 1,000 Palestinians receive free university education in Venezuela, not offered them in Israel.

Israeli education from kindergarden to the highest levels vilifies Arabs - calling them hostile, deviant, cruel, violent, bloodthirsty, immoral, inferior and committed to Israel's destruction.

Young minds are brainwashed before they're old enough to understand. Arabs are demonized for not being Jews.

It's a short leap from demonization to genocide. It's been ongoing against Palestinians since 1948.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Propaganda Accompanies Kiev's Buildup for Escalated Aggression

Propaganda Accompanies Kiev's Buildup for Escalated Aggression

by Stephen Lendman

Poroshenko vowed earlier to regain Donbass and Crimea by "any means" necessary.

Kiev launched naked aggression on Donbass last April. It breached three ceasefire agreements straightaway - the latest Minsk II in February.

Fighting never stopped. Junta forces attack Donbass multiple times daily - 43 shellings in the last 24 hours, according to Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)  Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin.

"The enemy used heavy armaments once again," he said. Areas targeted include Oktyabrskiy near Donetsk's airport, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, Dokuchayevsk, Spartak, Zhabichevo, Grigorovka and Zaitsrvo.

Not according to Kiev's propaganda machine. On the one hand, it calls naked aggression an ATO (anti-terrorist operation).

On the other, it outrageously claims Donbass fighters attack Ukraine's army "day and night" - using "heavy weapons."

Truth is polar opposite. Donbass self-defense forces respond when attacked. They've gone all-out to observe Minsk II ceasefire terms in vain - impossible to achieve when junta officials won't honor them.

Kiev violates them multiple times daily - blaming victims for their crimes. Minsk mandated withdrawing all heavy weapons many kilometers behind the contact line.

Kiev maintained them in place - moving them around to create the appearance of withdrawal. Willful junta deception continues substituting for honoring ceasefire terms agreed on.

On Monday, DPR's Basurin reported Kiev building up heavy weapons along the contact line - in blatant violation of Minsk II.

Junta forces deployed BM-21 Grads, Uragan 9K57 multiple rocket launcher systems, and Smerch 9K58 heavy multiple rocket launchers.

They seized a Dzerzhink city hospital. "(M)edical personnel were forcefully evacuated and the work of the medical facility has been blocked," Basurin explained.

Foreign mercenaries seized private property in Artem village. They took over a residential building for their forces.

Junta authorities continue preparing for what appears to be plans for escalated aggression. "(I)ndiscriminate shellings against civilians and the destruction of (DPR) civilian infrastructure" continue, Basurin said.

He stressed DPR self-defense forces "continue strictly complying with their commitments under the Minsk agreements." They respond only when attacked.

In mid-May, Russia's lower house State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexey Pushkov said Washington for the first time acknowledged Kiev ceasefire breaches.

During his visit to Sochi for discussions with Putin, John Kerry admitted it, Pushkov said.

Up to then, US officials lied claiming "Kiev's willingness to implement the accords," he added.

In early May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "strongly urged" OSCE chairman Ivica Dacic "to use his authority" to crack down on "blatant" Kiev ceasefire violations.

No international pressure followed. Multiple junta ceasefire breaches occur daily.

In mid-May, a joint NATO/Kiev statement affirmed support for Ukraine's "sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders" - including Crimea and Donbass.

"…Russia's (nonexistent) aggressive actions and continued violation of international law and its international obligations" were "condemn(ed)."

Junta aggression was ignored - including major crimes of war and against humanity. Partnership between NATO and Kiev was stressed. 

One rogue entity supports another. Endless junta aggression continues. Heavy buildup along the contact line suggests escalated conflict looms.

A Final Comment

On Monday, Ukraine's parliament speaker Volodymyr Groysman signed a decree "rescinding (Kiev's) commitments outlined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter."

It nonsensically claimed a need to repel nonexistent "Russian aggression." Moscow's OSCE envoy Andrei Kelin said the measure legalizes criminal lawlessness in Donbass.

Russia's upper house Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko blasted Kiev saying "responsibility for what's happening in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions rests with the Ukrainian authorities and no one else."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Washington Created the Islamic State (ISIS)

Washington Created the Islamic State (ISIS)

by Stephen Lendman

America's imperial agenda needs war, violence, turmoil and chaos. Peace and stability defeat it.

Judicial Watch obtained a declassified 2012 Pentagon intelligence report anticipating ISIS (the Islamic State - IS) emerging from US support for Al Qaeda and other takfiri terrorists.

It predicted what happened, saying "(i)f the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared salafist principality in eastern Syria…and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

It anticipated "dire consequences" for Iraq - including the fall of Mosul and Ramadi, saying:

An "ideal atmosphere" was created "for AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi."

"ISI (Islamic State of Iraq) could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory." 

Supporting powers include Washington, Turkey, other rogue NATO partners, Gulf states and Israel.

They created and supported takfiri terrorist groups to destabilize Syria, establish a "Salafist Principality," and isolate the Assad government in an attempt to topple it.

According to former UK counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge:

"Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hillary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012." 

"However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion."

"Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support." 

"Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media (have) now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them."

Pentagon intelligence accurately anticipated "an Islamic State (emerging) through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria."

Washington et al supported Syrian "opposition forces" war to "control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), bordering Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)."

Pentagon intelligence confirms US support for IS and other takfiri terrorists - not opposition as officially declared.

Years before public acknowledgement of IS' existence, US defense intelligence knew takfiri terrorists constituted core Assad opposition.

Washington continues providing support. A previous article discussed a man named Yousal Al Salafi in detention in Pakistan getting US funding to recruit fighters to wage war on Assad. 

He admitted getting $600 per recruit. They're trained in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Vice President Joe Biden admitted involvement of US allies in supporting IS and other takfiri terrorists, saying:

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were "so determined to take down Assad" that they supported a "proxy Sunni-Shia war (by supplying) hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons" for anyone willing to fight his government.

Nations America targeted post-9/11 remain cauldrons of violence, chaos and instability. US strategy relies on it to advance its imperial agenda.

It includes endless wars, eliminating all independent governments, making the world safe for Western monied interests, and creating ruler-serf societies unfit to live in.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Netanyahu: Hate-Mongering Racist, Mass Murderer, Serial Liar

Netanyahu: Hate-Mongering Racist, Mass Murderer, Serial Liar

by Stephen Lendman

Netanyahu heads Israel's most extremist government in history. He deplores peace and stability. 

Permanent war on Palestine is official policy. So is treating Arabs the way Hitler treated Jews.

Nothing Netanyahu says is credible. He agrees to one thing. He does another. How anyone stands him, they'll have to explain. Some past and present Israeli officials don't trust him. 

A May 22 Haaretz editorial blasted him headlined "World not  willing to buy Netanyahu's deceit anymore," saying:

He's "steering Israel onto a destructive collision course with its most important allies."

Last week, he lied telling EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini he "support(s) the vision of two states for two peoples - a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state."

On the one hand, he calls peace talks a waste of time. He supports permanent conflict - including ruthless persecution and premeditated naked aggression at his discretion.

On the other, he openly renounced a two-state solution while campaigning. According to Haaretz editors:

"(H)ow can anyone still believe the prime minister?" His word isn't his bond. Nothing he says is believable.

"(I)t appears that both Mogherini and Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Borge Brende, are no longer impressed by what Netanyahu says."

Brende said pressure on Israeli will increase after the nuclear agreement with Iran is signed - provided Washington doesn't surrender to Israeli Lobby pressure to kill it by making unreasonable demands.

He advised him to accept at least one condition Abbas set to resume so-called peace talks - a hoax by any standard.

What Abbas rhetorically wants and will accept are two different things. He claims to want settlement construction halted, Palestinians imprisoned before Oslo released, continuous negotiations and occupation ended by December 2017.

What he'll accept is another matter entirely. He's a longtime Israeli collaborator. He's like Netanyahu. He says one thing. He does another for special benefits received.

Whatever Netanyahu may or may not agree to, his hardline policy remains firm. Chances for peace and recognizing Palestinian statehood are zero.

"Netanyahu can comfortably lean back on the extremist right-wing wall surrounding the cabinet table," said Haaretz editors.

He can say anything - including what everyone wants to hear. The problem is no one believes him.

His agenda is too pure evil to conceal. His over-the-top coalition reviles peace and Palestinian statehood.

It's "turning Israel into a heavy liability to its friends in the United States and Europe," said Haaretz editors.

"Their patience is running out and their ability to protect Israel’s positions from boycotts and difficult Security Council resolutions and to block requests to the International Court of Justice is evaporating."

"The prime minister cannot ignore the important advice he received from the Norwegian foreign minister, which reflects a European consensus." 

"Rejecting it will place Israel on a destructive course of collision with Europe and endanger its people’s future."

Is Israel really in danger of losing its most valued allies? Its entire history reflects institutionalized racism, persecuting Palestinians for not being Jewish, wars at its discretion, and consistent violation of international laws, norms and standards while the world community yawns and does nothing.

Perhaps the only thing able to defeat Yetanyahu is himself. His over-the-top extremism and unbending nature may end up his undoing. Maybe compromising Israeli relations with some of its close allies at the same time.

Who can know. Israel has gotten away with the most outlandish practices since 1948 - including slow-motion genocide affecting millions of Palestinians. 

Accountability didn't follow last summer's genocidal war - or multiple instances of ruthless daily persecution of Arabs for not being Jewish.

Maybe Israel is untouchable or maybe not. Let's hope Haaretz editors are right saying world leaders increasingly are unwilling to buy Netanyahu's deceitfulness anymore. 

Renouncing its rogue regime and lawless officials in it is what's needed to change things.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

US-Supported Islamic State Terrorists Seize Palmyra

US-Supported Islamic State Terrorists Seize Palmyra

by Stephen Lendman

The ancient Syrian city is a UNESCO World Heritage site - one of the Middle East's most treasured ones.

UNESCO calls it one of "outstanding universal value, (an) oasis in the Syria desert" northeast of Damascus.

"From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences."

According to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, its ancient ruins "already suffered four years of conflict. It suffered from looting and represents an irreplaceable treasure for the Syrian people an for the world."

She appealed to "all parties" to prevent its destruction. Short of immediate military intervention if Security Council authorized, ancient treasures appear lost.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich expressed grave concern saying "(w)e'd consider (the) destruction (of Palmyra's architectural treasures) an unpardonable act of vandalism, encroachment on general human values, and an insult to civilization."

"The activity of the so-called anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States has failed to produce results…and has not affected the ability of the Islamic State to expand."

Obama bears full responsibility. Washington recruits, trains, funds, arms and directs IS/ISIS/ISIL Daish terrorists and likeminded ones - using them as proxy foot soldiers against independent governments like Syria it wants toppled.

Last week, the UN said a third of Palmyra's population of 200,000 fled. US-supported Takfiri terrorists control large parts of Syria's north and east.

Syrian state TV said government forces withdrew from the city. On Wednesday, its director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdulkarim, said:

"Hundreds and hundreds of statues we were worried would be smashed and sold are all now in safe places."  

"The fear is for the museum and the large monuments that cannot be moved. This is the entire world's battle."

IS control of Palmyra is "an international catastrophe. It will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery (seen) in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul," Iraq.

UNESCO calls this type wanton destruction a "war crime." IS terrorism is well-known. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported the following:

"Reliable local sources inside the city…said ISIS terrorists slaughtered and mutilated at least 400 civilians, including children, women and elderly people."

Individuals targeted were alleged government loyalists or employees as well as others apparently unwilling to accept IS rule.

Palmyra's National Hospital nursing department head was murdered along with her family members.

Thousands of city residents are trapped. They're prevented from leaving. IS confiscated their property. According to SANA:

"These and other ISIS atrocities are being perpetrated amid shameful international silence, with the Security Council only expressing 'concern' without taking any practical deterrent measures on the ground."

In mid-May, US special forces entered Syria covertly. White House national security council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Obama authorized the operation to kill or capture "ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm."

She's in US military custody in Iraq, said Meehan. Abu Sayyaf was killed, she added. SANA reported the raid. Was it a Syrian operation, not a US one?

Why would Washington want one of its IS commanders killed? SANA reported Syrian forces killed IS "oil minister" Abu Taym Saudi on the same day. Was he Abu Sayyaf? Arabic names are often interchangeable.

Meehan claims the operation was conducted "with the full consent of Iraqi authorities…consistent with domestic and international law," she added.

Syria is Obama's war - naked aggression by any standard using IS and other takfiri terrorists as US proxy foot soldiers. 

Reports indicate IS terrorists seized the Syrian/Iraqi Al-Tanaf border crossing, the last one Damascus controlled. It's 150 miles from Palmyra.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi blamed Washington, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, and other countries backing its war for atrocities committed in Palmyra.

He called on responsible international leaders and human rights organizations to denounce their support for terrorism. 

Obama's war is in its fifth year. Syria is being systematically raped - ravaged and destroyed in plain sight, a testimony to US viciousness.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Grand Theft Poroshenko

Grand Theft Poroshenko

by Stephen Lendman

It shouldn't surprised. Illegitimate oligarch Ukrainian president Poroshenko continues making money the old-fashioned way. 

He profits from shady business deals, greasing palms, outright theft, abusing power and benefitting at the expense of his people.

He faces growing criticism at home and abroad. America may be losing patience with the stooge it installed.

US-controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on his dubious role in a high-value Kiev land deal.

During his tenure as president and years earlier he "quietly appropriated more than a hectare of protected land in Kiev's elite Pechera district and recently quashed an inquiry into the damage of an 18th-century structure caused by construction work on his plot," the report said.

It discussed two plots of land recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Kiev municipal law protects them.

One plot belongs to Poroshenko. The other across the street owned by his business partner Ihor Kononenko - an MP serving as deputy head of Poroshenko's parliamentary Bloc.

He's a former Kiev official - an ally of then-mayor Leonid Chernovetsky. He arranged for Kononenko to acquire city land cost free.

RFE/RL's investigation revealed he got protected state property worth over $25 million - using a land-acquisition scheme based on a fake housing cooperative society.

Kononenko created a shell company, Zelenbudservis-K. It controlled state landscaping for the site. It shifted from private to housing cooperative society status.

It let Kononenko acquire the property cost-free - later approved by Kiev lawmakers in April 2009.

The deal wreaked of gross irregularities. Zelenbudservis-K cooperative society members weren't on Kiev's housing register - a legal requirement to ensure free land goes to needy city residents.

At least half the 12 members have close ties to Kononenko and Poroshenko.

They include Kononenko's sister, a Poroshenko political advisor, city council secretary Oles Dovhy responsible for initiating the deal, and private shell company Ukrsel.

It bought the land from Zelenbudservis-K. Then helped Kononenko and Poroshenko acquire it.

Poroshenko tried quashing efforts to hide his dealings - abusing presidential power in the process.

RFE/RL's report revealed damage inside a UNESCO buffer zone caused by digging on his ill-gotten land - begun without required Culture Ministry or National Academy of Science permission, the authorities in charge of regulating area construction.

A district prosecutor initiated criminal charges. Ukrainian laws were broken. Five months after Poroshenko took office, proceedings against him were dropped.

Days later, he authorized resumed construction on the site. He breached his campaign pledge to divest from assets he owned while in office.

He continues corrupt business dealings as president. His entire career reflects criminality - including stealing state property, money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and other forms of grand theft.

He's driven by greed and lust for power. It bears repeating. He makes money the old-fashioned way. He steals it unaccountably.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs

Hillary Clinton Endorses GMOs

by Stephen Lendman

Independent studies show genetically modified foods and ingredients harm human health.

Reports indicate White House meals are organic. Michelle Obama's book titled "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America indicate the first family's commitment to organic (non-GMO) foods in their personal diet.

What they want the rest of America to eat is another story altogether - especially if Hillary is elected president in November 2016.

At a July 2014 biotech conference, she publicly endorsed GMOs saying "I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record."

She attacked GMO critics adding "(t)here is a big gap between what the facts are, and what the perceptions are."

The Clinton and Bush II families ate organic foods. Walter Scheib was White House executive chef from 1994 - 2005.

He had "the professional challenge of fulfilling Hillary Clinton's mandate of bringing contemporary American cuisine and nutritionally responsible food to the White House," he said.

Nearly all foods used were gotten from local growers and suppliers. A small White House roof garden was used for produce grown without pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods were prioritized.

First families continue to get wholesome pesticide/GMO-free foods while promoting frankenfoods hazardous to human health for Monsanto and other biotech giants.

In 2014, Organic Consumers Union associate director Katherine Paul said "(i)f Hillary Clinton intends to run for office in 2016, she should think carefully about supporting a food and farming system that is proven to be detrimental to public health."

Her view are "no different than those of previous administrations, including the Bush (II), Clinton, (Bush I) and Reagan administrations, and they are taken straight from the biotech industry's talking points."

Hillary's biotech/agribusiness ties surfaced in the 1980s as a Rose Law firm lawyer. Monsanto and Tyson Foods were clients.

As Secretary of State, her State Department heavily pressured other countries to use GMOs. Taxpayer money was used to promote them worldwide.

Big Lies were spread, hard truths suppressed. Industry talking points substituted for prioritizing food safety.

On May 17, the Washington Times said Hillary's biotech/agribusiness ties earned her the nickname "Bride of Frankenfood."

"In the GMO debate, Mrs. Clinton has consistently sided with the chemical companies," WT said.

Monsanto gave the Clinton Foundation from half a million to one million dollars - Ag giant Dow Chemical from one to five million dollars, according to Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation disclosures.

Numerous other corporate giants contributed large sums. Expect them donating handsomely to Hillary's presidential campaign.

She chose longtime Monsanto lobbyist Jerry Crawford to serve as advisor to her "Ready for Hillary" super PAC.

Earlier he worked for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. He's involved in fighting small farmers judicially - to protect Monsanto's seed interests.

Throughout her professional career, especially in politics and as first lady, Hillary has been on the wrong side of major issues mattering most - including healthcare, safe food and promoting war over peace and stability.

It's not coincidental that she and Bill became super-rich after leaving the White House in 2001.

Financial disclosures show they earned over $163 million from 2001 - 2012 - including Hillary's years as New York senator and Secretary of State.

In speeches delivered since January 2014, they earned more than $25 million. Hillary earned over $5 million from her 2014 memoir, "Hard Choices."

During her White House years, she partnered in her husband's high crimes. She shamelessly self-promoted throughout her Washington years and since leaving government.

She unabashedly hawkish. In 1999, she urged Bill to bomb Belgrade. Straightaway post-9/11,  she supported waging (phony) war on terror.

She supported Bush and Obama's worst crimes. She endorses nuclear weapons use. She calls them peacekeeping deterrents.

She earlier threatened Iran with total annihilation if it considered attacking Israel.

She wanted Gaddafi toppled. She urged genocidal war to eliminate him. She publicly gloated saying "(w)e came. We saw. He died."

She pushed for war on Syria to oust Assad. She outrageously compares Russia to Nazi Germany. She lies claiming Putin's aims are revanchist.

Her foundation took Saudi and Ukrainian oligarch/former parliamentarian dirty money. Over a dozen foreign influence peddlers were large foundation donors - after Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009.

As a presidential aspirant, critics claim a potentially serious conflict of interest accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments she'd have direct dealings with if elected.

Federal law prohibits governments, corporations, individuals and groups from contributing to US political campaigns.

Funding Clinton's foundation buys influence. She represents the worst of America's dark side. America already is unfit to live in. Imagine how much worse with her as president.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.