Thursday, March 31, 2016

White House Sticks to Regime Change in Syria

White House Sticks to Regime Change Demand in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

In March 2011, Obama launched naked aggression on Syria, creating the illusion of civil conflict, wanting regime change, using ISIS and other imported death squads to do his dirty work.

America’s end game is turning the Syrian Arab Republic into another US vassal state, looting its resources, exploiting its people, partitioning it for easier control, eliminating an Israeli rival, isolating Iran, then repeating the dirty scheme against the Islamic Republic.

Imperialism works this way, unchallenged dominance its aim. America wants it globally -  unthinkable nuclear war on Russia and China a possible strategy to achieve it.

International law prohibits nations from interfering in the internal affairs of others except in self-defense if attacked. Syria under Assad threatened no one earlier or now.

Citizens of all countries alone have the right to choose their governments and leaders, free from foreign interference. Assad enjoys overwhelming popularity.

Syrians want no one else leading them. Washington rejects their sovereign rights, White House spokesman Josh Earnest, calling his involvement in Syria’s future government a “non-starter.”

US/Saudi backed terrorist groups comprising the opposition engaged in farcical peace talks reject him, negotiator George Sabra saying:

“The government, whether it’s new or old, as long as it is in the presence of Bashar al-Assad, is not part of the political process.”

Irreconcilable differences look unresolvable. Assad justifiably rejects foreign powers dictating how Syria should be run. 

Russia supports him. So does international law. Freedom-loving people everywhere accept no less. The alternative is tyranny.

A Final Comment

In a wide-ranging interview with Sputnik News, Assad said he’ll hold a snap presidential election if Syrians want one - if “there is a popular will,” he explained, adding:

It’s not a problem for him despite having served less than two years of a seven-year term since reelected overwhelmingly in June 2014, a process independent monitors judged open, free and fair.

“It is natural to respond to the will of the people and not to that of certain opposition forces…(T)he president cannot work without the people’s support,” Assad explained.

He supports the right of all Syrian citizens, including ones opposing his rule, to participate in all elections, presidential and parliamentary ones.

“Every Syrian citizen anywhere in the world has the right to vote,” he stressed. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for April 13. 

International observers are invited to monitor the process - to judge if it’s open, free and fair like the last parliamentary and presidential elections.

Syria’s system shames America’s sham process.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Israeli Killer Soldier Charged with Manslaughter: Wrist-Slap Justice Likely

Israeli Killer Soldier Charged with Manslaughter: Wrist-Slap Justice Likely

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli soldiers and police kill Palestinians routinely with impunity. 

Israel placed a gag order on the identity of the soldier responsible for murdering a Palestinian victim lying helplessly wounded on the ground, claiming “he deserved to die.”

Justice demands first degree murder charges. Just societies accept no less. Soldier X was charged with manslaughter.

Regime officials and IDF commanders never face charges for their highest of high crimes, soldiers only rarely, hand-slap punishments only, not imprisonments doing hard time.

When proceedings end, expect soldier X to get a light sentence, later reduced ahead of releasing him quietly, mocking judicial fairness.

In contrast, Palestinian children convicted of stone-throwing, based on circumstantial or no evidence, face possible years in prison during their crucial formative years.

Graphic video evidence and eyewitnesses revealed cold-blooded murder. A contrived narrative claims negligent homicide at worst, self-defense more likely from the nonexistent danger of a seriously wounded Palestinian victim lying helpless on the ground unable to harm anyone.

It’s unknown so far if Israeli authorities intend keeping soldier X in custody throughout his trial proceedings, or if, more likely, they’ll release him on whatever arrangements are made.

An autopsy on Palestinian victim Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif will be performed this Sunday. Israel’s High Court rejected a family appeal to allow a Palestinian doctor to participate in the procedure - only to be present while it’s ongoing, justices ruled, an offer family members rejected.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville expressed concern about an “extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian man,” not at all a lone incident. 

Numerous other disturbing ones involving soldiers killing Palestinians demand investigations and accountability, he stressed.

Human rights groups repeatedly criticize Israeli lawlessness and brutality, crimes occurring daily. 

Guilty parties virtually always go unpunished or face meaningless wrist-slaps at most. Israel considers extrajudicial killings all in a day’s work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

The Myth of America's War on Terrorism

The Myth of America’s War on Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

It’s a complete hoax - a phony pretext for waging endless imperial wars, wanting whole continents carved up for profit and dominance.

Fictitious enemies are created. Premeditated wars of aggression follow. Rules of engagement are changed from rule of law observance to anything goes.

America declared war on humanity, the greatest threat to life on earth, using terrorist groups to do much of its dirty work.

Their names don’t matter. Earlier US supported anti-Soviet Afghan mujahadeen forces became opposition Taliban fighters.

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and likeminded groups are similar. Names and faces change, not methods of operation other than access to more modern weapons and new funding sources.

Obama’s vow to degrade and destroy ISIS (and by implication likeminded terrorist groups) is a complete fabrication, the public willfully deceived to believe otherwise.

Washington backs the scourge it claims to oppose - along with rogue allies providing ISIS and other terrorist groups with arms, munitions, training, funding, direction and other material support. They couldn’t exist without it. 

Media scoundrels front for power and privilege, perpetuating the Big Lie about America combating terrorism instead of explaining what news consumers need to know - The New York Times as willfully deceptive as Fox News.

Its editors say “America needs frank talk on ISIS,” never explaining it created and supports the group.

They lied, claiming “Obama authorized…airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in 2014 to curb the rise of the Islamic State.” 

Syrian intervention was and continues to be flagrantly illegal without Security Council or Damascus authorization. Baghdad was pressured to let Washington to maintain the fiction of combatting ISIS.

In both countries, infrastructure and government sites are struck, ISIS and other terrorists aided. Thousands of US combat forces are in Iraq, likely more coming, limited numbers in Syria.

Russia alone along with Syrian ground forces achieved significant victories against ISIS and likeminded groups.

The Obama administration lied, claiming US warplanes cut ISIS revenues by striking its oil trucks and other targets. It says “intensif(ied) airstrikes and raids” are coming.

America’s air campaign in Iraq and Syria have been ongoing for over 18 months. ISIS advanced steadily until Russia intervened in Syria.

Instead of exposing Obama’s phony war on terror, his lawless aggression, using ISIS and other terrorist groups as imperial foot soldiers, The Times perpetuates the myth of combating a scourge America supports.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Dark Forces Behind Anti-Trumpism

Dark Forces Behind Anti-Trumpism

by Stephen Lendman

America is a one-party state with two wings, its bipartisan supported rogue state agenda threatening world peace, its money controlled electoral process too corrupted to fix.

Democracy is pure fantasy. Voters have no say whatever. Party bosses complicit with Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate interests decide who’ll be president, hold top congressional posts and be chosen for the nation’s courts, notably its highest.

Government in America serves its privileged class exclusively. No matter who succeeds Obama, the incumbent will follow tradition.

Trump is like the rest. His unorthodox style makes him appear different. He didn’t become a billionaire by being anti-establishment.

His one redeeming quality is he’s less likely to start WW III than Clinton. As a businessman, he’d rather make money than war, but make no mistake.

America has been at war internally and/or abroad every year in its history since before gaining independence from Britain - notably post-9/11 in multiple theaters.

Trump won’t change a thing. Wars of aggression called democracy building and humanitarian intervention will continue - at best maybe fewer in number than if Clinton succeeds Obama, the most recklessly pro-war US political operative in memory.

Power brokers oppose Trump because he sounds anti-establishment, unsure if they can entirely control him.

He’s used to being boss, likely unwilling to let others do his decision-making, the way Washington works.

Big money is mobilized to stop him. Protests targeting his rallies are staged. Paid operatives are involved.

Congressional Trump supporter Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) says they’re part of the “Democrat playbook…There’s no question. These are paid protesters…not a bunch of college kids showing up because they’ve got an issue here or there.”

A previous article explained longtime Democrat party supporter George Soros’ involvement, financing anti-Trump protests, planning disruptive actions in April.

Republican Big Money aims to derail him, perhaps part of a bipartisan effort. Reports suggest people are being paid to protest.

Arizona resident Paul Horner said he was paid “$3,500 to protest Trump’s rally in Fountain Hills” (AR).

He “answered a Craigslist ad…about a group needing actors for a political event. (He) interviewed with them and got the part.”

He thinks Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired him, saying “(t)he actual check I received after I was done with the job was from a group called ‘Women Are The Future.’ “

“After I was hired, they told me if anyone asked any questions about who I was with or communicated with me in any way, I should start talking about how great Bernie Sanders is.”

“Almost all of the people I was protesting with I had seen at my interview and training class.” 

“At the rally, talking with some of them, I learned they only paid Latinos $500, Muslims $600 and African Americans $750.” 

“I don’t think they were looking for any Asians. Women and children were paid half of what the men got and illegals received $300 across the board.” 

“I think I was paid more than the other protesters because I was white and had taken classes in street fighting and boxing a few years back.”

Horner explained he and others completed a six-hour training class before Trump’s scheduled rally, instructed on how to act.

Republicans have been involved in their own dirty tricks. So far, everything thrown at Trump hasn’t stuck. 

He’s a deplorable choice for president but so are the other duopoly aspirants, Clinton arguably the most ruthless and dangerous.

Most likely, she and Trump will contest for the presidency in November. Days earlier, Politico called Trump’s Republican adversaries “dazed and demoralized,” millions of dollars spent to undermine him so far failed.

“(T)here’s growing worry” that using a brokered convention to stop him “could be traumatic for the party,” said Politico.

He’s far and away the most popular Republican choice. Manipulating convention delegates to stop him could be hugely disruptive, conceding the election to Clinton.

Perhaps Republican power brokers prefer her to a Trump administration.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Turkey Complicit with ISIS in Selling Looted Artifact Treasures

Turkey Complicit with ISIS in Selling Looted Artifact Treasures

by Stephen Lendman

RT International obtained documents revealing Turkey’s involvement with ISIS in selling stolen oil and looted artifacts, saying:

“Along with oil smuggling, a lucrative trade in antiquities has become ISIS’ source of income to support its devastating operations, many of which leveled unique historic sites such as Palmyra.” 

“Artifacts, some worth thousands of dollars apiece, have been turning up in antique markets from eastern Europe to the US.”

Plundered treasures transit through Turkey to destinations abroad. ISIS’ so-called ministry of natural resources has a department of artifacts.

A document showed complicit Ankara border authorities let a Turkish antiquity dealer enter Syria for “purposes of mutual profit,” said RT. It states:

“To the brother responsible for the border, please assist the passage of brother Hussein Hania Sarira through your post along with the man from Turkey -the artifacts trader, for the purpose of working with us in the department of artifacts in the Ministry of Natural Resources. May Allah bless you, Loving brother Abu Uafa At-Tunisi.”

Kurdish YPG fighters discovered abandoned artifacts in Shaddadi, a town they liberated from ISIS. Documents obtained by RT show the group transits them along the same route used to obtain weapons, munitions and other material support.

YPG captured militant Abu Ayub al-Ansari said he was “sent…to serve in Tel Abyad on the Turkish border. Sometimes we even crossed the Turkish border and served there. We saw the Turkish army passing by, but there was never any kind of conflict between us.”

“When the Kurdish militia took over Tel Abyad, the connection was lost and foreign fighters could not get in. The communication with the Turkish security services was broken. We could only communicate via civilians or spies.”

“The goods that came from Turkey have also disappeared because the Kurdish YPG fighters have blocked the road through Tel Abyad.” 

“Also, the tankers can’t drive through the area. That has put the organization in a complicated financial situation.”

RT’s obtained evidence along with volumes disclosed earlier by Russia and others show undeniable Turkish complicity with ISIS - Erdogan and other regime officials profiting hugely.

Western leaders turn a blind eye to what’s ongoing. Media scoundrels report nothing.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump-Bashing Battery Charge Against His Campaign Manager

Trump-Bashing Battery Charge Against His Campaign Manager

by Stephen Lendman

The underlying theme of this year’s US presidential campaign is stop Trump, no trick too dirty considered out-of-bounds.

Expect lots more ahead as July nominating conventions draw nearer, the dirtiest perhaps while Republicans meet in Cleveland from July 18 - 21 - anything to choose someone else as party standard bearer.

For now, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on Tuesday - allegedly for grabbing and bruising Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields’ arm, at a March 8 campaign event when she approached Trump to ask a question.

He denies it, calling the accusation false, saying “(s)he shouldn’t have been touching me. She had a pen in her hand. It could have been a knife. It might have been dangerous.” 

She claims no one grabbed her like that before. She tweeted an image of a slight bruise on one arm, perhaps gotten when she accidentally bumped it on her own, a common occurrence affecting lots of people, battery charges against an alleged assailant not filed.

During campaign rallies drawing large crowds, people get jostled, at times perhaps lightly bruised, incidents not warranting assault charges.

With party bosses determined to stop Trump, anything able to bash him draws headlines, even incidents too minor to matter.

Did reporter Fields file misdemeanor battery charges on her own, or was she put up to it by dark forces promising to cover her legal expenses, as well as perhaps add sweeteners too tempting to pass?

Anti-Trumpism is so intense, nothing too outrageous is off-limits. He fired back at detractors, saying “I stick up for people when they are unjustly accused.”

Fields “was off-base. I don’t think (Lewandowski) knew her. She’s not a baby. She wasn’t yanked down” or accosted.

Police released a video appearing to show Lewandowski reaching his left hand between Trump, a security guard and Fields, holding her back as he passed her following Trump into a meeting room.

What apparently happened appears similar to routine occurrences at many events drawing large crowds pressed close together.

Charging Lewandowski with battery for an incident too minor to matter sounds like a pre-planned put-up job - anything to bash Trump!

Maybe he’ll face false charges next!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Congressional Members Want Israel Investigated for Human Rights Abuses?

Congressional Members Want Israel Investigated for Human Rights Abuses?

by Stephen Lendman

A Politico report reads like an April Fools Day stunt, the story published three days in advance on March 29.

It said Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) and 10 House members want the State Department to “investigate claims that the Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed ‘gross violations of human rights’ - allegations (sic) that if proven true could affect US military aid to the countries.”

A February 17 letter to John Kerry “inquir(ed) about specific allegations (sic) of gross human rights violations by the security forces of both countries.”

It highlighted “alleged” Israeli extrajudicial executions and Egypt’s 2013 Rab’aa Square massacre, killing around 1,000 peaceful protesters, along with numerous reports of forced disappearances.

The letter cited the 2001 law bearing Senator Leahy’s name. It prohibits funding foreign security forces involved in committing human rights abuses.

The 1961 Foreign Assistance Act prohibits providing aid to governments engaging in a “consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country.”

No investigation is needed to determine if Israel and Egypt committed human rights abuses. Volumes of credible documentation exists.

Leahy Law and Foreign Assistance Act provisions never apply to US allies guilty of high crimes.

Israel and Egypt commit horrendous ones daily, including institutionalized state terror, mass murder, forced disappearances, imprisonments solely for political reasons, torture and other forms of abuse.

What Leahy and 10 House members intended by their letter, they’ll have to explain - knowing neither country was investigated earlier for criminal offenses nor will they be now.

They’re free to commit them with impunity - with full US support and encouragement. 

Both countries get billions of dollars in annual US military aid - used to commit human rights abuses and other high crimes, not for defense.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Anti-Trump NYT Blasts His Foreign Policy

Anti-Trump NYT Blasts His Foreign Policy

by Stephen Lendman

He’s a serious presidential contender with unorthodox views on some issues - making him appear anti-establishment, worrying duopoly power brokers and media scoundrels supporting them.

Wide-ranging interviews with NYT and Washington Post editors, as well as opinions expressed separately, showed his foreign policy views differ considerably from other candidates.

“I want to get along with Russia,” he said, calling good relations “very good…I’d get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

“I want to get along with all countries, and we will,” he said, calling his approach to world affairs “unabashedly noninterventionist.”

He opposes expensive worldwide nation-building projects while America’s infrastructure deteriorates.

He’s against massive US military buildups in Europe and East Asia. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore. NATO is costing us a fortune…”

“Why are we (risking) potentially (a) third world war with Russia?” He questions involvement in protecting allies like Japan and South Korea, wanting them to do more on their own.

US intervention abroad caused more problems than solutions, notably in the Middle East, he said.

“Every bad decision that you could make in the Middle East was made.” If Obama and Bush “just (went) to the beach and enjoyed the ocean and the sun, we would’ve been much better off…than all of this tremendous death, destruction, and…monetary loss. It’s just incredible,” he stressed.

He called NATO obsolete, preferring an alternative organization focusing on counterterrorism. He questioned  the benefit of America’s global empire of bases.

He called nuclear weapons “the biggest problem the world has,” saying he’d use them only as “an absolute last step,” instead of renouncing them altogether.

The New York Times is America’s leading establishment media organization - supporting policies favoring wealth and power interests exclusively.

It editors called Trump’s foreign policy views “dangerous babble,” uneasy about an administration under his stewardship curbing its warmaking appetite - hyping  nonexistent “Russia(n) aggressive movements in Ukraine and threats to the Baltics…”

Saying “this is no time (for) Washington” to restrain its global militarism. Trump’s views “are contradictory and shockingly ignorant.”

Times editors support US military involvement worldwide, its wars of aggression in multiple theaters.

They call today’s world “dangerous,” failing to explain Washington allied with Israel and other rogue states bear full responsibility for its deplorable state.

Trump if elected president will differ from traditional candidates largely in style. At the same time, if he favors more cooperation and less confrontation with other nations, “that’s a good thing” as he puts it in his own words.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Obama's War on Yemen Harms Children Most

Obama’s War on Yemen Harms Children Most

by Stephen Lendman

Obama’s war on Yemen began long before partnering with Riyadh, orchestrating its terror-bombing, choosing targets to strike, supporting its ground forces and terrorist fighters. 

US planned and implemented genocide affects millions of Yemenis, Obama’s latest atrocity, another country being raped and destroyed. War in its second year harms civilians most, young children most vulnerable.

Thousands are dying from violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation. Official numbers way undercount reality on the ground.

What’s ongoing is largely unreported - 24 million people at risk ignored. US drone war has been ongoing for years, rules of engagement authorizing indiscriminate murder, noncombatants comprising the vast majority of casualties.

Claims otherwise are false. Obama escalated drone war on the phony pretext of combating Al Qaeda.

He lied, saying “(b)efore any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” an utter perversion of hard truth.

Violence begets more of it. An endless destructive cycle persists. A new UNICEF report, titled “Children on the Brink” highlights how gravely they’re affected.

According to the organization’s Julien Harneis, “(c)hildren are paying the highest price for a conflict not of their making.” 

“They have been killed or maimed across the country and are no longer safe anywhere in Yemen.  Even playing or sleeping has become dangerous.”

Since conflict began in March 2015, one in six children were killed or maimed for life. UNICEF calls the toll “the tip of the iceberg.”

Numbers only represent verified cases. The true casualty count is multiples higher. UNICEF documented dozens of Saudi terror-bombings of schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and other nonmilitary related sites - including use of banned cluster munitions.

Food, clean water, medical treatment, fuel, electricity and other essentials to life are in perilously short supply. Epidemic levels of malnutrition exist.

Countless thousands of children under age five died from preventable diseases alone, thousands more from lack of essentials to life.

Hundreds of health facilities closed, dozens more terror-bombed. The vast majority of Yemenis of all ages need humanitarian aid to survive.

Too little gets in to help. Riyadh’s blockade supported by Washington restricts imports and deliveries.

Conflict continues raging. Millions of children “face fear, pain and deprivation,” UNICEF explained. They don’t start wars. They’re “most vulnerable to their deadly effects.”

“The scale of suffering in the country is staggering.” Yemen is the region’s poorest country. War made things far much worse.

UNICEF estimated 2.4 million people displaced, half of them children. Lucky ones find refuge with relatives. Most others shelter in “public buildings, makeshift tents or in the open air.”

Saudi terror-bombing killed Elham Ghalib’s three-year-old daughter. She fled Taiz for hoped for safety, saying she “had no time to take anything.”

“All I had were the clothes on me and a ring. I just ran on the street holding my children. I saw people getting in a car so I jumped on with my children. I didn’t even know where it was going.”

Humanitarian needs in Yemen are overwhelming, imports severely restricted, delivering aid where most needed greatly impeded by Saudi terror-bombing, roadblocks and checkpoints.

The fate of an entire nation and its children hang in the balance. Yemen is another horrendous war crime on Obama’s rap sheet - complicit with Riyadh doing his dirty work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Good News and Bad from Syria

Good News and Bad from Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Liberating Palmyra was a major achievement - likely facilitating others ahead, opening the way to purging ISIS from Raqqa, its main Syrian stronghold.

At the same time, two weeks of so-called peace talks accomplished nothing, intractable differences preventing resolving conflict diplomatically at this time.

Assad remains hopeful, calling Syrian military successes vital for eventual peace. Western and regional nations against its sovereign independence want him and his government ousted.

They’re “counting on our defeat on the battlefield in order to impose their conditions at the negotiations,” he said.

So successful military operations “will lead to the acceleration of the political settlement and not prevent it.”

Assad and his top officials always urged resolving years of conflict diplomatically, he said - not wanting “a single chance for settlement (missed) without trying it.”

“We went to Geneva and continue to show flexibility.” At the same time, “(w)e have not changed our position” throughout years of conflict on wanting Syrians alone to decide their future, free from foreign interference, along with preserving the nation’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity.

Terrorism in the form of imported death squads supported by Western and regional states is Syria’s greatest problem, Assad stressed.

“We must fight it on the international level, because terrorism affects not only Syria. Terrorism exists in Iraq. It is directly supported by Turkey. It is directly supported by the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of Western states…”

Damascus will rely mainly on Russia, China and Iran in rebuilding war-torn areas, he explained. Transition to a national unity government must proceed according to constitutional law, he stressed.

“We in Syria assume that the term political transition means the transition from one constitution to another, and a constitution is what defines the form of the needed political composition in the next stage.” 

“Thus, the transition period must be under the current constitution, and we will move on to the new constitution after the Syrian people vote for it.”

“(T)transitional structure or transitional format is a government formed by various Syrian political forces - opposition, independent, the current government and others.”

They alone will determine Syria’s future, free from outside interference, notably from the West, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other rogue Arab states.

Constitutional law in Syria and elsewhere includes no authorization for transitional power, Assad explained. Syria has a democratically elected president, parliament and constitution overwhelmingly approved by open, free and fair national referendum.

Syrians alone will choose officials to lead them and decide what constitutional changes they wish, if any. The goal is for national unity governance to end conflict.

Achieving it won’t be easy. Obama and US rogue allies want war, not peace. Blocking a Security Council resolution on Palmyra’s liberation shows what Syrians are up against.

Instead of hailing victory over ISIS terrorists, Assad is blamed for Obama’s war - planned, orchestrated and implemented from Washington.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova minced no words, saying blocking Moscow’s resolution “shows (Western countries) are not interested in the process of liberating Syria from terrorists or promoting the peace process…”

Prospects for conflict resolution remain distant at best. Assad is right. Military successes are Syria’s best hope for eventual peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fidel Rips Imperial America

Fidel Rips Imperial America

by Stephen Lendman

Approaching age 90 this summer, Fidel Castro’s physical capability isn’t what it used to be. His intellect remains keen, his judgment sound, his passion for keeping Cuba free from US predation and control uncompromising.

On March 20, Obama arrived in Cuba representing former US colonial control over the island state, wanting it regained in new form - intolerable for the vast majority of Cubans, unwilling to sacrifice their socially responsible sovereign state to yankee imperialism.

Obama snubbed Fidel during his visit, disgracefully meeting with anti-government dissidents instead, symbolic of US hubris and arrogance.

On March 28, Fidel commented, his article titled “Brother Obama,” blasting US imperialism, saying:

We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet” - anathema to America’s ruling class.

Imperial echoes remain in Cuba, he noted, Guantanamo the most outrageous example, America unwilling to return sovereign island territory to its rightful owner, using it instead as a torture facility for Muslim political prisoners, a modern-day Devil’s Island, the mid-20th century closed facility a permanent stain on French history.

Fidel reflected on famous Cuban heroes, notably Jose Marti, apostle of Cuban independence from Spain, “glorious Black leader Antonio Maceo,” Cuba’s greatest military hero Maximo Gomez and others.

He mocked Obama’s demagoguery in addressing the Cuban people, hollow words saying:

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

His policies belie his rhetoric, his credibility sorely lacking, his fronting for wealth and power exclusively an affront to people everywhere wanting to live free from the scourge of yankee imperialism.

“The native populations don’t exist at all in Obama’s mind,” said Fidel. “Nor does he say that the Revolution swept away racial discrimination, or that pensions and salaries for all Cubans were decreed by it before (he) was 10 years old.” 

“The hateful, racist bourgeois custom of hiring strongmen to expel Black citizens from recreational centers was swept away by the Cuban Revolution…”

Fidel blasted US imperialism for trying to terminate Cuban sovereign independence in its infancy, “the perfidious (Bay of Pigs) attack “which cost our country hundreds of losses, including deaths and injuries.”

Obama’s “sweetened words” in Havana wanting bygones to be bygones left Cubans watching on national television aghast. 

Has he forgotten over half a century of illegal blockade still in place solely for political reasons, endless US acts of violence against Cuba and its people, hundreds of failed attempts to kill Fidel?

“Nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this dignified and selfless country,” its ruling class, “will renounce the glory, the rights, or the spiritual wealth they have gained” at the expense of ruthlessly exploiting others.

Cubans renounce US imperialism, the scourge of planet earth.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Proposed Israeli Law to Imprison 12-Year-Olds

Proposed Israeli Law to Imprison 12-Year-Olds

by Stephen Lendman

Introduced by Arab-hating justice minister Ayelet (“little snakes”) Shaked, it’s intended solely for Palestinian children. Israeli courts wouldn’t tolerate sending young Jewish ones to prison.

Palestinians are systematically abused. Guilt is automatic when charged, children treated like adults. Current Israeli law prohibits imprisoning children under age 14.

Shaked wants the threshold lowered to 12 if convicted of “nationalistic-motivated” violent acts, prosecutors able to use this charge against any Palestinian they want imprisoned for any reason. 

Innocence is no defense. Israel calls legitimate Palestinian resistance against state-sponsored ruthlessness “terrorism” or “incitement to violence.”

Shaked’s spokesman said “terrorism does not have an age, and today there are no punishments matching the cruel reality we face.”

“In order to produce a deterrent and to change the reality we must make some required changes. (The measure) gives minors the special protection they need, while giving a serious response to terrorists who think that the courts and justice will not reach them.”

The Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill. Plenary session debate will follow. Racist fascists dominating Israel’s parliament assure near certain passage, possibly in amended form.

The proposed measure affects Palestinian children in Occupied East Jerusalem, as well as others living elsewhere in the country.

Israeli military courts already try and imprison Occupied Palestinians young as 12. Racist Likud MK Anat Berko unjustifiably claimed Palestinian adults “recruit minors while knowing that Israeli law does not have a real response.”

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) attorney Brad Parker said the proposed measure “is an apparent response to criminal attacks that have allegedly been carried out by young Palestinians and is a clear attempt to criminalize and punish the alleged attackers” most often without just cause.

The bill “prioritize(s) the criminalization and punishment of children in complete disregard for international law.”

“As violence has escalated in the past few months, we see policies and practices that contravene international law being codified by the Israeli government.”

Most Palestinian children arrested face abusive interrogations amounting to torture. They’re forced to sign confessions in Hebrew they don’t understand, most often for crimes they didn’t commit, most other times for offenses too minor to matter.

Repressive Israeli legislation already authorizes imprisoning Israeli children for stone-throwing, true or false, a measure Shaked introduced.

Palestinians are collectively punished by a ruthless occupier, terrorized for wanting fundamental freedoms they’re denied, children treated as harshly as adults.

Hundreds are imprisoned, brutally treated under gulag conditions, leaving many scarred for life, justifiably angry about Israel injustice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Hillary's Phony Way to Defeat ISIS

Hillary’s Phony Way to Defeat ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Her public record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state shows rage for endless premeditated wars of aggression.

A Clinton presidency assures permanent wars on humanity, raping more countries than already, risking direct confrontation with Russia and China - the horror of possible nuclear war.

I’ve explained many times ISIS and likeminded terrorist groups are US creations, unable to function without foreign support.

Stopping them requires no longer recruiting new fighters, ending funding, arming, training and directing them - waging peace, not war, an agenda America rejects.

Clinton’s phony “real plan” to “beat ISIS” is cover for supporting permanent war. Last week she twittered:

“Hillary has a three-part plan to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, around the world, and here at home:  

“1. Take out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria” - no explanation how; nothing explaining US support for ISIS. 

“2. Dismantle the global terror network” - nothing defined; the only “network” is what Washington and it allies created. 

“3. Harden our defenses at home and prevent attacks.” America spends as much or more on militarism at home and abroad than the rest of the world combined, with all known, related and black budgets included.

Hillary’s so-called plan conceals support for harsher police state tactics, perhaps imposition of martial law, suspending constitution and international law protections entirely - full-blown tyranny by any standard.

An earlier article explained how America became a police state under George Bush. Clinton may want it taken to the next level, ending remaining freedoms altogether on the phony pretext of protecting national security.

Her worldview is terrifying, her kind of America nightmarish - greater tyranny than already at a time the nation’s only enemies are ones it creates.

The America everyone deserves would prioritize peace, not war, closing its empire of bases, ending money-controlled duopoly governance (one-party rule with two wings), democratic rights for everyone, not just the nation’s privileged few, and much more - a complete transformation, America becoming beautiful for the first time in its history.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

NYT Ignores Greatest Nuclear Threat

NYT Ignores Greatest Nuclear Threat

by Stephen Lendman

The hugely destructive power of nuclear weapons can end life on earth.

NYT editors want them kept from “terrorists,” ignoring state terrorists, especially America and Israel, an alliance posing the greatest of all threats.

An earlier article discussed the devastating effects of a thermonuclear attack on New York - likely if America launches nuclear war on Russia, an unthinkable real possibility.

The city and any other struck would be incinerated. Almost instantly after detonation, temperature at ground zero would be 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or about four to five times the temperature at the center of the sun. 

Enormous heat and light would ignite fires covering over 100 square miles. Firestorm intensity would create superheated winds of about 300 miles per hour.

Nothing could withstand their overwhelming force. Firestorm intensity would vaporize structures, turning midtown Manhattan into smoldering rubble.

Around 100 square miles of vegetation would become superheated dust. Raging fires would erupt up to nine miles from ground zero.

Material from collapsed buildings could continue bursting into flames when exposed to air months after the firestorm ended.

No one in affected areas could escape. Superheated hurricane-force winds would incinerate everyone. The firestorm would extinguish all life in its path and destroy most everything else.

Last spring, over 150 countries participated in a Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

It aimed to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and entirely eliminate this menace.

Conferences have been held every five years since NPT became effective in 1970.

The 2015 conference addressed:

  • universality of NPT;

  • nuclear disarmament;

  • nuclear non-proliferation;

  • peaceful use of nuclear energy;

  • regional disarmament and non-proliferation;

  • implementation of the 1995 resolution on making the Middle East “free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction” and their delivery systems;

  • measures to address withdrawal from NPT;

  • ways to promote engagement with civil society in strengthening NPT; and

  • disarmament education.

Weeks of talks achieved nothing. Washington, Britain and Canada obstructed responsible change. They blocked agreement aimed at preventing nuclear weapons and technology proliferation.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday clock stands at three minutes to midnight, reflecting the “high” probability of “global catastrophe,” BAS saying last year:

“(U)nchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.”

“World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.”

Physician, anti-war/anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott explains “nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced.”

Martin Luther King warned against nations “spiral(ing) down a militaristic stairway into the hell of (potential) thermonuclear destruction.”

Albert Einstein’s theories and work led to the development of atomic power. Splitting the atom changed everything, threatening life on earth. 

Einstein understood the danger, in 1946 saying “(o)ur world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing the power to make great decisions for good and evil.” 

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”

We have a choice. End nuclear weapons or they’ll end us.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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