Thursday, January 29, 2015

Islamic State Recruiter Admitsii Getting Funds from America

Islamic State Recruiter Admits Getting Funds from America

by Stephen Lendman

Call it one of many US dirty secrets. Washington covertly recruits, funds, arms, trains, and directs extremist Islamic State and other Takfiri terrorists.

The same ones it lies about waging war on. Uses them as proxies against its adversaries.

Notably during Obama's tenure against Libya's Gaddafi. Currently against Assad in Syria. Ahead against future enemies to be named later. 

Iran very much in Washington's cross hairs. Longstanding US regime change plans remain firm.

RT International, Fars News and LiveLeak reported the same story. 
Calling Yousaf Al Salafi an IS Pakistani commander.

In detention in Pakistan, he admitted getting funds from America. On January 22, he and two associates were arrested in Lahore, said AFP.

According to the English language newspaper The Express Tribune:

"During investigations, (Al Salafi) revealed that he was getting funding - routed through America - to run an organization in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria." 

The information came from its sister Urdu language Daily Express. From a source close to Pakistan's investigation on condition of anonymity. Saying Al Salafi was arrested in December.

Admitted getting $600 per recruit. Worked with at least one accomplice. Reportedly a Pakistani imam. According to the unnamed source:

"The US has been condemning the IS activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organizations, which is being routed through the US." 

"The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests, and that is why it launched offensive (actions) against the organization in Iraq but not in Syria."

Its oil facilities, infrastructure, grain silos and other non-military sites are targeted. Scores of civilians were killed. 

IS fighters remain largely unscathed. New ones enter Syria through Turkey, Jordan and Israel's Golan.

According to a Pakistani security source, recruiting IS fighters "was raised several several times (by) local media" reports.

"(E)ven in the diplomatic corridors between US and Pakistan…(M)edia reporters here suggest(ed) that hundreds of recruits have been exported from Pakistan."

The issue was discussed with John Kerry on his recent Islamabad visit.

"The matter was also taken up with CENTCOM (US Central Command) chief, General Lloyd Austin, during his visit to Islamabad earlier this month," an unnamed source said.

Reuters was told Al Salafi is a Pakistani-Syrian. Came to Pakistan via Turkey. Arrived five months ago. Established a Pakistani-based IS group.

Local media report growing internal IS influence. Citing incidents in Lahore and Multan. Where IS flags and graffiti are clearly visible.

Last year, Obama began bombing claimed IS sites in Iraq and Syria. Washington wants unchallenged regional control.

Fear-mongering is longstanding US practice. Obama nonsensically calls IS "unique…If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond (the) region, including to the United States," he claims.

Washington's objectives include controlling regional oil. Installing pro-Western puppet regimes.

Balkanizing iraq into the Kurdish north, Baghdad center and Basra south. Controlling the country more effectively this way.

Ousting Assad. Eliminating a key Israeli rival. Replacing him with a US-friendly stooge. Isolating Iran. Its turn awaits US regime change plans.

America's dark side threatens world peace. Obama wants congressional authority for unconstrained war. Billions of dollars in funding.

America's longstanding business is war. Obama calls it US "leadership." International law calls it naked aggression.

Based on Big Lies. With no just cause. No existential or other threats. No legal standing regardless of congressional action. 

Security Council members alone may authorize war. Every US post-WW II one was illegal. Including ongoing direct and proxy ones. New ones planned.

War is America's strategy of choice. Permanent ones. Dirty ones. Waged without mercy. Against nations US forces can easily roll over.

How many more countries will America ravage and destroy? How many more victims will die?

Wars won''t end when Obama leaves office. Whoever replaces him will continue them seamlessly. Wage new ones.

Expect no end to mass slaughter and destruction. Not as long as lunatics run the Washington asylum. 

The only solution is nonviolent revolution. The alternative is continued death, destruction and growing homeland repression. 

Tyranny by any standard. Masquerading as democracy works only for so long. America's dark side is to ugly to hide.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Human Rights Groups Condemn Israeli Gaza War Crimes

Human Rights Groups Condemn Israeli Gaza War Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

Israel's Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was cold, calculated, premeditated naked aggression against 1.8 million Gazans.

Previous articles explained in detail. It had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. Everything to do with preventing Palestinian self-determination.

Maintaining occupation harshness. Continuing settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land. 

Keeping beleaguered Gazans besieged. Sabotaging Fatah/Hamas unity. Preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning. 

Having Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital. Denying Palestinians all international law guaranteed rights. Continuing to treat them as subhumans.

Amnesty International (AI) accused Israel of war crimes. Said its "forces displayed 'callous indifference' to deadly attacks on family homes in Gaza."

Targeting them "without warning…(K)illing entire families. (B)razenly flout(ing) the law(s) of war," said AI's Philip Luther.

Israel "show(ed) a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians…" AI quoted a Gazan witness to an Israeli attack on a residential home, saying:

"All I can remember are the bits and pieces of bodies, teeth, heads, arms, insides, everything scattered and spread."

Israel remains unaccountable for its genocidal high crimes against peace. Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned them in a report on its attacks on schools used as shelters.

Saying "(t)he Israeli military carried out attacks on or near three well-marked schools where it knew hundreds of people were taking shelter, killing and wounding scores of civilians."

"Israel has offered no convincing explanation for these attacks on schools where people had gone for protection and the resulting carnage."

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel condemned Israeli war crimes. Its fact-finding mission (FFM) reported most deaths and injuries occurred "in, or very close to, (victims') homes or those of relatives and neighbors."

Significant numbers of casualties included "members of the same family and rescuers killed or injured…"

" '(D)ouble tap' or multiple consecutive strikes on a single location led to multiple civilian casualties and injuries and deaths among rescuers."

"(H)eavy explosives were used in residential neighborhoods resulting in multiple civilian casualties."

Medical teams were targeted, killed or injured while attempting to aid injured Gazans.

Civilians were deliberately attacked. In dozens of cases, entire families were killed.

Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Abused and ill-treated them. "(I)ncluding beatings, denial of food and water," and murdering at least one victim "shot dead at close range."

Heavy Israeli bombardments "failed to discriminate between legitimate targets and protected populations and caused widespread destruction of homes and civilian property."

"Such indiscriminate (land, sea and air) attacks…must have entailed approval from top-level decision-makers in the Israeli military and/or government."

Clear evidence shows "serious (Israeli) violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."

B'Tselem's new report is the latest on OPE. Titled "Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014."

On OPE's first day, Israeli forces "attacked the Kaware family home. (It) collapsed. Nine people, including five children aged 7 to 14, were killed.," said B'Tselem

"This was just the first of dozens of air, sea and ground strikes" on civilian targets. "(A)ppalling hallmarks" of Israeli aggression.

"Time and again Palestinian families suffered much grievous loss of life." 

"In a single instant, so many families were ruined, with the wreckage of their lives mirroring the devastation of their homes."

"These attacks were not carried out on the whim of individual soldiers, pilots or commanders in the field." 

They reflected "policy formulated by government officials and the senior military command." 

"These officials (lied claiming) attacks conform(ed) to international humanitarian law (IHL) and eschew(ed) any responsibility for harm to civilians."

"(M)any civilians (not involved in fighting) were killed in every strike in which houses collapsed with their occupants inside."

Culpable Israeli officials "eschewed responsibility for the immense harm to civilians, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Hamas." 

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (lied saying) 'Israel's security forces (did) everything in their power to avoid harming civilians and if innocents are hurt, it is because Hamas deliberately hides behind Palestinian civilians.' "

"This argument is unacceptable," said B'Tselem. Netanyahu lied. Israel considers civilians legitimate targets in all its wars. Around 80% of OPE casualties were noncombatant men, women and children.

B'Tselem characterized Israeli OPE operations as a "black flag of illegality."

New York Times editors, correspondents and contributors rarely criticize Israeli crimes demanding condemnation and accountability.

Rare exceptions prove the rule. Even then they stop short of full truth and disclosure.

On January 28, The Times discussed B'Tselem's report. Headlining "Israeli Group Says Military Attacks on Palestinian Homes Appeared to Violate Law."

It should have headlined human rights group condemns Israeli war crimes. Instead of saying "appeared in at least some instances to violate provisions of international law…"

Naked Israeli aggression violated international law. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. 

Provided Security Council members OK it. Israel launched premeditated aggression. Hamas responded in justifiable self-defense.

Times reports don't explain. Throughout OPE, it was more Israeli apologist than critic.

It remains so. Citing Israeli military officials "insist(ing) (they) acted in accordance with international law…"

Despite indisputable evidence proving otherwise. "Israeli critics immediately denounced the B'Tselem report," said The Times.

Citing NGO Monitor. Calling it "an Israeli watchdog group widely considered to be right-leaning…" 

Quoting it calling B'Tselem's report a "distorted political narrative of Israeli guilt and Palestinian victimhood."

Saying B'Tselem "contribut(es) to an (anti-Israeli) campaign…"

NGO Monitor is a Jerusalem-based Israeli front group. Disseminating propaganda, hate and fear-mongering.

Debasing human rights groups, independent journalists and other legitimate Israeli critics. Don't expect Times reports to explain.

Or unequivocally condemn indisputable Israeli war crimes.

B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad said its report aimed mainly at the Israeli public. Polls showed strong OPE support. 

State propaganda manipulated people to back what demanded condemnation. Media reports echoed official policy.

Weeks ahead of Israeli elections, El-Ad expressed concern about OPE largely absent from public discussion.

He hopes to raise Israeli awareness of what happened. Why it matters. 

Hoping it may help prevent future wars. Given Israel's appalling history, chances for equitable peace are virtually nil.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Blowback Against Israeli State Terror

Blowback Against Israeli State Terror

by Stephen Lendman

Israel claims a divine right to attack any nation, group or individual it chooses with impunity. Considers naked aggression self-defense.

Justifiable self-defense is called terrorism. On January 18, Israeli helicopter gunship fire killed Hezbollah military leader Imad Mughniyeh in Syria's Quneitra province. 

Located in Golan's demilitarized zone. The site of heavy clashes between Syrian forces and Takfiri terrorists.

Mughniyeh and five other Hezbollah fighters were killed. Plus six Iranians. Including General Mohammed Allahdaddi.

A Lebanese security source said two Syrian soldiers died. Hezbollah and Iran warned of retaliation at their discretion.

On January 28, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Lt. Commander Brig. General Hossein Salami warned of an Iranian response at an unexpected time and place.

"We will take revenge from the Israelis for these martyrs' blood at a time and place that they don't expect," he said.

He called Israel's Golan attack "the reflection of numerous defeats that both Americans and Israelis have suffered in their current strategies."

On Wednesday, Hezbollah said it "targeted an Israeli (nine vehicle) military convoy in the Shebaa Farms...which was transporting several Zionist soldiers and officers."

"There were several casualties in the enemy's ranks." Israel claimed two soldiers killed. Seven others wounded when five anti-tank missiles hit their convoy.

Lebanese satellite channel al-Mayadeen quoted unnamed sources claiming 15 Israeli soldiers killed.

Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) reported an Israeli soldier captured. A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper was killed. More on this below.

Washington hypocritically calls every preemptive Israeli act of aggression its right of self-defense. Justifiable retaliatory strikes are called terrorism.

On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki's statement didn't surprise. Saying in part:

"The United States strongly condemns Hezbollah's attack today from Lebanon on Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in blatant violation of the cease fire between Lebanon and Israel and UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks." 

"We support Israel's legitimate right to self-defense."

"Hezbollah continues to incite violence and instability inside Lebanon by attacking Israel and by its presence and fighting inside Syria, which violates Lebanese leaders' agreed policy of dissociating Lebanon from foreign conflicts."

America and Israel partner in each other's high crimes against peace. Both countries support IS terrorists in Syria they claim to be fighting.

Neither side wants protracted conflict. Hezbollah is heavily involved in Syria. Israeli general elections are weeks away.

Eurasia Group analysts Ayham Kamel and Riccardo Fabiani said "Netanyahu most likely realizes that a prolonged military engagement  in Lebanon could cost him the election."

"Instead, Israel will pursue limited actions targeting Hezbollah in Lebanon, but the low-scale, tit-for-tat exchanges will not broaden into a wider war."

Netanyahu saying "(t)hose behind the attack…will pay the full price" suggests a limited Israeli response.

Saying Israel is "prepared to act powerfully on all fronts" excludes full-scale war. At the same time, current poll numbers show he lacks enough support to remain prime minister.

According to one observer, when running scared, he doesn't run smart. Whether he intends greater escalation than most think likely remains to be seen. 

His policies made increasing numbers of US Jews anti-Zionists. Another war may turn them all against Israel.

Hezbollah called Wednesday's strike "statement number one." Suggesting more to come.

On Friday, Hassan Nasrallah is expected to comment publicly on Israel's January 18 attack and Hezbollah's response.

Haaretz reported both sides sent messages through UNIFIL. Indicating no desire to escalate conflict.

"The Israeli side is still holding consultations," said Haaretz. "(A)t this stage, it appears Israel does not wish further escalation."

At the same time, Netanyahu said "Iran is trying, via Hezbollah, to set up a terrorist front against us in the Golan Heights."

"We are working aggressively and responsibly against this attempt…Our mission is to defend the State of Israel."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon added:

"Iran and Hezbollah are trying, and will continue to try, to hurt Israel in every way, from the Golan Heights and certainly from Lebanon, with ruthless terrorist infrastructures aimed at military and civilian targets."

"Israel will continue acting against "the terrorists and those who send them."

Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On warned against "impulsive" Israeli actions. Urged efforts to "calm the situation with immediate diplomatic steps."

"We have bitter experience with military escalation on the eve of elections. The Israeli government must not act impulsively as it has in the past."

Gal-On criticized Netanyahu warning "anyone who would challenge us on the northern border to look at what happened in Gaza."

"This statement must set off a warning light for everyone," said Gal-On. "We've already experienced too much bloodshed and grief in the past year." 

"Getting dragged into an unnecessary war in Lebanon is the last thing Israel needs now. It is no one's interest to fight a Third Lebanon War."

Israel's Institute for National Security Studies research fellow Benedetta Berti called what's ongoing "a very delicate game, because both sides want to respond hard enough that they’re not perceived as weak, but not too hard to start a war."

"It’s a very, very thin line. There's plenty of room for miscalculations." 

"If this is where it ends, we're moving on to the next chapter, with the awareness that every single time this starts again, we get closer to…war."

Lebanese political analyst Kamel Wazne called Israeli violence "a major breach" of 1974 ceasefire agreement terms.

Hezbollah sees Israel changing the "rules of the game. (It) crossed a red line, and if Hezbollah did not react, (it) won't stop."

Hezbollah's Wednesday attack "shows (its) confrontation is with Israel, so it can get back its respected position in the Arab world." 

By focusing where "it was supposed to be the whole time." Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center international affairs analyst Jonathan Spyer called pre-election military action "a double-edged sword."

"The Israeli public doesn't object to military operations if they're quick and clean, but the last thing you want to do is go into elections in the middle of a bloody war like the summer of 2006," he explained.

IDF artillery shelled southern Lebanon after Hezbollah's attack. Lebanese media reported at least 25 shells landing in its territory.

A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper was killed. At a closed-door Wednesday Security Council meeting, Spain's UN envoy Roman Oyarzun Marchesi blamed Israel.

Saying "(i)t was because of the escalation of violence, and it came from the Israeli side."

Syria's Quneitra province was attacked. In response to what appeared to be errant anti-Assad rocket fire causing no damage in an open field. According to an Israeli military spokesperson:

"The IDF holds the Syrian Government accountable for all attacks emanating from its land, and will operate by any means necessary to defend Israeli civilians." 

"Such blatant breaches of Israeli sovereignty will not be tolerated." Numerous previous Israeli attacks since 2013 perhaps aimed to provoke Syria to respond. 

Doing so would give Israel and Washington a pretext to launch full-scale war. Assad wisely held back.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said "Israel's armed forces will now be obliged to pull out the stops to recover respect for its deterrent capacity." 

"There is little choice but to inflict a serious military blow against Hizballah and the Iranian intelligence officers based in Syria."

It remains to be seen what Netanyahu has in mind. Or perhaps a new prime minister post mid-March elections.

The Jerusalem Post cited an Israeli military investigation saying its vehicles travelled on a civilian Ghajar village road two km from Lebanon's border.

Hezbollah "attackers were four to five kilometers away from the vehicles. A military D-max vehicle was" first struck.

Soldiers in a jeep "evacuate(d) it before it too was hit with missiles. The subsequent injuries came from military vehicles nearby."

Israeli media reported quiet along border areas overnight. Ya'alon warned about possible additional IDF attacks.

Saying "(o)ur long arm knows how to reach wherever is necessary. Anyone to tries to attack us is signing their on death warrant."

An unnamed IDF source called Hezbollah's attack "a pinpoint tactical response." Short of full-scale confrontation.

IDF spokesman Brig. General Moti Almoz said he "notif(ied) the residents of the north that they can go back to their daily routine."

Hezbollah issued similar comments to southern Lebanese residents. IDF and Hezbollah border area forces remain on high alert.

Haaretz editors said "Israelis are paying the price of a showcase operation. (They) should ask themselves whether the Syria strike justified the lost of the soldiers killed…"

Calling it "an operational and a strategic error. (Raising) questions about the judgment of the decision-makers - the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff."

"No Israeli should avoid asking (if Israel's attack) contributed to the security of its population…risk(ing regional escalation."

Haaretz editors called Netanyahu's government a "regime of fear and war." 

Whether change is possible post-election remains to be seen. Given Israel's disturbing history, don't bet on it.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ukrainians Against War

Ukrainians Against War

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained most Ukrainian soldiers oppose war. Conscripts are against fighting their own citizens.

Used as cannon fodder in Donbas. Notoriously underpaid. Poorly fed and clothed. Deplorably treated overall.

No wonder most don't want to serve. They want to be home with families. Wanting peace, not war.

Large numbers of conscripts desert. Some join Donbas defense forces ranks. Others seek refuge in Russia.

On January 27, Fort Russ headlined "Poroshenko adviser leaks disastrous data about the fourth wave of mobilization."

According to Yury Biryukov:

"(H)eads of 14 rural councils of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast refused to accept the summons for notifications."

"57% of notified conscripts in Ivano-Frankivsk region did not arrive for medical commission."

"37% of notified conscripts of Ivano-Frankivsk region have left the territory of Ukraine."

Ternopil region rural council heads "openly sabotage events of notification."

Konyukhi, Kozovsky village council head reported residents leaving for Russia on two rented buses.

In Transcarpathian region Colchino, Mukachevo township, only 3 of 105 summons were presented.

In the last 30 days, 17% of Chernivtsi region conscripts left the area.

Unofficial sources report Ukrainian/Romanian border area hotels and motels "completely filled with Ukrainian men evading conscription."

"19% of (Volyn Oblast) notified conscripts refused military service on religious grounds."

On January 28, The Saker reported Ukrainian Deputy Oleg Tsarov saying Washington planned civil war in Ukraine before Maidan.

Orange Revolution 2.0 intended toppling its government. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt served as point man.

US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland directed things from Washington and Kiev. 

She admitted America spent more than $5 billion over the last 20 years for regime change.

US embassies are hotbeds of subversion. Infested with CIA agents. Working with ambassadors like Pyatt. Against governments Washington wants ousted.

The Saker posed an interesting question. Will Obama one day "be the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to be hanged for war crimes?"

Will Nobel committee members hang with him? Mocking what they claim to stand for. Deploring peace. Promoting war. By giving Peace Prizes to war criminals.

On Tuesday, Russian Presidential Administration head Sergey Ivanov called conditions in Ukraine "a great concern on our part."

"Poor, uncontrollable, legally incapable and insolvent Ukraine is a colossal problem for Russia."

Washington "use(s) Ukraine for" its own interests. It doesn't "care about Ukraine itself."

"…Ukrainian people (have) to face the consequences, while being on the bring of misery."

Ivanov called Ukraine's parliament labeling Russia an aggressor an act of "weak-headedness."

Unsurprising, he added. "I would not be surprised even if the State Rada (Kiev's parliament) tomorrow passes a resolution claiming that Russia had launched an aggression on the Moon."

Taras Kuzio is a paid political propagandist. Writing for Foreign Affairs he headlined "Ukraine Reignites: Why Russia Should be Added to the State Sponsors of Terrorism List."

Ludicrously claiming Putin "wants to rebuild 'New Russia,' the Tsarist empire's term for" eight Eastern Ukraine Russian-speaking regions.

No evidence whatever supports him. Plenty debunks him. Kuzio lied accusing anti-Kiev forces of "terrorism."

Saying Moscow "propagate(s) terrorism and political instability across Ukraine."

Accusing Russia and Donbas freedom fighters of Kiev crimes. Saying "(i)t is time to call Russia what it is: a state sponsor of terrorism."

Media scoundrels proliferate this type rubbish. Responsible editors wouldn't touch it.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is more hack journalist than legitimate one.

Big thinking isn't his long suit. Superficial analysis substitutes for what readers deserve. Propaganda writ large. On January 28, he headlined "Czar Putin's Next Moves."

Irresponsibly blaming him for attacking Ukraine. Saying earlier he didn't equate it to Hitler's aggression.

"(U)sing ethnic Germans to justify his invasion of neighboring lands." Now he does.

Claiming "awful things Putin is doing to Ukraine" without citing a shred of evidence. None exists.

Plenty shows Washington's responsibility for backing, funding, directing and participating in aggression in Europe's heartland. 

Don't expect Friedman to explain. Or NYT editors featuring his rubbish.

Beginning-to-end unapologetic Big Lies. Claiming "Russian troops wearing uniforms without insignia invade(d) Ukraine."

Putin is "destroying Ukraine's reform movement." Friedman calls it "the ugliest geopolitical mugging happening in the world today."

"If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine’s new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger."

This is what passes for MSM news, information and analysis. No wonder Americans are the most over-entertained, under-informed people anywhere.

Friedman's worldview is polar opposite reality. Russia didn't invade Ukraine. Putin doesn't supply rebels with weapons. Has no revanchist ambitions.

He alone among world leaders goes all-out for regional peace and stability.

Obama and rogue NATO partners want war. Ousted Ukraine's legitimate government. Installed neo-Nazis replacing it.

Arm, fund and train Kiev's military. US forces directly participate in its aggression on Donbas.

Try finding a single MSM report explaining what everyone needs to know. Propaganda rubbish substitutes. 

Big Lies repeat ad nauseam. Global war risks go unnoticed.

A Final Comment

RT International reported on Ukraine's scheme "to create a coordination center for Ukrainian bloggers to present a united front in social media."

Citing Ukraine's information policy minister (aka propaganda minister), Yury Stets, saying they'll become Kiev's online "truth-telling" army.

"To do so we need to unite people influential in social media, and they will tell (Kiev's version of truth) to everyone who reads them."

"You don't need trolls and bots to deliver truthful information to those communicating on the Internet," said Tass.

Kiev's ministry of truth is right out of Orwell's 1984. Propaganda rubbish substituting for hard facts.

RT said Kiev's scheme "prompted an international outcry from journalists alarmed by the move."

OSCE's media freedom representative, Dunja Mijatovic, called Kiev's initiative a clear threat to media freedom.

Days earlier, illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko proposed suspending accreditation for all Russian journalists working in Ukraine. Including television, radio and print ones.

On January 23, Ukraine's security service (SBU) reported 88 Russian journalists expelled from the country. A willful campaign to suppress hard truths.

Last November, Kiev banned 83 Russian journalists from entering Ukraine. RT and other major Russian TV operations were targeted.

Western media ignore Kiev's war on media freedom. Its Donbas aggression called self-defense. 

Its illegitimate putschist regime called democratic. Its scandalous Russia bashing. 

Ignoring Washington's manipulative dirty hands. Its war on humanity. Not a single MSM source has the courage, credibility or integrity to explain it.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Fake Russian Spy Ring Announced

Fake Russian Spy Ring Announced

by Stephen Lendman

Rogue states need enemies to advance their agendas. When none exist they're invented. Longstanding US policy.

Russian national Evgeny Buryakov its latest victim. A Russian bank employee arrested in New York on phony espionage charges.

Two other Russian nationals named. Outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder announced bogus charges. 

A Department of Justice statement naming "Evgeny Buryakov, aka Zhenya,' Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy in connection with Buryakov's service as a covert intelligence agent on behalf of the Russian Federation (Russia) in New York City, without notifying the US Attorney General of Buryakov's status as an agent of Russia, as required by federal law."

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin said "(t)he attempt by foreign nations to illegally gather economic and other intelligence information in the United States through covert agents is a direct threat to the national security of the United States, and it exemplifies why counterespionage is a top priority of the National Security Division."

Buryakov was arrested. Was arraigned before Manhattan US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn the same day.

Sporyshev and Podobnyy no longer reside in America. Both had diplomatic immunity while still here.

Holder lied saying "(t)hese charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States."

"We will use every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents operating inside this country - no matter how deep their cover."

When evidence doesn't exist, it's invented. Buryakov is a US-instigated Cold War II victim.

DOJ's announcement was strategically timed. Three days after Mariupol's shelling. 

Two days ahead of EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on possible new Russian sanctions. Washington considering its own.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement saying:

"Yevgeny Buryakov, Vnesheconombank’s deputy representative in the US, has reportedly been detained in the US." 

"He is charged with gathering intelligence along with two former employees of Russia's diplomatic mission to New York." 

"No evidence to support such allegations was presented.
It seems as though the US authorities are once again resorting to their favourite tactics of building up spy hysteria." 

"Russian-US relations have been going through quite a complex period due to Washington’s antagonistic stance." 

"Apparently, the US has opted for the 'worse is better' approach by deciding to launch yet another round of anti-Russian campaigning."

"The actions to deteriorate our bilateral relations and undermine prospects for interaction between our countries will remain on the conscience of those who initiated them."

"Russia insists on the cessation of provocations unleashed by US intelligence services against Russian citizens, provision of immediate consular access to Yevgeny Buryakov, strict observance of the rights of the Russian citizen and his release."

Washington claims charged Russian nationals operated covertly. Tried recruiting New York City residents as intelligence sources.

Buryakov is accused of being a Russian agent "posing as an employee" of a New York-based Russian bank.

Sporyshev and Podobnyy are called Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents.

Gathering intelligence "by posing as official representatives of Russia."

"(T)tansmitting intelligence reports…back to SVR headquarters in Moscow."

Subjects "regularly met and communicated using clandestine methods and coded messages, in order to exchange intelligence-related information while shielding their associations with one another as SVR agents." 

So-called evidence includes subjects meeting numerous times from March 2012 through mid-September 2014.

Buryakov allegedly "passing a bag, magazine or slip of paper to Sporyshev." Other so-called evidence sounds just as unconvincing.

Maybe the three were friends. Charges claimed they used code language like going to a movie or sports event as an excuse to meet to exchange intelligence information.

You can't make this stuff up. It sounds like John le Carre or James Bond. 

The latest episode in Washington's war on Russia. Including blaming Moscow and Donbas rebels for Kiev's false flag Mariupol shelling. 

Systematic US efforts to undermine Russia's economy. More on this below.

Why would three Russians arrange an elaborate undercover scheme when they could accomplish the same thing through well-connected lawyers, consultants or lobbyists?

The way everyone in Washington, New York and other US cities do business. Without being charged with espionage.

Their "crime" is being Russian nationals in America at the wrong time. Cold War 2.0 victims.

Washington's way of portraying Russians as bad guys. Guilty by accusation. So-called evidence is contrived and misleading.

None "backs up (DOJ) accusations," Lukashevich stressed. The last similar spy case occurred in mid-2010.

Involving 10 so-called "sleeper agents." Fingered by the FBI, said RT International. Despite no evidence proving criminality.

At the time, Colombia University Russian specialist, Robert Legvold, said anyone could have gotten what they were accused of through a Google search.

Throughout their years in America, they never sought or obtained classified information. Then Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko called charges against them groundless and malicious.

Former KGB officer Mikhail Lyubimov said the whole story looked more like fiction than fact. Having nothing to do with real undercover work.

"How (could these) professionals (not) notice that secret services had been watching them (for) years? If not them, their wives could have noticed," he said. 

"And…it's not clear at all exactly what information (they were) looking for and what (they supposedly) sent to Moscow directly to the Kremlin, Medvedev or Putin. It's nonsense."

Former Russian Federal Security Service head Nikolai Kovalyov said US charges resemble a "bad spy novel."

Getting tough on Russia for political reasons. Using alleged spies as convenient patsies.

The same dirty game repeating. New charges. Different patsies. Go-along media scoundrels regurgitate official Big Lies.

The New York Times headline practically pronounced guilt. Saying "3 Men Are Charged With Serving as Secret Agents for Russia in New York."

Most readers don't get past the headline or first paragraph or two.

In paragraph one, The Times discussed a "secret handoff." In paragraph two, called it "intelligence - gathered…on behalf of SVR."

The Washington Post published an AP report headlined "US announces charges in New York Russian spy ring case."

Again, the first two paragraphs practically pronounce guilt. Saying "Three Russian citizens…spoke in code, passed information concealed in bags and magazines, and tried to recruit people with ties to an unnamed New York university."

"The defendants were directed by Russian authorities 'to gather intelligence,' " according to DOJ charges.

The Wall Street Journal headlined "US Charges Russian Banker in Spy Case."

"(A)ccused him and two others of secretly gathering information about the New York Stock Exchange, US energy resources and sanctions against Moscow."

Like other MSM reports, the Journal emphasized "clandestine meetings." "Coded communications." Russian foreign intelligence agents. Moscow "spycraft."

CNN reported a "Russian spy ring busted in New York." Those charged "are part of the most intense effort by Russia to infiltrate onto American soil since the Cold War," it claimed.

Again, guilt by accusation. Guests CNN interviewed all made similar anti-Russian comments. Part of an ongoing Washington/MSM Russian bashing smear campaign.

Expect more of the same ahead. US and EU leaders are considering more sanctions on Russia. Targeting its technology, energy, defense and banking sectors.

Perhaps this week. After EU officials meet Thursday in Brussels. According to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland:

"We've looked at the sectors where Russia needs us most - the high-tech energy sector, the defense trade, access to credit." 

"There are more things that we can do along those lines. We are looking at that question now, along with Europe."

Nuland was directly involved in last February's US instigated Ukraine coup. Ousting its democratically elected government. Replacing it with illegitimate neo-Nazi thugs.

She remains an unindited war criminal. Ludicrously claiming "an off-ramp for Russia. (A) route back to better ties with all of us…"

Outrageously blaming Moscow for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Ignoring Washington's full responsibility.

Saying "(t)he minute Russia allows Ukraine to control its side of the international border and stops fueling the conflict, the situation will improve."

Code language for demanding Moscow unconditionally accept US hegemony. Surrender its sovereignty. Become another US colony. Never with Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov et al in charge.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said European foreign ministers will "consider any appropriate action, in particular on further restrictive measures."

He lied claiming "evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, which underlines Russia's responsibility."

On Tuesday, Ukraine's putschist parliament declared Russia an "aggressor" state. Calling Donbas freedom fighters "terrorists."

On Monday, Putin discussed Ukrainian crisis conditions with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Unequivocally blaming Kiev officials for ongoing conflict. In the last 24 hours alone, Lugansk People's Republic's (LPR) health minister reported Kiev shelling killing at least 12 in Stakhanov.

From "Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers." Another 150 people were hospitalized with injuries.

Russia's Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov called reemergent Nazism the international community's greatest threat.

Its epicenter in Ukraine. Its policies directed from Washington. Dolgov saying "(w)e are faced with a very alarming phenomenon - neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and Islamophobia."

"That's a powerful delayed action bomb planted under international security and stability." 

The threat of wider war beyond Donbas looms. Irresponsible US-led NATO policies threaten world security.

On Tuesday, Stop NATO reported Pentagon plans "to deploy hundreds of (tanks and other) armored vehicles near Russia's border."

Imagine Washington's response if Moscow positioned armored columns along America's northern and/or southern borders. WW III could follow.

On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya was clear and unequivocal saying:

"Russia is faced with coordinated efforts to undermine its economy, which come as a hidden part of the official sanctions war against us." 

"The S&P decision to drop Russia’s sovereign rating is in line with this policy. It is absolutely politicised, biased and politically motivated."

"I’d like to add that this decision is worthless, but unfortunately, it has a price, since it increases the cost of external borrowings for us and affects the prospects for the Russian securities markets."

"The fact that this step was taken now is not surprising. By an 'odd confluence of circumstances,' it coincided with yet another round of anti-Russian hysteria." 

Referring to Mariupol's shelling and alleged New York-based Russian spies.

"I personally have no doubt that this decision was not just suggested, but outright ordered by Washington," Nebenzya stressed.

Plenty of clear evidence supports him. Washington's political and economic war on Russia rages. Risking possible direct confrontation.

Downgrading Russian debt to junk was a brazen politicized act. On direct orders from Washington. Entirely unjustified.

Russian national debt as a percent of GDP is extremely low at 11%, Paul Craig Roberts explained. Compared to America's tenfold higher debt at 105% of GDP.

Way understated, said Roberts. All US government data are phony. "Magic numbers," according to Roberts. Manipulated to make rotten conditions look rosy.

Russia’s credit is strong. Nothing suggests otherwise. America's credit rating should have been cut to junk, said Roberts.

Any US credit rating agency trying "would be closed and prosecuted," he explained. Labeled "terrorist organizations."

"Never expect any truth from any Wall Street denizen. They lie for a living." They may help lying things into WW III.

Washington is relentless. Ruthless. Maniacal. Stopping at nothing to advance its imperium. Lunatics running things may destroy planet earth to control it.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

US Official Insults Cubans

US Official Insults Cubans

by Stephen Lendman

On January 22, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson visited Cuba.

The most senior US diplomat doing so in decades. Calling US/Cuban relations "particular and peculiar. (N)ot built on confidence and trust."

"Built on" decades of illegal embargo. Hundreds of attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. 

Support for Miami-based anti-Cuban fascist groups. Violence destabilizing Cuba. Efforts to topple its government. Attack it with biological weapons. Murder its people.

More on Jacobson's visit below. Her actions were an affront to the Cuban people.

Obama's announced mid-December thaw is more about regime change than rapprochement. 

Wanting pro-Western stooge government replacing Cuban independence. Returning the nation to its pre-revolution Mafia-run days. 

Making it another US colony. A casino capitalism/brothel state masquerading as a legitimate nation.

Letting US corporate predators carve up the country for profit. Exploit Cuban workers. Destroy social justice.

Normalization means rogue CIA agents operating freely. Pro-Western profit-making NGOs grabbing all they can. The way they exploit Haiti and other vulnerable countries.

Obama's gambit promises nothing good for millions of Cubans. America is all take and no give. It takes giant leap of faith to believe otherwise.

Fidel Castro commented publicly for the first time since Obama's mid-December announcement. 

In a letter to the Federation of University Students. Read by a student on state television.

Saying "(m)any friends of Cuba know the exemplary conduct of our people, and to them I briefly explain my position."

"I do not trust the US policy nor have I exchanged a word with them, without this meaning a rejection of a peaceful solution of conflicts and dangers of war." 

"The president of Cuba (Raul Castro) has taken the appropriate steps according to his prerogatives and powers granted by the National Assembly and the Communist Party of Cuba."

"We will always defend cooperation and friendship with all peoples of the world, including those of our political opponents."

Fidel is aged 88. His silence for some weeks raised concerns about his health. Rumors speculated about his death.

He's very much alive. Hopefully in good health. The world's preeminent elder statesman. A consummate political leader. 

Heroic and then some. Enjoying decades of popular support for good reason. 

Unjustly vilified by America. Well aware of its duplicitous history. Based on conquest, dominance and exploitation.

Expect largely business as usual ahead. Jacobson's visit was insulting. Described as a first step toward normalization. Effrontery is no way to do it.

Saying "(a)s a central element of our policy, we pressed the Cuban government for improved human rights conditions, including freedom of expression and assembly."

"There is no doubt that human rights remains the center of our policy and it is crucial that we continue to both speak out about human rights publicly and directly with the Cuban government."

No nation abuses human rights more egregiously than America. On on unprecedented global scale. Jacobson didn't explain.

Instead, meddled in Cuba's internal affairs disrespectfully. Met with dissidents a day after talks with Havana officials.

Said "(i)t was incredibly important for me to hear from them about their struggles, about whether they agreed or disagreed with the US policy."  

"Most important was the discussion of what comes next, what they are going to do, how they want our support, what we can do to help them."

Suggesting continued US disruptive meddling in Cuban affairs ahead. Supporting elements wanting its government toppled.

Josefina Vidal headed Cuban talks. Expressed legitimate displeasure over Jacobson's actions. Her meeting with dissidents. Insulting Cuban people and officials deserving respect.

Vidal saying "(t)his is exactly one of the differences we have with the US government because for us, this is not just genuine, legitimate Cuban civil society."

"This small group of people doesn't represent Cuban society. (T)he interests of the Cuban people. So that's a big difference with the United States government."

Jacobson met with dissidents at US Interests Section head Jeffrey DeLaurentis' residence. Some invited chose not to come. 

Citing a lack of "balance in terms of the diversity of opinion of the participants." Moderates aren't welcome. 

Ladies in White leader Berta Soler boycotted Jacobson's Friday breakfast and later reception. So did other dissidents. Saying  Washington only wants individuals and groups agreeing with its policies.

Supporting the worst of hardline elements. Consistent with its longstanding regime change plan.

Real rapprochement requires entirely lifting embargo restrictions. Total normalization. Treating Cuba like other nations.

Respecting its sovereign rights. Refraining from meddling in its internal affairs. Paying reparations for decades of economic harm.

Washington won't institute any of the above policies. Intends business as usual wrapped in modest changes too little to matter.

Granma reported "removal of limits on travelers' expenses in Cuba…" Permission to use credit and debit cards. 

Family member remittances to Cuba increased from $500 to $2,000 every three months.

Travel agencies, airlines and insurance companies allowed "to organize service for travel to Cuba."

"(T)ourism and maritime travel remain prohibited." What should have been permitted straightaway. With no restrictions.

US export restrictions remain unchanged. Including "on advanced technology products. (L)imited sales to private parties, via Cuban import-export companies" are OK.

Including for construction materials and agricultural equipment. How much allowed is unclear.

"Prohibitions on the export of Cuban products to US markets remain in place, although visitors will be able to return with purchases of up to $400 dollars, including $100 worth of cigars and rum."

US cigar smokers wanting Cuban Cohibas, Montecristos or other brands have to go to Cuba, Canada, Mexico or other foreign countries to get them.

Telecommunications services "is the only sector in which US investment in infrastructure is authorized, along with sales of services, software and equipment," said Granma.

Excluding advanced technology. US financial institutions may open accounts in Cuban banks "for transactions related to authorized activities."

Cuban counterparts aren't granted the same privilege. Key blockade restrictions remain in place.

Including prohibited international dollar transactions. Technology products and equipment bought in other countries containing more than 10% of US made components.

Commercial relations with US subsidiaries in other countries. US imports with Cuban raw materials.

It's unclear whether easing turns out precisely as announced. Or if Washington intends less openness than claimed.

After over half a century of toughness, assume nothing unless or until proved otherwise.

Granma called new measures announced "a step in the right direction…" Lots more needs to be done, it stressed.

Key is total normalization. Executive and congressional action lifting all blockade restrictions "once and for all."

What never should have been imposed in the first place. Most of all, instituting an entirely new relationship with Cuba in all respects.

Not with fascists in charge in Washington. Change requires a political clean sweep. 

A complete makeover. Revolutionary change. Instituting governance of, by and for everyone equitably. 

Ending foreign wars. Closing overseas bases. Turning swords into plowshares. Waging peace, not war. Holding government, military, and corporate criminals accountable.

Establishing even-handed relations with all nations. Maybe some day. Not while lunatics in Washington run things.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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