Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Another Meaningless Security Council Resolution on Syria

Another Meaningless Security Council Resolution on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, Security Council members unanimously adopted Resolution 2286: Protection of civilians in armed conflict.

It strongly condemned attacking medical facilities and personnel, the sick and wounded in conflict areas, demanding an end of impunity for responsible parties.

Since Obama launched naked aggression on Syria, using ISIS and other terrorist groups as proxy foot soldiers, Physicians for Human Rights documented over 360 attacks on around 250 medical facilities - killing over 730 doctors, nurses and other personnel.

US-supported Saudi terror-bombing in Yemen damaged or destroyed over 600 medical facilities. One or more US warplanes willfully destroyed MSF’s Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital, killing dozens, injuring many more, a heinous unpunished war crime.

Most casualties of war are civilians. America considers them legitimate targets. So does Israel and other rogue US allies. Resolution 2286 changed nothing, a meaningless gesture.

US warplanes bomb medical facilities and other nonmilitary targets in all its wars of aggression.

Longtime imperial tool Ban Ki-moon’s words rang hollow, saying “(s)uch attacks must end.” Throughout his tenure, he did nothing to condemn US-led NATO or Israeli aggression - nothing to demand accountability for the highest of high crimes.

Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed for bombing Syrian medical facilities earlier, despite no evidence proving their responsibility - plenty showing US-supported terrorists and American warplanes are behind these attacks.

Who’ll enforce Resolution 2286 when Washington and its rogue allies flout its principles repeatedly - with impunity? Who’ll condemn US-led NATO aggression against one nonbelligerent nation after another?

Who’ll be held responsible for the millions of post-9/11 deaths alone - from US-instigated wars of aggression, related violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation?

Who’ll stop US-led NATO’s killing machine? UN resolutions accomplish nothing. Rules of war don’t prevent violations.

Endless high crimes against peace continue - America, Israel and their rogue partners most responsible.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Israel Stoking More Conflict With Gaza

Israel Stoking More Conflict With Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Three Israeli wars of aggression on illegally besieged Gaza since December 2008 perhaps aren’t enough for Israel’s killing machine.

Repeated inter-war ground, air and sea attacks occur regularly. Is Israel preparing the ground for another major assault - blaming Gazan victims like it always does for its high crimes against peace?

On Wednesday, Israeli tanks shelled two Hamas watchtowers provocatively. Senior Hamas official Musheer al-Masri called the attacks “dangerous developments and an obvious breach of the ceasefire in Gaza.”

“The Israeli occupation should avoid testing the Palestinian resistance. The enemy should realize that the toll would be in proportion to the Israeli crimes.”

“The Israeli escalation is a new development, and the Palestinian resistance is (deciding) how to react.”

Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades responded with mortar fire on an Israeli bulldozer. An Interior Ministry source reported no casualties, just damage. 

Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daud Shihab, said “Israel has not ceased its hostilities against the Palestinian people since the ceasefire was agreed on in 2014.”

“There are continued onslaughts and infiltrations in both Gaza and the West Bank and in other locations in Palestine.”

Gaza remains illegally blockaded since June 2007 - for political, not security reasons. According to an April UN report, about 75,000 Palestinians remain displaced from Israel’s summer 2014 naked aggression.

Affected families are forced to “liv(e) in store rooms, unfinished units, substandard apartments in relatives’ or neighbors’ buildings” or wherever else they can find shelter.

Some live in damaged homes, others in prefabricated shelters. War and displacement affected women and children hardest.

Over 30% of displaced females “liv(e) in shelter conditions…lacking safety, dignity and privacy, including tents, makeshift shelters, destroyed houses or the open air.”

Nearly all affected families lack resources and construction supplies to rebuild. Most funds pledged for reconstruction weren’t delivered.

Israel blocks or greatly restricts building supplies entering the Strip on the phony pretext of being useful to Hamas or other resistance groups.

The UN warned “(a)t the present rate, it will take years to address the massive reconstruction and repair needs, adding to the general frustration of the population following years of movement restrictions, rising unemployment and poverty.”

Gazans suffer hugely under open-air prison conditions. Israel attacks the Strip at its discretion.

Are things heading for another war? Does Israel want remaining parts of Gaza turned to rubble - thousands more of its residents slaughtered or injured?

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Cruz Concedes: Trump the Presumptive GOP Nominee


Cruz Concedes: Trump the Presumptive GOP Nominee

by Stephen Lendman

Trump’s overwhelming defeat of Cruz in Tuesday’s Indiana primary knocked his only serious challenger out of the race.

GOP primary season climaxed yesterday. Cruz is out, Kasich no more than a footnote. The Wall Street Journal put it succinctly, saying “Mr. Trump will now be the Republican nominee for president.”

The New York Times said the “once unimaginable” aspirant is “all but certain to roll into the Republican convention in July with the party establishment’s official but uneasy embrace.”

Its choice is him or Hillary Clinton, virtually certain to be Democrat nominee despite losing to Sanders yesterday.

Trump went from long-shot contender to defeating all 16 rivals. His bombast helped more than hurt. Bashing made him stronger.

A previous article called him a duopoly power anomaly - a demagogic billionaire business as usual aspirant coming across to supporters as populist.

He appeals to voters against bipartisan politics they deplore, sounding anti-establishment despite nothing in his campaign suggesting it.

He wins support with inflammatory comments, saying what voters don’t hear from other candidates. He’ll be the first GOP standard bearer never having served in public office since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

He wasn’t a registered Republican until 2012. He struck the right nerves at the right time to defeat his rivals. 

It’s too early to tell if he can defeat Clinton in November. Given his success so far, he’s a formidable contender for the nation’s top office.

Relishing his Tuesday triumph, he said “(i)t has been some unbelievable day and evening and year. Never been through anything like this.”

“We had a tremendous victory tonight…We’re going after Hillary Clinton. She will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor president.”

During Tuesday voting, he called “lying Ted…more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing. (He) doesn’t have the temperament to be president of the United States.”

Cruz conceded, saying he couldn’t continue without “a viable path to victory. Tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.”

Discounting her Tuesday loss to Sanders, Clinton said she’s “focused on moving into the general election,” calling Trump “a candidate who will literally say or do anything.”

Expect a bruising post-convention campaign. Whoever succeeds Obama, ordinary Americans lose. Nothing in prospect suggests responsible change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump Supports Expanding Illegal Israeli Settlements


Trump Supports Expanding Illegal Israeli Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is an outlaw state, a serial human rights abuser, asserting the right to occupy and colonize Palestine - a lawless act enforced by military might. 

Settlements violate international law, prioritize land theft and prevent peace. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

Displacing Palestinians, destroying their homes, other property and personal possessions, stealing their land, along with letting settlers occupy it directly contravenes Article 49.

Since 1967, Israel established 124 illegal West Bank settlements, about 100 outposts and 12 neighbors on stolen Palestinian land.

Trump is no friend of Palestine. On May 3, London’s Daily Mail reported him saying settlement expansions should “keep going…keep moving forward.” He rejects a pause in construction.

He brazenly lied, claiming “thousands of missiles are being launched into Israel. Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?”

The right of self-defense is sacrosanct in international law. Rockets aren’t fired on Israel preemptively, only in response to IDF aggression.

Trump is no different from longstanding bipartisan US policy toward Israel/Palestine - on the one hand, saying he prefers remaining “neutral” so he’s better able to broker peace - unattainable for nearly half a century because Israel wants endless conflict.

On the other, he one-sidedly supports Israel, ignoring its ruthless agenda, calling Arab-hating war criminal Netanyahu “a very good guy. I think I’d have a very good relationship with him.”

He ludicrously claimed “Israel was never properly treated” by America, saying “Obama has been extremely bad to Israel,” calling the important Iranian nuclear deal “a disaster for Israel” - a shameless perversion of truth.

At AIPAC’s March conference, he lied, saying Iran aims “to destabilize and dominate the region.” He called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” vowing to move America’s embassy there, a flagrant international law violation if implemented.

He supports unlimited settlement construction. Maybe he plans building a regional Trump Tower on stolen Palestinian land.

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.

European Commission Rewards Erdogan's High Crimes

European Commission Rewards Erdogan’s High Crimes

by Stephen Lendman

After bribing Turkey with billions of euros to keep desperate refugees out of Europe, EC members are poised to recommend visa-free travel for its citizens for stays up to 90 days, despite Ankara failing to fulfill all demanded conditions, mainly most important ones.

If approved as expected on Wednesday, millions of Turks will have visa-free access to 26 EU countries, Britain and Ireland excluded. They have their own visa requirements. 

On Wednesday, European Commission for Competition Margrethe Vestager tweeted “(t)he European Commission is today proposing…to lift the visa requirements for the citizens of Turkey (provided) Ankara “as a matter of urgency” fulfills EU criteria.

EC Vice President Frans Timmermans said unfinished work remains, (b)ut if Turkey sustains the progress made and continues at the same pace, they can meet the remaining benchmarks.”

Only Turks with biometric passports would be allowed entry visa-free. At the same time, it’s unclear if all Turkish citizens are included in the deal. 

What applies to some may not to others. All EU nations agreed to the arrangement by end of June. It remains for their parliaments and European Parliament to vote approval.

Some states are leery. France and Germany called for suspending visa-free travel if Turkish nationals illegally remain in Europe longer than their permitted time to stay. They want visa-free travel suspended for six months if agreed on criteria aren’t met. 

Turkey is a fascist police state. It’s being rewarded despite horrific high crimes against peace, war on press freedom, criminalizing dissent, rubber-stamp courts, and other flagrant human rights abuses.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Outgoing NATO Commander Calls the Alliance "A Linchpin for Peace"

Outgoing NATO Commander Calls the Alliance “A Linchpin for Peace”

by Stephen Lendman

US-dominated NATO is an imperial tool, a global killing machine, maintained for offense, not defense.

Its members and partners comprise nearly one-third of world nations. Exponential expansion is planned, Washington wanting NATO’s footprint spread globally on every continent, wanting it used as an instrument for world conquest and domination.

Since its 78-day rape of Yugoslavia in 1999, US-controlled NATO ravaged and destroyed one country after another.

In his Washington Post op-ed, outgoing Alliance Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Philip Breedlove twisted reality, calling “the utility of the alliance…self-evident,” adding:

It’s “arguably the most critical linchpin supporting stability on the continent…(T)he United States absolutely needs…a NATO that is strong, resilient and united.”

Fact: It’s a US-dominated instrument for endless wars of aggression.

Fact: It’s the greatest threat to world peace.

Fact: When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, its existence was no longer justified. 

Fact: Instead of disbanding, it expanded without justification. Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff said from the mid-1990s to 2005, it “evolved from a regional alliance based in Western Europe to a global force (for) undoing the entire post-World War II order of which the UN was the cornerstone.”

It evolved into an instrument for advancing America’s imperium, a force for endless wars, not peace.

It had nothing to do with helping “rebuild the continent from the ravages of WW II.” Post-war Europe faced no threat from devastated Soviet Russia, needing many years to rebuild its war-shattered country.

After pledging no NATO eastward expansion post-1991, 10 former Warsaw Pact countries were added along with two other nations formed from the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Breedlove twisted truth calling them liberated, transformed into “thriving democracies.” He claimed NATO is critical to confront “an arc of instability and aggression threatening our interests and our allies stretching from the Arctic, through Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and across North Africa.”

US-dominated NATO bears full responsibility. Its rage for war threatens world peace. The Alliance never was nor will it ever be “the centerpiece to peace and stability in Europe…an institution indispensable in today’s dangerous world.”

It’s a global menace, an instrument for war, instability and chaos, a killing machine threatening humanity’s survival.

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.

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital

US-Backed Terrorists Shell Aleppo Hospital

by Stephen Lendman

All terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are US-backed, armed, funded, trained and directed to commit atrocities and other war crimes. Civilians are willfully targeted.

All attacks on residential areas, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other nonmilitary targets are carried out by US-supported terrorists, Pentagon warplanes, Israel or other coalition partners.

Government forces and Russian aircraft have nothing to do with attacking nonmilitary targets. Accusations otherwise are fabricated.

Unexplained is the obvious. Why would they kill civilians they’re waging war on terrorism to protect? Why would they damage or destroy non-military sites, achieving no strategic objective?

On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliated terrorist groups “fired 65 rocket shells” on Aleppo residential areas, killing at least 16, injuring 68 others.

Aleppo’s Health Directorate said most victims were civilian women and children. Al-Dhabeet Hospital was attacked, killing three women, injuring 17 other women and children, causing “extensive material damage.”

SANA said “terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra and terrorist groups affiliated to it fired scores of rocket shells at the neighborhoods of al-Midan, al-Furqan, Nile Street, al-Mukambo, al-Khalidiye, Jami’et al-Zahra’a, al-Ameriye, al-Ramousa, al-Masharqa, al-Muhafaza, al-Meridian, al-Serian, al-Sabeel, and al-Jamiliye in Aleppo city.”

Syria’s military said it’s responding with “appropriate measures.” Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said government “patience is running out and if (terrorists) don’t stop targeting civilians in the coming hours…they will pay a high price.” 

Washington and its rogue partners are using the attack to call for ceasefire in Aleppo province - so terrorists they support get time to regroup for more intensive attacks.

As this is written, Sergey Lavrov said he hopes it will be announced “in the coming hours” - another futile attempt to halt Washington’s rage for war and regime change.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

The Obama Doctrine: America Should Rule the World


The Obama Doctrine: America Should Rule the World

by Stephen Lendman

In his May 2 Washington Post op-ed, Obama pushed for adopting the anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-environment, pro-corporate predation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to let America write the rules on global trade and everything else.

He hyped “a boon to American businesses…” He lied claiming benefits to “American workers.” TPP’s adoption would be major step toward relegating them to neo-serfdom.

It gives America “a leg up” on China, excluded from TPP. Obama lied, claiming US standards are consumer and eco-friendly, unlike its Asian rival.

America was thirdworldized on his watch, accelerating a race to the bottom begun under his Republican and Democrat predecessors.

TPP and its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) counterpart, if adopted, will finish the job - empowering business without restraints at the expense of humanity and the environment.

Responding to Greenpeace’s Monday leak of TTIP documents, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said they prove “the United States is trying to export its failed regulatory model.”

If successful, corporate predators more than ever will rule the world unimpeded. The health and welfare of planet earth and its population will be jeopardized.

“US rulemaking…tilt(s) (one way), favor(ing) Big Business.” TTIP and TPP offer “a pseudo-scientific cloak to industry’s apocalyptic claims about the costs of the next regulation and operate at loggerheads with application of the precautionary principle.”

Ahead of Greenpeace’s Monday leak, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach said “the deeply flawed, pro-corporate process and agenda of the TTIP must be rejected.” Separately, she’s said the same thing about TPP.

Obama’s op-ed pushed for US rules running the world, other nations forced to go along, saying TPP and TTIP “put American workers first and (assure) we write the rules of the road for trade (and everything else) in the 21st century.”

Both deals assure unrestrained corporate empowerment over public welfare and safety. They enforce profit-making at the expense of everything else.

They don’t make America “stronger and safer.” They have nothing to do with “national security. They destroy “higher-paying” jobs. They don’t create them.

They don’t make America less competitive, let “prosperity pass us by,” or deny US business free access to foreign markets.

Obama Big Lies are whoppers! “If we don’t get (both deals done), employers across America will lose the chance to compete with other countries’ companies on a level playing field,” he ranted.

TPP and TTIP tilt the “playing field” heavily in favor of US corporate predators at the expense of public health, welfare and safety.

Obama insists “America should write the rules. America should call the shots.” Other countries and world populations should go along or else.

The world Obama wants isn’t safe or fit to live in. Unrestrained corporate empowerment harms ordinary people everywhere.

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.

John Kerry's Phony Push for Peace in Syria

John Kerry’s Phony Push for Peace in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Washington wants war, not peace. It continues endless aggression on Syria for regime change - using proxy terrorist foot soldiers to do its dirty work. 

Conflict will continue as long as its objective remains unattained. Its calls for peace ring hollow. On Monday, John Kerry met with pro-Western UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura. 

They discussed collapsed peace talks ahead of attempting another farcical effort to revive them. Kerry lied, saying Washington seeks “not just re-implementation of cessation, but a path forward for (it) to hold.”

US-backed terrorists continue ravaging parts of Aleppo they control, Syrian forces with Russian aerial support remain committed to liberate the city.

Endless war rages. Washington systematically undermines Moscow’s best efforts to restore peace and stability. Kerry criticized vital Russian and Syrian war on terrorism.

He lied, saying “(y)ou cannot have legitimate political talks about peace when the parties at the table have both signed up to an agreement which calls for a full cessation of hostilities countrywide as well as a full delivery of humanitarian materials countrywide, and yet one party is blatantly violating that agreement.”

Fact: Washington, its imperial partners, and terrorist foot soldiers alone flagrantly violate Security Council Resolution 2254, calling for cessation of hostilities among other provisions. 

Fact: International law affirms the right of self-defense. Assad responsibly aims to liberate Syria from US-backed terrorists killing civilians, committing atrocities, wanting his legitimate government toppled.

Washington’s regional partners include Riyadh’s despotic monarchy, other likeminded Gulf States, tyrannical Turkey under Erdogan and rogue state Israel - allied wanting Syria ravaged and destroyed.

Qatar-controlled Al Jazeera reported many (unnamed) diplomats, saying “Russia is not properly invested in this political process…(I)nstead (it’s) pursuing or allowing (its) allies to pursue a military option…(Things) are close to collapse…”

Al Jazeera and other media scoundrels fail to explain Washington bears full responsibility. Its rogue partners share 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.

Endangered Media Freedom in Israel

Endangered Media Freedom in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) said Israeli violations against media freedoms reached “a new peak compared to what has been monitored (in) past years.”

It documented 407 Israeli media freedom violations last year, the largest number since it began monitoring them a decade ago - journalists and media outlets targeted on the phony pretexts of engaging in “incitement” or ties to terrorist groups.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Israel 101st among world nations on media freedom, saying “journalists face a ‘military censorship’ and must deal with censorship orders.”

“Abuses of the Israeli army against Palestinian and foreign journalists are common, especially while covering demonstrations.”

Media freedom ends where alleged national security begins. Since last October, Israel arrested 19 Palestinian journalists without just cause, 10 still imprisoned, six held administratively uncharged, others on phony accusations of involvement in “incitement” or ties to terrorist organizations.

According to PA information ministry head Mohammed Khalifa, Israel unjustifiably claims “everything that’s happening is due to incitement, not to the occupation and its injustices.”

“Therefore an attempt has been made to turn all Palestinian journalists into inciters and harm those who bring the Palestinian story to local or world attention…This is another way for the occupation to intimidate the Palestinians.”

On April 23, Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate board member Omar Nazzal was arrested at the Israeli/Jordanian border while en route abroad to attend a European Federation of Journalists conference.

He’s unjustly administratively detained uncharged for nonexistent “involvement in a terrorist organization,” according to Shin Bet.

He committed no crimes. Israel wants him silenced. His attorney, Mahmoud Hassan, believes he was targeted for recent articles claiming Israel assassinated Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Omar Nafef Zayed in Bulgaria last February.

On April 6, journalist Saheh Dweik was arrested and charged with social media incitement - alleging she called for violence. She called accusations fabricated.

Journalist Muhammad al-Qiq hunger struck over three months against his unlawful administrative detention uncharged. He’ll be released on May 21 provided Israel doesn’t renege on its agreement.

Medical science can’t explain how he managed to survive so long, ingesting only water. His ordeal took a terrible toll on his body, perhaps permanent damage.

Free expression is grounds for arrest in Israel. Exposing regime wrongdoing risks assassination. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demand Nazzal’s immediate release.

IFJ president Jim Boumelha called it “ shocking to hear that a participant to a congress for journalists from all over Europe has been arrested by the Israeli authorities on his way to attend and banged in Etzion prison without any reason being given.”

Delegates representing European-wide journalists demand the release of their colleague. Israel invents phony charges or allegations, justifying the unjustifiable.

They’re targeted for doing their jobs responsibly, unjustly accused of terrorism, ties to so-called terrorist groups, or involvement in incitement.

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stating:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontier.”

In December 1993, the UN General Assembly declared May 3 World Press Freedom Day. 

It “celebrate(s) the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess(es) the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend(s) the media from attacks on their independence; (and) pay(s) tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Press freedom is under attack in Israel, America, and other Western societies. Unchecked government ruthlessness endangers truth-telling.

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.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal a Stealth Corporate Coup

Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal a Stealth Corporate Coup

by Stephen Lendman

The so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), like its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) counterpart, isn’t about growth-promoting trade benefitting everyone equitably.

Just the opposite!! Both assault personal freedoms. They’re anti-consumer, anti-public welfare, anti-ecosanity business sweetheart deals, giving corporate predators control over the lives of populations in all countries agreeing to these deals.

It lets them operate unaccountably, overriding sovereign legal restraints at the expense of societies fit to live in.

Greenpeace leaked 248 pages of classified documents being negotiated, saying TTIP “threaten(s) to have far-reaching implications for the environment and the lives of more than 800 million citizens in the EU and US.”

At stake is “a huge transfer of power from people to big business.” Personal freedoms, consumer protections and environmental safeguards are threatened.

TTIP rules empower profit-making above human health, welfare, labor rights, digital freedom and virtually all other consumer safeguards. 

They prevent nations from “protect(ing) human, animal and plant life or health.” They fail to “conserv(e) exhaustible natural resources.”

Corporate empowerment under TTIP and TTP assures dismantling vital safety standards protecting human health and welfare.

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch lists the top TTIP threats as follows:

“Wall Street: Roll Back Financial Reforms

Agribusiness: Weaken Food Safety Standards

Oil and Gas Corporations: Halt Green Energy Policies

Monsanto, et al: Remove GMO Labels and Limits

Chemical Corporations: Allow Exposure to Untested Chemicals

Transnational Corporations: Empower Investor Attacks on Safeguards

Chronic Job Offshorers: Ban Buy American, Buy Local and Buy Green Policies

Corporate think tanks: Debunking Bogus Claims of TTIP Economic Gains”

TPP and TTIP will thirdworldize participating nations, benefitting business and investor interests at the expense of most others.

War on Want’s executive director John Hillary believes leaking TTIP’s hellish anti-consumer, anti-public safety and welfare details means “the beginning of the end for this much hated deal.”

He’s right if sustained mass actions against it refuse to tolerate its enactment. He’s wrong if people complain and do little or nothing.

It’s up to us to kill this monster and its TPP counterpart!! At stake is freedom or slavery!!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russian v. EU Refugee Policy

Russian v. EU Refugee Policy

by Stephen Lendman

Since US-supported Kiev putschists waged war on their own people, Russia welcomed well over a million Ukrainian refugees, rejecting fascist rule, most deciding never to return.

Earlier, Sergey Lavrov said “Ukrainian refugees should be given the right to live where they want.” On May 1, Putin made it easier, approving a new law, simplifying the issuance of residence permits to refugees from Ukraine and other countries.

It skips the former temporary permit system for one year for refugees and their families. According to Federal Migration Service acting head Yekaterina Yegorova, residence permission now grants its holders the right to housing, to be registered where they’re domiciled, and be eligible for mortgage loans.

Contrast Russia’s refugee policy with Europe’s - colluding with fascist Turkey to warehouse desperate people fleeing US/NATO/Riyadh/Israeli war theaters, wanting as many as possible kept out of EU countries - flagrantly breaching international humanitarian law.

Arrivals are unwanted, deplorably mistreated, confined under squalid conditions, denied their fundamental rights.

In Turkey, they’re “abandoned to a life of destitution,” according to Amnesty International. Many are ruthlessly deported, others lethally shot by border guards.

EU countries complicit with Washington, Turkey, Riyadh, Israel and other rogue partners created the severest refugee crisis since WW II - rejecting their responsibility to shoulder a solution.

Russia welcomes Ukrainian refugees fleeing fascist belligerence. Fortress Europe wants desperate people seeking safe havens from war zones kept out. 

So does America. Turkey is illegally deporting thousands of Syrian refugees back home, blocking entry to others, lethally shooting some.

Brussels continues turning a blind eye. EU officials want millions of desperate people denied their legal right to asylum. They’re uncaring about countless numbers drowning at sea or perishing from diseases or deprivation.

They established a policy designed to force refugees to go elsewhere, stay home, or be confined in concentration camps outside Europe - detained indefinitely against their will under deplorable conditions.

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.

Phantom Free Syrian Army Rejects Peace

Phantom Free Syrian Army Rejects Peace

by Stephen Lendman

The phantom FSA exists on paper alone. All anti-government armed groups are US-backed terrorists - death squads imported from scores of countries.

Syria is Obama’s war, orchestrated by Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Its goal is replacing Assad with pro-Western puppet governance like the US controlled Iraqi regime, partitioning both countries, looting their resources and exploiting their people.

Illegally deploying hundreds of US special forces to northern Syria is part of the imperial scheme - on the phony pretext of aiding nonexistent “moderate rebels.”

Russia supports Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity. How far it intends going to protect them remains to be seen.

Washington won’t likely confront Moscow belligerently over Syria. At the same time, the presence of US combat forces on its territory with likely larger numbers coming risks making the nation more of a dangerous flashpoint for potential East-West conflict than already.

So-called FSA US-backed terrorists reject cessation of hostilities and peace. On Sunday, a group declaration of continued war said “(w)e, the armed groups from across Syria will form a single bloc. 

“Any offensive that takes place in an area where our units are present will be regarded as an attack against all the units throughout the Syrian territory, and we reserve the right to respond to it.”

International law affirms the right of self-defense. Syria was invaded by US-sponsored death squads. Assad is responsibly defending his nation and people, Russia aiding him to defeat a scourge vital to eliminate.

Washington talks peace while waging naked aggression. Its rage for world dominance makes conflict resolution unattainable.

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

Departing NATO Commander Hypes Nonexistent Russian Threat

Departing NATO Commander Hypes Nonexistent Russian Threat

by Stephen Lendman

Thousands more US-led NATO forces are being provocatively deployed near Russia’s borders.

Interviewed by Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter broadsheet, Sergey Lavrov accused NATO of “inching closer and closer to Russia’s borders. But when Russia takes action to ensure its security, we are told that Russia is engaging in dangerous maneuvers near NATO borders. In fact, NATO borders are getting closer to Russia, not the opposite.”

The 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act prohibits provocatively deploying Alliance forces near Russia’s borders. US history shows a flagrant disregard for agreement terms.

Hyping a nonexistent Russian threat is part of US-led NATO fear-mongering, a pretext for greater military spending at a time demilitarization should be prioritized - resources used for vital social and other domestic needs gone begging.

Breedlove urges greater numbers of intelligence assets involved in spying on Russia, monitoring its activities.

He lied saying Moscow “has not accepted the hand of partnership but has chosen a path of belligerence. We need to readdress where we’re heading.”

Fact: Putin is the world’s preeminent peacemaker - waging war on no other nation, threatening none.

Fact: Endless US-led NATO wars partnered with Israel and other rogue state allies threaten world peace.

Breedlove and likeminded hawks accuse Russia of rejecting “Western values…chos(ing) a different path…”

Russia is proudly independent and intends remaining so. It rejects provocative US-led NATO actions threatening its security, responding accordingly.

America wages endless wars of aggression. An unthinkable US-instigated global one seems inevitable.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Cruz/Sanders Campaigns on Life Support

Cruz/Sanders Campaigns on Life Support

by Stephen Lendman

Trump and Clinton are their parties’ presumptive nominees, too far ahead to be overtaken. Polls show them leading in most remaining primaries.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Indiana contest, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Trump way ahead of his rivals.

Asked on Fox News Sunday if winning Indiana assures his nomination, he brashly said “(y)es, it’s over. It’s already over.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Cruz maintained a brave face, saying “I think the support we are seeing is surging.” Various polls indicate otherwise.

On CNN’s State of the Union, Clinton said “you have to look at reality.” It’s time for Sanders to step aside.

He and Cruz are too far behind to catch up. Will they continue their campaigns into July or concede because they have no chance to become their parties’ nominees?

Democrats decided on Clinton as standard bearer before campaigning began last year. Its primaries are theater, not a legitimate process to determine the will of the people.

Trump surprised, a rarity in US politics, a candidate party bosses oppose able to defeat all rivals anyway.

He or Clinton will succeed Obama. Should anyone care? Clinton’s public record should scare everyone - pro-war, pro-business, anti-populist.

Trump is a political unknown. He claims he’ll resist interventionism while focusing on domestic issues. At the same time, he intends assuring America maintains the world’s strongest military “so nobody’s going to mess with us.”

Nobody has for over 70 years. America faces no threats now, yet endless US wars continue. Expecting Trump to break with longstanding tradition is self-delusion.

He differs from Clinton in one key respect. He’s unlikely to start WW  III - a major risk if his Democrat rival wins.

She’s the most ruthlessly aggressive presidential aspirant in US history, representing pure evil. Don’t let her campaign rhetoric fool you, a litany of lies concealing her real agenda.

Whoever wins in November, monied interests win and ordinary Americans lose - why I urge voting none of the above or staying home.

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.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Iraq in Turmoil

Iraq in Turmoil

by Stephen Lendman

Public anger over unchecked corruption while popular needs go begging may be the undoing of Washington’s puppet regime.

On Saturday, thousands breached the heavily fortified Green Zone. Hundreds entered parliament. Protesters want revolutionary change, current ministers replaced with new ones, no action so far taken.

One protester likely spoke for others, shouting “(y)ou are not staying here. This is your last day in the Green Zone.”

Another said “(w)e are fed up. We are living a humiliated life. We’ll leave here only when the corrupt government is replaced with another of independent technocrats that serve the people, not the political parties.”

Late Saturday, protesters reportedly left parliament, began a sit-in at Ihtifalat Square inside the Green Zone.

They were mostly peaceful. A celebratory atmosphere prevailed - waving Iraqi flags, jumping and dancing on parliament meeting tables and chairs.

Minor damage to state property was reported. Hours later, Abadi issued a statement, claiming conditions in Baghdad were “under the control of the security forces.”

Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi called corrupt MPs “representatives of the people and their servants,” a shameless perversion of truth.

Abadi ludicrously ordered security forces to arrest and prosecute protesters responsible for threatening the safety of lawmakers and damaging state property.

Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr blasted parliamentarians for “refus(ing) to end corruption and end quotas,” adding he and his supporters won’t participate in “any political process in which there are any type…of political party quotas” filling ministerial and other regime positions.

Middle East analyst Zaid al-Ali MPs and Abadi’s regime aren’t capable of reforming. “They will always defend privilege.” What happened Saturday “was entirely predictable.”

On Thursday, Joe Biden visited Baghdad, a fool’s mission to support Washington’s puppet regime, maintain the phony pretext of combating ISIS while attempting to calm political unrest - exploding when he left.

Before his arrival, a senior administration official called his visit a “symbol of how much faith (Washington) ha(s) in prime minister Abadi” - illegitimately appointed, widely despised.

Former US military planner in Baghdad Doug Ollivant said hopes for Abadi surviving the political crisis faded. His regime “as it’s currently structured can’t hold.”

If he falls, Washington will install another puppet to replace him. The only required qualifications are serving US interests, maintaining order and subduing public unrest successfully.

It’s been ongoing intermittently for nearly a year. On Saturday, it boiled over - the legacy of America’s imperial ruthlessness.

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.

US-Supported Terrorist Atrocities in Syria

US-Supported Terrorist Atrocities in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

They’re committed daily in various parts of Syria, especially in northern areas near Turkey’s border and suburban Damascus.

Scoundrel media headlines scream Russian and Syrian airstrikes continuing during (fantasy) cessation of hostilities  and (farcical) peace talks - on life support, breathing hard, effectively dead.

The London-based, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, publishes regular pro-Western press releases, one-sided conflict reports.

It claimed daily Russian and  government bombardment of Aleppo since April 22 killed 250 mostly civilians, ended ceasefire and caused peace talks to collapse.

Terrorists Washington and its rogue allies call “moderate rebels” are entirely responsible for civilian deaths, targeting residential areas and other nonmilitary sites, murdering noncombatant men, women and children in cold blood, at times with chemical and other banned weapons.

A US warplane destroyed the Doctors Without Borders Aleppo hospital. Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed.

Heavy area fighting continues. State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby said John Kerry wants Russia to pressure Assad to stop what he called “indiscriminate aerial attacks” in Aleppo.

Russian and Syrian warplanes conduct precision strikes solely against terrorist targets. 

On Saturday, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow won’t pressure (Damascus) because” the battle for Aleppo is about combating terrorism - authorized under Security Council Res. 2254.

Moscow wants known terrorist groups Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar ash-Sham added to the Security Council list.

Assad rightfully considers all armed groups killing Syrian nationals terrorist groups. They’re imported US-supported death squads, what media scoundrels never explain - blaming government and Russian forces for their crimes.

Liberating Syria requires eliminating them, defeating the scourge America created.

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.

Remembering Daniel Berrigan


Remembering Daniel Berrigan

by Stephen Lendman

On April 30, famed Jesuit priest, poet, anti-war activist Daniel Joseph Berrigan died days short of his 95th birthday.

He taught theology at the Jesuit Brooklyn Preparatory School. Later was Professor of New Testament studies at Le Moyne College, taught theology at Cornell and Fordham universities.

Best known for his anti-war activism, he co-founded an interfaith coalition against the Vietnam War with his brother Philip and Thomas Merton.

They campaigned passionately for its end. In 1967, he and Philip were arrested for pouring blood on draft records. Philip was sentenced to six years in prison for defacing government property.

In 1968, Daniel and Howard Zinn traveled to Hanoi during the January Tet Offensive to bring home three released US POWs.

In 1968, he, Philip and seven other priests (known as the Catonville Nine) burned hundreds of draft files with homemade napalm in the Catonville, MD draft board parking lot.

At the time, he said “(o)ur apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children.”

“How many must die before our voices are heard? How many must be tortured, dislocated, starved, maddened? When, at what point, will you say no to this war?”

The same year, he signed the Writers and Editors War Tax Protest pledge, refusing to pay taxes to finance US Southeast Asia aggression.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, remained a fugitive for four months before FBI agents arrested him at writer William Stringfellow’s home.

In September 1980, over five years after the Vietnam War ended, he, Philip and six other protesters (the Plowshares Eight) entered the GE King of Prussia, PA nuclear missile facility - damaged warhead nose cones and poured blood on documents and files.

Charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors, they appealed for years, were re-sentenced and paroled in April 1990 in consideration for nearly two years of time imprisoned.

Berrigan remained passionately anti-war until his death. He opposed US intervention in Central America in the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War, the rape of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and post-9/11 US naked aggression.

At age 92, he participated in the Occupy Wall Street campaign in New York’s Zuccotti Park. Philip died in 2002. Both brothers were two of America’s most courageous voices for peace and justice for all. 

Asked what inscription he preferred for his gravestone, Daniel responded: “It was never dull. Alleluia.”

Separately he once said “(y)ou have to do what you know is right.” He died like he lived, passionate for his beliefs to the end.

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.