Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ukraine Headed for Disaster

Ukraine Headed for Disaster

by Stephen Lendman

Perfect storm conditions threaten Ukrainians. In Europe's heartland. Fascist dictatorship. Mass impoverishment. Growing deprivation.

Civl war. Potential economic collapse. Troubled nuclear reactors. Facing possible meltdown. More on this below.

Ukraine's economy is rife with problems. Potential bankruptcy looms. IMF aid caused more harm than good. Largely used to pay Western bankers. Wage war on Donbas.

Small amounts replenishing evaporating foreign exchange reserves. A portion for Russia gas supplies. Nothing for economic growth. 

What Ukraine needs most of all. Other than ending its dirty war on Donbas. Rapprochement with Russia. Serving its people responsibly. Kiev governance is polar opposite.

Ruthless by any standard. Reckless. Out-of-control. Facing possible economic collapse. While US-led NATO supports its war machine. A dagger used against Russia.

Ukraine needs tens of billions of dollars in financial aid to avoid bankruptcy. Impossible if used largely to service debt. Wage war on Donbas. Do nothing to stimulate economic growth.

On December 9, the Financial Times (FT) headlined "IMF warns Ukraine bailout at risk of collapse," saying:

"…(A) $15bn shortfall" was identified. Western governments need to fill the gap "within weeks to avoid financial collapse."

IMF estimates "lay bare the perilous state of Ukraine's economy and hint at the financial burden of propping up Kiev…"

At a time of ongoing civil war. Resources used to wage it. Irresponsible governance. 

Senior Western officials expressed little support for pouring additional billions of dollars down a black hole. At a time their economies are shaky at best.

According to the FT:

"People briefed on the IMF warning said the fiscal gap has opened up because of a 7 per cent contraction in Ukraine's gross domestic product and a collapse in exports to Russia, the country's biggest trading partner, leading to massive capital outflows and a rundown in central bank reserves."

Breakaway Donbas areas accounted for nearly 16% of Ukraine's economy. Without billions of dollars in aid, Ukraine has two choices.

Massively cut spending. Default on debt service. Or both. IMF rules require recipient countries meet their financial obligations over the next 12 months.

Ukraine falls way short. Massive corruption worsens things. Economic collapse looms. Obama's new friends are more liabilities than assets.

Challenging Russia may come back to bite him. Ukraine a black hole of trouble. Running out of money.

Exhausting its foreign exchange reserves. Economic crisis conditions worsening. At a time Fort Russ reports 15 Ukrainian nuclear reactors dangerously close to power loss. Disastrous if happens.

Ukraine can't pay its bills. It's running out of coal. Civil war continues. Economic collapse looms.

About half the country's coal mines aren't operating. Miners walked out. Left to protect their families and homes. 

From "Kiev regime assaults." Supply roads were destroyed. Stability keeps deteriorating.

If "reactors lose power, and generators don't operate…uncontrollable temperature rises, explosions, meltdowns and meltthroughs" will follow, said Fort Russ.

Like Fukushima. Maybe worse. Given the number of troubled reactors. Erupting spent fuel pools spell disaster.

Anyone following Fukushima knows the catastrophic conditions caused. Possible similar trouble threatens Ukraine. Western media report nothing.

Fukushima nuclear radiation "threatens life on planet earth," Michel Chossudovsky explains. 

Dumping "highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination."

Imagine if multiple Ukrainian reactors melt down like Fukushima. Eurasia would be affected. Maybe planet earth.

US-led NATO created potential catastrophe. Top priority is addressing it in time. So far it's ignored. The worst of outcomes may follow.

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.

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

US Attempted Color Revolution in Russia?

US Attempted Color Revolution in Russia?

by Stephen Lendman

America seeks unipolar/New World Order dominance. All nations bowing to its will. Russia is in the eye of the storm. 

Longstanding US policy calls for regime change. Eliminating its sovereign independence.

Replacing it with pro-Western stooge governance. Puppet rule Washington controls. Color revolutions are a US specialty.

Tactics developed earlier. Through years of trial and error. Largely perfected. Successful most often.

Twice ousting sitting Ukrainian governments. Ordinary people lost out both times. Much more so now than earlier. In 2004.

US-installed neo-Nazi fascists run things today. Destroying fundamental freedoms. Waging dirty war on their own people. 

Impoverishing an entire nation. Bankrupting it. Goading Russia irresponsibly. Risking open conflict. With full US support and encouragement.

Color revolutions mask dark intentions. Ordinary people are manipulated like pawns. The usual suspects are involved.

Including CIA elements. The National Endowment of Democracy (NED). International Republican Institute (IRI). National Democratic Institute (NDI). 

USAID. Freedom House. Soros Foundation. Anti-democracy NGOs. Right-wing think tanks. Various corporate groups. More below on how color revolutions work.

Russia is mindful of America's intentions. Putin blamed illegal sanctions and manipulated oil prices for Russia's economic woes.

"They will always try to chain the bear," he said. "And once it's chained, they'll rip out its teeth and claws." 

"They'll stuff it. And start to put their hands on its Taiga (Siberian forest belt). We've heard statements from Western officials that Russia owning Siberia (isn't) fair.”

Today's problem is that US-led Western nations "refuse to stop. They think they have won." 

They want Russia co-opted. Contained. Isolated. Weakened. Decapitated. Controlled. Balkanized. Plundered. 

"Do we want relations on an equal basis," asked Putin? "Yes, we do, but on the condition that our national interests are respected, in the sphere of security and in the sphere of economy."

Peace requires building common humanitarian space. Not walls, he stressed. "Russia pays the cost of remaining a nation, a civilization and a state."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on 2014 events. Saying relations with Western countries "reached the point (where) goodwill gestures (don't) produce required results."

Russia is irresponsibly blamed for Ukrainian crisis conditions, said Lavrov. Illegal sanctions are imposed.

"We have repeatedly stressed that attempts to speak to Russia using the language of ultimatums is totally unacceptable and will yield no results," Lavrov stressed.

"(I)n cases when governments of some countries try to isolate Moscow, Russia will actively foster cooperation, strengthen business, humanitarian, scientific, educational and cultural ties."

"Our country is pursuing a multi-vector foreign policy…" Approved by Putin in 2013. 

"We are ready to develop mutual and equal relations with all those who show an oncoming willingness to do that." 

"Putin has repeatedly stated that interaction with the Asia-Pacific region is a strategic priority for us throughout the 21 century, and that Russia, as an Asia-Pacific power, will take full advantage of the enormous potential of the region's rapid development, including the development of the Far East and Eastern Siberia."

"…(E)very nation has the inalienable right to self-determination and the sovereign right to choose its own path of development." Russia respects this choice.

Containment wasn't "invented yesterday. (E)very time someone thinks that Russia becomes too strong," policies to contain it are implemented.

"Problems in our relations with the US had started to accrue before the Ukrainian crisis, what is more - not through our fault."

"The White House has set a course for confrontation, blaming Russia for all sins in connection with the Ukrainian crisis that they had provoked to a significant extent."

"Washington wound down bilateral dialogue" on numerous issues. "(A)ttempts to isolate some (world) leaders impose one’s own unilateral recipes from a position of 'exceptionalism.' which the US has taken, is futile."

"(T)alking with Russia from a position of strength is futile." Russophobia rages today.

US-led NATO "continues its course toward containing Russia. Steps are taken to strengthen (its) military capacity at Russia's borders."

Hostile actions stoke tensions. Undermine stability. Risk conflict. Obama irresponsibly includes Russia on his list of global threats.

US policies include NATO's increased Eastern European presence. Provocative military exercises close to Russia's borders.

Thousands of missions near its airspace. American ships in Black Sea waters. 

US-manipulated oil wars. Targeting Russia's economy. Weakening it. Making it scream. Hammering the ruble.

On December 19, Obama embargoed Russia's Republic of Crimea. Illegally.

By executive order "prohibit(ing) the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea."

(A)uthoriz(ing) the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities operating in Crimea." 

Russia's Foreign Ministry called his action "politicized discrimination." Against Russia and its people.

On December 20, Zero Hedge reported federal Judge Arthur Schwab ruling Obama's executive orders "unconstitutional." In a  deportation case. Schwab saying:

"President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional."

A previous article said rule by executive order diktats raises questions. No constitutional authority permits them. 

Other than stating "executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America (Article 2, Section 1)."

Abused by bypassing Congress. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (Article 1, Section 1.)."

Constitutional checks and balances prevent empowering one governmental branch over another.

Diktat power reflects tyranny. Not how democracy is supposed to work. In America, it's pure fantasy. None whatever exists.

Washington's anti-Russian "Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA) authorizes lethal aid for Ukraine. Including heavy weapons. 

More sanctions on Russia. Intensified US propaganda. Through Voice of America. Radio Free Europe. Radio Liberty. 

Washington's global propaganda bullhorn. Suppressing hard truths. Featuring Big Lies. Turning reality on its head.

Obama may be headed for direct confrontation with Russia. Aimed at toppling its government. By war, color revolution, or combination of both.

A previous article explained how color revolutions work. In 1997, RAND Corporation researchers John Arquilla and David Ronfeld developed the concept of "Swarming & the Future of Conflict."

Based on communication patterns and movements of bees and other insects. Applied to military conflicts and street protests.

War by other means. Exploiting the information revolution. Taking full advantage of "network-based organizations linked via email and mobile phones to enhance the potential of swarming."

In 1993, Arquilla and Ronfeldt prepared an earlier document. Titled "Cyberwar Is Coming!

Saying "warfare is no longer primarily a function of who puts the most capital, labor and technology on the battlefield, but of who has the best information" and uses it advantageously.

State-of-the art IT techniques use "advanced computerized information and communications technologies and related innovations in organization and management theory," they explained.

Information technologies "communicate, consult, coordinate, and operate together across greater distances."

Cyberwar today is what blitzkrieg was to 20th century warfare. In 1993, Arquilla and Ronfeldt focused on military conflicts.

In 1996, studying net and cyberwar. Examining "irregular modes of conflict, including terror, crime, and militant social activism."

In 1997, developing the concept of swarming. Suggesting it might "emerge as a definitive doctrine that will encompass and enliven both cyberwar and net war." 

Envisioning "how to prepare for information-age conflict." Calling swarming a way to strike from all directions.

Effectiveness depends on various elements able to interconnect. Using revolutionary communication technology.

What works on battlefields proved effective on city streets. US-instigated color revolutions achieved regime change in Serbia (2000/2001). 

Georgia (2003). Ukraine (2004). Kyrgyzstan (2005). Ukraine (2014). Other efforts fell short. 

Color revolutions reflect America's modern day New World Order strategy. Following Soviet Russia's dissolution. Direct and proxy hot wars rage at the same time.

US strategy is multi-faceted. Including subversion. Destabilization. Mass surveillance. Blitzkrieg propaganda.  Successful swarming tactics accomplish coup d'etats by other means.

Washington openly backs Russian hard right extremists. Figures like Boris Nemtsov. Garry Kasparov. Alexei Navalny. A convicted embezzler.

Masquerading as an anti-corruption activist. A relentless Putin basher. Accusing him of aggression.

In March, New York Times editors featured his op-ed headlined "How to Punish Putin." Irresponsibly accusing him of empty promises. 

Lying about invading Ukraine. Wanting to rule for life. With "powers on par with the czars." 

Russian democracy shames America's sham version. Navalny didn't explain. Or New York Times editors featuring his rubbish.

It bears repeating. Russia is in the eye of the storm. Regime change is longstanding US policy. Obama is going all-out to topple its government. 

Putin is a master chess player. A world-class geopolitical leader. On the right side of history. Besting his Western counterparts. 

Making Obama look amateurish by comparison. Buffoon-like. Don't bet against him coming out on top in the end. 

Our best chance for world peace and stability. By beating America's dirty game.

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.

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

America's Deadly Embrace

America's Deadly Embrace

by Stephen Lendman

Forget about Greeks. Beware US normalization schemes. So-called rapprochement. Targeting unwary nations. 

Sucking them into its web. LIke spiders overwhelming prey. Allegedly ending hostile relations. Imperialism 101 suggests otherwise. 

US policies aren't benign. America is a global predator. History's worst ever. Wanting all sovereign independent states eliminated. 

Replaced by stooge regimes. Ones it controls. Subservient to US interests. Their countries looted for profit. Their people exploited as serfs.

American/Russian post-Cold War rapprochement is instructive. US-instituted shock therapy wrecked the country. Irresponsibly. Willfully.  For profit. At the expense of vital people needs.

About 80% of Russian farmers went bankrupt. Around 70,000 state factories closed. An epidemic of unemployment followed. 

Over half of all Russians became impoverished. A permanent underclass followed. Crime. Suicides. Mortality. Alcoholism. Drug abuse. HIV/AIDS. All soared to intolerable levels.

GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth. At the expense of millions grievously harmed.

Corruption flourished. Scandals repeated with disturbing regularity. Money-laundering became sport.

Multi-billions were stolen. Hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens. Russia became a hollowed-out dystopian wasteland.

Post-apartheid South Africa was similar. A horrific toll accompanied a new era. Impoverishment doubled. Forcing millions to live on less than one dollar a day.

Unemployment soared to nearly 50%. Millions lost homes. Near one million lost farms. Shack dwelling grew by 50%.

HIV/AIDS infections increased dramatically. Average life expectancy fell below apartheid era levels.

Around 40% of schools have no electricity. Most with it can't afford the cost. About 60% of South Africans have poor sanitation. Around 40% lack telephones.

Post-apartheid came at a high price. Millions of South Africans suffer horrifically. Out of sight and mind. Predatory capitalism works this way.

Obama's Cuba gambit threatens its 11 million people. Hopefully Havana's leadership remains wary. 

Decades of revolutionary changes are on the line. Transformational differences too important to lose.

Changing Cuba from fascist dictatorship to model populism. A previous article said longstanding US policy calls for regime change.

Wanting Cuba returned to its bad old days. Social justice eliminated entirely. Corporate rapaciousness replacing it. 

Colonizing the island state for profit. Destroying decades of beneficial social change. Including high-quality education and healthcare. Free to all Cubans.

Its Constitution was adopted in 1976. By national referendum. Overwhelmingly approved. Stating in Article 1:

"Cuba is an independent and sovereign socialist state of workers, organized with all and for the good of all as a united and democratic republic, for the enjoyment of political freedom, social justice, individual and collective well-being and human solidarity."

Article 3 saying "sovereignty lies in the people, from whom originates all the power of the state. (Exercised) through assemblies of People's Power and other state bodies…"

Article 9 guarantees "liberty (and) full dignity…(A)ssures educational, scientific, technical and cultural progress.

Guarantees everyone able to work the opportunity to do so. Assures no disabled person "left without adequate means of subsistence."

"(N)o sick person…without medical care. (N)o child…without schooling, food and clothing. (N)o young person…without the opportunity to study."

"(N)o one…without access to studies, culture an sports. (N)o family…without a comfortable place to live." The Constitution contains 137 articles.

Revised in 1992. Again in 2002. According to historian Jorge Dominguez, it establishes a sovereign unicameral National Assembly. With no presidential veto.

Empowered to "instantly remove the president, all justices of the Supreme Court, and all top officials of the Office of the Public Prosecutor."

Subordinates Cuba's military to civilian authorities. "It creates no authoritarian enclaves or reserve domains to protect the military, privileged economic sectors, or the Castro brothers," said Dominguez.

It facilitates political transition. National Assembly members act by simple majority. Except for constitutional amendments. Requiring a two-thirds majority.

It can "revoke all laws, decree-laws, decrees, and other regulations issued by any other public authority, including subnational assemblies," Dominguez explained.

It's an effective governing instrument. Cuba has no central bank. Or other independent entity authorized for economic or social decision-making. 

In 2002, National Assembly members amended constitutional provisions. Guaranteeing permanent irrevocable "quality of the socialist system," said Dominguez.

Changes sought to constrain future National Assemblies from  "mak(ing) fundamental constitutional changes."

Article 52 mandated the Ministry of Education’s budget to be larger than any other ministry. The 1992 Constitution doesn't mention Fidel Castro by name.

Or afford him special rights and protections. Or grant blanket amnesties or pardons to officials guilty of crimes. Or halt prosecutions.

Cuba has no independent Supreme Court. National Assembly members elect justices. Without tenure. Those abusing their authority can be removed.

"All individual rights are subordinate to the interests of" state, said Dominguez. So are provincial and municipal governments. No "whiff" of federalism exists.

Cubans get essential social benefits. Constitutionally guaranteed. Including high-quality education and healthcare. The state commits full support.

Including for arts and sciences. Other forms of culture. Sports. Vacation opportunities. Day care centers. Full employment. 

Unemployment compensation between jobs. Pensions and disability benefits.. Elder care. Organically grown non-GMO foods. 

Subsidized food, housing an utilities. Market economy practices operate in tourist, international and export sectors. Separate from Cuba's socialist economy. Substantially sustains it.

According to Dominguez, political transition in Cuba isn't likely unless new governance continues providing constitutionally enshrined social rights.

In 2014, Cuba granted state-owned enterprises more autonomy. Freeing their managements. Vice President Marino Murillo saying:

"If we don't transform the socialist state companies positively, we won't be able to bring up to date the Cuban economic model."

One change lifted limits on wages paid. State-owned companies can now use half their after-tax profit. For recapitalization and/or new investment.

Despite Cuba's increasing private sector, state-owned enterprises remain the backbone of Cuba's economic model.

In his 2008 inaugural address, Raul Castro said Cuba would "advance in an articulate, sound and well-thought out manner."

Raising Cuba's overall standard of living. Increasingly tying individual prosperity to initiative and work performance.

Farmers now work small portions of land on their own. Limited numbers of traders operate privately. Used cars are sold this way.

Access to consumer goods was expanded. Including computers. Cell phones. Home appliances. Greater private use of state land was authorized.

In 2010, new self-employment rules were established. Around 75,000 licenses were issued. Over 50% more than in 2009.

In 2011, purchase and sale of private property was authorized. Credit mechanisms for small businesses and cooperatives were established.

Instituted changes are measured. Limited. Short of Western rapaciousness. Key is keeping them this way. 

Not easy with America's dirty hands involved. Operating out of their Havana embassy. Targeting Cuba for regime change.

Perhaps by color revolution. A US speciality. Fascists replacing democrats.

Months earlier, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Washington spent around $5 billion sabotaging Ukrainian democracy over the past 20 years.

Calling it "democracy promotion." Establishing a fascist dictatorship. Run by neo-Nazis.

How many billions has Washington spent over the past half century trying to transform Cuba the same way?

What's ongoing now covertly? With diplomatic relations established, Cuba will be swarming with CIA and FBI operatives. US-funded anti-democracy agencies.

Right-wing think tanks will be involved. Corporate predators intend getting their dirty hands on Cuba's economy. Raping it for profit. 

Will Raul Castro's government stop them? Will decisive action to taken to maintain Cuba's core economic model?

Will its officials stay true to their roots? Will they prevent Cuba from becoming a hemispheric Ukraine?

Once America's dirty hands get involved, will they be able to stop them? Cuba did for over half a century. 

Will it stay resolute ahead? Social justice depends on it. Freedom from corporate rapaciousness. 

Cuba's existence as a free sovereign state is up for grabs. What's too precious to lose.

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.

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

Israel Bombs Gaza

Israel Bombs Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli warplanes attacked on December 20. Lawlessly. Committed war crimes. More on this below. 

Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was cold, calculated, long-planned, premeditated Israeli naked aggression. 

Murdering or injuring thousands of Gazans. Around 80% civilians. Willfully targeted. In residential areas. 

Turning large parts of Gaza to rubble. Genocidal high crimes by any standard. War raged from July 8 to August 26. 

Ceasefire terms were agreed on. Hamas scrupulously observes them. Including halting all hostilities. Israel violated them straightaway.

As always, blaming Palestinians for its crimes. On December 20, Israeli warplanes bombed Gaza. Southern areas near Khan Younis.

An IDF spokesperson confirmed the attack. Saying Israeli forces "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site."

No casualties were reported, according to Gaza's health ministry. The attack followed a rocket fired from southern Gaza. Causing no injuries or damage.

Hamas claimed no responsibility. Or other resistance groups. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner lied. Wrongfully calling Hamas a "terrorist organization."

Blaming it irresponsibly for "rocket fire." Viewing it "with severity." Suggesting perhaps more Israeli aggression to come. Repeating with disturbing regularity. Never with just cause.

According to Maan News:

"Hamas has almost entirely prevented any other factions from firing rockets since the ceasefire, despite repeated Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians at sea and near the border."

"On Friday alone, Israeli forces shot and injured six Palestinians as they participated in a (peaceful)  protest march near the border."

"Political analyst Hani Basous told Ma'an that the Israeli airstrikes are a mere reaction to the rocket and an attempt to send a warning message to all Palestinians."

"Israel wanted to deliver a message to the Palestinian factions and Hamas that any actions on the border will be confronted with a harsh response."

Aggression is part of Netanyahu's reelection strategy. Citing nonexistent threats. Responding harshly. Showing he's tough.

His extremism wore thin long ago. Why Israelis put up with him, they'll have to explain.

He did more than any previous leader to transform Israel into a pariah state. Lawless. Ruthless. Fascist. Belligerent. Inventing reasons for conflict.

Holding 1.8 million Gazans hostage. In the world's largest open-air prison. Suffocating them. Collectively punishing them.

Attacking cross-border. Bombing them for any reason or none at all. Committing slow-motion genocide.

Israel and America partner in each other's high crimes. Have the world's most deplorable civil and human rights records.

Operate extrajudicially. Wage war on defenseless civilians. Murder them in cold blood. Blame adversaries for their own crimes.

Bear full responsibility for virtually every indignity, degradation and crime. Ones too grave to ignore.

Vicious and then some. Getting away with mass murder. Over and over again. Unaccountably.

Core international laws don't matter. Occupation harshness persists. The late Law Professor Michael Mandel said earlier:

"Israel’s West Bank and Gaza settlements are war crimes in Canada."

"Under the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 2000, c. 24, Israel's settlements in territories taken in the June 1967 war constitute war crimes punishable in Canada."

Section 8, paragraph 2, item viii of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prohibits "(t)he transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory."

"Although Israel denies it, there is no question (it’s) an Occupying Power for the purposes of the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act," Mandel explained.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier accused Israel of "heinous war crimes inflicted (virtually) every day…against the Palestinian people."

"(W)illful killing" with impunity. Fourth Geneva breaches occur multiple times daily. Against Gazans. Throughout the West Bank. In East Jerusalem.

According to Boyle, including "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated."

Israel treats Arabs the way Hitler treated Jews. Crimes against humanity “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention," said Boyle.

Israel gets away with mass murder and then some. High crimes too grave to ignore.

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of Operation Protective Edge war crimes. So did Amnesty International.

Defined as grave Geneva breaches. Other serious violations of laws and customs. Ones applicable to armed conflict. 

As defined by Rome Statute principles. When committed as part of a plan or policy. Or on a large scale. 

Prohibited acts include murder. Mutilation. Torture and cruel treatment. Hostage taking. Intentionally attacking civilian or non-military related targets.

Including buildings related to commerce, religion, education, art, science,  charitable purposes, historical monuments or hospitals.

Other prohibited acts include pillage. Rape. Sexual slavery. Forced pregnancy. Other sexual assaults.

Conscripting or enlisting children under age 15 years. Using them as combatants.

A previous article discussed Washington's intention to veto Palestine's statehood bid. Partnering with Israel irresponsibly.

On December 19, General Assembly members overwhelmingly endorsed Palestinian self-determination. Voting 165 to six in favor.

Opposition nations included America. Israel. Canada. Three small Pacific Island states Washington controls.

Nine countries abstained. Including Australia, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Resolution language demanded Israel cease exploiting, damaging, depleting and endangering Palestinian and Golan resources.

Called for immediate safe removal of all Gazan unexploded ordnance. The measure was the General Assembly's 43rd of its kind. Each year endorsed overwhelmingly.

A second resolution related to Palestinian rights. Supported without voting. Calling for Member States. UN financial institutions.

NGOs. Intergovernmental, regional and interregional organizations. To provide economic and social aid. Through official Palestinian institutions.

To reconstruct Gaza. Promote economic recovery and rebuilding in a timely and sustainable manner.

A third resolution passed overwhelmingly. (170 - 6). Demanding Israel pay $850 million. For "environmental disaster" it caused. 

Incurred during its July 2006 naked aggression on Lebanon. Polluting its entire coastline. Part of Syria's.

Israel responded as expected. An official statement calling the GA resolution "part of many other decisions we are used to from the UN."

It "never bothered to check what the war cost Israel in damages and did not mention that the war broke out in response to the operation by the terror group Hezbollah."

Israel is the region's leading terror state. Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's democratically elected government.

It bears repeating. Washington and Israel partner in each other's crimes. On Friday, Obama signed the "United States-Israel Strategic Partnership of 2014 (S. 2673)."

Congressionally passed unanimously. By voice vote. Not a single profile of courage in either house. 100% in lockstep with US/Israeli lawlessness.

A White House press release called the measure an expression of "unshakeable commitment to Israel's security and its future."

Reflecting "the importance of (Obama's) Administration on strengthening and deepening US-Israel bilateral cooperation and ties."

Reinforcing "critical defense and security programs. (L)ay(ing) the groundwork for increased trae and cooperation across a range of cutting-edge fields."

Including "energy, water, agriculture and technology." Directs "the Secretary of State to undertake certain diplomatic initiatives."

Obama intends implementing the measure's provisions. Consistent with what he calls "longstanding constitutional practice."

A document long ago abandoned. Dead and buried. Along with relevant international and US statute laws.

Washington usurping the right to operate extrajudicially. Taking full advantage. Partnering with Israel. One fascist regime supports another. Waging war on humanity.

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.

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

Targeting Russia Escalates

Targeting Russia Escalates

by Stephen Lendman

Washington continues waging political and economic war on Russia. Ukraine's junta was installed to serve US interests.

Institutionalize fascist rule in Europe's heartland. Eliminate fundamental freedoms. Threaten regional security.

Serve as a US proxy against Russia. Perhaps instigate hot war. Stop NATO reports continuing Alliance help in its dirty war on Donbas.

Training its military for "Russian aggression." Washington's Ukraine ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt saying:

"As Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russian aggression, the United States will continue to send advisory teams to help improve Ukrainian combat medical care and save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, in addition to the over $118 million in security assistance we have committed."

Pyatt left unsaid Washington and other NATO countries supplying lethal aid. Heavy weapons and munitions.

War on Donbas continues. Dangerously close to Russia's border. Stooge president Petro Poroshenko's days of silence pronouncement was fake. One of his many Big Lies.

On December 18, Voice of Sevastopol reported "Ukrainian (military) violat(ions) in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR)."

"(H)owitzer artillery was conducted from the village Kondrashovka (Stanitsa-Luganskaya district) on the outskirts of the village Vesyolenkoye."

Mortar fire targeted militia held areas. Ukraine's military continues attacking Donbas despite Poroshenko's "day(s) of silence."

On December 19, Fort Russ reported LPR forces attacked "on many fronts. Fired on positions (include) Veselaya Gora, Prishib, Slavyanoserbsk, Valuysk, Kolesnikovo, Nizhneteploye, Olkhovoe.
Militia forces responded in self-defense. Kiev's dirty war continues. Greater escalation looms. On orders from Washington.

On December 18, Obama signed anti-Russian legislation. The so-called "Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (UFSA)" aims to assist "in restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity." 

Deter Russia "from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia."

Authorizes new sanctions. Targeting Russia's defense and energy sectors. Plus businesses selling products or services to sanctioned Russian companies.

On December 18, Obama said:

"My administration will continue to work closely with allies and partners in Europe and internationally to respond to developments in Ukraine and will continue to review and calibrate our sanctions to respond to Russia's actions."

"At this time, the Administration does not intend to impose sanctions under this law, but the Act gives the Administration additional authorities that could be utilized, if circumstances warranted."

Another Big Lie. On December 19, Obama targeted Russia's Republic of Crimea. 

By executive order "prohibit(ing) the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea."

(A)uthoriz(ing) the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities operating in Crimea." 

(I)ntend(ing) to provide clarity to US corporations doing business in the region and reaffirm that the United States will not accept Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea."  

Obama "again call(ed) on Russia to end its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, cease its support to separatists in eastern Ukraine, and fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements."  

"My Administration will continue to work closely with allies and partners in Europe and internationally to respond to events in Ukraine and to support Ukraine"s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well its democratic development and reform efforts."  

"We will continue to review and calibrate our sanctions, in close coordination with our international partners, to respond to Russia's actions."

Fact: Crimeans joined Russia. 

Fact: By near unanimous free, fair and open referendum vote. 

Fact: Correcting a historic mistake. 

Fact: Returning where they belong.

Fact: Russia remains neutral in Ukraine's civil war.

Fact: No evidence suggests otherwise.

Fact: Going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution.

Fact: Polar opposite Washington.

Fact: Stoking conflict.

Fact: Funding, arming, training and directing its proxy Ukrainian military.

Fact: Russia didn't invade Ukraine.

Fact: Has no involvement in ongoing conflict.

Fact: Isn't providing Donbas self-defense forces with weapons, munitions or other help.

Fact: Other than vitally needed humanitarian aid for Donbas residents. 

Fact: The only nation doing so. 

Fact: Despite Kiev's efforts to block it. 

Fact: So ordinary people will starve.

Fact: Obama calling Ukraine democratic flies in the face of hard facts.

Fact: Ukraine is a fascist dictatorship.

Fact: Illegitimately installed by Washington.

Fact: Serving US interests in Europe's heartland.

Fact: Targeting Russia for regime change.

Fact: Wanting its sovereign independence eliminated.

Fact: By color revolution or war.

Russia's Foreign Ministry responded harshly. Calling actions against Crimea "politicized discrimination" against Russia and its people.

"We would like remind (Western nations) about our lawful right to adequately respond to its so-called restrictive measures against all Russian individuals and legal entities without exception," a Ministry statement said.

Crimea is sovereign Russian territory. Russia's Ministry warned of an adequate response. 

Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Obama's UFSA signing, saying:

"The American side is fully to blame for the consequences. We do not leave hostile actions on the part of Washington without response." 

"We will be making decisions on possible response measures depending on how the United States will use the new law in practice."

"The Russian side is ready for dialogue and cooperation, but only on principles of equality, real account for our interests. Attempts to pressure us are anyway doomed to fail."

On December 19, Sputnik News reported Lavrov telling John Kerry UFSA derails US/Moscow cooperation. "(U)ndermined (it) for a long time."

During his annual marathon Q & A press conference tour de force, Putin said "Russia pays the cost of remaining a nation, a civilization and a state."

Weeks earlier he explained "the tragic consequences of the so-called color revolutions and ordeals survived by the peoples of the states that faced these irresponsible experiments of covert and sometimes even…overt interference into their lives…"

"This is a lesson and warning for us, and we will do everything possible to prevent this from happening in Russia."

Putin knows Washington's dirty game. Considers him public enemy No. 1. Targets Russia for regime change.

Wants its sovereign independence destroyed. A major rival eliminated. Replaced by vassal state subservience.

Its territory balkanized. Resources stolen. People exploited. Serving Western interests exclusively. Under horrific conditions of poverty, deprivation and despair.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded to Ukrainian stooge president Poroshenko's hostile statements.

Including ending Ukraine's nonaligned status. Joining NATO. Wanting Russia expelled from Security Council participation. Other "party of war" rhetoric. 

Saying "()t is regretful because such a party exists and exactly from ranks of that ‘party of war’ calls are made to repeat in Ukraine's south-east an operation which was carried out in Serbian Krajina, when the issue was settled by force." 

"All this was not only accepted, our Western partners welcomed this."

In a wide-ranging interview, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned of US-led NATO encroachment on Russia's borders.

Washington "is trying hard to get there…Eisenhower (warned) of the military-industrial complex.," said Gorbachev.

NATO seeks to interfere with everything and everywhere. It wants to expand beyond its designated territory."

"…America cannot live without its military-industrial complex growing, weapons sales increasing and war costs soaring…"

Its "society is sick. It needs help." It threatens world peace.

Gorbachev quoted Jack Kennedy once saying "(i)f you think that future peace should be Pax Americana you’re mistaken. It’s either peace for all people, or no peace."

America declared Cold War victory. Saying "we won. We won the Cold War. We did. Us," according to Gorbachev.

"(T)he world is at our feet. Our policy is right…America want(s) to rule the world."

"The Americans lost their way. Any attempt to create a one-sided, mono-polar world is just complete and utter nonsense."

Washington "need(s) an enemy." Its leadership "can't live without it. (They're) enslaved by their old policy."

"That's why America has to be stopped." Diplomatically. In partnership with other nations. Leadership today is only possible this way, Gorbachev stressed.

"Whenever tensions are high, whenever there's instability in a certain country or throughout the region, it's an opportunity for them to intervene."

It's "the American way." This must stop, Gorbachev stressed. Peacefully. War assures no winners.

Washington declared Russia an enemy. European countries were pressured to go along. Against their own self-interest.

No one ever brought Russia to its knees, said Gorbachev. Not Napoleon. Not Hitler. No one. "(N)obody will." Gorbachev hopes Cold War won't turn hot.

Given America's rage for war, preventing it won't be easy. Maybe impossible.

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.

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fidel's Legacy

Fidel's Legacy

by Stephen Lendman

At age 88, he's Cuba's elder statesman. A legend in his own time and then some. Defying critics. Outwitting them. Outliving them.

This article a snapshot of some of his achievements. Impressive by any standard. 

On the 50th anniversary of his July 26, 1953 Fort Moncada attack, media scoundrels pronounced his revolution dead. 

Expected collapse. Predicted free market capitalism's return. The bad old days called good. More on Cuba under Castro below.

A previous article discussed America's master plan for world dominance. Key is eliminating all sovereign independent governments.

By political, economic or military means. Installing puppet regimes. Convenient stooges. Subservient to Washington.

Few nations challenge US policies successfully. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz bested 10 US administrations. From Eisenhower through George Bush.

From January 1, 1959. When his guerrilla force ousted US-backed Fulgencio Batista. To his February 2008 retirement announcement as Cuba's president. 

Remaining Communist Party Central Committee First Secretary until April 2011. In the interim, transforming Cuba from a repressive brothel to a populist state. Defying US imperialism successfully.

America ruled Cuba as a virtual colony. From President McKinley's so-called "liberat(ion)" from Spain. To Castro's successful 1959 revolution. A transformational event.

Other than America's Guantanamo footprint. Ceded through Platt Amendment chicanery. Granting Washington "complete jurisdiction and control." At the same time recognizing Cuban sovereignty.

For nearly half a century, Castro's achievements were remarkable. In spite of America's embargo. In place since October 1960.

For all products except food and medicines. In February 1962, extended to include nearly all imports. Currently enforced by six statutes:

(1) The 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act

(2) 1961 Foreign Assistance Act

(3) 1963 Cuba Assets Control Regulations

(4) 1992 Cuban Democracy Act (encouraging pro-opposition groups)

(5) 1996 Helms-Burton Act (hardening earlier legislation)

(6) 2000 Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (authorizing sale of humanitarian products)

Despite longstanding embargo, blockade conditions weren't imposed. Except in 1962. Under short-term missile crisis conditions. Preventing missiles from arriving.

Early-on, Castro made a clean break with predatory capitalism. Nationalizing US-controlled industries. Instituted land reform. 

Shuttered Mafia-owned casinos and brothels. Ended longstanding systemic corruption. Built a socialist state. Ended Cuban control by monied interests.

Essential social services remain one of his most important achievements. Article 50 of Cuba's Constitution mandates "the right to health protection and care" for everyone. 

By "providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers.

(F)ree dental care. Promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccination and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease. 

All the population cooperates in these activities and plans through the social and mass organizations."

Article 51 guarantees free universal education. At all levels. To children, youths and adults. Constitutional language states:

"Everybody has a right to education. This right is guaranteed by the extensive and free system of schools, part-time boarding schools, boarding schools and scholarships in all types and at all levels of education, by the free provision of school materials to every child and young person regardless of the economic situation of the family, and by the provision of courses suited to the student's aptitude, the requirements of society and the needs of economic and social development." 

Castro virtually eliminated illiteracy. Students learn math, reading, the sciences, arts, humanities, social responsibility, civics and participatory citizenship. 

Giving them skills to become more productive citizens. Able to contribute to national development.

Despite embargo conditions, Cubans get nutritious food at affordable prices. Cuba's Law Number 49 mandated government provided social services.

Including special help for Cuba's elderly, disabled, others unable to work and single mothers.

Cuba's Public Health Law mandates protecting the health of all citizens. Including those rehabilitating from physical or mental disabilities.

Its healthcare is among the world's best. Including an extensive system of family doctors. Sophisticated tertiary care facilities.

Emphasis on nutrition and preventive care. Cuba's low infant mortality rate bests America's. Matches its life expectancy.

Has double the number of physicians per 1,000. An overall lower mortality rate. No one lacks care because of affordability. Polar opposite America's "pay or die system," according to Ralph Nader.

Maintains the developing world's most extensive infant immunization coverage. Emphasizes chemical-free, non-GMO, organically grown fresh produce.

Delivers top quality healthcare at minimum cost. Compared to America's exorbitant system. Double the cost of other developed countries.

Leaving millions uninsured. Despite claims otherwise. Millions more underinsured. One major illness for many away from bankruptcy.

Impossible in Cuba. With top quality universal care for all. No one denied what's needed.

Key are hundreds of community-based polyclinics. Serving tens of thousands of Cubans. Organizational hubs. For neighborhood-based family doctor/nurse offices.

Accredited research and teaching centers. For medical, nursing, and allied health sciences students. 

Backbone of Cuba's health system. Shaming America's for millions of its most disadvantaged.

Most Cuban doctors practice general medicine. Mandated for most medical graduates. Later able to specialize.

Polyclinic care largely replicates what's available in hospitals.

Services include x-rays, ultrasound, optometry, ophthalmology, endoscopy, thrombolysis, emergency services, traumatology, clinical lab services, family planning, emergency dentistry, pre and postnatal child care, immunization, diabetic and elderly care, as well as rehab.

Other specialties include dermatology, psychiatry, psychology, cardiology, family and internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology, mouth disease, acupuncture, message therapy, electromagnetic therapy, mud therapy, reflex therapy, heat therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and more. 

Quality care is stressed at all times. So is patient satisfaction. Cuba considers healthcare a human right. 

America provides it on the ability to pay. Commodified for profit. Insurers, drug giants, and large hospital chains make policy.

Cuba has state responsibility for healthcare. Assuring availability for all. Regardless of financial well-being. How all systems should be run.

Its physicians complete a nine-year program. Including five years of basic education. One-year hospital internship.

Three rural practice years. Family medicine stressed. So is preventive care. Doctors wanting to specialize must complete three more years of training.

Abide by Cuba's model health code in treating patients. Exclude private practice. Follow government policies.

Emphasize prevention and human welfare. Work for national wellness.

Profit is America's only goal. Other objectives are secondary. Cuba spends a minute fraction per capita annually. Compared to what healthcare costs in America.

It sends thousands of doctors to dozens of countries needing them. Offers free medical education to thousands of students.

From scores of countries. In return for providing their people Cuban-style care. Largely in under-served communities.

Its model shames America's. It works because it's fair. A testimony to Fidel's legacy. 

Along with high-quality free education. Other vital social services. Ones Americans can't even imagine.

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.

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