Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fear-Mongering Ahead of Another US False Flag?

Fear-Mongering Ahead of Another US False Flag?

by Stephen Lendman

Fear-mongering is sinister. It's reprehensible. It's longstanding US policy. So are false flags. 

Merriam-Webster calls them "deliberate gross distortion(s) of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic."

Wikipedia says they're "covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities."

Official reports hype Big Lies. MSM scoundrels regurgitate them. Truth is systematically buried. Deception substitutes for reality. 

False flags are pretexts for militarism, wars, occupations, colonization, resource theft, and exploiting populations for profit. 

They facilitate ruthlessness. They foster police state repression against freedom.

Post-9/11, global war on terror lawlessness followed. It rages out-of-control. One country after another is ravaged, destroyed and pillaged. 

No end of conflicts loom. Permanent war is official US policy.

Big Lies hype nonexistent threats. Regurgitated ad nauseam gets most people to believe them.

Obama, John Kerry and other top US officials lie. They do so repeatedly. They say ISIS/ISIL/IS intends attacking America. It poses a unique threat, they claim.

Homeland Security officials lied claiming "credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border" through Mexico.

John Kerry claims an "urgency to move on ISIL." Chuck Hagel said it's "beyond just a terrorist group."

It's "as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen," he says.

Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey calls IS a "trans-regional and global threat."

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly compares IS to Hitler's Nazis.

"The situation is almost identical to what happened in the 1930s, when Hitler and his Nazi thugs were gaining power," he claims.

"There is no difference in the mentality of the Nazis and ISIS. They are identical in their hate and tactics."

Hyperbole substitutes for reality. It's US daily television fare. It's fear-mongering writ large. It's deadly deception. It ignores what everyone most needs to know.

IS a US creation. It's used strategically as both ally and enemy.

US special forces and CIA operatives train, arm and direct its fighters in Jordan. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are involved. 

They're sent cross border to Syria. They're used to wage proxy war for regime change.

Big Lies conceal US policy. Its belligerence. Its objectives. Its lawless agenda. 

Its longstanding war on humanity. Its quest for global dominance. Its willingness to risk world peace to achieve it.

How many previous times were so-called unique threats hyped? How often did US state terrorism follow? 

How many premeditated wars? How much death, destruction and unspeakable human misery?

In late August 2013, John Kerry repeated Colin Powell's infamous February 5, 2003 Security Council moment. It was shameless deception.

Plans were set. The die was cast. Weeks later, America bombed, invaded and occupied Iraq. The cradle of civilization was destroyed. 

No WMDs existed. It was well-known. Powell knew. He lied claiming otherwise.

"(F)acts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction," he said.

"(E)very statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are the facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."

"The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world."

None existed. Powell knew it. He lied. He suppressed vital truths. Doing so is longstanding US policy.

In September 2002, Bush national security advisor Condoleezza Rice claimed "no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime (posed) a danger to the United States and to its allies, to our interests."

"(W)e have evidence, increasing evidence, that he continues his march toward weapons of mass destruction," she said.

"(G)iven what we experienced on September 11, I don't think anyone wants to wait for the 100% surety that (he'll use them against America) because (we'll only know for certain) when something lands on our territory."

"We can't afford to wait" for mushroom-shaped cloud certainty, Rice added.

No WMDs existed. No nuclear weapons program. No imminent mushroom-shaped cloud. No truth and full disclosure. 

Big Lies substituted. Longstanding US policy features them. Willful deception facilitates planned imperial adventurism.

How much of a threat do Islamic militants pose? Does IS threaten America's homeland?

It gets worse. On September 20, The New York Times hyped the latest Big Lie. It headlined "US Suspects More Direct Threats Beyond ISIS," saying:

"(I)ntelligence and law enforcement officials said another Syrian group, led by a shadowy figure who was once among Osama bin Laden's inner circle, posed a more direct threat to America and Europe."

It's called "Khorasan." It "emerged in the past year" in Syria. It may plan striking "the United States or its installations overseas with a terror attack," said The Times.

Unnamed officials say Muhsin al-Fadhli heads it. They called him "a senior Qaeda operative."

"(H)e was among a small group of people who knew about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks before they were launched."

Fact check:

A previous article called 9/11 the mother of all Big Lies. Myths drowned out reality.

Bin Laden had nothing to do with it. Or so-called "crazed Arabs." It was well-planned state-sponsored terrorism.

It was used to wage premeditated imperial wars. They're ongoing. More are planned.

All wars are based on lies. Truth would out reasons for waging them. It would prevent them. 

It would further peace. It would sabotage America's imperial ambitions.

Little is known about Khorasan, said The Times. Unnamed 
"intelligence, law enforcement and military officials (claim It's) made up of Qaeda operatives from across the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa." 

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said "in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State."

Other US officials warn it's more sinister. It intends striking overseas, they claim. They do so with no verifiable evidence.

An anonymous senior US law enforcement official said:

"What you have is a growing body of extremists from around the world who are coming in and taking advantage of the ungoverned areas and creating informal ad hoc groups that are not directly aligned with ISIS or Nusra."

In 2012, State Department officials said al-Fadhi heads Al Qaeda's Iranian branch. He controls regional "movement of funds and operatives."

He does so from his native Kuwait. He works with wealthy "jihadist donors." He supports Syrian opposition fighters.

James Phillips is a right-wing Heritage Foundation senior research fellow. He writes extensively on Middle East issues and international terrorism.

He hypes threats ad nauseam. He's a Committee on the Present Danger member. CPD members include a rogue's gallery of right-wing extremists.

Former CIA head James Woolsey, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former senators Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyle are co-chairmen.

CPD's mission is winning "the war on terror." It supports America's permanent war policy.

Phillips claims Khorasan recruits "European and American Muslim militants that form part of the rebel coalition fighting Syria's Assad regime."

"It hopes to train and deploy these groups, who hold American and European passports, for attacks against Western targets."

He calls Khorasan Al Qaeda's new arm against America. It's allied with Al Nusra in Syria, says Phillips. 

It conducts terrorist attacks abroad, he claims. It works with prominent Al Qaeda bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri, he says.

It intends supplying bombs to US and other foreign jihadists returning home, he maintains.

He provides no verifiable evidence backing his claims. It's hard separating facts from fiction. 

CPD has "one goal," it says: "to stiffen American resolve to confront the challenge presented by terrorism and the ideologies that drive it."

It hypes what it calls "the new 'present danger' - militant Islamism and the terrorism (it) spawn(s)."

"(M)ilitant Islamists seek to bend the world to their vision."

"They are eager to attack - indeed, to kill - anyone who stands in their way."  

"In the face of this global threat, which transcends state borders and recognizes no law, complacency and ignorance are as dangerous as military weakness."

CPD partners with likeminded groups. It promotes war. It deplores peace. It hypes threats. 

It wants US interests defended at all costs. At the expense of all others. 

Its ideologically over-the-top. It promotes conflicts and instability. It threatens world peace.

Its members include over 100 former right-wing White House officials, congressional members, cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and others.

Their mission is hyping threats. It's fear-mongering. It's creating enemies where none exist. 

It's promoting permanent wars on humanity. It's going all-out to prevent peace and stability. 

It's up to ordinary people to challenge them. It's exposing their dark side ideology. 

Another world is possible with commitment. With unity. With solidarity. With participatory democracy. With social, economic and political justice.

With resisting capital's divine right. With respecting fundamental freedoms. With popular struggles to protect them.

With supporting right over wrong. With government of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly. With ending imperial wars before they end us.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

MSM War on Venezuela

MSM War on Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman

MSM scoundrels support monied interests. They deplore popular ones. 

They substitute managed news misinformation for truth and full disclosure.

They waged war on Venezuela since Hugo Chavez's December 1998 landslide presidential victory. They're at it again. More on this below.

After Chavez took office, New York Times Latin American correspondent Larry Roher lied. He called him a "populist demagogue, an authoritarian caudillo (strongman).

In April 2002, Times editors ignored Washington's orchestrated coup. It was short-lived. It lasted two days.

Times editors lied. They said Chavez "resigned." They claimed removing him "was a purely Venezuelan affair." 

They outrageously said "Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator."

"Mr. Chavez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona."

Chavez established democracy. It's the hemisphere's best. He institutionalized it. He did so by national referendum. 

He let Venezuelans decide. He abolished despotism. He instituted Bolivarian social justice.

Carmona headed Fedecameras. It's Venezuela's Federation of Chambers of Commerce. 

It includes 12 trade groups: banking, agriculture, commerce, construction, energy, manufacturing, media, mining, ranching, insurance, transportation and tourism.

Washington plotted with Venezuelan oligarchs. Ousting Chavez was top priority. Bush officials hand-picked Carmona. They did so at the expense of ordinary Venezuelans.

Straightaway he proved his bona fides. He suspended democratically elected National Assembly legislators. He abolished Bolivarian constitutional reforms. 

He did so by diktat. He replaced democracy with despotism. New York Times editors approved.

His tenure was short-lived. People power intervened. So did Venezuela's military. They reinstated Chavez in two days. He remained president until Washington killed him. 

He was marked for death. Chavez knew it. He said so numerous times. He was infected with cancer-causing substances. They were too toxic to cure. 

Four operations in 18 months didn't help. Washington wanted him dead. He's gone. Chavismo lives.

Chavez consistently won reelections overwhelmingly. In December 2006, his landslide majority topped all US presidential victors since James Monroe ran virtually unopposed in 1820.

Bolivarianism benefits ordinary Venezuelans hugely. It does so in ways most Americans can't imagine. 

It's too precious to lose. So is sovereign independent freedom.

It reflects Simon Bolivar's vision. He defeated Spanish conquistadors. He liberated half of South America. He advocated using national wealth responsibly, fairly and equitably.

He strove to overcome what he called the imperial curse. He said it  "plagues Latin America with misery in the name of liberty." 

Chavez became his modern-day incarnation. Chavismo reflects Bolivarian principles. 

They're hardwired in place. Venezuelans won't tolerate returning to their ugly past. 

Constitutional law protects them. It benefits them hugely.

It guarantees free education to the highest levels, quality healthcare, subsidized food and housing, land reform, respect for indigenous rights, job training, micro credit, affordable electricity and cooking gas, gasoline at 6 cents a gallon, and other social, economic, and political benefits. 

Americans get permanent war on humanity, imperial lawlessness, police state harshness, force-fed austerity, social injustice, growing poverty, high unemployment and underemployment, unaddressed homelessness, hunger and deprivation, as well as governance beholden solely to monied interests.

The history of America's MSM is unprincipled, deplorable and longstanding. All the news they claim fit to print or broadcast isn't fit to read or view.

Big Lies substitute for what readers and viewers most need to know. Chavez replaced Castro as Washington's top hemispheric bete noire.

He did so for good reason. He represented the threat of a good example. So does current President Nicholas Maduro.

Venezuelan social democracy shames America's sham system. Bolivarianism works.

So does its political system. Elections are open, free and fair. Jimmy Carter calls them "the best in the world." 

America's are polar opposite. They're the Western world's worst.

They lack legitimacy. Democracy is pure fantasy. Candidates are pre-selected. Big money owns them. 

Key outcomes are predetermined. Duopoly power runs things. Voters get same old, same old. They have no say whatever. 

They get the best democracy money can buy. They get government of, by and for privileged elites alone. 

It's hugely unfair. It's worse than ever now. MSM scoundrels support what demands condemnation. They march in lockstep with monied interests.

They wage war on Venezuelan fairness. Big Lies repeat with disturbing regularity.

Destabilizing Venezuela is longstanding US policy. Chavez forthrightly denounced it. So does President Maduro.

After his April 2013 election, he accused opposition candidate Henrique Capriles of coup plotting against him.

"Preparations are under way for an attempt to de-recognize democratic institutions," he said.

Dark forces never quit. At the time, Maduro accused US embassy officials of plotting "acts of violence."

He expelled two Obama military attaches. He accused another embassy employee of plotting sabotage against Venezuela’s electrical grid.

"I will use a hard hand against fascism and intolerance," he said. "I declare it. If they want to overthrow me, come and get me."

He asked Venezuelans to “(d)ecide who you are with…the country and peace and the people (or) fascism."

Destabilization continues. Obama wants regime change. MSM scoundrels support it.

Opposition fascist leader Leopoldo Lopez plotted against Maduro's government. He supported earlier in the year street violence. 

He barely stopped short of urging insurrection. He was complicit with crimes too egregious to ignore.

Venezuelan authorities charged him with murder, terrorism, conspiracy, incitement to crime, setting fire to a public building, damaging public property, public intimidation, and inflicting serious injuries.

Maduro compared him to 2002 coup plotters. "There you have the face of fascism," he said. "They should go behind bars," he added.

He's part of an "ultra-rightwing group." It seeks US-supported regime change. Maduro promised justice.

Lopez "is responsible for crimes," he said. "He has to pay, and he will pay."

"For us, what's important is to govern and to make sure that groups like these don't do any more damage to the country."

Lopez was arrested in February. He publicly encouraged anti-government street protests. He supported violence. Dozens of deaths followed.

In late July, his trial along with four co-conspirators began. Delay followed. Proceedings were postponed until September 22.

On September 11, Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied. She accused Venezuelan authorities of "lack of due process or fair trial guarantees for persons detained in relation to protests in Venezuela."

She defended Lopez's lawlessness. She referred to "opaque justice procedures in place." She claimed detaining him and others was "arbitrary."

She blamed Venezuelan authorities for fascist-provoked street violence. She shamelessly accused them of "torture" and other human rights violations.

She demanded Venezuela "respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by international law."

Fact check:

No nation abuses fundamental human and civil rights more than America.

It's a pariah state for good reason. It wages genocidal war on humanity. 

It's guilty of every imaginable high crime against peace and then some.

Rule of law principles don't matter. Torture is sanctioned. Peace and stability are verboten. Permanent war is longstanding. So is global state terror.

America operates the world's largest gulag. Thousands of political prisoners fill it. Global torture prisons supplement it.

Crime bosses make policy. Washington's criminal class is bipartisan. Monied interests control it. 

New World Order ruthlessness is official policy. Washington rules alone apply.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez responded to Harf's spurious accusations. He called them "unacceptable interference in (the nation's) internal affairs."

"Venezuela categorically rejects the interventionist statement…in which our democratic institutions and constitutional principles are ignored."

Lopez's lawyers falsely claim Venezuelan authorities intend to deny him judicial fairness. Not according to constitutional lawyer Jesus Silva, saying:

His legal team knows "the Constitution and (Venezuela's) criminal code…"

"(B)ut this is part of an (anti-Bolivarian) international agenda…" It erroneously portrays Lopez as "a political prisoner."

He's "using this case as a political platform." Venezuelan authorities denounced Harf's September 11 statement, saying:

It's "full of lies and inaccuracies that aim to distort the reality of our country before the international community."

Venezuelan governance is polar opposite Washington's. America "systematically violates the human rights of its people and other people around the world," said Ramirez.

“The most advanced human rights principles are enshrined in the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic and they form a fundamental component of the morals and ethics of our people."

On geopolitical issues mattering most, New York Times editors consistently support wrong over right. 

On September 20, they headlined "Venezuela's Crackdown on Opposition," saying:

Venezuelan authorities "responded to a wave of street protests by jailing opposition leaders, deploying the army against unarmed protesters and tightening control of the media." 

"The deplorable tactics have largely driven an inspiring opposition movement underground, depriving Venezuelans of the right to challenge a leader who has put a once-prosperous nation on a perilous track."

"The imprisonment and trial of an opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, show how far President Nicolas Maduro is willing to go to stave off legitimate grievances in a country he and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, mismanaged."

Fact check:

Washington orchestrated violent street protests. It funded them. 

It's dirty hands bore full responsibility. Venezuelan fascists shared it. Their lawlessness caused dozens of deaths.

Venezuela is the hemisphere's most open society. Media freedom is cherished. So is free expression. America pales by comparison.

Venezuela's Law of Social Responsibility for Radio and Television (LSR) guarantees freedom of expression without censorship.

It mandates respect for human rights. It encourages domestic independent productions.

It balances popular duties, rights and interests with those radio and television providers as well as related parties deserve.

It disseminates cultural values. It promotes active citizen participation in national affairs.

It's polar opposite US values. Venezuela shames its northern neighbor.

Its jurisprudence assures due process and judicial fairness for Lopez and others charged with him. It does so in all trials.

Times editors claimed otherwise. They lied calling his trial "a travesty." They called his indictment "bizarre."

They shamelessly called violent street protests he helped lead "peaceful."

Venezuelan democracy under Chavez and Maduro is the hemisphere's best. 

Times editors lied. They said Chavez governed "despotic(ally)." They called Maduro "an even more dangerous and divisive leader."

He "throttled a once-free press," they claimed. They called his "abuses…dangerous for the region and certainly warrant strong criticism from Latin American leaders."

They want Venezuela denied its rightfully deserved two-year Security Council seat next year.

They urged "Latin American countries (to) lead an effort to prevent Caracas from representing the region when it is fast becoming an embarrassment on the continent."

Times editors, correspondents and contributors consistently turn truth on its head. So do other MSM scoundrels.

John Pilger once said:

"Never has a country, its people, its politics, its leader, its myths and truths been so misreported and lied about as Venezuela in the past decade."

Lopez was complicit in high crimes. He barely stopped short of urging insurrection. 

In America, he'd face sedition or treason charges. Longterm incarceration or capital punishment could follow.

Fascists operate extrajudicially. Washington supports their worst crimes. Tyranny defines US governance. It's perilously close to full-blown.

Replacing sovereign Venezuelan democracy with pro-Western stooge governance remains official US policy.

Don't expect Times editors to explain. Or Washington Post ones. They want Venezuela denied its rightful Security Council seat next year. 

They called Maduro an "economically illiterate former bus driver." He's a former union leader, legislator, National Assembly speaker, and foreign minister. He's now Venezuela's president.

Chavez called him Venezuela's most capable leader to succeed him.

WaPo editors wrongfully blamed him for opposition fascist street violence. For dozens of deaths that followed. 

For practically urging insurrection. They want "more visible action." They want sanctions. They want regime change. 

They want US intervention to achieve it. They want ruthless money-controlled governance Americans get replacing it.

They want what Venezuelans deplore. What they won't tolerate. Bolivarian fairness is too precious to lose. 

Chavez went all-out to preserve it. Maduro continues his commitment.

America is polar opposite. Class war rages. Wealth is redistributed up. Monied interests benefit at the expense of most others. 

Social justice is a figure of speech. It's eroding in plain sight. It's on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

America isn't fit to live in. Bipartisan complicity plans much worse ahead. 

Venezuelans have officials who care. Don't expect MSM scoundrels to explain. They're on the wrong side of history. 

They support privilege over social justice. They back perpetual war for unachievable peace. 

They ignore rule of law principles. They spurn democratic values. They support wrong over right.

They believe might makes right. They substitute Big Lies for truths too important to suppress.

They betray their readers and viewers in the process. It bears repeating. Don't expect them to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hate-Mongering in America

Hate-Mongering in America

by Stephen Lendman

Systemic injustice is rife. It's longstanding. Constitutional rights don't matter. America's First Amendment clearly states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Privileged Americans alone have rights. America's least advantaged have few or none.

America's racist drug laws disproportionately harm Blacks, Latinos and ethnic minorities. So do longstanding attitudes about people of color.

Western discourse unfairly portrays Muslim/Arabs stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical, and violent.

In his book, "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People," Jack Shaheen explained how they've been defamed for generations.

They've been vilified throughout decades of cinematic history. From silent films to recent ones.

Prejudicial attitudes are fostered. Notions of Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority are reinforced.

Slanderous media commentaries portray gun-toting terrorists. It's the wrong time to be Muslims in America.

They're victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and charity. 

Their rights are systematically denied. They're denigrated for praying to the wrong God. They're guilty by accusation.

They're dehumanized, spied on, targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted on bogus charges, imprisoned for false reasons, and treated harshly as political prisoners.

America's MSM turn a blind eye. They ignore gross injustice. They regurgitate spurious accusations. 

Innocence becomes guilt. Muslims are targets of choice. Hate-mongering is longstanding practice.

Muslims are war on terror scapegoats. Dirty war targets them unjustly. Waging war requires enemies. They're created when none exist.

The Runnymede Trust calls itself Britain's "leading independent race equality think tank." It says Islamophobia is "a challenge for us all."

Muslims are stereotypically mistreated. Dominant perceptions are damaging. They ignore vast complexities and differences in Muslim identities.

They mischaracterize Muslims disgracefully. They turn truth on its head. They do it for political reasons. They ignore reality. They cause enormous harm.

Islam is falsely characterized as:

  • monolithic, static, and unresponsive to change;

  • having differing values from other cultures and religions;

  • being inferior to Western societies;

  • barbaric, irrational, primitive, sexist, violent, aggressive, threatening, terror-prone, and ideologically different Western civilization;

  • seeking political or military advantage;

  • irrationally criticizing Western values;

  • warranting discriminatory practices permitting exclusion from mainstream society; and

  • believing anti-Muslim hostility is natural and normal.

Bernard Lewis is a notorious Islamophobe. So was the late Samuel Huntington. They promoted clash of civilization notions.

Huntington claimed Islamic fundamentalism isn't Western societies' underlying problem. It's Islam.

It's "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power," he claimed.

The late Edward Said criticized both men. He called their thinking "belligerent."

He cited Huntington's 1993 "The Clash of Civilizations" and Lewis' 1990 "The Roots of Muslim Rage."

He said both men treat Islam(ic) identity and culture in "cartoon-like" fashion. It's similar to how "Popeye and Bluto bash each other mercilessly."

The more "virtuous" one prevails. Huntington, Lewis and likeminded ideologues rely on stereotypes and gimmickry. They ignore reason. They shun reality.

Huntington claimed "Western ideas of individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state, often have little resonance in Islamic societies." 

So-called Western values are polar opposite what Huntington claimed. Likeminded hate-mongers call Islam a religion of war, not peace.

In February 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft said it's "a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him." 

"Christianity is a faith in which God sent his son to die for you."

Edward Said contrasted a West/East dichotomy. He wrote about colonizers v. the colonized, "the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, East, them)."

The strong against the weak. The superior against the lesser. The belief that might makes right, no matter how misguided, destructive or hateful.

Islam mischaracterizations are rife. It's diverse, not monolithic.

It's not inherently violent or intolerant. The term jihad is wrongfully used to connote holy war. 

It refers to internally struggling to overcome personal weaknesses, as well as striving for self-preservation and defense.

Common notions turn truth on its head. Western societies spread democratic values, it's claimed. Islam spawns terrorism.

Western societies must modernize, restrain and tame it. America's choice is mass slaughter, destruction, colonization, exploitation and dominance.

Netanyahu lies saying "Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas."

"They simply work in the same way," he claims. "They are branches of the same poisonous tree."

Israeli hardliners want Hamas destroyed. Vilifying its adherents is longstanding practice. 

On September 20, RT International headlined "Hamas = ISIS? Anti-Islamic ad campaign to run on NYC buses," saying:

"A provocative ad campaign featuring anti-Islamic messages is to run on one hundred New York City buses and two subway stations beginning next week." 

"Costing $100,000, it equates Hamas with Islamic State militants for 'education purposes.' "

It's stereotypical hate-mongering. It's fear-mongering. It's waging war on Islam.

Big Lies substitute for truth. "Hamas is ISIS," it says. "Islamic Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran."

It's not in the Koran. It contains positive references about Children of Israel and Jewish history. Systemic Islamic Jew-hatred is nonexistent.

Many Jewish prophets are mentioned more often than the Prophet Muhammad. Writing about the Torah, the Koran says:

"It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)." (3:3)

"It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light…And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God." (5:44,46)

Writing about Jewish prophets, it says:

"Say ye: “We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them, and to Him have we submitted ourselves." (2:136)

"Behold, we have inspired thee (O Prophet) just as we inspired Noah and all the prophets after him - as We inspired Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, including Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon; and as We vouchsafed unto David a book of divine wisdom." (4:163)

"And We bestowed upon (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and We guided each of them as We had guided Noah aforetime." 

"And out of his offspring, (we bestowed prophethood upon) David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron: for thus do We reward the doers of good." 

"And upon Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elijah: ever one of them was of the righteous; and (upon) Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot: every one of them did We favor above other people." (6: 84-86).

"Hamas is CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations)," say the ads. Islamophobes call the organization a cancer in US society. Its ideology is polar opposite these type mischaracterizations.

It seeks to "enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."

One ad is titled "Yesterday's Moderate is Today's Headline." It features a photo of London-based Muslim Abdel-Majed (aka Abdel Bary) with the caption "Executioner who beheaded a reporter before he became a jihadist."

An image of journalist James Foley in an orange jumpsuit appears alongside a hooded man before his execution.

It's captioned "Executioner who beheaded a reporter after being devout." British intelligence claims Abdel-Majed is the executioner.

Language along the ad's bottom says "It's not Islamophobia. It's Islamorealism."

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) claimed First Amendment law requires these type ads be run.

Pamela Geller's Stop Islamization of America ran them. SIOA is known as the American Freedom Initiative or Freedom Defense Initiative.

It's an Islamophobic hate-mongering organization.

Geller lied calling it "a human rights entity dedicated to the freedom of speech, which is under attack, as well as to the freedom of religion and to individual rights."

New York's MTA initiated a new policy. Ads continue. A disclaimer says they don't reflect transit authority opinions.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried having things both ways. On the one hand, he called Islamophobic ads "outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City or anywhere."

On the other, he's done nothing to counter them through public service announcements, other responsible messages or city policy.

Hate-mongering continues unabated. Proliferating it benefits America's war on Islam. It rages out-of-control. It shows no signs of ending. 

It reflects Washington's permanent war policy. Its genocidal war on humanity. 

Its merciless slaughter of millions for unchallenged dominance. It's longstanding. It shows no signs of ending. 

Wars ravage one country after another. Humanity is ruthlessly targeted.

Battlefields shift from one theater to another. Rule of law principles don't matter. Nor democratic values. Nor human and civil rights.

Might justifies right. It's the American way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Firestorm Over Steven Salaita's Sacking

Firestorm Over Steven Salaita's Sacking

by Stephen Lendman

Criticizing Israel publicly entails huge risks. Becoming persona non grata in politics, the media, business and academia may follow. It's a career ender for most who try.

At most, short-term protests follow. They're usually or entirely local. Salaita's University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign (ULUC) sacking elevated public anger to a new level.

Thousands of scholars, students, colleagues, friends, Israeli critics and others rallied to his defense. They're steadfast. They continue. 

They want Salaita reinstated. They want him given full pay and benefits. They want damages paid for all he endured. He deserves it and much more.

Salaita broke weeks of silence. On September 9, he went public for the first time. 

He defended his noteworthy academic/scholarly bona fides. He did so eloquently and effectively. He criticized UIUC's academic lynching.

He explained his passion for equality, fairness and justice. He expressed gratitude for around 18,000 supporters. They signed a petition demanding his reinstatement.

He called the firestorm over his viewpoints on Palestinian human rights and academic freedom "a teaching moment."

He urged his supporters "to make the most of it."

Major/influential donor complaints got him sacked. The Los Angeles Times discussed how big monied interests control academia.

Especially at state universities and prominent private ones. Salaita's firing wasn't the first time they "manipulate(d) university administrations into doing their bidding," said the Times."

It won't be the last. (I)t's certainly one of the most disturbing examples of a bad trend."

"For any university, but especially a public institution such as Illinois, the encroachment of donor pressure on the administration is a harbinger of the destruction of academic freedom." 

"Wealthy donors are able to step in and exert strong influence because public funding sources, such as the state legislature, have systematically withdrawn support for public universities."

They "seldom have an interest in independent, objective academic study; they're interested in advancing their own notions of how the world works or should work - in ideology, not ideas." 

Incidents like Salaita's sacking happen when "questions of academic principle get reduced to dollars and cents - the university comes to believe it can trample (on) any principle, as long as there's money to make it go away," said the Times.

Israeli Lobby power works the same way and then some. It's influence is broad and deep. It's tactics include pressure, bullying and threats. 

It's relentless. It's ruthless. It demands unconditional support for Israel. It does so at the expense of right over wrong.

It's a cancer infecting America. It influences Western policy. It's a blight on humanity. 

It operates destructively. It promotes war. It deplores peace. It ignores popular interests. AIPAC is its best known entity.

The late Edward Said once called it "the most powerful and feared lobby in Washington."

In a matter of hours, it can mobilize virtually unanimous Senate support for Israel. And at least most of the House. 

US politicians deferentially bow to its will. They do so disgracefully. They betray their constituents in the process. Their personal beliefs don't matter.

Last week, UIUC trustees upheld Salaita's firing. They voted 8 - 1 against him. James Montgomery alone supported him.

Other board members backed Chancellor Phyllis Wise's so-called "philosophy of academic freedom and free speech tempered in respect for human rights."

So-called "tempered" rights denies them. Wise and UIUC trustees gave chutzpah new meaning. They raised it to a new level.

They support what demands denunciation. They oppose what deserves high honor and praise.

In an open letter, the board of trustees disgracefully equated Salaita's forthright criticism with "disrespectful and demeaning speech."

They called it "malice." It's "not an acceptable form of argument if we wish to ensure that students, faculty and staff are comfortable in a place of scholarship and education," they said.

"If we educate a generation of students to believe otherwise, we will have jeopardized the very system that so many have made great sacrifices to defend."

"There can be no place for that in our democracy, and therefore, there will be no place for it in our university."

Democracies assure academic and speech freedoms. They defend them at all costs. Without them all other rights are threatened.

Voltaire once said he might "disapprove of what you say, but (he'd) defend to the death your right to say it."

Western universities are hotbeds of conformism. Howard Zinn once said they teach students to be good citizens. They sacrifice important truths in the process.

America right or wrong is policy. It works the same way from pre-school through doctoral studies. UIUC is the latest example.

It's been a battleground for weeks. It's ground zero in the struggle for academic freedom.

The Center for Constitutional Rights represents Salaita. Its senior attorney Maria Lahood was clear and unequivocal saying:

What's clearly "uncivil is the killing of more than 500 children Professor Salaita reacted to."

It's "terminating a tenured professor because he dared to speak out publicly and passionately about Israel's actions." 

It's lawlessness. Its ruthlessness. Its democracy in name only. Its contempt for Palestinian rights. 

What's uncivil "is yielding to donor pressure in making faculty decisions," said LaHood.

"(T)he most uncivil action in this whole episode has been the university's resistance and refusal to right the wrong (it committed) and reinstate Professor Salaita."

He was victimized for truth-telling. He was academically lynched. 

Chancellor Wise, UIUC's trustees, big monied donors, and Israeli Lobby power falsely equate "legitimate challenges to Israeli government actions with anti-Semitism," said Lahood.

"On campuses across the country, over the last year and half alone, there have been approximately 200 incidents (where) students and faculty (as well as) activists have been intimidated, maligned, investigated, and even prosecuted for speaking out in support of Palestinian human rights."

It's longstanding practice. It violates rule of law principles, standards and norms. It shows Israeli Lobby power works.

It reveals how Israel influences US policy. It works the same way from congressional halls to the media, to academia to grassroots groups and members.

Salaita's sacking opened a new debate on Israel/Palestine. Various faculty groups formed "camps." They faced off for or against Salaita.

Various organizations, their members, and academics intend refusing invitations to lecture on campus.

They condemned last week's board of trustees vote. The American Association of University Professors said:

(A)borting Salaita's appointment "without having demonstrated cause has consistently been seen by the AAUP as tantamount to summary dismissal, an action categorically inimical to academic freedom and due process."

Modern Language Association council members called on UIUC trustees to "redress (an) unjustified situation."

The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) expressed outrage over his firing.

It called doing so "a blatant violation of (his) academic freedom and an insidious assault upon him and those who uphold the right of honest and ethical critique in the academy."

It demanded his reinstatement. UIUC's American Studies Program faculty voted no confidence in Chancellor Wise. So did 10 other UIUC departments.

Her action trashed First Amendment rights and academic freedom, they said.

Hundreds of UIUC students protested on behalf of Salaita. Scores boycotted classes.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Department of Asian American Studies, Art History, and Gender and Women's Studies released statements condemning Saliati's firing.

On September 11, hundreds gathered on UIUC's campus supporting him. 

They included Campus Faculty Association members, others from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), University of Illinois Chicago faculty, as well as various other groups.

The American Studies Association (ASA) is the nation's oldest and largest organization involved in the interdisciplinary study of US culture and history.

In 1951, it was chartered. It has 5,000 members. It's affiliated with 2,200 libraries and other institutional subscribers.

Members include academics, researchers, librarians, and public officials and administrators. They represent many academic disciplines. 

They include history, literature, religion, art, architecture, philosophy, music, science, ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, and gender studies among others.

Last December, they voted more than two to one for academically boycotting Israel.

They called doing so "an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action."

They justified doing so for the following reasons:

US military and other support for Israel.

Israel's violations of international laws and resolutions.

Longstanding occupation harshness.

"The extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights."

Strong ASA member support.

Their vote is symbolic. It's binding "until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law," said ASA. It bars official collaboration with Israeli institutions. 

It doesn't apply to individual Israeli scholars engaged in "ordinary forms of academic exchange, including conference presentations, public lectures at campuses, or collaboration on research and publication."

ASA issued a statement on behalf of Salaita. It called his sacking "a de facto assault against the Program in American Indian Studies at UIUC.

It sets a "dangerous precedent." Its statement in part said:

ASA "protests the decision of University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise to rescind the offer of a tenured faculty position in American Indian Studies to highly regarded ASA member Professor Steven Salaita."

"This last minute top down decision with no faculty consultation and no reason provided violates the tenets of faculty governance." 

"Alarmingly, these actions constitute as well a de facto assault against the Program in American Indian Studies at UIUC despite its carefully earned status as one of the leading intellectual programs nationally in its field."

"This decision if not overturned is sure to erode the confidence of scholars and students of American Indian and Indigenous Studies that UIUC is an open and welcoming institution that values equally their social, cultural and intellectual contributions."

Salait's "offer was rescinded based on (his) twitter feed and opposition to the Israeli invasion of Gaza…"

"(T)he university’s actions constitute a clear violation of the principles of academic freedom, contravene the University’s self-proclaimed valuing of diversity, and suggest an intolerable anti-Arab bias.

"We call upon you to restore faculty governance, to respect the Department of American Indian Studies and the faculty peer review process in evaluating faculty for tenured positions, and to begin to rebuild the UIUC’s reputation as an institution of academic excellence by restoring Professor Steven Salaita as a tenured associate professor of American Indian Studies at UIUC."

In early September, Ohio University Student Senate president Megan Marzec endured death threats and other vicious harassment for supporting Palestinian rights.

Yale University chaplain Father Bruce Shipman was pressured to resign because of his brief NYT letter to the editor.

He discussed "the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank."

He urged "Israel's patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question."

Chicago area Rabbi Brant Rosen resigned on his own initiative. He did so because he "gradually became a Palestine solidarity activist rather than liberal Zionist."

Yale chaplain/longtime peace activist William Sloane Coffin Jr. (1924 - 2006) engaged in anti-Vietnam war civil disobedience protests. He encouraged young men to burn their draft cards.

He founded the Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam. He led resistance against Lyndon Johnson's escalation.

He challenged segregation. He organized freedom rides. He led The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy.

He used pulpit power as a platform for likeminded activists. In October 1967, he signed an open letter titled "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority."

Yale established the '56 Award for Peace and Justice in his name. It called him one of the 20th century's most significant religious leaders. 

He supported right over wrong. He refused to be silenced. On April 1, 1982, he co-signed a letter supporting Arab/Israeli citizen Elias Ayoub.

He faced deportation for supporting human rights. He was active in the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. 

He was wrongfully called "subversive." He lost his student status. He did so despite maintaining an excellent academic record.

Coffin "shudder(ed) to contemplate the implications of such arbitrary deportation given the present political leadership of our country and specifically of Israel."

Salaita supporters demand he be reinstated. UIUC officials remain hardline. 

Principle, honor and justice don't matter. They're sacrificed on the alter of supporting Israel right or wrong.

Doing so makes universities like UIUC complicit in its crimes. They're longstanding. They're horrific. They're too egregious to ignore.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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