Friday, August 22, 2014

Russian Humanitarian Aid Reaches Lugansk

Russian Humanitarian Aid Reaches Lugansk

by Stephen Lendman

Kiev putschists blocked vitally needed humanitarian aid for days. They did so for spurious reasons.

They did it to impose greater hardships on desperate Southeastern Ukrainians. They did it to deprive them of essentials to life. 

They did it to facilitate their genocidal aggression. They did it with full support and encouragement from Washington.

Enough is enough. On August 22, Itar Tass headlined "Russia's 70 trucks with humanitarian cargo proceed toward toward Ukraine's Luhansk," saying:

They cleared customs. They entered Ukrainian territory. They headed for Lugansk. They did so on a mission of mercy.

They carried food, water, medical supplies and other vitally needed aid. Kiev claims about a Trojan Horse convoy of weapons were spurious on their face.

It used this and other fabricated reasons to block aid as long as possible. It's response on the ground is unclear. It bears watching to see what follows.

On August 12, Russia dispatched a 270-truck convoy. It carried hundreds of tons of vitally needed aid.

On August 17, it reached Russia's southern Rostov region. It borders Ukraine. Kiev blocked it for days. 

One excuse followed others. They rang hollow. Russia's Foreign Ministry was scathing. It issued a long statement, saying in part:

"The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable."

"A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border." 

"Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities." 

"We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly." 

"These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area." 

"Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment's delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC." 

"We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces." 

"These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities."

"At the same time, Kiev has delayed granting its formal consent required by the ICRC for several days, while repeatedly inventing new pretexts and stepping up attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk that involve military aircraft and heavy-duty armored vehicles, targeting residential areas and other civilian facilities." 

"Over the past few days, the Ukrainian side has been launching ballistic missiles, including the deadly Tochka-U missiles, ever more frequently."

Deadlock may or may not be resolved. The latter is more likely. Kiev granted unconditional consent during a phone conversation between its foreign minister and Russia's.

"On 20 August, customs clearance and border control procedures were launched at the Donetsk checkpoint," said Russia's Foreign Ministry.

"On 21 August, however, this process was stopped, with officials citing much more intensive bombardment of Lugansk." 

"In other words, the Ukrainian authorities are bombing the destination and are using this as a pretext to stop the delivery of humanitarian relief aid."

Kiev appears committed to "cleansing" Lugansk and Donetsk ahead of its August Independence Day commemoration.

It wants time for more mass slaughter and destruction. It wants vitally needed aid delayed as long as possible.

Ideally it wants it blocked. "Russia is outraged by the blatant external manipulation of the international experts involved in preparing this operation," its Foreign Ministry said.

"An endless succession of contradictory and mutually exclusive signals and messages we have been receiving is a true indication of behind the scenes games for purposes that have nothing to do with accomplishing a set humanitarian objective." 

"Those who are holding the reins and hampering efforts to save human lives, to mitigate the suffering of sick and wounded people neglect the basic principles of society." 

"We have called on the UN Security Council to promptly declare a humanitarian armistice, but these proposals are being invariably blocked by those who pay lip service to universal human values."

Russia left no doubt which countries it means. Washington bears full responsibility. Britain and France share it. 

Rogue states operate this way. They partner in crimes of war and against humanity. They support their illegitimate neo-Nazi-infested fascist Kiev ally.

"Last time, this happened on 20 August, when the United States and some Western members of the UNSC declined to issue a statement in support of a ceasefire during the delivery of humanitarian relief aid to Lugansk by Russian and Ukrainian convoys," said Russia's Foreign Ministry

"We hereby state once again: All the required security guarantees regarding the passage of the humanitarian convoy have been provided." 

"The ICRC has officially recognised these guarantees. The delivery routes are known, and they have been checked by an ICRC mission." 

"The documents have been drawn up. The shipments have long been ready for inspection by Ukrainian border guards and customs officers who have been waiting at the Donetsk checkpoint in the Rostov Region for a week now." 

"The capitals that display heightened concern for the situation in southeastern Ukraine are well aware of this. The endless artificial demands and pretexts have become unconscionable."

"It is no longer possible to tolerate this lawlessness, outright lies and inability to reach agreements." 

"All pretexts for delaying the delivery of aid to people in the humanitarian disaster zone have been depleted." 

"The Russian side has decided to act. Our humanitarian relief convoy is setting out towards Lugansk." 

"Naturally, we are ready to allow ICRC officials to escort the convoy and to take part in distributing aid." 

"We hope that representatives of the Russian Red Cross Society will also be able to take part in this mission."

"We are warning against any attempts to thwart this purely humanitarian mission which took a long time to prepare in conditions of complete transparency and cooperation with the Ukrainian side and the ICRC." 

"Those who are ready to continue sacrificing human lives to their own ambitions and geopolitical designs and who are rudely trampling on the norms and principles of international humanitarian law will assume complete responsibility for the possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian relief convoy."

ICRC representatives chose not to accompany the convoy. According to the organization's Galina Balzamova:

"That's because of the problems with security. Lugansk was shelled all night long."

"We believe we did not get sufficient guarantees of safety from all the parties to the conflict to start escorting the convoy."

Russian Red Cross head Raisa Lukutova supports Moscow's decision. It's the right one, she said. "For how long do we have to put up with this mockery?"

Kiev "put(s) forward one demand after another. All of them unrealistic." Obstruct, delay and deny reflects its agenda. 

Rogue states operate this way. The ICRC violated its own mandate "to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance."

Not in Southeastern Ukraine. Not when doing so conflicts with Washington's interests. They matter more than relieving human suffering.

At the same time, ICRC officials admit Southeastern Ukrainians are in "urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies."

Lugansk conditions are especially dire. Residents have no water or electricity. 

Medical supplies are running out. Food is in short supply. Constant shelling and bombing endanger everyone. Non-combatant civilians suffer most.

Ukraine's intelligence chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko lied calling Russia's convoy a "direct invasion."

He lied again saying:

"Under the cynical cover of the Red Cross, these are military vehicles wih documents to cover them up."

Ukraine's border service (UBS) said by ordering the convoy to proceed, Moscow "ignored the agreements reached on registering the humanitarian aid."

FALSE: Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers agreed on granting it entry. Kiev violated its own agreement.

Its UBS added:

"The trucks started moving through Ukraine after a group of Ukrainian border customs officers had been blocked at the Russian checkpoint 'Donetsk.' "

Kiev's foreign ministry lied. It ludicrously accused Moscow of "smuggling humanitarian aid to Ukraine."

"To avoid provocations, we have given all the necessary orders to let the convoy pass safely."

Russia's Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine of "exhaust(ing)" all remaining "excuses" for blocking what's urgently needed.

They deliberately obstructed humanitarian aid to assure "they'll be no one left to get it."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow-supplied humanitarian aid fully complies with international laws and norms. 

"We are not going to put up anymore with the distressful situation of people living in protesting southeastern regions of Ukraine," he added.

Vladimir Putin was unequivocal. He called further obstruction unacceptable.

Illegitimate oligarch Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko lied saying:

"The movement of the Russian humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without customs and border control and without being accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross is a blatant violation of international law."

"We will do everything we can to ensure this does not lead to more dramatic consequences."

Sebastien Brabant is spokesman for EU political chief Catherine Ashton. He falsely accused Moscow of breaching "previous arrangements reached between Ukraine, Russia and the ICRC."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a convenient US stooge. He lied saying: 

"I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross." 

"This is a blatant breach of Russia's international commitments, including those made recently in Berlin and Geneva, and a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Russia." 

"It can only deepen the crisis in the region, which Russia itself has created and has continued to fuel. The disregard of international humanitarian principles raises further questions about whether the true purpose of the aid convoy is to support civilians or to resupply armed separatists."

European supreme allied commander General Philip Breedlove commented as expected. He condemned "Russia's illegal incursion" despite Moscow having violated no international laws.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby outrageously accused Russia of "a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"Russia must remove its vehicles and its personnel from the territory of Ukraine immediately," he said.

"The humanitarian situation in (Southeaster) Ukraine must be addressed, but not in a spurious manner that risks inflaming the conflict," he added.

Western media reports spuriously accused Russia of shelling Kiev forces from its own territory and inside Ukraine.

They regurgitated official lies. They provided no corroborating evidence. Washington and rogue EU partners repeatedly accuse Russia of aiding Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters. 

Moscow categorically denies all charges. It's going all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution. It rejects military solutions. It deplores all forms of belligerence.

It complies fully with international laws, norms and standards. Washington bears full responsibility for violating them. 

Rogue EU partners share it. So does Kiev. Its forces are US proxies against its own freedom-fighting democrats.

They deserve universal support. So does Moscow for supplying essentials to life.

Russia's aid convoy arrived safely in Lugansk. City officials confirmed it. A special commission will distribute vital aid.

It remains to be seen what follows. Russia-bashing began straightaway. Desperate Southeastern Ukrainians are grateful. 

They need all the help they can get and then some. Moscow did the right thing. 

It shames its Western counterparts. It's on the right side of 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.

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

Pro-Israeli Security Council Gaza Resolution

Pro-Israeli Security Council Gaza Resolution

by Stephen Lendman

On August 21, Washington joined Germany, Britain and France. They presented a largely one-sided Security Council resolution to end over six weeks of conflict.

It's pro-Israeli. It's pro-Western. It's anti-Palestinian. It's more Gazan Versailles than legitimate peace plan. It demands rejection.

It's in lieu of what's fundamentally needed:

  • a resolution holding Israel responsible for premeditated genocidal aggression;

  • holding Netanyahu and other Israeli officials accountable; 

  • ordering them prosecuted in a Nuremberg-style tribunal; 

  • unconditionally ordering Gaza's siege be lifted;

  • mandating Israel alone pay for damage it caused, compensate surviving family members for their losses, and fully cover the cost of  medical treatment for injured Gazans;

  • assuring long denied justice for beleaguered Gazans; 

  • ordering Israel to halt settlement construction; 

  • mandating an end to occupation; and

  • guaranteeing support for unconditional Palestinian self-determination within 1967 borders by a specified date.

The current resolution is deeply flawed. Claiming it'll end fighting is fantasy. Or achieve any form of long denied justice. The two-page document is titled "Elements."

They include:

  • returning Gaza to PA control; 

  • reconstructing it under international supervision;

  • preventing Hamas from rearming;

  • wanting it kept defenseless against certain future Israeli aggression;  

  • restarting sham Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; and 

  • doing so based on what Israel categorically rejects - within pre-1967 borders - with no enforcement teeth.

Fact: Abbas and other PA officials are longtime Israeli collaborators.

Fact: They have no legitimacy.

Fact: They serve as Israeli enforcers.

Fact: They betray their own people.

Fact: Hamas is Palestine's democratically elected government.

Fact: International law prohibits any nation or combination thereof from interfering in the internal affairs of others.

Fact: Palestinians alone may decide who'll govern them under laws, principles and norms they choose.

Fact: Not Israel, Washington, Germany, Britain, France, or Security Council resolution denying them their inalienable right.

The proposed document condemns "all violence and hostilities directed against civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties, and all acts of terrorism."

It calls for an "immediate, sustainable" ceasefire on both sides. It's based on the following principles:

  • returning Gaza to PA control;

  • undefined security arrangements to prevent resumption of hostilities;

  • denying Hamas the right of self-defense;

  • doing so by prohibiting all weapons and munitions sales to Gaza without PA permission;

  • preventing the financing of Israel's notion of terrorism;

  • assuring Gazan self-defense is defined this way;

  • assuring Israeli aggression is called its right to self-defense;

  • lifting "economic and humanitarian restrictions" short of unconditionally ending siege;

  • permitting reconstruction, economic rehabilitation and development based on what Israel will allow under rules it establishes;

  • reopening all border crossings without assurances against future unilateral Israeli closures; and

  • doing so in accord with the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access.

Washington and Israel brokered it. It was supposed to let PA officials control border crossings after Israel's 2005 Gazan disengagement.

The resolution establishes a Western controlled international monitoring and verification body. 

It would oversee implementation of agreed on principles, investigate ceasefire violations, inform the Security Council, facilitate movement of people and goods, as well as "ensure effective communications" between both sides.

Other draft provisions include:

  • helping PA officials establish "effective governance" in Gaza - under rules acceptable to Israel and Western states;

  • urging UN member states to contribute to rebuilding Gaza;

  • doing so in lieu of demanding Israel pay for the enormous damage it caused;

  • holding an international conference on rebuilding Gaza;

  • urging attending nations to help pay Gazan civil servants and aid PA security forces; and

  • initiating "renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to resume the negotiations in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders in peace and security."

It's hard imagining Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups accepting what demands rejection. 

The draft resolution violates international law. It's a dagger in the heart equity, justice and peace.

It lopsidedly favors Israel. It renders Hamas defenseless. It offers what Israel can unilaterally abrogate for reasons it invents.

It puts longtime Palestinian collaborators in charge of governing Gaza. It assures justice denied.

It restarts sham peace talks. It proposes doing so on terms Israel categorically rejects. 

It perpetuates the greatest hoax in modern times. Talks were stillborn from inception. Israel rejects peace and stability.

Palestinians have no say whatever. They've been brutalized for decades. They're denied all rights. They're virtual prisoners in their own land.

Oslo was unconditional Palestinian surrender. So were Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David, Taba, Bush's Road Map, Annapolis, other negotiating rounds, and the most recent failed talks had they continued.

The current Security Council proposal holds Gazans hostage to Israeli and Western diktats.

It leaves Israel unaccountable for high crimes against peace. It assures future Israeli aggression. 

It lets occupation harshness continue. It perpetuates decades of injustice. It leaves Palestinians isolated on their own. 

It gives Israel wiggle room to interpret provisions to its own advantage. It denies Gazans the same right. It leaves major issues unaddressed. 

They include:

  • internationally guaranteed/universally recognized Palestinian sovereignty;

  • ending occupation;

  • letting diaspora Palestinians return; 

  • compensating them and Palestinian refugees for land and possessions Israel stole;

  • ending settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land;

  • giving Palestinians control of their airspace, coastal waters, and resources (including offshore gas reserves); as well as 

  • East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital.

The resolution instructs UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to initiate proposals to "implement the relevant provisions." He's a longtime pro-Western/pro-Israeli imperial tool.

It lets Security Council members circumvent international law. It lets them impose punitive measures if either side violates resolution provisions. It assures imposition on Palestinians alone.

It lets pro-Israeli Western nations force-feed unacceptable terms on Gaza. It gives Gazans no say. It punishes them for rejecting unacceptable demands.

It destroys Fatah/Hamas unity. It perpetuates longstanding injustice. It assures future conflict. 

Current Israeli genocidal aggression continues. Western leaders support it. Israel murdered nearly 2,100 Palestinians. Over 10,300 were injured.

Large parts of Gaza lie in ruins. A pre-dawn air strike killed three al-Qassam Brigades commanders.

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians marched through Rafah. They did so in mourning. They honored Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed Attar.

Their deaths came a day after Israel unsuccessfully tried to assassinate senior al-Qassam Brigades leader Mohammed Deif. 

An airstrike on his home killed his wife and eight-month-old son. Netanyahu tried to link his aggression to Obama's war on the Islamic State in Iraq.

He lied calling both groups a "branch of the same tree." He did so without a shred of credible evidence. None exists.

At the same time, Israel activated another 10,000 reserves. Hardliners Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and others want Hamas entirely destroyed.

Perhaps a second ground invasion will follow. Since Israel sabotaged Cairo talks, it murdered around five dozen more mostly civilian Palestinian men, women and children.

They included five family members digging a grave in Sheikh Radwan cemetery. They were doing so for lost loved ones. 

They were noncombatants. They posed no threat. Israel deliberately murdered them in cold blood. It considers civilian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm legitimate targets.

Doing so is part of its longstanding collective punishment policy. It's in flagrant violation of international law.

It doesn't matter. Western leaders support Israeli genocide. They turn a blind eye to its worst high crimes against peace.

They continue daily throughout Occupied Palestine. Gazans suffer most. 

Long denied justice is nowhere in sight. The US/German/British/ French resolution assures keeping things this way.

Palestinians remain isolated on their own. Gazans remain trapped on their own land. 

Israel is free to wage aggressive wars on whatever pretexts it invents. Business as usual continues. 

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.

World Humanitarian Day Hypocrisy

World Humanitarian Day Hypocrisy

by Stephen Lendman

The day honors humanitarian workers killed in the line of duty. 

The General Assembly designated August 19 as part of a Swedish-sponsored resolution on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the UN.

It commemorates the day in 2003 when US terror-bombing killed then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira, and 21 of his colleagues. 

They perished in Baghdad's UN headquarters. More on World Humanitarian Day (WHD) below.

On August 19, the White House issued a hypocritical “Statement by the Principal Deputy Press Secretary on World Humanitarian Day," saying:

"Eleven years ago today, 22 humanitarian aid workers were killed in a horrific attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad. Their lives were cut short as they worked selflessly to save others."  

Fact: Washington's 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom Iraq War bore full responsibility for killing them. 

Fact: Doing so reflected US imperial ruthlessness.

Fact: From then until now, millions more Iraqis died. 

Fact: Millions more were injured and/or displaced. 

Fact: America turned the cradle of civilization into a dystopian nightmare. 

Fact: It's currently an out-of-control cauldron of violence.

Fact: Expect Obama's war to make things worse, not better. 

Fact: Waging it has nothing to do with humanitarian intervention. 

Fact: It has everything to do with regional control and the interests of Big Oil. 

Fact: It's about stoking fear. 

Fact: It's to make the world safe for war profiteers.

Fact: It's benefitting their bottom lines.

"Each year on August 19 we pay homage to them, their colleagues worldwide who have been killed or injured in the line of duty, and the heroic efforts of those humanitarians currently in the field." 

Fact: America bears more responsibility for wars of aggression than any nation in human history.

Fact: Its rap sheet includes many millions killed, many more injured, countless numbers displaced, and human misery on an unprecedented scale.

"Today, there is an unprecedented need for humanitarians and the spirit they embody. Some 108 million people need humanitarian assistance, and more people have been displaced by conflict than at any time since World War II."  

Fact: US wars of aggression bear most responsibility. 

Fact: It's entire history is blood-drenched. 

Fact: It glorifies war in the name of peace.

Fact: Obama is the latest in a long line of warrior US presidents.

"Nearly eleven million Syrians and Iraqis have fled for their lives.  Millions need shelter, food, water, and medical care in the wake of factional fighting in the Central African Republic and a clash among South Sudan's political leaders has put millions of people at risk of famine."  

Fact: Syria is Obama's war.

Fact: So is Iraq for the third time since GHW Bush's January 1991 Gulf War.

Fact: America's scramble for Africa's riches is the leading cause of its turmoil.

"In these places and others - including Gaza, Somalia, Yemen, and now West Africa with the Ebola outbreak - humanitarians assume great personal risk to help those in need."

"Even as they do their utmost to help the most vulnerable, all too often humanitarians are harassed, kidnapped, or killed for their commitment."  

"There were 251 incidents of major violence against aid workers in 30 countries in 2013. These attacks resulted in 460 aid workers killed, kidnapped, or seriously wounded; many of them heroic local staff working to help neighbors in need." 

"As the world’s largest humanitarian donor, the United States expresses its deepest respect to these individuals dedicated to serving others."  

"On behalf of the American people, we are proud to support their work and humbled by their sacrifice. The world needs more of their dedication, selflessness, and courage."

Fact: America doesn't give a damn about anything humanitarian.

Fact: Nor its own citizens risking their lives to help others.

Fact: The world needs peace, not war.

Fact: It needs governments of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly.

Fact: It needs freedom from US intervention.

Fact: It needs rule of law principles with teeth enough to hold violators fully accountable.

Fact: It needs America's permanent war economy re-industrialized for domestic needs.

Fact: It needs an end to Washington ravaging one country after another.

Fact: It needs what Franklin Roosevelt called an "economic bill of rights." It includes:

  • affordable housing, education and universal healthcare;

  • a livable minimum wage;

  • full-time, well-paid jobs with good benefits; and

  • freedom from unfair competition, monopolies and oligopolies.

Fact: America needs prosperity, not austerity.

Fact: It needs disappearing social justice reinvigorated.

Fact: it needs putting money back in public hands where it belongs.

Fact: It needs progressive, not regressive policies;

Fact: It need corporate power curbed.

Fact: It needs policies assuring banks too big to fail don't exist.

Fact: It needs money entirely out of politics;

Fact: it needs free, fair and open elections;

Fact: It needs eco-sanity over financial gain;

Fact: It needs support for organized labor;

Fact: It needs progressive taxation.

Fact: It needs fast disappearing fundamental freedoms reinvigorated and preserved.

America is more kleptocracy than democracy. It's too lawless and corrupt to fix. 

It's criminal class is bipartisan. It partners with corporate crooks. They exploit people at home and abroad. They do so for wealth, power and privilege.

Federal, state and local authorities operate extrajudicially. Constitutional and other rule of law principles are ignored.

Anyone can be arrested, charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned for any reason or none at all. By presidential diktat, any US citizen at home or abroad can be murdered. 

Others can be arrested and detained indefinitely uncharged in military prisons. Innocence is no defense. 

State terrorism is official policy at home and abroad. Police states operate this way. America is by far the worst.

Freedom, human rights, and other democratic values are non-starters. Supporting what's right is hazardous. 

Challenging Washington's right to dominate globally risks persecution or death. America is unfit to live in.

It's on a fast track toward full-blown tyranny. Its human rights record is deplorable. It's by far the world's worst. 

It's contemptuous of fundamental human and civil rights everyone deserves.

It's guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some. It ignores fundamental rule of law principles, standards and norms.

It breaches them repeatedly at home and abroad. It does so unaccountably. 

It commits horrific atrocities and other human rights abuses on an unprecedented scale. No other nation approaches its unprincipled history. 

None match its barbarism. None have done more harm to more people longer. None have less right to call itself democratic.

It is in name only. It rejects democratic principles at home and abroad. It demands top down unchallenged control. It does so extrajudicially.

It does it globally. It targets all independent leaders for regime change. It claims a divine right to replace them with subservient pro-Western stooges.

It wages war on its own people. It supports wealth, power and privilege. It lets monied interests run things. Duopoly power represents it.

Popular interests go begging. Social justice is pure fantasy. Rule of law principles don’t matter.

Gangsterism reflects official US policy. Accountability is absent. Government is secretive, ruthless and lawless. It's dressed up in legal and political mumbo jumbo to appear respectable.

Checks and balances don't exist. Nor separation of powers. Nor fundamental democratic rights.

Corporate-controlled media manipulate people duplicitously.
Managed news misinformation rubbish substitutes for real news, information and analysis.

At stake is world peace, equity and justice. It's freedom or fascism. It's democracy or tyranny. It's life or death. It's humanity's survival or demise.  

World Humanitarian Day was commemorated for the first time on August 19, 2009. Subsequent years focused on a particular theme.

This year it's the need for more humanitarian heroes. True ones giving all. Asking little or nothing in return.

Wanting to make a difference. Going all-out to do it. Wanting to make their nations better places to live it. Wanting better lives for everyone everywhere.

Waging peace, not war. Wanting equity and justice replacing human suffering.

Don't expect America to help. Its agenda excludes humanitarianism. Its rhetoric reflects one thing. Its policies another. 

They're polar opposite. They're pure evil. They reflect state terror writ large.

They exclude social justice. They include political, economic and hot wars.

They're waged on humanity. They may end up destroying it altogether.

Washington's quest for global dominance is its greatest threat. Its hegemonic appetite is insatiable. 

Its interests alone matter. Permanent wars without mercy are its option of choice. They're waged against defenseless countries.

They target America's most vulnerable at home. It bears repeating. They threaten humanity's survival.

Today's super weapons could end it in a day. Militarism is the national pastime. It's a national addiction.

The business of America is war. It may destroy its host, humanity and planet earth with it.

Super weapons make the unthinkable possible. So does the rage to use them. 

Human intelligence doesn't guarantee survival. Two world wars show another is possible. 

Einstein once said he didn't know what WW III weapons would be used. "(B)ut World War IV would be with sticks and stones."

The lesson is clear. Either we end wars or they'll end us. Today's super weapons leave no in between.

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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide

Western Leaders Support Israeli Genocide

By Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US-led Western support lets Israel get away with genocidal mass murder and destruction. More on this below.

Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the latest example of well planned, premeditated Israeli aggression on Palestine. 

It has nothing to do with Hamas rocket attacks, self-defense or security.

It has everything to do with maintaining occupation harshness, assuring unchallenged control of all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinians self-determination, stealing their land and resources, as well as pursuing a longstanding Greater Israel objective.

Israel believes its "promised land" extends from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates. It includes parts of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon at least to the Litani River.

It lawlessly occupies Syria's Golan Heights, as well as Lebanon's Ghajar village and 14-square mile water-rich Sheba Farms.

In 1982, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior adviser Oded Yinon published "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s." It's a regional conquest and dominance plan.

For Israel to survive, Yinon believed it must dominate the Middle East. It must become a world power.

All challengers must be eliminated. Israel wants Arab nations balkanized along ethnic and sectarian lines. 

It wants weakened, fragmented, divided, reconfigured controllable satellites. Its Judaization of Palestine master plan involves slow-motion genocide.

It wants Arabs excluded from all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants irreversible facts on the ground established.

Ideally, it wants Palestine entirely Judaized. It wants Arabs ethnically cleansed by whatever means possible.

In February 2012, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, commented after visiting Israel and Occupied Palestine, saying:

"From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities."  

"Throughout my visit, I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolitions and evictions, overcrowding, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements."

"The policies adopted by Israeli authorities severely restrict Palestinians from building legally through various means." 

"Among others, Israel has not provided Palestinians with the necessary planning framework to ensure that their basic housing and infrastructure needs are met." 

"Currently, tens of thousands of Palestinians are estimated to be at risk of their homes being demolished due to unregulated building."

At issue is pursuing maximum Judaization with minimum Arabs. Current policies reflect Yigal Allon's post-Six Day War plan.

It called for permanent militarized occupation. It mandated "maximum land with minimum Arabs." Its other elements included:

  • dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants exclusively for Jews;

  • annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;

  • controlling Greater Jerusalem;

  • claiming it as Israel's exclusive capital;

  • establishing settlements, military bases, free-firing zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves, no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas;

  • stealing Palestinian resources; and

  • crushing resistance by brutal subjugation and genocidal wars of aggression.

The late Edward Said once said "(y)ou cannot continue to victimize someone else" because of your own previous victimization or for any extrajudicial reason.

"We cannot fight for our rights and our history as well as future until we are armed with weapons of criticism and dedicated consciousness."

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French." 

"It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs." 

"Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."

Bertrand Russell once asked "(h)ow much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?

In his book titled "Peace Not Apartheid," Jimmy Carter said: 

"Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law."

"The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories."

President Nicolas Maduro said "(t)he Bolivarian Government of Venezuela vigorously condemns the unfair and disproportionate military response by the illegal state of Israel against the heroic Palestinian people."

Israel believes it has a divine right to operate extrajudicially. Western leaders offer full support.

Obama supports Israeli aggression. So do nearly all congressional members. They lie calling it Israel's right to self-defense. 

The Jewish state's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so as pretexts for colonization, occupation, apartheid, ruthless militarized repression and wars of aggression.

A July State Department statement lied saying "(n)o country should be expected to stand by while rocket attacks from a terrorist organization are launched into their country."

Fact: Hamas is no terrorist organization.

Fact: It's Palestine's democratically elected government.

Fact: It responds solely to Israeli aggression.

Fact: International law affirms its right to do so.

Fact: Israel is one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers.

Fact: It ignores international laws, norms and standards.

Fact: It operates extrajudicially.

Fact: It's guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some.

Fact: Western leaders turn a blind eye to what demands universal condemnation and accountability.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a convenient imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. 

He urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint. He was laregly silent on its genocidal war. 

He called legitimate Gazan rocket attacks in response to Israeli aggression "unacceptable."

British Prime Minister David Cameron "strongly condemned the appalling attacks being carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians…and underlined Israel's right to defend itself from them."

He ignored what speaks for itself. Hamas responds solely in self-defense. 

Its rockets are pinpricks compared to Israeli firepower. They killed two Israeli civilians and one Thai national.

Israel's genocidal war murdered over 2,065 Palestinians so far. It injured over 10,300 others. Many seriously. Some will die. Others will be maimed for life. Over 80% are civilians. Over 550 are children.

Israel indiscriminately turned large parts of Gaza to rubble. Entire residential neighborhoods were destroyed. 

Schools, hospitals, UN shelters and mosques were bombed and shelled. Not one square inch of Gaza is safe. 

State terrorism is official Israeli policy. So is lawless collective punishment.

Israel considers civilian men, women and children legitimate targets. So are civilian structures and infrastructure unrelated to military necessity.

Rogue terror states operate this way. America and Israel are the world's worst.

Ireland's Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore "condemn(ed) unreservedly the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel which pose such a grave threat to the population."

At the same time, he criticized mounting civilian casualties in Gaza.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier told Israeli Knesset members:

"I have come to tell you that the French people will always stand at the State of Israel's side whenever its existence is threatened."

He failed to explain its existence never faced existential threats except briefly during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For sure it faces none now.

Current French President Francois Hollande strongly supports Israel's right to "self-defense."

At the same time, he said "(a)ll efforts must be boosted to impose, now more than ever, a ceasefire in Gaza and end the suffering of the civilian population."

His government so far did nothing to do it. Nor any other Western one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier said "(i)t's the legitimate right of Israel to protect its own people."

She turns truth on its head holding Hamas alone responsible for current and past conflicts with Israel.

GW Bush earlier said "Hamas…show(s) its true colors as a terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist.'

"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel, and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire."

Fact: Hamas will recognize Israel when it unconditionally accepts Palestinian self-determination within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.

Fact: Israel bears full responsibility for sabotaging current and earlier efforts for sustainable peace and stability.

Israel is a lawless rogue terror state. Washington supports its brutal occupation and genocidal wars. So do other Western nations. 

As long as status quo conditions remain, justice for long-suffering Palestinians will remain elusive. 

Israeli genocidal wars of aggression will repeat. Unaccountable mass murder and destruction will 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.

Israel's Genocidal War Continues

Israel's Genocidal War Continues

by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, peace talks collapsed. Israel sabotaged them. It refused to negotiate in good faith. It's longstanding Israeli practice.

Straightaway fighting resumed. Hamas rockets are pinpricks compared to merciless Israeli air, ground and sea attacks.

Sophisticated weapons cause mass slaughter and destruction. Through early evening Wednesday Gaza time, at least 24 more Palestinians were reported killed.

They're mostly civilians. They include women and children. The Palestinian death toll exceeds 2,040. Over 10,200 were injured. Many seriously. Some will die. Casualties keep mounting.

Life for many thousands of Gazans won't ever be the same. Many lost homes and all their possessions. Losing loved ones matters most.

Israel reported striking "60 terror sites" overnight. Two individuals were targeted. An attempt to kill al-Qassam Brigades commander Muhammad Deif failed.

His wife and four-year-old daughter weren't as fortunate. An Israeli air strike murdered them in cold blood.

Haaretz calls Dief "a serial assassination-attempt survivor." He survived at least five attempts on his life. 

If it's now six, Netanyahu will face added pressure to show how over 10,000 Palestinian casualties and large parts of Gaza in ruins benefit Israel.

July 12, 2006 was the last known time Israel tried to kill Dief. He was wounded, survived, and continues leading Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades resistance righters.

Anti-Israeli world public opinion remains strong. Global BDS initiatives are increasing.

According to Haaretz, Killing Dief is important for Israel. Assassinations are lawless extrajudicial acts.

In Israel, they're "considered achievements that can be marketed to the public," said Haaretz. At the same time, they don't fundamentally change things on the ground.

SuperValu is Ireland's biggest food retailer. It decided no longer to sell Israeli products. In early August, it ordered its 232 stores to remove them from their shelves.

Major Irish toy retailer Smyths did the same thing. It displayed a poster saying Israeli products were removed from store shelves.

The decision followed a huge surge in Irish Palestinian support. It includes growing numbers of boycott initiatives.

Reports indicate other major European retailers did the same thing without announcing it publicly.

Boycotting Israel is more important than ever. Hitting it economically works. So does citing Israel's genocidal war on Gaza as reason enough to do it.

An August Hebrew business web site called The Marker said retailers fear the influence of growing numbers of consumers boycotting Israeli products.

A spokesman for major Israeli fruit grower/exporter EDOM said:

"Importers from Europe are telling us that they can't sell Israeli produce."

"One European buyer has told me that he had been blocked in several chains in Denmark and Sweden, and then in Belgium." 

"Last weekend, he told me that mangoes which had been packaged in the Netherlands, as always, and shipped to Ireland, were returned, claiming that Israeli produce would not be accepted."

"I've heard of major exporters from whom chains in southern France are no longer buying." 

"There is no official boycott, but everyone is afraid of selling Israeli fruits. We can only hope that things do not get worse."

An Israeli pomegranate grower cancelled an "entire work plan in the UK" because major chains don't want Israeli products.

Belgium and Scandinavia importers report similar stories. Israeli fruit juice producer Priniv lost a major Swedish contract.

It did so for refusing to keep potential retail buyers from knowing it came from Israel.

BDS initiatives continue gaining traction. Israel's Operation Protective Edge accelerated the process.

BDS efforts in recent years succeeded in pressuring growing numbers of European retailers to announce they won't carry products from illegal Israeli settlements or companies operating there.

UK-based retail giant Tesco is second only to Walmart in sales and profits. It's the latest company to boycott settlement-made products.

It won't be the last. In recent years, campaigns against Israeli produce gained considerable traction.

Growing it on stolen Palestinian land explains why. Jordan Valley settler leaders said BDS efforts cost Israeli companies around $29 million in lost sales.

Campaigns against Israeli produce intensified after Britain's Co-operative retail chain boycotted companies operating in settlements.

Similar campaigns are ongoing in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Israeli exporter Agrexco collapsed in liquidation after BDS initiatives got European retailers to cut business ties. 

Will other Israeli companies suffer the same fate? Will BDS campaigns prove the best way to hit Israel where it hurts most - its economy?

Will they succeed in achieving long denied justice for Palestinians when other efforts failed? 

All campaigns for justice are longterm struggles. Expect the fullness of time to have final say.

For four days, San Francisco area activists prevented a ship from Israel' largest shipping company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services (Zim Line), from unloading its cargo.

Initially, organizers planned a one-day action. August 16 was chosen. Zim Line's Zim Piraeus avoided Oakland completely.

It remained at sea. It did so to avoid thousands of protesters on the docks. On August 17, they returned.

They got International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) support. Local 10 honored their picket line. 

They refused to unload the ship. They did so until Tuesday overnight. According to ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees, "(a)ll the work was (finally) completed."

The Zim Piraeus "was untied this morning and cast off at 8:45."

Reports said it left Oakland overnight Tuesday supposedly bound for Los Angeles. It made a U-turn, returned to Oakland, and got its cargo unloaded.

According to Arab Resource and Organizing Center's Reem Assil:

"Zim has undoubtedly suffered significant economic losses, and we have set a powerful precedent for what international solidarity with Palestine, through boycott, divestment and sanctions, can look like."

In solidarity with Palestinian resistance, it's even more effective. On August 20, San Francisco's National Black Newspaper BayView published Samih Al Qasim's "Enemy of the Sun" Palestinian resistance poetry, saying:

"You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
You may burn my books, my poems
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village,
O enemy of the sun
I shall not compromise
and to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist."

It added former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's comments on American 16th century colonization.

He called it "the worst case of ethnocide ever recorded in human history." It depopulated his native Haiti almost to the last man, woman and child.

It annihilated over 95% of native peoples throughout the Americas.

"Dear citizens," said Aristide, "the roots of terrorism lie there! There, in the heart of slavery" and mass extermination.

Palestinians are today's Native Americans. Israel continues genocidal war against them. It's been ongoing for decades.

Unless stopped, potential extermination is possible. It happened in Haiti, America and elsewhere. 

We're all Palestinians. They deserve universal support to stop Israel from annihilating them altogether. 

Operation Protective Edge is an example of how far Israel will go to control all valued parts of Judea and Samaria. It includes genocidal mass slaughter to do it.

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.