Friday, April 29, 2016

Russia and America are Adversaries, Not Partners

Russia and America Are Adversaries, Not Partners

by Stephen Lendman

Agreements Russia and other nations make with America are fraught with hazards. Sordid US history shows it flagrantly breaches deals repeatedly.

Washington can’t be trusted. It doesn’t negotiate in good faith. Duplicity is longstanding policy, peace anathema to advancing its imperium.

Russian officials calling their US counterparts partners is oxymoronic on its face. Longstanding relations between both countries are adversarial. Top US officials and Pentagon commanders call Moscow America’s leading threat. Evidence shows otherwise.

Numerous previous articles explained in detail. Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites - the world’s preeminent peacemaker v. its leading aggressor, agendas of both governments antithetical to the other.

Putin promotes mutual cooperation among all nations. Obama demands all countries obey its rules. It wants all independent governments transformed into US vassal states.

When both countries conclude agreements, Russia’s word is its bond, America’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

A so-called “regime of silence” both countries agreed to in Syria’s Latakia province for 72 hours may prove meaningless as cessation of hostilities and farcical peace talks.

It calls for both sides to cease hostilities for three days - unlikely with US-backed terrorists continuing them against civilian and government targets.

It’s wishful thinking to expect terrorists to turn over a new leaf even short-term. Since cessation of hostilities began at midnight February 26, multiple daily violations occurred - with full US support and encouragement.

America wants war, not peace. Ceasefire is anathema to its agenda. Endless conflicts and turbulence serve it.

Syria’s military said it’ll observe the silence period in Latakia’s northern countryside for 72 hours and Ghouta, east of Damascus, for a 24-hour period.

Fighting will continue raging in Aleppo province and other areas controlled by, infested with, or attacked US-backed terrorists.

A drop of “silence” in an ocean of war accomplishes little. If warring sides maintain “silence” for one to three days, nothing suggests hostilities won’t resume like before when it ends.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Former Speaker Boehner Blasts Cruz

Former Speaker Boehner Blasts Cruz

by Stephen Lendman 

John Boehner minced no words, calling Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” adding “I have never worked with a more miserable son-of-a-bitch in my life.”

Trump sounds almost mild, calling him “lying Ted…a hypocrite…a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him.”

A previous article called him the most despised US senator - arrogant, abrasive, mean-spirited, insufferable and obnoxious, antagonizing friends and foes.

His combative style creates enemies. He calls fellow Republicans fake conservatives. Boehner silently blasted him earlier by raising his middle finger, expressing anger and disgust.

No senator in memory created more enemies on both sides of the isle. Imagine how world leaders would react to a Cruz presidency. How do you say “son-of-a-bitch” in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic etc?

Boehner said he’ll support Trump if nominated, not Cruz. Earlier he backed Jeb Bush, endorsed John Kasich when he dropped out.

“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” he also said, adding “I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee,” current House speaker.

Asked about the former speaker’s criticism, Cruz said he let “his inner Trump come out. (He represents) everything wrong and corrupt in Washington.”

Last summer, Boehner called Cruz a “jackass.” On CBS News’ Face the Nation, he said he’s a “false prophet.”

Cruz and tea party neocons helped end Boehner’s tenure as speaker and longtime congressional member (1991 - 2015), nearly five years in one of the nation’s most influential posts.

Former Boehner spokesman David Schnittger said “he generally says what he thinks…and being out of office (hasn’t made him) less inclined to be that way.”

He ridiculed Hillary Clinton, saying “(o)h, I’m a woman. Vote for me.” He called his “proudest accomplishment…walking out of there the same jackass I was 25 years before.”

On Thursday, Cruz tweeted: “Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who’s Boehner’s ‘texting and golfing buddy,’ or Carly & me?

America’s money-controlled political system gives voters no acceptable choices. Names and faces change. Everything stays the same.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Obama's Economic Legacy: Thirdworldizing America

Obama’s Economic Legacy: Thirdworldizing America

by Stephen Lendman

The New York Times colluded with Obama, presenting the illusion of economic recovery, twisting reality, ignoring cold hard facts.

Interviewed by its financial columnist Andrew Sorkin, a false picture of his economic record was presented.

America’s 1% never had things better. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions affect most others. 

One out of four working-age Americans have no jobs. Most others lucky to have work are underemployed - stuck in rotten part-time, low-pay, poor-or-no-benefit temp or part-time positions, one missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and desperation.

Economist John Williams says “(e)conomic activity is deteriorating rapidly, not improving.” Q I “GDP growth of 0.5% was absolute nonsense…Meaningful downside revisions loom…”

Housing starts, industrial production, retail sales, and durable goods orders are down. “US economic reality remains (protracted) non-recovery and renewed downturn,” Williams explained.

Economic conditions for ordinary Americans are dismal with no prospect in sight for improvement. Independent historians one day will explain how Obama hastened the nation’s transformation into an oligarch-run kleptocracy, a banana republic.

Inside the bubble, it’s paradise for the privileged few. Outside it’s dystopian hell. Sorkin let Obama get away with repeated lies and distortions, failing to responsibly challenge him responsibly.

“(W)e probably managed (the economic crisis) better than any large economy on earth in modern history,” Obama claimed. Truth is polar opposite.

Recovery never occurred. Crisis conditions remain. Obama’s legacy reflects the worst economic management in US history - enriching the few, harming most others, waging endless wars on humanity, letting Wall Street and war-profiteers benefit hugely.

Trump is right calling America “a third world nation.” Obama claiming the US economy is in much better shape than the public appreciates is belied by growing millions impoverished, Depression-level unemployment, record levels of hunger and homelessness - unreported crisis conditions going unaddressed.

Inequality soared during Obama’s tenure. Wealth redistribution from ordinary Americans to its privileged class remains unprecedented. 

Inflation-adjusted median household income plunged. A 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances explained it declined 12% ($6,400) between 2007 and 2013.

Between 2010 and 2013, it fell 5%. Most Americans believe the nation remains mired in recession for good reason. They’re struggling daily to get by.

Suicides and mortality rates are up, life expectancy lower for the most disadvantaged, social justice fast eroding, on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

Throughout his tenure, Obama did nothing to help growing millions, suffering through America’s second Great Depression.

The true measure of the man and his administration is disgraceful - serving the privileged few exclusively, contemptuous of most others.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

The Battle for Aleppo

The Battle for Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

Western officials and supportive media scoundrels blame attacks on civilian targets in Aleppo and surrounding areas on Syria and Russia. US-backed terrorists bear full responsibility.

The UK government owned, operated and controlled BBC was typical media deception, repeating tired old Big Lies, citing US sources “criticizing Russia’s air campaign for largely striking at Western-backed groups fighting the Syrian government rather than the so-called Islamic State.”

Fact: Syrian and Russian forces are attacking ISIS and other Security Council designated terrorist groups.

Fact: All armed factions waging war on Syria are imported death squads - supported by Washington and its rogue partners.

Fact: They’re willfully attacking civilians with full US backing and encouragement. US special forces and CIA elements on the ground help direct their operations.

On Thursday, a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) statement said the following:

“Fourteen people, including at least two doctors, were killed Wednesday night in the bombing of a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the medical humanitarian organization said today.”

“According to hospital staff on the ground, the Al Quds hospital in Aleppo was destroyed by at least one airstrike which directly hit the building, reducing it to rubble. Other airstrikes in the neighborhood also hit areas close to the hospital.”

A previous article incorrectly identified the MSF hospital as al-Razi. Syrian media reported it was shelled and badly damaged - killing at least 20, injuring dozens using rockets “stuffed with highly explosive materials.”

Government and Russian warplanes had nothing to do with either attack. Syria’s military called reports otherwise “untrue and aimed at covering the terrorists’ crimes against civilians.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashinkov said its “air force has not carried out any flights over the Aleppo region during the latest days.”

Data confirms “that a warplane for one country of the (so-called US-led) coalition flew…in Aleppo skies” on the day the MSF hospital and other civilian targets were attacked.

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov blasted America’s illegal operations in Syria - ongoing without Security Council or Damascus authorization.

They reflect “the arrogant stance that Syrian President Assad heads an illegitimate regime,” said Lavrov - ignoring his democratic reelection and overwhelming popularity.

Russia is “the only country engaged in anti-terrorism activities in Syria legally,” Lavrov stressed.

Washington wants regime change, perhaps intending an operation similar to Libya, he added. It’s waging naked aggression against a sovereign independent state, using terrorist fighters as imperial foot soldiers.

Separately, Fars News said “Turkey is planning to launch a new invasion against Syria under the pretext of fighting against the ISIL terrorists,” citing Arab media source Al-Quds al-Arabi.

It reported Ankara intending to invade northern Syria “through a region 8km in width and 18km in length,” according to Fars News.

Turkish forces control small Syrian border areas. Erdogan apparently has a greater objective in mind.

In the last 24 hours, Syrian media reported 33 civilian deaths, another 165 injured. An Aleppo Police Command source said nine children and a woman were among those killed.

US-backed terrorists are willfully targeting civilians, killing and wounding them daily. A Syrian military source said thousands of government troops intend a large offensive in days, aiming to “wipe out the militancy in Aleppo province.”

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Israel Murders Pregnant Palestinian Woman Posing No Threat

Israel Murders Pregnant Palestinian Woman Posing No Threat

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness goes virtually unreported in America, little elsewhere in the West, its high crimes ignored. 

Long-suffering Palestinians don’t matter. They’re persecuted for not being Jews, often victims of cold-blooded murder. 

On Wednesday, Israeli security forces lethally shot 23-year-old pregnant mother Maram Salif Hassan Abu Ismail and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim.

They threatened no one. Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri lied, claiming an attempted stabbing attack was foiled.

Maram and Ibrahim were heading for Jerusalem. They took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians. At the Qalandiya checkpoint, they didn’t understand what soldiers were shouting at them in Hebrew.

Ibrahim reached for his sister’s hand. They froze in fear, posed no threat, yet soldiers lethally shot Maram. When Ibrahim tried helping her, he was shot and killed.

An eyewitness said they posed no threat. Other witnesses said soldiers fired repeatedly at them as they lay helpless on the ground.

Eyewitness Ahmad Taha said “(t)here was no stabbing attempt, and no reason for the army to shoot. The soldiers shot them from a distance, and then fired more rounds to confirm the kills.”

They “placed two knives next to the lifeless bodies…shortly after…police published pictures showing three knives.” 

Planting them at the scene of their crimes is commonplace Israeli practice. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said soldiers denied its medical workers access to both victims, letting them bleed to death unattended.

They weren’t carrying knives, nor was Maram wearing an explosive belt as the IDF claimed. Palestinian medical sources said she was five months pregnant.

“Her only fault was walking the wrong route and not understanding Hebrew.” The only thing she “carried” was her fetus.

Ibrahim chose the wrong time to accompany his sister. Most alleged Palestinian stabbing attempts are fabricated.

Media reports invariably say no Israelis were injured. How could so many alleged incidents only harm Palestinians, many resulting in their deaths, yet security forces rarely are harmed.

Draw your own conclusion!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital - Russia and Syria Blamed


US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital - Russia and Syria Blamed

by Stephen Lendman

Overnight Wednesday, US-backed terrorists shelled Aleppo’s Doctors Without Borders (MSF) al-Razi hospital and nearby residential areas - killing at least 20, injuring dozens, some critically.

Syrian media reported rocket shells “stuffed with highly explosive materials” caused extensive damage.

A Syrian military source said falsified reports blamed its warplanes and Russia’s for the attacks. US-backed terrorists bore full responsibility.

Three children and six medical staff were among the casualties. The ICRC said escalated fighting worsened the humanitarian situation for tens of thousands of area residents.

Other Aleppo area terrorist attacks in the last 24 hours killed at least 49 civilians. Cessation of hostilities is more myth than reality.

No matter what efforts are made to revive peace talks, they’re effectively dead going nowhere. Pro-Western mediator Staffan de Mistura wants another round begun on May 10.

He urged Russia and America to try “revitali(ing) what they have created and which is still alive but barely.” Both sides are intractably apart. No responsible government would agree to unacceptable US/Saudi-backed opposition demands.

Obama wants war, not peace, deploying hundreds of special forces to northern Syria illegally on the phony pretext of combatting ISIS. US warplanes continue attacking infrastructure and government sites - along with recruiting terrorist fighters and arming them.

Their scourge is one of humanity’s greatest threats. They thrive because of foreign support - from America its creator and rogue allies. 

They can’t survive without it - reality media scoundrels suppress, maintaining the fiction of US-led efforts to combat it.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump's Worldview: Old Wine in New Bottles


Trump’s Worldview: Old Wine in New Bottles

by Stephen Lendman

Believe nothing politicians say. They all lie. Trump sent mixed messages in delivering his first foreign policy address. His worldview is more nightmarish than visionary.

His America first agenda features unipolarity, nativism and US military supremacy while claiming to “want to live peacefully with Russia and China.”

Absent was urging respect for and adherence to rule of law principles along with wanting mutual cooperation among all nations. 

He failed to denounce America’s imperial agenda, its phony war on terrorism as a pretext for endless aggression against nonbelligerent states threatening no others.

On the one hand, he called “(o)ur foreign policy…a complete and total disaster.” On the other, his “administration will lead a free world (sic) that is properly armed and funded…”

He lied about the Iran nuclear deal, calling it “disastrous.” In earlier comments, he vowed to rescind it, ignoring the obligation of P5+1 countries to observe agreed on principles - Iran in full compliance. 

Saying Tehran “ignor(ed) its terms even before the ink was dry” was willful deception. America alone continues violating terms it agreed to observe.

Stressing “Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon” ignores its peaceful program with no military component or indication it seeks one - along with failing to denounce Israel as the sole nuclear armed and dangerous regional state, threatening its peace and stability.

Trump shamelessly called the Jewish state “the one true democracy in the Middle East…a force for peace and justice” - ignoring its longstanding anti-Palestinian genocidal agenda, ongoing viciousness as he spoke.

His address was a litany of misinformation, distortions and 
Big Lies. Obama “watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression,” he blustered.

“China…continue(s) its economic assault on American jobs and wealth…” It’s waging cyberwar “to steal government secrets…”

“If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.”

“We’re a humanitarian nation…(T)he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess…We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.”

All of the above twists reality demagogically. North Korea threatens no one. For decades, Washington spurned its efforts to normalize relations with the West.

China doesn’t steal US jobs. Corporate America offshores them to numerous low-wage countries, bipartisan US policy doing nothing to stop the transformation of industrial America into a third world nation.

Trump conveniently ignored post-9/11 Bush wars of aggression, bipartisan complicity supporting them.

Clinton’s 1990s Balkan wars preceded them, raping and dismembering the former Yugoslavia. 

Obama’s imperial agenda is more of the same, exceeding the worst of George Bush - Hillary Clinton as secretary of state orchestrating naked aggression on Libya and Syria.

Muslims, not Christians and Jews, are at risk in today’s dangerous world. Post-9/11, US foreign policy left millions dead, endless carnage continuing, Congress permitting it with outsized military appropriations for permanent war on humanity.

Who knows what Trump means about everything changing if he becomes president. “America is going to be strong again,” he ranted.

Claiming he wants “radical Islam” halted ignores its US creation and support. Surely he knows, but won’t say, perpetuating the myth of war on terrorism - failing to explain ISIS and similar groups can’t exist without foreign support.

“(W)e have to rebuild our military and our economy,” he blustered. Annual defense authorizations should be greatly reduced at a time America has no enemies.

Billions saved should be invested domestically to create jobs for the one out of four working-age Americans without them - and better ones for the millions of underemployed.

Trump shamelessly calls increasing America’s military strength “the cheapest, single investment we can make…Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean…by anybody and everybody.”

At the same time, he stresses not wasting “one single dollar.” Pentagon policy is a longstanding sinkhole of waste, fraud and abuse. Trump bluster won’t change things.

Putting America first sounds like demanding other nations operate by US rules or else. Saying “I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative” is no different from current imperial policy.

Insisting he wants “peace and prosperity, not war and destruction” suggests a pledge to be breached straightaway in office, continuing dirty business as usual.

Trump differs from rival candidates largely in style. If elected to succeed Obama, expect deplorable continuity, not responsible change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Pentagon Hypes Fear for Greater Military Spending


Pentagon Hypes Fear for Greater Military Spending

by Stephen Lendman

I’ve stressed repeatedly. America’s only enemies are ones it creates. Its war on terrorism is a shameless hoax, a pretext for endless wars of aggression.

Today is the most perilous time in world history. Bipartisan US policy threatens world peace. The possibility of nuclear war should scare everyone.

Disarmament should be prioritized - using public resources for economic development, job creation, and rebuilding industrial America.

Bipartisan consensus rejects what’s most essential, supporting military Keynesianism on steroids, a permanent war economy, ongoing since WW II ended.

The world’s richest nation has growing millions of poor, disadvantaged, uneducated, a hidden hunger and homelessness crisis, lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, and bipartisan governance prioritizing endless wars over peace, equity and justice.

In testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee members, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph (“fighting Joe”) Dunford hyped nonexistent threats, urging greater military spending than already.

Carter lied calling “Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism” America’s greatest threats. No nation threatens the world’s leading superpower anywhere.

Terrorism is US created and supported. “Russian aggression” exists nowhere, nor are China, North Korea and Iran behaving “aggressively.”

Washington is furious about Russia waging real war on terrorism in Syria, not phony war like America, foiling its regional imperial agenda.

Carter and Dunford support endless US wars of aggression, urge congressional authorization for record amounts of military spending along with additional appropriations whenever requested.

America’s addiction to war is the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival. 

All US presidential aspirants support continuing dirty business as usual. An eventual day of reckoning looms.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Cruz-Fiorina Alliance Shows Desperation

Cruz-Fiorina Alliance Shows Desperation

by Stephen Lendman

A days earlier announced Cruz-Kasich alliance to stay out of each other’s way in upcoming primaries as a way of challenging Trump faltered straightaway - Kasich urging supporters to stick with him.

Trump called their gambit “pathetic,” a desperation move. In response to Cruz naming Carly Fiorina his running mate, he posted an earlier TV clip on his Twitter page of her calling Cruz a politician who “says whatever he needs to say to get elected.”

Don’t they all!! Promises are made to be broken. Obama broke every major one he made.

Separately, Trump mocked the move, saying “Cruz can’t win. What’s he doing picking vice presidents? He’s mathematically eliminated.”

“He is the first presidential candidate in the history of this country who’s mathematically eliminated from becoming president who chose a vice presidential candidate.”

True though not the first presidential candidate to choose a running mate before winning his party’s nomination. In 1976, Ronald Reagan chose Sen. Richard Schweiker. Gerald Ford defeated his challenge to become GOP standard bearer, losing to Jimmy Carter in November.

Fiorina suspended her presidential campaign in February for lack of support. Her worldview matches Hillary Clinton’s - pro-war, pro-Wall Street, anti-populist, one-sidedly pro-Israel, militantly anti-Russia and Iran.

She’s a failed corporate CEO. Her dismal record got her sacked. Hewlett-Packard’s stock lost half its value while most other blue-chips rose sharply.

More than 30,000 H-P employees lost jobs on her watch. It included what some market watchers called “the dumbest deal of the decade.” A risky mega-merger with Compaq failed.

She blamed the dot.com bust, sexism and board member ineffectiveness for her own shortcomings. She made a once Silicon Valley pioneer into a shadow of its former self.

Naming her his running mate isn’t likely to help Cruz’s flagging presidential bid. It followed Trump sweeping all five Tuesday GOP primaries, eliminating his first-round nomination chance - perhaps making it impossible to stop his main rival from clinching things.

No matter who wins their party nominations and succeeds Obama next year, the vast majority of Americans lose.

Governance of, by and for its privileged few remains official US policy. Farcical elections offer no hope for responsible change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Symbolic French Vote for Lifting Sanctions on Russia

Symbolic French Vote for Lifting Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

America and EU countries illegally imposed sanctions on Russia - Washington four times since March 2014 for fabricated reasons relating to Ukraine.

Nations unilaterally or collectively may not impose sanctions on other countries, individuals, businesses or organizations. International law permits only Security Council members to impose them. 

They’re counterproductive achieving nothing. The EU succumbed to heavy US pressure, instituting its own sanctions on Russian state-owned banks, defense and oil companies, as well as restricting sales of weapons, military and dual-use technologies, high tech and oil industry related products. 

Russia responded in kind, banning imports of various EU agricultural products. Sanctions harm both sides, accomplishing nothing for either.

On Wednesday, 101 out of 577 lower house French National Assembly deputies voted on a non-binding resolution to lift sanctions on Russia - 55 for, 44 against and 2 abstentions, the majority of lawmakers not participating.

The action was symbolic only. Sanctions remain in place. US pressure assures it for now. The State Department insists they’ll remain in force until Crimea is returned to Ukraine.

Its Russian territory. Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to return to the Russian Federation to correct a historic mistake - affirming their UN Charter self-determination right. There’s no going back.

National Assembly member Thierry Mariani initiated parliamentary debate, “call(ing) on the French government not to extend the restrictive measures and economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union.”

“Useless and ineffective sanctions against Russia have today become a heavy burden for French agriculture. That's why I urge members of the parliamentary majority to show responsibility and independence in this issue.”

In January, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said “(t)he objective we all share is to (lift) sanctions by the summer…”

At the time, John Kerry said it depends on implementation of Minsk principles Washington systematically undermines along with putschists it installed in Kiev to make peace unattainable.

EU leaders are scheduled to meet on June 28 and 29. Sanctions expire in July. Whether they’ll be lifted or extended remains to be seen.

Washington’s long arm may keep them in force. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and likeminded US neocons disgracefully call Russia America’s greatest threat.

Their political posturing irresponsibly hypes fear, pushing for increased defense spending while maintaining pressure on EU countries to operate by Washington rules.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Honoring An Erdogan Victim

Honoring An Erdogan Victim

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey is a US-supported fascist police state, Erdogan a world-class thug, a despot by any standard.

During June 2013 anti-regime protests, 15-year-old Berkin Elvan was struck on the head by a police tear gas canister while out buying bread for his family.

On March 11, 2014, he died following a 269 day coma. Thousands turned out for his funeral, accompanying his coffin through Istanbul.

Protesters shouted “Erdogan, killer.” “All against fascism.” “Berkin’s murderers are the AKP police,” referring to Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party. 

In Berkin’s Okmeydani neighborhood, shopkeepers closed for the day in a show of respect and solidarity. 

His mother blamed Erdogan for what happened. He disgracefully called her son a “member of a terrorist organization” because of a simple scarf he wore.

Demonstrations were held throughout Turkey and in numerous Western cities.

Photojournalist Demir Sonmez’s picture of Berkin is on display in Geneva, Switzerland at its Place des Nations, the caption saying in English translation “My name is Berkin Elvan. The police killed me on order of the premier” - Erdogan at the time.

He demanded its removal. Vice Mayor Guillaume Barazzone responded, saying “Geneva will not allow any country to be influenced in this matter. Geneva and Switzerland stand for freedom of expression.”

“Therefore the administrative council will support this exhibition, and it is out of the question to remove the photograph.”

City spokesman Remy Pagani called it “absurd” to “censor” photography. “Freedom of expression is freedom of expression,” he stressed.

Photographer Sonmez said he was shocked but not surprised by Erdogan’s reaction - heading a rogue regime intolerant of free expression in all forms, attacking it beyond Turkey’s borders.

Nearly 2,000 Turkish nationals face prosecution, charged with insulting the president. Anyone challenging his iron-fisted rule or exposing regime wrongdoing risks imprisonment or  assassination.

On Tuesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders warned his country can’t guarantee the safety of its citizens traveling to Turkey if they’ve criticized its regime.

He blasted Erdogan, saying he “can’t treat the press and press freedom this way if (he) want(s) to be part of Europe.”

In March, he said “(d)emocracy, freedom and the rule of law…For us, these words have absolutely no value any longer.”

“Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism (sic) are our friends. Those on the opposite side are our enemies.”

Turkey allies with Washington and other rogue states in supporting ISIS and other regional terrorist groups. It’s waging war on Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi Kurds.

It’s a notorious human rights violator. Its regime threatens regional and world peace.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russian Air Power Making the Difference in Syria

Russian Air Power Making the Difference in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Defeating US-supported terrorists in Syria requires longterm struggle. Reinvigorated government forces greatly aided by Russian air power, intelligence and other assistance are up to the task.

Russia’s involvement since last September turned the tide of battle, its General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate head Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, saying:

“Over almost seven months of the Russian Aerospace Forces' military operation (in Syria), more than 9,500 sorties (were) conducted, and some 29,000 terrorist targets (were) destroyed.”

They include terrorist-held oil facilities, explaining “(t)he sources of finance of Daesh and al-Nusra Front have been cut off.” 

“More than 200 facilities for extracting, refining, and pumping fuel in locations controlled by terrorist groups in Syria have been destroyed, as well as more than 2,000 means of delivering oil products.”

Despite falsified reports claiming otherwise, Russian warplanes struck no civilian targets, scrupulously avoiding noncombatant casualties or destruction of nonmilitary related facilities and sites.

In contrast, “(m)ultiple militants' attempts to provoke strikes on civilian facilities have been disrupted,” Rudskoy explained. 

“According to the terrorists' plot, civilian deaths should have undermined the Russian Aerospace Forces, provoked negative reaction from the international community, and forced the Russian leadership to stop the fight against terrorism.”

The scheme failed. Despite withdrawing a large part of its aerial force, enough firepower remains to continue combating ISIS and other terrorist groups effectively. More can be brought in on short notice if needed.

Dozens of drones along with other aerial and ground reconnaissance maintain close watch on conditions throughout the country.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists arrive daily from Turkish territory where they’re given safe haven along with other terrorist fighters.

Syrian forces seized a large cargo of Israeli weapons and munitions in Sweida province in the country’s south.

Netanyahu actively backs Obama’s war, supplying material support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, treating their wounded in Israeli hospitals, and conducting air attacks on Syrian targets at his discretion.

The struggle to preserve Syrian sovereignty and integrity continues. Assad deserves universal support.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump and Clinton Win Big on Tuesday


Trump and Clinton Win Big on Tuesday 

by Stephen Lendman

Both candidates moved closer to their party’s nominations. With overwhelming unelected super-delegate support (nearly 20% of the Democrat total), Sanders is too far behind to catch up.

Without Republican super-delegates (6.5% of the GOP total), Trump is 400 delegates ahead of rival Cruz, momentum working for him.

On Tuesday, he won all five GOP primaries, Clinton four of five, Sanders winning only Rhode Island.

Strong showings from both leading candidates are expected in six May primaries and the big one in California on June 7, five other states voting on the same date. 

The race for both party nominations should be over by then, but electoral rigging makes anything possible. Tuesday evening Trump declared himself “the presumptive (GOP) nominee, absolutely.”

He’s right with millions more votes than his rivals, but the dirty system could “trump” him, rigging things for another nominee in July.

Dirty politics in America is longstanding. Monied interests decide things. Voters have no say. Democracy is pure fantasy.

Dirty business as usual continues no matter who holds the nation’s highest office and key congressional ones. Campaign rhetoric quickly fades.

Promises made are broken. Endless imperial wars will continue, monied interests served exclusively, the rights and welfare of ordinary people increasingly ignored.

Believing elections can change things is self-delusion. The American way is too venal to fix. Tyranny triumphed over the rule of law. 

Naked aggression is official policy. So is torture. Police state laws override constitutional protections.

Anyone considered a national security threat can be arrested and indefinitely detained - with or without just cause, their fundamental rights denied.

US citizens abroad can be hunted down and killed for any reason or none at all. Activists for peace, social justice and civil rights risk arrest and imprisonment. Dissent is increasingly endangered.

America’s next president will continue dirty business as usual while demagogically claiming otherwise.

Clinton is most likely to start WW III. Trump’s only redeeming quality is he won’t likely go that far. Make no mistake. He didn’t become a billionaire by being a good guy. 

Clinton’s public record as first lady, US senator and secretary of state shows she’s a disaster waiting to happen, a notorious Wall Street tool, addicted to endless wars - the military-industrial-scoundrel media complex’s dream candidate.

Endless war on humanity will continue on her watch. The fundamental problem too few Americans understand is things will be much the same no matter who succeeds Obama.

Wall Street, war-profiteers and other corporate favorites will benefit exclusively - at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Bernie Sanders: More Myth Than Populist Champion


Bernie Sanders: More Myth Than Populist Champion

by Stephen Lendman

Populists are excluded from high office in America. A true progressive hasn’t run for the presidency since socialist Eugene Debs tried five times - his last attempt from prison in 1920 for opposing WW I.

In 1924, Robert LaFollette’s Progressive Party bid failed. Following his defeat, his party disbanded.

Progressivism began in the 19th century to end slavery, support women's rights, small farmers, and political populism. It supported:

  • social reforms benefitting ordinary Americans;

  • citizens having more control over government;

  • education as a universal right;

  • curbing excessive corporate power;

  • eliminating corruption and waste;

  • empowering organized labor;

  • preventing child worker exploitation;

  • environmental conservation; and

  • social values above financial gain.

Aspirants for the nation’s highest office today are worlds apart from these values - pro-war, pro-business, and against government of, by and for everyone equitably. 

Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin, virtual clones of each other on issues mattering most.

Sanders is more opportunist than populist, a socialist in name only, voting 98% of the time with Democrats, backing their anti-progressive agenda while rhetorically claiming otherwise.

He’s done little in Congress fighting for things he claims to support - universal healthcare a glaring example. 

His Senate vote could have killed Obamacare, a healthcare rationing scheme based on the ability to pay, designed to enrich insurers, drug industry bandits and large hospital chains at the expense of Medicare for all - everyone in, no one left out.

His alleged turning a new leaf on Palestinian rights belies his 30-year record of one-sided support for Israel’s worst crimes.

His notion of revolutionary change is old wine in new bottles, business as usual he rhetorically opposes.

His voting record shows he’s on the wrong side of issues mattering most. All politicians lie. Nothing they say should be believed.

Acknowledging defeat Tuesday night, Sanders’ pledge rang hollow, saying he’ll fight for “Medicare for all…breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking, making public colleges and universities tuition free,” and more.

Backers should ask why he’s done so little throughout his public life for what he claims to support.

America needs committed populists, not rhetorical ones. If Sanders wanted real change, he’d have launched a progressive movement years ago - reviving the spirit of Debs and LaFollette.

After 30 public service years supporting wealth and power, why should anyone believe he turned a new leaf!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

NYT Calls Trump Unfit to Be President

NYT Calls Trump Unfit to Be President

by Stephen Lendman

Times editors bash him relentlessly, supporting neoliberal neocon war goddess, Wall Street favorite Clinton, ignoring her pure evil agenda - shamelessly calling her the most qualified US presidential aspirant “in modern history.”

No responsible editors would publish this rubbish. All duopoly party candidates support the American way, serving wealth and power interests exclusively at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

Don’t let their campaign rhetoric fool you. Realpolitik speaks for itself. Democrat and Republican administrations are pro-war, pro-business and anti-populist, notably since the 1990s.

Sanders vows to back Clinton if she’s nominated, showing he supports her ruthless agenda, revealing his phony populism.

Times editors blasted Trump’s bad habits, accused him of “telling lies…saying that ISIS is ‘making a fortune’ on Libyan oil” - much more on what it’s stolen in Syria and Iraq they conveniently ignored.

Nor do they explain ISIS and other terrorist groups are US creations, unable to exist without foreign support, serving as foot soldiers to advance America’s imperium.

What’s most important to feature is consistently omitted from media reports - horse race journalism substituting for discussing issues mattering most.

Things appear heading for a Trump-Clinton showdown in November. Voters get to choose between bad or worse - responsible change nowhere on the ballot.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tax Avoidance 101

Tax Avoidance 101

by Stephen Lendman

The Panama Papers exposed the tip of a hugely dirty iceberg. Rich and powerful public and private figures hide wealth in tax havens to avoid paying what they owe.

Governments protect their privileged class, notably America, the world’s leading tax haven, letting foreign corporate and high-net worth individuals shelter their wealth, free from taxation.

Many thousands of US businesses and wealthy individuals largely avoid taxes by registering in Delaware, more a tax haven than a state.

Trump and Clinton do it at the same 1209 North Orange Street Wilmington, Delaware address, along with 285,000 business firms, London’s Guardian reported.

They’re both tax cheats. So is Hillary’s husband Bill, sheltering his wealth at the same Corporation Trust Centre (CTC) address, a tax avoidance scam few Americans know anything about.

Registering in Delaware lets businesses and shell companies created solely for tax avoidance “take advantage of strict corporate secrecy rules, business-friendly courts and the ‘Delaware loophole,’ which can allow companies to legally shift earnings from other states to Delaware, where they are not taxed on non-physical incomes generated outside of the state,” the Guardian reported.

Clinton and Trump refuse to explain why they’re tax cheats. Clinton lied, claiming as president she’ll crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes that super-rich people across the world are exploiting in Panama and elsewhere.”

After returning to private life in February 2013, she “registered ZFS Holdings LLC at CTC’s offices,” reported the Guardian. 

“Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC, a vehicle to collect his consultation fees, at the same address in 2008.”

A spokesman for Hillary claiming the move wasn’t for tax avoidance lied. Registering in Delaware enables it.

Trump’s business interests include 100s of companies - 378 registered in Delaware, reported the Guardian. He pays the state of Delaware a lot of money, he said, failing to explain how much he saves by cheating other states where his businesses operate.

An Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report, titled “Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven” called the state “a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes.”

More businesses register in the state than its population of under one million. Clinton called tax havens “a perversion” while she and husband Bill take advantage of a corrupt system legally.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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