Saturday, October 31, 2015

Israel Imprisoning Palestinian Children Uncharged

Israel Imprisoning Palestinian Children Uncharged

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness is unrestrained, young children treated as brutally as adults. On October 19, soldiers lawlessly abducted three Palestinian children from their homes pre-dawn. They’re being held uncharged for at least six months, an unprecedented move in East Jerusalem according to human rights groups.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) accountability program director Ayed Abu Eqtaish expressed outrage, saying:

“We are deeply disturbed that Israeli authorities have approved the detention of these three boys without charge or trial. Administrative detention must never be used as a substitute for criminal prosecution where there is insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.”

“We believe this is unprecedented by Israeli authorities to put children from East Jerusalem under administrative detention. It’s part and parcel of the ideology and policies of Israeli authorities to suppress the Palestinian people who are living there.”

Abducted were Fadi Hasan Abassi, Kathem Mahmound Sbaih and Mohammad Saleh Ghaith (all aged 17). They’ve undergone brutal interrogations amounting to torture - accused without formal charges lodged of stone-throwing, accusations they deny, no evidence proving them.

Automatic guilt by accusation for Palestinians suffices. The three youths are indefinitely detained. Israel can hold them interminably. if it wishes - uncharged and untried.

In 1948, a state of emergency was declared, remaining in force, authorizing arbitrary detentions of Palestinians based on secret evidence or none at all. 

East Jerusalem’s Emergency Powers law permits them. Anyone Israel calls a threat to public order and security is vulnerable, no evidence required, a classic police state practice.

According to Maan News, “at least 94 administrative detention orders (were) issued against Palestinians” since October 1, 24 in East Jerusalem - a futile attempt to curb justifiable resistance. An entire generation of youths is involved, demanding freedom, accepting nothing less.

Israel denied the three youths the right to counsel during brutal interrogations, keeping them isolated from outside contacts, including family members, customary police state policy.

Every Palestinian youth and child is suspect, subject to harassment and/or arrest any time for any reason. Police absurdly claimed the three children arrested posed an “immediate and severe threat to the national security of Israel.”

DCIP’s advocacy officer Bashar Jamal said “Israel is trying to restore security, but children are losing their freedom and are being denied liberty and their human rights. It violates Israel’s international and domestic obligations.” 

“Children are falling victim to the situation. It’s an escalation in the violation of children’s rights. Their rights are violated on a regular basis, but there has been an escalation in October.”

It’s open season on targeting them, soldiers and police involved. They’re either being injured, killed or abducted and imprisoned - uncharged, untried, on their own under horrific conditions, including denial of treatment for any wounds sustained.

Israeli Military Order 1651 permits administrative detentions of Palestinians for up to six months. Indefinite renewals may follow.

Israel flagrantly violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It prohibits depriving children of their liberty arbitrarily, longstanding Israeli practice, assuring greater resistance than already.

Jewish lives and welfare alone matter. It’s always open season on brutalizing Palestinians, especially a new generation of youths and children wanting freedom from occupation harshness.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Shaker Aamer: Free at Last

Shaker Aamer: Free at Last

by Stephen Lendman

Aamer was lawlessly held in Guantanamo for 13 hellish years, nearly 14 in US captivity - uncharged and untried. He committed no crimes.

US captors knew it all along, but kept him imprisoned anyway - torturing and abusing him, forcing him to confess to things he never did.

He’s a Saudi-born, UK national since 1996, in Afghanistan doing volunteer charity work when abducted and sold for bounty to US authorities, victimized by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, taken to Guantanamo on the same day his youngest child was born.

He hunger struck many times for justice. In retaliation, guards brutally beat and isolated him in solitary confinement. Bush administration officials cleared him for release in 2007. Obama held him captive until Friday.

Over 117,000 supporters signed a petition on his behalf. He’s now home in London, arriving Friday on a private jet aircraft. Amnesty International said “(g)iven the time involved, the lengthy spells in solitary confinement and the torture used against him, Shaker Aamer's plight has been one of the worst of all the detainees held at Guantanamo.”

The UK-based Reprieve human rights group represents him. After the Obama administration announced plans to release him on September 24, its founder attorney Clive Stafford Smith said expect slurs to start once he’s home, Washington’s way of justifying the unjustifiable.

Shaker’s US attorney/Reprieve strategic director Cori Crider said “(w)e are, of course, delighted that Shaker is on his way back to his home and his family here in the UK. It is long, long past time. Shaker now needs to see a doctor, and then get to spend time alone with his family as soon as possible.”

Reprieve explained it took “six US government agencies to agree that he posed no threat to the US or its allies and could be released” - even though it was well known since his abduction in 2001.

He arrived at Guantanamo on Valentine’s Day 2002, unaware of the horrendous ordeal to follow. His first letter home in 2003 said the following:

“My dear wife and lovely kids,

I don’t know when I am coming out but pray for me that it will be soon. I cried a lot when you told me about how the kids talk to their cars and toys as if I am talking to them on the phone. Please try to be easy on them. 

Don’t send any pictures of the kids - it will make it hard on me here in jail. Whatever happens to me be with Allah. I love you all.”

In 2005, he said “I am dying here every day, mentally and physically. We have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean.”

He’s dealing with painful arthritis and other health issues, requiring treatment denied him at Guantanamo, enduring what few can imagine.

He now faces the enormous challenge of rebuilding his shattered life - how after what he’s been through will tax all his mental and physical strength. He’ll get no help from Washington or Britain, Clive Stafford Smith saying:

“You’ve got to remember that the overwhelming majority of people who have been held for many years without trial in Guantanamo Bay by the United States received not one penny of compensation.” 

“And Shaker will never receive a single penny of compensation from the United State for everything that he has gone through.”

“Shaker’s interest is one thing and one thing only - beyond his family and his health - and that is that the world should know the truth.” 

“He does not want to prosecute people. He simply wants people to know what happened to him, the torture he went through. And he hopes that other people can avoid going through that themselves.”

He hopes to set up a Peace and Philanthropy Center - to share his experience with others. On arrival in London Friday, he issued a statement through his lawyers, expressing thanks to everyone helping to bring his Guantanamo ordeal to an end.

“My thanks go to Allah first, second to my wife, my family, to my kids and then to my lawyers who did everything they could to carry the word to the world,” he said. 

“I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers, and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.”

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Agreement to Disagree in Vienna on Syria

Agreement to Disagree in Vienna on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s intervention in Syria changed the dynamic on the ground and regionally, potentially with global implications, a major geopolitical development, the most important one in decades. 

Washington is desperate to keep its imperial agenda on track and unchallenged - why John Kerry met with 17 of his counterparts plus EU and UN envoys in Vienna on Friday, following US, Russian, Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers meeting there on Thursday, Syria so far excluded from discussing its own future.

Washington’s intentions remain unchanged - replacing Assad with a US controlled puppet. Sending special forces to northern Syria (illegally without Security Council or Damascus authorization) with likely more to follow, solely to aid terrorist elements against Assad, along with continued lawless bombing of infrastructure targets, not ISIS as claimed.

It shows Obama wants war, not peace, Washington’s usual solution to everything, a pure evil agenda for global conquest.

More Vienna talks planned for  mid-November may go nowhere, a thinly veiled scheme to convince Russia Washington turned a new leaf - aiming to stop its air campaign, devastating ISIS and other takfiri terrorists, wrecking US hegemonic plans, Moscow determined to defeat the scourge of terrorism, not about to be pressured by America to back off.

Putin is forthright and straightforward, no ambiguity in his comments. Defeating terrorism in Syria and the region is prioritized - then a hoped for political solution once this goal is accomplished, Syrians alone deciding who’ll lead them, not foreign powers, polar opposite US plans.

Hegemons wants things exclusively their way, installing puppets running vassal states they control. Washington and Russia are at loggerheads.

Putin believes sovereign independence is inviolable. Neocon infested Washington rejects it everywhere, waging endless wars of aggression against it, wanting unchallenged US global dominance - two opposing ideologies, a classic good v. pure evil struggle. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.

Sergey Lavrov clearly stated Russia’s position, saying “(w)e have a common enemy, and we must not let this enemy gain power in Syria nor in any other state.”

“If a ceasefire is declared, no terrorist organizations should be subjected to it” - combating them to continue until they’re neutralized and destroyed.

Russia remains fully committed to fighting their scourge in full accord with international law principles, polar opposite how America operates, ignoring them altogether, risking global war in the process.

Moscow rejects US demands for Assad to go, Lavrov clearly saying “(t)he Syrian people (alone) should define the future of their country, including Assad’s fate.”

He’s overwhelmingly popular. Syrians want no one else leading them. Expect Washington to keep the Syrian pot boiling no matter what comes out of Vienna.

The statement issued following Friday’s meeting was largely meaningless rhetoric - sounding very much like earlier high-minded Geneva communiques accomplishing nothing.

A Final Comment

In one month of bombing ISIS and other terrorists in Syria, Russia flew around 1,400 sorties, destroying over 1,600 targeted sites - including 249 command posts, 51 training camps, 131 ammunition and fuel depots, and 786 field bases, according to General Staff Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov.

Air strikes killed 28 “most odious” terrorist leaders, he added. Syrian ground forces liberated over 50 towns and villages, comprising about 350 square km.

ISIS losses are massive, their forces in disarray, “complete victory” not yet achieved. Much work remains. Terrorists are clearly on the defensive - pummelled by Russian air power and Syrian ground forces.

Moscow’s overtures to Washington to cooperate jointly against ISIS and other takfiris were spurned. America continues supporting them. Defeating them is all the more urgent.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Israel Tear Gases 8-Month-Old Palestinian Infant to Death

Israel Tear Gases 8-Month-Old Palestinian Infant to Death

by Stephen Lendman

Daily Israeli atrocities continue, fully supported by Washington, other Western nations, rogue regional ones and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - complicit with high crimes against peace.

Palestinians are being murdered daily - the latest victim an 8-month-old baby boy. The PA health ministry said Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta died from toxic tear gas inhalation  - another victim of Israeli state terror.

Since October 1, Israeli forces murdered 71 Palestinians in cold blood, including women (one pregnant), over a dozen children and two infants.

Three died on Friday alone:

  • the 8-month-old infant;

  • East Jerusalem youth Ahmad Hamada Qneibi, shot multiple times at point blank range, left to bleed to death, medics prevented from aiding him; and

  • Qabatia youth Qasse Saba’na, another phony attempted stabbing incident claimed.

Stop the Wall activist Jamal Juma said Israel’s ethnic cleansing scheme and plan to judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem) is being “hit strongly in the heart by the Palestinian youth uprising.”

“It changed the whole equation. The whole Israeli calculation toward what is happening in the West Bank (and East Jerusalem) has been hit in the heart.”

Israel never learns from history, Juma explained. “In all the Intifadas…the thing that makes (them) bigger and bigger…is Israeli violence.”

“This is not going to stop the Palestinians. The more there’s crime, the more the Palestinians will go out to the streets and their resistance will be increasing.”

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahhar urged all Palestinians to unite against Israeli state terror. Ongoing resistance restores the stature of the Palestinian cause, he said.

“The Al-Quds intifada has ended all the occupation's attempts to divide the Aqsa Mosque temporally and spatially,” he added.

Israel’s Channel 10 said Israeli Tel Aviv-Ariel line bus drivers prohibit Palestinians from boarding. Passengers without Israeli IDs are diverted elsewhere.

Segregation thrives in Israel. Even in US Jim Crow south, African Americans travelled on the same buses as whites, consigned to back row seats.

One Israeli driver was heard telling a Palestinian: “I’m not negotiating with you. Go down” - later saying “(t)here’s no such thing as a good Arab. Even one who looks so nice, so quiet, he isn’t. There’s no such thing.”

Ariel settlement mayor Eliyahu Shaviro agreed with keeping Palestinians off buses with Jews, saying:

“Today we're in a reality that anyone can pick up a knife and stab. Would you, or anyone else who watches us, would any father or mother who have a boy or a girl and on a certain bus there are 90 percent Palestinians, would he send his kid on that bus?”

Last May, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon suspended plans to have Jews and Palestinians travel on different West Bank buses after high-level criticism.

President Reuven Rivlin called the proposal “unthinkable.” Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said separation presented legal challenges. Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog called “separating Palestinians and Jews on public buses a warrantless humiliation, (fanning the flames) of hatred toward Israel around the world.”

All Netanyahu ministers and Jewish Knesset members support ongoing Israeli state terror, collectively punishing an entire population - bus segregation minor compared to mass murder and other atrocities.

Palestinian resistance is heroic, challenging a ruthless occupier, a pure evil force.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Friday, October 30, 2015

Russia to Critics: Put Up or Shut Up

Russia to Critics: Put Up or Shut Up

by Stephen Lendman

Western officials and go-along media scoundrels make baseless accusations about Russia - from nonexistent Ukraine aggression to bombing hospitals and residential areas in Syria, killing civilians.

Corroborating evidence is absent, except for notable fabricated attempts, including videos unrelated to incidents cited, manufactured deception, no end to the lengths Washington will go to proliferate Big Lies, propaganda at its worst, repeated by media scoundrels as gospel, knowing they’re spreading false misinformation.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry summoned military attaches from America, various NATO countries and Saudi Arabia to explain their allegations.

They “were asked either to give evidences on their statements or refute what has been stated,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, calling their allegations “outrageous,” vicious propaganda war.

“This move comes to put more pressure on Russia by Western media and officials of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carton, NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg and the UK’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon,” he added.

On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov blasted Western propaganda, repeated by subservient media scoundrels, taking specific aim at Reuters, saying:

“For a whole week, we have seen the…news agency pushing someone's conclusion that 80% of the Russian airstrikes were allegedly not ‘ISIL-targeted.’ This misinforming report was commented on promptly, the day it emerged.”

US embassy in Moscow spokesman Will Stevens repeated the same Big Lie - Washington’s only way to counter Russia’s effective air campaign against ISIS, destroying its weapons, munitions, facilities, underground bunkers and command and control centers, routing his forces, throwing them into disarray, letting Syria’s army regain lost territory.

Putin prioritizes defeating them, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow. “After that, we could talk in concrete detail about the political settlement.”

Throughout years of conflict, Moscow stressed resolving it diplomatically, bringing opposing sides together for talks, ending in failure each time because Washington obstructed its efforts.

Obama’s Syrian agenda is in disarray. For the first time, it’s letting Iran participate in talks - in Vienna, aimed at finding “common space” for resolving the ongoing conflict.

Representatives from over a dozen countries are participating - including Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, America, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE - as well as EU and UN envoys.

Given Washington’s rage for regime change in all independent countries, it’s unclear what’ll be accomplished. Most important is its odious deal-making history - systematically breaching terms agreed on.

Keep this in mind as talks continue and whatever follows. Russia knows America can’t be trusted. It aims to regain the initiative in Syria it lost. Moscow’s campaign against ISIS prevents it - no matter what comes out of Vienna.

Syria wasn’t invited to participate. Its government has final say on whatever discussions yield. Riyadh objected to Iran’s involvement. Iranian armed forces head General Hassan Firouzabadi said “(t)he Saudi regime has committed war crimes, and its presence in the multilateral Vienna talks on Syria is dubious and illegitimate.”

Former UNESCO official Somar Wilayadasa believes Washington “recognizes its massive failures in the Middle East, and it has no choice but to include Iran in the negotiations.”

“The US has no willing partners to engage in Syria - or even in the Middle East for that matter. (It) should take its hands off Syrian operations. (It’s) an unreliable and untrustworthy partner who would undermine Russia's genuine interest to find a resolution in Syria.”

Russia, China, Iran and other countries recognize Assad as Syria’s legitimate leader. They’re committed to eliminate the scourge of terrorism. 

They won’t let Washington sabotage their aim or decide who’ll govern Syria. That’s for its citizens alone to decide. Putin stresses it.

Whatever comes out of Vienna, Russian airstrikes will continue. Restoring peace and stability to war-torn Syria depends on defeating terrorism and stopping Washington and rogue allies from supporting it.

It’ll take more than two days of talks to resolve the unresolvable so far. Key is Russia’s air campaign - a direct challenge to Washington’s hegemonic agenda.

Its regional grip is slipping, in disarray. Putin has the high moral ground and determination to hold it. Washington won’t stop his righteous mission to defeat the scourge of terrorism.

A Final Comment

An unnamed Western source in Vienna said Washington and its allies pressed Russia to cease its air campaign, a futile effort to undermine Putin’s righteous mission. 

The source indicated more talks may follow next week on November 3 and 4 with Syrian and opposition representatives joining them - once John Kerry completes a Central Asian trip scheduled to begin later on Friday.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

US Sending Special Forces to Aid ISIS in Syria

US Sending Special Forces to Aid ISIS in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Washington is desperate to find ways of countering Russia’s effective Middle East agenda - combining formidable military might against terrorism with trustworthy diplomacy, proving Moscow is a valued partner, polar opposite Washington, a rogue bully.

Obama’s pledge about no “American combat troops fighting on foreign soil” proved another of his many Big Lies. Thousands of US combat troops already operate in Iraq, along with Special Forces and CIA operatives.

On October 27, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced greater numbers being sent to join them for “direct action on the ground,” he said. “We won’t hold back” - what’s already ongoing, now heading for Syria. US Special Forces will be deployed to northern areas - illegally without Damascus or Security Council authorization.

Unannounced greater numbers may join them. Their mission: aiding ISIS and other takfiri terrorists, putting them in harm’s way. 

What if some are killed by Russian air strikes? How many more US forces are in Syria covertly? Maybe large unannounced numbers, likely operating in unmarked uniforms to conceal their identity.

Their presence won’t change Putin’s mission - over 1,600 terrorist targets already struck with devastating effectiveness, many more to come. 

Washington seeks new provocations. Thousands more NATO troops are being deployed near Russia’s borders. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said these development(s) (aren’t new) as we've been talking about how undesirable and dangerous this move is for a long time” - undermining regional and global security, threatening world peace.

Upping the anti in Iraq and Syria raises great cause for concern. It suggests US talks in Vienna to resolve Syria’s conflict aren’t serious. Washington deplores peace and stability, waging endless wars of aggression for unchallenged dominance.

Putin’s intervention changed things. He’s not about to lose the initiative he gained. Expect US efforts to aid ISIS to fail the way its regional agenda is faltering, a major turn of events for the better. 

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Genocide in Palestine

Genocide in Palestine

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding Israeli policy calls for inflicting maximum pain and suffering on the entire Palestinian population - collective punishment, making conditions unbearable, a shocking indictment of a vicious Arab-hating state, waging war against defenseless people.

Since October 1, deaths and injuries increased daily. According to the PA Health Ministry, the toll through Thursday includes:

  • 68 Palestinians murdered in cold blood, including 13 children;

  • 921 injured from live fire, another 855 from rubber or plastic coated steel bullets at times lethal;

  • 208 suffering fractures and other injuries from assaults and beatings;

  • 14 burned from tear gas and concussion grenades; and

  • well over 5,000 harmed by toxic tear gas inhalation.

On Thursday, Israeli forces stormed Palestine’s Al-Makassed Hospital for the third time this week - this time using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets inside the premises, turning a medical facility into a war zone.

Dozens of patients and medical staff were injured. Witnesses said soldiers fired “indiscriminately” inside the hospital compound. Director Rafis al-Hussieni said undercover Israeli forces rampaged throughout the facility - insulting patients and staff before demanding medical records.

He refused, saying “(i)t is not our job to give any information about anyone who comes to hospital or to take any personal information. Our job is only to help them and provide them with medical treatment.”

Many times Palestinians are treated for injuries without collecting information on them or creating files. 

Al-Husseini expressed outrage, adding “(t)he hospital has become desecrated by Israeli troops. Israeli violations against the Palestinian hospital are against the law, and…we cannot find anyone to protect the hospital, the patients, and the staff.”

On Friday, an Israeli jeep struck a Palestinian youth. Soldiers were prevented from reaching him. Journalists attempting to film areas violence were assaulted. Israel wants its high crimes concealed.

It continues blaming Palestinians unjustly. More draconian measures are being imposed, certain to increase violence, not curb it, why action is being taken.

Palestinian males aged 15 - 25 are being targeted, their movements more greatly restricted, forced to endure more intrusive security checks - measures designed to intimidate and terrorize, escalate resistance so Israeli forces can strike back harder. 

Israel claims it’s instituting tougher measures because of many stabbing attacks. Since October 1, eight Israelis died, only two from stabbings. Sweeping accusations of knife wielding Palestinians are willful Big Lies, made to justify daily killings and other abuses.

More ruthless draconian measures imposed on Palestinians is part of longstanding Israeli apartheid policies, separating Jews from Arabs, forced segregation, violently enforced, including with shoot-to-kill orders.

Israeli media reported Netanyahu may establish a special court for security issues, perhaps a military one - handling arbitrary revocations of citizenship, illegal administrative detentions, punitive home demolitions, and anything Israeli officials call “terrorism.”

His scheme, if implemented, is about persecuting Palestinians more viciously than already - longstanding police state practice - brutalizing people for political reasons, fabricating charges, wrongfully imprisoning targeted individuals.

On Friday, Maan News reported Israel’s Jerusalem District Court indicted 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra with attempted murder for an alleged stabbing incident.

He was seriously injured at the scene of the alleged crime, kicked and beaten, run over by a car, no charges filed against his assailants.

A video showing him lying injured and bloody on the ground went viral online. An Israeli is heard shouting: “Die, son of a whore! Die!” Another Israeli is heard telling a soldier to shoot Ahmad. 

It’s unclear what, if anything, he did. At a hearing, lawyers representing him, Tareq Barghout and Lea Tsemel, said he had a knife but stabbed no one. When arrested, he told investigators he “didn’t stab anyone because I don’t like blood.”

While hospitalized, Barghout said he’s been treated badly. Israeli security guarding him threatened to kill him. They constantly yell at him.

Treatment of Palestinians is notoriously harsh, guilt by accusation assured. Military courts afford no justice. Ahmad could be imprisoned for years, once tried and convicted when he turns 14 in January.

He’ll be held at a closed facility until prosecuted. The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines childhood as anyone under age 18.

So do UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. Israel willfully breaches all international laws, treating children like adults, brutally and inhumanely, including imprisoning them unjustly.

Israeli initiated violence continues raging throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Soldiers stormed the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Residents were threatened over a loud speaker, one soldier yelling in Arabic: “We will gas you all until you die.”

Customer outrage got Walmart to pull its Israeli soldier kids costume and Sheik Fagin Nose, being sold for Halloween. 

Author Max Blumenthal tweeted “Walmart is promoting occupation and the killing of innocent children this Halloween” - along with a photo of a Palestinian child receiving emergency medical care.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (AAADC) blasted Walmart, calling the costumes “offensive and racist,” saying “(s)uch…symbol(s) of fear and violence…should not be used for entertainment purposes.”

Anything for a buck in America - no matter how outrageous.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Drug Industry Banditry

Drug Industry Banditry

by Stephen Lendman

US drug and biotech companies are licensed to steal, bottom line priorities their sole interest, public welfare be damned. 

Big Pharma is hated for good reason. Its member companies charge the way MBA students are taught - according to what the market will bear. Grab all you can - with full government support, profits over people. It’s the American way.

Illicit drug traffickers look good by comparison. Big Pharma rips off every dollar possible. Their practices are unrestrained unless or until consumers vote with their pocket books, choose alternate products whenever possible or none when they’re not needed, many times the case.

Pill-popping is a national addiction. Got an ache, pain or emotional distress? Get a prescription. Use freely. Consumers know little or nothing about potantial harmful drug side effects, especially when taken longterm. Whenever possible avoid them. Use only as prescribed as needed, when alternate remedies won’t work.

The American Medical Association and likeminded groups are hugely anti-consumer. They deplore natural/alternative choices - challenging their monopoly grip on US medical practice. The corporate run FDA operates the same way. 

In 1987, US District Court Judge Susan Getzendanner ruled against the AMA and 10 co-defendants for participating in a conspiracy against chiropractors, finding them guilty of violating federal anti-trust laws.

Western medicine is hooked on drugs - heavily influenced by Big Pharma funding. The AMA and other medical associations depend on it. Medical education features drug use. 

Some products advertised in medical journals, consumer publications and television are potentially extremely harmful to health. Solve one problem. Create a greater one. Yet these drugs are frequently prescribed - why patients always need to use their own best judgment. 

Sometimes the best treatment is none at all. Good nutritional practices, avoiding GMOs and junk foods, along with daily exercise comprise a marvelous prescription for good health.

When illness strikes, drugs often are essential. Then there’s no choice. Still, good judgment  always applies. Doctors prioritizing patients’ health, with their best interest in mind, are crucially important.

In my senior years, I’m grateful for wonderful medical providers I’d be lost without - competent, caring and thorough professionals, prescribing only what’s needed in minimum doses for effectiveness, monitoring for results and potential problems, adjusting treatments accordingly.

Seniors are most vulnerable to health problems. Aging takes its toll. Medicare is extremely important, worker/employer funded insurance, enacted in July 1965 to provide retirees, the disabled, and end-stage renal disease patients with free healthcare.

Things didn’t work out this way. Costs are rising, benefits declining. My so-called “free” healthcare is enormously expensive - out-of-pocket expenses rising annually, increasingly unaffordable for millions of retirees.

Medicare Part D drug coverage is a kafkaesque scheme scamming seniors - passed by Congress in the middle of the night after members initially rejected it. Heavy Big Pharma and AARP lobby pressure along with bribes made the difference, costing consumers billions of dollars annually. 

Enactment showed the industry’s enormous clout, empowering drug companies to charge top dollar because Washington won’t negotiate lower prices the way many other societies operate.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right. In 1996, addressing the Medical Committee for Human Rights convention, Martin Luther King said “(o)f all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” Universal coverage alone works equitably for everyone. 

Americans are forced to pay more than double per capita for healthcare, compared to consumers in other developed countries, a national disgrace because Washington is beholden to Big Pharma, insurers and large hospital chains. 

Their interests alone matter, public welfare be damned, why Ralph Nader calls Obamacare mandated healthcare “a pay or die system.”

The World Health Organization ranks America 37th in delivering healthcare for its people - behind EU countries, Japan, Singapore, Iceland, several Middle East nations, Canada and Costa Rica, among many others - a shocking indictment of a failed system in the world’s richest country, proper healthcare unaffordable for growing millions, low income households harmed most.

Contrast Cuba’s system to America’s. Article 50 of its Constitution mandates universal coverage for all its citizens, guaranteed by the state. Everything related to healthcare is free, a model program, caring for sick and injured people in need.

Venezuela operates the same way, what all just societies should do. Healthcare isn’t a commodity. It’s a fundamental human right. The same holds for education. Not in America, a nation run on the ability to pay, affordability be damned.

Public Citizen exposed the scam of Big Pharma R & D costs. The industry claims it needs high prices to fund research for new drugs. Actual costs are a small fraction of hyped higher figures.

Taxpayer funded research covers most costs for many leading drugs. The industry is America’s most profitable - as a percent of sales, around threefold higher than other businesses.

Far more is spent on advertising and marketing than R & D. Price gouging is scandalous. In 2014, spending for medications in America was an astonishing $374 billion.

Turing Pharmaceuticals is Exhibit A - overnight increasing the price of its Daraprim malaria/AIDS associated opportunistic infection medication from $12.50 to $750 per pill, a 5,000% hike.

Other industry bandits operate the same way. Rodelis Therapeutics raised the cost of its Cycloserine med from $15 to $360 a pill. Mass outrage forced it to rescind the hike, a rare exception proving the rule. A topical med I need is about 500% more expensive than a few years ago. Thankfully, my dermatologist found a much less expensive substitute.

Drug bandits do what they please, fully supported by Washington, doing nothing to curb their abuses. 

Big Pharma leads all other industries in price gouging. Grand theft is prioritized. Unaffordability for growing millions means needless pain and suffering - for some, early death.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Boycott Israel: Resistance Works

Boycott Israel: Resistance Works

by Stephen Lendman

BDS activism has had remarkable successes since its July 2005 founding - coincidentally around the same time I began writing in retirement at age 70. 

I’m a proud cultural BDS member. I urge everyone to get involved for justice. Its global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign is the most effective form of civil resistance against longstanding Israeli occupation harshness, colonialism, and apartheid - continuing without letup until Palestinian liberation is finally achieved.

Dramatically declining Israeli military exports represent one of many BDS success stories - down 53% from their 2012 level (from $7.5 to $5.5 billion in 2014 - and an estimated $4 - 4.5 billion in 2015).

Last week, heads of Israel’s four leading defense companies requested an urgent meeting with Netanyahu to discuss their “significant crisis.”

“It has been several years since the IDF and the Ministry of Defense had a multiyear plan,” they said. “Meanwhile, there have been major changes in the defense sector smaller budgets, more competition, less desire for Israeli-made products, and the growing demands to transfer know-how and work abroad.”

“The defense industry in Israel is in the midst of a major crisis,” they stressed. Exports are plunging. Budget priorities are hurting them, they added.

“The current budget and recent events will not enable the Ministry of Defense and the IDF to be the wind in our sails…Countries are buying fewer weapons.” Increasingly, Israel’s are less desirable. Their purchase supports apartheid.

BDS activism campaigns hard against military trade with Israel. Growing numbers of foreign political parties and trade unions called for ending military ties with a nation persecuting Arabs for not being Jews.

According to BDS National Committee general coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa, “Israeli military companies market their products on the basis of their successful use in Israel’s massacres of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, yet it now seems that growing public awareness of and opposition to Israel’s war crimes are starting to hit Israel’s military exports.”

“Governments must meet their legal obligation not to provide aid or assistance and, on the contrary, to act to put an end to Israel’s violations of international law by implementing a military embargo on Israel as was done against apartheid South Africa.”

“Israel is currently operating a shoot to kill policy and brutally repressing Palestinian protests against its regime of occupation and apartheid.” 

“Israel’s ability to oppress Palestinians depends on the willingness of governments and companies around the world to cooperate with Israel’s military, weapons industry and military research institutions.”

Six Nobel laureates urged support for a military embargo, affecting exports and imports. US policy is disturbingly polar opposite, providing Israel with billions of dollars annually and much more, intending to increase military aid by hundreds of millions of dollars more.

Two nations support each other’s killing machines, in lockstep against peace, stability, equity and justice - run by fascist lunatics, waging war on humanity, profiting from racist hate and human misery, monsters vital to stop.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan

Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan

by Stephen Lendman

Ryan awakened Thursday morning one step away from succeeding John Boehner as House speaker - ousted by a palace coup. He wasn’t conservative enough for hardline Republicans.

As expected, House members elected Ryan as his successor, receiving 236 votes, a comfortable margin of victory - winning in the Republican dominated body after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew his candidacy and Ryan bested Rep. Daniel Webster (unrelated to the 19th century statesman/politician by the same name) decisively - by a 200 - 43 margin among Republican members alone.

The position is second in line to the presidency if its incumbent dies, is incapacitated, resigns or gets removed by impeachment.

Ryan’s ascendency lurches Washington further to the right. His neocon credentials are scary. He wants more spending for wars and militarism, less for social programs. More on the latter below.

He rants about ‘keeping America strong,” supports its heavy intervention hand anywhere it wishes, serving US interests at the expense of all others.

In 2012, he was Mitt Romney’s running mate. His “Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal” at the time prioritized gutting vital social programs millions of Americans rely on. 

He wants Medicare and Social Security privatized en route to ending them altogether - Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs gutted.

He supports Americans having anything they want as long as they pay for it, mindless of unaffordability issues for half of US households, living in poverty or bordering it.

Social Security and Medicare are bedrock social programs - funded by worker/employer payroll tax deductions, federal insurance programs, not entitlements, contractually obligating Washington to pay benefits to eligible recipients.

Ryan and likeminded Republican and Democrat neocons infesting Congress want these vital programs ended - to assure unrestricted military spending as well as sustained handouts to Wall Street and other corporate favorites.

In 2011, he proposed eliminating Medicare altogether. It passed the House but not the Senate. He wants America’s wealth handed exclusively to monied interests already with too much - ordinary people left on their own out of luck, accelerating the thirdworldization process, a deplorable race to the bottom.

His ideal society is no fit place to live in, his “Path to Prosperity” returning America to 19th century harshness if implemented.

He believes everything government does, business does better, so let it operate unrestrained by regulatory controls. He represents America’s 1% at the expense of its great majority.

He’s one of them, his estimated net worth at between $4.5 and $7.4 million. He supports socialism for the rich, law of the jungle for ordinary folks.

As House speaker, he has enormous power, especially with strong neocon support. Expect him to take full advantage at the expense of millions of disadvantaged households deserving better, no matter who succeeds Obama in 2017.

America is a fascist police state, a belligerent nation waging endless wars of aggression. Every Republican and Democrat presidential aspirant supports an ideologically over-the-top agenda - risking global war for power and profit. Don’t let their rhetoric on the stump fool you.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

NYT Perpetuates the Myth about Obama Killing Osama

NYT Perpetuates the Myth about Obama Killing Osama

by Stephen Lendman

Its latest Big Lie headlined “How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden” - failing to explain how killing a dead man is impossible. Resurrection wasn’t one of his skills, or anyone else’s.

It claimed “four administration lawyers developed rationales intend(ing) to overcome any legal obstacles” to killing, not capturing, him. 

The New York Times ignored its own July 11, 2002 account, headlined “The Death of bin Ladenism,” saying:

“Osama bin Laden is dead. The news first came from sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan almost six months ago: the fugitive died in December (2001 of natural causes) and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.” 

“Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, echoed the information. The remnants of Osama's gang, however, have mostly stayed silent, either to keep Osama's ghost alive or because they have no means of communication.”

Prophetically, The Times said “bin Laden’s ghost may linger on - perhaps because Washington and Islamabad will find it useful…But the truth is that Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Ignoring its own earlier reporting is longstanding Times practice. Serving imperial interests take precedence. Its May 1, 2011 report contradicted its July 2002 one, headlining “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says.”

An accurate headline would have debunked his phony claim. No one dies twice. Dead men don’t return for a second time around.

Instead of truth and full disclosure, The Times reported the myth about bin Ladin “killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan…” 

Its source: Obama, a notorious serial liar, Times earlier reporting on bin Laden’s death proving his Big Lie.

Instead, it called bin Laden’s “demise…a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.” 

It perpetuated a second myth: that ill and dying bin Laden from a cave in Afghanistan, or Pakistan hospital where he was being treated, somehow managed to outwit the entire US intelligence establishment on that fateful day - ignoring what really happened, history’s greatest ever false flag, the mother of all Big Lies concealing it.

David Ray Griffin’s book, titled “Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive” is the seminal work about him, presenting “objective evidence and testimonies.” 

It explained CIA monitored messages between him and his associates abruptly ceased after December 13, 2001. On December 26, 2001, a leading Pakistani newspaper reported his death, citing a prominent Taliban official attending his funeral - witnessing his dead body before it was laid to rest.

He was terminally ill with kidney disease and other ailments. On September 10, 2001 (one day before 9/11), CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported his admittance to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital. He had nothing to do with 9/11.

In a late September 2001 interview with Pakistan’s Ummat newspaper, he categorically denied involvement in what happened on that fateful day. Fabricated claims otherwise persist - Big Lies suppressing hard truths.

Evidence Griffin presented showed “people in a position to know” said bin Laden died in December 2001 of natural causes - including then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistani ISI intelligence, then US-installed Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and former FBI assistant counterterrorism head Dale Watson.

Griffin explained claims about “bin Laden’s continued existence (weren’t) backed up by evidence.” Perpetuating the myth about him remaining alive until US special forces allegedly killed him in May 2011 remains one of the many Big Lies of our time - The Times featuring it in its October 28 article, ignoring its own earlier confirmed report about his death.

It repeated a story gotten from unnamed US sources, claiming administration lawyers “worked in intense secrecy,” even keeping then Attorney General Eric Holder out of the loop.

Saying “(t)hey did their own research, wrote memos on highly secure laptops and traded drafts hand-delivered by (so-called) trusted couriers.” An unnamed US officials claimed “clear and ample authority for the use of lethal force under US and international law.”

No such authority exists to assassinate anyone extrajudicially for any reason. Doing so is murder. Bin Laden’s ghost was kept alive to pursue America’s war on terror. 

So-called Enemy Number One was used to stoke fear to justify the unjustifiable - naked aggression against one country after another, continuing today, nearly 14 years after bin Laden’s real death. Obama did not kill him!!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals

Israeli Forces Invade Palestinian Hospitals

by Stephen Lendman

Israel’s war on Palestine is a clear example of extrajudicial brutality, trampling on fundamental human rights, attacking defenseless people unaccountably, getting away with mass murder and other atrocities. 

Under international law, hospitals are safe zones, protected spaces, off limits for military and police attacks and invasions. 

The 19th century Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick (incorporated into the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols) mandates caring for them along with medical personnel and chaplains, without any distinction as to nationality.

Israel systematically breaches all international laws with impunity, operating like America, observing its own rules alone, no matter how lawless.

Hospitals are fair game for assaults and invasions. One or more US warplanes bombing the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Kunduz, Afghanistan medical facility weeks earlier, turning much of it to rubble, killing and injuring medical staff and patients is Exhibit A.

Heavily armed Israeli soldiers and undercover agents storm Palestinian hospitals often - endangering staff, terrorizing and arresting patients, seizing records for names of others to abduct.

Human rights workers denounce the practice. So does Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Jawad Awwad, explaining “(i)nternational law prohibits attacking hospitals and abducting patients. It also calls for enabling medical crews to act freely and safely, to perform their humanitarian mission.”

Jerusalem’s Al-Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital is a frequent target, the latest incursion coming on Wednesday after a Tuesday assault. 

Each time, heavily armed soldiers surrounded the hospital, blocking anyone from entering or exiting, then storming the facility - where they don’t belong for any reason.

Hospital head Dr. Rafiq al-Husseini said staff were ordered to hand over patients’ records, including reasons for admittance. Israel wants information on inpatients and other released. Frequent arrests follow, including abducting the sick and wounded from hospital beds, a gross international law violation.

Husseini said “(w)e have no legal responsibility to inform the occupation army and the police about anything we do in this charitable hospital. Our medical teams are here to help the patients, the wounded, and any person who needs our services.”

"The Israeli military has invaded our hospital two days in a row. Yesterday they even interrogated one of our doctors at a police station in Jabal al-Mokabber in Jerusalem. Today they invaded the hospital again and confiscated a computer that runs our surveillance system." 

The facility is a frequent Israeli military target, Husseini explained. Repeated violations constitute a grave breach of international law, he stressed. His call for international community help won’t be answered.

He expects continued incursions, along with threats and intimidation of medical staff and patients. Names of emergency care unit doctors and nurses were collected. Expect grueling interrogations to follow.

An earlier October incident involved Israeli undercover agents invading the Nablus area Specialized Arab Hospital. Medical director Samir al-Khayyat said they were disguised as Palestinians accompanying a patient.

They kidnapped Karam al-Masri from his bed at gunpoint. They disabled most, but not all security cameras. Video footage of their assault was posted online, showing about a dozen agents intruding through various hospital areas, some holding handguns.

Masri was being treated for workplace related injuries. Israel issued a gag order, concealing information about him, preventing any leaking out from being revealed.

Atrocities committed by its security forces continue daily. Palestinian deaths, injuries and arrests keep mounting. Unaccountable brutality is longstanding Israeli practice.

On Wednesday alone, over 70 Palestinians were kidnapped, including university students and children. Since October 1, eight Israelis died so far - only two from stabbing attacks, destroying the myth about knife-wielding Arab assailants, the same phony excuse Israeli authorities give every time as justification for murdering at least 65 Palestinians in cold blood over the past four weeks, more than two daily on average.

Occasional video evidence destroys their claims, revealing willful security force assassinations of unarmed youths, children and women.

The struggle for Palestinian liberation continues, courageous youths in the vanguard, risking death for freedom.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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


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