Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Provocative Deployment of US THAAD Missiles in South Korea

Provocative Deployment of US THAAD Missiles in South Korea

by Stephen Lendman

Washington intends deploying so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile systems in South Korea.

They’re designed to intercept and down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. Instead of warheads, they rely on impact kinetic energy to destroy incoming missiles.

Claiming they won’t detonate ones with nuclear weapons is highly doubtful. A similar navy program is called the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Aegis ashore is land-based.

South Koreans oppose THAADs, fearful of potential hazardous radiation and areas where they’ll be deployed targeted in case of war.

Anti-THAAD protests were held since Washington and Seoul announced the plan last July, a target date not given.

Both governments claim THAADs are to protect against possible North Korean missile attacks. Throughout its post-WW II history, Pyongyang never attacked another country.

In June 1950, it responded to Truman’s aggression, initially using South Korea’s military as a provocative proxy force. 

Deploying THAADs is more about targeting Russia and China than North Korea. Moscow expressed concern, saying THAADs in South Korea “do not correspond to their stated goals and threaten to deal serious damage to the strategic security of neighboring countries, including China and Russia, and worsen the situation in the country.”

Beijing issued a similar statement, stressing “(t)he THAAD deployment…does no good (for) peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

US Defense Secretary Mattis lied, saying THAADs will be deployed in response to Pyongyang’s “provocative behavior.”

Their radar capability lets Washington monitor regional activities. According Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies chief research fellow Konstantin Asmolov:

THAAD radar can be quickly reconfigured to a mode where it will act as a sensor to detect the launch of ballistic missiles within a radius of up to two thousand kilometers, which allows for a significant part of China and the Russian Far East to be monitored and can be used as a part of a global ABM defense system of the USA.” 

“It is no coincidence that besides South Korea, THAAD is also placed on Guam and in Alaska.”

They’re designed to down missiles at altitudes ranging from 40 to 150 km. North Korean missiles fly at a lower altitude of about 20 km, showing Washington’s deployment (likely by summer) mainly targets China and Russia’s far east.

In January, Moscow and Beijing announced “unspecified” measures to counter their deployment, warning of escalating tensions and instigating an arms race.

Last December, Trump tweeted America “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

The next day on MSNBC, he said “(l)et if be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all” - spoken like a warrior, not a peacemaker.

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: How the 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.

Liberating Palmyra

Liberating Palmyra

by Stephen Lendman

The ancient Syrian city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, seized by US-supported ISIS terrorists in May 2015.

It was liberated last March, retaken by thousands of ISIS fighters in December.

Government forces are close to freeing the city again, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), saying its military “establish(ed) control over the Palmyra Triangle area in Homs province…on the western outskirts of Palmyra city after” routing ISIS fighters.

Government and allied forces “established full control over Hayal Mountain and all the hills overlooking al-Qossour area in Tadmur (Palmyra) city.”

A palace complex to the city’s southwest was cleared of ISIS fighters. Government and allied forces are within firing range of the city. Earlier on Wednesday, they gained control over a strategic traffic interchange at its southern entrance.

Backed by Russian airstrikes, steady advances are being made to free the area entirely from the scourge of ISIS terrorists. Weeks of heavy fighting are heading toward a successful conclusion.

ISIS is being beatened in multiple locations, losing scores, maybe hundreds of fighters. They’re on the defensive, heavily battered by aerial and ground operations.

The struggle to liberate Syria entirely from America’s imperial scourge has a long way to go.

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: How the 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 Before Congress


Trump Before Congress

by Stephen Lendman

His Tuesday address was long on making America safe for Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate predators, short on what’s most needed to serve all Americans equitably and promote world peace.

He focused on increased military spending at a time major cuts are needed, combating terrorism without explaining ISIS and likeminded groups are US creations, used as imperial foot soldiers.

He called for repealing and replacing Obamacare, omitting what he and GOP lawmakers want is something worse, maybe devastating for the nation’s most vulnerable.

“We will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border,” he said. He lied claiming it’ll deter illicit drugs and crime.

He covered his notion of immigration reform, falsely claiming “it will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families,  including immigrant families, enter the middle class.”

Middle America has been disappearing for years. Neoliberal harshness since the 1990s wrecked it. Nothing in prospect suggests resurrection.

He wants America more militarized than ever, intending greater funding for police - to protect the nation’s privileged class from beneficial social change.

Changes he’ll propose in America’s tax code are unrelated to letting “our companies…compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.” He lied claiming otherwise.

Corporate tax cuts don’t create jobs. Economic growth does. GW Bush and Obama gave business trillions of dollars in tax breaks. Their balance sheets and bottom line performance benefitted. 

Enormous amounts of corporate wealth went to tax havens, were used for stock buybacks, along with higher executive pay and bonuses, nothing helping workers, nothing creating jobs.

Job reductions accompanied foreign investments. Offshoring was rewarded. Rotten part-time jobs replaced good full-time ones.

Corporate America and high-net worth households never had things better. Unprecedented wealth amounts shifted from ordinary people to them.

The great wealth transfer heist continues, America thirdworldized in the process, nothing being done to change things. Trump’s economic plan may make conditions worse with Goldman Sachs in charge of administration policy.

His address said nothing about Russia, little about foreign policy. America remains the world’s leading pariah state on his watch, its leading bully, waging endless wars of aggression.

He lied claiming the “United States respects the right of all nations to chart their own path.” Humanity profoundly disagrees.

Candidate Trump called NATO “obsolete.” Before Congress he expressed strong support for “an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism.”

NATO is a killing machine, used for offense, not defense. World peace, stability and security are impossible as long as the alliance exists.

Saying he “want(s) harmony and stability, not war and conflict,” imperial wars rage on his watch in multiple theaters - nothing said about ending US aggression against nations threatening no one, nothing about the grand deception of America’s war on terrorism.

His address was long on hyperbole and bluster, short on a compelling need for a new direction.

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: How the 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.

Water Wars

Water Wars

by Stephen Lendman

During the Nixon era, the 1972 Clean Water Act covered “all waters of the US,” knowing they’re interconnected.

Yet Supreme Court decisions and subsequent agency guidance left many of the nation’s waters unprotected for over a decade, threatening supplies for millions of Americans, “putting 20 million acres of wetlands at risk, and leaving 59% of all stream miles in the continental United States unprotected,” according to the Sierra Club.

The 2015 Clean Water Rule (also called Waters of the United States - WOTUS) redefined regulatory safeguards of US waterways earlier protected under the Clean Water Act.

The Sierra Club called it commonsense protection of America’s lakes, rivers and streams. Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica said it’ll help “ensure our waterways stay clean,” adding it’s based on “sound science,” benefitting everyone except polluters.

On Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order, directing anti-environmentalist EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to eliminate Clean Water Rule protections, disgracefully calling it “a horrible, horrible rule. Has sort of a nice name, but everything else is bad.”

Friends of the Earth responded sharply, saying:

“Today the Trump administration ordered a review of the Clean Water Rule, which could roll back critical protections for streams and wetlands and put the drinking water sources for millions of Americans at risk from pollution.” 

“Finalized in 2015, the Clean Water Rule clearly defined the waterways subject to protection under the Clean Water Act, in order to prevent their pollution and destruction and provide clean water for drinking, agriculture, and forestry.” 

“As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt sued the agency he now governs to stop implementation of the Clean Water Rule.”

“It will take more than an executive order, however, to undo the Clean Water Rule. The Obama administration held more than 400 stakeholder meetings and reviewed over 1,200 scientific studies to develop the 408-page technical report that accompanied the Rule, and the Trump administration will have to justify any changes with science and the law.”

“Friends of the Earth Oceans Campaigner Marissa Knodel issued the following response: Water is life, and Trump’s dirty water order puts our environment and millions of American lives at risk so that polluters can profit from the destruction of our waterways.” 

“The Clean Water Rule is grounded in science and the law so that our streams and wetlands can keep us healthy and safe, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and beautiful places to recreate.” 

“In contrast, Trump’s dirty water order is dangerous and illegal, based on corporate greed and unlawful environmental pollution.”

Trump’s action reflected his promise to deregulate corporate America, putting profits ahead of people and human health.

Water is a fundamental human right, essential for life, belonging to everyone. No one has a right to pollute, waste or exploit it for profit.

It’s limited and exhaustible. Conservation is essential. Eliminating clean water protections is ecological terrorism.

A Final Comment

Trump reportedly wants EPA’s budget cut by nearly one fourth, its staff cut from over 15,000 to around 12,000. According to his EPA transition team head Myron Ebell, “(y)ou’re going to have major reductions,” adding “(b)usinesses have to do this all the time.”

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: How the 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.

Russia and China Veto Anti-Syria SC Resolution

Russia and China Veto Anti-Syria SC Resolution

by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed a draft US, UK, French Security Council resolution, proposing sanctions on 11 Syrian military commanders, along with banning the supply of helicopters to its government - based on fabricated charges of its use of chemical weapons.

Countries supporting the resolution included America, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Besides Russia and China, Bolivia opposed it. Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained.

Putin called the move “totally inappropriate,” adding “(i)t does help (and) would not help the negotiation process. It would only hurt or undermine confidence during the process.”

Russia’s deputy UN envoy Vladimir Safronkov denounced the hostile move, calling it “odious and lame…totally unacceptable, adding “(d)espite our consistent appeals, the authors chose a politically motivated path, leading to confrontation and adding complexity to the situation, including on our Security Council platform.”

“They opted for deliberately heating up tensions, being well aware from the very start that this initiative has no chances of being approved at the Security Council.”

“We are sending a signal that we can solve difficult tasks and advance in the Syrian settlement only through cooperation.”

Anti-Syria comments made by US, UK and French UN envoys “leave no doubts. The draft was meant as part of the anti-regime doctrine of Western capitals.”

Neocon US envoy Nikki Haley lied, accusing Assad of using chemical weapons, despite no evidence proving it. None exists.

She blasted Russia and China, disgracefully saying “they will cover the backs of their friends who use chemical weapons to kill their own people.”

She indicated Washington and its EU partners will impose sanctions on their own - illegal without Security Council authorization.

Syria is Obama’s war - naked aggression since March 2011. Now it’s Trump’s, responsible for war crimes as long as America is involved - raping Syria, wanting another US imperial trophy.

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: How the 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.

Washington AWOL from Syria Peace Talks

Washington AWOL from Syria Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Without US involvement and commitment for conflict resolution, endless war will continue - regime change remaining US policy unless proved otherwise, thus far not apparent.

On February 23, Geneva IV peace talks began, no meaningful progress achieve so far. Chances for agreement on conflict resolution look slim at best, impossible at worst.

After days of discussions, Syrian and opposition representatives haven’t met. Major issues haven’t been addressed.

War continues against ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorists not involved in Geneva. On Tuesday, Virginia state Senator Richard Black accused Turkey of using terrorist groups to annex northern Syria, saying Ankara and Washington support them.

“They don’t want (Syria) to eventually survive, because Erdogan sees himself as the head of a vast caliphate (and) as (head of) a resurgent Ottoman Empire that stretches from Europe (to) China,” said Black.

“Turkey has been the greatest ally of the ISIS throughout most of the six-year war” in Syria, he added - along with America, NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states.

The so-called Pentagon plan for defeating ISIS may be nothing more than warmed over Obama aggression, supporting the terrorist group, along with others in Syria and elsewhere.

Saudi-backed opposition representatives in Geneva demand Assad step down, a nonstarter, backed by Washington, opposed by Russia.

It’s unclear how much longer talks will continue. They could end in days or sooner if no progress is achieved.

America’s noninvolvement in Geneva isn’t encouraging. Russia alone among major powers continues going all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution - undermined earlier by Obama.

Is Trump following the same pattern? Washington intending new sanctions on Syria along with EU partners indicates no interest in resolving years of war.

One or more US representatives are observing talks in Geneva, not participating in them. Nor are EU countries involved.

Trump hasn’t said where he stands on Syria. Hostile rhetoric from his UN envoy speaks for him. 

So does the presence of hundreds of US special forces, operating illegally in northern Syria, aiding opposition terrorists, along with continued Pentagon terror-bombing, targeting infrastructure on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.

Obama is out. Trump replaced him. So far it appears nothing changed geopolitically.

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: How the 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, February 28, 2017

Congressional Hawks Want More Defense Spending Than Trump Seeks

Congressional Hawks Want More Defense Spending Than Trump Seeks

by Stephen Lendman

House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry (R. TX), his Senate counterpart John McCain (R. AZ), and likely most other congressional hawks want more defense spending than Trump proposed - his sought increase more than 80% of what Russia spent last year, reported by RT.

He wants already bloated spending for militarism increased by $54 billion to $603 billion. Thornberry and McCain proposed a $640 billion base budget - not counting hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually in areas related to defense, huge intelligence black budgets, and frequent appropriated add-ons for US imperial wars.

America spends well over $1.5 trillion annually on so-called defense, with all related categories included, despite having no enemies except invented ones.

In a statement only neocons and war-profiteers could love, McCain said Trump’s proposed increase is “a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security.” 

“With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3% more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better.”

Fact: America’s defense spending constitutes a black hole of waste, fraud and abuse. Government watchdogs identified hundreds of billions of dollars in potential savings from unneeded weapons, defective ones, no-bid excess, overpayments, and outright fraud.

Fact: The Defense Department and related areas have a virtual blank. War-profiteers cash in hugely. Congress ignores abusive practices, handing the Pentagon what it wants on the phony pretext of national security.

Fact: US imperial wars set the world ablaze. Peace and stability are anathema to administration and congressional policymakers. Endless wars on humanity are prioritized. The only solution is waging peace, a nonstarter in Washington.

Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney said it’s too soon to know how his proposed defense budget will make America’s military more muscular. A fuller DOD budget will come in May.

It’s unclear how added funds will be spent - other than for endless warmaking - at the expense of vital social and other domestic programs if Republicans get their way.

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments defense budget analyst Katherine Blakely said Trump’s plan is designed to be “politically untenable for the Democrats while trying to be as favorable as possible for the Republicans.”

CATO Institute’s Benjamin Friedman believes the plan “won’t happen because Democrats will block it.”

Since budget caps were imposed under Obama (2011 Budget Control Act sequestration, addressing the debt-ceiling), Democrats pushed for maintaining a one-for-one trade between defense and domestic spending. 

If congressional appropriations exceed these caps, broadly defined categories in all departments and programs are cut by an equal percentage, including defense - at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. 

It’s the law of the land unless Congress changes it, enacted by Trump signing legislation. Republicans need 60 Senate votes to raise budget caps.

Democrats won’t likely agree without non-defense discretionary spending increases matching defense ones. Whether things work out 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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Obama, Hillary and GW Bush on Trump

Obama, Hillary and GW Bush on Trump

by Stephen Lendman

His deplorable record so far aside, Obama and GW Bush aren’t allies - for sure not Hillary, still seething from her electoral loss, likely plotting revenge, maybe involved in anti-Trump protests behind the scenes.

On Tuesday, Trump accused Obama of possibly being behind protests against him and White House leaks - “because his people are certainly behind it,” he said, referring to holdovers in his administration until they can be replaced.

Campaigning last year, he called Hillary a “world class liar,” using the State Department as her “own personal hedge fund,” lacking “the temperament (and) judgment to be president.”

She called him “temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.” Obama earlier called him “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to be president.

In 2014, Bush said “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president...I think it’s bad for the presidency, for that matter.”

Monday on NBC’s Today Show, he went another way, saying “we all need answers” about alleged connections between Russian officials and Trump’s associates - despite no evidence of anything out-of-line, no wrongdoing of any kind. 

So why raise the issue? Why join the chorus of Trump bashers?

“I’m not sure the right avenue to take,” Bush added. “I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

The real issue is why were they asked, the answer obvious given unrelenting scoundrel media gratuitous Trump bashing. Justifiable criticism is warranted, not the other kind.

Bush called a free press “indispensable to democracy.” America has neither - except alternative sources of news and information. America’s electoral system is farcical, fantasy democracy, not the real thing.

Bush should know best of all. He lost to Al Gore in 2000, again to John Kerry in 2004, yet served two terms as US president - the first one courtesy of a Supreme Court majority, annulling the popular will, halting the Florida recount, months later showing Gore won the state.

In 2004, Kerry won by an even greater margin than Gore. Yet Bush stayed on for four more dreadful years.

Ignoring his war on Islam at home and abroad, he said “I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and that upholds the law.”

“One of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or not worship at all.” It was the wrong time to be Muslim in America on his watch - still the wrong time under Obama and Trump.

Police state laws were passed, constitutional rights sacrificed, maybe more of the same ahead. Guantanamo and other torture prisons were opened. 

Innocent victims were spied on, persecuted, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned for offenses they didn’t commit.

Obama continued what he began. Trump appears heading in the same direction after a few short weeks in office.

The Clintons, Bush, Obama and now Trump are unindicted war criminals - unaccountable for crimes of war and against humanity, all belonging in prison doing hard time.

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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump's Wartime Budget


Trump’s Wartime Budget

by Stephen Lendman

Information on Trump’s budget was leaked ahead of his Tuesday night address to Congress.

It shows he’s a wartime president like his predecessors, an imperial interventionist, a big spender, mostly on the wrong things - at the expense of too many of the right ones.

He wants another $54 billion added to already bloated military spending at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones. No others exist despite propaganda claiming otherwise.

His priorities are counterproductive and destructive, wanting increased militarism when humanity begs for ending it. 

He intends offsetting more for weapons and warmaking by big cuts in other discretionary spending - less for healthcare, education, environmental protection and other vital social programs, neoliberal harshness perhaps more severe than under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama. 

America will be more unfit to live in than already, including greater domestic militarization, increased police state powers, perhaps tipping things to full-blown tyranny.

Making the world safe for Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate predators matters more than governance serving everyone equitably. 

So does keeping America’s boot in the face of humanity, maybe waging new wars besides many now raging, raping countries on the phony pretexts of combating terrorism and democracy building.

On Monday, Trump said he’ll seek congressional approval for a “historic increase” in military spending. He’s prioritizing “a public safety and national security budget…to rebuild the (grossly overbuilt) military of the United States” - at a time when social spending should be greatly increased, offset by major Pentagon cuts.

Not as long as bipartisan neocons want endless imperial wars, countries raped to control them, their resources looted, their people exploited.

On Monday, federal agencies were sent copies of Trump’s draft budget - to be released to the public in mid-March, his entire fiscal agenda later on, including tax policy, featuring big cuts for business and high net worth households expected.

White House claims about not increasing the deficit and national debt ring hollow. It’s just a matter of how much higher they’ll go.

The national debt is just shy of $20 trillion. The FY 2016 federal deficit was $587 billion. The FY 2017 deficit is projected at $504 billion. With Trump wanting greatly increased military and infrastructure spending, it could go much higher.

So far, budget cuts don’t target Social Security and Medicare. Trumpcare, if enacted, could turn Obamacare’s nightmare into something worse. It could wreck Medicare and Medicaid, threatening the health of US seniors and poor.

Trump’s inaugural address, pledging to serve all Americans “begin(ning) today right here, right now” was a Big Lie.

We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people,” he said.

False!

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

False!

“The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”

False!

“(W)e will make America strong again…wealthy again…proud again…safe again…great again,” he said.

Only for its privileged few exclusively, most others left out, the way it’s always been, especially since the neoliberal 90s under the Clintons.

After six weeks in office, Trump proved he’s a dirty politician like most others in Washington.

He didn’t become a billionaire by being a good guy. As president and military commander-in-chief, he using his power to inflict enormous harm on most Americans. Maybe devastation on humanity will follow.

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: How the 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.

Mass Slaughter and Destruction in Mosul

Mass Slaughter and Destruction in Mosul

by Stephen Lendman

Iraq was Bush/Cheney’s war, following what began under Jimmy Carter. Obama continued it. Trump owns it.

Decades of US genocidal war on the cradle of civilization continues on his watch - on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, America’s creation used as imperial foot soldiers.

US-led so-called “coalition” terror-bombing is massacring civilians, the true casualty count unknown. The horror continues for about 800,000 trapped residents.

US-installed Iraqi puppet prime minister Haider al-Abadi directed his country’s warplanes to join in terror-bombing the city, saying:

“The order to the air force was to deliver airstrikes on the IS positions, including in Abu Kamal  in Syria,” bordering Iraq - civilians in harm’s way being slaughtered.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is being systematically destroyed by a combination of terror-bombing and US-directed ground fighting - civilians harmed most in all wars, especially America’s, given its enormous military might.

West Mosul is now being attacked. The city’s eastern areas, largely liberated from ISIS, were destroyed by terror-bombing and heavy ground fighting. Essentials to life throughout the city are in short supply or unavailable. Basic services don’t exist.

Mosul is a battleground unfit and unsafe to live in, a deplorable situation for its residents, enduring a daily life and death struggle.

US imperial madness bears full responsibility. Endless war on Iraq continues, the casualty count enormous.

Since the US-instigated 1980s Iran/Iraq war, followed by 1991 Gulf War, millions of Iraqis perished, many more daily, including from war related violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation.

Horrific US war crimes go unreported. When investigated, they’re whitewashed. High-level government and Pentagon culpability don’t matter. Millions of corpses attest to America’s barbarity.

US-led “coalition” terror-bombing targets vital infrastructure, schools, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and other nonmilitary sites.

Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) once said “(t)he immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it.” Immanuel Wallerstein calls America “the most dangerous loose gun.”

Massacring noncombatant civilians is longstanding US operating procedure. Media scoundrels ignore it.

All US wars are naked aggression against nations threatening no one - attacked for their sovereign independence. 

America is systematically destroying planet earth to own it. Imperial madness threatens humanity’s survival.

Trump is the latest US warrior president. His promise to drain the swamp was deceptive bombast.

Imperial madness remains core US policy. Endless wars continue, including against America’s most vulnerable.

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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Pentagon Plan to Defeat ISIS?

Pentagon Plan to Defeat ISIS?

by Stephen Lendman

America created and supports ISIS. So do NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states.

It’s heavy weapons and other material support don’t materialize out of thin air. They come from foreign backers, including by US airdrops.

Trump’s stated intention to defeat ISIS so far is just political bluster. In 2014, Obama promised the same thing, saying “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” 

“Our objective is clear. We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

He lied. Support for ISIS and other terrorist groups continued. Since US terror-bombing began in Iraq and Syria, vital infrastructure was targeted, thousands of civilians massacred.

Obama: “…I want the American people to understand how this effort…will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

He then deployed thousands of US special forces to Iraq, at least hundreds to Syria, directly engaged in combat, not there solely as advisors as he claimed.

According to the Pentagon connected Stars and Stripes, Defense Secretary Mattis briefed Trump’s national security officials yesterday “on a Pentagon-led plan to ‘rapidly defeat’ the Islamic State group,” citing Defense Department spokesman navy Captain Jeff Davis.

On Monday, the Pentagon submitted a classified preliminary strategy to the White House, its details not revealed.

According to Davis, current operations remain unchanged for now - “emphasiz(ing) that this is the broad framework of a plan. It’s a global plan. It is not just military. It is not just Iraq (and) Syria.”

Stars and Stripes said it “focus(es) primarily on boosting the military actions against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, but it will also provide plans to target its offshoots in other locations as well as other extremist groups such as al-Qaida.”

For years, America waged fantasy war on al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups while supporting them. Is Trump’s war on terror more of the same?

Strategy may involve greater numbers of US combat troops in Iraq and Syria, as well as more arms and other material support for nonexistent “moderate rebels” in Syria, wanting Assad’s government toppled, tyranny replacing it.

CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel said more US forces may be needed in Syria. Hundreds currently there operate illegally without permission from Damascus, supporting terrorist groups, not combating them.

Mattis’ plan may be more of the same. Saying on his visit to Baghdad last week “(w)e’re going to continue to go after them (ISIS) until we destroy them” sounds like Obama’s earlier deception.

In the aftermath of all US elections, everything changes but stays the same, Trump following the same script.

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: How the 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 Latest NYT Fake News on Russia

The Latest NYT Fake News on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

An easy way to be misinformed and stay that way is by following Times reports - all fake news all the time on issues mattering most, especially geopolitical ones.

Many of its reports read like Pentagon handouts, especially ones related to US imperial wars and Russia bashing.

According to The Times, “(t)he Kremlin (believing Trump won’t change US policy toward Russia) seek(s) to bolster its global influence by exploiting what it considers weakness in Washington…”

The Times called Putin “a champion of an alternative, illiberal model,” whatever that means. Claiming he aided Trump’s election is utter rubbish - a Big Lie refusing to go away, despite no evidence proving Russian US election hacking.

Saying hoped for better bilateral relations dimmed since the afterglow of Trump’s ascension to power faded, Moscow “returned to its tried-and-true formula of creating turmoil and exploiting the resulting opportunities” turned truth on its head - a Times specialty.

Russia aims to resolve conflicts and turmoil in Syria and Ukraine, not exploit them. It seeks peace and stability, not endless wars of aggression waged by America and its imperial partners.

It fosters cooperative relations with all countries. It’s involved in trying to end conflicts and chaos caused by US-orchestrated wars on Libya and Yemen.

Weeks into his tenure, Trump was co-opted by Washington’s political establishment, dark forces wanting continuity, not responsible change from longstanding policy.

Still, Russia hopes to make the best out of a deplorable situation while strengthening its ability to defend the homeland effectively.

Its problem is partly Trump, mostly administration and congressional anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Iran hawks, influencing his agenda, wanting endless wars continued, new ones waged.

Their aggressiveness risks the unthinkable, maybe the madness of nuclear war by design or accident.

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: How the 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.