Saturday, April 30, 2016

America's Rape of Iraq

America’s Rape of Iraq

by Stephen Lendman

Complicit with Israel, America’s plan to redraw the Middle East map bears full responsibility for raping and destroying Iraq.

From September 1980 to the present, Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama committed the highest of high crimes against peace. 

Millions of Iraqis perished from war, conflict related violence, preventable diseases, starvation, overall deprivation and US-sponsored terrorism. 

Millions today endure unspeakable misery - living in an endless war zone, security and stability entirely absent.

Puppet governance runs things, serving its US master, officials enriching themselves through massive corruption, ignoring humanitarian crisis conditions affecting millions of impoverished, unemployed and internally displaced Iraqis.

Protests demanding reform raged intermittently in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities since July 2015. They escalated in mid-March over parliament’s failure to act, ebbed after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proposed new cabinet members, intensified when legislators rejected his choices.

When political insiders were then chosen, violent protests followed, voting on Abadi’s ministers postponed three times.

On Saturday, things came to a head. After lawmakers again failed to vote on government reforms, thousands took to the streets of Baghdad.

Hundreds stormed the heavily fortified, four-square-mile, fortress-like Green Zone - home to Iraq’s parliament and foreign embassies.

Some made it into the parliament building. MPs fled for safety. Embassy compounds were in lockdown. Reuters said hundreds of protesters “stormed into Baghdad’s Green Zone and entered parliament” after legislators “fail(ed) to reform a political quota system blamed for rampant corruption.”

They chanted “(t)he cowards ran away,” referring to lawmakers leaving the premises. No curfew was imposed. No clashes with security forces were reported.

Heavily armed security forces were deployed around sensitive sites. Entrances to Baghdad were shut. Earlier in the day, a car bomb killed 18 and wounded dozens more in suburban Nahrawan.

Reuters called Saturday’s Green Zone breach “unprecedented,” a heavily protected fortress, “symbolizing the isolation of Iraq’s leadership” and its US master from long-suffering people.

Thousands protested nonviolently. Shia clerical leader Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to bring down the entire government.

In a televised speech from Najaf, he announced a two-month withdrawal from public life while “waiting for the great popular uprising and the major revolution to stop the march of the corrupt.”

“If the nation lets me, I can end the current government and form a new one without any corruption,” he added.

So far things are largely nonviolent. They could explode any time if public sentiment is ignored.

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.

Palestinians Protecting Islam's Third Holiest Site Risk Imprisonment

Palestinians Protecting Islam’s Third Holiest Site Risk Imprisonment

by Stephen Lendman

Israel kidnaps and brutalizes Palestinians for any reason or none at all. Multiple community intrusions occur daily - families terrorized, children traumatized. 

On April 14, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said soldiers abducted 16 Palestinians, aged 45 - 70, after violently raiding their homes pre-dawn.

On April 29, seven were indicted for “joining a hostile organization.” Sa’adi Rajabi, Anwar al-Qaaq, ‘Adli Abu Ermeila, Mohammad Taher Arafa, Jamal Natsha and Khader Abu Sneina face criminal prosecution for protecting Islam’s third holiest site. 

Israel calls it incitement, charging the men for involvement with Murabitun - outlawed last year for protecting Al-Aqsa, demonstrating against increasing Israeli intrusions and attempted control over Islam’s third holiest site.

Extremist Jews want it for a third Jewish temple. They want prohibition against non-Muslim prayer lifted.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s office shamelessly called banning the group along with its female Murabitat counterpart necessary “to defend the security of the state, the well-being of the public and public order.”

It called both groups “a main factor in creating tension and violence” at the site, ignoring Israel’s full responsibility.

“They engage in incite(ment) and dangerous activity against tourists, visitors and worshipers at the site, which leads to violence…striving to undermine Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount,” Ya’alon’s office said, adding:

“They are linked to, and frequently guided by, hostile Islamic organizations.” Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem director Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib called Israel’s decision “totally unacceptable.”

“The occupation regime has no right to intervene in Al-Aqsa’s matters,” he said. “Any Muslim who enters Al-Aqsa mosque and prays is a protector of the mosque. Nobody has a right to prevent a Muslim from entering their holy site and praying.”

Anyone involved with either group risks arrest, prosecution and imprisonment. Israeli soldiers provocatively let extremist Jews storm Al Aqsa, at times responsible for instigating clashes.

Israel considers protecting Islam’s third holiest site a criminal offense.

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.

Pentagon Whitewashes Mass Murder


Pentagon Whitewashes Mass Murder

by Stephen Lendman

America considers civilians legitimate targets in all its wars of aggression. Fundamental laws of war prohibit attacking them - ignored in all US combat operations.

CENTCOM lied, calling its October 3, 2015 bombing of the Kunduz, Afghanistan Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital a “tragic incident.”

It turned truth on its head, claiming “personnel involved did not know that they were striking a medical facility. The intended target was an insurgent-controlled site which was approximately 400 meters away…”

CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel willfully lied, claiming US forces “had no idea” they were attacking a medical facility.

False! CENTCOM knew it was an MSF hospital, yet ordered the attack anyway, falsely claiming it was used as a Taliban command and control center - before acknowledging otherwise. 

Dozens of doctors, other medical staff and patients were massacred in cold blood, many others injured, victims of US imperial viciousness.

MSF provided CENTCOM and Afghan authorities with precise hospital coordinates several times. While under attack, it informed their authorities about what was happening, the facility struck multiples times for over an hour with precision weapons - a war crime by any standard.

MSF called the attack an “abhorrent and a grave violation of international humanitarian law. (A) war crime (was) committed.”

The Pentagon denied MSF’s demand for an independent investigation into what happened - conducted its own to whitewash mass murder.

CENTCOM’s report acknowledged violations of rules of engagement and laws of war breaches, while at the same time denying culpability for an indisputable high crime.

Votel said more than a dozen US servicemen were disciplined for what happened, meaningless wrist slaps at most. None face criminal charges for deliberate mass murder. Coverup and denial reflect longstanding Pentagon practice.

CENTCOM’s commander willfully lied, saying “(t)he investigation found that the incident resulted from a combination of unintentional human errors, process errors and equipment failures, and that none of the personnel knew they were striking a hospital.” 

“The trauma center was a protected facility but it was misidentified during this engagement.” It was on a “no strike” list, its precise location known, yet willfully attacked anyway without just cause.

In response to CENTCOM’s whitewash, MSF’s Meinie Nicolai called Votel’s briefing “an admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area.”

“It is incomprehensible that, under the circumstances described by the US, the attack was not called off.”

“The threshold that must be crossed for this deadly incident to amount to a grave breach of international humanitarian law is not whether it was intentional or not.”

“(A)rmed groups cannot escape their responsibilities on the battlefield simply by ruling out the intent to attack a protected structure such as a hospital.”

“(V)ictims and their families have neither the option to pursue legal action (for justice) nor claim compensation for loss of life and livelihood.”

America commits war crimes with impunity in all its theaters of conflict. US warplanes destroyed or damaged several Syrian and Iraqi hospitals along with numerous nonmilitary related sites, these actions continuing on a regular basis.  

Pentagon coverup and denial doesn’t wash. Repeated high crimes go unpunished - naked aggression without mercy most of all, attacking nonbelligerent nations threatening no one, raping and destroying them, the highest of high crimes.

NYT editors disgracefully called mass murdering and injuring dozens of MSF doctors, medical staff and patients a mistake, a catastrophe, “gross negligence,” and war zone blunder - failing to condemn a willful war crime and demand full accountability.

They ludicrously cited Pentagon officials claiming “they acted promptly to retrain all troops in Afghanistan about the rules for using deadly force and…have taken precautions” to avoid repeat incidents.

They continue on a regular basis in all US war theaters. Mass civilian casualties don’t matter, considered a small price to pay to advance America’s imperium - an agenda the NYT wholeheartedly endorses.

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.

US Behind New Coup Plot in Venezuela


US Behind New Coup Plot in Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman

Since Hugo Chavez’s December 1998 election, Washington plotted to regain control over Venezuela and its vast oil reserves.

Two anti-Chavista coup plots failed, another against current President Nicolas Maduro foiled. US economic war facilitated fascists gaining control of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

Washington’s dirty hands are involved in helping their latest attempt to oust Maduro - wanting neoliberal harshness replacing Bolivarian fairness.

In March, the anti-Chavista Movement of Democratic Unity (MUD) published its Roadmap for Change. MUD executive secretary Jesus Torealba “call(ed) on the entire Venezuelan people…to force Maduro to resign…”

The plot involves constitutionally reducing presidential terms from six to four years, rewriting Venezuela’s Bolivarian constitution, mobilizing street protests and ousting Maduro by recall referendum.

Obama’s 2015 executive order shamelessly declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national and foreign policy of the United States,” a perversion of reality.

The 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) permits the regulation of commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to an alleged threat to America by a foreign state.

In March 2015, Obama invoked it against Venezuela, imposing sanctions illegally. No nation may impose them against others, only Security Council members. 

Maduro blasted the move as aggressive, saying “(u)nlike the US, we have never killed innocent children nor bombed hospitals.”

Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled reducing presidential terms to four years won’t apply retroactively to Maduro if enacted by constitutional amendment.

Article 24 of the Bolivarian Constitution prohibits retroactivity, High Court justices saying “(t)o accept (it) would constitute an unquestionable violation of the exercise of sovereignty in Article 5 of the Magna Carta, since it would amount to a rejection of the will of the people.”

MUD efforts to oust Maduro by recall referendum are underway. Article 72 of Venezuela's Constitution states “(a)ll magistrates and other offices (including the president) filled by popular vote are subject to revocation.” c

“Once half (their) term of office...has elapsed, 20% of (registered) voters (by petition may call for) a referendum to revoke such official’s mandate.” 

“When a number of voters equal to or greater than the number of those who elected the official vote in favor of revocation (provided the total is 20% or more of registered voters), the official’s mandate shall be deemed revoked…”

So far, 1.5 million signatures were collected, well above the 1% of the electorate in every state needed to call for a national referendum. 

Once Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) verifies the authenticity of signatures collected, MUD will have 72 hours to get 20% of the electorate (over four million required) to sign a petition supporting a recall referendum.

If enough signatures are verified, one will be organized within 90 days. Removing Maduro requires support from more than the 50.6% of voters supporting his 2013 election.

The failed 2004 recall process against Chavez took seven months. The current attempt to oust Maduro could continue through yearend.

Given dire economic conditions, his future and Bolivarianism’s fate remain up for grabs.

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.

China Denies US Carrier Group Hong Kong Port Call

China Denies US Carrier Group Hong Kong Port Call

Stephen Lendman

US/Sino tensions remain high. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs chairman Joseph (“fighting Joe”) Dunford provocatively call China and Russia America’s leading threats, along with Iran, North Korea and terrorism.

On Friday, America’s Hong Kong consulate said Beijing denied permission for the USS John C. Stennis and four accompanying vessels to make a Hong Kong port call, beginning on May 3 for five days.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it “needs to approve every ship coming to Hong Kong on a case by case basis in accordance with sovereignty principles and specific circumstances.”

On April 15, Defense Secretary Carter visited the USS John C. Stennis, DOD ludicrously calling the warship “a symbol of American commitment to peace and security in Southeast Asia.”

Carter said at the time, “the United States intends to continue to play a role out here that it has for seven decades…” During a preceding Manila visit, he said America supports the Philippines and other regional allies in the face of “coercion and intimidation.”

Washington claims dominion over parts of the world not its own, advancing its military footprint provocatively, risking direct confrontation with China and Russia.

Beijing remains justifiably concerned about its attempt to militarize the South China Sea, flying patrols and conducting military exercises close to its waters and territory.

Earlier its Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Beijing “is extremely concerned at the United States’ pushing of the militarization of the South China Sea region.”

“What they are doing can't help but make people wonder whether they want nothing better than chaos” or direct confrontation.

In 2007, Beijing denied the USS Kitty Hawk’s Hong Kong port call request after the Bush administration announced an advance missile sale to Taiwan and welcomed the Dalai Lama (a longtime CIA asset) at the White House.

The USS Stennis carrier group is currently operating in South China Sea waters provocatively close to Beijing claimed sovereign areas. The Pentagon asserts the phony pretext of “freedom of navigation.” 

Beijing accuses Washington of regional interference and “sabotaging regional peace” - in response to its announced military buildup in the Philippines, a provocative move, one of many risking direct confrontation.

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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Russia and America are Adversaries, Not Partners

Russia and America Are Adversaries, Not Partners

by Stephen Lendman

Agreements Russia and other nations make with America are fraught with hazards. Sordid US history shows it flagrantly breaches deals repeatedly.

Washington can’t be trusted. It doesn’t negotiate in good faith. Duplicity is longstanding policy, peace anathema to advancing its imperium.

Russian officials calling their US counterparts partners is oxymoronic on its face. Longstanding relations between both countries are adversarial. Top US officials and Pentagon commanders call Moscow America’s leading threat. Evidence shows otherwise.

Numerous previous articles explained in detail. Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites - the world’s preeminent peacemaker v. its leading aggressor, agendas of both governments antithetical to the other.

Putin promotes mutual cooperation among all nations. Obama demands all countries obey its rules. It wants all independent governments transformed into US vassal states.

When both countries conclude agreements, Russia’s word is its bond, America’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

A so-called “regime of silence” both countries agreed to in Syria’s Latakia province for 72 hours may prove meaningless as cessation of hostilities and farcical peace talks.

It calls for both sides to cease hostilities for three days - unlikely with US-backed terrorists continuing them against civilian and government targets.

It’s wishful thinking to expect terrorists to turn over a new leaf even short-term. Since cessation of hostilities began at midnight February 26, multiple daily violations occurred - with full US support and encouragement.

America wants war, not peace. Ceasefire is anathema to its agenda. Endless conflicts and turbulence serve it.

Syria’s military said it’ll observe the silence period in Latakia’s northern countryside for 72 hours and Ghouta, east of Damascus, for a 24-hour period.

Fighting will continue raging in Aleppo province and other areas controlled by, infested with, or attacked US-backed terrorists.

A drop of “silence” in an ocean of war accomplishes little. If warring sides maintain “silence” for one to three days, nothing suggests hostilities won’t resume like before when it ends.

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.

Former Speaker Boehner Blasts Cruz

Former Speaker Boehner Blasts Cruz

by Stephen Lendman 

John Boehner minced no words, calling Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” adding “I have never worked with a more miserable son-of-a-bitch in my life.”

Trump sounds almost mild, calling him “lying Ted…a hypocrite…a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him.”

A previous article called him the most despised US senator - arrogant, abrasive, mean-spirited, insufferable and obnoxious, antagonizing friends and foes.

His combative style creates enemies. He calls fellow Republicans fake conservatives. Boehner silently blasted him earlier by raising his middle finger, expressing anger and disgust.

No senator in memory created more enemies on both sides of the isle. Imagine how world leaders would react to a Cruz presidency. How do you say “son-of-a-bitch” in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic etc?

Boehner said he’ll support Trump if nominated, not Cruz. Earlier he backed Jeb Bush, endorsed John Kasich when he dropped out.

“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” he also said, adding “I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee,” current House speaker.

Asked about the former speaker’s criticism, Cruz said he let “his inner Trump come out. (He represents) everything wrong and corrupt in Washington.”

Last summer, Boehner called Cruz a “jackass.” On CBS News’ Face the Nation, he said he’s a “false prophet.”

Cruz and tea party neocons helped end Boehner’s tenure as speaker and longtime congressional member (1991 - 2015), nearly five years in one of the nation’s most influential posts.

Former Boehner spokesman David Schnittger said “he generally says what he thinks…and being out of office (hasn’t made him) less inclined to be that way.”

He ridiculed Hillary Clinton, saying “(o)h, I’m a woman. Vote for me.” He called his “proudest accomplishment…walking out of there the same jackass I was 25 years before.”

On Thursday, Cruz tweeted: “Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who’s Boehner’s ‘texting and golfing buddy,’ or Carly & me?

America’s money-controlled political system gives voters no acceptable choices. Names and faces change. Everything stays the same.

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.

Obama's Economic Legacy: Thirdworldizing America

Obama’s Economic Legacy: Thirdworldizing America

by Stephen Lendman

The New York Times colluded with Obama, presenting the illusion of economic recovery, twisting reality, ignoring cold hard facts.

Interviewed by its financial columnist Andrew Sorkin, a false picture of his economic record was presented.

America’s 1% never had things better. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions affect most others. 

One out of four working-age Americans have no jobs. Most others lucky to have work are underemployed - stuck in rotten part-time, low-pay, poor-or-no-benefit temp or part-time positions, one missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and desperation.

Economist John Williams says “(e)conomic activity is deteriorating rapidly, not improving.” Q I “GDP growth of 0.5% was absolute nonsense…Meaningful downside revisions loom…”

Housing starts, industrial production, retail sales, and durable goods orders are down. “US economic reality remains (protracted) non-recovery and renewed downturn,” Williams explained.

Economic conditions for ordinary Americans are dismal with no prospect in sight for improvement. Independent historians one day will explain how Obama hastened the nation’s transformation into an oligarch-run kleptocracy, a banana republic.

Inside the bubble, it’s paradise for the privileged few. Outside it’s dystopian hell. Sorkin let Obama get away with repeated lies and distortions, failing to responsibly challenge him responsibly.

“(W)e probably managed (the economic crisis) better than any large economy on earth in modern history,” Obama claimed. Truth is polar opposite.

Recovery never occurred. Crisis conditions remain. Obama’s legacy reflects the worst economic management in US history - enriching the few, harming most others, waging endless wars on humanity, letting Wall Street and war-profiteers benefit hugely.

Trump is right calling America “a third world nation.” Obama claiming the US economy is in much better shape than the public appreciates is belied by growing millions impoverished, Depression-level unemployment, record levels of hunger and homelessness - unreported crisis conditions going unaddressed.

Inequality soared during Obama’s tenure. Wealth redistribution from ordinary Americans to its privileged class remains unprecedented. 

Inflation-adjusted median household income plunged. A 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances explained it declined 12% ($6,400) between 2007 and 2013.

Between 2010 and 2013, it fell 5%. Most Americans believe the nation remains mired in recession for good reason. They’re struggling daily to get by.

Suicides and mortality rates are up, life expectancy lower for the most disadvantaged, social justice fast eroding, on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

Throughout his tenure, Obama did nothing to help growing millions, suffering through America’s second Great Depression.

The true measure of the man and his administration is disgraceful - serving the privileged few exclusively, contemptuous of most others.

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. 

The Battle for Aleppo

The Battle for Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

Western officials and supportive media scoundrels blame attacks on civilian targets in Aleppo and surrounding areas on Syria and Russia. US-backed terrorists bear full responsibility.

The UK government owned, operated and controlled BBC was typical media deception, repeating tired old Big Lies, citing US sources “criticizing Russia’s air campaign for largely striking at Western-backed groups fighting the Syrian government rather than the so-called Islamic State.”

Fact: Syrian and Russian forces are attacking ISIS and other Security Council designated terrorist groups.

Fact: All armed factions waging war on Syria are imported death squads - supported by Washington and its rogue partners.

Fact: They’re willfully attacking civilians with full US backing and encouragement. US special forces and CIA elements on the ground help direct their operations.

On Thursday, a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) statement said the following:

“Fourteen people, including at least two doctors, were killed Wednesday night in the bombing of a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the medical humanitarian organization said today.”

“According to hospital staff on the ground, the Al Quds hospital in Aleppo was destroyed by at least one airstrike which directly hit the building, reducing it to rubble. Other airstrikes in the neighborhood also hit areas close to the hospital.”

A previous article incorrectly identified the MSF hospital as al-Razi. Syrian media reported it was shelled and badly damaged - killing at least 20, injuring dozens using rockets “stuffed with highly explosive materials.”

Government and Russian warplanes had nothing to do with either attack. Syria’s military called reports otherwise “untrue and aimed at covering the terrorists’ crimes against civilians.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashinkov said its “air force has not carried out any flights over the Aleppo region during the latest days.”

Data confirms “that a warplane for one country of the (so-called US-led) coalition flew…in Aleppo skies” on the day the MSF hospital and other civilian targets were attacked.

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov blasted America’s illegal operations in Syria - ongoing without Security Council or Damascus authorization.

They reflect “the arrogant stance that Syrian President Assad heads an illegitimate regime,” said Lavrov - ignoring his democratic reelection and overwhelming popularity.

Russia is “the only country engaged in anti-terrorism activities in Syria legally,” Lavrov stressed.

Washington wants regime change, perhaps intending an operation similar to Libya, he added. It’s waging naked aggression against a sovereign independent state, using terrorist fighters as imperial foot soldiers.

Separately, Fars News said “Turkey is planning to launch a new invasion against Syria under the pretext of fighting against the ISIL terrorists,” citing Arab media source Al-Quds al-Arabi.

It reported Ankara intending to invade northern Syria “through a region 8km in width and 18km in length,” according to Fars News.

Turkish forces control small Syrian border areas. Erdogan apparently has a greater objective in mind.

In the last 24 hours, Syrian media reported 33 civilian deaths, another 165 injured. An Aleppo Police Command source said nine children and a woman were among those killed.

US-backed terrorists are willfully targeting civilians, killing and wounding them daily. A Syrian military source said thousands of government troops intend a large offensive in days, aiming to “wipe out the militancy in Aleppo province.”

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.

Israel Murders Pregnant Palestinian Woman Posing No Threat

Israel Murders Pregnant Palestinian Woman Posing No Threat

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness goes virtually unreported in America, little elsewhere in the West, its high crimes ignored. 

Long-suffering Palestinians don’t matter. They’re persecuted for not being Jews, often victims of cold-blooded murder. 

On Wednesday, Israeli security forces lethally shot 23-year-old pregnant mother Maram Salif Hassan Abu Ismail and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim.

They threatened no one. Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri lied, claiming an attempted stabbing attack was foiled.

Maram and Ibrahim were heading for Jerusalem. They took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians. At the Qalandiya checkpoint, they didn’t understand what soldiers were shouting at them in Hebrew.

Ibrahim reached for his sister’s hand. They froze in fear, posed no threat, yet soldiers lethally shot Maram. When Ibrahim tried helping her, he was shot and killed.

An eyewitness said they posed no threat. Other witnesses said soldiers fired repeatedly at them as they lay helpless on the ground.

Eyewitness Ahmad Taha said “(t)here was no stabbing attempt, and no reason for the army to shoot. The soldiers shot them from a distance, and then fired more rounds to confirm the kills.”

They “placed two knives next to the lifeless bodies…shortly after…police published pictures showing three knives.” 

Planting them at the scene of their crimes is commonplace Israeli practice. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said soldiers denied its medical workers access to both victims, letting them bleed to death unattended.

They weren’t carrying knives, nor was Maram wearing an explosive belt as the IDF claimed. Palestinian medical sources said she was five months pregnant.

“Her only fault was walking the wrong route and not understanding Hebrew.” The only thing she “carried” was her fetus.

Ibrahim chose the wrong time to accompany his sister. Most alleged Palestinian stabbing attempts are fabricated.

Media reports invariably say no Israelis were injured. How could so many alleged incidents only harm Palestinians, many resulting in their deaths, yet security forces rarely are harmed.

Draw your own conclusion!

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital - Russia and Syria Blamed


US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital - Russia and Syria Blamed

by Stephen Lendman

Overnight Wednesday, US-backed terrorists shelled Aleppo’s Doctors Without Borders (MSF) al-Razi hospital and nearby residential areas - killing at least 20, injuring dozens, some critically.

Syrian media reported rocket shells “stuffed with highly explosive materials” caused extensive damage.

A Syrian military source said falsified reports blamed its warplanes and Russia’s for the attacks. US-backed terrorists bore full responsibility.

Three children and six medical staff were among the casualties. The ICRC said escalated fighting worsened the humanitarian situation for tens of thousands of area residents.

Other Aleppo area terrorist attacks in the last 24 hours killed at least 49 civilians. Cessation of hostilities is more myth than reality.

No matter what efforts are made to revive peace talks, they’re effectively dead going nowhere. Pro-Western mediator Staffan de Mistura wants another round begun on May 10.

He urged Russia and America to try “revitali(ing) what they have created and which is still alive but barely.” Both sides are intractably apart. No responsible government would agree to unacceptable US/Saudi-backed opposition demands.

Obama wants war, not peace, deploying hundreds of special forces to northern Syria illegally on the phony pretext of combatting ISIS. US warplanes continue attacking infrastructure and government sites - along with recruiting terrorist fighters and arming them.

Their scourge is one of humanity’s greatest threats. They thrive because of foreign support - from America its creator and rogue allies. 

They can’t survive without it - reality media scoundrels suppress, maintaining the fiction of US-led efforts to combat it.

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.

Trump's Worldview: Old Wine in New Bottles


Trump’s Worldview: Old Wine in New Bottles

by Stephen Lendman

Believe nothing politicians say. They all lie. Trump sent mixed messages in delivering his first foreign policy address. His worldview is more nightmarish than visionary.

His America first agenda features unipolarity, nativism and US military supremacy while claiming to “want to live peacefully with Russia and China.”

Absent was urging respect for and adherence to rule of law principles along with wanting mutual cooperation among all nations. 

He failed to denounce America’s imperial agenda, its phony war on terrorism as a pretext for endless aggression against nonbelligerent states threatening no others.

On the one hand, he called “(o)ur foreign policy…a complete and total disaster.” On the other, his “administration will lead a free world (sic) that is properly armed and funded…”

He lied about the Iran nuclear deal, calling it “disastrous.” In earlier comments, he vowed to rescind it, ignoring the obligation of P5+1 countries to observe agreed on principles - Iran in full compliance. 

Saying Tehran “ignor(ed) its terms even before the ink was dry” was willful deception. America alone continues violating terms it agreed to observe.

Stressing “Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon” ignores its peaceful program with no military component or indication it seeks one - along with failing to denounce Israel as the sole nuclear armed and dangerous regional state, threatening its peace and stability.

Trump shamelessly called the Jewish state “the one true democracy in the Middle East…a force for peace and justice” - ignoring its longstanding anti-Palestinian genocidal agenda, ongoing viciousness as he spoke.

His address was a litany of misinformation, distortions and 
Big Lies. Obama “watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression,” he blustered.

“China…continue(s) its economic assault on American jobs and wealth…” It’s waging cyberwar “to steal government secrets…”

“If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.”

“We’re a humanitarian nation…(T)he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess…We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.”

All of the above twists reality demagogically. North Korea threatens no one. For decades, Washington spurned its efforts to normalize relations with the West.

China doesn’t steal US jobs. Corporate America offshores them to numerous low-wage countries, bipartisan US policy doing nothing to stop the transformation of industrial America into a third world nation.

Trump conveniently ignored post-9/11 Bush wars of aggression, bipartisan complicity supporting them.

Clinton’s 1990s Balkan wars preceded them, raping and dismembering the former Yugoslavia. 

Obama’s imperial agenda is more of the same, exceeding the worst of George Bush - Hillary Clinton as secretary of state orchestrating naked aggression on Libya and Syria.

Muslims, not Christians and Jews, are at risk in today’s dangerous world. Post-9/11, US foreign policy left millions dead, endless carnage continuing, Congress permitting it with outsized military appropriations for permanent war on humanity.

Who knows what Trump means about everything changing if he becomes president. “America is going to be strong again,” he ranted.

Claiming he wants “radical Islam” halted ignores its US creation and support. Surely he knows, but won’t say, perpetuating the myth of war on terrorism - failing to explain ISIS and similar groups can’t exist without foreign support.

“(W)e have to rebuild our military and our economy,” he blustered. Annual defense authorizations should be greatly reduced at a time America has no enemies.

Billions saved should be invested domestically to create jobs for the one out of four working-age Americans without them - and better ones for the millions of underemployed.

Trump shamelessly calls increasing America’s military strength “the cheapest, single investment we can make…Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean…by anybody and everybody.”

At the same time, he stresses not wasting “one single dollar.” Pentagon policy is a longstanding sinkhole of waste, fraud and abuse. Trump bluster won’t change things.

Putting America first sounds like demanding other nations operate by US rules or else. Saying “I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative” is no different from current imperial policy.

Insisting he wants “peace and prosperity, not war and destruction” suggests a pledge to be breached straightaway in office, continuing dirty business as usual.

Trump differs from rival candidates largely in style. If elected to succeed Obama, expect deplorable continuity, not responsible change.

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.

Pentagon Hypes Fear for Greater Military Spending


Pentagon Hypes Fear for Greater Military Spending

by Stephen Lendman

I’ve stressed repeatedly. America’s only enemies are ones it creates. Its war on terrorism is a shameless hoax, a pretext for endless wars of aggression.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Bipartisan US policy threatens world peace. The possibility of nuclear war should scare everyone.

Disarmament should be prioritized - using public resources for economic development, job creation, and rebuilding industrial America.

Bipartisan consensus rejects what’s most essential, supporting military Keynesianism on steroids, a permanent war economy, ongoing since WW II ended.

The world’s richest nation has growing millions of poor, disadvantaged, uneducated, a hidden hunger and homelessness crisis, lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, and bipartisan governance prioritizing endless wars over peace, equity and justice.

In testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee members, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph (“fighting Joe”) Dunford hyped nonexistent threats, urging greater military spending than already.

Carter lied calling “Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism” America’s greatest threats. No nation threatens the world’s leading superpower anywhere.

Terrorism is US created and supported. “Russian aggression” exists nowhere, nor are China, North Korea and Iran behaving “aggressively.”

Washington is furious about Russia waging real war on terrorism in Syria, not phony war like America, foiling its regional imperial agenda.

Carter and Dunford support endless US wars of aggression, urge congressional authorization for record amounts of military spending along with additional appropriations whenever requested.

America’s addiction to war is the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival. 

All US presidential aspirants support continuing dirty business as usual. An eventual day of reckoning looms.

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.

Cruz-Fiorina Alliance Shows Desperation

Cruz-Fiorina Alliance Shows Desperation

by Stephen Lendman

A days earlier announced Cruz-Kasich alliance to stay out of each other’s way in upcoming primaries as a way of challenging Trump faltered straightaway - Kasich urging supporters to stick with him.

Trump called their gambit “pathetic,” a desperation move. In response to Cruz naming Carly Fiorina his running mate, he posted an earlier TV clip on his Twitter page of her calling Cruz a politician who “says whatever he needs to say to get elected.”

Don’t they all!! Promises are made to be broken. Obama broke every major one he made.

Separately, Trump mocked the move, saying “Cruz can’t win. What’s he doing picking vice presidents? He’s mathematically eliminated.”

“He is the first presidential candidate in the history of this country who’s mathematically eliminated from becoming president who chose a vice presidential candidate.”

True though not the first presidential candidate to choose a running mate before winning his party’s nomination. In 1976, Ronald Reagan chose Sen. Richard Schweiker. Gerald Ford defeated his challenge to become GOP standard bearer, losing to Jimmy Carter in November.

Fiorina suspended her presidential campaign in February for lack of support. Her worldview matches Hillary Clinton’s - pro-war, pro-Wall Street, anti-populist, one-sidedly pro-Israel, militantly anti-Russia and Iran.

She’s a failed corporate CEO. Her dismal record got her sacked. Hewlett-Packard’s stock lost half its value while most other blue-chips rose sharply.

More than 30,000 H-P employees lost jobs on her watch. It included what some market watchers called “the dumbest deal of the decade.” A risky mega-merger with Compaq failed.

She blamed the dot.com bust, sexism and board member ineffectiveness for her own shortcomings. She made a once Silicon Valley pioneer into a shadow of its former self.

Naming her his running mate isn’t likely to help Cruz’s flagging presidential bid. It followed Trump sweeping all five Tuesday GOP primaries, eliminating his first-round nomination chance - perhaps making it impossible to stop his main rival from clinching things.

No matter who wins their party nominations and succeeds Obama next year, the vast majority of Americans lose.

Governance of, by and for its privileged few remains official US policy. Farcical elections offer no hope for responsible change.

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.

Symbolic French Vote for Lifting Sanctions on Russia

Symbolic French Vote for Lifting Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

America and EU countries illegally imposed sanctions on Russia - Washington four times since March 2014 for fabricated reasons relating to Ukraine.

Nations unilaterally or collectively may not impose sanctions on other countries, individuals, businesses or organizations. International law permits only Security Council members to impose them. 

They’re counterproductive achieving nothing. The EU succumbed to heavy US pressure, instituting its own sanctions on Russian state-owned banks, defense and oil companies, as well as restricting sales of weapons, military and dual-use technologies, high tech and oil industry related products. 

Russia responded in kind, banning imports of various EU agricultural products. Sanctions harm both sides, accomplishing nothing for either.

On Wednesday, 101 out of 577 lower house French National Assembly deputies voted on a non-binding resolution to lift sanctions on Russia - 55 for, 44 against and 2 abstentions, the majority of lawmakers not participating.

The action was symbolic only. Sanctions remain in place. US pressure assures it for now. The State Department insists they’ll remain in force until Crimea is returned to Ukraine.

Its Russian territory. Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to return to the Russian Federation to correct a historic mistake - affirming their UN Charter self-determination right. There’s no going back.

National Assembly member Thierry Mariani initiated parliamentary debate, “call(ing) on the French government not to extend the restrictive measures and economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union.”

“Useless and ineffective sanctions against Russia have today become a heavy burden for French agriculture. That's why I urge members of the parliamentary majority to show responsibility and independence in this issue.”

In January, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said “(t)he objective we all share is to (lift) sanctions by the summer…”

At the time, John Kerry said it depends on implementation of Minsk principles Washington systematically undermines along with putschists it installed in Kiev to make peace unattainable.

EU leaders are scheduled to meet on June 28 and 29. Sanctions expire in July. Whether they’ll be lifted or extended remains to be seen.

Washington’s long arm may keep them in force. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and likeminded US neocons disgracefully call Russia America’s greatest threat.

Their political posturing irresponsibly hypes fear, pushing for increased defense spending while maintaining pressure on EU countries to operate by Washington rules.

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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Honoring An Erdogan Victim

Honoring An Erdogan Victim

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey is a US-supported fascist police state, Erdogan a world-class thug, a despot by any standard.

During June 2013 anti-regime protests, 15-year-old Berkin Elvan was struck on the head by a police tear gas canister while out buying bread for his family.

On March 11, 2014, he died following a 269 day coma. Thousands turned out for his funeral, accompanying his coffin through Istanbul.

Protesters shouted “Erdogan, killer.” “All against fascism.” “Berkin’s murderers are the AKP police,” referring to Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party. 

In Berkin’s Okmeydani neighborhood, shopkeepers closed for the day in a show of respect and solidarity. 

His mother blamed Erdogan for what happened. He disgracefully called her son a “member of a terrorist organization” because of a simple scarf he wore.

Demonstrations were held throughout Turkey and in numerous Western cities.

Photojournalist Demir Sonmez’s picture of Berkin is on display in Geneva, Switzerland at its Place des Nations, the caption saying in English translation “My name is Berkin Elvan. The police killed me on order of the premier” - Erdogan at the time.

He demanded its removal. Vice Mayor Guillaume Barazzone responded, saying “Geneva will not allow any country to be influenced in this matter. Geneva and Switzerland stand for freedom of expression.”

“Therefore the administrative council will support this exhibition, and it is out of the question to remove the photograph.”

City spokesman Remy Pagani called it “absurd” to “censor” photography. “Freedom of expression is freedom of expression,” he stressed.

Photographer Sonmez said he was shocked but not surprised by Erdogan’s reaction - heading a rogue regime intolerant of free expression in all forms, attacking it beyond Turkey’s borders.

Nearly 2,000 Turkish nationals face prosecution, charged with insulting the president. Anyone challenging his iron-fisted rule or exposing regime wrongdoing risks imprisonment or  assassination.

On Tuesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders warned his country can’t guarantee the safety of its citizens traveling to Turkey if they’ve criticized its regime.

He blasted Erdogan, saying he “can’t treat the press and press freedom this way if (he) want(s) to be part of Europe.”

In March, he said “(d)emocracy, freedom and the rule of law…For us, these words have absolutely no value any longer.”

“Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism (sic) are our friends. Those on the opposite side are our enemies.”

Turkey allies with Washington and other rogue states in supporting ISIS and other regional terrorist groups. It’s waging war on Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi Kurds.

It’s a notorious human rights violator. Its regime threatens regional and world peace.

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.