Saturday, January 31, 2015

No Breakthroughs in Syrian Peace Talks

No Breakthroughs in Syrian Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

None were expected. Conflict continues. Ongoing since March 2011. Syria is Obama's war. There's nothing civil about it.

Death squad insurgents are US proxies. Recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed by CIA operatives and Pentagon special forces. 

So-called IS, Nusra Front, Al Qaeda and other takfiri terrorists are imported from dozens of countries.

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for regime change. Replacing Assad with pro-Western stooge governance.

Previous Geneva I and II peace talks accomplished nothing. Russia's best efforts were for naught. 

Takrifi elements weren't involved in current ones. They control large parts of Syrian territory. They want it all. 

Russia has done more than any other nation to end conflict diplomatically. On Friday, four days of peace talks in Moscow ended.

Russian Academy of Sciences Oriental Studies director Vitaly Naumkin served as moderator.

Before talks began, he said they'd include no preconditions. Free dialogue. No prearranged agenda. 

No international pressure to direct things one way or another.

Syrians alone participated. In a personal capacity rather than officially representing groups opposing Assad.

Talks were private. Held in two stages. On January 26 and 27, opposition representatives met with Syrian civil society groups.

On January 28 and 29, they met with Syrian officials. Naumkin said talks weren't meant to replace Geneva I and II.

He called it "great if (they) help(ed) resume the Geneva process." At the same time, he said "no one expects an agreement to be signed."

The main objective was "mak(ing) personalities (on all sides) discuss the basis of dialogue."

"The issue of fighting terrorism was one of the key themes discussed. This is exactly what brings the sides together as a key challenge to Syria's territorial integrity and unity."

In mid-January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Moscow invited nearly 30 opposition group representatives to participate in talks. 

Around 40 showed up. IS and other tarfiri elements were excluded. Washington-backed Syrian National Coalition representatives refused to participate. 

So did opposition figure Mouath Al Khatib. Former National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces president.

They insist Assad must go. Naumkin commented saying "(i)f you are a Syrian patriot, why would you not want to use even a tiny possibility to come and talk?"

"(E)ven if you do not agree with Russia's position." Achieving peace involves advancing things one baby step at a time. 

Anything helping to break impasse is a step in the right direction. Washington is the main obstacle. Obama didn't wage proxy war to quit. Conflict shows no signs of ending.

Syria's delegation included six representatives headed by its UN envoy Bashar al Jaafari. Commenting after talks ended, he said:

"We did not hear a single unified position from the opposition delegations. What some could agree on, others rejected."

Russia proposed so-called "Moscow principles." Including maintaining Syrian sovereignty. Its state institutions. 

Its territorial integrity. Ending Israel's Golan occupation. Confronting terrorism. Countering foreign intervention. Resolving conflict diplomatically. 

A separate document was presented. An "Appeal to the International Community." 

Its four points asked international leaders for vitally needed humanitarian aid. Easing (lawlessly imposed) Syrian sanctions. 

Denounced Israeli attacks on Syria and Lebanon. Condemned international interference in Syrian affairs. Brazenly illegal under international law.

Russia's initiative was helpful, said Jaafari. It helped break longstanding impasse between Damascus and attending opposition representatives.

"The Russian friends have succeeded where others have failed," said Jaafari. Talks will continue in early March, he added.

On January 30, Tass said participants approved Moscow principles. Russia's Foreign Ministry was cited saying talks "reflected growing sentiment inside Syria in favor of more active and effective steps aimed to restore peace…"

On January 28, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed participants to Moscow. Saying "(t)errorists and extremists of all kinds came to Syria from all over the world." 

"We, as your true friends, are convinced that in the wake of these trials and tribulations, Syria will emerge as a single, sovereign, secular and prosperous state, in which all its citizens and all ethnic and religious groups will feel comfortable and safe, and their rights will be securely upheld."

"Transitioning from confrontation to dialogue and bringing about solutions to pressing issues on the national agenda require considerable efforts, including the willingness to make inevitable mutual concessions and compromises." 

"This is the only way to save Syria and defeat the forces that want to degrade its people, and split and undermine the unity of the country, while ignoring the risks of the spread of extremism and international terrorism across the region."

"Russia's position on the Syrian crisis has always been consistent." 

"We have always advocated for a settlement by Syrians themselves based on the principles of the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012, the basic principle of which is about achieving mutual consent of the Syrian sides through an inclusive national dialogue without any preconditions."

"This is exactly what we strive to promote as we provide you with a venue in Moscow for starting an inclusive dialogue."

"The whole point of the Geneva communique is that the settlement process cannot and should not be a zero-sum game." 

"All Syrians must benefit from it. We are deeply convinced that external intervention, be it in the form of military actions or attempts to impose political dictate through unilateral sanctions, undermines the spirit and the letter of the Geneva communique."

Last October, Lavrov, Moscow's Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov and other Russian officials met with Syrian opposition figures and government officials. Attempted to restart peace talks.

Participants in Moscow represented widely divergent views. Many more concerned about their own interests than what benefits ordinary Syrians.

In a recent interview, Assad explained saying "(y)ou have personalities who only represent themselves." 

"They don't represent anyone in Syria. Some of them never lived in Syria, and they know nothing about the country."

Moscow's meeting wasn't about "negotiat(ing) the solution. It's only preparations for (a later to be held) conference."

Reports suggest opposition elements dropped their demand for establishing immediate transitional government excluding Assad.

Agreeing to continue talks was modestly encouraging. Far from conflict resolution. Nowhere near in sight.

Nor can it be with IS and other takfiri terrorists rejecting peace. Continuing war. With full US support and encouragement.

As long as Obama wants regime change. As long as Israel demands it. As long as rogue EU partners play by Washington/Israeli rules. Expect no end of conflict.

Forever talks won't end it. Countless thousands more will die. Maybe half of Syria's population will end up displaced. 

Increasing parts of the country will be turned to rubble. Obama bears full responsibility. Another high crime on his rap sheet.

In mid-January, Pentagon officials announced sending hundreds of so-called US "specialists" and "enabling forces" to train anti-Assad elements.

Takfiri terrorists by any standard. Showing Washington intends escalated conflict. Training will be at US bases and facilities in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Plans are to train thousands of extremist fighters annually. Perhaps double down on numbers US forces currently train.

Obama wants war, not peace. It bears repeating. Forever talks won't change things. 

Anti-war activism alone perhaps can accomplish what diplomacy has virtually no chance of achieving. So far it's nowhere in sight.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Nuland at Brookings

Nuland at Brookings

by Stephen Lendman

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland is one of many hardcore neocons infesting Obama's administration.

On January 27, she spoke at Washington's Brookings Institution. An elitist think tank supporting wealth, power and privilege. An establishment organization representing America's dark side.

Deploring peace. Promoting war. Featuring speakers like Nuland discussing "unity in challenging times. Building on transatlantic resolve." More on her comments below.

A previous article explained her hardcore background. A foreign service official for Democrat and Republican administrations.

Earlier she covered Russian internal politics at Washington's Moscow embassy.

Served on the Soviet Desk in Washington. Worked in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Served in Guangzhou, China. 

Was Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union. Directed a task force on Russia, its neighbors and an expanding NATO.

Was Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's chief of staff. Was US Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO. 

Was Dick Cheney's principal Deputy National Security Advisor. Was Permanent US Representative to NATO.

A former National War College faculty member. Obama's special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

On September 18, 2013, she was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Her husband, Robert Kagan, co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). A neocon foreign policy theorist/hardliner.

He advised John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Served on Hillary Clinton's Foreign Affairs Policy Board.

The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is PNAC's current incarnation. Kagan is a board of directors member. Representing the worst of America's dark side. So does Nuland.

She was Obama's point person in charge of manipulating regime change in Ukraine. Replacing its democratically elected government with fascist thugs.

Very much involved in Kiev's aggression on Donbas. She promotes "transatlantic resolve" against Russia.

Wants pro-Western fascist governance replacing its sovereign independence. A US-installed stooge replacing Putin. 

Eliminating a major rival. Transforming Russia into a US colony. Brookings' Center on the United States and Europe/anti-Putin ideologue, Fiona Hill, introduced Nuland.

Called her "one of our most distinguished public servants and diplomats. (At) the forefront of many of the major crises that we've been dealing with over the last several months."

Heavily involved in creating crises. Mainly Ukraine. Blamed Russia for Kiev's crimes. Irresponsibly accused Moscow of "aggression."

Urged greater NATO presence close to Russia's border, saying:

"All NATO allies must continue to contribute to the land, sea, and air assurance mission all along NATO's eastern front line." 

"All must contribute to NATO's new spearhead force which will allow us to speed forces to trouble spots, and we must install command and control centers in all six front-line states as soon as possible."

NATO is an offensive killing machine. Nuland lied calling it "a defensive alliance." When its only enemies are ones it invents.

"Our goal is deterrence of aggression," she said. US-dominated NATO's goal is world conquest. 

Waging multiple direct and proxy wars to achieve it. Responsible for mass slaughter and destruction. Multi-trillions of dollars spent for making the world safe for monied interests.

"Our fight against ISIL and its affiliates" requires transatlantic unity, she claimed. ISIL/ISIS/IS and similar terrorist groups are US foot soldiers.

Recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed at CIA/US special forces bases Turkey, Jordan and Georgia. 

Used against America's adversaries. Earlier against Libya's Gaddafi. Currently against Syria's Assad.

Perhaps heading for Ukraine. Nuland ludicrously calls it the "frontline for freedom." Her comments sounded like bad fiction.

Saying "(o)ver the past year, we have all rejoiced in (its) successes."

Including replacing democracy with fascist tyranny. Tolerating no opposition. Abolishing human and civil rights. 

Holding sham elections with no legitimacy whatever. Shutting down independent media.

Waging dirty war without mercy on its own citizens. Against self-defense forces wanting democratic freedoms. What everyone deserves.

Washington wants Russia's government toppled. Nuland turned truth on its head claiming otherwise.

Saying "we…want…a strong democratic Russia. (A) Russia that works with us, and with Europe, to build peace and security in the region and globally."

No world leader works harder for regional peace and stability than Putin. None more aggressively pursues war than Obama.

Putin supports a sovereign independent Ukraine. At peace internally and with its neighbors. 

US policy is polar opposite. Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions.

Not according to Nuland. Blaming Moscow for US/Kiev crimes. Ludicrously claiming "an off-ramp for Russia, a route back to better ties with all of us, and it's very, very simple."

"The minute Russia allows Ukraine to control its side of the international border, and stops fueling the conflict the situation will improve."

In other words, peace in Ukraine depends on Russia observing Washington rules. Surrendering its sovereignty. 

Letting America control Eurasia en route to global dominance. Hill called Nuland's address "inspiring."

Admitted Washington wants Western-style governance replacing sovereign Russian independence. 

Ukraine is the pretext. Regime change the objective. By color revolution or war.

Soviet Russia's last leader Mikhail Gorbachev expressed grave concerns about what's ongoing in two recent interviews.

In mid-January, he told Der Spiegel he's "truly and deeply concerned." Asked about possible major conflict in Europe, he said "inevitably (it would) lead to nuclear war."

"(S)tatements from both sides and the propaganda lead me to fear the worst."

"I don't say things lightly. I am a man with a conscience. But that's the way things are. I am truly and deeply concerned," he stressed.

"NATO's eastward expansion" destroyed European security. Responsible Russian proposals are "arrogantly ignored by the West."

"We are now seeing the results." He called Ukraine's conflict personal. He's "half Ukrainian." On his mother's side. 

His wife Raisa was Ukrainian. She died in 1999. He has relatives and friends in Ukraine. 

When Soviet Russia dissolved, "America…started building a global empire," said Gorbachev. "(A) mega empire."

"(S)urrounding Russia with so-called rings of defense - NATO's eastward expansion." 

Intervening militarily instead of seeking peace and stability. When NATO raped Yugoslavia, it "triggered a backlash in Russia."

"No Kremlin leader" could ignore what happened. Or what followed. Gorbachev said he urged both sides in Ukraine to resolve conflict diplomatically.

What's ongoing "threat(ens) the entire world," he stressed. His pleas for peace and stability "fell on deaf ears," he said.

Gorbachev is aged 83. His strength and health are waning, he explained. In the last 18 months, he had "three serious operations."

"The whole world is fighting against aging," he said. "(B)ut there's nothing you can do about it."

"In some ways I feel old, but in others I feel young." In the time he has left, he wants to "live life and not just survive or vegetate and wait for death.

He'll travel to America to lecture, he said. His only source of income besides his books, he explained.

"I still have goals and that keeps me going. I want to continue to be part of the discussion about Russia's future, about global peace and environmental protection." 

"I want to write books, give lectures, attend conferences and give interviews."

Asked if he fears death, he said "not at all."

On January 29, he said "the US has already dragged us into a new Cold War, trying to openly implement its idea of triumphalism."

"…I cannot be sure that the Cold War will not bring about a 'hot' one. I'm afraid (Washington) might take the risk."

"All we hear from the US and the EU now is sanctions against Russia."

"Are they completely out of their minds? The US has been totally 'lost in the jungle' and is dragging us there as well."

Things are on a collision course unless cooler heads stop it. Peace more than ever is vital. 

The alternative is humanity destroying nuclear war. Ongoing events aren't encouraging.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Salaita Sues University of Illinois

Salaita Sues University of Illinois

by Stephen Lendman

Previous articles discussed Professor Steven Salaita academic lynching. Hired by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to a tenured faculty position.

Fired for criticizing Israeli aggression on Gaza. Supporting Palestinian rights. Chancellor Phyllis Wise lied claiming otherwise.

At the time, Columbia University Professor Bruce Robbins called his firing "an outrage to anyone who cares about academic freedom or simple human decency."

"In punishing him for speaking up by taking away his job, Chancellor Wise has inscribed her name in a shameful list that includes Joseph McCarthy, among others."

On January 29, Salaita filed suit in federal court. Represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Chicago civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy.

CCR saying "Salaita's termination, which functions as a penalty for his speech on an issue of public concern, constitutes 'viewpoint discrimination,' a violation of the First Amendment, and also threatens academic freedom by punishing a faculty member for speaking as a citizen on a critical issue."

Salaita's suit charges violation of his First Amendment rights. Other constitutional rights violations. Breach of his employment contract.

Dissent in America is endangered. Criticizing Israel is verboten. Virtually assuring academic lynching. 

A likely career-ender for professors deserving praise for their forthrightness and integrity.

Saliata was a tenured professor. He signed an October 2013 UIUC contract. Resigning his Virginia Tech position to do it.

Weeks before classes began, he was told he no longer had a job. Among other reasons cited was a disingenuous claim about lacking Board of Trustees approval.

Interim College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean, Brian Ross, wrote Salaita's job offer letter, saying:

"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wonderfully supportive community, and it has always taken a high interest in its newcomers." 

"I feel sure that your career can flourish here, and I hope earnestly that you will accept our invitation."

After his firing, CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy wrote Chancellor Wise, saying in part:

"The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) writes to express our considerable alarm about the decision of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to terminate the appointment of Professor Steven Salaita at the University based on the content of his constitutionally-protected speech critical of Israeli government practices in recent weeks." 

"Your seemingly unprecedented decision to terminate the appointment of a tenured professor on such grounds violates Professor Salaita's clearly established constitutional rights as well as elementary principles of academic freedom to which the University purportedly subscribes." 

"We urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider your unlawful course of action."

"An attempt by university officials to repress or penalize speech on a matter of public concern such as Israel/Palestine because of disagreement with its message is impermissible 'viewpoint discrimination,' a serious First Amendment violation."

CCR cited Texas v. Johnson. Justice William Brennan wrote the majority opinion, saying:

"If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

CCR criticized Chancellor Wise for "assert(ing) that the manner in which Professor Salaita expressed his views was uncivil or harsh or that the substance or style of his communication would offend his audience." 

"The Supreme Court has never accepted a desire to shelter offended listeners from harsh messages, recognizing that powerful and provocative speech is often necessarily 'vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasant.' "

"This recognition embodies "a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open."

"Beyond the First Amendment violation committed here, the University has betrayed elementary principles of academic freedom which naturally extend protections to faculty members' ability to 'speak or write as citizens,' and which must be free from 
'institutional censorship or discipline.' "

"Your actions have inflicted serious damage not just on one scholar; they have set your University on an unsustainable course charted against elementary constitutional principles." 

"We strongly urge you to retract this precipitous decision and reaffirm your commitment to academic freedom and the right of members of the University of Illinois community to engage vocally and vociferously on matters of great public concern."

Open letters from at least 10 academic organizations expressed strong support for Salaita's rights. Along with seven or more public statements from academic organizations.

Letters from Palestine Solidarity Legal Support. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago. The National Lawyers Guild-Chicago.

Numerous faculty-supportive letters. Petitions and academic boycott announcements backing him. 

Last September, the Chicago Tribune published Salaita's op-ed headlined "Steven Salaita: U of I destroyed my career."

Calling his UIUC tenured faculty position appointment "the pinnacle of (his) academic career."

Involving "numerous interviews with faculty" members. "(A)n intensive review of (his) scholarship, pedagogy and professional service."

Dean Brian Ross' employment offer followed. Rescinded a few weeks before scheduled classes "without any warning" or legitimate explanation.

Salaita called it "devastating to (his) family…(A) grave threat to faculty and students everywhere."

"(A)nathema" to academic and speech freedoms. Unjustifiable tactics "used to silence faculty and students on campuses across the country for speaking in support of Palestinian human rights."

The disturbing implications of his sacking go "far beyond (his) job prospects," he explained.

Last November, UIUC denied Loevy & Loevy's FOIA lawsuit on behalf of Salaita. Seeking emails, other correspondence and records pertaining to his firing.

Calling the request "unduly burdensome." An unjustifiable excuse to  withhold information it wants suppressed.

In late December, UIUC's Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) released a report.

Saying rescinding Salaita's appointment violated "existing policies and procedures in several substantial respects…"

Accusing him of incivility "is not consistent with the University's guarantee of freedom of political speech."

CAFT recommended his candidacy be remanded to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for review of his scholarship by a committee of qualified academic experts.

With Salaita provided full opportunity to respond to any proposed findings of professional unfitness before CAFT concluded its proceedings.

On January 15, UIUC rejected CAFT's recommendations. On January 29, CCR/Loevy & Loevy's lawsuit followed. Salaita seeks reinstatement. Unspecified monetary damages.

Other restitution for violating his constitutional rights, breach of contract, and "intentional infliction of emotional distress." He explained saying:

"My primary motivation in bringing this suit is to join my colleagues in the American Indian Studies program and begin teaching."

"I do not want (UIUC's) illegal actions to become the norm in US universities."

Suing was a last resort. After exhausting other alternatives. Contesting UIUC's "abuse of power." Despite Salaita's "stellar academic credentials…"

Defendants include 11 UIUC trustees and officials. Including board chairman Robert Easter, Chancellor Phyllis Wise and former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Saying Wise destroyed evidence related to his case. Charging Defendants with conspiring illegally to deprive Salaita of his constitutional and UIUC contractual rights.

Firing him for "political speech challenging prevailing norms. (T)rampling on long-cherished principles of academic freedom."

Lawlessly causing him "severe economic, emotional and reputational damage."

Unnamed "John Doe donors" are targeted. For injecting themselves into UIUC's hiring process. Threatening to withhold future donations unless Salaita was fired.

He said he may refuse an out-of-court settlement because "we don't want a type of precedence to be established wherein…people can be fired for their speech."

"It's not as simple as my personal circumstance," he added. His separate lawsuit against UIUC for violating Illinois' open records law remains ongoing. Its next hearing is scheduled in February.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Heading for War with Russia?

Heading for War with Russia?

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is the epicenter of possible European war. Ongoing events should scare everyone.

Kiev's war on Donbas rages. Area freedom fighters continue routing its military. It's desperate for more Western support. 

Wanting greater numbers of US-led NATO boots on the ground than are already involved in fighting.

Three recent regime false flags didn't achieve Kiev's objective. Perhaps something major is planned. A Kiev 9/11. 

Big enough to embroil Europe in war. Meaning East/West confrontation. America v. Russia. Possible nuclear war.

It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. Today is the most perilous time in world history. Thursday Stop NATO reports are disturbing.

"US Army Trains for New War in Europe," reported editor Rick Rozoff. Exercise Allied Spirit I involves America, Britain, Canada, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Continuing through January 31. "(D)esigned to provide multinational interoperability training at brigade and battalion levels to enhance US and (NATO's) effectiveness."

In other words, prepare for potential war with Russia. According to US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) commander General David Perkins:

America's military is responsible for "synchronizing and delivering national power (to) seize, retain and exploit the initiative and maintain relative advantage over all enemies."

Prepare for an eventual US/Russia military showdown if current political and economic war fails to achieve Washington's objective.

Namely, turning Russia into another US colony. Eliminating a major rival. Controlling its resources. Exploiting its people.

Part of America's strategy for unchallenged global dominance. Waging permanent wars to achieve it.

Ongoing in Europe's heartland. Kiev's war on Donbas rages. Threatens to become much more than civil war.


Secretary-General Stoltenberg is a convenient US-controlled front man. NATO's number two is number one.

Its eminence grise. Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow runs things.

A former Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs. 

Clinton's National Security Council European Affairs director. A former US ambassador to Russia.

Calling Moscow "more an enemy than partner." Intends NATO measures to counter nonexistent Russian aggression.

Including stepped up US military presence near its border. America's dirty hands risk the unthinkable. War with Russia means all bets are off.

Supporting Kiev's war on Donbas increases the possibility. On Thursday, Stoltenberg met with Ukraine's illegitimate foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin.

Expressed concern about nonexistent "support of Russia to the separatists." 

Telling Klimkin "we will continue to support you, and we will work with you, with strong support to the independence and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."

Saying NATO "support(s) all efforts (for) a peaceful solution based on the Minsk agreements."

While systematically violating them. Arming, funding and training Kiev's military. Participating in its war on Donbas.

Disingenuously talking peace. Waging dirty war without mercy. Showing no signs of ending. Heading for potentially much greater conflict than already.

Ukraine is effectively bankrupt. Its economy deeply in tatters. Outside aid alone keeps it from disintegrating. Whether enough remains to be seen.

At the same time, military spending increases. So-called defense is the only sector of Ukraine's economy showing growth.

Illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko said "(t)his year we plan to increase strength of the armed forces of Ukraine up to 250,000 people."

In other words, preparing for greater conflict. Backed by US-dominated NATO.

Risking far greater war than already. "NATO Trains Very High Readiness Joint Task Force For War With Russia," reported Stop NATO.

Consisting of land, air, sea and "special operations" as needed. (A)ble to deploy within a few days to respond to any challenges that may arise on NATO's flanks."

Code language for possible war on Russia? It remains to be seen. US-dominated NATO policy heads dangerously in this direction.

Obama wants congressional authorization for unconstrained war. On the phony pretext of combating IS. Syria, Iran, Donbas freedom fighters and Russia the real targets. 

With lunatics running things in Washington, expect continued wars without end ahead. 

Michel Chossudovsky new book titled "The Globalization of War: America's 'Long War' against Humanity" is essential reading.

Visit Global Research.ca for special offer pre-order information. In his preface, Chossudovsky calls the "globalization of war" a "hegemonic project."

Like nothing in human history preceding it. "Major military and covert intelligence operations are (ongoing) in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East," Chossudovsky explains.

Combining "major theater operations (and) covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states."

US-dominated NATO partnered with Israel coordinate global conflicts "at the highest levels of (Western) military hierarchy."

Political and economic wars accompany them. At stake is humanity's survival. It's very much up for grabs.

Challenging Russia irresponsibly risks crossing an unthinkable red line. Risking potential military confrontation.

On December 4, US House members barely stopped short of declaring war on Russia. Overwhelmingly passing a non-binding resolution. Signaling hostile US intentions.

Former Congressman Denis Kucinich said at the time:

"NATO encirclement, the US-backed coup in Ukraine, an attempt to use an agreement with the European Union to bring NATO into Ukraine at the Russian border, a US nuclear first-strike policy, are all policies which attempt to substitute force for diplomacy."

Heading things dangerously toward open confrontation. The unthinkable. Possible nuclear war.

Last May, Senate members introduced S. 2277: Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014. 

Its full title is "(a) bill to prevent Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes."

Senator Bob Corker (R. TN) introduced it with 26 Republican co-sponsors. Senate Foreign Relations Committee members considered it.

No action was taken so far. Perhaps in the new Congress. Obama as anti-Russian as congressional hawks. Fascists making policy.

Proposed legislation provides "major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services."

Effectively incorporating these countries into NATO. Making its killing machine more formidable. 

Letting Washington establish bases on Russia's border. Challenging Moscow irresponsibly. Risking direct East/West confrontation.

Ongoing events risk the worst possible outcome. Chossudovsky is clear and unequivocal saying "America’s s global military design has been one of world conquest." 

"War and globalization are intricately related. Militarization supports powerful economic interests." 

"America’s 'Long War' is geared towards worldwide corporate expansion and the conquest of new economic frontiers."

US-dominated NATO partnered with Israel and other rogue states comprise "a formidable military force, deployed in all major regions of the World."

Targeting all independent countries for regime change. Including Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Hezbollah in Lebanon and others.

Potential US-instigated nuclear war threatens humanity's survival. MSM propaganda increases the possibility. 

So does public indifference. Anti-war activism is absent. More than ever needed to stop America's hegemonic madness.

Its "long war" rages. No end in sight looms. Either we find a way to end it or it'll end us.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, EU foreign ministers met in Brussels. Extended  economic/financial sanctions on Russia through September.

Agreed to consider additional ones. To be decided when ministers meet on February 9. A statement issued lied.

Blaming Russia for "continued and growing" support for Donbas rebels. Saying Moscow shares "responsibility" for escalated conflict.

Russia and Donbas freedom fighters are consistently blamed for Kiev's crimes. Greece's new government expressed phony rhetorical opposition to renewed sanctions. 

Its Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias approved them. Brussels unity was required to do so. "We are not the bad boy," Kotzias maintained. 

Saying one thing. Doing another shows what ordinary Greeks can expect from its new government.

A previous article called it business as usual wrapped in populist rhetoric. Betrayal after promising real change.

Moscow's EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov commented saying:

"By acting in such a narrow-minded way, the EU in essence is subjecting to additional tests our partnership - the partnership between Russia and the European Union, which is regrettable."

"(B)esides selective assessments of these or those events, sweeping criticism of Russia is the dominating element." 

"As if Russia, and not the Kiev authorities with the connivance of the EU, had unfolded the bloodbath in eastern Ukraine."

"The call for implementation of the Minsk agreements contrasts with statements heard in the past few days from the Ukrainian capital that they are no longer content with the Minsk agreements and it’s necessary to seek another format."

"But while these conversations can be heard, shelling of residential districts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Gorlovka continue." 

EU foreign policy chief Federica "Mogherini, while summing up the meeting on Thursday, selected three components in the EU's reaction to deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Unfortunately, all three are wrong."

On Thursday, Putin said Russia "must overcome the pressure of external factors by means of strengthening its economic and financial sovereignty."

"The current period is not easy," he explained. "(B)ut nothing unexpected has happened. The crisis developments were expected."

Russia won't surrender its political and economic sovereignty. Putin promised new measures for "additional stability against external shocks…"

Including "diversification, the growth of non-energy, high technology, agriculture, and the national financial and banking sector."

At the same time, he intends confronting major Western challenges diplomatically. Given America's rage for regime change, he'll need tough-minded policies with teeth.

The only thing US lunatics running things understand.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Islamic State Recruiter Admits Getting Funds from America

Islamic State Recruiter Admits Getting Funds from America

by Stephen Lendman

Call it one of many US dirty secrets. Washington covertly recruits, funds, arms, trains, and directs extremist Islamic State and other Takfiri terrorists.

The same ones it lies about waging war on. Uses them as proxies against its adversaries.

Notably during Obama's tenure against Libya's Gaddafi. Currently against Assad in Syria. Ahead against future enemies to be named later. 

Iran very much in Washington's cross hairs. Longstanding US regime change plans remain firm.

RT International, Fars News and LiveLeak reported the same story. 
Calling Yousaf Al Salafi an IS Pakistani commander.

In detention in Pakistan, he admitted getting funds from America. On January 22, he and two associates were arrested in Lahore, said AFP.

According to the English language newspaper The Express Tribune:

"During investigations, (Al Salafi) revealed that he was getting funding - routed through America - to run an organization in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria." 

The information came from its sister Urdu language Daily Express. From a source close to Pakistan's investigation on condition of anonymity. Saying Al Salafi was arrested in December.

Admitted getting $600 per recruit. Worked with at least one accomplice. Reportedly a Pakistani imam. According to the unnamed source:

"The US has been condemning the IS activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organizations, which is being routed through the US." 

"The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests, and that is why it launched offensive (actions) against the organization in Iraq but not in Syria."

Its oil facilities, infrastructure, grain silos and other non-military sites are targeted. Scores of civilians were killed. 

IS fighters remain largely unscathed. New ones enter Syria through Turkey, Jordan and Israel's Golan.

According to a Pakistani security source, recruiting IS fighters "was raised several several times (by) local media" reports.

"(E)ven in the diplomatic corridors between US and Pakistan…(M)edia reporters here suggest(ed) that hundreds of recruits have been exported from Pakistan."

The issue was discussed with John Kerry on his recent Islamabad visit.

"The matter was also taken up with CENTCOM (US Central Command) chief, General Lloyd Austin, during his visit to Islamabad earlier this month," an unnamed source said.

Reuters was told Al Salafi is a Pakistani-Syrian. Came to Pakistan via Turkey. Arrived five months ago. Established a Pakistani-based IS group.

Local media report growing internal IS influence. Citing incidents in Lahore and Multan. Where IS flags and graffiti are clearly visible.

Last year, Obama began bombing claimed IS sites in Iraq and Syria. Washington wants unchallenged regional control.

Fear-mongering is longstanding US practice. Obama nonsensically calls IS "unique…If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond (the) region, including to the United States," he claims.

Washington's objectives include controlling regional oil. Installing pro-Western puppet regimes.

Balkanizing iraq into the Kurdish north, Baghdad center and Basra south. Controlling the country more effectively this way.

Ousting Assad. Eliminating a key Israeli rival. Replacing him with a US-friendly stooge. Isolating Iran. Its turn awaits US regime change plans.

America's dark side threatens world peace. Obama wants congressional authority for unconstrained war. Billions of dollars in funding.

America's longstanding business is war. Obama calls it US "leadership." International law calls it naked aggression.

Based on Big Lies. With no just cause. No existential or other threats. No legal standing regardless of congressional action. 

Security Council members alone may authorize war. Every US post-WW II one was illegal. Including ongoing direct and proxy ones. New ones planned.

War is America's strategy of choice. Permanent ones. Dirty ones. Waged without mercy. Against nations US forces can easily roll over.

How many more countries will America ravage and destroy? How many more victims will die?

Wars won''t end when Obama leaves office. Whoever replaces him will continue them seamlessly. Wage new ones.

Expect no end to mass slaughter and destruction. Not as long as lunatics run the Washington asylum. 

The only solution is nonviolent revolution. The alternative is continued death, destruction and growing homeland repression. 

Tyranny by any standard. Masquerading as democracy works only for so long. America's dark side is to ugly to hide.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Human Rights Groups Condemn Israeli Gaza War Crimes

Human Rights Groups Condemn Israeli Gaza War Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

Israel's Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was cold, calculated, premeditated naked aggression against 1.8 million Gazans.

Previous articles explained in detail. It had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. Everything to do with preventing Palestinian self-determination.

Maintaining occupation harshness. Continuing settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land. 

Keeping beleaguered Gazans besieged. Sabotaging Fatah/Hamas unity. Preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning. 

Having Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital. Denying Palestinians all international law guaranteed rights. Continuing to treat them as subhumans.

Amnesty International (AI) accused Israel of war crimes. Said its "forces displayed 'callous indifference' to deadly attacks on family homes in Gaza."

Targeting them "without warning…(K)illing entire families. (B)razenly flout(ing) the law(s) of war," said AI's Philip Luther.

Israel "show(ed) a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians…" AI quoted a Gazan witness to an Israeli attack on a residential home, saying:

"All I can remember are the bits and pieces of bodies, teeth, heads, arms, insides, everything scattered and spread."

Israel remains unaccountable for its genocidal high crimes against peace. Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned them in a report on its attacks on schools used as shelters.

Saying "(t)he Israeli military carried out attacks on or near three well-marked schools where it knew hundreds of people were taking shelter, killing and wounding scores of civilians."

"Israel has offered no convincing explanation for these attacks on schools where people had gone for protection and the resulting carnage."

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel condemned Israeli war crimes. Its fact-finding mission (FFM) reported most deaths and injuries occurred "in, or very close to, (victims') homes or those of relatives and neighbors."

Significant numbers of casualties included "members of the same family and rescuers killed or injured…"

" '(D)ouble tap' or multiple consecutive strikes on a single location led to multiple civilian casualties and injuries and deaths among rescuers."

"(H)eavy explosives were used in residential neighborhoods resulting in multiple civilian casualties."

Medical teams were targeted, killed or injured while attempting to aid injured Gazans.

Civilians were deliberately attacked. In dozens of cases, entire families were killed.

Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Abused and ill-treated them. "(I)ncluding beatings, denial of food and water," and murdering at least one victim "shot dead at close range."

Heavy Israeli bombardments "failed to discriminate between legitimate targets and protected populations and caused widespread destruction of homes and civilian property."

"Such indiscriminate (land, sea and air) attacks…must have entailed approval from top-level decision-makers in the Israeli military and/or government."

Clear evidence shows "serious (Israeli) violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."

B'Tselem's new report is the latest on OPE. Titled "Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014."

On OPE's first day, Israeli forces "attacked the Kaware family home. (It) collapsed. Nine people, including five children aged 7 to 14, were killed.," said B'Tselem

"This was just the first of dozens of air, sea and ground strikes" on civilian targets. "(A)ppalling hallmarks" of Israeli aggression.

"Time and again Palestinian families suffered much grievous loss of life." 

"In a single instant, so many families were ruined, with the wreckage of their lives mirroring the devastation of their homes."

"These attacks were not carried out on the whim of individual soldiers, pilots or commanders in the field." 

They reflected "policy formulated by government officials and the senior military command." 

"These officials (lied claiming) attacks conform(ed) to international humanitarian law (IHL) and eschew(ed) any responsibility for harm to civilians."

"(M)any civilians (not involved in fighting) were killed in every strike in which houses collapsed with their occupants inside."

Culpable Israeli officials "eschewed responsibility for the immense harm to civilians, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Hamas." 

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (lied saying) 'Israel's security forces (did) everything in their power to avoid harming civilians and if innocents are hurt, it is because Hamas deliberately hides behind Palestinian civilians.' "

"This argument is unacceptable," said B'Tselem. Netanyahu lied. Israel considers civilians legitimate targets in all its wars. Around 80% of OPE casualties were noncombatant men, women and children.

B'Tselem characterized Israeli OPE operations as a "black flag of illegality."

New York Times editors, correspondents and contributors rarely criticize Israeli crimes demanding condemnation and accountability.

Rare exceptions prove the rule. Even then they stop short of full truth and disclosure.

On January 28, The Times discussed B'Tselem's report. Headlining "Israeli Group Says Military Attacks on Palestinian Homes Appeared to Violate Law."

It should have headlined human rights group condemns Israeli war crimes. Instead of saying "appeared in at least some instances to violate provisions of international law…"

Naked Israeli aggression violated international law. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. 

Provided Security Council members OK it. Israel launched premeditated aggression. Hamas responded in justifiable self-defense.

Times reports don't explain. Throughout OPE, it was more Israeli apologist than critic.

It remains so. Citing Israeli military officials "insist(ing) (they) acted in accordance with international law…"

Despite indisputable evidence proving otherwise. "Israeli critics immediately denounced the B'Tselem report," said The Times.

Citing NGO Monitor. Calling it "an Israeli watchdog group widely considered to be right-leaning…" 

Quoting it calling B'Tselem's report a "distorted political narrative of Israeli guilt and Palestinian victimhood."

Saying B'Tselem "contribut(es) to an (anti-Israeli) campaign…"

NGO Monitor is a Jerusalem-based Israeli front group. Disseminating propaganda, hate and fear-mongering.

Debasing human rights groups, independent journalists and other legitimate Israeli critics. Don't expect Times reports to explain.

Or unequivocally condemn indisputable Israeli war crimes.

B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad said its report aimed mainly at the Israeli public. Polls showed strong OPE support. 

State propaganda manipulated people to back what demanded condemnation. Media reports echoed official policy.

Weeks ahead of Israeli elections, El-Ad expressed concern about OPE largely absent from public discussion.

He hopes to raise Israeli awareness of what happened. Why it matters. 

Hoping it may help prevent future wars. Given Israel's appalling history, chances for equitable peace are virtually nil.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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