Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jingoistic Media Scoundrels Bash China

Jingoistic Media Scoundrels Bash China

by Stephen Lendman

US major media function as a mouthpiece for America's imperial agenda - including full support for its endless direct and proxy naked aggression, global destabilization and alliance with some of the world's most ruthless despots.

Russia bashing is relentless. So is vilifying China - notably over its sovereign territorial water rights.

The South China Sea doesn't belong to America. You'd never know it based on US policy. More on this below.

The Center for a New American Security is a right-wing/hawkish think tank. Its board of directors includes a rogue's gallery of neocons and war profiteers.

It calls the South China Sea the "epicenter" of US geopolitical interests. It urges countering China's right to its own sovereign territory.

It wants its regional power and influence curbed. It claims constructing land formations in its own South China Sea waters amounts to "slow motion strategy to achieve" Asia/Pacific regional hegemony.

It urges more aggressive US action to counter China. On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter keynoted the ongoing Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

He asserted America's right to fly, sail and operate anywhere in the region it wishes - anywhere in the world.

He called for "an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants" in the South China Sea.

He accused China of being "out of step with international rules and norms." No country in world history violates them more consistently and egregiously than America.

National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute research associate Tseng Hui-Hi called Carter's remarks "an unnecessary provocation."

"The so-called international rules and norms (he) referred to is the (US dominated) East Asia order…"

"What the United States means by freedom of navigation is (its) freedom (to conduct) military activities in the region" - or anywhere else in the world it wishes.

China justifiably takes issue with US interfering in a part of the world not its own. People's Liberation Army Deputy Chief of Staff Admiral Sun Jianguo said Beijing may establish an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in South China Sea disputed waters based on its regional security assessment.

He called China's actions peaceful and legitimate. He warned other countries against "sow(ing) discord." He rejected Carter's anti-China remarks.

"We hope relevant countries will work together in the same direction to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and co-operation," he explained.

Not as long as US bullying wants things its way. It considers sovereign waters of other nations its own - in terms of building military bases near them, conducting overflight spying missions, and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, including belligerent provocations at its discretion.

It bears repeating. America's major electronic and print media are mouthpieces for US imperial interests. Irresponsible Russia and China bashing are consistently featured.

So are Big Lies. Fiction substitutes for hard facts. One-sided pro-US views dominate reports. Ones favorable to adversary countries are shunned.

On May 29, New York Times editors headlined  "Pushback in the South China Sea," saying:

"The United States has good reason to push back more forcefully against China's grab for power in the South China Sea…"

"Beijing has repeatedly ignored earlier warnings to moderate the aggressive behavior that is unsettling its regional neighbors and further undermining its relations with the United States."

Times editors want Washington to forcefully assert its (illegitimate) regional presence - a policy risking a dangerous Asian war after previous ones turned out disastrously.

America "cannot allow China's (legitimate) claims to go unchallenged," they said - maybe risking direct confrontation.

Beijing's claim to most South China Sea waters go back centuries. They've been traditional Chinese fishing grounds.

China's President Xi Jinping said "(w)e will never stir up trouble, but will react in the necessary way to the provocations of other countries."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said actions infringing on China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction jeopardize its security and violate international laws and norms.

Washington Post editors are notoriously hawkish. They urged "US firmness (to pressure) Asian nations" to unite with America against China.

In the past, they barely stopped short of urging war against US adversaries. Pushing China aggressively threatens world peace and security.

US major media march in lockstep with Washington's imperial agenda demanding condemnation.

China, like Russia, wants cooperative relations with all other countries. America wants them subservient to US hegemonic demands.

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.


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

New York Times Editors Love Ruthless Despots

New York Times Editors Love Ruthless Despots

by Stephen Lendman

They support wealth, power and privilege exclusively - Western ruling class monied interests most of all.

They love fascist regimes. They support US imperial ruthlessness - especially wars of aggression against nations threatening no one. They claim US geopolitical lawlessness is democracy building. 

They call naked Israeli aggression against defenseless Palestinians self-defense. They give feature op-ed space to one tinpot despot after another or figures espousing their interests. 

Social democrats, anti-war activists, and truth-tellers on issues mattering most are shunned.

The self-styled newspaper of record is a lying machine for lunatics infesting Washington - supporting their most ruthless policies.

Daily propaganda substitutes for what readers most need to know. Managed news misinformation Big Lies block out hard truths.

Try finding a single Times report, op-ed or editorial denouncing US-installed Ukrainian Nazi thugs - waging dirty war without mercy on their own citizens wanting democratic rights.

Or explaining Israeli high crimes against defenseless Palestinians - apartheid worse than South Africa's combined with genocidal wars of aggression.

Don't expect accounts of Obama's war on Yemen (planned months in advance) using Saudi-led regional proxies to do his dirty work.

Or over four years of war of aggression without mercy using IS and other takfiri terrorists as US proxies against Syria.

Don't expect truth and full disclosure on all Obama's wars of choice - lawless by any standard causing mass slaughter, destruction, chaos, instability and human misery wherever US forces or its proxies show up. 

Or his coup, assassination and regime change plots. His war on freedom - governing under a homeland police state apparatus more extensive than George Bush instituted.

His lawless spying on virtually everyone, everywhere worldwide. His consistent Big Lies - saying one thing and doing another. 

His war on whistleblowers for exposing government wrongdoing. His neocon lunatic infested regime - more dangerous than any preceding it. 

His targeting all independent governments for regime change - wanting US-controlled puppets installed.

Times editors love them. They abhor democrats. They're pro-Wall Street, pro-business, pro-war, pro-privilege, pro-super-wealth, anti-populist, anti-government of, by and for everyone equitably.

They ignore Obama's serial lying - his breaking every major promise made along with unprecedented class war on his watch.

His risking nuclear war with Russia. Times editors are out-in-front lying about nonexistent "Russian aggression" in Ukraine.

Irresponsible Putin bashing persists. His all-out efforts for regional peace and stability are ignored. 

So are his efforts for mutual cooperation among all nations, respect for their sovereignty, and observance of fundamental international law principles - polar opposite US policy wanting its rule imposed on others, tolerating no nation or organization against its lawless agenda.

Times editors support US-dominated NATO's killing machine - its war on humanity threatening world peace.

They vilified Hugo Chavez viciously throughout his tenure. Maduro now faces their irresponsible wrath. 

Bolivarian fairness is targeted. Times editors abhor social justice. They support major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs en route to eliminating them altogether.

They march in lockstep with Washington's imperial agenda, its war machine, its militarizing America, its turning US streets into battlegrounds.

They want the world made safe for dominant monied interests. Capital's divine right matters most. So does power enforced by militarized ruthlessness.

Times editors are neocon lunatics masquerading as journalists - mouthpieces for ruling class monied interests everyone should ignore.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

US/Saudi/Israeli Axis of Evil Against Yemen

US/Saudi/Israeli Axis of Evil Against Yemen

by Stephen Lendman

Yemen is Obama's war - planned months before Saudi-led proxies launched naked aggression.

It's been raging since March 26 with no end in sight. At stake is Yemeni sovereignty and the fate of its 24 million people suffering horrifically from relentless Saudi terror-bombing and shelling.

Israel is very much involved. In late April, Fars News reported its submarines and warplanes "readily observed" near Saudi Arabia's coastline since conflict began - according to unnamed foreign diplomats.

They said Riyadh secretly agreed decades ago to give Israeli submarines and warplanes access to Saudi waters.

They've been patrolling them since the start of conflict. According to Fars News, "(m)any regional officials…earlier revealed collaboration among the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia in the aggression against Yemen."

Weeks earlier, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said Washington and Israel are the main sponsors of aggression on Yemen.

Days after Saudi terror-bombing began, Fars News said Israeli warplanes participated in attacking Yemeni targets.

Yemeni Al-Haq political party secretary general Hassan Zayd said "Zionists are conducting a joint operation in coalition with Arabs." 

Everything is orchestrated and coordinated by Washington - including supplying weapons, intelligence and targets to strike.

On May 31, Haaretz headlined "Iranian report: Israeli arms found in Saudi embassy in Yemen," saying:

Houthi fighters found "a large cache of Israeli-made weapons and ammunition" in Riyadh's abandoned Sanaa embassy.

Documents were found indicating Washington plans a base on Yemen's Perim Island island off its southwest coast in the Red Sea near the entrance to the Bab al-Mandreb strait.

Riyadh reportedly asked Israel to supply "state-of-the-art weapons" to wage war on Houthis.

On May 25, Veterans Today reported two Israeli F-16s downed over Yemen.

Saying "Yemeni air defense forces shot down a Saudi marked fighter jet in the northwestern province of Sanaa in Yemen as it was conducting airstrikes." 

"This is the second F-16 shot down this week - clearly the strength of the Yemeni air defences has been grossly underestimated." 

"The Saudi F-16 fighter jet was shot down and subsequently crashed in the Bayt Khayran area of the district of Bani Harith in the northern part of Sanaa."

Wreckage of both planes "were found to be of types never supplied to an Arab nation, not Saudi Arabia" or others. "The only 'buyer' in the region for that type of plane is Israel."

At the same time, Press TV reported two downed Saudi warplanes in the same areas.

On May 29, Pravda said "Saudis have begun to wipe Yemen off the map…Shocking video reveals proton bombardment from a neutron bomb."

"Israel is reported to be the one to deploy such (weapons). Any doubts about the nuclear attack on Yemen attributed to Israel, as evidenced in two Israeli F-16s shot down and forensically identified, are now gone."

"Forbidden strikes have brought about a storm of worldwide protest."

"Obama has recently promised to provide every assistance including US military force to any 'external threat' the rich Arab states of the Gulf may face."

A previous article said Obama wants Yemen bombed back to the 19th century. US orchestrated aggression is systematically committing mass slaughter and destruction - mostly affecting civilian men, women and children.

Thousands have been murdered in cold blood, many more injured and around a million displaced.

It gets worse. Fars News cited Djibouti sources saying "out of every 100 ships of humanitarian aids sent for the Yemeni people, the cargoes of only 10 ships are delivered to the poor Arab nation and the rest is sold to African and Arab traders."

"These officials also forge documents and claim that the aid ships are on their way to Yemen and will unload their cargoes in Aden and al-Hudayda ports while aids are carried to the African and Arab ports."

According to Fars News, "aid committees" said 173 ships with humanitarian aid reached Yemeni ports. Aden sources indicated only four vessels reached its port, three carrying food.

If the report is accurate, most desperately needed aid isn't arriving. Profiteers are stealing it - perhaps as part of Obama's plan to cause maximum pain and suffering to force Houthis to surrender.

A previous article discussed Riyadh using US-supplied banned cluster bombs. In early May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported their use - citing credible evidence.

On May 31, HRW again reported on cluster munitions harming civilians in northern Yemen's Saada governorate. Its senior emergencies researcher Ole Solvang said the following:

"These weapons can’t distinguish military targets from civilians, and their unexploded submunitions threaten civilians, especially children, even long after the fighting."

HRW documented US-supplied Saudi use of cluster bombs in 2009. They can be fired by rockets, mortars, artillery or dropped from aircraft.

Cluster munitions are banned for good reason. They're terror weapons. They harm civilians. Unexploded ones look like toys. Children picking them up are killed or have limbs blown off.

Perhaps an entire generation of Yemeni children will be killed or maimed before conflict ends.

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.


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

Ban Ki-moon Supports Israeli High Crimes

Ban Ki-moon Supports Israeli High Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

He's a longstanding imperial tool. He consistently violates core UN Charter provisions - notably Chapter XV, Article 100.

It mandates secretary-generals "not (to) seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization."

"Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities."

He broke every major pledge made - including working for nuclear disarmament, advancing global health, sustainable development, education, saving lives, promoting democracy, supporting justice, championing human rights, and "creating a new dimension for the responsibility to protect."

His record reflects failure and betrayal. He consistently spurns UN Charter provisions. He's complicit with US, NATO and Israeli crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

He blames victims for imperial lawlessness committed against them. He consistently defends the indefensible.

He's dismissive of fundamental rule of law principles, human rights and other democratic values.

Leila Zerrougui is Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. She's a legal expert on human rights and administration of justice.

She called for holding Israel responsible for "grave crimes against children" in last summer's Gaza war.

She accused its forces of willful attacks on schools, hospitals and UN shelters. Ban rejected her request.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he hadn't made a final judgment - despite overwhelming, indisputable evidence of Israeli high crimes, murdering over 500 Palestinian children in cold blood.

A late April UN report blamed Israel for seven attacks on UN schools in Gaza - used as safe haven shelters.

At the time, Ban vowed to "spare no effort to ensure that such incidents will never be repeated."

He took no action whatever to do so. He unjustifiably accused Hamas of using these facilities to attack Israeli soldiers.

He ignored cold, calculated, premeditated IDF aggression. He failed to call for prosecuting Israeli war criminals. He's done nothing to hold them accountable.

On August 5, 2014, 129 organizations and distinguished individuals addressed him in an open letter.

They called on him to hold Israel responsible for high crimes or resign, saying in part:

"We, the undersigned Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations, are extremely disappointed by your performance, notably by your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which amount to war crimes."

"(Y)our statements have been either misleading, because they endorse and further Israeli false versions of facts, or contrary to the provisions established by international law and to the interests of its defenders, or because your words justify Israel’s violations and crimes."

"You have undeniably assumed a biased position toward the current attack on Gaza and Israeli violations in the West Bank by failing to clearly condemn Israeli unlawful actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, while, on the other hand, not hesitating to accuse - sometimes mistakenly - Palestinian combatants in Gaza of violations of international law."

"(Y)our statements endorse Israeli excuses to unlawfully, indiscriminately target" noncombatant civilians.

You "recklessly endorse (Israel's) version of facts, (irresponsibly) blaming Hamas" for its high crimes.

"(Y)ou make no distinction between oppressors and victims in all your statements."

"(Y)ou adopt and advocate Israeli false stories" while ignoring Palestinian hard truths.

"You do not maintain peace and security; nor do you ensure human rights."

It's "evident you have not…fulfill(ed) your mandate…(Y)our statements have not only allowed the continuance of Israel's killing our people, but also, encouraged States to continue providing Israel with impunity."

"As you cannot say the truth, we advise you to either drastically change your positioning - not only in words, but also in your efforts to, through the UN, effectively end the current conflict - or  resign." 

"For us, if you continue playing this role, you prove what our people feel, that you are a partner in, or at least an enabler of, the ongoing violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel against our families, children, women, elders - against our people."

Ban disgraces the office he holds. He supports what demands condemnation and accountability.

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.


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

Russia Travel Blacklist: Critics Ignore Their Own Policies

Russian Travel Blacklist: Critics Ignore Their Own Policies

by Stephen Lendman

Russia issued travel bans against 89 European Union political and military officials in response to imposed 2014 EU sanctions. Affected nations received a list of barred individuals.

In 2013, 18 Americans were denied entry in response to US sanctions and visa bans on 18 Russian officials. More on this below.

On Saturday, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said access to Russia was denied as a reciprocal step to EU actions.

"An answer to some European countries demanding to explain why these names have been put on the lists of persons banned from entering Russia is quite simple."

"This was done as a response to a sanctions campaign unleashed against Russia by some Germany-led countries of the European Union," the official explained.

Finnish national broadcasting reported the following:

"Moscow has imposed sanctions on European politicians, officials and the military in response to similar restriction measures adopted by the European Union last year because of the conflict over Ukraine."    

"The Russian 'blacklist' includes a total of 89 people, among them members of the European Parliament, high-ranking military, security and intelligence officials, as well as public figures." 

"The list includes officials from the Baltic countries, Poland, Sweden, Britain and Germany."

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov criticized Western media attempts to justify anti-Moscow policies, saying:

"We read many Western media reports, which try to justify the US anti-Russia sanctions policy, using quasi arguments." 

"This is an attempt to form some sort of legitimacy concerning the sanctions policy. This is disappointing, because the international law does not give an unambiguous interpretation that unilateral sanctions are a clear violation of the international law."

America and EU nations unjustifiably sanctioned Russia over its nonexistent interference in Ukraine's internal conflict.

Cold War politics heated up before it began. In December 2012, the so-called Magnitsky Act was enacted. Washington ludicrously called it "an important step in the cause of human rights and democracy" by a nation deploring both.

It was pure Russia bashing. Its Foreign Ministry responded angrily, saying:

"We regret that a US administration declaring its commitment to the development of stable and constructive bilateral relations was unable to defend its stated position against those who look to the past and see our country not as a partner, but rather an opponent - fully in line with the canons of the Cold War."

Putin called the Magnitsky measure a "purely political, unfriendly act."

At the time, Moscow promised "analogous restrictions" on US officials.

An earlier article explained Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian attorney. In 2009, he died in police custody. His death drew international media attention.

He specialized in civil law. He did anti-corruption work. He uncovered evidence of tax fraud. He implicated police, judiciary figures, tax officials, bankers, and Russia's mafia.

He accused them of stealing around $230 million dollars in 2007 through fraudulent tax refunds. 

On issues relating to courts, taxes, fines, and civil law, he was called the "go to guy" in Moscow.

In November 2008, he was arrested, imprisoned, and treated abusively. For 11 months he was denied family visits. Serious health problems developed. Inadequate treatment followed.

On November 16, 2009, he died for reasons attributed officially to a "rupture to the abdominal membrane" and subsequent heart attack.

Initially his death was blamed on medical neglect. Later claims suggested murder. Official investigations began. In July 2011, death by medical neglect was ruled.

The 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act normalized US/Russian trade relations. Doing so came with strings. Moscow raised legitimate objections.

The legislation imposed visa bans, asset freezes, and other sanctions on Russian nationals accused of committing human rights abuses.

In response, Moscow enacted Dima Yakovolev legislation - named after a Russian orphan adopted by a US family left to die of heat stroke in a parked car.

Lax US adoption laws and lack of follow-through prevent knowing how other Russian orphans are treated - as well as adopted children from other countries.

Dima Yakovlev legislation imposed visa bans and asset freezes on US officials accused of violating the rights of Russian citizens abroad.

Multiple rounds of US and EU sanctions irresponsibly targeted Russian officials and business in response to Ukrainian crisis conditions.

Western nations chose confrontation, not conflict resolution. Russia bashing remains official policy.

Unjustifiable criticism followed Russia's response. The EU's office in Moscow confirmed receipt of the list.

Its press and information section head, Soren Liborius, said "(w)e do not have additional information on the legal aspects, background and other things related to its drafting."

Separate from Western/Russian relations, fortress Europe is notorious for its increasing hostility toward immigrants and unwillingness to grant them asylum or refugee status.

Western aggression on Libya and Middle East countries caused a human flood desperate to escape conflict conditions - willing to risk their lives in unsafe, overcrowded vessels to reach Europe.

Instead of accepting responsibility for the problem they caused, EU nations approved Operation EUNAVFOR Med.

It establishes Mediterranean naval and air force authority to wage war on asylum seekers - including possible ground operations.

A mission statement calls for intercepting, seizing and destroying vessels in Libyan and international waters.

Security Council authorization is required - including for ground operations if requested.

Ten EU nations oppose granting asylum to desperate refugees seeking it - perhaps being willing to wage war to stop them on grounds of "militia and terrorist" threats to Europe.

US blacklisting is notorious. A so-called terrorist watchlist system involves a secret process requiring neither "concrete facts" or "irrefutable evidence" to designate US or foreign nationals as terrorists.

A March 2013 Watchlist Guidance document covers secret rules for including individuals in a terrorist database as well as others designated for no-fly list status.

Criteria for inclusion are secret. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Justification in all cases is possible harm to national security - a catchall process for the most egregious policies.

At the time, ACLU National Security Project head Hina Shamsi said:

"Instead of a watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future."

"On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out."

Once blacklisted, individuals guilty of nothing face enormous travel, employment and other obstacles.

Pre-9/11, 16 people were barred from flying. Now it's tens of thousands - in most cases unjustifiably based on unconfirmed suspicions or irresponsible targeting for political reasons.

America blacklists its own citizens as well as foreign nationals, yet complains when its officials are targeted. EU nations act the same way.

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.


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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tony Blair Not Leaving Middle East After All

Tony Blair Not Leaving Middle East After All

by Stephen Lendman

Despite resigning as Middle East envoy, he's maintaining his regional activities. They made him super-rich. It's anyone's guess how much wealth he amassed.

Greed drives him. He wants more. He's remaining active on regional affairs despite no formal role.

An overt racist, RT International reported he wants to be an Israeli/Arab bridge-builder - "drawing on relationships he has in the region."

He wants to build his considerable fortune to an even greater one. He wants his status as a world figure maintained. 

He strongly supports Israel and key regional Western allies - for sure not Palestinians and the Arab street overall.

He's an unindicted war criminal - complicit with US imperial aggression from Belgrade to Baghdad.

He made multi-millions supporting wrong over right. Blair, Inc. is a large enterprise - including hugely secretive offshore companies and trusts.

He parlayed his regional diplomatic role into a fortune. He abused the post he held. He plans continued abuse by sticking around.

His predecessor, James Wolfensohn, treated his responsibilities as a full-time job. Blair hardly showed up - a few times a month, if that. His remaining time was spent  making money.

He has his own consultancy firm - Tony Blair Associates in London. It's described as a secretive complex mix of companies. You’re known by the company you keep.

Blair advises regional despots, earns millions in speaking fees - millions more from New York-based JP Morgan Chase and Switzerland-based insurer Zurich International.

Stop the War UK lists Kuwait, the UAE, Kazakhstan, Albania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Colombia, Brazil, and Mongolia as nation-state Blair clients. 

Egypt and Oman may be next. Other clients included the Democratic Republic of Congo and Serbia.

A former unnamed Blair, Inc. associate said "(h)e moves in mysterious ways. The Blair organization is like a sort of government with different departments doing different things."

"His office is run on Downing Street lines. It's like he's never not been PM." Before resigning as Middle East envoy, Council for Arab-British Understanding's Chris Doyle said:

"Tony Blair has to decide between his Quartet role as envoy to one of the most dangerous conflicts on the planet, his burgeoning media role in pushing for intervention in Iraq and Syria and his business interests across the globe including in the Middle East. These roles are incompatible and create a huge conflict of interest."

Blair is a crass opportunist parlaying his political background and contacts into lucrative business deals.

He established a post-Downing Street career working with disreputable clients - cashing in big.

On May 30, London's Independent asked if he stepped down as Middle East envoy "to spend even more time with his dictators?"

His only accomplishment was making money. His conflicts of interest are rife. He lives like royalty with a number of multi-million dollar properties - 31 in Britain and five abroad, according to The Independent.

"Secretive off-the-shelf companies called Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures" are central to Blair's corporate empire.

Years of investigation show he prostituted himself in pursuing Mammon, The Independent added.

Blair's world is complex, secretive, opaque, distasteful, immoral and perhaps illegal given the rogue cast of characters he cast his lot with.

"Political friends and foes alike are left cold with disgust," said The Independent.

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.


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

Iran Nuclear Talks: Raising the Bar

Iran Nuclear Talks: Raising the Bar

by Stephen Lendman

On April 1, P5+1 countries and Iran agreed "in principle on all key aspects of a deal."

An article discussing the announcement said hold the cheers. It's a long way from preliminary to final agreement - especially with Washington involved, serving its own and Israeli interests.

It's longer still believing America will honor what it agrees to. Its sordid history suggests otherwise - breaching and/or reinterpreting one agreement and convention after another to suit its political agenda.

Washington's only rules are its own - made up based on geopolitical considerations and enforced belligerently.

P5+1 nations and Iran agreed on a June 30 deadline to consummate final deal terms.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Geneva for continued talks - including with John Kerry.

Important disagreements remain. On Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said talks might extend beyond end of June.

"All issues are on the table in this round of talks, and we will work on them concurrently," he explained.

Washington raised the bar. It wants access to Iran's military sites. Days earlier, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said:

"If we don’t get the assurances we need on the access to possible military dimension-related sites or activities, that’s going to be a problem for us." 

"We and Iran have agreed that we will undertake a process to address possible military dimensions (of past nuclear work), and part of that includes access."

"Under the Additional Protocol... which Iran will implement and has said they will implement as part of this deal, the IAEA does get access."

"If we cannot agree in the final instance to something that meets our bottom line for what we need in terms of access, we’re not going to sign a final deal. And that’s just something we’ve been very, very clear about."

Her remarks followed Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei saying Iran won't allow military site inspections. Preliminary agreement terms make no such demand.

Following new US ones, Ayatollah Khamenei said "(t)hey are making new comments in the negotiations."

"Regarding the inspections, we have said that we will not allow foreigners to carry out inspections of any military sites."

"The enemies should know that the Iranian nation and officials will, by no means, give in to excessive demands and bullying."

In early May, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said "Iran will brook no excessive demands." 

"The agreed parameters are those confirmed by the two sides in Lausanne and these parameters need to be stipulated in a written agreement by Iran and the P5+1."

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Araqchi said "(i)nterviews with scientists and inspections of military centers are fully rejected, but talks continue within the framework of the procedures envisaged in the Additional Protocol."

It allows some access to military sites but not unrestricted inspections or interviews with Iranian scientists.

Araqchi explained discussions are continuing on how the Additional Protocol should be implemented. It permits snap nuclear site inspections - restricted access only to military ones when justified.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "France will not accept a deal if it is not clear that inspections can be done at all Iranian installations, including military sites."

Was he speaking for his government, Washington and/or Israel?

"Yes to an agreement, but not to an agreement that will enable Iran to have the atomic bomb. That is the position of France," he said.

In Geneva, Zarif said "(w)e will discuss the latest conditions of the negotiations, and we will decide how to proceed."

Last Month, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi said nothing in the Additional Protocol mandates non-nuclear inspections - only their "vicinities."

Everyone has their own interpretations, he added. Iran so far agreed to much more than it's gotten in return.

If Washington keeps raising the bar irresponsibly, perhaps no deal is possible. Iran justifiably won't relinquish its legitimate rights - nor should 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.


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

Relentless Putin Bashing

Relentless Putin Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

Washington and its echo chamber media attack Putin for asserting Russian sovereign independence and opposing America's imperial agenda.

Big Lies substitute for hard truths. On Thursday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke repeated the canard about "Russian forces…on the territory of a sovereign neighbor, Ukraine, where they are working with, allied with, aiding and fighting alongside separatists whom Russia also backs on sovereign Ukrainian territory."

At the same time, he ignored Kiev aggression, pretended its dirty war without mercy on Donbass is an "anti-terrorist operation," and stressed America's support for "what's been happening in eastern Ukraine remains unchanged."

He lied claiming "Russia continues to fuel the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, initiating attacks together with the separatists." 

"And we do know that the combined Russian and separatist forces continue to flout the terms of the February 12th Minsk implementation plan."

Truth is polar opposite. Washington continues supporting Kiev's naked aggression on Donbass.

Russia has done more than all other nations combined to resolve the conflict diplomatically.

It's forces aren't committing "naked aggression." They're not fighting alongside Donbass militias or supplying them with weapons and munitions.

Russia isn't fueling conflict. It's going all-out to stop it diplomatically. It fully complies with Minsk ceasefire terms. Kiev is a serial violator.

US scoundrel media bashing is relentless. On May 28, Wall Street Journal editors headlined "The Russians Are Coming, Again."

They irresponsibly blamed Moscow for repeated Kiev ceasefire breaches. The following reads like bad fiction:

"Russian proxies on Saturday shelled Avdiyivka, a town in eastern Ukraine held by the Kiev government, killing a Ukrainian service member and a civilian in an attack that also shut down a coke-manufacturing plant." 

"On Sunday pro-Kremlin forces fired on Ukrainian positions near the port of Mariupol, killing a Ukrainian soldier and wounding two."

"These are the latest in a growing series of Russian violations of the so-called Minsk II deal…"

Truth is polar opposite Journal editor Big Lies. Kiev is a serial aggressor, Russia a preeminent peacemaker.

Journal editors quoted an unnamed Western diplomat (likely a US neocon or UK counterpart) saying:

"The familiar pattern is recurring. Russia makes high-level assurances that it wants peace, and meanwhile stokes the violence on the ground with fighters and arms."

Ukrainian defense ministry advisor Alexey Makukhin lied claiming so-called documents showing 50 - 80 daily Russian ceasefire violations.

There are none in contrast to multiple daily blatant Kiev breaches - including willfully targeting civilian neighborhoods, murdering noncombatant men, women and children.

Journal editors ludicrously said "Russian special forces…are infiltrating Ukrainian territory." They cite two captured Russian nationals - civilians, not active duty soldiers.

They quoted from an Atlantic Council right-wing think tank propaganda report claiming nonexistent satellite imagery showing "Russian training camps stationed along the Ukrainian border are the staging ground for Russian military equipment transported into Ukraine, soon to join the separatist arsenal, and for Russian soldiers mobilized across Russian to cross into Ukraine."

Not a shred of evidence supports these baseless accusations. Plenty debunks it.

On May 29, New York Times editors gave notorious Putin basher/serial liar Masha Gessen feature op-ed space for at least the second time this year.

She a former Washington-controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director propagandist.

Her job is proliferating Big Lies - systematically avoiding hard truths, putting out rubbish no legitimate editors would touch.

New York Times editors featured her op-ed titled "The Kremlin vs. The NGOs.

She bashed Russia's July 2014 law requiring politically active NGOs getting funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents."

Religious organizations, state companies and NGOs they founded aren't affected by the new law.

Gessen ignored America's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA, 1938). It requires agents or organizations representing the interests of foreign powers in a "political or quasi-political capacity" to disclose their relationship and provide information about their activities and financing.

The law remains in force, amended in 1966, focusing on agents or groups working with foreign power seeking economic or political advantage by influencing US decision-making.

Other countries have similar laws. Putin explained Russia's position saying:

"As far as the law is concerned, or rather the part of it that causes great discussions - whether the organizations that are engaged in internal political activities should register - we will not change this position."

"This is because when people are doing some political work inside the country and receive money from abroad, the society has the right to know what kind of organization this is, and where they get the funds to sponsor their existence."

Gessen also criticized Russia's "undesirable organizations" law - irresponsibly claiming it's "used to hit very hard what remained of civil society."

The measure justifiably only targets foreign organizations posing a "threat to the constitutional order and defense capability or the security of the Russian state" - in other words, subversive groups up to mischief.

Russian officials call the law preventative - without naming any specific foreign organizations.

Given Washington's longstanding hostility, Russia needs its national security protected - including legislatively.

Not according to Gessen, ignoring Russia's free society and open media shaming their Western counterparts.

Moscow "will not quit until it has vacuumed up every last bit of free thought and independent activity," she blustered.

On May 28, Washington Post editors discussed what they called opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza's "mysterious illness."

He collapsed in his office and was hospitalized. According to WaPo editors - suffering from "double pneumonia, pancreatitis and kidney failure."

They quoted his wife suggesting he was poisoned, claiming his condition remained grave.

The hospital's deputy head doctor later said his heart, lungs and stomach are OK. His illness was kidney related. "It could have been (caused by eating) spoiled yogurt or something else."

No evidence suggested poisoning. WaPo editors indicated otherwise claiming "crude attacks on peaceful opponents in a country that wishes to be, and often is, treated as a global power."

They used Kara-Murza's treatable illness unrelated to Russian politics as an example of "the truth about (its) murderous regime."

They ignored Washington's ongoing multiple direct and proxy wars on humanity responsible for millions of deaths and unspeakable human misery in the new millennium alone - besides homeland police repression and turning US streets into battlegrounds.

US policy toward Russia remains hardline - same old business as usual masquerading as new leaf softening when John Kerry and Victoria Nuland meet with Putin. Media propaganda alone explains Washington's dirty agenda. So do daily State Department press briefings.

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.


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

Former Police State Leader/Wanted Man Appointed Ukrainian Governor

Former Police State Leader/Wanted Man Appointed Ukrainian Governor

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article called Ukraine a gangster state for good reason. It's a Nazi-infested regime run by illegitimate putschist thugs waging endless war on its own people.

Former Georgian president, US favorite, fugitive from justice Mikhail Saakashvili was appointed (not elected) Odessa regional governor.

Washington's orchestrated 2003 Georgian Rose Revolution elevated him to power. He established a ruthless, despotic, corrupt regime while maintaining close ties to US-dominated NATO and Israel.

He ruled by state terror, turning Georgia into a police state. Human and civil rights were suspended.

Opposition media were shut down. Political opponents were eliminated by arrests, imprisonments and suspicious deaths.

Saakashvili is a world-class thug. He's a US favorite. In Georgia, he's a wanted man. His assets were frozen by court order.

A previous article explained he faces corruption and other criminal charges. An international warrant was issued for his arrest. An Interpol Red Notice was served against him.

He'd been living comfortably in New York. In February, Poroshenko appointed him a non-staff advisor.

Despite a Ukraine/Georgia extradition agreement, he’s granted safe haven status in Kiev.

In August 2008, he was complicit with Washington in attacking South Ossetia. Russia was irresponsibly blamed for intervening to protect its own citizens - after hundreds were ruthlessly slaughtered.

A 2010 Independent Fact Finding Mission Report ruled Saakashvili responsible for naked aggression.

He's militantly anti-Russian. He fits right in with other Ukrainian thugs - fascist criminals by any standard.

Appointing him Odessa regional governor is like making an assassin police chief or a pyromaniac fire commissioner.

Saakashvili unsurprisingly supported 2014 Maidan coup d'etat thuggery installing Ukraine's current regime.

He was granted Ukrainian citizenship, a legal requirement for his new position. Via Twitter, he said he "loves Odessa."

On Saturday, Ukrainian state media said Poroshenko would introduce him as new Odessa Regional State Administration governor in the city.

He'll replace current incumbent businessman/MP Ihor Palytsia, appointed on May 6, 2014 - four days after last year's regime orchestrated Odessa massacre murdering hundreds of anti-fascists.

Saavashvili's appointment suggests perhaps Kiev wants increased state terror crackdowns in a city with a large Russian-speaking minority and anti-fascist spirit.

Regime opponents, democracy supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists are being targeted, arrested, brutalized and detained extrajudicially - on trumped up charges. 

Guilt by accusation is commonplace police state practice. Russian nationals are vulnerable for any reason or none at all.

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev for repeated ceasefire violations, saying:

"I think that by now all the major Western states that follow the situation and possess facts, understand very clearly that, for a number of reasons, the Ukrainian authorities are the major obstacle on the way to the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements."

On Thursday, Donetsk People's Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko affirmed DPR's right to respond to Kiev provocations appropriately, saying:

"As regards the shelling of Gorlovka, once again, the Ukrainian side showed that it wouldn’t carry out the peace agreement. They prefer to violate it blatantly." 

"Thus, Poroshenko’s signature on the Minsk-2 agreement was nothing but a deliberate deception, not only against us, but also against his country and the rest of the world." 

"Until now, the DPR has plainly fulfilled all its obligations. However, we reserve the right to act at our own discretion."

One Kiev provocation too many may instigate resumed full-scale war. Deceptive rhetoric aside, Washington won't tolerate peace and stability in Donbass.

Obama didn't wage proxy war to quit. More than daily Kiev shelling remains ongoing. Fort Russ reported on "a raging special ops war" ignored by Western media.

Are covert US special forces and/or Blackwater-type paramilitaries involved? Fort Russ said Georgian US School of the Americas graduates "are swarming in Donbass." 

Polish soldiers are involved. US special forces are training Ukrainian troops in Mariupol - about 70 miles south of Donetsk.

Donbass military intelligence reported 19 subversive groups operating in the region  - "formed from the commandos arrived from beyond the borders of Ukraine," a clear indication of endless overt and covert war.

On May 22, Lugansk residents observed "suspicious…armed men in camouflage calling themselves militias," said Fort Russ.

They attacked an Interior Ministry response team. Some of the "strangers" were killed. One captured individual wore a Western-style camouflaged uniform, a mask and had a list of unidentified phone numbers.

On May 23 in Donetsk, small arms fire targeted a Joint Center for Control and Coordination (SCCC) car. Its Russian office head and other officers were traveling in it at the time. The attack was foiled.

On the same day, noted anti-regime Ghost Brigade commander Alexey Mozgovoy, his spokeswoman and two bodyguards were ambushed and killed.

His significant loss will be made up for by others taking his place. Donbass' liberating struggle is important.

Courageous self-defense forces intend doing what it takes to stay free. Putin said he won't let Donbass be destroyed. 

He's gone all-out to resolve things diplomatically - so far without success because of US obstructionism and rage for war. 

Expect endless fighting ahead. It's the American way.

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.


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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Palestinian Bid to Expel Israel from FIFA Dropped

Palestinian Bid to Expel Israel from FIFA Dropped

by Stephen Lendman

At the 11th hour, Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub dropped a bid to expel Israel from FIFA shortly before it was to be voted on.

Israeli abuses against Palestinian footballers are longstanding - including harassment, travel restrictions, assaults, arrests and at times killings.

Competitive sports of any kind should refuse inclusion of rogue regimes like Israel guilty of every imaginable high crime - including racist abuse of Palestinian athletes for praying to the wrong God.

Instead of banishing Israel straightaway, FIFA outrageously proposed forming a committee to monitor whether Palestinian footballers have free movement, Israeli racism, and status of Israeli league teams based in illegal settlements.

Reelected FIFA president Sepp Blatter opposed ousting Israel. Instead of condemning its lawlessness, he absurdly said "(t)hose that have more will share with those who have less." 

"In this case, it is up to Israel to share a little bit more with Palestine." Israel is a racist police state. It shares nothing. It's all take and no give. 

Rajoub takes orders from Abbas and other corrupt PA officials - longstanding Israeli collaborators, saying one thing publicly, doing another when it matters most.

Rajoub lied saying "Palestine has not withdrawn its application completely, but merely suspended it."

When the chips were down, he folded. It didn't surprise. Abbas notoriously betrays Palestinians for special benefits he derives. His rhetoric belies his policies.

Rajoub was unconvincing saying "(a) lot of colleagues, whom I respect and whose commitment to the ethics and values of the game I appreciate, told me how painful it is to hear of the issue of suspension."

"But I want to protect the Palestinian footballers, to let them enjoy the privilege of the game as others do."

"I think it's time to raise the red card against racism and humiliation in Palestine and everywhere. It is time."

Not when meaningless rhetoric substitutes for resoluteness - an attribute corrupt PA officials lack. Why they submitted an Israeli expulsion bid in the first place they'll have to explain - likely knowing they'd fold under pressure.

Two female protesters interrupted Blatter's Friday address shouting "Israel out." Security guards removed them.

Rajoub submitted Palestine's bid months earlier. He pretended to be firm all along.

Days earlier he said "(o)ur requests are clear, just and fair: Freedom of movement, end of racism and expulsion of all teams from illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine competing in the Israeli league."

Racist abuse of Palestinian footballers is longstanding Israeli policy. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once called it "shocking that (European football's governing body - UEFA) shows total insensitivity to the blatant and entrenched discrimination inflicted on Palestinian sportsmen and women by Israel."

Its abuse of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak undermined a promising career. In 2009, Israeli security thugs arrested him for trying to cross from Gaza to the West Bank to participate in a match - his legitimate right.

He was horrifically abused, lawlessly kept in administrative detention for three years uncharged. His lawyers were denied access to fabricated evidence against him.

He was guilty of the crime of football - freed in summer 2012 after a 92 day hunger strike. Israel ruthlessly targets other Palestinian footballers like Sarsak. 

Netanyahu commented on Friday's developments saying the outcome "proved our international efforts paid off and brought about the failure of the Palestinian Authority's attempt to expel us from FIFA…"

Israeli bullying and extreme pressure are notorious along with supportive likeminded tactics from Washington.

Palestinians stood little chance of getting Israel ousted or suspended. America and other Western rogue states won't tolerate it.

Occupation harshness persists. Abusing Palestinian footballers gives new meaning to the term "foul."

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.


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