Monday, October 31, 2016

Protecting Aleppo Civilians Requires Eliminating Terrorists, Says Assad

Protecting Aleppo Civilians Requires Eliminating Terrorists, Says Assad

by Stephen Lendman

“That’s our mission, according to the constitution, according to the law, that we have to protect the people, that we have to get rid of those terrorists from Aleppo,” Assad stressed. 

“This is where we can protect the civilians. How can we protect them while they are under control of the terrorists?…We need to attack the terrorists, that’s self-evident.”

On October 31, Syria’s General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said (US-supported) terrorists in Aleppo are exploiting Russia’s humanitarian ceasefire to escalate attacks on civilians in government-controlled parts of the city.

In the last three days alone, 84 noncombatants were killed, hundreds of others injured, mostly women and children.

Fars News cited Syrian army sources, saying thousands of terrorists launched multiple rounds of attacks, “codenamed the Great Epic Operation,” attempting “to break the army’s siege…but failed to do so.”

Russia continues insisting Washington and its allies separate nonexistent “moderates” from terrorist fighters. Why defies explanation.

All anti-government forces are US-backed death squads, massacring civilians, using chemical and other banned weapons.

On Monday, Sergey Lavrov said “(i)f earlier we said that it seemed that the US and its allies were unable or did not want to separate the moderate (opposition) from Jabhat al-Nusra, then now we should say…they do not really want to do this.”

That makes groups allied with al-Nusra “a legal target in accordance with those decisions of the UN Security Council.”

So far, Putin hasn’t ordered resumption of Russian aerial operation against US-supported terrorists in eastern Aleppo. 

How much longer will he wait before acting? How many more Syrians will die in the interim? The only way to defeat terrorism is by smashing it - in eastern Aleppo, elsewhere in Syria, throughout the region and beyond.

Hopefully reality is beginning to hit home in Moscow. Syria’s liberating struggle advances when Russia is fully engaged. Otherwise, Washington’s imperial interests are served.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Israeli Minister Urges Greater West Bank Land Theft


Israeli Minister Urges Greater West Bank Land Theft

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is run by a lunatic fringe combination of fascist hardliners, Zionist zealots and religious extremists. 

Education Minister Naftali Bennett is an over-the-top ultra-right-wing ideologue, urging unlimited settlement expansions on stolen Palestinian land, an ethnic cleansing policy for exclusive Jewish development.

He believes Jews have exclusive sovereignty over all parts of Judea and Samaria. He supports racist hatred, state terror, ethnic cleansing and slow-motion genocide.

On Sunday, he threatened Security Council members, saying “(t)here is a discussion that in the coming months the UN Security Council will force a resolution on Israel.”

“If that happens, we need to have an appropriate Zionist response, immediate sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, including Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, Ariel, Ofra and Beit El.”

“It is time to extend out sovereignty in the land of Israel…the entire story of settling and Zionism is a story of a great vision and the determination to see that vision through.”

In September, Israeli-installed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he intends urging SC members to declare Israeli settlements illegal - knowing Washington will veto any resolution proposed.

In 2011, it vetoed a Palestinian backed draft memo, denouncing Israel’s settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace.

Last month, 88 US senators urged Obama to veto any similar Security Council resolution proposed. Extremist settlers and Knesset hardliners demand legislation authorizing annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim, Israel’s third largest settlement, home to over 37,000 residents.

Israel settlement project flagrantly violates international law. Over 600,000 settlers occupy stolen Palestinian land.

Fourth Geneva prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the territory it occupies, as well as displacing people from their land to permit it. 

Israel wants historic Palestine exclusively for Jews, Palestinians denied their fundamental rights - terrorized for decades with no international support.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Comey Accused of Interfering in US Election

Comey Accused of Interfering in US Presidential Election

by Stephen Lendman

Had Comey recommended Hillary be held criminally responsible for mishandling classified State Department documents last July, along with perjury for lying to the FBI and Congress, a firestorm of criticism wouldn’t have followed his Friday announcement.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) accused him of “tarring Secretary Clinton with thin innuendo,” saying his action “appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another” - claiming he “may have broken the law,” citing the 1939 Hatch Act (An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities).

It prohibits federal executive branch employees from engaging in certain forms of political activity - exempting the president, vice president and designated high-level administration officials. Proof of intent is required to hold someone culpable under the law.

According to the Wall Street Journal, within the FBI, there was “sharp internal disagreement over matters related to the Clintons, and how to handle those matters fairly and carefully in the middle of a national election campaign.”

In a prominently featured NYT op-ed, Law Professor Richard Painter said “(w)e cannot allow FBI or Justice Department officials to unnecessarily publicize pending investigations concerning candidates of either party while an election is underway. That is an abuse of power.”

Not according to former federal prosecutor Daniel Richman, saying “Comey’s critics cannot show his letter violated the Hatch Act unless they can prove that the FBI director was intending to influence the election rather than inform Congress, which was (his) stated aim.”

A Sunday released ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated about a third of likely voters are less likely to support Hillary following Comey’s October surprise.

The Washington Post said the Justice Department’s public integrity unit blocked the FBI from investigating the Clinton Foundation, claiming inadequate “evidence to move forward.”

The department is run by longtime Bill and Hillary ally, Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Last June, she met privately with the former president at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport while Hillary was under FBI investigation - a clear conflict of interest despite her disingenuously claiming “no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body” took place.

In a Washington Post op-ed, former attorney general Eric Holder expressed concern about Comey’s “vague letter to Congress about emails potentially connected to a matter of public, and political, interest” - claiming he “violated long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition.”

Holder disgraced the office he held. Law Professor Francis Boyle called him “a total disaster for the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Human Rights and the Rule of Law.”

Speaking in Florida on Sunday, Hillary changed the subject, saying “there’s a lot of noise and distraction, but it really comes down to what kind of future we want, and what kind of president can help us get there. We won’t be distracted no matter what our opponents throw at us.”

Clearly, Comey’s bombshell changed the dynamic of the race, whether enough to derail her White House bid we’ll know in days.

Reports indicate the FBI will examine an astonishing 650,000 emails from former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop - estranged husband of top Hillary aide Huma Abedin.

It could take months to review volume this immense, likely extending well beyond November 8 and January’s inauguration, to determine if any evidence warrants prosecuting Hillary, Abedin, Weiner or anyone else for mishandling classified government documents, perhaps compromising national security.

Having absolved Hillary in July, despite plenty of indictable evidence, it’s hard imagining a change of FBI policy 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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Harvard Undergrads for Hillary

Harvard Undergrads for Hillary

by Stephen Lendman

According to the student newspaper Harvard Crimson’s October survey, 87% of undergrads support Hillary. A scant 6% back Trump, 5.8% for Libertarian Gary (“what’s Aleppo”) Johnson, and less than 1% for Harvard College and Medical School graduate Jill Stein - the only people’s candidate running.

Around one-third of undergrads responded (2,128 out of a total 6,645 student body) - so the views of nonrespondents aren’t known. About 91% are eligible to vote in November. Eligibility begins at age 18. A surprising 96% of respondents intend voting, they said. 

The national average is far lower. Whether this year’s contentious election encourages a larger than usual turnout remains to be seen.

The Crimson poll was conducted from October 10 - 20 - before FBI Director Comey’s October surprise. Whether it would have changed the results is unknown.

Two-thirds of respondents said they support Democrat party candidates, 12% calling themselves Republicans, 19% saying they’re independents.

Trump and Hillary are the most widely reviled presidential aspirants in US history. Yet 70% of Crimson respondents view her favorably - showing little knowledge of her deplorable public record since the 1990s unless they support her war crimes, racketeering and perjury.

What to make of it? Undergrads enter Harvard (and other colleges) as teenagers, young and naive as I was when entering the college long ago.

After graduation, I discovered the meaning of the term “commencement.” Institutions like Harvard teach students to be good citizens, omitting the ugly stuff about US imperialism, officials advancing it, waging endless wars of aggression.

The so-called Korean War was ongoing when I was there, an incentive to maintain good grades, stay in school, avoid being drafted and sent to North Korea’s frozen Chosin, an expression used by members of my class.

The Paper Chase Hollywood film (1973) featured John Houseman as stern Harvard Law School Professor Charles Kingsfield. 

His most memorable line on day one for first year students was saying “(y)ou teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come here with a skull full of mush. You leave thinking like a lawyer.”

I began my freshman year “with a skull full of mush,” gradually extracting it. College and graduate school taught me to think. Learning and comprehension mostly came later. The older I get, the greater my understanding of world and national issues.

I’m long removed from campus life. Back then, students had none of the advantages available today - no computers, no Internet. Daily writing I dearly love now was a dreaded chore back then - requiring research by rolodex cards and library stacks, a time-consuming process.

Except for the type primary research I did for my master’s thesis, most everything needed today for compositions or articles like mine is available on our desktops.

It’s understandable why young minds haven’t achieved the wisdom of the ages. Still it’s disturbing to find Harvard undergrads uninformed and out-of-touch on Hillary’s deplorable public record - when it’s so easy to research it and know what she and husband Bill are all about.

Why hasn’t the Harvard student body done its homework for perhaps the most important election in our lifetime. 

The stakes are huge - possible war on Russia with Hillary empowered or improved bilateral relations under Trump.

Nothing matters more than saving humanity from the scourge of catastrophic thermonuclear war able to kill us all.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Saudi Warplanes Continue Massacring Yemeni Civilians

Saudi Warplanes Continue Massacring Yemeni Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

US naked aggression on Yemen gets scant scoundrel media coverage. It includes undeclared drone war begun post-9/11, Obama continuing what George Bush began, civilians harmed most of all. 

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states, backed by America and its NATO partners, began terror-bombing Houthi forces, falsely called terrorists.

Casualties are multiples higher than officially reported, civilians ruthlessly slaughtered - war in Yemen another bonanza for US, UK, French and German weapons makers, along with war-profiteers from other countries.

Earlier in October, Saudi warplanes terror-bombed a Sanaa Houthi funeral ceremony, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians - the single deadliest incident in over 18 months of fighting so far.

Washington bears full responsibility. Riyadh shares it. Conflict continues raging, the Pentagon selecting targets for Saudi warplanes to terror-bomb.

Over the weekend, a Saudi-led “coalition” airstrike targeted a prison and nearby administration buildings in Houthi-controlled Hodeidah, destroying facilities struck, massacring dozens, wounding many more victims, separately hitting Hodeidah’s port.

Saudi military spokesman General Ahmed Asiri lied, claiming facilities struck were used as “a command and control center for (Houthi) operations.”

Hours before the Hodeidah terror-bombing, Saudi warplanes massacred at least 18 civilians in Taiz, including 11 members of one family.

Throughout months of fighting, Saudi warplanes terror-bombed schools, hospitals, residential areas, commercial marketplaces and other nonmilitary targets.

Conflict resolution efforts failed because Washington, Riyadh and their rogue partners want war, not peace - holding an entire nation hostage to their viciousness, a severe humanitarian crisis taking unknown numbers of lives.

Separately, on October 28, Saudi Arabia was overwhelmingly reelected to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), a body infested with major human rights abusers. 

Heavy US pressure got General Assembly members to vote Russia off the HRC. Genocidal war on Yemen continues, the body failing to condemn the slaughter.

It doesn’t promote human rights. It supports horrendous abuses committed by Washington and its imperial allies.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Russia and Syria Warn About US Shifting ISIS from Mosul to Battle Assad

Russia and Syria Warn About US Shifting ISIS from Mosul to Battle Assad

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained the so-called battle for Mosul is a hoax. It’s about shifting thousands of US-supported ISIS fighters to Syria, along with perhaps letting Turkish forces move in to control evacuated areas. 

In Moscow, Russian and Syrian foreign ministers expressed concern. Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will “take measures to prevent terrorists moving from Mosul to Syria with their heavy arms, which, of course, will seriously worsen the situation in the Syrian republic.”

“We think that it is important not to let this happen…We cannot let the terrorist leave Mosul (for) Syria with the aim to re-direct their activity.”

Syrian Foreign Walid al-Muallem said the US-led “coalition has never fought Daesh. On the contrary, it is destroying the infrastructure of the Syrian economy, and recently destroyed a huge number of bridges on the Euphrates River…They want to move Daesh from Mosul into Raqqa.”

Assad close political and media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban explained Washington’s dirty scheme, ignored by media scoundrels, saying redeploying ISIS fighters from Mosul to Syria would represent a “huge danger to our sovereignty, to our country.”

“Russia and Syria are looking at this issue extremely seriously. We’re not going to sit and watch…The way they encircle Mosul shows they would like these terrorists to move into to Syria…”

“They’re navigating terrorism from one place to another, limiting terrorism in one place, directing it to another place. That’s the absolute truth of what is happening in our region.”

Washington and its rogue allies pay lip service alone to fighting terrorism while actively supporting it. So-called “moderates” aren’t so “moderate,” Shaaban explained. “There are no ’Syrian moderates.’ “

They’re cold-blooded cutthroat killers, imperial death squads, serving US imperial interests, actively supported by its coalition partners wanting Assad toppled, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, an Israeli rival eliminated, and Iran isolated ahead of repeating the same scenario against its government.

Aided by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah fighters, Syria is engaged in the “most challenging issue for humanity in the 21st century,” Shaaban stressed - the struggle to defeat the scourge of US created and supported terrorism, threatening everyone everywhere unless challenged and eliminated.

America intends stopping at nothing to advance its imperium - its goal, unchallenged dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations - a world unfit and unsafe to live in.

Beginning with the Bill and Hillary Clinton co-presidency’s Balkan wars, culminating with the 1999 rape of Yugoslavia, all sovereign independent states have been targeted for regime change - the 9/11 false flag used as pretext to wage phony war on terrorism.

Syria is in the eye of the storm. Conflicts continue raging in all countries America attacked after that staged incident - effectively declaring war on humanity.

Will nuclear war on Russia, China and Iran follow Hillary’s likely ascension to power next year? Her rage for wanting their sovereign governments eliminated risks ending life on earth.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russia's Eastern Aleppo Aerial Operations Remain Suspended

Russia’s Eastern Aleppo Aerial Operations Remain Suspended

by Stephen Lendman

On Sunday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said “Russian and Syrian aircraft have not performed any flights over the city of Aleppo for 13 days…” 

“For comparison, the US-led international coalition has delivered nine airstrikes over the last 24 hours at residential quarters of the Iraqi city with a population of over one million people - Mosul.” 

“(T)wo out of nine airstrikes at the city’s districts were delivered by B-52H strategic bombers.” The civilian casualty count is unknown, likely hundreds or many more.

Putin halted eastern Aleppo aerial operations nearly two weeks ago, hoping to provide its residents with humanitarian aid and help them exit the city safely. 

His tactic failed, benefitting US-supported terrorists. They blocked humanitarian aid from  areas they control. Anyone trying to leave risks death, serious injury, or arrest and torture. Only a handful made it out, in some cases by bribing militants with cash.

US-supported death squads used cessation of aerial operations to replenish their ranks, regroup, rearm, and mobilize for greater attacks.

On Sunday, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported “(t)errorist organizations affiliated (with) Turkish and Saudi regimes targeted…al-Hamadaniyeh area and al-Assad residential suburb in (government controlled) Aleppo city with shells that contain toxic gases” - believed to be chlorine.

Dozens suffered the suffocating effects, harming the lungs, nose, throat, skin and eyes with chemical burns, at times fatal. All victims are civilians.

I asked before why Putin hasn’t resumed aerial operations, proved effective while ongoing. His reasons, stated largely through his press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, defy logic. 

His humanitarian aims failed - achieving them only possible by smashing US-supported terrorists in eastern Aleppo, liberating the city entirely, then defeating them throughout Syria.

Hoped for victory requires cutting off their avenues of resupply and preventing them from replenishing their ranks - by air, land or sea. Without foreign support, they’ll gradually wither and die.

Russia has the military might and intelligence capability to accomplish what Syrian forces can’t do on their own.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Will FBI Director Comey's October Surprise Derail Hillary's White House Bid?


Will FBI Director Comey’s October Surprise Derail Hillary’s White House Bid?

by Stephen Lendman

Having closed his earlier investigation into Hillary’s use of her private email server for classified State Department documents without bringing charges, dismissing indictable evidence, it’s hard imagining a shift of agency policy now.

So what’s going on? Is FBI Director Comey trying to save face, even at this late stage, having tarnished the reputation of the agency and himself. The fullness of time will show what he has in mind.

He faces intense political pressure from key Democrat senators, demanding immediate answers about why he’s reopening his investigation days before November’s election, an unprecedented act.

Senators Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Thomas Carper and Ben Cardin wrote Comey, saying:

“(N)o later than Monday, 31 October 2016, we request you provide us with more detailed information about the investigative steps being taken, the number of emails involved, and what is being done to determine how many of the emails are duplicative of those already reviewed by the FBI.”

They want Attorney General Loretta Lynch explaining her involvement in Comey’s action, if any. The Hillary campaign called for “public answers” to clarify what new information the FBI discovered.

After saying that revisiting his decision last July would be unlikely, Comey opted for an October surprise - the likes of which Washington hasn’t seen since the tumultuous end of Nixon’s tenure.

Paul Craig Roberts said he's gotten word "that the FBI has reopened the Hillary case of her violation of US National Security protocols, not because of the content of the new email releases, but because voter support for Trump seems to be overwhelming, while Hillary has cancelled appearances due to inability to muster a crowd. The popular vote leaves the FBI far out on the limb for its corrupt clearance of Hillary. The agency now has to redeem itself.”

How remains to be seen. Like Roberts, I’m puzzled. Washington power brokers chose Hillary to succeed Obama. Enormous resources, energy, corporate pollsters consistently showing her ahead, and one-sided scoundrel media support have gone into assuring it.

Have things changed days before November 8? Are power brokers abandoning Hillary this late in the game? The last 48 hours have been breathtaking - the stuff Hollywood thrillers are made of.

Will Hillary supporters blame Russia for Comey’s action? One Democrat congressman suggested it. Will Comey be accused of being a Kremlin agent?

However things unfold in the campaign’s final days, Trump got a significant boost - whether enough for a “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock ending remains to be seen.

My view, right or wrong, remains the same. After going all-out for Hillary throughout months of campaigning, it’s hard believing power brokers decided otherwise this late in the game - unheard of in US electoral politics.

At the same time, this political season has been unlike any I remember since the 1940s. Nothing ahead will surprise me.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Media Scoundrels For Hillary React to Comey's Bombshell

Media Scoundrels for Hillary React to Comey’s Bombshell

by Stephen Lendman

Leading broadsheets New York Times and Washington Post have gone all-out for Hillary throughout months of campaigning - one-sidedly supporting her, denigrating Trump relentlessly.

Comey’s unexpected Friday bombshell shocked them, leaving them scrambling to react. The Times called Comey’s letter to Congress “cryptic…fail(ing) to provide any specifics about a new, potentially important development…”

It quoted Hillary calling his action “strange…unprecedented…deeply troubling,” barely stopping short of accusing him of partisan interference in November’s election. Campaign chairman John Podesta called it “long on innuendo and short on facts,” letting Republicans “distort and exaggerate” its message.

The Washington Post said he’s chosen “to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department’s traditions…He’s “putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”

Since J. Edgar Hoover ran the agency, its mandate has been to protect privilege against beneficial social change. 

In his book, titled “Dirty Truths,” Michael Parenti explained “unaccountable state power whose primary function is to maintain the existing politico-economic structure, using surveillance, infiltration, sabotage, judicial harassment, disinformation, trumped-up charges and false arrests, tax harassment, blackmail, and even violence and assassination to make the world safe for those who own it.”

The national security state within the state includes top “CIA, DAI, FBI, NSA, the Pentagon, and” administration policymakers. They operate unaccountably, waging war on humanity “to destroy any government or social movement that manifests an unwillingness to reduce its people to economic fodder for the giant corporations that rule the world's economy.”

America’s deep state chooses its leaders and top officials. Democracy exists in name only, serving its privileged few at the expense of most others. 

Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead calls it “America’s shadow government…(a) corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.”

No matter who holds top posts in all three branches of government, unnamed power brokers run things - “the hidden face of the American police state,” remaining in place, operating unaccountably, assuring dirty business as usual continues.

A same day article asked if Comey’s October surprise will derail Hillary’s White House bid, the establishment candidate, chosen last year to succeed Obama. 

I doubt it, but in an election season full of surprises, who knows for sure how things will turn out.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Blasts Israel

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Blasts Israel

by Stephen Lendman

How many years of illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine are too many? How long will the international community tolerate its vicious persecution of millions of defenseless people?

How long will its longstanding slow-motion genocide policy be allowed to continue unchallenged? 

Every day is Kristallnacht in Palestine, especially in lawlessly blockaded Gaza under siege, subject to Israeli terror-bombing and incursions at its discretion, slaughtering civilians indiscriminately because who’ll intervene responsibly to stop the horrors Palestinians endure.

In his first report to the UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine, Michael Lynk, described deplorable conditions, unacceptable, yet persisting, with nothing in prospect likely to change things without international community intervention.

Calling for an end to nearly half a century of illegal occupation, he said “(t)he Palestinian economy is without parallel in the modern world. Israel’s occupation is denying Palestine’s right to development and severely hampering its ability to attain even the minimum targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Israel systematically breaches fundamental international laws unaccountably. Apartheid worse than South Africa’s is institutionalized. State terror is official policy. Israel treats Palestinians the way Hitler persecuted Jews.

“Poverty is rising,” said Lynk. “Unemployment is rising to epic levels. Food insecurity is becoming more acute. The Palestinian economy is becoming more stifled and less viable under the occupation. Israel’s deliberate fragmentation of (Occupied Palestine) and lack of development has negatively impacted human rights.”

Conditions are “seriously deficient in its respect for the legal principles and obligations embedded within the right to development.”

“The deepening of the occupation, the constriction of basic human rights and the utter absence of a political horizon leading to self-determination for the Palestinians have reinforced an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness.”

Praising regional human rights groups for their courage and commitment to justice, Lynk explained “(t)hey face scorn and worse…If a just and compassionate peace is ever to come to the Middle East, we will owe much to these fearless advocates.”

In mid-October, in testimony before Security Council members, B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad called for UN action to end nearly half a century of illegal Israeli occupation.

Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon accused him of “defam(ing) us in front of the international community.” Israel threatened to revoke his citizenship.

Human rights workers for Palestinian liberation risk life and liberty. El-Ad concluded his remarks, saying:

For most of my country’s existence, the world has allowed it to occupy another people. I have lived my entire life, every single day of it, with that reality.” 

“Millions of Israelis and Palestinians know no other reality. We need your help. Fifty years of ‘temporary’ occupation are too long for even a single person on this planet to accept such a contradiction in terms.” 

“The rights of Palestinians must be realized; the occupation must end; the UN Security Council must act; and the time is 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: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mixed Messages from Moscow on Aleppo

Mixed Messages from Moscow on Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

On Friday, Russian General Staff of the Armed Forces head Gen. Sergey Rudskoi said “(s)ince civilians continue dying and the militants have resumed active combat actions against government forces, we've asked the Supreme Commander (President Vladimir Putin) to authorize resumption of airsrikes at illegal paramilitary formations (US-supported terrorists) in eastern Aleppo.”

Putin suspended them on October 18. They remain “paused” for 11 days “although the situation around Aleppo remains complicated.”

“Militants from the eastern parts of Aleppo and their protectors organized an attack on the humanitarian corridor near the Al-Khai Souq market. It resulted in numerous victims among the civilians and state troops.”

“All attacks (were) repelled.” In the last three days alone, dozens of civilians were killed, many more seriously wounded. America violated cessation of hostilities terms agreed to in Geneva last month.

Putin so far rejected calls to resume bombing US-supported terrorists in eastern Aleppo - his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, saying he “considers it inappropriate at the present time…”

He believes the humanitarian pause should continue “to allow the withdrawal of the wounded and the militants who wish to leave the city (and) allow our American partners to fulfill the obligations to separate the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition and the terrorists, which they took upon themselves.”

Since all anti-government forces are terrorists, no so-called “moderates” among them, it’s unclear why he persists in claiming otherwise.

Perhaps it’s a matter of days or sooner before ordering resumption of Russian eastern Aleppo aerial operations, Peskov explaining:

“Considering that terrorists have announced the planned intensification of combat actions and also that they have really switched partially to active offensive operations, the Russian president proceeds from the fact that in case of emergency the Russian side reserves the right to use all available forces and resources to counter the terrorist groupings’ provocative actions and provide due support to the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

So what is he waiting for? How many more Aleppo area civilian men, women and children will die before he acts? Asked when he intends resumption of aerial operations, Peskov said “I am unable to give a precise answer to your question.”

“The top priority, from the point of view of the president, is evacuation of the wounded and safe exit for the militants who wish to leave the city.”

How can they be when terrorists infesting eastern Aleppo continue holding them hostage as human shields, preventing them from escaping to freedom? Anyone trying risk death, serious injury or torture if captured.

Things could go on like this interminably, delaying hope for eventual conflict resolution. The time for Putin to act is now - going all-out to smash US-supported terrorists infesting eastern Aleppo and elsewhere throughout Syria.

Russia’s military understands the need to act. It’s unusual public announcement reflects disagreement with Putin - whether enough move him to action remains to be seen.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russia Documents US Sabotage of Agreements Between Both Countries on Syria

Russia Documents US Sabotage of Agreements Between Both Countries on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s document, titled “Comparison Analysis of Russia-US Agreements Implementation” on the long-running Syrian conflict, submitted to UN authorities, Security Council members and other agencies shows willful US undermining of principles agreed to - typical of how Washington operates, pledging one thing, doing another, a consistent disturbing pattern.

The document includes terms both countries agreed to observe in the February and September ceasefire agreements.

Russia’s UN Mission said it hoped releasing its “impartial, fact-based analysis” would “shed light “on the true reasons that hinder the implementation of (both) agreements.”

Moscow scrupulously observes them. Washington consistently undermined what it pledged to honor. It failed to get terrorist groups it controls to comply with cessation of hostility terms.

Multiple daily violations continue - 2,031 from February 27 to September 1, responsible for the deaths of 3,532 government forces and 12,800 civilians.

The February deal required information sharing on militant groups. Russia fulfilled its obligation. America fell way short.

Moscow continued aerial combat operations against ISIS and al-Nusra fighters. America waged phony war on Daesh - terror-bombing vital infrastructure, government sites and residential areas, massacring thousands of civilians.

On July 28, Washington cut off communications between Russian forces at Khmeymim airbase in Syria and US operatives in Amman, Jordan.

Following September’s Geneva ceasefire agreement, America failed to get terrorist groups it controls to comply. Dozens of violations occur daily.

Aleppo-based militants blocked delivery of humanitarian aid, threatening anyone trying to leave areas of the city they control with death or imprisonment. US-led “coalition” warplanes failed to attack ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist fighters.

Russia continues targeting them daily, except in eastern Aleppo since October 18, after Putin unilaterally declared a humanitarian pause - a failed effort because US-supported terrorists reject it.

“Joint US-Russian operations against ISIS and the al-Nusra Front never launched, allowing terrorists to retain control over a large territory and carry out offensive operations against government troops,” Russia’s UN Mission said.

Washington refuses to cooperate with Russia in combatting terrorism because it wants endless war, not peace, Assad toppled, and sovereign Syrian independence destroyed.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

US-Supported Terrorists Shell Russian Embassy in Damascus

US-Supported Terrorists Shell Russian Embassy in Damascus

by Stephen Lendman

They’ve done it before without causing casualties or damage. According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, terrorists fired two mortar rounds at the embassy’s compound.

One shell exploded near the diplomatic mission’s entrance, damaging the building and four vehicles. The attack came from terrorist-controlled Jobar district.

On Friday, the Security Council addressed the incident, saying its “members…condemned in the strongest terms another mortar shelling of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic), which caused significant material damage.”

They stressed the “fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises.” Host governments are obligated “to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and consular premises against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or impairment of their dignity, and to prevent any attack on diplomatic premises, agents and consular officers.”

Not easily done when countries are attacked by foreign-supported death squads, supplied with heavy weapons to wage war.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed concern over no “international reaction…but we will try to get it,” she said, including on the platform of international organizations, because we are talking about a diplomatic mission, about systematic terrorist attacks.”

Russian upper house Federation Council Security and Defense Committee first deputy chairman Frants Klintesevich believes the latest shelling was conducted to disrupt Moscow’s humanitarian pause, saying it failed - nor can there be an “option of making any concessions to terrorists.”

Separately, heavily US-led Western pressure got General Assembly members to vote Russia off the UN Human Rights Council - a body infested with major human rights abusers, including reelected member Saudi Arabia with over a three-fourths majority vote.

Ignored was its genocidal war on Yemen, ruthless despotic rule tolerating no dissent, arbitrary arrests and imprisonments, torture and physical abuse, public beheadings and whippings, violence against women, along with other major violations of civil and human rights.

Russia, Hungary and Croatia vied for two Eastern European seats. Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said “(i)t was a very close vote and very good countries competing, Croatia, Hungary. They are fortunate because of their size, they are not exposed to the winds of international diplomacy. Russia is very exposed. We've been in the UNHRC for several years, and I am sure next time we will stand and get back in.”

Not easily as long as Washington maintains pressure to prevent it. US-led NATO’s undeclared war on Russia continues. Hillary’s ascension to power next year threatens to turn it red hot.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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