Monday, August 31, 2015

Maidan 2.0 Erupting in Ukraine?

Maidan 2.0 Erupting in Ukraine?

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained overwhelming anti-regime opposition. Ordinary people are fed up with economic conditions creating enormous hardships - ignored to enrich privileged interests and wage war on Donbass.

Sporadic protests erupted various times before - again Monday in front of parliament violently after police stopped thousands from storming the building, led by Right Sector Nazis, likeminded Svoboda party extremists and other ultranationalist elements. 

Whether Monday’s violence signals the beginning of Maidan 2.0 remains to be seen. Elements involved include the most extremists segments of Ukrainian society - hooligan supporters of Nazi-era Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B). He collaborated in mass executions and ethnic cleansing.

If these elements gain power, fascist Ukraine on steroids will follow. The entire country could explode in violence - a reign of terror in Europe’s heartland, perhaps spilling cross-border, affecting neighboring countries Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia, potentially embroiling the entire continent in conflict.

Live fire and a grenade thrown at police exploded during Monday clashes. Reports indicated five or more security forces killed, 10 hospitalized in serious condition, and scores of people wounded.

Internal affairs minister Arsen Avakov reported 100 or more injured, likely many more casualties if disruptions continue.

Dozens of arrests were made. “Investigation and punishment are inevitable,” said Avakov. “Around 30 people are detained. There will be more. The person who threw the grenade has been caught. Grenades have been seized, including an F1 maximum destruction grenade.”

Russia’s lower house State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov commented on Monday’s riot saying:

“(Ultra)nationalists in Ukraine want to assert full and unquestionable power of radical forces. (N)either  Merkel nor Hollande nor the Minsk agreements will help.”

Poroshenko “has to maneuver. He has to show Europe that he controls the situation in the country. However, I think that he can manage it less and less. And today’s events in Kiev demonstrate that (he) does not have complete control over the situation.” 

He may be losing it altogether. He’s an impotent puppet taking orders from Washington. Pushkov expects continued deterioration.

“The Kiev regime will try to prove that Ukraine is a European country ready to accept the so-called European values,” he said. “But the Right Sector and the Svoboda party and other ultra-nationalist groups using Nazi ideas are not ready to accept the so-called European values.” 

“They are ready to fight only for ultra-nationalist dictatorship in Ukraine. Here, I see a considerable conflict potential between Poroshenko and” and anti-regime elements.

Their alleged anger over constitutional decentralization amendments is misguided. They reject special status for Donbass. Poroshenko was clear in opposing it - flagrantly violating Minsk terms. 

Whether turbulence in Kiev can be contained remains to be seen. Maybe Monday’s eruption is the start of something bigger.

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. 

US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin

US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin

by Stephen Lendman

Putin’s advocacy for peace, stability and multi-world polarity along with opposing US imperial lawlessness makes him America’s public enemy number one - recklessly bashed at a time US/Russian cooperation is vitally needed to avoid the unthinkable, a possible devastating nuclear confrontation.

US presidential aspirants represent America’s lunatic fringe - pro-war neocons talking tough on Russia, proliferating Big Lies, ignoring good sense. 

Jeb Bush irresponsibly called Putin a “bully. Ultimately I think to deal with (him) you need to deal from strength,” he said.

“He’s a bully. You enable bad behavior when you're nuanced with a guy like that. I'm not talking about being bellicose - but saying 'here are the consequences of your actions,’ that would deter the kind of bad outcome we don't want to see.”

“Who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if its (nonexistent) aggression goes unanswered?”

Bush urges stiffer sanctions and a muscular military response (including “more robust”  exercises near Russia’s border) short of war.

In contrast, Donald Trump says “I’ll get along well with Vladimir Putin.” Asked to elaborate, he explained “I didn’t say I admire him.”

At the same time, he claimed “(t)he problem we have is the people running China, Mexico, Japan. All of the leaders of those countries are much sharper, smarter, more cunning than our leaders and they're taking advantage of us.”

Marco Rubio calls Putin a “gangster” - “an organized crime figure who controls a government and a large territory.”

He “kills people because they're his political enemies. If you're a political adversary of Vladimir Putin, you wind up with plutonium in your drink or shot in the street.”

He calls Russia a major threat to US security. “We have a gangster running the largest nuclear stockpile in the world.”

Scott Walker absurdly calls his anti-union agenda a signal of his toughness against Putin. Lindsey Graham accused him of “mucl(ing) (his) way around Europe.” 

“What (he’s) trying to do is market the strongman concept. He has a brand and (it’s) to be in your face and say, ‘(w)e’re not going to be pushed around by the West.’ “

Ted Cruz calls Putin a “thug.” The “only negotiation that can be effective with (him) is from strength.” Chris Christie claims his brash style is needed to deal with Russia. “Vladimir Putin would never have to wonder what I thought was acceptable and what was unacceptable,” he said.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina calls Putin a “bad dude.” Rick Perry claims he “uses his energy to hold our allies hostage. If energy is going to be used as a weapon, I say America must have the largest arsenal.”

Mike Huckabee doesn’t know Palestine is occupied. He knows less about Russia, China and geopolitics. Rand Paul tries having things both ways. Earlier he distanced himself from Putin bashing. More recently he said “(i)f I were president, I wouldn’t let (him) get away with” anything.

Hillary Clinton believes EU leaders are “too wimpy” with Putin. Last year, she outrageously compared him to Hitler and Russia to Nazi Germany.

Paul Craig Roberts believes if elected president, she’d be “more likely to go to war with Russia” than any other aspirant.

Bernie Sanders brags about being more anti-Russian than Obama. “You’ve got to totally isolate them politically,” he says. 

“You’ve got to totally isolate them economically…You freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world…International corporations have huge investments in Russia…You could pull them out…”

All Republican and Democrat presidential aspirants represent America’s lunatic fringe. Reject them all. None deserve popular support.

All endorse dirty business as usual - endless wars, corporatism over populism, and harsh crackdowns on resistance.

America is a money-controlled fascist police state. Expect worse than ever governance no matter who succeeds Obama in January 2017.

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. 

US Presidential Aspirants Resemble an FBI Most Wanted List

US Presidential Aspirants Resemble an FBI Most Wanted List

by Stephen Lendman

America is run by a criminal aristocracy - a one-party system with two wings, serving monied interests exclusively at the expense of beneficial social change.

Their agenda no matter who’s president or heading key congressional committees features: 

  • an obsession with national security at a time America’s only enemies are ones it invents;

  • waging phony war on terror;

  • endless direct and proxy wars of aggression;

  • more spent on militarism and belligerence than the rest of the world combined;

  • multi-billions of dollars in corporate handouts;

  • social injustice;

  • a draconian criminal justice system;

  • global black site torture prisons;

  • massive public and private corruption;

  • rigged elections;

  • controlled mass media; and

  • hardline crackdowns on nonbelievers.

Nations run this way are called police states. America is the world’s leading purveyor of state terrorism. It’s perilously close to full-blown tyranny - perhaps just another major false flag attack away.

Donald Trump wants to build the great wall of Mexico, sealing off America’s southern border from an economic refugee flood caused by destructive US trade policy.

Fellow presidential aspirant Scott Walker is best known for union busting, public worker wage cuts, doubling their health insurance and pension contributions, and firing any state employee opposing his draconian agenda by participating in strikes, work stoppages or slowdowns.

As president, he wants to build the great wall of Canada along the world’s longest border - from sea to shining sea, separating America from its northern neighbor, stopping a nonexistent immigrant and terrorist flood south, sealing off the nation’s border with Mexico the same way.

“Some people asked us about” walling off both countries, he said. “They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law-enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town-hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

America spends huge sums on air and seaport security. Walker urges the same policy for the nation’s northern and southern borders.

He wants more than walls. Add an intelligence component, he urges - “for counterterrorism and the ability to go after the infrastructure (needed) to protect us.”

Fellow presidential aspirant Chris Christie wants foreign visitors tracked like FedEx packages. Nations obsessed with security like America destroy it altogether for its citizens.

America’s greatest threat is itself - against people worldwide wanting to live free from its scourge.

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.

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. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

NYT Features Anti-Russian Propagandist

NYT Features Anti-Russian Propagandist

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article described Marsha Gessen as follows: She’s a US propagandist/Putin basher living in Moscow - a former controversial Washington controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director.

Her job then and now is proliferating anti-Russian/anti-Putin propaganda. Virtually everything she says and writes is rubbish - fabrications polar opposite truth.

No legitimate editors would touch her stuff. The NYT features it often - in lieu of independent contributors discussing hard truths everyone needs to know on issues mattering most - prohibited by Times editors, serving wealth and power interests exclusively at the expense of real journalism.

On August 28, Gessen headlined “Oleg Sentsov and the Kremlin’s Thin Skin.” Disinformation followed. More on this below.

On August 25, the North Caucasus District Military Court found Ukrainian filmmaker Sentsov guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorism in Crimea - sentencing him to 20 years imprisonment. His accomplice Alexander Kolchenko got 10 years.

After hearing the verdict, both defendants began singing Ukraine’s national anthem - whether a tacit admission of guilt let others decide.

Sentsov’s lawyers intend appealing. Attorney Dmitry Dinze called the treatment of his client “the height of injustice and arbitrary rule.”

“We do not think that the Supreme Court (will) change anything,” he added. 
Naturally, we are going to demand (both defendants) serve prison terms in Ukraine. But it’s going to be hard because (they’re) Russian citizens.”

Prosecutor’s charged Sentsov  and Kolchenko with involvement in setting up a Crimea-based terrorist group - responsible for setting offices in Simferopol ablaze in spring 2014, claiming they planned blowing up a statue of Vladimir Lenin, as well as destroying or damaging other Crimean facilities. Both men pleaded not guilty.

Sentsov is a Kiev funded filmmaker. In May, Poroshenko signed a decree - awarding him and dozens of other cultural and artistic figures state grants.

Sputnik News said he also “was charged with illegal acquisition, sale and possession of weapons under Russia’s Criminal Code.”

Gessen lied claiming his Crimean arrest was in Ukrainian territory - ludicrously adding “what made him a terrorist in the eyes of the Russian court apparently was the symbolism of his alleged crimes.”

Russian citizenship was forced on him, she maintained - wrongfully accusing Moscow of abducting other “foreign citizens on foreign soil and dragg(ing) them into its own courts” - ignoring Washington’s odious history of pressuring other governments to arrest individuals, extradite them to America to be prosecuted on fabricated charges.

In April 2014, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned its citizens planning foreign travel - explaining they risked arrest and extradition to America.

“Without any reasons the US administration is refusing to recognize the reunification between Russia and Crimea that fully meets the international legal standards and the UN charter. It tries to make a routine practice out of hunting for Russian citizens in third countries with subsequent extradition and conviction in the USA, usually over dubious charges,” its ministry said.

Gessen failed to explain - proliferating anti-Russian propaganda in all her writing - selectively featured in The New York Times, malicious rubbish no legitimate editors would touch.

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. 

US Occupies Yemeni Island

US Occupies Yemeni Island

by Stephen Lendman

Fars News said “(t)he US has invaded and occupied Yemen’s strategic Island of Socotra (part of the Yemeni archipelago) in the Indian Ocean and is now building up its biggest naval base there, media reports said.” More on this below.

Obama’s war on Yemen using Saudi-led regional proxies is perhaps the region’s most destructive, underreported conflict - five months of genocidal war passing under the radar almost unnoticed. 

US major media report little about it. Other Western counterparts give it short shrift. 

Most Americans likely never heard of Yemen - for sure know nothing about raging conflict, planned and orchestrated by Washington - to return the nation to US client state status, putting millions of Yemenis in harm’s way, suffering because of a combination of US/Saudi aggression and blockade, creating a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.

Casualties number in the many thousands more than officially reported. People are killed by war. They’re starving to death or dying from untreated wounds or diseases.

The entire so-called civilized world is dismissive - mindless that millions of Yemenis could perish before conflict ends. It could rage for years - perhaps replicating Washington’s endless wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Donbass, plus almost entirely ignored covert ones and global destabilization.

Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter, destruction and appalling human misery follow. US media virtually ignore US direct and proxy aggression in multiple war theaters.

Scant reports, almost always in print media, read like Pentagon press releases - pure rubbish, bald-faced lies and coverup, ignoring Washington’s responsibility for genocidal slaughter, blaming victims for its crimes, standard procedure in all US wars of aggression to make the world safe for monied interests, enriching them more than ever.

In 2012, Washington began covertly deploying air, naval and marine forces to Socotra and Oman’s island of Masirah at the Strait of Hormuz’s southern exit point.

Socotra air and naval bases let Pentagon commanders monitor and control strategic Red Sea/Gulf of Aden/Persian Gulf waters. Plans for increased facilities and operations are highly classified.

Leaked reports suggest Washington has around 50,000 military forces on both islands - along with other regional strength, enough firepower to attack Iran or other regional targets if ordered.

Fars News cited Arabic-language Al-Masirah TV quoting a Spanish language newspaper saying “(h)undreds of workers from Asian countries have been deployed by the US navy to construct its biggest naval base on the island.”

What Pentagon officials have in mind is highly classified. Whenever US forces mass in a region, war usually follows - whether against current adversaries or new ones remains to be seen.

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. 

West Point Professor Calls Anti-War Legal Scholars Fifth Column Threats

West Point Professor Calls Anti-War Legal Scholars Fifth Column Threats

by Stephen Lendman

Lunatics in America aren’t just in Washington. London Guardian national security editor Spencer Ackerman explained West Point Law Professor William Bradford claims “legal scholars critical of the war on terrorism represent a ‘treasonous’ fifth column that should be attacked as enemy combatants.”

He wants them, their home offices, law schools where they teach and media outlets interviewing them targeted like radical Islamists - “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage,” he wrote in an academic paper.

“Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, (dissenting) scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are - at least in theory - targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism,” he claimed.

His National Security Law Journal article headlined “Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column.”

He calls himself an “associate professor of law, national security and strategy, National Defense University.” Ackerman said an NDU source explained he was never a school employee or professor.

“It appears not to be the first time Bradford misrepresented his credentials,” said Ackerman. “He resigned from Indiana University’s law school in 2005 after his military record showed he had exaggerated his service. (Among his paper’s criticisms of supposedly treasonous lawyers is ‘intellectual dishonesty.)’ “

“The National Security Law Journal’s editor-in-chief has called the article’s publication a ‘mistake’ and an ‘egregious breach of professional decorum.’ “

“We cannot ‘unpublish’ it, of course, but we can and do acknowledge that the article was not presentable for publication when we published it, and that we therefore repudiate it with sincere apologies to our readers,” editor-in-chief, Rick Myers explained

Bradford leaves his targeted academics unnamed - substituting the acronym CLOACA (“critical law of armed conflict academy”) - part of GMAC (“government-media-academic complex”).

Its members include about forty scholars comprising an “aristocracy of senior government officials, elite media members, and university faculty, which squeezes non-members from public colloquy and shapes opinion on security, military and legal issues,” he said.

They “converted the US legal academy into a cohort whose vituperative pronouncements on the illegality of the US resort to force and subsequent conduct in the war against Islamism (represents a) super-weapon that supports Islamist military operations (targeting the) “American political will” to fight. 

They’re supported by “compliant journalists (succumbing to) defeatism, instinctive antipathy to war, and empathy for American adversaries.” 

Bradford is most concerned about anti-war lawyers. They “tilt the battlefield against US forces (and) contribute to timorousness and lethargy in US military commanders,” he claimed. 

They’re among other “useful idiots” who “separate Islam from Islamists by attributing to the former principles in common with the West, including ‘justice and progress’ and ‘the dignity of all human beings.’ “

He urges total US war on “Islamism” (the belief that ‘Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life’) (using) conventional and nuclear force (as well as psyops, either) prepar(ing) to coexist with the West or be utterly eradicated.”

“(T)hreatening Islamic holy sites might create deterrence, discredit Islamism, and falsify the assumption that decadence renders Western restraint inevitable.”

Bradford isn’t alone in his radicalized thinking. America’s war on Islam is longstanding. Post-9/11, Muslims have been America’s enemy of choice - denigrated for their faith and ethnicity, reviled irresponsibly as belligerent, culturally inferior, religiously fanatical, gun-toting terrorists.

Imprisoning them on fabricated charges. Holding them indefinitely under gulag conditions in Guantanamo and other US global black sites.

Pentagon military recruits are indoctrinated to hate Muslims, wrongfully demonized as threats - preparing impressionable youths for combat, sensitizing them to killing, waging phony war on terrorism, advancing America’s imperium - no matter how much mass slaughter and destruction it takes.

Bradford represents systemic sickness - driving a rogue state’s maniacal quest for world dominance at the risk of killing us all.

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. 

France, Germany and Russia Back Ceasefire in Donbass: Hold the Cheers

France, Germany and Russia Back Ceasefire in Donbass: Hold the Cheers

by Stephen Lendman

Hollande, Merkel and Putin discussed ongoing conflict in Donbass by phone. On Saturday, a Kremlin press statement said:

“Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande informed (Putin) about the results of their recent meeting with the president of Ukraine in Berlin.” 

“Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the continuing artillery bombardments of populated localities in Donbass by the Ukrainian military, the build-up of the Ukrainian Armed Forces along the line of demarcation.”

“The three leaders emphasized the need to establish a direct dialogue between Kiev and representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk and of lifting the financial and economic blockade of Donbass.”

Media reports said the three leaders back a new ceasefire straightaway. A French statement said “(t)hey strongly supported calls for a full ceasefire on September 1 due to the start of the new school year.”

“They underscored the importance of continued ceasefire, citing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine.”

They called withdrawing heavy weapons from the contact line “an important step toward the implementation of Minsk” ceasefire terms. 

Putin blamed Kiev for ongoing conflict. His web site said he “expressed concern over the continuing shelling by Ukrainian security forces of urban areas in Donbass and the build-up of Ukraine’s military forces along the demarcation line.”

“He stressed the need to establish direct dialogue between Kiev and representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk and to lift the financial and economic siege of Donbass. The Russian President said that there is no alternative to a political settlement of the conflict on the basis of full implementation of the Minsk agreements, stressing the importance of holding a constitutional reform in Ukraine that would be coordinated with Donetsk and Lugansk.”

Putin means what he says. He’s gone all-out to resolve ongoing conflict since Kiev launched naked aggression last year. Merkel and Hollande are allied with Washington’s imperial agenda, its endless wars of aggression.

Previous articles pronounced Minsk dead - impossible to achieve ceasefire as long as Obama and Poroshenko want war. Nothing indicates otherwise. Kiev mobilized around 90,000 heavily armed forces in Southeastern Ukraine.

They’re deployed for escalated war, proceeding with multiple daily attacks - perhaps continuing endlessly as long as Washington rejects peace. 

It wants Ukraine used as a dagger targeting Russia’s heartland - along with growing numbers of US and other NATO troops in Eastern Europe close to its borders.

US plans call for establishing a military cordon sanitaire - aiming to marginalize, weaken, and isolate Russia from Europe. US provocations head things perilously closer to direct confrontation. All bets are off if lunatics in Washington launch 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. 

Why the Refugee Crisis?

Why the Refugee Crisis?

by Stephen Lendman

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers head for safe havens daily - a human flood entering Europe, risking life and limb to get there. Why?

Washington bears full responsibility. Endless US direct and proxy wars force desperate people to seek safety out of harm’s way. 

Numbers fleeing war and destabilized areas are greater than any time since WWII - increasing exponentially as conflicts and chaos rage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Donbass, Somalia, South Sudan, and elsewhere.

A previous article cited a UNHCR report saying 60 million people were forcibly displaced by end of 2014. Globally one in every 122 people are asylum seekers, refugees or internally displaced persons. More than half the world’s refugees are children.

On August 28, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said over 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe so far this year - greatly exceeding 2014’s 219,000 total, a human flood likely to approach half a million by yearend, likely hundreds of thousands more in 2016 and beyond.

Thousands of others die or go missing. On August 27, hundreds were feared dead after two overcrowded vessels capsized off Libya’s coast. Dozens of Syrian refugees were found suffocated to death in a truck parked on an Austrian highway - their bodies in a state of decomposition. Other similar horror stories repeat with disturbing regularity.

Statements expressing concern by Germany’s Angela Merkel, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top world officials ring hollow. 

Crisis resolution is obvious - not considered nor will it be. End US orchestrated and led imperial wars. The UN Charter’s pledge “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind” proved empty rhetoric.

America’s record is unparalleled - endless wars at home and/or abroad every year in its history, begun long before the republic’s inception.

After two world wars, never again became endless conflicts - raging today more than any time since WW II, heading recklessly toward possible WW III, a potential humanity destroying nuclear war if launched.

America is a global killing machine, glorifying war duplicitously in the name of peace - its imperial madness taking millions of lives post-9/11 alone.

The business of America is war - part of a deranged culture, a national addiction, a ruthless quest for wealth and power. Bipartisan lunatics infest Washington. Never before has one nation endangered humanity more - threatening possible nuclear war with Russia and/or China - to advance its maniacal quest for unchallenged world dominance, risking mass annihilation to achieve it.

The current US presidential race features an array of imperial warriors - not a peace and stability advocate in the bunch.

Hillary Clinton is a reckless war goddess. Donald Trump wants “the strongest military that we’ve ever had.” Other Republican aspirants support increased defense spending and militarism. Bernie Sanders supports all Obama wars. They exceed the worst of George Bush.

No matter who becomes president in 2017, America’s killing machine will keep raging - ravaging and destroying one country after another, causing an endless human flood of refugees, risking the unthinkable if Russia or China are challenged belligerently - ending life on earth.

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. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ukrainians Overwhelmingly Oppose Junta Rule

Ukrainians Overwhelmingly Oppose Junta Rule

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is a Nazi-infested police state - an illegitimate US-installed coup d’etat regime, run by criminal thugs, wrecking the economy, abolishing freedoms, waging war on their own people.

No wonder a poll conducted by Rating Group Ukraine found 0% full support for its regime. Poroshenko scored 3% full support, 21% partial support, and overwhelming opposition to his rule.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had 0% full support. Kiev’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) scored 1%. Random sampling included respondents from all Ukrainian regions except Donbass - victimized by Kiev aggression.

Results conflict with regime claims about achieving “national consensus.” None whatever exists. People worldwide want fundamental freedoms. Kiev offers none. Poll numbers show the regime is overwhelmingly despised.

Ukraine’s mismanaged economy is dysfunctional - teetering toward collapse. Borrowed money is used to wage war. 

Inflation is out-of-control. Many workers don’t get paid. Corruption is rampant. Hard times keep getting harder for ordinary Ukrainians. 

The IMF expects 9% economic contraction this year - severe Depression conditions. No end in sight to its economic troubles looms. It may be just a matter of time before Maidan 2.0.

Regime authorities abuse the rights of all Ukrainians. The Kiev-based Center for Social and Labor Research (CLSR) reported repression and anti-government unrest vastly higher than under the previous Yanukovych government.

“Worrying is the high frequency of repression against protests with government critics and demand for lustration, against protests with socio-economic and political demands,” CLSR explained.

Ukraine is a gangster state run by fascist thugs. Human and civil rights are hugely abused. Police state terror is official policy.

Opposition media were shut down. Russian nationals, regime opponents, democracy supporters, and human rights activists are harassed, arrested, brutalized and extrajudicially imprisoned. Independent journalists are murdered or disappeared.

Poroshenko wants war, not peace. He systematically breached all ceasefire terms agreed to. Multiple violations occur daily. Residential areas, schools, hospitals and other civilian sites are targeted. Kiev propaganda blames Donbass freedom fighters for its aggression. Things could explode anytime into full-scale war.

Kiev’s war crimes include gruesome atrocities, torturing prisoners, using chemical and other banned weapons, as well as willfully murdering civilians. Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen believes it plans a false flag chemical weapons attack blamed on Donbass freedom fighters, maybe something major.

Minsk called for amending Kiev’s constitution - granting Donbass special autonomous status. Poroshenko flatly rejects it. 

On Saturday, he said Article 92 of Ukraine’s constitution granting special status for areas like Donbass will be rescinded. His interpretation of Minsk contravene’s its letter and spirit.

Ukraine is a cauldron of endless war on its own people, nationwide repression, social injustice and regional instability. Former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said its regime is run by criminals.

“Armed gangs are ruling supreme now in what some people call this European integration…No one feels safe in Ukraine these days,” he explained. How long things can go on this way remains to be seen.

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. 

Dubious Sponsor Launches Petition to End Gaza Blockade

Dubious Sponsor Launches Petition to End Gaza Blockade

by Stephen Lendman

Avaaz is a phony human rights group. Michel Chossudovsky calls it “part of a corporate public relations campaign” - systematically misreporting on Washington’s imperial wars. 

Its petition calls on world leaders to pressure Israel to lift blockade restrictions - backed by Oxfam, World Vision International, Medical Aid for Palestinians and other groups. It states:

“For a whole year the Israeli government has restricted basic and essential construction materials from entering Gaza. Not one of the 19,000 homes that were bombed and destroyed has been fully rebuilt. 

One year on, around 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza are still homeless, hospitals and schools still lie in ruins, and whole neighbourhoods have no access to running water. 

But on the anniversary of the ceasefire - we can help ensure homes and hope are rebuilt. 

Our governments have already pledged to rebuild Gaza, and called on the government of Israel to lift the blockade. If we now show them that people everywhere want urgent action to stop this injustice, they are more likely to insist the Israeli government stop hindering reconstruction, and families will be able to build homes and children will finally get their schools back. 

Sign the petition and tell everyone - let's get 1.8 million voices for urgent action, one for each person living in Gaza.”

On the one hand, the petition drive is meaningless, a thinly veiled PR stunt - with no chance for ending Gaza’s siege.

On the other, it gathered an impressive half a million signatures within 24 hours of launch - well along toward reaching 1.8 million or more.

The only solution for Gaza and other oppressed peoples is sustained, committed, nonviolent revolution - millions putting their bodies on the line for justice powerful interests oppose, including in sham Western democratic countries, supporting Israel’s worst crimes.

Petition drives won’t end them - just grassroots activism for change, accepting nothing less than unconditional equity and justice for all - especially for long oppressed people.

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. 

Egypt's War on Press Freedom

Egypt’s War on Press Freedom

by Stephen Lendman

Egypt is a US-supported fascist dictatorship. Anyone challenging its authority risks imprisonment or death.

Police state injustice is official state policy. Thousands are imprisoned solely for their political beliefs.

On August 29, Al Jazeera reported on three of its journalists sentenced to three years in prison by a kangaroo Cairo court.

In June 2014, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste were declared guilty of “aiding a terrorist organization” - referring to the ousted Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, coup d’etat illegitimacy replacing it.

Mohamed received six additional months imprisonment for “possession of a spent bullet casing,” said Al Jazeera. Its acting director general Mostefa Souag issued a statement, saying:

“Today's verdict defies logic and common sense. Our colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy will now have to return to prison, and Peter Greste is sentenced in absentia.”

“The whole case has been heavily politicised and has not been conducted in a free and fair manner. There is no evidence proving that our colleagues in any way fabricated news or aided and abetted terrorist organisations and at no point during the long drawn out retrial did any of the unfounded allegations stand up to scrutiny.”

“A report issued by a technical committee assigned by the court in Egypt contradicted the accusations made by the public prosecutor and stated in its report that the seized videos were not fabricated.”

“Baher, Peter and Mohamed have been sentenced despite the fact that not a shred of evidence was found to support the extraordinary and false charges against them.”

“Today's verdict is yet another deliberate attack on press freedom. It is a dark day for the Egyptian judiciary; rather than defend liberties and a free and fair media they have compromised their independence for political reasons.”

Greste in Australia called the verdict “outrageous. We did nothing wrong. The court presented no evidence. For us to be convicted as terrorists is outrageous. It can only be a political verdict. This is unethical.”

The ruling is a defining characteristic of a police state. Amnesty International called the sentencing the “death knell for freedom of expression in Egypt.” AI’s Philip Luther said:

“The fact that two of these journalists are now facing time in jail following two grossly unfair trials makes a mockery of justice in Egypt.” 

“Today's verdict must be overturned immediately. Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed should be allowed to walk free without conditions.” 

“We consider them to be prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.”

All three men were declared guilty by accusation. Trial proceedings were Kafkaesque. In June 2015, the Committee to Protect Journalists denounced Egypt’s crackdown on press freedom.

It said regime authorities imprisoned at least 18 journalists for their reporting. Press freedom is prohibited. Gag orders are issued on sensitive topics. Disclosing information junta officials want suppressed assures arrest and incarceration.

Targeted journalists are brutally treated - subjected to torture and isolation for extended periods. Some are abducted and disappeared - their whereabouts not disclosed to family members and counsel.

Fahmy accused Al Jazeera of placing him and his colleagues in harm’s way, lying about its legal status in Egypt, and biased reporting favoring Islamists. He’s suing for damages in a Canadian court.

His lawyer Amal Clooney said “(w)e will appeal this verdict and we hope it will be reversed. We are now going to be holding a series of meetings with government officials where we will be asking for Mr. Fahmy's immediate deportation to Canada.”

“His colleague Peter Greste was sent back to Australia. There is no reason why the same thing shouldn't happen in Mr. Fahmy’s case.”

His wife said “I ask the Canadian government to extract him from here as he is a Canadian citizen and to deport him back to Canada. All what I am asking (for) is justice and fairness, for what happened with Peter to be applied to Mohamed.”

A previous article discussed Egypt’s new anti-terror law - the latest regime tool to crush dissent, authorizing prosecution and imprisonment for the crime of 
legitimate journalism.

Reporting anything authorities want suppressed can be called a 
“terrorist crime.” Egypt banned freedom - with full US support.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Right-Wing DC Court of Appeals Upholds Unconstitutional Surveillance

Right-Wing DC Court of Appeals Upholds Unconstitutional Surveillance

by Stephen Lendman

Virtually unrestricted NSA data mining tramples on Fourth Amendment rights brazenly. In December 2013, Federal District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon ruled NSA spying unconstitutional, saying:

“The threshold issue is whether plaintiffs have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government indiscriminately collects their telephone metadata along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all of that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes, and investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets."

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval." 

"Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment." 

On Friday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals overruled him. It’s perhaps America’s most extremist appeals court. People for the American Way (PFAW) explained its character and power as follows:

“Despite progressive victories in 2012, the far right’s outsized influence on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gives them the power to undermine progressive laws and thwart the agenda that Americans elected President Obama to pursue.” 

“This court’s decisions affect the entire country, making it second only to the Supreme Court in national importance. (It’s) dominated by right-wing ideologues who are deeply hostile to the use of a robust federal government to tackle national problems and make our lives better.”

It has exclusive judicial authority over federal agency decisions and regulations affecting everyone. Its rulings are “almost guaranteed to be the last (judicial) word,” said PFAW.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called its Friday ruling “disappointing and, worse, based on a mistaken concern about the underlying facts.”

It remanded the case back to Judge Richard Leon. Klayman plaintiffs must prove the impossible - provide evidence that their phone records were collected. No ruling was rendered on metadata collection constitutionality. Friday’s decision effectively endorsed it.

EFF explained recent government “releases…make clear that the plaintiffs’ records were in fact collected.” Documents obtained from a New York Times FOIA request revealed Verizon Wireless collects bulk telephone records of its subscribers without their knowledge - at least since 2010, likely earlier.

“The government should give up its shell game here and admit the time frame that it collected the Klayman plaintiffs records, along with all other Verizon Wireless customers,” said EFF.

Most important is unconstitutional mass NSA spying on virtually all Americans - for phony national security reasons. An earlier article explained the following:

In June 2013, the ACLU challenged “the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records (ACLU v. Clapper).”

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

“Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.”

“The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity.”

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215 - the so-called “business records” provision.

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It authorizes the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

At the time of its suit, the ACLU said “(w)hatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans.”

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers.” 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them. Governing this way is called tyranny.

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. It held Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act doesn't permit bulk collection of Americans' phone records. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously - overturning a lower court decision.

The Obama administration argued that the ACLU lacked “standing” to challenge NSA surveillance practices, and Congress “precluded” judicial review except by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court most often only hearing government arguments.

The appeals court rejected this reasoning, saying:

“If the government is correct, it could use Section 215 to collect and store in bulk any other existing metadata available anywhere in the private sector, including metadata associated with financial records, medical records, and electronic communications (including e‐mail and social media information) relating to all Americans.” 

“Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans.”

The DC Circuit Appeals Court refused to strike down mass data-mining - violating the constitutional rights of millions of Americans - effectively supporting tyranny by not opposing it.

“Instead, it endorsed the government’s argument that no public, adversarial court can review its actions unless those seeking review can prove with some certainty that they were one of the millions whose records were collected,” said EFF.

Its ruling requires mass data mining challengers to “perform an almost impossible task - proving the still secret details of an admitted mass surveillance program in order to have a court determine whether it is constitutional.”

The ruling further erodes freedom in America, fast disappearing altogether. It’s a triumph for tyranny. EFF said it’ll “continue to fight to hold the NSA accountable for mass collection of Americans' private information. Our phone and Internet networks should be protected from unfettered government spying.”

Enactment of the Orwellian USA Freedom Act (the renamed Patriot Act) changed little. NSA and other US spy agencies continue trampling on constitutional protections.

Big Brother is real. Unconstitutional mass surveillance is official US policy. It’s one of the most defining characteristics of unchecked police state power.

Edward Snowden said he “do(esn’t) want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Nor should anyone tolerate unconstitutional intrusiveness.

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.