Thursday, May 05, 2016

Fantasy Ceasefire in Aleppo

Fantasy Ceasefire in Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

Since announced in late February, ceasefire has been more fantasy than real. Conflict rages in key parts of Syria.

Washington, NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their rogue state allies continue supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, facilitating the passage of thousands of death squad killers into Syria, arming, training and directing them.

Ceasefire and peace are unattainable under these conditions. John Kerry said Assad he has until August 1 to initiate “transition.”

“So either something happens in these next few months, or they (Syria, Russia and Iran) are asking for a very different track.”

If Assad does not comply with US regime change demands, “there will clearly be repercussions…As long as Assad is there, the opposition (aka US-backed terrorists) is not going to stop fighting.”

Moscow and Washington agreed to a 48-hour “regime of silence” in Aleppo, beginning 1:00AM local time, May 5. A similar “silence” period in Latakia province and suburban Damascus was extended, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov saying:

“During a phone conversation between the heads of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of opposing sides and the US center in Amman, Jordan, the American side backed Russia’s proposal on the renewal of a ‘regime of silence’ in Eastern Ghouta and northern Latakia for 24 hours (until 12:00 am on May 5) and the prolongation of ‘the regime of silence’ in the city of Aleppo for 48 hours (until 12 am on May 6).”

Konashenkov called the situation in Aleppo complicated, most parts of the city held by government forces, other areas controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra and “the so-called opposition.”

He failed to explain all anti-government forces are US/NATO/Saudi/Israeli backed terrorists. Separately, Sergey Lavrov said Moscow rejected Washington’s attempt to include Jabhat al-Nusra in the “regime of silence.”

“We managed to exclude this as it is absolutely unacceptable,” Lavrov stressed. He stopped short of explaining hundreds of US special forces deployed to northern Syria are directly aiding terrorist fighters.

US/Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) coordinator Riyad Hijab called for a so-called anti-Assad Friends of the Syrian People Group extraordinary meeting in Paris “(i)n light of” government forces, aided by Russian air power, making steady advances against terrorist groups they support.

Three Russian Geneva conflict resolution initiatives since 2012, along with other diplomatic efforts, failed to end over five years of US instigated naked aggression on Syria, using ISIS and other terrorist groups as imperial foot soldiers.

Very few sources report accurately on what’s happening, how it began, and why peace remains unattainable - because Washington rejects it.

Longstanding US plans call for regime change. Syria is being raped and destroyed like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen to install another puppet regime America controls.

Russia, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba and other independent states await the same fate (by color revolutions or military force) if what remains of the free world doesn’t unite against a monster wanting dominion over planet earth, its resources, and populations.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Erdogan Ousts Prime Minister, Consolidates Power

Erdogan Ousts Prime Minister, Consolidates Power

by Stephen Lendman

Despots dispense with protocol and other democratic procedures, hardening rule by ousting competitors, replacing them with officials they control.

State-controlled media claimed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his decision to leave on his own accord over differences with colleagues, not failure to do his job properly.

“The fact that my term lasted far shorter than four years is not a decision of mine but a necessity,” he said, hinting at pressure from Erdogan to leave while urging party unity.

He served 20 months as prime minister, planning his departure at a May 22 extraordinary convention. Erdogan made him prime minister. Some believe he’ll install his son-in-law to replace him, current energy minister Berat Albayrak.

Turkish columnist Murat Yetkin said the nation “de facto changed to a presidential system” as of now, changing Erdogan’s nominally ceremonial role to chief executive. As long as he rules unrestrained, his prime minister doesn’t matter.

Friction escalated between both men in recent weeks. On the one hand, Davutoglu called Erdogan a “legendary leader.” On the other, he named himself new ruling AKP party leader.

He opposed Erdogan’s plan to rule unrestrained, intending constitutional changes to assure it. Commenting before both men met yesterday, Erdogan said Turkish officials should never forget how they got their jobs.

Turkish analyst Soner Cagaptay said Erdogan intends consolidating power more firmly than any leader in the nation’s modern history.

He already rules despotically. He wants unchallenged control.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Cruz and Kasich Concessions Clear Way for Trump's GOP Nomination

Cruz and Kasich Concessions Clear Way for Trump’s GOP Nomination

by Stephen Lendman

All the muscle and dirty tricks Republican party bosses and media scoundrels threw at Trump failed. Bashing made him stronger, emerging last man standing after Cruz and Kasich conceded.

His challenges include overcoming the anybody but Trump/dump Trump campaign, uniting Republicans behind him.

The New York Times said “many Republican leaders refrained from falling in line behind Mr. Trump, with dozens avoiding inquiries about where they stood or saying they wanted Mr. Trump to detail his policies or tone down his language first.” 

“Others tied themselves in knots as they praised and criticized Mr. Trump in a single breath, or suggested that they could abide Mr. Trump but loathed his agenda.”

Times editors bashed him relentlessly throughout his campaign, supporting war goddess, Wall Street favorite, scandal-ridden Hillary Clinton instead.

Calling Trump the “least prepared presidential candidate nominated by a major party in modern times,” they mocked him, adding “the party of Lincoln (bears) the brand of Donald Trump.”

Neocon Washington Post editors called “reboot(ing) him into an acceptable candidate inconceivable.” His victory isn’t “an encouraging portent.”

“His nomination is a calamity for the Republican party,” adding “he can be stopped, and he must be.”

A same-day WaPo column called his triumph an “improbable coup,” a hostile Republican party takeover.

Wall Street Journal editors denigrated him throughout his campaign, now saying he “wasn’t our first choice, or even 15th, but the reality is that more GOP voters preferred him to the alternatives” - without explaining why.

They’re fed up with a system excluding their rights and welfare. Believing Trump intends changing things is self-delusion. 

Journal editors are resigned to either Trump or Clinton succeeding Obama, saying they “have to make the best of that reality.”

Reuters said “there was no mad dash to support (Trump) as is typically the case when a presumptive nominee is crowned.”

Through their spokesmen, Bush I and II indicated they’ll refrain from commenting on the race ahead. Jeb Bush dropped out of contention early despite strong party backing.

Months remain before party nominating conventions and November elections. America’s duopoly party system assures fascist governance continuing unimpeded no matter who succeeds Obama.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Scandalous Scoundrel Media Big Lies on Syria

Scandalous Scoundrel Media Big Lies on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

John Pilger calls journalism the first casualty of war - “a weapon of war, a virulent censorship” by omission or commission.

Managed news misinformation and Big Lies substitute for truth and full disclosure. A culture of deceit persists.

Media coverage of Obama’s war on Syria is some of the most outrageous in US history - truth turned on its head, Assad and Russia maliciously blamed for US-led high crimes.

Syria was invaded, an imperial victim. There’s nothing civil about ongoing conflict - raping and destroying a sovereign state. Washington wants another colonized trophy, an Israeli rival eliminated, Iran isolated.

Media scoundrels blame Russia and Syria for US-led high crimes, The New York Times a lead instrument of media misinformation, a lying machine for wealth, power and privileged.

It editors ignored Assad’s right to defend his nation and people against hordes of US-supported terrorists, blaming him for raging conflict, notably in Aleppo.

They maintain the myth of “moderate rebels,” lied saying Assad keeps killing civilians “and recently struck a hospital and three clinics in Aleppo.” Terrorists and a US warplane were responsible.

Times editors, correspondents and contributors systematically ignore horrendous US high crimes in all its war theaters - at the same time, turning truth on its head, falsely accusing Assad of “increasing disregard for international law…” 

US aggression against Syria continues, an entire nation and its people victimized by its ruthlessness.

Endless conflict shows no signs of ending. Millions are suffering horrifically. Peace talks are farcical with no chance for success - cessation of hostilities more myth than reality.

What country is next on America’s hit list? All independent ones are vulnerable.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russia Bashing at NATO Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Russia Bashing at NATO Changing of the Guard Ceremony

by Stephen Lendman

NATO is a US-dominated instrument of war, a killing machine for offense, not defense, at a time world threats are only ones Washington and its allies invent.

From Brussels, US-appointed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised retiring US alliance commander General Philip Breedlove and US General Curtis Scaparrotti replacing him.

He lied, saying Alliance members “face challenges to the east and to our south.” He turned truth on its head, claiming NATO “exist(s) for one reason - to keep our people safe.”

Saying “NATO is ready and up to the challenge” is code language for endless planned wars of aggression.

Scaparotti distorted truth, claiming the Alliance is “committed to the principles of democracy, individual liberty and rule of law.” Its mandate is polar opposite - a killing machine serving US imperial interests.

He said he’ll continue where his predecessor left off, adapting to security challenges - despite no threats warranting the NATO’s existence. 

It should have been disbanded a generation ago when Soviet Russia dissolved. Instead it provocatively expanded east to its Federation borders. 

Its planned greater military presence requires a Moscow response, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, saying “a number of measures (are being taken) to respond to” NATO’s threat.

By yearend, “two new divisions will be formed in the Western Military District and one in the Southern Military District.”

Military training and preparedness are increasing, along with production of advanced weapons. Russia threatens no one. Unlike America, it seeks world peace and stability.

Scaparrotti’s claim about a “resurgent Russia striving to project itself as a (menacing) world power” is disproved by cold, hard facts.

Calling terrorism a threat ignores its US creation, support and use against sovereign governments Washington wants toppled.

Scaparrotti urged greater militarization “in the spirit of being able to fight tonight if deterrence fails.”

Russia’s lower house State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov said Scaparrotti’s remarks “surpassed his predecessor’s in war-mongering.”

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained “a resurgent Russia” threatens no other nation, adding Moscow can’t ignore any potential threats to its national security. It will continue defending its interests responsibly.

America is the greatest threat to world peace, Russia the best hope to preserve it. The things most people don’t know are the most important ones.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Another Meaningless Security Council Resolution on Syria

Another Meaningless Security Council Resolution on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, Security Council members unanimously adopted Resolution 2286: Protection of civilians in armed conflict.

It strongly condemned attacking medical facilities and personnel, the sick and wounded in conflict areas, demanding an end of impunity for responsible parties.

Since Obama launched naked aggression on Syria, using ISIS and other terrorist groups as proxy foot soldiers, Physicians for Human Rights documented over 360 attacks on around 250 medical facilities - killing over 730 doctors, nurses and other personnel.

US-supported Saudi terror-bombing in Yemen damaged or destroyed over 600 medical facilities. One or more US warplanes willfully destroyed MSF’s Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital, killing dozens, injuring many more, a heinous unpunished war crime.

Most casualties of war are civilians. America considers them legitimate targets. So does Israel and other rogue US allies. Resolution 2286 changed nothing, a meaningless gesture.

US warplanes bomb medical facilities and other nonmilitary targets in all its wars of aggression.

Longtime imperial tool Ban Ki-moon’s words rang hollow, saying “(s)uch attacks must end.” Throughout his tenure, he did nothing to condemn US-led NATO or Israeli aggression - nothing to demand accountability for the highest of high crimes.

Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed for bombing Syrian medical facilities earlier, despite no evidence proving their responsibility - plenty showing US-supported terrorists and American warplanes are behind these attacks.

Who’ll enforce Resolution 2286 when Washington and its rogue allies flout its principles repeatedly - with impunity? Who’ll condemn US-led NATO aggression against one nonbelligerent nation after another?

Who’ll be held responsible for the millions of post-9/11 deaths alone - from US-instigated wars of aggression, related violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation?

Who’ll stop US-led NATO’s killing machine? UN resolutions accomplish nothing. Rules of war don’t prevent violations.

Endless high crimes against peace continue - America, Israel and their rogue partners most responsible.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Israel Stoking More Conflict With Gaza

Israel Stoking More Conflict With Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Three Israeli wars of aggression on illegally besieged Gaza since December 2008 perhaps aren’t enough for Israel’s killing machine.

Repeated inter-war ground, air and sea attacks occur regularly. Is Israel preparing the ground for another major assault - blaming Gazan victims like it always does for its high crimes against peace?

On Wednesday, Israeli tanks shelled two Hamas watchtowers provocatively. Senior Hamas official Musheer al-Masri called the attacks “dangerous developments and an obvious breach of the ceasefire in Gaza.”

“The Israeli occupation should avoid testing the Palestinian resistance. The enemy should realize that the toll would be in proportion to the Israeli crimes.”

“The Israeli escalation is a new development, and the Palestinian resistance is (deciding) how to react.”

Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades responded with mortar fire on an Israeli bulldozer. An Interior Ministry source reported no casualties, just damage. 

Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daud Shihab, said “Israel has not ceased its hostilities against the Palestinian people since the ceasefire was agreed on in 2014.”

“There are continued onslaughts and infiltrations in both Gaza and the West Bank and in other locations in Palestine.”

Gaza remains illegally blockaded since June 2007 - for political, not security reasons. According to an April UN report, about 75,000 Palestinians remain displaced from Israel’s summer 2014 naked aggression.

Affected families are forced to “liv(e) in store rooms, unfinished units, substandard apartments in relatives’ or neighbors’ buildings” or wherever else they can find shelter.

Some live in damaged homes, others in prefabricated shelters. War and displacement affected women and children hardest.

Over 30% of displaced females “liv(e) in shelter conditions…lacking safety, dignity and privacy, including tents, makeshift shelters, destroyed houses or the open air.”

Nearly all affected families lack resources and construction supplies to rebuild. Most funds pledged for reconstruction weren’t delivered.

Israel blocks or greatly restricts building supplies entering the Strip on the phony pretext of being useful to Hamas or other resistance groups.

The UN warned “(a)t the present rate, it will take years to address the massive reconstruction and repair needs, adding to the general frustration of the population following years of movement restrictions, rising unemployment and poverty.”

Gazans suffer hugely under open-air prison conditions. Israel attacks the Strip at its discretion.

Are things heading for another war? Does Israel want remaining parts of Gaza turned to rubble - thousands more of its residents slaughtered or injured?

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Cruz Concedes: Trump the Presumptive GOP Nominee


Cruz Concedes: Trump the Presumptive GOP Nominee

by Stephen Lendman

Trump’s overwhelming defeat of Cruz in Tuesday’s Indiana primary knocked his only serious challenger out of the race.

GOP primary season climaxed yesterday. Cruz is out, Kasich no more than a footnote. The Wall Street Journal put it succinctly, saying “Mr. Trump will now be the Republican nominee for president.”

The New York Times said the “once unimaginable” aspirant is “all but certain to roll into the Republican convention in July with the party establishment’s official but uneasy embrace.”

Its choice is him or Hillary Clinton, virtually certain to be Democrat nominee despite losing to Sanders yesterday.

Trump went from long-shot contender to defeating all 16 rivals. His bombast helped more than hurt. Bashing made him stronger.

A previous article called him a duopoly power anomaly - a demagogic billionaire business as usual aspirant coming across to supporters as populist.

He appeals to voters against bipartisan politics they deplore, sounding anti-establishment despite nothing in his campaign suggesting it.

He wins support with inflammatory comments, saying what voters don’t hear from other candidates. He’ll be the first GOP standard bearer never having served in public office since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

He wasn’t a registered Republican until 2012. He struck the right nerves at the right time to defeat his rivals. 

It’s too early to tell if he can defeat Clinton in November. Given his success so far, he’s a formidable contender for the nation’s top office.

Relishing his Tuesday triumph, he said “(i)t has been some unbelievable day and evening and year. Never been through anything like this.”

“We had a tremendous victory tonight…We’re going after Hillary Clinton. She will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor president.”

During Tuesday voting, he called “lying Ted…more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing. (He) doesn’t have the temperament to be president of the United States.”

Cruz conceded, saying he couldn’t continue without “a viable path to victory. Tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.”

Discounting her Tuesday loss to Sanders, Clinton said she’s “focused on moving into the general election,” calling Trump “a candidate who will literally say or do anything.”

Expect a bruising post-convention campaign. Whoever succeeds Obama, ordinary Americans lose. Nothing in prospect suggests responsible change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump Supports Expanding Illegal Israeli Settlements


Trump Supports Expanding Illegal Israeli Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is an outlaw state, a serial human rights abuser, asserting the right to occupy and colonize Palestine - a lawless act enforced by military might. 

Settlements violate international law, prioritize land theft and prevent peace. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

Displacing Palestinians, destroying their homes, other property and personal possessions, stealing their land, along with letting settlers occupy it directly contravenes Article 49.

Since 1967, Israel established 124 illegal West Bank settlements, about 100 outposts and 12 neighbors on stolen Palestinian land.

Trump is no friend of Palestine. On May 3, London’s Daily Mail reported him saying settlement expansions should “keep going…keep moving forward.” He rejects a pause in construction.

He brazenly lied, claiming “thousands of missiles are being launched into Israel. Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?”

The right of self-defense is sacrosanct in international law. Rockets aren’t fired on Israel preemptively, only in response to IDF aggression.

Trump is no different from longstanding bipartisan US policy toward Israel/Palestine - on the one hand, saying he prefers remaining “neutral” so he’s better able to broker peace - unattainable for nearly half a century because Israel wants endless conflict.

On the other, he one-sidedly supports Israel, ignoring its ruthless agenda, calling Arab-hating war criminal Netanyahu “a very good guy. I think I’d have a very good relationship with him.”

He ludicrously claimed “Israel was never properly treated” by America, saying “Obama has been extremely bad to Israel,” calling the important Iranian nuclear deal “a disaster for Israel” - a shameless perversion of truth.

At AIPAC’s March conference, he lied, saying Iran aims “to destabilize and dominate the region.” He called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” vowing to move America’s embassy there, a flagrant international law violation if implemented.

He supports unlimited settlement construction. Maybe he plans building a regional Trump Tower on stolen Palestinian land.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

European Commission Rewards Erdogan's High Crimes

European Commission Rewards Erdogan’s High Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

After bribing Turkey with billions of euros to keep desperate refugees out of Europe, EC members are poised to recommend visa-free travel for its citizens for stays up to 90 days, despite Ankara failing to fulfill all demanded conditions, mainly most important ones.

If approved as expected on Wednesday, millions of Turks will have visa-free access to 26 EU countries, Britain and Ireland excluded. They have their own visa requirements. 

On Wednesday, European Commission for Competition Margrethe Vestager tweeted “(t)he European Commission is today proposing…to lift the visa requirements for the citizens of Turkey (provided) Ankara “as a matter of urgency” fulfills EU criteria.

EC Vice President Frans Timmermans said unfinished work remains, (b)ut if Turkey sustains the progress made and continues at the same pace, they can meet the remaining benchmarks.”

Only Turks with biometric passports would be allowed entry visa-free. At the same time, it’s unclear if all Turkish citizens are included in the deal. 

What applies to some may not to others. All EU nations agreed to the arrangement by end of June. It remains for their parliaments and European Parliament to vote approval.

Some states are leery. France and Germany called for suspending visa-free travel if Turkish nationals illegally remain in Europe longer than their permitted time to stay. They want visa-free travel suspended for six months if agreed on criteria aren’t met. 

Turkey is a fascist police state. It’s being rewarded despite horrific high crimes against peace, war on press freedom, criminalizing dissent, rubber-stamp courts, and other flagrant human rights abuses.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Outgoing NATO Commander Calls the Alliance "A Linchpin for Peace"

Outgoing NATO Commander Calls the Alliance “A Linchpin for Peace”

by Stephen Lendman

US-dominated NATO is an imperial tool, a global killing machine, maintained for offense, not defense.

Its members and partners comprise nearly one-third of world nations. Exponential expansion is planned, Washington wanting NATO’s footprint spread globally on every continent, wanting it used as an instrument for world conquest and domination.

Since its 78-day rape of Yugoslavia in 1999, US-controlled NATO ravaged and destroyed one country after another.

In his Washington Post op-ed, outgoing Alliance Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Philip Breedlove twisted reality, calling “the utility of the alliance…self-evident,” adding:

It’s “arguably the most critical linchpin supporting stability on the continent…(T)he United States absolutely needs…a NATO that is strong, resilient and united.”

Fact: It’s a US-dominated instrument for endless wars of aggression.

Fact: It’s the greatest threat to world peace.

Fact: When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, its existence was no longer justified. 

Fact: Instead of disbanding, it expanded without justification. Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff said from the mid-1990s to 2005, it “evolved from a regional alliance based in Western Europe to a global force (for) undoing the entire post-World War II order of which the UN was the cornerstone.”

It evolved into an instrument for advancing America’s imperium, a force for endless wars, not peace.

It had nothing to do with helping “rebuild the continent from the ravages of WW II.” Post-war Europe faced no threat from devastated Soviet Russia, needing many years to rebuild its war-shattered country.

After pledging no NATO eastward expansion post-1991, 10 former Warsaw Pact countries were added along with two other nations formed from the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Breedlove twisted truth calling them liberated, transformed into “thriving democracies.” He claimed NATO is critical to confront “an arc of instability and aggression threatening our interests and our allies stretching from the Arctic, through Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and across North Africa.”

US-dominated NATO bears full responsibility. Its rage for war threatens world peace. The Alliance never was nor will it ever be “the centerpiece to peace and stability in Europe…an institution indispensable in today’s dangerous world.”

It’s a global menace, an instrument for war, instability and chaos, a killing machine threatening humanity’s survival.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital

by Stephen Lendman

All terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are US-backed, armed, funded, trained and directed to commit atrocities and other war crimes. Civilians are willfully targeted.

All attacks on residential areas, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other nonmilitary targets are carried out by US-supported terrorists, Pentagon warplanes, Israel or other coalition partners.

Government forces and Russian aircraft have nothing to do with attacking nonmilitary targets. Accusations otherwise are fabricated.

Unexplained is the obvious. Why would they kill civilians they’re waging war on terrorism to protect? Why would they damage or destroy non-military sites, achieving no strategic objective?

On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliated terrorist groups “fired 65 rocket shells” on Aleppo residential areas, killing at least 16, injuring 68 others.

Aleppo’s Health Directorate said most victims were civilian women and children. Al-Dhabeet Hospital was attacked, killing three women, injuring 17 other women and children, causing “extensive material damage.”

SANA said “terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and terrorist groups affiliated to it fired scores of rocket shells at the neighborhoods of al-Midan, al-Furqan, Nile Street, al-Mukambo, al-Khalidiye, Jami’et al-Zahra’a, al-Ameriye, al-Ramousa, al-Masharqa, al-Muhafaza, al-Meridian, al-Serian, al-Sabeel, and al-Jamiliye in Aleppo city.”

Syria’s military said it’s responding with “appropriate measures.” Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said government “patience is running out and if (terrorists) don’t stop targeting civilians in the coming hours…they will pay a high price.” 

Washington and its rogue partners are using the attack to call for ceasefire in Aleppo province - so terrorists they support get time to regroup for more intensive attacks.

As this is written, Sergey Lavrov said he hopes it will be announced “in the coming hours” - another futile attempt to halt Washington’s rage for war and regime change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

The Obama Doctrine: America Should Rule the World


The Obama Doctrine: America Should Rule the World

by Stephen Lendman

In his May 2 Washington Post op-ed, Obama pushed for adopting the anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-environment, pro-corporate predation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to let America write the rules on global trade and everything else.

He hyped “a boon to American businesses…” He lied claiming benefits to “American workers.” TPP’s adoption would be major step toward relegating them to neo-serfdom.

It gives America “a leg up” on China, excluded from TPP. Obama lied, claiming US standards are consumer and eco-friendly, unlike its Asian rival.

America was thirdworldized on his watch, accelerating a race to the bottom begun under his Republican and Democrat predecessors.

TPP and its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) counterpart, if adopted, will finish the job - empowering business without restraints at the expense of humanity and the environment.

Responding to Greenpeace’s Monday leak of TTIP documents, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said they prove “the United States is trying to export its failed regulatory model.”

If successful, corporate predators more than ever will rule the world unimpeded. The health and welfare of planet earth and its population will be jeopardized.

“US rulemaking…tilt(s) (one way), favor(ing) Big Business.” TTIP and TPP offer “a pseudo-scientific cloak to industry’s apocalyptic claims about the costs of the next regulation and operate at loggerheads with application of the precautionary principle.”

Ahead of Greenpeace’s Monday leak, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach said “the deeply flawed, pro-corporate process and agenda of the TTIP must be rejected.” Separately, she’s said the same thing about TPP.

Obama’s op-ed pushed for US rules running the world, other nations forced to go along, saying TPP and TTIP “put American workers first and (assure) we write the rules of the road for trade (and everything else) in the 21st century.”

Both deals assure unrestrained corporate empowerment over public welfare and safety. They enforce profit-making at the expense of everything else.

They don’t make America “stronger and safer.” They have nothing to do with “national security. They destroy “higher-paying” jobs. They don’t create them.

They don’t make America less competitive, let “prosperity pass us by,” or deny US business free access to foreign markets.

Obama Big Lies are whoppers! “If we don’t get (both deals done), employers across America will lose the chance to compete with other countries’ companies on a level playing field,” he ranted.

TPP and TTIP tilt the “playing field” heavily in favor of US corporate predators at the expense of public health, welfare and safety.

Obama insists “America should write the rules. America should call the shots.” Other countries and world populations should go along or else.

The world Obama wants isn’t safe or fit to live in. Unrestrained corporate empowerment harms ordinary people everywhere.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

John Kerry's Phony Push for Peace in Syria

John Kerry’s Phony Push for Peace in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Washington wants war, not peace. It continues endless aggression on Syria for regime change - using proxy terrorist foot soldiers to do its dirty work. 

Conflict will continue as long as its objective remains unattained. Its calls for peace ring hollow. On Monday, John Kerry met with pro-Western UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura. 

They discussed collapsed peace talks ahead of attempting another farcical effort to revive them. Kerry lied, saying Washington seeks “not just re-implementation of cessation, but a path forward for (it) to hold.”

US-backed terrorists continue ravaging parts of Aleppo they control, Syrian forces with Russian aerial support remain committed to liberate the city.

Endless war rages. Washington systematically undermines Moscow’s best efforts to restore peace and stability. Kerry criticized vital Russian and Syrian war on terrorism.

He lied, saying “(y)ou cannot have legitimate political talks about peace when the parties at the table have both signed up to an agreement which calls for a full cessation of hostilities countrywide as well as a full delivery of humanitarian materials countrywide, and yet one party is blatantly violating that agreement.”

Fact: Washington, its imperial partners, and terrorist foot soldiers alone flagrantly violate Security Council Resolution 2254, calling for cessation of hostilities among other provisions. 

Fact: International law affirms the right of self-defense. Assad responsibly aims to liberate Syria from US-backed terrorists killing civilians, committing atrocities, wanting his legitimate government toppled.

Washington’s regional partners include Riyadh’s despotic monarchy, other likeminded Gulf States, tyrannical Turkey under Erdogan and rogue state Israel - allied wanting Syria ravaged and destroyed.

Qatar-controlled Al Jazeera reported many (unnamed) diplomats, saying “Russia is not properly invested in this political process…(I)nstead (it’s) pursuing or allowing (its) allies to pursue a military option…(Things) are close to collapse…”

Al Jazeera and other media scoundrels fail to explain Washington bears full responsibility. Its rogue partners share it.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Endangered Media Freedom in Israel

Endangered Media Freedom in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) said Israeli violations against media freedoms reached “a new peak compared to what has been monitored (in) past years.”

It documented 407 Israeli media freedom violations last year, the largest number since it began monitoring them a decade ago - journalists and media outlets targeted on the phony pretexts of engaging in “incitement” or ties to terrorist groups.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Israel 101st among world nations on media freedom, saying “journalists face a ‘military censorship’ and must deal with censorship orders.”

“Abuses of the Israeli army against Palestinian and foreign journalists are common, especially while covering demonstrations.”

Media freedom ends where alleged national security begins. Since last October, Israel arrested 19 Palestinian journalists without just cause, 10 still imprisoned, six held administratively uncharged, others on phony accusations of involvement in “incitement” or ties to terrorist organizations.

According to PA information ministry head Mohammed Khalifa, Israel unjustifiably claims “everything that’s happening is due to incitement, not to the occupation and its injustices.”

“Therefore an attempt has been made to turn all Palestinian journalists into inciters and harm those who bring the Palestinian story to local or world attention…This is another way for the occupation to intimidate the Palestinians.”

On April 23, Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate board member Omar Nazzal was arrested at the Israeli/Jordanian border while en route abroad to attend a European Federation of Journalists conference.

He’s unjustly administratively detained uncharged for nonexistent “involvement in a terrorist organization,” according to Shin Bet.

He committed no crimes. Israel wants him silenced. His attorney, Mahmoud Hassan, believes he was targeted for recent articles claiming Israel assassinated Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Omar Nafef Zayed in Bulgaria last February.

On April 6, journalist Saheh Dweik was arrested and charged with social media incitement - alleging she called for violence. She called accusations fabricated.

Journalist Muhammad al-Qiq hunger struck over three months against his unlawful administrative detention uncharged. He’ll be released on May 21 provided Israel doesn’t renege on its agreement.

Medical science can’t explain how he managed to survive so long, ingesting only water. His ordeal took a terrible toll on his body, perhaps permanent damage.

Free expression is grounds for arrest in Israel. Exposing regime wrongdoing risks assassination. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demand Nazzal’s immediate release.

IFJ president Jim Boumelha called it “ shocking to hear that a participant to a congress for journalists from all over Europe has been arrested by the Israeli authorities on his way to attend and banged in Etzion prison without any reason being given.”

Delegates representing European-wide journalists demand the release of their colleague. Israel invents phony charges or allegations, justifying the unjustifiable.

They’re targeted for doing their jobs responsibly, unjustly accused of terrorism, ties to so-called terrorist groups, or involvement in incitement.

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stating:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontier.”

In December 1993, the UN General Assembly declared May 3 World Press Freedom Day. 

It “celebrate(s) the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess(es) the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend(s) the media from attacks on their independence; (and) pay(s) tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Press freedom is under attack in Israel, America, and other Western societies. Unchecked government ruthlessness endangers truth-telling.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Monday, May 02, 2016

Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal a Stealth Corporate Coup

Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal a Stealth Corporate Coup

by Stephen Lendman

The so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), like its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) counterpart, isn’t about growth-promoting trade benefitting everyone equitably.

Just the opposite!! Both assault personal freedoms. They’re anti-consumer, anti-public welfare, anti-ecosanity business sweetheart deals, giving corporate predators control over the lives of populations in all countries agreeing to these deals.

It lets them operate unaccountably, overriding sovereign legal restraints at the expense of societies fit to live in.

Greenpeace leaked 248 pages of classified documents being negotiated, saying TTIP “threaten(s) to have far-reaching implications for the environment and the lives of more than 800 million citizens in the EU and US.”

At stake is “a huge transfer of power from people to big business.” Personal freedoms, consumer protections and environmental safeguards are threatened.

TTIP rules empower profit-making above human health, welfare, labor rights, digital freedom and virtually all other consumer safeguards. 

They prevent nations from “protect(ing) human, animal and plant life or health.” They fail to “conserv(e) exhaustible natural resources.”

Corporate empowerment under TTIP and TTP assures dismantling vital safety standards protecting human health and welfare.

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch lists the top TTIP threats as follows:

“Wall Street: Roll Back Financial Reforms

Agribusiness: Weaken Food Safety Standards

Oil and Gas Corporations: Halt Green Energy Policies

Monsanto, et al: Remove GMO Labels and Limits

Chemical Corporations: Allow Exposure to Untested Chemicals

Transnational Corporations: Empower Investor Attacks on Safeguards

Chronic Job Offshorers: Ban Buy American, Buy Local and Buy Green Policies

Corporate think tanks: Debunking Bogus Claims of TTIP Economic Gains”

TPP and TTIP will thirdworldize participating nations, benefitting business and investor interests at the expense of most others.

War on Want’s executive director John Hillary believes leaking TTIP’s hellish anti-consumer, anti-public safety and welfare details means “the beginning of the end for this much hated deal.”

He’s right if sustained mass actions against it refuse to tolerate its enactment. He’s wrong if people complain and do little or nothing.

It’s up to us to kill this monster and its TPP counterpart!! At stake is freedom or slavery!!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russian v. EU Refugee Policy

Russian v. EU Refugee Policy

by Stephen Lendman

Since US-supported Kiev putschists waged war on their own people, Russia welcomed well over a million Ukrainian refugees, rejecting fascist rule, most deciding never to return.

Earlier, Sergey Lavrov said “Ukrainian refugees should be given the right to live where they want.” On May 1, Putin made it easier, approving a new law, simplifying the issuance of residence permits to refugees from Ukraine and other countries.

It skips the former temporary permit system for one year for refugees and their families. According to Federal Migration Service acting head Yekaterina Yegorova, residence permission now grants its holders the right to housing, to be registered where they’re domiciled, and be eligible for mortgage loans.

Contrast Russia’s refugee policy with Europe’s - colluding with fascist Turkey to warehouse desperate people fleeing US/NATO/Riyadh/Israeli war theaters, wanting as many as possible kept out of EU countries - flagrantly breaching international humanitarian law.

Arrivals are unwanted, deplorably mistreated, confined under squalid conditions, denied their fundamental rights.

In Turkey, they’re “abandoned to a life of destitution,” according to Amnesty International. Many are ruthlessly deported, others lethally shot by border guards.

EU countries complicit with Washington, Turkey, Riyadh, Israel and other rogue partners created the severest refugee crisis since WW II - rejecting their responsibility to shoulder a solution.

Russia welcomes Ukrainian refugees fleeing fascist belligerence. Fortress Europe wants desperate people seeking safe havens from war zones kept out. 

So does America. Turkey is illegally deporting thousands of Syrian refugees back home, blocking entry to others, lethally shooting some.

Brussels continues turning a blind eye. EU officials want millions of desperate people denied their legal right to asylum. They’re uncaring about countless numbers drowning at sea or perishing from diseases or deprivation.

They established a policy designed to force refugees to go elsewhere, stay home, or be confined in concentration camps outside Europe - detained indefinitely against their will under deplorable conditions.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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