Saturday, August 31, 2013

Duplicitous Anti-Syrian Editorials


Duplicitous Anti-Syrian Editorials

by Stephen Lendman

Media scoundrels march in lockstep. When America goes to war or plans one, they're supportive right or wrong.

Throughout months of conflict, they pilloried Assad. They did so unjustifiably. They turned truth on its head. They blame him for insurgent crimes. They do it repeatedly.

On August 30, Wall Street Journal editors headlined "The Chemical Evidence," saying:

"Kerry echoes Bush in making the case on WMD(s) in Syria. If (he) talked like this in 2004, he would have been president."

Clear evidence showed another stolen election. Gore won in 2000. Kerry won convincingly. They knew it. They stayed silent. Bush lost both times. He got eight years in office.

Kerry "laid out the Obama Administration's most complete case so far that Syria has used chemical weapons and why the world must respond," said Journal editors.

Bush and Blair "couldn't have said it better." He "made a persuasive case." 

"The evidence of the large-scale Syrian attack using sarin gas on the Damascus suburbs on August 21 is substantial and from multiple, layered sources."

False! No evidence exists. What's cited is fake. It's fabricated. It's spurious. No hard facts support it. They don't exist. If they did, Kerry would have explained.

The Obama administration released a summary of alleged evidence. It was long on bluster. It was devoid of substance. There is none. Officials can't cite what they don't have.

According to Kerry, said Journal editors:

"(E)vidence includes knowledge about Syria's chemical stockpiles and their movement; testimony and symptoms from victims, medical personnel and journalists; physiological samples that showed the presence of sarin; and intelligence about the movement of Syrian troops before the attack, as well as the timing of rocket launches that presumably carried the chemical canisters."

It's meaningless. It explains nothing. It's fabricated. It was Kerry's second Colin Powell moment. It likely precedes shock and awe attacks.

So-called intercepted communications are spurious claims. They lack credibility. They irresponsibly point fingers the wrong way. Don't expect Journal editors to explain.

"Mr. Kerry and the Administration (made) a compelling case against the depredations of Bashar Assad and the need for a forceful world response," they said. 

"What they haven't done is make a case that their military punishment will be enough to match the magnitude of the harm and threat they describe."

What Journal editors don't due is support rule of law principles. Might means right substitutes.

On August 30, Washington Post editors headlined "US must act against crimes against humanity," saying:

Obama "faces no easy options. (S)ome of his challenges ensue from his mistakes."

"(N)o country other than the United States can or will respond fittingly (to Syria's) crime against humanity."

"A line has been crossed; if there are no consequences, it will be crossed again." 

"Someday US soldiers on a battlefield could be the victim of the resulting impunity." 

"If the United States does not ensure that Syria faces consequences for crossing the line, no one will, and the US response should be strong enough to prevent Mr. Assad from committing further atrocities."

On Friday, Obama said: "A lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it."

According to WaPo editors," he's "right to conclude that, in such circumstances, the United States must."

Fact check

It bears repeating. No evidence links Syria to chemical weapons attacks any time throughout months of conflict. It doesn't exist. 

It's pretext for lawless aggression. It's for regime change. It's about destroying Syrian sovereignty. It's replacing it with subservient pro-Western governance.

Syria is Washington's war. It was planned years ago. It's to isolate Iran. Its turn awaits. It's for regional dominance. It's for control of its valued oil and gas resources. 

It's about waging permanent wars. They're against nonexistent enemies. Don't expect WaPo editors to explain.

Los Angeles Times editors urged "a measured approach," saying:

Washington signaled an attack is coming. It "won't inflict the damage necessary to drive President Bashar Assad from power."

"There is no guarantee that the sort of operation the administration is contemplating - the launching of cruise missiles from ships or submarines - will deter Assad from resorting to chemical warfare in the future."

There's "a reason why the administration decided it must act." Times editors didn't explain. They twisted things their way. They did so duplicitously. It wasn't the first time. It won't be the last.

They claim attacking Syria assures deterring further chemical weapons use. Failure to confront Assad encourages other countries to use them, they say.

America uses chemical, biological and radiological weapons in all its wars. Media scoundrels suppress it. So do LA Times editors.

Houston Chronicle (HC) editors headlined "Syria's sorrows," saying:

"Every self-respecting human being owes it to the causes of decency and justice to spend time looking closely at the photographs of Syrian children and adults murdered by chemical weapons."

"Those who approved and perpetrated these heinous acts must be brought to justice, and quickly. Every moment that passes offers fresh opportunities to repeat these horrible acts."

"Clearly, these are crimes against humanity. As such, they should be dealt with under the flag of the United Nations with the fullest participation of its membership."

"The United States should and must play a leading role."

"Assad and his henchmen must go. If that isn't accomplished, and soon, the cancer of Islamist radicalism will spread."

"That is unacceptable." 

HC betrayed their readers. They pointed fingers the wrong way. They ignored a classic false flag attack. They blamed Assad for insurgent crimes. 

They dismissed US involvement. They suppressed information about Washington's war. They're complicit in what's ongoing. They bear responsibility for what follows.

So do San Francisco Chronicle editors. They headlined "Explain the need to attack Syria," saying:

"Hundreds lie dead from sarin gas in Syria. The signs point to Bashar Assad's regime as culprit."

UN investigators haven't said whether toxic chemicals were used. They haven't named any. Blaming Assad is irresponsible. Clear evidence points fingers the other way.

"If the trail of evidence truly leads back to Assad's regime, it must learn in unmistakable terms that there is a steep price to pay for crossing these bounds of inhumanity." 

"It must be led to the conclusion: 'It's just not worth it. A US attack on valued Syrian government and military targets is the best way to punctuate that point."

"But first things first: The president needs to connect the dots for the rest of us in a clear and convincing way."

Chronicle editors didn't explain. There's no way to do it. Nonexistent evidence lacks credibility. Fake proof substitutes. 

Chicago Tribune editors headlined "Before the missiles fly against Syria," saying:

"Now is the time for sharing the best intel available on the use of chemical weapons and for reminding other governments - and American citizens - that doing nothing, or next to nothing, would invite even greater atrocities."

Tribune editors support lawless aggression. They want a clear case made for waging it.

So do New York Times editors. They tried having things both ways. They headlined "Absent on Syria."

On the one hand, they said Obama plans war "without legal justification and without the backing of two key institutions, Congress and the United Nations Security Council. Both have abdicated their roles in dealing with this crisis."

On the other, they duplicitously claimed "no doubt" Assad "was behind (the August 21 chemical) attack." Not a shred of credible proves it. Times editors didn't explain.

They pronounced Assad guilty by accusation. They blamed him throughout months of conflict for insurgent crimes. They did so unjustifiably.

They said Kerry and Obama "made a largely moral case for a retaliatory response." They turned rule of law principles on their head saying so.

They support attacking Syria. They want Obama doing it with international support.

On Saturday, he made the case for war. He did so duplicitously. He wants Syria attacked. He plans to do so. He'll seek congressional support.

At the same time, he claimed he "believe(s) (he has) the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization."

He has none whatever. He knows it. He didn't explain.

"We cannot and will not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus," he said. At issue is only when he'll order bombs away.

With or without congressional support, it's lawless. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. Syria threatens no one.

The Security Council alone decides on issues of war and peace. Circumventing it is criminal. It's standard US practice. It's about to happen again. 

Obama wants another imperial trophy. Mass killing and destruction are small prices to pay.

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

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Obama Invented Pretext for Lawless Aggression


Obama Invented Pretext for Lawless Aggression

By Stephen Lendman

When US enemies don't exist, they're invented. When rule of law principles are clear and unequivocal, they're twisted to fit US policy.

On August 30, White House Special Assistant to the President/Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said:

"When the president reaches a determination about the appropriate response and a legal justification is required to substantiate or to back up that decision, we'll produce one on our own."

In other words, reasons given will fit policy. They'll be created out of whole cloth. They'll violate core legal principles, standards and norms. 

It doesn't matter. What Obama says goes. He wants war on Syria. He'll get it. Who'll argue with bombs away? Who'll confront cruise missile diplomacy? 

Who'll hold him accountable? Who challenged past war criminal presidents? They do what they want. They do it with impunity.

Misconceptions exist about America's Constitution. It reflects
whatever government does or does not do. We the people aren't involved.

We're left out entirely. "We" don't govern directly or through representatives. "We" are governed.

The founders agreed unanimously. America should be run by the rich, well born and able. Government should serve their interests, not ours. Checks and balances are convenient illusions.

Government is autonomous. It's detached. It operates in a realm of its own. It's unresponsive to public interests.

Article I, Section 8, Sub-section 1 lets Congress make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution or any department or officer thereof."

Government alone decides what's "necessary and proper." It's constrained only by the boundaries of possibilities.

Presidents have special powers. In times of war, they're virtual dictators. They do what they please. They do it with impunity.

Democracy exists in name only. It's a convenient illusion. Presidents circumvent Congress. They override judicial authority. George Bush usurped "unitary executive" powers.

Chalmers Johnson called it a "ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy dressed up in legal mumbo jumbo."

It didn't matter. It doesn't now. Obama rules by executive orders, other unilateral directives, and unchecked presidential authority.

He does what he pleases. He gets away with it because who'll stop him.

Presidents have unlimited powers. They take full advantage. They govern like virtual monarchs. What they say goes.

A single constitutional sentence is misunderstood. It best explains presidential power. 

It grants near limitless amounts. It's constrained only to the degree incumbents choose.

It's from Article II, Section 1, stating:

"The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

Article II, Section 3 adds:

"The President shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

It omits saying they're virtually empowered to make laws and implement them. They do it despite no explicit constitutional language permitting it.

Executive power is what presidents want it to be. Some usurp more. Some less. They use as much as they wish. They can take full advantage.

If Obama wants war, he'll get it. He's military commander-in-chief. 

Although Article I, Section 8 affords Congress alone the right to declare war, presidents do it without consulting anyone.

They make treaties the law of the land. They do it without Senate ratification. Advice and consent only are involved.

They can terminate treaties unilaterally. Bush ended ABM by presidential declaration.

They can rule by decree. They can do it through executive agreements with foreign governments.

They appoint key officials, diplomats and federal judges. They do it with Senate approval. It's usually rubber-stamp.

They can veto congressional legislation. The great majority of the time it's sustained.

Congress alone has appropriation authority. Presidents can release funds for executive branch spending.

They have a huge bureaucracy at their disposal. It includes Secretaries of Defense, State, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department.

They have bully pulpit power. They can command center stage any time they wish. They can get national prime television coverage on request.

They can promote anything they want. They're empowered to do almost anything.

They can govern without constraint. They're virtual sovereigns in their own right.

Never underestimate the power of executive authority. Never imagine rogue leaders won't take full advantage.

Never expect congressional or judicial challenges. Don't expect what rarely ever happens.

No president ever lost office by impeachment. Waging lawless aggression never removed them.

The only thing presidents can't do is violate law flagrantly. Creatively circumventing it permits the same thing.

Impeachment and conviction requires proving "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

It's virtually impossible to do so. It's never been done. Only two presidents were impeached. Neither was removed.

John Adams once said doing so would take a national convulsion. Doing it once creates possibilities. 

Perhaps it would end presidential invulnerability. It's high time it happened. It's nowhere in sight.

One-man rule persists if presidents choose it. Doing so lets them wage aggressive wars with impunity.

Obama's already waging multiple direct and proxy wars of aggression. He's insatiable. He wants more. He targets Syria. It's based on lies.

He wants Syrian sovereign independence destroyed. He wants subservient pro-Western puppet governance replacing it. 

Mass killing and destructions are small prices to pay. Obama bears full responsibility. Syria is his war. He won't quit until it's entirely ravaged and destroyed.

He seeks a coalition of the willing. He'll go it alone if necessary. He lost his key partner. British MPs did what most observers thought impossible. They voted no. They rejected force. 

London's Guardian said doing so throws Obama's plans into "disarray." It doesn't stop him. It just makes things tougher.

"The White House was forced to consider the unpalatable option of taking unilateral action against" Assad, said the Guardian.

It lost its "most loyal ally." Doing so's unprecedented in modern times. According to Obama's National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden:

"The US will continue to consult with the UK government - one of our closest allies and friends." 

"As we've said, President Obama's decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States."

"He believes that there are core interests at stake for the United States and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable."

He lied pointing fingers the wrong way. It bears repeating. No evidence whatever links Syria to chemical weapons use throughout months of conflict.

Plenty shows Western-enlisted death squads used them multiple times. They bear full responsibility for Ghouta's August 21 attack.

According to the Guardian, Washington took Britain's support for granted. British MPs surprised. They voted 285 to 272 against attacking Syria.

The Guardian called doing so "disastrous for Obama." Administration officials scrambled. They rushed to keep key congressional lawmakers on board.

Carl Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. He urged caution, saying:

"I have previously called for the United States to work with our friends and allies to increase the military pressure on the Assad regime by providing lethal aid to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition."

"Tonight, I suggested that we should do so while UN inspectors complete their work and while we seek international support for limited, targeted strikes in response to the Assad regime's large-scale use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people."

Administration officials scrambled to cobble together international support. It's waning. 

Arab League nations blame Syria for Ghouta's attack. At the same time, they oppose punitive strikes.

Losing Britain's support makes things tougher for Obama. It doesn't deter his plans. 

White House Special Assistant to the President/Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked if Obama plans going it alone.

"The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests of America," he said. 

Planned strikes will be "discreet and limited." Cruise missile diplomacy is hugely destructive. There's nothing "discreet and limited" about it.

Hundreds of missiles are poised to launch. Shock and awe best describes what's coming. Enormous damage will be inflicted. 

Thousands may die. Many more will be injured and displaced. War is hell and then some.

Civilians will suffer most. They pay the greatest price for war. Syrians suffered enormously already. Obama plans inflicting much more.

Give peace a chance is verboten. Bombs away is official US policy. UN inspectors are expected to leave Syria Saturday. They'll report when lab analysis is completed. Doing so make take "more than days."

According to UN spokesman Farhan Haq:

The team's "mission is to determine whether chemical weapons were used. It's not about attribution."

It's not to say who's responsible. Failure to do so lets Washington and complicit allies point fingers the wrong way.

At the same time, said Haq:

Investigators "have large number of facts at their disposal - they have collected a considerable amount of evidence through samples, evidence through witness interviews - and they can construct from that evidence of a fact-based narrative that can get at the key facts of what happened on the 21 of August."

On August 29, Mint Press News headlined "Exclusive: Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack," saying:

"Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group."

Abu Abdel-Moneim lives in Ghouta. He's the father of an insurgent fighter. "My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry," he said.

Some were "tube-like" in structure. Others were like a "huge gas bottle." They were stored in tunnels.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and other insurgents died during the Ghouta attack.

A female Jabhat al-Nusra fighter named "K" said:

"They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn't know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons."

Another fighter named "J" said:

"We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions."

According to Mint Press:

"Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault."

"More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government."

Prince Bandar bin Sultan's directly involved. He's Washington's point man against Syria. He's advancing the kingdom's top goal - destroying Assad, Iran's government and Hezbollah.

Doing it involves arming and funding some of the most extremist elements. They're cutthroat killers. They're committing outrageous atrocities. They brag about them. Media scoundrels give them short shrift. Most often their crimes go unreported.

False flags are involved. They permit pointing fingers the wrong way. Assad's wrongfully blamed for death squad crimes.

On Friday, so-called White House intelligence on Syria was released. It turns truth on its head. It's created out of whole cloth. It lacks credibility.

It claims a "preponderance of publicly available information" points fingers at Assad. He had nothing to do with Ghouta's attack. Administration propaganda claims otherwise. 

It's repeated ad nauseam. It's used as pretext for lawless aggression. 

So-called evidence in part at least comes from alleged Israeli intercepted chatter. Israel claims its IDF 8200 intelligence unit heard Syrian officials discussing Ghouta's attack. 

An anonymous former Mossad official reported the Big Lie. He blamed Assad for using "nonconventional weapons."

Big Lies launch wars. This time's no different. Bombs away are imminent. 

They look planned for next week. Perhaps Obama will surprise and begin earlier. He'll likely wait until UN investigators leave. 

US forces are poised to attack on command. Lawless aggression will follow. It's longstanding US policy.

According to Michel Chossudovsky:

"Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads." Attacking Syria risks a "broader Middle East-Central Asian war." Doing so affects other regions.

They include "South East Asia and the Far East." China, Russia and North Korea are threatened. What's ongoing risks WW III. Advancing America's imperium alone matters.

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

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

http://www.dailycensored.com/obama-invented-pretext-lawless-aggression/

Obama's America: Gangsterism Writ Large


Obama's America: Gangsterism Writ Large

by Stephen Lendman

Obama's America is an out-of-control rogue state. It's nuclear armed and dangerous. It maintains large stockpiles of hugely toxic chemical and biological weapons. 

They're used freely in all US wars. Washington threatens world peace. It risks global war. It's no land of the free and home of the brave. It's not beautiful. 

It's no democracy. It's run by cutthroat criminals. They're gangsters. They're thugs. They're hoodlums. They're barbarians. 

They're corrupt. They're morally depraved. They're ethically challenged. They want everything for themselves. They want unlimited wealth, power and privilege. 

They're waging war on humanity for global dominance. They're benefitting at the expense of its survival. They need to be stopped at all costs. The alternative is potential annihilation.

The stars are aligned against Syria. They're pointed the wrong way. The Syrian Arab Republic threatens no one. It's in Washington's crosshairs. It's being ravaged and destroyed. It's fighting to survive.

Obama bears full responsibility. America's a modern day Sparta. Peace is abhorrent. "Yes we can" reflects Obama's pro-war, pro-imperial, pro-ravage, plunder and dominate agenda. 

The business of America is war. Militarism is longstanding US policy. America's history is bloodstained. It glorifies war. Enemies are invented to wage them. Doing so makes peace impossible.

Cruise missile diplomacy substitutes for give peace a chance. America goes out of its way to wage war. They rage without end.

According to James Petras, Obama "systematically reject(s) opportunities to resolve conflicts" responsible.

His "diplomatic initiatives lack substance (They're) neutralized by parallel military moves and aggressive interventions."

He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. His destructive agenda proves why. 

His world view reflects grab all you can. Wage permanent wars. Create enemies to do so. Ravage and destroy them. Create new ones.

Petras said Obama's epitaph will read in part: He fought wars and lost. He "turned friends into enemies." 

He destroyed humanity in the process. He did so one country after another. He's been ravaging Syria for two and a half years.

Expect lots more ahead. Cruise missile diplomacy explains what coming.

On August 29, Reuters headlined "Obama makes case for Syria strike, British house votes no," saying:

"The United States and its allies have 'no smoking gun' proving Assad personally ordered the attack on a rebel-held Damascus neighborhood in which hundreds of people were killed, US national security officials said."

Fabricated intelligence expresses "high confidence" Syrian forces bear responsibility. It bears repeating. Big Lies launch wars. 

This one's a whopper. It's fake. It's manufactured out of whole cloth. No evidence linking Assad or Syrian forces to Ghouta's attack exists. 

What's obvious is suppressed. Insurgents bear full responsibility. They conducted numerous past chemical attacks. They've been caught red-handed.

It doesn't matter. Hegemons do what they want. They ignore public opinion. Polls show only 9% of Americans support war. 

It's an unprecedented low figure. It shows overwhelming opposition. It compares to 90% support for attacking Afghanistan in October 2001.

It's far below the lowest Vietnam and Iraq wars support. They bottomed at around 30%.

Majorities in Europe and Middle East countries oppose war. On August 30, Press TV headlined "British anti-war campaigners to protest against Syria attack," saying:

"Thousands of British anti-war campaigners are to demonstrate against the Western war rhetoric against Syria."

"The demonstration titled 'No attack on Syria' was called by The Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and is planned to be held on Saturday 31 August in central London." 

People were lied to about Iraq. They know they're being lied to again. Americans feel the same way. On Thursday, hundreds protested in Times Square.

"US, NATO, hands off Syria," they chanted. Some carried pictures of Assad. One protester held a sign reading: "Syria=Iraq. Same Lies."

Protesters turned out in Chicago, Boston, Miami, and other US cities. They're sick and tired of endless wars.

They're tired of being lied to. They want jobs. They want America out of the Middle East. They want peace, not endless conflicts.

Over the weekend, more anti-war protests are planned. They're expected across Europe, the Middle East, North America and perhaps elsewhere.

They won't deter Obama's rage for war. He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He's got other targets in mind.

The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. War on Syria's prelude to targeting the Islamic Republic. 

Spurious Iranian threats continue. Hassan Rohani's election doesn't matter. He promises "government of deliberation and hope." 

He wants to engage Western countries responsibly. Obama hasn't recognized his legitimacy. 

He wants Iranian sovereignty destroyed. It's planned after ravaging Syria. He's got more targets in mind. 

Attacking them furthers America's war agenda. It advances its imperium. It threatens humanity's survival. It doesn't matter. Hegemons do what they want.

Former UK First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff/Under-Secretary of State Admiral Admiral William John West/Baron West of Spithead expressed great concerns about attacking Syria.

"(H)aving seen the run-up to the Iraq war," he fears another disaster unfolding now. We need "hard intelligence," he said. "People don't trust (the) information" they're getting.

They've got good reason to disbelieve it. They've been lied to many times before. America and Britain need to share what they have with Russia. They need to prove what they claim with hard, verifiable facts.

So-called "limited surgical strikes" are dangerous. "(I)n all my experience of wars - and I've been in them and in the lead-up to them and running them and things - you have a law of unintended consequences," said West.

"You think you’re just going to do one little thing but actually things then happen and expand."

America, Britain, France and Turkey "need to be very careful about what action to take." 

"We need to be very clear what it is we actually want to achieve, what is the end state we want." 

"We need to have mechanisms in place militarily to ensure things don’t go beyond a certain degree. But I am not at all convinced that an attack would help the people in Syria."

"We've seen what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan." 

It repeated in Libya. It's doing it in Syria. It's for all the wrong reasons. Lawless aggression can't be countenanced. Strong opposition against it is needed.

On August 26, China's Xinhua News Agency headlined "Russia sees risk of 'war of civilizations' in Syria," saying:

"…Western powers (are) moving along that path, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday."

"I was greatly alarmed by the statements made from Paris and London that NATO may intervene to destroy chemical weapons in Syria without the consent of the UN Security Council. It's a very dangerous and slippery path," he said.

"Even if we leave the legal, moral and ethical aspects aside, specific consequences of external interference not authorized by the international community would only sharply exacerbate the situation in the country," he added.

He called Western forces deployed against Syria "a grave blunder." It suggests Iraq and Libya redux. It doesn't deter hawks from wanting more.

Wall Street Journal editors headlined "A Serious Bombing Strategy." 

They want more than a "shot across the bow." They want shock and awe. They want Syria's air force destroyed.

Debate so far has been over a "false choice," they said. Too little won't make a difference, they claim.

They want to "level the battlefield for the opposition." Killing thousands more doesn't matter, they believe.

"We'd support a larger military intervention aimed at regime change," they say. 

"Short of that, any US military strike should focus on doing enough damage to the Syrian air force so the rebels can change the regime themselves."

New York Times editors published an anti-Assad hate piece titled "Make Assad Pay," saying:

"This is still an American-led and American-protected world," it said. Who gave America the right? Who appointed it global policeman?

Who gave the nation Martin Luther King called "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" the right to differentiate between good and bad guys? 

Separately, Times editors headlined "More Answers Needed on Syria." 

They were duplicitous. On the one hand, they said "Obama has yet to make a convincing legal or strategic case for military action on Syria."

On the other, they want "some kind of international response to (Assad's) chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians."

They want him prosecuted in the International Criminal Court. They dismiss any possibility that insurgents are responsible for what happened.

They have no access to chemical weapons, they allege. They have no capability to use them, they believe. 

They ignore clear evidence otherwise on both counts. They suppress it. They do so duplicitously.

They've pilloried Assad since conflict began in March 2011. They back regime change. They ignore inviolable rule of law principles. 

They back all US wars. They're lawless. They're based on lies. They support advancing America's imperium. They're on the wrong side of history. Don't expect them to explain.

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

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Harsh Criticism of Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks


Harsh Criticism of Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

A Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) position paper offered straight talk on what's ongoing. It did so responsibly.

PHROC's a 12 Palestinian human rights organization coalition. It's polar opposite US/Israeli policy. 

It supports peaceful conflict resolution. It wants it based in international legal standards. They include:

  • obliging parties to adhere to UN Charter provisions, resolutions, customary international humanitarian and other human rights law, as well as International Court of Justice (ICJ) rulings;

  • assuring universal recognition of Palestinian political and economic self-determination; ensuring their other inalienable rights;

  • guaranteeing diaspora Palestinians their lawful right of return;

  • giving them control of their own borders, air and water rights, as well as other resources;

  • holding Israel responsible for crimes of war and against humanity; holding its officials accountable;

  • "Confirming the right of Palestinians to retrieve the cultural and historical monuments and resources that have been stolen or confiscated by the Occupying Power;" and
"Refusing to recognize and formalize any benefits, revenues or privileges gained by the Occupying Power in violation of international law."

Since 1991 Madrid Peace Conference negotiations and Oslo, Palestinian human rights groups were wary. They warned about Israel spurning its international law obligations.

Israel manipulated Oslo advantageously. Tripling its settler population followed. In 20 years, it grew from 200,000 to 600,000. Numbers increase daily. Dispossessed Palestinians have no say.

Their land is stolen. They’re ethnically cleansed. They're denied all rights. They have none now. They have no credible peace partner. They're on their own.

Land theft continues daily. Israel's Separation Wall plans annexing around 12% of West Bank/East Jerusalem territory. It'll do so when completed. Building it has nothing to do with security. Israel lies claiming otherwise.

It expropriates a sizable share of PA tax revenues. It does so without fulfilling agreed on obligations. It controls about 60% of West Bank territory.

It does so through expanding settlements, outposts, closed military zones, tourist sites, commercial areas, no-go ones, increasing East Jerusalem encroachment, Israel's apartheid wall, Jews only roads, and numerous checkpoints and barriers.

Palestinians are increasingly isolated. They're ghettoized. They're in separated cantons. They're on least valued land. Israel maintains control. Militarized occupation harshness does so.

It bears repeating. Palestinians have no credible peace partner. Talks are worthless. They remain so as long as occupation continues. It does it while settlements expand, collective punishment is policy, and Palestinians are denied all rights.

PHROC's committed to peaceful conflict resolution. It wants it equitably. It's disturbed by ongoing talks. They're proceeding without firm Israeli commitment to address all fundamental Palestinian demands responsibly.

No guidelines were established to assure Israel respects and abides by fundamental international law principles and standards.

"PHROC calls upon the Palestinian leadership to learn from the failures of previous negotiation processes with Israel and to avoid repetition of mistakes that have facilitated the current situation in the OPT." 

It believes PA leaders must respect and adhere to the following principles:

  • Israel's feet must be held to the fire; talks can't become fig leaf cover for continued occupation harshness; they're turning out that way so far;

  • PA leaders should insist "on the dismantlement of all settlements;" they must refuse all land swaps; Israeli negotiating terms assure no peace; they undermine Palestinian self-determination; they assure no viable state can be established;

  • legitimate Palestinian leadership must exist; divisions can't be tolerated; credible internationally monitored elections must be held; all Palestinians globally must be enfranchised to participate; creative solutions can overcome obstacles;

  • Palestinian reconciliation is vital; it's fundamental for unity; it's key for responsible governance; it's impossible without it;

  • negotiations may end without resolution; if anything's agreed, all Palestinians must have final say; doing so requires a national referendum; nothing less is acceptable; and

  • Palestinians must be permitted to use international conventions, institutions and agencies. Nothing should deny them. Rights they afford are too important to lose. They're a "legitimate source of power."

Charles Freeman's a former US ambassador. He was a former Defense Department official. He accompanied Nixon as interpreter on his 1972 visit.

He believes US/Israeli relations have been "running on fumes for some time." He's part of a group involved in "analyzing the role of the United States as an imperial power and the consequences associated with empire in general."

Its manifesto warns of dangers associated with seeking empire. It's "a work in progress," he says. Its goal is clear. It's about educating Americans about what's at stake. It says:

"The American Revolution was a nationalist revolt against the British Empire."

"Our country was born as a defiant rejection of the legitimacy of imperialism." The "inevitable cost of empire" is too much to bear.

"Domestic liberty is the first casualty of adventurist foreign policy."

"To justify the high cost of maintaining rule over foreign territories and peoples, leaders are left with no choice but to deceive the people."

Freeman's very wary about Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. He says they "overlook and violate a basic maxim of diplomacy."

"An agreement that excludes and fails to address the interests of those with the capacity to wreck it is no agreement at all."

Palestine's divided in four parts. It's further sliced and diced. Territory Palestinians control is shrinking. It's restricted to isolated cantons. It constitutes no viable state.

Arab Israeli citizens are denied equal rights. They're "forgotten by the international community."

West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and diaspora Palestinians are "driven from their homes into residence in refugee camps and foreign countries."

PA officials are irresponsible. They lack legitimacy. They support Israel above their own people. They represent them in impossible to achieve conflict resolution.

They lack a popular mandate. They're dependent on foreign subsidies. Israel steals part of their tax revenue. It controls Palestine's borders, air, water and other resources.

PA officials rely on Washington for concessions not forthcoming. They collaborate with America and Israel. They do so against the rights of their own people.

They don't represent Palestinians in Gaza. They don't represent them abroad.

"Neither Hamas nor Gazan Palestinians are represented in the so-called" peace talks.  "Neither will have a stake in making anything that might emerge from it work."

Around seven million diaspora Palestinians haven't been represented since Oslo. Revanchism won't "be cured by a deal between Israel and the PA."

"I don't see how the 'peace process' Kerry has contrived is a path to peace even for the fifth or so of the (West BanK) Palestinians whose future it purports to address."  

"Peace exclud(ing) about four-fifths of Palestinians is a fatally flawed diplomatic fraud - not, of course, the first one in this arena."

Sam Bahour's an American-born entrepreneur. His parents have Palestinian/Lebanese roots. Following Oslo, he moved to the West Bank. 

He's involved in developing its economy. He's doing so for a future Palestinian state.

He discussed Abbas-extracted concessions he said John Kerry obtained prior to resuming talks. 

Abbas is a longstanding Israeli collaborator. He sold out his people at Oslo. He did so in subsequent agreements. 

He's doing it again now. He lacks credibility. He lacks legitimacy. He can't be trusted.

Kerry "set a a maximum period of time ranging from 6 to 9 months to be dedicated to bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations without any preconditions."

Other terms agreed on include having Israel's Separation Wall serve as security borders for its state. It'll be temporary for Palestine. "Both parties will acknowledge and announce this," said Bahour.

Land swaps will be agreed. They'll range from 8 - 10% of West Bank territory.

Settlement and outpost numbers will be frozen. Current communities are free to expand. 

Permitting them lets Israel steal all valued Judea and Samaria areas it wants. It establishes Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.

"Residents in frozen settlement communities will have the right to choose between Israeli citizenship or Palestinian citizenship, or both, at the conclusion of negotiations."

"(T)alks will culminate with a historic agreement along the lines of the Oslo Agreement, during which both parties will announce the end of the historic conflict between their peoples, as well as full normalization with all Arab states, at a celebratory meeting attended by the Arab League and representatives of all Arab countries."

They'll "announc(e) their approval of Israel's establishment of a Palestinian state within the limits set out above, according to agreements." 

Abbas will recognize Israel as "the state of the Jewish people."

Some Palestinian families will get to reunite. Most will lose out entirely. East Jerusalem will fall under international Israeli/Jordanian/Palestinian control. It'll do so for 10 years.

It buys time for Israel to gain full control. Land exchanges will favor Israel. They'll do so at the expense of core Palestinian rights.

Israel will release Palestinian prisoners incarcerated 20 years or longer. Those posing no security threat will be chosen. Israel alone will decide.

New Palestinian elections will be held. Israel manipulates them its way. Jordan will conspire against Palestinian interests. 

It'll provide security. It'll marginalize Palestinians. It'll deny them core rights. They'll be shut out entirely in the process.

Might is right remains policy. According to Bahour, "a new generation of Palestinians" will end up no better than previous ones.

Israel will keep control. It'll get everything it wants. Palestinians will be marginalized and denied. They'll be betrayed like before.

Edward Said once said "equality or nothing." Washington, Israel, and Jordan intend little at most. Unconditional surrender appears likely.

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

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Nobel Peace Laureate Obama Plans War on Syria Based on Lies


Nobel Peace Laureate Obama Plans War on Syria Based on Lies

by Stephen Lendman

In awarding its 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Committee members turned truth on its head, saying: 

Obama made "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

He "created a new climate in international politics. Multinational diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions play."

He envisions "a world without nuclear weapons."

"Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened."

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

"For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely the international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman."

Fact check:

Throughout his tenure, Obama supported multiple direct and proxy wars. He backs perpetual wars. He spurns peace. He deplores it. 

He pursues confrontational policies. He chooses them over diplomatic conflict resolution. He does it every time.

He supports some the world's most ruthless despots. They get White House photo-op invitations.

He reinvented a new Cold War with Russia. His Asia pivot targets China and North Korea. 

He supports Honduran coup d'etat rule. He conspired with fascist plotters to oust democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.

After its disastrous January 2010 earthquake, he militarized Haiti. He plundered it freely. He opposed Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return. He orchestrated rigged elections. He prohibited democratic rule.

In September 2010, his attempt to oust Ecuador's Rafael Correa failed. Coup plotters shut down airports, blocked highways, burned tires, and assaulted the president.

Obama's fingerprints were all over the scheme to replace him with a puppet subservient to US interests.

In June 2012, he targeted Paraguayan democracy. Parliamentary impeachment was his weapon of choice. 

In August 2008, Fernando Lugo was elected president. He replaced decades of junta rule. Obama helped reinstitute same old, same old.

He waged aggressive war on Libya. He supported death squad terrorists. He facilitated mass killing and destruction. He created charnel house conditions.

He supports the worst of Bahraini state terror. Lawless governance, mass arrests, kangaroo court trials, assassinations, torture and disappearances define it.

He orchestrated Egypt's democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi's ouster. He supports coup d'etat rule. He backs police state junta ruthlessness.

He supports the worst of Israeli crimes. He orchestrated ongoing sham peace talks. They're rigged to fail. They assure continued occupation harshness. They deny Palestinians fundamental rights mattering most.

He promised to close Guantanamo. He keeps it open instead. He's expanding it. He plans lots more pain and suffering ahead. He violates core rule of law principles doing so.

He favors belligerence over diplomacy. He supports militarism and perpetual wars. 

He spends unprecedented amounts on so-called national defense. He does so at time America's only enemies are ones it invents.

His agenda reflects state terror. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He decides who lives or dies. He fosters a climate of fear. He supports permanent wars and occupations.

He supplies arms to Israel and other rogue state allies. He spurns rule of law principles.

He governs extrajudicially. He pursues unchallenged global dominance. War is his strategy of choice.

He heads a domestic police state apparatus. He's waging war on freedom. He considers democratic values quaint and out-of-date."

He authorized unconstitutional global spying. He force-feeds austerity at a time growing millions of Americans face poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness, despair, and deprivation.

He represents the worst of rogue leadership. Impeaching him is a national imperative. He's heading for more war on Syria. He's doing it based on lies.

No evidence whatever links Syria to chemical weapons use. Plenty shows Western-enlisted death squads used them multiple times.

On August 29, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Mikdad: Syria submitted proof of chemical weapons used by terrorists," saying:

Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad said Washington and rogue allies have no proof Syria used chemical weapons. They're "encouraging the terrorists to use these weapons."

"We do not trust the western countries which support terrorists in Syria, and Jabhat al-Nusra on top; we have the right to defend ourselves, dignity and lands by using all means available and our people is ready for that."

Syria's UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari said attacking Syria violates core UN Charter provisions. 

He called America, Britain and France plotting inconsistent with the Security Council's mandate to preserve international peace and security.

He stressed Syria's condemnation of chemical weapons use. He wants parties using them held accountable.

Syria pursues peace, not conflict, he stressed. Initiating war serves Israeli and US interests.

"We are not alone in the arena as we have lots of friends," he said. They "understand what('s)" ongoing. "(T)he battle now is (more than about) Syria."

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said violence begets more of it. It assures endless conflicts. It "never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problems. It merely creates new and more complicated ones."

In December 2009, Obama called force at times "morally justified." He said using it defends America. He lied saying so. It assures less safety and security.

On August 28, Obama told PBS News Hour co-hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff:

"(W)e have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place." 

"And nobody disputes - or hardly anybody disputes that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in Syria against civilian populations."

"We have looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons on - or chemical weapons of that sort." 

"We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks." 

"We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."

"So we are consulting with our allies. We're consulting with the international community." 

"And you know, I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable."

Obama lied claiming Syrian opposition forces have no chemical weapons or means of delivering them. Clear evidence proves otherwise.

On August 29, Itar Tass headlined "Russia's Security Council: Syria leadership cannot be accused of chemical weapons use without proof."

According to a Security Council source:

"It is inadmissible to accuse the Syrian leadership of the use of chemical weapons until the UN investigation is completed, the Russian Security Council believes."

"It is unacceptable when without the results of the experts’ probe accusations continue to be voiced only against the Syrian leadership."

"The US, British and French politicians have been making statements about the allegedly available evidence." 

"But why should we believe the(ir) words? Where is the (independently verifiable) evidence?"

America's so-called "intelligence sources" "shamelessly lied" about Iraq. They lack credibility. Why should they be believed now?

"Why is important information (ignored) about the use of chemical weapons by armed detachments of the Syrian opposition, which terrorists and extremists from Al Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq, and the Levant affiliate (arm) themselves with?"

"Why (are) the leaders of the world's strongest states actually allies of these terrorists and murderers?"

How can they claim moral authority to wage war against a nation that hasn't attacked them? It hasn't threatened them.

War on Syria threatens "citizens of Western countries. (T)he world (will) suffer and continue to suffer as a result of such ventures." Ordinary people are harmed most.

On August 28, London's Guardian headlined "Strike against Assad regime stalled by British political rows," saying:

They may "be delayed until next week in the face of strong opposition in the UK parliament to British involvement in immediate military action."

Prime Minister Cameron said MPs "would be given a second vote to approve military action to defuse a parliamentary revolt, ahead of a Commons debate on Syria on Thursday."

According to Whitehall sources, Obama may delay strikes until Tuesday. He's leaving for this year's September 5 and 6 St. Petersburg G20 summit.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Washington won't wait for UN inspectors to report.

"We are going to make our own decisions on our own timelines about our response," she said.

Whatever UN inspectors conclude doesn't matter, she added. She claims it's "passed the point where it can be credible."

In other words, if the UN team reports what Washington wants to hear, it's gospel. Otherwise it'll be dismissed out of hand.

On August 29, the Financial Times headlined "UK clears legal hurdle for Syria strike," saying:

British forces "can legally take military action in Syria without a UN Security Council resolution after the chemical weapons attack in Damascus, according to government legal advice published on Thursday."

On August 29, a Downing Street statement headlined "Chemical weapon use by Syrian regime: UK government legal position," saying:

"The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is a serious crime of international concern."

"(T)he legal basis for military action would be humanitarian intervention; the aim is to relieve humanitarian suffering by deterring or disrupting the further use of chemical weapons."

Britain seeks a Security Council resolution. If "blocked, the UK would still be permitted under international law to take exceptional measures in order to alleviate the scale of the overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe in Syria by deterring and disrupting the further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime."

False! UN Charter provisions leave no ambiguity. They prohibit military force for humanitarian interventions. Justifying them turns core international law on its head.

Charter VI calls for peaceful conflict dispute resolutions. If unsuccessful, Chapter VII authorizes Security Council imposition of boycotts, embargoes, blockades and severance of diplomatic ties. 

It prohibits war and other military responses. So-called responsibility to protect (R2P) authority also violates core Charter provisions.

Under no circumstances are military attacks permitted except in self-defense. They may continue until the Security Council acts. 

It has final say. Claims otherwise are false. Downing Street lied. It's not the first time. It bears repeating. All wars are based on lies. What's planned against Syria's no exception.

Attacks may be delayed. They're not suspended. They're not stopped. They're coming. They assure more will follow. Obama planned war for regime change. 

He won't quit until mission accomplished. Doing so involves ravaging and destroying another country. It's part of his war on humanity. 

Waging it risks WW III. Advancing America's imperium alone matters.

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

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.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 Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour