Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another US Jail Cell Death Sentence

Another US Jail Cell Death Sentence

by Stephen Lendman

When police in America want someone eliminated, they’re as good as dead. Thirty-seven-year-old Black woman Ralkina Jones is another killer cop victim. 

She was “perfectly fine” the day before her death, according to her sister, Renee Ashford. Last Saturday, she and other family members visited her. “She didn't complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Ashford said.

She “would want us to find out why. You can’t just tell me one minute I seen my sister, then the next day she’s dead. That don’t even make sense. And it’s just, ‘I can’t help you. I can’t tell you.’ Like, no. That’s un-human.”

“She was a go-getter…She was the person who held us together.” Cleveland Heights Jail Facility authorities said her body was found “during a routine jail check of prisoners.”

“Squad personnel were unable to locate any vital signs, and it was determined by CHFD paramedics that Ms Jones was deceased.”

According to police, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is investigating her death. An autopsy completed Monday “revealed no suspicious injuries,” he claimed. 

“The exact cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner pending further studies.” On Friday, Jones was arrested “on charges of felonious assault, domestic violence and child endangerment” - following an alleged confrontation with her  former husband.

Cleveland police said she “was being treated for several medical conditions that were documented during her intake process and she administered her prescribed medication as directed.”

On Saturday, she was taken briefly to a local hospital to check on possible blood pressure and blood sugar abnormalities. After her vital signs were determined normal, she was returned to her cell. Her vitals were last recorded as normal at 12:45AM Sunday morning. Police said they continued monitoring her overnight to check if she was OK.

Yet she was found dead in her cell at 7:30AM under suspicious circumstances. How could a young woman perish hours after being medically determined healthy - another case wreaking of foul play!

Cleveland police shot and killed her uncle, Craig Bickerstaff, in 2003 after an alleged struggle. Family members received $22,500 after suing the city. They’re left with unanswered questions about both deaths.

Given epidemic levels of cops in America killing nonthreatening Blacks, judge for yourself the cause of Jones’ death. 

When a 37-year-old woman pronounced healthy suddenly turns up dead in police custody, the stench of foul play is overwhelming.

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. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Illegitimate Show Trial Sentences Gaddafi's Son to Death

Illegitimate Show Trial Sentences Gaddafi’s Son to Death

by Stephen Lendman

In 2007, candidate Obama said “(t)he president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Straightaway after entering office, he expanded drone attacks against Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He increased troop strength in Afghanistan after pledging to end war by yearend 2009.

US-led NATO aggression on Libya followed. Obama lied claiming Gaddafi “attack(ed) his (own) people. (So) we took…swift steps…to answer his aggression.”

A litany of Big Lies followed. “Innocent people were targeted for killing,” Obama blustered. “Hospital and ambulances were attacked.”

“Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted and killed…Water for hundreds of thousands of people…was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled. Mosques were destroyed.” 

“Gaddafi declared he would show no mercy to his own people” - willful Obama deception. He tried justifying the unjustifiable, adding “I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973.”

International law is clear. Nations may not attack others except in self-defense - and only if UN Security Council authorized.

America wasn’t attacked, nor other NATO countries. Gaddafi threatened no one, including his own people. The longer war raged, the more popular he became. Libyans rallied around him for safety and security - hoping he’d be able to restore peace and stability.

At war’s end, he was brutally sodomized and murdered in cold blood. On November 19, 2011, his son Saif was arrested trying to flee Libya to safety, held captive by Zintan rebels, tortured, until tried in absentia in Tripoli and convicted by kangaroo tribunal proceedings affording him no chance for justice.

He was declared guilty by accusation - sentenced to death by firing squad along with eight other former Gaddafi officials, including former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, and two former prime ministers, al-Baghdadi and Abuzaid Dorda.

A total of 32 defendants were tried - 23 got lesser sentences and fines. Attorney John Jones represented Saif. “It was clearly a show trial” for all defendants, he said. “It was basically a trial by militia” lasting two days - conducted by an illegitimate Islamist regime controlling Tripoli after ousting the US-installed one operating from Tobruk.

“Lawyers were intimidated,” said Jones. “The judges were intimated. Lawyers had to leave the case.” Controlled proceedings excluded the right to a proper defense. Only two intimidated witnesses for Saif were allowed. No evidence against him was presented.

Prosecutors relied solely on torture extracted information - what no legitimate tribunal permits. Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) human rights director Claudio Cordone said:

“Concerns over the trial include the fact that several defendants were absent for a number of sessions. The evidence of criminal conduct was largely attributed to the defendants in general, with little effort to establish individual criminal responsibility.”

“(I)t is particularly worrisome that the court handed down nine death sentences. International standards require that death sentences may only be imposed after proceedings that meet the highest level of respect for fair trial standards. The United Nations opposes the imposition of the death penalty as a matter of principle.”

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, added:

“We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met. Among the key shortcomings is the failure to establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to specific crimes.”

Other serious issues included lack of access to lawyers, torture and other forms of ill treatment, as well as illegitimate trials conducted in absentia.

An UNSMIL press release said “(d)uring their pre-trial detention defendants were denied access to lawyers and family for prolonged periods, and some reported that they were beaten or otherwise ill-treated, but UNSMIL is not aware of any investigation into these allegations.”

“Many defendants were not represented by a lawyer during the pre-trial process, which deprived them of a crucial opportunity to establish their defence. Defence lawyers said they faced challenges in meeting their clients privately or accessing the full case file, and some said they received threats.” 

“They were constrained by the court to two or three witnesses per defendant and some said that witnesses were reluctant to appear in court due to fears about their safety. The court did not respond to defence counsel requests to examine prosecution witnesses.”

US-led NATO turned Africa’s most developed country into a cauldron of endless violence, deprivation and despair.

Tens of thousands were murdered in cold blood. Multiples more were injured and/or displaced. Violence, instability, insecurity and chaos reflect daily life. No end in sight looms. Millions of Libyans live in constant fear. 

Obama bears full responsibility for raping, ravaging, destroying, and plundering a nation threatening no others. Anarchical charnel house conditions replaced it. 

Dystopian harshness persists. Libya is a failed state. Central authority is absent. Public services aren’t provided. Corruption and criminality are rampant. Conditions are in free fall. Human misery is extreme. 

Libya is one of many high crimes on Obama’s rap sheet. Perhaps he plans Libya 2.0 for Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. Longstanding US/Israeli plans to redraw the Middle East map suggest it.

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. 

Another Jail Cell Murder in America

Another Jail Cell Murder in America

by Stephen Lendman

While family, friends, civil rights activists and good people everywhere mourn Sandra Bland’s death at the hands of Waller County, TX killer cops, Native American Rexdale Henry’s likely murder in Neshoba County, Mississippi jail needs more nationwide attention.

Family spokesman John Steele said he was found dead on July 14. As of July 27, results of two autopsies aren’t known. He was allegedly arrested for nonpayment of traffic fines.

A Neshoba County Justice Court clerk said records showed they totaled $2,677. He could have paid some not yet indicated, she explained. Possibly the recorded total included late fees or other charges.

Steele called Henry an activist community member for Native American rights and equal justice, an announced candidate for the Choctaw Tribal Council days before his arrest on July 9. 

“He was a great family man and just tried to help his people, the Choctaw tribe. He had a closeness with everyone in the community,” Steele explained.

Police said they found him dead around 10:00AM July 14. He was seen alive 30 minutes earlier with no signs of ill health reported. Like Sandra Bland, his case wreaks of foul play - likely cold-blooded murder, perhaps for supporting Native American rights in a community against them.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is examining his case. Cause of death from a state conducted autopsy will likely exclude murder as cause of death.

Anonymous donors paid for his body to be flown to Florida for an independent forensic pathologist’s evaluation. Results so far aren’t known.

Law Professor Janis McDonald said “(a)t a time when the nation is focused on the terrible circumstances of the brutal death of Sandra Bland, it is critical to expose the many ways in which black Americans, Native Americans and other minorities are being arrested for minor charges and end up dead in jail cells.”

The day before Henry’s arrest, a Stonewall, MS cop pulled African-American Jonathan Sanders from a horse, then choked him to death with a flashlight, according to witnesses.

Before dying, he was heard pleading “(l)et me go. I can’t breathe.” Police chief Michael Street lied claiming otherwise - saying there was no flashlight. No shots were fired. “There were no weapons, and he was not dragged off a horse.”

Sanders was a horse trainer, unarmed threatening no one. The MBI is investigating his case. No cause of death so far was released.

Steele said once results of Henry’s independent autopsy are available, they’ll be made public.

A longstanding race war in America rages against people of color - victimized by multiple forms of injustice, including killer cop homicides called deaths by suicides or natural causes.

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. 

Hezbollah's Nasrallah Urges Resistance Against Israeli Lawlessness

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Urges Resistance Against Israeli Lawlessness

by Stephen Lendman

Hezbollah is a legitimate part of Lebanon’s government. It’s not a terrorist organization as Washington and Israel claim.

It was born out of the IDF’s 1982 Lebanon invasion - devastating naked aggression, slaughtering around 18,000 people (mostly civilians - including Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres).

Journalist Robert Fisk called what happened “one of the most shocking war crimes of the 20th century.”

Hezbollah is more than a political entity. It has a military wing for self-defense - not naked aggression the way America and Israel operate.

It provides vital social, charitable, educational, and healthcare services. It established dozens of hospitals and scores of schools. It enjoys widespread support, especially among Shias, comprising over a third of Lebanon’s population.

On Tuesday, Nasrallah and other noted figures spoke at the Conference of International Union of Resistance Scholars in Beirut. Muslim clerics and Palestinian activists came to address longstanding Israeli occupation, persecution and aggression.

Lebanese imam Sheikh Maher Hamoud expressed support for Palestinians’ liberating struggle. “We are proud of being individuals confronting a cancerous tumor in the Muslim world,” he said - leaving no doubt what he meant.

“Should we wait for our sons in Palestine to suffer harm more than what they experience nowadays, for al-Aqsa Mosque to be restricted more or for Syrians and Yemenis to be killed more? When will the time come for us to raise our voices in unison against oppression?”

Nasrallah urged “activat(ing) and boost(ing) all forms of the resistance against the Israeli normalization…We won’t abandon Palestine and its people,” he stressed. “Israel, the cancerous tumor, is to be wiped out” - meaning one day Palestinians and regional countries will be freed from its oppression.

On Tuesday, Muslim MKs addressed Israeli soldiers attacking Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque worshipers on Sunday - to make way for settlers led by notorious racist Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel commemorating Tisha B’Av - marking the destruction of Jerusalem, two holy temples and other ancient tragedies.

MK Ayman Odeh called his visit “provocative,” saying “(h)e’s a minister, not just a settler. He’s a government representative, and the government isn’t condemning” his offensive act.

“This means that the government wants to turn the political issue in Jerusalem into a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews. We reject that approach, which will lead to a bloody war.”

Israeli high crimes take many forms. Muslims are targets for praying to the wrong God. Thousands are wrongfully imprisoned for political reasons.

On Tuesday, Israeli prison guards assaulted wrongfully incarcerated for life Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Ahmed Saadat in Nafha prison.

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said he and others were attacked. Torture, beatings and humiliation are standard Israeli practice. Qaraqe demanded this “craziness” stop - or things will “explode.”

On Monday, Israeli soldiers murdered another Palestinian in cold blood - the 18th this year. Muhammad Abu Latifa was “executed” during one of Israel’s multiple daily community raids - bursting lawlessly into Palestinian homes pre-dawn, terrorizing family members, making arrests without just cause, and at times committing cold-blooded murder.

An Israeli spokesperson lied saying Muhammad fell off a roof fleeing from Israeli soldiers - ludicrously claiming he and another Palestinian youth planned a terror attack in Israel, never presenting evidence when these type accusations are made. 

Muhammad’s uncle, Jamal Abu Latifa, refuted the official story, saying “(h)e was chased at 5:30AM, shot in the feet, then arrested.”

“Surprisingly, the Israeli soldiers shot him in the chest, then tied him with electricity wires, and we have evidence that some of his body parts were fractured as a result of the assault by soldiers.”

He didn’t fall off a roof. He committed no crimes. “The occupation army executed Muhammad after they detained him,” his uncle said.

Israeli forces attack Palestinians daily. Most incidents don’t get reported. Too many occur regularly. On Monday, 15-year-old Abd al-Karim Azis al-Haddad was assaulted without just cause.

He suffered multiple bruises and internal bleeding. He was beaten on his waist and genitals inside a police station rest room. Two other Palestinian youths were assaulted the same way on the same day in the same place.

In early July, Human Rights Watch accused Israel of making “abusive arrests” - targeting Palestinian children, forcing them to sign confessions in Hebrew they don’t understand for alleged crimes they didn’t commit.

Israel mistreats Palestinian children like adults. It policy reflects police state viciousness.

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. 

Balkanizing Syria Planned

Balkanizing Syria Planned

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for redrawing the Middle East map - including balkanizing Iraq and Syria along with installing regional puppets serving Western/Zionist interests.

The ugly scheme involves endless wars - killing millions through violence and deprivation. Imperialism works this way - causing unspeakable human misery for power, resource control and profit.

America, key NATO allies, Israel and rogue Arab states like Saudi Arabia are allied in potentially embroiling the entire region and beyond in endless conflicts - wanting regime change in Iran, Syria and elsewhere.

Washington wants all independent governments replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes. Israel wants all its regional rivals eliminated - Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Assad in Syria.

Former US Political Advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, current Consul General to Jerusalem Michael Ratney was just appointed US Special Envoy for Syria.

It comes when Turkey joined America’s war on the Syrian Arab Republic directly - by attacking Syrian Kurds on the pretext of fighting Islamic State terrorists it actively supports - providing them safe haven in its territory, training them and funneling them cross-border to wage war on Syria as US proxy foot soldiers.

Last week, Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on letting US warplanes use Ankara’s Incirlik and Diyarbakir air bases to bomb Syrian targets - along with the first step toward balkanizing its territory by establishing a buffer and no-fly zone in northern Syria bordering Southeastern Turkey.

At Monday’s daily State Department press briefing, AP’s Matt Lee asked spokesman Admiral John Kirby “what’s going on with the Turks? (I)t seems like a really bizarre situation has unfolded over the course of the past week with them (claiming to join) the air strikes against ISIS, but at the same time bombing PKK positions” in Syria and Iraq.

“So what exactly is going on here, and doesn’t this just make an even bigger mess out of the situation than” earlier?

Kirby ducked the question saying “(w)e are grateful for Turkey’s cooperation against ISIL (America’s ally, not enemy) to include now use of some of their bases for coalition (US/Britain/Israel and now Turkey) aircraft to go against targets - ISIL targets, particularly in Syria.”

Fact: Washington provides air support for IS proxy foot soldiers. Syrian infrastructure is targeted. Easily visible columns of IS elements (via satellite imagery) move free of US attacks. 

They could easily be destroyed if Washington wanted them eliminated. Just the opposite. Kirby and other US officials claiming America is at war with IS is polar opposite truth.

Matt Lee pressed Kirby on attacking PKK fighters in Iraq and YPG Kurds in Syria - “perhaps the most effective (ones) on the ground against ISIS/ISIL,” he said. “You don’t have a problem with that,” he asked?

Kirby disagreed on Kurdish effectiveness, called the PKK “a foreign terrorist organization” because Washington say so, and added “Turkey has a right to self-defense” - the same rationale as Israel’s phony claim about a Palestinian threat.

Lee pressed further asking “(i)s the US telling Turkey not to go after the PKK if the PKK in Syria are going after ISIL - yes or no?”

Kirby seemed nonplussed - interrupted by another reporter asking “(s)o you don’t know (about Kurdish elements) fighting inside Syria?”

Kirby lied saying “I have no specific information.”

Question: “Who is shooting at whom at this point?”

Kirby ducked the question - without explaining sophisticated US satellite imagery he understands well as a retired navy admiral, able to follow ground activity wherever the Pentagon wishes.

An unnamed US official said Washington and Ankara are cooperating to create “an ISIL-free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria.”

Fact: The last thing Washington wants is stability anywhere in Syria or other targeted countries - regionally or elsewhere. It defeats US imperial aims. Endless wars serve them.

On Tuesday, all 28 NATO ambassadors are meeting in Brussels (at Turkey’s request) to discuss Ankara’s intervention in Syria and Iraq along with US/Turkish plans for Syrian buffer and no-fly zones - escalating Obama’s war to oust Assad and perhaps enlisting greater NATO involvement even if not announced. 

An Alliance statement said member states “follow developments very closely and stand in solidarity with Turkey.” Whether it suggests direct NATO involvement in Syria and/or Iraq (including ground forces) remains to be seen.

On Monday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara will press ahead with military action against PKK forces - claiming it’s part of its “war on terror” even though the secular PKK is bitterly opposed to IS extremists, engaged in combat against them.

A Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) spokesman accused Turkey of attacking its positions. Ankara claimed unidentified elements fired cross-border from Syrian territory.

US officials said they’re unaware of any such attack but support Ankara’s right to self-defense - even if its forces committed naked aggression.

Meanwhile, US/Turkish plans call for a 60-mile-long buffer and no-fly zone around 30 miles into Syrian territory, according to various reports.

If established, it’ll constitute a blatant violation of international law without Security Council authorization, besides breaching Syrian sovereignty - along with a first step toward balkanizing the country, destroying it by dismemberment. 

At the same time, a shaky 2013 established Turkish/PKK truce was breached. A group spokesman said “(i)t seems Erdogan wants to drag us back into war.”

“When things reach this level and when all of our areas are bombed, I think by then the ceasefire has no meaning anymore.”

White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes expressed support for Turkey’s “right to take action related to terrorist targets.”

So did EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Germany’s Angela Merkel - “expressing solidarity and support in the fight against terrorism.” 

The region already is boiling. Turkey’s intervention ups the stakes.

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. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Troika Bandits Want More from Greece

Troika Bandits Want More from Greece

by Stephen Lendman

The devil in Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington wants its due. Everything gotten so far from Greek self-mutilation isn’t enough.

Loan sharks of last resort operate this way - by their own rules with no deviations. Who knows how many more pounds of flesh they’ll demand - all they can get until Greece is entirely pillaged and economically destroyed, its people left in greater duress than already, on their own.

On Monday, talks began in Athens to clear remaining hurdles before Troika officials release any bailout funds. They demand more.

On Friday, the IMF said about 16.5 euros still to disburse under an existing agreement with Athens is now outdated, according to the Financial Times. They’re off the table.

It explained “negotiations between Athens and the IMF could take months. But the decision to pursue a new IMF programme means eurozone leaders may have to open talks on granting Greece significant debt relief much earlier than originally anticipated, since the IMF will not sign on to a new programme unless eurozone lenders agree to restructure their bailout loans.”

“That could lead to political difficulties in Germany, which has fiercely resisted writedowns to levels the IMF has been demanding.”

On Sunday, the FT said Troika officials want greater access to Greek ministries than apparently agreed to earlier. They sent lower-level negotiators to Athens instead of top ones SYRIZA expected.

According to the FT, it’s “the latest sign of concern among Greece’s creditors that, despite the summit agreement two weeks ago to restart talks, there remain deep differences on the way forward that could still derail negotiations before an August 20 deadline.”

They’re raising the bar. They want more - additional pounds of flesh before agreeing to release bailout funds.

Greek concessions so far were prerequisites to begin new talks - as well as getting a 7 billion euro bridge loan so its banks could hand most of it back to the ECB and IMF in debt service.

Troika officials now say Greek parliamentarians must legislate further “reforms,” according to the FT. Disbursing bailout funds depends on agreeing to even stiffer austerity and other demands than already.

One Troika official involved in talks said “(t)his, at present, is the big fat issue. They do not want to understand that there will be yet another significant package of ‘prior actions’ before any disbursement. They already have implementation fatigue after two mini-bills.”

Germany especially wants another round of so-called “prior actions” - measures Troika officials demand agreed to by Greek parliamentarians.

Significant differences remain between both sides - including haggling over how much access to  Greek ministries to allow, what Athens venue will host talks, and how much more punishing austerity SYRIZA is willing to permit.

Having rolled over twice in two parliamentary votes, it looks like an easy mark for more. Troika officials indicated bailout disbursements depend on it. 

They want Athens surrendering unconditionally to all their demands - including future ones, a bottomless pit of looting, so far with complaint Greek governments since crisis conditions erupted.

SRYIZA is like the rest - going along against the interests of its own people until there’s nothing left to pillage, Grexit becomes reality after defaulting on its odious debt becomes Athens’ only remaining option, and recovery looms more distant than ever - while ordinary people starve.

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. 

Assad Vows to Defend Syrian Homeland

Assad Vows to Defend Syria’s Homeland

by Stephen Lendman

Syria is one of many direct and proxy wars Obama continues waging - breaching his campaign pledge to restore peace.

His agenda is polar opposite - raping, pillaging and destroying one country after another, new targets always in mind, perhaps directly confronting Russia and/or China before leaving office.

Bodies piling up worldwide attest to his barbarity - a rogue leader risking global conflict, even nuclear confrontation, influenced by neocons infesting his administration and Congress - deploring peace, wanting endless wars.

On Sunday, Assad addressed officials and members of public organizations, vocational syndicates, as well as industrial, trade, agriculture and tourism groups.

Western, Israeli and anti-Assad Arab leaders call his responsible self-defense “terrorism.” Atrocities committed by extremist takfiris is democracy building, Assad explained.

Independent observers following events since conflict began nearly four and a half years ago know there’s nothing civil about ongoing war. It’s Obama’s aggression letting IS and other terrorist groups do his dirty work.

Supplemented by US warplanes supporting them, bombing Syrian infrastructure, and now Turkey intervening on the phony pretext of combating IS, the same elements they’re harboring and funneling cross-border to fight Assad.

Obama’s war OF terror wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing Assad. “How could those who spread (these terrorist) seeds…combat it,” Assad explained.

Anyone “want(ing) to combat terrorism could do it through rational and realistic policies based on justice and the respect of peoples’ will of determining their future, managing their affairs, restoring their rights on the basis of spreading knowledge, combating ignorance, improving economy, raising awareness of the society as well as developing it.”

“Changes of the West cannot be counted on as long as they follow the  double-standards policy. (W)e have not depended but on  ourselves since the first day, hoping good intentions from the real friends of the Syrian people.”

Russia and China represent important Security Council “safety valve” protections against US-led Western nations wanting the body used to facilitate imperial aggression against countries like Syria, Assad explained.

“Our approach has always been the response to all initiatives that we receive regardless the intentions because the Syrian blood is above all else and halting war is a priority,” he added.

“After years of war, the Syrian people (remain) resilient, sacrificing for the sake of the homeland, and if they had wanted to give up, they would not have waited all this time and paid as much as that.”

“Any political presentation that does not essentially rely on combating terrorism and ending it is practically ineffective.” 

“Countries supporting terrorists have increased their support to them recently and in some cases, they directly intervened to back them.” 

Assad praised Iran and “our faithful brothers from the Lebanese Resistance” for supporting Syria’s struggle against Western-backed aggression. All parts of the country are “precious and invaluable,” he said - all equal in demographic and geographical importance.

A huge chasm exists between Western recruited and supported terrorists committing daily atrocities and internal opposition elements engaged with government authorities to end conflict diplomatically and protect the territorial integrity of their homeland.

Reality on the ground consists of foreign imported terrorists v. millions of Syrians wanting peace, not war; security, not instability; safety to raise children and protect family members.

State institutions continue providing whatever help they can despite ongoing war, said Assad. Anonymous soldiers and civilians work tirelessly “to provide the requirements for life,” he explained.

“We are in a crucial stage where there are no compromises and hesitation is equal to defeatism, cowardice and treason…No relinquishment of any inch of land or rights (is tolerable). We will not be slaves, but we will be independent masters of our country, capabilities and rights.”

“We as Syrians will be able to save our country from what is being hatched against it only if everyone of us feels that this battle is his own, and that he is concerned with his homeland, city, village and home before others, and that he is concerned with the territorial integrity of his homeland and with preserving the coexistence.”

“Promises from outside for those living there will remain mere illusions as long as there are brave soldiers in the Army and Armed Forces defending their homeland, fighting in the hardest circumstances and dying for Syria to survive.”

“This homeland is ours and defending it is our duty.” Sunday’s public address was Assad’s first since sworn in after winning reelection in June 2014 with overwhelming popular support.

The vast majority of Syrians want no one else leading them. “We are not collapsing,” Assad stressed. “Defeat does not exist in the dictionary of the Syrian Arab army.”

He explained the importance of maintaining control over “critical areas.” Concern for our soldiers force(d) us to let go of some” others. At the same time, “(e)very inch of Syria is precious,” he stressed.

Assad’s address followed his granting amnesty to thousands of army deserters and draft dodgers on Saturday. Defeating terrorism and restoring peace are his top priorities.

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. 

Saudis Keep Bombing Yemen After Declaring 5-Day Halt

Saudis Keep Bombing Yemen After Declaring 5-Day Halt

by Stephen Lendman

Four months of US-orchestrated, Saudi-led terror bombing along with imported takfiri terrorists and other pro-Western elements waging ground war left thousands of Yemenis dead (mostly civilians deliberately targeted), many more thousands wounded, and an unprecedented humanitarian disaster, according to ICRC officials.

Last week, Riyadh announced a five-day humanitarian ceasefire beginning Sunday night local time - while it continues blocking most aid from entering the country. 

Its goal along with Washington’s is starving Yemenis into submission. So-called humanitarian pauses are farcical when announced - thinly veiled PR stunts fooling no one. Nothing on the ground changes. Saudi-led aggression continues.

Its forces along with anti-Houthi ground elements violated several previous ceasefires straightaway. Pre-dawn Monday was no different. 

Saudi terror bombing continues unabated - including against Lahij province civilian targets. A Hajjah province medical center was struck.

A senior Houthi official denied reports about the Ansarullah movement rejecting the latest announced truce. Houthi leader Abdel-Malek Al-Houthi posted a Twitter message saying “(t)he battle goes on and the war is not over” - meaning announced short-term pauses resolve nothing. 

Peace depends on Obama calling off his Saudi-led proxies. Yemeni resistance wants freedom from external, largely Western, dominance. Otherwise the liberating struggle will continue.

Ansarullah political bureau member Mohammed al-Bukhaiti said Riyadh continues arming Al-Qaeda and other takfiri terrorists under the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid it systematically blocks.

“Most cargos sent by the Saudi planes to Aden do not include humanitarian aid,” said Bukhaiti. “Rather they are weapons and military equipment sent to the terrorist groups, especially al-Qaeda. The Yemeni nation doesn’t need Saudi Arabia's assistance, but it needs the end of the siege imposed by Riyadh and its allies.”

After four months of Saudi-led terror bombing along with blocking most vitally needed humanitarian aid, killing thousands of civilians, destroying Yemeni infrastructure and other non-military targets, as well as blaming Houthis for its aggression, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon refuses to condemn its premeditated war without mercy.

He continues calling on all parties to exercise maximum restraint instead of forthrightly denouncing US-orchestrated, Saudi-led terror bombing, importing takfiri terrorists for ground fighting, supporting in-country Al-Qaeda elements for the same purpose, enforcing blockade to deny humanitarian aid, and continuing slow-motion genocide against the Yemeni people.

Ahead of Sunday’s already breached ceasefire, he “welcome(d) the announcement,” according to a statement by his spokesman. Again he urged “all parties to exercise maximum restraint (and) comply fully with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians…”

Conservative estimates indicate well over 5,000 killed, at least double or triple that number injured - besides unknown numbers perishing from starvation, untreated wounds and diseases, lack of clean water and overall deprivation in a conflict showing no signs of ending. Not as long as Obama orders fighting continued.

As expected, Saudi-controlled media blamed Houthis for violating the latest ceasefire - ignoring Kingdom warplanes continuing terror bombing attacks unabated.

Riyadh aggression is considered humanitarian intervention. Legitimate Houthi resistance is called “terrorism.” 

Nothing in prospect suggests ending conflict diplomatically. Obama wants unconditional surrender. Houthis want their sovereign independence respected.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Saudi King Salman arrived in France for a three-week Riviera holiday - along with an entourage of about 1,000, including royal family members and heavy security.

To accommodate them, over a half mile of public beach was cordoned off for their use. Illegal construction was completed in advance. A cement platform was built on the beach for an elevator to Salman’s villa. It’ll be removed when he leaves.

Two Saudi Arabian Airlines 747s brought the king and his entourage to Nice airport. Inner circle family members are staying in luxury Vallauris village accommodations. Hundreds of others are in Cannes 5-star hotels.

Not everyone is happy about their presence. Over 100,000 people signed a petition protesting the “privatization” of beachfront property during their visit.

Salman will enjoy all the luxury money can buy while his military continues murdering Yemenis to please him.

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. 

Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists

Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists

by Stephen Lendman

Blacks know Jim Crow remains virulent in America - 1960s civil rights laws did nothing to curb police brutality largely against Black and Brown people.

On Friday through Sunday, hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists from around the country met in Cleveland for the inaugural Movement for Black Lives convention.

Information about the event said it was organized “at a pivotal time for the growing movement for Black lives in the United States.” 

“Black people are facing unabated police violence, increasing criminalization, a failed economic system, a broken education system and the loss of our communities to gentrification and development. Our trans and queer communities face the increased risk of physical and economic violence. The list of indignities regularly faced by the Black community is long and untenable.”

Anti-police brutality street protests reflect resistance against what no one should tolerate anywhere. When federal, state and/or local governments abuse their citizens, activism in their own self-defense matters most.

“(O)ur need for space to begin the creation of a collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment” is vital. “This convening presents an opportunity for us to reflect on our histories of struggle, build a sense of fellowship that transcends geographical boundaries and begin to heal from the many traumas we face,” movement organizers said.

“Open, and created by many voices, The Movement for Black Lives Convening will be a space to realize that promise fully on our terms as Black people.” They’re urged to get involved for their own welfare and futures.

When activist movements demand redress for longstanding grievances, uncaring authorities respond harshly. Rampant police brutality needs no explaining. More below on the latest example.

In 2013, an ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit revealed intrusive FBI surveillance of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists nationwide. One internal document called them “domestic terrorists.”

Homeland Security, the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Domestic Security Alliance Council and even the Federal Reserve (representing Wall Street clout) working jointly with state and local police undermined the movement. 

It failed to achieve long sought social justice. Energy driving early activism waned. Organized federal, state and local actions neutralized it effectively.

The same government agencies target Black activists. FOIA obtained documents show Homeland Security began monitoring Black Lives Matter organizers and activities since summer 2014 Ferguson, MO protests against police murdering Michael Brown.

Peaceful protests and gatherings are closely watched wherever they occur. Local authorities are involved - aiming to undermine movements for justice before they gain traction.

First Amendment freedoms are flagrantly violated - including unrestricted expression, peaceful assembly and right to petition government for redress of grievances systematically ignored.

When Black American activists and supporters are considered “domestic terrorists,” police state ruthlessness overrides constitutionally mandated rights. They exist only for rich and powerful elites.

What’s ongoing isn’t new. Decades earlier, COINTELPRO tactics followed J. Edgar Hoover’s orders to infiltrate, disrupt, sabotage, and destroy activist movements for ethnic justice, racial emancipation, and real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines.

Secretive, mostly illegal FBI counterintelligence activities targeted political dissidents, including communists; anti-war, human and civil rights activists; the American Indian Movement; and Black Panther Party among others.

Black Lives Matter activists are in the eye of the storm. Cleveland police targeted some of their Movement for Black Lives participants violently.

Hundreds from across the country came to discuss police repression and social injustice Blacks in America face virtually everywhere - in large and small cities, urban and rural areas. 

After concluding Sunday activities, dozens of activists symbolically demonstrated publicly. Video evidence showed police targeted them violently - pepper-spraying them repeatedly without cause. Arrests followed, including a 14-year-old boy, later released to his family with activists chanting “(W)e love you.”

Local organizer Malaya Davis said “Cleveland looks just like Ferguson, looks just like Baltimore, looks just like all of these places (with) high (levels of) oppression. We wanted to highlight that and bring some attention to what's going on in this city and the state of Ohio as well.”

Police brutality in America is longstanding. Killer cops operate with impunity. Violence against peaceful protesters for justice is commonplace. Sunday in Cleveland was the latest example.

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.