Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims

Memorial Day Ignores Millions of US Imperial Victims

by Stephen Lendman

The day commemorates lost lives of US servicemen and women sent to war for the wrong reasons - from the 18th century to today, notably America’s so-called War of Independence, its Civil War, WW I and II and all subsequent wars of choice.

America’s only enemies in the past 70 years and throughout at least most of its history were and remain ones it invents.

It could have been a model peaceful nation had it chosen a different path. Instead, its history reflects unbridled militarism, endless wars of choice, related violence and chaos, contempt for rule of law principles, along with unparalleled barbarism and viciousness - while vital homeland needs increasingly go begging.

America’s privileged class lets others do its fighting and dying, innocent youths to conflicts based on Big Lies.

Terrorists and hired gun mercenaries are used as imperial foot soldiers, militarism and war-profiteering today greater than ever from Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse, along with rape and destruction of one country after another. 

America’s wars rage in more theaters simultaneously under Obama than any of his predecessors - against countries threatening no others.

Who honors the millions of US imperial victims - slaughtered, maimed or displaced? Who respects the loss their surviving family members sustained?

America is a rogue gangster state, waging endless wars on humanity for profit and dominance, wanting all nations turned into US vassal states, wanting dominion over planet earth, its resources and people.

We’re at a critical stage in world history. The possibility of another world war should scare everyone.

If launched with today’s super-weapons, they’ll be no more Memorial Days to commemorate!

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.

Israeli Administrative Detentions: State-Sponsored Terrorism

Israeli Administrative Detentions: State-Sponsored Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish under hellish gulag conditions, around 750 held administratively, including women and children - uncharged and untried.

The Addameer human rights and prisoner support group calls detention without charges or trial for indefinite periods a form of psychological torture, victims at risk of longterm depression and anxiety.

The UN Committee Against Torture called for Israel “(t)aking the measures necessary to end the practice,” and ensure current detainees “are afforded all basic legal safeguards.”

It received reports from at least 10 human rights groups, providing evidence of systematic use of torture and abuse - during arrests, interrogations and detentions, Israeli forces treating children as harshly as adults, terrorizing them in isolation, holding detainees based on alleged secret information unavailable to defense lawyers.

Israel systematically ignores international humanitarian law and pressure for it to change its abhorrent practices. Palestinians are defenseless against its ruthless persecution.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies (PPCS), Israel issued 729 administrative detention orders from January through late May, mostly renewing previous ones - a 35% year-over-year increase.

PPCS media spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar called what’s happening “very serious, very dangerous. In the past, Israel used to issue such numbers of orders every few years.”

“Now, we are witnessing this serious increase in just few months. Israel uses this policy to hold hundreds of prisoners captive, without charges or trial, and largely keeps renewing them” multiple times without justification - one of many methods it uses to intimidate and terrorize an entire population.

Palestinians, including young children and women, are kidnapped daily, denied their fundamental rights, detained for indefinite periods, at times years - despite having committed no crimes.

The collaborative Palestinian Authority does nothing to intervene responsibly, involved in persecuting its own people.

Palestinians perhaps are at greater risk than earlier with the appointment of Arab-hating untranationalist extremist Avigdor Lieberman as defense minister.

Another Gaza blitzkrieg appears just a matter of time, perhaps more intense than in summer 2014, turning large part of the Strip to rubble, killing or wounding around 13,000 Palestinians, displacing tens of thousands.

As long as rogue Western and regional leaders partner with Israeli depravity, Palestinian liberation remains unattainable. Their long ordeal continues.

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.

Is America Preparing for WW III?

Is America Preparing for WW III?

by Stephen Lendman

The 9/11 false flag and endless US wars followed George Bush’s stolen 2000 election. 

If things are rigged for Hillary Clinton to succeed Obama next year, will America attack Russia and China, an unthinkable act of madness if launched!

Provocative US-led NATO troop deployments and military exercises near Russia’s borders, its Romania-based missile system targeting its heartland, along with militarization of the South China Sea risk the unthinkable. It gets worse.

US ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin said Washington intends “a very significant increase” in US forces deployed to the country along with allied NATO troops, part of recklessly dangerous Pentagon strategy for greater control over the Black Sea region, including waters close to Crimea.

An area US Navy SEAL base is planned. Their tactical units already operate provocatively in Black Sea waters, conducting combat exercises - perhaps in preparation for an anti-Russian operation.

Is training underway to invade Crimea, a reckless act if undertaken! It’s Russian territory. Invading or otherwise attacking it would be a declaration of war - perhaps prelude to WW III.

US imperial madness seems headed inevitably in this direction. Moscow is preparing to counter US belligerence. 

The Saker notes “Russians like to say that ‘Russia never starts wars. She only ends them.” The mission of its military is “survival. At all cost.”

It’s preparing for WW III (it wants avoided) to leave no doubt US-dominated NATO “will never survive a war with Russia, even if every single Russian is killed.”

Next year under a new administration in Washington could be decisive in world history.

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.

Remembering Hedy Epstein

Remembering Hedy Epstein

by Stephen Lendman

On May 26, German-born holocaust survivor, human rights champion Hedy Epstein died at age 91 at her St. Louis home.

She was internationally respected for supporting human and civil rights, justifiably critical of how Israel persecutes Palestinians.

She was activist to the end. At age 90 in August 2014, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “STAY HUMAN,” she was arrested “for failing to disperse” during a St. Louis, MO protest over the police murder of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

At the time, she said she’d “been doing this since” her teenage days. She “didn’t think (she’d) have to do it (at age) 90,” adding:

“We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they are 90.” In 1939 at age 14, her parents arranged for her Kindertranport to England, allowing her to survive.

Her parents and most of her relatives were Nazi holocaust victims. She remained in England until WW II ended, returned to Germany in 1945, then emigrated to America in 1948, committed to helping others.

She was a Freedom of Residence, Greater St. Louis Committee volunteer, supporting fair housing laws, later serving as its executive director in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s, she worked for Chackes and Hoare, a law firm representing employment discrimination victims.

She outspokenly opposed US wars of aggression. Following Israel’s 1982 Lebanon invasion and Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres, she began actively supporting Palestinian rights.

In 2001, she founded the St. Louis chapter of Women in Black, an anti-war group formed by Israeli women in 1988, following the outbreak of the first intifada, responding to horrific IDF human rights violations, expressing strong opposition to illegal occupation.

Her later activism focused mostly on ending it, including frequent public addresses and volunteer work with the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace.

She traveled several times to the West Bank, was a participant in Gaza Freedom Flotilla missions, trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the illegally besieged Strip.

She remained outspoken for human rights to the end, received numerous awards for her courageous activism.

Her philosophy was simple, believing “(i)f we don’t try to make a difference, if we don’t speak up, if we don’t try to right the wrong that we see, we become complicit. I don’t want to be guilty of not trying my best to make a difference.”

Her lifelong dedication to human rights and justice earned her international respect and praise.

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 Special Forces in Syria Covertly Engaged in Combat

US Special Forces in Syria Covertly Engaged in Combat

by Stephen Lendman

Endless war in Syria isn’t civil. Mischaracterizing it this way is one of many Big Lies about US naked aggression, using imported death squads as imperial foot soldiers - aided by US special forces directly involved in combat, aiming to oust Syria’s popularly elected government.

Pentagon and State Department claims otherwise are Big Lies. Photographic evidence exposed them. US combat troops were seen wearing Kurdish YPG insignia, fighting alongside their forces.

On Friday, Turkish foreign minister Melvut Cavusoglu called their involvement wearing YPG insignia “unacceptable…It is impossible to accept it. This is a double standard and hypocrisy,” he said.

Turkish ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic expressed similar irritation during a State Department visit. Both officials called it unacceptable for Washington to collaborate with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG armed wing.

Aiming to smooth relations with Ankara, an important NATO ally, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said US forces were told to remove YPG patches - explaining nothing about their illegal presence, engaged in combat on foreign soil without Security Council authorization.

Separately during a Friday SC session, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar-al-Jaafari accused Turkey of using humanitarian corridors as transit routes for terrorists, crossing into Syria along with weapons supplied them, at the same time obstructing delivery of humanitarian aid - fully supported by Washington and rogue NATO partners.

Cessation of hostilities is pure fantasy. Conflict could escalate dramatically any time, including involvement of much larger numbers of US combat troops. 

Washington’s refusal to cooperate with Russia against terrorists shows Obama wants endless war, not peace.

A Final Comment

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray openly criticizes his government’s support for terrorists in Syria - stressing “there aren’t any moderates. Forces (supporting) a secular democratic Syria could be counted on the fingers of very few hands.”

These elements “simply do not exist. They are a figment of the imagination.” What’s ongoing is “very dangerous…creating more violence, more radicalization, and more groups (potentially endangering) everybody.”

Conditions in Syria, the region and elsewhere aren’t improving. America’s rage for dominance risks the unthinkable possibility of eventual nuclear war.

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, May 27, 2016

Russia Admits Ceasefire Let Terrorists Regroup and Rearm in Syria

Russia Admits Ceasefire Let Terrorists Regroup and Rearm in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Russian General Sergey Rudskoy mentioned Jabhat al-Nusra alone. All US-supported terrorist groups took advantage of ceasefire to strengthen their positions, including ISIS and members of Riyadh’s so-called High Negotiations Committee - terrorists masquerading as diplomats, committed to Syria’s destruction and Assad’s ouster.

According to Rudskoy, Aleppo and Idlib provinces bordering Turkey are key hot spots where groups like Jabhat al-Nusra are entrenched for endless war.

Russia said beginning on May 25, it “reserve(s) the right to conduct unilateral strikes…on…international terrorist organizations and illegal armed units” not agreeing to ceasefire.

It delayed operations to let nonexistent moderate rebels separate themselves from Security Council designated terrorist groups, a huge mistake.

It’s time to correct it straightaway, yet Russia keeps delaying, Rudskoy saying separate zones aren’t agreed on by different elements - a thinly veiled stalling tactic to give anti-Assad forces maximum advantage.

He and other Russian officials refer to misnamed moderate rebels - knowing none exist. They call Obama’s naked aggression using imported terrorists as imperial foot soldiers “civil war.”

Syria was invaded. Ongoing war isn’t civil. The only language America and its rogue partners understand is force. 

It’s time for Russia to step up aerial operations beyond against illegal oil extraction targets and small-scale attacks supporting Syrian ground forces. They proved so effective earlier. Delay puts conflict resolution further out of reach.

According to Rudskoy, anti-Assad terrorists get daily arms and munitions shipments from Turkey. As long as its border stays open, weapons will continue flowing. Peace will remain out of reach.

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.

Deconstructing Obama's Demagoguery in Hiroshima

Deconstructing Obama’s Demagoguery in Hiroshima

by Stephen Lendman

His speeches make painful listening - a litany of deception, Big Lies, and for Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims and survivors, continued coverup of one of history’s great crimes - massacring civilians gratuitously.

Obama saying “(w)e come to mourn the dead” ignores US responsibility for mass murder and endless wars of aggression - notably post-9/11.

Saying “(w)e stand here in the middle of this city (and) force ourselves to feel the dread of  children…listen to a silent cry…remember all the innocents killed” in global wars, especially WW II, begs the question of why America nuked Japan twice when it was defeated in process of surrendering.

Obama: “(W)e have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.”

Fact: US wars of aggression against countries threatening no one leaves millions of casualties in their wake, endless suffering over and over again.

Obama: “(T)he memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.”

Fact: America is morally depraved, change unattainable, its aim for unchallenged world dominance overrides peace, stability and other considerations.

Obama: “(S)ince that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope.”

Fact: Today is the most perilous time in world history. Reality is polar opposite the fantasy Obama presented - claiming “international community established institutions and treaties…work to avoid war.” They rage out-of-control in multiple theaters, America bearing full responsibility.

Obama: We “aspire to restrict and roll back and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.”

Fact: America intends spending a trillion dollars in the next 30 years upgrading its nuclear arsenal, making it more ominous and destructive than ever.

Obama: “We must change our mindset about war itself to prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’re begun.”

Fact: The self-described peace candidate waged and continues waging endless wars of aggression every day throughout his tenure. They serve America’s imperial agenda. Peace defeats it.

Obama: “The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family - that is the story that we all must tell.”

Fact: Longstanding US policy since the beginning of the republic reflects contempt for human life and welfare, insistence that government serve its privileged elites alone.

Social Security, Medicare, civil rights legislation and other beneficial measures enacted earlier were more about saving and preserving capitalism than instituting social democracy.

Obama saying “we come to Hiroshima (to) think of people we love” mocks the reality of daily life caused by US lawlessness, the endless pain and suffering, the possibility of US-launched nuclear war consuming us all.

Imperial madness makes today’s threat greater than ever.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Obama in Hiroshima

Obama in Hiroshima

by Stephen Lendman

Obama is the first US sitting president to visit Hiroshima. He came to flex US muscle in a part of the world not its own, not apologize for gratuitous mass murder.

The war was over. Japan was negotiating surrender. America used nuclear weapons against a defeated enemy, showing its meanness, incinerating defenseless civilians - a taste of greater viciousness to come, its endless wars of aggression, its contempt for peace, democratic values and international law.

Asked if he’d apologize for one of history’s great crimes, he said: “No, because I think that it's important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions.”

“It's a job of historians to ask questions and examine them, but I know as somebody who has now sat in this position for the last seven and a half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during wartime.”

The notion that nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives by avoiding an invasion is one of history’s great lies. None was intended or needed. Japan was defeated.

America wages endless wars of choice, not necessity. Nations threatening no one are raped and destroyed, millions killed from war, related violence, disease, starvation and overall deprivation.

No nation in history caused more harm to more people over a longer duration than America. None more greatly threaten world peace.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are two of many examples of US depravity, its lawlessness, its rage for dominance no matter the cost in human lives and welfare.

Obama visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, joined by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - expressing contempt for peace and stability in a world without nuclear weapons - not the other way around as the White House claimed prior to his arrival.

Saying his visit “offer(s) a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future” belies reality in its multiple war theaters.

His presence in Hiroshima is a thumb in the eye to millions of US war victims, its responsibility for most of history’s greatest crimes, Obama’s rage for endless wars of conquest.

His call for abolishing nuclear weapons was and remains pure subterfuge. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent upgrading America’s arsenal, not dismantling it, risking humanity’s survival.

Obama saying “(p)art of the reason (he’s) going (to Hiroshima) is (to) underscore the very real risks that are out there and the sense of urgency that we all should have” ignores America’s endless war agenda, the risk it’ll use nuclear weapons again - next time potentially ending life on earth.

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.

No Prospects for Peace in Syria

No Prospects for Peace in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Obama’s war continues, hundreds of US special forces and marines involved in combat, directly aiding terrorists in northern Syria.

Claiming they’re advising and assisting (nonexistent) moderate rebels is pure rubbish. Obama wants Assad forcibly ousted before he leaves office. Maybe he intends US-led NATO bombing.

Peace talks begun in early February were dead on arrival, now indefinitely suspended. On Thursday, pro-Western UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told Security Council members during a closed session that progress toward so far unattainable ceasefire must be achieved before resuming them.

Talks can accomplish nothing without “credible…cessation of hostilities improvement and stabilization,” he said. Peace is unattainable because Syria has no legitimate partner.

Washington and its rogue allies want war, Assad toppled and Syrian sovereign independence destroyed.

At a Thursday Persian Gulf Cooperation Council ministerial meeting in Moscow, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubier “disagree(d) with the position of Russia on the issue of members of the delegation at the Syrian (peace) talks.” 

He claimed US/Riyadh cobbled together High Negotiations Committee members (composed entirely of terrorists or terrorist related groups) are the “only legitimate representative(s) of the Syrian people.”

They profoundly disagree, overwhelmingly expressing support for Assad and his government. Lavrov insists “the fate of Syria should only be determined by (its) people,” free from foreign interference.

Syria is one of numerous US war theaters, part of its rage for world conquest and dominance. Reckless brinksmanship with Russia and China could cross a rubicon of no return.

Will America’s next president launch WW III? Be terrified if it’s Hillary Clinton, a neocon, power-crazed lunatic, the most recklessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history.

Her agenda represents pure evil. Her finger on the nuclear trigger should scare everyone.

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, May 26, 2016

Unaffordable Housing in America

Unaffordable Housing in America

by Stephen Lendman

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) report, titled “Out of Reach 2015,” income inequality in America makes housing increasingly unaffordable.

“(I)n no state, metropolitan area, or county can a full-time worker earning the prevailing minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom apartment,” it said.

At $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, it would take 112 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, meaning all work and sleep with no time for anything else. 

Stagnant wages, declining benefits, high inflation (8.8% according to economist John Williams, not the phony 1.1% CPI), and protracted Main Street Depression conditions created a deplorable situation for growing millions.

Not only isn’t America beautiful, modestly priced housing is increasingly unaffordable. According to NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel, “(t)he federal government has the resources to end the shortage of housing affordable to the lowest income families.”

“It is simply a matter of how those resources are allocated. Instead of subsidizing the mortgages of higher income people, we must invest in making rental housing more affordable and available to those most in need of assistance.”

Trillions of dollars go for warmaking and benefits for America’s privileged class. Most others are increasingly on their own. Millions are one lost paycheck away from hunger, homelessness and despair.

The world’s richest country cares little about its most disadvantaged, why poverty is a growth industry and one in four working aged Americans have no jobs. Potemkin village illusion conceals reality.

In contrast, million dollar book deals and 6-figure speech payments await Obama when he leaves office in January - already very rich, about to become super-rich, cashing in on serving monied interests throughout his tenure, waging class war on most others.

Problems affecting ordinary Americans don’t concern him. An affluent lifestyle awaits. Reportedly he’ll move into an 8,200 square foot, 9-bedroom luxury home in Washington’s upscale Kalorama neighborhood, two miles from the White House.

Former Clinton aide Joe Lockhart owns the mansion. Obama will pay $22,000 in monthly rent. It would take an average low-wage US worker up to 12 or more years to cover its annual rental cost - provided he or she didn’t eat, own a car or have medical, transportation, or utility expenses.

The community is home to Washington’s political elites. Former presidents William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt lived there.

In March, Obama said he’ll remain in Washington at least until his youngest daughter finishes Sidwell Friends School - uncaring about the global human misery he caused, unaccountable for war crimes too appalling to ignore.

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.

West Hails Release of Ukrainian Killer

West Hails Release of Ukrainian Killer

by Stephen Lendman

Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko involved with the infamous Nazi-infested Aidar battalion is an unapologetic killer. 

Last March, she was convicted in a Russian court on multiple charges, including murdering two Russian journalists in Donbass - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. In June 2014, she sent coordinates of their location to an Aidar artillery unit.

The attack on their position killed them along with Ukrainian civilians. On March 22, RT International’s Murad Gazdiev twittered “(t)he court has no doubts about #Savchenko’s guilt on all counts.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee collected reliable evidence, including eyewitness testimonies. In pronouncing sentence, Judge Leonid Stepanenko said she was well “aware of the extent and social danger of her actions…”

She was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Charges of killing civilians were dropped, the court saying it “ha(d) no authority to try her for murdering Ukrainian civilians.”

Kiev outrageously called her a prisoner of war. In March 2015, she was awarded the title of “hero of Ukraine.” She admitted directing artillery fire at two Russian journalists.

While imprisoned in Russia for murder, she was elected to Ukraine’s parliament and her nation’s permanent mission to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

During trial proceedings, she remained defiant, interrupting Judge Stepanenko, singing the Ukrainian national anthem and chanting “(g)lory to Ukraine! Death to our enemies!”

On Wednesday, she returned home, swapped for two illegally held Russian nationals (Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, falsely accused of being combatants in Donbass), greeted by US-appointed oligarch president Petro Poroshenko. 

Reports indicated the exchange was agreed on late Monday during a phone conversation between Putin, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Francois Hollande and Poroshenko.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier outrageously hailed the good news.

Russian upper house Federation Council President Valentina Matviyenko said “(i)t’s very sad for a country where they make national heroes out of representatives of radical nationalist organizations, people with blood on their hands, accomplices to fascists.”

“As for Savchenko, there’s no reason to make her a national hero because it’s been proved by a Russian court that she was guilty in the deaths of Russian journalists, among other things.”

While in custody, Obama and other Western leaders disgracefully called for her release. John Kerry ludicrously called it “an important part of fulfilling Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements.”

Neocon US UN envoy Samantha Power said Washington is “overjoyed” at Savchenko’s release. As expected, she blasted what she called “farcical Russian legal proceedings” - ignoring the high crime of murder and Washington’s direct involvement in Ukraine’s war on its own Donbass citizens.

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.

NYT: Imperial Press Agent

NYT: Imperial Press Agent

by Stephen Lendman

Times propaganda supports America’s imperial agenda, its Syria coverage some of the worst in memory.

Managed news misinformation and Big Lies consistently substitute for reliable news and information readers need to know.

The Times perpetuates the myth of America’s war on terrorism, its phony intention to degrade and destroy ISIS - the monster it created and supports along with other terrorist groups used as imperial foot soldiers. 

Instead of debunking official Big Lies, The Times proliferates them - its latest propaganda piece claiming US airstrikes “are hitting more significant ISIS targets” when no reliable information suggests they’re hitting any.

They continue aiding the monster they claim to oppose, providing weapons and other material support. 

Not according to The Times, claiming unnamed “military officials saying they have corrected the poor intelligence collection and clumsy process for identifying targets that initially plagued the campaign, and are now hitting targets like oil rigs and secret cash coffers that finance the terrorist group’s war machine.”

There’s more. The Times says these targets were previously avoided “for fear of causing civilian casualties.”

Fact: US airstrikes target infrastructure and government sites, not terrorists America supports.

Fact: Civilians are harmed most in all US wars. Most casualties are noncombatants, often the vast majority. The notion of Pentagon commanders protecting them is a gross perversion of truth.

US Central Command head General Charles Q. Brown Jr. turned truth on its head, saying “(w)e’re hitting them where it hurts a lot more than we were in the past. Every bomb now has a greater impact.”

US warplanes began bombing Syrian targets illegally in September 2014 - aiding, not degrading or destroying ISIS and other terrorist groups, imperial aggression on the phony pretext of combating terrorism.

It took Russia’s real war on this scourge beginning last September to change things dramatically on the ground.

According to Moscow’s Deputy Security Council Secretary Evgeny Lukanov, Russian airstrikes and Syrian forces eliminated about 28,000 ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.

Washington takes credit for their military successes, ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra weakened because of their combined efforts.

The Times giving US forces credit for turning the corner in Syria is pure rubbish. Russian air power and intelligence along with rejuvenated government ground forces made the difference.

America’s imperial agenda threatens world peace, Russia the best hope to preserve it - what Times reports never explain.

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, May 25, 2016

Amnesty International Misreporting on Obama's War on Syria

Amnesty International Misreporting on Obama’s War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

At various times throughout years of US-launched aggression on Syria, using terrorists as proxy foot soldiers, Amnesty International (AI) pointed fingers the wrong way.

Last December, without justification, it turned truth on its head, claiming “Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas, striking homes, a mosque and a busy market, as well as medical facilities, in a pattern of attacks that show evidence of violations of international humanitarian law.”

It irresponsibly blamed Moscow for high crimes committed by imported death squads and US-led coalition warplanes.

Despite no corroborating evidence, it claimed “Russian authorities may have lied to cover up civilian damage to a mosque from one air strike and a field hospital in another.” 

“It also documents evidence suggesting Russia’s use of internationally banned cluster munitions and of unguided bombs in populated residential areas.”

According to its Middle East/North Africa director Philip Luther, “(s)ome Russian air strikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians. Such attacks may amount to war crimes.”

Russia uses precision weapons. It scrupulously avoids striking civilian targets. It has verifiable photographic proof of all its airstrikes.

AI claiming its warplanes bomb civilian targets amounts to malicious lying. US warplanes and terrorists it supports consistently attack residential communities, hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary sites.

AI blaming Russia and Syria for these high crimes falsifies reality on the ground, including saying they used “internationally banned deadly cluster munitions.”

In late February, AI falsely accused Russia of some of the most “egregious” war crimes in decades, its crisis response director, Tirana Hassan, saying “(w)e’ve documented (sic) strikes on schools, strikes on hospitals and civilian homes.”

“One of the most egregious parts of what Russia and the Syrian forces are doing is they’re bombing these civilian targets when it itself is a war crime.”

“But then they’ve been looping around - and this is a consistent report that there are second bombardments - which then have been injuring and killing humanitarian workers and just civilians who are going in to actually evacuate the wounded and the dead.”

Moscow categorically rejects these falsified accusations. In early May, AI was at it again, claiming “Russian and Syrian government forces systematically targeted hospitals in opposition-controlled areas around Aleppo as a strategy of war. As the ceasefire unravels, such blatant breaches of international law must not be allowed to continue.”

Throughout over five years of Obama’s war, civilians and nonmilitary sites were repeatedly targeted, including with chemical and other banned weapons.

Washington, its Western and regional rogue partners, as well as terrorists groups they support bear full responsibility. AI lacks credibility claiming otherwise.

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.

B'Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law Enforcement a Whitewash Mechanism

B’Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law Enforcement a Whitewash Mechanism

by Stephen Lendman

With rare exceptions, Israel violates the letter and spirit of international law and its own when it comes to Palestinian rights.

Extremist settlers commit assaults and vandalism against them with virtual impunity. Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens are treated one way, Jews another, justice entirely denied, things today worse than ever.

Arab-hating fascists running Israel created hellish conditions for Palestinians, treating them the way Hitler treated Jews.

For over 25 years, B’Tselem reported abusive treatment to Israel’s Military Advocate General (MAG), a fruitless effort for justice, its noblel one now ended, the group saying “there is no longer any point” in seeking judicial redress under a system whitewashing crimes of Jews against Palestinians.

Military law enforcement only investigates incidents involving soldiers 'breach(ing) orders or directives” given them. A crime is only a crime when Israel says so.

Otherwise, it’s considered justifiable action, Palestinian rights entirely ignored. Even under its narrowly defined system, it consistently fails badly..

Since the second intifada began in September 2000, B’Tselem said it “demanded an investigation in 739 cases in which soldiers killed, injured, or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields, or damaged (their) property.”

A 3% conviction rate followed, punishment most often only hand-slaps. Virtually never are higher ranking soldiers held accountable, even when clear evidence shows guilt of cold-blooded murder.

Israeli torturers of Palestinians during interrogations freely commit high crimes against humanity with impunity. The system is too racist and corrupted to fix, accountability nearly always unattainable.

Israeli criminality against Palestinians is whitewashed, virtually no effort made to collect evidence and seek justice. What soldiers say alone matters, statements by witnesses explaining crimes against Palestinians ignored.

Investigations into serious offenses are routinely compromised, soldiers granted sweeping immunity, international law systematically violated.

Abused Palestinians and/or their families are denied their right to file complaints with Israel’s Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU).

Human rights groups or attorneys must do it for them. Processing takes months, at times years, outcomes virtually always the same.

Israeli claims about MPIU doing all it can to investigate properly and bring offenders to justice is polar opposite truth. According to B’Tselem “report after report, committee after committee, the discourse in itself creates the illusion of movement toward changing and improving the system.”

“This illusory movement allows officials both inside and outside the system to make statements about the importance of the stated goal of enforcing the law on soldiers, while the substantive failures remain as they were and most cases continue to be closed with no measures taken.”

Justice is afforded Jews alone, denied Palestinians virtually always. B’Tselem’s best efforts achieved little at best, nothing changing an institutionalized racist system.

It “will no longer play a part in the pretense posed by the military law enforcement system and will no longer refer complaints to it.” 

“The experience we have gained, on which we base the conclusions presented in this report, has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators.”

Documenting and reporting on Israeli human rights abuses in Occupied Palestine will continue. “The fight for human rights will be better served by denouncing this system and exposing it for what it is,” B’Tselem stressed.

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.

Chelsea Manning Seeks Overturn of Wrongful Conviction

Chelsea Manning Seeks Overturn of Wrongful Conviction

by Stephen Lendman

Manning was wrongfully imprisoned for courageously revealing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan Pentagon officials want suppressed.

Responsible parties got medals and promotions. Manning got prison. Show trial proceedings sentenced her to 35 years behind bars. 

Rogue states honor their worst, persecute their best, Manning one of thousands of US political prisoners.

Lawyers representing her filed a motion before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals, calling her 2013 conviction unconstitutional, arguing it should be overturned.

One count was based on allegedly violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), aimed at holding individuals involved in breaking into computer systems responsible, what Manning didn’t do.

She was convicted on 19 counts, including one under CFAA. In a 209-page filing, lawyers argued her punishment is grossly unfair and unprecedented.

Government prosecutors portraying her as a traitor and endangering American lives was a gross perversion of truth.

Whistleblowers revealing government wrongdoing deserve praise, not prosecution. At the time of her conviction, ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner called prosecuting her largely under the Espionage Act unjustified.

It’s a long ago outdated WW I relic with no justifiable relevancy today. It should have been declared null and void long ago.

Her appeal states she revealed evidence of US war crimes “because under the circumstances she thought it was the right thing to do.”

“She believed the public had a right to know about the toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of life, and the extent to which the government sought to hide embarrassing information of its wrongdoing.”

One of her attorneys, Nancy Hollander, called her “a very brave courageous young woman to have done what she did and to write about it.” 

“She did what she believed was right in a very difficult situation. What happened with her is really an outrageous sentence, especially when you compare it to others.”

She’s currently imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Last week, her legal team comprised of Nancy Hollander, Vincent Ward and US Army Captain David Hammond, filed a brief, taking “nearly three years of hard work pouring over the tens of thousands of pages of transcript and court filings to put this magnum opus together,” Manning explained.

It asked for dismissal of all charges, or a much shorter sentence imposed. Reasons cited included:

  • pre-trial harsh solitary confinement conditions amounting to torture;

  • sentencing based on vague evidence;

  • no evidence of theft of information;

  • “the vagueness of the definition of ‘exceeding authorized access’ “ under CFAA; and

  • no evidence that information released harmed US national security.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Open Society Justice Initiative, ACLU and Amnesty International filed separate amicus briefs on Manning’s behalf.

She said “(a)ll in all, rather than this being the end, (it’s) only the beginning.” She’s gotten thousands of letters from supporters.

“I’m so thankful for all of your support,” she said. “I’m staying strong (in the struggle for justice) because of you.”

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.

Russia DID NOT down MH17, Sued Anyway

Russia DID NOT Down MH17, Sued Anyway

by Stephen Lendman

On July 14, 2014, a Ukrainian warplane downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) with an air-to-air missile. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board perished.

Russia and Vladimir Putin remain wrongfully blamed for what they had nothing to do with. What happened was a classic false flag - likely cooked up in Washington, using US installed Kiev putschists to do its dirty work.

No credible evidence suggests Russian responsibility. The obvious question remains unanswered. What could Moscow possibly gain from downing a commercial airliner, unrelated to combat in Donbass or its interests anywhere?

Washington, NATO and Kiev gained plenty, benefitting from wrongfully bashing Russia. Eyewitnesses on the ground saw a Ukrainian warplane trailing MH17. 

Russian radar tracked a Ukrainian SU-25 jet fighter within three km of the fated aircraft. Why did Ukrainian air traffic control let MH17 overfly a war zone? Other commercial airliners avoided it for obvious reasons.

Did Kiev authorities deliberately put MH17 in harm’s way to down it, then point fingers the wrong way at Russia? 

Did Washington and Ukrainian fascists jointly plan the incident? Further US and EU sanctions followed plus relentless, irresponsible Putin-bashing.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) investigating the incident is a front for US imperial policy. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) countries include the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine - conspiratorially allied against Russia, Washington pulling the strings behind the scene.

DSB’s final report stopped short of naming perpetrators,  suggesting Russia and Donbass freedom fighters were responsible without saying so while indicating no evidence proves it.

On Monday, Australian law firm Leitch Hasson & Dent (LHD) and its special counsel Jerry Skinner filed suit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Russia and Vladimir Putin on behalf of relatives of MH17 victims - seeking $10 million per passenger in damages.

The action followed New South Wales coroner Michael Barnes and Sydney, Australia lawyers fabricating charges of Russian involvement in what happened. So-called evidence alleging it is phony.

Some legal experts believe it’s unlikely the ECHR will accept the case without plaintiffs first seeking redress in Ukraine or Russia.

Kiev is an illegitimate US-installed Nazi-infested putschist regime - responsible for waging naked aggression on its own people in Donbass. Suing there or in Russia would be a farcical attempt to shift blame from where it belongs.

The incident has been entirely politicized, a thinly veiled scheme to continue bashing Russia irresponsibly. 

Expect the LHD lawsuit to go nowhere. No legitimate court would accept 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.

US Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign

US Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign

by Stephen Lendman

Days earlier, US CENTCOM commanding General Joseph Votel secretly visited Syria. He met with Kurdish fighters and terrorist groups to coordinate strategy on preventing government forces from retaking ISIS stronghold Raqqa.

According to retired Syrian Col. Elias Ebrahim, operations to liberate Raqqa were obstructed to save ISIS fighters from being routed, wanting them preserved for future US-planned attacks.

The main reason Washington touts a political solution is to avoid joint US/Russian anti-terrorism operations.

America's demanded political transition is code language for regime change. Assad got a choice. Step down voluntarily or be forced out militarily.

According to Ebrahim, Kurdish forces said ISIS shifting fighters and military hardware from Raqqa to Deir Ezzur and oil-rich areas suggest US-led Western dirty hands manipulating things.

ISIS is transferring large numbers of its heavily armed forces to Eastern Syria, “mainly in Deir Ezzur and Eastern Homs, to save its revenues from smuggling of oil and gas,” according to Kurdish sources.

It “previously made such decisions, including retreating from al-Houl and al-Shadadi in Hasaka where the terrorist group left the battlefields without any resistance against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”

Its decision to move from Raqqa “is in line with the US policy…which opposes the Syrian government force’ rule and control over the country's energy-rich regions in Deir Ezzur and Homs.”

So far, it transferred “12 Hummer vehicles from Raqqa to Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzur and has deployed several US-made Abrams artilleries to the village of al-Hosseiniyeh Northwestern of Deir Ezzur.”

Government forces together with Kurdish fighters launched a large-scale campaign to liberate Raqqa. Operations began Tuesday. US warplanes are protecting ISIS elements on the phony pretext of combating them.

Civilians are prevented from leaving the city. They’re used as human shields. Conditions on the ground are deplorable - inadequate or unavailable food, water, medical care and safe havens from fighting.

Sergey Lavrov called liberating Raqqa a major anti-terrorism goal. It could have been accomplished earlier if Washington hadn’t obstructed it.

Lavrov believing coordinated US/Russian military operations ahead are possible is wishful thinking. Numerous times, Pentagon and State Department spokesmen ruled it out.

Washington wants joint Russian, Syrian and Kurdish forces defeated, not aided. In 2013, ISIS captured Raqqa, declared its capital the following year.

America and its rogue partners continue aiding their fighters, along with all other anti-Assad groups.

No so-called moderate rebels exist. All anti-government forces are US-supported death squads, imported from dozens of countries.

War won’t end as long as Assad remains president and Syrian sovereign independence exists.

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.