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Rajoub lied saying "Palestine has not withdrawn its application completely, but merely suspended it."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

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. 

Ukraine: Gangster State

Ukraine: Gangster State

by Stephen Lendman

Washington allies with the world's most despotic regimes. Ukraine is one of the worst.

Fascists in charge are guilty of most every high crime imaginable - committed with full US support and encouragement.

They continue waging dirty war without mercy on Donbass. They attack civilian neighborhoods - murdering noncombatant men, women and children, torturing prisoners, committing atrocities too grave to ignore. 

They used chemical weapons - last May and perhaps other times. A toxic choking agent was used. 

Symptoms included first-degree chemical-inflicted eye burns, alcoholic-like intoxication, bodily lacerations and fainting, as well as one or more victims diagnosed with unidentified gas poisoning.

White phosphorous and other chemical weapons were used. So were illegal cluster bombs - supplied by Washington.

On May 29, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin warned about Kiev possibly readying to use chemical weapons again.

"(W)orks are underway on the territory of a chlorine storage base, to the northeast of Kochetok settlement in the Kharkov region," he said.

"A week ago, our intelligence saw 20 truck tanks with a capacity of five tons with an unknown chemical agent arrived at the facility’s territory."

On May 26, US military chemical experts arrived in Mariupol, he explained. Perhaps they along with "Kiev authorities (intend) sabotage on Ukraine's territory with the aim of accusing DPR leadership of the crime against humanity" - a possible false flag.

Since Kiev forces launched naked aggression on Donbass last April, they committed horrendous crimes of war and against humanity. So far unaccountably.

Russian parliamentarians proposed establishing a war crimes tribunal since US-led Western nations prevent ICC prosecutions.

Lower house State Duma Education Committee Chairman Vyacheslav Nikonov urged not letting war criminals go unpunished.

"I believe we already need to create our own tribunal for war crimes," he said. "In the name of those children, the elderly and women, both Ukrainians and Russians, we will never forget and forgive."

"Can there be any hope for those countries that are simultaneously the sponsors and masters of puppets of both the Hague tribunal and the regime of war criminals (in Kiev)?"

"Every day hundreds of people disappear without leaving a trace across Ukraine because they are suspected of being disloyal, and this continues even now and they are being killed with no trial and no record, and they are being tortured."

Separately, Minsk II terms mandated immediate and comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons beyond a 50 km wide security zone, dialogue between both sides, full resumption of socio-economic ties and Ukrainian constitutional reform, among other provisions.

Kiev violated everything it agreed to - most provisions straightaway. On Thursday, Poroshenko said he'll dialogue only with a Ukrainian Donbass, not its current one - a clear Minsk II breach.

Illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he'd only talk to current Donbass leaders "when they are behind bars."

Ukraine is a criminal coup d'etat gangster state masquerading as legitimate governance. It's a Nazi-infested fascist police state. 

It's a lawless belligerent one. It's a major human and civil rights violator. It's a kleptocracy run by mega-thieves complicit with corporate ones - hugely corrupt, profiting at the public's expense.

Economist Michael Hudson calls its regime "an umbrella for grabitization." Ukrainians lucky to have jobs aren't getting paid - or get sub-poverty wages impossible to live on.

"(K)leptocrats and business owners are jumping ship," says Hudson - grabbing all they can before it sinks.

The 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile followed by invasion of the Chicago boys "was a dress rehearsal for all this," Hudson explains.

Chicago-style free market predation is impossible with force-fed tyranny. Ukraine is the new poster child.

Obama's friends are gangsters, murderers, torturers, rapists and mega-thieves. Poroshenko is an illegitimate oligarch mega-crook - heading a regime with no legitimacy whatever.

Apparently he thinks he's entitled to the Nobel Peace Prize - instead of a prison cell where he belongs.

Mussolini (1935), Hitler (1939 at the start of WW II) and Stalin (1945 and 1948) got Nobel nominations. Peace champions are consistently shunned.

A May 19 letter from Ukraine's parliament chairman Volodymyr Groysman to US Norway embassy charge d'affairs Julie Furuta-Toy calls it "of utmost importance for Mr. Poroshenko to have firm guarantees that he will be awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, since it could highlight the unanimous support of Ukrainian integrity by the democratic community of the world."

If Nobel Committee members go along this October, they'll make more of a sham out the award than already. Don't be surprised if it happens anyway.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness has no limits. Palestinians are systematically brutalized for not being Jewish.

They're harassed, intimidated, persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered in cold blood. High crimes too grave to ignore have been commonplace since Israel's so-called war of independence.

At the time, 78% of historic Palestine was stolen for exclusive Jewish development. Israel took the rest in June 1967, including East Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem is an international city under a UN protectorate. Israeli claims to the city have no legitimacy. Nor does any nation have the right to breach international laws, norms and standards.

Israel does multiple times daily with impunity. Little reported war on Palestine continues daily.

Attacks on nonthreatening Palestinian fishermen occur almost daily. They're shot at, wounded and arrested.

Their boats and fishing gear are damaged and/or confiscated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls Israel's policy of preventing Palestinian fishermen from pursuing their livelihoods "a form of collective punishment which is prohibited (under) international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

PCHR described one early May incident as follows:

"Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within less than one nautical mile from the beach."  

"An Israeli gunboat approached a fishing boat belonging to 'Issa Nafez Abu Riyalah and Ra'ed Sa'id al-'Ashi, both from al-Shati' refugee camp in Gaza City."  

"The fishing boat was boarded by Mohammed No'man Rabi'a al-Sultan (23) and Hatem al-'Abed 'Ashour al-Sultan (29). Both are from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahia."  

"The Israeli naval soldiers forced the fishermen to jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The Israeli soldiers then arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat." 

"As a result of this attack, 17 pieces of fishing nets were lost." The area where the incident occurred experienced "heavy (Israeli) shooting" at Palestinian fishermen.

On Saturday, Maan News reported Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen off central Gaza's coast. They followed other earlier in the week attacks.

Separately on Saturday, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers in eastern Khan Younis. According to Maan News:

"Saturday's events come as Israeli forces have escalated attacks against Gazan Palestinians inside of the Israeli-implemented and controlled buffer zone." 

"Gaza-based Israeli watchdog Al Mezan (Center for Human Rights) documented Israeli forces opening fire in the border areas six separate times during the first ten days of May, leaving four injured including one child."

Al Mezan "reiterate(d) its calls on the international community to promptly intervene in order to halt Israel's violations."

Gaza is occupied Palestinian territory. It's lawlessly blockaded - for political, not security reasons. World leaders do nothing to enforce fundamental international law.

They let Israel operate lawlessly - including committing mass slaughter and destruction at its discretion against Palestinians posing no threat.

The post-Operation Protective Edge ceasefire agreement extended Gaza's fishing zone from three to six nautical miles offshore immediately - expanded to 12 nautical miles by yearend 2014.

Israel reneged on its pledge straightaway. Palestinian fishermen are vulnerable anywhere offshore. Some are shot and killed for the crime of fishing.

Israeli security forces and settlers attack Palestinian farmers with impunity. They're shot at and physically assaulted. Their crops are destroyed.

According to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), about 800,000 olive trees have been lawlessly uprooted since June 1967. 

Palestinian homes, cars and other property are vandalized. Livestock are killed. Water wells are poisoned. 

Mosques are defaced and/or burned. Children are attacked - including going to and from school, at play and in fields helping their parents.

Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property occur almost daily on average.

A new Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights report titled Mock Enforcement "reveal(ed) a worrying picture regarding the conduct of the law enforcement system in general, and (Israeli) police in particular…"

Investigations are routinely whitewashed. Chances for prosecuting and convicting Jews committing crimes against Palestinians "is just 1.9%."

Palestinian rights are systematically violated. Crimes committed against them go unpunished - including cold-blooded murder.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) called Israel's summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge "a war waged on Gaza's children.

DCIP verified 547 Palestinian children killed - two-thirds aged 12 or younger.

DCIP general director Khaled Quzmar blasted Israel for its repeated wars on Palestine and "complete disregard for international law…" 

"(A)ny meaningful efforts toward implementing comprehensive protections for Palestinian children" are thwarted.

They're deliberately and maliciously targeted as enemies despite posing no threat whatever.

Clear evidence showed Israel targeted schools, private neighborhood residences and children in streets.

On one day alone, Israeli forces murdered 59 Palestinian children. Dozens of entire families were massacred in cold blood.

"More than 1,000 (Palestinian) children suffered injuries that rendered them permanently disabled" for life - according to OCHA.

Amputees like Mohammad Baroud, aged 12, lost both his feet. He'll require medical care and support for the rest of his life.

Many Gazan children lost one or both parents. The emotional scars are "severe and resounding," said DCIP.

Israel is a brutal occupying power - ruthless child killers mass murdering with impunity.

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. 

Scoundrel Media FIFA Bashing

Scoundrel Media FIFA Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

Amateur and professional sports are big business. It's no surprise they're rife with corruption. With billions of dollars at stake, anything goes, most often unaccountably.

Organized crime is involved. Crooked deals take place behind closed doors. 

Corruption has many forms - including bribes, kickbacks, rigged construction bids, money laundering, front companies, exploitation of amateur athletes, and lots more.

Big-time US college sports are notoriously corrupt. Runaway commercialism is pervasive. Schools sell their souls for lucrative advertiser sponsorships, television contracts, ticket, concession and merchandise sales, licensing fees and other revenue sources.

Young student athletes are exploited - used, unpaid, mostly uneducated, and unprepared for life after school except for a tiny percentage able to play professionally for pay.

America's National Football League is a multi-billion dollar industry able to get away with virtually anything. Like banks too big to fail, the NFL is too popular to have its serious abuses addressed and changed.

Concern for player safety is more rhetoric than practice. Powerful bodies smashing into each other is like experiencing car crashes at times. 

Playing too many games with too little recovery time in between leaves most athletes with permanent lifetime disabilities when retire - often after a few years or less because of broken bodies, including head trauma from frequent concussions.

This writer knew a former Philadelphia Eagle lineman years ago. He was "wracked up" in less than one professional year, partly disabled, operating a small used car lot for income.

Any business as big as NFL football is rife with the same kind of corruption tainting other sports - amateur and professional, including getting taxpayers to pay for hugely expensive stadiums, a clear example of grand theft.

FIFA corruption is longstanding. It's in the eye of the storm - but not because of unsavory practices, legal or illegal.

If America's Justice Department wanted to clean up sports, professional and amateur, it would start at home. Instead it targeted FIFA extrajudicially. Two other articles explained - here and here.

Indictments against 14 current and former FIFA officials were made for political reasons, not criminality.

America's media scoundrels reacted as expected - ignoring huge wrongdoing at home, piling on the political offensive against FIFA.

"FIFA's Corruption Stains World Soccer," headlined New York Times editors. Ever hear them take on bankster high crimes, other corporate crooks, or a mega-corrupt predatory capitalist system benefitting elite few hugely at the expense of most others.

Instead they bashed FIFA awarding World Cup host city honors to Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively. They called them "puzzling…immediately rais(ing) suspicion of foul play when announced in December 2010."

They cited social media "consensus (that the) arrests (were) long overdue." They ignored Washington's Justice Department indicting foreign nationals extrajudicially.

They're not US citizens. They don't live in America. DOJ has no legal authority to target them. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

They overstepped calling for "the immediate ouster of Mr. Blatter and the restructuring of FIFA." They urged reconsideration of awarding Russia and Qatar host city honors.

Ever hear them call for "the immediate ouster" of Wall Street mega-crook CEO's? Or demand hugely corrupt US college and professional sports be cleaned up - including prosecuting culpable officials?

Washington Post editors piled on FIFA like their Times counterparts - headlining "FIFA's ugly stains on the beautiful game."

They praised Attorney General Loretta Lynch's lawless indictments. They bashed "FIFA's choice of Vladimir Putin's increasingly aggressive and repressive Russia over" Western nations. And Qatar over America, Australia and a joint Japanese/South Korean bid.

They largely pronounced FIFA officials guilty by accusation - saying "many presumed (their involvement in) bribery…"

They want host nation awards to Russia and Qatar rescinded. Reopen the bidding they said. Imagine their outrage if outsiders demanded new choices to run WaPo.

Wall Street Journal editors called DOJ indictments the "least surprising (ones) ever."

They claimed they're OK because FIFA officials have occasional meetings in America.

US transnational corporate executives have meetings in many countries worldwide. It doesn't grant authorities in those nations the right to indict and arrest them unless crimes were committed in their territory.

America operates by its own rules. "Kudos to the Justice Department and new Attorney General Loretta Lynch," said Journal editors.

Would they applaud with equal vigor the arrests, indictments and detentions of Wall Street mega-crooks? Would they demand they be held fully responsible for decades of grand theft?

Would they insist banks too big to fail be broken up - or better still closed down entirely? Would they call for putting an end to Wall Street fleecing America? 

Would they demand capital's divine right no longer be tolerated? Would they endorse people empowerment over profits?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ukraine Threatens Total Blockade on Donbass

Ukraine Threatens Total Blockade on Donbass

by Stephen Lendman

Kiev junta officials violated virtually all Minsk II ceasefire terms straightaway. An immediate ceasefire was agreed on. 

Junta forces attack Donbass areas daily. Civilian neighborhoods are deliberately targeted. 

Washington pretends to know nothing about what's happening in official statements or outrageously blames Donbass freedom fighters for Kiev high crimes.

All heavy weapons were to be repositioned well behind the contact line to create a minimum 50 km security zone. Kiev refused to comply.

Numerous other provisions continue being systematically ignored - including providing safe access, delivery, storage and distribution of humanitarian aid to needy Donbass residents.

On May 28, Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov called for a full Donbass blockade - isolating it from other regions.

"We'll have to fully close the line of contact (separating both sides) to close it for everything," he said.

"Let's shut the contact line. Let them cross it on foot or in small cars but without any goods…(L)et them get everything from Russia."

"You wanted independence and friendship with Russia? You're welcome. Russia is right across the border."

"Or do you want to live by the Ukrainian laws because you are Ukrainian? OK, we have the Minsk accords, here you are." 

"Our border guards will take control over the border, and then we'll clear out everything ourselves."

Blockading Donbass is an act of war - on top of continuing daily Kiev aggression.

At the same time, Kiev's illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko threatened martial law. He's more lunatic than leader.

His forces continue low-level aggression. He blames Donbass freedom fighters for his crimes.

"My key position (is) if the ceasefire is broken now, if the line of confrontation is crossed, if an advance against the Ukrainian armed forces is organized, at that very moment I will sign the decree on introducing martial law and pass it to parliament" for rubber-stamping, he said.

"I have no doubt that within hours, martial law will be enacted." It will "demonstrate (Ukraine's) readiness for war, for victory, for defense and for peace," he blustered.

Foreign country nationals residing in Ukraine will be extrajudicially detained, imprisoned or forcibly relocated if he claims their nation of origin "threatens or undertakes aggression toward Ukraine" - true or false.

Their property will be confiscated. Total media control will be strictly enforced. Opposition parties will be banned. So will rallies, mass gatherings and protests.

Ukraine is Obama's war. Junta authorities are convenient proxies - waging naked aggression on their own people, intending escalated conflict, persecuting, imprisoning or murdering anyone opposing their agenda.

According the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians sought refuge in neighboring countries - mainly Russia. 

Thousands more leave daily. UNHCR official William Spindler said things are getting worse. The number of internally and externally displaced Ukrainians exceeds two million.

Many endure trying conditions. Russia helps most of all - setting up refugee centers, providing shelter, food, water, medical services and education. 

Obama bears full responsibility for proxy naked aggression, letting junta forces, Nazi-infested brigades and imported paramilitaries do his dirty work - another major crime on his rap sheet, so many it's hard keeping track.

Official numbers killed or wounded way undercount actual casualties - tens of thousands at minimum.

"The situation is very serious, very worrying. This is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today," said Spindler.

Humanitarian aid falls way short of what's needed. Russia alone continues extraordinary efforts to help - delivering many thousands of tons of vitally needed food, water, medical supplies and other essentials to Donbass residents.

America supplies nothing. Obama wants maximum pain and suffering inflicted - the same strategy in all US direct and proxy wars of aggression, dirty ones without mercy.

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. 

Racist Wendy Sherman Leaving State Department

Racist Wendy Sherman Leaving State Department

by Stephen Lendman

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs/chief US Iranian nuclear talks negotiator Wendy Sherman said she's leaving State shortly after the June 30 deadline for an agreement.

"It's been two long years," she explained. John Kerry commented saying "Wendy has been an absolutely critical member of my team, most notably in her work spearing the nuclear negotiations with Iran, but on every important issue that has crossed my desk."

Obama said he "long counted on Wendy's…intellect, toughness and persistence which have made her one of the most effective diplomats of her generation."

She's No. 3 at State, close to Hillary Clinton, and may have in mind a top position in her administration if she's elected president next year.

Sherman admitted US opposition to normalizing relations with Iran - saying efforts to do it will take years to play out.

In October 2013 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she demonized Iran saying "(w)e know that deception is part of (its) DNA."

It wasn't the first time she made racist statements about the Islamic Republic. Besides saying "sanctions we have in place should not disappear anytime soon, unless all of our concerns are addressed by the Iranians."

The whole world knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful with no military component. Annual US intelligence assessments and Mossad say so.

If Sherman or another US official accused Israel, America's NATO partners, or Middle East Arab allies of deception, they'd be summarily banished from government service and denied lucrative private sector employment.

Vilifying independent governments irresponsibly is longstanding US policy.

Iran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. 

Sherman lied claiming its Article IV doesn't let Tehran pursue development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards.

Article IV states:

"(N)othing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."

Iran has as much right as other NPT signatories. BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as well as 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members affirm Iran's right to pursue safeguarded enrichment.

America, Britain, France and Israel alone object. The Jewish state is a longstanding nuclear outlaw.

Sherman lied further claiming "(i)t has always been the US position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all (and) doesn't speak to enrichment, period."

False! Earlier US policy affirmed the right to peaceful nuclear development. Doing so included indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities.

In 1968, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency head, William Foster, told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III."

Article II commits non-nuclear weapons states not to pursue their development. Article III requires they accept safeguards on their nuclear activities.

Throughout her time as chief nuclear negotiator, Sherman maintained longstanding US distrust and hostility toward Iran.

Despite its major concessions after many months of talks, it's unclear if a final deal is possible.

Iran insists on ending all illegal sanctions as fundamental for reaching agreement - on the day it's implemented. It calls it the "principle of simultaneity."

Washington insists on gradual lifting able to drag things out indefinitely without providing Iran the relief it deserves.

Talks continue in Geneva. On May 30, John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will again meet for further discussions.

Whether a final deal can be reached remains to be seen. Of greatest concern is whether Washington would honor one. 

It's history of agreement violations is notorious. Given 36 years of hostility and extreme anti-Iranian Israeli pressure (including from its Lobby), it hard imagining a new dawn in bilateral US/Tehran relations.

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. 

Western Long Knives Out for FIFA's Sepp Blatter?

Western Long Knives Out for FIFA's Sepp Blatter?

by Stephen Lendman

A separate article discussed US Justice Department indictments against 14 current and former FIFA officials.

Blatter wasn't named but isn't out of the woods. US prosecutors indicated what's announced isn't "the final chapter. It is not over," they said.

FBI Director James Comey indicated "work will continue until all of the corruption is uncovered and a message is sent around the world."

Swiss Attorney General spokesman Andre Marty said Blatter "could be questioned. (E)very person involved in the allocation of the World Cups might be questioned." 

What's going on appears more than what meets the eye. US officials want Russia's status as World Cup 2018 host country rescinded.

Israel wants Palestinian efforts to suspend it from FIFA competition quashed - because of unacceptable abuses committed against its footballers.

Blatter may be today's Dominique Strauss-Kahn. He was IMF managing director from November 2007 - May 2011. 

Washington wanted him ousted for urging austerity conditions imposed on countries receiving IMF loans be softened. 

He publicly opposed making ordinary people pay the price for financial crisis conditions caused by banksters and other corporate crooks. He was also favored to be elected French president over America's choice.

He was set up, unjustly framed in a sex scandal. Washington got corporatist Christine Lagarde appointed IMF chief. Right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy became French president.

Is history repeating? Instead of a sex scandal, its FIFA corruption with Washington overstepping by acting outside its legal jurisdiction.

FIFA officials charged aren't US citizens. They don't live in America. Blatter is a Swiss national. In June 1998, he was elected FIFA president.

He was reelected three times. He's up for a fourth on Friday, May 29.

Britain's Tory MP Damian Collins called him "the most despicable man in sport." He urged new votes for 2018 and 2022 World Cup host nations - challenging current ones Russia and Qatar respectively.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron called for Blatter's resignation. He supports his opponent - Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein. 

He's FIFA vice president for Asia. He has close Western ties. In January, he announced he'd challenge Blatter for FIFA's top post.

In response to US corruption charges, he said "(w)e cannot continue with the crisis in FIFA, a crisis that has been ongoing and is not just relevant to the events of today."

"FIFA needs leadership that…accepts responsibility for its actions and does not pass the blame."

European football association UEFA head Michel Platini called for Blatter to step down.

He wants Friday's election postponed. So does French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Platini blustered "(w)e cannot continue like this."

If Blatter is reelected he threatened UEFA would consider pulling national teams out of FIFA.

"(A) majority" of UEFA associations will vote for Ali," he said, if elections proceed.

English Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke said "Blatter has to go. He either has to go through a resignation, or…be out-voted or we have to find a third way."

"(D)amage…done to FIFA…can't be rebuilt while (he's) there so EUFA has got to try to force him out."

Credit card giant Visa said it would "reassess our partnership (if) swift and immediate steps to address (ongoing) issues aren't taken. It stopped short of calling for Blatter's resignation.

FIFA sponsors Adidas and Coca-Cola called for its reform. Hyundai Motor and Anheuser-Busch expressed concern. McDonald's said it's monitoring the situation.

Long US knives got Strauss-Kahn ousted on fabricated charges to install Washington's favorite. 

FIFA corruption isn't new. Is Blatter heading for the same fate using extrajudicial FBI indictments as a pretext?

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. 

Washington Wages War on International Soccer

Washington Wages War on International Soccer

by Stephen Lendman

Is there more to what's going on than meets the eye? In January 2011, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Russian Sports minister Vitaly Mulko signed a declaration on Russia's official status as 2018 World Cup host nation.

At the time, Vladimir Putin said Russia would "use the experience…already gained in preparing for the Sochi Olympics in 2014."

Blatter expressed "certain(ty) that the World Cup (would) be held at the highest level and…turn into a truly magnificent event."

Russia won out over Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. It plans to host the event in 13 cities. It intends making it first-class world event.

In April, 13 US influential senators wrote Blatter "strongly encourag(ing)" him to replace Russia with another host country," saying:

"Allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned and provides economic relief at a time when much of the international community is imposing economic sanctions."

FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer responded, saying:

"History has shown so far that boycotting sport events or a policy of isolation or confrontation are not the most effective ways to solve problems."

The World Cup "can achieve positive change in the world, but football cannot be seen as a solution for all issues, particularly those related to world politics."

Blatter said "the World Cup in Russia will be able to stabilize all the situation in this region of Europe that is suffering now."

Is charging 14 current and former FIFA officials with various criminal offenses a thinly veiled scheme to continue bashing and trying to isolate Russia?

Everything done so far failed. Master chess player Putin outmatches his US counterpart. However charges against current and former FIFA officials are resolved, expect Russia to remain 2018 World Cup nation likely matching its successful 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Another issue is Israel. Palestinian officials want it suspended from FIFA participation because of systematically violating Palestinian footballer rights - including harassment, travel restrictions, lawless arrests, and other racist apartheid actions.

Last March, the Palestinian Football Federation (PFA) submitted a motion to FIFA calling for Israel's suspension until it complies with the following conditions:

  • letting football participants and all equipment related to the sport  move freely in, out and within Palestine;

  • no longer obstruct or otherwise prevent the building and maintenance of Palestinian football facilities;

  • banning football clubs in illegal Israeli settlements from Israeli Football Federation (IFA) competitions;

  • requiring IFA to take firm action to eliminate racist, apartheid practices within its own leagues; and

  • requiring IFA to recognize the PFA as the sole governing body for football within Palestine.

These conditions address longstanding grievances - so far without resolution. Palestinian officials say suspending Israel is needed to change things.

Instead of going after war criminals, CIA and Pentagon torturers, banker mega-crooks, other corporate thieves, corrupt politicians on the take, dirty cops, and other major US offenders demanding prosecution, Washington targeted the Zurich, Switzerland-based International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) outside its jurisdiction.

It's pressuring Swiss authorities to extradite FIFA officials to America to face criminal corruption charges.

The timing of the indictments and arrests wasn't coincidental - two days before FIFA's annual general meeting with its officials in one place at a luxury Zurich hotel.

Blatter is up for reelection. So far he's not charged. According to US officials, he's not cleared yet. Whether what's ongoing affects his reelection remains to be seen.

A 47-count indictment charges 14  individuals with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and money laundering among other offenses as part of "a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer," according to the Justice Department.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said "(t)he indictment spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks."

"Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice - and we look forward to continuing to work with other countries in this effort."

America and Switzerland have an extradition treaty. A Swiss judge will decide what happens next. Even if extradition is ordered, individuals affected can appeal.

So-called "dual criminality" is a requirement many countries observe - namely that crimes alleged by one nation are recognized as such by the other before extradition can be considered.

The legal process in this case is expected to take months to work its way through Switzerland's judicial process - maybe much longer if appeals are made.

Some earlier cases dragged on for years. If extradition is rejected, Washington would likely issue so-called "red notices" to authorities in other countries - meaning individuals charged would risk arrest and extradition to America if they travel abroad.

According to international law experts, Switzerland is one of the world's toughest places to win extradition cases - especially on tax related charges.

Some high-profile individuals successfully contested US extradition requests - notably film director Roman Polanski.

Russia's Foreign Ministry responded sharply to Washington's indictments - saying it extended its legal authority improperly "far beyond its borders."

"Without going into the details of the accusations…this is clearly another case of illegal extraterritorial use of US law."

"We hope that this will not in any way be used to cast a shadow on the international football organization as a whole and its decisions."

"Once again we are calling on Washington to stop attempts to make justice far beyond its borders using its legal norms and to follow the generally accepted international legal procedures."

Putin called FIFA indictments "an obvious attempt to spread (US) jurisdiction to other states (and) prevent Mr. Blatter's reelection…which is a gross violation of the principle of functioning international organizations."

"(T)he United States has no relation to" FIFA affairs. The individuals charged "are not US citizens, and if some event has taken place, it happened not on US soil…"

FIFA and Olympic competition are more about profiteering, exploitation and corruption than sport. Yet little is done to change things.

So why now? Why target FIFA - especially at this time? Draw your own conclusions.

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. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reinvented War Criminal Tony Blair Resigns As Middle East Envoy

Reinvented War Criminal Tony Blair Resigns As Middle East Envoy

by Stephen Lendman

When Gordon Brown succeeded him as Labor party leader, he was Britain's most despised and discredited man.

From 1997 - 2007, he supported US-led imperial lawlessness in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. 

He blamed Western wars on religious extremism. He lied saying "based on my experience post-9/11 of how countries whose people were freed from dictatorship have then had democratic aspirations thwarted by religious extremism."

He ignored his decade of criminality. He tried justifying the unjustifiable - bogus US-led so-called humanitarian interventions from the Balkans to Baghdad - raping and pillaging one country after another.

Blair's tenure ended with an approval rating near 20%. Despite a legacy of imperial lawlessness and contempt for democratic values, he was appointed Middle East envoy working on behalf of Quartet members America, Russia, the UN and EU.

At the time, he replaced former World Bank president James Wolfensohn. He resigned for lack of progress he never had a chance to achieve in the first place.

According to PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, Wolfensohn "did not want to be used…(S)omeone (else was needed) who would play the game, and Tony Blair accepted the role."

H one-sidedly supports Israel's worst crimes. He ignores Palestinian suffering. He blames them unjustly. He outspokenly demonizes Islam - calling it a "problem within Islam," claiming:

"It is at its heart a view about religion and about the interaction between religion and politics that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies."

He suggested waging more wars than already, saying despite "long and hard conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq," we shouldn't back off from further intervention.

One critic said Blair lasted this long because Israel was sure of his support.

In February 2014, he issued a statement expressing full backing for Egypt's ruthless coup d'etat Al-Sisi regime - ignoring his mass murder of thousands of political appointments.

He blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for his crimes. He claimed it "tried to take the country away from its basic values and progress." He urged support for junta rule he ludicrously claimed supports democracy.

He delivered an address at a memorial service for former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. Despite his ruthless military and government record, Blair praised him as a great leader unafraid to make "difficult decisions."

Last March, London's Independent cited an unnamed US official describing him "a 'standing joke' with 'no credibility' (in the Middle East) amid rumours he will stop down" as regional envoy - the post he held for eight years.

His position no longer is tenable given his dubious business interests described as a complex network of financial legal entities and clear contempt for Arab rights.

An unnamed senior diplomat said he was being eased out of his job. "It is long overdue. He has been ineffective in this job." He needs to go. He’s no longer credible in this part of the world.

An unnamed Obama official said he's "neither an asset nor a liability, but his current role is no longer viable."

The Bush administration got him named Middle East envoy as reward for supporting naked aggression on Iraq based on Big Lies. Critics called his appointment a cruel joke.

The Financial Times said he faced increasing criticism for combining diplomacy with business. He profited hugely, amassing a fortune. 

He did nothing to further Middle East peace. Endless wars raged throughout his tenure. He ignores justice for besieged Gazans.

Former UK ambassadors and politicians called for his resignation last year. They accused him of trying to "absolve himself" of responsibility for endless regional wars, instability and chaos.

Earlier critics Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late Harold Pinter called for him to be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

British author/journalist Francis Beckett called his tenure as Middle East envoy "a tragic waste, focused more on business than on (regional) peace…"

London's Guardian said he steps down at a time Israeli/Palestinian relations are at "rock bottom - against a background of dwindling hopes that a two-state solution…can ever be reached."

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. 

Obama Memorial Day Big Lies

Obama Memorial Day Big Lies

by Stephen Lendman

Obama is an unindicted war criminal, a moral coward, a national disgrace, a serial liar.

On Memorial Day (May 25) at Arlington National Cemetery, he again disgraced the office he holds. He ignored millions America killed and maimed post-9/11 alone.

He dishonored America's war dead. A previous article said they were sacrificed on the alter of greed and lust for power.

America hasn't fought a legal war since WW II. Post-9/11, lawless ones on humanity continue raging - raping one country after another or in multiples.

Obama wouldn't know the truth if it bit him on the rump. "Today is the first Memorial Day in 14 years that the United States is not engage in a major ground war," he ludicrously blustered.

Fact: Obama wars rage against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Donbass, and partnered with endless Israeli aggression against Palestine by funding its killing machine.

Fact: Throughout Obama's entire tenure, America hasn't known a day of peace.

Fact: Obama wants congressional authorization to wage wars at his discretion.

Fact: He's a serial international, constitutional and US statute law violator.

Fact: Impeaching him is a national imperative.

Fact: He belongs in prison, not high office.

Fact: His unjustifiable belligerence toward Russia and China risks WW III.

Fact: His contempt for humanity shows in his brazen lawlessness - at home and abroad.

Fact: He wrecked the economy, looted the treasury, handed the nation's wealth to banksters and other corporate predators, imposed austerity on ordinary people struggling to make ends meet, and governs under a police state apparatus.

Fact: He targeted more whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing than all his predecessors combined.

Fact: His war on freedom threatens to destroy it altogether.

Fact: His aim to commodify public education risks denying millions of American youths what others like this writer got when growing up in inner-city Boston.

Fact: His kill list decides who dies at his discretion.

Fact: America sunk lower than ever before on his watch.

It dishonors its war dead, wounded, sick, maimed and dying. Its entire history is blood-drenched.

The business of America is war. It's a national addiction - pillaging for profit. It benefits rich, powerful elites at the expense of everyone else.

Martin Luther King called America "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world." Imagine if swords were turned into plowshares. Imagine an America fit to live in. 

Imagine its resources used for healthcare, education, creating living wage/good benefits jobs, ending homelessness and hunger, and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure.

Imagine a race to the top instead of the bottom. Imagine ending the nightmare of possible nuclear annihilation. Imagine the benefits of peace over war. 

Imagine abolishing world conflicts forever. Imagine never again being more than an empty slogan. Imagine a World Peace Day commemoration - something really worth celebrating.

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. 

Bernie Sanders: Populist or Opportunist?

Bernie Sanders: Populist or Opportunist?

by Stephen Lendman

Compared to Hillary Clinton and array of Republican presidential aspirants looking more like a police lineup, Sanders seems almost saintly. Hold the cheers.

On the one hand, no one challenging money-controlled US politics has a chance to win any top position in government - let alone the presidency. Sander's chance to become president is zero.

On the other, ignore what he and other politicians say. Follow what they do, mainly their voting record on issues mattering most.

Give him credit. Sanders is on the right side of many issues - including calling income inequality "the great moral issue of our time."

At the same time, he talks the talk but often doesn't walk the walk. He supported sequestration cuts affecting public education, healthcare and housing, Head Start, disaster relief, federal employee wages and other populist programs. 

His voting record too often supports America's killing machine. He usually votes for annual defense authorizations providing funding for America's empire of bases, waging war on humanity and threatening its survival.

He supports funding America's Gestapo - the Department of Homeland Security, a rogue agency by any standard.

Earlier he supported maintaining a Cuban travel ban. He later voted to lift it. He opposed permanent normal trade relations with China.

He was the only Senate member publicly supporting universal healthcare - then voted with Democrats for Obamacare. His no vote would have killed what Ralph Nader calls a "pay or die" system - a rationing scheme benefitting insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains.

The problem with Sanders is his rhetoric belies his record. He votes 98% of the time with Senate Democrats.

He'll support Hillary Clinton if she's nominated. "Maybe I shouldn't say this: I like Hillary Clinton," he said.

So far, he refuses to attack her pro-war, pro-corporate favoritism agenda. When asked if he'll support the Democrat party nominee, he said: "Yes. I have in the past." 

He refuses to run as an independent. "(A)bsolutely not," he said. "I've been very clear about that." At the same time, the chance for him becoming the Democrat nominee is virtually nil.

In launching his presidential bid, it's one thing to say we need a "political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally."

"Today we stand here and say loudly and clearly: Enough is enough. This great nation and its government belong to all of the people and not to a handful of billionaires."

It's quite another falling short too often - or supporting what demands denunciation.

Instead of accepting the wrongheaded view about Iran wanting nuclear weapons, he should forthrightly explain its peaceful program with no military component or intention to have one. He hasn't done it.

He supports Israel's killing machine. He justified its summer 2014 genocidal Gaza war based on Big Lies - without explaining Hamas fired rockets on Israeli territory in self-defense after repeated IDF provocations and attacks.

During an August 2014 town hall meeting, he defended naked Israeli aggression and told a Palestinian supporter to "shut up."

He unjustly accuses Hamas for Israeli high crimes. He voted for Senate legislation calling on the UN to rescind the Goldstone report on Israeli Operation Cast Lead war on Gaza high crimes.

He opposes Palestinian statehood based on pre-June 1967 borders - 22% of historic Palestine.

He's against it without first achieving the impossible - Israel agreeing to an equitable peace. He supports vetoing any Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement - based on Israeli imposed terms.

If Sanders really wanted revolutionary change, he'd renounce both major parties as two sides of the same coin - not a dime's worth of difference between them on issues mattering most.

He'd denounce America's money-controlled political process - a rigged system giving ordinary people no say, a sham democracy in name only.

Instead, he ludicrously says "I will not be a spoiler. I will not play that role in helping to elect some right-wing Republican as president of the United States."

He prefers war-goddess, corporate controlled, GMO supporter, anti-populist Hillary Clinton who'll match or exceed the extremism of any Republican aspirant.

His role is urging independents to vote Democrat when he drops out of the race in summer 2016 for lack of enough support.

He's largely a man of the people in name only. He fails to forthrightly denounce a corrupted US political/economic system demanding revolutionary top to bottom change.

He's part of the dirty system elevating him from Burlington Vermont mayor to congressman to senator to presidential aspirant.

He's aged 73, in politics since 1981, nominally independent, a de facto Democrat, too often a business as usual supporter based on his voting record.

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.