Sunday, January 22, 2017

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

by Stephen Lendman

Americans need shoving to take to the streets and protest for or against anything or anyone. It doesn’t happen spontaneously.

With few exceptions at most, various groups from activists to anarchists aren’t behind anti-Trump protests. Nor were women turning out in large numbers nationwide and abroad.

Dark forces in Washington, corporate boardrooms and other centers of power manipulated Americans to turn out in large numbers, before, during and after Trump’s inauguration - part of a plot to delegitimize and undermine him.

It began to prevent his nomination, later based on the phony pretext of Russian US election hacking, along with sure-thing Hillary’s convincing loss and political demise.

Anyone knowing anything about her high crimes and evil intent should be dancing in the streets - not engaged in anti-Trump protests, in some cases smashing windows, committing other forms of vandalism and making damn fools of themselves for the wrong reasons.

Unknown numbers were paid to protest, international con man George Soros involved, along with other pro-Hillary political and corporate interests like him, notably Wall Street and war-profiteers. 

Wouldn’t suspicious money spread around to enlist protesters alert any sensible person to know something rotten is going on, wanting no part of being used.

Sadly not given how easily ill-and-misinformed Americans are easy marks to manipulate - no matter how many times they were fooled before.

Is WMD lying so quickly forgotten, and numerous other dirty tricks like it going back endlessly in time, all with the same common denominator - deep state deception, manipulating public opinion to go along with what demands denunciation.

Countless thousands of women turning out across America thinking Hillary represents them, not Trump, likely think fantasy democracy in America is real, a model for other countries to emulate - astonishing given so much evidence disproving them.

Interviewed by BBC, William and Mary College Assistant Professor of Government Debra Shushan said “Americans are very proud of our democracy.” She should have been asked what country she really meant because America is a plutocracy, not a democracy, never was from inception. 

As an academic at an esteemed university, she should know that. She’s no dummy - a Harvard summa cum laude graduate, a Phi Beta Kappa member, a Yale PhD, impressive credentials, and yet she protested for the wrong reasons based on her BBC comments.

She railed about “creeping tyranny and authoritarian tendencies that are being shown by the new (US) administration.”

The BBC interviewer said nothing about Trump being in office around a scant 24 hours with no record on which to judge him when she denigrated him unfairly, based only on what she thinks he’ll do, nothing he’s done except sign an executive order on day one in office.

If she doesn’t understand what’s going on, a woman of high intellect, how could far less educated individuals than she know they’re being had.

America became tyrannical, authoritarian, neoliberal and neocon since the Clinton co-presidency, hardened under Bush/Cheney, worst of all under Obama.

Based on his rhetoric alone, Trump showed signs of stepping back from the brink geopolitically, a major change in US foreign policy if his actions back what he said - something to support and cheer about, not denounce and rail against in the streets.

For the most part, we don’t know what’s coming under his stewardship. Once his policies become known, he’ll prove himself for good or ill, but not until then.

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: How the 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. 

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Discussed in a same day article, talks are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, longer if necessary.

Because of US obstructionism under Obama, multiple rounds of earlier talks failed, despite Russia’s good faith efforts for cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution.

Will this time be different? It’s hard being optimistic after years of failure. Maybe Trump succeeding Obama will bring positive change for Syria. Millions of its people and anti-war activists worldwide hope so.

Interviewed on Japan’s TBS TV channel, Assad said “(w)e don’t have expectations. Let’s say we have hopes from Astana…”

Government and terrorist groups (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra) will meet face-to-face for the first time - aiming for “ceasefire and to allow (these) groups to join the reconciliation in Syria, which means giving up (their) armaments and (receiving) amnesty” in return.

Any political discussion must conform to Syria’s constitution, Assad stressed. There’s nothing in it about transitional government. Different political parties representing different interests are permitted.

Assad can only judge Trump by his rhetoric so far. His policy on Syria is unknown until formulated. He said he intends to fight ISIS.

What about other terrorist groups in Syria? “(W)e expect, and we hope, (he’ll) be genuine in implementing (his) rhetoric regarding terrorism and help not only Syria, because terrorism today is not a Syrian problem. It’s a Middle Eastern and global problem.”

Under Obama, America aided ISIS and other terrorist groups, Assad made clear. So did Turkey and other US allies. Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed for crimes they and their terrorist foot soldiers committed.

Assad: “We did our utmost not to have (civilian) casualties, but those who’ve been out crying for the civilians, did they present any shred of evidence about Syria killing civilians, or Russia?” 

“The other question: how can a government morally kill its own people? And if we kill our own people, the civilians, how can we withstand six years, as a government or as army or as President? This is not logical, this is not realistic. We are here because we have the public support.”

Asked if he’d consider resigning as a step toward reconciliation, he stressed “(t)he president’s departure or staying in office can only be decided through the ballot boxes,” not by elements outside the country.

Rebuilding in liberated areas began, Assad explained. It’ll take time, lots of money and help from valued allies.

He’s most concerned about ending the war and “rebuild(ing) the minds of the people that have been under the control of ISIS and al-Nusra for many years.”

They’ve been grievously harmed. They saw friends and family members murdered, along with other gruesome atrocities.

“How can we rebuild…or rehabilitate (the) minds” of so many so brutally mistreated,” Assad asked? “That’s our big concern after the crisis.”

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: How the 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.

Trump at Langley

Trump at Langley

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, Trump entered the lion’s den, visiting and speaking at CIA headquarters.

The agency under departed director John Brennan wanted his scalp - delegitimized and undermined, based on phony claims of Russian US election hacking, helping him defeat Hillary.

He’s now America’s 45th president. His incoming CIA director Mike Pompeo has yet to be confirmed. Senate Democrats Ron Wyden (OR), Patrick Leahy (VT) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) delayed his confirmation, solely for political reasons.

It was scheduled for Friday, Trump’s inaugural day. A joint statement said “in these dangerous times, (his) nomination (must) be thoroughly vetted, questioned and debated.”

With or without Pompeo in charge, the CIA constitutes a major threat to Trump, all other prominent figures challenging dirty business as usual - and most important world peace.

The late Chalmers Johnson called the agency incompatible with democratic freedoms. Its “unchecked power” threatens everyone everywhere. Its existence “shorten(s) the life of the American republic.”

At Langley, Trump spoke to around 400 CIA personnel, coming in on their day off to hear him. With Pompeo accompanying him, he criticized Senate Democrats for delaying his confirmation, saying they’re “playing little political games.”

Trump wants him heading the agency posing his greatest threat, saying he was the only one he interviewed for the job. “I didn’t want to meet anybody else. I said cancel them, cancel them.”

He told House Speaker Paul Ryan “I don’t want to lose this guy.” Does he believe Pompeo as his man heading the CIA can protect him from potential agency anti-Trump long knives?

Does he believe a peace offering by showing up as his “first (post-inaugural) stop,” and saying he’s “behind you 1000%…(N)obody…feels stronger about the intelligence community and CIA than Donald Trump” can save him if agency dark forces want him eliminated?

Last week, he blasted now departed CIA head John Brennan for being “the leaker of (anti-Trump) fake news”- referring the fabricated dodgy dossier, claiming Russia has compromising information about him, alleging it could be used for manipulative purposes.

No one is afforded a honeymoon with America’s leading rogue agency without playing by its rules, established by America’s deep state.

If Trump goes his own way, contrary to longstanding US practices, especially geopolitically, he’ll be vulnerable to impeachment or assassination.

Peacemaking at Langley, with his man in charge once confirmed, won’t help if he’s targeted for removal.

His vulnerability, or lack of it, will be better known once his policies become clear. Unprecedented vilification throughout the political season and post-election aftermath isn’t an encouraging sign.

The best advice he should heed is watch your back. Even that won’t help if America’s deep state wants him removed and replaced. Rough and tumble times ahead seem likely.

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: How the 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.

Relentless Media War on Trump

Relentless Media War on Trump

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout his campaign and post-election triumph, media scoundrels bashed him relentlessly - an unprecedented war, aimed at delegitimizing and undermining him, continuing post-inauguration.

Earlier The New York Times claimed his candidacy caused “serious damage…to the country (and) its reputation overseas” - ignoring 24 horrific Clinton co-presidency, Bush/Cheney and Obama years, their relentless war on humanity at home and abroad harming millions.

Trump antagonists aren’t about to go quietly and gently into the good night. Rage against him is unrelenting, uncompromising, hugely emotional, furious over Hillary’s political demise, hopefully once and for all - her war crimes, racketing and perjury unpunished, ignored by supportive media scoundrels.

On Saturday, incoming Trump press secretary Sean Spicer briefed the White House press corp, blasting them for “egregious” and “deliberately false reporting” of Trump’s inauguration, his straight talk powerful address, and first day in office.

Spicer: “Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.” One reporter “falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed form the Oval Office…This was just plain wrong.” 

Separately, Spicer tweeted “(a) reminder of the media danger of tweet first check facts later”

Continuing during his press briefing, he said “(p)hotographs of the Inauguration proceeding were intentionally framed in a way to minimize the enormous support it had gathered on the National Mall.”

“Inaccurate numbers regarding crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall does not put any out.”

The same goes for Saturday’s women’s march. “There’s been a lot of talk in the media about holding President Trump accountable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways,” Spicer roared. 

“We’re going to hold the press accountable as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger of this incredible movement, he will take this message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.” 

How refreshing to have the White House (Trump and Spicer) bash America’s deplorable media scoundrels, proliferators of fake news, presstitution, not what journalism is supposed to be. Keep bashing!

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: How the 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.

Syria Peace Talks to Begin Monday

Syria Peace Talks to Begin Monday

by Stephen Lendman

During six years of Obama’s war, three rounds of Geneva talks failed - because of US obstructionism.

Neocons infesting Obama’s administration wanted endless war for regime change, not peace; mass slaughter and destruction, not conflict resolution; chaos, not calm.

Will Trump go a different way? It’ll take a while to find out. Much depends on what he decides. Sunday is his third day in office.

Though active pre-inauguration, Friday and Saturday, he won’t hit the ground running until Monday - even though working days are every day for presidents.

Russia extended an invitation to his administration to participate in Astana, Kazakhstan Syria peace talks - specifically National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Delegations from Syria, Russia, Iran, Turkey, an umbrella group representing opposition terrorists (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra), and pro-Western UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura are attending.

According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner, “(g)iven our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Washington” won’t be participating.

Trump’s secretary of state designee Rex Tillerson hasn’t yet been confirmed. On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members will vote on his nomination.

Republicans hold a one seat majority. Neocon senators Marco Rubio (FL) and John McCain (AZ) haven’t said if they’ll support or oppose him.

With or without majority Foreign Relations Committee approval, he’s likely to get the needed 50 or more full Senate votes to become Trump’s chief foreign policy official.

Until then, the office of secretary of state is being run by lower-level bureaucrats, including Obama holdover Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr. 

US ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol will attend Syria peace talks as an observer. On February 8, follow-up discussions will be held in Geneva, hopefully with full US participation, committed for conflict resolution - not rage for endless war like Obama.

Astana talks will focus on confirming ceasefire terms agreed to by Russia, Iran and Turkey, based on the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2254 - effective midnight December 29, ISIS and al-Nusra excluded.

According to an unnamed source close to the talks, no new initiatives are planned. “The key task is to confirm” ceasefire agreement terms.

“From the opposition’s side at the talks will be exclusively representatives of armed groups, who can undertake straight obligations to observe truce.”

For the first time, Syrian officials and opposition group representatives will hold face-to-face talks. Whether success is possible this time, unlike earlier, remains to be seen.

Astana was chosen as a neutral venue. Talks are scheduled for January 23 and 24, maybe longer if necessary - to be followed by a news conference when completed.

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: How the 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.

Trump and Netanyahu to Speak on Sunday

Trump and Netanyahu to Speak on Sunday

by Stephen Lendman

They both met face-to-face before. Sunday’s phone conversation will be their first post-inauguration, Netanyahu eager to work with America’s new president.

Last March, at AIPAC’s annual conference, he said he’s “a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.” He shamefully called the important Iran nuclear deal “catastrophic for America, for Israel and the whole Middle East.”

Iran’s nuclear program doesn’t now nor did it earlier have a military component. The Iranian “problem” Trump and others hype is its sovereign independence. Its government poses no threat to Israel, the region or other nations elsewhere.

Reportedly America’s new president and Netanyahu will discuss Palestine, Syria, Iran and perhaps other issues. Israel rejects Palestinian statehood. It wants regime change in Iran and Syria.

Netanyahu calls rescinding the Iran nuclear deal one of his top priorities - unlikely to be achieved with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China strongly supporting it, no matter which way Trump goes.

On Friday, Israeli intelligence officials warned Netanyahu against pressuring him to abandon the deal - fearing a possible “chasm between Washington and other signatories, most importantly Moscow and Beijing.”

Saturday on his Facebook page, Netanyahu said he and Trump will discuss “ways to oppose the threat of the Iranian regime, which calls for the destruction of Israel” - a bald-faced lie.

Separately, hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett called the next few weeks “a unique window of opportunity” for Netanyahu to tell Trump what he wants from Washington.

He wants annexation of so-called Area C, around 60% of West Bank territory Israel controls - a prescription for possible explosive violence if undertaken. 

Hours after Trump’s electoral triumph, he said “the era of a Palestinian state is over,” claiming “the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel.”

It destroys any chance for Palestinian liberation. “If someone wants to launch an intifada, that’s their decision,” he ranted. “We cannot capitulate to violence or threat of violence.”

Bennett, Netanyahu and many others are part of Israel’s lunatic fringe. Defying international law, they claim East Jerusalem and the West Bank aren’t occupied, land-grabbing what belongs to Palestinians isn’t theft, and historic Palestine belongs to Israel.

If Trump accepts this ideological extremism, a potential incendiary environment will be created - especially if he defies international law by moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem - an international city under a UN protectorate.

After years of endless US imperial wars, the region is hugely unstable already. Will Trump step back from the brink or risk turning bad to worse by wrongheaded US policy toward Israel/Palestine?

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: How the 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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli settlements flagrantly violate international law. Over 600,000 settlers occupy stolen Palestinian land.

Fourth Geneva prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the territory it occupies, as well as displacing people from their land to permit it. 

Israel wants historic Palestine exclusively for Jews, Palestinians denied their fundamental rights - terrorized for decades with no international support.

Ma’aleh Adumim is Israel’s third largest settlement, home to over 37,500 residents. Extremist settlers and Knesset hardliners want it annexed.

On January 22, Knesset Ministerial Committee members will consider annexation legislation, believing Washington will wink and nod with Trump in power, one-sidedly supporting Israel.

Last Tuesday, Knesset Land of Israel Caucus co-chair Bezalet Smotrich arrogantly said “I believe that this is the present the nation of Israel deserves in the wake of Trump’s inauguration and in advance of the policy change with respect to Judea and Samaria.”

“On Sunday we will submit to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation a bill to apply sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim.”

Last month, Security Council Resolution 2334 reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements. On Friday, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said “(a)ny Israeli decision regarding annexing the settlement of Maale Adumim will be looked at as dangerous escalation and will not be accepted.”

Don’t bet on it. Abbas is a longstanding Israeli collaborator, installed as Palestinian president to serve its interests - largely avoiding the wrath of his people by saying one thing publicly, going along with Israel privately, amassing illicit wealth in the process.

Israeli extremists consider Maale Adumin part of suburban Jerusalem. Annexing it would further Judaize the city, part of Netanyahu’s divide, conquer, steal and ethnically cleanse strategy.

He believes Jews are entitled to Judea and Samaria, Palestinians confined to isolated pockets of worthless land.

Hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett introduced legislation to annex Maale Adumim, believing now’s the time to seize it with Trump in office.

He’s ideologically dangerous, saying “(n)o (Security Council) resolution can change the fact that this land, Jerusalem, is our capital. And no people can be a conqueror in their own land. That’s why this resolution, like many of the earlier resolutions, will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

Security Council resolutions are binding - changes or rescission of Res. 2334 not forthcoming given Russian and Chinese veto power.

With strong Western support, Israel breaches international law with impunity. Bennett believes the Trump administration will end notions of Palestinian statehood, leaving Israel free to steal all occupied land it wishes.

Maale Adumin constitutes a large area Israeli extremists want annexed. With no opposition from Washington, they’re counting on it ahead of seizing all valued Judea and Samaria territory.

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: How the 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.

Trump at Work on Inauguration Day

Trump at Work on Inauguration Day

by Stephen Lendman

Along with the festivities of a long inaugural day, Trump signed his first executive order in the Oval Office.

It calls on federal agencies to “ease the burden” of transition from Obamacare to Trumpcare, a work in progress, likely to make a deplorable industry-enriching scheme worse.

Pending (Un)affordable Care Act repeal, he’ll act “consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act,” his EO said.

He afforded states “more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

“To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”

A memo from his chief of staff Reince Priebus ordered federal agencies not to submit regulations to be published in the Federal Register unless a Trump-selected agency head approves them.

Some regulations approved by Obama may be rescinded - including ones not yet published. Following Senate confirmation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and DHS Secretary John Kelly, both men were sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence.

Getting to work on inauguration day was largely symbolic. Substantive work begins Monday. Shortly after Trump’s swearing in, the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) indefinitely suspended Obama’s planned mortgage insurance premium reduction, announced last week.

A HUD statement said the “FHA is committed to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remains viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers.”

“As such, more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.” 

“FHA will issue a subsequent Mortgagee Letter at a later date should this policy change.”

Vice President Pence said Trump “will hit the ground running on day one come Monday morning.” On Saturday, he’ll tour CIA headquarters in Langley, VA - hostile territory, the agency involved in the intelligence community’s scheme to delegitimize him.

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: How the 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.

Trump's Top Priorities


Trump’s Top Priorities

by Stephen Lendman

What he should and will do may be world’s apart. His top priorities should be world peace, stability, mutual cooperation with all nations, making America a model state, unlike its current pariah status, along with equity and justice for everyone.

No president in US history reached that standard. Jack Kennedy came closest. Franklin Roosevelt gave Americans vital New Deal policies during the nation’s Great Depression. In large measure, he also bore responsibility for WW II.

Lyndon Johnson waged war on poverty while waging far greater war abroad, dividing the nation in the process, his unpopularity forcing him out of the 1968 race despite his Great Society achievements.

Ignore what politicians say. Follow only what they do. Trump delivered a promising inaugural address, striking a far different tone than most of his predecessors, refreshingly omitting phony rosy scenario hyperbole.

He pledged to serve all Americans straightaway. Saying he’ll “fight for you with every breath in (his) body, and (he’ll) never, ever let you down” is hollow rhetoric without meaningful policy initiatives backing it.

Replacing corporate enriching Obamacare with something worse is no way to fulfill his pledge. Nor is waging war on social justice if that’s what he has in mind.

The pro-Hillary, anti-Trump New York Times outrageously called his ascension to power “a hostile takeover” of the nation’s capital. The self-styled newspaper of record is unrelenting in its maliciousness - furious over an outsider defeating its favorite, wanting revenge, disgracing itself more than already.

Trump: “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.” 

“The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done.”

Strong stuff! Nothing Obama, Bush/Cheney, the Clintons and most other US presidents matched it in words or deeds. 

Trump no longer is a private citizen. He’s America’s 45th president and armed forces commander-in-chief, an enormous responsibility for anyone.

He’s got bully pulpit power, along with the power and influence of his incumbency. Will he back his lofty rhetoric with positive actions?

Will he serve all Americans responsibly as promised or just its privileged few - the way it’s largely worked before? 

Will he be a warrior or peace president? Is his pledge to combat terrorism real or just another ploy to continue US imperial madness?

Will he get along with Russia, China and all other sovereign independent nations or maintain adversarial relations?

Will he do the right things or be just another dirty politician? Will the Trump era be looked back on as transformational or disturbing continuity?

According to Sputnik News, “(t)he Trump Administration will consider the invitation to (Syrian conflict resolution) negotiations in Astana after its official receipt, and will not participate in any negotiations until the formation of a clear US vision of a resolution to the Syrian crisis.”

Earlier Trump complained about wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars, accomplishing nothing but disaster. Will he curb imperial madness or continue it? Pretexts are easy to create to do what he wishes.

He took dead aim at destructive trade deals sending US jobs abroad. He wants NATO used to combat terrorism, not wage war on other countries, so he said earlier.

He rhetorically challenged longstanding US tradition. Will he initiate the most sweeping changes in American policy since FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, and the Reagan era?

Will his agenda improve things at home and abroad or worsen them? As a newly inaugurated president, it’ll take time to tell.

He deserves a chance to prove his mettle. He’s the first US president letting ordinary Americans communicate with his administration directly - via Twitter.

I’ve done it numerous times, urging him to do the right things in brief comments and links to some of my articles. He’ll get this one. 

Incoming tweets are read by staff, checking for possible threats, along with likely gauging public sentiment, other than what polls reveal.

Trump used his inaugural address to communicate directly with ordinary Americans, hoping for improved public approval.

The only way to get it is through responsible governance - legislatively and by executive actions as necessary.

On January 20, a new era in America began - the fullness of time to tell if for good or ill.

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: How the 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.

Trump Administration Relations with Russia


Trump Administration Relations with Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding adversarial relations, hugely exacerbated by Obama’s neocon infested administration, won’t be easy to change - maybe impossible given US dark forces wanting them maintained - willing to risk nuclear war to achieve imperial objectives.

Trump genuinely appears to want better bilateral relations. Huge challenges confront him, including possible impeachment or assassination if he diverges from longstanding US policy.

What he intends remains to be seen, likely focusing on Russia after his first 100 days, devoted mainly to domestic issues, according to what he explained earlier.

A previous article discussed his 8-point first 100 days plan. It includes:

1. Appointing judges who’ll “uphold the Constitution” - likely code language for supporting conservative, anti-progressive policies.

2. Restricting immigration to help Americans get “good-paying jobs.”

3. Holding countries “cheat(ing) on trade” accountable - how not explained, if by imposing stiff tariffs, they’ll likely be countered by similar ones on US products, the way trade wars begin.

4. “Cancel(ing) rules and regulations that send jobs overseas.” Companies need incentives to keep jobs at home. As private enterprises, they’re free to operate anywhere.

5. Lifting restrictions on energy production - nothing in his plan  shifts from greenhouse-producing fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear power to renewable green sources.

6. “Repeal(ing) and replac(ing) jobs-killing Obamacare.” What’s vitally needed Trump opposes - universal healthcare, everyone in, no one left out, assuring all Americans have the most important human right along with food, shelter, clothing, and governance serving everyone equitably.

7. “Passing massive tax reform to create millions of new jobs and lower taxes for everyone.” Economic growth creates jobs, not tax cuts, largely benefitting high-income earners, most ordinary people getting little or nothing.

8. “Impos(ing) tough new ethics rules…to the office of Secretary of State.”

Trump said nothing about ending US imperial wars or repairing relations with Russia. Stressing “America first” ignores its responsibility to respect the sovereign rights of all nations.

It’s customary for an incoming president to focus mainly on domestic issues straightaway, especially with so much damage to repair, notably under Bush/Cheney and Obama.

With America at war in multiple theaters, it’s crucial to address what’s going on and take responsible steps to change things - hard as it’ll be to do, maybe impossible.

Normalizing relations with Russia and China is vital to avoid possible nuclear war - more important than anything else on Trump’s plate, in the interest of world peace and stability. Lacking them risks catastrophe vital to avoid.

On January 20, Sergey Lavrov said “Donald Trump has stated repeatedly that his priority in the international arena will be the fight against ISIS as the main terrorist threat to the whole of mankind.” 

“We completely share this approach and hope that under the new conditions, international cooperation and coordination of efforts by all the main players on this antiterrorist front will be far more effective.”

Lavrov hopes Washington under Trump will participate responsibly in helping to resolve Syria’s conflict - unlike how Obama obstructed it, waging imperial war, seeking regime change.

On Saturday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a Putin/Trump meeting may happen in months, not weeks, Russia’s leader to be ready whenever it occurs, in Moscow, Washington or in neutral territory.

The sooner both leaders meet, the better the chance for improved bilateral relations and world peace - no easy objectives to achieve with US dark forces strongly against them.

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: How the 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.

NYT Editors Bash Trump's Inaugural Address

NYT Editors Bash Trump’s Inaugural Address

by Stephen Lendman

In contrast to Obama’s consistent demagogic doubletalk, painful to hear, Trump delivered an admirable inaugural address, abstaining from rosy scenario hyperbole, historic if able to follow through on pledges made - no easy task given enormous obstacles he’ll face.

He repudiated America’s interventionist agenda, while vowing to put the nation’s interests first. His tone was polar opposite longstanding policies pursued by bipartisan neocons infesting Washington. 

Confrontation between the executive and congressional branches seems likely if he tries fulfilling pledges made.

After 24 deplorable Clinton co-presidency, Bush/Cheney, Obama years, a leader seeking a new direction is a refreshing change - if he means what he says and goes for what he proposed whatever the obstacles, provided his domestic agenda doesn’t wage war on social justice, what progressive activists fear.

Times editors maliciously oppose whatever he does or doesn’t do, assailing him relentlessly - shamelessly calling his inaugural address “graceless and disturbingly ahistoric,” a disgraceful ad hominem remark.

They blasted his failure to highlight “the best in America’s ideals…” It’s hard imagining what they mean given its fantasy democracy, endless wars on humanity, exclusively serving wealth, power and privilege, while cracking down hard on nonbelievers.

Times editors: “With sweeping exaggeration, Mr. Trump spoke of ‘carnage’ in the inner cities. He deplored all of this decline as a betrayal of America, implicitly trashing the four former presidents who sat listening behind him at the inaugural ceremony.”

Fact: Tens of millions of Americans understand the deplorable state of America Times editors support to their disgrace.

Trump indeed “trash(ed) four previous presidents,” mostly Obama’s wretched eight years, enriching privileged Americans at the expense of most others, waging war on humanity at home and abroad.

Trump said “(t)hat all changes right here and right now…We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people” - rhetoric  riling America’s privileged class and supportive media scoundrels.

Times editors: “The new president offered a tortured rewrite of American history - ignoring the injustices of the past as well as the nation’s economic resilience and social achievements in recent decades.”

Fact: Trump delivered straight talk rarely heard from US politicians. He criticized policies benefitting America’s privileged at the expense of most others, vowing change.

Governance under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama ravaged social justice, institutionalizing neoliberal harshness - notably during protracted Main Street Depression conditions throughout Obama’s tenure.

Times editors: “As Mr. Trump spoke about the disappearance of jobs, it would have noted that the unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent in 2009, the height of the recession, to less than 5 percent.”

Fact: Real unemployment is 23%, not the phony 4.7% rate, excluding around 100 million working age Americans without jobs, written off as non-people.

Fact: Most jobs created are rotten ones. Households need two or more to survive. Class warfare created a wealth disparity chasm between America’s privileged and most others.

Throughout his campaign and in his inaugural address, Trump touched important nerves powerful interests in America and supportive media scoundrels want suppressed.

If he goes all out to improve things responsibly, even if unsuccessful, his tenure will reflect an important change from deplorable earlier policies.

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: How the 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.

WaPo Rains on Trump's Parade

WaPo Rains on Trump’s Inaugural Parade

by Stephen Lendman

The neocon, CIA house organ Washington Post called Trump’s inaugural address “a sharp disappointment” - no surprise from a broadsheet maliciously denigrating him throughout the political season and post-election period.

Instead of praising an admirable straight talk address, omitting phony rosy scenario hyperbole, WaPo lied, claiming he “painted a false picture of an impoverished, crime-ridden country that has been cheated and victimized by Washington elites and grasping interests abroad.”

Fact: In his 16-minute address, Trump only touched on how bad things really are for most Americans, punished by state-imposed third world conditions, cheated and abused by previous administrations since the neoliberal 90s.

WaPo: “America’s economy has rebounded from the 2008-2009 recession and is now outperforming other advanced industrial democracies.”

Fact: Protracted Main Street Depression conditions resemble the 1930s for tens of millions of Americans - out of work, out of luck, ignored and abused by bipartisan complicity for far too long, what WaPo and other media scoundrels won’t admit and explain.

WaPo: “(T)he Constitution…was ordained…to ‘establish justice’ and to ‘secure the blessings of liberty.”

Fact: America’s founders created a government of men, not laws. “We the people” meant them, not us.

Fact: The Constitution was no masterpiece of political architecture. Jefferson believed it should be updated every 20 years to make it relevant to the times. It’s way outdated.

Fact: Mischaracterized as the Constitution’s father, James Madison was unimpressed with the document - disapprovingly calling it “better than nothing.”

WaPo: “The United States over the decades has done well by doing good; American generosity, and its support for fair global rules, fostered prosperity in Europe and Asia and beyond, which in turn redounded to the United States’ advantage at home.”

Fact: What nonsense! America does “good” for itself by imperial wars, plundering resources of other nations and exploiting their people, harming its own population the same way.

WaPo saying Trump’s address reflected “a dark vision” disparaged his impressive straight talk, rarely heard by leaders anywhere.

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: How the 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.